Click & Learn
Richard Sipe & K.K. Murray
12 June 2007

The problem of foreign born or educated priests who come to the United States and subsequently abuse minors is and has been a problem for the American church. Some of the clergy coming to the US have abused prior to their service in dioceses here and also continue to abuse after they flee the US, often for their native country.

It is well documented that U.S. bishops frequently transferred Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse to various venues within their own jurisdictions after receiving allegations—a different parish, chaplaincy, or to another bishop. (Approximately 60 percent of priests were reassigned after the first report of abuse. Cf. Sipe & Murray, October 18, 2006). The hierarchy also moved accused priests across international borders to other countries where many continued to work with children and were often able to avoid scandal, evade prosecution or extradition. These transfers are one of many ways in which global Catholicism affects the abuse crisis in the United States. This is a partial working list. We are working to expand it. If any readers have additional information please contact us. has assembled documentation from news sources about specific clergy and dioceses involved in some of these maneuvers.

For an excellent discussion of the pros and cons of foreign priests serving in the US read INTERNATIONAL PRIESTS IN AMERICA, by Dean Hoge & Aniedi Okure. The Liturgical Press, 2006

See also:

FR. Nicolas Aguilar was a priest in Puebla state of Mexico where he abused boys; he then transferred to Los Angeles, where he ultimately was charged with 19 felony counts of child abuse.

FR. Arnulfo Arandia became priest in Guayaquil, Ecuador who moved to Miami, Florida, where he abused, then moved to Jackson, MS. He fled back to Ecuador after Florida abuse charges surfaced in 2002.

FR. Theodore Baquedano-Pech was a visiting priest in San Francisco from Mexcio. He abused in San Francisco but returned to Mexico and charges of abuse were never pursued.

FR. Roberto Batoon was an extern priest from Philippines working in Honolulu. Accused of abuse he fled back to Philippines.

FR. Hugh Behan a priest from Ireland worked as a priest in Jefferson City MO where he was accused of abusing a 13 year old girl (1983) and a young woman. He was defrocked in 1999.

FR. Gerardo Beltran was a priest in Sacramento where he abused. When a warrant was issued for his arrest in 1992, so he fled to Mexico where he again was an active priest.

FR. Gustavo Benson was a priest in San Bernadino Diocese accused of abuse in the late 1980’s, fled to Tijuana, Mexico where he worked as priest.

FR. John Pierre Bongila was born, raised, educated, and ordained in the D.R. of Congo. He came to San Francisco without a prior invitation from the archdiocese although he later made his presence known and was granted faculties by Archbishop Levada in 1995. Only in July 2002 did the archdiocese request a letter of "good standing" from Bongila’s bishop. As of August 2004 that letter was not in Bongila’s archdiocesan files. [The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Child and Youth Protection in their audit (10-25 to 29-04) of the archdiocese’s compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Young People chided Levada by noting that the Archdiocese "Required Action: Provide a schedule for the completion of the background investigations for employees and volunteers." ] A teen girl, also from the Congo, accused Bongila of sexual abuse. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount of money. Bongila went to St. Paul MN where he teaches in a Catholic college.

FR. Barry Bossa was a priest in Yonkers, New York who, after being accused of child abuse for the second time in 2002 (he plead guilty to a charge in 1974) fled to Rome.

FR. Jose Briceno was a priest in Phoenix who fled to Mexico after accusations of abuse.

FR. David Brusky was a priest in Reno, NV who abused there, and then fled to Africa.

FR. Michael Cashman, a native of Ireland, served in the diocese of Metuchen NJ. He was accused of sexually molesting a woman and two of her children - a teenage daughter and son. Cushman stated as recently as June 12, 2007 that he has "never admitted and absolutely denies sexually abusing anyone."

FR. Paul Cleary came from Ireland to the archdiocese of San Antonio TX. He engaged in sexual relationships with several women whom he courted when they were teenagers, but waited until they were 18 before he had sexual intercourse with them. He claimed—and Archbishop Flores backed him—that the relationships were consensual. He remained in ministry.

FR. Patrick Colleary was a priest in Phoenix who fled to Ireland after accusations of abuse.

FR. George A. Costigan a Philadelphia priest was accused of minor abuse in 1993. Costigan was sent to the Felician Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi Convent and later Puentenansa, Spain in 2002. He returned as convent chaplain in 2004 and participated in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2006.

FR. Manus Daly is a priest from Ireland who came to the Jefferson City MO diocese. He abused minors when he was on the staff of a seminary in Hannibal, MO with Anthony O’Connell. After allegation he returned to Ireland.

