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Diocese of Amarillo publishes names of priests accused of sexual abuse


The Diocese of Amarillo, as part of its ongoing commitment to transparency, accountability and pastoral care, is publishing the names of 30 former priests who served in the diocese who have been accused of sexually abusing a minor.

“The Diocese of Amarillo seeks to express regret and apologizes for the failing and sins that have hurt the Church so deeply, especially in our most vulnerable members,” said Bishop Patrick J. Zurek. “The Diocese especially asks forgiveness for the failings of those who have held positions of leadership in the Church.”

Of the 30, 22 are known or believed to be deceased and five are or were in prison, and one is awaiting criminal trial. None are in active ministry.

“In conformance with my commitment to transparency in the Church, for the healing, spiritual good, and assistance of victims of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, the Diocese is publishing the names of Roman Catholic clergy against whom credible allegations have been made within the Diocese between January 1, 1950 and December 31, 2018,” said Bishop Zurek.

The Diocese of Amarillo was established on August 26, 1926. At the time of its establishment, the Diocese encompassed approximately 73,000 square miles.

Prior to October 16, 1961, the geographical boundaries of the Diocese included 37,433 square miles of territory that is now part of the Diocese of San Angelo, and prior to June 17, 1983, included 23,382 square miles of territory that is now part of the Diocese of Lubbock. After the divisions of the Diocese, now 25,800 square miles constitute the Diocese of Amarillo; most members of the clergy remained in their new Dioceses.

Members of clergy who appear on this list include: ordained priests of the Diocese, priests belonging to religious orders (e.g., Franciscans, Vincentians, Oblates, Pallottines and others) that served in the Diocese, and extern priests. An extern priest is defined as a priest who was incardinated in another diocese, but was serving in the Diocese of Amarillo with faculties granted by the Bishop of the Diocese of Amarillo.

A “credible allegation” is one that the Bishop determines there is reason to believe is true after review of reasonably available, relevant information and after receiving the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board. The Diocesan Review Board is constituted principally by lay professionals. Beginning in 2002, claims of sexual abuse submitted directly to the Diocese were reviewed by the Charter Review Board mandated by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The recommendations of the Review Board were presented to the Bishop with recommendations for a determination. Prior to 2002, allegations were reviewed by a committee appointed by the Bishop or the Bishop’s staff.

A determination that an allegation against a member of the clergy is credible and should be published, is not equivalent to a finding by a judge or jury that the cleric is liable for sexual abuse of a minor under civil law or has committed criminal sexual abuse of a minor under the Texas Penal Code.

A determination that an allegation against a member of the clergy is credible is a finding by the Bishop that the conduct described in a claim constitutes a violation of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Here are the names of clergy with credible accusation of sexual abuse of minors while serving in the Diocese of Amarillo./Nombres de clérigos con acusaciones creíbles de abuso sexual de menores mientras prestaban servicios en la Diócesis de Amarillo.

Credible accusations occurred in the Diocese of Amarillo/Acusaciones creíbles ocurridas en la Diócesis de Amarillo

CLAUDE BARTON
Date Of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 1/16/1908
Ordination/Ordenación:
Deceased/Falleció: 11/9/79
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 11/1958-9/1960
            St. Mary’s, Odessa
            St. John’s, Hermleigh
            St. Laurence, Amarillo
            St. Francis Convent, Amarillo

ORVILLE RAYMOND BLUM
Date Of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 7/8/1937
Ordained/Ordenación: Amarillo Diocese 5/26/1962
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 6/1962-6/2002
            Alamo Catholic High School, Amarillo
            St. Laurence, Amarillo         
            St. John the Evangelist, Borger
            St. Joseph, Stratford
            Blessed Sacrament, Amarillo
            St. Joseph’s, Amarillo
            St. Anthony’s, Hereford

THOMAS HUBERT (PATRICK) BURKE
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 7/20/1930, Ireland
Ordained/Ordenación: 6/15/1957 for the Diocese of Amarillo—Para la Diócesis de Amarilllo
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 10/1957-2/24/1975
            Sacred Heart, Amarillo
            St. Elizabeth, Lubbock
            Our Mother of Mercy, Wellington
            St. Patrick’s, Shamrock       
            St. Mary’s, Spur

