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Roman Catholic sex abuse


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This article has been tagged since January 2007.

• 1 Sexual abuse
• 2 Flawed policies

o 2.1 Abusers moved from location to location

o 2.2 Failure to report criminal

acts to police

o 2.3 Allegations of systematic plots to conceal evidence

o 2.4 Payments to victims

• 3 Implications of the scandal

o 3.1 Seminary training

o 3.2 Declining standards explanation
o 3.3 Supply and demand explanation
o 3.4 Celibacy explanation

 3.4.1 Advocacy against mandatory celibacy

 3.4.2 Advocacy for mandatory celibacy

o 3.5 Media hype


o 3.6 Other Catholic teachings, practices

• 4 Archdiocesan versus those from orders

• 5 Ferns Inquiry 2005
o 5.1 Forthcoming Dublin Inquiry and Irish Parliamentary comment

• 6 Episcopal resignations
• 7 Compensation payouts

o 7.1 Bankruptcy

• 8 Abuse in literature
• 9 See also

o 9.1 R.C. sex


o 9.2 General links

• 10 External links
• 11 Additional reading

• 12 References

The Roman Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of accusations of child sexual abuse made
against Roman Catholic priests in the second half of the 20th century. Though such charges had
been levelled earlier, they first earned widespread attention in the mid-to-late 1990s.

The incidents involved

Catholic priests (who are all male) and members of the various Roman Catholic religious orders
(both male and female). Many cases involved seminaries, schools and orphanages, where children
were in the care of clergy. Many of these allegations have led to successful prosecutions of the
accused. Criticism of the Church and its leadership followed, especially as some high-ranking clergy
covered-up abuse cases; see the Ferns report.

Early reports came mostly from the United States and Ireland. The John Jay Report found
accusations against 4,392 priests in the USA, about 4% of all priests.

The first cases to earn widespread publicity involved abuse of pre-pubescent children. The
"overwhelming majority" of the
abused children were boys. Some of the implicated priests, such as Paul Shanley, had been openly
promoting adult-child sex since the 1960s.
There had long been charges that a significant minority of the clergy had been practicing such
behavior for decades, alleging that a "homosexual collective" within the priesthood viewed child sex
abuse as a "religious rite" and "rite of passage" for altar boys and young priests. While the
reported sexual abuse dates primarily from the 1960s to 1980s, some cases occurred in the 1990s
and sexual abuse has also happened in past centuries: it was the topic of Pope Benedict XIV's
apostolic constitution Sacramentum Poenitentiae in 1741.

The Catholic League has argued that the abuse figures in the Catholic Church are similar to abuse in
institutions: in U.S. public schools, up to 5% of all teachers are responsible for sexually abusing 15%
of all students. A 2003 survey reports that 6.7% of U.S. students had experienced educator sexual
misconduct involving physical contact.

[edit] Sexual abuse

Clergymen, generally trusted by

laity, had largely unrestricted contact with people through parish links with families, seminaries and
other institutions run by religious orders including, regular and reform schools, orphanages, and
hospitals, and social work organisations. Although sexual abuse by priests was of primary concern to
the public, media reports during the height of the scandal revealed a number of examples of laity
being involved in abuse at these institutions.

The clergy were involved in every aspect of the lives of the families of their communities: from
baptising the young to the weekly celebration of Mass, giving children First Communion to marrying
couples and being the celebrant of their funerals.

Apart from direct family connections, many Catholic families sent their children to Catholic schools,
where priests either taught as teachers or visited regularly as the local parish
priest or curate. Participation in the Catholic faith involved a close association with, and proximity to,
priests. While the vast majority of priests are thought never to have abused any children (99.8%),
the small minority of priests who are known to have commited offences did have easy access to

One of the worst examples of a clergyman using his links with families to facilitate sex abuse
occurred in Ireland, where one priest ² systematically raped and sexually abused hundreds of boys
between 1945 and 1990. The scandal over the Fr. Brendan Smyth case, and the systematic
obstruction of justice in his case by the Norbertine Order caused immense damage to the credibility
of the Catholic church in Ireland, as did other cases, such as that of Fr. Jim Grennan, a parish priest,
who abused children as they prepared for First Communion, and Fr. Sean Fortune, who committed
suicide before his trial for the rape of children. The abuse by Grennan and others in the Diocese of
Ferns in south-east Ireland led to the resignation of the local bishop, Brendan Comiskey, while
similar scandals in the Archdiocese of Dublin severely damaged the reputation of its archbishop,
Cardinal Connell. Although there were other social factors at play, some have argued that the ten-
year drop in the percentage of Irish people attending weekly Mass (from 63% to 48%) was related to
these events.

