References (1)97 Clergy Child Molesters

24 A.D. approx.: Jesus Christ said: "But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith in me, it would be better for him that a millstone were hung about his neck, and that he were drowned in the deep sea. ... alas for that man who provides the causes of falling." (Bible, Matthew 18:6, 7; and see Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2)
2nd Century A.D. book: The Didache, the oldest existing commentary on the gospels, early second century, commands in item 2.2: "Thou shalt not seduce young boys." (pronounce Didache "di dah KAY".) -- adapted from Barry Coldrey book, Religious Life Without Integrity, 2002, P & B Press, Como (W.A.), page 27.
  A list of online translations of the Didache is at www.earlychri= . Some variant translations found on the Internet are: "You will not sodomize young boys" at http://reluctant-mess , "you shall not seduce boys" idache.html , "thou shalt not corrupt boys" and http :// , "thou shalt not corrupt youth" ache.html , and "you shall not commit pederasty" at ers/0714.htm
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309 A.D., Council of Elvira, expulsion proposed: The earliest Church council after the Council of Jerusalem for which records exist took place at Elvira in 309 A.D. This council proposed irrevocable* exclusion for those who sexually abuse boys (Canon 71). That is, they were not to receive the Sacrament of Communion even at the point of death. (Based on Religious Life Without Integrity, p 27, Barry Coldrey, 2001, ISBN 0-9586413-1-5, $17.95, P & B Press, PO Box 81, Como, WA, 6952 Tel 08 9450 2513, Fax 9226 4346 [email protected] /~pbpress . See tegrity-toc.html )

1908: Did Chesterton warn early in 20th century? The Catholic convert and apologist, essayist, critic, and novelist, Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-16) linked protection of children (prophetically?) and his doubts about celibacy in a 1908 book. He also noted the connection between "virginity" beliefs and paganism: "I have not myself any instinctive kinship with that enthusiasm for physical virginity, . . . Paganism . . . Greeks . . . Artemis . . . Romans . . . vestals . . . (p 269) For any man who loves children will agree that their peculiar beauty is hurt by a hint of physical sex. . . . It takes all sorts to make a church; she does not ask me to be celibate. . . . I have no appreciation of the celibates . . ." (p 270) -- Orthodoxy, Gilbert K. Chesterton, 1949 (first edition 1908), Bodley Head, London, pp 269-70.
1920: Christian Brother sentenced in Perth: in December 1920, Brother Philip Carmody was sentenced by the Supreme Court in Perth to nine years gaol on three charges of "indecent dealing beyond the course of nature" at Clontarf. -- Barry Coldrey, book The Scheme: The Christian Brothers and Childcare in Western Australia, pp 385-388, 19, Argyle Pacific Publishing, O'Connor, Western Australia, cited in Bruce Blyth, book In the Shadow of the Cross, p 73, (1997 P & B Press, PO Box 81, Como, WA, 6952, ISBN 0646337741, $24.95)

MODERN ALERTS -- 1947 W. Australian Government, 1954 W. Australia Brothers, 1967 U.S. bishops invited to hear at Notre Dame University, 1971 R.C. worldwide Synod of Bishops, 1975 and 1988-89 Newfoundland R.Cs., 1983-84 Protestant Clergy, 1984-85 then 19 U.S. R.Cs., 1987 West Australia Protestants and R.Cs., 2001 world and U.K. R.Cs.

