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St. Patrick Co-Cathedral

St. Patrick Co-Cathedral in downtown Billings.

A new report outlining abuse accusations against Jesuit priests includes dozens of priests who worked in Montana churches, missions and schools — and shows that at least 11 priests were accused while working in the state. 

Many of the accusations are against priests already identified in bankruptcy reports for the Great Falls/Billings and Helena dioceses. But the Jesuit Order report includes dates of alleged abuse and new "credible claims" against priests. It also includes work history information that confirms priests were frequently shuffled between postings, including after alleged abuse. 

"The People of God demand and deserve transparency," Scott Santarosa, the leader of a Jesuit Order province covering 10 western states including Montana, wrote in an online open letter. "We hope that this act of accountability will help victims and their families in the healing process."

Friday's report shows the results of an internal investigation. Santarosa's letter said the province will have a consultant and former FBI executive review files in 2019, and any priests with new credible allegations will be identified. The Jesuit Order is a branch of the Roman Catholic Church with about 17,000 priests and brothers. 

Several priests on the lists worked in Montana and were accused of abuse at Montana postings. All of the accusations were for sexual abuse of a minor. 

For example, James P. Hurley was accused of abuse during the late 1950s and from 1966 to 1967 in allegations reported in 2009. He worked at St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1962 to 1964, Loyola High School in Missoula from 1964 to 1965 and from 1967 to 1973, and St. Ignatius Mission from 1965 to 1967. 

Altogether, he worked at 17 different postings, often for no more than a few years. The Gazette is including in this article only where priests worked in Montana; full work histories are listed in the report. Hurley died in 1998. 

The accusations are also clustered on reservations, which often had a mission staffed by Jesuit priests. An attorney for victims of sexual abuse by clergy told the Great Falls Tribune in 2017 that the Catholic Church and Jesuit Order used reservations as "dumping grounds" for priests accused of abuse. 

Francis W. Callan's postings in Montana were all on or near reservations and some of those came during or after alleged abuse occurred. Callan was accused of abuse from 1950 to 1953 in an allegation reported in 2009. He worked at the St. Ignatius Mission in 1948 and 1949; the St. Francis Xavier Mission in Missoula in 1952 and 1953; and St. Joseph's Church in Hardin from 1953 to 1956.

Callan died in 1991. A priest named Callan was listed in the Helena bankruptcy report, but no first name was given. 

In another case, Bernard F. McMeel was accused of sexual abuse of a minor during 1977 in allegations reported in 1978. He worked at St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1978 to 1994 after being transferred from a church in Alaska. He died in 1994.

There were no reports of abuse in Montana in the new "credible claims" part of the report, but former Gonzaga University priest and professor Gary Uhlenkott, who was sentenced in May to six months in jail for viewing child pornography, worked at St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula from 1980-1982.

The report includes new allegations of abuse in Montana that were listed only in the Oregon bankruptcy documents. 

Leonard A. Kohlman was accused of abuse from 1958 to 1967, from 1962 to 1976, and from 1965 to 1969 in allegations reported in 2009. He worked at St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1951 to 1962. Kohlman died in 1972; its unclear whether an abuse report dating to 1976 was an error.

Seven priests identified in the Oregon documents were accused of abuse while working outside Montana. At least one was transferred to Montana shortly after the alleged abuse occurred. 

John S. Harrington was accused of abuse during 1975 in an allegation reported in 2009. He worked at St. Jude's Church in Havre from 1975 to 1994 after being transferred from Gonzaga University earlier in 1975. He went on to work at St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula from 1994 to 2000. Harrington died in 2004. 

Francis E. Duffy was accused of abuse from 1949 to 1950, from 1967 to 1969, and from 1977 to 1978 in allegations reported in 2002, 2008 and 2009. He worked at St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1938 to 1939 and from 1946 to 1948. Duffy died in 1992. 

William T. McIntyre was accused of abuse from 1958 to 1959 in allegations reported in 2009. He worked at St. Ignatius Mission in 1937. McIntyre died in 1983.

Peter O'Grady was accused of 1981 abuse in allegations reported in 2003 and 2009. He worked at St. Jude's Church in Havre from 1952 to 1954 and at St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula from 1954 to 1955. O'Grady died in 1993. 

Richard J. Pauson was accused of abuse from 1967 to 1968 in an allegation reported in 2009. He worked at St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1959 to 1960, at St. Thomas' Church in Harlem from 1961 to 1963, and at Our Lady of Loretto Church in Lodge Grass from 1963 to 1965. Pauson died in 1971.

Eugene E. Pierre was accused of abuse from 1962 to 1965 in allegations reported in 2009. He worked St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula from 1977 to 1979. Pierre died in 1979. 

William J. Ryan was accused of abuse from 1960 to 1963. He worked at St. Xavier's Mission in Big Horn from 1935 to 1936. Ryan died in 1967. 

Several priests were listed in both the Oregon Province bankruptcy and the Great Falls/Billings Diocese or Helena Diocese bankruptcies. At least three — Joseph A. Balfe, Augustine J. Ferretti, and Rene Gallant — were also identified in a 2011 lawsuit alleging widespread abuse at St. Ignatius Mission. 

Balfe was accused of abuse between 1934 and 1940 and from 1959 to 1961. He worked at St. Ignatius Mission from 1931 to 1935 and from 1945 to 1953, at St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1935 to 1936, at St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula from 1936 to 1937 and from 1944 to 1945, and at St. Jude's Church in Havre from 1953 to 1957. Balfe died in 1969. In total, he worked at 20 different placements, never for more than five years. 

Ferretti was accused of abuse from 1952 to 1958, from 1960 to 1969, and from 1971 to 1976 in allegations reported in 2009. He worked at St. Ignatius Mission from 1952 to 1953 and from 1963 to 1969 and St. Margaret Mary's Church in Big Sandy from 1955 to 1957. He died in 1982. 

