There are 19 pages highlighting the case of Fr Peter Dunne in the 2005 Grand Jury report of the Philadelphia Archdiocese. ” 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.”
Recently it came to our attention that Fr 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 Fr John Paul and Msgr John Gillespie removed from a parish website. Msgr Gillespie was accused of abusing children at the very parish that still listed his information as a former pastor.
While there obviously needs to be Archdiocesan policy on how all parishes should handle the issue of abusive priests being included in parish literature and websites, we are asking the C4C community to weigh in. We think that a common sense policy should be that each parish has a section on their website listing any abusive priest who has served at the parish. No more whitewashing with information that omits the abuse history of the priest, and no “thank- you’s” 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 .