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US Church Insiders Who Have Blown the Whistle on Alleged Child Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up

The burden of disclosing sexual abuse by Catholic clerics and its cover-up by religious leaders has fallen almost completely on victims. Most church insiders who have witnessed misconduct have chosen not to report it. Fortunately, there have been remarkable exceptions. BishopAccountability.org is pleased to present the first database of church whistleblowers - priests, men and women religious, and other church employees and volunteers who reported colleagues to church or civil authorities and fought their superiors’ concealment of abuse. We have defined "whistleblower" broadly: our table includes both those who spoke up internally and those who went outside the church. Many of the individuals profiled below have experienced retaliation and grief in some form – defamation, job loss, career derailment, ostracization, pressure by superiors to admit to mental illness, and in at least one case, suicide. By documenting this overlooked aspect of the crisis, we hope to raise awareness that whistleblowers must be protected in both the church and civil society. We hope too that these stories will help still-silent witnesses find the courage to come forward.

In 2012, in the early stages of our whistleblower research, we brought together ten of the brave individuals pictured below. After months of planning and conversation, they launched Catholic Whistleblowers, the first group of priests and nuns dedicated to helping Catholic church insiders who have witnessed wrongdoing. See "Church Whistle-Blowers Join Forces on Abuse," by Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times, May 20, 2013.

Note: On December 18, 2013, we added lay whistleblowers to our database of clergy and religious whistleblowers. While we always intended to document the role of lay as well as ordained whistleblowers, the stunning revelations in October 2013 regarding the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis by former canonical chancellor Jennifer Haselberger made this expansion urgent.

We will be adding steadily to the lay and clergy databases, as well as to our international list. To suggest names in any of these categories, please email us

Clergy and Religious Whistleblowers
Rev. Felix Alarcon | Rev. John Bambrick | Marianne Benkert | Rev. Thomas Bolte | Msgr. Lawrence Breslin | Sr. Sally Butler OP| Rev. Daniel Clayton | Sr. Jeanne Christensen | Rev. Patrick Collins | Rev. John Conley | Rev. James Connell | Rev. Donald Cozzens | Bishop John M. D'Arcy | Rev. Tom Doyle OP | Rev. Thomas Economus | Jim Fitzpatrick | Rev. Joseph Fowler | Rev. Terence German SJ | Rev. James Gigliotti, T.O.R| Bishop Thomas Gumbleton | Rev. Gary Hayes | Rev. David Hitch | Sr. Jane Kelly | Rev. Bob Hoatson | Sr. Peg Ivers | Msgr. Kenneth Lasch | Rev. Ron Lemmert | Jane Levikow | Rev. Michael Lipareli | Rev. James A. "Seamus" MacCormack| Rev. John McNamee | Rev. John Minkler | Msgr. James Molloy | Sr. Catherine Mulkerrin | Sr. Joyce Newton | Rev. Joseph Okonski | Lynette Petruska | Msgr. Michael Picard | Rev. Richard Reissmann | Msgr. Phillip Saylor | Fr. James Scahill | Sr. Joan Scary | Rev. Edward Seagriff | Richard Sipe | Rev. Robert Smoot | Rev. Stephen Stanbery | Rev. Joseph Starmann | Rev. Frederick E. Sweeney | Rev. Bruce Teague | Sr. Janice Thomas | Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish | Juan Vaca | Patrick Wall | Rev. Robert Williams |

Lay Catholic Whistleblowers
Linda Briggs-Harty | Anne Burke | Joelle Casteix | Donna Cox | Robert Fontana | Connel Friel | Frank Keating | Theresa Gerstner | Jennifer Haselberger | Jim Jenkins | Margaret Mata | Larry Probst | Barbara Westrick |

 

Name Diocese Description Sources
Rev. Felix Alarcon Rockville Centre NY and Venice FL
A Legionary of Christ priest and native of Mexico, Alarcon established the Legionaries' U.S. headquarters in Connecticut in 1965. The following year he left the order to work as a priest of the diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, and later moved to Florida to work in Hispanic ministry. Along with former Legionary of Christ priest Juan Vaca, Alarcon sent letters in 1978 and again in 1989 to the Vatican accusing Legionary founder Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado of sexually abusing them and others in the order when they were minors. The Vatican did not respond. Alarcon was also among nine former Legionairy priests and seminarians who filed a canon lawsuit against Maciel with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith in 1998. The charges were not investigated until 2005. Alarcon retired to Madrid.

Breaking the Silence, Head of Worldwide Catholic Order Accused of History of Abuse, by Gerald Renner, Courant Religion Writer
and Jason Berry, Special to the Courant, The Hartford Courant, 2.23.1997
Vatican Revisits Abuse Charges. Accused Priest Is Close to the Pope, by Gerald Renner, Hartford Courant, 1.3.2005
Legion Leader Faces Sanctions. Report: Vatican to Restrict Ministry of Maciel, Accused of Sex Abuse, by Gerald Renner, Hartford Courant, 5.19.2006

Rev. John Bambrick

Trenton NJ Just before his 1991 ordination, Bambrick reported to the New York archdiocese that, as a 15-year-old altar boy, he was sexually abused by New York priest, Anthony J. Eremito. Eremito ultimately was removed from his Manhattan parish, and Cardinal John O’Connor assured Bambrick that Eremito would no longer work as a priest. In 1998, however, Bambrick discovered that Eremito was working in the Trenton diocese, just 45 minutes from Bambrick’s own parish. In 2002, Bambrick went public with his accusation against Eremito after he found that Eremito was working in Texas as a children's hospital chaplain. In 2006, Bambrick discovered Eremito was a bereavement counselor at a Texas hospice. In each case Bambrick notified Eremito's employers, and Eremito was fired. Eremito finally was removed from the priesthood in 2006. A SNAP member since 1993, Bambrick has been a strong advocate for fellow victim/survivors. He has identified other priests who have been accused of molesting children and turned their names over to prosecutors and church officials. Bambrick is a co-founder of Catholic Whistleblowers. Victims Then, Priests Later, by Bonnie Miller Rubin, Chicago Tribune, 6.03.2002
Perv-Clergy Tracker Can't Catch Cardinal's Ear, by Douglas Montero, New York Post, 6.14.2002
A Priest's Burden: He Now Seeks Censure of Allegedly Abusive Former Mentor, by Stephanie Saul, Newsday [New York], 6.17.2002
Priest Who Saw Abuse from Other Side Becomes Watchdog, by Richard Lezin, New York Times, 7.07.2002
Abuse Survivors Optimistic after Meeting with Officials, by Tracy Robinson, Asbury Park Press, 3.16.2003
Former Lubbock Chaplain Fired after Abuse Allegations,KAMC28.com, 1.05.2006
Hospice Operator Fires Counselor, by David O'Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer
1.05.2006
Father John" Embraces His New Congregation, Never Forgetting, but Moving on, by Williams Boyd, Asbury Park Press, 5.11.2008
Three More Resign after Priest Was Allowed to Work with Kids despite Lifetime Ban, by Mark Mueller, The Newark Star-Ledger, 5.5.2013

Marianne Benkert

  As a psychiatrist and former Maryknoll sister, Benkert has worked with thousands of people affected by clerical sexual abuse. In 1990, she delivered with Richard Sipe a 13-lecture series called "Celibacy and Sexuality" at St. John's University in Collegeville MN, a Benedictine abbey dealing with revelations that a number of its monks were sexual abusers. She co-authored with Tom Doyle, Religious Duress and Its Impact on Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse.

Religious Duress and Its Impact on Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse, by Marianne Benkert and Thomas P. Doyle, 11.27.2008
An Interview with Marianne Benkert, M.D., by Jaime Romo, Healing and Spirituality, 2.04.2010

Rev. Thomas Bolte

Cincinnati OH In 1985 and 1993, Bolte told archdiocesan officials about victims of Rev. David Kelley, and in 2005, Bolte publicly accused Archbishop Pilarczyk of cover-up.

Archdiocese Documents, by Laure Quinlivan, WCPO Cincinnati, 2.03.05
Local Priest Cheered for His Role As Whistleblower, by Julie O'Neil, WCPO Cincinnati, 2.06.05

Msgr. Lawrence Breslin

Cincinnati OH In the 1990s, Breslin twice warned Bishop James Harvey, a high-ranking Vatican official, that Msgr. Daniel Pater, a Cincinnati priest in the Vatican diplomatic corps, had admitted to sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in Breslin's parish. The Vatican promoted Pater despite Breslin's warnings, and in 2003, Breslin exposed the Vatican's cover-up to the news media. He also publicly criticized Archbishop Pilarczyk for ignoring early warnings about convicted priest Rev. Thomas Kuhn. In response to the archdiocese's 2003 deal with the county prosecutor, in which the archdiocese, rather than the Archbishop, pled guilty to five counts of not reporting child sexual abuse, Breslin said publicly that Pilarczyk had lost credibility. Breslin died in 2008.

Concerns Were Voiced About Priest, by Jim DeBrosse, Dayton [OH] Daily News, 9.15.2002
Vatican Elevated Abusive Priest: Warnings Didn't Deter Rise through Catholic Diplomatic Corps, by Reese Dunklin, The Dallas Morning News, 10.30.2003
Abuser's Exit from Vatican Pleases Victim, by Kristin McAllister, Dayton [OH] Daily News, 9.01.2003
Churches' Plea Angers Some, by Jim DeBrosse and Tom Beyerlein, Dayton [OH] Daily News, 11.22.2003
Msgr. Breslin Receives Priest of Integrity Award, The Catholic Telegraph [Indianapolis IN] 7.13.2005
Long-Time Leader of Kettering Parish Dies, by Jim DeBrosse, Dayton [OH] Daily News, 9.30.2008
Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Linda Briggs-Harty

St. Louis MO A public relations employee at a Marianist high school in St. Louis, Briggs-Harty resigned her position and pulled her son out of the school in 2008 because she said school officials ignored her expressed concerns that accused priest, Rev. Robert Osborne, was allowed to visit campus. The Marianists and the high school settled in 2007 with a student who claimed Osborne sexually abused him. There were two other known accusers in 2008. Briggs-Harty also voiced alarm publicly that Osborne was allowed to say mass at St. Peter's Catholic Church. After successfully advocating for the Rev. Robert Osborne’s removal from public ministry in the St. Louis Archdiocese, Briggs-Harty has remained an active proponent for victims, primarily by writing letters to the editor and other communications calling for openness, honesty and transparency in all spheres of the Catholic Church. “Whistleblower” & Victims’ Group Challenge School & Church Officials, SNAP, 11.11.2008
Catholic Groups Decry Fr. Osborne's St. Peter Duties.
Former Vianney Head Target of 2006 Civil Suit Alleging Sexual Misconduct
, South County Times, 11.15.2008
Ex-Vianney Staffer Campaigns Against Former School President, By Shawn Clubb
Suburban Journals, 11.18. 2008
Moral Authority, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 3.12.2009
More Letters Online Other Views, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 4.22.2009
The Vatican's Unspoken Message, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 7.20.2010
Mixed Messages, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 1.17.2011
Church Leaders Shut Out Those Who Question Them, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 10.16.2013
Catholic Church Must Encourage Openness Without Retaliation, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 4.16.2014

Anne Burke

National Review Board A then-justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Burke was appointed by the U.S. bishops in 2002 to the newly formed National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People. Burke helped push the bishops to establish the Office of Child and Youth Protection and to hire as its director retired FBI official Kathleen McChesney. When the NRB's original Chair, Frank Keating, stepped down Burke took over as Interim Chair. Burke was tough and uncompromising in her role. Under her direction and despite strong objections from the USCCB, the John Jay study was implemented. Throughout her three-year tenure as Interim Chair, Burke was outspoken and critical of certain bishops' efforts to continue "business as usual." She was never given the title "Chair." Burke eventually donated her collection of emails and letters from this historic period to her alma mater, DePaul University. This remarkable archive reveals behind-the-scenes tensions between the NRB and the bishops around such developments as L.A. cardinal Roger Mahony's 2003 attempts to cancel the John Jay Study. Now a justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, Burke continues to decry dishonesty by church leaders and to affirm the laity's "right to truthfulness."

