List of Marianist members found to have sexually abused a minor
A Message from the Provincial
Marianist Provincial Father Oscar Vasquez along with Assistant Provincial Brother Bernard Ploeger announce the publication of a list of names of Province members found to have sexually abused a minor.
Notes Concerning the List
The names on the following list are presented in five groups: the Marianist Province of the United States, followed by its four predecessor Provinces (Cincinnati, New York, Pacific, and St. Louis) which merged in 2002 to form the current Province. The scope of this listing is members of the Province ministering within the United States including its territories.
Members are considered to be part of the Province of the United States if they professed first vows after the formation of the new Province in 2002. If they professed first vows prior to the formation of the new province, they will be considered part of the predecessor province they were a member of prior to the new province formation or at the time of their death or departure if these occurred prior to 2003.
Each grouping of names is listed in alphabetical order. The year of first vows, year of ordination (if a priest), year of death (if a date of death was verified), and year of withdrawal/expulsion from the Society of Mary (if either applies) is provided for each name on the list. For those who have left the Society of Mary, we also indicate the year of death if we are able to ascertain it.
Where applicable, the list within each group may be divided between Marianists of the Province of the United States found to have sexually abused a minor through physical contact and other incidents that do not fit that precise definition.
The names and locations of all public ministries to which the member was assigned are arranged in alphabetical order. The known instance(s) of abuse did not necessarily occur in the context of his service at any or all of these ministries.
This listing is based on information available to the Province in June 2020. We recognize the likelihood that we will receive additional information and/or receive new allegations from previously unknown survivors, victims, or their families. This listing will be promptly reviewed and updated when new information is received.
What information are you releasing?
The Marianist Province of the United States (Society of Mary) is releasing information associated with its members (Marianists) found to have sexually abused a minor since 1950 in the United States. This includes Marianists who are members of the Province of the United States as well as those who were members of one of its four predecessor U.S. Provinces and the abuse took place in the United States or its territories. This also includes international members of the Society of Mary if abuse occurred in the United States and was reported to the Marianist Province of the United States.
Is the list complete?
This listing is based on information available to the Province in June 2020. We recognize the likelihood that we will receive additional information and/or receive new allegations from previously unknown survivors, victims, or their families. This listing will be periodically reviewed and updated when new information is received and if new allegations are found to be substantiated.
What rationale was used for inclusion on the list?
The Provincial Superior is ultimately responsible for the names included on the list. In making his judgment of whether an allegation of abuse had been substantiated, the Provincial, in light of all the information available, used the Church’s canonical standard of “moral certitude.” The inclusion of a name on this list does not mean that such person has been charged with or convicted of a crime, nor does it mean that such a person has been found by a judge or jury in a civil action to have committed an act of abuse. Additionally, a payment made to reach a civil settlement is not, in itself, a determination that an allegation was substantiated. Similarly, the dismissal of a Marianist from the community, or the suspension of faculties in the case of those who are priests, may be for reasons other than sexual abuse of minors. See “moral certitude” and “canonical penalties” in the attached glossary.
What timespan did this review cover?
The personnel files of all Marianists brothers who have served in the Marianist Province of the United States since 1950, including its four predecessor Provinces (Cincinnati, New York, Pacific, and St. Louis) prior to their merger in 2002, were reviewed for this announcement. The year 1950 was used as the beginning of our review because it has been the standard year used by other religious orders and Catholic dioceses. In older cases, often those in authority at the time, the Brother and/or a victim are now deceased. Such circumstances often prevent the Provincial and Province Review Board from reaching “moral certitude.” See “moral certitude” in the attached glossary.
Does this list include any previously unreported cases?
Many of the individuals named on the list, living or deceased, have been previously disclosed in connection to an allegation, and those instances were handled in accordance with Province policies. Some cases were legally adjudicated, criminally or civilly, and we remain committed to cooperating fully with the justice system and law enforcement agencies. However, some names are being publicized for the first time because our review of personnel files revealed information about incidents dating to the years prior to our formal policies being in place and the Provincial deemed the allegation met the standard of “moral certitude.” See “moral certitude” in the attached glossary.
How can I report abuse?
If you believe that you, or someone you know, has been abused by a Marianist or a Province employee, we urge you to contact the Marianist Province of the US by contacting the Pastoral Assistance Coordinator Deacon Daniel Henroid at 314-285-2322 or email@example.com. We also encourage you to report allegations involving a minor to civil authorities in the jurisdiction where the abuse occurred.
What happens when the Province receives an allegation?
With a claim made against a Marianist involving abuse of one who is currently a minor, the Province immediately reports it to the appropriate civil authorities. The Province fully cooperates with legal authorities throughout their investigation.
