BishopAccountability.org
 

Bishops Accused of Sexual Abuse and Misconduct
A Global Accounting

In the sexual abuse crisis, the problem of bishops and major superiors who abuse has not received systematic scrutiny. Yet a bishop who is guilty of child abuse, or who has other violations of celibacy to conceal, has compromised his role in the formation of his priests and in assigning them properly. He likely is less inclined to discipline problem priests or report them to law enforcement. Beyond incalculable harm to their victims, church officials who offend can cause systemic corruption. Bishops who sexually abuse seminarians, as Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell admitted doing, may establish a generational pattern of clergy abuse. The apparent sexual criminality of Jósef Wesołowski, a Vatican diplomat for a dozen years, raises concerns about the character of the bishops he helped select as papal nuncio to six countries.

The following list includes 84 bishops worldwide who have been accused publicly of sexual wrongdoing – 57 (names in red) allegedly abused minors, and 27 (names in black) are publicly accused of sexual abuse/sexual misconduct with adults only. To date, a mere 4 accused bishops have been laicized: Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez of Paraguay (2008), Raymond J. Lahey of Canada (2012), Gabino Miranda Melgarejo of Peru (2013), and Jósef Wesołowski of Poland (2014).


Related Topics

• Abuse-Enabling Bishops Who Resigned or Were Removed

• 
Overview of Criminal Cases against Catholic Officials for Enabling Child Sexual Abuse


COUNTRY
Argentina | Australia | Austria | Belgium | Brazil | Canada | Chile | Dominican Republic | Germany | Guam | Iceland | Ireland | Italy | Kenya | Netherlands | Nigeria | Norway | Paraguay | Peru | Philippines | Poland | Portugal | Puerto Rico | Scotland | South Africa | Switzerland | United States | Uruguay | Wales

ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS
Apuron | Arzube | Bactol | Bluyssen | Bransfield | Brown | Burke | Carraro | Casey | Contreras Molina | Cowley | Cox Huneeus | Davis | Duarte García de Cortázar | Dudley | Dupre | Fernández Torres | Ferrario | Gelineau | Gijsen | Groër | Harrington | Hart | Hubbard | Janssen | Lahey | LaRocque | Livieres Banks | Magee | McQuaid | Medeiros | Miranda Melgarejo | Mixa | Müller | Niënhaus | Nienstedt | O'Connell | Órdenes Fernández | Orsmond | Pell | Rausch | Rueger | Ryan | Schilder | Skylstad | Soens | Storni | Sullivan, James | Sullivan, Joseph | Symons | ter Schure | Vangheluwe | Ward | Weldon | Wesołowski | Williams | Ziemann

ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF OR MISCONDUCT WITH ADULTS ONLY
Antonazzo | Barbosa Da Silveira | Abanto Guzmán | Bacani | Brom | Comiskey | Eisenbach | Knight | Lugo Méndez | Lynch | Maccarone | Marino | McCarrick | McCarthy | Moreira Azevedo | O'Brien | O'Connor | Paetz | Pagotto | Tejeda Rosario | Sanchez | Uriona | Vogel | Weakland | Welsh | Wright | Yalung



ARGENTINA
Bishop Juan Carlos Maccarone
Resigned in 2005, age 64, per canon 401.2 after video surfaced of him having sex with 23-year-old man. Remained in ministry. Seen 2010 saying Confirmation Mass for teenagers. Santiago del Estero bishop emeritus. Died March 2015.

Archbishop Edgardo G. Storni

Resigned October 2002, age 66, per canon 401.2 after reports he abused young men and boys. Convicted 2009. Sentenced to eight years in prison; given house arrest instead. Conviction overturned 2011. Remained Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz archbishop emeritus. Died 2012.

Bishop Adolfo A. Uriona, F.D.P.
Arrested 2006 after a 24-year-old woman accused him of groping her during a bus ride. Denied the charge. Case dismissed. Visited pope 2014. Añatuya bishop in 2004 until he was appointed bishop of Villa de la Concepción in December 2014.