Review Board Head Charges Bishops 'Manipulated' Sex Abuse, by Joe Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter. 5.11.2004
Burke Fears for Priest Panel Autonomy, by James Janega Chicago Tribune [Chicago IL], 9.21.2004
Catholics Urged to Stay Vigilant in Battle against Child Sex Abuse, by David Briggs, Plain Dealer [Cleveland OH], 3.03.2005
Who Is Anne Burke?, by Abdon M. Pallasch, Daily Southtown [Chicago IL], 4.06.2006
Anne Burke Gave the Catholic Bishops More Reform Than They Were Ready For…and Thus Becomes the Leading Exponent of Change, By Thomas F. Roeser, thomasfroeser@sbcglobal.net,
TomRoeser.com, 8.19. 2006
Anne Burke Out-Maneuvers the Bishops, Gets John Jay Report Detailing Clerical Sexual Abuse Correction, Hires Tough Female FBI Agent to Supervise, by Thomas F. Roeser, TomRoeser.com, 8.24.2006
Anne Burke and Bob Bennett Go to Rome, Meet with Then Cardinal Ratzinger, Craft a Comprehensive Report, by Thomas F. Roeser,
9.01.2006
The Truth Shall Set Us Free: Responding to the Sex Abuse Crisis, by Anne M. Burke, U.S. Catholic, 03.2010
Sex Abuse Critic to Pope: Swap White Cassock for Black, Lose the Red Shoes, by David Gibson, politicsdaily.com, 7.31.2010
Faithful Expect Bishops to Tell the Whole Truth, by Anne Burke, Irish Times, 8.13.2011
LA Cardinal Called 'Obstructionist', by Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter, 4.23.2013

Sr. Sally Butler, O.P.

Brooklyn NY In 1996, Butler and two fellow nuns, Sheila Buhse and Georgianna Glose, met with the diocesan chancellor to report abuse of boys in the 1970s by three priests at the nuns' parish. One priest had died; another denied the charges; and the third, Rev. Anthony Failla, allegedly admitted to the abuse and was sent for counseling. The diocese never informed the parish. In early 2002, after reading news reports of Brooklyn bishop Daily's history of cover-up in Boston, the nuns and one of the victims told their story to the NY Times. Since then, Butler publicly has lobbied to change the statute of limitations in NY state, highlighted child sexual abuse by nuns, and written numerous letters to the editor demanding accountability from bishops. Butler has said, "I believe this is our holocaust, our slaughter of the innocents." And, quoting St. Catherine of Siena, Butler added, "We must rid our church of the stench of grave sin." Butler co-founded Catholic Whistleblowers in 2013.

Bitterness in Brooklyn Diocese Over Abuse Case, by Daniel J. Wakin, NY Times, 3.15.2002
Talk at St. Hugh Parish Voice, by Sister Sally Butler OP, 9.22.2003
Pay Victims of Sex Abuse, Letter to Editor, Newsday, 9.18.2004
Sex Abuse Victims Rejected by Nuns’ Leadership, SNAP Press Release, 12.09.2004

 

Joelle Casteix

Orange CA A survivor of sexual abuse by her high school choir director, Casteix was invited to join the Orange Diocesan Review Board in 2002. She resigned after six months. Charged with investigating sexual abuse allegations within the diocese, Casteix said of the board, "not once did we discuss an allegation of sex abuse." Further, Casteix stated that priests on the board would complain about exposure ruining the reputations of the accused, and blame greedy lawyers and the 'anti-Catholic' media. Casteix filed a lawsuit related to her own case, and has since been a strong and vocal advocate for countless victims. She sits on several boards of directors for national advocacy organizations, and has long been SNAP's (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) Western Director. Casteix has been quoted as an expert on the church sex abuse crisis in national and international media outlets. A writer, her work has appeared in newspapers, national mainstream and trade magazines, websites, blogs, newsletters and collateral materials. She also authors the blog, The Worthy Adversary.

Joelle Casteix Fights for Catholic Church Sex-abuse Victims While Pursuing Her Own Abuser, by Gustavo Arellano, Orange County Weekly, 7.10.2008
An Interview with Joelle Casteix, by Jaime Romo, Healing and Spirituality, 1.07.2010
The Worthy Adversary, Joelle Casteix.

 

Rev. Daniel Clayton

Dallas TX As pastor of a Texas parish, Clayton was disturbed by how assistant priest Rudy Kos behaved with boys.He called vicar general Msgr. Rehkemper to discuss it in January 1986. Clayton kept a detailed log which showed that Kos had boys stay overnight with him four out of five nights per week from February 26, 1986 to May 12, 1986. He sent the information to Rehkemper. Clayton also wrote of his concerns to Bishop Tschoepe, warning the bishop that something should be done. Clayton wrote, "I will not play psychologist, but I feel anxious about the situation. My instincts tell me to do nothing is not a
solution
." Clayton testified at Kos' 1997 civil trial. Kos was convicted in 1998 and sentenced to life in prison.

Siblings Say Father Kos Abused Boys, Priest remains silent on sexual allegations, by Todd J. Gillman, Dallas Morning News, 12.26.1993
To Do Nothing Is Not a Solution, by Jim Holman, San Diego News Notes, 9.1997
Documents of Windle Turley, Statement of Windle Turley, Attorney, & The Plaintiffs, www.wturley.com
America's Worst Bishops, by Laura Sheahan, Rebecca Phillips and Deborah Caldwell, Beliefnet.com,
6.2002

Sr. Jeanne Christensen, R.S.M.

Kansas City MO In 2011, soon after Bishop Robert Finn was indicted for failing to report Rev. Shawn Ratigan's possession of child pornography, Christensen publicly joined SNAP in urging Finn's resignation. As the diocese's victims assistance coordinator under Bishop Boland from 2000 to 2004, Christensen said she had heard stories of abuse from nearly 40 victims. She is thought to be the first former diocesan victims' advocate to stand publicly with survivors. She worked in the diocese's peace and justice office until 2006. Christensen stated in November 2011,  “All of us are responsible to protect children, all of us.” Christensen is a member of the Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee.

Priest Abuse Addressed in Confession Letter, by Tess Koppelman, Fox 4
11.07.2011
KC Nun Speaks out on Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal, KMBC [Kansas City MO], 11.08.2011
Former Diocesan Advocate Criticizes Failed System in KC, by Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter, 11.08.2011

Rev. Patrick Collins

Peoria IL In a 2004 document named 'Project Millstones,' Collins, along with Revs. Tom Doyle, Bob Hoatson and Ken Lasch, called for the investigation of bishops and the resignation of those found to be guilty of covering up sexual abuse by clergy. The document was signed by more than 1000 Catholics across the U.S. and sent to U.S.C.C.B president Bishop Wilton Gregory, and to all U.S. bishops. In May 2013, when accusations broke in the news that Newark archbishop Myers protected a priest convicted of child molestation, Collins spoke publicly about similar behavior on Myers' part when Myers was a coadjutor bishop in Peoria years before. Collins is a Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee member.

Priests Seek Probe of Bishops;
Former Peorian Among Group Urging Closer Look at Church Leaders Accused of Covering up Sex Abuse
, by Michael Miller , The Journal Star, 6.06.2004
Healing a Betrayed Community, by Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter [United States],
Downloaded 6.03.2004
Former Pastor From Archbishop Myer’s Time In Peoria Recalls Similar Abuse Allegation, NJ Today with Mike Schneider, 5.06.2013
Project Millstones

Rev. John Conley

San Francisco CA In 1997, Conley told superiors and the D.A. that he had witnessed his pastor, Rev. James Aylward, acting suspiciously with an altar boy. The boy said they were just wrestling, and Aylward was not charged. A month later, Archbishop Levada placed Conley on leave and told other clergy that Conley had acted inappropriately. Conley sued Levada for defamation but the case was dismissed. Conley appealed, however, following a 2000 civil case in which Aylward admitted that he received sexual gratification by wrestling boys. The November 2002 settlement of Conley's suit required the archdiocese to state publicly that Conley had acted correctly in reporting Aylward to the police.

