Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, enters church for Mass at St. Mathew’s Cathedral, on Aug. 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Archdiocese releases names of 'credibly' accused clergy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Days after Washington's archbishop resigned over his handling of sexual abuse allegations, the Archdiocese of Washington released the names of more than two dozen clergy members it says have been "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors.

The revelation comes just four days after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl and while the Washington Archdiocese is still reeling from recent revelations that Wuerl's predecessor as archbishop had a decades-long string of abuse allegations.

RELATED: With Cardinal Wuerl stepping down, who’s next?

The archdiocese posted the list of priests on its website late Monday. It names 28 clergy members and three priests who were part of religious orders, but served in Washington parishes or schools. Most of the cases date back multiple decades and only three of the alleged abuses took place after 2000. Of the 31 men listed, 16 are dead.

The list includes several priests who were accused of abuse and convicted, and some who were accused, "treated" and returned to work only to be accused again. Some were removed from their clerical positions or the ministry at some point.

The controversy that forced Wuerl's resignation does not actually cover his time in Washington; it centers on a Pennsylvania grand jury report accusing him of covering up multiple sexual abuse allegations and shuffling pedophile priests through different parishes, during his 18-year tenure as a bishop in Pittsburgh.

RELATED: As Catholic sex abuse investigations begin, questions remain

In a "Letter to the Faithful" released last week, Wuerl repeatedly apologized and asked for "forgiveness on behalf of Church leadership from the victims who were again wounded when they saw these priests and bishops both moved and promoted."

Earlier this year, Wuerl's predecessor in Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, resigned from the powerful College of Cardinals and retired from public life after a string of sexual abuse revelations. McCarrick had retired as archbishop in 2006 and none of the sexual abuse allegations cover his time in Washington.

He is accused of abusing an altar boy and several young seminary students studying to be priests during his time as a priest in New York and a bishop in New Jersey. The allegations against McCarrick were particularly damaging since it emerged that McCarrick continued to rise through the church hierarchy for decades despite two lawsuits against him and multiple warnings to church officials about his behavior.


  1. According to the archdiocesan website, which brags “No Incidents by Archdiocesan Priests in Almost 20 Years,” the following were credibly accused:
    1. Francis A. Benham, ordained 1963, removed 2005.
    2. Salvatore F. Bucca, ordained 1976, removed 1978.
    3. Raymond C. Callahan, ordained 1963, removed 1977.
    4. C. Thomas Chleboski, ordained 1988, removed 1996.
    5. Joseph B. Coyne, ordained 1945, removed 1995.
    6. Russell Lowell Dillard, ordained 1978, removed 2003.
    7. R. Joseph Dooley, ordained 1963, removed 1995.
    8. John W. Eccleston, ordained 1955, removed ?
    9. James Finan, ordained 1959, removed 1996.
    10. Roger Gallagher, ordained 1954, removed 1992.
    11. Edward Hartel, ordained 1962, removed 1995.
    12. William Krouse, ordained 1973, removed 1996.
    13. James Lannon, ordained 1931, removed 1958.
    14. Paul Lavin, ordained 1969, removed 2004.
    15. Thomas Lyons, ordained 1948, died 1988.
    16. Peter McCutcheon, ordained 1979, removed 1986.
    17. Arthur O’Brien, ordained 1983, removed 1992.
    18. Robert Petrella, ordained 1964, removed 1989.
    19. James Powderly, ordained 1958, removed 1997.
    20. Edward Pritchard, ordained 1974, removed 1995.
    21. Thomas Schaefer, ordained 1953, removed 1995.
    22. James Scott, ordained 1966, removed 1996.
    23. Timothy Slevin, ordained 1965, removed 1974.
    24. Alphonsus Smith, ordained 1956, removed 1995.
    25. Dan Stallings, ordained deacon 1986, removed 2007.
    26. William Stock, ordained 1969, removed 1985.
    27. Paul Twiddy, ordained 1952, retired 1986.
    28. Miguel Umana Zelaya, ordained 1996, removed 2000.

    There were also three religious order priests credibly accused during the same period. The list, which has not been independently verified, seems to support the notion that the archdiocese aggressively handled abuse reports even prior to the 2002-2003 watershed events.

  2. Seems more like they aggressively covered up abuse reports, to me.

  3. ‘The list includes several priests who were accused of abuse and convicted, and some who were accused, “treated” and returned to work only to be accused again.’

    This is just yet more proof that Christians don’t care about children being molested, because they are too stupid to care and too lazy to do anything about it even if they did care, which they obviously don’t.

    Stop giving Christians money to molest children.

  4. Your comments are a cry for help. Please seek help for your illness. No one here is paying attention to your ranting.

  5. You obviously are. Too bad you don’t care about the epidemic of pedophilia going on in your church. #ThatsSoChristian

  6. You realize this is going to make Arnzen bleed through his eyes !

  7. I smell BS on the part of the archdiocese. We can never, ever trust these people again. They are proven liars and criminals.

  8. I’d rather listen to Charlotte than the archdiocese. I say this as a survivor: Every person who financially supports the Roman Catholic Church is complicit in this problem. And that is no “cry for help”.

  9. The one who is familiar with Catholicism and believes a “21st Century Faith” is code for heretical claptrap.

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