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Philippine bishop did not know of US-born priest’s past of homosexual abuse

Catholic World News - April 19, 2010

Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak says that he would not have ordained US-born Joseph Skelton as a priest of the Diocese of Tagbilaran in 2001 if he had known of Skelton’s conviction for the abuse of a teenage male.

Father Skelton pled guilty to-- and was convicted of-- sexually abusing a teenage boy in his Michigan seminary room before leaving the seminary in 1988. Last year, 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.

Father Skelton, recently photographed offering a Latin Mass ad orientem, chairs the diocesan sacred music commission. “He was convicted before he became a priest and he has served his penalty of being under probation for three years,” said Bishop Leonardo Medroso, the current diocesan bishop, who added that he learned of the conviction only in November.

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