Church Settles Suit by Whistle-Blower, by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 11.27.02
Settling Things Quietly, by Ron Russell, SF Weekly
1.14.04
The Man Who Keeps the
Secrets
, by Jason Berry,, San Francisco Magazine, 9.22.05
Vatican's Top American Has Mixed Record on Abuse, by Gillian Flaccus and Brooke Donald, Associated Press, 5.14.10

Rev. James Connell

Milwaukee WI In June 2010, Connell published an open letter criticizing the LaCrosse diocese's "moral certitude" standard for removing accused priests. In a 2011 op-ed, he called attention to the fact that the USCCB's audits measure dioceses' compliance only with the Charter, rather than the actual law of the Church. Since 2010, he has stood repeatedly with survivors, calling on the archdiocese to release the names of accused priests and to honor all victims' claims in its bankruptcy settlement. Connell sends copies of all his published writings to his bishop and other top-ranking Catholic officials. Until recently, Connell served on the Archdiocesan review board and was Vice-Chancellor. In 2013 Connell co-founded Catholic Whistleblowers. National Support Group SNAP Seeks Removal of Sheboygan Priest James Connell from Archidiocese of Milwaukee Abuse Review Board, by Janet Ortegon, Sheboygan Press,
10.15.2009
Letter from Connell, 6.17.2010
Addendum to Letter, 6.22.2010
Sheboygan Priest Works to Help Abuse Victims Heal, by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 6.23.2010
Editorial: Local Priest Asking the Right Questions, Sheboygan, Press, 6.27. 2010
Archdiocese Official Argues that Safegaurd Audits are Insufficient, by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 6.25.2010
A Priest 'Hero' on Sex Abuse?, by Bryan Cones, U.S. Catholic, 1.25.2011
Clerics' Critique Brings Something New to Talk of Abuse Crisis, by Tom Roberts
National Catholic Reporter
4.22.2011
A Way for Bishops to Begin Rebuilding Trust, by James E. Connell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 10.24.2011
Statement by Rev. James Connell, 2.07.2012
New Mission ..., by Janet Ortegon, Sheboygan Press, 10.27.2012
Sheboygan Family Shares Its Story of Priest Abuse to Help Others Come Forward, by Janet Ortegon, Sheboygan Press
10.27.2012
Priest calls on Vatican to investigate Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, by Mark Mueller, The Newark Star-Ledger, 4.29.2013
Appreciation for Those who Stood Up to Catholic Church Hierarchy: Editorial, The Newark Star-Ledger, 5.11.2013
Donna Cox Jefferson City MO A youth worker for the diocese, Cox grew concerned after boys confided in her that certain priests, including a number at the minor seminary in Hannibal run by Rev. Anthony O'Connell, were making inappropriate sexual advances toward them. One of the students said he had been raped. Cox took her concerns to the diocesan chancellor in 1991, after O'Connell was made bishop of Knoxville. Cox was sworn to secrecy. When she complained a few months later that nothing was being done about the priests in question, she was fired. In 2002 O'Connell admitted to molesting a minor and stepped down as bishop of Palm Beach. Four other priests named by Cox were removed from ministry years later due to credible allegations of abuse.

Worker's Warnings on Priests Led to Her Firing, by Stephen Kurkjian
Boston Globe, 4.05.2002

Rev. Donald Cozzens



Cleveland OH Cozzens has been an outspoken critic of the Church on several issues, including its handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis. He is a writer and lecturer whose groundbreaking book The Changing Face of the Priesthood, published in 2000, exposed sexual misconduct in seminaries. Cozzens wrote the book while he was president-rector of Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Cleveland. Cozzens encourages lay Catholics to challenge Church leaders; in his 2002 book, Sacred Silence-Denial and the Crisis in the Church, Cozzens wrote, "[S]ecrecy and denial only tend to exacerbate the harmful effects of inappropriate and scandalous behaviors."

Rector's book on clergy, sex is bestseller -- among priests, by Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 6.03.2000
Facing the Crisis in the Priesthood, by Donald Cozzens, 11.04.2000
Father Donald Cozzens: How to Build Better Church, by Mary Jo Dangel, St. Anthony Messenger, 2.2006
Gadfly priest challenges mandatory celibacy in new book, by Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Associated Press, 1.05.2007

Bishop John M. D'Arcy

Boston MA During his ten years as auxiliary bishop in Boston, D'Arcy wrote letters to his superiors objecting to the assignments of four priests - John Geoghan, Thomas Forry, Richard Buntel, and Robert Meffan - who since have been accused publicly of child sexual abuse. In 1983, he informed Bishop Daily that Buntel was believed to have problems with alcohol and drug use and that he was called a "pothead" by young people in the parish. In 1984, he alerted the newly arrived Bernard Law of Geoghan's history of molesting young boys. Soon after his second letter to Law, the archbishop transferred D'Arcy to South Bend IN against his wishes. D'Arcy's fruitless warnings came to light in 2002, when the archdiocese was forced to make public more than 100 priest files. Although his letters today provide an important paper trail, proving notice, D'Arcy did not publicly criticize the church's handling of child molesters, and there is no indication that he ever reported allegations to the police. D'Arcy died Feb. 3, 2013.

Bishop D'Arcy Letter Protesting Assignment of Rev. Buntel, 11.01.1983
Bishop D'Arcy Protests Geoghan Assignment, 12.07.1984, posted by the Boston Globe
Bishop's Letters of Warning Ignored, by Michael Rezendes, Boston Globe, 12.04.2002
Reasons Vague As to Transfer from Boston, by Rebecca S. Green, The Journal Gazette [Indiana], 5.01.2005
Bishop John D'Arcy: A Legacy of 'Tough Love', by Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, 1.04.2012

 

Rev.Tom Doyle, O.P.

Worldwide Ordained a Dominican priest in 1970, Doyle was the canon lawyer at the Vatican’s US embassy in 1984, when he learned that bishops in Louisiana had responded to the rape of children by Rev. Gilbert Gauthe by transferring him repeatedly. In 1985, Doyle joined with Rev. Michael Peterson, a priest-psychiatrist who treated offender priests, and Louisana lawyer Ray Mouton to issue a report to US bishops, advising them of the catastrophic implications of continued cover-up and hardball legal tactics. Doyle’s embassy position was terminated. From 1986 to 2005, he served as a chaplain in the Air Force, where he was promoted to major and honored repeatedly for distinguished service. In the last 30 years, he has testified in more than 800 civil cases. He has also served as an expert witness to prosecutors. Doyle holds a pontifical doctorate in canon law from Catholic University, and master's degrees in canon law, political science, church administration, theology, and philosophy. In 2006, he co-authored Sex, Priests and Secret Codes with Richard Sipe and Patrick Wall. Doyle is a co-founder of Catholic Whistleblowers.

The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy, by Mr. F. Ray Mouton, J.D. and Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, O.P. J.C.D, June 1985
Clergy Sexual Abuse: The First Decade, by Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., J.C.D., 07.1993
Does v. Diocese of Dallas et al, Memorandum from Thomas P. Doyle, 0.P., J.C.D. to Sylvia Demarest, 5.16.1996
The Sacrifice of Father Thomas Doyle, The Best of New Orleans, 2.13.2004
The Catholic Church: Keeping the Faith - at Great Personal Cost, by Kevin Horrigan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11.28.2004
Voice of the Faithful Priest of Integrity Award, Fall 2007
Archbishop Bars Prominent Priest As Canon Lawyer, by Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter, 10.02.2008
The Pope, the Church and Sexual Abuse: a Perspective, by Thomas P. Doyle, Voice from the Desert, 4.01.2010
Writings by Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., J.C.D., richardsipe.com
Project Millstones

Rev. Thomas Economus

Chicago IL Economus was sexually abused by a priest during high school at a South Dakota home for boys. While a Catholic seminarian he advocated for clergy sex abuse victims. He was told while in seminary that if he continued to push the envelope on the sexual abuse issue, he would never be ordained. Economus continued his advocacy, left the seminary, and went on to become a priest of the Independent Holy Catholic Church. In 1991 Economus co-founded The Linkup-Survivors of Clergy Abuse. He was president and executive director of Linkup from 1993 until his death in March 2002.

Group Says It Forced Church to Expose 4 Pedophiles, by Greg Seigle, Washington Times,
2.12.1995
The Grand Inquisitor, by Zach Mucha, Chicago Reader, 11.04.1999
Tom Economus Lost Frontline Interview, Frontline, 1999
Obituary, Rev. Thomas H. Economus, 46, Chicago Tribune,
3.27.2002

Jim Fitzpatrick

Winona MN A priest of the Winona diocese 1963-1973, Fitzpatrick stated in a 2012 news conference that he told then Bishop Edward Fitzgerald that Rev. Thomas Adamson was sexually abusing boys. Fitzpatrick said that when he asked the bishop what he was going to do about it, he was "shown the door" and the bishop told him he would deal with his priests. Further, Fitzpatrick said that in 1981 he told the chancellor of the diocese that Adamson was still abusing boys, and that he also discussed the problem with Bishop Robert Carlson. Adamson was kept in ministry. Adamson admitted to sexually abusing boys, and is said by experts to have up to 100 victims. He was removed from ministry in 1984. Fitzpatrick eventually left the priesthood. In 2012 Fitzpatrick was prepared to be a witness in a case against the Winona diocese and the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, but the case was dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Fitzpatrick said he decided to speak out "as a matter of conscience."

Former Diocese of Winona Priest Describes Encounter with Bishop, Concerns about Adamson Abuse, by Jerome Christenson, LaCrosse Tribune, 7.07.2012
Rev. Thomas Adamson - Assignment Record, BishopAccountability.org
The Courage of One, by Patrick Wall, May 20, 2013

Robert Fontana

Yakima WA Fontana was the Yakima diocese's director of evangelism and a diocesan employee for 25 years. In 2005 he sued the diocese, claiming he was forced to resign after he voiced concern when the diocese allowed a priest in 2003 to remain in active ministry while being investigated for possession of child pornography. Fontana's lawsuit was dismissed. Fontana was honored in 2012 by SNAP for "speaking out when [he] saw a dangerous situation and for continuing to reach out to survivors and working to protect kids."

Fontana Case Raises Church-State Separation Issue, by Jane Gargas, Yakima Herald-Republic [Yakima WA], 5.4.2006
Diocese Lawsuit Dismissed, by Chris Bristol, Yakima Herald-Republic, 5.10.2006
Sevilla's Had Little to Say, Yakima Herald-Republic, 4.2.2008
Bishop Admits He Was Wrong Giving Job to Former Seminarian Facing Child Porn Charges, by Mark Morey,
Yakima Herald-Republic, 4.02.2008
Lawsuits against Yakima Diocese Still Pending, by Jane Gargas, Yakima Herald-Republic, 7.4.2010
National Award Goes to Fontana, Yakima Herald, 8.17.2012

Rev. Joseph Fowler

Louisville KY In 2002, when the sexual abuse crisis burst open in Boston, Fowler spoke at Masses in support of victims. In 2004, he wrote a letter to block the early probation of convicted pedophile, Louis Miller, a fellow Louisville priest. In 2008, when the KY legislature passed a bill abolishing the criminal statute of limitations on child sex crimes, Fowler stood with victims at a press conference and said, “Perhaps no institution has desecrated its sacred trust of our youth more than the Catholic Church in America during the past 70 years. … With passion, organization and lots of work, we can, and must, do even more to protect the innocence of our children in a society that often fails to respect the sacredness of every human life."

Letters Oppose Shock Probation of Pedophile Priest, by David McCarthur, WAVE3-TV (Louisville KY), 1.05.2004
Louisville Priest Honored for Advocacy of Sexual-Abuse Victims, by Peter Smith, The [Louisville] Courier-Journal, 10.15.2009
A Dedicated Few Remain Vigilant to Protect Children after Sex Offender Is Ordained, by Rachel Platt, WHAS, 11.5.2009
Fr. Joseph Fowler Receives Priest of Integrity Award, Voice of the Faithful, votf.org, 2009

Connell Friel Rockville Centre NY A business manager for a Sound Beach parish, Friel was told by the church secretary in 2002 that she found a shortcut to a pornographic website on her computer. Friel checked the computer belonging to the parish pastor, Rev. Charles Papa, and found hundreds of "cookies" from porn sites, many of which had photos of young boys. Friel reported the find to Bishop Murphy and to law enforcement. Papa was not criminally charged. Upon his return from a leave of absence, Papa fired Friel.