Inquiries have also established the existence of abuse in institutions, and a failure by those
responsible for running and overseeing the institutions,
when confronted with evidence of abuse, to act in the best interests of the victims or in accordance
with the criminal law in their jurisdiction. Governmental institutions have also been heavily criticised
for neglecting to adequately ensure that young people placed in those institutions by agents of the
state were properly looked after.

Some of the most serious allegations of abuse were made against clergy who either worked in the
institutions, or who were allowed unlimited visitation rights and access to young people. As with the
clergy in parishes, many allegations have resulted in criminal convictions of the abusers.
In Canada the Mount Cashel Orphanage scandal in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and
the Duplessis Orphans in the province of Quebec were of great public concern.

[edit] Flawed policies

[edit] Abusers moved from location to location

Some bishops have been heavily criticized for moving offending priests from parish to parish rather
than seeking to have them stripped of their faculties. Many dioceses submitted priests accused of
sex abuse for intensive psychotherapeutic treatment and assessment, with the priests only
resuming pastoral duties when the bishop was advised by the treating psychologists or psychiatrists
that it was safe for them to be so assigned.

In response to questions, defenders of bishops' actions suggest that in re-assigning priests for duty
after treatment they were acting on the basis of the best medical advice then available. Critics have
questioned whether bishops are necessarily able to form accurate judgments in serious
circumstances on the nature of the recovery of a priest based on advice from professions widely
considered to have shifting opinions.

Critics have also condemned

bishops for acting as business managers who viewed the issue as a disciplinary and medical matter
for the priest and were concerned about secrecy for optimal financial management rather than the
interests of the victims.

"Ancient Catholic tradition codified in the Church's canon law, has long held that certain grave sins
by their nature disqualify a man from further public exercise of the priesthood. The issue is not
retribution; the issue is iconography. A priest who sexually abuses children has grossly disfigured
himself as a living re-presentation of the Christ who asked that the little children be brought to
him[Luke 18:16]. A priest who sexually abuses post-pubescent minors in a habitual way is almost
certainly guilty of the sin of seduction as well as the specific sin of sodomy or fornication. Don't
habitual sins of this sort also render a man incapable of manifesting that spiritual fatherhood that is
the essence of Catholic priesthood? These are
fundamentally theological questions, not simply questions of "Church discipline."... When a bishop
has neglected his fatherly responsibility to his priests, when he has been accustomed to treating
clergy sexual abuse as a disciplinary matter only, and when the pressures of the therapeutic culture
begin to weigh on him, a noble virtue, compassion, can be transformed into a vice - episcopal
irresponsibility. The bishop fails to understand that some acts make a man unfit for any priestly
ministry. And so the bishop recycles into his parish (or to other dioceses) men who are both threats
to their potential victims and irreparably disfigured icons.".
Fr Ramos Reassignment letterNotes proving knowledge of reoccurrence of abuse

An example of the policy of shifting offenders from place to place is demonstrated in the case of Fr
Ramos. Typical of these examples he was reassigned to another parish after treatment. An unknown
Church official in 1985 took telephone notes that indicate an awareness of his continuing child
molestation by Church officials well after his initial psychological treatment in the late 1970s. In
spite of this knowledge that he re-offended, he continued to molest for a further two years and
accumulated 25 allegations of abuse in total.

[edit] Failure to report

criminal acts to police

From a legal perspective, the most serious offence, after the actual sexual abuse, was the failure by
senior Church leaders aware of the facts to report the crimes directly to the police. This happened in
many cases in many countries, and is proving to have extremely negative consequences. The
Norbertines, for example, knew not merely of Fr. Brendan Smyth's apparently criminal tendencies
but also of allegations of sexually interfering with children from as early as 1945, yet it was only in
the late 1980s and early 1990s that the police forces of the Republic of Ireland, the Garda Síochána,
and of Northern Ireland, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, were able to gather sufficient information to
prosecute Smyth.

