Every diocese has its own list of credibly accused clergy of sexual abuse. But just because the list exists doesn’t mean it’s a good one. What matters most about any church offender list is one criterion: Is every predator on the list that SHOULD be on the list?
We at Horowitz Law have repeatedly found that proven, admitted, or credibly accused clerics whose identities have been made public elsewhere via news coverage, court records, and church documents go unmentioned on a diocesan list where they also worked or lived. With that being said, is the Diocese of Monterey’s list complete? Bishop Daniel Garcia falls far short.
Historically, the most accurate and thorough lists of accused Catholic clerics are found on www.Bishopaccountability.org. At least six clerics listed on BA’s list are not named on Monterey’s accused list. These six clerics have been inexplicably left off the official Monterey diocesan accused list.
- Fr. Stuart Bede Campbell
- Br. Ronald “Gordon” Drum
- Fr. Vincent Dwyer
- Fr. Albert Mengon
- Fr. Joseph Pacheco
- Seminarian Manuel Jimenez
One can quibble over whether a seminarian should be classified as a cleric. We believe a more inclusive definition of a cleric is appropriate rather than a narrow, hair-splitting one. A number of dioceses, including Monterey, do, in fact, put credibly accused seminarians on their ‘credibly accused clerics’ lists.
How does Bishop Garcia explain or justify such omissions? Who knows? To us, it’s inexcusable, especially in light of these facts:
1) Fr. Dwyer was a Trappist monk and an award-winning national retreat director and writer who spoke and traveled widely. He could have dozens of victims across the US. In one case, he is accused of sexually victimizing a 15-year-old girl in California beginning in 1969, and ending in 1981, when the girl was 28 years old. According to the Monterrey County Herald, his accuser received a settlement in 1995 from the Trappists.
2) Fr. Campbell was “moved frequently in his career,” according to BishopAccountability, and “there are several periods of time throughout the decades whereby his name is not indexed or listed in the diocesan pages of the (Official Catholic) Directories. Both are signs that he likely molested in assignment after assignment.
3) Fr. Pacheco was vice chair of the Tulare Interracial Advisory Council, a youth organization. He was also a leader of the Columbian Squires, a group for boys ages 14-18. Imagine how many children he had access to over his nearly four decades in ministry. It should come as no surprise that the diocese admits that it knows of several other victims of his.
Unfortunately, the flaw and troubling information in the Monterrey diocese’s accused list do not end here. Like most California dioceses, Monterey’s list includes a higher-than-average number of proven, admitted, and credibly accused clerics who worked or lived in several states or dioceses. These include Br. Ronald “Gordon” Drum (Oakland and San Francisco), Fr. Gregory Kareta (Wisconsin, Michigan, and Fresno), Br. James Wisecaver (San Jose, Hawaii, and Texas), Fr. Dwyer (Vermont, Indiana, North Carolina, Minnesota), and Fr. Campbell (Los Angeles, Reno, Las Vegas, Ohio, and Kentucky).
Others were repeatedly moved from parish to parish, like Fr. Michael McDonald, who was cycled through these California towns: Atwater, Buhach, Castle Field, LeMoore, Stratford, Watsonville, Camp McCollum, Capitola, Scotts Valley, and the Tache Indian Reservation).
And several were or are in foreign countries, including:
- ARGENTINA – Fr. Orlando Alberto Battagliola
- MEXICO – Fr. Antonio Cortes, Fr. John Velez in Mexico
- IRELAND – Fr. Patrick J. Daly, Fr. Colman O’Connor, Fr. Thomas J. Neary
- SIERRA LEONE (West Africa) – Fr. Gilbert Roman Meyer
It’s worth noting that Monterey’s bishop at least includes a category titled “Accusations received . . . after the clergyman was dead but appear plausible.” Some bishops routinely ignore clerics who are accused after they pass away, no matter how many accusers step forward. This list includes Fr. Thomas Condon, Fr. Edward Crews, Fr. Patrick Daly, Fr. Edward Haskins, Fr. Felix Migliazzo, Fr. John Pierson, Fr. Rino Spada, and Fr. Neary.
A more complete list of Monterey area clerics accused of child sexual abuse is available at BishopAccountability.org. Those names include Fr. Phillip Abinate, Fr. Orlando Alberto Battagliola, Fr. Stuart Bede Campbell, Fr. Thomas Condon, Fr. Antonio Cortes, Fr. Edward Crews, Fr. Patrick J. Daly, Br. Ronald “Gordon” Drum, Fr. Vincent Dwyer, Seminarian Juan Carlos Esquivel, Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry, Seminarian Luis Garcia, Fr. Edward T. Haskins, Seminarian Manuel Jimenez, Fr. Scott McCarthy, Fr. Michael McDonald, Fr. Albert Mengon, Fr. Gilbert Roman Meyer, Fr. Felix Migliazzo, Fr. Charles L. Moore, Fr. Thomas J. Neary, Fr. Colman O’Connor, Fr. Joseph Pacheco, Fr. John W. Pierson, Fr. Joseph Sheehan, Fr. Rino Spada, Fr. Paul R. Valdez and Br. James Wisecaver. Maybe one day, Bishops will be fully transparent with the public. Until then, always check BA’s list.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by religious authority figures and other clergy. If you need a lawyer because a member of a religious organization sexually abused you, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected]. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse nationwide. We can help.