A Parish Divided over Priest. A Fierce Debate over Internet Sites He Visited, by Katie Thomas, Newsday, 2.26.2003
In Sad Times for Church, the Spies Have It, by Bob Keeler
Newsday, 3.27.2003
Rockville Centre Bishop to Be Deposed in Firing Lawsuit, by Ann Givens Newsday, 1.27.2009
Church Employee Fired after Blowing Whistle on Porn Watching Priest, by Rob Hoell, WPIX, 1.27.2009

Rev. Terence German, S.J.

New York NY

German says he told Cardinal O'Connor about Rev. Bruce Ritter in 1986, long before the Covenant House founder was criminally charged. German resigned in 1989, alleging that widespread misconduct left him unable to stay a priest and "live a life guided by the established principles" of the Church. In 1993, after years of receiving no response to his repeated complaints of widespread sexual and financial misconduct, he filed a $120M suit against Pope John Paul II, Cardinal O'Connor and the Catholic Church, claiming fraud and breach of contract. As of 1994, he was impoverished, unable to get a job because of blackballing by the Church, and facing eviction.

German's whereabouts today are unknown.

Focus on Ex-Priest Who Sued the Pope: Vows Broken: Former Jesuit Claims Breach of Contract, by Patricia Cohen, Newsday, 2.02.1994
Terence German v. Pope John Paul II et al, Appellate Court ruling, 1.10.1995

 

Theresa Gerstner

  As longtime secretary at a Miami, FL parish, Gerstner grew concerned about pastor Neil A. Doherty's questionable behavior with boys. Doherty was placed on leave in 2002, due to allegations of child sexual abuse. Gerstner was interviewed in 2006 by a sheriff investigating a claim against Doherty. Her statements, which lead to Doherty's arrest, were made public in July 2006; she was fired by the archdiocese the following week. By November 2011, 26 men had come forward with accusations that Doherty drugged and sexually abused them as children. In January 2013 Doherty was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child, and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Gerstner has said, "My main focus is to open the eyes of the people who truly do not know what has happened and what is still going on in the Archdiocese of Miami and to stop [church members] from giving money to support this immorality and corruption."

Speak No Evil. When a Margate Priest Misbehaved, the Archdiocese Punished His Secretary, by Thomas Francis, New Times, June 12, 2008

Aide: Church Knew of Priest's Woes
Court Documents Paint a Disturbing Picture of a Priest Who Is Accused of Molesting Young Boys
, by Wanda J. DeMarzo, Miami Herald, July 22, 2006

Assignment Record – Rev. Neil A. "Gus" Doherty, BishopAccountability.org

Rev. James Gigliotti, T.O.R.

Philadelphia PA Gigliotti told archdiocesan officials in the early 1980s that Rev. James J. Brzyski was molesting altar boys. Brzyski was quietly removed from the parish; parishioners were not told the reason, and the abuse was not reported to the police. Gigliotti said in 2005 that an assistant chancellor told him, "This comes from the highest authority: You're to keep your mouth shut." According to the Philadelphia Grand Jury report, Fr. James Gigliotti, T.O.R., persistently reported victims’ names to Church officials and sought help for the victims, in the face of Archdiocesan managers’ indifference and even hostility. Gigliotti went on to serve an Arlington TX parish. Bryzyski may have abused at least 100 boys. He left active ministry in 1985 and was laicized in 2005.

Philadelphia Grand Jury Report, Case Study: One of the "most brutal abusers" - whistleblower ignored and warned about "confidentiality", 2005.
Priest: Silence Ordered on Abuse, by Nancy Phillips, Mark Fazlollah and Craig R. McCoy, Philadelphia Inquirer [Philadelphia PA] , 8.07.2005

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

Detroit MI In January 2006 Gumbleton joined clergy sex abuse victim/survivors and advocates in testifying before the Ohio legislature in support of expanding the statutes of limitations for civil lawsuits related to sex abuse. It was there that he first publicly disclosed his own abuse by a priest as an adolescent in a minor seminary. He also met with Colorado legislators in 2006 in support of SOL expansion. Gumbleton was forced into retirement later that year, a move he attributed to his having spoken out. Silence Shattered on Sex Abuse Detroit Bishop Backs Bill Expanding Victims' Rights, by Jim Siegel and Dennis M . Mahoney, The Columbus Dispatch, 1.12.2006
Bishop to Call for Sex-Abuse Legislation, by April M. Washington and Jean Torkelson
Rocky Mountain News [Denver CO], 4.20.2006
Retired Bishop Who Says He Was Abused Backs Colo. Bill on Victims, KCTV 5, 4.21.2006
Retired Bishop: Church Could Have Done More for Sex Abuse Victims, Newsday, 7.23.2006
Advocacy for Sex Abuse Victims Cost Him His Job, Gumbleton Says, by Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter [Detroit MI]
1.24.2007
Retired Bishop Asked to Leave Detroit Parish for Testimony, by Zoe Ryan, National Catholic Reporter, 11.04.2011
Causes of the Unfathomable Clerical Silence on Clergy Sex Abuse, by Vinnie Nauheimer, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, 4.15.2011

Jennifer Haselberger

St. Paul and Minneapolis MN Hired as Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in 2008, Haselberger resigned in April 2013, citing her superiors' failures to respond to her warnings to them regarding problem priests. One of the priests in question, Rev. Jonathan Shelley, was found to have what Haselberger discerned was child pornography on his computer. According to Haselberger, she copied some of the images and sent them to Archbishop Nienstedt; Nienstadt failed to call the police. Subsequently Vicar General Rev. Peter Laird ordered her to hand over the images; Haselberger did so and proceeded to inform law enforcement and the news media. Haselberger also expressed frustration that she tried unsuccessfully to warn her superiors about Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, who was later convicted of child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography. She said archdiocesan officials knew that Wehmeyer had engaged in sexual misconduct for years, yet kept him in ministry. In October 2013 Haselberger publicly called on Archbishop Nienstadt to release the names of priests credibly accused of abuse and those who could pose a threat to children.

Former Official: Archdiocese Didn't Report Priest's Pornograpy, by Madeleine Baran and Mike Cronin, Minnesota Public Radio, 10.04.2013
Former Archdiocese Official Pushes for Independent Review of Priest Files, by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio,
10.05.2013
Statement by Jennifer Haselberger, via Pioneer Press,
10.06.2013
Church Whistleblower Pressed Superiors to Take Action on Problem Priests, by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio, 10.08.2013
For Minn. Catholics, Troubling New Abuse Scandal, CBS Minnesota, 10.08.2013

Rev. Gary Hayes

Camden NJ and Owensboro KY Hayes went public in the early 1990s about being abused as a child by priests - one of the first priest-survivors in the country to do so. Set for ordination in Camden in 1989, Hayes was told by his bishop to find a job in another diocese because the fact that Hayes was a victim of clergy sexual by other diocesan priests was uncomfortable. Hayes went on to serve as a priest of the diocese of Owensboro, KY, where he was ordained in 1990. He filed the first RICO lawsuit against the Catholic Church. For the last twenty years, he's been an outspoken advocate for victims, instrumental to the formation of The Linkup-Survivors of Clergy Abuse. Hayes assumed the role of president of The Linkup after the death of founding president, Rev. Thomas Economus. Hayes has stood publicly with survivors at countless demonstrations and news conferences. "There's a prayer that starts, 'Lord, let me be a holy disturbance.' I'd like to think, when it's all said and done, that will be my calling."

Three Charge Catholic Church with Conspiracy to Hide Abuse, by Jim Walsh, Camden Courier-Post , 6.10.1993
Three Settle Sex Suit Against 2 Priests, New York Times, 10.13.1993
Once a Victim, A Priest Wants Zero Tolerance, by Sara Rimer, New York Times, 6.12. 2002
Victims Then, Priests Later, by Bonnie Miller Rubin, Chicago Tribune, 6.03.2003
Hundreds of Clergy Victims as Children, Many ExpertsBelieve, by Michelle Nicolosi, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9.23.2004
Abused Priests Shatter Code, by Bill Zajac, Republican [United States], October 23, 2005

Rev. David Hitch

Davenport IA

Hitch's younger brother was a victim of Davenport priest James Janssen. Rev. Hitch became an outspoken and compassionate advocate for victims, participating in demonstrations and leading a SNAP group in his area. Hitch has said “The world knows, and our diocese must know, that it was not the fault of those who were abused. The fault was the position taken by the leadership of the diocese.” Further, "I'm a priest. I can't turn my back on evil or the way these folks have been treated. It's not the Christ I've given my life to."

Catholics Seek Healing for Abuse Victims, By Rob Daniel, Press-Citizen [Iowa City IA]
December 9, 2004
Healing from Abuse by Clergy Is Focus of Weekend Event, by Shirley Ragsdale , Des Moines Register [Iowa City IA] , June 14, 2005
Priest to Lead Religious Sex Abuse Group, by Kristen
Schorsch, Press-Citizen [Iowa], June 20, 2005
Area Priest Says Bishop Could Have Prevented Diocese Bankruptcy, by Dawn NeusesQuad-Cities Online [Tipton IA], 10.11.2006
Davenport Diocese Files for Bankruptcy, by Thomas Geyer
Quad-City Times, October 11, 2006
Speaking out against the Diocese
Mason Kerns and Margaret Poe - the Daily Iowan, The Daily Iowan, May 9, 2007
Training to Blame for Abuse, Study Says, by Brian Wellner, Quad-City Times, May 19, 2011

Bob Hoatson

Newark NJ

A former Irish Christian brother, then priest of the Newark diocese, Hoatson has long been an outspoken critic of the church's handling of clergy sexual abuse. In 1981, while working at a boys' Catholic high school in Boston, Hoatson reported to the Headmaster his suspicions that Fr. Frederick Ryan was molesting school athletes. Nothing was done. Years later, multiple victims of Ryan came forward.

Newark archbishop Myers placed Hoatson on administrative leave in May 2003, just days after Hoatson testified at a legislative hearing in Albany, NY, on a series of bills to support victims of sex crimes. Hoatson sued unsuccessfully for wrongful termination.

Hoatson repeatedly called on Archbishop Myers to resign for allowing Newark priest Michael Fugee to violate an agreement made with the local prosecutor to never again minister around children.

In 2005 Hoatson, along with Rev. Ken Lasch, established Road to Recovery, which provides direct support services to survivors. Hoatson is himself a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. He resigned from the priesthood in 2011. Hoatson is a Catholic Whistleblowers co-founder.

