US Church Insiders Who Have Blown the Whistle on Alleged Child Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up
The burden of disclosing sexual abuse by Catholic clerics and its cover-up by religious leaders has fallen almost completely on victims. Most church insiders who have witnessed misconduct have chosen not to report it. Fortunately, there have been remarkable exceptions. BishopAccountability.org is pleased to present the first database of church whistleblowers - priests, men and women religious, and other church employees and volunteers who reported colleagues to church or civil authorities and fought their superiors’ concealment of abuse. We have defined "whistleblower" broadly: our table includes both those who spoke up internally and those who went outside the church. Many of the individuals profiled below have experienced retaliation and grief in some form – defamation, job loss, career derailment, ostracization, pressure by superiors to admit to mental illness, and in at least one case, suicide. By documenting this overlooked aspect of the crisis, we hope to raise awareness that whistleblowers must be protected in both the church and civil society. We hope too that these stories will help still-silent witnesses find the courage to come forward.
In 2012, in the early stages of our whistleblower research, we brought together ten of the brave individuals pictured below. After months of planning and conversation, they launched Catholic Whistleblowers, the first group of priests and nuns dedicated to helping Catholic church insiders who have witnessed wrongdoing. See "Church Whistle-Blowers Join Forces on Abuse," by Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times, May 20, 2013.
Note: On December 18, 2013, we added lay whistleblowers to our database of clergy and religious whistleblowers. While we always intended to document the role of lay as well as ordained whistleblowers, the stunning revelations in October 2013 regarding the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis by former canonical chancellor Jennifer Haselberger made this expansion urgent.
We will be adding steadily to the lay and clergy databases, as well as to our international list. To suggest names in any of these categories, please email us.
Clergy and Religious Whistleblowers
Rev. Felix Alarcon | Rev. John Bambrick | Marianne Benkert | Rev. Thomas Bolte | Msgr. Lawrence Breslin | Sr. Sally Butler OP| Rev. Daniel Clayton | Sr. Jeanne Christensen | Rev. Patrick Collins | Rev. John Conley | Rev. James Connell | Rev. Donald Cozzens | Bishop John M. D'Arcy | Rev. Tom Doyle OP | Rev. Thomas Economus | Jim Fitzpatrick | Rev. Joseph Fowler | Rev. Terence German SJ | Rev. James Gigliotti, T.O.R| Bishop Thomas Gumbleton | Rev. Gary Hayes | Rev. David Hitch | Sr. Jane Kelly | Rev. Bob Hoatson | Sr. Peg Ivers | Rev. Peter G. Jankowski | Msgr. Kenneth Lasch | Rev. Ron Lemmert | Jane Levikow | Rev. Michael Lipareli | Rev. James A. "Seamus" MacCormack| Rev. John McNamee | Rev. John Minkler | Msgr. James Molloy | Sr. Catherine Mulkerrin | Sr. Joyce Newton | Rev. Joseph Okonski | Lynette Petruska | Msgr. Michael Picard | Rev. Richard Reissmann | Msgr. Phillip Saylor | Fr. James Scahill | Sr. Joan Scary | Rev. Edward Seagriff | Richard Sipe | Claire Smith, OSU | Rev. Robert Smoot | Rev. Stephen Stanbery | Rev. Joseph Starmann | Rev. Tim Stier | Rev. Frederick E. Sweeney | Rev. Bruce Teague | Sr. Janice Thomas | Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish | Juan Vaca | Patrick Wall | Rev. Robert Williams |
Lay Catholic Whistleblowers
Linda Briggs-Harty | Anne Burke | Joelle Casteix | Elizabeth Cucinotta Sorvillo | Donna Cox | Robert Fontana | Connel Friel | Frank Keating | Theresa Gerstner | Jennifer Haselberger | Jim Jenkins | Margaret Mata | Rita McDonald | Linda Porcaro | Larry Probst | Barbara Westrick |
|Rev. Felix Alarcon||Rockville Centre NY and Venice FL ||A Legionary of Christ priest and native of Mexico, Alarcon established the Legionaries' U.S. headquarters in Connecticut in 1965. The following year he left the order to work as a priest of the diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, and later moved to Florida to work in Hispanic ministry. Along with former Legionary of Christ priest Juan Vaca, Alarcon sent letters in 1978 and again in 1989 to the Vatican accusing Legionary founder Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado of sexually abusing them and others in the order when they were minors. The Vatican did not respond. Alarcon was also among nine former Legionairy priests and seminarians who filed a canon lawsuit against Maciel with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith in 1998. The charges were not investigated until 2005. Alarcon retired to Madrid.|
•Breaking the Silence, Head of Worldwide Catholic Order Accused of History of Abuse, by Gerald Renner, Courant Religion Writer
Rev. John Bambrick
