Category:Archdiocese of Galveston Houston

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Archdiocese of Galveston Houston

Archdiocese of Galveston Houston (formerly, Diocese of Galveston-Houston) Pope John Paul II created a second archdiocese in Texas, raising the Diocese of Galveston-Houston to the status of a Metropolitan Archdiocese, 29 December 2004. It is composed of ten counties in the southeastern area of Texas. It includes Harris County and the City of Houston as well as Galveston County and Galveston, the Mother Seat of the Church in Texas. The archdiocese includes eight other counties as well. They are Austin, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Grimes, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker and Waller counties. Today more than 1.5 million Catholics live within archdiocesan boundaries, making the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston the largest in the state of Texas and the eleventh largest in the United States.

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston abuse 5 priests had been accused of sexual abuse up to January 2003 (NYT survey). Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, formerly bishop of San Angelo, was appointed in mid-1980s. As of November 2003, the diocese had not made public how many of its priests had been accused. National Audit found 22 priests and 4 deacons sexually abused 46 minors 1950-2003, February 2004.

Diocese of Galveston-Houston settlements Confirmed sex abuse allegations cost the diocese $3.6 million in settlements, counseling and legal fees.

Diocesan Cases of Galveston-Houston

(database of allegations of sexual abuse by priests)

[26 offenders acknowledged, 16 listed]

Brinkman affair Rev. Terence P. Brinkman (Terry), ordained 1973. Still active priest in Baytown at St. John the Evangelist Parish as of December 2010.

  1. Anon accusation' Man filed civil suit July 2010 alleging that Brinkman had molested and raped him between 1974-1976 while assigned to St. Charles Borromeo Church in Houston. Plaintiff alleged that in at least two incidents, Brinkman used chloroform to render him unconscious before raping him. Suit was dismissed on Motions for Summary Judgment (as to SOL) November 2010. Plaintiff has requested new trial.

Edelin affair Rev. Richard Edelin, ordained 1979, worked at 6 parishes in 10 years. Then was USAF chaplain 1989-92; chaplain on leave 1992-97; then not listed. In May 2003, church officials announced that Edelin would join the staff of St. Laurence Catholic Church in Sugar Land but complainant objected. Edelin began working in the Diocese of Baker instead, where seminary classmate Vasa was bishop.

  1. Anon accusation Accused of repeatedly groping a teenage girl in 1981-82 beginning at age 17 when she was a parishioner at St. John Vianney Catholic Church. Venues included confessional and retreats. Diocesan officials settled on 23 February 1996 with a $5,000 payment, a letter of apology from Bishop Fiorenza and Edelin would be suspended. Edelin denied the charge.

Gonzales affair Rev. Anthony Hernandez Gonzales of the Oblates, ordained 1957, his Order knew of his abusive behavior in 1961. Multiple transfers. Laicized 5/87 and married another girl he abused. Gonzales admitted fathering at least 8 illegimitate children on young girls.

  1. Gonzales lawsuit Gonzales was named as abuser in 2006 civil suit. Woman alleged that he began sexually abusing her when she was 15 and homeless. Abuse occurred from 1981-83 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Houston. Plaintiff got pregnant and Gonzales went to Canada. Suit settled March 2008 for $1.35 million.

Guerra case Rev. Charles Guerra was charged with being sexually involved with 14 year-old boy in 1981. Boy told his mother in 1983. Charges against Guerra were dropped in 1986 because law had changed in 1983 to require corroboration in cases that were not promptly filed.

Guzman case Rev. Fernando Noe Guzman (deceased), a priest who had already fathered two illegitimate children in Mexico, came to Navasota. Shortly after his transfer to Galena Park, he started an affair with church secretary Debbie McCorvey. When McCorvey had a child by the priest and sued him and the diocese, Guzman gave a deposition and told of the affair with the 13-year-old.

  1. Guzman lawsuit Civil suit filed 1990 by woman he seduced and made pregnant. Jury denied her claims but Guzman testimony in this case resulted in criminal charges and conviction later in 1990.
  2. Guzman trial Priest was caught sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in her grandfather's house in 1984. Caught by social worker who reported abuse to Bishop. The bishop said he delegated the matter to an assistant, who testified that he accepted Father Guzman's characterization of the girl as a “precocious child who came on to him.” The woman who caught the priest has said that the assistant urged her not to cooperate with police. The assault came to light after Father Guzman impregnated a church secretary. He was sentenced to 10 years jail but served a 90-day shock probation and was released.
  3. Anon accusation After this case, Bishop Fiorenza transferred Guzman to another parish where he started an affair with married woman.

Horn affair Rev. Stephen R Horn (1945-), ordained 1973, was accused of sexual abuse of a minor while he was Pastor at Christ the King between 1989 and 1994. Horn was removed from his current position as pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Church in south Houston shortly after the victim, now an adult, reported the abuse, November 2007.

