Franciscans Fail to Warn Widener About Accusation

A Widener University dean, who is also a Franciscan priest, resigned after school officials learned of credible child sex abuse allegation from his past.


“The Franciscans found his claim credible, and assured the victim and his lawyer that the priest would be stripped of his public ministries, according to Jim Geoly, a Chicago attorney for the Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception. Geoly also said the Franciscans intended to restrict his access to minors.

That year, Ledoux ended up working at Widener with educators who knew nothing about his past.

Geoly said the Franciscans concede they should have made Widener aware of the accusation against Ledoux.”

Click here to read full story: “Former Widener dean had abuse settlement in the past,” by Susan Snyder and John P. Martin, Inquirer staff writers,, January 4, 2013

21 thoughts on “Franciscans Fail to Warn Widener About Accusation

  1. Puts the lie to the expression: “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.”

    Is there no end to this duplicity? There is no solution to this save including women in the
    Vatican and giving nuns the same standing as priests. What more proof is needed that the men in the church are not to be trusted? There was little transparency in the American Congress until minorities and women became part of governance.


      1. This this has nothing to do with Men being trusted.A number of people dropped the ball in this situation .There needs to be a better way of tracking these situations .In addition if the Francisans found this situation o be creditable where were they. When he took these positions.I sleays thought that you needed your community permission to seek employment outside your community domain .They too didn’t due what they promised.However that being said we don’t really know all the facts in this situation As far the situation being creditable what does this mean and how was this determined.It sounds to me like a lot stuff was done under the table so speak.With this latest perhaps a way of putting closure to this is by The Francisans coming clean and expaining exactly what occurred to all so that there isn’t any longer a bunch of projections but actual facts to back up the alleged actions

  2. So I wonder if this new plan will work out as well as the first plan?

    “Since leaving Widener,
    Ledoux has been confined to a Franciscan monastery in Catskill, N.Y., and will have no access to minors, Geoly said. Were he to leave, he could be dismissed from the order, Geoly said.

    “While there, if people from the public come on the property, he is not to have anything to do with them,” Geoly said. “He literally cannot function as a priest in public.””

    1. Priestly loyalty altogether prevents priests from being effective disciplinary enforcers or watchdogs over fellow priests. Priestly places utilized for priestly confinement are ongoing forms of clericalism. Will it ever end?

      1. For it to end, Kate, we have to start at the top. This is beginning to get underway, thanks to the public disclosures at Lynn’s criminal trial and similar governmental investigations in several countries, including Ireland and Australia. The net is beginning to close on the Vatican. For more info, please read my ” A Taboo, a New Pope and a Truer Church” at:

        1. I agree with you the tide is beginning to turn not only here in the USA but overseas as well We all know the wheel of Justice moves slowly but the eamples you mention are good ones.I expect things to change but don’t think it will be easy .Perhaps we need to tear it all time and start over .In my view The Alleged investigation of The Religious Sisters is the last straw this along with the Dismissal of The Maryknoll Prirest who voiced his opinion and refused to change his statements Etc To me this was and is all the Vatican doings what’s behind all of us besidesPower&Control Iam not sure but know it’s beginning to make one look real hard at what’s going on .This stuff about New Evenlization needs tong too because weaned to clean up the current Act First

  3. Jim Geoly, a Chicago attorney for the Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception

    “They’re sorry,” Geoly said of his clients. “They acknowledged this was not done well. They understand now it would have been better if they had reached out to the university.”

    This attorney is paid handsomely in legal fees to offer such statements, which statements are an insult to the intelligence and reasoning of adult Catholics throughout the United States. I remember such statements from this and other religious order attorneys in response to sexual abuse allegations when solicitation offers come to my residence from all of the religious orders headquartered throughout the United States.

    Would any of us want our religious contributions to be used to pay for such legal services as offered in the statement of Mr. Geoly with respect to the Widener University incident?

    1. Lets face the facts and reemove our are heads from the sand We all .know that various Church Funds that we contributed were used in a least some of the situations where Chid SexAbuse situations occurred Should we expect the Church to tell us this straight up if we do then we are again putting our heads in the sand as this is going happen .It’s my understanding in most situations ageements of Confidentality are signed and this binds all parties to silence .You can. Be sure they want it this way too .N regard to telling the Truth about these situations all, we get is it’s a credible allegation nothing more . Still don’t understand how that determination is reached and you can be sure that’s the way they want it .Tell them just what you need them to knowvnd nothing more .

      1. jlb1700,
        I can tell you how our diocese determines credibility. They determine how believable the victim’s story might be, they look in their files to determine how much they knew at the time, and they wage whether other people can verify the allegation. THEN, if the high king determines there is merit to the allegation, he sends it to the Review Board. Once it hits the RB, they all sit down together and determine how much “fight” a victim has in them to take on the church, who knows their story, and if there are any other witnesses and/or victims. At this point if a victim has no teeth, is dangling by a thread and no witnesses, then they deem the victim non-credible.

