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Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston releases names of 31 accused priests

Crimes and Courts

Catholic dioceses across the country are coming clean after yet another abuse scandal has rocked the Church.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has gone public as well, as they have released the names of 31 priests with credible accusations against them of abuse.

“We hope the release of this list,” said Archbishop William E. Lori, Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, “will be one of many steps taken to restore trust with parishioners and the broader community in West Virginia. We hope people see the release of this list as a sign of good faith that the diocese is committed to transparency, accountability and to providing a safe environment for children and adults.”

The list released by the Diocese dates back to the 1950s. In its review, the Diocese says that they reviewed more than 2,000 files of about 800 priests, which in total contained tens of thousands of documents.

The list is split into two separate parts: those who were accused during their time with the Diocese, and those who spent time with the diocese but were accused elsewhere.

They also further break down the information to list where and when a priest served the Diocese, the date of any incidents, when they were reported and the current status of the priests named. 

According to the Diocese, a “credible” accusation means that there is reasonable cause to believe that the alleged abuse occurred. Any accusations in which were found by law enforcement, civil, lay and church officials to not be supported by evidence were not included.

“This list undoubtedly reveals the failings of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to fully protect young people within the Church,” Archbishop Lori said. “Rightly, many have a cause for anger and pain. I offer my sincerest apologies to all victims of sexual abuse and vow to strive to take proper action to ensure the safety of children and others in our care.”

The Diocese has also created a Sexual Abuse Hotline for anyone wishing to report a case of sexual abuse by anyone involved in the Church. That number is 1 (833) 230-5656. 

Officials say they will continue to look in to allegations and update this list if any new cases are reported. 

“If we could go back into time, and if we knew what we did today relative to treatment, to prevention, to uh not moving a priest and to nip all this in the bud early on, certainly we would do that,” said Bryan Minor, the Diocese’s delegate for administrative affairs. “We failed to protect children, and we have to be held accountable for that.”

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LIST OF CLERGY WHO WERE CREDIBLY ACCUSED WHILE SERVING IN DWC – 1950 TO PRESENT

1. Rev. Carl E. Bauer, Jr. Parkersburg – St. Margaret Mary 06/1963 – 06/1966; Parkersburg Catholic High School – Principal 06/1966 – 06/1969; Wheeling – Seminary House of Studies 06/1969 – 07/1974; Wheeling – Our Lady of Peace 07/1974 –09/1985; Star City – St. Mary 09/1985 – 06/2002; Pursglove – St. Ursula 09/1985 – 02/1994. 1969 or 1970. Victim reported to DWC in 2004. Inappropriate touching of a minor. Retired from active ministry in 2002. Died in 2015.

2. Rev. Eugene R. Bowski, MSsA Franklin, WV – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton 06/1980 –03/25/1982 (1) 1982; (2) Unknown. 03/25/82; 2014. Abuse of a minor. Abuse of minors in Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico. Faculties withdrawn in Diocese of Gallup in 2014.

3. Rev. Lawrence (Larry) D. Brown Weirton – St. Paul 05/1970 – 12/1971; Wheeling – St. Joseph Cathedral 12/1971 – 06/1977; Wheeling – WV Northern Community College – Chaplain 08/1972 – 06/1977; Salem – Sacred Heart 06/1977 – 06/1982; West Union – St. Patrick 06/1977 –0 6/1982; (1) 1972; (2) 1982 or 1983. 2002 or 2003; 10/26/2018. Abuse of a minor. Abuse of a minor. Faculties revoked 06/1985. Died 12/03/1993. {P0280074.1} 2 Salem – Salem College – Chaplain 06/1977 – 06/1982; St. Albans – St. Francis of Assisi 06/1982 – 05/1984; Leave of absence 05/1984 – 01/1985; Parkersburg – St. Margaret Mary 01/1985 – 04/1985.

4. Rev. William Carr Princeton – Sacred Heart 03/1941 – 12/1948; Clarksburg – St. John the Baptist 03/1950 (2 weeks); Parkersburg – St. Francis 1950 (3 weeks); St. Clara – St. Clare 04/1950 – 04/1953; St. Clara – St. Clare 04/1953 – 05/1963; Bluefield – Sacred Heart 05/1963 – 08/1971. Between 1950- 1956. 2002. Abuse of a minor. Retired 08/17/1971. Died 12/19/1984.

