Thursday, February 14, 2008
Alleged pedophile Fort Worth priest is HIV positive
Father Philip Magaldi, who has not been an active priest since 1999, informed Fort Worth Vicar Michael F. Olson recently of his condition.
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Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Vicar General Michael F. Olson Wednesday announced diocesan officials have learned that Father Philip Magaldi is HIV positive, and they have alerted persons who have lodged sexual misconduct allegations against Magaldi that Magaldi is HIV positive. In addition, the diocese has notified parishes where Magaldi served of Magaldi’s health status. In recent days, Magaldi confirmed to Father Olson that he is HIV positive.
“Magaldi acknowledged to me that he is HIV positive. We do not know when Magaldi was diagnosed as HIV positive,” Father Olson said. “Because of federal medical privacy laws, the diocese has no access to Magaldi’s medical records nor is there any information in diocesan files indicating that Magaldi was diagnosed as HIV positive. In trying to assess his condition over the last few days, we believe Magaldi has been HIV positive at least since 2003.
"Out of an abundance of caution, I have contacted on Tuesday three individuals who have made allegations of sexual misconduct or expressed concern about Magaldi’s behavior and apprised each that Magaldi is HIV positive. In addition, I have contacted the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, where Magaldi served before coming to the Fort Worth Diocese, informing them of his medical status.”
Father Olson urges any individual who believes they had close personal or questionable contact with Magaldi to contact the diocese at 817 560-3300, Ext. 201.
Magaldi was removed from active priesthood in 1999 by the late Bishop Joseph Delaney after allegations of sexual misconduct arose in Rhode Island and Fort Worth. In August 2006 Bishop Kevin Vann removed Magaldi from all ministries. Bishop Vann also is in the process of seeking “laicization” of Magaldi, which is a request to remove Magaldi from clerical status. The request is pending at the Holy See. Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is joining Bishop Vann in the request for laicization of Magaldi.
Magaldi originally was a parish priest in the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island. He arrived in the Fort Worth Diocese in 1990 and served until 1992 as pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Henrietta as well as St. William Catholic Church in Montague, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Nocona and St. Jerome Catholic Church in Bowie.
He left the diocese in 1992 and pleaded guilty to embezzling $123,000 from a Rhode Island parish at which he was pastor and was sentenced to two years in prison that involved a work release program.
When Magaldi returned to the Fort Worth Diocese in late 1993, he was assigned as an assistant pastor to St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in North Richland Hills where he served until his dismissal in 1999.
Magaldi left the diocese in Spring 2001 for Florida and returned in Spring 2003. He has been living in a retirement center since his return.
The diocese’s Safe Environment Program requires a safe environment for children, youth and vulnerable adults. Likewise, Article 12 of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” requires that dioceses establish “safe environment” programs and gives the necessary elements of such a program.
The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth invites anyone who wishes to report sexual misconduct by Magaldi or by anyone who serves the church to contact Victim Abuse Coordinator Judy Locke at (817) 560-2452, Ext. 201 or Father Olson at 817 560-2452, Ext. 107.
Magaldi is one of several priests who are cited by the diocesan as individuals against whom allegations with a semblance of truth have been made regarding sexual misconduct with minors. Below is the section of a previously issued diocesan statement dealing with Magaldi. The full statement issued by Father Olson in February 2007 is at: http://www.fwdioc.org/img2/About/press_release/pr_2-7-07.pdf. )
“The allegation of sexual misconduct made against Philip Magaldi in October of 2006 by a man from out of state is still in process of being investigated by the North Richland Hills Police Department. The man alleges that he suffered abuse from Magaldi when the man was a minor. The Diocese has been in contact with this man’s family and has offered to provide counseling for them as well as for the man in question. The man initially accepted the Diocese’s offer to pay for counseling services but has subsequently declined the ongoing offer to pay for further counseling. The Diocese is awaiting the response of the family towards its offer to them.
“The Diocese has also been in contact with another man who has expressed concerns about past mistakes on the part of the Diocese in supervising Magaldi as well as about inappropriate behavior on the part of Magaldi while the man was a minor at Saint John the Apostle Catholic Church in North Richland Hills. Diocesan officials contacted the North Richland Hills Police Department and provided them with the man’s name and directory information as a helpful contact in conjunction with the case in question. The man currently lives out of state.”
Source: Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth