A dozen clergy members named in diocese’s abuse list served in South Mississippi

A dozen clergy members named in diocese’s abuse list served in South Mississippi

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The names of a dozen clergy members who were assigned in South Mississippi appear on a list released Tuesday of men credibly accused of sexual abuse.

The Catholic Diocese of Jackson released the names of clergy members, which included names of clergy members from across the state.

Twelve clergy members on the list were at one time assigned in South Mississippi, with the earliest case of abuse reportedly dating back to 1939 and the most recent in 1984. None of the men are still active in ministry.

SEE THE FULL LIST OF NAMES BELOW

The Diocese of Jackson once encompassed the entire state. In 1977, the state was split into two dioceses: Jackson and Biloxi. The Diocese of Jackson holds the archives from the beginnings of both dioceses and so any case from the Diocese of Biloxi from before 1977 will appear as part of the history of the Diocese of Jackson. The Diocese of Biloxi has released a list of cases from 1977 to the present.

An accusation is considered credible when it has been investigated, presented to our Independent Fitness Review Board and deemed to be specific and believable. Civil authorities determine if an accusation is a crime. Not everyone on this list was charged or convicted of a crime.

You may notice a gap between the abuse date and the reporting date. The diocese may not have been aware of the abuse before a priest was moved to another parish. Not all victims report their abuse right away.

The Diocese of Jackson presented all of its cases to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office in 2002 and again in 2019 in an effort to ensure transparency and a spirit of cooperation. When the diocese receives new credible reports, those are presented to the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services, law enforcement or the district attorney in the place where the abuse is alleged to have taken place.

"It is my hope and prayer that releasing these names will confirm our commitment to transparency in pursuit of our promise to protect and our pledge to heal the harm caused by the abuse in the church," said Bishop Joseph Kopacz in a video posted to the Diocese of Jackson's website.

“I know that this list will cause pain to many individuals in communities and I am truly deeply sorry for that pain. Indeed, the crime of sexual abuse of any kind is a sin but the abuse of children and vulnerable adults is especially egregious.”

Hear more from Bishop Kopacz in the video below:

DIOCESAN PRIESTS

Thomas Boyce, Born: 1941; Ordained: 1966; Current Status: Removed 2002; Deceased 2002

Assignments: St. Mary, Batesville; St. Jude, Pearl; All Saints, Belzoni; St. Michael, Vicksburg; St. Peter, Jackson; St. Alphonsus, Ocean Springs

Date(s) of alleged abuse: 1972-1973 – Jackson

Date(s) abuse was reported: 2002

George Broussard, Born: 1935; Ordained: 1966; Current Status: Left Ministry 1975; Deceased 2007

Assignments: St. Clare, Waveland; St. Peter, Jackson; Diocesan Chancellor; St. John, Gulfport

Date(s) of alleged abuse: 1969-1974 – multiple locations

Date(s) abuse was reported: 2002

Nelius Downing, Born: 1883; Ordained: 1914; Current Status: Deceased prior to accusation

Assignments: Sacred Heart, Canton; St. Patrick, Meridian; St. Mary, Natchez; Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis; St. Elizabeth, Clarksdale; St. Michael, Biloxi

Date(s) of alleged abuse: 1939 – Meridian

Date(s) abuse was reported: 2002

Bernard Haddican, Born: 1933; Ordained: 1960; Current Status: Retired: 1991; Deceased: 1996

Assignments: Sacred Heart, Rosedale; Our Lady of Victories, Cleveland; St. Elizabeth, Clarksdale; St. Michael, Vicksburg; St. Mary, Shelby; St. John, Oxford; St. Joseph, Greenville; St. Richard, Jackson; Sacred Heart, Hattiesburg; Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis; St. Mary, Natchez

Date(s) of alleged abuse: 1964-84 – multiple locations

Date(s) abuse was reported: 1998/2002

John Leonard, Born: 1920; Ordained: 1948; Current Status: Deceased prior to accusation: 2003

Assignments: St. Paul, Vicksburg; St. Francis, Shaw; St. Mary, Batesville; St. John, Sardis; Our Lady of Victories, Cleveland; All Saints, Belzoni; St. Mary, Yazoo City; Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis

Date(s) of alleged abuse: 1952-56 – Bay St. Louis

Date(s) abuse was reported: 2004

Paul Madden, Born: 1946; Ordained: 1970; Current Status: Retired; Incardinated in diocese in Peru

Assignments: Society of St. James, Peru; St. John, Crystal Springs; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Saltillo, Mexico; St. Mary, Natchez; Holy Family, Jackson; St. Alphonsus, Ocean Springs

Date(s) of alleged abuse: 1973 – Ireland

Date(s) abuse was reported: 1993

Kevin Reid, Born: 1934; Ordained: 1958; Current Status: Left ministry in 1976; Deceased

Assignments: Holy Trinity, Columbia; Our Lady of Fatima, Biloxi; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Greenwood; Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis

Date(s) of alleged abuse:1961-66 – Bay St. Louis

Date(s) abuse was reported: 2002

Ivan Siekman, Born: 1946; Ordained: 1975; Current Status: Left ministry 1990; Faculties removed 2003

Assignments: Sacred Heart, Biloxi Date(s) of alleged abuse:1972-73 – Bay St. Louis

Date(s) abuse was reported: 2003

Jack Smith, Born: 1941; Ordained: 1970; Current Status: Deceased prior to accusations

Assignments: St. Michael, Vicksburg; Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis; St. Joseph, Starkville; St. Alphonsus, Ocean Springs; St. Joseph, Greenville

Date(s) of alleged abuse: 1972 – 1980 multiple sites

Date(s) abuse was reported: 2003

James Taylor, Born: 1927; Ordained: 1954; Current Status: Retired prior to accusation; Deceased

Assignments: St. Mary, Woolmarket; St. Peter, Bassfield; Immaculate Conception, Laurel; St. Michael, Forest; St. Joseph, Woodville; St. Joseph, Greenville; St. Therese, Jackson; St. Paul, Vicksburg; Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis; St. Mary, Yazoo City; Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Biloxi; St. Mary, Jackson

Date(s) of alleged abuse: 1962 – Woodville

Date(s) abuse was reported: 1998

Thomas Williams, Born: 1913; Ordained: 1940; Current Status: Deceased prior to accusation 1983

Assignments: Our Lady of Fatima, Biloxi; St. John, Gulfport; St. Francis, Brookhaven; St. Paul, Pass Christian; St. Mary, Natchez; St. Paul, Vicksburg

Date(s) of alleged abuse: 1958 – Gulfport

Date(s) abuse was reported: 2002/2012

EXTERN PRIESTS

Daniel O’Hanlon, Diocese of Springfield, IL, Born: 1897; Ordained: 1923; Current Status: Deceased prior to accusation 1969

Assignments: St. Michael, Biloxi; St. Charles Borromeo, Picayune; St. Mary, Jackson

Date(s) of alleged abuse: 1966-67 – Biloxi

Date(s) abuse was reported: 1993/2002

If you have been abused by a member of the clergy or an employee of the church, please contact the Diocese of Jackson to speak with the victim’s assistance coordinator Valerie McClellan at 601-326-3728.

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