For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013
David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
The elevation of Boston’s Bishop Robert Deeley to head Maine’s Catholic archdiocese is yet another in a string of disappointing promotions made in recent months. (Others include new Hartford Bishop Leonard Blair, El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz, Bridgeport Bishop Frank Caggiano and Dubuque Archbishop Michael Jackels.)
Deeley admits working closely with then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees – and hides – clergy sex crimes from across the globe. We suspect Deeley knows of hundreds of credibly accused child molesting Catholic clerics and we doubt if he’s reported even one to law enforcement.
He was also a high ranking official in the Boston archdiocese which enjoys – unjustly, we feel - a reputation of being somewhat better than other dioceses regarding children’s safety. During Deeley’s time there, the archdiocese was found twice to be violating the US church abuse policy by refusing to provide sufficient abuse prevention training. This is a particularly egregious violation because the mandated abuse provision is one of the few worthwhile parts of the national policy.
We hope Deeley’s first act as bishop will be to warn parents, parishioners and the public about three credibly accused child molesting Maine clerics who seem to have moved elsewhere:
--Fr. Paul L. Gauvin. Last year, the diocese admitted last year that a credible child sex abuse report was made against him. And last year, Gauvin was working at Sacred Heart parish in Bloomfield CT.
--Fr. Renald C. Hallee. A woman sued him in 2010 charging that he molested her as a child. Later, as a church volunteer in Massachusetts, church officials let him chaperone teens on church trip even after they knew of his past.
--Fr. Raymond Melville. He reportedly molested in Baltimore and Maine but has apparently lived in Oklahoma and North Carolina in recent years (where presumably, virtually no one knows of his crimes).
We also hope Bishop Deeley will follow the lead of 30 other US bishops who have posted on their diocesan websites the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. This is a bare minimum public safety step that every prelate should take.
Bishop Richard Malone was awful when it comes to children’s safety. As recently as last year, he was hiding the identities of seven credibly accused Maine clerics. We hope his successor will be more open about these dangerous and potentially dangerous men.