Thomas Doyle on What Has Been Learned

Click here to read: “Thirty Years: What We’ve Learned and What I’ve Learned,” by Thomas Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C., July 27, 2013 via Concerned Catholics of Montana’s blog.


“When I first became involved with the Gauthe case in 1984 I still believed in the Church.  I thought the institutional structure I was part of, and the People of God described by the Second Vatican Council, were one and the same.  In spite of already having served three years on the inside at the Vatican Embassy I still had some confidence in bishops and shared the hope with my colleagues at the time, Mike Peterson and Ray Mouton, that once the bishops became aware of how terrible sexual abuse of a child could be and the potential for scandal of epic proportions, they would quickly step up to the plate and do the right thing, especially by the victims.

I was dead wrong.  Any lingering hopes I may have had were demolished by my experiences in the years that followed.  I had no idea back then of the extent of the problem but more important, and worse, I had no idea just how duplicitous and destructive the bishops could be.”

27 thoughts on “Thomas Doyle on What Has Been Learned

  1. Susan: Excellent article by Tom Doyle. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.I would highly recommend it to all concerned with this horrible subject. For those of us who were abused by members of the Catholic Clergy years ago, we thought this day would never come.I remember talking about being abused in AA meetings back in the late eighties and early nineties. I was amazed at how many people came up to me after meetings to tell me privately that they too had been abused. Most were not able at the time to talk about it publically.Hopefully. that has changed. As victims, we were not responsible for what happened to us. We were not responsible for the effects of the abuse.Those who were responsible, still are fifghting their culpability but people like Tom Doyle and you and Cathie will not let them get away with it. Change is coming. It will be slow.But it is coming.

    1. Jim thank you for your ministry to others. Thank you to all who are ministering to victims and continuing the fight.

  2. The vindictive RCC did everything they could to see that Fr. Thomas Doyle, MAJ, USAF, (Ret.) would not receive his military pension by preventing him from getting his 20 years in. I would like to know the name of the bishop who was responsible for that action. Maj. Doyle was able to outmaneuver him, completed his 20, and receive his pension.

    Cross these bishops and they’ll do anything to destroy a priest. That’s why so few priests speak-up about child sexual abuse. Thank you Maj. Doyle for your courage, above and beyond that of most of your brother priests!

  3. Where? I ask Tom Doyle, are the results that he says have been made public of this most historic inquiry into “one”, (only “one” )religious order’ s files of absolutely everything that has gone on behind the scenes, ( and for how long??????? ) As he said to me in an answer to my ” why is this so importabnt?” He said it is a beginning and we don’t want to frustrate the progress we’ve already had.This is notthe exact words of his ans. to me but the meaning is there. I question this as it can and has taken thousands of years to even get to this point! What is the point? GOD is GOD and will not be mocked and HE is being mocked on a daily basis by all the members of the rcc.

  4. I must say Fr. Doyle’s article is good, in that it gives us such a real reaction to the truth in his knowing of the truths (and for 30 yrs) in the background checks of the rcc and it seems too be quite accurate. Many say that in the history of the church you do not find clericalism such has imerged in the rcc. So if you think about it, you know that this is NOT the church that was started by Jesus Christ and HIS apostles. .It has been taken over by those who wished to profit in any way they could by being Superior to all.

  5. Many have been stunned with what’s coming to light from the NSW Inquirey too.
    So many links, start with *Newcastle Herald Tears in Court as Victims Statement Read, then just google the first line *Many stunned NSW Inquiry.
    Let’s see whose heads will role.
    There are still so many now adult men wilh unresolved issues from abuse’s committed against them as young children.
    And Rome is awash with a Pope of Peace with his own skeletons leading the way…..

  6. Not sure what the problem is, but I can’t get the link to load. Even when I try to access it directly through Voice From The Desert, the entire site won’t load.

    Anyone else having this problem?

  7. Over this thirty-year period, one item has not changed:

    HUBRIS…..extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.

    There is a slight difference, however. The HUBRIS of the 2013 US Catholic Church leadership comes fully-equipped with an unending stream of sycophantic legal counsel.

  8. Survivor’s wife, Google the title of the essay and include Doyle’s name. There are other cites where his article is published.


  9. I just read the(snap) article re:Fr. Tom Doyle and it’s quite a complicated life he’s led within the rcc. I still can’t imagine, after all he has been through and done to stay in and help the abused ….that he now might not get his retirement at age 60. He deserves to be admired by all but not for staying in but for doing everything in his power to do GOD’S HOLY WILL within this place we all used to call “church”. God Bless you Fr. Doyle.

  10. “… I had no idea how duplicitous and destructive the bishops could be.” (Doyle)

    Over the course of thirty years, Doyle came to realize the extent to which bishops are given to deliberate deceptiveness in behavior and speech, and how destructive it could be.

    Deception works best when the people doing the deceiving are fool enough to be deceived, when they believe their own lies, and when they are naive enough to fall for their own guff. This is what floors me about the bishops. Not that they deceive but that they believe in their own deception. Herein lies the enormous destructiveness of their deception because, as long as they believe in it, there will be an ongoingness to it, there will be no end to them maintaining and defending it.

