Six Jesuit priests from Houston schools have credible allegations against them of sexual abuse of a minor, according to a list released by The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province.
The Houston priests named are:
- Jody Blanchard, SJ - Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
- Thomas J. Naughton, SJ - Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
- Vincent A. Orlando, SJ - Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
- Charles G. Coyle, SJ - Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
- Edward D. DeRussy, SJ - Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
- Austin N. Park, SJ - St. Joseph Church
The alleged abuse happened between 1960 and 1980.
Orlando, who was once the principal at Strake Jesuits, is still a member of the Jesuit Central and Southern Province. Officials say he works under restricted ministry and lives under supervision.
Coyle, Naughton and DeRussy have since died.
We couldn't confirm Blanchard's location.
Strake Jesuit said in a statement the accused priests were employed "in decades past."
"The school has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the sexual abuse of minors," the statement said. "We have comprehensive measures and policies in place to ensure a safe environment for students."
Austin Park, the St. Joseph priest, died in 2013. St. Joseph had no comment.
All of the priests on the list fall into one of three categories:
• Jesuits with one or more credible claims of sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult have been made.
• Jesuits against whom there are credible claims resulting from their work while assigned to this province.
• Jesuits whose names have been published on diocesan websites or the websites of other Jesuit provinces.
The order says including the names on the list does not imply that the allegations are true and correct or if the individual has been found guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The list was compiled after an internal review of Jesuit personnel files.
The order says no Jesuit with credible accusations currently serve in public ministry. Of the 42 individuals listed, four are still members.
• Michael O. Barry, SJ
• Charles Bartles, SJ
• Jody Blanchard, SJ
• Claude P. Boudreaux, SJ
• John Campbell, SJ
• Cornelius J. Carr, SJ (New York Province which is now part of USA Northeast Province)
• Mark A. Clark, SJ
• Francis X. Cleary SJ
• James A. Condon, SJ (Chicago Province which is now part of USA Midwest Province)
• Charles G. Coyle, SJ
• Edward D. DeRussy, SJ
• Donald Dickerson, SJ
• Burton J. Fraser, SJ (Wisconsin Province which is now part of USA Midwest Province)
• Chester E. Gaiter, SJ
• Thomas J. Hatrel, SJ
• Thomas J. Hidding, SJ
• John W. Hough, SJ
• Francis J. Kegel, SJ
• Dennis P. Kirchoff, SJ
• Bernard P. Knoth, SJ (Chicago Province which is now part of USA Midwest Province)
• Philip D. Kraus, SJ
• Francis M. Landwermeyer, SJ
• Gerhardt B. Lehmkuhl, SJ
• Alfonso Madrid, SJ (Province of Mexico)
• Eugene A. Maio, SJ
• Vincent R. Malatesta, SJ
• James L. McShane, SJ
• Edward P. Murphy, SJ
• Thomas J. Naughton, SJ (Priest of the New Orleans Province, NOT Brother Thomas Naughton of the Missouri Province)
• Patrick H. O’Liddy, SJ
• Vincent A. Orlando, SJ
• Claude L. Ory, SJ (Brother, formerly in New Orleans Province, now Maryland Province)
• Austin N. Park SJ
• J. Donald Pearce, SJ
• George M. Pieper, SJ
• Paul C. Pilgram, SJ
• Elmo J. Rogero, SJ
• Norman J. Rogge, SJ
• Anthony J. Short, SJ
• Arthur O. Verdieck, SJ
• Richard H. Witzofsky, SJ (Brother)
• Benjamin Wren, SJ
In addition to publishing the list Friday, province leaders say they have also hired an outside agency, Kinsale Management Consulting, Inc., to review nearly 3,000 personnel files of Jesuits who were members as of Jan. 1, 1955.
If that company finds any additional men with credible accusations, their names will be added to the list. A review will happen sometime in Spring 2019.
Here is the full statement from Strake Jesuit in Houston:
"Today the U.S. Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus published a list of the persons who the Province describes as “Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.” The list includes six names of Jesuits who are no longer in public ministry and were assigned to the school in decades past. With the Province, we hope this information will promote trust and healing through greater transparency.
Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our students.
Strake Jesuit actively promotes a culture of accountability and conducts training on mandatory reporting, proper boundaries and sexual abuse detection and prevention. All employees undergo criminal background checks and participate in regular safe environment training.
We join the province in urging anyone who experienced sexual abuse as a minor to report the offense to local law enforcement or child protective services."
For more information on each individual priest listed, click here.