In May 2001, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
and later elected Pope Benedict XVI on the death of his predecessor, sent a letter to all Catholic
Bishops declaring that the Church's investigations into claims of child sex abuse were subject to the
pontifical secret and were not to be reported to law enforcement until investigations were
completed, on pain of excommunication. The secrecy related only to the internal investigation, and
the letter did not attempt to discourage victims from reporting abuse to the police.

In response to the failure to report abuse to the police, lawmakers have changed the law to make
reporting of
abuse to police compulsory. An example of this can be found in Massachusetts, USA. (See external
link near bottom of article)

[edit] Allegations of systematic plots to conceal


Reviewers of the Smyth case differ as to whether it was a deliberate plot to conceal the nature of his
behaviour, or whether much of what happened involved complete incompetence by his superiors,
the abbots of Kilnacrott Abbey, or perhaps a mixture of an institution presuming that what happened
to its members was its own business, plus the complete incompetence of his superiors, who failed to
grasp the human and legal consequences of the actions of a particularly manipulative child
molester, who found ways to circumvent whatever restrictions the abbots placed on him. (Cardinal
Daly, both as Bishop of Down and Connor (where some of the abuse took place) and later as
Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh, is recorded as having been privately scathing at the Norbertine
"incompetence".[citation needed])

William McMurry, a Louisville, Kentucky lawyer, filed suit against the Vatican in June 2004 on
behalf of three men alleging abuse as far back as 1928, accusing Church leaders of organising a
cover-up of cases of sexual abuse of children. Legal experts predict an unsuccessful outcome to this
case, given the sovereignty of the Holy See and the lack of evidence of Vatican complicity.
Sovereign immunity however, was recently denied upon appeal in a separate (WW II/ Vatican
Bank/Ustazhe Genocide) United States federal lawsuit .

[edit] Payments to victims

Some have even gone so far as to allege that Church members paid off victims of child abuse, either
in settlement of compensation claims, or in order to prevent them reporting to the police. In the mid-
1990s, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Connell of Dublin lent money to a priest who had abused altar boy
Andrew Madden; this money was used to pay compensation to Madden and to prevent him from
reporting the abuse to the police. Connell later claimed never to have paid money to a victim,
insisting that he had simply lent money to a priest who independently, and without Connell's
foreknowledge, used the money to pay off his victim.

[edit] Implications of the scandal

[edit] Seminary training

The late Pope John Paul II took a number of steps to address the problem of priestly formation. On
March 25, 1992, he completed the apostolic exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis ("I Shall Give You
Shepherds"), one of the longest papal documents in history. This explored the crisis of priestly
identity, the renewal of priestly life and the reform of seminaries in detail. Some have attributed the
scant number of abuse allegations from the 1990s as evidence that the late Pope's reform efforts
were fruitful.

Clergy themselves have suggested their seminary training offered little to prepare them for a
lifetime of celibate sexuality; a report submitted to the Synod of Bishops in Rome in 1971, called
The Role of the Church in the Causation, Treatment and Prevention of the Crisis in the Priesthood by
Dr. Conrad Baars, a Dutch-born Catholic psychiatrist from Minnesota, and based on a study of 1500
priests, suggested that some clergy had "psychosexual" problems. It is a matter of speculation as to
how much of the Catholic Church's mishandling of sex abuse cases was influenced by such

In some countries in the aftermath of the crisis

caused by the sex abuse allegations, the Church has begun reforming seminary training to provide
candidates for the priesthood with training to deal with a life of celibacy and sexual abstention.

Homosexuality within the clergy has also come under scrutiny, as most of the Roman Catholic sex
abuse cases involved post-pubescent males. (See Ephebophilia.)

Rome's Congregation for Catholic Education issued an official document, the Instruction Concerning
the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in
view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders (2005). Controversially drawing a
parallel between homosexuality and paedophilia, the document states that the Church "cannot
admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated
homosexual tendencies or
support the so-called 'gay culture'".
[edit] Declining standards explanation

Traditional Catholics have made the charge that the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) fostered a
climate that encouraged priests to abuse children. The council essentially directed an opening of the
doors to meet the world. This was considered an appropriate way of going forth and spreading the
Good News. However traditional Catholics believe that this led to a
conversion of Catholics to secularism rather than vice versa. In the January 27, 2003 edition of Time
Magazine, actor and traditional Catholic Mel Gibson charged that "...Vatican II corrupted the
institution of the church. Look at the main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia." However it is
important to note that abuse by priests was occurring long before the start of Vatican II and most of
the Roman Catholic sex abuse cases did not involve pedophilia.

