The Roman Catholic Church and their doctrine of child abuse and cover up.

by stu2308

The cover up of abuse by the Roman Catholic Church is systemic and global.  Indeed a confidential report from Pope John XXIII instructed Catholic bishops worldwide to deny or cover up any allegations of child abuse or risk being thrown out of the church.

The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of ‘strictest’ secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threaten those who speak out with excommunication.

They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to ‘be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.’

The document, which has been confirmed as genuine by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, is called ‘Crimine solicitationies’, which translates as ‘instruction on proceeding in cases of solicitation’.

If we consider country by country the experience, we can see examples of the widespread and insidious abuse (and often subsequent cover up) of widespread damaging and serial abuse of children.


Julio Grassi was found guilty (by a three-judge panel of the Criminal Court Oral 1 Morón) of one count of sexual abuse and one count of corrupting a minor in the “Happy Children’s Foundation” and sentenced to 15 years in prison as the third member of the Roman Catholic Church in Argentina to be convicted of sexually abusing minors. Prosecutors said they were considering an appeal on behalf of the two plaintiffs whose sexual abuse accusations were dropped. Father Grassi maintained his plea of innocence of the charge and promised to appeal.

In 1994, Bishop Edgardo Gabriel Storni was subject to an investigation ordered by the Vatican, led by Monsignor José María Arancibia, after allegations of sexual abuse on 47 young seminarists, who were questioned, together with some of their family members, by Arancibia and a psychologist, at the home of Monsignor Estanislao Karlic in Paraná. Soon after the scandal broke out, in February 1995 Storni employed his contacts with then-Apostolic Nuncio Ubaldo Calabressi to arrange a trip to the Vatican. There he was received and ratified in his post by Pope John Paul II. The investigation was set aside.  He later resigned his post but denied this was an admission of guilt. 


More than 65 people within the Catholic Church in Victoria including brothers and priests have been convicted of abuse since 1993.

Archdiocese of Sydney

Ross Murrin: Catholic brother pleaded guilty to sexually abusing eight male students.

Archdiocese of Melbourne

There were several cases of sexual abuse in the Melbourne Archdiocese.

Michael Charles Glennon: former diocesan priest, sentenced to at least 15 years in jail for sexually abusing four Aboriginal boys between 1984 and 1991.

Gerry Francis Ridsdale: convicted in 1994, he pled guilty on 46 sexual offenses.

Wilfred James Baker: sentenced to four years in prison (parole after 2 years) for crimes involving eight boys.

David Daniel: sentenced to six years jail, with parole after 4.5 years, for molesting four boys, a girl and an adult male.

Rex Elmer: sentenced in 1998 to five years jail (with parole after 3 years 4 months) for molesting 12 boys at St Vincent’s orphanage in South Melbourne.

Paul Pavlou: convicted on 29 June 2009 of committing an indecent act with a child under 16 and of being knowingly in possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to an 18 month jail sentence suspended for 24 months and to a two-year community based order. He was registered on the Sex Offenders Register for 15 years. These offences occurred in 2005-2006 while he was the priest at Healesville in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

John Ayres SDB: The Salesian Order is alleged to have had an Australian victim sign a secrecy agreement and paid him compensation in 2000 in regard to allegations about Ayer’s actions.

Francis Klep SDB: convicted of indecent assault in 1994, and charged with an additional five counts. He moved to Samoa, but in 2004 the Samoan government made moves to deport him from the country after becoming aware of the previous conviction and charges.


Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër was removed from office by John Paul II for alleged sexual misconduct. Officially, the Pope accepted the resignation letter which Groër had written on the occasion of his 75th birthday. This made Groër, who adamantly refused until his death to comment in public on the allegations, one of the highest-ranking Catholic clergymen to be involved in the sexual abuse scandals.  He voluntarily resigned.   Bishop Kurt Krenn resigned from his post in 2004 after there was a scandal concerning child pornography allegedly being downloaded by a student at the seminary. Up to 40,000 photos and an undisclosed number of films, including child pornography, were found on the computer of one of the seminarians, but Krenn earlier angered many by calling the images a “childish prank” and “insignificant”.


