On Tuesday, the USA Northeast Province Jesuits released a list of 50 priests with one or more credible allegation of sexually abusing minors placed against them.
The list includes eight order priests who served at schools and parishes in Buffalo.
A “D” next to a member’s name indicates that they have died. The dates in parenthesis are when each member served at each location.
- Cornelius Carr (D) – Canisius High School (1952-53, 1972-76, 1984-93), St. Michael (1983-84, 1999-01) – accused of abusing minors
- Peter Conroy – Canisius High School (1965-68), Canisius College (1980-84, 1994-02) – accused of abusing minors, admitted to allegations
- Thomas Denny – Canisius High School (1993-95) – accused of abusing minors
- John L. Farrand (D) – Canisius High School (1946-49) – accused of abusing minors, admitted to allegations
- Raymond Fullam (D) – Canisius High School (1953-58, 1972-76) – accused of abusing minors
- James Gould – St. Ann Church (1975-1983) – accused of abusing a minor, admitted to allegations
- Vincent Mooney (D) – Canisius High School (1958-74) – accused of abusing minors
- William Scanlon – Canisius College (1976-80) – accused of abusing minors, admitted to allegations
In November, the Buffalo Diocese released a list of order priests accused of abuse. Fr. Gould and Fr. Conroy were included on that list — the other six were not.
Fr. Carr, who died in 2013, was named Provincial Superior in the late 60s of the then- Buffalo Province. A Provincial Superior is the regional leader of Jesuit priests. At that time, Carr was overseeing 450 priests.
The Jesuits released a letter, along with the list:
“January 15, 2019
Dear Friends in the Lord,
Hoping to contribute to healing from the pain and anger caused by clergy sex abuse and the lack of accountability and transparency on the part of church leadership, I am making public a list of any Jesuit in the USA Northeast Province who has had a credible allegation of abuse against a minor or vulnerable adult since 1950. The USA Northeast Province is composed of what were separate Provinces at various periods over the past seventy years: Buffalo in the 1960s; New England and New York separately until 2014. This list includes Jesuits who belonged to any of those Provinces.
At the heart of this crisis is the painful, sinful and illegal harm done to children by those whom they should have been able to trust. We did not know any best practices to handle these violations many decades ago and regrettably made mistakes along the way. What winds up being a very shameful history for the Church at large was made clear by investigative reporting in Boston in 2002. It was the subsequent Dallas Charter that was accepted by the US Bishops that allowed us to codify and implement best practices. Under the watchful eye of our accreditation agency, Praesidium, Inc., we have implemented these best practices for more than fifteen years and can be grateful, although no less vigilant, that there have been no new cases of abuse of minors or vulnerable adults in the Northeast Province.
Changed practices do not erase past history. The list I publish today notes criminal and sinful failures in the pastoral care of children. The majority of these allegations were made years or even decades after abuse occurred. This list includes any allegations where the offense was admitted by a Jesuit, or where it was established as credible after an investigation. Any living Jesuit with a credible allegation of abuse is removed from ministry and assigned to a community that does not serve minors where he lives under a closely monitored safety plan. Any case of abuse is shocking and a profound failure. Jesuits who have offended can no longer offend. Safeguards put in place since 2002 help create safe environments for everyone.
On behalf of all of the Jesuits of the USA Northeast Province, I apologize for any of our brothers who have committed crimes of abuse and pledge to work to provide safe environments for all to whom we minister and to offer support and possibilities for healing to victims. I urge anyone who has experienced abuse by a Jesuit to contact Kristin Austin, our Victim Assistance Coordinator at 443-370-6357 or UNEadvocacy@jesuits.org. She will offer both compassion and confidentiality.
These have been trying times for our Church, and the Body of Christ knows the suffering of its Lord in real ways. May we together pray for healing that our wounds may be transformed by the God of love.
In Corde Jesu,
Fr. John J. Cecero, S.J.
Provincial, USA Northeast Province”
After the names were released, Canisius College released a statement in response:
“Good morning –
The following statement from Canisius College is in response to the release by the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse against minors. Two Jesuits on this list were at one time missioned at Canisius College.
Rev. Peter Conroy, SJ, was missioned at Canisius from 1980 until 1984 and again from 1994 -2002. The abuse incident occurred in 1972 before he came to Canisius. When the incident was reported in 2002, Father Conroy left the college and the Province handled the investigation of the abuse and Father Conroy’s discipline.
Rev. William Scanlon, SJ, was missioned at Canisius from 1976 until 1980. The dates of abuse occurred between 1985 and 1994, long after he left Canisius. The incidents were reported in 1994.
Canisius College had no knowledge of any instances of sex abuse in the past or at the time either Jesuit was employed at the college and had no report of any sex abuse during their time at the college after their departure.
The Province, which has the responsibility for handling claims against these Jesuits, is asking that all media inquiries be referred to their Communications Director, Mike Gabriele, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-921-1330.”
Canisius High School responded with a statement as well. You can read it here. Canisius was not able to say whether or not alleged abuse was ever reported directly to the school.
St. Michael’s Parish told News 4 they heard about allegations made against Fr. Carr just recently, when the Jesuit order alerted them. The alleged abuse occured between 1989-1990 and was reportd in 2005, according to the Northeast Jesuit Province.
St. Ann Church in Buffalo has been closed for several years.
See the full list, which includes the names of priests who served in other parts of the northeast, here.