|Trenton NJ||Just before his 1991 ordination, Bambrick reported to the New York archdiocese that, as a 15-year-old altar boy, he was sexually abused by New York priest, Anthony J. Eremito. Eremito ultimately was removed from his Manhattan parish, and Cardinal John O’Connor assured Bambrick that Eremito would no longer work as a priest. In 1998, however, Bambrick discovered that Eremito was working in the Trenton diocese, just 45 minutes from Bambrick’s own parish. In 2002, Bambrick went public with his accusation against Eremito after he found that Eremito was working in Texas as a children's hospital chaplain. In 2006, Bambrick discovered Eremito was a bereavement counselor at a Texas hospice. In each case Bambrick notified Eremito's employers, and Eremito was fired. Eremito finally was removed from the priesthood in 2006. A SNAP member since 1993, Bambrick has been a strong advocate for fellow victim/survivors. He has identified other priests who have been accused of molesting children and turned their names over to prosecutors and church officials. Bambrick is a co-founder of Catholic Whistleblowers.||•Victims Then, Priests Later, by Bonnie Miller Rubin, Chicago Tribune, 6.03.2002|
• Perv-Clergy Tracker Can't Catch Cardinal's Ear, by Douglas Montero, New York Post, 6.14.2002
• A Priest's Burden: He Now Seeks Censure of Allegedly Abusive Former Mentor, by Stephanie Saul, Newsday [New York], 6.17.2002
• Priest Who Saw Abuse from Other Side Becomes Watchdog, by Richard Lezin, New York Times, 7.07.2002
• Abuse Survivors Optimistic after Meeting with Officials, by Tracy Robinson, Asbury Park Press, 3.16.2003
• Former Lubbock Chaplain Fired after Abuse Allegations,KAMC28.com, 1.05.2006
• Hospice Operator Fires Counselor, by David O'Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer
• Father John" Embraces His New Congregation, Never Forgetting, but Moving on, by Williams Boyd, Asbury Park Press, 5.11.2008
• Three More Resign after Priest Was Allowed to Work with Kids despite Lifetime Ban, by Mark Mueller, The Newark Star-Ledger, 5.5.2013
|As a psychiatrist and former Maryknoll sister, Benkert has worked with thousands of people affected by clerical sexual abuse. In 1990, she delivered with Richard Sipe a 13-lecture series called "Celibacy and Sexuality" at St. John's University in Collegeville MN, a Benedictine abbey dealing with revelations that a number of its monks were sexual abusers. She co-authored with Tom Doyle, Religious Duress and Its Impact on Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse.|
•Religious Duress and Its Impact on Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse, by Marianne Benkert and Thomas P. Doyle, 11.27.2008
|Rev. Thomas Bolte||Cincinnati OH||In 1985 and 1993, Bolte told archdiocesan officials about victims of Rev. David Kelley, and in 2005, Bolte publicly accused Archbishop Pilarczyk of cover-up.||• Archdiocese Documents, by Laure Quinlivan, WCPO Cincinnati, 2.03.05|
• Local Priest Cheered for His Role As Whistleblower, by Julie O'Neil, WCPO Cincinnati, 2.06.05
Msgr. Lawrence Breslin
|Cincinnati OH||In the 1990s, Breslin twice warned Bishop James Harvey, a high-ranking Vatican official, that Msgr. Daniel Pater, a Cincinnati priest in the Vatican diplomatic corps, had admitted to sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in Breslin's parish. The Vatican promoted Pater despite Breslin's warnings, and in 2003, Breslin exposed the Vatican's cover-up to the news media. He also publicly criticized Archbishop Pilarczyk for ignoring early warnings about convicted priest Rev. Thomas Kuhn. In response to the archdiocese's 2003 deal with the county prosecutor, in which the archdiocese, rather than the Archbishop, pled guilty to five counts of not reporting child sexual abuse, Breslin said publicly that Pilarczyk had lost credibility. Breslin died in 2008.|
• Concerns Were Voiced About Priest, by Jim DeBrosse, Dayton [OH] Daily News, 9.15.2002
|St. Louis MO||A public relations employee at a Marianist high school in St. Louis, Briggs-Harty resigned her position and pulled her son out of the school in 2008 because she said school officials ignored her expressed concerns that accused priest, Rev. Robert Osborne, was allowed to visit campus. The Marianists and the high school settled in 2007 with a student who claimed Osborne sexually abused him. There were two other known accusers in 2008. Briggs-Harty also voiced alarm publicly that Osborne was allowed to say mass at St. Peter's Catholic Church. After successfully advocating for the Rev. Robert Osborne’s removal from public ministry in the St. Louis Archdiocese, Briggs-Harty has remained an active proponent for victims, primarily by writing letters to the editor and other communications calling for openness, honesty and transparency in all spheres of the Catholic Church.||• “Whistleblower” & Victims’ Group Challenge School & Church Officials, SNAP, 11.11.2008|
• Catholic Groups Decry Fr. Osborne's St. Peter Duties.