Abuse affairs have affected several Belgian dioceses, which were hurt by allegations of abuse similar to those found in other Western countries. In response to this, an independent commission was established by the Belgian Episcopal Conference in 2000 under the presidency of Godelieve Halsberghe, a retired magistrate. A total of more than 300 complaints were made to the commission. The commission ultimately dealt with 33 formal complaints. 32 complaints were upheld by the commission, 1 was ruled false. Of these, only 1 case came before a court, because the facts of the other 31 cases were concerned with statutes of limitation. In about half of the 32 cases, the alleged abusers, clerics and religious, refused to appear before the commission, due to a lack of cooperation from the Belgian episcopate in forcing hierarchical obeyance to do so. The president and numerous commission members resigned from the commission as a result.

Belgian police conducted three days of raids on Catholic Church offices in January 2010 as part of an operation targeting priests suspected of child abuse.  Police searched offices in seven of Belgium’s eight dioceses, looking for documents on priests associated with child-abuse claims.  The priests’ names began to come to light in 2010 when detectives raided the home of a former archbishop and, on the same day, seized the files of a church commission set up to investigate abuse complaints. That operation was part of an investigation launched after the then-Bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, admitted he had sexually abused a boy.  The catalogue of abuse investigations had not previously been reported to Belgian authorities.    An explosive report by Peter Adriaenssens in the town of Louvain, east of Brussels, lists evidence of 476 instances of child abuse by priests and bishops going back 50 years.  Adriaenssens was appointed by the church last year to head an independent inquiry into the scandal. Since April, when Roger Vangheluwe, the bishop of Bruges, resigned after admitting persistently molesting a nephew, the Adriaenssens commission has been inundated with evidence, with hundreds of victims coming forward.


The Bishop of Benin resigned following allegations of sexual abuse of children.  These were not reported to police.


A number of clergy have been convicted of abusing boys.  The senior clergy have voiced concerns about how to deal with the issue as they believe sexual activity with children is more tolerated in the Brazilian culture (its unclear if they regard this as being with priests!)

Diocese of Anápolis

Fr. Tarcísio Tadeu Spricigo was arrested after his checklist for choosing victims was found and given to police. He had molested children in at least five parishes.  The case was one of those featured in an episode of the BBC’s Panorama documentary series titled Sex Crimes and the Vatican and became an example of the Vatican’s policies regarding paedophile priests.  In November 2005 he was sentenced to a prison term of over 14 years.

Fr. Felix Barbosa Carreiro was arrested and charged with child sexual abuse in the north-eastern state of Maranhão after police seized him in a hotel room with four teenage boys.

Archdiocese of Penedo

In 2010 Authorities in Brazil began an investigation into three priests after a video allegedly showing a priest sexually abusing an altar boy was broadcast on the SBT television station.


The international RC church failed to learn the lessons of the experience of the Canadian RC church which dealt with over 200 allegations of serious sexual abuse against children in the 1970s and 1980s.–vatican-failed-to-heed-sex-abuse-lessons-from-canada


Archdiocese of Santiago

José Andrés Aguirre Ovalle, aka “Cura Tato”, was found guilty of nine sexual abuse charges by the highest court of this country. Aguirre was sentenced to 12 years in jail. At the beginning of this trial, the Catholic Church was sentenced to pay 50 million in damages to the victims, but then this sentence was revoked by the Supreme Court.

Ricardo Muñoz Quinteros, priest of Melipilla, was charged in 2010 with eight cases of sexually abusing minors, including his own daughter. Also, is investigated for producing pornographic material involving children.

In 2010, the Catholic Church began an investigation into sexual abuse allegedly committed by Fr. Fernando Karadima, after four people came forward with allegations of abuse. He was found guilty and convicted by the Vatican in February 18, 2011. He was sentenced to a life of prayer and penitence, banned from any contact with his ex parishioners and forbidden to perform any priestly ministry in public or private except for mass by himself. He is currently living in a home for seniors where the Archbishop of Santiago put him under the care of some nuns. Karadima still does not acknowledge any wrongdoing after several testimonies helped convict him.

Diocese of Valparaíso

Eduardo Olivares Martínez, was found guilty of a five sexual abuse against underprivileged minors. In 2006 was sentenced to 3 years in jail and to pay 15 million pesos in damages.

In 2010, Juan Henríquez Zapata was indicted for using minors for sex services.

Diocese of Rancagua

Jorge Galaz Espinoza, former Director of El Pequeño Cottolengo, was found guilty of repeated violations against two mentally disabled minors. In 2005 Galaz was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Diocese of Punta Arenas

Jaime Low Cabezas, was found guilty of a sexual abuse against a 15 year-old minor. In 2009 Low was sentenced to 3 years in jail.

