It is disconcerting that, in the case of Rev. Mendicoa, the Archdiocese of Boston has made nothing public except that the claim was “unsubstantiated." How was this determination made? Who were the witnesses? What criteria were used? Because it provides no answers to these questions, the Archdiocese’s statement really means nothing. A statement this cryptic and a process this mysterious neither exonerates the priest nor reassures the public.
If Mendicoa was truly innocent, we suspect that he would not have to seek permission to perform priestly functions. The fact that Mendicoa is still restricted in ministry, even though he has been taken off of administrative leave, is telling. We urge Boston church officials to make known what has actually been found out in this case instead of using vague terms and odd punishments. A decade ago these officials pledged to be open and honest about clergy sex crimes and allegations. We would appreciate some of that honesty in this case.
Finally, we believe that often in these cases, "where there's a will, there's a way." In other words, we feel that Cardinal O'Malley has ample resources he could use to really seek out others with knowledge or suspicions about this case. Instead, he seems to have taken the 'bare minimum' approach, which is a disservice to everyone involved.
Within 3 weeks of contacting me, and telling me his story I was able to track down several parishioners from 30+ years ago and managed to find the name of the priest (religious order now in Ireland). I am 500 miles away with limited resources and I was able to assist this young man. It appears that the Archdiocese really DID NOT WANT TO HELP. What other reason would they have in not finding the perpetrator?