Diocese of Toledo Updates the Clergy Status Report To Include Names of Deceased Priests
The Diocese of Toledo has added seven new names to the Clergy Status Report page on the Diocesan website, to now include those clerics against whom an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, now substantiated, was first reported after the cleric’s death. Because these clerics were already deceased and no longer posed a threat, no canonical process was required or undertaken, and their names had not been included on the website.
When the Clergy Status Report, first published in 2004, was updated in 2019 it indicated that “the documentation of these cases will now be presented to the Review Board, that will make a recommendation, based on the available evidence, as to whether these clerics’ names should be added to the Clergy Status Report.” That process has now been completed.
Fourteen such cases were presented to the independent Diocesan Review Board, which found the allegations in seven cases substantiated and recommended that the clerics’ names in these cases should be added to the Clergy Status Report. The Diocesan Review Board determined there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations in the remaining seven cases, and recommended that the names of the accused clerics in those cases not be included in the Clergy Status Report. Bishop Daniel Thomas accepted the recommendations of the Diocesan Review Board in all fourteen cases. The dates of the substantiated abuse range from thirty-eight (38) years ago to seventy-six (76) years ago, with no abuse beyond 1982.
If new or previously unavailable information should be discovered or if any new allegations are reported regarding any of these clerics, they will be reviewed according to diocesan policy.
The Diocesan Review Board also considered one additional case involving allegations of abuse that took place in 1979 in another diocese against a cleric who had served outside the Diocese for over forty (40) years and who died in 2013. His name had previously appeared on the Clergy Status Report but was taken off in 2013 after his death. Because the allegations were previously found substantiated in the diocese where the abuse occurred, the case was presented to the Diocesan Review Board which recommended that the involved cleric’s name also be added to the Clergy Status Report. Bishop Thomas has also accepted this recommendation.
The Diocesan Review Board is made up of eleven (11) members, and functions as an independent and confidential consultative body to the Bishop in regard to clerics and diocesan staff and volunteers who have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor.
The competencies of the Diocesan Review Board members include two judges, a psychiatrist, a former Drug Enforcement Agency agent, a director of social ministry, a member of the Erie County Job and Family Services – Child Services and Adult Protection, a registered nurse, an attorney, a retired Lucas County Children Services case worker, a pediatrician, and a pastor.
The duties of the Diocesan Review Board include: advising the Bishop regarding all allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric and recommending whether or not the cleric is suitable for ministry; thoroughly examining investigative reports and all aspects of these cases, whether retrospectively or prospectively; making such other recommendations that the Diocesan Review Board in its sole discretion determines to be appropriate to reduce the risk to minors; recommending guidelines for the proceedings of the Diocesan Review Board; annually reviewing the Policy for the Protection of Minors and Young People; working with the Victim Assistance Coordinator to develop and implement educational programs for the Diocesan Review Board; and seeking the advice of such experts and consultants as the Diocesan Review Board deems necessary and appropriate. None of the members of the Diocesan Review Board receive compensation for their services.
Any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest, deacon, staff member or volunteer affiliated with the Diocese of Toledo should first be reported to local law enforcement where the abuse is alleged to have occurred. Please also report any such allegation to the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at 419-214-4880.