Upon receipt of an allegation involving sexual misconduct with a minor, regardless of the victim’s current age, the accused Marianist is suspended from ministry pending the outcome of the investigation. The Province offers pastoral and therapeutic services to the victim. The Province also opens its own internal investigation irrespective of whether a criminal investigation is initiated. Results of the investigation are evaluated by the Province Review Board and Provincial.
What steps are in place to prevent abuse, or respond to reports of abuse?
The Marianist Province of the US has a zero-tolerance policy regarding instances of sexual abuse of a minor by a Marianist. We have had protocols and procedures in place since 2003 as part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Dallas Charter), a comprehensive set of procedures originally established by the USCCB for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.
The Province is also accredited by Praesidium, Inc., an organization providing consultation, risk management assessment, policy development, and training materials for use in preventing sexual misconduct and responding to allegations of sexual misconduct. The Province maintains accreditation through regular audits by Praesidium. As an additional step toward transparency and accountability, the Province has commissioned an external audit of our files to ensure that our previous reviews were both accurate and complete.
Marianists at every stage of their ministry receive regular safe-environment training to promote ethical conduct in ministry and an awareness of and sensitivity to professional boundaries. Even before a young man is accepted into the Marianists, he undergoes an in-depth screening process that includes a psychosexual assessment, social media evaluation and an extensive criminal background check. We work hard to ensure that our formation program for these young Marianists fosters a healthy development for both their spiritual life and mental health. For further information, see Province Policies for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Persons.
Are any Marianist brothers found to have abused a minor still in public ministry?
No, all living Marianists who have been found to have sexually abused a minor have been placed on a safety plan and permanently removed from public ministry.
If a Marianist had abused a minor, why did you reassign them to a new public ministry?
As part of our mission, Marianists are regularly re-assigned to new ministries or roles. In the past, prior to the renewal of religious life and its practices that were a consequence of Vatican II, Marianist brothers were taught to come to the annual general meeting prepared for a new assignment. Unfortunately, often we did not know that brothers had harmed children until many years later and so brothers were given new assignments without any awareness of harm that they had done elsewhere. This was a grave failure on the part of Marianist leadership for which we profoundly apologize. The Catholic Church in the United States now handles these situations very differently than it did before 2002, when the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was instituted. Our awareness of the nature and effect of abuse of minors has changed dramatically over the last 40 years. For example, in past years, it was often recommended by professionals in psychology and psychiatry that professed religious men and women who had abused minors could be safely returned to ministry after receiving treatment. We now know that we are not able to make such a determination. For that reason, all Marianists who have been found to have sexually abused a minor have been placed on a safety plan and permanently removed from public ministry.
If you have found one of your members to have abused a minor, why is he still a Marianist?
Put simply, they are brothers. Marianists are committed to care for brother Marianists as long as they remain a member of the congregation, even those who have committed serious sins. In caring for them, the Marianist Province of the United States also safeguards society by keeping these members out of public life where they could re-offend.
Why was this list released now?
With a sincere desire for reconciliation and healing, the Marianist Province of the United States is following the call and leadership of Pope Francis, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men in shedding light on past grievous offenses during this time of heightened scrutiny surrounding this painful issue. The Province had planned to release this list during the 2020 Lenten season, but after prayerful discernment delayed its release due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Why are dates not associated with ministry assignments?
Many victims, survivors, and/or their families desire privacy when they come forward with an allegation. The Marianist Province decided not to include dates with ministry assignments in order to help protect their privacy.
What happens to a Marianist when an allegation of abuse is deemed substantiated?
All Marianists found to have sexually abused a minor have been removed from public ministry and assigned to a monitored environment in a Marianist community or other residence where they are under strict supervision. These brothers live within a Safety Plan which prevents unsupervised contact with minors. The Safety Plan also includes specific risk reduction strategies and restrictions on behavior, including the use of technology, travel, and access by visitors. The plans are developed and monitored in consultation with the Province Review Board. Any member who fails to observe their designated safety plan is subject to dismissal.
What is the Marianist Province of the United States?
On July 1, 2002, four Provinces of the United States (Province of Cincinnati, Province of the Pacific, Province of New York and Province of St. Louis) united as the Province of the United States, headquartered in St. Louis.
The Marianist Province of the United States comprises more than 240 professed brothers and priests serving in the United States. The Province also includes communities and ministries in India, Ireland and Mexico. Province ministries include sponsored universities, high schools, middle schools and primary schools; parishes, retreat centers, and programs of spiritual formation; works of social justice and environmental integrity; service to the Marianist Family, formation, administration and art.
What is your child protection policy?
For more definitions and information regarding our child protection policies, please review our child protection policy.
What assistance did you seek in the review of the personnel files of your members?
