We don’t know precisely what Fr. Brendan Doyle has allegedly done. That’s because Jeff City’s Catholic bishop is being reckless and secretive.
But given what is known, any reasonable person would have to assume that child porn was found in Fr. Doyle’s computer. Why else would the computer have been turned over to police? Why else would Fr. Doyle have been suspended from his post at a school?
It is highly unlikely that the computer had photos of Fr. Doyle engaging in financial fraud, carjacking, or any other possible crime. (And if so, Jeff City’s Catholic bishop owes it to parishioners, the public, and his priests to disclose that information.) As long as Jeff City’s bishop keeps withholding almost all the facts, there is only one reasonable conclusion to draw.
We are calling on Jeff City’s Catholic bishop to do three things:
- First, the bishop should honor his promises regarding openness and transparency, and to be specific and clear about what was found on Fr. Doyle priest’s computer.
- Second, if it was indeed child porn, the bishop should move Fr. Doyle from the parish where some parents still trust him and might let their kids be with him. He should put Fr. Doyle in a remote, secure, independently run treatment facility so kids will be safer and Fr. Doyle can get help.
- Third, if it was child porn, then the bishop should aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected, or suffered Fr. Doyle’s crimes or misdeeds, so that he can be effectively prosecuted and so that others who he may have hurt can get help.
Finally,. today, we’re sending to Columbia police today a notarized two-page affidavit from a Missouri man who contacted us last week. In it, he describes his phone conversation with a Helias staffer and his face-to-face meeting with a diocesan staffer. He was promised that his report would be taken seriously and kept by the diocese.
This was in 2008, three years ago.
Now, he’s upset – and so are we - because a Jeff City Catholic official publicly said, two weeks ago, that there had been no other incidents involving Doyle. (Jeff City News Tribune, 11/30).
We’ve spoken to this “whistleblower” several times. We find him very credible. We see nothing to suggest he might somehow, for some reason, be making this up. We applaud him for his courage – back in 2008 and right now. He did the right thing then. And he’s doing the right thing now. We wish more adults who see or suspect child sex crimes or misconduct would be as brave and caring as this man.
So someone’s being deceptive here. And we don’t think it’s this compassionate and responsible man who has sign a notarized statement describing how he went to secular, church and school officials about Fr. Doyle’s inappropriate misdeeds around kids.
Jeff City’s bishop has some explaining to do – to .police, parishioners, parents and the public about diocesan deception.
And he has some work to do – to help police learn the full truth about Fr. Doyle.
We hope he does both immediately.