November 1, 2018
It is with deep regret that we advise those we serve in our Paulist ministries, and the public, of a case of sexual misconduct with a minor female by Rev. Robert Michele, C.S.P.
The abuse occurred more than 40 years ago while Fr. Michele was an associate pastor at St. Philip Neri Church, in Portland, Oregon from 1964 to 1968 and from 1972 to 1973.
The allegation was received in September, 2018, and investigated. It was found to be credible and substantiated. This case was reported to law enforcement.
Fr. Michele, 90, is currently in a skilled nursing facility and is prohibited to minister as a priest in any capacity.
In 2002, an allegation of sexual misconduct by Fr. Michele with another minor female was received and investigated by Church and civil authorities. At that time, the allegation was found to be inconclusive.
In addition to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, Fr. Michele has served in the archdioceses of New York, San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, Baltimore, and Vancouver; as well as in the dioceses of Austin and Mobile.
We are deeply sorry for the pain suffered by survivors of abuse due to actions of some members of our community.
The Paulist Fathers are committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse. We follow safety protocols issued by Praesidium, Inc., a national organization that works with religious and other institutions to establish and maintain rigorous standards for protecting children and vulnerable adults. We are in the process of seeking accreditation by the firm.
Any person who has further allegations or concerns about Fr. Michele or any Paulist Father is asked to contact Rev. John Behnke, C.S.P., vice president and safety officer of the Paulist Fathers, at (212) 757-8072 or via email at JohnBehnke@Paulist.org.
At this time, we are in prayer for all victims of sexual abuse by clergy, especially minors, that they may receive healing, justice, and peace.