Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee’s Massive Pedophile Priest Problem

Boston gets all the attention in the movie ‘Spotlight’, but Milwaukee’s problem may be just as bad.

By - Dec 2nd, 2015 10:46 am
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Timothy Dolan

Timothy Dolan

Probably no city has gotten more attention for its clergy sex abuse problem than Boston. It’s been called “the epicenter” of the crisis, and it is once again in the Spotlight, which is the name of a widely acclaimed new movie that dramatizes the Boston Globe’s 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative series on pedophile priests.

The newspaper reported that the Boston archdiocese quietly settled child molestation claims against at least 70 priests and routinely transferred abusive priests to other parishes. The series blew the lid on a scandal that soon became a national and even international one, as more victims came forward and newspapers began aggressively reporting their stories.

In America alone, more than 6,900 priests have been accused of pedophilia, as USA Today has reported.  By 2012, 16,787 people had come forward to say they were abused by priests as children, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the church had spent more than $2.6 billion in civil suits in the U.S. But that figure turned out to be an underestimate: the National Catholic Reporter tallied the data and found the total payout has been $4 billion.

The sheer scale of the scandal is astounding. The Conference commissioned a study which concluded that 4 percent of all priests who served from 1950-2002 had been accused of molesting minors. If the rate was that high for teachers in the U.S., that would equal 120,000 pedophiles.

But Peter Isely, the Milwaukeean who is Midwest director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, believes the percentage of pedophile priests is much higher. “If you look at federal reporting where there have been grand juries investigating this, the percentage gets near 10 percent.”

The PBS show Frontline has singled out Milwaukee as one of the most dreadful examples of how victims of abusive priests were handled. Milwaukee, it concluded, had the fourth largest problem in the nation in terms of the number of victims.

The two worst archdioceses are presumed to be Boston and Los Angeles. In 2007, the LA archdiocese, the nation’s largest, announced more than $660 million in settlements to 508 victims. In Boston there have been several different settlements and the main lawyer handling these suits, Mitchell Garabedian (played by Stanley Tucci in Spotlight), says his firm has represented more than 1000 victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse to date.

Milwaukee had 575 victims of clergy sex abuse involved in the long running court case that was settled in August. That’s more than in Los Angeles, a metro area eight times larger than Milwaukee. That’s less than Boston, but its metro area is nearly three times larger than Milwaukee.

As for how this city handled the problem, thousands of documents released in the court case showed that former Archbishops Rembert Weakland and Timothy Dolan and the Vatican in Rome “repeatedly denied sexual abuse survivors justice by failing to act with urgency on reports of sexual abuse, often waiting years to remove a priest from ministry who had credible allegations of child sexual abuse,” as Fox 6 reported.

Milwaukee is also infamous for the tenacity with which the archdiocese resisted giving any settlements to victims. Dolan transferred nearly $57 million in archdiocese funds into a cemetery trust, a move that shielded church dollars from the legal claims of abuse victims. Documents released in the court case showed Dolan asked for permission from the Vatican to transfer the funds to protect the archdiocese “from any legal claim or liability.”

The transfer of money was part of an aggressive legal defense by the archdiocese, a policy continued by Dolan’s successor, Archbishop Jerome Listecki, that led to “the longest-running church bankruptcy in U.S. history” as Frontline noted. Though Listecki declared that the church wanted to support the victims through “therapy and healing,”  the Archdiocese “objected to all 575 sexual abuse claims filed in bankruptcy court and attempted to have hundreds of the claims thrown out of court,” as Fox 6 reported. As a result, the victims were “forced to make a decision that would prevent the case from being drawn out longer and incurring additional bankruptcy attorneys’ fees.”

One of the archdiocese’s lawyers warned they would spend down all the money it had on court fees if that was necessary, while pressuring the plaintiffs to settle. The tactics worked. The settlement was “the fourth largest (in the nation) terms of the number of alleged victims, but 27th in terms of compensation,” Frontline noted.

About $32 million of the money went to the lawyers on both sides, Isely notes, and just $13 million to the victims. The average victim settlement for all the other U.S. church bankruptcies when you subtract one third for attorney fees is $300,000, he estimates, compared to less than $39,000 per victim in Milwaukee.

