Back in the 1980's a priest of my own diocese, Fr. Philip Magaldi, was accused of perjury in the case of a Newport man's attempt to kill his wife. In the early 1990's, he pled guilty to embezzling over $200,000 from St. Anthony's Church in North Providence, where Magaldi was once pastor.
He's since moved to the Fort Worth, Texas, diocese, and is now under investigation for molesting at least five minors in Rhode Island and Texas. He's been removed by Bishop Vann from any and all priestly ministry (one of Bp. Vann's first moves since coming to Fort Worth in 2006 - good for him!).
Now, it's revealed that Magaldi is HIV positive! OUCH for the five then-minors he did.
Here's the story from WJAR-TV, Channel 10 in Providence.
By Associated Press
FORT WORTH, Texas - A former priest accused of sexually abusing at least five minors in Rhode Island and Texas is HIV positive, Catholic diocese officials said Thursday.
Last week, a leader in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth heard someone mention that the Rev. Philip A. Magaldi has the virus that causes AIDS, said diocese spokesman Pat Svacina. The leader, the Rev. Michael F. Olson, then got verbal confirmation from Magaldi as well as a letter from his doctor who said he has HIV but not AIDS, Svacina said.
The diocese then alerted the alleged victims and the parishes where Magaldi served for nearly four decades, Svacina said.
Fort Worth diocese officials said they believe that Magaldi has been HIV positive since at least 2003.
Magaldi, 71, lives in a retirement center and diocese officials declined to disclose where. He has previously said he was innocent of the sexual abuse allegations, for which he has not been charged.
He was removed as a priest in 1999 amid claims of sexual misconduct in Providence, R.I., where he served from 1960-90, and the Fort Worth area, where he served from 1990-92 and 1993-99.
He was out of the ministry while serving a brief stint in prison in 1992 after embezzling about $200,000 from his Rhode Island parish, officials said. In an unrelated case, Magaldi also was accused of lying in the Newport case of Claus von Bulow, who was acquitted of trying to kill his heiress wife.
In 2006, a pastor at a North Richland Hills Church apologized to the congregation amid reports that five years earlier he didn't tell police after learning of inappropriate material involving minors on the computer used by Magaldi, who led the church the last six years of his ministry.
David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, urged the dioceses to aggressively seek out potential victims. He said it's impossible to know the number of victims because many children and teens abused by priests don't ever come forward.
"There's a real chance of someone suffering not only a horrific childhood trauma but also a current adult infection because of this priest," Clohessy said.
Magaldi is one of six priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth accused of abusing minors, according to 700 pages of previously secret files that were part of a sexual abuse lawsuit settled in 2005. The documents were released by a judge last year.
In Rhode Island, three separate allegations were reported in 1998, 2002 and last year against Magaldi.
Bishop Kevin Vann of the Fort Worth diocese is flying to Rome next week to ask the Vatican to expedite the process of having Magaldi defrocked, which would remove him from clerical status, Svacina said.
According to the Providence diocese, it is in the process of contacting those who have made allegations against Magaldi.
In a statement, the Providence diocese said it fully supports the efforts of the Diocese of Fort Worth to seek dismissal of Magaldi from the priesthood.
Magaldi's earlier troubles included a 1985 indictment on perjury and obstruction charges for allegedly lying in a sworn statement in support of von Bulow to help him get a new trial. The charges against Magaldi were dropped in 1987.
In Von Bulow's second trial in 1985, he was acquitted of trying to kill his wife with insulin injections at their Newport, R.I., mansion.
Gerald has a timeline on Magaldi.
The Diocese of Fort Worth has this press release as well. Here's a snip:
Magaldi was removed from active priesthood in 1999 by the late Bishop Joseph Delaney after allegations of sexual misconduct arose in Rhode Island and Fort Worth. In August 2006 Bishop Kevin Vann removed Magaldi from all ministries. Bishop Vann also is in the process of seeking "laicization" of Magaldi, which is a request to remove Magaldi from clerical status. The request is pending at the Holy See. Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is joining Bishop Vann in the request for laicization of Magaldi.