AUSTRALIA

Cardinal George Pell
Accused 2002 of 1961 or 1962 sex abuse of 12-year-old boy while Pell was seminarian. Denying allegation, Pell stood aside as Sydney archbishop, while church asked former judge to investigate. Report said accuser "gave the impression he was speaking honestly" but crime could not be established. Pell resumed office. Appointed by Pope 2014 to head Vatican's new Secretariat of the Economy. News broken by ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) July 2016 of multiple additional complaints investigated by Victorian police. Pell allegedly fondled the genitals and anuses of two boys in a pool in 1978-1979, and may have exposed himself to three boys in 1986-1987. Another allegation involved unspecified abuse of two teen choirboys in 1990s. Pell's office called the allegations "totally untrue" and accused ABC of a "scandalous smear campaign." In a 2nd statement, Pell urged an inquiry of the Victoria police, accusing them of leaking reports to the ABC. Pell not criminally charged as of 7/28/2016. [See the half-hour ABC TV program and transcript.]


Bishop Max L. Davis
Criminally charged June 2014 with 1969 sexual abuse of child in New Norcia, prior to ordination. Denied the charge. Stepped aside as Australia's Military bishop while court case active. Tried in Perth court February 2016 on charges of "indecent dealings" with five boys, ages 13-15, between 1969-1972. Found not guilty.



AUSTRIA

Cardinal Hans H. Groër, O.S.B.
Accused publicly 1995 of abusing boys and young monks. Retired as archbishop soon after, age 75, with JP II saying Christ too faced "unjust accusations." Named head of priory 1996. Removal announced early 1998, after more victims surfaced. Schönborn and 3 others confirmed Groër's abuses February 1998. Resigned April 1998 from all duties. Remained cardinal and Vienna archbishop emeritus. Some estimated 2,000 victims. Died 2003.




BELGIUM

Bishop Roger J. Vangheluwe
Resigned 2010, age 73, per canon 401.2 after admitting to sexual abuse of boy, later revealed to be his nephew. Sent by Vatican to monastery in France for "spiritual and psychological treatment." Admitted on television in April 2011 to abuse of two nephews, one beginning at age 5, over 13-year period in 1970s and '80s. Left monastery amidst public outcry three days after TV appearance. Not prosecuted due to expired statute of limitations. Current whereabouts unknown. Brugge {Bruges} bishop emeritus.

 

BRAZIL
Archbishop Aldo di Cillo Pagotto
Resigned 2016, age 66, per canon 401.2, after Vatican investigation into charges he accepted into the archdiocese priests and seminiarians rejected by other dioceses for suspected pedophilia. Banned during investigation from ordaining new deacons and priests or taking new seminarians. Pagotto had also been accused of sexual misconduct with an 18-year-old male. Paraíba archbishop emeritus.


CANADA

Bishop John S. Knight
Accused 2000 of sexual misconduct with person over age 16. Not known if alleged victim was under age 18. Church deemed allegation "substantive enough to warrant a full examination." Removed from ministry during Church investigation. Resigned same year, age 58. Toronto bishop emeritus.

Bishop Raymond J. Lahey
Arrested
in 2009 for possession of child abuse images. Resigned as Antigonish bishop in 2009 per canon 401.2, age 69. Pled guilty in 2011. Sentenced in 2012 but given time served. Laicized in 2012.

Bishop Eugène P. LaRocque
Retired 2002. Investigated late 1990s-early 2000s by police probing sexual abuse in Cornwall. Per LaRocque, original allegations date to 1961. Not charged. Accused 2005 of 1970s sexual abuse of altar boy. Denied all accusations. Alexandria-Cornwall bishop emeritus.

Bishop Hubert P. O’Connor, O.M.I.
Resigned 1991, age 63, after charged with sex crimes. Convicted 1996 of 1960s rape and indecent assault on two young aboriginal women. Sentenced to 2½ years in prison. Released on bail after serving 6 months. Remained Prince George bishop emeritus. Died 2007.

 

CHILE
Bishop Cristián E. Contreras Molina, O. de M.
Chilean church announced investigation February 2014 for alleged sexual abuse of 15-year-old. "Cleared" by Vatican June 2014. San Felipe bishop.

Archbishop Francisco José Cox Huneeus, P. Schönstatt
Resigned as La Serena archbishop 1997, age 63. Church said it was for reasons of mental health. Suspected of pedophilia. Apologized 2002: "I apologize for this dark side in me that opposes the Gospel" [Google translation - see original]. Santiago archbishop Errázuriz said 2002 that Cox had resigned voluntarily because of "improper conduct" related to his "somewhat exuberant affection," especially with children. La Serena archbishop emeritus.

Bishop Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar, SS.CC.
Accused in 2014 reports of abusing adolescent seminarians. Valparaíso bishop.