1947: Western Australian Government told child immigration had undesirable effects: In 1947 the Secretary of the Child Welfare Department of Western Australia wrote to his Minister about the proposal to resume bringing child migrants to Catholic institutions: "The 18-39 scheme in many ways was disastrous. Children brought out under this scheme became anti-social, anti-Australian and anti-Christ, and some of them unfortunately have returned to the Old Country, not at all satisfied with the treatment received at the hands of the authorities here. This at all costs must be avoided in the future." Refer Bruce Blyth (pp 10-11), book In the Shadow of the Cross, (1997).
1954: Australian Christian Brothers' leaders knew: In 1954 Brother P.L.Duffy, an assistant to the Christian Brothers' Superior-General in Ireland, wrote to Brother Carroll, a member of the local council in Melbourne: " ... I think you would be well advised to let Brother L. O'Doherty know during the next visitation of the desirability of keeping Brother Lambert Wise away from all supervision of the boys except, perhaps, when they are in the field. His relations with boys have given rise for concern before and for everybody's sake the greatest care should be taken to protect both him and the boys." Brother O'Doherty, one-time principal of Castledare and Clontarf in Western Australia, was asked during a Melbourne court case in 1994 if he had received this direction, but he said he had not. Refer Bruce Blyth (pp 100-01), (1997), in the Shadow of the Cross

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1964: Father James Porter (U.S.). In March 1964, Monsignor Humberto Medeiros -- later archbishop of Boston, and later again a cardinal -- admitted to Bishop Connolly that Porter had molested 30 or 40 children during his years at St. Mary's. (Some published estimates place the number at more than 100.) Still, no action was taken, until Porter embarrassed the church with his arrest for molesting a 13-year-old boy in New Hampshire. State police obliged the church by escorting Porter to the Massachusetts border and setting him free. -- The Crime Library, "Father James Porter: Pedophile Priest," Michael Newton, www.crimelibra= . Month the abuse was advised by Mons. Medeiros to Bishop Connolly was March 1964
1967: Public discussion in U.S.A.: "The first [U.S.] public discussion of priest sexual abuse of minors was at a meeting sponsored by the National Association for Pastoral Renewal held ... [U.S.] Notre Dame University in 1967. All American Catholic bishops were invited to that meeting." -- A. W. Richard Sipe, psychotherapist (member Benedictine order 1953-70), in the Sipe Report, paragraph 22,
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1983-84: Half Protestant clergy at fault, see "Cease Clergy Sexual Abuse" website at http://www.advocateweb.= org/cease/csa.htm by Frances Park, including a doctoral thesis by Richard Blackmon, saying that 50 per cent of Protestant clergy responding to a survey admitted to having sexual contact with parishioners (adult as well as child), written in 1983-84
1985: The seeming sanctity of the Catholic Church (U.S.A.) received a huge crack in 1985 with the grotesque revelations coming out of the swampy Cajun country in rural Louisiana about Fr Gilbert Gauthe who had molested scores of boys. His story was picked up by the major news wire services, the television networks, and the print media. See "Survivors of Clergy Abuse in Catholic Seminaries" at
1985: In Australia, there was huge adverse publicity regarding the repeat offender Father Michael Glennon when he faced new charges for sexually interfering with five boys and one girl aged 12 to 16. The trial was aborted when broadcaster Derryn Hinch publicised Glennon's previous offence/s (see 1978 above). Hinch was gaoled for 12 days and fined $15,000 for contempt of court. Glennon was eventually tried in 1991, found guilty of attempted anal penetration and two counts of bu..ery with violence and without consent, being sentenced to nine years gaol. Refer Bruce Blyth (1997, p 111), In the Shadow of the Cross; event 1985