TERRANCE BURKE
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 4/26/1940, Ireland
Ordained/Ordenación: 8/4/1975 Diocese of Amarillo
Deceased/Falleció: @2016
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 10/1975-7/2002
            St. Mary’s, Amarillo
            St. Joseph, Stratford
            Christ the King, Lubbock
            Holy Angels, Childress
            Immaculate Conception, Muleshoe
            Church of the Holy Spirit, Tulia
            Holy Name of Jesus, Happy
            Catholic Student Center, Canyon
            St. Mary’s, Clarendon
            Morning Star Hostel/Mark Schupp Center

ANTHONY CATALINA
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 1902
Ordained/Ordenación: 1929 Vincentians {location unknown}
Deceased/Falleció: 11/30/1968
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 10/1958-7/1968
            Sacred Heart, Littlefield
            Sacred Heart, Petersburg
            Sacred Heart, Canadian

LAURENCE (LORCAN) CONNAUGHTON
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 11/23/1920
Ordained/Ordenación: 6/17/1951 Amarillo Diocese
Excardinated: 2/1958
Deceased/Falleció: Probably/Problamente
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 10/1951-2/1958
            St. Francis of Assisi, Amarillo
            Sacred Heart Cathedral/St. Mary’s, Amarillo
            St. Mary’s/Immaculate Heart of Mary, Groom
            St. Anthony of Padua, Dalhart

JOHN W. COPPINGER
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento:
Ordination/Ordenación: 1972 Archdiocese of New York
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 6/18/1972-8/16/1975
            St. Anthony’s, Hereford

JAMES LESLIE (LAURENCE) DALY
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 10/2/1902
Ordained/Ordenación: 5/4/1930, Amarillo Diocese
Deceased/Falleció: 6/26/1988
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 9/1930– 1/1944 and 7/1963-8/1965
            St. Ann’s, Canyon
            Price Memorial College, Amarillo
            St. Mary’s, Clarendon
            Immaculate Conception, Vega
            Holy Angels, Childress
            St Patrick’s, Shamrock
            Our Mother of Mercy Wellington
            St. John the Evangelist, Borger
            St. Anthony of Padua, Dalhart
            Christ the King, Lubbock

PETER PAUL DiBENEDETTO
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 9/14/1940
Ordained/Ordenación: Amarillo, Texas 6/11/1969
Deceased/Falleció: 11/28/1995
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 6/1969-11/1995
            St. Hyacinth, Amarillo         
            Sacred Heart of Jesus, Spearman
            Immaculate Conception, Vega       
            Immaculate Conception, Perryton
            Alamo Catholic High School, Amarillo

**EDWARD R. GRAFF
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 1/30/1929
Ordained/Ordenación:  5/19/1955, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Deceased/Falleció: 11/2002
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 9/1992 – 9/2002
            Church of the Holy Spirit, Tulia
            Our Lady of Loreto, Silverton
            San Juan Diego, Quitaque
            St. Elizabeth Anne Seton, Turkey
** Abuse occurred in Diocese of Allentown
**El abuso ocurrió en la diócesis de Allentown.
**Abuse occurred in Diocese of Amarillo
** El abuso ocurrió en la diócesis de Amarillo.

JAMES C. GURZYNSKI
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 4/28/1937
Ordained/Ordenación: 5/25/1963 in Toledo, Ohio for the Diocese of Amarillo
Deceased: Falleció: 4/8/2013
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 9/1963- 12/2005
            Our Lady of Grace, Lubbock
            Sacred Heart of Jesus, Spearman
            Sacred Heart, Abernathy
            Sacred Heart, White Deer
            St. Ann’s, Canyon

ROSENDO HERRERA-HERNANDEZ
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 3/1/1965
Ordained/Ordenación: 7/13/1996       
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 8/1996– 2/2000
            St. Laurence, Amarillo
            St. Vincent de Paul, Pampa
            St. Anthony of Padua, Dalhart
            Our Lady of Guadalupe, Amarillo
            BSA Hospital