Bishop Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernández
Resigned 2012, age 47, per canon 401.2 after accused of late 1990s sexual abuse of 15-year-old boy. Admitted to "an imprudent act." Iquique bishop emeritus.




DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Bishop Príamo Pericles Tejeda Rosario
Resigned as Baní bishop in 1997, age 63, then worked as priest in Venice FL. Accused in 2007 of sexual assault of a 42-year-old man for 11 years. Venice diocese removed faculties. Not charged. Baní bishop emeritus.

Archbishop Józef Wesołowski *
Polish. Resigned as papal nuncio to Dominican Republic August 2013 and was secretly recalled to Vatican, just days before DR news media exposed his alleged sex assaults of children on Santo Domingo waterfront. Church officials did not inform DR law enforcement. Prosecution sought by both DR and Poland. Vatican reportedly rebuffed extradition request by Poland January 2014. Laicization announced June 2014, four days after DR bishop tweeted about seeing Wesołowski strolling in Rome. Diplomatic immunity removed August 2014, day after NY Times exposé. Put under house arrest in Vatican City State September 2014. Found with 100,000+ child abuse images on his laptop and Vatican-owned computer. Released from house arrest after 60 days; free to move around Vatican City State beginning late November 2014. Hospitalized night before his July 2015 trial in VCS, causing trial to be indefinitely postponed. Released from hospital one week later, and freed to walk around Vatican City, according to BBC. Found dead in his Vatican apartment August 28, 2015. Trial never resumed.




GERMANY

Bishop Franziskus Eisenbach
Resigned age 58 in 2002 per canon 401.2 after female university professor accused him of sexual abuse while performing an exorcism. Mainz auxilary bishop emeritus.

Bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen
Hildesheim bishop 1957 until retirement in 1983, age 76. Died 1988. Accused in 2015 of sexual abuse of a boy from 1958 to 1963, beginning when the boy was age 10. Abuse was said to have included masturbation, anal and oral sex. Diocesan investigators deemed the accusations "plausible" and awarded Janssen's accuser 10,000 euros "in recognition of his suffering."

Bishop Walter Mixa
Resigned age 69 in 2010 per canon 401.2 after accusations he severely beat children at at a Schrobenhausen orphanage in the 1970s and misappropriated the orphanage's funds. Reportedly sexually abused minors, including an altar boy; Office of Public Prosecution opened investigation which it soon closed, citing insufficient evidence. Accused also of sexually abusing seminarians between 1996 and 2005. Augsburg bishop emeritus.



GUAM

Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, O.F.M.Cap.
Agaña archbishop 1986-Present. Member of Neocatechumenal Way, a controversial church movement. Sparked outcry 2011 when he deeded a $40M+ church property in Yona for indefinite use as a Neocatechumenate seminary and theological institute (see pages 77-80 of 9/2016 archdiocesan report).  Dismissed Deacon Steven Martinez from review board 10/24/2014 after Martinez accused him of ignoring church sex abuse policy, by harboring Rev. John Wadeson, who had been accused twice of child sex abuse in the U.S.

Apuron was accused publicly November 2014 of sexually abusing a high school seminarian in the 1980s: review board would not investigate. Met privately (12) with Pope Francis 11/21/2014. Visited by Vatican investigators January 2015. Vatican reportedly was notified August 2015 of Apuron's alleged rape of another boy, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church in Agat in 1977.

On 5/17/2016, Apuron was accused by a third man of child rape in 1970s, and the archdiocese announced an investigation. In late May 2016, a mother from Arizona said Apuron had abused her son when he too was an altar boy at Mount Carmel in the 1970s; her son died at age 38. 

Apuron was placed on leave by Pope Francis 6/6/2016. The Agana archdiocese was assigned a temporary administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, secretary for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

On 7/1/2016, four victims filed a lawsuit against Apuron for libel and slander. On 7/27/2016, Hon stated that Apuron's alleged abuses had been reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Hon also said he had removed from the archdiocesan website all of Apuron's threats against accusers. By August 2016, at least five men had accused Apuron of abusing them as boys. On 8/19/2016, Hon said  Apuron had disobeyed an order by Pope Francis to rescind use of the Yona property by Neocatechumenates. 