That average would have been far smaller, if the Archdiocese hadn’t succeeded in getting 240 of the 575 alleged victims struck from the list of those eligible for a settlement. “Among those who will not receive compensation,” Frontline noted, “is Monica Barrett, who alleged that she was raped by Father William Effinger in 1968 when she was 8 years old. Her 1993 suit was dismissed due to the statute of limitations, but the diocese of Milwaukee sued her to recover $14,000 in legal expenses.”

What is the most powerful theme in Spotlight is how the abuse and betrayal of Catholic children and families that occurred was systematic and went right to the top, to then-Cardinal Bernard Law. In a heavily Catholic town like Boston, it involved politicians, police, prosecuting attorneys, the legal system, all of whom were bent to protect the church. And while it was finally the Boston Globe that exposed the problem, we learn that the head of the paper’s investigative team — himself a Catholic — had swept the problem under the rug some years earlier as metro editor, when the paper had learned about 20 abusive priests.

The situation isn’t much different in Milwaukee, where an estimated 32 percent of residents are Catholic, compared to 24 percent nationally. Experts say Wisconsin is unique nationally in its protection of abusive priests. A Supreme Court decision written in 1997 by the late Justice Patrick Crooks, a practicing Catholic, dismissed a civil suit involving clergy abuse. Civil remedies weren’t needed, Crooks suggested, because “a bishop may determine that a wayward priest can be sufficiently reprimanded through counseling and prayer.”

Longtime Milwaukee District Attorney E. Michael McCann, a devout Catholic, had little interest in prosecuting abusive priests. He blamed the Supreme Court decision that made prosecution difficult, but took no interest in trying to change the state law. McCann, moreover, seemed compromised by his close relationship with Weakland. Weakland sought and received private advice from McCann about a sexual relationship that ultimately resulted in an accusation of sexual abuse against the archbishop.

At the old Milwaukee Journal, Marie Rohde served as religion reporter from 1984 to 1995 and had begun to uncover stories of pedophilia by the priests when she was removed from the beat in early 1995 by then Milwaukee Journal editor Mary Jo Meisner. As a Pressroom column by Milwaukee Magazine once reported, Archbishop Weakland put pressure on the editors to remove Rohde from the beat. That was seven years before the Boston Globe did its watershed series.

Spotlight has been compared to All the President’s Men, and both are terrific films that remind us of the value of an aggressive media. But it’s worth noting that Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and the Washington Post, while they faced down pressure from the administration of President Richard Nixon, were doing stories for a readership that probably leaned Democratic. The Globe’s readership was heavily Catholic as were most of its reporters and their families and friends. Those kind of personal ties, in my experience, can be the hardest thing for reporters trying to tell the truth; even mildly critical stories can create a very personal blowback that’s painful for the journalist. But in this case, the reporters (led by a Jewish editor who was not from Boston) dared to write scathing stories that portrayed priests as the demons they were. The newspaper did the entire country, including Milwaukee, a huge favor, in the process saving countless children from becoming future victims.

Categories: Murphy's Law

41 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee’s Massive Pedophile Priest Problem”

  1. M says:

    Thanks for reporting all the collusion that led to condoned pedophilia in MKE for generations. A convoluted system of justifying behaviors, shaming and secrecy played a big role. Priests were closely linked to God, and this in-bred patriarchy ruthlessly protected its turf—like any corrupt system hell-bent on perpetuating itself. I’m surprised it has not seemed to hurt the Catholic Church more, although clergy numbers are dwindling, probably for other reasons. The current insistence on celibacy and ban on married priests is unsustainable.

    It was enlightening to learn that the whole celibacy dictum—not required in other religions—was developed years after the death of Christ, who was reportedly married. Although disdain for sex and women played a role, some say it was done to protect the Church’s massive real-estate holdings.

    Here’s a timeline on Catholic priests and marriage. Despite all the opposition, I suspect the Church will simply go back to its tradition of married priests.
    https://www.futurechurch.org/brief-history-of-celibacy-in-catholic-church

    Another film that poignantly address this pedophile priest tragedy (in part) is “Call Me Lucky” about the life of comic Barry Crimmins, a fierce advocate for abuse survivors.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3899932/

  2. John Casper says:

    Bruce, thanks.

    What’s astounding about the pedophile numbers is that they don’t include priests who abused victims post-puberty.

    Roman Catholics like D.A. McCann were victims of the self-inflicted priest shortage. Rather than expand candidates for ordination to both genders and make celibacy optional, they ordained child molesters, and knowingly transferred them into unsuspecting parishes.