Priest Loses Post after Criticizing Sex-Abuse Policy, By John Chadwick, NewJersey.com [Newark NJ], 5.28.2003
Outing Cardinal Egan: A Priest's Lawsuit Alleges the Catholic Church Is Hiding Pedophile Clergy, by Kristen Lombardi, Village Voice [New York], 2.07.2006
More Claims against Priest, by David L. Harris, Transcript, [Boston MA], 3.30.2006
Stop the Murder of Young Souls, by The Rev. Robert Hoatson,
Daily Record, 11.11.2007
SNAP Papers Downtown Jersey City Neighborhood with Fliers Accusing Priest of Past Sex Abuse, by Carly Baldwin, Jersey Journal, November 22, 2008
Nutley Parish, Protesters Face Off over Pastor, by Denisa R. Superville and Jeff Green, The Bergen Record, 5.13.2013
Newark Archdiocese Reaches New Settlement in Decades-Old Case of Alleged Sexual Abuse, by Mark Mueller, The Newark Star-Ledger, 5.15.2013
Man Pleads with Diocese to Reopen Abuse Case, by Matthew McGrath and Abbott Koloff, The Bergen Record, 5.16.2013
Newark Monsignor Loses Job for Failing to Stop Priest’s Work With Children, By Marc Santora and Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, 5.25.2013
Project Millstones

Sr. Peg Ivers/Sr. Siena

 

Files released in 2014 by the Chicago archdiocese reveal that, over many decades, Sr. Peg spoke up repeatedly for child victims of clergy sex abuse and pushed for the archdiocese to take appropriate action. He efforts were largely ignored. As a Catholic school principal in a Chicago suburb in 1974, Sr. Peg went to the church's pastor to report disclosures by two boys that Fr. Thomas Job had molested them. The pastor did nothing and told her over and over again that she was overstepping her role. Sr. Peg resigned in frustration. In the early 1980s, as archdiocesan Director of Ministry in Higher Education, Sr. Peg complained to the archdiocese about University of Illinois at Chicago chaplain, Rev. William Cloutier. Cloutier had been accused in 1979 of sexually asaulting boys. He was sent to Boston to work in a parish and undergo treatment, then returned to his previous post. When Sr. Peg learned of this, and the fact that college students were spending nights with Cloutier, she "begged" archdiocesan officials to do something. He was reassigned in 1985. In 2005 Ivers warned Cardinal George about three other priests whose behavior concerned her.

Of the child victims Sr. Peg said, "With my last breath, I will remember their faces. The greatest sin, in my eyes, is that these things were allowed to go on as long as they did."

Fighting to be Heard Amid Church's Silence.
Sister Peg Ivers Stood up to Pedophile Priests, Stubborn Church Hierarchy
, By Christy Gutowski, Chicago Tribune, 3.01.2014
Sister Peg's Message of Hope to Catholics, By Christy Gutowski, Chicago Tribune, 3.03.2014

Jim Jenkins

San Francisco CA Jim Jenson is a PhD clinical psychologist and former Holy Cross brother who served on the San Francisco archdiocese's Independent Review Board from 2000 to 2005. Jenkins, who was then board chair, resigned in January 2005 when Bishop Levada would not publicize the results of an abuse investigation. Jenkins has said, "Besides being conniving corrupt politicians, bishops have also proved to be cowards!" Jenkins has since been involved in church reform efforts, as well as advocacy for victim/survivors. He is a co-founder of the National Survivors Advocates Coalition.

House of the Accused. When Priests Within the Salesian Order Based in San Francisco Were Accu, by Ron Russell, San Francisco Weekly, 1.05. 2006
Oakland Diocese Begins Abuse Detection Training With Help of Web Site, Clergy Can Spot a Child in Potential Danger, by Rebecca Rosen Lum, Inside Bay Area, 11.14.2006
Absolute Must Read: the Church Continues to Betray Its Soul in Exchange for Temporal Power, by Dr. Jim Jenkins, Voice from the Desert, 1.13.2010
Philadelphia Story, by James Jenkins, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, 3.16.2011

Frank Keating

National Review Board In June 2002 former Oklahoma governor and FBI agent Keating was appointed Chair of the National Review Board by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. The panel was created to oversee the bishops' adherence to their new Charter to Protect Children and Young People. Known to speak bluntly, Keating ruffled the feathers of bishops and some fellow NRB members a year into his service when he stated of some bishops, "To act like La Cosa Nostra and hide and suppress, I think, is very unhealthy. Eventually it will all come out." Under pressure, Keating stepped down. In his resignation letter to USCCB head Bishop Gregory, Keating wrote of his previous remarks, "I make no apology. To resist grand jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church."

Clergy Abuse Panel's Chief to Step Down, by Larry B. Stammer,
LA Times, 6.15.2003
• 'No Apology' As Keating Leaves Panel, by Alan Cooperman
Washington Post , June 17, 2003
Finding Hope in My Faith, by Frank Keating, New York Times
6.19.2003
Keating Recalls Service on Review Board, by Joe Feuerherd
National Catholic Reporter, 8.4.2009

Sr. Jane Kelly, P.V.B.M.

 

Santa Rosa CA

A sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin order, Kelly repeatedly confronted Santa Rosa bishop Ziemann in the 1990s. Kelly served for many years at a Ukiah parish school and at a center for the poor and homeless. In 1992 Ziemann sent a seminarian named Jorge Hume Salas to the parish, whom Ziemann seemed to rush to ordain. Kelly's concerns about Salas grew as parishioners complained that he had "young men" sleep with him in the rectory. In 1996 she caught Salas stealing parish money, and he was moved to another parish. Kelly admonished Ziemann, saying "Appointing Jorge to another parish is only perpetuating the real possibility of repeating his scandalous actions." Frustrated by the inaction of diocesan officials, in January 1999 Kelly decided to go to a reporter with the information about Salas. She said, "It was the hardest, scariest decision I made in my life," and "I couldn't live with my conscience if I didn't." Subsequently, Salas accused Ziemann of coercing him into a sexual relationship, and Ziemann resigned. Ziemann was later accused of the past sexual abuse of at least three boys. Kelly was sent to a mental hospital by her order, which then expelled her. She was 75 years old. Kelly has said, “The scandal is one thing. The cover-up by these cardinals and these bishops, it’s a crime. They should all be in jail."

Little Known of Hume before Priesthood, Trouble, by Mike Geniella, Press Democrat, 7.23.1999
Hellraiser, Meet the feisty nun who rocked the Diocese of Santa Rosa, by Janet Wells, Metroactive.com, Sonoma County, CA, 9.9-15.1999
Sr. Jane Kelly: She broke rules of the clerical club, by Arthur Jonew, Healdsburg, Calif.,National Catholic Reporter, 3.03.2000
The sister’s battle with the bishop
One nun’s outrage helped bring down a church leader
, by Jon Bonné, msnbc.com, Santa Rosa, CA, 4.29.2002
Bishop Bad Boy, by Ron Russell
San Francisco Weekly
3.19.2003
Priestly Sins, Commentary, Avocate.com, 3.31.2010

Msgr. Kenneth Lasch, J.C.D.

Paterson NJ In 1985, when Lasch was pastor of St. Joseph’s in Mendham NJ, he was informed by Mark Serrano, a former parishioner, that he had been sexually assaulted as a boy by Lasch’s predecessor, Rev. James Hanley. Lasch says that Serrano’s revelation moved him to “make a preferential option” for victims of clergy sexual abuse. In 1993, Lasch arranged for law enforcement to meet with three former altar boys who had been raped by Hanley. In 1995, as more Hanley victims came forward, Lasch defied both the DA and church officials by sending a letter to parents of the parish, calling them to meet and discuss Hanley’s crimes. After the meeting, he sent a letter to his bishop, Frank Rodimer of Paterson, suggesting a summit on sex abuse. He received no response. When the crisis was exposed again in 2002, Lasch stood publicly with victims and led a campaign to establish at his parish a monument to their bravery and suffering. A co-founder of Catholic Whistleblowers, Lasch writes, “There will be no forgiveness and healing until there is justice; no justice until there is the full disclosure of truth; no disclosure of truth until there is full accountability.”

Victims Share Pain, Anger in Mendham, by Abbott Koloff, [Hackensack NJ] Daily Record, 4.21.2002
Church in Crisis, by Jason Berry, National Catholic Reporter, 11.08.2002
Priest Disciplined in Sex Abuse Case, by John Chadwick, [Bergen County NJ] The Record , 1.29.2004
Don't Scapegoat Father Lasch, [Paterson NJ] Observer-Tribune, 3.02.2006 
"There are no cheap graces," by Msgr. Kenneth Lasch, fatherlasch.com, 10.20.2007
Voice of the Faithful Priest of Integrity Award, Fall 2007
Memorial Plaque for US Clerical Sex Abuse Victims, by Charlie Bird, RTÉ News, 6.15.2009
Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Project Millstones

Rev. Ron Lemmert

New York NY In the 1990s, Lemmert blew the whistle on a serial predator, Rev. Gennaro Gentile, now laicized. In 1997, when the NY archdiocese publicly smeared a family of two Gentile victims who had filed a lawsuit, Lemmert supplied the family with evidence proving that the archdiocese had known of an earlier Gentile victim. Lemmert was also the "deep throat" behind the explosive NY Times and NY Daily News articles about Gentile that ran in March 2002. Five of Gentile's victims have committed suicide. In 2013, Lemmert co-founded Catholic Whistleblowers.

A Secret Settlement, but Little Solace for Family in Lawsuit against Priest, by Alison Leigh Cowen, New York Times, 3.24.2002
Twisted Journey of a Problem Priest, Part 1 of 2, by Heidi Evans and Richard T. Pienciak, NY Daily News, 3.27.2002
Problem Priest Had Church on His Side, Part 2 of 2, by Heidi Evans and Richard T. Pienciak, NY Daily News, 3.28.2002

Jane Levikow

Los Angeles CA When she was a member of the Sisters of Social Service in 1985, Levikow reported to police that an altar boy was found in Rev. Cristobal Garcia's rectory bed. Garcia fled to his native Philippines and admitted to sexually abusing boys. Levikow left the order and in now works in nonprofit organization management.

Priest Who Had Sex with Boys Now Tells How to Smuggle Ivory, by Brooks Egerton, Dallas Morning News, 9.18.2012

Rev. Michael Lipareli New York NY and Philadelphia PA Lipareli has been among those protesting child sexual abuse by clergy and the cover-up by the hierarchy outside of Cardinal Rigali's offices in Philadephia. Lipareli stated in April 2011, "I am horrified and humiliated to see what our church has not done, how they have covered this up for so many years." He said, too, that he would like to see more clergy members speak out and join in the protests.