FR. Alexander (Alejandro) Delgado was a priest in Fall River, MA who was accused of abuse in 1997, possibly fled to Colombia.

FR. Paul M. Desilets was a priest in Boston who abused there from 1974-1984. Fled to Canada, from whence he was ultimately extradited in 2002.

FR. Enrique Diaz Jiminez ordained in Venezuala in 1977 he abused minors there before he was assigned to Queens NY diocese where he also abused. He was convicted of sexual abuse in 1991 in Queens and deported to Venezuala where he was re-assigned to priesthood and again abused. Venezuala suspended him so he fled to Columbia in 1995 and accused of abuse in Columbia. He was sentenced to house arrest for 53 months in 2002.

FR. Arwyn Diesta came to Los Angeles as extern priest from Philippines, abused one person in 1982-1983, returned to Philippines in 1988, accused in 1992.

FR. Jesús Armando Dominguez, of the San Bernardino/ San Diego diocese was accused of abuse in Perris and Coachella, California. He fled to Mexico after 59 charges of abuse were filed.

FR. Manuel Fernandez was a priest in Trenton, New Jersey who was removed from post in 2002 after being accused of molesting a teenage girl. He then moved to Diocese of Ourense, Spain.

FR. Matthew Fitzgerald is a priest from Ireland. He came to the Rockville Center NY diocese in 1970. After he abused boys there he was transferred to Palm Beach FL where he continued to abuse boys.

FR. Frank Flynn came from Ireland to the Palm Beach, FL diocese. There he is alleged had sexual intercourse with 3 women who had consulted him for counseling. He returned to Ireland where he works at a seminary.

FR. James D. Foley a Boston priest/ abused there/ sent to Calgary, Canada/ abused there/ sent back to Boston. 1968 (May 23).

FR. Robert Foley was a priest in Orange County who admitted to molesting an 8-year-old boy in 1985, he then fled to England.

FR. Ross. S. Frey was a priest in Boston who abused minors from 1973-1984. Placed on leave in 1996, he fled to Lebanon.

Rev. Lease Florival (Hati) incardinating into Chicago and sexually assaulted a parish secretary at St. Marks on North Avenue (2000-2001). Whereabouts unknown.

FR. Lucas Galvan was a priest in Pueblo Diocese of Colorado who abused there and then fled to Argentina. Ultimately became active priest in Mexico.

FR. Cristobal Garcia admitted to having sex with two altar boys while a priest in Los Angeles in 1986. He fled to the Philippines, where he was ultimately promoted to monsignor.

FR. Francisco Javier Garcia came to Sacramento from Mexico; he fled again to Mexico after being accused of abuse in 1995.

FR. Wladylsaw Gorak.  He was ordained in Poland and then transferred to Archdiocese of Newark where he sexually assaulted several adult women, including church employees. (I HAVE AN INTERNAL CHURCH MEMO TO CONFIRM THIS)  He was then transferred due to "health reasons" to Diocese Orlando where he sexually assaulted a female parishioner in Lakeland, Florida. He pled guilty to this offense in 2007.  I have no information about his history in Poland.  Gorak changed his name in approximately 2005 to Walter Fisher.  (SEE Lakeland Ledger Articles } -- contributed by Adam Horowitz

FR. Javier Gutierrez was a priest in Alaska who fled to Mexico after allegations of abuse in 1988.

FR. Joseph Henn was a priest in Phoenix; he fled to Rome after 13 charges of molestation were lodged against him in 2004.

FR. Juan Francisco Hinojos was a priest in Chicago accused of abusing minors there. He fled to Mexico.

Rev. Mr. Francisco (Paco) Henojosea --was a transitional Deacon 1992 -- and never ordained to priesthood -- He fled prior to trial back to Mexico.

FR. John Huels was a priest in Chicago when accused of abuse in 1994, went to Canada where he taught graduate courses in canon law.

FR. Tilak A. Jayawardene came to Los Angeles from Sri Lanka in 1987, indicted for abuse in 1991, fled to Sri Lanka before arrest.

FR. Thomas Kane accused of minor abuse in Worcester, MA in 1993. He fled to Mexico, where he was working as a teacher in 2002.

FR. Austin Peter Keegan was also a priest in Santa Rosa, California who fled to Mexico in 2002 after being indicted on charges of abuse.

FR. Patrick M. Kelley was visiting priest from Ireland in Los Angeles. Accused of abuse in 1991, fled to Ireland before arrest, never returned to United States.

