Fallen Priests In History and Popular Culture
"Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light;
and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops."
THE CLERGY sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church may be just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. With a millennia-old bureaucracy, there may be some very old, very dark secrets indeed. Here is an archive of articles I published in The Missing Link, the journal of The Linkup, the most important clergy victims advocacy group of the 1990s, accompanied by a collection of important documents concerning the crisis.
Some of the material found here inspired my dark psychological thriller, The Harrowing.
Much was later expanded into my exposé, Sons of Perdition,
Warning: May be upsetting to sensitive individuals,
Priests of Darkness Article Archive Categories:
- Canon Law The Code of Canon Law and several articles on what it means for delinquent priests.
- Cases Some of the most infamous, including Rudy Kos and others from Dallas, and Archbishop Sanchez.
- Vatican Is there a smoking gun? Crimen Sollicitationis and comments.
- Tom Doyle Other articles of interest from the renowned canonist and key figure.
- Regions Official reports on the overall US situation, Boston, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.
A list of nearly 300 films and TV shows with devil-dealing priests, erring evangelists, nasty nuns, bad bishops, and calculating cardinals.
Driving through a Swiss city one day, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, the British filmmaker famous for suspense and thriller movies, suddenly pointed out of the car window and said, "That is the most frightening sight I have ever seen." His companion was surprised to see nothing more alarming than a priest in conversation with a little boy, his hand on the child's shoulder. "Run, little boy," cried Hitchcock, leaning out of the car. "Run for your life!"
The Passion and the Shroud
Film v. Relic
How does the Shroud of Turin match up with Mel Gibson's bloody epic? Is the Shroud really the burial cloth of Jesus? The mystery is even stranger than you may think.
Timeline of the Sex Scandals
A 2,000 Year Cover-Up
A short overview of the most significant facts involving the crisis, including the roles of the Inquisition and the pope.
Catholic Pedophile Priests
The Effect on US Society
The official report on child sexual abuse in the Roman Church in the US masks a lot of shame amid its statistics.
Priests with AIDS
Questions and Controversy
With high percentages of infection among men of the cloth, one has to wonder just how much sexual activity these sworn celibates engage in.
Awful Disclosures But No Longer Unbelievable
Maria Monk Reconsidered
The ongoing clergy abuse scandals have revealed crimes committed by female religious that rival those disbelieved in the 19th century.
The Nuns' Stories
Vatican Condemned for Abuse of Nuns by Priests
"God's wives"are often the first victims of choice for priestly predators.
Hearts of Darkness
Catholic Clergy and African Murders
Secrets of the Catholic Church
If the truth about its erring priests is out there, just where is it buried?
Boys from Brazil, Girls from Brooklyn
A Gay Episcopal Clergy Sex Ring
Bizarre sexual behavior is not indulged in only by depraved Roman Catholic clergy. Heres a story of some strange hanky-panky among high-church Episcopalians in New York.
The Murder of Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl
Clergy Ritual Abuse Illuminated
The trial of Fr. Gerald Robinson is finished, leaving unsettled allegations of underground satanic and other bizarre activities including priests dressing as nuns.
The Devil at Home in Rome
Insiders Claim Satanists Lurk in the Vatican
Vatican efforts to curtail Emmanuel Milingo, a former archbishop and popular exorcist who first accused the Holy See of harboring devil-worshippers.
Malachi Martin and the Enemy Within
Satanic Plots and the Fall of the Roman Church
The late author, a one-time Jesuit and Vatican insider, and his allegations of Freemasonry and Satanism within the Vatican itself.
Mysteries Remain in New Mexico
A Decade After the Clergy Abuse Scandals
The Land of Enchantment was an epicenter in the clergy sex crisis in the early 1990s, and many questions linger even today.
For Catholics, all roads inevitably lead to Rome. Over the centuries, many secrets have come to hide in the shadows of St. Peter's.
Fun facts about the Popes
Some stramge tidbits about the Vicars of Christ. Including anecdotes about the origins and meaning of the papal tiara, and who got to grope the pope and hit him on the head when he died.
Excerpts from an authoritative 19th century academic historical text, the History of Sacerdotal Celibacy within the Christian Church by Henry Charles Lea shows the long and often losing struggle between faith and flesh.
The Black Bequest of the Inquisition
The horror of Abu Ghraib is nothing new.
In Praise of Folly
Giordano Bruno and the Magical Reformation
A tribute to a martyr for free thought.
A fascinating, long-neglected theory on the assassination by one of Lincoln's friends concerning the involvement of Roman Catholics.
Nazi Gold and the Vatican
How Rome Saved Fascists for a Price
There are interesting connections between the wealth of victims of fascist oppression in World War II used by the Vatican to run the "rat lines" whereby the perpetrators escaped and the modern shrine of Medjugorje.
Pius XII and the Holocaust
Wartime Role Questioned
Was the Wartime Pope an anti-semite? Debate still continues.
Secrets of the Vatican
Glimpses Through the Purple Curtain
What does the Pope know about clergy abuse, how much does he know, and when did he know it? If theres a cover-up, who runs it?
