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  Home :: 2006 December :: Blinded by faith? Long-secret documents reveal that Fort Worth bishop was aware of priest's troubled past
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FROM THE ARCHIVES

Blinded by faith? Long-secret documents reveal that Fort Worth bishop was aware of priest's troubled past

By DARREN BARBEE
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Editor's note: This report was originally published June 5, 2005.


"T admits to being attracted to adolescents in every way, including sexually."

-- Bishop Joseph Delaney's notes, June 12-13, 1988, shortly before he hired the Rev. Thomas Teczar

"His time in therapy was very intense and painful but verysuccessful. He no longer has the need to seek out adolescents forcompanions. ... Because of all the other good qualities for ministry inT's life, S feels he will be a very successful priest."

-- Delaney's notes from a June 14, 1988, conversation with Gilbert Skidmore, Teczar's therapist

"I am willing to give Father Teczar an opportunity to get back intoactive ministry, fully aware of the possible risks that may beinvolved. ... Please pray with me that my decision will be of benefitto all concerned and for the good of souls."

-- Delaney in a July 13, 1988, letter to Bishop Timothy Harrington in Worcester, Mass.

"I laid down a request that he not have any social relationships with anyone under 25 in future."

-- Delaney's notes from a Jan. 25, 1991, meeting with Teczar to discuss the priest's meetings with two young men in Bedford

"DA and sheriff threatening prosecution ... hinting further trouble -- ???accusing Tom of pedophilia???"

-- Delaney's notes after a March 18, 1993, conversation with Teczar and two attorneys

"After weighing the options and considering the uncertainty oflitigation and the related costs, the diocese ... settled the claims.... At the time that Thomas Teczar came to the diocese, there were noallegations of sexual misconduct against him."

-- April 7, 2005, news release from the Fort Worth Diocese after itagreed to settle a lawsuit by two men who said Teczar sexually abusedthem

With the quiet rumble of tires over red brick streets, the priest slipped away from Ranger.

A few hours before, the Eastland County sheriff had confronted himabout the sexual abuse of young boys. It wasn't the first time suchallegations had been made.

This time, they would end the Rev. Thomas Teczar's career.

On that March day in 1993, Teczar drove east toward thechancellery of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth. Inside,documents detailing his reasons for leaving Ranger would stay sealedfor more than a decade in the secret diocese archives known as theConfidential Files.

This spring, the Star-Telegram examined the files,which were opened during a lawsuit filed by two men who said Teczarmolested them when they were boys living in Ranger. The suit wassettled, and the diocese paid the men $4.15 million.

The documents show how a priest with an admitted sexualattraction to boys was placed in charge of four rural parishes with nosupervision. And they raise nagging questions about the actions of FortWorth Bishop Joseph P. Delaney, who sent him to Ranger.

Delaney, the chief keeper of the files, met with Teczar and thepriest's two attorneys on March 18, 1993, after Teczar left Ranger. AsDelaney took notes, he felt uneasy. The more he heard, the less hewanted to know.

By then, Delaney had known for a month that Teczar had failedto report the sexual abuse of children by two men in Ranger. But now hewas learning that Teczar's involvement might go further. The sheriffand the district attorney were "hinting further trouble -- accusing Tomof pedophilia," according to Delaney's handwritten notes.

Teczar's name surfaced in the investigation in January 1993. InRanger, two men had sexually assaulted as many as seven boys and twogirls over a period of three years, according to police and ChildProtective Services reports.

Police learned that the priest had had sex with both men and that he had warned one of them when officers were closing in.

When an Eastland County grand jury convened to consider thecase, Teczar was subpoenaed. But the priest refused through hisattorneys to answer questions on the grounds that he might incriminatehimself.

With the storm around the priest growing, Delaney wrote, "Recommendation: Tom get out somehow."

In time, Eastland County law enforcement officials came tobelieve that the diocese and Delaney had hampered their investigationby ignoring the sheriff's and district attorney's requests forinformation about Teczar's past.

Delaney said he never knew they were seeking information about Teczar.

The facts that Delaney had gleaned five years earlier, before hebrought Teczar in, would have been crucial to their investigation, theysaid.

Documents that Delaney placed in the Confidential Files showedthat Teczar had a sexual fixation on boys and young men, according todepositions, court documents and Star-Telegram interviews.

