Jesuit Order priests listed after allegations of abuse

SEE the list and HEAR from Bishop Malone

Canisius High School (Photo via Canisius High School Twitter)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - The Jesuit Order released a list of abusive priests and there were eight priests from Western New York who were on the list. 

Among the priests on the list includes Rev. Cornelius Carr, who worked at Canisius High School in the 1960's. Carr was on a list of accused priests released by the Archdiocese of New Orleans in November after multiple allegations of sexual abuse. Jesuits Central and Southern estimated the timeframe of abuse in the 1970's and 1990's. He was removed from Ministry in 2005 by the New York Province. Former Canisius High School President Vincent Mooney is also on the list. Mooney is accused of raping a girl in the 1960s inside his office in the school in a story detailed this week on Channel 7.

"Although we are still deeply saddened about the serious nature of the incidents reported above, with the exception of Fr. Fullam, none of the incidents involved a Canisius High School student," Canisius High School said in a statement. "If a claim of sexual abuse should ever be made, we would immediately report the incident to law enforcement. Canisius High School would fully cooperate with the investigation."

The priests accused of abuse locally had ties to Canisius College, Canisius High School, St. Ann Church, and St. Michael's Parish.

"Canisius College had no knowledge of any instances of sex abuse in the past or at the time either Jesuit was employed at the college," a spokesperson for Canisius College said through a statement. The College added that the priests in question "had no report of any sex abuse during their time at the college after their departure."

Speaking to WBEN, the Jesuit Province said that the names were released in an effort to be transparent. A spokesperson added that the list includes the name of every priest credibly accused up to present day.

Names on the list include (Bold indicates abuse happened in Western New York)

 

  • Cornelius Carr
  • Peter Conroy 
  • Thomas Denny
  • John Ferrand
  • William Scanlon
    Raymond Fullam
  • James Gould
  • Vincent Mooney

Conroy worked at Canisius from 1965 to 1968, then again from 1980 to 1984 and 1994 to 2002. He admitted to the 1972 abuse of minors, though the victims did not report the incident until 2002. 

Denny spent three years at Canisius in the 1990's though none of the abuse allegations against him were from his time there. His abuse allegations from the 1960's and 1970's were substantiated after victims came forward in 2002 and 2012. 

Farrand was accused and admitted to abuse in 1961. He taught at Canisius from 1946 to 1949.

Fullam's abuse allegations from 1954 and 1965 were reported in 2009. He worked at Canisius High School from 1953 to 1958 and again from 1972 to 1976. 

Gould worked at St. Ann Parish in Buffalo from 1975 to 1983. He abused a minor in 1977 and 1978 and admitted to the abuse when it was reported in 2011. 

Mooney worked at Canisius from 1958 to 1974 and was accused of the abuse by minors during his time there. 

Scanlon worked at Canisius College from 1976 to 1980 but was never accused of abuse during his time there. He admitted to the abuse of minors from 1985 to 1994. 

 

Bishop Richard Malone spoke at Tuesday's kickoff for the Catholic Charities appeal, and he says that anytime there's news about abuse or abuse within the clergy it's a difficult process, but it's also necessary.

"The fact it's been painful, but the fact that this has come out into the light is the only way that we can move forward and be purified and renewed," said Malone. "There has to be that transparency that's been missing in the past."

VIEW THE FULL LIST HERE

"At the heart of this crisis is the painful, sinful and illegal harm done to children by those whom they should have been able to trust," the Rev. John J. Cecero, the top official for the province, said in a statement, adding, "We did not know any best practices to handle these violations many decades ago and regrettably made mistakes along the way."

The list includes priests who served in Jesuit high schools and colleges throughout New England, New York and northern New Jersey.

Leaders of several universities where accused priests have served released statements in response to the list.

"We are heartsick that the shadow of the crisis within the larger Catholic community has been cast upon our University, and deeply troubled by the very real possibility that there are still survivors whose accounts of abuse we have not yet heard," said the Rev. Joseph McShane, president of Fordham University.

