Tag: Richard Farwell

Father Paul Wilderotter

What’s Going on With Fr. Paul Wilderotter?

We can’t help but wonder what’s going on with Fr. Paul Wilderotter?

He’s been “on leave” since 1984.

He’s lived in at least four states.

He’s had at least 20 addresses.

He apparently travels a lot.

He often talks at churches.

He’s evidently now with a non-profit (or was in recent years).

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-2000-06-11-0006080612-story.html

And he is (or apparently until recently) just down the road from us in Pompano Beach at a non-profit called Food for the Poor.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-2000-06-11-0006080612-story.html

The sheer number of times he’s moved, especially across state lines, is unusual.

Consider this too: He worked with a notorious credibly accused predator priest named Fr. Richard Farwell. (Both were in the Charlotte diocese.)

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/diocesan_lists/Charlotte/2019_12_29_Charlotte_Credibly_Accused_Clergy_Details.pdf#page=7

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news13/2011_03_07_Websiteof_FrJoseph_Farwell_AND_Kelleher_1.htm

Fr. Richard Farwell was put on leave in 1985, moved to a different diocese (Raleigh), sent to a church-run ‘treatment’ center (the House of Affirmation in Massachusetts), was indicted in 2002 for child sex crimes and pled ‘no contest’ to ‘contributing to the delinquency of a minor’ in 2004.

In recent years, like Fr. Wilderotter, Fr. Farwell has also worked at Food for the Poor.

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news13/2011_03_07_Websiteof_FrJoseph_Farwell_AND_Kelleher_1.htm

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2004_07_12/2004_11_04_AP_CharlotteDiocese.htm

And Fr. Farwell is on the Charlotte diocese’s ‘credibly accused’ list.

Now back to Fr. Wilderotter. Obviously, many priests are sent to different assignments for perfectly legitimate reasons. But Fr. Wilderotter has had a wider range of assignments than the overwhelming majority of Catholic clergy.

And he’s a diocesan priest, not a religious order one. Religious order priests are the ones most often sent across state lines. Most diocesan priests stay in one diocese for most or all of their careers.

And in fairness, obviously no conclusions can be drawn from the fact that two priests shared one non-church employer.

But here we have two clerics from the same relatively small diocese crossing state lines to work for the same relatively small charity.

So on one hand, no one should make assumptions here. But on the other hand, Fr. Wilderotter has had a very unusual journey as a priest.

Here, specifically, is where Fr. Wilderotter has lived:

NJ: Elizabeth, Elizabethport, Maplewood, Hillside

NC: Charlotte, Forest City, Hendersonville,

SC: Greenville, Piedmont

FL: Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach

(NOTE: Fr. Wilderotter has moved back and forth between some of these cities several times.)

As always, we urge you to call law enforcement if you have any knowledge, suspicions or experiences with clergy misconduct.

Fr. Richard B. Farwell – Diocese of Charlotte

Father Richard B. Farwell

Diocese of Charlotte

Richard Farwell Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1981

Placed on Leave: 1985, 1999, 2002

Faculties revoked: 2002

Assigned as Follows: 

  • 1981 St. Ann’s Church (Charlotte, NC) 
  • 1983 Sacred Heart (Salisbury, NC)
  • 1985-1988 Residency in Massachusetts 
  • 1988 St. Aloysius (Hickory, NC)
  • 1991 St. Dorothy (Licolnton, NC)
  • 1998 St. Leo Abbey (St. Leo, FL)
  • 2000 Queen of the Apostles (Belmont, NC)
  • 2000 Cooper City, FL)
  • 2000 St. Joseph’s (Burgaw, NC)
  • 2000-2002 Food for the Poor (Deerfield Beach, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Richard B. Farwell: 

According to media reports, Father Richard B. Farwell was first placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Charlotte in May 1985 for reasons that are not entirely clear. The Diocese of Charlotte announced that he was assigned to a “priestly ministry program” in Rhode Island, but was actually sent to House of Affirmation, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests in Massachusetts, for treatment. Farwell returned to ministry in the Diocese of Charlotte in July of 1988.  Farwell later testified in a 2013 deposition that he stayed at the facility for four months, but that his treatment was for depression, not sexual misconduct of any type. He did admit to attending Love and Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings as part of his treatment. 

In February of 1999, Father Farwell was accused of abusing a 10 boy over the course of two years in the early 1980s while Farwell was assigned to St. Ann parish.  Farwell was again removed from ministry in Charlotte and then sent to work in the Archdiocese of Miami, with the permission and blessing of Charlotte Bishop William Curlin. According to media reports, the victim would not cooperate in the Diocese’s internal investigation into Farwell because he did not want his name made public.  Sending Farwell to Miami was no doubt a compromise to control the potential scandal of keeping Farwell in ministry in Charlotte without infringing on his canonical due process rights. 

In August of 2002, Farwell was charged criminally with two counts of “taking indecent liberties” with a boy in the mid-1980’s. He pled no contest to a lesser charge in November of 2004, and was sentenced to 180 days of probation, counseling and community service, according to news reports.  His faculties to minister were revoked following the original charges. 

One of the victims in the 2002 criminal case, T.T., filed a civil suit was filed against the Diocese of Charlotte and Fr. Richard Farwell in July of 2011. T.T., who has used his name publicly, said he was an altar boy when Farwell began grooming him in the early 1980’s, starting when T.T. was 14-years-old. The victim also claimed that the abuse occurred after he had opened up to Farwell and confided to him that he had been raped by a truck driver while hitch-hiking.

According to the Charlotte Diocese newspaper, in August 2019, Farwell was criminally charged by Rowan County (North Carolina) law enforcement after the 1999 victim came forward again.  Farwell remains out on bail.

In April 2020, Farwell was named in a civil lawsuit filed by the 1999 victim.

Richard Farwell denies ever committing sexual misconduct with any minors, including the victim in the criminal proceedings who he pled guilty to abusing.  Farwell claimed he took the plea agreement after considering “the reduced life expectancy of priests in prison,” according to news reports.  He called T.T. a liar motivated by greed and financial gain.

Farwell has no faculties to minister publicly but continues to be a priest of the Diocese of Charlotte.  

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Charlotte in North Carolina.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in North Carolina, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Charlotte now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in North Carolina and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.