Doyle: Father Tom Doyle OP

Tom Doyle pic   Father Thomas P. Doyle op

Thomas Patrick Michael Doyle OP

Canon lawyer.  Called as expert witness – to give contextual evidence at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.  Examination of qualifications 29 August 2007. Testified  30 August 2007.

TRANSCRIPTS

30 August 2007:  Father Tom Doyle transcript of testimony

29 August 2007:   Father Tom Doyle examination of qualifications (this was when the matter of Father Doyle’s contact with Dick Nadeau and comments posted on Nadeau’s website was addressed by the diocese.)

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2007: Besmirching the Dead: Father Doyle attempts to salvage his own ‘honour’ by besmirching that of deceased clerical sex abuse victim and website operator Dick Nadeau

(Scroll down for Carmen Prégent’s letter to Commissioner Glaude)

2001:   Emails from Father Doyle to Dick Nadeau evoked fireworks from the Diocese

8-9 June 1985: The Problem Of Sexual Molestation By Roman Catholic Clergy : Meeting The Problem In A Comprehensive And Responsible Manner.

This report is known alternately as The Manual and the Doyle -Mouton-Peterson Report. The Manual was a collaborative effort of Father Michael Peterson (President and CEO Saint Luke’s Institute) and Ray Mouton, (Louisiana attorney). Peterson, a Roman Catholic priest, lived an active homosexual lifestyle. He died of AIDS two years after release of the Manual.

July 1990The Clergy in Court:  Recent developments concerning canonical rights

30 August 2007:  BLOG Good or Bad?

29 August 2007:  BLOG Too too familiar

28 August 2007:  BLOG Fireworks at the Weave Shed?

____________

25 January 2010: Church making progress in dealing with sexual abuse: But new cases continue to arise and systemic issues remain

31 January 2008: Get the facts please: bishop

26 January 2008: Persecution of Perry Dunlop shameful

31 August 2007: Prestige of clergy helped hide abuse

30 August 2007: “Diocese Lawyer Questions Witness’ Expertise” and “Inquiry to hear from controversial priest”

Father Thomas Patrick Michael  Doyle CV 

Father Thomas (Tom) Doyle’s given name is Patrick (Pat) Michael Doyle. He took the name Thomas after joining the Dominicans. He is now Thomas Patrick Doyle.Born 03 August 1944 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.Spent his adolescent years in Cornwall, Ontario after his father Michael, an executive with an agrichemical business, relocated the family to Canada. He has two sisters, Shannon and Kelly.Attended primary and secondary school in Ogdensberg, NY.

By the time he joined the Dominicans his family had moved from Cornwall to Montreal, Quebec. (It seems that Father Doyle would have lived in Cornwall in the part or all of the 1950s and possibly into the very early 60s.)

According to Vows of Silence, Monsignor R.J. MacDonald of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall was a close friend of the Doyles and, in 1965, made regular trips to visit Thomas’ mother Doris who was dying of breast cancer in a Montreal hospital.

Father Doyle studied and underwent his priestly formation as a Dominican at the Aquinas Institute in Dubuque, Iowa.

He was ordained 16 May 1970 as Dominican priest.

In the 1970s he earned a Masters in Canon Law at Ottawa, Ontario’s pontifically-chartered St. Paul University. Father Frank Morrissey OMI was then a professor in the Faculty of Canon Law. Doyle considers Morrissey a mentor and has turned to him for advice in the past.

Earned his doctorate in Canon Law at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

In 1978 was serving as a canon lawyer in the Diocese of Chicago, Ill.

In the early 80s began to serve as a canon lawyer in the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C. He was working for the American Apostolic Nuncio of the day, Pio Laghi.
In collaboration with Father Michael Peterson (President and CEO Saint Luke’s Institute) and Ray Mouton, (Louisiana attorney) produced the 1985 Doyle -Mouton-Peterson Report.

 Carmen’s Letter to Commissioner Glaude

re Father Doyle’s testimony regarding Dick Nadeau (2007: Besmirching the Dead)

February 15, 2008

Commissioner Normand Glaude

Cornwall Public Inquiry
709 Cotton Mill Street
Cornwall, ON K6H 7K7

Commissioner Glaude,

On September 4th, 2007, I wrote a letter to Peter Engelmann stating that
Father Tom Doyle had perjured himself on the stand (Annex 1). I personally hand delivered the letter and met with Mr. Engelmann. Following our conversation, he asked if I would testify in order to give a human face to my husband, Dick Nadeau. He stated that the people representing the institutions were painting a very dark picture of Dick. I was also informed that two OPP officers, Phil Crouch and Luc Leblanc, were hired to gather information on my husband. Mr. Engelmann asked me if I wanted to meet with them, to which I agreed. I was introduced to both of them. After discussions with them, I was again encouraged to testify. I asked the OPP officers to give me some time to think about it. They indicated that they would to be in touch with me in a week or so.