5. Rev. James Joseph Chetock Parkersburg – St. Margaret Mary 11/1993 – 01/1995; Weirton – St. Joseph the Worker 01/1995 –0 6/1997; Charles Town – St. James 06/1997 – 01/1998; Fort Ashby – Annunciation of Our Lord 01/1998 – 06/2002; Ridgeley – St. Anthony 01/1998 – 06/2002; (1) 1978-1979; (2) 2005. 2018; 2005 (Non-Credible Complaint). Abuse of a minor before ordination as a priest. Behavior related. Faculties suspended and voluntarily left ministry in July, 2005. {P0280074.1} 3 Vienna – St. Michael 06/2002 – 06/2005; Leave of absence 06/2005 – 08/2005.

6. Rev. Patrick Anthony Condron Moundsville – St. Francis Xavier 07/1976 – 10/1977; Parkersburg – St. Francis Xavier 10/1977 – 08/1980; Vienna – St. Joseph Prep Seminary 08/1980 – 06/1987; Bethany College – Chaplain 06/1987 – 06/1992; West Liberty State College – Chaplain 06/1988 – 06/1992; Morgantown – St. Theresa 06/1992 – 06/1994; Wheeling – St. Alphonsus 06/1994 – 01/1995; Wheeling – St. Mary 06/1994 – 01/1995; Leave of absence 01/1995 – 08/1995; Graduate Studies – Catholic University 08/1995 – 06/1997; Wheeling – St. Alphonsus 06/1997 – 03/2005; Wheeling – Diocesan Tribunal 09/1997 – 02/1998; Wheeling – Catholic Elementary School – Pastor 09/1998 – 11/2001; 1983-1987. 07/05/1995. Abuse of a minor. Faculties restricted on 03/22/2005; faculties suspended on 01/19/2006. Laicized in 2012. {P0280074.1} 4 In residence Paul VI Pastoral Center 03/2005 – 03/2006.

7. Rev. Victor Frobas St. Albans – St. Francis of Assisi 07/1965 – 06/1966; Wheeling – Corpus Christi 06/1966 – 05/1967; Huntington – Our Lady of Fatima 05/1967 – 10/1967; Fairmont – St. Peter 10/1967 – 06/1968; Wheeling – St. Joseph Cathedral 06/1968 – 11/1970; Wheeling – Catholic Committee on Scouting – Chaplain 1969; Wellsburg – St. John the Evangelist 11/1970 – 02/1972; Wheeling – Diocesan Director of Scouting 1971; Huttonsville – St. John Bosco 02/1972 – 01/1976; Huttonsville – Camp Tygart – Director 02/1972 – 01/1976; Leave of absence 01/1976 – 10/1976; Wheeling – Mount St. Joseph – Chaplain 10/1976 – 10/1977; Wheeling Central Catholic High School – Chaplain 08/1977 – 10/1977; (1) 1959; (2) 1962; (3) 1970s; (4) Between 1972-1976; (5) 1974; (6) 1975; (7) 1975 or 1976; (8) 1976-1977; (9) 1977; (10) Approx. 1977; (11) 1979; (12) 1980; (13) 1980s; Reported to DWC 02/03/1996 (NonDWC ComplaintPhiladelphia, PA). 03/21/1964 (Non-DWC ComplaintPhiladelphia, PA). 09/2011 to 02/2018 (DWC Complaint) (Non-Credible). 05/15/2002 (DWC Complaint) (Non-Credible). 07/30/2010 (DWC Complaint). 02/27/2004 (DWC Complaint). (Non-Credible) 05/03/2016 (DWC Complaint). (Undetermined) 09/1993 (DWC Complaint). Approx. 01/07/1993 (Non-DWC ComplaintMassachusetts). 01/1995 (DWC Complaint). Approx. 10/07/1992 and again approx. 2004 (DWC Complaint). 07/24/1980 (Non-DWC ComplaintMassachusetts). 2014 (Non-DWC Complaint-Missouri). Multiple claims of abuse of a minor. The Diocese of WheelingCharleston suspended Fr. Frobas and his faculties at DWC were revoked on 01/27/1987. A 12/22/1987, St. Louis Post Dispatch article indicated that Fr. Frobas, at the age of 49, was indicted for inappropriate contact with minors (2). He eventually pled guilty and entered a plea agreement for five years in prison which translated to approximately 18 months and probation. Died on 07/11/1993. {P0280074.1} 5 Moundsville – St. Francis Xavier 10/1977 – 02/1978; Leave of absence 02/1978 – 1980; Weirton – St. Paul 1980 – 07/1982; Wheeling – Chancery 07/1982 – 10/1982; Farmington – St. Peter 10/1982 – 12/1982; Fairmont – Immaculate Conception 12/1982 – 06/1983; Leave of absence 06/1983 – 07/1993. (14) 1981; (15) 1984-1985; (16) Approx. 1986-1987; (17) Unknown. 07/27/1983 (Anonymous Claim – Location of Complaint Unknown) (Non-Credible). 01/1987 (Non-DWC Complaint-Missouri). 02/04/1987 (NonDWC ComplaintMissouri). Approximately 01/12/1993 (DWC Complaint) (Non-Credible).

