PRESS RELEASE
Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc.
P.O. Box 109, Petersburg, Illinois 62675-0109
Phone: (217) 632-5920 / Fax: (217) 632-7054 / www.rcf.org / sbrady@rcf.org

Date: 1/15/02

For Immediate Release.

Harboring Catholic priests who are sexual predators

Subject: Society of St. John

Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc. (RCF) has learned that the Society of St. John, a clerical association operating under the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, is harboring priests who are sexual predators. RCF has further learned that this matter has been brought to the attention of Scranton bishop James C. Timlin, who refuses to take action to remove and punish those responsible for potential psychological and moral harm to seminarians and other young men. RCF demands the following:

1. That Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, the Superior General of the Society of St. John, be immediately suspended and that canonical proceedings, including possible laicization, be initiated against him.

2. That any priest or other person affiliated with the Society who has been sexually involved with seminarians or other young men be removed from the Society and that canonical proceedings also be initiated with respect to such persons.

3. That an independent Blue Ribbon Committee of Catholic laity be appointed to thoroughly investigate the sexual and financial scandals at the Society of St. John.

4. That Bishop Timlin resign as bishop for the Diocese of Scranton.

5. That an immediate criminal investigation be undertaken to determine whether the sexual misconduct of any priests or other members of the Society with seminarians or others, included persons who were legally minors.

6. That a communication be sent to the parents of any boys or young men who may have had contact with the priests of the Society of St. John, advising them that their sons may have come in contact with a sexual predator.

Background

Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity is the Superior General of the Society of St. John. When he was a seminarian at the Society of St. Pius X seminary in La Reja, Argentina, he was dismissed for homosexual behavior. He then obtained admission to the Society of St. Pius X seminary in Winona, Minnesota. At this seminary he came under a cloud of accusations of homosexuality due to his particular and excessive attention to certain young seminarians. Fr. Urrutigoity was dismissed from the Winona seminary after it was discovered that he was undertaking a secret agenda, which became the mission of the Society of St. John. After his departure from the seminary he molested a former seminarian whom he had been “grooming” for two years.

Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X warned Scranton Bishop James Timlin of the homosexual misconduct of Fr. Urrutigoity. Bishop Timlin sent his auxiliary bishop to interview the above-referenced seminarian but Bishop Timlin chose not to accept the accusations against Fr. Urrutigoity.

Another young man under Fr. Urrutigoity’s spiritual direction has stated that Fr. Urrutigoity made homosexual advances to him. A third young man has stated that he slept in the same bed with Fr. Urrutigoity after being plied with alcohol to the point of intoxication.

This leads to the topic of what some have euphemistically called Fr. Urrutigoity’s “sleeping sickness.” He has regularly invited and promoted the practice of having seminarians and other young men sleep in the same bed with him. Bishop Timlin has been aware of this practice for some time. Despite the fact that numerous young men have stated that they have slept alone with Fr. Urrutigoity in the same bed, the priests of the Society have repeatedly told concerned donors that this activity never took place. What has Bishop Timlin done in the face this scandalous behavior? He has angrily denied that the practice is “immoral” and has simply asked that young men no longer sleep over at the Society’s property. In fact, Bishop Timlin indicated at one point that he was willing to approve Fr. Urrutigoity’s recent request to join another religious order. THIS IS PRECISELY THE CYCLE OF TOLERANCE AND SILENCE THAT HAS PROMOTED THE CANCER OF HOMOSEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND ABUSE OF THE YOUNG IN THE CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD! Fr. Urrutigoity engaged in this behavior in Argentina, continued it in Winona, was welcomed in the Scranton diocese and now may presumably go on to corrupt morals at another Catholic institution. That is where we Catholic laity step in and say:

NO! NO! NO! It ends here. If Bishop Timlin lacks the moral courage to publicly expose Fr. Urrutigoity, then we will step in and do it for him.

We have credible information that Fr. Urrutigoity is not the only priest at the Society of St. John who has engaged in homosexual conduct with young men. Only a full scale investigation of the Society by an independent commission (not some toadies of the Bishop) can expose the degree and severity of the harm done to youth there. We also know that Fr. Urrutigoity and at least one other priest gave alcohol and tobacco to minors. Additionally, Fr. Paul Carr, District Superior of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has also warned Bishop Timlin of Fr. Urrutigoity’s habit of sleeping with young men from St. Gregory’s Academy. How many priests at the Society of St. John are involved in covering up for Fr. Urrutigoity’s behavior? All this, while evidence comes to light that the Society has grossly mismanaged millions of dollars given by trusting Catholics, has purchased $100,000 of luxury furniture, and continues an aggressive fund raising campaign to build a Catholic village on land infeasible for this purpose?

Scranton Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty has admitted to Dr. Jeffrey Bond, President of the College of St. Justin Martyr, that Fr. Urrutigoity is a “cult leader” capable of pederasty.

BISHOP TIMLIN, HAVE YOU NO SHAME? Is it true, as your auxiliary bishop has admitted, that your inaction is due to the fact that you are being held hostage by the colossal debt of the Society of St. John?

____________________

This Press Release is not the end of RCF’s involvement in this matter. Future plans may include picketing Bishop Timlin, a letter writing and post-card campaign, and efforts to advise the parents of seminarians that their boys may have been exposed to a sexual predator. Studies show that most boys who are sexually molested will not report this behavior to their parents. Therefore, if Bishop Timlin will not fulfill his moral responsibility to inform parents, RCF will.

Viva Cristo Rey!

Steve Brady, President
Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc.

James Bendell, Board Member
Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc.

Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc. (RCF) is a not-for-profit lay organization, with many religious members, dedicated to promoting orthodox Catholic teaching and fighting heterodoxy and corruption within the Catholic hierarchy.

For more information:

National Review: Boston Travesty: American Bishops Hurt Their Own, by Rod Dreher
Wilkes-Barre Times Leader: Two Priests Relieved of their Duties as Name of Alleged Victim Surfaces

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