Víctor Hugo Carrera, was found guilty of a sexual abuse against one underprivileged minor. In 2005 Carrera was sentenced to 541 days in jail and to pay 2 million pesos in damages to the family of the victim. The case involved the bishop of the diocese, who was accused of protecting Carrera and facilitating his escape to Bolivia, where he lived for two years.


The Colombian RC church was held by a court to be financially liable for the abuse of one of its priests.


Church officials deny any allegations ever having been received regarding child abuse and state they would deal with them internally and not involve the police.


Archdiocese of Zagreb

Ivan Čuček convicted in 2000 for sexual abuse of 37 young girls, sentenced to three years in prison, but later the Croatian Supreme Court reduced the sentence to one and a half years in case he commits such crime again.

Archdiocese of Rijeka

Drago Ljubičić convicted in 2007 was Catholic priest on island Rab sentenced to three years in prison for molesting five teenage boys. He will be first Catholic priest to serve prison time for sexual abuse in Croatia [1]. When asked by Catholic press agency Glas Koncila (prior to scandal) why children avoid going to church he blamed ‘strong influence of communism on island Rab’.

Allegations of child neglect and serious sexual assault made against nuns and other staff at a Catholic orphanage for people with mental disabilities.


In 2000 Fr. Frantisek Merta and Olomouc Archbishop Jan Graubner were charged after allegations were made by a theology student, Václav Novák, that Merta had sexually abused altar boys since 1995. Novák persuaded a group of victims to come forward with their allegations against Merta. In 2001, Merta was found guilty of sexually abusing more than 20 boys and given a suspended sentence of two years. When he was a priest in Moravia, Archbishop Jan Graubner failed to report him. Instead, Graubner moved him from location to location whenever problems appeared. A book about Merta’s child sexual abuse cases, Krici Hlasem Zrady (They Are Shouting the Voice of Betrayal), was published in March 2001 by Václav Novák.


 In the end of April 2010 Danish Catholic Church reported paedophilia cases has risen to 17 cases.


Archdiocese of Paris

François Lefort – sentenced to eight years in prison for the rape of six Senegalese minors.

Pierre Dufour – sentenced to 15 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.

Diocese of Meaux

Parish priest Henri Lebras of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Meaux was sentenced to ten years for the rape of a twelve year old boy between 1995 and 1998.

Archdiocese of Rouen

Diocese of Evreux

65 year old Canadian born priest Denis Vadeboncoeur of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Évreux was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the rape of minors at the paroisse de Lieurey (Eure) between 1989 and 1992.

Archdiocese of Besançon

Bruno Kieffer gave to a nine year old girl a gym lesson with both of them naked, showed to his class a latex thong he was wearing, and was sentenced to one year for exhibition and sexual aggression of a fifteen year old girl.

Jean Luc Heckner – sentenced to 16 years in jail on charges of raping seven young boys (11-14yrs) between 1992 and 1998.


In February 2010 Der Spiegel reported that more than 94 clerics and laymen have been suspected of sexual abuse since 1995; but only 30 of those suspects had actually been prosecuted because of legal time constraints on pursuing cases.

On March 30, 2010 the Catholic Church set up a Sexual Abuse Hotline in Germany and received almost 2,700 calls in its first three days of operation


Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly

Diocese of Cloyne

In 2008, the Irish government referred two allegations of child sex abuse to the National Board for Child Protection, an independent supervisory body established by the Irish bishops. Bishop John Magee had failed to implement self-regulatory procedures agreed by the bishops of Ireland in 1996. Magee apologised to the victims after a report compiled by the Health Service Executive (HSE) found his diocese had put children at risk of harm through an “inability” to respond appropriately to abuse allegations.

Diocese of Limerick

According to the Irish Times, allegations have been made against 10 priests since 1960. Three are now deceased and one case is before the courts. The DPP has decided not to proceed with two other cases. There have been no convictions. The diocese says no priest under investigation is in active ministry.

Archdiocese of Dublin

Fr. Paul McGennis, Dublin, Ireland. He abused M Collins when as a 13-year-old she was in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in 1961. Collins was later told that McGennis had admitted abusing children. However the Cardinal Archbishop of Dublin, Desmond Connell, refused “on legal advice” to supply his file on McGennis to the Irish police. McGennis was nevertheless convicted and gaoled. Collins subsequently received an apology from Cardinal Connell.

Diocese of Ferns

The Ferns Inquiry 2005 – On 22 October 2005 a government-commissioned report compiled by a former Irish Supreme Court judge delivered an indictment of the handling of clerical sex abuse in the Irish Diocese of Ferns. The report revealed over one hundred cases of child sex abuse in the diocese, involving a number of clergymen, including Monsignor Micheál Ledwidth, the former head of the National Catholic seminary, Maynooth College.