Priest, Nun Join Catholic Protestors, My Fox Philly, April 1, 2011

Rev. James A. "Seamus" MacCormack

 

 

Manchester NH In 1999 MacCormack was witness to the peculiar circumstances surrounding the death of another priest, Richard Connors, and the diocese's response to the situation. Connors died of a heart attack at the home of two men after taking Viagra; he was found partially clothed and with a leather device tied around his genitals. Found among Connors' possessions was a large collection of adult and child pornography. Diocesan officials disposed of the pornography before police could investigate. When the clergy sexual abuse crisis was making headlines in 2002, MacCormack was moved from the parish where he was pastor to a rural parish, and he was forced to seek psychiatric help. MacCormack sued Manchester bishop John McCormack and others in the diocesan hierarchy in July of that year, claiming that he was transferred and labeled mentally unstable to ensure his silence about the Connor affair. MacCormack spoke out publicly about what he said was the church's "moral decay," and he reported the child pornography cache to the Attorney General's office. He has since left the priesthood.

Church leaders destroyed pornography found in dead priest’s home, by J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press, Foster’s Online, 7.23 2002
Priest Alleges Sex Cover-Up,  [Manchester NH] Union Leader, 7.24.2002
Pastor Admits to Priest's Secret Life But Denies Cover-Up, by Gary Dennis, New Hampshire Sunday News, 7.28.2002
Church Lawyers Contesting MacCormack Suit, by Nancy Meersman, [Manchester NH] Union Leader, 10.03.2002
Jaffrey Priest Settles Suit Against Diocese, by Nancy Meersman, [Manchester NH] Union Leader, 5.14.2003
NH Priest Praised by Church Victims Group, by Scott Brooks, [Manchester NH] Union Leader, 11.17.2003
Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Margaret Mata

Kansas City-St. Joseph MO As an independent contractor for the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mata advocated within the diocese for victims of accused priest Shawn Ratigan and for changes in policies toward child protection. She said Bishop Finn retaliated against her by disabling her email, taking away her laptop and confiscating her business cards. Mata sued the diocese in October 2011, claiming retaliation, wrongful dismissal and invasion of privacy. KC Diocese Settles Two Cases from Stack of Civil Lawsuits, by Judy L. Thomas, Kansas City Star, 10.21.2012

Rev. John McNamee

Philadelphia PA

In a Feb. 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer opinion piece, McNamee took on his local brethren priests for their passivity, writing, in part: "...my lament ...[is] for the local Catholic Church in the face of new and terrible revelations of pedophilia, denial, and concealment....What began in our seminary days as clerical obedience has become a fearful, mute submissiveness."

A Docile Tradition Protects the Church, by John P. McNamee, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2.11.2011

Rev. John Minkler Albany NY On 2/15/2004, Minkler was found dead at his home in Watervliet NY, three days after being identified as the author of a 1995 letter to Cardinal John O’Connor alleging doctrinal violations and sexual misconduct by Albany bishop Howard Hubbard, and one day after diocesan officials announced that Minkler had met with them and stated that he was not the author of the letter. The day after Minkler’s death, Stephen Brady of the organization Roman Catholic Faithful released to reporters a set of handwritten notes by Minkler dated 1/9/2001. He said Minkler had given him the notes three years earlier, along with a copy of the 1995 letter, which, Brady said, Minkler had written. Minkler's 2001 notes named more than a dozen Albany priests allegedly guilty of sexual misconduct, including Rev. Gary Mercure, who at that time was an active pastor but who was convicted in 2011 of raping two boys in the 1980s. In June 2004, former US attorney Mary Jo White released a report that Hubbard commissioned in February. The White report found Hubbard innocent of the allegations in Minkler’s 1995 letter and 2001 notes but did not mention the allegations against Mercure and others.

Death Poses New Round of Questions for Diocese, by Brian Nearing, Albany Times Union, 2.17.2004
Accusations against Hubbard Fuel a Mission, by Brian Nearing, Albany Times Union, 2.22.2004
Priest's Death Is Ruled a Suicide, by Michele Morgan Bolton and Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, Albany Times Union, 4.07.2004
The Report of the Independent Investigation, by Mary Jo White and Mary Beth Hogan, Debevoise & Plimpton, commissioned by Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Albany diocese, 6.24.2004
Inquiry Clears Hubbard, by Michele Morgan Bolton, Albany Times Union, 6.25.2004
Investigation Clears Bishop of Sex Abuse Charges, by Ed Griffin-Nolan, National Catholic Reporter, 7.13.2004

Msgr. James Molloy

Philadelphia PA As the archdiocese's assistant vicar for administration, Malloy was ordered by Cardinal Anthony Bevilaqua to destroy a list of 35 priests who were credibly accused of sexual violence. Malloy secretly stored in a safe a memo of the meeting in which Bevilaqua handed down his order to shred the incriminating document. The safe was opened after Malloy's death in 2006. Prior to his death, Malloy wrote, "I couldn’t be sure that I could trust my superiors to do the right thing.I wanted my memos to be there if the archdiocese's decisions
were eventually put on the judicial scales. This way, anyone could
come along in the future and say, this was right or this wrong. But
they could never say it wasn't all written down."

Shining light on a cover-up, A priest and a prosecutor detail how it happened, by Michael Newall, National Catholic Reporter, 4.28.2006

Fighting for the Future. Adult Survivors Work to Protect Children & End the Culture of Clergy Sexual Abuse. An NGO Report, The Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, 2.2013.

Sr. Catherine Mulkerrin, C.S.J.

Boston MA Mulkerrin was the assistant director of the Boston Archdiocesan Office for Victims of Abuse from 1992-1994. In that capacity she dealt directly with victims, receiving allegations against more than 100 priests. She adamantly and repeatedly appealed to her boss, Bishop John J. McCormack, to warn parishioners about molester priests, insisting there had to be announcements in church bulletins where accused priests had served. Her pleas were ignored. Mulkerrin died in 2008. Officials Avoided Confronting Priest, by Stephen Kurkjian, Boston Globe, 1.24.2002
Excerpt from Deposition of Bishop John McCormack, with Links to Mulkerrin Memos, 6.03.2002
Bishop Tells of Shielding Priests, by Michael Rezendes and Stephen Kurkjian, Boston Globe, 1.09.2003
Archdiocese Nun Says Concerns Were Ignored, by Robin Washington, Boston Herald, 4.08.2003
2003 Attorney General Report on the Boston Archdiocese [see PDF pages 55-57]
Nun Who Pressed Boston Church Leaders to Combat Abuses Dies, Associated Press,  5.19.2008
Catherine Mulkerrin, Activist Boston Nun, Dies at 72, by Bruce Weber, New York Times, 5.22.2008
Sr. Joyce Newton Miami FL In 1987, while working at the archdiocesan pastoral center, a 15-year-old boy walked in and told Newton that her boss, Rev. Neil Doherty, had had sex with him and had given him a venereal disease. The archdiocese investigated, after which Newton was discredited and fired by Doherty. In Jan. 2013 Doherty pleaded "no contest" to six counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child, and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Doherty was the subject of numerous accusations of drugging and raping boys over his 33-year career.

Lambs to Slaughter, by Thomas Francis, New Times, 4.17. 2008

Rev. Joseph Okonski Philadelphia PA In 1995 Okonski discovered a sexually explicit "love letter" to a seventh grade altar boy written by Okonski's rectory mate, Fr. Michael Murtha. He also found among Murtha's possessions pornographic magazines and sado-masochistic videos, some depicting male minors. Okonski sent a copy of the letter and a video to North Philadelphia vicar, Monsignor Charles Devin. After undergoing an evaluation at St. John Vianney Center, Murtha was kept in ministry until 2010.

Plan by Archdiocese to Protect Priests Alleged in Motion, by John P. Martin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10.29.2011
Prosecutors: Archdiocese Delayed Reporting Priests' Involvement with Child Porn, by John P. Martin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1.14.2012
Archdiocese Priest Writes Love Letter to Seventh-Grade Boy, by Ralph Cipriano, Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog, 3.28.2012

Lynette Petruska

 

In 1999 Petruska, then a nun, was appointed the first female chaplain at Gannon University in Erie, PA. Petruska was forced to resign her position in 2002 after she exposed sexual harrassment and misconduct by a priest at the University. She filed suit against the University and the bishop of Erie. The lawsuit was resolved after the Bishop of Erie’s deposition was scheduled, during which Petruska and her legal team planned to question the bishop about the ongoing cover-up of priest sexual misconduct and abuse in the Erie Diocese.

Petruska left her religious order and today practices law in St. Louis.

A Federal Trial Court Dismisses a Nun-Priest Sexual Harassment Claim: A Dubious Case for Invocation of the "Ministerial Exception", by Marci Hamilton, FindLaw.com, 1.27.2005
Where Faith Abides, Employees Have Few Rights, by Diana B. Henriques, 10.09.2006
Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Former Nun Appeal, Associated Press, carried in The Pennlive,
4.23.2007
Three Women Share $15,500 in Second Round of Voice of the Faithful Emily & Rosemary Fund Grants, PRLog, 2.08.2011

Msgr. Michael Picard

Philadelphia PA In 1996 Picard expressed misgivings to Philadelphia archdiocesan official, Msgr. William Lynn, about a priest who was to be transferred to his parish. Picard had heard that the priest, Rev. Donald Mills, had engaged in "troubling conduct." Lynn's response was to recommend Picard be disciplined for disobedience and that he be denied more staffing. Further, Picard was ordered by Cardinal Bevilacqua to apologize and take a two-week retreat to reflect on his actions. While most pastors achieve the status of Monsignor in just a few years, it took Picard fifteen. Mills was later accused of child sexual abuse.

Plan by Archdiocese to Protect Priests Alleged in Motion, by John P. Martin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10.29.2011
Trial Evidence: Philadelphia-area Pastor Punished for Raising Concerns About Predator Priest, Washington Post, 5.02.2012

Larry Probst Kansas City-St. Joseph MO

Probst was an employee of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, working in the diocesan archives, where he has said he was subjected to sexually offensive language, sexual advances and pornography on the diocese's computers. Probst claimed he was fired for repeatedly complaining about the situation. He sued the diocese in January 2012, alleging sexual harassment, retaliation and sex discrimination.

Probst has said, It is my hope "…and hope does not disappoint…" (Romans 5:5) that this institution I love be whole and safe. Safe for everyone - not merely as a dominion for those seeking after and clinging to status and prestige, power and position, privilege and entitlement, self- preservation above all else.

KC Diocese Settles Two Cases from Stack of Civil Lawsuits, by Judy L. Thomas, Kansas City Star, 10.21.2012
Fourth KC Whistleblower Speaks, snapnetwork.org,
posted by Barbara Dorris, 11.18.2011

Rev. Richard Reissmann

Newark DE In response to the 2005 release of the scathing Grand Jury report on sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Reissmann gave a homily that was highly critical of the hierarchy and he encouraged his parishioners to read the report. One of the priests implicated served at the parish in the 1980s. Reissmann expressed concern about anyone who may have been harmed and needed help, and asked them to talk with him if they had been abused. Reissmann testified in 2007 before the Delaware State Legislature on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse for the passage of a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations and provide a two year "look-back" window. The bill passed.