Not long after, I did meet with Pierre Dumais and his assistant, Janie Larocque. I was encouraged to testify. I agreed. However, I clearly stated that there were a few conditions, which I discussed in detail with Mr. Dumais and Mrs. Larocque. The conditions were as follow:

a) I wanted to bring up the issue of Father Tom Doyle and to have the letter deposited as a piece of evidence;

b) Some witnesses, such as Ron Leroux, and others, had indicated that they had never given permission to Dick to post their statement on the projecttruth website. I had emails which were sent to Dick giving permission to have their statement posted on the website. I wanted these to be mentioned and entered as evidence.

At that point, either Mr. Dumais or anyone else objected to my request, including Mr. Engelmann. I understood they agreed.

I met with Mr. Dumais and his assistant on a few occasions and gathered all the information they requested from Dick’s files and even more.

The second day of my testimony, during the morning break, I approached Mr. Dumais and asked him when he intended to bring up the issue of Father Tom Doyle, the letter (Annex 1) and the emails of other witnesses. Mr. Dumais mentioned that it was not a good idea to talk about these issues during my testimony. He stated that Father Doyle was an expert witness to support the victims and by discussing the issue we would play into David Sheriff-Scott’s hand, because Sheriff-Scott didn’t want Father Doyle to testify in the first place. I told Mr. Dumais that it didn’t matter to me, and the importance was to tell the truth and to clear Dick’s name.

During my testimony, none of my conditions were brought up. I left the Cornwall Public Inquiry in distress.

After my testimony, I sent an email to Father Doyle and expressed my great disappointment in regard to his testimony. He explained to me what had happened to him behind closed doors; how the Commission lawyers had cast Dick and Perry Dunlop as the enemy.

How many other little secrets are kept behind closed doors? How many people are being coerced and intimidated to prevent them from exposing the truth? Was this the approach that was used with Ron Leroux and the others who have “recanted” their stories? One has to seriously question the integrity of the Cornwall Public Inquiry. How can the truth prevail?

Did you say and I quote: “It is essential for the success of this Inquiry that people come forward, free from any undue influence, promise or threat” (Justice Normand Glaude 12 December 2006). I see that there are conditions and exceptions to your statement. It definitely doesn’t apply to the whistle blower, Perry Dunlop. How ironic.

We, the citizens who have fought so hard to expose the truth, are facing the most outrageous and arrogant conduct a Commissioner has ever taken in all time: charging the whistle blower with contempt. This is a repeat of Justices McKinnon and Cunningham charging Dick Nadeau with contempt. This type of conduct is exactly the reason why, we, the citizens, demanded a public inquiry in the first place. It is a repeat of what was going on in the court system! Are we going to need another inquiry to investigate the Cornwall Public Inquiry? How come Perry Dunlop is being forced to testify and not the pedophiles? How come Dick Nadeau and Perry Dunlop are still the scapegoats? The same questions are being asked over and over again: “Do you know Dick Nadeau?” Did you know about the website? Do you know Perry Dunlop?” If a witness has the courage to admit that they have been in contact with them, the person fears being broadsided if not railroaded by the lawyers.

For some reason, nothing surprises me anymore!

The only thing that keeps me sane is remembering what an Ojibway elder said to me when I shared my great concern for the injustice taking place in Cornwall. She said: “In my language, the word justice does not exist. Justice is just Is. What goes around comes around”. I had forgotten about this Universal Law.

It’s so obvious that the energy put into the process of the Cornwall Public Inquiry is so negative. So far, the outcomes are as follow: Perry Dunlop charged with contempt, and probably sentenced to jail at your request; the character assassination of Dick Nadeau; Ron Leroux, who for some strange reasons, suddenly “recanted” his story; little secrets being kept behind closed doors, from at least two witnesses; Steve Parisien, a victim, charged with obstruction of obstruction of justice, but the case was dismissed; the maltreatment of David Silmser and other victims etc.

