Discredited Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals

From 1990 to 2005, at least 27 bishops, archbishops and cardinals around the world resigned or were stood down after allegations of sexual misconduct, on their own part or of those they supervised, became public; however, this may not be a complete list.  Where not otherwise specified, details were sourced from the Boston Globe website 11th June 2004.  Note: In the Mormon Church, the bishop is the local parish clergyperson.  This list only refers to senior church leaders, not parish clergy.

Catholic Archbishop Edgardo Storni of Santa Fe resigned on Oct. 1, 2002, after a book accused him of abusing at least 47 young seminarians. The Vatican had investigated allegations against Storni in 1994, but found insufficient evidence to act. Storni said his resignation did not signify guilt.

2002 Governor-General Peter Hollingworth, former Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, resigned in May as Governor-General in the wake of an inquiry and report into sex abuse in the diocese during his 11 year tenure (1990-2001) via news and media releases

2004 Ian George, Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide, resigned 11th June in the wake of a report into abuse within the diocese of Adelaide. via news and media releases

2004 Retired Anglican Bishop Donald Shearman was defrocked in August for sexual misconduct with a 14yo girl in the 1950s.  It is believed Shearman is the first bishop worldwide to be defrocked for sex offences. via news and media releases

Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer of Vienna was forced by the Vatican to retire in April 1995 following allegations he repeatedly abused students at an all-male Catholic high school in Hollabrunn in the 1970s. Groer rejected the accusations. He subsequently died in 2003.

Catholic Bishop Kurt Krenn, of St Polten, resigned in October 2004, three months after a pornography scandal at his diocesan seminary.  The Pope appointed an apostolic visitor, or special investigator, on 20 July to look into events at the St Polten seminary, after Vienna's Profil magazine published pictures of priests and students engaged in intimate acts. The seminary's rector and vice-rector resigned in the wake of the scandal, while a Polish seminarian received a six months' suspended sentence for storing child pornography on a computer.  Pope John Paul II personally wrote to Krenn demanding his resignation, but Krenn still claims he was the victim of a "great injustice". via Ecumenical News International 1/10/04

Bishop Hubert O'Connor of Prince George, British Columbia, was sentenced on Sept. 13, 1996, to 2 1/2 years in prison for sexually assaulting two teenage girls at a boarding school in central British Colombia while he was principal there in the 1960s.

Archbishop Alphonsus Penney of St. John's, Newfoundland, resigned on February 2, 1991, after a church commission criticized him for failing to prevent extensive abuse of boys living in Newfoundland orphanages.

Auxiliary Bishop Franziskus Eisenbach of Mainz resigned on April 16, 2002, after a female university professor accused him of sexually assaulting her during an exorcism. Eisenbach denied the allegation and the Vatican said his resignation was not an admission of guilt.

Bishop Brendan Comiskey of Ferns is the first known member of the church hierarchy to resign voluntarily over his management of an abusive priest. Comiskey stepped down on April 1, 2002, after coming under fire for his handling of the Rev. Sean Fortune, an accused pedophile.  Comiskey apologized for his conduct and the church launched a probe of the scandal.

Bishop Eamonn Casey of Galway stepped down on May 7, 1992, after admitting he had fathered the son of a Connecticut woman while having an affair with her in 1973. Casey used church offerings to pay the woman thousands of dollars in child support.
Archbishop Juliusz Paetz of Poznan, a close associate of Pope John Paul II, resigned on March 28, 2002, amid accusations he had made sexual advances on young clerics. Paetz denied the allegations, but said he was resigning "for the good of the church." The Vatican conducted an inconclusive investigation of the case.
Bishop Roderick Wright of Argyll and the Isles resigned on Sept. 16, 1996, after admitting an affair with a mother of three who he met while counseling her during her divorce. After his resignation, Wright and the woman married. Wright acknowledged that he had fathered a son by another woman earlier in his career.

Bishop Hansjoerg Vogel of Basel resigned on June 2, 1995, after admitting he had impregnated a woman following his appointment to the hierarchy the year before.

Bishop Manuel D. Moreno resigned on March 7, 2003, citing health reasons (he suffers from early Parkinson's disease and prostate cancer). Moreno apologized for his handling of Monsignor Robert C. Trupia, a multiple abuser, and other priests. The Tucson diocese settled 11 clergy abuse lawsuits for an estimated $14 million in 2002.
Bishop Michael J Neils resigned as bishop of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) and as an ordained minister on 24th Jan 2006, after admitting to sexual misconduct with an adult woman. via ELCA News 27/1/06
Cardinal Bernard Law, perhaps America's most powerful Catholic Church official, resigned on Dec. 13, 2002, after a year of growing criticism over his failure to remove abusive priests from ministry in the Boston Archdiocese.
Thomas L. Dupre resigned abruptly in Feb 2004 after being accused of raping two boys in the 1970s.  A subsequent grand jury investigation decided in September 2004 to indict Dupre, but the DA decided not to prosecute because it was so far outside the statute of limitations.  At the time of the indictment, Springfield diocese said they did not know where Dupre was, and that he was only answerable to the Holy See and the pope.  Charges in other jurisdictions and federally were still pending at the time of indictment. via Boston Globe
Auxiliary Bishop James McCarthy, former secretary to the late Cardinal John O'Connor, resigned on June 11, 2002, after admitting he had affairs with several women, reportedly including a 21-year-old.           
Bishop J. Kendrick Williams resigned on June 11, 2002, after being accused in lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Louisville of abusing two minors and an 18-year-old decades ago. Williams denied the accusations.
Archbishop Rembert Weakland resigned on May 25, 2002, after it became known that the Milwaukee Archdiocese in 1998 paid a $450,000 settlement to a man who claimed Weakland tried to assault him in 1979. Weakland admitted to an "inappropriate relationship" with the man but denied the abuse charge.       
* Bishop Anthony O'Connell resigned on March 8, 2002, after admitting he repeatedly abused a teenage boy at the Hannibal, Mo., seminary he led during the 1970s. The victim received a $125,000 settlement from the Diocese of Jefferson City in 1996. Fall River, Mass., Bishop Sean Patrick O'Malley was named to replace him.
* Bishop J. Keith Symons, who preceded Bishop Anthony O'Connell as head of the Palm Beach Diocese, became the first US bishop to resign over child sexual abuse on June 1, 1998. Symons admitted to molesting five teenage boys at three Florida parishes earlier in his career.
Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann resigned on July 21, 1999, when a California priest claimed Ziemann had coerced him into sex acts after learning the priest had stolen parish funds. Ziemann confirmed the sexual relationship, but claimed it was consensual.
Archbishop Robert Sanchez, the nation's first Hispanic bishop, resigned on March 19, 1993, after admitting he had sexual relationships with at least five young women in New Mexico in the 1970s and '80s.
The late Archbishop Eugene Marino, the nation's first black archbishop, resigned on July 10, 1990, upon admitting having an "intimate" relationship with a female parishioner in her 20s. Marino died in November 2000.

Archbishop John Aloysius Ward of Cardiff, Wales, was forced by the pope to resign on Oct. 26, 2001, after he was accused of ignoring warnings about two priests who were later convicted of child abuse.

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