Voice of the Faithful Calls for Transparency, by Gary Soulsman, The [Wilmington DE] News Journal, 11.22.2005
After Years of Refusal, Diocese Releases Names of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse, by Beth Miller, Mike Chalmers and Gary Soulsman, News Journal [Wilmington DE], 11.17.2006
Abuse Scandal Casts Pall over Sunday Mass, 'Let It Not Lead US to Spiritual Suicide', by Gary Soulsman, News Journal [Wilmington DE], 11.20.2006
House Passes Landmark Child Abuse Bill, 41-0, by Beth Miller
The News Journal, 6.20. 2007
Voice of the Faithful Priest of Integrity Award, Fall 2007
As It Pays for the Past, Diocese Tries to Move on, by Beth Miller
News Journal, 8.7.2011

Msgr. Phillip Saylor

Altoona-Johnstown PA In the 1994 sex sex abuse trial of Rev. Francis Luddy, Saylor testified that former bishop Hogan and others knew of abusive priests as early as 1978 and responded by shuffling them from parish to parish. This testimony contradicted that of Hogan and other church leaders. In 2003 it was reported that Saylor had been silenced by Bishop Adamec in 1999, with the threat of excommunication. The order came the week of Saylor's retirement. New Sex-Abuse Bombshell: Time Bishop [adamec of Altoona-Johnstown] Comes Clean, The Tribune-Democrat, June 23, 2002
Diocese Muzzles Priests, by Susan Evans. The Tribune-Democrat, March 2, 2003
Silenced Priest Warns of Gay Crisis, by Julia Duin
The Washington Times [Arlington VA], 11.15.2004

Fr. James Scahill

Springfield MA In May 2002, Scahill became the first US pastor to refuse publicly to pay the cathedraticum, his parish’s required tax to the diocese. Scahill said that his parish would withhold the tax until Bishop Dupre stopped all financial support of Rev. Richard Lavigne, a convicted child molester and suspected murderer. In Sept. 2002, Scahill reported publicly that Dupre had boasted about the diocese’s destruction of abuse files. Scahill counseled one of two known victims of Dupre before the men went public in 2004, triggering Dupre’s resignation. In 2010, Scahill called on Pope Benedict to resign for mismanaging abusive priests. Scahill announced in April 2014 that he would retire in June.  

Abuse Victim Tells the Story of a 'Great' Priest, by Tom Shea, [Springfield MA] Republican, 9.14.2003
Ruined Files Spark Allegation, by Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe, 9.17.2003
Priest, Bishop at Odds, by Bill Zajac, [Springfield MA] Republican, 10.29.2003
2003 Deposition of Fr. James J. Scahill
Dupre Accusers Tell Lurid Tale, by Bea O'Quinn Dewberry, [Springfield MA] Republican, 2.20.2004
Priest Unafraid to Criticize Diocese for Abuse Scandals, by Adam Gorlick, Associated Press, 3.07.2004 
Bishop Dissolves Fund for Accused Priests, Removes Scahill from Board, Hampshire [MA] Gazette, 5.12.2004
Bishop and Pastor Offer Mass for Victims, Associated Press, 9.13.2004
The Rev. James J. Scahill's Call for the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Meets Silence, by Jack Flynn, [Springfield MA] Republican,  5.08.2010
Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Rev. James Scahill, An Outspoken Critic of the Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal, Announces Retirement, by Jeanette DeForge,, Masslive.com, April 28, 2014

Sr. Joan Scary Philadelphia PA As Director of Religious Education at a parish, Scary had suspicions about a newly arrived priest in residence, Rev. Edward DePaoli. She was told by the pastor, Rev. James Gormley, that if she said anything about DePaoli she could "pack her bags and leave." Scary noticed that DePaoli detained three children in the confessional and wrote of her concerns to each of the children's parents. In 1996 Scary discovered diskettes and magazines of child porn that were sent to the priest. Depaoli, in fact, had been convicted in 1986 of possession of child pornography. Scary sent one of the magazines to Cardinal Bevilacqua. Scary also called the regional vicar several times with her concerns. There were no consequences at the time for DaPaoli; Scary was fired. In 2002 Depaoli was accused of the sexual abuse 14-year-old girl in 1970, and he was removed from ministry. In 2005 he was laicized. Scary testified before the Philadelphia Grand Jury, "We had a whole program with children, and my fear was that he would have any contact with the children in the parish; and I just was, very concerned that . . . if he was . . . enticing them in any way, something could happen to them."

2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report: Summary of Case of Father Edward M. DePaoli
Witness Says She Was Told Not to Ask Questions about Priest, by Joseph A. Slobodzian, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4.09.2012
Nun Testifies She Was Fired for Reporting Montco Priest's Explicit Magazines, by Joann Loviglio,
Morning Call, April 9, 2012
Reporting Priest's Porn Got Her Axed, Jury Told, by Joseph A. Slobodzian,
Philadelphia Inquirer, 4.10.2012
Philly Abuse Trial Hears Testimony about Priest Caught with Porn, by Brian Roewe
National Catholic Reporter
4.10.2012

Rev. Edward Seagriff Rockville Center NY

Seagriff reported Rev. Matthew Fitzgerald to his pastor, the vice-chancellor, the diocesan lawyer, and finally then-Bishop John McGann. All three officials told him not to go to the police and, according to Seagriff, the bishop was more angry at him than at the abuser.

When Seagriff took a leave shortly after meeting with the bishop, the diocese deprived him of his salary and health insurance. Seagriff believes this was retaliation.

Priest: Former LI Bishop Ignored Reports of Abuse, by Eden Laikin, Newsday, 3.18.2003

 

 

Richard Sipe

St. John's Abbey, Collegeville MN, and worldwide A.W. Richard Sipe is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor who spent 18 years as a Benedictine monk and priest. In 1970, with the Vatican’s permission, he retired from the priesthood. Trained specifically to deal with the mental health problems of Roman Catholic priests, he worked more than 45 years as a counselor, psychotherapist, and teacher of clerics. In 1990, he produced A Secret World: Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy, the result of more than 30 years’ study of the celibate/sexual behavior of priests. He has since authored scores of books, chapters, and articles on Catholic priests’ sexual behavior. He has served as consultant or expert witness in hundreds of civil cases involving clergy sexual malfeasance, and he provided expert testimony to investigations of dioceses by prosecutors in MA, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. In his address to the 2003 Linkup conference, he said, “… [W]herever abuse by a priest occurred, some superior ‘gave permission,’ either through easy forgiveness or by some sexual activity himself. … Sexual corruption is conferred from the top down - from men in power. … A system of blackmail reaches into the highest corridors of the American hierarchy and the Vatican and thrives because of this network of sexual knowledge and relationships.”

Preliminary Expert Report (in cases against the diocese of Dallas), by Richard Sipe, 1996
View From the Eye of the Storm, by A.W. Richard Sipe, Keynote Address, The Linkup National Conference, 2.23.2003
St. John's Troubled Abbey, by A.W. Richard Sipe, Behind the Pine Curtain, 9.30.2007
An Interview with Dr. A.W. Richard Sipe, Healing and Spirituality blog, 12.03.2009
Beneath the Child Abuse Scandal, by A.W. Richard Sipe, National Catholic Reporter, 7.22.2010
http://www.RichardSipe.com/

Rev. Robert Smoot St. Louis MO Smoot testified in 2003 against his fellow priest and close friend, Rev. Bryan Kuchar, who was on trial for the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy. Kuchar had confessed to police, then recanted. Smoot told authorities that Kuchar admitted to him that the accusations against him were true. Kuchar was convicted of statutory sodomy.

Attack on Family at Priest's Trial Was Unnecessary, by Bill McClellan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8.31.2003
Problem Priests UncollaredSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9.04.2003
NH Priest Praised by Church Victims Group, by Scott Brooks
The Union Leader [New Hampshire], Downloaded 11.17.2003
Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Rev. Stephen Stanbery

Toledo OH

Stanbery has openly criticized church leadership on a number of issues, including its handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis. He called twice for the resignations of Toledo Auxiliary Bishop Robert Donnelly and the the Episcopal Vicar for Administration, Rev. Michael Billian. In 2005 Stanbery testified before the Ohio legislature in favor of extending the statute of limitations for filing civil litigation alleging child sexual abuse. Stanbery is said to have been admonished and censured by the bishop. In response to being called a 'renegade priest,' Stanbery said "I don't think I'm a renegade from Jesus Christ, who declares himself the way, the truth and the life. The bottom line is that people have the right to know the truth."

Communion Debate Focuses on Politicians' Abortion Beliefs, by David Yonke, Toledo Blade, 6.21.2204
Victims' Group Calls on Diocese to Explain Cover-up with Police, by Joe Mahr, Toledo [OH] Blade, 8.04.2005
Ohio's Victims of Clerical Sexual Abuse Left Frustrated by Senate Bill 17, by Todd Jarrett, Toledo [OH] City Paper, 2.28.2007
Henry County Priest Criticizes Diocese Leadership, by Jack Palmer, Crescent-News, 8.10.2007
Pastor Is Named a 'Priest of Integrity' by Joe Vardon, Toledo [OH] Blade, 10.01.2007

Rev. Joseph Starmann

Jefferson City MO Starmann provided unwavering support to victim/survivors of clergy sexual abuse morally and financially. He lobbied the Missouri legislature for the passage of a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for civil child sexual abuse claims. Shortly after his testimony, Starmann is said to have been told there was a miscalculation in his retirement benefits and that they would be reduced. Starmann was a harsh critic of diocesan leadership, headed by his seminary classmate Bishop John Gaydos, and is said to have called the leadership a "Wolf Pack, bent on destroying badly wounded lambs." Starmann died December 14, 2011.

Ex-student to sue bishop who quit, The Associated Press,
Published: Sunday, 3.17.2002
Jefferson City Priest Honored by VOTF & SNAP, SNAP Statement, 6.21.2011
Priests & Nuns Honored by Catholic Reform Group, SNAP, 6.28.2011
Rev. Joseph William Starmann Obituary, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12.16.2011
Childproof 24: The Six Degrees of Separation in the Clergy Sexual Abuse Saga, 1.29.2012
Thy Child's Face, Breaking the Silence, 5.20.2012
Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Rev. Frederick E. Sweeney Boston MA In 1989 and the early 1990s, Sweeney repeatedly reported Rev. Ronald H. Paquin's alleged sexual abuse of boys to the archdiocese.

Suit Ties Boy's Death to Abuse by Priest, by Stephen Kurkjian and Walter V. Robinson, Boston Globe, 4.11.2002
Records Show Law Reassigned Paquin after Settlements, by Stephen Kurkjian, Boston Globe, 5.30.2002

Rev. Bruce Teague

Springfield MA

In 1997 Teague informed diocesan authorities that child molester Rev. Richard Lavigne, who was convicted in 1992, continued to have proximity to children. Teague did not receive a response from the diocese, so he went to the police. Teague was reprimanded by the diocese for going outside of the church. Diocesan officials questioned Teague's leadership of his parish, and he was eventually terminated as pastor. He was told he would not receive another appointment as pastor. Teague is quoted as saying , 'I thought I was doing the right thing, to protect the children,'' . ''They [diocese officials] were unhappy with me. I was a whistle-blower, and people got mad at me.'' Of the bishops Teague has said, "Their efforts and their diagnosis proved to be disastrous and destructive to victims and the church.”

