Wednesday 30 November 2022
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Syracuse Bishop Releases Names of Priests with “Credible” Child Abuse Allegations

SyracuseDioceseBy staff –

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse released a list of priests they say have” credible allegations” of child sexual abuse over the past 70 years.

The list, published at and contains the names of 57 priests—38 of which have died (13 of them died before an investigation could be completed). The diocese says all of the living priests have been removed from ministry and none of their active priests have credible accusations of child sexual abuse against them.

“The news over the past few months of the tragic failings of the Catholic Church has been deeply distressing and has caused many to lose faith and trust”, writes the Most Rev. Robert J. Cunningham, Bishop of Syracuse in a letter to parishioners. “It continues to weigh heavily on our hearts. Personally for me, as your bishop, I have prayerfully considered what I can do to help rebuild trust and gorge a path to restoring and strengthening the faith.”

The following priests are on the list issued by the diocese, and include 20 priests who were accused after they died — making it “difficult to substantiate the claims” — but the diocese included their names “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the document:

* Thomas Bayley – Deceased (accusation came after)
* Robert Birchmeyer
* Robert Bogan Deceased (accusation came after)
* Roger Bowan Deceased (accusation came after)
* Paul Brigandi – Deceased
* John Broderick
* Daniel Casey – Deceased
* Felix Colosimo – Deceased
* Donald Crosby – Deceased
* John Donovan Deceased (accusation came after)
* Edmund Durr
* Charles Eckermann – Deceased
* Francis Furfaro – Deceased
* Luke Gallagher Deceased (accusation came after)
* Bernard Garstka Deceased (accusation came after)
* Donald Gorman Deceased (accusation came after)
* Thomas Guyder – Deceased
* John Harrold
* Ferdinand Hattala Deceased (accusation came after)
* James Hayes
* Donald Hebert
* Leo Heizman – Deceased
* Edgar Holihan (accusation came after)
* Edward Humphrey Deceased (accusation came after)
* David Jutton – Deceased
* Edward Kieley – Deceased
* Thomas Keating – Deceased
* Robert Kloster
* C. Vincent Lane Jr.
* Steven Litz Jr. – Deceased
* William Lorenz
* William Lynch Deceased (accusation came after)
* Edward Madore
* George Mattice Jr.
* John McCarthy Deceased (accusation came after)
* Chester Misercola
* William Morris Deceased (accusation came after)
* John “Jack” Morse Deceased (accusation came after)
* Thomas Neary Jr. Deceased (accusation came after)
* Robert Ours
* Joseph Pace
* David Pichette
* Thomas Powell Deceased (accusation came after)
* Albert Proud
* Edward George Quaid Deceased (accusation came after)
* James A. Quinn
* James F. Quinn – Deceased
* Francis Sammons Deceased (accusation came after)
* Walter Sinnott – Deceased
* H. Charles Sewall – Deceased
* Paul Slavetskas – Deceased
* Martin Tracy Deceased (accusation came after)
* David Walker Deceased (accusation came after)
* John Wagner
* Jerome Weber
* Thomas Zedar – Deceased
* John Zeder – Deceased

In 2002 the U.S. bishops issued a set of criterion for dealing with child abuse allegations called the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The above list contains 32 priests who were removed as part of the charter and 5 priests who were removed prior to the charter being established.

Bishop Cuningham says the diocese’s position previously was to only release the name of an accused priest if the victim wished to make it known.
“Upon serious reflection and prayer, I have concluded that this practice has become a roadblock to moving our local Church forward,” the bishop, 75, wrote. “Additionally, I believe it is not fair to my successor whomever he is or whenever he comes, to leave him with this decision.”

“While I am aware that the release of these names will cause pain for some victims, families of the accused, friends and parishioners, I know that we are at a critical juncture in the history of our Church,” said Biship Cunningham. “ It is my fervent hope and prayer that this effort will bring some peace and healing to those who have been directly harmed and to all members of the community of faith.

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