Delaney also knew that Teczar had been forced out of the activeministry in Massachusetts after a boy accused him of sexual misconductand that two other bishops had rejected Teczar before Delaney acceptedhim.

And after Teczar became the parish priest in Ranger in 1989,Delaney continued to support him, even when other problems surfacedduring the priest's 3 1/2 years there.

One of the men who sued the Fort Worth Diocese was 12 when hemet Teczar in 1990. The man, called John Doe II in court documents,said Teczar raped him and molested him several times from spring 1990until late 1992.

The man filed a criminal complaint with the Texas Rangers inMay 2002. Teczar was indicted in early 2003 on three counts ofaggravated sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child inconnection with John Doe's complaint. Teczar, who is free on $30,000bond, is expected to stand trial in Eastland County next year.

Teczar has also been sued by three Massachusetts men who allegethat he abused them when they were boys. The suits have been settled bythe Diocese of Worcester, Mass., where Teczar had previously worked.Other complaints of sexual misconduct against Teczar have also surfacedin Worcester Diocese files and in at least one other lawsuit.

In a recent telephone interview, Teczar, 64, said he did notabuse the Massachusetts men who sued him. Asked if he has ever abusedanyone, he said, "I'm not at liberty to say."

Teczar said he did not abuse the two men who sued the Fort Worth Diocese and that they were only after money.

"This man lied his way into a settlement," Teczar said,referring to John Doe. "I don't know this guy. I never touched him. Idon't know anything except what I've read in the papers."

In a recent interview, Delaney said he knew nothing ofsexual-misconduct allegations against Teczar before or during thepriest's time in the Fort Worth Diocese. But Delaney's notes in theConfidential Files show that he knew of suspicions.

Given the information he has now, it was a mistake to bring Teczar to the diocese, Delaney said.

"When I brought him here, obviously I thought it was a good thing to do," Delaney, 70, said in a May 11 interview with the Star-Telegram. "I didn't bring somebody in that I thought, let alone knew, was going to do these things."

Delaney would have known more about Teczar's past had he readthe priest's personnel file, said Dallas attorney Tahira Khan Merritt,who represented John Doe in his lawsuit against the diocese.

With further investigation, he might have learned about Teczargiving a 10-year-old boy a bath at a boys' home in Massachusetts,Merritt said. And Delaney could have pressed for details when aMassachusetts monsignor said Teczar had other incidents in his past.

But Delaney didn't press for details.

Delaney said he couldn't get access to the personnel file fromthe Worcester Diocese because it isn't common practice for suchdocuments to be circulated among bishops. Instead, he relied onrecommendations from Teczar's therapist and the Massachusetts diocese.He examined a clinical report about Teczar that was nearly three yearsold. And he talked to Teczar.

Delaney documented his steps in the Confidential Files, whichreveal the diocese's place in a national scandal involving 10,000accusations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

For more than a decade, the diocese has required employees towatch a 90-minute video on preventing sexual misconduct. And since2002, the diocese has spent at least $200,000 training thousands ofemployees, priests and volunteers to prevent abuse.

The training was prompted by lawsuits alleging widespread childabuse that have cost the U.S. Roman Catholic Church more than $650million and involve complaints against more than 4,000 priests.

Merritt said the bishop looked the other way when it came to Teczar, who left before the diocese changed its policies.

Merritt called Delaney's actions a case of willful blindness.

"He doesn't see exactly what's in front of his eyes," she said.

Her client, John Doe, said his lawsuit showed that the Fort Worth Diocese knew that Teczar "could hurt more kids."

"People need to know that even though they say that they want tohelp victims of abuse, they care more about covering up their lies," hesaid.

Delaney said that he has been truthful and that Teczar's accusers are liars who have their money and now want to make mischief.

But more than a decade ago, Ronnie White, who was then Eastland County's sheriff, saw things differently.

On March 17, 1993, White said, he drove to the rectory at St.Rita's Catholic Church in Ranger, 90 miles west of Fort Worth. Whitesaid he had no intention of strong-arming the priest. He wasn't angryabout Teczar's refusal to testify before the grand jury, he said. Buthe was suspicious.

White told the priest that he planned to invite St. Rita'sparishioners to the upcoming trial of Teczar's intimate friends, whohad been indicted on charges of aggravated sexual assault of children.Teczar, who had not yet been charged with a crime, said nothing.

