A New York priest ousted «credibly accused» of sexually abusing a minor runs a charity that provides scholarships to Catholic schools for underprivileged children, according to public records.
John J. Voglio, 65, is president of Mary F. Clancy Charities, which was founded in 2000 by another former priest, John Harrington, who was also accused of sexually abusing a minor. according to the Archdiocese of New York.
Voglio frequently mixes with children and teens attending charity events, a member of the organization’s board of directors told NBC News.
“He is very good with children,” Madelaine Cavegn said. «They like it a lot».
Voglio does not mention in the charity website that he is a former priest, and did not return several phone calls seeking comment on his activities.
Voglio has never been charged with a crime, so he was never required to register as a sex offender in Massachusetts, New York or New Hampshire, all places where he once worked as a priest or brother.
However, Cavegn acknowledged that she and some of the other board members know that Voglio used to be a priest.
“I can’t divulge any of that,” Cavegn, 88, replied when asked if he knew why Voglio had been secularized. «But do you know that he never had a chance to defend himself?»
Cavegn described Voglio as a devoted leader of the charity.
“It’s like a missionary,” Cavegn said. “He is very involved. Before awarding grants, he does all the interviews with the schools.”
Another director on the board, John Crapanzano, said «the charity is very active» and Voglio «is very involved in day-to-day operations.»
“We have diversified our activities in recent years to include a food pantry in the Bronx to help families in need,” said Crapanzano, 77. “We also helped build a playground for the children at a Bronx school.”
David Clohessy, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse at the Survivors Network of Abused by Priests (BREAK)he said that someone like Voglio should not be running this kind of charity.
«Clergy who are credibly accused of child abuse, especially if they have been expelled, do not belong in any position of power or leadership, especially one that is connected in any way to children,» Clohessy said.
Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer whose hunt for pedophile priests was dramatized in the Oscar-winning film «Spotlight,» said he’s not surprised Voglio continues to be involved in activities that could allow him to stay close to children.
“Experience has taught me that it is common for credibly accused priests and religious brothers to continue to work in organizations, for example, schools, camps, churches, hospitals, boy scouts and clubs,” Garabedian said in an email.
The Archdiocese of New York gave no explanation for his removal from the priesthood in his “List of Archdiocesan Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse,” which was first published in 2019 and has been updated at least once in recent years. He had been ordained in 1987.
In 2002, a Massachusetts man told New Hampshire investigators that Voglio had seduced him 20 years earlier at a Salesian Brothers summer camp in that state. according to a report prepared by Paul Brodeur, a former investigator for the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. The accuser said he was 12 years old when the abuse occurred in 1982.
Voglio was a Salesian Brother at the time and worked as a camp counselor, according to the report.
“The fondling and oral sex continued within days of arrival and continued through the end of two weeks,” the accuser, whose name was blacked out, said in the report.
The accuser «noted that he had not seen VOGLIO again, but that he received a Christmas card from him on Christmas 1982 postmarked Ohio,» the report states. “VOGLIO spoke about becoming a priest with the Selesians (sic)”.
NBC News has contacted the Salesians of Don Bosco, an international Roman Catholic religious congregation of men with local headquarters in New Rochelle, New York. No one from the group responded.
Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said he does not keep track of laicized priests or closely monitor charitable donations to individual schools.
“To the best of our knowledge, Voglio has not visited any of the schools,” Zwilling said.
Voglio has also worked as a «Catholic priest on call,» advertising to perform weddings through a business called «John Voglio Weddings,» according to his LinkedIn and Facebook pages
Zwilling, after being informed of Voglio’s side jobsaid the former reverend is not allowed to perform Catholic weddings.
“He is no longer a Catholic priest,” he said.
Voglio also claimed on the charity’s website that he is «a member of a local Kiwanis Club branch in the Bronx» and has organized «annual fundraisers» for an organization that helps underprivileged children around the world and is involved in youth activities.
Ben Hendricks, spokesman for Kiwanis International, said that «a comprehensive review of our current and past membership shows that Mr. Voglio is not and has never been a member of Kiwanis International.»
Voglio was still a priest when he took over the leadership of Charities of Mary F. Clancy, Inc.named after a New York City-area social worker who provided the «seed funds» to start the organization, according to its website.
Harrington, like Voglio, also landed on the 2019 list of the Archdiocese of New York of the credibly accused clergy.
Voglio received just over $31,000 in salary and compensation from the charity, according to the latest available 990 report for the tax year ending May 2020. A 990 form is a tax document that nonprofit organizations must file with the IRS.
The charity, which Voglio appears to be running out of a Yonkers, New York apartment, just north of the Bronx, has nearly $700,000 in assets, the report shows. Records indicate that Voglio lived at the Yonkers address and also has a home in Garnerville, a small town about 30 miles north of New York City.
Mary F. Clancy Charities claims on its website that it supports other groups that work with troubled families, but the 990 presentation in 2020 it does not indicate that the organization awarded any grants in 2019, which it would have been required to report if it had.
The charity reported that it held a «golf outing» and a «cigar night» that raised $39,222. But the cost of putting them together was exactly $39,222, making the net income from the two events zero.
Voglio took over the reins of the charity in 2006 from Harrington, who died three years later, according to the website. In 2011, Voglio took the private charity public «so he could actively raise money to expand the reach of the foundation,» the website states.
On the website, Voglio named five groups that have received funding from his charity: Catholic Home Bureau Maternity Services; Edwin Gould’s STEPS Program; Incarcerated Mothers and their Children; Rockland Catholic Community Services Inc.; and RosalieHall.
Before the Gould organization became part of another charity called Rising Ground in 2018, it received a $15,000 donation from Mary Clancy Charities in 2011 and a $5,000 donation in 2015, Rising Ground spokesman Adam Brill said.
“Since then, we have had no contact with Mary Clancy Charities,” Brill said in an email.
Rockland Catholic Community Services Inc., whose real name is Catholic Charities of Rockland Community ServicesHe did not respond to emails seeking comment.
rosalie halla home for teen parents in the Bronx, is part of a New York City organization called Catholic Guardian ServicesIt did not respond to requests for comment.
The entity identified in the 990 report as Catholic Home Bureau Maternity Services also appears to run Catholic Guardian Services.
NBC News was unable to locate an organization in New York called Incarcerated Mothers and Their Children.