Even after Fr. Donald Mulsoff admitted that he “may have” spanked boys bare bottoms and was “dating” a girl while abusing her brother, he continued working as a well-respected priest in the Archdiocese until the 2002 Dallas Charter and more allegations finally forced his removal.
The Archdiocese was first made aware of allegations in 1987, when the mother of an alleged victim wrote Mulsoff and Fr. Raymond Goedert. The letter stated that she was concerned with the time that Mulsoff was spending with her family. She believed that the priest was dating her daughter and possibly abusing her son.
No action was taken by the Archdiocese. Mulsoff stayed under the radar, working as a pastor at St. Mary’s and being listed in Catholic directories as a priest on “other assignment” in the Archdiocese.
In 1992, the Archdiocese received two new reports that Mulsoff had spanked boys barebottomed as a punishment for throwing spitballs in class. When confronted with the information, Mulsoff said that the abuse “may have” happened. Mulsoff remained at St. Mary’s.
In 1998, numerous school-age boys reported that Mulsoff asked them if they masturbated or viewed pornography. The Archdiocese told Mulsoff that these are not appropriate questions for the confessional. There was no other action taken to stop the priest, monitor his activities, or call the police.
In 2002, another victim came forward to report that Mulsoff had abused him/her for ten years. In May, the Archdiocese received word from a victim’s attorney about a potential lawsuit, and Mulsoff was removed from ministry and put on monitoring protocols.
At the same time, the review board concluded that there was reasonable cause to believe that the abuse occurred, more than 10 years after Mulsoff said that he “may have” spanked boys. Cardinal George contacted the CDF to begin the canonical trial process and Mulsoff was sent to live at the Cardinal Stritch Retreat House.
In July 2005, Cardinal George decreed that Mulsoff did spank and sexually abuse children. He decided that Mulsoff’s faculties should be removed for five years, after which time he could be considered for reinstatement.
Mulsoff died a few months later. To date, there are at least eight known victims.
TIMELINE OF DOCUMENTS - FR. DONALD JOHN MULSOFF
1969 – St. Catherine of Alexandria (parish school had approx. 963 children)
1974 – Mary, Queen of Heaven (parish school had approx. 237 children)
1980 – Blessed Sacrament (parish school had 258 children)
6/25/1987 Letter from the mother of a victim of sexual abuse by Mulsoff. (AOC018159)
1987 – Pastor, St. Mary of Perpetual Help (parish school has approx. 796 children)
3/2/1992 Report of abuse by Mulsoff in 1969. Caller did not leave his name or number (AOC 018194-95)
1/12/1998 Mulsoff asked students if they masturbated or read porn. (AOC 018137)
2000 – St. Celestine (parish school had approx. 591 children)
3/15/2002 Summary of report of abuse that started in the late 70s and lasted 10 years. The victim called Our Lady of Perpetual Help when the relationship ended and left a message saying that Mulsoff engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior. (AOC 018465)
3/25/2002 Mulsoff placed on monitoring (AOC018478)
4/17/2002 Summary of report of abuse against Mulsoff, who spanked him and other boys on their bare bottoms. (AOC 018493)
5/14/2002 Letter from an attorney reporting client’s abuse by Mulsoff at Mary Queen of Heaven in 1977 or 1978. (AOC 018509)
5/23/2002 Review Board finds there is reasonable cause to suspect that sexual misconduct with minors occurred. Recommends he withdraw from ministry and be monitored. (AOC 018520)
5/29/2002 Summary of report of abuse by Mulsoff in 1969 or 1970. He reported anonymously in 1992. (AOC018526)
6/18/2002 Report of abuse by Mulsoff in 1969 or 1970. He touched her genitals under her clothes. (AOC018539)
3/27/2003 Cardinal George advises Mulsoff that he will be submitting Mulsoff’s case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “the nature of sexual abuse is such that those who are abused often repress the memory of these actions for many years.” … “I do not doubt for a moment the sincerity of those who have claimed to be victimized.”(AOC 018619-21)
7/31/2003 George forwarded Mulsoff’s case to the CDF asking for a canonical trial. (AOC 018643)
7/22/2005 Decree signed by George- (AOC018694-98)
10/11/2005 Report of abuse by Mulsoff at St. Catherine of Alexandria from 1969-1974. (AOC 018716)
12/10/2007 Report of abuse by Mulsoff at Mary Queen of Heaven from 1976-1978. (AOC 018751)
8/22/2008 Report of abuse by Mulsoff at St. Catherine of Alexandria in about 1970. (AOC 018755)
1/21/2014 Report of abuse by Mulsoff at St. Catherine of Alexandria between 1971 and 1973. (AOC 018766)
1/24/2014 Report of abuse by Mulsoff at St. Catherin of Alexandria in 1971. (AOC 018779)
2/3/2014 Report of abuse by Mulsoff at St. Catherine of Alexandria. (AOC018773)