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Nineteen Catholic Bishops Have Resigned

Dec 13, 2002 | AP

Nineteen Roman Catholic bishops, nine of them Americans, have resigned since 1990 in the context of sex scandals.

U.S. cases:

Cardinal Bernard Law, archbishop of Boston, on Friday, following months of criticism for his mishandling of sex abuse claims against priests.

Bishop J. Kendrick Williams of Lexington, Ky., on June 11, following allegations he abused two minors and an 18-year-old decades ago, which Williams denied.

Auxiliary Bishop James McCarthy of New York, on June 11, after apologizing for affairs with adult women.

Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, following May 23 news that his archdiocese paid $450,000 to a man claiming Weakland attempted to sexually assault him. Weakland admitted an "inappropriate relationship" but denied abuse.

Bishop Anthony O'Connell of Palm Beach, Fla., in March, after admitting repeated abuse of an underage student at the Missouri seminary he led. Others filed later suits.

Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa, Calif., in 1999, when a priest claimed sexual coercion after Ziemann learned he had stolen parish funds. Ziemann said their relationship was consensual.

Bishop J. Keith Symons, O'Connell's predecessor in Palm Beach, in 1998, after admitting past molestation of five boys in three parishes.

Archbishop Robert Sanchez of Santa Fe, N.M., in 1993, after confessing relationships with adult women.

The late Archbishop Eugene Marino of Atlanta, in 1990, upon admitting involvement with a woman parishioner.


Archbishop Edgardo Storni of Argentina, on Oct. 1, after a book said he abused at least 47 seminarians, though a 1994 Vatican investigation found insufficient evidence to act. Storni said his resignation did not signify guilt.

Auxiliary Bishop Franziskus Eisenbach of Germany, in April, after a woman accused him of sexual abuse and injuries during an exorcism. The Vatican said resignation was no admission of guilt.

Bishop Brendan Comiskey of Ireland, in April, after apologizing for not preventing a priest's serial abuse.

Archbishop Juliusz Paetz of Poland, in March, amid allegations he had sexually harassed several priests, which he denied.

Archbishop John Aloysius Ward of Wales, in 2001, after charges he ignored warnings about two priestly molesters.

Bishop Hansjoerg Vogel of Switzerland, in 1995 after admitting he had impregnated a woman following his appointment to the hierarchy the preceding year.

Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, Austria's primate, sent into exile in 1995 following molestation claims from former high school boys. Neither Groer nor the Vatican directly admitted guilt.

Bishop Hubert O'Connor of British Columbia, Canada, charged in 1992 and imprisoned in 1996 for sexually assaulting two teenage girls as principal of a boarding school.

Bishop Eamonn Casey of Ireland, in 1992, upon admitting he fathered a child and used church offerings to pay the mother secret child support.

Archbishop Alphonsus Penney of Newfoundland, Canada, in 1990, after a church commission criticized him for failing to prevent extensive abuse of orphanage boys.

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