Where’s the Windex? Church Transparency Is Cloudy on Father Paul


by Susan Matthews

First Father Paul resigned from Our Lady of Calvary, where he remained as pastor while under investigation and review for two allegations of child sex abuse. A week later, without announcement, the archdiocese temporarily removed his faculties and he will not be able to celebrate Mass in public pending the outcome of the canonical investigation. This has been confirmed by an archdiocesan official. The only reason we discovered Father Paul’s removal is because Kathy Kane monitors the clergy list for just such changes.

– Why, after leaving him as pastor during much of the investigation, remove him from ministry now?

– Why wasn’t there a public announcement of this removal? Other victims might be prompted to come forward.

– Do the parishioners of Our Lady of Calvary know Father Paul has been temporarily removed from ministry? The families were not informed of the allegations until he resigned. The archdiocese did not consider them “pertinent parties.” Which is odd, given the Safe Environment statement on the Archdiocesan website. “Parents are the first and most influential teachers of children and are responsible for their spiritual, moral, emotional, physical, and intellectual development. This is an awesome and sometimes daunting responsibility. When armed with proper information, parents can best protect their children from predators.”

One thing is very clear, the archdiocese isn’t concerned about arming parents with that information. In fact, they’ll keep it from them.

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23 Responses to “Where’s the Windex? Church Transparency Is Cloudy on Father Paul”

  1. This whole case has been so odd and maybe the lowest point was the article on Catholic Philly that discussed his resignation..the fact that he was being investigated for sexual abuse allegations and then his future travel plans..That is always appropriate..the future travel plans of a priest accused of abusing children. Is this the new normal? At least we have confirmation of the removal..I wonder if there will be a follow up article on Catholic Philly.

    • Reminds one of the old Willie Nelson tune, quite appropriate for clergy under investigation for criminal sexual abuse……..

      “ON THE ROAD AGAIN”

      And I can’t wait to get on the road again.
      On the road again –
      Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
      We’re the best of friends.

      Also, known as the anthem for the ” Itinerant Pedophile “

      • As a Texan I resent your using a Willie Nelson tune in reference to a pedophile. I suggest AC/DC’s On the Highway To Hell instead!

  2. As Thanksgiving approaches I want to express my utmost gratitude for the perseverance of Susan and Kathy in making information available to the public on this blog and in person.

    Blessings on you both!

  3. Susan:I think maybe they used extra strength windex on the Proud Alumni of Bishop McDevitt Facebook page. From what I understand the site has been taken down.Either they are no longer proud or the heat got too hot. Very interesting!

    • Incorrect Jim – the site is still there.

      • Thank you owlfan. My mistake.

        • Yes they are there..Facebook seemed to be having some technical problems and I could not access a group that I belong to earlier today.
          This Archbishop Prendergast alum is so proud of the Bishop McDevitt alumni and their efforts in this situation..There were 3 priests now removed from ministry that were at Prendie during the years I attended..we can all relate..

  4. I have clue why I continue to be shocked…it’s as if I actually believe they’ve magically changed! …just because they said they did.

    We know all how they operate… and yet, somehow, they continue to find new “spin doctors” to do their dirty work for them…cover it up, gloss over it, craft carefully worded responses to the few people that DARE to question them.

    If the AD has essentially kicked this guy out…where does he go? Does he just fade into the community and move next door to you and me? Will they BOTHER to make sure that he doesn’t find a job as a boyscout leader, teacher, coach, children’s shoe salesman? According to Mary Achilles, when I posed this question to her, they have NO IDEA where they go!

    • Margaret,
      If a priest is removed from ministry…they land in “prayer and penance” places…usually retreat centers, or seminaries, or parishes that are off the beaten path or media radar. Since he was removed, you’ll be hard pressed to find him now. The AD will hide him, make him keep a low profile, and hire babysitters for him all on the parishioner’s dime. But, don’t be fooled again…the babysitters are nothing more than other priests who live near the accused priest. It’s a recipe for disaster.

      No transparency means they are hiding even more. THIS is what you can dig up and find. Can we imagine what else they are hiding? The victims know.

      I believe the victims.

      • Only priests that “agree” to stay away from children or haven’t made too much of a spectacle can “retire” to prayer and penance places. The rest are laicized…sent out into the public and no one bothers to make sure that they are staying away from children. Very upsetting!

        • It is a fact, they are laicized, simply fired from at that point, their job. There is absolutely no one looking after them or their actions. Case in point, when I was molested and brought it to their attention, they simply stated that there has been no other credible instances where this priest had done this to another, besides yourself. He has been laicized. Now a travel agent in Harrisburg for AAA and no oversight whatsoever is or ever has been placed upon him. He molested me, I reported it and they F I R E D H I M. I suppose at that point he looked for a job that was the only other thing that he knew how to do. I will state he should be looked after

    • Margaret, the AD knows exactly where all of these priests go…they’re just not sharing the info. I’m sure the AD offers them a very sweet deal in exchange for “disappearing” and makes all the necessary arrangements for a smooth transition into their new lifestyle. The AD needs them to stay content and secretive about what they’ve seen and heard and know about whom. Besides, a dependable address will be needed to which to send his pension check.

