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Society of Mary publishes list of Marianist members who have sexually assaulted a minor

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 24, 2020

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Society of Mary, also known as The Marianists, has released a list of members from around the country who they say have sexually abused a minor. That list includes 12 church members who worked in various Cleveland-area schools. Everyone on the list with local ties is dead.

“For decades, despicable and evil acts of abuse committed by clergy and vowed religious of the Catholic Church dwelled in the shadows. Hidden and ignored by church members and leaders, these abhorrent sins festered, stifling the light of our Church,” Provincial Fr. Oscar Vasquez, S.M. said.

The list is comprised of Marianists, both alive and deceased, who were found to have sexually assaulted a minor since 1950. According to Vasquez, living members “have been placed on a safety plan and permanently removed from public ministry.”

“In publishing this list, we hope and pray that survivors will be validated in their experiences, and that our commitment to transparency will help rebuild trust,” Vazquez said.

The names of the individuals who worked in Cleveland during their time with the church are listed below. Note: According to church officials, "the known instance(s) of abuse did not necessarily occur in the context of his service at any or all of these ministries."

It should be noted that the Cleveland Diocese did not oversee any of the schools listed below during the time each Marianist was there.

Jerome J. Binder

  • Professed vows in 1957
  • Died in 2000
  • Assigned to Cathedral Latin School, Cleveland

Paul F.X. Botty

  • Professed vows in 1980
  • Died in 2007
  • Assigned to St. Joseph High School, Cleveland

Edward J. Dury

  • Ordained in 1920
  • Died in 1974
  • Assigned to Cathedral Latin School, Cleveland

John J. Finke

  • Professed vows in 1925
  • Ordained in 1937
  • Died in 1983

William C. Hildenbrand

  • Professed vows in 1922
  • Died in 1979
  • Assigned to Cathedral Latin School, Cleveland

Walter A. Klick

  • Professed vows in 1931
  • Died in 1979
  • Assigned to Cathedral Latin School, Cleveland

Francis P. Meder

  • Professed vows in 1911
  • Died in 1976
  • Assigned to Cathedral Latin School, Cleveland

Ralph A. Mravintz

  • Professed vows in 1944
  • Died in 2006
  • Assigned to Cathedral Latin High School, Cleveland

Francis A. Russell

  • Professed vows in 1939
  • Died in 1991
  • Assigned to Cathedral Latin School, Cleveland

Joseph P. Tedesco

  • Professed vows in 1971
  • Ordained in 1983
  • Died in 2016
  • Assigned to St. Joseph High School, Cleveland and Villa Angela St. Joseph, Cleveland

Thomas J. Doyle

  • Professed vows in 1952
  • Ordained in 1974
  • Died in 2007
  • Assigned to Cathedral Latin School, Cleveland

Robert A. Lindemann

  • Professed vows in 1941
  • Died in 1995
  • Assigned to Cathedral Latin High School, Cleveland

You can find the full list of Marianists who have sexually assaulted a minor here.

According to Vasquez, over the past 20 years, the Province has “taken significant measures to ensure a safe environment” for individuals that it ministers.

“Today, in a spirit of sorrow and accountability, and with a sincere desire for reconciliation and healing, we are confronting the darkness of these sins,” said Vasquez. “To those who have survived sexual abuse at the hands of a member of the Society of Mary, we profoundly regret and apologize for the serious harm you have suffered. We apologize for the betrayal and pain you and your family have endured. Words will never heal your wounds, but we pray that our actions today will help bring you some solace."

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

“The Marianist Province of the United States is ashamed and deeply regretful that some among its members have been guilty of sexual abuse of a minor," Vasquez said. "Abusive behavior is a betrayal of our religious vocation and has no place in our ministries. All entrusted to our care should be safe.”

The Society of Mary encourages survivors who have been sexually assaulted by a Marianist to report the attack to police and/or email its Pastoral Assistance Coordinator.

“We recognize that strong policies, and even publishing this list, cannot undo the anguish inflicted on victims, survivors, and their families. We believe that this is an important step on a long journey towards healing,” Vasquez said.

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