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Mobile Catholic Archdiocese releases names of 'credibly accused' clergy since 1950

(IMAGE: WPMI) Mobile Archdiocese releases 29 names of clergy 'credibly accused' of sexual misconduct with children since 1950

The Archdiocese of Mobile has voluntarily released the names of priests, deacons and brothers who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct of a minor since 1950.

List One - Priests and deacons of the Archdiocese of Mobile who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct involving minors.

  • Thomas J Cullen DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1950s Pastoral Assignments: St. Mary Parish, Mobile St. Margaret Parish, Bayou La Batre Cathedral Parish, Mobile St. Monica Parish, Mobile Christ the King Parish, Andalusia St. Mary Parish, Texas City, Texas
  • Vernon Dahmen DECEASED Date of Misconduct: Mid 1970s to early 1980s Pastoral Assignments: St. Dominic Parish, Mobile St. Mary Parish, Mobile St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Mobile McGill-Toolen High School, Mobile Little Flower Parish, Mobile St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Chickasaw St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Mobile Allen Memorial Home, Mobile
  • Timothy Evans PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: 1998 Pastoral Assignments: Christ the King Parish, Daphne Annunciation Parish, Monroeville St Margaret Parish, Bayou La Batre Director, Office of Youth Ministry
  • Joseph Gill DECEASED Date of Misconduct: Late 1960s Pastoral Assignments: Blessed Sacrament Parish, Birmingham St. John Parish, Warrington, Florida Cathedral Parish, Mobile Sacred Heart Parish, Grove Hill St. Columba Parish, Dothan St. Aloysius Parish, Bessemer St. William Parish, Guntersville St. Thomas Parish, Chickasaw St. Catherine Parish, Mobile Sacred Heart Residence, Little Sisters of the Poor, Mobile St. Bridget Parish, Whistler In Residence, St. Anthony Parish, Birmingham
  • James A. Havens DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1986 Pastoral Assignments: St. Dominic Parish, Mobile Little Flower Parish, Mobile St. John Parish, Butler Sacred Heart Parish, Grove Hill St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Mobile
  • Patrick J. L. Nicholson PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: 1976 Pastoral Assignments: Little Flower Parish, Mobile Assistant Director for Vocations McGill-Toolen High School, Mobile St. Pius X Parish, Mobile St. Joseph Parish, Prattville Chaplain, US Air Force: Little Rock AFB, Arkansas Clark AFB, Philippines Dept. of the Air Force, San Francisco, California United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Maxwell AFB, Montgomery Diocese of Elphin, Ireland
  • Arthur C. Schrenger PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: Late 1960s to 1982 Pastoral Assignments: Little Flower Parish, Mobile St. Dominic Parish, Mobile McGill-Toolen High School, Mobile St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Mobile Assistant Vocations Director St. Agatha Parish, Bay Minette Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Mobile Holy Spirit Parish, Montgomery Metropolitan Tribunal Cathedral Parish, Mobile
  • John Alex Sherlock DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1966-1982 St. Mary Parish, Mobile Bishop Toolen High School, Mobile Little Flower Parish, Mobile St. Patrick’s College, Mountainview, California Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin McGill Toolen High School, Mobile Cathedral Parish, Mobile Holy Family Parish, Mobile St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Chickasaw Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Mobile St. Pius X Parish, Mobile St. Peter Parish, Montgomery
  • Edward Eugene Smith PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: 1984 Pastoral Assignments: Our Savior Parish, Mobile Hotel Dieu Hospital, New Orleans St. Pius X Parish, Mobile McGill Toolen High School, Mobile St. Dominic Parish, Mobile
  • John J. Walton DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1970s Pastoral Assignments: St. Margaret Parish, Bayou La Batre US Army Reserve, Military Archdiocese St. Maurice Parish, Brewton Christ the King Parish, Andalusia St. Joan of Arc Parish, Mobile St. Pius X Parish, Mobile Holy Name Parish, Semmes
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Cordell Lang (DECEASED) was removed from ministry based upon accusations submitted to the Archdiocese of Mobile. A civil court jury, however, found in his favor.
  • Archdiocesan Deacon Robert L. Nouwen PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Convicted of possession of child pornography Date of Misconduct: 2012 Pastoral Assignments: St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Mobile

List Two - Priests and men who are not priests (brothers) who belong to religious orders and are not clergy of the Archdiocese of Mobile but have served in this archdiocese.

