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Is it known which seminary or seminaries produced the majority of Catholic priests who were accused of sexual abuse in the USA?

The Catholic Church has suffered from the unfaithful and immoral priests within her ranks since the outbreak of the Sexual abuse scandals of 2001.

As concerns the seminaries within the United States of America do we know which seminary or seminaries produced the majority of priests who were accused of and\or convicted of sexual abuse in the USA?

I am also interested in the particular time period, either of accusation, conviction of the offences in question!

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    Hadn't thought of that. Interesting. Would you want to go with "accused of" or "convicted of"? Conviction would at least give a smaller number. And are you interested in a particular time period, either of accusation, conviction, or offense? – Matt Gutting Apr 5 at 0:06
  • @MattGutting Most certainly! Thanks for your input. Just trying to find out some of the origins of the abominable issue. – Ken Graham Apr 5 at 0:09
  • Considering clerical abuse is a worldwide phenomenon that crosses all denominations, looking for a few seminaries as the root cause seems misguided. – curiousdannii Apr 6 at 1:34
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    @curiousdannii True, but it begs the question of priestly formation in seminaries. A few former seminary students have told me some pretty outrages stories. This question does not ask the root causes of clerical abuse. – Ken Graham Apr 6 at 1:51
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Is it known which seminary or seminaries produced the majority of Catholic priests who were accused of sexual abuse in the USA?

I remember when this sexual abuse scandal first hit the Church. At that time, I was living in the USA and asked several higher ranking churchmen where the majority of abusive priests were coming from? The only answer I got was St. John’s Seminary!

Any examination of the sexual abuse crisis afflicting the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles leads inevitably to a bell-towered campus in the rolling hills of Camarillo: St. John’s Seminary.

The 66-year-old institution has trained hundreds of clerics for the archdiocese and smaller jurisdictions across Southern California and beyond. It is the alma mater of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod Brown and other prominent prelates. Former San Francisco Archbishop William Levada, now the Vatican’s chief enforcer of doctrine, taught at the school.

But St. John’s, the only seminary operated by the archdiocese, also has produced a disproportionate number of alleged sexual abusers as it prepared men for a life of ministry and celibacy, records show.

About 10% of St. John’s graduates reported to have been ordained in the Los Angeles Archdiocese since 1950 -- 65 of roughly 625 -- have been accused of molesting minors, according to a review of ordination announcements, lawsuits, published reports and the archdiocese’s 2004 list of alleged abusers. In two classes -- 1966 and 1972 -- a third of the graduates were later accused of molestation.

The St. John’s figures are much higher than the nationwide rate of alleged molesters in the American priesthood, as calculated by a church-commissioned survey. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice study found that 4% of priests and deacons between 1950 and 2002 have been accused of abuse.

“The numbers get scary,” said Patrick Wall, a former monk who works for an Orange County law firm that represents alleged abuse victims suing the church, including about 100 who have accused St. John’s graduates. “I don’t think it’s coincidental.”

Archdiocese officials deny that the seminary was in any way responsible.

Spokesman Tod Tamberg blamed intense publicity over sexual abuse in the church for the higher rate of accusations involving St. John’s graduates, and noted that a California law temporarily lifting the statute of limitations for molestation lawsuits brought a flood of allegations against Los Angeles priests.

But J. Michael Hennigan, a lawyer for the archdiocese, conceded that exaggerated claims alone cannot account for the large numbers of alleged abusers in some graduating classes.

“There were a couple of years at that seminary where lightning struck,” Hennigan said. “I doubt we’ll ever figure out why.”

Spokesman Tod Tamberg blamed intense publicity over sexual abuse in the church for the higher rate of accusations involving St. John’s graduates, and noted that a California law temporarily lifting the statute of limitations for molestation lawsuits brought a flood of allegations against Los Angeles priests.

Several former students recall a licentious atmosphere at St. John’s that might have accommodated a range of sexual behavior, especially in the years before the 1990s.

The John Jay survey determined that the quarter-century from 1960 through 1984 was particularly troublesome for alleged abuse by clerics nationwide. At St. John’s, about 15% of priests who graduated during that period and served in the Los Angeles Archdiocese were accused of sexual abuse, records show.

Some of the allegations have resulted in criminal convictions or civil settlements. Most are unresolved. The accusations lodged in civil complaints have not been formally denied because the suits are the subject of a court mediation, Hennigan said.

Typically, the suits focus on incidents that allegedly occurred after a priest left the seminary. But in a 2003 suit, Esther Miller alleges that a seminarian sexually abused her at St. John’s in the mid-1970s. - Trail of Abuse Leads to Seminary

It has to be equally true that St. John’s Seminary is not an isolated circumstance of producing a certain number of sexually abusive priests, but it is on top of the list.

Bad eggs will be found here and there, but the tentacles of St. John’s Seminary students are far reaching.

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Chicago Cardinal Bernadin's seminary appointments and episcopal consecrations produced much rotten fruit.

Randy Engel, Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church (vol. 4) p. 473:

Auxiliary Bishop John G. Vlazny was one of Bernardin’s earliest appointments after Bernardin took over the Archdiocese of Chicago. In 1987, Bernardin helped Vlazny secure the vacant Diocese of Winona giving Vlazny automatic authority over Immaculate Heart Seminary, a virtual hotbed of homosexuality. […] Vlazny was one of two bishops who negotiated the Brom-Maras settlement over sexual corruption at the Winona seminary.

Ten years later, the homosexual scandals at the Immaculate Heart Seminary notwithstanding, Vlazny was promoted by Pope John Paul II to the “gay-friendly” Archdiocese of Portland, Ore.

[…]

Bishop Gerald Frederick Kicanas was another Auxiliary Bishop from Chicago made good. Kicanas was ordained by Cardinal Bernardin shortly before Bernardin’s death.

When Kicanas was Rector of Mundelein Seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago, homosexuality openly flourished. Kincanas owed his appointment to Cardinal Bernardin, who, as Archbishop of Chicago, automatically served as the seminary’s Chancellor.

On March 7, 2003, Kicanas, a conflict management specialist, was made the Ordinary of the Diocese of Tucson. On September 20, 2004, Bishop Kicanas announced he was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on behalf of yet another devastated vineyard of AmChurch.

In all, Cardinal Bernardin took part in the ordination of 28 bishops during his years as Archbishop and Cardinal

Portland was the first U.S. diocese to declare bankruptcy, and Tucson was the second.

Also, corrupted religious orders produced much homosexual rotten fruit, too; cf. ibid., ch. 16 "Homosexuality in Religious Orders", pp. 919-1002.


McCarrick was at the center of the homosexual network, which sociologists have mapped out:

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  • Producing much rotten fruit is not quite the same as saying it produced a majority of the cases. I have heard the names of the worst two seminaries, but I can not verify it’s sources. The Chicago seminary was not on the list although they as you said produced much bad fruit! – Ken Graham Apr 5 at 21:52

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