Head Count of Ousted Bishops (May 2002)

Vol. 19 No. 4 – Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. – May 2002

First published in Freethought Today, May 2002

Why doesn’t the Roman Catholic church reform? Because, according to A.W. Sipe, author and researcher into priestly sexuality, “It’s systemic: it goes all the way to the top.”

Roman Catholic bishops who have been forced to resign over allegations of cover-ups of sexual abuse scandals or for being accused themselves include:

22. Austria – Bishop Kurt Krenn, St. Poelten, resigned after authorities found up to 40,000 lurid pornographic images, including child pornography, on computers at the seminary located in his diocese. (Resigned September 30, 2004)

21. U.S. – Bishop Thomas Dupre, 70, Springfield, Mass., resigned a day after newspapers published allegations that he sexually abused 2 young altar boys in the 1970s over an extended period of time. In September 2004, the district attorney announced he would not prosecute Dupre due to the expired statute of limitations. Both victims are suing him and the diocese. (Resigned Feb. 11, 2004)

20. U.S. – Archbishop Bernard Law, 71, Boston, Mass., finally resigned after the protracted scandal over his cover-up of criminal pedophile priests, after hundreds of victims came forward, the Massachusetts attorney general accused the archdiocese of an “elaborate scheme” to shield abusive priests, court subpoenas, etc. Retained his position as cardinal. (Resigned Dec. 13, 2002)

19. Argentina – Archbishop Edgardo Storni, Santa Fe. He resigned after mounting pressure from judicial probes after being accused of sexually abusing teenaged seminary students. (Resigned September 25, 2002)

18. U.S. – Auxiliary Bishop James McCarthy, Archdiocese of New York, stepped down after admitting to several affairs with adult women. (Resigned June 11, 2002)

17. U.S. – Bishop J. Kendrick Williams, 65, Lexington, Ky., resigned after being named in civil lawsuits by three plaintiffs alleging sexual abuse, including a former altar boy, then age 12. (Resigned June 11, 2002)

16. U.S. – Archbishop Rembert Weakland, 75, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wis., requested an “expedited” acceptance of his retirement, after he was publicly exposed for paying $450,000 of archdiocese funds as hush money in 1998 to a man who accused him of a 1979 “date rate.” (Resigned May 24, 2002)

15. Germany – Franziskus Eisenbach, Diocese of Mainz, 58. Although denying charges, he was accused by a woman of sexual abuse and injuring her during an exorcism. (Resigned mid-April 2002)

14. Ireland – Bishop Brendan Comiskey, Diocese of Ferns. He quit after a BBC documentary aired in March showing his role in covering up for pedophile priest Rev. Sean Fortune. (Resigned April 1, 2002)

13. Poland – Archbishop Juliusz Paetz. Accused of molesting seminarians, he averred, “Not everyone understood my genuine openness and spontaneity toward people.” (Resigned March 28, 2002)

12. U.S. – Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell, Palm Beach, Fla. He admitted to making a secret settlement with a minor whom he abused in Missouri. The victim had sought counseling from O’Connell after being molested by 2 other priests. (Resigned March 8, 2002)

11. U.K. – Archbishop John Aloysius Ward, Cardiff, Wales, for ordaining a man accused of assaulting a boy, among other accusations he denied. (Resigned October 2001)

10. U.S. – Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann, Santa Rosa, Calif. He admitted to a sexual relationship with a priest who said Ziemann extorted sexual favors. (Resigned July 1999)

9. U.S. – Bishop Joseph Keith Symons, Palm Springs, Fla. He sexually abused 5 teenage boys while a parish priest. (Resigned 1998)

8. Austria – Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, Archbishop of Vienna. Fellow bishops substantiated molestation charges. (Resigned 1998)

7. Australia – Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, Bullarat. He retired amid accusations he failed to protect altar boys from a pederast priest, who pleaded guilty to 46 offenses against 20 boys and one girl. (Resigned June 1997)

6. U.S. – Archbishop Roberto Sanchez, Santa Fe, N.M. He admitted to “relationships” with 3 teenage girls; others alleged abuse. (Resigned 1993)

5. U.S. – Bishop Joseph Ferrario, Honolulu, Ha. Molestation charges, which he denied, were made against him. (Retired 1993)

4. Ireland – Bishop Eamonn Casey. He fathered a child and used church funds to pay off the mother. (Resigned 1992)

3. Canada – Bishop Hubert O’Connor. He was accused and later convicted of molesting teens at boarding schools. (Resigned 1992)

2. U.S. – Archbishop Eugene Marino, Atlanta, Ga. He was involved in scandal involving a young woman, who said the “relationship” began by rape. (Resigned 1990)

1. Canada – Archbishop Alphonsus Liguori Penney, Newfoundland. Knew about sexual and physical abuse of boys at Mt. Cashel orphanage for 10 years but did nothing (20 priests and layworkers were arrested and convicted). (Resigned 1990)

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