Bishop Accountability

Credibly Accused Priests: 25
Total Priests: 400 (approximately)
Alleged Victims: 31
Cost: $436,000 (of which $225,000 and $118,000 for settlements, $56,000 for treatment of victims, $37,000 for treatment of offenders)

See the Dallas Morning News database entry on Bishop Kenneth Angell. The June 2002 database examined the records of bishops and identified those who had allowed accused priests to continue working or had otherwise protected priests accused of sexual abuse. The database is relevant to the bishops' "Nature and Scope" study because the bishops who prepared the surveys for the study are in many cases responsible for the "scope" of the problem.

Letter from Bishop Kenneth A. Angell

February 13, 2004

Dear Faithful in Christ:

The John Jay Report will be released Feb 27, 2004 by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops. This study will furnish national combined figures for all dioceses in the United States regarding sexual misconduct occurring since 1950, including:

*total number of allegations against diocesan priests, religious order priests and deacons

*how many clerics were completely exonerated

*total number of victims who have made allegations against diocesan clerics

*total number of allegations shown to be false or withdrawn

*total compensation or payments made to victims, including total amount covered by insurance

*approximate amount paid for treatment/counseling of victims, including amount covered by insurance.

*approximate amount paid for treatment of cleric offenders, including amount covered by insurance

*total amount paid to attorneys to represent each victim

Though the national Jay Report will not list the figures for individual local dioceses, the Diocese of Burlington has chosen to publicly release the financial data which we presented to the John Jay Report.

I would like to remind you that all of these cases in the Diocese of Burlington occurred before 1989, although some were not reported until much later, even as recent as 2002. Since 1989, we have made much progress in the protection of our youth in the Church and related programs. The Diocese of Burlington created its own Sexual Misconduct Policy, and a Review Board for enforcement and education and preventions as early as February, 1996. We have updated much of our procedures in cooperation with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. We were audited by the William Gavin Group in June, 2003 and proclaimed in total compliance with that Charter on September 16th, 2003.

This is at once an occasion for regret, repentance, and yet hope. We hold great hope for the future safety and security of our precious youth. We have fervent hope for the healing of all those victims who have suffered such harm, and we pray for their forgiveness. We pray also for the healing of their families and friends, and for the renewal of trust by the faithful of the Catholic Church in Vermont.

Yours in Christ,

Most Reverend) Kenneth A. Angell
Bishop of Burlington

John Jay College Study
Alleged Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Clerics

Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington Report
February 12 , 2004

(See Bishop Angell's Cover Letter)

1. The Diocese of Burlington participated in this extensive national study and submitted our findings in August 2003.

2. The study covered a fifty-three year period from 1950 to 2002, and requested information of clerics only. (Priests and deacons.)

3. During this time period there were approximately four hundred clerics ministering in the Diocese of Burlington

4. Our search showed that during the period (1950-2002) credible allegations of sexual misconduct were received against twenty-five priests. Most of these allegations refer to incidents occurring between the mid 1960's and mid 1980's. The current status of these priests is as follows:

a. Ten are deceased.
b. Four have left the ministry, voluntarily or otherwise.
c. One has been reinstated in ministry
d. Ten are retired with restrictions on any public ministry.

5. The total number of victims was thirty-one. Of these:

a. Six victims filed legal suits against the Diocese and/or the priest. Three of these suits had been settled at the time the Jay Report was filed. (Since then, there has been one new case filed, bringing that total to seven. Of the seven, five cases have now been settled, leaving two cases pending.)

b. Two other claims were settled outside of legal procedures

c. Where possible, victims have been offered pastoral and counseling services, either with our personnel or with others of their choice. Ten have participated in these services

d. The remaining victims have indicated that they are not seeking these services at this time.

6. Settlement monies paid to alleged victims amounted to $225,000 at the time of our submission to the John Jay College Study. Since that time, an additional $118,000 has been paid to victims.

Total Compensation or payment to victims: $343,000 Amount covered by commercial insurance: - None -

Total amount paid for treatment of victims: $56,000 (Estimates to the best of our knowledge and records.)
Amount covered by commercial insurance: - None -

Total amount paid for treatment of offenders: $37,000 (Estimates to best of our knowledge and records.)
Amount covered by commercial insurance: - Unknown -

Total amount paid to diocesan attorneys: Not Available

Amount covered by commercial insurance: - None -

It should be noted that diocesan self-insurance and financial reserves covered these obligations. No Bishop Fund monies were used for this purpose.

Finally, the Diocese is committed to continual vigilance in the enforcement of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Bishop Angell continues to express concern and regret for the victims of sexual misconduct by clergy and other church personnel, and he has hope that the truth and prayer for forgiveness and healing will set us all free.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington
February 12, 2004


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.