ROBERT PATRICK HOFFMAN
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 8/29/1940
Ordained/Ordenación: 5/25, 1968
            Amarillo Diocese
            Lubbock Diocese 7/1983-7/1987
Deceased/Falleció: 3/20/2005
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 6/1968-7/1983, 7/1987-12/1/2000
            St. Margaret Mary, Lamesa
            St. Pius X, O’Donnell
            Immaculate Conception, Perryton
            St. Laurence, Amarillo

DAVID HOLLEY
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: @1929
Ordination/Ordenación: 1958 Order of St. Benedict Abby, Bennet Lake, Wisconsin
Incardinated into the Diocese of Worcester. Wisconsin
Deceased/Falleció: 2008
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 6/1984-12/1984
            St. Joseph’s, Amarillo
In 1993 sentenced to 275 years in prison, Alamogordo, N.M. En 1993 fue sentenciado a 275 años en prision, Alamogordo, N.M.

RODNEY CHARLES HOWELL
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 8/15/1932
Ordained/Ordenación: 7/6/1965
Deceased/Falleció: 1/10/1993
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 9/1965-1980
            Sacred Heart, Littlefield
            St. Phillip’s, Shallowater
            St. Michael’s, Ralls
            St. Pius, O’Donnell

JOHN A. HOWLETT
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento:
Ordained/Ordenación: 1947 Pallotines Dublin
            {Pallotines Dallas Providence}
Deceased/Falleció:
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 1/1961-7/1966, 2/1971-7/1977
            St. Joseph’s, Lubbock
            St. Michael’s, Rawls
            St. Patrick’s, Lubbock
            St. Vincent Pallotti, Lubbock
            St. Anthony’s, Brownfield

JAMES (JIM) D. HUTZLER
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 2/26/1944
Ordained/Ordenación: 7/25/1980
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 1973-9/1980 (teacher), 9/1980-7/2002
            Alamo Catholic High School, Amarillo
            Our Lady of Grace, Lubbock
            St. Joseph, Amarillo
            Our Mother of Mercy, Wellington
            St. Anthony of Padua, Dalhart
            St. Joseph, Stratford
            Sacred Heart, Canadian
            St. Anthony’s Hospital, Amarillo
            St. Mary’s, Umbarger
            St. Theresa, Panhandle
            Sacred Heart, White Deer

RICHARD WALLACE LANG
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento:
Ordination/Ordenación: 6/5/1938, Vincentian Fathers of Western Province, St. Louise, MO, (Vincentian, Southern Province, Dallas, Texas)
Deceased/Falleció: 5/30/1974
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 12/1941-3/1945, 8/1957-7/1968
            Holy Souls, Pampa
            Sacred Heart, Canadian

JOSEPH RAYMOND LOPEZ
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 8/31/1939
Ordination/Ordenación: 12/18/1965 for the Diocese of Amarillo
Left Ministry in 1970, was voluntarily Laicized 7/1973
Deceased/Falleció: 2005
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 8/1966-9/1970
            Our Lady of Guadalupe, Amarillo

GERALD V. LYNCH
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 1/21/1916
Ordained/Ordenación: 12/21/1947
            Cistercian Order, Brighton Mass
Incardinated into the Diocese of Amarillo: 6/8/1954
Deceased/Falleció: 11/25/1979
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 1951-1976
            St. Anthony of Padua, Dalhart
            St. Lucian’s/Price Memorial College, Amarillo
            Holy Angels, Childress
            Sacred Heart of Jesus, Spearman (Perryton)
            Sacred Heart, White Deer.
            Church of the Holy Spirit, Tulia

CLETUS BERNARD MCGORRY
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 11/14/1923
Ordination/Ordenación: 6/1952 Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, Graymoor, New York
Deceased/Falleció: 2/2/1992
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 9/13/1955-1/10/1988
            St. Anthony’s, Hereford     
            St. Ann’s, Bovina

AIDEN MAGUIRE
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento:
Ordained/Ordenación: {SAC – Society of the Catholic Apostolate Pallotines, Ireland}
Deceased/Falleció: Unknown – Returned to Ireland in 1981
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 1/1961- 12/1965, 10/1969-8/1981
            St. Elizabeth, Lubbock
            St. Anthony’s, Brownfield
            St. William, Denver City