    Mark 1: 30Now Peter’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

  3. M says:

    The relegation of nuns as a subservient class was also part of this misogynistic stronghold. A recent attempt by Catholic cardinals to get nuns to toe the line and stop having any autonomy, esp. in their work with women and the disadvantaged, thankfully ended with a whimper.

    Few women are now becoming nuns, but for generations it was one option for women who had aspirations beyond bearing children and being subservient to a husband. They got to be scholars, teachers, social workers, nurses and administrators of hospitals and schools.

  4. Katrina says:

    Ron Johnson at the request of the Catholic Charities testified against the Child Victims Act which would have eliminated the statue of limitation in Wisconsin. That was his only cause prior to running for Senator. In a chilling video Johnson tells legislators at a hearing on the bill that unintended consequences of giving compensation to victims would be to shut down services for children by charities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU43UkT7ZbU

  5. David Ciepluch says:

    These priests were real monster vampires released upon innocent children and families sucking out the life force of the region. And people like Dolan that protected these vampires, still sit on their thrones today when they were nothing but pimps covering up their own fleecing of the flock and corruption of a religious institution.

  6. Anne says:

    Even before the Boston Globe’s expose there were several books about priest abuse. I believe Jason Berry was the first to publish about this growing phenomenon with the publication in 1992 of Lead Us Not Into Temptation, Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children; and in 1995 A. W. Richard Sipe published Sex, Priests and Power, Anatomy of a Crisis. Boston’s problem apparently became the tipping point for widespread awareness of the scandal.

  7. Bruce Murphy says:

    Anne, you’re right, there was some coverage, and Sipe was a key expert for Boston Globe. But the media was largely ignoring it, seeing it as an isolated phenomenon.

  8. Marie says:

    Now an exalted cardinal, Timothy Dolan’s role in the Milwaukee cover-up has not hurt his career one iota:

    “Timothy Dolan was elected on November 16, 2010, to the presidency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, becoming the first New York bishop to attain the post. Dolan replaced Cardinal Francis George, who did not run for re-election. In a vote of 128–111, Dolan beat out nine others, including Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, to win the three-year term. He served as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops until November 12, 2013.

    On January 6, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI announced that Dolan would be created a cardinal at the consistory of the Church held on February 18, 2012. Archbishop Dolan was formally elevated to the cardinalate by Pope Benedict XVI on February 18, 2012, receiving the traditional red biretta and gold ring during a ceremony in Saint Peter’s Basilica.” (from Wikipedia)

    He’s a frequent talking head on national TV–Mr. Smooth Talker.

  9. Richard says:

    At one point former Archbishop Weakland, when asked about his having done nothing for 25 years in regard to the pedophile priests stated:”I always knew it was a sin but didn’t think it was criminal.”
    That statement is the most alarming and ignorant ever!! Oh to see the day when he, Listecki and Dolan are arrested!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. As Charlie Sykes would say, a “flagrant act of journalism.”

  11. Pat Small says:

    Dolan is Cardinal “Extreme Unction,” with his oily glib persona. He’s great at deflecting serious issues by light-heartedly changing the subject with his song-and-dance and pious patter.

    Nonetheless, he was continuing the policies and tactics of archbishops Rembert Weakland and William Cousins and others who, for generations deliberately transferred these abusers and protected their sinister cabal. His crowning achievement in Milwaukee was his ingenious/egregious burying church cash in the “cemetery fund” to keep it away from victims. This was truly no “SNAP” decision. Such cleverness was rewarded by the pope, who promoted him to NYC.

    If this were any other institution, not one “ordained by God,” it would long ago have been history.

  12. Jim ewens says:

    Fr. Tom Doyle — who as defended victims since 1985 — has called the Milwaukee archdiocese “Hypocrisy at its worst.” (May 26, 2015). He states, The Milwaukee bankruptcy has been a mockery of the American judicial process. . . . It is an example of the virus of clericalism in its virulent worst.” Robert Blair Kaiser, in his book: “Whistle: Tom Doyle’s Steadfast Witness for Victims of Clerical Sexual Abuse” highlights Doyle’s efforts to bring pedophiles to justice — including those in Milwaukee — since the early 1980s.

