Diocese of Phoenix Faces Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Posted on: January 13, 2021 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse

Diocese of Phoenix Faces Clergy Sex Abuse LawsuitsIn 2020, child sexual abuse claims against two priests who served in the Diocese of Phoenix made headlines. Alleged claims of sexual abuse of children against Father John “Jack” Spaulding and Father John P. Doran are a bleak reminder of the scale of clergy abuse not only within the Diocese of Phoenix, but the Catholic church as a whole.

Early last year, a Maricopa County grand jury indicted Father John “Jack” Spaulding on six counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of child molestation. The charges are in connection with Spaulding’s alleged sexual abuse of two boys under the age of 15 between 2003 and 2007. In June 2011, Spaulding was removed from priestly duties after separate allegations of sexual abuse against him were deemed credible. He was working at St. Timothy’s Parish when the 2011 allegations arose. Additionally, Spaulding was found guilty by a special tribunal convened by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in 2014. As a result, the tribunal recommended that Spaulding be dismissed from the clerical state.

Spaulding, who died in February 2020, fought against these allegations from his deathbed. Just before passing, he filed a lawsuit against Bishop Thomas Olmsted and the Diocese of Phoenix, accusing them of defaming, slandering, and libeling him over the accusations of sexual misconduct with children. Also named in the suit are the family of one of the accusers’ and lawyers who Spaulding alleges also defamed him.

Assignments for John “Jack” Spaulding in the Diocese of Phoenix include:

  • OLPH, Glendale
  • Christ the King
  • Santa Teresita
  • St. Louis the King
  • St. Raphael
  • St. Helen
  • St. Maria Goretti
  • St. Thomas the Apostle
  • St. Gabriel the Archangel
  • St. Timothy

Later in 2020, two childhood abuse victims alleged Father John P. Doran, who died in 1997, abused them while they attended St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in the 1970s. These allegations are not the first against Doran, who served in several different assignments across Arizona after his ordination in 1945. Multiple sexual abuse allegations were acknowledged by the Diocese of Tucson back in 2002. Doran is on the Diocese of Phoenix list of priests removed from ministry for sexual misconduct with a minor.

Assignments for John Doran in the Diocese of Phoenix include:

  • St. Thomas the Apostle
  • Our Lady of Joy
  • St. Maria Goretti
  • St. Martin de Porres
  • St. Catherine

The entire article can be viewed here.

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