1985: Nation= al Catholic Reporter U.S.A. saw the Sex Abuse Crisis in 1985, and named molesting priests in an attempt to get the bishops to act: "Priest child abuse cases victimizing families; bishops lack policy response." In cases throughout the nation, the Catholic church is facing scandals and being forced to pay millions of dollars in claims to families whose sons have been molested by Catholic priests. These are serious and damaging matters that have victimized the young and innocent and fuel old suspicions against the Catholic church and a celibate clergy. But a related and broader scandal seemingly rests with local bishops and a national Episcopal leadership that has, as yet, no set policy on how to respond to these cases. As the articles in this issue show: In a decision following considerable internal discussion, the National Catholic Reporter decided to publish the names of the priests involved, though not those of the boys and their families. In each case, these priests have already been named in open court or in legal depositions, and they have been the subjects of national wire service or national magazine coverage. ... Publication at this length comes in order to explain the extent of the serious nature of the problems involved *** The possibility of exorbitant insurance premiums for all dioceses resulting from the current crop of civil and criminal cases. In April, Wilfred Caron, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) general counsel, was in Lafayette, La., to meet with insurance lawyers preparing to admit liability in that diocese=92s suits. Caron has to monitor the pace and extent of criminal and civil suits filed in other dioceses across the country. (Caron did not return NCR=92s calls.) -- National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "Sex Abuse Crisis: Priest child abuse cases victimizing families; bishops lack policy response." /070585b.htm , by Jason Berry, Mark Day, Gordon Oliver, and Arthur Jones, June 7 1985
1985: PROBLEM OF SEXUAL MOLESTATION report to US bishops: UNITED STATES: Because of unease arising out of the publicity, three professionals decided to help the Catholic bishops understand the problem, with suggestions for future action. They wrote a confidential report warning of the spiritual, credibility and financial dangers to the Church. It was sent to every U.S. Catholic bishop in 1985 and discussed at the bishops' national conference. The authors were Father Gauthe's solicitor F.R.Mouton, Church law expert Father Thomas P. Doyle, and Father M. Peterson, the founder of a Maryland institute for sexually-troubled priests. Father Doyle from 1986 onwards publicised the lack of action by the bishops, and his career entered the doldrums, but he became a miliary chaplain. Refer Barry Coldrey (pp 2-3), Religious Life Without Integrity, (2001); and see Kristen Lombardi, October 4 - 11, 2001, ures/documents/01847612.htm
   Read the above-mentioned report on-line,: "The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy: Meeting the problem in a comprehensive and responsible manner," in 4 parts, starting http://www= (PDF requires Adobe=AE Acrobat=AE Reader=99), Final draft June 8-9, 1985