8. Bro. Rogers Hannan, S.V.D. Welch – St. Peters 2001 – 2012; War – Christ the King Parish 2004 – 2012. 2012. 08/23/2012 (Chicago Province of the Society of the Divine Word). Solicitation of a minor. Matter was reported to DHHR in McDowell County on 08/24/2012. He withdrew from the Society in 10/2012. Matter was referred to the Prosecutor’s Office and in 2014, he was convicted and sentenced to 2- 10 years in jail in McDowell County, WV.

9. Rev. Patrick J. MacSweeney Follansbee – St. Anthony 03/08/1955 – 03/26/1955; Charleston – St. Agnes 03/1955 – 10/1962; Weston – St. Patrick 10/1962 – 06/1963; Shinnston – St. Anne 06/1963. (1) 1960s; exact date unknown; (2) 1961. 03/2010; 03/14/2006. Abuse of a minor. Died 06/16/1967. {P0280074.1} 6

10. Rev. Charles E. McCallister Fairmont – Immaculate Conception 05/1971 – 08/1971; Clarksburg – Immaculate Conception 08/1971 – 05/1972; Wheeling – Chancery 05/1972 – 09/1972; Washington, D.C. – Catholic University – student 09/1972 – 05/1973; Wheeling – Chancery 1973 – 1994; Leave of absence 08/1994 – 06/1995; Wheeling – Paul XI Pastoral Center 08/1994 – 12/1998; Clarksburg – Immaculate Conception 10/2003. Between 2002- 2006. 03/02/2007. Abuse of a minor. Reported to the civil authorities. Faculties suspended by the Diocese. Died on 10/13/2007, during the investigation.

11. Rev. Felix Owino Wheeling Jesuit University 2008 – 2010; Weirton – St. Paul Parish 06/2009 – 07/2010. (1) 2010; (2) 2010. 07/05/2010; 07/2010. Inappropriate touching of an adult. Abuse of a minor in Virginia. Removed from ministry on 07/12/2010, by DWC. He pled guilty to the charge in Fairfax County Circuit Court and was deported back to Africa.

12. Rev. David A. Pichette Center Point – Nazareth Farm 06/1979 – 09/1988. 1981. 06/10/2003 Victim report to Syracuse and Syracuse reported to DWC. Abuse of a minor. Departed DWC 09/1988 and Syracuse in 1994. {P0280074.1} 7

13. Rev. Robert J. Rooney Wheeling – St. Joseph Cathedral 06/1954 – 09/1954; White Sulphur Springs – St. Charles Borromeo 09/1954 – 12/1954; Ronceverte – St. Catherine 09/1954 – 12/1954; Huntington – St. Joseph 12/1954 – 12/1959; Chester – Sacred Heart 12/1959 – 08/1960; Beckley – St. Francis de Sales 08/1960 – 12/1960; Military Ordinariate – 02/1961 – 09/1961; Coalton – St. Patrick 1961 – 1963; Leave of Absence – 1963 – 1975; War – Christ the King 1975 – 1976; Camden – St. Boniface 1976 – 1977; Leave of absence starting 09/16/1977. (1) 1962; (2) 1964-1967 (while on leave from DWC). 06/13/1962; 04/27/2010. Abuse of a minor. Abuse of a minor claim in New Jersey. Investigated by Diocese of New Jersey and Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey. Died 07/16/1994.

14. Rev. Francis Roscetti, OFM Cap. Ridgeley – St. Anthony 1967 – 1972 – (Diocese of Richmond during that timeframe). 1967-1972. 05/07/2015. Abuse of a minor. Died in 1991. {P0280074.1} 8