[edit] Supply and demand explanation

It is also true that Catholic clergy are in short supply in North America, Europe, Australia and New
Zealand. Catholic doctrines outlined below (Other Catholic Teachings, Practices) and this
understaffing combine, it has been claimed, to make Catholic clergy extraordinarily valuable human
capital. It is alleged that the Catholic hierarchy acted to preserve this human capital and ensure that
they were still available to supply priestly services, in the face of serious allegations that these
priests were unfit for duty.

Others, however, disagree and believe that the Church's mishandling of the sex abuse cases merely
reflected prevailing attitudes of the time towards such
activity, in which the tendency was to suppress the information lest it cause scandal and a loss of
trust in the institution, an approach reflected in the manner in which the media and secular
organisations hid damaging information or ignored it; from the sexual promiscuity of leading
politicians to domestic violence. They see the Church as having made horrendous but genuine
mistakes, their leaders being out of touch with society's increasing demand for accountability.

[edit] Celibacy explanation

It has been suggested that the discipline of celibacy in the Catholic priesthood
offers a means by which priests with sexual urges that are aimed towards children rather than
adults can hide those tendencies, their lack of sexual feelings towards adults being unnoticeable in a
completely unmarried clergy. It is believed that those with a predisposition toward child molestation
would be drawn to the celibate lifestyle due to a confusion about their sexual identity or orientation.
There have also been suggestions that those who are already child molesters, either already acting
or on the verge of acting on their disposition, deliberately enter the Catholic clergy due to the
"cover" its celibacy provides, and since clergy may have frequent access to children.

In response, it has been said that there is no indication of a higher level of child-oriented sexual
activity among the unmarried Catholic clergy than that of the married clergy of other
[15] [16]
denominations and of schoolteachers. If this is the case, (i) those with a predisposition to
molest children are no more likely to end up among the Catholic clergy, and (ii) already active child
molesters as a group have not specially targeted the Catholic clergy for entry, though it seems likely
that some child molesters have entered its ordained ministry as they have other ministries
elsewhere. It has also been noted that the easiest way to access children is to have a family and
child sexual abuse is statistically most commonly associated with families. Thus deliberately
choosing a celibate profession can also be considered to make things harder for a prospective
child molester.

Molestation of pre-pubescent children was rare in the Roman Catholic sex abuse cases and opinion
is very divided on whether there is any connection between the Catholic institution of celibacy and
the incidence of child abuse, for a number of reasons: there are relatively few statistical studies on
the issue of sexual abuse among the clergy; sexual abuse rates among the general population are
almost impossible to determine, since 90-95%[citation needed] of instances of child molesting go
unreported. Therefore, no consensus can be reported here. Examples from each side of the debate
are shown below.

[edit] Advocacy against mandatory celibacy

The Center for the Study of Religious Issues (CSRI), the research division of CITI Ministries (an anti-
celibacy advocacy organization), published a book about quantitative studies 1999-2004, which
argues that a connection exists between mandatory celibacy and sexual abuse. Based on her
research, the author states:

"The evidence is so strong that we can predict a continuation of the crime as long as
mandatory celibacy exists in the priesthood."

Chapter 1 of the book is available online. The book concludes:

"A demonstrable link exists between mandatory celibacy and clergy sexual abuse. Sexual
abuse by Roman Catholic clergy is different from sexual abuse by other populations in
almost every aspect of the victim/perpetrator profiles and characteristics, differences that
can only be seen by segregating respective demographics and other specifics from general
population abuse."

The author of The Bingo Report, Louise Haggett, has been a leading activist in the push for married
priests for over a decade.
In 1992, she founded Celibacy is the Issue (CITI) Ministries, whose "Rent-a-Priest" program
promotes the activities of priests or laicized priests who have married without authorization. Her
personal opinion against celibacy should be taken into account: to what extent do her opinions
affect her conclusions, rather than derive from the evidence? The available statistical evidence
needs to be studied carefully, not just the published conclusions. Also, the Apostle Paul in his 1st and
2nd letter towards Timothy notes that "Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons, should be the husband of
one wife...". This tradition can be seen practiced in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox
Churches, although no bishop of any church may be
married, and are therefore either widowers or lifelong monastics.

