Statement of Archdiocesan Actions Regarding Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse by Father Michael Spillane

In responding to allegations of child abuse, the highest priorities for the Archdiocese of Baltimore are the safety of children and concern for victims. Our consistent reporting of child abuse allegations, cooperation with authorities, and offers of assistance to victims are vital to meeting these priorities.

In December 1991, through an attorney representing an alleged victim, the Archdiocese received allegations of child sex abuse against Father Michael Spillane. When confronted, Father Spillane admitted to sexual activities involving six victims, all of whom were no longer minors.

In January 1992 as a result of his admissions, the Archdiocese removed Father Spillane’s faculties to function as a Catholic priest. He was also informed, in writing, that he would never be considered for assignment within the Archdiocese. He had already left parish ministry some years previously, having taken a position with Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Conferences (FDLC) in 1986. Father Spillane’s faculties were never restored.

The Archdiocese was informed in 1992 that Father Spillane had previously referred himself to Saint Luke’s Institute and had undergone a long course of treatment for his psychological disorder.

The Archdiocese encouraged the attorney representing the alleged victim to report the allegations to civil authority. It was not until late 1993 that Maryland’s Attorney General clarified reporting law requirements to include those who are no longer minors when a first allegation is made. A report was made regarding the 1991 allegations to the Attorney General in September 1993.

In April 2002 another alleged victim contacted the Archdiocese, saying that Father Spillane had sexually abused him in 1968. The allegation was reported to the State’s Attorney’s Office in Baltimore City on April 12, 2002.

Since 1986 Father Spillane has been working in Washington at the FDLC. Federation officials were aware of the allegations of child sex abuse against Father Spillane.

Father Spillane was ordained in 1968. He was assigned to St. Thomas More, Baltimore parish 1969-1973, St. Paul, Ellicott City parish 1973-1974, Church of the Resurrection, Ellicott City parish 1974-1975, Our Lady of the Fields, Millersville parish 1975, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Crofton parish 1975-1986.

Sean Caine

Sean Caine is Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Communications