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Assignment Record– Rev. James M. Burns

Summary of Case: Burns was accused "several times" of child sexual abuse, sent for therapy, then reassigned in 1990. He was removed from duty and "retired" in 1993 after another allegation. Included in the July 2007 settlement against the Los Angeles archdiocese because Burns abused a boy from AZ on trips to CA. Pleaded guilty in 2004 and received two 1.5 yr sentences, to be served concurrently. Released after less than a year for good behavior. Also accused of abuse of a girl. He may have abused more than twelve children, mostly Latino boys. He died in August 2010.

Ordained: 1962
Died: August 6, 2010

 

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1962

Gallup bishop was Bernard Theodore Espelage, O.F.M. (1940-1969).

1963 Our Lady of Guadalupe Flagstaff AZ

3/3

Parish had a school with 250 students.
1963 1964 Nativity of B.V.M. Flagstaff AZ 2/2

Parish had a school with 192 students.

1964 1965 Our Lady of Guadalupe Holbrook AZ 2/2  
1965 1966 St. Francis Cabrini Camp Verde AZ 1/1  
1965 1966   Black Canyon AZ   This was a station of St. Francis Cabrini in Camp Verde.
1965 1966   Lake Montezuma AZ   This was a station of St. Francis Cabrini in Camp Verde.
1966 1968 St. Lawrence Humbolt AZ 1/1
Administrator
 
1966 1968   Mayer AZ   This was a mission of St. Lawrrence in Humbolt.
1966 1968   Black Canyon AZ   This was a mission of St. Lawrrence in Humbolt.

1968

Jerome Joseph Hastrich replaced Espelage as bishop (1969-1990).

1974 St. Peter's Springerville AZ 1/1, 1/2  
1968 1971 Sacred Heart Quemado AZ   This was a mission of St. Peter's in Springerville.
1971 1974 St. Helena Alpine AZ   This was a mission of St. Peter's in Springerville.
1968 1974 Priests' Relief Society     Assistant Director/Vice President  
1968 1969 Vocations     Assistant Director  
1969 1981 Family Life        
1970
1981
1974
1983
Episcopal Vicar: Lower Arizona        
1983 1990 Episcopal Vicar:
Navajo Vicariate

       
1980 1982 Personnel Board     Chairman  
1978 1994 Priests' Retirement Fund        
1974 1980 Our Lady of the Angels/St. Mary of the Angels Pinetop AZ 1/2, 1/1 This parish is referred to both Our Lady of the Angels and St. Mary of the Angels in the Directories.
1980 1982 Immaculate Heart of Mary Page AZ 1/1  
1980 1982   Lee's Ferry AZ   This was a station of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Page.
1980 1982   Vermillion Cliffs AZ   This was a station of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Page.
1980 1982   Kaibeto AZ   This was a station of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Page.
1982 1990 St. Joseph's

Winslow

Named in a 2004 criminal complaint as perpetrator of sexual abuse against an altar boy who had lost his father, between Jan. 1, 1983 and Dec. 31, 1984. Burns was also accused of molesting the boy on trips to California. Burns admitted to abusing the boy. (Gallup Independent
May 12, 2004)

AZ   Burns underwent treatment for sexually abusive behavior but was put back in ministry in 1990. (Associated Press, carried in The Arizona Republic [Arizona]
September 19, 2004)
1982 1990   Leupp AZ   This was a station of St. Joseph's in Winslow.
1982 1990   Dilcon AZ   This was a station of St. Joseph's in Winslow.
1982 1990   Seba Dalkai AZ   This was a station of St. Joseph's in Winslow.
11/01/90   St. Mary's Bloomfield NM   Per the Gallup Diocese's website 2/28/15

12/90

Donald Edmond Pelotte, S.S.S. replaced Hastrich as bishop (1990-2008).

6/93 St. Rose's Blanco NM 1/1, 1/2  
    Our Lady of Guadalupe Los Martinez NM   This was a mission of St. Rose in Blanco NM.
1993 2002  

 

Burns' priestly faculties were removed in June of 1993, due to allegations of sexual abuse (Gallup Independent
May 20, 2003). One of the accusers was woman who claimed Burns sexually abused her when she age four. (Gallup Independent
June 8, 2004)

   

Burns had a Wickenburg AZ P.O. Box. Heis not indexed in the Directories after 2002.

Burns pleaded guilty to sexual conduct with a minor in 2004 and was sentenced to a year and a half in prison. (Associated Press, carried in The Arizona Republic [Arizona]
September 19, 2004) He was released after less than a year for good behavior. (Independent
July 23, 2007) A newspaper that researched Burns stated that he may have abused more than a dozen children. (Gallup Independent
August 2, 2005) His victims were mostly young Latino males . This information is per the newspaper's interviews with the Gallup diocese and with Burns' victims. (Independent
July 21, 2007)

2002 2010     AZ   Burns died August 6, 2010 in Arizona.

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1963-2002).

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy & Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

 
 

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