Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Former Priest Allegedly Hires Hit Man to Kill the Teenage Boy He Abused

The new head of the USCCB, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, says things are just peachy keen in the U.S. Church. A teenage boy probably doesn't agree with him. The unnamed victim says Fr. John Fiala raped him at gunpoint and threatened him, his family, and his girlfriend if he refused sex. Was this one of those famous accusations from 20 years ago? No! The alleged abuse took place in 2007-08. And the latest? The now ex-padre, who was removed in the Fall of 2008, allegedly recently tried to hire a hit man to kill the youth. (Go here for a press release from the Diocese of Omaha where Fiala served from his ordination in 1984 until 1996 when he left to join the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT).)

Can this possibly be true? After all, the VIRTUS program tells us it's a myth that homosexuals are dangerous. They are, in fact, actually safer than heterosexuals. And, after the sex abuse policies adopted in Dallas in 2002, with all the fingerprinting of the laity, etc. how could such a thing happen? Aren't the children safe? Haven't we been assured by the bishops that things have changed?

Well, here are the facts about the attempted killing from the Associated Press:
In a murder-for-hire case worthy of a Dan Brown novel, a Roman Catholic priest has been arrested on charges that he solicited a hit man to kill a teenager who had accused him of sexual abuse.

Authorities said John Fiala first offered the job to a neighbor, who blew the whistle and helped police arrange a sting. They said Fiala got as far as negotiating a $5,000 price for the slaying before investigators moved in.

The 52-year-old clergyman was arrested Nov. 18 at his suburban Dallas home and jailed on $700,000 bond. In April, he was named in a lawsuit filed by the boy's family, who accused Fiala of molesting the youth, including twice forcing him to have sex at gunpoint.

The abuse allegedly took place in 2007 and 2008, when Fiala was a priest at the Sacred Heart of Mary Parish in the West Texas community of Rocksprings, a rural enclave known for sheep and goat herding.

Go here to see Fr. Fiala's history of ministry. Note that in 2002 the Omaha archdiocese received a sex abuse complaint from the mid 1980s (Gosh - within months of Fiala's ordination?) which they say they forwarded to the San Antonio Archdiocese, the Kansas City Archdiocese, and the SOLT order. San Antonio says they never got it. (Tut-tut, mail service is so bad!) Consider, this accusation came to light the same year as the famous Dallas meeting when the bishops were so, so aware of sexual abuse and taking such strong action against it. Fiala wasn't listed in the 2002 Directory, but reappears in 2003 assigned to SOLT headquarters in Robstown, TX. From 2006-2008 when he was removed, Fr. Fiala was listed as pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary parish in Rock Springs, TX where the alleged abuse took place.
How plausible is it that this troubled priest showed no indication of his homosexuality during his seminary years and during his early priesthood? How many other homosexual clergy are living double lives?
Sorry, but I don't believe the problem is behind us and I wonder how many bishops are still moving homosexual priests around quietly until something public happens. This is one more proof that Fr. Haley was right to blow the whistle. Homosexuals in the priesthood are a threat to children and to the faith of all. It's maddening to me that Fr. Haley was removed from ministry in 2000 and Fr. Fiala continued to serve from 2002 - 2008.
Yes, priests have a right to due process, but I find it hard to believe there were no other problems evidenced in this priest's behavior. You don't just go from nothing to raping a kid at gunpoint and hiring a hit man. How much did his bishops know during this priest's career? Which reminds me of a pastor in my own diocese who was waiting naked for his age-appropriate partner who came into the rectory the back way. It's in Fr. Haley's deposition. He was an eye witness to it and I have no reason to believe he made it up. But that pastor is still active in Arlington (in more ways than one perhaps?) while Fr. Haley is out in the cold. Go figure!


  1. Damon Runyon, the New York newspaperman, once quipped, "The race is not always to the fleet, nor the battle to the strong -- but that's the way to bet."

    I'm not allowed to say that these guys are going to go to Hell, or deserve to go to Hell -- but I wouldn't bet against it.

  2. Mary Ann -

    I know this Fiala. He was never a formal member of SOLT. He tried to join, but they would not accept him, because he refused to provide any records of his ordination or anything else related to being a priest. He tried to pick on my sister in law shortly after her husband died and she was alone with 7 young kids. My father in law ran the guy off, and we all knew he was very sick and very wierd, even at that time (2003-4). But I have alot of contacts at SOLT, adn they all maintain that he was never a member of the order, although he hung around Robstown for a while.

  3. The Kansas City Star reported that he served as "spiritual director" to the S.O.L.T. community in Kansas City. I don't suppose that necessarily means he was a member of the order. Here's the link.

  4. Mary Ann, I'm sorry to say this, but you don't know what you're talking about. Although SOLT, as it's nature is, will now try to deny ever had to have anything to do with Fr. Fiala, there's a document, which the San Antonio's newspaper has already divulged, where Fr. Vince Albano receives Fr. Fiala as a full SOLT member. Do you know what hurts SOLT the most? That, that community lives in denial: It's members claim that SOLT never have said what they have said, to never have done what they have done and thus, SOLT remains trapped in a state where they are constantly facing these kinds of crisis. Go and ask in the Diocese of Corpus Christi how many Canon Law problem cases SOLT has and you're going to find out how true it is what I'm saying here.

  5. I just reported what was in the media. I have no knowledge about whether he belonged to SOLT or not. Thanks for the input, Andy.