I am requesting that this letter as well as the letter submitted to Peter Engelmann regarding Father Tom Doyle be deposited as part of my evidence.

Sincerely,

Carmen Prégent

Cc.: Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty
The Honourable Chris Bentley – Ontario Attorney General
Michael Bryant (former Ontario Attorney General)
Sylvia MacEachern– Journalist
Terri Saunders – Reporter Ottawa Sun
Jim Brownell – Local member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament

The Doyle-Mouton-Peterson Report

The following is an excerpt from The Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church (Randy Engel, New Engel Publishing, 2006) Reproduced with permission of the author. The excerpt includes interesting and informative commentary and footnotes on the Doyle-Mouton-Peterson Report (Peterson-Mouton Doyle Report), Father Michael Peterson (a co-author of the Report), and the St. Luke Institute (Maryland, U.S.A), a rehab centre for clergy, founded by Peterson. (Peterson, a practising homosexual with drug and alcohol problems, died of AIDS in 1987. He was mentored by Dr. John Money and sexologist Dr. Alfred Kinsey. He was an admirer of Dr. Fred Berlin.)

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The Doyle-Mouton-Peterson Report

Peterson’s admonition that the Catholic Church must update and re-vise her teachings on sexual morality to accommodate the latest scientific findings is repeated in the 1985 collaborative report, “The Problem Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy: Meeting the Problem in Comprehensive and Responsible Manner.”

This original confidential report was drafted by Peterson, Dominican canon lawyer Rev. Thomas P Doyle, J.C.D. and Louisiana attorney Ray Mouton, J.D. It was made available to the Catholic bishops at their semi-annual spring meeting in June 1985 at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville Minn. in connection with their deliberations on clerical sex abuse minors.(232 – footnote reproduced below)

In his section dealing with the clinical aspects of human sexuality, Peterson advised the American bishops that “sexual orientations (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual), sexual energy level (i.e. libido), and perhaps even erotic age preference (i.e. pedophilia vs. preference for age appropriate partners)” are biologically predetermined, that is, inborn or innate. He concluded:

If, and when, this biological basis for human sexual behaviors becomes more commonly accepted scientific “fact” in the future years, the Roman Catholic Church is going to have to look very hard at our current “constructs” in moral theology and reassess some of our basic “Statements,” which have been codified and accepted without question for many years, if not centuries in some cases. (233)

Of all the services that Peterson formed for the Homosexual Collective none was more important than his role in framing the issue of the clerical sexual abuse of minors in terms of “clinical pedophilia” rather than homosexual “pederasty.” There is nothing more threatening and destabilizing to the Collective than having Catholics (and others) start to mentally connect the dots from the current clerical sex abuse scandal to an increase in numbers of “gay” diocesan priests and religious in the Catholic Church.

As Peterson himself admitted, in his practice he never treated a Catholic priest who preyed exclusively on little girls. Nor did he treat many clinically defined male pedophiles who preferred little boys. The clerical sex abusers that he treated at St. Luke Institute were homosexual predators with fluid same-sex preferences that ranged from pre-and post adolescent boys to older teens to off-the-street young prostitutes as well as
seminarians, fellow priests, and laymen.

Notorious pederasts like Fr. Gilbert Gauthe and Fr. Paul Shanley engaged in homosexual activities with boys and young men representing a wide range of ages. For the most part, these priests were in their late 50s or older when they got caught molesting minors, that is, they were past their prime and lacked the ability to attract young adult homosexual partners unless they paid for such services.

Peterson also helped to frame the clerical sex abuse issues in terms of disease rather than a prosecutable crime. When Cardinal Hickey’s Chancellor Msgr. William Lori, told the press in a 1995 interview that “sexual abuse of minors was not only a severe moral failing, but also a terrible disease,” that was Michael Peterson talking through him. (234)

Dark Side of St. Luke Institute

I have become progressively uncomfortable with the moral tone of the Institute and its therapeutic programs. In my opinion, the Institute has been used as an outlet for the psycho-pathology of its founder and… for other members of the staff from its inception. I am not convinced there is agreement in the Board about this issue and I do not sense a strong commitment to reverse this trend (235)

Excerpt of letter of resignation, dated April 5, 1988

from a physician on the St. Luke Institute staff

The accusation of the resigning physician from St. Luke is a valid one. There was nothing “Catholic” about the St. Luke Institute.