[edit] Advocacy for mandatory celibacy

Prof. Philip Jenkins, Professor of History and Religious Studies at Penn State University, published the
book Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis in 1996. In it, he calculated that
approximately 0.2 percent of Catholic priests are child molesters. His 2002 article "The myth of
the 'pedophile priest'" expresses his views. In contrast to Louise Haggett's statement, Professor
Jenkins states:

"My research of cases over the past 20 years indicates no evidence whatever that Catholic
or other celibate clergy are any more likely to be involved in misconduct or abuse than
clergy of any other denomination -- or indeed, than nonclergy. However determined news
media may be to see this affair as a crisis of celibacy, the charge is just unsupported."

[edit] Media hype explanation

Some —including non-Catholic academics such as Philip Jenkins—have observed that the Catholic
Church is being unfairly singled out by a secular media which they say fails to highlight similar
sexual scandals in other religious groups, such as the Anglican Communion, various Protestant
churches, and the Jewish and Islamic communities. In particular the Catholic Church may have a
lower incidence of molesting priests than Churches that allow married clergy. Statistically child
molestation occurs within
families but Catholic priests do not have families. Similarly, the term "pedophile priests," widely
used in the media, implies a distinctly higher rate of child molesters within the Roman Catholic
priesthood when in reality the incidence is lower than most other segments of society".

In response it has been said that irrespective of disproportionate attention lavished upon Catholic
priests by the media or misrepresentations that molesting priests were involved, the media did not
conjure up the examples of law breaking priests and dangerously incompetent bishops. The latter,
while undoubtedly true, falls short of explaning the comparative infrequency with which the news
media have publicized the abuse of children and youth in other settings, whose plight, many agree,
would be
most worthy of increased attention in the media.[original research?]

[edit] Other Catholic teachings, practices

The Catholic Church clearly teaches the sexual abuse of children to be gravely sinful. In the
Catechism of the
Catholic Church's list of moral offences, one finds:

"...any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their

care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral
integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it, all their lives; and the violation of
responsibility for their upbringing." (CCC 2389).

In the Bible's New Testament, Jesus tells his disciples, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who
believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he
were thrown into the sea." (see Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; and Luke 17:2)

Despite these teachings, some critics have charged that specific doctrines or traditional practices in
Catholicism contributed to the problem. Catholic teaching affirms that so long as the officiant has
been validly ordained, his personal sins have no effect on the validity of the Masses, absolutions,
baptisms, and other sacraments he has administered. The doctrine of apostolic succession makes
valid ordinations and institutional affiliation the chief consideration in clerical status.

[edit] Archdiocesan versus those from


While most claims have been against archdiocesan priests, there have been sexual abuse cases
concerning those in orders. In the United States, Salesian High in Richmond, California lost
a sexual abuse case, whilst in Australia there are allegations that the Salesians moved a priest
convicted of
abuse in Melbourne to Samoa in order to avoid further police investigation and charges.

[edit] Ferns Inquiry 2005

The neutrality of this section is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page.

On 22 October 2005 a
government-commissioned report compiled by a former Irish Supreme Court judge delivered a
damning indictment of the handling of clerical sex abuse in the Irish diocese of Ferns. The report
revealed over 100 cases of child sex abuse in the small diocese, involving a number of clergymen,
including Monsignor Micheál Ledwidth, the former head of the National Catholic seminary, Maynooth

Among the facts revealed were

• The "inexplicable" failure of Bishop Donal Herlihy to exclude clearly unsuitable candidates
from the priesthood;
• His failure to report

incidents of proven sexual abuse to the legal authorities and his failure to acknowledge that
abusers needed to be kept from children;

• The failure of his successor, Brendan Comiskey, to report incidents of abuse and remove
abusers from positions where they worked with children.

Among the cases revealed were

• The rape of teenage girls² on the altar of a church by one priest;

• The use of blackmail by another priest to force children to perform sex acts on him;

The report was also highly critical of the failure of the Garda Siochána (police) to
properly investigate incidents reported, and in particular the disappearance of one file detailing
serious incidents of clerical sex abuse. The local health authorities also failed to protect children
even when aware of allegations.

There was however praise in subsequent debates and among survivors of abuse of the actions of the
new Apostolic Administrator (acting bishop) for instituting wholesale reforms, including the toughest
anti-abuse rules in any diocese in the Catholic Church, and also his willingness to hand over all files
and all information to the inquiry. Victims' spokesman and himself one of the victims of one of the
abusers, Colm O'Gorman praised the administrator and compared his actions with the inaction and
incompetence of his predecessors.