Keller affair Rev. John T. Keller, ordained 1974, was accused in 2002 of giving a teenage boy wine and then fondling him in bed during trip in early 1980s. He also wrote "love letters" to the 16-year-old boy. Keller denied abuse but admitted holding the youth in a "manner inappropriate for a priest," Archdiocese said conduct did not fit definition of sexual abuse. Still active priest 2007.

Linam affair Rev. Jesse S. Linam, ordained 1961, "retired" in 1993 after Diocese learned of allegations of sexual miscounduct with a boy that occurred in 1973-1974. His priestly faculties were removed in June, 2002. Linam kawsuit Civil suit filed in 2002 alleges Linam abused one plaintiff and possibly many more between 1961 and 1993. Judge dismissed suit on grounds of statute of limitations, August 2002.

Marshall case Rev. William Hodgson (Hod), Basilian (C.S.B.), ordained in Canada 1951. Served as school principal in Toronto and Windsor from 1952-1956. Worked at St. Thomas High in Houston, TX from 1956-1957 before returning to Canada. Also did missionary work in St. Lucia. First allegation made in 1998 re abuse in 1969. Retired 1997. Treatment at St. Luke's. In 2010 he was charged with abuse in Toronto & Windsor in 1950s and 1980s. Pled guilty June 2011 to abuse of 16. Prison: 2 years. More suits December 2011. Order denies any allegations re time in Houston, TX.

Moreno case German Rojas Moreno, a doctor back home in Costa Rica where he left in 1994 to join the choir of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The church did npt know he was wanted for sexually abusing five boys who were his "patients." and that he had been sentenced to nine years in prison. St. Francis de Sales was an especially good parish for Moreno because it was the base of a young seminarian named Juan Carlos Patino-Arango (Patino-Arango affair). Moreno stayed for years, until May 2006, when he was charged with two counts of indecency with a child, two counts of assault of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Judge Belinda Hill set bail at $60,000 but in June 2006, Moreno bonded out and disappeared.

Murphy case Catholic Church choir director Stuart Murphy (1948-), pleaded guilty to five felony sexual abuse charges for sexually assaulting three brothers over the previous decade and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, 3 August 2005.

OrlandoRev. Vincent A. Orlando, Jesuit, ordained 1974, allegation in April 2002 that he had abused a young man (not a student) while he was assigned to Strake Jesuit Prep. in Houston. Taught there from 1979-2000 and had taught at Dallas Jesuit High School prior to that. Working at Jesuit High School in Tampa FL when accusation made. Immediately suspended. One instance at Strake reported in 1984 but police not informed.

Patino-Arango affair Seminarian named Juan Carlos Patino-Arango of the parish of St. Francis de Sales, was spending great amounts of time with boys. He saw them in the rectory; he picked them up at their homes and took them for drives. Those boys said he examined their pubic hair and masturbated them. And he told them not to tell. But when one of the boys finally did, in 1996, the parish leaders bought the seminarian a plane ticket back to Colombia.

Peguero affair Rev. Lawrence Peguero (1921-2000) ordained 1947, at at Our Lady of St. John Catholic Church in Houston, accused by a former Houston family that alleges four members were molested by him in the 1970s.

Peterson affair Rev. Dennis Peterson, ordained 1973, placed on leave in 1999 after accusation in 1999 civil suit of abusing youth for 10 years when youth brought to him for counseling after abuse by another person.

  1. Grand Jury Harris County Grand Jury refused to indict Peterson on charge that he sexually abused the original youth, Fall 1999.
  2. Civil lawsuit Two brothers and their sister joined in suit alleging abuse by Peterson in 1970s. Suit was dismissed due to statute of limitations, March 2000.

Ramon affair Rev. Robert C. Ramon (d. 2001), ordained 1982, accused of sexual misconduct with a minor female in 1991. Parish personnel notified immediately; Diocese conducted investigation but found no evidence. Parents requested counseling for girl which the diocese provided. Family's contact with counselor ceased within few months and family threatened litigation in February 1992.

  1. Civil lawsuit Civil litigation filed July 1993.

Schoppe affair Rev. Charles K. Schoppe, ordained 1949. In 2002, it was revealed that Schoppe was forced to resign (retire) in 1992 after diocese confirmed that he sexually abused a woman when she was a minor 30 years earlier. In June 2002 Bishop took away his privileges and told him he could no longer present himself as a priest.

  1. New allegations Brought forward in 2002 by 3 more women who say they were abused as minors.

Stavinoha case Rev. Donald Stavinoha (1943-2007), Oblate, ordained 1949, was caught by police officer having sex with a minor boy in a van at local park in Houston in 1986. Church removed privileges and sent him for therapy.

  1. Stavinoha trial Pleaded guilty of abuse of 9 year-old boy, sentenced to 10 years in 1988. Served 14 months. and then put on probation.
  2. Civil suit Filed, settled, and sealed.
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