Under Peterson’s tenure at the Institute, there was virtually no difference between the Institute and a Masters and Johnson or Kinsey-based sex clinic in the treatment of clerical sex offenders. (236)

Patient evaluation took from one to three weeks. A CAT scan was given each patient to rule out physiological brain disorders. A sex history was taken and the patient’s “sexual orientation” determined.

Although some sexual predators were sent to the Institute for alcoholism, as rule, few of them qualified as full-fledged alcoholics. The sexual grooming of victims is an art form that demands endless planning, endless charm and endless patience—not the hallmarks of your average alcohol. However, as noted earlier, a sexual predator will often claim he acted “under the influence” in order to gain sympathy from jurors.

At St. Luke, clerics were subjected to the indignity of the so-called “peter-meter,” the penile plethysmograph that connects the male organ electronically to equipment that measures the patient’s erotic response to various types of pornographic images.

The heart of the St. Luke program for sex offenders under Father Peterson was the SAR (Sexual Attitudinal Restructuring) program that included the viewing of “clinical” pornography. The SAR program, described earlier in connection with St. John’s Seminary in Plymouth, Mich., was designed to desensitize viewers to all forms of sexual activity including masturbation and homosexual acts. For Peterson, it was axiomatic that homosexuality was not a psychological disorder but merely a variant on a theme. The only problem for him was when a homosexual sought out “inappropriate” partners, that is, minors under the law, instead of peers.

If a priest-patient was determined to have a homosexual “orientation” and he was not returning to the ministry, he was told to develop peer homosexual relationships after he left the Institute. (237)

If he planned on staying in the ministry, the priest was presented with “alternative” forms of sexual activity including masturbation and homosex with peers rather than minor boys. Under Peterson and his immediate successor, patients were permitted to have homosexual relations with one another at the facility if they desired to do so.

Pro-homosexual materials developed by New Ways Ministry were also distributed to patients at the Institute.

Patients who had little or no experience in masturbation were shown “how to” films and encouraged to practice the solitary vice. Peterson admitted to be a long-time aficionado of the practice and said that since his youth he had never considered it to be a sin. (238)

Priests and religious who were found to compulsively act out with minor boys were generally treated with Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate), a temporary form of chemical castration, used to diminish the libido. (239)

St. Luke was not a lock-up facility.

Some of the clerical sex offenders were housed in separate units adjacent to the main facility. Patients were legally able to sign themselves out of the facility at any time. On occasion, there were incidents of sex offenders from the facility wandering off into residential neighbourhoods. (240)

Cardinal Hickey could not have been unaware that the SAR program and other modes of therapy used at the Institute conflicted with Church teachings on sexual morality. This is perhaps one reason that he always went out of his way to tell the press that the institution was totally independent from the Church. In any case, he consistently deferred to Peterson’s alleged medical and scientific expertise in matters sexual.

The Holy See knew that Peterson was an active homosexual and that his practices were “based on a mixed doctrine of Freudian pan-sexualism and behaviorism,” and that St. Luke was “not a suitable institution apt to judge rightly about the beliefs and the lifestyle of a Catholic priest,” but, like Hickey, it never interfered with the Institute nor publicly warned bishops against sending their priests there. (241)

Peterson appeared to enjoy a certain immunity from hierarchical criticism and interference from Rome as well as from the Washington, D.C. Homosexual Collective that never outed the priest while he was alive. Why?

As regards the Homosexual Collective, the leadership no doubt profited from Peterson’s pro-homosexual propaganda with the Church. Peterson’s role in directing the media’s attention away from run-of-the-mill homosexual pederasts who prey on youth to the virtually non-existent clerical “clinical pedophile,” had also served the “cause” well.

The immunity that Peterson enjoyed from the American hierarchy could be attributed to the fact that Peterson knew a great deal about the clerical pederast rings operating in the Church. He also knew the members of the American hierarchy who were active homosexuals. This knowledge came to him both from his own experience as a homosexual priest and from those patients at St. Luke, some of whom had sexually serviced these prelates or knew fellow priests or laymen who had. Knowledge is power and Peterson had the kind of knowledge that left him free to dissent from Church teachings on sexual morality without having to face the consequences of his own behavior.

By 1985, St. Luke became a popular pederast “safe-house,” where bishops and religious superiors from around the country could send their problem priests for an evaluation and treatment.