Archdiocese of Tuam

A eight-year (1999–2007) enquiry and report by Dr Elizabeth Healy and Dr Kevin McCoy into the Brothers of Charity Congregation’s “Holy Family School” in Galway, the major city of the archdiocese, and two other locations was made public in December 2007. 11 brothers and 7 other staff members were alleged to have abused 121 intellectually-disabled children in residential care in the period 1965-1998.


It is difficult to ascertain the correct statistics for clerical sexual abuse in Italy because the Italian government has a treaty with the Vatican that guarantees areas of immunity to Vatican officials, including bishops and priests.

The Italian lawyer Sergio Cavaliere, advocat for victims, alleged in April 2010 that there has been a cover up of clerical abuse in Italy and that there had been 130 legal cases brought against priests for abuse in the previous ten years reported in the press.

Prior to 2001, all cases were handled privately within dioceses. In 2001 then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent a letter to all bishops ordering all sex-abuse cases be transferred to the Vatican. He imposed total secrecy on the proceedings, with the penalty of excommunication for any violations.

In May 2007, the Panorama documentary episode Sex Crimes and the Vatican was allowed to run on the state-run television station only with equal time for church officials.

Archdiocese of Trento

Diocese of Bolzano-Brixen

An Italian priest has been condemned in an Italian court of appeal to 7.5 years in prison for sexual abuse of a 9 year old child. The abuse took place during a church organised summer camp. Damages in the amount of €700,000 are due paid.

Archdiocese of Venice

Diocese of Verona

Three former students have claimed abuse and 65 former students signed statements saying that they or other students were abused by Catholic priests when attending the Antonio Provolo Institute for the Deaf, a Catholic school for deaf children in Verona, Italy. The abuse is alleged to have occurred from the 1950s to 1980s, and was reportedly conducted by 24 priests including the late bishop of Verona.


In 2009 several people came forward with accusations of sexual molestation against an Italian priest working in the country. The Church gave assurances of an investigation, but this has not taken place. However Kenyan police say they found no evidence and believe Sesana is innocent.

In 2010 a young woman alleged that a Catholic priest had undertaken inappropriate sexual activity against her will, but the police and Church authorities had failed to follow up the allegations.

The 2011 Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE) documentary “A Mission To Prey” brought to notice Kenya’s clerical abuse cases, which should have been handled with more transparency. It has subsequently emerged that this program made false allegations against a priest, Fr. Kevin Reynolds, which resulted in the priest being removed from his home and his parish ministry. RTE has subsequently apologised for this programme and has stated that Fr. Reynolds was innocent of the charges stated. RTE has nevertheless left access to this programme even though upwards of 32 Slander & Libel cases are pending.

In 2011 a Dutch bishop was reported to be under probe over alleged sex abuse, The Bishop was alleged to have abused a minor when he served as a priest in Ngong diocese some 18 years prior to the report.


84 allegations of child abuse have been made to the church from 1999 to 2010.


Fr. Marcial Maciel (1920–2008) founded the Legion of Christ, a Catholic order of priests originating in Mexico. Nine former seminarians of his order accused Maciel of molestation. One retracted his accusation, saying that it was a plot intended to discredit the Legion. Maciel maintained his innocence of the accusations. In early December 2004, a few months before Pope John Paul II’s death, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who would replace him as Pope, becoming Benedict XVI) reopened a Vatican investigation into longstanding allegations against Maciel.


The abuse scandal in the Netherlands has affected several Dutch dioceses.

In 2012, press reports indicated that in the 1950s, officials in the Dutch Church took retribution against ten children who reported sexual abuse by having them surgically castrated. Due to the passage of time and loss of records, only one victim could be categorically identified by name, although a Dutch Parliamentary enquiry has been commenced.

Cases of sexual abuse by religious members of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands can since 1995 be notified to a central Church institution, called Secretariaat Rooms-Katholiek Kerkgenootschap.

In 2011 the Deetman Commission, acting on the 2010 request of the Dutch Conference of Bishops and the Dutch Religious Conference, reported on its inquiry into abuse cases from 1945 to 2010 affecting children entrusted to the care of the church in the Netherlands.

Archdiocese of Utrecht

Diocese of Den Bosch

Father J. Ceelen, pastor of the parishes of Lieshout and of Mariahout (municipality of Laarbeek) quits his post after allegations of sexual abuse on 1 September 2005.

