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Catholic Diocese of Cleveland adds 22 names to list of clergy accused of sexual abuse

Posted: 2:22 PM, Jun 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-21 23:14:25-04
Catholic Diocese in Ohio releases names of clergy accused of sexual abuse

CLEVELAND — The Dioceses of Cleveland released an updated list Friday afternoon comprised of individuals against whom there are substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a child.

According to Cleveland church officials, the named persons on the list have been placed there based on available evidence “that the allegations were more likely than not to be true.”

Church officials said that they have reviewed “all known allegations regardless of how old the allegations were or whether the cleric was alive or deceased.”

The Diocese of Cleveland stated it has been publishing the names of clerics removed from service due to such allegations on its website since 2002. Some of the names on the website were removed when the accused individual died, but the names have since been placed back on the list.

“While the updating of this information is certainly an occasion of profound sadness, inasmuch as it reminds us of the great harm experienced as a result of sexual abuse, may it also be an occasion for healing and a step towards restoring trust in the Church,” the Dioceses of Cleveland said in a statement.

Bishop Nelson Perez told News 5 the updated list was a result of a review he ordered of all old allegations. "Really as a continuation of what had been happening here since 2002 where the names have been released and the lists have been updated on our web page all along," he said.

"Sad, just sad," Bishop Perez said of learning the names of 21 priests and one deacon would be added to the list. Of the 22 only six are still alive with most of the allegations decades old.

"It's not our reality today but it was the reality back then right, decades ago but just sad, sad for those that have been so deeply hurt and carry today the scars of those of those evil actions," he said.

Perez made a point of stressing that all allegations of sexual abuse reported to the diocese are immediately forwarded to civil authorities.

“It gets immediately reported to civil authorities, and then it gets forwarded at the same time to our independent review board, that I don’t sit on,” Perez said. “Part of what I did when I got here, I wanted all the files reviewed, to make sure that no one was in ministry, that had a substantiated accusation against them.”

Perez explained why the list was updated this week.

"The lists are being posted in the spirit of honesty, and continuity, justice and healing for those who have been severely hurt," Perez said. "This is right thing to do.“

List of clergy against whom have been made substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse
Please note that if an asterisk (*) appears next to a name on any list, the name of that diocesan cleric previously was published by the diocese.

Richard Arko*
Ordained: May 26, 1990
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

George Bailey*
Ordained: May 18, 1963
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Jerome Bals (Deacon)
Ordained: July 22, 1973
Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

Russell Banner*
Ordained: May 20, 1967
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Raymond Bartnikowski*
Ordained: May 18, 1963
Current Status: Deceased

Gary Berthiaume*
Ordained: June 1, 1968
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Kenneth Bogucki
Ordained: June 9, 1984
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Donald Brickman*
Ordained: June 13, 1981
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Joseph Brodnick*
Ordained: May 31, 1969
Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

Allen Bruening*
Ordained: April 28, 1951
Current Status: Deceased

Thomas Burg*
Ordained: May 23, 1964
Current Status: Deceased

John Ciolek
Ordained: April 2, 1938
Current Status: Deceased

John Connor
Ordained: May 23, 1959
Current Status: Deceased

Neil Conway*
Ordained: May 18, 1963
Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

Joseph Ehrbar
Ordained: May 26, 1945
Current Status: Deceased

Leonard Ferrante*
Ordained: May 23, 1964
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Patrick Henry*
Ordained: June 6, 1981
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

John Jacoby
Ordained: February 28, 1953
Current Status: Deceased

Edward Kickel
Ordained: April 17, 1922
Current Status: Deceased

Liam Kitt
Ordained: June 19, 1943
Current Status: Deceased

Frank Klamet
Ordained: June 10, 1978
Current Status: Deceased

Joseph Labbe*
Ordained: June 14, 1975
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Joseph Lang*
Ordained: May 22, 1965
Current Status: Deceased

Joseph Lieberth*
Ordained: May 25, 1968
Current Status: Life of prayer and penance

Martin Louis*
Ordained: May 21, 1966
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Thomas Luckay*
Ordained: May 22, 1965
Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

Daniel McBride
Ordained: April 28, 1951
Current Status: Deceased

John William McCool*
Ordained: October 11, 1973
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

J. Brendan McNulty*
Ordained: June 8, 1974
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Nicholas Monaghan
Ordained: December 21, 1907
Current Status: Deceased

John Mueller
Ordained: May 23, 1959
Current Status: Deceased

Frederick James Mulica*
Ordained: May 20, 1967
Current Status: Deceased

Patrick J. O’Connor*
Ordained: January 12, 1985
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Anthony Rebol*
Ordained: May 19, 1956
Current Status: Deceased

Joseph Romansky*
Ordained: September 20, 1975
Current Status: Deceased

Donald Rooney
Ordained: June 9, 1979
Current Status: Deceased

Edward Rupp*
Ordained: May 28, 1960
Current Status: Deceased

Joseph Seminatore
Ordained: May 31, 1969
Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

Julius Slapsak
Ordained: June 29, 1925
Current Status: Deceased

James Viall
Ordained: December 18, 1954
Current Status: Deceased

John Vovko
Ordained: May 25, 1968
Current Status: Deceased

David C. Weber*
Ordained: January 15, 1977
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

Carl Wernet
Ordained: May 21, 1932
Current Status: Deceased

Joseph Williams
Ordained: May 31, 1969
Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry

Dennis Wirks*
Ordained: May 31, 1969
Current Status: Removed from clerical state

John Wittreich
Ordained: May 31, 1947
Current Status: Deceased

The full list also includes clergy who are on administrative leave as a result of an allegation of child sexual abuse and a cleric whose ministry has been restricted as a result of an allegation which has not yet been substantiated. View the full list as a .PDF here.

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