Priests and Others in Mobile Diocese With Credible Sex Allegations
Church releases lists of those in Alabama
The Archdiocese of Mobile, which includes Montgomery, has released a list of priests and others associated with Catholic Churches that, in their words, have been “credibly” accused of sexual abuse since 1950. Some of the men on the lists have died.
The northern part of the state is included in the Birmingham Diocese.
There are links to two Mobile Diocese lists below, as well as this letter from Archbishop:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
An image often used for the Church is that the Church is the dawn. That is an apt image. The dawn testifies that the night is over and that light has conquered the darkness. At the same time, the dawn is not quite the fullness of the light which is to come. Dawn has a mixture of both light and darkness. So is the Church. 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. We cause darkness even as we proclaim the Light. It is important that when we sin we admit to our sinfulness.
The most vulnerable members of the Church, the children, have been grievously hurt by clergy and religious, the very people who should have been trusted to help and not to injure. In addition, the Church has at times failed to act as it should have to immediately protect children and to promptly remove those who have preyed upon them. To all the people of the Church, and especially to the victims of child sexual abuse by clergy and religious, I ask for your forgiveness. From the depths of my heart, I ask your forgiveness.
After considerable prayer and consultation, I have decided to publish the names of all clergy and religious who have served in the Archdiocese of Mobile since 1950 who have credible accusations of sexual misconduct with minors against them. This decision was not made lightly. It is my prayer that this will not re-traumatize anyone but will assist in the healing for which victims desperately long. I also pray that it will help all the people of the Church, and of the broader community, to know that the Archdiocese of Mobile is not allowing anyone to minister in our archdiocese who has credible accusations of sexual misconduct with minors.
Two lists are published with this letter: List One is the list of clergy of the Archdiocese of Mobile who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors. List Two is the list of members of Religious Orders who have served in the Archdiocese of Mobile, both clergy and non-clergy, who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors.
It has been a challenge to compile these lists. Each personnel file has been examined. Since 2003 there has been a written policy regarding 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. Before 2003, however, there were a variety of ways in which accusations were received and investigated and this has presented challenges in compiling these lists.
These lists have been shared with the Office of the State Attorney General and with the Office of the District Attorney of Mobile County. But, more importantly, it is being shared with you, the people of our archdiocese. Some of you may be surprised to see on these lists the name of a priest who served in your parish and whom you knew well. I pray that God will give you peace of mind and heart.
I wish to assure you that the Archdiocese of Mobile is committed to following the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People which the US bishops enacted in 2002. In doing so may I draw your attention to two things. As you will notice, almost all these acts of misconduct were many years ago. That is in no way to excuse the devastating harm of child abuse. The injury that sexual abuse of a minor inflicts lasts for many years. At the same time, the fact that these horrible acts of misconduct are many years ago, reflects the commitment of the Church to protect young people from abuse while they are involved in Church ministries.
The other fact is that, even though one abuser is far too many, these accusations of abuse involve approximately 2% of the 457 archdiocesan priests who have served in the archdiocese since 1950. (The decades-old records do not make it possible to accurately determine the number of religious order clerics and non-clerics who have served in the Archdiocese since 1950. I presume the percentage would be similar.) I wish to take this opportunity to thank you, our good and faithful clergy and religious who serve in the Archdiocese of Mobile. Thank you for your ministry. You bring the love of God to many and many to the love of God. I ask all the people of our Church to pray for and support you.
After considerable effort, these lists are as complete as possible. However, if anyone wishes to report a cleric or religious not included in these lists, please contact the Office for the Protection of Minors and Adults, 251-434-1559.
In closing, allow me to again apologize for the devastating harm done by clerics and religious who have abused the little ones. I ask the forgiveness of all victims of abuse as I entrust you to the love and mercy of the Lord. I deeply believe the Lord is with us. After all, we are His Church. Despite our failings, sins, and unfaithfulness, He remains faithful to us and leads us, individually and as a Church, to new life. May His healing love be with all of us
Sincerely in the Lord,
Most Reverend Thomas J. Rodi
Archbishop of Mobile