Five Catholic religious orders have released, as part of a settlement, files regarding 12 proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics (two nuns and ten priests). (Individual names are below.)
This is not a voluntary move. It’s happening only because brave survivors insisted on it happening. So it’s misleading for anyone to say or claim that church officials are “releasing” this information. It’s been pried from them, following years – sometimes decades - of irresponsible secrecy and deceit.
We hope this long-overdue disclosure will prod every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups by religious order clerics to step forward. And they should step forward to law enforcement officials, not church officials.
The LA Times reports that “the files have little or no reference to abuse allegations…suggesting the orders were either unaware of molestation claims or opted not to document them.” There are two other likely scenarios: Catholic officials destroyed or are still not turning over records about child molesting clerics.
It’s wrong to claim that religious orders operate “independently” of Catholic diocesan officials like bishops and cardinals. Religious order clerics work in a diocese only with the explicit approval of diocesan officials.
When religious order clerics do well, diocesan officials take credit. When religious order clerics molest, diocesan officials distance themselves.
Every bishop is responsible for the safety of his flock, regardless of whether a child molester’s pay check is signed by a religious order supervisor or a diocesan supervisor. So is every archdiocesan staff member.
The files strongly suggest that religious orders are even more irresponsible and less forthcoming about clergy sex crimes and cover ups than bishops are.
The information is available on the website of attorney Ray Boucher.
Religious Orders’ Files
U.S Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Inc. and Oblate Fathers Western Province
Fr. Robert Koerner, Fr. Ruben Martinez, Fr. Joseph Murphy, Fr. Emmett Schaller
Benedictine Fathers of Sacred Heart Mission, Inc. aka St. Gregory's Abbey
Fr. Mathias Faue
Marianist Province of the United States
Fr. Joseph DiPiri, Fr. Charles Fatooh, Fr. James McGloin, Fr. Bernard Plieman, and Fr. Thomas Havel
Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus aka The Cabrini Sisters
Sister Agnes Santomassimo
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
Sister Mary Joseph