FR. Michael Kenny came from Ireland to San Antonio TX. He admitted that while working there he had intercourse with six women and was sexually intimate with four others. When one woman testified that she was seduced as a teenager he fled to Ireland.

FR. Frank Klep was a priest in Australia who transferred to a diocese in Samoa after accusations of abuse in 1988.

FR. Lah, an extern priest, was accused of abuse in San Diego and fled to Mexico.

FR. Thomas R. Marshall was charged with 20 counts of abuse between 1959-1963 while a priest in Los Angeles. He fled to Canada.

FR. Richard Mataconis was a priest in New York who fled to Rome after two men accused him of abusing them in the 1970s.

FR. Leonardo Mateo was a visiting priest from the Philippines in Los Angeles. Accused of abuse in 1983, 1991, 2003 he ultimately fled to Philippines where he died in 2004.

FR. Edward McLoughlin trained in Ireland and served in Venice, FL. Confronted with allegations of abusing boys he fled to Ireland.

FR. Thomas McNamara served in the Jacksonville diocese where he abused teenage boys. He returned to Ireland and continued to abuse minors.

FR. Anthony Mercieca a priest from Brazil served in several parishes in the Archdiocese of Miami FL. In 2006 a member of the US congress, Mark Foley, and one other adult man accused the priest of sexual abuse when they were teenagers. Mercieca had already retired to Malta.

FR. Antonio Munoz was a priest in Stockton who was forced to return to Mexico after allegations of abuse.

FR. Anthony Muthu Hilary was sent from India to Manchester NH diocese in 1995 with history of alcoholism and abuse of women. He sexually assaulted a woman in Manchester during her confession. He was sent back to India where he works at a technical college.

FR. Xavier Ochoa was a priest of the Santa Rosa diocese, Sonoma County, California who was accused of abuse in 2006 and fled to Mexico.

Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell was born and trained in Ireland and Kennrick, MO seminary after he was turned down as a candidate by 36 dioceses and religious orders. He was consecrated a bishop for Jefferson City MO and later served in Palm Beach FL. He was accused of abusing (5 plus) boys when he was a spiritual director in a Hannibal MO seminary. He continued sexual contact with some of his victims even as a bishop and paid them significant amounts of money. A priest and former victim of O’Connell, Fr. Dixon finally reported O’Connell who has never been criminally or civilly prosecuted because of the restriction of the statute of limitations. He is retired in a Trappist monastery, but travels frequently to Ireland.

FR. Liam O’Doherty trained in Ireland for the Ogdensburg NY diocese where he was accused of molesting over 20 girls and 2 women in two decades. He returned to Ireland.

FR. Oliver Francis O’Grady was accused of abuse in Stockton, California, served seven years in prison, and ultimately fled to Ireland.

FR. Patrick O'Keeffe was accused of abuse when he was a priest in San Bernardino. He fled to Ireland after being criminally charged in 2002 and Ireland won't extradite him.

FR. James O’Malley trained in Ireland for the Spokane WA diocese. He abused at least 15 boys there between the late 1950s and 1989 when he returned to Ireland.

FR. Emmanuel Omemaga was a priest in San Diego who fled to the Philippines after being accused of abuse in 1993

FR. Mario Pezzotti was a priest in Boston that settled an abuse case in 1993. Fled to Brazil.

FR. Costellano Jose Pinal was a priest in Sacramento who fled to Mexico after being accused of abuse

FR. John Steven Rabideau, OMV abused minor relatives in Detroit; accused of abuse in 1998, but subsequently served in foreign countries. He was an active priest in Philippines in 2004; caught in South America in 2006 trying to enter Colombia. Convicted & in prison in Michigan.

FR. Eleuterio Ramos was a priest in Orange County who abused in the 1980s, fled to Tijuana, Mexico where he worked as priest until mid-1990s.

FR. Robert Reiss abused teen boys in Dubuque IA archdiocese in the 1970s. Defrocked in 1997 he moved to Mexico.

FR. Andrew Ronan admitted that he abused boys in Ireland prior to serving in the archdiocese of Portland OR. He abused more boys there and in Chicago.

FR. Efrain Roso a priest of Bogotá, Columbia abused minors there and was sent to Los Angeles (1967-1969) where he continued to abuse. He fled to Columbia where he again abused minors.

Monsignor Ivan Rovira was accused and admitted to raping boy in Brownsville, Texas. He then fled to Mexico, where he took job at a Catholic university.

