February 15, 2008 in Nation/World

Ex-priest accused of abuse has HIV

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 

FORT WORTH, Texas – A former priest accused of sexually abusing children in two states is HIV positive, Catholic diocese officials said Thursday.

Last week, a leader in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth heard someone mention that the Rev. Philip A. Magaldi has the virus that causes AIDS, said diocese spokesman Pat Svacina. The diocese leader then got verbal confirmation from Magaldi as well as a letter from his doctor who said he has HIV, Svacina said. Church officials said they believe he has been HIV positive since 2003.

The diocese then alerted the alleged victims – at least five minors in two states – and the parishes where Magaldi served for nearly four decades, Svacina said.

Magaldi, 71, lives in a retirement center and diocese officials declined to disclose where. He has previously said he was innocent of the sexual abuse allegations, for which he has not been charged.

Magaldi was removed as a priest in 1999 amid claims of sexual misconduct in Providence, R.I., where he served from 1960-90, and the Fort Worth area, where he served from 1990-92 and 1993-99.

He was out of the ministry while serving a brief stint in prison in 1992 after embezzling about $200,000 from his Rhode Island parish, officials said.

In 2006, a pastor at a North Richland Hills Church apologized to the congregation amid reports that he didn’t tell police in 2001 after learning of inappropriate material involving minors on a computer used by Magaldi.

Magaldi was associate pastor of the church the last six years of his ministry.


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