The September 15, 2011 edition of venerable rock magazine “Rolling Stone” teases “The Catholic Church’s Secret Sex -Crime Files” on its cover. Inside is a scathing eight-page article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely on the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s sex abuse scandal and cover up. People may scream Catholic bashing, but it’s all true. There won’t be any libel issues.
Here is an excerpt from her article: (It mentions the impetus behind my C4C crusade – Father Peter J. Dunne.)
“Every Catholic diocese has Secret Archive files – it’s mandated by canon law as a repository for complaints against priests so scandalous that they must be kept out of the regular personnel files. Few outsiders know the secret archives exist, and only the most trusted clergy have access to them. In Philadelphia, the sole keyholders were the cardinal and his closet aides. The files were kept in a row of unlabeled, gray-green cabinets in a windowless room on the 12th floor of the archdiocese’s Center City office tower. Inside was an exhaustive compendium of scandals dating back more than 50 years: priests with drinking problems, priests who had gotten women pregnant, aging stacks of confiscated pornography. Then there were the reams of carefully typed memos that discussed priests with what the archdiocese delicately referred to as ‘unnatural involvements’ or ‘unusual patterns.’ Priests, in other words, who had sexually abused children in their care.
One memo directed to Cardinal Bevilacqua in 1989, described a pedophile priest’s evaluation at an archdiocesan-owned hospital, in which the doctor “is of the very strong opinion that Father Peter J. Dunne is a very sick man” who should be removed from ministry; the memo warned that Dunne’s problem was so acute ‘that we are sitting on powder keg.'”
Let me share that the Archdiocese knew that Dunne was also “treated” in the late 50s long before this 1989 memo. What did they do with him in between those years? They appointed him chaplain of the Boy Scouts and Camp Neumann. Makes sense, right? My husband’s parents had no way of knowing they were sending their sons on camping trips to Canada with a pedophile – but the Archdiocese did. The fact my husband was lucky does not diminish my anger for ALL parents who have been deceived – many still unknowingly. My anger is with the hierarchy. My anger is that Dunne was living “a supervised life of prayer and penance” at Villa Saint Joseph, a retirement home for priests until he passed away last year – all paid for by the Archdiocese via generous congregations. Please don’t put the collection basket in front of me. I’ll give my money directly to Sister Mary Scullion, the Little Sisters of the Poor, Road to Recovery (for victims) or any number of other Catholic organizations that don’t harbor pedophiles.
But I digress, Erdely’s article is well researched and worthy of a careful read. http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-catholic-churchs-secret-sex-crime-files-20110906