FR. Jorge Hume Salas was born in Costa Rica. Although he had been a sometime seminary student when bishop G. Patrick Ziemann met him he was not ordained when the bishop brought him from Honduras to the Santa Rosa CA diocese. There the bishop saw to his education and ordained him in 1992 for his diocese. Fr. Hume complained that several men had approached him for sex. He later sued bishop Ziemann for having sexual relations with him on countless occasions. The diocese made a settlement of 435 K with Hume who fled to Honduras taking his lawyers fee with him. Bishop Ziemann retired to a desert monastery is Arizona, but he has been seen on many occasions at gay parties in Tucson.

Fr. Juan Sanches (Ordained 1993 Chicago associate pastor) born in Ecuador. He admitted to intoxicating and raping a passed-out male (adult) with the aid of his pastor who witnessed and partook. Whereabouts unknown. I do believe these men were temporarily removed from ministry.

FR. Augustine Sheehan was ordained in Ireland and ten years later came to serve in the Rockville Center, NY diocese. A former nun, also Irish, claimed that he had raped her. She had a D&C to prevent pregnancy. Sheehan said they "may have had sex another night after a wild party," but he didn't remember. He was placed on administrative leave.

FR. Fidencio Silva was a Los Angeles Archdiocesan priest in Oxnard, California who abused boys in the early 80’s / Fled to Mexico, where he was an active priest in 2002.

FR. Michael Simpson came to Spokane WA from Ireland. He abused at least 8 nine-year-old girls who he digitally raped. He returned to Ireland.

FR. Brendan Smyth, O Praem. Abused in Ireland and Scotland before he was sent to Fargo North Dakota where he abused and returned to Ireland where he abused in the North and South of Ireland. He was imprisoned after his scandal brought down the Irish government of Albert Reynolds in 1994.

FR. Adrzej Sujka was a priest in Boston who admitted to abuse there. Sujka was sent back to Poland after allegation.

FR. Santiago L. Tamayo ordained in Philippines, moved to Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1968, accused of abuse in 1984, fled to Philippines

Rev. Albert Tanghil (Filipino Priest) ordained in Chicago in 1992. Fled back to his country after a combination financial/sex scandal.

FR. Carl D. Tesler was priest in Los Angeles accused of abuse in 1988, fled to Peru where he was still active priest as of 3/05

FR. Esteban Trujillo was a priest of San Bernadino accused of abuse and fled to Mexico.

FR.Valentine Tugade was priest in Los Angeles California who fled to Philippines after accusation of abuse in 1984. He was proved to be father of child born from abuse.

FR. James Tulley was a priest in Milwaukee who fled to Rome after accusations of abuse.

FR. Luis Urbina was a priest in Sacramento, California who pled guilty to abusing a boy but fled to Navojoa, Mexico before he could be sentenced.

FR. Enrique Vasquez fled criminal accusations in Costa Rica in 1988 to serve as a priest in New York, Hartford, Conn., and Mexico, and then was sent to Honduras.

FR. John Velez was a visiting priest who abused in Salinas, Arizona - part of the Tucson diocese. He fled to Mexico in 1991 and church claims his whereabouts were unknown as of 2003.

FR. Henry Xavier Vetter was priest of Los Angeles accused of abuse in 1960s and 1970s, fled to Mexico.

FR. Ron Voss Eight men in Lafayette, Louisiana accused him of abuse when they were minors. He received treatment for being a sexual offender and then fled to Haiti in 1988, where he continued with mission work.

FR. Siegfried F. Widera was a priest in Milwaukee where he was convicted of sexual misconduct in 1973. He then moved to Orange County and abused there from 1976 to 1985, he then fled to Mexico where he was working as a priest.

Partial List

US Dioceses

International Locales



Africa (2)

Boston (5)

Orange (3)



Palm Beach (2)


Chicago (4)


Canada (3)


Phoenix (3)

Columbia (2)




Fall River

Pueblo, CO







Honduras (2)


Rockville Center (2)



Sacramento (4)

Ireland (19)


St. Paul/Minneapolis


Jefferson City (2)

San Antonio (3)

Mexico (23)

Lafayette, LA

San Bernardino (3)


Los Angeles (13)

San Diego (3)



San Francisco (2)

Philippines (7)


Santa Rosa (2)

Rome (3)


Spokane (2)

Spain (2)

Milwaukee (3)

Stockton (2)


New York (2)


Sir Lanka

New Haven



Worcester Yonkers Venice

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