Dear Bishop Gaydos:
of St. Louis:
― William Shakespeare
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz
of Louisville, Ky., as
bishop of Knoxville,
Tenn., defended the
reputation of his
predecessor, the self-
Anthony J. O’Connell.
Kurtz continues to be
recalcitrant in his
clergy abuse victims.
strong ties with other seminaries and bishops
nationwide. The bond with the Benedictine
abbey and Immaculate Conception Seminary,
near Kansas City, is particularly fruitful. This
Missouri link extends to the Pontifical College
Josephinum (Law’s alma mater) in Columbus,
Ohio, and branches out to connect with the
Benedictines at St. Meinrad’s in St. Meinrad, Indiana.
includes Robert J. Hermann, auxiliary bishop
of St. Louis; Joseph F. Naumann, archbishop
of Kansas City, Kan.; Michael J. Sheridan,
bishop of Colorado Spring, Colo.; Thomas G.
Doran, bishop of Rockford, Ill.; and Robert W.
Finn, bishop of Kansas City, Mo., a Kenrick
student whose resume seems to contradict
this fact by stating that he completed his
graduate work in theology as a student at
the North American College in Rome.
Gaydos (a graduate of Cardinal Glennon
College), chairman; Edward J. Slattery,
Tulsa, Okla., vice-chairman; Finn, Kansas
City, Mo.; Naumann, Kansas City, Kan.;
Michael O. Jakels, Wichita, Kan.; David L.
Ricken, Cheyenne, Wyo.; and Paul Coakley,
Salinas, Kan. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz,
Louisville, Ky., and O’Connell’s immediate
successor in Knoxville, Tenn. (Kurtz is now
vice president of the USCCB and serves as
the bishops’ attack dog against civil
liberties for gay and lesbian Americans);
and Bishop Arthur N.Tafoya (he ordained
Ricken), Pueblo, Colo., left the board
Oklahoma City, Okla., is closely allied
with Immaculate Conception and
St. Meinrad’s. His seminary students
have attended Kenrick as well.
Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano
includes the chancellor, Archbishop
Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio
to the United States (he succeeded
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who died
unexpectedly in July 2011); Vice-
Chancellor Frederick F. Campbell,
bishop of Columbus, Ohio, and a
former auxiliary bishop of the
archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis;
Chairman R. Daniel Conlon, bishop
of Steubenville; Robert J. Baker,
bishop of Birmingham, Ala. (class
of 1970); lvaro Corrada del Rio,
S.J., bishop of Tyler, Texas; Roger
Foys, bishop of Covington, Ky.; Ronald Herzog, bishop of Alexandria, La. (class of 1968); George Murry, S.J., bishop of Youngstown, Ohio; and Michael J. Sheehan, archbishop of Santa Fe, N.M.
Other Josephinum alumni leading American dioceses include David R. Choby of Nashville (a former faculty member); and Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla. (class of 1963).
Lynch paid $100,000 in 2003 to settle a sexual harassment suit filed by his male communications director (rumor has it that he also maintains a Cuban boy-friend in Miami). In 2007, Choby acknowledged the notorious pedophile priest, the Rev. Paul St. Charles as a celebrated alumnus of Father Ryan High School in Nashville. And when Baker, was bishop of Charleston, N.C., he allowed O’Connell to retire to Mepkin Abbey following his resignation.
wasteful practices, cronyism, and nepotism
within the Vatican administration. His program
of transparency and accountability led Pope
Benedict to transfer the trouble-maker
to Washington to quell the internal uproar
created by his miffed colleagues. He also
is said to have provoked consternation
and ridicule for investigating allegations
of corruption in the awarding of government contracts and further accusations of money
laundering at the Vatican bank, known as
the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR).
Relations with the United States government
is a bit more cozy.
In 2005, the U.S. Justice Department issued
an opinion that civil and criminal lawsuits
against the Vatican are “incompatible with
the United States’ foreign policy interests.”
The United States established diplomatic
relations with the Vatican in 1984, during
President Ronald Reagan’s term in office.
Representing the administration of George W. Bush, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Peter Keisler filed this motion in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston to support Benedict XVI in a lawsuit accusing the Pope of conspiring to cover up the sexual molestation of three boys by a seminarian. The rationale suggested that the pontiff enjoys immunity from prosecution as head of state: Vatican City. The Bush administration asked the court to dismiss the suit. A 1994 lawsuit against Pope John Paul II, also filed in Texas, was dismissed after the U.S. government filed a similar motion.
Consequently, we are not convinced that Vigano will protect children from pedophile priests or cooperate with U.S. authorities to report sex crimes and remove sexual predators from the priesthood.
Msgr. Stephen C. Bosso, for example, invited
two priests to become members of St. Vincent
de Paul Seminary’s board of trustees when he
was appointed rector: the Rev. Michael R.
