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  Home :: 2006 November :: Details about the accused priest
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Here are details from church files unsealed Tuesday about seven priestsaccused of sexual abuse or inappropriate touching. All the records deal withcomplaints made to church officials during the tenure of Bishop Joseph Delaney,who died last year. There is no sign that police were notified about any of thepriests. To read more of the court documents, go to DallasNews.com.

The Rev. Philip Magaldi

Initial allegation: He offered dinner and drinks to an 18-year-old whocame to him for confession in 1995, hugged him, groped his buttocks, kissed himand paid him to administer enemas.

Where he worked then: St. John the Apostle, North Richland Hills

When reported: 1997

Priest's response then: Father Magaldi denied abusing the young manbut admitted paying for the enemas, saying he needed help with a medicalcondition.

Diocesan response: Church investigators found the priest "guilty ofsexual exploitation" and recommended that he be ordered to do volunteer work.Bishop Delaney left him at St. John and barred him from supervising altar boys –but, as previously reported, let him continue as chaplain of the diocesan BoyScouts program.

What happened next: In 1998, a Massachusetts man said that FatherMagaldi, while a priest in Rhode Island in the 1970s, had abused him for years,sometimes with enemas. The priest denied ever meeting the accuser. BishopDelaney told the priest he had to remove him from ministry while investigating.But Father Magaldi kept working until 1999, when the Massachusetts manthreatened to sue. After a suspension and the death of the accuser, he returnedto part-time ministry. The priest was accused of misconduct with boys at his newjob and removed again.

The priest today: He was allowed to continue his ministry at aretirement home until August 2006, when new Bishop Kevin Vann revoked all hispriestly powers. Father Magaldi said Tuesday that he has defied the bishop'sorders and remains in ministry at the home.

The Rev.

Joseph Tu

Initial allegation: He separately put two grade-school-age sisters onhis lap in the late 1970s, behind closed doors, and kissed them.

Where he worked then: St. Matthew Church, Arlington

When reported: 1993

Priest's response then: "He has persisted in denying that he has everdone anything improper," Bishop Delaney wrote.

Diocesan response: Church investigators said "that the incident(s) canaccurately be described as pedophilia. ... Father Tu [should] be sent tolong-term inpatient treatment ... to assist him in breaking his denial." If heever returned to duty, "it would have to be under close supervision, [with]restrictions about seeing women or children alone."

What happened next: The priest spent several months at a church-runtreatment center in New Mexico. An official in Father Tu's religious order, theDominicans, told Bishop Delaney that the priest's diagnosis was mere "sexualimmaturity," not pedophilia. The bishop welcomed the priest back, but theDominicans moved him to the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. After U.S. bishopsagreed in 2002 that even one child-abuse case permanently disqualified a priestfrom ministry, Bishop Delaney told

Galveston-Houston Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza that the 1993 allegations werenever proven. "I am not at all sure that there is a problem with Father Tu'scontinuing to exercise ministry," Bishop Delaney wrote. Father Tu remained onduty until February 2006, when he was suspended after other women said he hadabused them when they were girls or young adults. Archdiocesan and Dominicanofficials previously insisted that he had been cleared of sexually abusingchildren; one of the priest's attorneys said the alleged kissing didn't amountto abuse.

The priest today: He lives at Holy Rosary Church in Houston and didnot respond to a request for comment Tuesday. His face still appears on theparish Web site, but Holy Rosary's pastor, the Rev. Joseph Konkel, said thatFather Tu is retired and has no public ministry.

The Rev. Rudolf "Rudy" Renteria

Initial allegation: He took a 14-year-old parishioner to bed in 1981and fondled him.

Where he worked then: St. Matthew Church, Arlington

When reported: Immediately

Priest's response then: Father Renteria told the boy's father he might"have done something in his sleep that he didn't remember," according to a memothat Bishop Delaney wrote.

Diocesan response: The bishop transferred Father Renteria to Vernon, asmall town near the Oklahoma border. His memo said he acted after consultingwith three priests – including the Rev. Robert Wilson and the Rev. JosephSchumacher, who served as his top aides for many years.

What happened next: By 1985, Father Renteria had been moved to St.Philip Church in Lewisville. "Disruptive behavior and alcohol abuse" there ledthe bishop to send him to a clergy treatment center in Canada, diocese officialspreviously said. The priest returned to Texas and worked as a hospital chaplain.In 2000, a former Lewisville parishioner told church officials that FatherRenteria once got him drunk, fondled him and tried to have anal sex. Diocesaninvestigators confronted Father Renteria, who "did not deny it" and said hesometimes had alcohol-related blackouts in Lewisville. The investigators, notingthat the accuser was 18 at the time of the incident, concluded that "RR poses nothreat to anyone as long as he does not drink" and should keep his chaplain'sjob at St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas. Dallas Bishops Charles Grahmann andJoseph Galante – consulted because of the hospital's location – agreed. FatherRenteria stayed on duty until 2002, when U.S. bishops adopted their "zerotolerance" discipline rules and the initial victim's father reminded BishopDelaney of the 1981 incident. The bishop then permanently removed FatherRenteria from ministry and wrote in a private memo that the priest "was verycontrite about his past offenses, which he admitted freely." A news releaseannouncing the removal didn't mention this admission, though it did quote thebishop as saying he regretted "that I did not act more firmly and decisively" in1981.

