Seattle Archdiocese Names Priests Who Abused Kids | KUOW News and Information

Seattle Archdiocese Names Priests Who Abused Kids

Jan 15, 2016

The Archdiocese of Seattle on Friday named 77 Catholic clergy or religious order members accused of sexually abusing minors.

Those on the list served or lived in Western Washington between 1923 and 2008, the archdiocese said in a statement. The list includes names of priests that haven’t been disclosed publicly before.  

(Click here to see the list.)

The statement said those on the list "have allegations that are either admitted, established or determined to be credible."

At least 40 of them were listed as deceased, although 14 were listed with unknown status. Most of the rest were “laicized,” according to the archdiocese list. 

“I express my deepest apologies for the actions of those who were in positions of trust and who violated that sacred trust by abusing the vulnerable,” Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain wrote in a letter.

He said the list was part of the archdiocese’s effort at accountability, and he thanked victims for coming forward. 

Seattle Archdiocese priests whose names haven’t been shared publicly:

Lawrence Low, who last worked at St. Alphonsus in 1987;

Jerome Dooley, St. Philomena, 1993;

Michael Hays, St. Philomena, 1989;

Theodor Marmo, St. John Vianney, 1992;

William O’Brien, All Saints, 1970;

Thomas Pitsch, St. Margaret, Seattle, 1978;

William Quick, St. Francis, 1968;

Leo Racine, St. Luke, 1988;

Stohr, Richard, Jail & Prison Ministry, 1988.

The archdiocese has paid tens of millions of dollars to settle allegations involving hundreds of victims.

Last year, the archdiocese reached a $1.2 million settlement with a Sedro-Woolley woman who accused one of the priests on the list of sexually abusing her as a child in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Michael Cody served at Sacred Heart in La Conner 1968-1970 and at St. Charles in Burlington 1970-1972, according to the archdiocese list. Before that he served at St. Edward’s Seminary in Kenmore and in parishes in Shoreline, Seattle and Auburn.

The church knew of accusations against Cody as early as 1962. In a March 19, 1962, letter to Thomas Connelly, the archbishop then, a psychiatrist said Cody had admitted to molesting eight girls age 12 or under and described him as exhibiting “sadistic tendencies toward boys.” Cody spent time in treatment, then returned to the archdiocese, where others within the church expressed concern as he moved from parish to parish, according to documents.

A section from a Seattle psychiatrist's letter in 1962 to Archbishop Connelly. The psychiatrist goes on to recommend the removal of Cody immediately. Cody was not removed -- he went on to serve at five more parishes and Saint James Cathedral in Seattle.
Credit Bishop Accountability

In 1988, Cody admitted to abusing 20-40 girls and one boy, according to a psychological evaluation. But he remained in the clergy until he was dismissed in 2005. He is listed as deceased.

Of Seattle Archdiocese priests on the list, more than half were removed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That happened after Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen examined all priest personnel files.

In 1985, Hunthausen asked the King County Prosecutor’s Office to investigate a priest for criminal charges.

Author John A. McCoy wrote that after that, Hunthausen "dug into other priest personnel files with 'new eyes,' turning over those that raised concerns to the state attorney general’s office for review."

"While no priests were prosecuted as a result of the review," McCoy wrote, "the archbishop forced several into early retirement and barred them from further ministry. 

But some allegations of abuse weren’t reported – and the priests stayed on. Hunthausen would later be accused of burying information about predatory priests.  

In the case of Harold Quigg, a priest at St. Bridget’s Parish in Seattle’s tony Laurelhurst neighborhood, the archdiocese knew a full decade about criminal behavior before telling parishioners. Quigg allegedly had a relationship with a teenager. 

They may never have known, had Quigg’s name not surfaced on SNAP, a website that tracks clergy abuse.

In 2014, Oliver Duggan, a priest at Assumption in Seattle, wrote to parishioners, “I had heard indirectly some of Harry’s story but was not free to speak about it because of his privacy and he never discussed it with me. I pray that when people have time to reflect on the situation they will have compassion on him and consider some of the good things he has done.”

Assumption is the sister school to St. Bridget’s; the two parishes share a school, Assumption-St. Bridget, or ASB. 

Many of the priests on the list have died, and some have been defrocked. But a small number have received something called “permanent prayer and penance.” Prayer and penance is a step above being defrocked, and priests are kept under close watch.