Gallup Diocese adds priest to list of accused

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Gallup Independent correspondent
April 10, 2019

GALLUP — The Diocese of Gallup has added the name of another priest to its list of credibly accused sex abusers.

Thomas M. Harkins, a priest from the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, “served for a trial period of three months” in the Diocese of Gallup at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Page, Arizona from October 1981 to January 1982, according to a news release from the Gallup Diocese Monday.

According to diocesan officials, they are not aware of any complaints or allegations regarding Harkins during his brief time here.

“In keeping with our policy of publicizing the names of clerics who appear on credibly accused lists from other Dioceses, we have now added his name to our list of clergy and church workers who have had allegations made against them from service outside of the Diocese of Gallup,” the news release stated.

In December 2018, the Gallup Diocese began adding the names of clergy who had worked here but had been accused of abuse elsewhere.

With the addition of Harkins’ name, the Diocese of Gallup’s credibly accused list has grown to include 40 names. Thirty of the men had credible allegations of abuse leveled against them during the time they were in the Diocese of Gallup, and 10 had credible allegations made against them outside the diocese.

Although Diocese of Gallup officials said they don’t have information about the allegations against Harkins, the Bishop Accountability website has numerous links to media reports about Harkins from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Harkins made the national news in 2012, when it was revealed he had been hired by the Transportation Security Administration and was working at the Philadelphia International Airport.

Multiple lists

As more Catholic dioceses and religious orders publicly release their lists of credibly accused clergy sex abusers, the names of many abusers are surfacing on multiple lists across the country. This is true for the Diocese of Gallup as the following former Gallup clergy have been publicly named as abusers by other Catholic dioceses in recent months.

William G. Allison: Originally from the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana, Allison worked in the Diocese of Gallup in the late 1950s to early 1960s. He was reportedly a patient at the Servants of the Paraclete treatment center in Jemez Springs. The Diocese of Alexandria recently named Allison as an abuser, as did the Diocese of Monterrey, California.

Eugene R. Bowski, M.S.s.A: Bowski was in the process of retiring from the Diocese of Gallup when he was accused of sexually grooming and propositioning a local 18-year-old male in 2014. However, the Gallup Diocese did not add Bowski’s name to its list of credibly accused abusers until after the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia named Bowski in November 2018.

Santino A. Casimano, M.S.S: Casimano came to the Diocese of Gallup to be ordained into a small religious order, the Missionaries of St. Stephen, which was founded by the late Gallup Bishop Jerome J. Hastrich. Casimano worked briefly at St. Paul’s Parish in Crownpoint, before moving onto the Diocese of Orange, California, where he was later named in a clergy sex abuse lawsuit. The Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut recently named Casimano as an abuser.

David J. Clark, CMF: This Claretian religious order priest worked in Prescott, Arizona when Prescott was part of the Diocese of Gallup. Clark has also been named as a credibly accused abuser by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana.

John F. Degnan: This priest worked in the Diocese of Gallup from 1951 to 1961. Degnan then moved to Missouri and reportedly abused many victims over the next four decades. Degnan’s name is also on the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri list.

Clement A. Hageman: Reportedly one of the worst abusers in the Diocese of Gallup, Hageman came here from the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas after a brief stopover in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The Diocese of Corpus Christi, which avoided legal responsibility for Hageman in the Diocese of Gallup's bankruptcy case, finally released its list of credibly accused abusers and included Hageman’s name.

Lucien J. Meurnier: Originally from Canada, this abuser used multiple aliases – Lucien Meunier de la Pierre, Pedro Luke, Luke Munier, Pedro Luc de la Pierre, Maurice Meunier, etc. – as he moved from diocese to diocese. The Diocese of Hartford, Connecticut is the most recent diocese to identify him as an abuser.

John T. Sullivan: Ordained by the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, this notorious abuser worked in the Diocese of Gallup in the 1960s. Although Sullivan worked in multiple dioceses, his name surfaced most recently on the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas list.

David Enrique Viramontes: After working in the Diocese of Gallup in the late 1950s to early 1960s, Viramontes moved onto the Diocese of Las Cruces, which has also named him as an abuser.

Roman Pfalzer, OFM: The Diocese of Gallup continues to leave Pfalzer’s name off its list although this Franciscan friar worked at St. Francis Parish in Gallup in the early 1950s. He has been named as a credibly accused abuser by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. In addition, his brother, Juvenal Pfalzer, OFM, was also named as an abuser by the Diocese of Louisville, Kentucky.




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