Religious brother leaves bishops' conference while misconduct charge investigated

Washington — Marist Br. Henry Sammon recently resigned from his position as associate director at the National Religious Retirement Office at the U.S. Catholic bishops' conference in Washington while his province investigates an allegation of sexual misconduct from the early 1970s.

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In mid-September, the U.S. province of the Marist Brothers based in Forest Hills, New York, received a claim alleging Sammon was involved in sexual misconduct with a minor before he joined the Marists.

While the province is conducting an independent investigation into the allegation, Sammon, known as Br. Hank, stepped down from the USCCB post he held for 15 years. He also has been removed from active ministry by the Marist Brothers.

The National Religious Retirement Office coordinates the annual national appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious and distributes financial assistance for retirement needs to eligible religious institutes. Sammon previously worked at Marist Catholic High School in Eugene, Oregon.

According to an Oct. 3 statement from the Marists, the province has contacted its attorney to report the allegation, and a report has been made to appropriate legal officials. The province also is conducting a thorough, independent investigation into the allegation.

"Marist Brothers have been and are committed to its province policy of zero tolerance of sexual abuse with minors or vulnerable adults by its members or employees," the statement said.


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