    A crowd-wisdom, or mob-mentality, or herd-mind, is nurtured in priestly formation and theologically and practically concretized through priestly vows of loyalty and obedience to it. It has the effect of paralyzing individual decision-making. Priests are uninhibited by individual conscience and they display a tendency toward mass or copied behavior, permitting the priestly crowd, mob, or herd morality to override one’s own private signal. Further complicating the matter is that the crowd, mob, or herd nature of the priesthood obliterates Self. Priests are not individuals. They are the persona of the priestly crowd, mob, or herd. Furthermore, the priestly persona is idealized by divine authorization and revelation. Together, these validate and absolutize the morality of the priestly crowd, mob, or herd. This cultish dynamic leads to bishops fool enough to be deceived, to believe in their own lies, and to fall for their own guff.

    It floors me that any human being would be so weak as to fall for this guff.

    At the same time, I am not floored. My parish priest sold ties for Bloomingdale’s in NYC before entering the seminary. The personal pain he endured is palpable when he speaks about it. The main problem was that his experience did not validate his perceived worth. In trading silk ties for silk robes, he got what he believed he deserved– power, respect, love, admiration, influence, support, a closeted-gay community…

    My parish priest flourishes amidst the guff.

    Kate FitzGerald

    1. Kate: I believe you and Michael Ski are talking about the same thing.If this were a greek tragedy[I guess in many ways it is indeed a tragedy], the tragic flaw would be what Michael called Hubris. Extreme pride and arrogance. I suppose if you consider yourself to be Christs’ representative here on earth,you are in effect a mini God. Where is the piety? Where is the humility? Where is the humanity?

  11. Why is it so painful to hear that a young man is going into the priesthood? Former friends of ours…former, because my husband had the audacity to tell the truth and it didn’t look good for the rcc…their son has decided he is going to be a priest.

    Nice young man…that I suspected was questioning his sexuality since middle school…did a 180 in his life and decided the priesthood is his calling. The rcc is going to love him.

    Disturbing comment from his sister, “He is so enamored with this new priest at church.” She said it without a hint of a concern…more matter of fact of why he would make such a drastic decision when his life was going in a different direction.

    I could puke. I know too much.

  12. I was blind to the extent of the abuse when I enter a religious order/seminary, and I was in my 40’s. Recently the uncle of a young man asked me what I thought of him studying for the priesthood.

    I told him of my deep concerns, but I also said if he goes in with his EYES WIDE OPEN I don’t don’t see a problem. I believe that he would benefit from a minor seminary education (undergrad, Jesuit). Most importantly he must have a well thought-out contingency plan in case the environment does not meet his expectations. They can only manipulate you to the extent that you allow them, and that not going to happen if you’re ready for them.

    1. “They can only manipulate you to the extent that you allow them, and that’s not going to happen if you’re ready for them.”

      What kind of advice is that? How can a young man brace himself from a clerical system when it’s the very thing attracting him to it in the first place?

      1. For me it’s analogous to being attracted to military service. The attraction to duty, honor, and country were very alluring. Once I got in and saw the horrors of war, I found out what it was really all about. I was never shot at myself, but I cared for the broken bodies and minds of those who were.

        One can not walk away from the military when things get sour. If it turns out that seminary isn’t for him, go to a different college; students do that in secular schools all the time.

        Have you ever tried to talk a young person out of something that’s not in their best interest, once their heart is set upon it, i.e., career, romance, etc.? I’ve never been able to do it, so I’m open to any suggestions.

        1. Not disagreeing with you…just commenting. I don’t think there is a way of talking people out of their choices. They have the view they do, believe what they believe, and no amount of wisdom, conversation, or logic can convince someone something may be bad from them when they can’t see it themselves. It just makes me (or anyone) look bitter.

          Life will teach them. This young man will follow through with seminary…the “consequences” of leaving would be crushing to his ego and family expectations. Especially the people he has hurt by going into the seminary. He won’t do what you had the courage to do.

          Just rambling.

  13. I heard this song performed last evening. I like the way Van Morrison finds the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost via “no guru (no Pope?), no method (no doctrine?), no teacher (no priests and bishops?).” While he doesn’t say, exactly, he gets there through transcendental meditation. Pure and simple.

    Kate FitzGerald

  14. No one ever “gets there” without obeying the Words almighty God has spoken! It’s as simple as that, but TODAY every man goes his own way, and it was prophesied hundreds of years ago. The bible is the ONLY book that records the future from centuries past , and is CORRECT 100 percent when it does.

  15. If one CHOOSES to enter heaven, by obeying God’s Word- they will enter heaven.
    If one CHOOSES not to obey God’s Word, they will enter Hell [unending separation from God.]

  16. I am often amazed how some people have all the answers to all the questions. As I have gotten older, I have found that I have very few answers. Sometimes I can’t even remember the question. As Billy Joel put it in a line from his song “Virginia”: I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners have much more fun”. As far as heaven and hell are concerned, as a victim of childhood sexual abuse by a Catholic priest,I have already been through hell. Maybe I deserve a little heaven.

Leave a Reply to egunn3000gCancel reply