On 9/13/2016, a news outlet published an account by a man who says he witnessed child sex abuse by Apuron in 1964, when the man was a 10-year-old altar boy at Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago. He witnessed another altar boy, also age 10, being sexually assaulted by the parish priest and by Apuron, then age 19.

On 9/15/2016, Hon released a letter saying he had asked Pope Francis to remove Apuron. On 9/16/2016, Hon released a report on the controversial Neocatechumenate seminary, the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation. On 9/20/2016, an archdiocesan spokesperson said (12) that the Neocatechumenates in Guam had a powerful ally in Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.  On 9/30/2016, the archdiocese announced that Apuron would be put on canonical trial for his alleged crimes.

On 10/31/2016, the Vatican announced the appointment of Michael Byrnes, auxiliary bishop of Detroit, as coadjutor archbishop "with special faculties" to the Agaña archdiocese. The Vatican has "just formed all the conditions for the trial," Hon told reporters in early November.

On 11/9/2016, the archdiocese regained control of the Yona property, when Byrnes cancelled Apuron's controversial 2011 deeds that had given the property to the Neocatechumenates.




ICELAND

Bishop Joannes B.M. Gijsen *
Retired 2007, age 75. Dutch. News in 2010 of 1950s alleged abuse of two boys. Remained Reykjavik bishop emeritus. Died 2013. Dutch church acknowledged his guilt in 2014.





IRELAND

Archbishop Richard A. Burke, S.P.S. *
Accused 2009 of 1983 sexual abuse of 14-year-old girl in Nigeria. [See victim's statement.] Resigned 2010, age 61, per canon 401.2. Admitted "failure to observe his oath of celibacy." Sued RTÉ, claiming victim was 20, not 14. Suit settled 2015: RTÉ paid legal costs but made no concession on victim's age. Benin City archbishop emeritus.

Bishop Eamonn Casey
Resigned 1992, age 65, after revelation that he fathered a child in 1970s. Fled Ireland, worked in Ecuador missions, then English diocese. Accused 2005 of sexual assault of girl, age 5, 30 years earlier. Casey denied accusation. Not charged. Returned to Ireland 2006. In nursing home since 2011. New accusation April 2016 by a Limerick woman. Galway and Kilmacduagh bishop emeritus.

Bishop Brendan Oliver Comiskey, SS.CC.
Resigned 2002, age 66, per canon 401.2, after revelations that he protected serial abuser Fr. Sean Fortune. Ferns inquiry in 2005 reported two allegations against Comiskey: 1990 complaint of misconduct toward young woman over age 16, and accusation by Fortune in his 1999 suicide note. Comiskey denied both. Ferns bishop emeritus.

Bishop John Magee, S.P.S.
Stepped aside but didn’t resign 2009 after internal watchdog report that he had mishandled two abusive priests. State launched its own inquiry. Resignation announced 2010, per canon 401.2. State’s report 2011 revealed more cover-up and 2008 report to church of Magee’s inappropriate behavior toward teen, age 17-18. Magee admitted conduct, denied sexual intent. Not charged. Cloyne bishop emeritus.

Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, C.S.Sp.
Retired 1971, age 76, as Dublin archbishop. Died 1973. First accused of sex abuse in 1999 book. News in 2011 that McQuaid was cleric described in 2010 supplement to Murphy report with two complaints of child sex abuse, including of a 12-year-old boy in 1961, and one "separate concern."

 


ITALY
Bishop Gerardo Antonazzo
Investigation April 2016 by prosecutors in Cassino, in response to a letter from a seminarian accusing Antonazzo of sexually molesting him and seven other adults. Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo bishop.

Bishop Giuseppe Carraro

Retired 1978 as Verona bishop. Died 1980. Accused 2009 of repeatedly molesting boy who attended school for deaf. Carraro was being considered for beatification at time of complaint.



KENYA

Bishop Cornelius Schilder, M.H.M. *
Vatican informed in 2007 of reports of Schilder's early 1990s abuse of a Maasai herds boy. Dutch. Resigned 2009, age 67, per canon 401.2. Accused in 2013 of early 1990s sexual abuse of a young seminarian. Ngong bishop emeritus.




NETHERLANDS
Bishop Johannes Willem Maria Bluyssen
Resigned 1984, age 57, as s'Hertogenbosch bishop. Admitted 2010 to destroying abuse files in 1970s. Died 2013. Accused 2014 of repeated rape of Beekvliet minor seminary student 1957-1959. A church Complaints Committee announced August 2015 that evidence was not sufficient, although it did not "exclude" that the victim had been sexually abused.

