The Jesuits’ Central and Southern Province has named several former Dallas Jesuits in a preliminary list of those credibly accused of inappropriate conduct with minors.
(ABOVE: Allegations of sexual abuse of minors at Jesuit’s Dallas campus dating back to the 1960’s were released earlier this month. Photo: Tim Glaze)
Abuse at the Dallas campus occurred beginning in 1966 and lasted through at least 1994. The JCSP alerted Michael A. Earsing, president of Jesuit College Preparatory School, to the list in December.
The findings name 11 past members with ties to the school who were the subject of “credible allegations of abuse of a minor.”
Four were accused of abuse while at the school, while seven others who served at the Dallas campus were accused of misconduct elsewhere.
Of the four accused of abuse at the Dallas campus, two – Don Dickerson and Thomas Naughton – are dead. Vincent Malatesta and Claude Ory, the other two with direct ties to abuse at the Dallas campus, were removed from the ministry in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Ory lives under supervision, according to officials.
Six of the seven remaining accused who had ties to the Dallas campus but were accused of abuse in other states have died as well, according to officials. The remaining accused that is still alive, Vincent Orlando, was removed from the ministry in 2002 and lives under supervision.
“These allegations involve heinous acts committed many years ago,” Earsing said in a statement. “We pledge to continue providing a safe environment for every student, and that includes consistent and constant vigilance, prompt investigation, and reporting.”
Earsing added that he knows of “no credible allegations in the last 20 years.”
According to reports, Naughton, who died in 2012, was removed from his job as a Catholic priest in 2002 in California after a student came forward and accused him of molestation while at the Dallas campus, where Naughton served as president. Ory was accused of providing alcohol to minors and sexual assault, and Dickerson was removed due to sexual misconduct. Dickerson is no longer a priest, according to officials.
Charles Coyle also worked at the Montserrat Retreat House in Lake Dallas and was accused of multiple counts of sexual abuse there in the 1960s and 1970s. Naughton also served at Montserrat before he died, according to officials.
Earsing noted that the JCSP has done “enhanced screening and background checks” for several years, and the independent firm Presidium Inc. is advising the province on ways to prevent sexual abuse.
Friar Ronald Mercier, provincial, said a review of all members of the Missouri, New Orleans, and Puerto Rico regions since 1954 is also underway.
That’s roughly 2,500 members, Mercier said.
“The audit will begin in March and will provide us with results in the late spring,” he said. “If necessary, we will then update the list. One constant theme has emerged, and that is the need for transparency through publishing this list of Jesuits with credible accusations of abuse of a minor, painful as it may be. The list we are releasing now will no doubt surprise or shock many.”
Bishop Edward J. Burns of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas also released a statement, commending the Jesuits for “transparency in order to keep children and youth safe.”
“As announced and reported in October, the Diocese of Dallas will join the other Catholic dioceses around the state of Texas in releasing a list on Jan. 31, 2019, of all priests credibly accused of the sexual abuse of a minor since 1950,” he said. “I continue to pray for all victims and their loved ones in the Diocese of Dallas and around the world.”