"He was gone before daylight the next morning," White said.

Teczar says the meeting never happened.

The first accusations

"He was becoming very discouraged about how difficult it was to overcome his past."

- Delaney's notes to the Confidential Files in June 1988, shortly before Teczar came to Fort Worth.

In the mid-1960s, when he was attending seminary, Teczar foundhimself alone with an unruly 10-year-old boy who refused to take abath.

Teczar, then about 25, was working at the Nazareth Home forBoys, a Catholic home for troubled youths in Leicester, Mass. He bathedthe boy himself.

Teczar was later fired from the home after he took a group ofboys swimming and one complained afterward that Teczar had touched himinappropriately, according to a deposition given by a friend ofTeczar's who also worked there.

Teczar said last month that he was fired because he wasn't getting along with the staff and the boys.

"That's the official word," he said.

From the beginning of his seminary years, Teczar was dogged byquestions about his suitability for the priesthood. He was twice kickedout of seminary because of erratic behavior, only to be given secondand third chances. Officials would note his exclusive friendships withboys as he neared ordination.

From an early age, Teczar's fascination with the church wasobvious. He was an altar boy and played the organ at the suburbanMassachusetts church of his childhood, said his estranged sister, PatErnitz of Millbury, Mass. His education, too, was attuned to hisparents' faith -- he studied at a Catholic high school and college, andas early as junior high school he expressed a desire to become apriest.

His early life was not marked by the tremendous wealth thatcame to the family in 1967, when his mother married the trustee of alocal company. Until then, the family was upper-middle class, but notrich, Ernitz said.

Also in 1967, months before his ordination, officials atTeczar's home diocese in Worcester expressed concern about his"manifested predilection for intimate and rather exclusivecompanionship with young boys." The letter also noted, "if this breaksout again, I do not think he should be ordained."

In a deposition, Teczar said his relationships with the boyswere friendships that another priest feared could be misread as sexualrelationships.

After his December 1967 ordination, Teczar began serving inchurches. He was so well-liked in one parish that congregants signed apetition asking the Worcester bishop to allow him to stay.

At another Massachusetts church, Teczar befriended 16-year-oldJohn Riganati. In 2003, Riganati filed a lawsuit in Worcester accusingthe priest of sexually abusing him over four years beginning in 1968.

In an interview last month, Teczar said he did not have sexwith Riganati, who has since settled the suit with the WorcesterDiocese.

In a 1996 lawsuit filed in Massachusetts, Teczar was alsoaccused of sexually abusing 16-year-old David Lewcon in 1971 aftergiving him Southern Comfort whiskey. Teczar said he did not abuseLewcon, though he admitted in a deposition that he had given himalcohol.

Another man, George Shea, sued the Worcester diocese in 2002,alleging he was abused by Teczar. Teczar says he didn't know Shea anddidn't abuse him.

But one incident with a boy in 1984 would force Teczar out of ministry for years -- until he found work in Fort Worth.

Placed on leave

"He was fortunately able to control himself. That may not have been the case on some other occasions."

-- Delaney's notes from a June 1988 conversation with Teczar aboutan incident with a 15-year-old boy that led the Worcester Diocese tosuspend the priest.

They enjoyed a meal at a posh Massachusetts restaurant called Plum's.Teczar provided wine to the 15-year-old boy, and the conversation wentwell, the priest remembers.

"He was a very good conversationalist," Teczar said in an interview.

He took the dark-haired boy back to his home at the church.

Teczar said he brewed coffee and the two talked aboutcircumcision. Teczar said the boy tried to seduce him, asking in alowered voice for candlelight and soft music.

The evening ended with a hug shared during a joke, Teczar said.He thought the boy "was getting an erection, and I backed off almostimmediately. I didn't want to take any chances," he said in aninterview.

"I didn't touch his body or any private parts at all, nor did I intend to," Teczar said.

The boy's mother, Norma Maciorowski, said the priest made sexualinnuendoes, then sexually abused her son. He has never told her all thedetails about what happened that night in May 1984, she said. The Star-Telegram is not naming her son at the family's request.

The incident forced Teczar from active ministry and led to a criminalconviction for providing alcohol to the boy. It also landed him in apsychological treatment center for clergy and in four AlcoholicsAnonymous meetings.