[edit] Forthcoming Dublin Inquiry and Irish

Parliamentary comment

Please help improve this article by trimming this section, which has grown
too large or lost focus.
Further information might be found on the talk page. Please remove this message once the
section has been expanded.

Following November confirmation concerning a subsequent child sexual abuse inquiry for the
Diocese of Dublin, on November 9, 2005, Liz O'Donnell TD
(Teachta Dála, or Member of Parliament), former Government Minister and member of the liberal
Progressive Democrats governing alliance, spoke at length in the Irish Parliament concerning the
necessary changes required following the Ferns report.

O'Donnell stated that it was clear to her, and to everyone, that the Ferns report would prove to be
entirely typical of any such report carried out in any Irish Diocese, and that therefore the
relationship between Church and state in Ireland must now change from that of deference towards
complete separation .

O'Donnell characterised the

Catholic Church in Ireland and as a whole as a secret, un-accountable, and anti-democratic
organisation at variance with the State through its inability to uphold or adhere to civil law. She
called for immediate financial auditing of all Church assets in Ireland.

Liz O'Donnell also called for termination of deference to supposed Church morality in the fields of IV
treatment, stem cell research, abortion, homosexuality and Third-world birth-control programs.
Ireland does not possess civil legislation for the protection of children, and the references to
separation of Church from State arises in the context of providing such legislatory enaction.

Media programming containing debate upon the Roman Catholic sex abuse cases has focused
particularly on the fact that Diocesan insurance policies against financial reparation claims by the
victims were opened from 1987 throughout Ireland. The
contradiction between this action and the complete inaction and failure at civil reporting, coupled
with continuance of ministry by the very numerous offenders, has led to a point in Ireland where
even the Church's senior theologian is unable to continue the general hierarchy claim of being within
a "learning curve" at that time. On state broadcast, it is admitted that indeed this contradiction is as
indefensible as the crime and the seeking of insurance against sex abuse settlements overshadows
the validity of what O'Donnell referred to as Catholic Church "denial" and "self-preservation" .

The question of "canon law" and its quasi-legality in a modern state has been democratically raised
amidst general popular shock that abusive rapist pril continuance of their abusive behaviour (as was
the case in the seminary). The leading Irish theologian Father Twomey, on the same evening as the
O'Donnell intervention, was unable to publicly affirm, on State broadcast,
that any one of the 26 diocesan bishops of Ireland would, in 1987, have understood or recognised
that child sexual abuse (statutory rape) was a civil crime. This contrasted weakly against Deputy O'
Donnell's assertion as to the necessity for legal accountability of the Catholic Church in Ireland in

[edit] Episcopal resignations

• Bernard Francis Law, Cardinal and Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, United States had
come under enormous public pressure to resign after Church documents suggested he had
covered up sexual abuse committed by priests in his archdiocese.[30] There is, for example,
the priest John Geoghan, who was shifted from one parish to another although Cardinal Law
had often been informed of his abuse; for example, in December 1984 auxiliary Bishop John
M. D’Arcy wrote to Cardinal Law complaining about the reassignment of Geoghan to another
Boston-area parish because of his “history of homosexual involvement with young boys."[31]
The Vatican announced on December 13, 2002 that Pope John Paul II had accepted Law's
resignation as Archbishop and reassigned him to an administrative position in the Roman
Curia and named him archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Cardinal Law later
presided at one of the Pope's funeral masses.
Bishop Séan P. O'Malley, the Capuchin friar who replaced Law as archbishop, was forced to
sell a good deal of valuable real estate and to close a number of churches in order to pay
$120,000,000 in claims against the archdiocese.

• Bishop Brendan Comiskey, Bishop of Ferns, resigned under similar pressure.

• Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër had to resign from his post as Archbishop of Vienna over
allegations of sexual abuse in 1995.
• Two Bishops of Palm Beach, Florida have resigned due to child abuse allegations. The first
was Joseph Keith Symons, who was replaced by Anthony O'Connell, who later also resigned.
O'Connell was replaced by O'Malley, who had earlier been appointed Bishop of Fall River
following an abuse scandal, and who would later replace Cardinal Law in Boston.

[edit] Compensation payouts

In December 2006 the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (Roger Cardinal Mahony) agreed to payout of 60
million dollars to settle 45 of the over 500 cases pending concerning abuse by priests.