  13. Pat Small says:

    It’s also worth noting that Timothy Dolan’s “crowning”achievement resulted in him being handed one of the church’s coveted red hats to match his always jolly red face.

  14. Dennis Grzezinski says:

    Bruce: Thanks for highlighting the outrageous, disgusting, very expensive, and largely successful legal tactics of the Archdiocese in battling legal claims by the victims of its criminal priests and shameful decades-long coverup.

  15. John Casper says:

    Anne, nice catch on Jason Berry’s ground breaking work. FWIW, his editor was David DeCosse, a Marquette High graduate.

  16. John Casper says:

    Jim, thanks for bringing in Fr. Tom Doyle. Completely agree that he was one of the few clerical heroes in this institutional disgrace.

  17. Pat Small says:

    Bruce,

    As I recall, Matt Flynn, a prominent Catholic, was the lead lawyer for Milwaukee’s pedophile priests. Was he the guy you mentioned who issued the threat to “spend down” all the church’s money through court costs–to keep it from compensating victims?

    And did the church prevail in their suit to recover lawyer fees from the woman who had been raped at age 8 by a priest?

    This is a closed system. The church’s clerics bank millions collected from trusting members. These clerics then behave criminally (while living high on the hog) and, when exposed, give millions to Catholic lawyers to deny, hush it up or slither thru legal loopholes.

    It also helps to have Catholic judges like Rudy Randa rule that it’s righteous to stash cash in Catholic cemeteries. Attorneys argued that when “the Rapture” occurs, there must be a a manicured lawn waiting for every resurrecting Catholic soul as they emerge from their graves. That, in fact, was the absurd, supernatural justification presented to the court by the Catholic Church’s lawyers for diverting $57 million into the “cemetery trust”–thus keeping it out of a victims’ compensation fund. And, of course, Judge Randa agreed that Catholic fairy tales deserve more credence than sexual-abuse victims living in their priest-induced, present-day hell.

  18. Bruce Murphy says:

    Pat, no, the attorney was Bruce Arnold

  19. Judy Jones says:

    We hope everyone will see the “Spotlight” movie. What’s frustrating and very disturbing is that these crimes and cover ups within the Catholic church continue to this day.
    Let’s hope that anyone who has been harmed will have the courage to come forward. Silence only hurts. By speaking up there is a chance
    for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others

    Judy Jones, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,

  20. Katrina says:

    Please comment on the role now Senator Ron Johnson played in fighting the Child Victims Act. It passed a committee vote but was never brought up for a vote in the legislature.

  21. Michael Leon says:

    Timothy Dolan should be in prison.

    Vicious and heartless, the Milwaukee Archdiocese has its defenders: U.S. District Judge Judge Rudolph Randa,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/us/judge-is-asked-by-creditors-of-archdiocese-to-leave-case.html?_r=4&

    and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
    http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/95740094.html

  22. john mccormack says:

    This is just beginning to explode … again.

    In Boston, Spotlight showed it was AT LEAST 18% of priests (249 out of 1500).

  23. Jean says:

    Regarding comment about books on subject reminded me of a book I read several years ago, “Goodbye, Good Men” by Michael Rose. It was compilation of interviews of the experiences some seminarians had and a behind the scenes look at was going on in the seminaries 20 to 40 years ago. It was reported that many devout men were turned away in favor of those with liberal attitudes while the rampant practice of homosexuality was ignored. I thought it an eye opening read.

    Looking at pedophilia as a whole, the church scandal is only a piece of the pie. We’ve “heard” that pedophilia is a problem in Hollywood but we ignore the awful rumors and pay good money for insulting “entertainment”. Rumors of call boys being in the White House decades ago, under age children being sold for sex at Super Bowl games, Michael Aquino, former general with National Security Agency and Satanist arrested for ritual child sacrifice, ritual sex abuse and other crimes against children. We dont have to look far to add to the list. Pedophilia is pervasive in the entertainment industry, government, business and the church. It is a big problem with few voices. SNAP is one voice that has done amazing job in revealing ugly truth that the church AND media ignored for too long.

  24. john mccormack says:

    Jean,

    The Catholic church is BY FAR the worst organized pedophile program in US history. In Boston, at least 18% of priests were pedos, and 100% of them were protected by every other priest. NO other institution has more than a fraction of a percent, unless you use “Extrapolations” and made up numbers.