Bishop Joannes B.M. Gijsen *
Retired 2007, age 75. Dutch. News in 2010 of 1950s alleged abuse of two boys. Remained Reykjavik, Iceland bishop emeritus. Died 2013. Dutch church acknowledged his guilt in 2014.

Bishop Jan Niënhaus
Utrecht auxiliary bishop. Died 2000. Dutch church admitted 2014 he molested young boys 1950s-1970s.

Bishop Cornelius Schilder, M.H.M. *
Vatican informed in 2007 of reports of Schilder's early 1990s abuse of a Maasai herds boy. Dutch. Resigned 2009, age 67, per canon 401.2. Accused in 2013 of early 1990s sexual abuse of a young seminarian. Ngong bishop emeritus.

Bishop Joannes Gerardus ter Schure, S.D.B.
Retired 1998, age 76. s'Hertogenbosch bishop. Died 2003. News in 2010 that Salesians settled claim of sexual abuse of a boy by ter Schure at Don Rua monastery in Ugchelen 1948-53.




NIGERIA

Archbishop Richard A. Burke, S.P.S. *
Accused 2009 of 1983 sexual abuse of 14-year-old girl in Nigeria. [See victim's statement.] Resigned 2010, age 61, per canon 401.2. Admitted "failure to observe his oath of celibacy." Sued RTÉ, claiming victim was 20, not 14. Suit settled 2015: RTÉ paid legal costs but made no concession on victim's age. Benin City archbishop emeritus.




NORWAY

Bishop Georg Müller, SS.CC.
Admitted 2009 to 1990s sexual abuse of boy. Resigned as Trondheim bishop same year, age 58, per canon 401.2. Emeritus. Died October 25, 2015.




PARAGUAY
Bishop Jorge Adolfo Carlos Livieres Banks
Accused 2002 in criminal complaint by three young men of sexual assault of minors. Livieres filed counter-charges of extortion and libel. Accusers then produced document allegedly signed by Livieres showing he tried to pay them to stay quiet. Case stalled and ended ambiguously. Retired 2003, age 74, per canon 401.2. Encarnación bishop emeritus.

Bishop Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez, S.V.D.
Resigned as San Pedro bishop in 2005, age 55, per canon 401.2. Voluntarily laicized 2008 so that he could run for office. Paraguay president 2008-2012. Admitted 2009 to fathering a child in 2007; another woman said he had fathered her child too, and that their involvement began when she was 18 and Lugo still a bishop. Admitted 2012 to fathering child of another woman while bishop.



PERU

Bishop Guillermo Martín Abanto Guzmán
Fathered child in 2011. Resigned July 2013, age 49, per canon 401.2, after child's mother took him to court, demanding he recognize paternity. Peru Military bishop emeritus.

Bishop Gabino Miranda Melgarejo
Removed as Ayachucho o Huamanga auxiliary bishop May 2013, age 53, after accused of molesting children he is said to have targeted during confession. Laicized July 2013.




PHILIPPINES

Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani, Jr.
Resigned 2003, age 63, per canon 401.2, after accused by secretary of sexual misconduct. Apologized. Novaliches bishop emeritus.

Bishop Filomeno Gonzales Bactol
Accused 2007 of molesting boys by ex-missionary who himself faced deportation for alleged pedophilia in 1990s. Naval bishop.

Bishop Crisostomo A. Yalung
Resigned 2002, age 49, per canon 401.2, after news he had fathered a child. Antipolo bishop emeritus.




POLAND

Archbishop Juliusz Paetz
Resigned 2002, age 67, after accused of sexually abusing young seminarians. Paetz denied the allegations. Banned from public ministry, but ban lifted by Vatican June 2010. Ban was at some point reinstated: in April 2016, Vatican warned Paetz to stop public appearances and resume private life of "repentance and prayer." Poznan archbishop emeritus.