Gallant was accused of abuse during 13 different time periods covering almost every year between 1943 and 1970 in allegations reported in 2009. He worked at St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1929 to 1933 and St. Ignatius Mission from 1940 to 1975. Gallant died in 1975. 

Bernard A. Harris was accused of sexual abuse of a minor from 1958 to 1962, from 1962 to 1966, from 1965 to 1969, and from 1971 to 1972 in allegations reported in 1993, 2006, and 2009. Harris worked at Loyola High School in Missoula from 1953 to 1972. Harris died in 1972. A father Bernard Harris was named in the 2011 St. Ignatius lawsuit, but the report doesn't show Bernard A. Harris working at the mission. The suit names three other priests who weren't listed in the Jesuit report.  

John Joseph Brown was accused of sexual abuse of a minor from 1953 to 1959 in allegations reported in 2009. He worked at St. Ignatius Mission from 1957 to 1958, St. Charles Mission in Pryor from 1958 to 1967, and St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1967 to 1970. He died in 1987.

Patrick J. Conway was accused of sexual abuse of a minor from 1945 to 1949 in allegations reported in 2009. He worked at St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula from 1935 to 1936 and St. Xavier Mission from 1947 to 1950. Conway was dismissed in 1950.  

Egon E. Mallman was accused of sexual abuse of a minor during 1958 and 1960 in allegations reported in 2009. He worked at St. Xavier's Mission from 1933 to 1934, the Holy Family Mission near Browning from 1934 to 1940, and St. Anne's Church in Heart Butte from 1940 to 1977. He died in 1980.

Sylvester D. Penna was accused of sexual abuse of a minor from 1951 to 1957, though the time period appears uncertain, in allegations reported in 2009. He worked at St. Jude's Church in Havre from 1953 to 1960 and from 1967 to 1968, Loyola High School in Missoula from 1965 to 1967, and St. Thomas' Church in Harlem from 1968 to 1972. He died in 1974. 

Edmund J. Robinson was accused of sexual abuse of a minor during four different time periods covering each year between 1959 and 1972 in allegations reported in 2008. Robinson worked at St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1956 to 1958, from 1959 to 1962 and 1966 to 1968, at St. Ignatius Mission from 1962 to 1964 and 1968 to 1981, St. Jude's Church in Havre from 1986 to 1987, and St. Thomas' Church in Harlem from 1987 to 1989. He died in 2014. 

The Great Falls Tribune reported that Robinson arrived at St. Paul's in 1955, and that a plaintiff in a lawsuit says Robinson molested her that year. The Tribune details how Robinson bounced between assignments despite continuing allegations of abuse, including accusations of rape in 1959 and 1963 and physical and sexual assault in 1960. 

For two priests listed in both documents from multiple dioceses, years of accused sexual abuse don't match up with the priests' time in Montana, raising the prospect of further abuse not detailed in the report. 

Gabriel M. Menager was accused of sexual abuse of a minor during an unknown year in an allegation reported in 2009. He worked at St. Jude's Church in Havre from 1930 to 1933, St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1936 to 1939 and 1945 to 1946, and St. Ignatius Mission from 1939 to 1945. Menager died in 1966.

Patrick J. O'Reilly was accused of sexual abuse of a minor during 1945, 1947 and 1949 in allegations reported in 2009. He worked at St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula from 1934 to 1935. He died in 1958.  

For priests who were accused of sexual abuse that were identified only by the Diocese of Great Falls/Billings as part of a bankruptcy agreement, the Jesuit report did not independently verify the claims or list the years of alleged abuse. 

Arnold L. Custer worked at St. Ignatius Mission from 1946 to 1950, St. Thomas Church in Harlem from 1950 to 1952, and St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1962 to 1966. He died in 1969. 

John I. Ryan worked at St. Charles' Mission in Pryor from 1961 to 1963 and St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1963 to 1986. He died in 1986. 

Patrick F. Savage worked at St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1925 to 1927, St. Xavier's Mission from 1931 to 1933 and 1950 to 1952, St. Francis Regis Mission in Montana from 1933 to 1939, St. Jude's Church in Havre from 1939 to 1941, and Holy Family Hospital in St. Ignatius from 1962 to 1964. He died in 1965. Records don't show a St. Francis Regis Mission in Montana, but do list one in Washington.  

Frederick Simoneau worked at St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1947 to 1956, from 1965 to 1967, and from 1969 to 1977, St. Xavier Mission from 1961 to 1965, and St. Jude's Church in Havre from 1977 to 1984. He died in 1984. 

Accusations against priests identified by the Helena Diocese settlement also were not verified by the report, and years of alleged abuse were not listed. 

Augustine M. Dimier worked at St. Ignatius Mission from 1899 to 1901 and from 1920 to 1950 and St. Paul's Mission in Hays from 1913 to 1920. He died in 1950. 

Joseph L. Obersinner worked at St. Ignatius Mission from 1971 to 1981 and St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula from 1990 to 1991. He died in March. 

John Sorisio worked at St. Ignatius Mission from 1915 until his death in 1957.

Louis Taelman worked at St. Ignatius Mission from 1893 to 1895, from 1898 to 1899, from 1905 to 1909, from 1924 to 1940 and from 1952 to 1961. He also worked at St. Xavier Mission from 1901 to 1905 and 1913 to 1924. He died in 1961. 

Two priests were listed as being identified through the Helena bankruptcy but not listed as working in Montana. Thomas E. Connolly was most recently listed as working in California in 2016 but was "removed from ministry" due to a "safety plan," the report says. Victor Charlo worked in Spokane from 1961 to 1963 and was dismissed, according to the report. 

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