Diocese of Roermond

Father H.H.M. Jansen is denounced for sexual abuse during his activities as military pastor and as a faculty member of the seminary of Rolduc.

Diocese of Rotterdam

On 14 May 1998 damages of € 56.800 were paid by the diocese of Rotterdam to the victim of sexual abuse by a diocesan priest in order to avoid civil prosecution.

From 2008 until 2010, an Irish priest named Oliver O’Grady, sexually abused more than 20 boys and girls, at the Heilig Hartkerk of the Christus onze Verlosser-parish in Rotterdam. He used the pseudonym of Brother Francis and was recognised as the previously convicted child molester O’Grady by parishioners after seeing the Oscar-nominated television documentary Deliver Us from Evil.


Marylands School which was operated by the Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God, a Catholic religious order in Christchurch, was the centre of a number of sex abuse cases. By 2006, the Australasian branch of the St John of God order had paid out $5.1 million to survivors who had been sexually abused at the school. A nonprofit trust, the Survivors of Sex Abuse Trust, worked with many of the victims. Over 120 complaints were made in regard to sexual and physical abuse alleged to have occurred at the school. Many of the offences were committed in the 1970s.


Territorial Prelature of Trondheim

Georg Müller SS.CC., a former Catholic Bishop of the Roman Catholic Territorial Prelature of Trondheim in Trondheim, Norway, has admitted to sexually abusing an altar boy in the 1980s when he served as a priest there. Mueller, who retired as bishop in 2009, said there were no other victims.

In the end of April 2010 Norway’s Catholic Church reported paedophilia cases has risen to 18 cases.


In 2007, Daniel Bernardo Beltrán Murguía Ward, a 42 year-old Italian-Peruvian Consecrated Layman of the group Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, was found by the Peruvian National Police in a hostel in Cercado de Lima with an 11 year-old boy, whom he was taking sexually explicit pictures of. The boy was initially lured by Murguía Ward and given Pokémon figures in exchange for photos of his intimate parts. When Murguía Ward was caught, he had paid the boy 20 Nuevo Soles ($7 USD) for his services in the hostel. The police have reported that pictures of two other boys were also found on Murguía Ward’s camera and that the boy has claimed he received oral sex from Murguía Ward. These charges have been denied by the accused. Murguía Ward has since been removed from the group Sodalitium Christianae Vitae for his misconduct.


In 2002 the Catholic Church apologized for sexual abuses, including adultery, homosexuality and child abuse by two hundred priests over the previous 20 years.

In 2003 at least 34 priests were suspended in a sex abuse scandal involving sexual harassment of women. 20 were from a single diocese.

In 2011, a priest accused of sexually abusing a 17-year old female minor is sheltered by his Bishop, despite calls for his surrender to civil authorities.


Archdiocese of Poznan

In March 2002 Archbishop Juliusz Paetz quit following accusations, which he denied, of sexually molesting young priests.

Archdiocese of Warsaw

Diocese of Plock

In early 2007, allegations surfaced that former Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus was aware that several priests in his former diocese of Plock were sexually abusing minors


Archdiocese of Ljubljana

Franc Frantar was detained in 2006 for sexual abuse of up to 16 minors. He was later sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He initially escaped persecution by escaping to Malawi to work there as a missionary, but returned to Slovenia after an Interpol warrant was issued.


In Christmas of 2007 the Bishop of Tenerife, Bernardo Álvarez, caused uproar in Spain by making statements that appeared to equate child molestation with homosexuality and blamed the victims of abuse. One such statement was “There are 13 year old adolescents who are under age and who are perfectly in agreement with, and what’s more wanting it, and if you are careless they will even provoke you.”

Society of Jesus

The Jesuits have also been affected by abuse affairs in several of their schools and congregations in the United States and Germany. The same abusive teacher in Germany had been guilty of similar crimes in Jesuit schools in Chile and Spain.


Diocese of Stockholm

One child was sexually abused by a priest several years in the late 1950s. When the child raised the issue at the time, the priest was protected and the abuse was kept quiet by the church. The victim finally reported the abuse to the Stockholm diocese in December 2005. The victim demanded a public apology from the church. In June 2007 Sweden’s Catholic Church made a public apology in two newspapers


St Michael’s Catholic Boarding School, Soni, Tanzania

A prominent United Kingdom member of the order, Fr Kit Cunningham together with three other priests were exposed after Cunningham’s death as paedophiles. While at Soni, Cunningham perpetrated sexual abuse that made the school, according to one pupil, “a loveless, violent and sad hellhole”. Other pupils recall being photographed naked, hauled out of bed at night to have their genitals fondled and other sexual abuse.  Although known about by the Rosminians before Cunningham’s death in 2010, the abuse was only publicly revealed by the media in 2011.


