As the Roman Catholic Church continues to deal with the horror of revelations that many of its priests sexually abused children, the Diocese of Youngstown on Tuesday officially released the names of more than 30 priests and other clergymen who were "credibly" accused of abuse as far back as 75 years ago.
Bishop George V. Murry, who took over as head of the diocese in 2007, previously stated his intention to release the names following a bombshell Pennsylvania grand jury report that listed more than 300 Catholic religious members as having abused more than 1,000 minors over a period of decades. In many cases, Church leaders concealed the allegations and did not report them to proper authorities, often times merely moving the accused to different locations.
According to the list, the allegations released today date back as far as 1943, when the Diocese of Youngstown (which includes Ashtabula, Portage, and Stark Counties) was established. More than half of the clergymen named have since died.
Bishop Murry released the following statement:
"I am very sorry that the Church has failed to act aggressively to eliminate this evil. I humbly ask forgiveness from the victims and their families for the grave mistakes the Church has made...As painful as the process of voluntary disclosure of names is for parishioners where these men served, this is one way that we can offer support and dignity to the survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their families."
The diocese says it defines a "credible accusation" as one that "after a thorough investigation and review of available information, appears more likely true than not in the judgment of the Diocesan Review Board, and is accepted as credible by the bishop."
The following clergy members were still alive and active within the Diocese of Youngstown when credible, substantiated accusations of sexual abuse of a minor were made against them, according to the release:
- Robert Burns
- Thomas Crum
- Anthony Esposito
- Richard Evritt
- James Fondriest (deceased)
- Ernest Formichelli (permanent deacon)
- Paul Gubser (deceased)
- John Hammer
- Robert Hill (deceased)
- Thomas Kelly (deceased)
- Donald Oser (deceased)
- Robert Reidy
- John Ryan (deceased)
- Robert Sabatino (deceased)
- Louis Santucci
- John Schmidt (deceased)
- William Smaltz
- John Warner
- Francis Zapitelli (deceased)
The following were credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor after they died:
- Joseph Bennett
- John P. Cunningham
- Gerald Curran
- Joseph Galganski
- Henry Gallagher
- John Gallagher
- James Hennessey
- John Lyons
- John Parillo
The following clergy are or were members of religious orders but were active in the diocese at the time of the accusations made against them:
- Bernard Dupont, OP
- Donald Marrokal, CR (deceased)
- Giles Nealen, OSB (deceased)
Finally, the following two men were accused of sexual abuse in other dioceses, but subsequently lives in the Diocese of Youngstown:
- Robert Castelucci (Diocese of Pittsburgh)
- Anthony Cipola (Diocese of Pittsburgh, deceased)
It is unknown if any criminal charges or investigations will come as a result of the release of these names, although the Pennsylvania report saw just to men charged as the statute of limitations had run out on most accusations. Three other Ohio Dioceses (Cleveland, Columbus, Steubenville) have also pledged to release names of all accused clergy.
The release further read:
"The Diocese of Youngstown stands firm in its commitment to report and investigate all allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. If you are a victim of clergy sexual abuse or know someone who is, you are urged to make direct contact with law enforcement. You may also contact retired Detective Sergeant Delphine Baldwin-Casey, the victim assistance coordinator for the Diocese of Youngstown at 330-718-1388."