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Church Sexual Misconduct Resource Page

Table of Contents

The newest material is at the top of each section 

I. A Note from Al

II. Moving Forward: How Are Church And State Responding to Misconduct?

II A.Diocesan Responses

II B. Reports, Settlements and Lists of Accused

II C. Actions by the Vatican, USCCB and Dioceses

II D. Actions by the State

II E. Theodore McCarrrick

II F. Cardinal Pell

II G. Diocese of Buffalo

II H. Diocese of Wheeling

II I. Outside the US

II J. Other News

III. Coverage of Bishops’ Meetings

IV. Archbishop Vigano

V. Related Coverage

VI. Pastoral Advice

VII. What Went Wrong

VIII. The Co-Responsibility of the Laity – What does the Church Say?

IX: The Laity Take Action – How to Get Involved

X. Join the Conversation

XI. Recommended Reading

I. A Note from Al

Dear friends, partners in the gospel, listeners and lurkers,

Since we began this page at the end of summer 2018 much has happened. Most striking has been a renewed call by the bishops for fraternal correction and co-responsibility of the lay faithful.

The U.S. bishops hold more diverse emphases than most of the engaged laity realize.

  • Many are admirable and aspire to fulfill their calling as bishops. These are “gospel”, i.e., evangelical Catholic men. They want proclamation of the gospel to be their calling card. They are promoting the New Evangelization, i.e., evangelizing the baptized and catechizing the converted. Applying the true teaching of the Church and exercising sound pastoral judgment is what they are all about. Making saints, the universal call to holiness is our shared lifetime project.
  • Some are careerists. They are driven by personal ambition not called by Christ. So they receive the episcopacy as the reward of a career in religious corporate ladder climbing. They don’t engage in serious pastoral or theological work unless it is an invitation from a USCCB committee to write a white paper. They often like brick and mortar and see themselves as corporate CEOs or branch managers of Vatican Inc. Their theology changes with the papacy. Truth is defined by what those in power need to hear to promote them or back their projects. Clericalism serves them well by conferring upon them a spiritual/moral stature they could not sustain without the trappings of office.
  • There are others who see the Church as a platform for the pushing of a political vision, kind of the UN at prayer. They like the “let your conscience be your guide” moral misunderstanding. “Conscience” becomes the sentimental judgment determined by the persuasive power of the marketing slogans and political epithets of their adolescence.  They want the democratization of doctrine because they have lost faith in any coherent revelation that can be known by reading the Bible. They like religion bounded by reason or rather a religion without revelation. They resent American Catholics who see abortion as the morally defining issue of this generation. They are embarrassed by the Church’s opposition to same sex acts or homosexual marriage. These issues don’t buy them cultural approval. They prefer global warming, global politics. UNICEF rather than Cross-Catholic Relief Services.  They believe the Church needs to open wide its doors not so much to Christ but to the world.
  • Still, there are others who like “religion” with its pageantry, costuming, incense, artwork, production. They gather people together for religious, inspirational entertainment, liturgical or otherwise, and are often comfortable as the star attraction. They will go to where the miters, relics and alleged apparitions can provide a festival of faith even though the participants are often kept ignorant of Catholic doctrine or bereft of the corporal works of mercy.  They can be highly traditional or charismatic depending upon their own temperament. But they value form over substance, structure over authentic Spiritual power. At heart, they are thespians who need an audience, a stage, a platform upon which to perform. I think these are in short supply because other members of the hierarchy resist colleagues who grandstand. This kind of person is often weeded out and ends up among evangelicals and Pentecostals where the show must always go on but they don’t have to answer to any other bishops or a pope.
  • Some few remind me of Dorothy Day’s identification with the poor and marginalized but who don’t trust politics of the left or the right. They see that clericalism aligns itself with secular elites that dominate the masses. They see many of the ordained as complicit in absolving those who control the poverty of millions. The old Christian world, not the Catholic Faith, “evolved into the corporation society, a society dedicated to money, to paper to machines, to wealth, to economics, to mechanical evolution, to the meaning of the laboring masses, to a massification of finance in the manipulative hands of the privileged few.” They are functional pacifists since they believe that war is almost always the business plan of elites.

In spite of their differences, a large majority, want to see a united witness in accord with Pope Francis, Benedict XVI and John Paul II. There are some, however, who read the stylistic differences between Pope Francis and his predecessors as a break in the tradition.   A few others might say that the differences are far more than style. While this is absolutely true but how different? Francis has a different vision of moral theology than John Paul II.  But how different? Some of the questions raised by the Holy See’s slap down of the American bishops in November 2018 won’t be satisfactorily answered for a while. Does Pope Francis have something to hide from the American bishops? Does Pope Francis fear that American bishops when they are united on a solution might make it more difficult for him to impose his agenda?  Does he just want to insure that the global norms he has instituted won’t be upstaged by the Americans, who many European Catholic leaders who think are too compliant with Church teaching, too focused on what God has said?