Archdiocese of Southwark

Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

In July 2000 the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O’Connor (later a cardinal), acknowledged he had made a mistake while he was Bishop of Arundel and Brighton in the 1980s by allowing a paedophile to carry on working as a priest. The priest at the centre of the controversy, Father Michael Hill, was jailed in 1997 for abusing nine boys over a 20-year period.   Instead of reporting Hill to the police, Murphy-O’Connor allowed the crime to be covered up and transferred Hill to Gatwick Airport chapel, where the Cardinal believed he would not be able to molest children. In 1997, Hill was finally convicted as a child molester and jailed for sexually assaulting nine children. After three years in jail, Hill was given another five years for assaulting three other boys. 

Diocese of Plymouth

William Manahan OSB, the Father Prior of a Buckfast Abbey Preparatory School was convicted of molesting boys in his school during the 1970s.

In 2007, two former Benedictine monks from Buckfast Abbey were sentenced for sexually abusing boys.

Kiltegan Fathers

Jeremiah McGrath of the Kiltegan Fathers was convicted in Liverpool in May 2007 for facilitating abuse by Billy Adams. McGrath had given Adams £20,000 in 2005 and Adams had used the money to impress a 12-year-old girl who he then raped over a six-month period. McGrath denied knowing about the abuse but admitted having a brief sexual relationship with Adams. His appeal in January 2008 was dismissed.

Diocese of Middlesbrough

James Carragher, principal of the former St. William’s School, owned by the Diocese of Middlesbrough, was jailed for 14 years in 2004 for abusing boys in his care over a 20-year period.


Archdiocese of Armagh

Diocese of Raphoe

The current Bishop of Derry, Séamus Hegarty, was Bishop of the Diocese of Raphoe in 1982–1994, at a time when one of his priests, Father Eugene Greene, raped 26 young men.


Cardinal Keith O’Brien apologises for covering up and turning a blind eye to abuse.


Archdiocese of Cardiff

In 1998, Father John Lloyd, a parish priest and Bishop John Aloysius Ward’s former press secretary, was imprisoned for sexual offences involving children. Parents had written letters to Ward to complain of Lloyd’s behaviour: he reportedly passed the letters on to Lloyd. In 1999, Lloyd was laicized by the Pope. Later in 1999, Ward himself was accused of raping a woman with a crucifix on the altar of his parish church in the 1960s. He was arrested, but never charged. The allegations appeared in the press, and Ward made impassioned statements of his innocence, claiming that the allegations were entirely false.

In October 2000, Father Joseph Jordan was imprisoned for indecent assaults on boys, and for downloading child pornography from the Internet. Jordan had been ordained by Ward in 1998, despite Ward being warned about Jordan’s behaviour by the Bishop of Plymouth, Christopher Budd, under whom Lloyd started his training for the priesthood. A BBC Panorama investigation accused Ward of failing to take action, and he was pressured to resign.


Archdiocese of Anchorage

In 2007, the Society of Jesus made a $50 million payout to over 100 Inuits who alleged that they had been sexually abused. The settlement did not require them to admit molesting Inuit children, but accusations involved 13 or 14 priests who allegedly molested these children for 30 years.

In 2008, the Diocese of Fairbanks, a co-defendant in the case, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, claiming inability to pay the 140 plaintiffs filing claims against the diocese for alleged sexual abuse by priests or church workers during this period.

Archdiocese of Boston

Allegations of sexual misconduct by priests of the Archdiocese of Boston, and following revelations of a cover-up by the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, became known in 2004, causing Roman Catholics in other dioceses of the United States to investigate similar situations. Cardinal Law’s actions prompted public scrutiny of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the steps taken in response to past and current allegations of sexual misconduct by priests. The events in the Archdiocese of Boston became a national scandal.

Archdiocese of Chicago

Daniel McCormack, a self-confessed sexually abusive priest was sentenced to five years in prison for abusing five boys (8–12 years) in 2001.

