Breaking the Silence: The Growing Faith Movement to End Sexual Violence

IN 2002, Anne Barrett Doyle’s church involvement took a radical turn. The Boston Globe had just launched a series investigating rampant abuse among clergy in Boston’s Archdiocese, and the Catholic woman found herself protesting something for the first time in her life: her own Church.

“I was just pulled into this story, inextricably, with a force I didn’t understand,” Boston-based Barrett Doyle said.

This pull led her to help form Bishop Accountability, a clearinghouse that works to create and maintain a public record of clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. To date, the group maintains extensive paper trails (“over one million pages,” said Barrett Doyle), on reported sex abuse scandals around the country.

Nearly a decade would pass before...

Barrett Doyle realized her agitated response — an accusation against the church, in defense of the faith — was shared by many in leadership. The change came in 2012, when a priest sent her documents on a incident he’d brought to light in the 1990s.

“This man spoke out against abuse, and his career was altered forever by it,” Barrett Doyle said. “He’d done a wonderful thing, and his story was totally forgotten. He’d had no contact from other priests since. He was alone.”

Wondering whether other clergy were similarly isolated, Barrett Doyle began encouraging outspoken priests and nuns...

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