And what about those Vatican Secret Archives anyway?
A collection of official reports and articles by experts.
These are the "smoking guns" of the Clergy Sexual Abuse crisis.
Note: Many of these documents are in PDF format, which requires Adobe Acrobat to read.
Here's the documentary proof of Joseph Ratzinger's important influence
from the beginning to the end of the scandals:
Pope Benedict XVI bears a great, but largely unrecognized responsiblity for the clergy sex scandals around the world. As a young man, he wrote a document that helped set the stage for the crisis, and before he ever became pope, he took decisive steps to end it.
(PDF format, 159 KB)
Crimes of Solicitation
(PDF format, 1.7Mb)
Smoking gun or not? This document reveals the secret medieval procedures dictated by the Holy Office, that is, the curial department once known as the Inquisition, issued during the reign of Pope John XXIII before the start of the Second Vatican Council, to deal with priests accused of making sexual advances in the course of hearing confessions and other "worst crimes" including bestiality and sex with minors.
This shows that the Church considered itself above secular law even well into modern times. In order to keep these cases secret, excommunication could be invoked on victims, witnesses, participants and the accused.
At last, there may be an explanation of why bishops have so consistently lied they were just obeying orders from Rome, under penalty of eternal damnation. Or at least that's one interpretation.
Another view comes from a man who should know, renowned canonist and victim advocate, Fr. Tom Doyle. He has written several pieces explaining the nature and content of the document, which are linked below. Other important documents by Fr. Doyle may be found below.
NOTE: Originally in Latin, this typescript translation of Crimen Sollicitationis may be somewhat difficult to read. Note that the use of underlines replaces the italics of the original. Page numbers are included in the text where the original page breaks were located. Text in brackets and parentheses seems to have been included to make the translation more understandable.
Retyped version of Crimen
(9/6/07, PDF format, 124Kb)
An analysis of what it means and how it has affected me as a survivor of clergy abuse, can be found here.
Commentary on Crimen
The 1962 Vatican Document on Solicitation in the Confessional
(8/10/03 PDF format, 55Kb)
The above is his original statement, published shortly after the document became known. In 2006, Fr. Doyle completely revised and expanded his 2003 statement, adding important new historical and contextual background:
The 1962 Vatican Instruction "Crimen Sollicitationis" Promulgated on March 16, 1962
(11/1/06, PDF format, 35Kb)
In 2006, Fr. Doyle yet again revised and expanded his comments. Now he admits that the Inquisition (currently known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or CDF) has been running the coverup all along, just as I have been claiming:
The 1962 Vatican Instruction "Crimen Sollicitationis" Promulgated on March 16, 1962
(4/1/08, PDF format, 36Kb)
These are Doyle's latest comments from 2008 on Crimen Sollicitationis and an identical version of the document that had been issued in 1922.
Vatican cover letter for new policy
(5/18/01, PDF format, 66Kb)
The Vatican's new policy still maintains secrecy, and puts the CDF, the modern form of the Roman Inquisition, back in charge.
Fr. Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., J.C.D., is well-known in survivor circles as an expert and an victim advocate. Involved since the earliest days of the crisis, he has written a number of very informative and important articles and historical documents.
Clergy Sexual Abuse: The First Decade
(17 pages, 57Kb, PDF format)
His insider's look at the early years, including the beginnings of the Linkup, SNAP, and other groups.
As a prominent canon lawyer, here is an article on the secret records that the Vatican requires to be kept by dioceses.
A Short History of The Manual (HTML format)
A brief outline by Fr. Doyle concerning the origins of the book that first outlined the problem and its poor reception by the ecclesiastical hierarchy.
Presented as a summary of The Problem of Sexual Molestation By Roman Catholic Clergy: Meeting the Problem in a Responsible Manner, ( or the Doyle/Mouton Report for short), this is damning evidence. Written in response to the first cases that reached national attention involving Gilbert Gauthe, this 1985 document proves that the American Catholic hierarchy was warned of the on-coming crisis and offered solutions but did nothing (HTML format).
Part 1 (111Kb) Part 2 (65Kb)
Here is the full report in four parts (PDF format).
What Bishops Can Do To Help
(10/17/06 PDF format, 14Kb)
Some recent pastoral suggestions for the bishops from Fr. Doyle.
Revelation of Confessional Matter with Permission
(undated PDF format, 17.5Kb)
An explanation of Canon Law regarding under what circumstances that things said in confession may be revealed.
Review of Sons of Perdition
(10/12/09 PDF format, 8Kb)
A nice review posted by Fr. Doyle at Amazon.com regarding my exposé.
The Code of Canon Law (1983 PDF format 2.62Mb, 290 pgs.)
Here it is, the entire current code, without commentary.
An article by Gregory Ingels, J.C.D., a canon lawyer and author of the "no-tolerance" policy, who has himself been accused of clergy sexual abuse. This essay explains that once given, priestly powers can never be taken away, but at most circumscribed.