GUILLERMO MORALES-MARTINEZ
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 4/6/1958
Ordained/Ordenación: 7/16/1988
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 8/1988-11/2007
            St. John the Evangelist, Borger
            Christ the King, Sunray
            Immaculate Conception, Dimmitt
            Sacred Heart, Canadian
            Sacred Heart of Jesus, Spearman
            St. Ann’s, Stinnett

MICHAEL DERMOT O’BRIEN
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 10/8/1941
Ordained/Ordenación: 6/13/1965
Deceased/Falleció: 2/11/1978
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 9/1965-2/1978
            St. Laurence, Amarillo
            St. Mary’s, Amarillo
            Holy Angels, Childress
            St. Ann’s, Bovina

ALFREDO PRADO
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: @1930
Ordination/Ordenación: Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate, San Antonio, Texas
Fled to Costa Rica
Not assigned to the Diocese of Amarillo
No estubo asignado a la Diócesis de Amarillo
Allegedly event occurred when conducting a Mission in the Amarillo Diocese.
Al parecer, el suceso se produjo  al llevar a cabo una Misión en la Diócesis de Amarillo.

**JOHN ANTHONY SALAZAR-JIMENEZ
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 8/20/1955
Ordained/Ordenación: 10/24/1984, Calasanzian Piarist Fathers, Los Angeles
Served in the Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 7/1991-7/2002
            Church of the Holy Spirit, Tulia
            San Jose, Hereford
*Accusations occurred in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
*Acusaciones ocurridas en la Arquidiócesis de Los Ángeles.
**Accusation occurred in Diocese of Amarillo
** Acusación ocurrió en la diócesis de Amarillo.

J. MELTON SILVA
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento:
Ordination/Ordenación:
Deceased/Falleció: 1999
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 9/1975-9/1980
            Immaculate Conception, Perryton
            Holy Cross, Post
            St. Mary’s, Spur

JOHN SULLIVAN
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: January 3, 1917
Ordained/Ordenación: June 30, 1942 Diocese of Manchester, N.H.
Deceased/Falleció: 1984
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo: Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 1/1961-4/1963
             St. Joseph, Amarillo

PETER MUKEKHE WAFULA
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 10/20/1979
Ordination/Ordenación: 12/9/2017 Crusaders of the
Holy Spirit, Parana, Argentina       
Removed from Ministry July 10, 2018
Served in the Diocese of Amarillo/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: February  - July 2018
            San Jose, Hereford
            St. Teresa of Jesus, Friona
            St. Ann’s, Bovina
Indicted by the Parmer County Grand Jury in October 2018, awaiting trial.
Acusado por el Gran Jurado del Condado de Parmer en octubre de 2018, en espera de juicio.

BRUCE EDWARD (MICHAEL) WOOD
Date of Birth/Fecha de Nacimiento: 4/5/1937
Ordained/Ordenación: 6/7/1984 Amarillo, Texas
Deceased/Falleció: 6/22/2017
Served in Amarillo Diocese/Sirvió en la Diócesis de Amarillo: 7/1984 – 6/1/1988
            St. Thomas the Apostle, Amarillo
            St. Joseph, Stratford
            Alamo Catholic High School, Amarillo
            St. Joseph, Amarillo

Since 2002, the Diocese has implemented a comprehensive Safe Environment Program to ensure safety of the children of the Diocese. Any person who works with children as clergy, employee or volunteer must have a criminal background check and participate in Safe Environment Training. In addition to the Adult Training, all children undergo Safe Environment Training every year.

Every effort has been made by the Bishop, his staff, and the independent Amarillo Diocesan Charter Review Board, to ensure that the list is accurate and those thereupon belong on the list.

Any person with knowledge of a member of a diocesan clergy whose name is not on the list and who allegedly committed sexual abuse of a minor within the Diocese should report such allegations to the Police Department where the event occurred, and if the victim is still a minor, to Child Protective Services. Additionally, such person should also report the allegations to Sharyn Delgado, Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, by calling 806-671-4830. The Diocese will investigate the allegations and present the evidence to the Diocesan Review Board for its opinion whether the allegations constitute a credible accusation. The Review Board will make its recommendation to the Bishop, who will make the final determination and if the allegation is found to be credible, their name will be added to the list.

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