The Archdiocese of Mobile has received credible accusations against these men. While some accusations involved misconduct within the archdiocese, other accusations involved misconduct elsewhere. However, since all have at some time served in this archdiocese, their names are included as well as their assignments while in this archdiocese.

  • Susai Arul PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: 1989-1990 Pastoral Assignments: Little Flower Parish, Mobile
  • Joseph Brown PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: 1965-1968 Pastoral Assignments: Shrine of the Holy Cross Parish, Daphne
  • Gregory Furjanic DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1987 Pastoral Assignments: St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Mobile St. Monica Parish, Mobile Immaculate Conception Parish, Orrville Sacred Heart Parish, Grove Hill
  • Robert Grabowski PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: 1979 Pastoral Assignments: McGill-Toolen High School, Mobile
  • John Hardman DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1972-1978 Pastoral Assignments: Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish, Mobile
  • Timothy Keppel PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: 1977-1981 Pastoral Assignments: Resurrection Parish, Montgomery
  • Anthony Kiel DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1955-1958 Pastoral Assignments: St. Joseph Parish, Maysville
  • Edward Lawler DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1972 Pastoral Assignments: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Birmingham St Peter Claver Parish, Mobile Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish, Mobile St. Joseph Parish, Mobile
  • Edward A. Leary DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1970-1972 Pastoral Assignments: Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Selma
  • Gerald McMahon PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: 1967-1970 Pastoral Assignments: St. Benedict School, Elberta
  • Robert Michele PROHIBITED FROM MINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: 1963 Pastoral Assignments: Catholic Information Center, Mobile
  • Norman Rogge DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1979-1981 Pastoral Assignments: St. Ignatius Parish, Mobile
  • John Rutledge DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1968 Pastoral Assignments: St. Michael Parish, Auburn
  • Barry Ryan PROHIBITED FROM MIINISTRY IN ARCHDIOCESE Date of Misconduct: 1990s Pastoral Assignments: Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery
  • Nelson Ziter DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1974-1979 Pastoral Assignments: Queen of Peace Parish, Selma St. Philip Neri Parish, Belle Fontaine St. Elizabeth Parish, Selma Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Mobile
  • Brothers (Members of Religious Orders Who Are Not Priests)
  • Nicholas Vic Bendillo DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1964-1989 Pastoral Assignments: McGill Institute, Mobile McGill-Toolen High School, Mobile
  • Ralph McGarry DECEASED Date of Misconduct: 1960-1961 Pastoral Assignments: Catholic Boys Home


Archbishop Rodi included the following letter:

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


SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) issued the following statement.

Today, the Archdioceses of Mobile, AL released a list of 29 priests who have served in their diocese and been accused of child abuse. We are grateful for this development and urge further action.
Releasing these names publicly is crucial not only for the healing of survivors, but also to encourage victims who may be suffering in silence to come forward and to deter future clergy sex crimes and cover-ups. However, releasing these names is only the first step on the path towards healing and deterrence.
If Archbishop Thomas Rodi is confident in the accuracy of this list, we think he should reach out to Alabama’s attorney general and urge an outside, independent investigation into his diocese and other dioceses in the state. Only trained law enforcement professionals can truly judge when an accusation is credible or not and compel full transparency.
We also believe that Archbishop Rodi should publicize this list permanently on the diocesan website and run it at least quarterly in every parish bulletin. It should include every single proven, admitted, or accused church employee: bishops, priests, seminarians, brothers, nuns and lay people, no matter who supervised or ordained them, and no matter where they originated. In this list, Archbishop Rodi should also put by each name the date when he or his staff first learned of the allegation against that priest. It is important for accountability to find out who knew what, when they knew it, and what they chose to do with that information.
Finally, we encourage anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered abuse at the hands of church officials to contact Alabama law enforcement to make a report, not the Diocese directly.






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