    You mentioned cases where there were one or two or a handful, not 249 in Boston alone like the Catholic church had.

  25. Jean says:

    John,

    I am not arguing that the church has huge number of pedophilia crimes on it’s hands. Why stop at the church? At one time these crimes against children done by the priests were rumors and extrapolations. Percentage wise I would extrapolate Hollywood is equal to the church in sex crimes against children. We will never know because my guess is that the perpetrators are well protected. The crimes of the church will over shadow and distract us from seeing that this sad problem is every where.

  26. David Ciepluch says:

    Many institutions have human beings that cover up flaws, corruption, crimes, abuse etc. whether in politics, private business, government, military and others. In the case of religious figures they are supposed to be a representation of goodness and providing a pathway and are granted by society a form of protected status of high credibility, trust, and honor for their work and life. That is why it is such a high level of betrayal by a church institution leaving these monsters that remained in plain sight to pick their opportunities to feast as vampires upon innocent children and teens. Their formal church clothing was their visible shield to perform evil deeds and harm upon the innocent and society.

    And it is still covered up today with the use of attorneys protecting their ill gotten golden horde. It is if the gold and institution are more important than the flock. When the flock feasted upon by monsters is the real church that needs protection.

  27. Jean says:

    David,

    Yes, your point well taken.

  28. Marie says:

    What Jean and others are pointing out is that powerful institutions will use their power to perpetuate themselves, even when that means literally sacrificing children to protect that institution. Jerry Sandusky and Penn State exhibit that point. However, Sandusky was apparently a lone, though powerful, pedophile who was protected. The scale of the Catholic Church’s web of normalized criminality is beyond comprehension.

    However, human trafficking of children and teenagers is reportedly rampant in Milwaukee–including outside of major institutions. Those situations may not be related, but abuse of children is still rampant.

  29. Bruce Murphy says:

    I must correct my comment, the attorney was warned the archdiocese could just spend down the money was Frank LoCoco. He and Bruce Arnold worked at the same firm.

  30. John Casper says:

    Jean, you wrote, “It was reported that many devout men were turned away in favor of those with liberal attitudes while the rampant practice of homosexuality was ignored.”

    My understanding of pedophilia is that gender is irrelevant in the choice of the victim.

    It sounds like you support making celibacy optional for Roman Catholic clerics.

    OT, thanks to Judy Jones and SNAP for all their work.

  31. john mcormack says:

    The Sandusky case was different. Sandusky never “confessed” his childrapes to anyone else. And when Penn State found out he did it, and others might have known, they fired 5 people.

    In the Catholic church in Philly, in the same state, in the same year, Msgr Lynn testified that he destroyed evidence about 37 known pedo-priests in 1994, at the request of Cardinal Bevilacqua, and with approval of 3 other priests, 2 of who were later promoted to bishop (Cullen and Cistone).

    Rape of children isn’t as rampant anywhere else as it is in the Catholic church, but Catholics are always trying to distract people by saying that it is, and it’s not organized like it is in the Catholic church. This is literally a pedophile mafia, or pedophile terrorist cult, teaching a billion people that it is ok to rape children and protect pedophiles.

  32. john mccormack says:

    Jean,

    Nonsense. “Percentage wise I would extrapolate Hollywood is equal to the church in sex crimes against children.”

    You just absolutely made that up, with no evidence whatsoever.

    The church is the largest organized childrape crime ring, and it makes sense. It has sexually repressed, social and sexual male misfits from society, put them in charge of each other, add in the Catholic invention of “confession” that allows them to get away with any crime, and give the idea to others in the process, and you end up with a huge organized childrape crime ring.

    No institution is anywhere close.

  33. John Casper says:

    Jean, per john mccormack, (1) how many years did the “Hollywood” perps you won’t identify, spend studying philosophy and theology? (2) How did they acquire their victims? (3) Who warrantied to the parents and the kids that they could be trusted? (4) Why would you expect “Hollywood,” however you define it, to have the moral strength and character that used to be attributed to Roman Catholic clerics? There are plenty of Roman Catholic clerics who weren’t pedophiles, who covered-up the truth. (5) Who is playing that role in “Hollywood?”

  34. Richard says:

    The egregious and conspiratorial, criminal endeavor within this archdiocese in no way relates to Hollywood or any other entity where pedaphilia may or may not have occurred and the comparison is ludicrous. I agree with John, Jean, you made that up.