The priest today: He owns a home in northwest Dallas and did notrespond to a request for comment. Diocese officials did not answer questionsTuesday about whether they monitor him or what he does for a living.

The Rev. John Howlett

Initial allegation: He repeatedly fondled two grade-school-age sistersin the early to mid-1980s.

Where he worked then: St. Mary Church, Graham, Texas

When reported: Around 1984

Priest's response then: Church records don't say. The girls' motherrecalled that she confronted him in the early to mid-1980s and that "he did notdeny it."

Diocesan response: Bishop Delaney transferred Father Howlett to St.Brendan in Stephenville, Texas, where he spent about a year. The recordsreleased Tuesday don't say why he left or where he went next.

What happened next: In 1993, the mother told church officials that herdaughters were now troubled young adults who needed counseling. The diocese andthe priest's Pallottine order began paying for it. An order official wrote thediocese about his desire for informal dealings with the family: "I have a greatreluctance to have attorneys publicly involved pending the expiration of thestatute of limitations" – the point beyond which charges cannot be filed. FatherWilson, who was Bishop Delaney's chancellor, responded: "I think that you aredoing a fine job on this." Since 1999, three more women have told the diocesethat Father Howlett abused them repeatedly when they were girls. Churchofficials found them credible and offered to pay for counseling.

The priest today: He lives at a Pallottine residence in Dublin,Ireland, and could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Order officials say he ispermanently barred from ministry and from unsupervised contact with the public,to ensure that he has no "adverse effect upon the general public health orsafety."

The Rev. James Reilly

Initial allegation: In the late 1970s, he hugged, French-kissed andtried to disrobe at least three boys in their midteens.

Where he worked then: St. Maria Goretti, Arlington

When reported: 1994

Priest's response then: "He insisted he had never done anythingimproper," Bishop Delaney wrote. But two accusers told church officials thatthey had confronted Monsignor Reilly around 1980 and that he had apologized andpromised to stop his abuses.

Diocesan response: Bishop Delaney apologized to the initial accuserand told him that he had previously "heard an allusion" to similar complaints.But the bishop told the Philadelphia Archdiocese – where Monsignor Reilly wasliving at a church – that he didn't think "that JR was a threat to anyone."Philadelphia let the priest stay until his death in 1999.

What happened next: Since the late 1990s, several more men have toldthe diocese that the priest abused them when they were boys. Father Wilson, theformer chancellor, told one accuser "that we knew of no other similar incidentswith minors." In a subsequent memo, he said he had forgotten about the 1994complaints. Eleven of Monsignor Reilly's accusers sued the Fort Worth Diocese,which agreed last week to pay them a total of more than $1 million. The diocesealso apologized and agreed to remove the priest's name from all diocesanbuildings and plaques.

The Rev. William Hoover

Initial allegation: In the mid-to-late 1950s, he masturbated a boy whowas about 12 on church camping trips and behind the altar.

Where the priest worked: St. James Church, Dallas

When reported: 1995

Priest's response then: He said there were three victims, according toa memo from Bishop Delaney. Father Hoover also said that the late Dallas BishopThomas Gorman learned of the abuse in the 1950s and transferred him to FortWorth, which was then part of the Dallas Diocese.

Diocesan response: Father Hoover had to resign as pastor of St.Patrick Cathedral in Fort Worth and was sent to a treatment center. The bishoptold the public that he had admitted abusing only one boy. "When a complaint ofthis nature is found to be true, the care of the Catholic community requiresthat a full disclosure be made," he said. Bishop Delaney told the priest'scolleagues that he hoped to return him to ministry, saying that "my trust in hisintegrity is not diminished by learning of a mistake he made a long time ago."

What happened next: Several more men soon said Father Hoover hadabused them in the 1950s and 1960s. He died in 1996. Fort Worth church officialsoffered to pay for victims' counseling and privately criticized the DallasDiocese's practice of paying cash settlements. "The odor of extorsion [sic] andcover-up is too strong!" Bishop Delaney wrote in a memo.

The Rev. James Hanlon

Allegation: In the early 1980s, he fondled a teenage boy who washospitalized and coming out of anesthesia. On another occasion, he got the boydrunk, disrobed him and ejaculated on him.

Where he worked then: St. Michael Church, Bedford, and Holy FamilyChurch, Fort Worth

When reported: 1997

Priest's response then: None; he died in 1990 at age 38, afterbattling alcoholism, cirrhosis and HIV.

Diocesan response: Church officials questioned parts of the accuser'sstory, but Bishop Delaney referred to him in a memo as "a sexual abuse victim ofFather James Hanlon." The diocese paid for his counseling and a $12,500out-of-court settlement.

What happened next: The records reflect no further complaints aboutthe priest.

 

 


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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia