Big News Out of Boston On Clergy Sex Abuse


Will the Philadelphia Archdiocese follow suit and place the names of all accused clergy on its Web site?

 

“Thoughts on Boston archdiocese’s decision to name accused priests,” by Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter, Aug. 25, 2011

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12 Responses to “Big News Out of Boston On Clergy Sex Abuse”

  1. http://archphila.org/protection/Updates/update_main.htm
    The Archdiocese of Philadelphia lists the priests who have been laicized,accepted a life of prayer and repentance and some who are now deceased.
    It seems that they should include a category for suspended priests whose cases have not yet been decided and then update accordingly.
    I know the Archdiocese is one of the few Diocese that have had a website of the priests removed from ministry.Maybe they will go a step further and start to list suspended priests also.
    It is confusing because in November when Father Ayres was suspended, there was a news release posted on the AD website concerning the matter but when the 21 priests were suspended we had to rely on the news media for a list of names.

  2. I know that Donna Farrell the spokesperson for the AD is unavailable this week but I will contact her in the near future to see if she can shed any light on the discrepancy of how the recent suspension of Father Ayres was announced compared to the recent 21 suspensions. Donna has always responded to our questions,concerns and criticisms in a professional manner. In this mess of confusion and lack of information we try to be accurate in the info we relay,that is only done when people cooperate when you contact them. Donna has done that,wish I could say the same for everyone at the AD.
    We have also provided the above link in previous posts on the site .

  3. Yes, I, too, think Cardinal O’Malley has done a good thing here. However, in the case of religious orders who work in an AD, there should be a mechanism for reporting the names of priests who have violated children and vulnerable adults.

    The independence of religious orders is indeed important. That they obey the laws of the land is more important. I would think they would all have published such lists on their own. Does the USCCB have any ideas on how to encourage leaders of religious orders to come forward with this information????

  4. “Each of the 159 names published Thursday has been made public previously, though not necessarily by the archdiocese.”

    So in fact Cardinal O’Malley released nothing; the secrets of the Church remain secure.

  5. http://nationalsurvivoradvocatescoalition.wordpress.com/press-release/

    Media Statement

    The Boston List and the Boston Non-Lists

    Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston has released a list of 159 clerics, including 157 priests and two deacons, accused of sexual abuse on the website http://www.bostoncatholic.org

    The names of these clerics have already been made known either by the archdiocese or other sources, including the list made public by Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian.

    While due notice will be given to the release of the list in news coverage and of course, on the Archdiocese of Boston’s website, most likely on the Cardinal’s blog and his diocesan newspaper, the National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) calls your attention to the Non-Lists:

    · the 91 Boston clerics that were not included

    · the religious order clerics not included.

    Cardinal O’Malley included the first “Non-list’” 91 in his statement along with the following breakdown:

    · 62 are dead, have never been publicly accused of abuse, and have never been investigated by Church officials.

    · 22 faced accusations that could not be substantiated

    · 4 are the subject of preliminary investigations and are no longer in active ministry

    · 3 are former priests who have not been publicly accused of abuse

    Such a neat and innocent sounding phrase “never publicly accused.”

    Wrapped up in this nomenclature is the giant shield of a policy that chooses cleric over child — a shield that protects Cardinal Bernard Law and other archbishops and cardinals of Boston.

    A shield forged from expired statutes of limitations and imposed confidentiality agreements.

    By Cardinal O’Malley’s admission 62 of the clerics “never publicly accused” are dead.

    These dead men have been judged by Almighty God. There is nothing any person on earth can do to enhance, mitigate or change this judgment.

    No one should live, preach and believe this more than a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

    The comfort, the grounding sense of being believed, the end to the mistaken belief that perpetrators have only one victim, the beginning of understanding of why lives have gone so terribly wrong, could be given to survivors by the naming of these dead men.

    This has not been considered a valid enough argument for a Cardinal who says he has met with hundreds of victims.

    The second Non-list, the religious order clerics’ list, may range anywhere from 40, (the number given by the Archdiocese of Boston) to a possible 350 clerics.

    Cardinal O’Malley says the rightful dealing with the naming of these priests is with their religious orders.

    These men could not have presented themselves as priests in the Archdiocese of Boston without faculties granted by the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston. No religious order superior grants faculties – bishops do.

    A child knew what difference between a secular priest and a religious order priest when being raped and sodomized? What technicality of label spared them years of horrific suffering?

    But for these religious order priests again the hedge, the dodge, the escape route is laid out.

    Cardinal O’Malley has laid out a number of categories for his release of the names on the website.

    Indeed in so doing, he has already created the tool that could have been used to release the names of the 91 “never publicly accused” and the religious order priests.

    All that need be done is to simply put the headings above the lists – but release the names.

    For the gathering of the 159 names on one website, we take note and have one hand clapping.

    For the non-lists, not even that.

    — Kristine Ward, Chair, NSAC, 937-272-0308

    __._,_.___

  6. Here’s the big news out of Pittsburgh, PA. And, yes, I will name priests and maybe a bishop or two.

    For immediate release

    The Last Call: September Protests to “Out” Local Abusers and Sympathizers

    Pittsburgh, PA – August 16, 2011 – Well-known local activist Mike Ference will stage a series of protests beginning September 11, the 10th anniversary of 911 and targeting local institutions and individuals associated with the abuse of children and young adults.
    “For two decades I have called on certain institutions and individuals to come forward and take responsibility for their roles — active or passive — in child sex abuse,” Ference explains. “This is the last call — if they don’t do the right thing in the next couple weeks, then I will ‘out’ them at a series of protests where I will publicize incriminating details from my 22-year investigation of such cases. Abusers who have harmed children and individuals who knowingly covered up the crimes will be named — I want everyone in our community to know who the bad guys are.”
    Ference began his investigation in 1989 after his son was shot on a school bus by a boy who then committed suicide. Although grateful that his son survived, Ference was disturbed that an investigation into the shooting was quashed or botched at every turn. Agreeing that the case had been prematurely closed by the McKeesport police, William Scully, then Public Safety Director in Clairton, gave Ference notes on the case and encouraged him to continue investigating on his own. A central starting point was the possibility that the shooter had been sexually abused by a local Catholic priest.
    Ference’s initial investigation has inspired a lifetime of activism against child sexual abuse and cover-ups. He has written extensively on the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic church, amd has consistently emphasized that such abuse can’t happen without a lot of other community stakeholders “looking the other way.”
    The first protest is scheduled for noon, September 9, on the steps of St. Paul ’s Cathedral in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. Ference believes that Oakland , Shadyside and the surrounding areas have been prominent spots for Pittsburgh Catholic clergy to abuse children and teenagers.
    Additional protests are in the planning stage. Ference says UPMC Hospital in Oakland is a likely site because of its handling of a clerical abuse case involving Greg Witkowski. He is also considering the police departments and municipal buildings of McKeesport , Clairton, and West Mifflin , which were all central in his initial investigation. District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s office and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette were also mentioned as stakeholders who have been more interested in protecting the church hierarchy than punishing abusers and defending children.
    For more information on the September 11 protest or other upcoming events, call Mike Ference at 412-233-5491, or email mike@ferencemarketing.com.

  7. People like you make the world a better place. I hope there is a big turn-out at the September 11 Protest, an appropriate date, as many children have died, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, even physically, because of sexual abuse and cover-ups. I have disdain for those who look the other way, for they are equally to blame. The problem will continue, once the trail gets cold, unless all the guilty take responsibility and speak-up against sexual abuse of vulnerable populations. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Ann. At this point, I’m not too concerned about the turnout, it’s time to release details from my investigation. Sadly, so many PA elected officials have benefitted from clergy sex abuse and the cover ups. In western PA there are enough catholics and corrupt politicians that any crime can and has been covered up. Factor in the money the catholic church throws at these corrupt officials and victims of clergy abuse don’t have a chance. According to insiders, Bevilacqua left a mess for Wuerl after he was sent to Philadelphia. Think about it for a moment, why would Bevilacqua only cover up clergy sex abuse crimes in the Philly Archdiocese and not the Pittsburgh Diocese.

      Mike Ference

  8. Victims4Justice.org Reply August 31, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    The Catholic Church can do almost nothing to impress me. The list of priests publicized on diocese’s websites is not necessarily a bad thing, but if those names are already listed on other websites and are already public information, what good is it?! My friend has always said, “It’s easy to go on the Sex Offender’s Registry and organizations like Bishop-Accountability.org and find those people who have already molested and/or raped a child (or adult), but what about the many we don’t know about?” If you consider that less than 8% of childhood sexual abuse victims will ever come forward with what happened to them and report who abused them, you have to also consider that there are many, many silent victims, but there are also many unknown perpetrators. If that doesn’t scare you into panic and rage, maybe you should join the seminary.

    There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for a child to be sexually abused. In society or in a church of any kind, those adults with propensities toward and previous abusive actions against children and vulnerable adults should not be in the company of such vulnerable people, whether supervised or not. The problem with the Catholic Church especially is that the hierarchy knew for years that clergy were abusing children right under their noses and they did absolutely nothing to stop it. Instead, the Catholic Church took steps to protect and hide the perpetrators, while alienating the children and basically forcing the victims into a lifetime of hell. I always tell people, “I am more angry with the people who knew about the priest who abused me, many years before he even got to me, and did nothing!” There’s only one organism lower on the planet, and that’s the abusers themselves.

    If the Church really wants to impress me, they can terminate every known abuser within their ranks. They can turn over any and all information to civil law enforcement about any priest who has abused and who the victims might be. I’ve never understood why it takes the Vatican 10 years to defrock a priest. In any other area of society, they’d be out on their child-abusing-asses in a heartbeat. The Church can also really start offering counseling to victims and any type of psychological and medical treatment for all the harm we victims have suffered directly related to the abuse. In 2 & ½ years of fighting with the Catholic Church, never once has any priest or Church attorney asked me, “What can we do for you, Rich? How can we help you?” Those two questions should be obvious to ask, but then again so much that the Church does can baffle the most keen intellect. If the Catholic Church is really interested in what areas they need to change and how they can help victims recover, it’s time they stop paying the perpetrators and start listening to the victims. Talk is cheap! Actions speak louder than words!

  9. Because “What can we do for you Rich How can we help you” is an honest question and you would give them an honest answer. That’s why that question hasn’t been asked. If leaders within the Church were following the Gospel,then that would be the type of question that would be asked to every single victim.

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