November 23, 2005

Ex-Mesa priest named in sex offenses

East Valley Tribune

By Lawn Griffiths and Mike Branom
November 22, 2005

Monsignor Dale Fushek, a dynamic, fiercely popular East Valley Catholic leader once eyed as the next Phoenix Diocese bishop, was arrested Monday on 10 charges of sexual misconduct with men and boys.

Fushek, 53, is the highest-ranking official in the Phoenix Diocese accused of sexual misbehavior. Under Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien, he held the No. 2 leadership role as vicar general.

He also is co-founder of Life Teen, the largest international Catholic program for youth, headquartered in Mesa. It reaches more than 125,000 young people in 950 parishes in 18 countries.

"This is like seeing Mary’s Jesus crucified," said Yvonne Gefroh, a parishioner of St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa, where Fushek served for more than 20 years. She and a couple of hundred others came to a special Mass at the church Monday night to pray for him. Some wore buttons reading, "I support Msgr. Dale."

Posted by kshaw at November 23, 2005 01:09 PM