At the Worcester Diocese, Monsignor Raymond Page spoke withTeczar and wrote on Aug. 29, 1984, that he was concerned that Teczar"had not at all seen this incident as compromising or 'scandalous' orinappropriate."

In a deposition, Teczar acknowledged being sexually attractedto the boy. Years later he told Delaney, while interviewing for a jobin the Fort Worth Diocese, that he was able to control himself thatnight. "That may not have been the case on some other occasions," thebishop wrote.

As a result of that incident, Teczar was placed on leave in1985 and was told to seek professional help. He entered the House ofAffirmation in California, where he received psychological treatmentfor his problems with anger, sexuality and alcohol use.

Almost three years passed as he sought new employment in theDiocese of Norwich, Conn., and the Archdiocese of Boston. Both rejectedhim.

The Diocese of Norwich received a letter from Page in October1986 that noted the "trail of damaged youngsters he [Teczar] left inone town. The police there were far from pleased. In that town, thepolice threatened to find a reason to arrest him if he returned there."Teczar said in an interview that he knew nothing of the matter. He saidthe police would have come looking for him if he had left youngstersdamaged.

"Why would they have to go looking for a reason to arrest me?" he said.

Teczar applied to, among other places, the Diocese of Austin,where he was on the verge of being accepted. But he was directed toFort Worth, where priests were needed.

Delaney's decision

"In view of the past, I understand the current risks involved andhereby pledge my financial assets towards any settlement the diocesemay have to make on my behalf."

-- June 1988 letter from Teczar, asking Delaney for permission to work in the Fort Worth Diocese.

Should he take the priest?

Delaney needed clergy in the summer of 1988. But, in an unusualstep, the Diocese of Worcester required him to take full legalresponsibility for Teczar -- in writing -- three years before he wasofficially a part of the Fort Worth Diocese.

Delaney was concerned that Teczar had been suspended and thatother bishops had rejected him, he later acknowledged in a deposition.

Most of the information Delaney said he received was related tothe Maciorowski matter: reports from the House of Affirmation,interviews with Teczar's therapist, a letter from the Worcester Dioceseand conversations with Teczar himself.

Delaney did not order new psychological tests for Teczar, instead relying on a 3-year-old report from the House of Affirmation.

On June 12 and June 13, 1988, Teczar came to Fort Worth. He toldDelaney he had been sexually attracted to adolescents, but now saw hispast behavior as bizarre.

He also told Delaney that he was living at his mother's home onCape Cod, Mass., had held two jobs to support himself, and could liveoff of his mother's wealth without working.

"But he has had a deep desire to return to ministry," Delaney's notes state.

The next day, June 14, Gilbert Skidmore, Teczar's therapist atthe House of Affirmation, told Delaney about the priest's past problemsof impulsively acting out sexually with adolescents.

But Skidmore also said the priest's therapy was successful andthat he had matured. Gone were Teczar's impulsiveness, poor judgmentand terror of authority figures. "His personality problems have beengenerally resolved," according to Delaney's notes from theconversation.

Teczar "no longer has the need to seek out adolescents forcompanions, and this means he no longer finds them irresistible sexualobjects," Skidmore told Delaney.

Teczar was willing to go the extra mile that June. In view ofhis past, Teczar, a millionaire's son, pledged his financial assetstoward any settlement the diocese might have to make because of him.But years later, when the diocese settled the lawsuit, he paid nothing.

There were loose ends Delaney didn't tie up in 1988. Forinstance, he spoke with Page, the Worcester monsignor, who told himTeczar had "not only one incident but others," according to Delaney'snotes.

Page didn't go into what those incidents were, Delaney said in his deposition.

"He just said that they were -- nothing had ever been proved,nothing was clear, but that there were some suspicions about hiscommitment to celibacy in the past," Delaney said in his deposition.

Delaney didn't ask for any details. But only two years before,Page had described Teczar's past in greater detail for the bishop ofNorwich, citing the "trail of damaged youngsters" the priest had leftbehind.

Delaney also called an old friend of his, the Rev. MichaelJamail, a psychologist, and asked his advice. Jamail reasoned that ifTeczar was emotionally immature, as Skidmore had indicated, Teczar'ssexual acting out with children didn't mean that he was "acting as apedophile," according to Delaney's notes.