[edit] Bankruptcy

Citing monetary concerns arising from impending trials on sex abuse claims, the Archdiocese of
Portland (Oregon) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 6, 2004, hours before two abuse trials
were set to begin, becoming the first Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy. If granted, bankruptcy
would mean pending and future lawsuits would be settled in federal bankruptcy court. The
archdiocese had settled more than one hundred previous claims for a sum of over $53 million. The
filing seeks to protect parish assets, school money and trust
funds from abuse victims: the archdiocese's contention is that parish assets are not the
archdiocese's assets. Plaintiffs in the cases against the archdiocese have argued that the Catholic
church is a single entity, and that the Vatican should be liable for any damages awarded in
judgment of pending sexual abuse cases.

The Diocese of Tucson likewise filed bankruptcy in September, 2004, as has the Diocese of Spokane
in December of that year. The Diocese of Tucson reached an agreement with its victims, which the
bankruptcy judge approved June 11, 2005, specifying terms that included allowing the diocese
reorganization to continue in return for a $22.2 million settlement. The diocese of Spokane in
Washington as part of its bankruptcy has agreed to pay at least 48 million dollars as compensation
to people abused by priests. This payout has to be agreed with by the victims and another Judge
before it will be made.

On February 27, 2007, the San Diego Catholic diocese also filed for Chapter 11 protection, hours
before the first of about 150 lawsuits was due to be heard. San Diego became the largest diocese to
postpone its legal problems in this way.

[edit] Abuse in literature

A number of books have been written, see Pedophilia and child sexual abuse in fiction, about the
suffered from priests and nuns including Andrew Madden in Altar Boy: A Story of Life After Abuse,
Carolyn Lehman's Strong at the Heart: How it feels to heal from sexual abuse and the bestselling
Kathy's Story by Kathy O'Beirne which details physical and sexual abuse suffered in a Magdalene
laundry in Ireland. However grave doubts have
been expressed about the authenticity of the latter book. The Magdalen laundries caught the
public's attention in the late 1990s as revelations of widespread abuse from former inmates
gathered momentum and were made the subject an award-winning film called The Magdalene
Sisters (2002). In 2006, a documentary called Deliver Us From Evil was made about the sex abuse
cases and one priest's confession of abuse.

It is also worth noting that for decades preceding the scandal, off-color jokes about molesting priests
had been common. The 1983 book, Truly
Tasteless Jokes included an entire chapter of priest jokes, which were almost exclusively about
molestation.[citation needed]

[edit] See also

[edit] R.C. sex


• Ronald Bennett
• Edward English, former Christian Brother (Canada)
• Edward French, former Christian Brother (Canada)
• John Geoghan
• Hans Hermann Groër, Kurt Krenn (Austria)
• Marcial Maciel
• Vincent Mercer
• Ivan Payne
• Barry Ryan
• Paul Shanley
• Brendan Smyth

[edit] General links

• Cases of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church

• Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic priesthood
• Jehovah's Witnesses and child sex abuse (for other religions with similar concerns)
• Pontifical Secret
• Sexual harassment and abuse by teachers
• Virtus (program)

[edit] External links


• List of Rape Crisis / Advocacy Centers By State

• The Awareness Center, Inc. (Jewish Coaltion Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)
• Sexual Abuse in Social Context - a Catholic League report
• Stop

it now A campaign to prevent Child Sexual Abuse by calling on potential abusers to seek

• Male Survivor - Overcoming sexual victimization of boys and men

• Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
• Bishop Accountability
• CatholiCity - 10 Myths About Priestly Pedophilia


• Bishop Brendan Comiskey's resignation

United States

• 3000 pages from 9000 page transcript of the 1997 liability trial against the Dallas Diocese
• Cardinal Law's statement on child sex abuse in the Church
• Vatican-U.S. Mixed

Commission on Charter and Norms for Protection of Children

• CNN - 22 March 2002 'Pope responds to sex abuse cases'

• National Review Board, John Jay, and Audit Reports
• Experts: Tucson diocese settlement a bankruptcy model
• Los Angeles Files Recount Decades of Priests' Abuse October 12, 2005 New York Times
• Philadelphia Grand Jury Report on Pedophile Priests archived at The Memory Hole
• Sexuality, the Modern World, and the Catholic Church
• A Chicago trial lawyer discusses Chicago priest sex abuse cases
• Change of law to make reporting sex abuse mandatory
• "The Experience of the Victim of Sexual Abuse:" A Reflection by Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea,
Ph.D., U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops June 14, 2002
• "Priest wanted for attempted murder of showgirl arrested"

