An attorney claims eight Diocese of Rochester priest are responsible for sexual abuse against children.
Of the eight priests, accusations against three of them were already public knowledge: Father Eugene Emo, Father David P. Simon, and Father Francis H. Vogt.
During a Wednesday news conference, attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who says he is representing victims in the case, named the other five priests who face accusations of sexual abuse. He says 17 victims have come forward.
- Father G. Stuart Hogan
- Father Charles J. McCarthy
- Father Gary P. Shaw
- Father Richard J. Orlando
- Father Thomas J. Valenti
Garabedian says the abuse took place over the course of decades. He told reporters that the priests were transferred from parish to parish to hide the crimes.
“It’s time for the church to come clean,” Garabedian told reporters. “The evil must end. There is no excuse for it.”
Garabedian is calling on Bishop Matano to release the Diocese’s “secret file” that details allegations of sexual abuse against priests.
In a statement, the Diocese said accusations against Father Valenti were unfounded and no other reports of abuse have been made. Officials say they never received any complaints about Fathers Hogan, McCarthy, Orlando and Shaw. Hogan, McCarthy and Orlando are now deceased. The Diocese says Shaw resigned in 1977 and was dispensed from the clergy in 1978.
At this time, News 8 is not aware of any criminal charges brought against any of the priests. Speaking with News 8, Rochester police did not have records available related to the crimes. It’s also not clear if any of the accusations have been investigated by police.
Response from Diocese
The Diocese of Rochester has been in correspondence for several months with the Garabedian law firm regarding the individuals named publicly at the news conference today. The Diocese has invited participation in a process of investigation and resolution. We have had little or no response. Regarding the individuals named today: Eugene Emo, David Simon and Francis Vogt are among those listed, since 2012, on our website as priests who were removed from public ministry for sexual abuse of a minor. That list can be found here.
The Diocese has never received any complaints of clergy sexual abuse of a minor against Fathers G. Stuart Hogan, Charles McCarthy and Richard Orlando, each of whom retired as a priest and are now deceased. The Diocese never received any complaints of clergy sexual abuse of a minor against Gary Shaw, who resigned from ministry in 1977 and was dispensed from the clerical state in 1978.
The allegation against Father Thomas J. Valenti was investigated, reviewed and determined to be unsubstantiated. No further complaints of sexual abuse of a minor against Father Valenti have ever been received.
The Diocese of Rochester treats all claims of abuse most seriously and has done so for decades, long before the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002. To assist in the resolution of any claim of clerical sexual abuse of a minor – regardless when it is alleged to have occurred – the Diocese has retained Hon. Robert J. Lunn, a retired New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Justice whose practice currently concentrates on mediation and arbitration of civil claims. Justice Lunn, who is a Member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, is a partner in the firm of Trevett Cristo, P.C., in Rochester, New York (www.trevettcristo.com).
While on the bench and also in private practice, Justice Lunn has had extensive experience in reviewing, assessing and resolving claims of sexual abuse. If a claimant consents to participate, Justice Lunn will review all required documentation relating to the claim, evaluate the merits on a case-by-case basis and make a final decision regarding appropriate compensation for the victim. When administering any claim of clerical sexual abuse of a minor, Justice Lunn will serve independently of the Diocese. His decision regarding will be final. The Diocese has agreed to accept his determination without appeal.
“I again wish to re-state to the victims and all the faithful my deep sorrow, regret and empathy for those who have suffered so grievously the sin of sexual abuse. I continue to offer fervent prayers for those who have been hurt and betrayed, and I ask all the faithful to join with me in these prayers,” said The Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano, Bishop of Rochester.
Victims of clergy sexual abuse of a minor are encouraged to contact civil authorities. To receive help and guidance from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, please contact Mrs. Deborah Housel, victim assistance coordinator, at (585) 328-3210, ext. 1555, or toll-free 1-800-388-7177, ext. 1555 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon receiving notification of any such claim, regardless when it occurred, the Diocese, in addition to promptly notifying appropriate civil authorities, conducts its own investigation, which is reviewed by an independent Review Board of experts in law, child protection, law enforcement and psychology.
Where the priests served
According to assignment records provided by Garabedian, the accused priests served at several churches around the Rochester Diocese. Only one of the priests, Father Valenti, is still active in the Diocese.
(Note: directory information was not available before 1951)
Father Thomas J. Valenti
- Served at St. Mary’s of the Lake in Ontario (1976)
- Holy Apostles in Rochester (1977)
- Blessed Sacrament (1978 to 1980)
- St. Louis in Pittsford (1984 to 1989)
- Becket Hall in Rochester (1990 to 1993)
- Diocese Office of Campus Ministry (Catholic Community of Ithaca College) (1994 to 1997)
- Notre Dame in New York City and Church of St. John the Baptist in Yonkers (1998 to 2014
- Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick in Owego (2015 to current)
Father G. Stuart Hogan
- Ordained in 1924
Served at St. James in Waverly (1952 to 1963)
Served at St. Gregory in Marion (listed from 1962 to 1965)
Passed away in 1985
Father Charles J. McCarthy
- Served at St. Bernard’s Seminaryin Rochester (1951 to 1959)
- Served at St. Patrick’s in Macedon (1960 to 1964)
- Served at St. Andrew’s in Rochester (1965 to 1971)
- He passed away in 1971
Father Gary P. Shaw
- Served at St. John’s in Clyde in 1973
- Served at St. Margaret Mary in Rochester (1974 to 1977)
Father Richard J. Orlando
- Ordained in 1947
- Served at St. Francis Xavier’s in Rochester (1951 to 1954)
- Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Rochester (1955 and 1959 to 1963)
- St. Anthony of Padua in Rochester (1956 to 1958)
- Holy Rosary in Rochester (1964 to 1966)
- St. Helen’s in Rochester (1967 and 1968)
- St. Michael’s in Lyons (1969 to 1993)
- Retired at St. Thomas More Rectory (1994 to 2006)
- Passed away in 2006