"If he has matured (as the counselor stresses), then he willrelate to adults in every way, including sexually, and not find theyoung so attractive," Delaney wrote.

And if he had not matured? Delaney's notes don't reflect whether he asked that question.

On July 13, 1988, Delaney wrote to Worcester Bishop TimothyHarrington: "Having thought the matter over and prayed over it, I amnow writing to tell you that I am willing to give Father Teczar anopportunity to get back into active ministry, fully aware of thepossible risks that may be involved."

Years later, in his deposition, Delaney said he meant the risk of bad publicity from the Maciorowski incident.

"At that time, he seemed to be safe," Delaney said in an interview last month. "And a good minister."

But others did not share Delaney's confidence. On Sept. 13,1988, a Worcester Diocese attorney urged Harrington to require FortWorth to take legal responsibility for Teczar to "lessen the potentialfor future liability."

Delaney saw the attorney's letter, but was willing to take a chance.

He wrote to Harrington in October 1988, saying that he did not have concerns "about Tom's past problem."

"If I had any fear that that problem would ever arise again Icould not and would not accept him at all for any length of time.Instead, I am confident that he will be able to give effective priestlyservice in the future in spite of the past difficulty."

By then, the priest had already worked at St. Patrick Cathedralin Fort Worth, where he served for eight weeks. Beginning in September1988, he served for a year as an associate pastor at St. MichaelCatholic Church in Bedford, Teczar said.

Delaney's 1988 files note that Teczar should be supervisedduring his time in pastoral ministry. In his deposition, Delaney saidsuch supervision is typical for new priests.

In August 1989, with what must have been growing confidence inthe priest, Delaney sent Teczar to lead the tiny parishes in Ranger,Strawn, Cisco and Eastland. He sent no one to supervise him.

In an Oct. 4, 1989, letter, he told Teczar that he hadsuggested a mentor for him but that the priest would not report toDelaney or anyone else about Teczar's activities.

"There was no need or call for it," Teczar said in an interview.

Though the bishop did not know it yet, Teczar would be coming back for visits to Bedford.

A new setting

"He admitted it was inappropriate."

-- Delaney's notes, January 1991, after learning of Teczar's visits to two young men in Bedford.

Teczar didn't like the barrenness of Eastland County, though hesaid he did like the people. In Ranger, he drove his dark blue Mercedespast rusted street signs and clumps of cactuses - but would often headback to his family's 10-bedroom house on Cape Cod with its 105 feet ofprivate beach, said Ernitz, Teczar's sister.

He had wild parties there, she said.

"They had grand old times," she said.

Teczar said he threw parties, but they weren't wild.

Teczar told Delaney he was unhappy. "I can walk in these Texasboots, but the fit is not comfortable," he told the bishop, accordingto a deposition given by Teczar.

But to the parishioners in the small town of less than 2,500people, Teczar was kind and generous. He bought ornate candelabras, anexpensive altar cloth and a refrigerator for St. Rita's, a congregantsaid.

No one in the town knew - and Delaney did not tell them - thatTeczar had been suspended from his diocese in Massachusetts after a15-year-old boy accused him of sexual misconduct.

Delaney didn't tell anyone that the Maciorowski family haddiscovered that Teczar was back in ministry in Texas, or that inJanuary 1990 the family was demanding that the priest be removed.Delaney dismissed a letter from the family as "overwrought andoverwritten," he said in a deposition. He never contacted the family,Norma Maciorowski said.

Following the Macior-owskis' new complaint, Harrington, theWorcester bishop, wanted Teczar removed, too. He wrote a letter toDelaney in February 1990 informing him that Teczar no longer had hisapproval to function as a priest.

But Delaney had the authority to keep Teczar working in the Fort Worth Diocese, and he did so.

By October 1990, Massachusetts prosecutors were pursuing acharge of providing alcohol to a minor against Teczar, but they droppeda charge of sexual abuse.

On Oct. 11, 1990, as part of the court case, Delaney wrote aletter to Teczar's attorney, stating, "He is not working with youngpeople in his present assignment." At the time, Teczar was headingchurches with at least eight altar boys in Ranger, Cisco, Strawn andEastland, according to his deposition.

Delaney also wrote that Teczar had begun a new phase of hislife, fully intending "to avoid even the appearance of anythinguntoward in the future."