1986: Alarming rise in child sex abuse [in general]. PERTH, W. Australia: State Government figures showed 995 cases of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and neglect in the year to June 30. And at least 200 other cases were handled by the police, resulting in 426 charges being laid against 152 people. Dr Barbara Meddin, a US child protection specialist now working with the Community Services Department, put a lot of the cause down to defacto partnerships, due to the lack of commitment. -- The Western Mail No. 303, Perth, "Alarming rise in child sex abuse," by Norm Aisbett, pp 1 and 12, August 23-24, 1986
1986: Jason Berry wins the 1986 U.S. Catholic Press Association Award for his coverage of clerical sex abuse. 1986
1987: Protestant television evangelists: In 1987-8, U.S. and world interest in clerical sexual and financial scandals shifted temporarily to the Protestant 'televangelists'. The four major cases of these years concerned Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Tony Leyva and the South African Rev Allan Boesak. Refer Barry Coldrey (p 3), Religious Life Without Integrity, (2001)
1987: Austral= ia -- The History of the Sexual Abuse Controversy there: Community attention in Western Australia was first drawn to child migration, and to the complaints of abusive behaviour in some of the state's religious residential care, in an expos in The Western Mail (Weekend), of August 8-9 1987 p 20, followed by Aug 15-16 pp 26-27, Aug 22-23 pp 24-25, and Aug 29-30 p 26. A former child migrant, Gordon Grant (Nigel Fitzgibbon), had interested the editor, Andr Malan, in the problems child migrants were having as a result of their earlier experiences. Under emotive headings such as 'The lost children Britain sent away to Australia,' 'The faceless kids of Fairbridge Farm' and 'The nightmare at Bindoon' the articles revealed an underside of Western Australian residential care which had lain dormant for 30 and more years. Some former inmates denounced child migration as such 'robbing them of their identity'; others claimed horrific physical and sexual abuse in the institutions in which they were placed. The focus was on the Christian Brothers' St. Joseph's Farm and Trade School, Bindoon; Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra; and Nazareth House, Geraldton. See Barry Coldrey, Religious Life Without Integrity, page 5 (2001) m/integrity2.html
1988: In Newfoundland there were criminal prosecutions for repeated molestations committed by two parish priests. Over time other priests were implicated until some ten per cent of the diocesan clergy were tainted by allegations, arrest, trial and commonly conviction. (See cover-up item of 1975.) Refer Dr Barry Coldrey (p 4), book Religious Life Without Integrity, (2001), m/integrity1.html
1989: Newfoundland still, but attention shifted to the long history of both physical and sexual abuse committed by members of the (Irish) Christian Brothers Congregation against teenage boys in the Mount Cashel boys' home in St John's, Newfoundland. In this case, allegations had surfaced originally in 1975 and in a widespread state-church cover-up certain Brothers had been permitted to leave the Province without facing criminal proceedings. In following years there was a Royal Commission. Ibid
1989: Australian "whistleblower" Crocker: In 1989 three men told Fr. Morrie Crocker about their abuse at the hands of Fr. Peter Comensoli and Br. Michael Evans. Crocker went to Bishop William Murray and the police. The police and the bishop failed to act, so he battled for justice, then went to the Press in 19. The police then acted, and the Woods Royal Commission inquiry into paedophiles was set up. But he was ostracised by the Church, his scrapbook with details about three other priest-suspects disappeared , and the whistleblower was found hanged in 1998. Read rocker.html
1989: Book Is Nothing Sacred? The Story of a Pastor, the Women he Sexually Abused, and the Congregation he Nearly Destroyed by Marie Fortune, published by Harper in San Francisco. /cabuse2.htm , 1990
1990: Book Slayer of the Soul: Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church by Stephen Rossetti, published by Twenty-Third Publications, Mystic (a city). See / s/cabuse4.htm and . Published 1992
19: Australian= priest tells the Press: Father Morrie Crocker, who had battled since 1989 to expose the abuse of three males at the hands of a priest and a brother, went to the Press, who splashed the story across the front pages. The Woods Royal Commission resulted. Check 1998 or read rocker.html
19: U.S. R.C. bishops seemed to accept a special report on sex-abuse scandal, but many did nothing, according to Bishop John Kinney in "Sins of the Fathers" on "Foreign Correspondent", June 19 2002, Australian Broadcasting Commission radio.

