The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Childproof 27: Part III — Cardinal Dolan and the Next Generation Response to Sexual Molestation by Clergymen

Page 27

Dear Bishop Gaydos:

Ten years ago this month, on 8 March 2002, Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell admitted publicly that he is a child molester.  You shielded O’Connell, joining the criminal conspiracy established by your predecessor, Michael F. McAuliffe, and Bernard Cardinal Law (an O’Connell crony), to victimize the vulnerable.  It is evident that you and your accomplices have lived your lives between the lines of law and custom, empty cassocks with no inner core of conviction.

Cardinal Sins:  Statistically, Dolan may be responsible for the
cover-up of more pedophile priest crimes than any other
bishop in the United States.  He worked effortlessly to protect
predatory priests in St. Louis.  He left more than 500 cases
unresolved as archbishop of Milwaukee. 
Dolan whitewashed
the tragedy of the Irish church at the behest of Benedict XVI
after assuming duties in New York.

Consequently, it is appropriate to continue this commentary and note Benedict XVI’s reconfiguration of the College of Cardinals, especially the promotion of Timothy M. Cardinal Dolan, whose career you nurtured as vocation director for the archdiocese
of St. Louis:

“There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
would men observingly distil it out.” 

William Shakespeare
King Henry V, Act IV, Scene I


Archbishop Joseph Kurtz
of Louisville, Ky., as
bishop of Knoxville,
Tenn., defended the
reputation of his
predecessor, the self-
admitted pedophile,
Anthony J. O
Kurtz continues to be
in his
response toward
clergy abuse victims.
Two Seminaries: A Binary Power Grid
Dedicated to Networking, Control, Authority
The Glennon-Kenrick alumni network maintains
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.

The St. Louis seminary’s board of trustees
includes Robert J. Hermann, auxiliary bishop
of St. Louis; Joseph F. Naumann, archbishop
of Kansas City, Kan.; Michael J. Sheridan,
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.

James Vann Johnston, as
chancellor of Knoxville,
opposed all efforts to
disclose information about
pedophile priests during his
tenure.  With the support
of Joseph E. Kurtz, he also
championed the reputation
of Anthony J.
O'Connell, his
mentor and benefactor.  For
his efforts, the
promoted Vann Johnston to
Cardinal Law
s old haunt:

Springfield-Cape Girardeau.
He now sends his seminarians
to Kenrick-Glennon: Law
culture of abuse legacy
remains intact.
Bishops who are members of Conception
Seminary’s board of regents includes
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
in 2008.

Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran of
City, Okla., is closely allied
with Immaculate Conception and
St. Meinrad’s. His seminary students
have attended Kenrick as well.

The Josephinum and the Vatican
Ambassador to the United States

Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano
Apostolic Nuncio
The Josephinum board of trustees
includes the chancellor, Archbishop
Carlo Maria
Vigano, apostolic nuncio
to the United States (he

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who died
unexpectedly in July 2011); Vice-
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).
Archbishop Pietro Sambi (1938-2011), Vigano’s predecessor with
Benedict XVI and President George W. Bush.  In 2005, the Bush
Justice Department issued an opinion that the Pope is immune
from criminal and civil prosecution, because he is a foreign
head of state:  such lawsuits are “incompatible” with U.S.
foreign policy interests

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.

Controversy and venom are among the hallmarks of Archbishop Vigano’s appointment as leader of the Vatican’s United States delegation.  The Pope removed Vigano in 2011 from his position as deputy governor for Vatican City administration, after two years into the job that manages the day-to-day operations the tiny country:  museums, post office, buildings, facilities maintenance and more. 

Blasé J. Cupich, as
rector of the
Josephinum in the
1990s, had his share
of sex scandals among
the academic staff of
clergy and seminarians.
His success at keeping
these secrets led to
his promotion first as
bishop of Rapid City,
S.D., and, now,
Spokane, Wash.
Cupich, chairman of
the USCCB Ad Hoc
Committee for the
Protection of Children
and Young People, was
ordained a priest for
the archdiocese of
Omaha, Nebraska.
Vigano was a whistleblower who investigated
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
at the Vatican bank, known as
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.

Priestly Formation: The Josephinum Influence
Msgr. Stephen C. Bosso,
a Josephinum alumnus,
was named rector of
St. Vincent De Paul
Seminary in Boynton
Beach, Fla., shortly after
Anthony J. O
was appointed bishop of
Palm Beach in 1999. Bosso
first met O
Connell in
1972 through mutual
friends from Jefferson
City, Mo.,
at the Columbus,
Ohio,  seminary.
Josephinum alumni work throughout North America.

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. 

Bosso assumed the position of rector in 2003
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.

Shortly after O’Connell’s 2002 resignation,
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. Arthur Bendixen, aka
Arturo Valdivia-Bendixen,
was removed as rector of
St. Vincent De Paul Seminary,
Boynton Beach, Fla., in 1994;
and, then, transferred to
the archdiocese of Chicago
where he became a member
of adjunct faculty at DePaul
University. Currently, he is
vice president for programs
and partnerships at the AIDS
Foundation of Chicago; and
is a member of the adjunct
faculty at the Jane Addams
College of Social Work,
University of Illinois-Chicago.

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
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

Rev. Michael R. Houle,
who is a member of the
St. Vincent De Paul Seminary
board of trustees, was a
student with Msgr. Bosso
at the Pontifical College
Josephinum, Columbus,
Ohio.  And like Bosso, he
was introduced to O’Connell
by friends from Jefferson
City, Mo.  Houle was a
rising clerical star, but his
career was tarnished during
his brief tenure as the
seminary’s director of
development (1986-1989).
He now is president of
Bishop Kenny High School in
Jacksonville, Fla.
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

Beach seminary.

Since 2009, Bendixen has been vice
president for programs and partnerships
for the AIDS Foundation of ChicagoHe
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
curriculum vitae.

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.

Bosso transferred to parish life in 2001,
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.   

Frederick F. Campbell,
bishop of Columbus,
Ohio, is vice-chancellor
of the Pontifical College
Josephinum.  As an
auxiliary bishop in
St. Paul-Minneapolis,
he worked alongside his
friend and colleague,
Robert J. Carlson, to
protect pedophile priests
there.  Carlson now is
the archbishop of
St. Louis, Mo.
Houle prematurely ended his Josephinum
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.

Cupich, a Nebraska native, possesses any
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
of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Ad Hoc
Committee for the Protection of Children and
and Young People.  Cupich, of course, denies
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:
David R. Choby, bishop
of Nashville, Tenn., is
a pathological cipher
in the child molestation
scandal that infests the
Roman Catholic Church
today.  A Josephinum
trustee and former
faculty member, Choby
shares Dolan
s view
that victims of and
witnesses to this
criminal conspiracy
should altogether
just drop dead.

n Cases of sexually abusive priests are
      considered to be rare;

n Child molestation is not happening in the
      church today;

n Thirty years ago civil law and society did
      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

Nonetheless, the Rev. Gerald M. C. Fitzgerald,
founder of the Paracletes, has called pedophile
priests “devils; and the wrath of God is upon
them.”  The USCCB deemed Fitzgerald a
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:

“One could argue that placing the treasury of,
the church in such jeopardy could end up
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
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit (Emeritus)

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.

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