Archbishop Józef Wesołowski *
Polish. Resigned as papal nuncio to Dominican Republic August 2013 and was secretly recalled to Vatican, just days before DR news media exposed his alleged sex assaults of children on Santo Domingo waterfront. Church officials did not inform DR law enforcement. Prosecution sought by both DR and Poland. Vatican reportedly rebuffed extradition request by Poland January 2014. Laicization announced June 2014, four days after DR bishop tweeted about seeing Wesołowski strolling in Rome. Diplomatic immunity removed August 2014, day after NY Times exposé. Put under house arrest in Vatican City State September 2014. Found with 100,000+ child abuse images on his laptop and Vatican-owned computer. Released from house arrest after 60 days; free to move around Vatican City State beginning late November 2014. Hospitalized night before his July 2015 trial in VCS, causing trial to be indefinitely postponed. Released from hospital one week later, and freed to walk around Vatican City, according to BBC. Found dead in his Vatican apartment August 28, 2015. Trial never resumed.




PORTUGAL
Bishop Carlos Alberto de Pinho Moreira Azevedo
Accused 2010 of 1980s sexual abuse of seminarian. Appointed Official of Pontifical Council for Culture 2011.




PUERTO RICO

Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres
Accused February 2014 of lewd acts against a male minor shortly before becoming bishop in 2010, when an Arecibo parish priest. Bishop of Arecibo. Denied charges, said were "act of revenge." Diocese under scrutiny for mishandling of sex abuse cases. Archbishop Roberto González called the allegations "slander." Charges dismissed by Vatican April 2014. Accuser's attorney said client wasn't interviewed by Vatican. Info about Fernández Torres' alleged abuse reportedly withheld from Vatican by PR apostolic delegate Jozef Wesolowski.




SCOTLAND
Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien
Retired 2013, age 74, after accused publicly of sexual advances toward priests, dating to 1980s. Apologized. Saint Andrews and Edinburgh archbishop emeritus. Pope Francis accepted O'Brien's resignation in March 2015, meaning O'Brien would no longer be allowed to perform the public, religious or civil duties of a Cardinal.

Bishop Roderick Wright
Resigned 1996, age 56, after admitting to sex with woman he counseled. Married the woman. Admitted to son with previous woman. Remained Argyll and The Isles bishop emeritus. Died 2005.

 


SOUTH AFRICA
Bishop Reginald Joseph Orsmond
Johannesburg bishop 1984-2002. Founded South Africa's Boys Town 1958; there until named bishop 1984. Died 2002. Accused in former Boys Town resident's 2007 memoir of of rape and molestation over a three-year period, beginning when the author was age 13 in the 1960s. Orsmond is said to have plied the boy with alcohol. Several other men also alleged sexual abuse as boys in the facility by Orsmond; an ex-staffer said it was an "open secret" that Orsmond had boys sleep in his room. Archdiocesan "professional conduct committee" deemed the allegations credible.




SWITZERLAND
Bishop Hansjörg Vogel
Resigned 1995, age 44, after acknowledging impregnating woman. Basel {Bâle, Basilea} bishop emeritus.




UNITED STATES
Bishop Juan A. Arzube
Accused 2003 of sexual abuse of 11-year-old boy 1975-76. Remained Los Angeles CA auxiliary bishop emeritus. Died 2007.

Bishop Michael J. Bransfield
Implicated in Philly trial testimony April 2012 by victim of ex-priest Stanley Gana. Separate allegation of 1970s fondling of high school student revealed by prosecutor. Bransfield denied all abuse. [See his statement.] Never charged. Remains Wheeling-Charleston WV bishop.

Bishop Robert H. Brom
Accused in 1990s of coercing young seminarian into sex in 1980s, while Duluth MN bishop. Accuser retracted allegation, reportedly as condition of $85K settlement. Retired 2013, age 75. San Diego CA bishop emeritus.

Bishop Tod D. Brown
News in 2007 of 1997 letter to church alleging Brown's sexual abuse of boy, age 12, in 1965. Church had deemed it not credible. Brown denied abuse. Never charged. Neither he nor victim interviewed by police. Retired 2012, age 75. Orange in California bishop emeritus.

Bishop Leonard P. Cowley
St. Paul MN auxiliary bishop 1958-1973. Died 1973. Name released February 2015 as one of 17 archdiocesan clergy accused of sexual abuse or misconduct with a minor. A man filed a claim that Cowley sexually abused him at age 15 during trip to northern Minnesota in 1968.

Bishop Paul V. Dudley
Retired 1995, age 68, as Sioux Falls SD bishop. Accused 2002 of fondling altar boy age 11 or 12 in 1950s. Accused also by two women. "Cleared" by church 2003. Remained emeritus. Died 2006.