About three months later, on Jan. 15, 1991, Teczar returned toWorcester, where he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges ofcontributing to the delinquency of a minor and furnishing alcohol to aminor. He was fined $375, according to court records.

Ten days later, Delaney called Teczar to the chancellery in downtown Fort Worth to discuss a new problem.

Delaney had learned that Teczar was driving 90 miles -- it isn'tclear how often -- from his new assignment in Ranger to visit two youngmen in Bedford, where he had served in 1988 and 1989.

Delaney requested that Teczar no longer socialize with anyoneunder age 25, according to the bishop's handwritten notes. Teczaragreed that the requirement was necessary, but it would be like"walking on eggs," he told Delaney.

Teczar said in an interview that he has no recollection of the Bedford men.

In a deposition, Delaney said he believed the priest would keep his word.

The meeting ended, Teczar returned to Ranger, unsupervised. For the next three years, he took advantage.

Painful memories

"I warned T he had an obligation to report the sex abuse."

-- Delaney's notes following a March 18, 1993, conversation with Teczar.

John Doe has had the dream many times. He holds a 12-gauge shotgun, pointed at Daniel Hawley.

In Ranger, Hawley had raped John Doe over a period of more than two years, beginning in 1990, when John was about 12.

His more violent dreams involve Teczar.

John Doe, a former truck driver, is now 27 and lives in Abilene.He believes the Fort Worth Diocese protected Teczar, even as policewere asking for the church's help to investigate him.

In St. Rita's rectory, Teczar's personal possessions included a vibrator and a camera.

It was there that Teczar had sex with John Doe's abuser, Hawley,and another man, DeWilliam Bixler. He photographed both men naked,according to a statement Hawley gave police.

Teczar said he did not take the photograph. But he lookedthrough Hawley's stack of Polaroids of naked, vulnerable boys fromRanger.

Hawley offered Teczar more than photos. He and Bixler were bythen raping as many as seven boys, according to police reports. Twogirls may also have been molested, according to police reports. Thechildren were ages 7 or 8 to 16.

Hawley offered to bring a minor to Teczar's house, according toa letter Hawley wrote. Merritt said he wrote the letter at the requestof the diocese. "Thomas Teczar stated 'It's tempting but no! I've beenthrough therapy and I just couldn't do it.' He advised me to stopmessing with young boys," the letter said.

Teczar said he knew Hawley and Bixler were abusing children, but did not report it to police.

"I didn't know I had an obligation to do that," Teczar said in an interview last month.

By January 1993, police had begun investigating Hawley and Bixler. When Teczar found out, he finally took action.

He went to Hawley's house in Ranger and warned him to "get ridof" the Polaroids he had taken of his victims, Teczar said. Hawley saidin a statement to police that he burned two photos of boys, includingone of John Doe.

More than a decade later, Teczar defends his actions.

"At the time, there were no charges against Daniel whatsoever,"Teczar said in a recent interview. "I had no proof that the police werecoming."

In August 1993, Hawley admitted what he had done and pleadedguilty to aggravated sexual assault. He received a 35-year prisonsentence. In January 1994, Bixler was sentenced to 34 years in prison.

By March 1993, White, the sheriff, was suspicious that Teczarmight be involved, too. White, who knew nothing of Teczar's past,called the Fort Worth Diocese at least three times during hisinvestigation and left messages asking for help, he said.

His last call was placed after Teczar refused to testify before an Eastland County grand jury on March 17, 1993.

Leslie Vance, the former Eastland County district attorney, saidin an interview he believes the diocese hampered the investigation.

"We expected the church to respond to our request for help inrunning down leads that involved possible sexual abuse of children,"Vance said in a deposition. "And we could not understand why that was aproblem."

Delaney said in an interview last month that he was unaware of attempts by law enforcement officers to contact him.

"Neither I nor anybody I talked to at the Catholic Center hasany recollection" of a call, he said. "Certainly nothing ever came inthe mail. It came as a complete surprise to us that they're sayingthat. We never heard from them, as far as I know, at all."

But Teczar had already hired two attorneys, and he met withthem and Delaney at the Fort Worth chancellery on March 18, 1993,according to a note Delaney put in the Confidential Files.