  35. Jean says:

    I’m not arguing over which institution wins over sex crimes against children. I’m not comparing either. If anything I have concluded by the books and articles I’ve read along with interviews and blatant jokes on television that there is an underworld of child porn and pedophilia that seems to be interconnected. I don’t know for sure but believe there are no walls here. Franklin Cover-Up by John DeCamp was not about Hollywood but that is where I saw how pedophiles network. Thanks For the Memories by Brice Taylor is a book I could not finish that did involve Hollywood. It was an autobiography about Hollywood’s “handlers”. Controllers of children brought up to be given to those willing to pay for sex or to government officials as sex gifts and also used as blackmail to keep people in line. Bob Hope was author’s handler and obvious in book, a pedophile. Corey Feldman a popular child star from 80’s wrote a book about the problem pedophilia was back then and says is worse now. Hollywood parents are willing to prostitute their children out in exchange for fame. Look up Bob Saget and what he says today about what happened on the set of Full House back then. I did make up the percentage and stand corrected, it’s not a real statistic. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised if I were right.

  36. john mccormack says:

    Jean,

    You named about 10, and none are proven, and none “confessed it” to each other, and none moved & hid know child rapists, and none called themselves “God’s church”. And you don’t know how many of THEM were Catholic

    In contrast, the Catholic church had 271 pedos in Boston alone, out of 1500 priests, for an 18% rate. NO institution in US history has a higher percentage of actual allegations than 1%. Anyone who says anything else is purely guessing.

    And this was organized crime, where they got help from 100% of other priests that knew about it, universally, worldwide. NONE turned in a pedo unless a victim came forward.

    Focus on the Catholic church – the largest, organized, child rape cult, using God as their weapon to get away with it, in brutal defiance of Jesus in Matt 18:6-14. Focus on punishing them, and helping their victims, and it will be easy to go after the 10 in Hollywood.

  37. Jean says:

    John, ok I will. I don’t believe Rome ever fell and lives well in places like the Vatican with its obelisk exposed to the world. I’m surprised it hasn’t already sunk into the great abyss by the shear weight of it’s own corruption. We can only hope (and pray) that more guilty priests and clergy are arrested. There will then have to be domino effect into government, big business and entertainment industry.

  38. Pat Small says:

    John: Jerry Sandusky, according to his Wikipedia bio was an only child, raised by Irish-American and Polish-American parents. His mother was described as Catholic. One can only speculate, but like many sexual abusers, he himself may also have first been a child victim. That, of course, is no excuse.

  39. Jean says:

    John your quote, “Rape of children isn’t as rampant anywhere else as it is in the Catholic church, but Catholics are always trying to distract people by saying that it is, and it’s not organized like it is in the Catholic church. This is literally a pedophile mafia, or pedophile terrorist cult, teaching a billion people that it is ok to rape children and protect pedophiles.”
    I still don’t understand how you know that the rape of children isn’t rampant any where else but the Catholic Church. I am NOT a practicing Catholic since Benedict stepped down. (or should I say ran away?). I have no interest in protecting the church let alone guilty clergy. I agree with you, there is a pedophile mafia and its interests go way beyond the Catholic Church. I do support prosecuting guilty priests whole heartedly but it doesn’t stop there for me. It is tunnel vision to say it isn’t happening as big any where else. If it’s happened this big in the church, you can bet it is as big or bigger ANY where else! If we haven’t seen it yet that just shows how good organized crime is at covering their crimes.

  40. John Casper says:

    Jean, you’re missing the difficulty pedophiles face in getting access to victims, children before puberty. The hierarchy ordained pedophiles. They repeatedly warrantied to victims and their families that the perpetrators were “safe,” when they knew that was false. It was institutional enabling on a massive scale.

  41. john mccormick says:

    Jean,

    It’s not nearly as bad elsewhere, but Catholics want to distract from their evil, so they found sties that earing in public schools with rape in Catholic churches, and said “abuse” is worse in public schools. Strategy: lying to double down on the evil of child rape.

    Its simply foolish to say “it must be just as bad elsewhere”. Catholic priests are social and sexual misfits, they manage each other, and they have “confession” that literally allows them to get away with murder, or child rape. That combination doesn’t exist elsewhere.

    However, if it was as bad in another institution, then they aren’t “God’s church”, just like the Catholic church isn’t.

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