1994: England and Wales: R.C. guidelines adopted to handle clergy child sex abuse. They proved ineffective. See April 18, 2001 item "England and Wales, child-abuse representatives ..."
1994: Mission nuns abused by priests, private report: Medical Missionary of Mary Sister Maura O'Donohue, a physician, wrote a 1994 report that constitutes one of the more comprehensive accounts of nuns being tricked into or forced to have sex with priests, particularly in Africa. At the time of its writing, she had spent six years as AIDS co-ordinator for the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development based in London. (See years 1995, 1998, 2000, and 2001) Visit ml#det
1994, Mar.: Boston theology group told of nun abuse: The U.S. priest who gave a similar account of sexual abuse of women religious is Fr. Robert J. Vitillo, then of Caritas and later executive director of the U.S. bishops' Campaign for Human Development. In March 1994, a month after O'Donohue wrote her report, Vitillo spoke about the problem to a theological study group at Boston College. Vitillo has extensive knowledge of Africa based on regular visits for his work. His talk, which focused on several moral and ethical issues related to AIDS, including priests seeing nuns as preferred sex-partners because less likely to be infected, was titled, "Theological Challenges Posed by the Global Pandemic of HIV/AIDS." See March 1994.
1994, Mar and Jun: Western Australia, Christian Brother Gerard Dick pleaded guilty on March 31 1994 to indecently assaulting a boy at Castledare (in a Perth suburb) between January 1960 and December 1965. He was sentenced to 3 1/2 years gaol in June. Refer Bruce Blyth (p 106), In the Shadow of the Cross (1997). March 31 1994, and June 1994
1994, Oct.: Australia, Father Peter Lewis Comensoli. Age:63 (2002) State:NSW (Wollongong and Gwynneville). In October 1994 the Priest pleaded guilty to 2 counts of Indecent Assault on two young boys (10 and 17yrs). Comensoli was sentenced to 2yrs imprisonment. (with picture) Other: Still listed in the Australian Catholic Directory. -- MAKO/File within the Church, pcomen.html (as on WWW 27 Jul 03) [Refer back to 1989 item on Australian whistleblower Fr Crocker who reported Fr Comensoli unavailingly to his bishop, went to the news media in 19, and then followed action by the authorities, but Fr Crocker on Mar 6 1998 was found hanged, with his notebooks missing.] Conviction of Fr Comensoli Oct 1994
1994, Nov.: Ireland: (R.C. and Protestant) The cover-up of the Father Brendan Smith child abuse case , involving the Attorney General's Office, brought down the Irish coalition government of Fianna Fail under Albert Reynolds and the Labour Party under Dick Spring. See dophilecover-up.htm and relandthechildabuse.htm , which also has a picture, plus a picture of Fr Fortune, and a picture of "Born Again" convicted paedophile Lindsay Brown , who was Religious Studies teacher at Bangor Grammar School in the Ulster Protestant community. November 1994
1994, Dec.: New order of brothers abolished in Australia; Parramatta Bishop Bede Heather just before Christmas 1994 told parishioners that because of "sexual misconduct and problems of governance" he was going to disband the Society of Gerard Majella, a small teaching order. A brother had been convicted the previous year. His own vicar-general, Fr Richard St John Cattell, had been gaoled two weeks before for sexual offences committed two decades earlier. -- The Australian newspaper, "The Boys' Club," S.Maris and S.Powell, 23 Dec 1994, cited in Bruce Blyth, In the Shadow of the Cross, (1997) page 142 -- December 1994.

1995: Vatican told of nun-abuse: On Feb. 18, 1995, Cardinal Eduardo Mart=EDnez, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Religious Life, along with members of his staff, were briefed on the problem of priests sexually abusing nuns by Sr. Maura O'Donohue. (see 1994, 1998, 2000, and 2001 x 2).
1995: In Australia, R.C. Marist Brother David Christian, one-time principal of Newman Junior College in Perth, was fined $10,500 on seven charges of indecently assaulting boys at the school. Refer Bruce Blyth (p 181), In the Shadow of the Cross, (1997)
1995: Australian book When Ministers Sin by Neil and Thea Ormerod was published. It was written from a Christian perspective, covering Catholic and other Western Churches, and sex abuse both with children and adults. It compared the hiding reaction of Church leaders to what they ought to have done. It also gave case histories, and listed some previous books and articles on the subject. The preface was by Dorothy McRae-McMahon, national director for mission, Uniting Church in Australia.

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The INTENTION: of this group of Webpages is to help RELIGIONS IMPROVE, by encouraging leaders to: 1. Admit that the religions' sex-abuse, child-abuse and women-abuse problems are long-term, widespread, still continue, are seriously damaging, and reduce the opportunities for goodness; 2. Acknowledge the victims/survivors, and compensate, apologise to, and pray for them regularly; 3. Apologise to, reinstate, and honour nuns, brothers, clergymen, parents, victims, and others who have told religions' leaders or the police of abuse known to them, sometimes suffering for their bravery; 4. Cease blaming the news media; 5. Stop hiring and hiding sex-abusers, and stop pretending that clergy don't have sex; 6. Stop telling lies about all forms of abuse; 7. Stop wasting the fruits of self-sacrifice by the people and honest clergy to pay for hiding employees' criminal activities; 8. Join with people of good will to eradicate abuse; 9. Remove the worst of the leaders who have connived at the abuses; and 10. Adopt policies that will prevent potential abusers entering the ministry.


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