The Diocese of Phoenix learned today that John D. Spaulding, a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix, has been indicted for multiple counts of sexual misconduct with minors.
The Diocese received a report in June 2019 from an adult male who alleged that Spaulding sexually abused him as a minor. The Diocese contacted law enforcement officials regarding the allegation and encouraged the family to contact law enforcement to make a formal report.
Since making the report, the Diocese has cooperated with the law enforcement investigation. In order to avoid any possible interference with the ongoing legal process, we are unable to comment further.
In June 2011, the faculties of Spaulding, then pastor of St. Timothy Parish in Mesa, were suspended and he was placed on leave following an investigation and determination that an allegation against Spaulding of sexual misconduct with a minor was credible. Since that time, several additional claims have been made alleging sexual misconduct by Spaulding, all of which have been reported to law enforcement.
Upon being removed from ministry he has remained prohibited from publicly identifying himself as a priest, including celebrating the Mass and sacraments.
In 2014, a Special Tribunal convened at the direction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) found Spaulding guilty of sins against the Sixth Commandment with a minor and recommended that he be dismissed from the clerical state, a process commonly known as “laicization.” The penalty would become effective upon finalization of the case by the CDF. Spaulding appealed the case and it remains pending with the CDF.
The Diocese of Phoenix is committed to providing a safe environment where it values and honors every individual as created in the image and likeness of God. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and the Diocese of Phoenix urge anyone who has been a victim of abuse or who may have information concerning these allegations to call the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office or their local law enforcement agency. For additional information about support services for those who have been abused, please contact the Office of Child and Youth Protection at (602) 354-2396 or at dphx.org/youth-protection.
Please continue to pray for the end of all abuse, and for a greater respect for the dignity of all people.