        Yes, that’s right. I watched it happen with my own eyes. And lest anyone think this is decades ago…think more like 2 years ago. Except, that person deemed non-credible sat in a support group meeting and listened to another new victim share their story…same pedophile priest abused them 5 years prior to the “non-credible” victim and the diocese moved them to the “non-credible’s” parish. So, what happens when you learn that? Fight the church? Nope, can’t do it, the SOL expired. The church knew all of it. Contrived…every single move.

        Credible means nothing! I believe the victims! Their terminology and process is so flawed it’s sickening. When Catholics hear the word “credible,” they should cringe. It just means the hierarchy has put a label on a victim. They don’t need labels, they need to be believed and their credibility should not be determined by a pack of deceitful men with an agenda of self-preservation.

    2. Below is the email I received from the atty who represented the victim of LEDOUX in 2003. With in months of a promise by the leadership to remove Fr Ledoux from service he was back working at Widener.

      Mistake or coverup….what is your guess??



      I represented an individual in 2003 who was sexually abused by Michael Ledoux in Derry, NH several years before. It was a civil claim against the Franciscan Order. I was told at that time that Ledoux was taken out of service by the Franciscans and sent to a facility where he would not have access to children. I had a call this summer from an attorney for an educational institution, perhaps Widner, who asked me about the 2003 civil claim. Today, I received a call from a TV investigative reporter in Philadelphia who is following up on the Ledoux story. I understand that you have seen the documents on the Bishop Accountability website relating to Ledoux. I hope this helps.

      Carmen Durso


      175 Federal Street, Suite 1425

      Boston, MA 02110-2287

      T: 617-728-9123

      F: 617-426-7972

  4. This article simply pointed out something of which we here already are so painfully aware. There are countless pedophiles in communities all over the country (the world) of whom noone is aware and who are dangers to children. Until legislation passes that might expose them through the allowance of lawsuits, most are likely to remain unknown. Luckily, this guy has been uncovered, but if he chose to leave the Franciscan order and, hence, his present residence, I guess he’d be free to go wherever he pleases. That’s not very assuring.

      1. Mark Rozzi is an excellent spokesman for victims and children.We are lucky to have him newly elected to the House. We will be with him in Harrisburg on January 23rd for the press conference on SOL reform

    1. I doubt he would leave the Order, they can handle sex abuse issues very well I have to say, to the point of refusing rescripts when requested according to Canon 1139, to be acknowledged as father to their offspring, preferring to relegate them to abusers, which I’m sad to say is acceptable to some, leaving the child believing their father is same.

  5. ‘The University found no evidence…. the accuser pressed no charges….but there was a settlement.
    Placed on admin. leave, no public ministry etc, it must be a Franciscan uinversal letter head!
    Let me assure you, whether a theologian, associate professor, an everyday friar or a brother, the Minister Provincials past and present would have been fully aware of any misdeamour, with no settlements ever made without their signature, and confidentialies attached!
    Of couse there would be a problem with criminal background checks!
    From what has ocurred in Australia, complaints even if made to the police have never seen the light of day, such is the reluctance to take the Order on.

    1. Its clear to me that we are only getting scattered information as it applies to this situation of the Francisan Priest.This tell me that they only want us to know some of the imformation as it applies to the Situation.The statements that were made open the door to many questions that remain unanswered .I would believe based on thevimformation that was released that here are some issues around accountability and responsibility that fall within the FrancisanCommunity that Ned to bevanswered .To me some one maybe more than one dropped the ball in this situation as never should have occurred in the first place .But again they put down the procedures and then they do whatbthey want to do anyway

  6. The track record of the rcc is very clear on disclosure, you will never get the truth and only when the truth is discovered about the enablers and abusers only then will the rcc offer insincere apologies !

    1. Your correct in your statement in regard to disclosure.The Caholicchurch disclosures nothing in most situations .Howevet if you are looking for apologies forget and move on because it’s not going to happen in my time or yours

  7. we all know the Track record of the CatholicChurch when it comes to Child abuse SituationsNotthing has changed over the years .As far telling the public the Truth it’s my view we only get the imformation that they want us to have and nothing more .All of this is covered up myth words it’s confidential and we cant reveal the facts Etc .This painly is BS but that’s we get .All the programs that have been put in place anyway over the years are just cover ups As they have procedures to follow but for most part they do what they want anyway.That all being said In regard to the Church telling the Fait Community the Truth about any thing and every thing we all know that this doesn’t happen .They tell us as little.As possible and expect us to believe it .This concept is hard to accept but the facts speak for themselves

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