Diocese of Crookston

Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul was charged with molesting two teenage girls at a Catholic church in Greenbush, Minnesota, a small rural town near the Canadian border. The abuse occurred in 2004, and charges were filed in 2006 and amended in 2007. Without facing legal punishment, Jevapaul returned to his home diocese in Ootacamund, India, where today he works in the church’s diocesan office. A Roseau County, Minnesota attorney is seeking to extradite the priest from India in a criminal case involving one of the girls. The Archbishop of Madras, India (Madras is now called “Chennai”) has asked Jeyapaul to return to the US to face the charges. Jevapaul has said that he will not fight extradition if the US seeks it.

Diocese of Davenport

Bishop Lawrence Soens, who was accused of fondling as many as 15 students during his tenure as priest and principal at Regina Catholic High School in Iowa City during the 1960s. Soens denies the allegations.  In February 2006, the Diocese of Davenport investigative panel found behaviour that may have been inappropriate, but it did not appear to be sexual in nature.  One claim was settled for $20K in 2004. Two more suits were pending in May 2006. Seven more suits were filed in May 2006. One new suit with 13 plaintiffs was filed in August 2006 alleging abuse from 1959–1967. A judge discharged one suit in October 2006.  Recently, Bishop Soens was the first United States Roman Catholic Bishop to be named as being the object of ‘credible’ sexual abuse charges.    By November 27, 2007, $37 million of damages regarding sexual abuse had been allocated to 156 persons.

Archdiocese of Denver

In July 2008 the Archdiocese of Denver paid a settlement of $5.5 million dollars to 18 claims of alleged sexual abuse perpetrated by two clerics between the years of 1954 and 1981.

Archdiocese of Dubuque

Archbishop Jerome Hanus has had to deal with the sexual abuse crisis that has rocked the church in recent times. Soon after he became Archbishop, a Dubuque area priest had been found to have abused a number of boys while working at Saint Columbkille’s church in Dubuque. He has also had to deal with sexual abuse cases which involved a number of priests, both living and deceased. In February 2006 he, along with Bishop Charron of Des Moines and Bishop Franklin of Davenport, met with victim’s advocate groups. (Sioux City Bishop Nickless was scheduled to attend but his mother died just before the meeting.) Then on February 21, 2006 the Archdiocese settled a number of claims, and the Archbishop offered a personal apology

Diocese of Fall River

Father James Porter was a Roman Catholic priest who was convicted of molesting 28 children; He admitted sexually abusing at least 100 of both sexes over a period of 30 years, starting in the 1960s.   Bishop Sean O’Malley settled 101 abuse claims and initiated a zero-tolerance policy against sexual abuse. He also instituted one of the first comprehensive sexual abuse policies in the Roman Catholic Church.

Diocese of Honolulu

Reverend Joseph Bukoski, III, SS.CC., Honolulu, Hawaii, a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was canonically removed in 2003 as the pastor of Maria Lanakila Catholic Church in Lahaina by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo for allegations relating to sexual improprieties some 30 years earlier. Fr. Bukoski issued a written public apology to his victim on November 12, 2005.

Reverend Mr. James “Ron” Gonsalves, Wailuku, Hawaii, Gonsalves the administrator of Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church in Waihee, Maui, pleaded guilty on May 17, 2006 to several counts of sexual assault on a 12-year-old male. Bishop Clarence Richard Silva has permanently withdrawn his faculties and has initiated laicization proceedings against Deacon Gonsalves with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay out 60 million dollars to settle 45 lawsuits it still faces over 450 other pending cases. According to the Associated Press, 22 priests were involved in the settlement with cases going back as far as the 1930s.   20 million dollars of this was paid by the insurers of the archdiocese. The main administrative office of the archdiocese is due to be sold to cover the cost of these and future law suits. The archdiocese will settle about 500 cases for about $600 million.

Diocese of Memphis

The Diocese of Memphis reached a $2 million settlement with a man who was abused as a boy by Father Juan Carlos Duran, a priest with a history of sexual misconduct with juveniles in St. Louis, Panama, and Bolivia.

Archdiocese of Miami

Since 1966, the Archdiocese of Miami Insurance Programs have paid $26.1 million in settlement, legal, and counselling costs associated with sexual misconduct allegations made by minors involving priests, laity and religious brothers and sisters.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee

A 2003 report on the sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee revealed that allegations of sexually assaulting minors had been made against 58 ordained men.

