Review finds evidence of sexual misconduct by 14 people in the Anchorage Archdiocese since 1966

Archdiocese of Anchorage. (Valerie Kern/Alaska Public Media)

An independent review has found evidence of sexual misconduct by 14 Catholic Church employees, nearly all of them priests, who served in parishes, schools and shelters under the Archdiocese of Anchorage.

The archdiocese released their names Thursday in a report posted on its website.

[Read the report here.]

It’s the first time the Anchorage Archdiocese has named its clergy members who have been accused of sexual misconduct. It follows dozens of disclosures from other dioceses across the country, including in Juneau.

The Anchorage report was ordered by Archbishop Paul Etienne in October 2018. He created a commission to review the files of all ordained and religious men and women who served under the archdiocese since it started in 1966.

Related: ‘It’s never, ever been your fault’: Alaska bishop offers apology in wake of report on sexual abuse

The commission included a retired police captain, former prosecutor and retired judge.

Their review found “credible evidence” that 13 priests and one other church employee who served under the archdiocese engaged in sexual misconduct involving minors or vulnerable adults.

The men served across Southcentral Alaska.

Allegations against 10 of them came while they served in the Anchorage Archdiocese. The other four faced allegations in another diocese, the report said.

The allegations are as recent as 2015. They date as far back as 1956, before the Anchorage Archdiocese was started. Francis Cowgill is accused of sexual misconduct involving minors from 1956 to 1964, the report said. He served under the Diocese of Juneau at the time, and later joined the Anchorage Archdiocese.

According to the report, half of those accused of sexual misconduct are now dead.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many of the men, if any, had faced criminal charges.

Read our continuing coverage of abuse within the Catholic Church in Alaska

In a letter attached to the report, Bishop Andrew Bellisario said the archdiocese is aware there may be other instances of sexual misconduct that weren’t identified in the review or were never reported. The commission will review any additional information that comes forward, he said.

Bellisario started the letter with an apology to those who have been sexually abused by members of the clergy.

“It is with humility, sorrow, and shame that I apologize to you, your family, friends, and community in the name of the Church for the grievous harm you suffered,” he wrote.

The archdiocese scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon.

Related: Diocese of Juneau finds ‘credible evidence’ of sexual misconduct by Southeast Alaska priests

Here is the list from the report released by the Archdiocese of Anchorage:

Names of those who have been determined by the Independent Commission to have credible evidence of sexual misconduct involving minors and/or vulnerable adults while serving in the Archdiocese of Anchorage 

Name of Priest, Religious or Lay MinisterStatusAssignments while in the Archdiocese of AnchorageAllegation(s) while serving in the Archdiocese of Anchorage
Stanley AllieRetired 2000, no longer in ministryHoly Family Cathedral, Anchorage, 1969 – 1970
St. Bernard, Talkeetna 1970 – 1974
St. Benedict, Anchorage, 1974-1984
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Anchorage 1984 – 1990
Sacred Heart, Wasilla 1990-2000
Sexual misconduct involving a vulnerable adult on or about 1986
Rene Astruc, S.J.Deceased 2002Jesuit Residence, Anchorage 1971-1996Sexual misconduct involving a minor 1976 and vulnerable adult
Manuel CastroEmployment ended 2013St. Mark, Kodiak 2010 – 2013Sexual misconduct involving a vulnerable adult 2011Sexual misconduct involving minors outside of the Archdiocese of Anchorage
Michael HornickDismissed from the clerical state 2014Holy Family Cathedral, Anchorage, as Decon 1968St. Anthony, Anchorage 1969-1971
St. Nicholas of Myra Byznatine Catholic Church, Anchorage 1978-1981
St. Benedict, Anchorage, 1971-1974
Chancery Office, Anchorage, as Vicar General, 1976-1984
Chancery Office, Anchorage, as Judicial Vicar 1976-2004
St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church, Anchorage 2006
Blessed Theodore Romzha, Mission, Wasilla, 2006
Sexual misconduct involving minors and vulnerable adults 1970s – 2000s
James Laudwein, S.J.Returned to his religious order 1995Chaplaincy Apostolate throughout the Archdiocese, 1982 – 1995 including: Jesuit Residence, Anchorage
Native Ministry, Associate Director
UAA Campus Ministry, Director 1986-1994
Anchorage Jesuit Community Supervisor 
Jesuit Volunteer Community, Advisor
Brother Francis Shelter, Chaplain
Covenant House, Chaplain
Sexual misconduct involving vulnerable adults in 1989
Robert Leising, OMIReturned to his religious community 2016St. John the Baptist, Homer 2012-2016
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Soldotna, 2012-2016
Our Lady of the Angels, Kenai 2012 – 2016
St. Peter the Apostle Mission, Ninilchik, 2012-2016
Sexual misconduct by viewing child pornography
Francis MurphyDeceased 2012Holy Family of Cathedral, Anchorage 1996
St. Mary, Kodiak 1966
St. Michael, Palmer, 1967
Holy Family Cathedral, Anchorage 1970-1971
St. Patrick, Anchorage 1971-1984
St. Benedict, Anchorage 1984-1985
Sexual misconduct involving minors 1966-1979
Bernard Oosterman, (Beno)Deceased 2011Preaching throughout the Archdiocese, 1978-1980, including:
Talkeetna, Kodiak, Wasilla, Kenai, Palmer, Anchorage, Valdez, Dillingham, Cordova, Seward, Eagle River, and Glennallen
Sexual misconduct involving a minor in 1978
Gerard Ryan, C.S.SpDeceased 2019St. Anthony Anchorage 1971-1974
St. Bernard, Talkeetna, 1974-1979
St. Michael, Palmer, 1979-1987
St. Francis Xavier, Valdez 1987-1988Our Lady of Guadalupe, Anchorage, 1988-1989
Sexual misconduct involving minors 1971-1972
Robert Wells, C.Ss.R.Deceased 1992Our Lady of the Angels, Kenai, 1974-1988
Sacred Heart, Seward and St. John Neumann Mission, Cooper Landing, 1988-1992
Sexual misconduct involving a minor 1977-1986

Names of those who have served in the Archdiocese of Anchorage who have been determined by the Independent Commission to have credible evidence of sexual misconduct involving minors and/or vulnerable adults while service in another location

Name of Priest, Religious or Lay MinisterStatusAssignments while in the Archdiocese of AnchorageAllegation(s) while serving in the Archdiocese of Anchorage
Francis CowgillDeceased 2002St. Mary, Kodiak, 1966
St. Andrew, Eagle River, 1967-1968
St. Anthony, Anchorage 1968-2000
Sexual misconduct involving minors 1956-1964
Tim CrowleyLaicized 2015Assistant to the Archbishop, Anchorage 1995-2002 
Resided at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 1995-2002
Sexual misconduct involving a minor 1980s
Angus McDonaldDeceased 1988From 1972-1973 served in the following parishes: 
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Anchorage
Holy Family Cathedral, Anchorage
St. Patrick, Anchorage
St. Benedict, Anchorage
Sexual misconduct involving a vulnerable adult 1976
James MurphyDismissed from the clerical state 2012Our Lady of Gudalupe, Anchorage 1982-1987
Resided at St. Patrick Parish, Anchorage, 1987-1991
St. Patrick Anchorage 1991
St. Francis Xavier, Valdez 1992
Sexual misconduct involving minors 1965-1971