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S. Joseph Collova
In May, 1985, Collova was accused of sexual abuse of a 1-year-old. The police investigated the claim and sent the case to the district attorney. Charges were not filed. Collova was placed on sick leave and was told to seek counseling. In April, 1996, Dr. Lynn Vice advised that Collova had completed his therapy, was ready for an assignment and that the accusation was false in the doctor’s estimation.
In December, 1992, a report of sexual abuse is filed against Collova by someone who said it occurred when he was 17 and 18-years-old. In January, 1993, the vicar for clergy informed Collova of the accusation. Collova denied the allegation. In January, 1993, the vicar for clergy contacted St. Luke’s Institute, Maryland, about an evaluation of Collova. In March 1993, Dr. Elizabeth Piasecki interviewed Collova. In her report of that interview, she stated that Collova admitted that he had poor boundaries, that he had been in a bed with a minor, and that a young minor male had moved into the rectory. In March, 1993, Collova was admitted to the Paraclete program in St. Louis. In May, 1993, discussion of a voluntary laicization for Collova began. In June, 1993, Collova was placed on a leave of absence and parishioners at St. Rita Parish were informed of the allegations of misconduct.
Collova continued in counseling and by 1995, was permitted limited ministry with permission for weekend help-out ministry at parishes but with no unsupervised contact with minors.
In 1997, Collova was sent to Southdown Institute for an evaluation to determine if he would ever be placed in an assignment. In September, 1997, Collova was advised that his previous indiscretions and his psychosexual immaturity make it difficult for him to be placed in an assignment.
In November, 1997, Collova was offered a severance package if he would seek voluntary laicization.
In 2001, Collova finally filed a petition for voluntary laicization. The petition was filed again but was insufficient because it still contained denials and lack of remorse.
In August, 2002, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was asked by the archdiocese to act on Collova’s laicization which now included a new petition. The request was renewed in July and September, 2003.
In June, 2004, a report was received that Collova was seeking to serve in a self-proclaimed Catholic church not in communion with Rome. The bishop of that church was advised of Collova’s past in a June, 2004, letter. That church admitted Collova to ministry and he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in July, 2004. Collova later joined a different church and was named a bishop there in June, 2009.
Collova died in January, 2013.
This narrative is based on facts contained in documents related to this Diocesan priest offender.
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