By Kathy Kane
There are 19 pages highlighting the case of Father Peter Dunne in the 2005 Grand Jury report on the Philadelphia Archdiocese Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal.
“Father Peter J. Dunne, ordained in 1954, served the Philadelphia Archdiocese as a teacher, pastor, administrator of a school for delinquent boys, and assistant director of the Archdiocese scouting program for 40 years. He remained a parish priest for seven and a half years after Archdiocese officials learned, in 1986, that he had sexually abused an altar boy who had been in the priest’s Boy Scout troop. During those seven and a half years, Father Dunne was diagnosed as an untreatable pedophile. He personally paid $40,000 to silence a victim. The Archdiocese was warned repeatedly that he had many victims, that he was most likely continuing to commit sexual offenses, that he should not be in a parish setting, and that he should not be around children or adolescents.”
It recently came to our attention that Dunne’s name is included on a parish website along with other priests who have served at the parish. The section expresses gratitude to all of the priests who have shared their time and talent.
Last year we had to contact the Archdiocese to have the flattering biographical paragraphs of abusive priests Father John Paul and Msgr. John Gillespie removed from a parish website. Gillespie was accused of abusing children at the very parish that still listed his information as a former pastor.
There obviously needs to be Archdiocesan policy on how parishes should handle the inclusion of abusive priests in parish literature and websites. We are asking the C4C community to weigh in. We think a common sense policy would require each parish to list the names of any abusive priest who volunteered or served at that parish. No more whitewashing with information that omits the abuse history of the priest, and no “thank you” to priests who have violated innocent children.
Please share your thoughts on this subject in the comment section or join the conversation on the Catholics4Change facebook page .