Bishop Thomas L. Dupre
Accused 2004 of sexual abuse of two youths more than 20 years previously. Resigned age 70, per canon 401.2, same day that news broke. Sent to treatment. Indicted but not tried, due to SOL. Remained Springfield MA bishop emeritus. Died December 20, 2016.

Bishop Joseph A. Ferrario

Honolulu HI auxiliary bishop and bishop 1977-1993. Accused of child rape in 1985 letter to papal nuncio. Lawsuit 1991 dismissed on SOL grounds. Retired as bishop 1993, age 67. Stayed in ministry and remained emeritus. Not charged. Died 2003. Named by more alleged victims 2013 and 2014.

Bishop Louis E. Gelineau
Resigned 1997, age 69, after accused of attempting to fondle then drown boy at Vermont orphanage in 1950. In 1997 deposition, denied 1993 sexual abuse of altar boy. Remains Providence RI bishop emeritus.

Bishop Timothy J. Harrington
Worcester MA bishop 1983-1994. Died 1997. Accused 2005 of sexual abuse of boy from ages 11 to 15 in the 1950s.

Bishop Joseph H. Hart
Retired as Cheyenne bishop 2001, age 70, per canon 401.2. In 2002, KC newspaper revealed Hart was reported to the church in 1989 and 1992 for child molestation in the 1970s. At least four other alleged victims have since come forward. Not charged. Remains Cheyenne WY bishop emeritus.

Bishop Howard J. Hubbard

Accused February 2004 of paying teen for sex in 1970s and sexual misconduct with adult males. Hubbard denied allegations, saying he had not violated celibacy. Not charged. Hired own investigator who reported June 2004 "no credible evidence." Retired 2014, age 75. Albany NY bishop emeritus.

Bishop Robert N. Lynch
Denied 2001 accusation of sexual harassment by diocesan communications director. Church paid accuser $100K; bishop said it was severance, not hush money. Accuser's lawyer said there was "unwanted touching" but no "overt sexual actions." Lynch remains St. Petersburg FL bishop.

Bishop Eugene A. Marino, S.S.J.
Resigned 1990, age 56, as Atlanta GA archbishop. Woman, age 27, soon went public regarding two-year sexual relationship with Marino, which he acknowledged. Remained archbishop emeritus. Died 2000.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick
Alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with seminarians and priests in 1980s while Metuchen NJ bishop and Newark NJ archbishop. Church settled with alleged victim 2006, reports Richard Sipe. Washington DC archbishop emeritus.

Bishop James Francis McCarthy
Resigned 2002, age 59, after admitting to sexual involvement with adult women. Remains New York NY auxiliary bishop emeritus.

Cardinal Humberto S. Medeiros
Boston MA archbishop 1970-83. Died 1983. Accused 2002 of sexually abusing 14-year-old boy in 1979. Accuser said Medeiros touched his groin while giving him a "bear hug" in the archdiocesan chancery, where he was allegedly molested the same evening by vice-chancellor Rev. Fred Ryan.

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt
Stepped aside December 2013 after allegation of inappropriately touching boy's buttocks in 2009. Called allegation "entirely false." Resumed duties March 2014 after prosecutor announced no charges due to insufficient evidence. Internal investigation of alleged misconduct toward adults revealed July 2014. It reportedly found Nienstedt made "sexual advances" toward two priests. Nienstedt kept findings secret and, according to MPR report , authorized new investigation by second law firm. Resigned June 2015, per 401.2, soon after archdiocese was charged criminally for contributing to child sex abuse. Now Saint Paul and Minneapolis MN archbishop emeritus.

Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell
Admitted 2002 to 1970s sexual abuse of Missouri high school seminary student. Resigned immediately as Palm Beach FL bishop per canon 401.2, age 63. Numerous former students alleged abuse. Not charged. Remained bishop emeritus. Died 2012.

Bishop James S. Rausch
Phoenix AZ bishop 1977-1981. Died 1981. Accused in 2002 lawsuit of 1979 sexual abuse of 17-year-old boy.

Bishop George E. Rueger
Accused in 2002 lawsuit of 1960s sexual abuse of boy age 13-14. Denied allegation. Not charged. Alleged victim withdrew suit 2003. Retired age 75 in 2005. Worcester MA auxiliary bishop emeritus.