Linda LeMura, president of LeMoyne College in Syracuse, said, "We deeply regret any abuse that occurred on our campus. We encourage survivors and any member of our community to reach out to the resources available to you and to report sexual harassment, misconduct or abuse allegations to these resources and to law-enforcement agencies as appropriate."

The list released Tuesday includes James Talbot, a former priest and high school teacher who pleaded guilty last year to charges that he sexually assaulted a boy in the 1990s in Freeport, Maine. Talbot's accuser said in court in September, "To this day, I remember the steps leading inside the church as if they were guiding me to hell."

Another former priest, James Kuntz, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in federal court in New Jersey in 2008.

The Rev. Keith Pecklers, a professor of liturgy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, is the only priest on the list still serving at a Jesuit-run institution. A New Jersey man testified in 2010 that he was abused by Pecklers when Pecklers was 17 and the victim was 14.

A Jesuit spokesman said Pecklers remains active because the alleged abuse happened in his teens before he was ordained. The spokesman said Pecklers is monitored in Rome and in not allowed access to minors.

The Jesuit provinces in the other four regions of the United States have previously released their lists of priests who have credibly been accused of abusing minors.

The disclosures by the Jesuits follow the release of lists of hundreds of priests accused of abuse by Catholic dioceses across the U.S.

"Releasing these names publicly is crucial not only for the healing of survivors, but also to encourage victims who may be suffering in silence to come forward and to deter future clergy sex crimes and cover-ups," said Zach Hiner, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, in an email.

"Still," he said, "the fact remains that this is a long-overdue move prompted only by pressure from prosecutors, parishioners and the public."

USA Northeast Province Released the Following Statement

Dear Friends in the Lord,

Hoping to contribute to healing from the pain and anger caused by clergy sex abuse and the lack of accountability and transparency on the part of church leadership, I am making public a list of any Jesuit in the USA Northeast Province who has had a credible allegation of abuse against a minor or vulnerable adult since 1950. The USA Northeast Province is composed of what were separate Provinces at various periods over the past seventy years: Buffalo in the 1960s; New England and New York separately until 2014. This list includes Jesuits who belonged to any of those Provinces. 

At the heart of this crisis is the painful, sinful and illegal harm done to children by those whom they should have been able to trust. We did not know any best practices to handle these violations many decades ago and regrettably made mistakes along the way. What winds up being a very shameful history for the Church at large was made clear by investigative reporting in Boston in 2002. It was the subsequent Dallas Charter that was accepted by the US Bishops that allowed us to codify and implement best practices. Under the watchful eye of our accreditation agency, Praesidium, Inc., we have implemented these best practices for more than fifteen years and can be grateful, although no less vigilant, that there have been no new cases of abuse of minors or vulnerable adults in the Northeast Province.

Changed practices do not erase past history. The list I publish today notes criminal and sinful failures in the pastoral care of children. The majority of these allegations were made years or even decades after abuse occurred. This list includes any allegations where the offense was admitted by a Jesuit, or where it was established as credible after an investigation. Any living Jesuit with a credible allegation of abuse is removed from ministry and assigned to a community that does not serve minors where he lives under a closely monitored safety plan. Any case of abuse is shocking and a profound failure. Jesuits who have offended can no longer offend. Safeguards put in place since 2002 help create safe environments for everyone. 

On behalf of all of the Jesuits of the USA Northeast Province, I apologize for any of our brothers who have committed crimes of abuse and pledge to work to provide safe environments for all to whom we minister and to offer support and possibilities for healing to victims. I urge anyone who has experienced abuse by a Jesuit to contact Kristin Austin, our Victim Assistance Coordinator at 443-370-6357 or UNEadvocacy@jesuits.org. She will offer both compassion and confidentiality. 

These have been trying times for our Church, and the Body of Christ knows the suffering of its Lord in real ways. May we together pray for healing that our wounds may be transformed by the God of love.

In Corde Jesu,

Fr. John J. Cecero, S.J.
Provincial, USA Northeast Province


 

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