      • I was told that for now he is in a private residence and subject to a monitoring and support plan (whatever that means) until the Archbishop makes his decision. No time line given.

        • Why is my sentence HELL and theirs is a cozy private residence, most likely all expenses paid? Who monitored me and supported me when I just wanted to die? I begged the church and Oblates to help me and all the ever did was screw around with me and lie to me. Why does he get to be comfortable? He should be in jail! 4 ft X 4ft cell, no windows, no doors, no sunlight. Given the very bare minimum of water and food, just barely enough to live on and barely enough to live a long, long rest of his life in darkness and terror. He should be confined to constant darkness and the cold cement floor to sleep on. No timeline sounds good too just as long as he will be left there forever!

          Why do they get comfort? What the hell do we ever get? Nothing, except being raped and called “liars” from their pulpits!

  5. Dear Margaret,
    Perfectly said. It is unbelievable. It is so hard to digest, isn’t it? I cry in frustration and sadness for all the victims, as I personally watch and support a loved survivor go through ECT, hospitalizations, PTSD, etc. to try to get a ruined life back to some kind of normalcy. I am cheering on all survivors and their families, as they go through the process of tying to heal. Thank you for listening…

  6. Hiding and denying is what the rcc does well, be advised that the former principal of archbishop ryan high school who stole about one million dollars has been approved for parole and wants to serve his parole in Wisconsin where the franciscan order he belongs to is located, and where he cohort regis howitz is living, all done without the knowledge of the public

  7. I am new to this important site on solidarity to the protection of children. Thus, my comment here may have been raised before and I didn’t know: have you included as part of your work and information to us what the Vatican expects, demands, or is working on in regards to the bishops and priests at the diocesan level—in regards to abuse of children? If mistakes are being made do all of them go back to the Archdiocese? Or do some go to a higher level?

    • Hi Geoff, Welcome to the site. All roads lead to Rome. This is a global Church issue. The United Nations put the Vatican on its list of human rights abusers for the clergy child sex abuse and coverup in Ireland. There were other major European coverups – such as in Germany. In the US, there have been major coverups in Boston, LA, Detroit, St. Paul and on and on. Whatever the Vatican has done, and you can use our search function to find related posts, it hasn’t been enough. There have been some mistakes, but there have been far too many calculated moves as well. We discovered this during the Msgr. Lynn trial. The inter office memos showed in black and white what can only be called the most evil deception of not just Bevilacqua but those around him. What has the Vatican done to punish and ensure this never ever happens again? Weakly-worded statements of apology add insult to the injuries that continue. I have hope for this Pope and hope for the Church to reform from within. But relying on that hope puts children at risk. I will rely on those who have proven themselves to be protectors of children. It seems reform only comes via the legal system. To that end, a good starting point here is removing the PA statute of limitations on child sex abuse. Obstacles: The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and Archbishop Chaput.

  8. Truth is my Windex. It washes away the darkness so that the light can shine through.

  9. I used to think that when you reported to the Bishop and asked for an investigation that the Church was searching for the truth. Imagine my naiveté! They weren’t looking for truth they were looking to see if Mother Church’s metaphorical slip was showing. In other words was there any information out there that could give credence to the claim of abuse that was being made, or were they safe in saying, Sorry, there have been no other reports (lie) and we have investigated fully (lie) and find no basis for your accusations. They didn’t even interview the other victims I named for them! Why should they, they certainly didn’t want to uncover more information against the priest in question. And if these victims weren’t coming forward of their own accord there was no reason to bother them. Let silent victims (sleeping dogs) lie.
    The Church’s bottom line is not the truth, not justice for victims, not protection of children. Their bottom line is “damage control.” Pure and simple. They would rather pay millions to lawyers than thousands to victims.
    Sorry…ranting!

  10. Mona,
    I am laughing (because there HAS to be just a smidgeon of funniness in this whole seamy, criminal affair) at my Naivety too. Do you know how many times I called that “so called Victim Support Line” about what had happened to my brother, and the kind, reassuring answers that I got are sickening in afterthought. And, correct me if I am wrong, didn’t something come out later about the corruption of that hotline? I don’t know if I’ll ever, ever trust the AD again, and have finally come to the conclusion that I really don’t care!
    It is not my habit to keep company with liars and people that take advantage of unsuspecting children, ESPECIALLY because I am the mother of a child with many special needs. She sure would have been ripe for the picking.
    OK – my rant is over too. Thanks, one and all!!

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