Canonical Delicts Involving Sexual Misconduct and Dismissal from the Clerical State
The John Jay Report” (PDF format, 4.13Mb)
This official report, called A Report on the Crisis of the Catholic Church in the United States, was issued by the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People of the USCCB. It was conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, hence the name.
Though purporting to be authoritive, though incomplete, this is surely not yet the end of the story. Nonetheless, its statistics do indeed show that the Roman Church faces an epic crisis due to long-term policies of denial and cover-up. And, giving the recent backtracking from it by the bishops, may have been their last chance to come clean.
"After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese released information from the confidential personnel files of 126 clergymen accused of sexual abuse.
"The records, which summarize the files of the clergy, show that for more than 75 years the Archdiocese shipped priests accused of abuse between therapy and new assignments, often ignoring parishioners' complaints.
"The confidential files were released as part of the settlement talks in a civil suit with lawyers for 560 accusers. Much of the information has already been published in various forms, but the documents offer details in a number of cases.
"Archdiocese and plaintiff attorneys had agreed earlier to release the information, but earlier this year attorneys for the accused clergymen succeeded in blocking the publication of the information, arguing it would violate their clients' privacy rights.
"An appellate court ordered the documents released last month. "(AP, Oct. 12, 2005)
Here are both reports, the first from February, 2004, and an addendum from October 2005.
The Massachusetts Attorney General's Report
(PDF format, 1.39Mb)
As a result of the scandals in Boston, a Grand Jury probed the dealings of the Archdiocese. While they failed to uncover sufficient evidence to indict Cardinal Bernard Law and his subordinates, they did uncover almost 1,000 victims of nearly 250 priests since 1940, reflecting a long-term pattern of abuse and cover-up.
For his efforts, Law has been rewarded with a cushy job in the Vatican.
A little noted document with important background information on abuse in suburban New York.
A shocking report issued in September, 2005, by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Grand Jury found rampant and often ritualistic child abuse in Pennsylvania throughout the twentieth century.
According to the D.A.'s Office, there is no possibility of bringing criminal charges against the newly discovered perpetrators nor the Archdiocese. Nor is there a chance of bringing charges against Cardinals Bevilacqua and Krol, or Secretary for Clergy Monsignor William J. Lynn.
Here is the report, split up into the main section with appendices, plus the Archdiocese's response and the D.A's criticism. Note: Each section of the report actually begins on page 2 and contains the index and dedication pages for the full report. All are in PDF format.
May be very disturbing to victims/survivors. Use care in reading.
The Grand Jury Report (424 pages, 1.9Mb)
Appendix A: Catalogue of Sexually Abusive Priests (97 pages, 635Kb)
Appendix B: List of Assignments of Sexually Abusive Priests (27 pages, 151Kb)
Appendix C: Archdiocesan Priest Biographical Profiles
Appendix E: Glossary of Terms (6 pages, 117Kb)
Response of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (73 pages, 515Kb)
District Attorney's Examination of the Response (30 pages, 136Kb)
This report, issued in November, 2009 by the Irish Repubic's Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, details the failure of the Irish Catholic Church and the police to deal with sexual abuse in Dublin. Though edited with many sections missing, it condemns virtually the entire hierarchy as well as hundreds of perpetrators. It includes information about the Servants of the Paraclete but also of a treatment center set up byh the Hospitallers of St. John of God to treat criminal clerical child molesters in 1994. This is therefore smoking gun evidence of a criminal conspiracy to cover up child abuse at the very highest levels of the Irish Catholic Church and the Vatican. All files are in PDF format.
During the Rudy Kos trial in Dallas, which resulted in the largest settlement up to that time, several documents surfaced written by experts on clergy sexual abuse that expose the history of the crisis in the United States and the lack of proper action by the Roman Catholic Church.
The Kos Files the whole grim story.
Written by psychotherapist, researcher and former priest, A. W. Richard Sipe (A Secret World; Sex, Priests and Power), this contains important background information on the situation in general and the Dallas cases in particular.
In January 1994, disgraced former-Archbishop Robert Sanchez of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, gave a deposition over several days in regard to cases involving his own exploitation of young women, the crimes of former priests Jason Sigler, James Porter and the long-disappeared Arthur Perrault, among others, the Servants of the Paraclete treatment program, and his own failure to act. Though heavily edited by a judge, with many names and details deleted, this document still gives invaluable insights into the scandal.
The Secrets of Archbishop Sanchez
An analysis of his statements.
During the 1990s, one of the leading clergy abuse survivor support groups in the country was The Survivors of Clergy Abuse Linkup. It's gone now, but the archives of its news summary columns, Black Collar Crimes, give a glimpse into the global clergy abuse crisis from April 1997 to August 2002.
The president of The Linkup through much of its existence was Fr. Tom Economus, a clergy abuse survivor, Independent Catholic priest, and unsung hero of the movement. He died in 2002 just as the scandals in Boston were taking off.
Here is a memorial site in his honor, adapted from the one originally put up at the now-defunct Linkup site. It also contains an interview for PBS' FRONTLINE that was posted online but never used on-air.
Thanks for visiting!
¡Vaya con Díos!