Bishop Daniel L. Ryan
Resigned 1999, age 69, week before lawsuit cited his hiring of male prostitutes. News 2002 that he solicited sex from boy, age 15, and sexually abused another, age 16-17. Not charged, due to SOL. Internal diocesan study 2006 confirmed Ryan's misconduct with adults. Remained Springfield IL bishop emeritus until he died in 2015.

Archbishop Robert F. Sanchez
Resigned 1993, age 59, after accused of sexual contact with at least 5 women; some were ages 18 and 19. Stayed in ministry. Remained Santa Fe NM archbishop emeritus. Died 2012.

Bishop William S. Skylstad
Accused 2005 of 1961-64 sexual abuse of girl under age 18. Skylstad denied the accusation, and investigator hired by him found no truth in the claim. Retired 2010, age 76. Spokane WA bishop emeritus.

Bishop Lawrence D. Soens
Resigned 1998, age 72. Accused publicly 2000s of ‘sadistic’ sexual abuse of 31 teen boys beginning late 1950s. Found guilty by 2008 review board. Not charged. Remains Sioux City IA bishop emeritus.

Bishop James S. Sullivan
Resigned citing Alzheimer's, March 2002, per canon 401.2. Age 72. Accused June 2002 of 1966 fondling of boy, age 16, in Michigan. Denied accusation. Charges not pursued due to SOL. Remained Fargo ND bishop emeritus. Died 2006.

Bishop Joseph V. Sullivan
Baton Rouge LA bishop 1974-1982. Died 1982. Accused in 2000s of sexual abuse of three different teen boys, 1969-1982. Later bishop called claims credible, removed Sullivan's name from high school.

Bishop Joseph Keith Symons
Admitted 1995 to past sexual abuse of boy. Stayed in ministry. Remained Palm Beach FL bishop. Resigned 1998, age 65, after another victim emerged. Admitted to abuse of 5 boys. Not charged. Found in ministry 1999 in Lansing MI diocese. Bishop emeritus.

Archbishop Rembert George Weakland, O.S.B.
Resigned in 2002 immediately after news of $450K payment in 1998 to silence man accusing him of sexual assault when man was 32. Weakland had just turned 75, and resignation was accepted per canon 401.1 -- the age-75 rule applying to bishops in standard situations. Weakland denied abuse but admitted to sexual relationship. Remains Milwaukee WI archbishop emeritus, residing in PA monastery.

Bishop Christopher J. Weldon
Springfeld MA bishop 1950-1977. Died 1982. Accused 2005 of 1950s sexual abuse of boy, from ages 10 to 16.

Bishop Lawrence Harold Welsh
News in 2002 of police investigation 1986 alleging he had choked male prostitute during sex. Welsh admitted to most of accusation, except "amount of violence." No charges filed. Resigned as Spokane bishop 1990 after drunk driving arrest. Made Saint Paul and Minneapolis auxiliary bishop 1991. Died 1999.

Bishop James Kendrick Williams
Resigned age 65 in 2002, per canon 401.2, after accused of sexual abuse of two boys, 1969 and 1981, and young adult late 1980s. Denied abusing anyone. Lexington KY bishop emeritus.

Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann
Forced to resign 1999 at age 57 after allegation by younger priest of coercing sex. Accused early 2000s of sexual abuse of 3 different boys in 1960s and '70s. Remained Santa Rosa CA bishop emeritus. Died 2009.




URUGUAY

Bishop Francisco Domingo Barbosa Da Silveira
Resigned age 65 in 2009, per canon 401.2, after he filed extortion complaint revealing homosexual relations between him and two men. Remained Minas bishop emeritus. Died 2015.



WALES

Archbishop John Aloysius Ward, O.F.M. Cap.
Arrested 1999 for alleged assault of girl, age 7, 1960-61. Not charged. Said he was falsely accused. Resigned 2001 at age 72, per canon 401.2, after outcry at his mishandling of two abusive priests. Remained Cardiff archbishop emeritus. Died 2007.

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* assigned in more than one country during his career

Note: Inclusion in this list does not imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in this list are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements.

We have excluded from the list the following allegations against bishops in the United States which were subsequently recanted or demonstrated to be incorrect: two allegations in 1992 against Bishop Gerald F. O'Keefe 1 2 (Davenport, Iowa); two allegations in 2002 against Cardinal Roger M. Mahony 3 4 5 (Los Angeles, California); and an allegation in 2002 against Cardinal Edward M. Egan 6 (New York, New York).

This page was last updated January 12, 2017.