13 Catholic clergy connected to central AL accused of sexual assault of children

13 Catholic clergy connected to central AL accused of sexual assault of children
Thirteen Catholic clergy connected to central AL have been accused of sexual assault of children.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - “The Church is light since it proclaims that the head of the Church, the Lord Jesus, has overcome the darkness. However, the Church is made up of sinners and we sinners often fail to be the people God calls us to be.”

That’s what Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi said in a letter to the people of the Archdiocese of Mobile when he released the names of 29 priests, deacons and other men “credibly accused” of sexual misconduct in south Alabama, dating back to 1950.

Seventeen of the men on the list are deceased, and 12 others are prohibited from ministry. Thirteen of the 29 served in the WSFA 12 News coverage area.

Of the 13 priests, deacons and brothers accused who served in central Alabama, eight are deceased. Five of the accused include those who served in Montgomery, including two who served through Maxwell Air Force Base.

Archbishop Rodi released the names after “considerable prayer and consultation,” saying the church has failed to protect the most vulnerable members - the children - by not removing those who preyed on them.

“It is my prayer that this will not re-traumatize anyone but will assist in the healing for which victims desperately long,” he said.

Priests and Deacons of the Archdiocese of Mobile:

Thomas J Cullen: DECEASED

Date of Misconduct: 1950s

Pastoral Assignments:

St. Mary Parish, Mobile

St. Margaret Parish, Bayou La Batre

Cathedral Parish, Mobile

St. Monica Parish, Mobile

Christ the King Parish, Andalusia

St. Mary Parish, Texas City, Texas

Timothy Evans: PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE

Date of Misconduct: 1998

Pastoral Assignments:

Christ the King Parish, Daphne

Annunciation Parish, Monroeville

St Margaret Parish, Bayou La Batre

Director, Office of Youth Ministry

Joseph Gill: DECEASED

Date of Misconduct: Late 1960s

Pastoral Assignments:

Blessed Sacrament Parish, Birmingham

St. John Parish, Warrington, Florida

Cathedral Parish, Mobile

Sacred Heart Parish, Grove Hill

St. Columba Parish, Dothan

St. Aloysius Parish, Bessemer

St. William Parish, Guntersville

St. Thomas Parish, Chickasaw

St. Catherine Parish, Mobile

Sacred Heart Residence, Little Sisters of the Poor, Mobile

St. Bridget Parish, Whistler

In Residence, St. Anthony Parish, Birmingham

Patrick J. L. Nicholson: PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE

Date of Misconduct: 1976

Pastoral Assignments:

Little Flower Parish, Mobile

Assistant Director for Vocations

McGill-Toolen High School, Mobile

St. Pius X Parish, Mobile

St. Joseph Parish, Prattville

Chaplain, US Air Force: Little Rock AFB, Arkansas

Clark AFB, Philippines

Dept. of the Air Force, San Francisco, California

United States Air Force Academy, Colorado

Maxwell AFB, Montgomery

Diocese of Elphin, Ireland

Arthur C. Schrenger: PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE

Date of Misconduct: Late 1960s to 1982

Pastoral Assignments:

Little Flower Parish, Mobile

St. Dominic Parish, Mobile

McGill-Toolen High School, Mobile

St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Mobile

Assistant Vocations Director

St. Agatha Parish, Bay Minette

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Mobile

Holy Spirit Parish, Montgomery

Metropolitan Tribunal

Cathedral Parish, Mobile

John Alex Sherlock: DECEASED

Date of Misconduct: 1966-1982

St. Mary Parish, Mobile

Bishop Toolen High School, Mobile

Little Flower Parish, Mobile

St. Patrick’s College, Mountainview, California

Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

McGill Toolen High School, Mobile

Cathedral Parish, Mobile

Holy Family Parish, Mobile

St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Chickasaw

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Mobile

St. Pius X Parish, Mobile

St. Peter Parish, Montgomery

John J. Walton: DECEASED

Date of Misconduct: 1970s

Pastoral Assignments:

St. Margaret Parish, Bayou La Batre

US Army Reserve, Military Archdiocese

St. Maurice Parish, Brewton

Christ the King Parish, Andalusia

St. Joan of Arc Parish, Mobile

St. Pius X Parish, Mobile

Holy Name Parish, Semmes

Priests and Brothers who have served in the Archdiocese:

Gregory Furjanic: DECEASED

Date of Misconduct: 1987

Pastoral Assignments:

St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Mobile

St. Monica Parish, Mobile

Immaculate Conception Parish, Orrville

Sacred Heart Parish, Grove Hill

Timothy Keppel: PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE

Date of Misconduct: 1977-1981

Pastoral Assignments:

Resurrection Parish, Montgomery

Edward A. Leary: DECEASED

Date of Misconduct: 1970-1972

Pastoral Assignments:

Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Selma

John Rutledge: DECEASED

Date of Misconduct: 1968

Pastoral Assignments:

St. Michael Parish, Auburn

Barry Ryan: PROHIBITED FROM MIINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE

Date of Misconduct: 1990s

Pastoral Assignments:

Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery

Nelson Ziter: DECEASED

Date of Misconduct: 1974-1979

Pastoral Assignments:

Queen of Peace Parish, Selma

St. Philip Neri Parish, Belle Fontaine

St. Elizabeth Parish, Selma

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Mobile

Rodi said he and the church examined each personnel file of the accused, but before 2003 there was no set way to receive and investigate accusations. Now, there’s a written policy for handling complaints of sexual abuse of minors

“There is an office for the protection of minors and adults which receives complaints, accusations are reported to civil authority, and a review board composed mostly of lay people not employed by the archdiocese reviews the cases and makes recommendations,” Rodi said.

He said he has shared the list with the Office of the State Attorney General and the Office of the District Attorney of Mobile County. According to Rodi, these accusations of abuse involve approximately 2 percent of the 457 archdiocesan priests who have served in the archdiocese since 1950.

Though he believes the list is as complete as possible, Rodi says if anyone wishes to report someone not included, please contact the Office for the Protection of Minors and Adults, 251-434-1559.

Archbishop Rodi apologized to members of the church for the abuse of children, committed by those trusted to help them, not hurt them.

“I ask the forgiveness of all victims of abuse as I entrust you to the love and mercy of the Lord,” he said. “I deeply believe the Lord is with us.”

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