Diocese of Oakland

In 1981, the former Rev. Stephen Kiesle was convicted for tying up and molesting two boys in a California church rectory. From 1981 to 1985, Bishop John Stephen Cummins, who oversaw Kiesle, contacted the Vatican about defrocking him. Then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, responded by letter that the case needed more time, as it was “necessary to consider the good of the Universal Church” and “the detriment that granting the dispensation” could provoke among the faithful. In 1987, the Vatican defrocked Kiesle. The letter was widely regarded as evidence of Ratzinger’s role in blocking the removal of paedophile priests. Vatican officials responded that that interpretation rested on a misreading of the letter, in which the issue was not whether Kiesle should be defrocked but whether he should be granted the dispensation he had requested from the obligation of chastity. By refusing to grant such a dispensation right away in the Kiesle case, Ratzinger was actually being tough with an abuser, not lax.

Archdiocese of Omaha

During his tenure as the Bishop of Helena, Montana, Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss chose to reassign a priest who had been accused of paedophilia in 1959, later admitting that he had not properly examined the church’s personnel file on the individual concerned. Curtiss faced similar criticism in 2001 in regard to a priest accused of accessing child pornography. Curtiss, it was alleged, had failed to bring the case to the attention of the authorities, and had chosen to send the priest for counselling and to reassign the priest, removing him from his high-school teaching position but reassigning him to a middle-school.

Diocese of Orange, California

On January 3, 2005 Bishop Todd Brown of the Diocese of Orange apologized to 87 alleged victims of sexual abuse and announced a settlement of $100 million following two years of mediation.

Diocese of Palm Beach

Joseph Keith Symons resigned as ordinary in 1998 after admitting he molested five boys while he was a pastor.

Diocese of Peoria

Coadjutor Bishop John J. Myers of Peoria was among the two-thirds of sitting bishops and acting diocese administrators that the Dallas Morning News found had allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to continue working.  In 2005, Rev. Francis Engels pleaded guilty to molesting a Peoria altar boy on trips to Milwaukee in the early 1980s.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

According to a 2005 investigation, while serving as assistant vicar for administration in 1996, Bishop Cistone was involved with silencing a nun who tried to alert parishioners at St. Gabriel parish about abuse by a priest. According to the report, there were several other instances of priest sexual abuse that Cistone was complicit in covering up. In February 2011, Monsignor William Lynn, former secretary of the clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese, was charged with child endangerment, marking the first time that a high-ranking official has been charged since the eruption of sex abuse scandals nearly ten years prior. Lynn was found by a grand jury to have placed paedophiles in posts involving contact with children, which led directly to the sexual assault of two boys. Three priests and one teacher face rape charges.

Diocese of Phoenix

On November 21, 2005, Monsignor Dale Fushek of the Diocese of Phoenix was arrested and charged with 10 criminal misdemeanour counts related to alleged inappropriate sexual contact with teens and young adults.

Archdiocese of Portland

The Archdiocese of Portland filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on July 6, 2004, hours before two abuse trials were set to begin.  Portland became the first Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy. An open letter to the archdiocese’s parishioners explained the archbishop’s motivation.

Archdiocese of San Antonio

John Salazar was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting an 18-year-old parishioner.

Diocese of San Diego

On September 7, 2007, The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego agreed to pay $198.1 million to settle 144 claims of sexual abuse by clergy, the 2nd-largest payment by a diocese, terminating four years of settlement talks in state and federal courts.  Robert Brom was accused of coercing a student into a sexual relationship at a seminary in Minnesota, where he once was rector and later headed the Diocese of Duluth. The alleged victim reportedly claimed that the incident of abuse occurred “in a coffin along with other bishops”. Due to the “unusual” allegation, no criminal charges were brought at the time and, according to Brom, the settlement was made to offer psychological assistance for the alleged victim.

Diocese of Savannah

In October, 2009, the diocese of Savannah paid $4.24 million to settle a lawsuit which alleged that Lessard allowed a priest named Wayland Brown to work in the diocese when Lessard knew that Brown was a serial child molester who posed a danger to children.

Diocese of Spokane

Under Bishop William S. Skylstad the Diocese of Spokane declared bankruptcy in December 2004. As part of its bankruptcy, the diocese has agreed to pay at least $48 million as compensation. This payout has to be agreed to by the victims and a judge before it will be made. According to federal bankruptcy judge, Gregg W. Zive, money for the settlement would come from insurance companies, the sale of church property, contributions from Catholic groups and from the diocese’s parishes.

Diocese of Stockton

Fr. Oliver O’Grady molested multiple children in Stockton. The 2006 documentary Deliver Us From Evil is based on accusations that Bishop Roger Mahony knew that Oliver O’Grady was an active paedophile.