A former university and hospital chaplain, Teague is himself a survivor of clergy sex abuse. In 2013, he joined the steering committee of Catholic Whistleblowers.

Priest Cites Cost for Speaking Out, by Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe, 3.23.2002
He Remembers, Tries to Forgive, by Bill Zajac, The Republican [Springfield MA], 9.14.2003
Chapter Sixteen: Where Are They Now? springfielddiocese.blogspot.com, 4.2009

 

Sr. Janice Thomas Newark NJ

In 2001 Thomas reported to the police an accusation that Rev. Michael Fugee fondled a 13-year-old boy. The report led to Fugee's arrest and conviction, which was later overturned.

Former Priest Granted New Trial, Judges Cite Mistakes in Groping Conviction, by Justo Bautista, Record [Bergen County NJ], 4.18.2006

Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish, S.N.D.

Sr. Maureen Turlish

Wilmington DE Since 2002 Turlish has persistently spoken out on behalf of victim/survivors of clergy sexual abuse and in calling church leadership to task for its role in the crisis. She has said, “What is truly blasphemous and should be deeply offensive to all is that so many children could have been spared a lifetime of agony brought on by sexual abuse but for the callous behavior of enabling church officials who shuffled sexual predators around with abandon, instead of calling the police.” She has lobbied for the elimination of statutes of limitations on sex crimes against children in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Turlish is a prolific writer of letters to the editor and internet commentator, and she has contributed op-ed pieces on the topic of clergy sexual abuse to numerous publications. A sister of Notre Dame de Namur, Turlish is a founding member of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition, a member of the Justice 4 PA Kids Coalition, and a founding member of Catholic Whistleblowers.

• In Effect, Archdiocese Gives Sexual Predators a Pass, by Maureen Paul Turlish, Philadelphia Inquirer, 11.06.2007
Sister Maureen Asks: What about Accountability and Transparency in Wisconsin?, by Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, Voice from the Desert
2.14.2008
Catholic Church Still Squandering Its Moral Authority, by Maureen Paul Turlish, Baltimore Examiner, 11.11.2008
In Effect, Archdiocese Gives Sexual Predators a Pass, by Maureen Paul Turlish, Philadelphia Inquirer, 11.26.2007
The Pope's Empty Words to Ireland, by Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish, National Catholic Reporter
2.19. 2010
Sister Maureen Turlish Honored for Work on Behalf of Sexual Abuse Victims, by Joe Barron, Montgomery News, 3.18.2011
The Time Is Now: Childhood Sexual Abuse and Statutes of Limitation, by Maureen Paul Turlish , National Catholic Reporter, 12.09.2011
Guest Column: Chaput's Top Priority Is to Protect Children, by Maureen Paul Turlish, Daily Times, 5.26. 2012

Juan Vaca

Rockville Centre NY

A Legionary of Christ priest who was the order's U.S. Director in Connecticut, Vaca left the Legionaries in 1976 to become a priest of the Rockville Centre diocese. He explained to Rockville Centre bishop McGann that his request to leave the order and join the diocese was because Legionary founder Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado raped him repeatedly when he was 12 to 25 years old. Maciel had recruited Vaca in Mexico for the priesthood at age 10. Vaca told McGann of 19 other former seminarians who were victims of Maciel. With McGann's support and encouragement, Vaca sent a detailed account of his abuse to the Vatican, along with the names of the other known Maciel victims. He received no response then, nor when the papers were re-sent two years later. In 1989 Vaca again sent details of abuse by Maciel to Pope John Paul II, along with a request for a dispensation from his priestly vows, so he could marry. The Pope again ignored Vaca's disclosures. In 1996 Vaca was among a group of nine Maciel accusers who spoke out in the media. In 1998 they filed a canonical case against Maciel. It wasn't until 2004 that the case was officially investigated. In 2006 Maciel was removed from public ministry by the Vatican, and "invited" to live a life of prayer and penance.

After coming forward, Vaca was relieved of his full-time job. He believes this to be the result of a campaign by the Legionaries to smear his reputation. Today Vaca is a professor of psychology and sociology at Mercy College in New York. He has said, "When you know the truth you are supposed to witness to that truth...not just for me but for the many other children, men, and women who were abused. Also, for those who have been ignorant to what has been going on."

A Priest's Story How McGann Tried to Help One Victim, by Carol Eisenberg, Newsday [Long Island NY], 5.04. 2004
Vatican to Reopen Case against Maciel, by Jason Berry
National Catholic Reporter, [Vatican], 1.07. 2005
Finally, Vindication, by Carol Eisenberg, Newsday [Long Island NY], 5.20.2006
New York City Mercy College Instructor Seeks Justice Against the Vatican and Legion of Christ for Merciless Acts, by Shelley Samone, Yahoo! Contributor Network, 6.12.2011

Patrick Wall

St. John's Abbey, Collegeville MN, and worldwide Both as a seminarian and as a newly ordained priest of the Benedictine order, Wall was sent repeatedly to replace monks who had been removed due to allegations of child sexual abuse. A self-described "company man" at the time, Wall began to have doubts about his role as his understanding of the depth and breadth of the problem of clergy sexual abuse and its effect on victims and their families grew; he felt he was being used to do the institution's dirty work. Five years after his 1992 ordination Wall abruptly left the order and the priesthood. In 2002, as the church crisis was raging publicly, Wall decided to offer his expertise as a former church insider to victims' attorneys. He has since worked on upwards of a thousand clergy sexual abuse cases. His role has included listening to and providing moral support to victims, researching abuse claims, testifying, and decoding church language. Wall has spoken out in the media and he co-authored the book Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse. Wall has said, "I see this work as a continuation of my priesthood. This work is fundamental to the Catholic religion. It's fundamental to the human race."

Patrick J. Walls' Blog
From Monk to Sex Plaintiffs' Advocate, by William Lobdell, Los Angeles Times, 1.19.2003
Revealing Secrets: An Ex-Priest Disheartened by Abusive Clergy Sets out to Make Things Right, by Chris Knap,  Orange County
Register [California], 8.03.2005
Onetime Priest Crusades for Abuse Victims Suing Catholic Church, by Richard Allen Greene, CNN, 6.19.2011
Twenty Years Later, I Look upon My Ordination, Patrick J. Wall, 12.12. 2012

Barbara Westrick

Chicago IL The principal of a Chicago parochial school, in January 2006 Westrick reported the sexual abuse of a boy by Rev. Daniel McCormack to police, the archdiocese and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. When she came under fire from the archdiocese for what they said was her poor handling of the case, Westrick publicly stated, "I will not be the archdiocese's scapegoat or allow my reputation to be destroyed in order to deflect the truth about the archdiocese's atrocious handing of Father Daniel McCormack." Westrick was subsequently fired. McCormack pleaded guilty to sexually abusing boys and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Principal Speaks out on Priest Abuse Case, Woman Claims Archdiocese Is Blaming Her, NBC, 12.19.2006
Principal Rejects Blame for Priest Reprimanded for Letting McCormack Teach, Coach Kids, by Lisa Donovan, Chicago Sun-Times, 12.19.2006
Principal Who Criticized Archdiocese Expects to Lose Post, by F.N. D'Alessio, Chicago Tribune, 6.06.2007
Activists: Catholic School Principal Fired over Criticism of Sex Abuse Cases, Associated Press, carried in WBBM [Chicago], 6.09.2007
•, Brief Analysis of Cardinal George's Deposition, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 8.13.2008
McCormack Gets 5 Years for Sex Abuse, Ex-Priest Taken into Custody Immediately after Hearing, CBS 2 Chicago, 7.02.2007
Priest Admits to Abuse
Defendant Gets 5 Years in Plea Agreement
, by Azam Ahmed, Margaret Ramirez and Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune
7.02.2007
Priest Gets 5 Years for Molesting Boys, Associated Press, carried in Daily Herald [Chicago, IL], 7.03 2007

Rev. Robert Williams Ennis TX A newly arrived assistant to pastor Rudy Kos at a Texas parish in 1991, Williams was alarmed by the amount of time Kos spent with young boys. Williams repeatedly told diocesan officials of his concerns about Kos, including writing a 12-page letter to Dallas Bishop Grahmann with detailed information about Kos luring boys into the rectory. It was a year before Kos was removed, in the fall of 1992. Williams testified at Kos' 1997 trial against the diocese and in support of Kos' victims. Williams said after the trial, "There has been a failure of responsibility by the leadership of this diocese." One of Williams' parishioners stated of Williams, "Ignored by the bishop, he suffered through a dark night of the soul. But he didn't
relent.
"

Editorial: On child sex abuse, when will bishops get it?, National Catholic Reporter, 8.15.1997
Opinion: A true hero emerged from the priest sex scandal, by Randolph Severson, Dallas Morning News,, 7.08.2002
Documents of Windle Turley, Statement of Windle Turley, Attorney, & The Plaintiffs, www.wturley.com
Dallas Bishop to Offer Resignation
Growth: He Hopes for Hispanic Successor to Lead Booming Population
, by Jeffrey Weiss and Brooks Egerton, WFAA [Dallas TX], July 14, 2006


 

International Whistleblowers

AFRICA
Sr. Marie McDonald

ARGENTINA
Alfredo Bazánena
Rev. Luis Guzman
Sr. Martha Pelloni

AUSTRALIA
Victor Buhagiar
Rev. Maurie Crocker
Rev. Kevin Dillon
Rev. Michael McKinnon
Bishop Bill Morris
Bishop Patrick Power
Michele Mulvihill*
Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

BELGIUM
Rev. Rik Deville

CANADA
Wilson Kennedy

IRELAND
Paul Lennon
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Kenneth McCabe SJ
Rev. Gerard McGinnity
Rev. Bruno Mulvihilll, O.Praem
Sr. Maura O'Donohue
Rev. Iggy O'Donovan

MEXICO
Jose Barba

POLAND
Rev. Marcin Mogielski, o.p

SCOTLAND
Rev. Matthew Despard
Rev. Patrick Lawson
Rev. Gerry Magee

NEW ZEALAND
Michele Mulvihill*

UGANDA
Rev. Anthony Musaala

* associated with more than one country

 

International Lay Catholic Whistleblowers

AUSTRALIA
Graeme Sleeman

IRELAND
Ian Elliott

MOZAMBIQUE
Joao Oliveira

SCOTLAND
Alan Draper

 

Page last updated July 3, 2014.

 



 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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