1978: Dale Fushek is ordained a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. He plans to focus his ministry on children and teenagers.
1981: Bishop Thomas O'Brien is appointed Bishop for the Diocese of Phoenix.
1985: As pastor of St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa, Arizona, Fr. Fushek founds Life Teen along with Phil Baniewicz.
1995: The Diocese of Phoenix pays $45,000.00 to settle a sexual harassment claim against Fr. Fushek by a former employee of St. Timothy's. Fr. Fushek announces this settlement to his parish in 2002, stating that although he did nothing wrong, the settlement was paid in order to avoid costly litigation in the future.
2000: Bishop Thomas O'Brien appoints Fr. Fushek Vicar General of the Diocese of Phoenix.
2002: Fr. Fushek is given the title of Monsignor.
2003: As part of a deal struck with the Maricopa County prosecutor to avoid indictment, Bishop Thomas O'Brien admits to having protected sexually abusive priests in his diocese. Shortly afterward, the bishop is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident after striking and killing a pedestrian, then giving as his reason for not stopping that he thought he had only hit an animal. He resigned as bishop four days later.
2004: More sex abuse allegations against Msgr. Fushek lead to the suspension of his faculties by the new Bishop of Phoenix, Bishop Thomas Olmsted.
2005: A man files a civil action is filed in the Maricopa County Superior Court alleging that in 1985, Fr. Mark Lehman (who afterwards served ten years after pleading no contest to attempted sex abuse) and Phil Baniewicz (co-founder of Life Teen) sexually assaulted him at Msgr. Fushek's parish, that the latter plied him with alcohol and masturbated while watching the abuse, and that all three made threats to prevent the plaintiff from reporting the abuse. Also: Msgr. Fushek is indicted on several misdemeanor counts arising from alleged sexual contact with young boys. Msgr. Fushek and Phil Baniewicz resign from Life Teen.
2006: The Diocese of Phoenix settles the Lehman/Fushek/Baniewicz suit for $100,000.00.
2008: Msgr. Fushek is excommunicated, together with Fr. Mark Dippre, for persistently participating in public ministry and holding non-denominational services, despite having been suspended and despite Bishop Olmsted's orders to cease and desist.
February 16, 2010: The Diocese of Phoenix announces that in January of 2010, Dale Fushek was dismissed from the clerical state by order of Pope Benedict XVI. Mr. Fushek incurred this penalty after the Diocese of Phoenix investigated allegations of sexual abuse against Mr. Fushek and forwarded its findings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The excommunication previously imposed remains in effect.
Yes, it's true, Life Teen is filled with well-intentioned people. It's also true that Life Teen distances itself from Dale Fushek and protests its fidelity to Rome and to the magisterium (though this fidelity is not terribly conspicuous in Life Teen-controlled liturgies). But is there some reason the above should not raise the same red flags with Life Teen that, say, the revelations about Fr. Maciel have raised about the Legionaries of Christ?