In addition to St. Luke Institute, there was the House of Affirmation in Worcester, Mass. that also doubled as a pederast bordello under Father Thomas Kane, and the equally notorious Servants of the Paraclete Treatment Centre in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.

The American bishops quickly learned that by sending their problem priests out of the diocese for treatment they immediately allayed the concerns of parents of victims of sex abuse in their diocese, and warded off lawsuits.

Footnotes
232 If the reader recognized Fr. Michael Peterson’s name at all it is probably in connection with the Doyle-Mouton-Peterson Report sometimes referred to as “The Manual.” The 1985 report is still available online at a number of web sites including http://www.bishop-accountability.org/resources/. Created as a blueprint to help the American bishops handle the increase in clerical sex abuse litigation against Catholic priests, the report is well worth the read even today. It is divided into three sections dealing with the legal, canonical and clinical aspects of the sexual molestation of minors. The section written by Mouton warns the bishops against destroying or hiding personnel records of accused clerical molesters from police investigators or the courts especially after the records have been subpoenaed. The Louisiana attorney writes that sending files for safe keeping to the office of the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, D. C. is not a good idea either. Mouton’s observations on improving the public image of the bishops and the Church are singularly instructive for their candidness. He writes that the first objective is “to create, maintain, preserve and enhance the credibility of the church as a Christian community.” “The church should be presented as a sensitive, caring and responsible entity,” he advises. His second recommendation is that the bishops “adopt a policy which in all cases will carefully control and monitor the tonal quality of all public statements made about a particular case or the general problem. All legal and other statements must be consistent with the image of the church in the eyes of the general public, the Catholic community the juror, judges, prosecutor and plaintiffs. The church cannot step out of character at any stage of the process including the actions of legal counsel.” Lastly he writes that, “The church must remain open and avoid the appearance of being under siege. All tired and worn policies utilized by bureaucrats must be cast away. In this sophisticated society a media policy of silence implies either necessary secrecy or cover-up.” Doyle’s contribution on the canonical aspects of clerical sex abuse is well laid out. Unfortunately the pro-homosexual bias of Peterson is clearly evident in his section dealing with the clinical aspects of clerical sex offenders. From the beginning of their relationship, both Doyle and Mouton uncritically adopted the opinions of Peterson that homosexuality is an inborn trait and therefore homosexuals cannot change their behaviour that is “natural” for them. They also adopted Peterson’s view that homosexuality had no relationship to the sex abuse of minors. Although the report received a great deal of publicity in later years, in the summer of 1985, it was considered top secret by NCCB/USCC officials. The authors had hoped to address the bishops at their Collegeville meeting, but this was not permitted. Instead the report was circulated as an unofficial and confidential document. It never received any official endorsement by the American hierarchy, many of who at the time believed that “the problem” would go away. Jason Berry in Lead Us Not Into Temptation gives some interesting insights into the interaction between the three men each of whom drew sustenance from the friendship that they formed beginning in 1985 with the sensational Gauthe Case in Louisiana. Ray Mouton was Fr. Gilbert Gauthe’s lawyer. Although the Gauthe case centered on the priest’s horrendous molestation record including the assault on very young altar boys just before or just after Mass and in the confessional, a background check on Gauthe indicates he also engaged in homosexual acts with young men. Thus he demonstrated a remarkable sexual fluidity not uncommon among homosexual males. Although Doyle and Mouton spent considerable time with Peterson after the trio became personal friends in 1985, the two men seemed surprised when they learned in 1987 that he was an active homosexual and drug addict and had contracted AIDS.

233 See the 1985 the Doyle-Mouton-Peterson report at http://www.bishop-accountability.org/resources/

234 Greg Seigle, “Church’s candor on pedophiles unusual,” Metropolitan Times, 8 February 1995.

235 Berry, Lead Us Not, 241. The April 5, 1988 letter was sent to Chairman of the Board of St. Luke, William H. Mann, one year after the death of Fr. Peterson.