I want to especially draw your attention to a 32-page reader entitled What We, the Laity, Are Reading That Is Shaking Us to the Core compiled by Janet Smith, myself and others. Also, check out the group  No More Victims headed up by attorney Jason Negri.  The group began in September 2018 and has seen two priests removed from their assignments in the Diocese of Lansing.  One was suspended; the other had his faculties revoked. I mention this because when a mature Catholic laity takes co-responsibility for the Church we can act more effectively as one body.

Archbishop Carlos Maria Viganò has described how “corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy” and that “Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.”

Who is Viganò to make such a troubling claim? He was the second ranked Vatican administrator to Pope Benedict XVI and former papal nuncio to the United States. He holds doctorates in both canon and civil law. For decades he worked in the highest echelons of the Church and was trusted with clear access to the damning information he reports.

Archbishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix said “I have always known and respected him as a man of truthfulness, faith and integrity…Archbishop Viganò’s testimony [must] be taken seriously by all, and that every claim that he makes be investigated thoroughly.”

My prayer is that this resource page will motivate Catholic laity to turn their moral outrage into decisive action.  Yes, I will pray and fast. Yes, I will continue, by God’s grace, to deepen my relationship with Jesus.  But I will also apply St Paul’s commands to love, pray for, encourage, forgive, exhort and admonish our bishops. It is the opportune time to begin treating our bishops and priests like fellow Christians with distinct gifts but no more gifted or called than any member of Christ’s body.  They are called to serve the people of God and we now need them to push for a thorough investigation into the truth or falsity of Archbishop Vigano’s claims. If the Church won’t do it, the secular press, secular government or independent Catholic journalists using private investigators will.

Why is it so important for lay Catholics to act right now? Because positive action right now might turn a nightmare of corrupt clergy into a vision of consecrated laity. Remember what Pope Benedict taught so clearly: You as a baptized Christian bear co-responsibility for Christ’s body, the Church. You must not merely cooperate or collaborate with the ordained. You must show by your engagement that the Church is not the possession of the ordained. They don’t “own” it.

We are not asking for Pope Francis to resign. We are not asking for a lynching or mindless mob chest beating. We are asking for the transparency that leads to truth. Today we ask for a thorough investigation. Later, we will discuss other things laity can do to bring healing to victims, justice to perpetrators, and glory to God and help to the world that it might see Jesus in the midst of His body, the Church.

So please contact your bishop. You can find the address of your bishop at this USCCB website Comprehensive Diocese and Bishop Address List

I suggest you send a snail mail rather than email.  Many bishops still think in terms of letters rather than email or twitter.  But don’t worry. IF you can only do email, do it. Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good.  ACT.

Take co-responsibility for Christ’s Church.  Follow this link for tips on writing your Bishop.

When you have written your letter, make sure copies are sent to the president of the USCCB who himself has already called for an investigation. He will need your letters to sustain him through the tough times ahead.  Then, also write the Apostolic Nuncio and copy everything you sent to the bishops.  Remember you are writing not to accuse and alienate but to stand for truth and transparency.

Comprehensive Diocese and Bishop Address List


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II. Moving Forward: How Are Church And State Responding to Misconduct?

II A.Diocesan Responses

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II B. Reports, Settlements and Lists of Accused

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  • II D. Actions by the State

  • Critics Say Utah Confession Bill Would Criminalize Priests, Not Counter Sex Abuse
  • Lawsuit on Disclosure of Abuse Claims Allowed to Proceed Against Pittsburgh Diocese
  • Ex-priest gets 9-year prison sentence for child pornography
  • Phoenix priest indicted for alleged sexual misconduct
  • Priest gets probation for ‘unnatural acts’ on a minor
  • First clergy abuse suits under new California law announced
  • Diocese challenges law allowing more time to file abuse suit
  • Six California Dioceses Subpoenaed in Sex Abuse Investigation
  • Open Windows for Reporting Expected to Trigger Surge of New Abuse Cases
  • California sex abuse law likely to spur thousands of claims
  • Colorado Church abuse victims eligible for unlimited payouts
  • Prosecutor: Evidence doesn’t support charges against priest
  • Case dismissed against New York priest accused of abuse
  • Missouri AG refers 12 former clerics for prosecution
  • What we need to know about RICO
  • Cincinnati priest arrested and indicted for sexually abusing minor
  • Catholic Church in Wisconsin opposes bill attacking seal of confession
  • Window Opens for Abuse Victim Suits as New York Law Comes in to Effect
  • California confession law dropped
  • Michigan AG Dana Nessel authorizes 21 sexual misconduct charges against 5 priests
  • Statement from Archdiocese of Detroit 
  • Statement from Diocese of Lansing 
  • California confession bill amended, but still would require priests to violate seal
  • Police search Dallas diocesan chancery
  • New Jersey extends statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims
  • The Seal of the Confessional is Under Attack in California 
  • California bill targets Catholic priests first, but rights of all religions are at risk
  • Suspended Catholic priest gets two years for sexual assault of teen
  • Supporters of Viganò: CLICK HERE to see where your bishop stands

    Critics of Viganò:

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    VII. What Went Wrong

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    VIII. The Co-Responsibility of the Laity – What does the Church Say?