In preparing this list of names, we engaged professional, independent counsel to
review our personnel files. The reviewers were selected for their backgrounds in criminal justice, law, psychology, child welfare and familiarity with investigation of sexual abuse of minors by religious.
A member is the collective term we use to denote a person formally affiliated with the Marianist Province of the United States. At present, membership begins with admission to Aspirancy and continues through admission to the Novitiate, First Vows and Perpetual Vows. In the years prior to 1970, membership in the Province began with the admission to the Novitiate. While all members are brothers some of our members are also ordained as priests.
Child or Minor
A child, or minor, is any person under the age of 18, or a person who due to an impairment of mental function cannot be considered to be an adult.
The term sexual abuse of a minor refers to sexual contact between a member and a minor. For a more expanded definition, please see our child protection policy.
An allegation is a first-person or third-party allegation of sexual abuse of a minor brought against a current member, former member, or deceased member which is reported to the Province through any form of communication, including any that are anonymous or self-reported.
An allegation is termed a substantiated allegation when, based upon the facts and the circumstances, there is a “moral certitude” that the allegation is true and that an incident, or incidents, of sexual abuse did occur.
Sexually Abused a Minor
A current member, former member, or deceased member is found to have sexually abused a minor by the Marianist Province of the United States when there is a substantiated allegation against that member.
Moral certitude is the canonical standard that holds that while the decision maker recognizes that the contrary (that the allegation is false) may be possible, it is highly unlikely or so improbable, that the decision maker has no substantive fear that the allegation is false.
Province Review Board
Province Review Board is an independent group composed predominantly of lay professionals drawn from relevant fields including psychology, human development, legal practice (lawyer) and law enforcement. It serves as advisory to the Provincial, the Major Superior of the Province, in the matters of sexual abuse of minors. All accusations of abuse that the Province receives and a report of the follow up of each is provided to this Board. The Board offers its evaluation of the credibility of the accusations as well as proposals for next steps. The Province Review Board also reviews Province policies to prevent abuse and the adequacy of the supervision of Province members found to have sexually abused a minor.
A Safety Plan is a written statement of the restrictions which a member found to have sexually abused a minor must abide by to remain a member of the Province. While each plan recognizes factors such as age and health, all prohibit unsupervised contact with minors and any form of public ministry. For ordained members, this means that they may not perform any priestly functions in public (i.e., their faculties are suspended). Unless new evidence would come to light that exonerates the member, the Safety Plan applies for the rest of the life of the person as long as he remains a member of the Province.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Dallas Charter of 2002 – These are the norms developed by the Bishops to guide the Church’s response to the sexual abuse of minors by Church personnel, lay, and ordained. It established five guiding principles:
- Respond promptly to all allegations of abuse where there is reasonable belief that abuse has occurred.
- If such an allegation is supported by sufficient evidence, relieve the alleged offender promptly of his ministerial duties and refer him for appropriate medical evaluation and intervention.
- Comply with the obligations of civil law as regards reporting the incident and cooperating with the investigation.
- Reach out to the victims and their families and communicate sincere commitment to their spiritual and emotional well-being.
- Within the confines of respect for privacy of the individuals involved, deal as openly as possible with the members of the community.
Instruments of Hope and Healing
Instruments of Hope and Healing – 2016 Standards for Accreditation adopted by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) – a series of 25 Standards grouped into three areas:
- Standards for Prevention
- Standards for Responding
- Standards for Supervision
Associated with each Standard are requirements that must be met for a religious institute to be in compliance.
Praesidium – an independent organization whose professionals audit religious institutes (as well as other youth-serving organizations) to determine whether the institutes are in compliance with all of the 25 Standards.
Canon Law is the body of laws and regulations made by or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian Church and its members. The canon law of the Roman Catholic Church was most recently codified (organized into a single body of law) in 1983 and was promulgated by the Pope.
Canonical Penalties: The Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law provides for penalties that may be imposed on members of religious communities who have been found to have engaged in serious misconduct. In particular, any religious may be involuntarily dismissed from his religious community. Those members who are also ordained as priests may have their “faculties suspended” (i.e., may no longer exercise public ministry as a priest) until reinstated by the bishop; and, more seriously, be “involuntarily laicized” (i.e., permanently prohibited from functioning in any capacity as a priest). Note that while sexual abuse of a minor may be the reason for the imposition of such a penalty, other serious forms of misconduct (i.e., refusal to obey a valid directive) could be the cause.
More definitions and information
For more definitions and information regarding our policies, please review our child protection policy.
Members found to have sexually abused a minor
Province of United States
- Since 2002 -
- Prior to 2002 -
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Province of Cincinnati
Province of New York
Province of the Pacific
Abuse Occurred as an Aspirant/ While Under Direction of Province but Never Professed Vows
Name: Martines, Gilbert