15. Rev Richard Schaefer Huntington – St. Joseph 09/1962 – 06/1963; Fairmont – St. Peter 06/1963 – 06/1966; Fairmont – Newman Club – Chaplain 06/1965 – 06/1966; Point Pleasant – Sacred Heart 06/1966 – 08/1966; Wheeling Hospital – Chaplain 08/1966 – 05/1967; Rowlesburg – St. Philomena 05/1967 – 08/1971; Dunbar – Christ the King 08/1971 – 08/1976; Sistersville – Holy Rosary 08/1976 – 07/1981; Paden City – Mater Dolorosa 07/1981 – 04/1986; Middlebourne – St. Lawrence 07/1981 – 04/1986; Sistersville – Holy Rosary 09/1984 – 04/1986. (1) 1967-1969; (2) 1970-1971; (3) 1970-1971; (4) 1972-1974; (5) 1976-1977; (6) Mid to late 1970s as asserted by his counsel; (7) Mid to late 1970s as asserted by his counsel. 09/15/1995; 03/09/2001; 04/20/2001; 05/18/2002; 03/13/1986; 01/22/2008; 01/22/2008. Multiple claims of abuse of a minor. His faculties were suspended 04/10/1986. Died 04/10/1998.

16. Rev. Paul J. Schwarten Weston – St. Patrick 05/1943 – 09/50; Ronceverte – St. Catherine 1950; White Sulphur Springs – St. Charles Borromeo 09/1950 – 05/1951; Leave of absence 05/01/1951 – 09/1964; (1) 1951; (2) 1960; (3) 1975 or 1976. 1951 (DWC Complaint); 1960 (Non-DWC ComplaintNebraska); 1981 (DWC Complaint). Abuse of a minor. Arrested for inappropriate touching of a minor in Nebraska. Abuse of a minor. Served 18 months in prison. Died 12/05/1995. {P0280074.1} 9 Fairmont – St. Peter 09/1964 – 12/1965; Leave of absence 12/1965 – 02/1967; Moundsville – St. Francis Xavier 02/1967 – 04/1969; Sistersville – Holy Rosary 04/1969 – 07/1981; St. Marys – St. John 1972 – 06/1981; Logan – Our Lady of Mount Carmel 07/1981 – 06/1987; Retired 06/24/1987.

17. Rev. Charles Tague, S.T. Wheeling – St. Joan of Arc 07/1964 – 09/1985. Occurred between 1979 and 1985. 02/12/1986. Abuse of a minor. Incident was reported to WVDHHR. He departed DWC on 09/20/1985. Died 06/03/2003.

18. Rev. Stanley Tuchalski Weirton – St. Paul 06/1990 – 06/1993; Westover – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton 06/1993 – 01/1998; Pursglove – St. Ursula 02/1994 – 01/1998; Fairmont – St. Peter 01/1998 – 01/2000; Leave of absence 01/2000 – 08/2000; Catholic University 08/2000 – 07/2002. 1998. 01/2000. Inappropriate touching of a minor. Faculties suspended 07/2002.

CLERGY WHO SERVED IN DWC FOR WHOM NO COMPLAINTS WERE RECEIVED BUT WERE CREDIBLY ACCUSED ELSEWHERE

1. Rev. Franklyn W. Becker Huntington – Marshall University Catholic Community-Chaplain 01/1975 – 08/1976; Huntington – St. Joseph 01/10/1975 – 08/1/1976. Multiple incidents reported to Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1970 – 2002. Reported to Archdiocese of Milwaukee; not reported to DWC. No reported abuse in DWC. Abuse of minors in Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Departed DWC 08/01/1976. Dismissed from clerical state – 11/2004.

2. Rev. James Biene Huntington – St. Joseph Central High School – Teacher 1979 – 1981; Huntington – Sacred Heart – In Residence 03/1981 – 10/1981. 1964 – 1978; 2000 – 2003 In Archdiocese of St. Louis. Not reported to DWC. No reported abuse in DWC. Arrested for sexual misconduct in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2002; conviction later overturned. Departed DWC 10/1981. Dismissed from clerical state – 03/2005.

3. Rev. Louis Bonacci, S.J. Wheeling Jesuit University – Campus Ministry 06/1999 – 2003. 1978-1982 In Archdiocese of Baltimore. Victim reported to DWC 04/2011. No reported abuse in DWC. Abuse of a minor in Maryland. Departed DWC 2003. Permanently removed from ministry 06/2011.

4. Rev. Martin D. Brady, T.O.R. Fort Ashby – Annunciation of Our Lord; 06/1986 – 05/1990; Ridgeley – St. Anthony 06/1986 – 05/1990; Stonewood – Our Lady of Perpetual Help 05/1990 – 06/1997. 1976 – 1980 In Diocese of Altoona – Johnstown and Diocese of Richmond. Victim reported to non-DWC Diocese in 2002. No reported abuse in DWC. Abuse of minors in Altoona-Johnstown, PA. Named in 2016 Grand Jury Report in the Diocese of Altoona Johnstown, PA. Departed DWC 06/1997. Died 03/19/2003.