In the meeting, Delaney learned that White and Vance weresuspicious that Teczar was involved in pedophilia with Hawley andBixler.

Delaney said the attorneys made him feel uneasy.

"There was a lot I didn't want to know at that point," he said.

Teczar's attorneys were the ones who said he needed to get out of the diocese, Delaney said.

"I don't remember very much. It was a huge surprise. They cameup to see me," Delaney said in a recent interview. "They did most ofthe talking and spun this whole thing."

In his notes, Delaney wrote that Teczar "will have to devise something to tell the parish."

In an interview last month, when Delaney was asked why he didn'tdirect Teczar to tell parishioners the truth, the bishop answered, "Towhat end?"

In 2002, John Doe filed a complaint with the Texas Rangersalleging that Teczar had joined in the abuse against him. In April ofthis year, the diocese agreed to pay him $2.75 million to settle hislawsuit. Most of the money is set aside in a trust to pay for expensessuch as counseling, Merritt said.

Teczar said that he never met his accuser and that the criminalcase was filed to bolster the man's claims for money. Teczar said he isaccused, for instance, of abusing the boy in a plane with Hawley. ButTeczar said he never flew a plane or had a pilot's license.

John Doe said he came forward after he was contacted by Lewcon,the Massachusetts man who says he was victimized by Teczar in 1971 whenhe was 16. Lewcon said he found John Doe by contacting people in Rangerafter finding out that Teczar had worked there.

John Doe said Lewcon "told me that Teczar was still loose."

"Then, I found the strength to call the authorities about Teczar to make sure he didn't hurt any other child," he said.

In recurring dreams, John Doe shoots Hawley. He dreams of running Teczar down in an 18-wheeler.

"We're talking about driving over him, running over him, runningover him, you have 18 tires, just trickling over him, one at a time,"he said in a deposition.

More allegations

"I feel bitter that you should have taken him in and put him out here where there was nobody to watch over him."

-- A Feb. 15, 1994, letter to Delaney from a Strawn man, now deceased, concerning Teczar being moved to Ranger.

The mechanic was in his mid-30s, unmarried, and had a bachelor'sdegree in history, according to notes Delaney took when he met with himin 1994.

In the 1990s, the man lived in Strawn, one of the parishesserved by Teczar. In February 1994, he wrote to Delaney saying he wasangry at the bishop because he allowed Teczar to lead the churchunsupervised.

Teczar "tried to kiss me twice, suggested 'we get closer.' Heeven asked me to spend the night with him. When I tried to explain tohim that I am a conservative Catholic, he sidestepped the issue bysaying that God does not care who we get naked with as long as we lovethem."

Teczar also took the man's confession, then used his words asleverage when trying to solicit sex from him in 1990, according toDelaney's notes.

The man, now deceased, told Delaney he was terrified of goingto confession, Delaney wrote in his notes from his Feb. 7, 1994,meeting with the man.

Teczar said he made no sexual advances toward the man.

"He might have misconstrued some of the things that I said," Teczar said.

Delaney told him Teczar was no longer in ministry. He also wrotethe man in March 1994, telling him, "Yours is the only incident thathas come to my attention" involving Teczar.

The bishop didn't disclose any other information about Teczar, such as the incident with the 15-year-old boy in Massachusetts.

Delaney agreed to pay for the man's counseling. He then wrote to Teczar, saying that the man's complaint "rings all too true."

"Personally, I feel betrayed by you," Delaney wrote in 1994 toTeczar, who had moved back to Massachusetts after leaving the FortWorth Diocese.

Teczar continues to receive monthly benefits and healthinsurance from the Worcester Diocese. He lives in a $92,000 house inDudley, Mass., on money he inherited, he said.

Further revelations came in 1996, when Lewcon, who laterfounded a Massachusetts chapter of the Survivors Network of thoseAbused by Priests, filed a lawsuit against Teczar and the WorcesterDiocese.

"The only thing I can tell you is he lost his civil suit against me," Teczar said.

But court records show that a Worcester Superior Court juryfound that Teczar committed "reckless infliction of emotional distress"upon Lewcon.

Lewcon and his attorney, Laurence Hardoon of Boston, said thejury awarded Lewcon no money because it felt other issues unrelated toTeczar had caused some of his suffering.

Lewcon said he had earlier settled the part of the case against the Worcester Diocese for $110,000.

