Monsignor Robert C. Trupia
Diocese of Tucson
Assigned as follows:
- 1973-1976 St. Francis of Assisi Parish (Yuma, AZ)
- 1976-1992 Tribunal (Diocese of Tucson)
- 1976-1992 St. Thomas the Apostle; Our Mother of Sorrows; St. Francis de Sales (Tucson, AZ)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Robert C. Trupia:
According to media reports, Monsignor Robert C. Trupia began molesting boys at his first parish in Yuma. Reports that Trupia was molesting boys were for years repeatedly dismissed by diocesan officials. In 1976, a lay brother, Ted Oswald, helped several families report Monsignor Trupia to the bishop. He was then transferred to Tucson. Mr. Oswald sent the complaints to Bishop Francis Green, who ignored them, and sponsored Monsignor Trupia, then in his 30s, for membership in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, a society of Catholic chivalry. Bishop Green also secured Monsignor Trupia’s honorary appointment as a Papal Chamberlain and made him a monsignor.
After Bishop Green retired in 1982, the new bishop, Manuel Moreno, learned that a housekeeper had discovered Monsignor Trupia in bed with a boy. Bishop Moreno let him off with a warning. Monsignor Trupia began spending weekends at his alma mater, St. John seminary, in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. In 1988, the seminary declared him unwelcome for making advances on a student. In 1989, Bishop Moreno allowed Monsignor Trupia to go to Washington to study canon law at The Catholic University of America.
In 1992 Trupia became judicial vicar of Tucson, handling marriage annulments among other canonical duties. At the time, the mother of a boy from Yuma wrote a letter to Archbishop Robert Sanchez of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M., accusing Monsignor Trupia of abusing her boy when he was 10. When confronted, he admitted the abuse and asked to be allowed to retire.
He was suspended him from ministry and asked to enter St Luke Institute in Maryland, a clergy psychiatric hospital that treats priests with psychological and sexual problems. He refused and resisted efforts by Tucson church officials to discipline him for twelve years. At one point, he attempted to blackmail his bishop.
In 2001, Monsignor Trupia was arrested on seven counts of child molestation in connection with charges that he sexually abused a boy at Immaculate Conception in the early 1970s. He was briefly jailed, but released because the charges did not meet the criminal statute of limitations then in force.
In January 2002, Monsignor Trupia was one of four priests named in the eleven civil suits the Diocese of Tucson settled for a sum estimated as high as $16 million.
“These people should be caught and put in jail. You have no idea what the families go through,” said one victim’s mother, who has said she felt ostracized by other Catholics when her son filed the lawsuit. “It’s a lifetime of pain. It kills everything that’s holy and respectful and loving.”
The Diocese of Tucson called Monsignor Trupia a “notorious and serial sexual predator” and sought his laicization. In August 2004, he was laicized by the Vatican.
As of 2017, he lives in Maryland and continues to receive $1,200 per month from the diocese. His name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Tucson’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.
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