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Seminarian convicted of homosexual abuse of teen, then ordained in another country

October 27, 2009

The Archdiocese of Detroit and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) are engaging in a verbal skirmish over whether the archdiocese should have done more to publicize two abuse cases.

Father Joseph Skelton Jr., who pled guilty to-- and was convicted of-- sexually abusing a teenage boy in his Michigan seminary room before leaving the seminary in 1988, eventually was ordained as a priest of the Diocese of Tagbilaran in the Philippines. In addition, the Archdiocese of Washington recently settled an abuse suit with a man who alleged that Father Skelton, while a seminarian, joined Father George Stallings in abusing him. Father Stallings was later excommunicated for starting the breakaway Imani Temple.

Thomas Gardipee, formerly a Capuchin brother, found employment teaching at a Hawaii high school even though the Detroit-based Capuchin province had barred him from working with minors because of abuse allegations.

The archdiocese contends that Gardipee had never ministered in the Detroit area and that it informed Father Skelton’s Philippine bishop about his criminal history after the archdiocese became aware of his ordination.


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