236 St. Luke Institute practices have been described in a number of publications including Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission, Feb. 1997. Also see Lesley Payne, “Salt for Their Wounds,” Catholic World Report, February 1997, 50—59 available at
http://www.mosquitonet.corn/—prewett/rcpriesttreatment.html. [inquiry.ca: the latter seems to be a dead link. Try instead http://www.ignatius.com/magazines/scandal/salt-pf.htm   February 2015 – unfortunately both links are now dead]

237 See Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission, February 1997.

238 Berry, Lead Us Not, 194.

239 The use of Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate) can be of assistance in helping the clinical pedophile control his physical urges, but not his psychological obsession with children. For males, Depo-Provera acts on the brain to inhibit hormones that stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone. Its effects, however, are only temporary. Unless injections are mandatory and carefully monitored, the treatment will not be effective over the long run. There is no known cure for clinical pedophilia. The serious carcinogen side-effects of Depo-Provera when used by woman for contraceptive (abortfacient) purposes re well known, but the long-term effects on male patients has not been widely studied.

Father Thomas Doyle Bio on SNAP website

(http://www.snapmidwest.org/htm/TomDoyle.htm)

Fr. Thomas Doyle is the co-author of the 200+ page, once-secret and still controversial 1985 report. It predicted that molestation charges against clergy would erupt soon. It also advised bishops on how to respond pastorally to abuse victims.

At that time, Doyle, a canon lawyer, was a rising star in the church hierarchy and worked at the Vatican Embassy in Washington DC. Because of the document, and his subsequent outspoken advocacy on behalf of victims, Doyle’s been ostracized by the church hierarchy and earlier this year lost his job as an Air Force chaplain.

Last year, he was the first-ever recipient of the Priest of Integrity Award sponsored by Voice of the Faithful, a nationwide, 30,000-member independent Catholic lay organization.
“Twenty years ago, Doyle was a ladder-climbing Vatican insider. Now, he’s a pariah to the hierarchy but an absolute hero to Catholic lay people and molestation victims,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s National Director. “Having been intimately involved on all sides of this crisis, Doyle probably knows more about abuse and the church’s history and culture than anyone.”

The John Jay Report
and
The National Review Board Report

Thomas P. Doyle

[The following is an excerpt of Father Doyle’s 26 February 2004 critique of the United States Bishops’ National Review Board and the John Jay Study, the latter a study into the nature and scope of the problem of Roman Catholic clerical sexual abuse in the United States.

Full text of Father Doyle’s critique at http://www.westcoastcompanions.org/jgc/2.1/doyletext.htm]

…..To compare the Catholic clergy to the general population and thereby attempt to minimize the seriousness of the problem of sexual dysfunction among the clergy is outrageous. The Catholic Church is not a secular corporation but a religious body that insists that loyal members comply with a highly restrictive code of sexual ethics. The Vatican is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The bishops have collectively and individually condemned violence and abuse against children. Yet the institutional church has intentionally conspired to allow known sexual offenders to escape criminal prosecution. By failing to remove known or suspected abusers it has enabled these offenders to prey upon multiple victims. It has not only intentionally ignored the plight of victims but has revictimized them in countless cases in order to obtain their silence or defeat their attempts at receiving justice through the civil court system. The trust expected of the leadership and clergy of the Catholic church and the compliance and respect demanded by these same leaders and clerics means quite simply, that the Catholic church cannot be compared to other social entities or other religious denominations. The clerical elite are held to a much higher standard.

This era of revelation has focused in great part on the sexual abuse of children and young people. It has incorrectly been referred to as “the pedophilia problem” in part because the earliest publicly known offender was a serial pedophile. Some have tried to minimize the issue with the hardly newsworthy revelation that a small minority are true pedophiles while most victims are above the age of reason. Again, a resounding “So what!” In fact, the majority of offenders have preyed upon young adolescents, most of whom were male. The age matters not. Sexual abuse is sexual abuse whether the victim is 6 or 13 or 33 years of age. The damage is deep and long lasting.

Some will claim that most of the victims who have recently come forward are reporting events that happened years ago. This is irrelevant because the damage done is life long and does not abate as years pass. In nearly every case of this kind the victims remained silent out of fear or because they deeply buried the painful memories. Only recently has there been sufficient support for many of these older victims to come forward without the fear that they would be disbelieved and summarily dismissed by the church and by society.

Yet another claim is that there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of contemporary complaints. This too is misleading and almost irrelevant because it often takes years for a young victim to come forward. It has also been much more difficult for bishops and religious superiors to cover up and simply move accused offenders from place to place. The intense public scrutiny has made such actions close to impossible. Nevertheless it is highly probable that in the near future we will see a dramatic upsurge in complaints from certain ethnic communities where reporting of child sexual abuse was socially discouraged and where the position of the priest was more protected…..

February 26, 2004