By filing his lawsuit, Lewcon brought Teczar's past to publicattention in Fort Worth. In a 1998 interview about the suit, Delaneytold the Star-Telegram:"I am told that the bishop in Worcester wrote letters to other bishopsdetailing Father Teczar's history. But I did not get that information."

Bishop is blamed

"Your complaint against him is the first that I know of that involves misconduct with a minor."

-- Delaney letter to Wade Driskill, July 2002.

Wade Driskill started getting into trouble with the law just after his sexual abuse ended in 1992, Merritt said.

After that, Driskill always drank too much. He led a promiscuous life, sleeping with one woman after another.

Driskill is 29. He sees irony, he says, in the fact that he is in jail while Teczar is a free man.

Driskill, an electrician, alleged in his lawsuit against theFort Worth Diocese that Teczar sexually abused him from 1990, when hewas about 14, until 1992. About $350,000 from his $1.4 millionsettlement with the Fort Worth Diocese has been set aside for hiscounseling, he said.

He is in jail for forgery. But he does not blame his criminal acts on Teczar.

Teczar said he knew Driskill from a local convenience store but didn't abuse him.

Driskill and John Doe said their years of suffering could havebeen prevented if Delaney had heeded the many warnings and refused tohire Teczar. They also said the diocese covered for the priest after heleft by misleading them and others.

Driskill was in jail in Dallas when he wrote his first letter to Delaney in 2002, asking for help with counseling.

Delaney wrote a response similar to the one he gave the Strawnman eight years earlier: "Your complaint against him is the first thatI know of that involves misconduct with a minor."

Again, the bishop didn't disclose information about Teczar's past problems.

Driskill is still angry about the letter.

"Bishop Delaney has lied about everything," he said."It's like aslap in the face when he preaches on accountability yet he can't standup and say 'I made a mistake, I erred, I was wrong, and I'm sorry.' "

Driskill is also angry about a statement the diocese releasedto the press April 7 following the $4.1 million settlement of his andJohn Doe's lawsuit. The statement said, "At the time that Thomas Teczarcame to the diocese there were no allegations of sexual misconductagainst him."

Driskill said the statement contradicts Delaney's depositions and letters about the 1984 Maciorowski incident.

"All the evidence in this case points otherwise," Driskill said."Bishop Delaney gave a deposition saying that he was aware ofallegations against Teczar."

He said parishioners should demand answers from Delaney.

"It took a lot of donations to pay out $4 million," he said. "Tome, they have the right to know, the right to hold him accountable andfind out the truth."

Delaney said he made the best judgments he could with theinformation he had in hiring Teczar. And he said the matter belongs inthe past.

Delaney met with Driskill in August 2002 and, according to hisnotes from the meeting, "expressed my regret at the abuse he sufferedfrom" Teczar. The April 7 statement also expressed Delaney's regretabout any abuse that may have occurred.

But in an interview last month, Delaney bristled when told thetwo men consider him a liar. He said he suspects Driskill and John Doewere both lying for money. The diocese settled the lawsuit to avoidpaying millions more in legal fees, he said.

The settlement was paid from the diocese's funds and byinsurance. In agreeing to the settlement, the diocese admitted nowrongdoing. Teczar's Worcester Diocese, which was also sued, paidnothing to Driskill and John Doe.

Delaney said his attitude about priests who have abused minors has been consistent.

"I'm certainly not going to tolerate any priest who is sexuallyabusive of minors or sexually active in a way that is impossible for apriest," he said.

"They can't function in the diocese," he said. "And maybe in avery few cases when we found out something was happening, I think itwas only in two cases, they were removed from the diocese."

Eight priests have been accused of sexual abuse in the diocesesince 1969. The names of three of the priests, including Teczar, havebeen made public. The diocese has refused to release the others' names.

Delaney said he hopes Teczar's time in the diocese will not bea part of his legacy. But he said he has not lied to anyone, includingthe two men with whom the diocese settled lawsuits.

"They've got money now, so they can just do mischief," Delaneysaid. "How long are we going to put up with it? What happened in 1992is something we didn't know about. I didn't know until 2000. I knewnothing about it. And now they're talking ... about me having lied tothem. It's very discouraging to have this dragging on and on, and, Ithink, very unfair."

 


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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia