As slow as molasses, Catholic bishops across the United States continue to quietly post names of predator priests, but rarely doing so in a way that’s both thorough and helpful.
Among the latest to do so is the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee Bishop William Wack.
Where to start with the inadequacies of his list?
First, Bishop Wack chooses to call his list of alleged clergy offenders “credibly accused individuals.” That’s of course misleading, since there are apparently no child molesting secretaries or custodians or accountants on the list, just clergymen.
Second, Wack lists “those who have served at any time in ministry in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee and have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor or minors.” He is therefore refusing to identify any predatory priest, nun, seminarian, brother, monk or bishop who lives or lived in his diocese but does not or has not officially worked there.
This means that a child molesting cleric who assaulted dozens of kids in Texas or New York or Pennsylvania but retired to Pensacola or Tallahassee will be left off Wack’s list.
A child molester who hurt Florida kids before being ordained will also be left off.
What about a child molesting cleric who is taken out of a parish somewhere else because of abuse reports but is quietly given a job in a Pensacola or Tallahassee Catholic institution or agency that doesn’t technically qualify as “ministry?”
Apparently, he too will be left off Wack’s list.
Third, and perhaps most troubling, Wask omits a number of proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics who are or were in his Diocese. These include:
–Fr. Robert Kurilec, who reportedly molested kids in Indiana, Illinois and Maryland and was first named publicly ‘accused’ by the San Bernardino California diocese in 2018.
Ordained in 1968, he attended seminaries in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Indiana, worked in at least five states (Michigan, Texas, Virginia, Illinois and Ohio) and was a military chaplain.
In retirement, he lived in Pensacola and in Willowick, Ohio (in the Cleveland diocese). He was ordained a priest for the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in 1968.
–Fr. Leo Courcy, Jr., whose name appears on the ‘credibly accused’ lists in both Vermont and New Mexico. He has been sued for alleged abuse at least three times (in 1994, 2017 and 2019).
In the 1970s, he worked at various assignments in the Pensacola diocese including at Pensacola Catholic High School.
Fr. Courcy also spent time in Canada (Ottawa), Texas (Amarillo), New Jersey (Bayonne and Deal), New York (Suffern, Fishkill, New York City, Queens and the Bronx), Vermont (Burlington, Winooski, South Burlington, Johnson and Cambridge) and New Mexico, at parishes in Albuquerque, Clayton, Questa and in Santa Fe, at the Servants of the Paraclete treatment center)
He was ordained in 1962, given leaves of absence in 1965-1966 and 1979-1980, was removed in1993 and defrocked in 2009.
Fr. Courcy is now in his 80s and believed to be living in the Syracuse, New York, area.
–Fr. Michael J. Amy, who has been defrocked and whose name is included on the ‘credibly accused’ lists in both Baltimore and Erie.
In 1993, he admitted molesting kids to his church supervisors. He lived or lives in Niceville, Florida.
–Fr. Charles J. Davis, who was removed from ministry in 2002 for reportedly molesting a Camden NJ boy. In the 1990s, he lived in Freeport, Florida near Eglin Air Force Base.
He also worked in Georgia and New Hampshire.
We look forward to the day when we can praise a Catholic official anywhere for voluntarily releasing a full and accurate list of child molesting clerics who are or have been in his diocese, no matter whether they are living or deceased, working or retired or are diocesan or religious order clerics.
(Here, FYI, are the Pensacola-Tallahassee abusers that Bishop Wick admits to: Godugunuru Vijay Bhaskar, James Bluett, Lawrence Boucher, Richard Bowles, Richard Castillo, Michael Cherup, Thomas Crandall, Samuel Curry, Jonathan Franklin, Philip Halstead, Todd Hevia, Eddie Jones, Edward Jungquist, David McCreanor, Sebastian Naslund, Timothy Pathe, Louis Reczek, Arthur Terminello and Michael Wever.)
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a Catholic priest or lay employee in Florida, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in Florida now have legal options, but statutes of limitations will apply so do not delay in contacting us now. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide.