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Thursday, December 9, 2010

PippiLeaks: Jason Sigler letters show bishops did not even know how predator priest ended up in Via Coeli, let alone how to handle him

The “original intention” was to send Jason Sigler back to Canada," says letter from Diocese of Lansing at left from March 5, 1970. However, “Father Sigler asked if it would be possible to search out another solution….

"Thereupon I contacted Bishop Gumbleton of Detroit who said that he would take Father Sigler for the present providing that he would obtain psychiatric help."

This is entry four in the PippiLeaks project filed today Dec. 9, 2010. Earlier we posted Depo-Provera Program for Sexual Offender Priests re Servants of the Paraclete, plus Minutes of Monthly Psychiatric Meeting and 1956 fundraiser from Fitzgerald round out today's additions.

City of Angels Blog invites church insiders to leak documents here, re the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church, in the same spirit as WikiLeaks. In July 2010, Jason Sigler lost a request for parole, but observers say Sigler may be released from prison in Michigan in December 2011, Read about Sigler in the database at Bishop Accountability under S.

In Canada, there had been “a report that Father Sigler had become involved in some homosexual activity in the parish” (Note: Homosexual Activity was the term for pedophile activity in the early seventies Catholic Church). “Bishop Zaleski found it necessary to ask Father Sigler to leave.”

The letter from Lansing to the Archbishop of Winnipeg goes on to say, “I am sure Father Sigler would agree to any recommendations offered him since hie is very definitely committed to the priesthood.”

At Left, how the Archbisohp of Winnipeg responded April 22, 1970:


On September 10, 1968, Father Sigler “with the approbation of Cardinal Flahiff, was accepted into the Diocese of Lansing 'ad experimentum' for a period of three years and if everything went well, he would then have been incardinated into the Diocese.”

Sigler “had left Lansing and returned to Detroit because of a ‘problem’ (underlined in letter). No further communication took place until your kind letter of March 31.

“We would not wish Father Sigler to be disturbed unnecessarily, but His Eminence asks if you could let me know how Father Sigler came to Via Coeli.... Was he sent by Bishop Gumbleton or by the Diocese of Lansing, or did he come of his own volition?”


At left: From Servants of the Paraclete to Archbishop of Winnipeg, January 21, 1971

“According to the report of the psychiatrist, Father Jason Sigler should be ready to return to active duty at the end of February of this year.”


From McNamara to Sanchez October 4, 1978

Since he is doing so well in our program, “Would it be possible for Fr. Sigler to accept weekend and supply ministry in the Archdiocese?”


From Archbishop Robert Sanchez of Santa Fe to Servants of the Paraclete October 25, 1978, at left:

“I have no objections to Father Sigler assisting parishes of the Archdiocese which request his assistance for weekend and supply ministry. For this purpose I herein grant faculties to him.”


(COfA: Is the letter at the top the same one referred to here, re Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, defendant in a Michigan pedophile priest case?)

In November, an appeals court panel also ruled against Patrick Antos, who filed a claim for damages against former priest Jason Sigler, who is serving a 7-year prison sentence in Michigan for abuse dating back to the 1960s and 1970s. Antos' lawsuit said church officials in Lansing, Detroit and New Mexico knew about Sigler's abuse of boys, and shuffled him between parishes At the time of his lawsuit, Antos was in prison in Utah and said Sigler molested him in a Flushing parish in the mid-1970s.

Antos' lawsuit also named Gumbleton as a defendant, saying there was a letter that suggested Gumbleton, as an auxiliary bishop in the Detroit archdiocese in the late 1960s, conspired to conceal Sigler's predatory behavior. Gumbleton Wednesday said he did not handle dealings with Sigler.
Sigler was one of the few priests or former priests convicted for long-ago abuse, in cases in both Wayne and Genesee County. That's because of a legal loophole, allowing prosecution of people who move out of Michigan before the statute of limitations expired. (Read Detroit Free Press story on Sigler at Bishop Accountability)


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