Additional reading

• Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (Oxford University
Press, 2001). ISBN 0-19-514597-6.
• Lobdell, William, Missionary's Dark Legacy; Two remote Alaska villages are still reeling from
a Catholic volunteer's sojourn three decades ago, when he allegedly molested nearly every
Eskimo boy in the parishes. The accusers, now men, are scarred emotionally and struggle to
cope. They are seeking justice., Los Angeles Times, Nov 19, 2005, p. A.1
• Rose, Michael S., Goodbye, Good Men : How Liberals Brought Corruption Into the Catholic
Church, Regnery Publishing, Inc. (June 25, 2002). ISBN 0-89526-144-8 Reviewed here

[edit] References

1. ^
2. ^ George Weigel, The Courage To Be Catholic (Basic Books, 2002), ISBN 0-465-09261-6
3. ^ George Weigel, The Courage To Be Catholic (Basic Books, 2002). ISBN 0-465-09261-6
4. ^ Among other sources, see the Boston Globe article:
Sally Jacobs. "'If they knew the madness in me': A search for the real Rev. Paul Shanley
suggests he was

part hero, part horror" Boston Globe, 7-10-2002. Online at:
 ^ for example, see Rite of Sodomy by Randy Engel (1989); see Anne McGinn Cillis's review at: (accessed 11 October 2006)
 ^ George Weigel, The Courage To Be
Catholic (Basic Books, 2002). ISBN 0-465-09261-6 Page 61
 ^
 ^

 ^ Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (Oxford University
Press, 2001). ISBN 0-19-514597-6
 ^ George Weigel, The Courage To Be Catholic (Basic Books, 2002). ISBN 0-465-09261-6 (pp105-
 ^
 ^
 ^ George Weigel, The Courage To Be Catholic (Basic Books, 2002). ISBN 0-465-09261-6
 ^ George Weigel, The Courage To Be Catholic (Basic Books, 2002). ISBN 0-465-09261-6 p36
 ^ Indeed an estimate in Protestant clergy of 2 to 3 percent was made Lloyd Rediger, Ministry and
Sexuality (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990). p55
 ^ Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy
of a Contemporary Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2001). p50
 ^ The Bingo Report, pub. CSRI Books, 2005, ISBN 0-9770402-0-8
 ^
 ^
 ^
 ^ Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (Oxford University
Press, 2001). p81
 ^
 ^ Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (Oxford University
Press, 2001). ISBN 0-19-514597-6
 ^ Hundreds of priests
shuffled worldwide, despite abuse allegations
 ^ House of the Accused.When priests within the Salesian order based in San Francisco were
accused of sex abuse, the leaders chose to keep quiet
 ^ Vatican sued in sex abuse cases
 ^ Troubled Order
 ^ Abuse. International investigation implicates Salesians/Australia
 ^
 ^
 ^
 ^
 ^
 ^ [1]
 ^

Retrieved from ""

Categories: Cleanup from January 2007 | All pages needing cleanup | Articles with unsourced
statements since January 2007 | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles which may contain
original research | NPOV disputes | Articles to be trimmed | Articles with unsourced statements since
February 2007 | Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal | Modern pederasty | Sex crimes | Sex
scandals | Child abuse | Sexual abuse


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Nazeer Syed <> wrote:


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Can you investigate if this propaganda is correct ?


Nazeer SHA

Logistics Co-ordinator

Saipem Sharjah Branch

United Arab Emirates

Tel: 00971 (6) 5284140 ext. 226

Fax:00971 (6) 5281258

Mobile No.: 00971(50) 4628045

From: Taher Jamshaid
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 12:26 AM
To: Nazeer Syed
Subject: FW: I have no words ... don't delete...plz read...

From: Christopher Capalungan

Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 11:25 AM
To: De Los Reyes Rida Y.; Navarro Anna Lorraine; Norman Abacan
Cc: Erwin Dequito; Rona Importado; Charles Sison; Taher Jamshaid
Subject: FW: I have no words ... don't delete...plz read...
Plead people to stop fighting in the name
of religion.To stop doing such deeds, and
then justifying them in the name of
religion... No religion has ever justified
such heneous crime ... Pass it on ...let the
world know watz happenening in the
name of God and religion...
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