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    IX: The Laity Take Action – How to Get Involved

  • Committee to recommend Australian bishops give laity certain controls
  • How parishes can help address the epidemic of domestic abuse
  • Director: Victims call new film on abuse ‘the French “Spotlight”‘
  • Laity Are at the Heart of Archbishop Chaput’s Legacy
  • CWF Submission to Vatican February Meeting
  • Gaylord Diocesan Watch 
  • Catholic Laity for Orthodox Bishops and Reform 
  • The role of the laity and the sex scandal
  • Laity Step In, Call Bishops to Repentance and Reform
  • What We, the Laity, are Reading that is Shaking Us to our Core: A Reader 
  • No More Victims: A nonprofit group to help survivors share their stories
  • Catholic Women author Open Letter to Pope Francis: Click Here to Sign
  • Catholic Men author Open Letter to Pope Francis: Click Here to sign.
  • The Red Hat Report: Should Laypeople Investigate Cardinals?
  • The Business of Pastoral Leadership – New Program Trains Priests to be Pastors
  • Wear Gray
  • Catherine Commission
  • Better Church Governance enlists the help of ex-FBI agents
  • Becoming the Solution: How Ordinary Catholics Can Help to Reform Their Church
  • What lay Catholics are doing in the face of the sex abuse scandal
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        • X. Join the Conversation

    Your Questions Answered

    Letters to Al 

    Webcasts with Al, Teresa and other Catholic Experts

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    • XI. Recommended Reading

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    XII. The Bishops Respond:

    Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo (USCCB President) — Aug. 16 Statement

    Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo (USCCB) — Aug. 1 Statement

    Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron (Detroit) — Aug. 13 Statement (PDF)

    Bishop James Conley (Lincoln)Aug. 31 Statement 

    Bishop Thomas Rodi (Mobile) – Aug. 22 Statement

    Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio (Military Services) — Aug. 20 Statement

    Archbishop Alexander K. Sample (Portland, Oregon) — Aug. 20 Statement (PDF)

    Bishop Robert J. Baker (Birmingham, Alabama) — Aug. 20 Statement (PDF)

    Bishop Thomas Paprocki (Springfield) — Aug. 19 Statement

    Bishop Robert Morlino (Madison) — Aug. 18 Statement

    Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone (San Francisco) — Aug. 17 Statement (PDF)

    Greg Burke (Holy See Press Office) — Aug. 16 Coverage

    Bishop Lawrence Presico (Erie, PA) – Aug 14 Statement

    Bishop William A Wack (Pensacola) – Aug. 15 Statement 

    Bishop Mark Bartchak (Altoona-Johnstown) — Aug. 14 Statement

    Bishop Alfred Schlert (Allentown) — Aug. 14 Statement

    Bishop Ronald W. Gainer (Harrisburg) — Aug. 14 Statement

    Bishop David Zubik (Pittsburgh) — Aug. 14 Statement

    Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (Philadelphia) — Aug. 14 Statement

    Bishop Edward C. Malesic (Greensburg) — Aug. 13 Homily

    Bishop James Johnston (Kansas City-St Joseph) – Aug. 10 Blog

    Bishop Peter Libasci (Manchester) – Aug. 10 Statement 

    Bishop Robert Barron (Auxiliary Bishop in Los Angeles) — Aug. 9 Column

    Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory (Atlanta) — Aug. 9 Statement

    Bishop W. Shawn McKnight (Jefferson City) — Aug. 9 Statement

    Bishop Shelton Fabre (Houma-Thibodaux) – Aug. 9 Statement

    Bishop James Checchio (Metuchen) – Aug. 9 Statement

    Bishop Andrew Bellisario (Juneau) Aug. 7 Statement

    Bishop Chad Zielinski (Fairbanks) – Aug. 6 Statement

    Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger (Albany) — Aug. 6 Statement

    Bishop Michael Burbidge (Arlington) – Aug. 3 Statement 

    Archbishop Dennis Schnurr (Cincinnati)Aug. 3 Statement

    Bishop Paul Bradley (Kalamazoo) – Aug. 3 Statement

    Cardinal Donald Wuerl (Washington) — Aug. 3 Statement

    Bishop Richard F. Stika (Knoxville) — Aug. 3 Statement

    Bishop Mark Seitz (El Paso) – Aug. 2 Statement

    Bishop Daniel Thomas (Toledo) Aug. 2 Statement

    Archbishop Paul Etienne (Anchorage) – Aug 1 Statement

    Bishop Christopher Coyne (Burlington) – Aug. 1 statement 

    Bishop David Walkowiak (Grand Rapids) – July 30 Statement

    Bishop Barry Knestout (Richmond) – July 30 Statement 

    Bishop Michael Olson (Ft. Worth) –  July 28 Statement

    Cardinal Sean O’Malley (Boston) – July 25 statement



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