5. Rev. Charles Demblowski Middlebourne – St. Lawrence 1985-1986. Unknown In Diocese of Pittsburgh. Reported to Diocese of Pittsburgh 2004. No reported abuse in DWC. Abuse of a minor allegation in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Died 08/04/1989.

6. Rev. Phillip Gage, S.M. Wheeling – St. Vincent de Paul 1979-1981. 1989. Reported to DWC 05/16/1995. No reported abuse in DWC. Abuse of a minor in Atlanta, GA. Departed DWC 07/1981. {P0280125.1} 2

7. Rev. Gerard J. Guli Huntington – Our Lady of Fatima 06/1963 – 01/1964; Huntington – St. Joseph 01/1964 – 06/1965; Sistersville – Holy Rosary 06/1965 – 08/1966; Fairmont – St. Peter 08/1966 – 10/1967. ca. 1960 In Diocese of Rochester. Reported to Diocese of Rochester 1963. No reported abuse in DWC. Abuse incidents involving adults in the Diocese of Rochester, NY. Departed DWC 10/1967. Laicized by the Diocese of Rochester.

8. Rev. Reginald Krakovsky, T.O.R. Romney – Our Lady of Grace 09/1991 – 04/1992. 1963 – 1964 In Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown. Not reported to DWC. No reported abuse in DWC. Named in 2016 Grand Jury Report in the Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown, PA. Departed DWC 04/1992. Died 07/14/1997.

9. Rev. Raymond Lukac Clarksburg – Immaculate Conception 01/1964 – 08/1966; Clarksburg – Veterans Administration Hospital – Chaplain 01/1964 – 08/1966; Wheeling – St. Joseph Cathedral 08/1966 – 01/1967. (1) 1954 In Diocese of Greensburg. (2) 1964. Reported to Diocese of Greensburg in 1954. Reported to DWC 2018. Abuse allegation in the PA Grand Jury Report in the Diocese of Greensburg, PA. Non-credible abuse claim. Departed DWC 01/1967. Died 06/04/2000.

10. Rev. Francis McCaa Martinsburg – Veterans Administration Hospital – Chaplain 03/1986 – 1992. 1961 – 1985 In Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown. Not reported to DWC. No reported abuse in DWC. Abuse of a minor Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown, PA. Retired without faculties. Departed DWC 1992.

11. Rev. Robert Poandl, G.H.M. No assignment. 1991. Reported to Glenmary 06/09/2009. No reported abuse in DWC. Glenmary Home Missioners – Cincinnati, OH. On 11/13/2012, Fr. Poandl was arrested for federal charge of transporting a minor across state lines with intent to engage in sexual activity. Currently serving 7-1/2 years in federal prison; sentenced on 02/12/2014.

12. Rev. Raymond Waldruff, T.O.R. Camden – St. Boniface 02/1972 – 07/1976; St. Clara – St. Clare 02/1972 – 07/1976; Fink – Holy Name of Mary 02/1972 – 07/1976. 1964;1968 In Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown. Grand Jury Report indicates Order became aware of allegations in 1977. Victim reported to the Order in 1977. No reported abuse in DWC. Named in 2016 Grand Jury Report in the Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown, PA. Departed DWC 07/1976. Dismissed from the Order – 1983. Died 03/25/1985. {P0280125.1} 3

13. Rev. Adalbert Wolski, T.O.R. Romney – Our Lady of Grace 05/1990 – 09/1991; Moorefield – Epiphany of the Lord 01/1991 – 07/1991. 1964 In Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown. Reported to DWC 09/26/1991. No reported abuse in DWC. Named in 2016 Grand Jury Report in the Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown, PA. Departed DWC 09/1991. Died 01/03/2012.

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SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused By Priests also released a statement after the information was made public by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. 

Their statement read in part: 

“We appreciate this move by church officials in West Virginia, especially for including the names of priests who served in West Virginia but were accused of abuse in dioceses outside Wheeling-Charleston. However, we cannot help but note the omission of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, who has been accused of abusing at least one minor and resigned in September over allegations that he had sexually harassed a number of adults.

The omission of Bishop Bransfield has us wondering what other claims were deemed by the diocese to not be “credible.” Only independent law enforcement professionals can truly determine when an allegation is “credible” or not, especially given that we have seen church officials deem accusations not credible only to be proven horribly wrong later.

For that reason, if Archbishop Lori is confident in the veracity of his list, we believe he should urge an independent investigation into the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey that has full access to diocesan records and would do a full review of all personnel files and abuse records.”

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