Houle and Msgr. Frank A. Mouch. Bosso and
Houle are contemporaries. Both were studying
at the Ohio seminary when Mouch was
appointed rector in the late 70’s.
when O’Connell was promoted to in Palm
Beach after a decade at the helm of Knoxville
(he replaced the serial child predator Bishop J.
Keith Symons). O’Connell and Bosso have known each other since 1972.
the seminary and Florida Conference of
Catholic Bishops announced that Bosso had
earned an extended sabbatical. But a secret
also was uncovered with Bosso’s sudden
career move: Bosso had hired a known
sexual predator to teach at St. Vincent.
Msgr. William White, who is affiliated
with the Archdiocese of New York, was
transferred to the seminary faculty even
after the Edward M. Cardinal Egan
(Dolan’s immediate predecessor) was
forced to settle one claim against
Wight for $100,00.
Bosso also was a faculty member
when multiple charges were made
public against his predecessor:
Msgr. Arthur Bendixen. A native
of Lima, Peru, the former rector
(1991-1994), who also is known as
Arturo Valdivia-Bendixen, was
chancellor of the diocese of
Orlando (1984-1991) prior to
his seminary assignment.
When the sexual abuse allegations
reached the public square, Bendixen
was allowed to transfer to the
archdiocese of Chicago where he
worked at Interfaith House, a
homeless shelter and joined the
adjunct faculty at DePaul University.
Bendixen molested young boys
throughout his Orlando career; and
preyed on seminarians at St. Vincent
de Paul. One of his St. Vincent victims,
Darrel Mace, committed suicide
(reminiscent of Tyler Clementi as
well as Joe Paterno and Penn State):
Mr. Mace was molested by Bendixen
as a teenager and, then, ended up
in his control at the Boynton
Since 2009, Bendixen has been vice
president for programs and partnerships
for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. He
currently is an adjunct faculty member
at the Jane Addams College of Social
Work, the University of Illinois-Chicago,
according to his on-line AIDS Foundation
When Bosso returned to St. Vincent, he was
relegated to faculty status, offering classes
in New Testament studies. But in 2005, he
received the Florida seminary’s St. Vincent
de Paul Award, ostensibly for maintaining
the school’s code of silence.
working at his childhood parish: St. Stephen’s,
Pensacola. Currently, he is director of the Office
of Seminarians and Vocations for the diocese of
Pensacola-Tallahassee. He also is pastor of
St. Rose of Lima, Milton.
career as director of development (1986-
1989) when Blasé J. Cupich — now bishop
of Spokane, Wash. — was rector there
(1989-1996). Houle, president of Bishop
Kenny High School, Jacksonville, Fla.,
since 1989, continues in his role as a
St. Vincent de Paul seminary trustee.
number of his own secrets from his days at
the seminary on the banks of Olentangy River.
Among the more important is the death of
the college division dean of students, who
succumbed to HIV/AIDS: the Rev. Dennis Ricker.
Today, Cupich is chairman of the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Ad Hoc
Committee for the Protection of Children and
the reality of the scandal documented by the
Servants of Paraclete, a religious order set up
by the church in 1947 to warehouse pedophile priests near Santa Fe, N.M. In fact, he continues to lie about the extent and severity of the harm perpetrated against children:
considered to be rare;
not handle pedophile crimes well; and
n The church has been targeted to implement
a code of conduct that protects children
from sexual predators: a legal requirement
not imposed on other employers or
founder of the Paracletes, has called pedophile
priests “devils; and the wrath of God is upon
them.” The USCCB deemed Fitzgerald a crackpot
and established church-run “medical” facilities
to “cure” them.
Thomas J. Olmsted, who succeeded Cupich as
Josephinum rector (1997-1999), recently was
appointed bishop of Phoenix and is the former
bishop of Wichita, Kan. Olmsted scheduled a special Mass 25 March 2009 for victims of pedophile priests employed by his diocese, but fails to support the authorities in correcting the problems that have deluged his diocese in recent years.
Perhaps we should recall the words of another American bishop regarding
the sexual molestation of children by ordained clergymen:
changing the character of the church.
Certainly bishops in Washington and Oregon
or in Massachusetts could testify to that
concern. But the character of the church
itself was placed in jeopardy more than
20 years ago when, facing the choice early
in the scandals, many bishops walked away
from their instincts as pastors and hid
behind their lawyers.”
― Thomas Gumbleton
Gumbleton, who, in his youth, was molested by a priest, was forced into retirement after issuing this statement and testifying for stronger legislation to protect the vulnerable. He violated the Vatican's code of Omertà: the categorical prohibition of cooperation with state authorities or reliance on its services, even when one has been victim of a crime.
Next Time: Part IV of the Next Generation Response Continues.