Former Vianney Head Target of 2006 Civil Suit Alleging Sexual Misconduct, South County Times, 11.15.2008
• Ex-Vianney Staffer Campaigns Against Former School President, By Shawn Clubb
Suburban Journals, 11.18. 2008
• Moral Authority, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 3.12.2009
• More Letters Online Other Views, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 4.22.2009
• The Vatican's Unspoken Message, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 7.20.2010
• Mixed Messages, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 1.17.2011
• Church Leaders Shut Out Those Who Question Them, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 10.16.2013
• Catholic Church Must Encourage Openness Without Retaliation, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 4.16.2014
|National Review Board||A then-justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Burke was appointed by the U.S. bishops in 2002 to the newly formed National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People. Burke helped push the bishops to establish the Office of Child and Youth Protection and to hire as its director retired FBI official Kathleen McChesney. When the NRB's original Chair, Frank Keating, stepped down Burke took over as Interim Chair. Burke was tough and uncompromising in her role. Under her direction and despite strong objections from the USCCB, the John Jay study was implemented. Throughout her three-year tenure as Interim Chair, Burke was outspoken and critical of certain bishops' efforts to continue "business as usual." She was never given the title "Chair." Burke eventually donated her collection of emails and letters from this historic period to her alma mater, DePaul University. This remarkable archive reveals behind-the-scenes tensions between the NRB and the bishops around such developments as L.A. cardinal Roger Mahony's 2003 attempts to cancel the John Jay Study. Now a justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, Burke continues to decry dishonesty by church leaders and to affirm the laity's "right to truthfulness."||• Review Board Head Charges Bishops 'Manipulated' Sex Abuse, by Joe Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter. 5.11.2004 |
• Burke Fears for Priest Panel Autonomy, by James Janega Chicago Tribune [Chicago IL], 9.21.2004
• Catholics Urged to Stay Vigilant in Battle against Child Sex Abuse, by David Briggs, Plain Dealer [Cleveland OH], 3.03.2005
• Who Is Anne Burke?, by Abdon M. Pallasch, Daily Southtown [Chicago IL], 4.06.2006
• Anne Burke Gave the Catholic Bishops More Reform Than They Were Ready For…and Thus Becomes the Leading Exponent of Change, By Thomas F. Roeser, email@example.com,
TomRoeser.com, 8.19. 2006
• Anne Burke Out-Maneuvers the Bishops, Gets John Jay Report Detailing Clerical Sexual Abuse Correction, Hires Tough Female FBI Agent to Supervise, by Thomas F. Roeser, TomRoeser.com, 8.24.2006
• Anne Burke and Bob Bennett Go to Rome, Meet with Then Cardinal Ratzinger, Craft a Comprehensive Report, by Thomas F. Roeser,
• The Truth Shall Set Us Free: Responding to the Sex Abuse Crisis, by Anne M. Burke, U.S. Catholic, 03.2010
• Sex Abuse Critic to Pope: Swap White Cassock for Black, Lose the Red Shoes, by David Gibson, politicsdaily.com, 7.31.2010
• Faithful Expect Bishops to Tell the Whole Truth, by Anne Burke, Irish Times, 8.13.2011
• LA Cardinal Called 'Obstructionist', by Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter, 4.23.2013
Sr. Sally Butler, O.P.
|Brooklyn NY||In 1996, Butler and two fellow nuns, Sheila Buhse and Georgianna Glose, met with the diocesan chancellor to report abuse of boys in the 1970s by three priests at the nuns' parish. One priest had died; another denied the charges; and the third, Rev. Anthony Failla, allegedly admitted to the abuse and was sent for counseling. The diocese never informed the parish. In early 2002, after reading news reports of Brooklyn bishop Daily's history of cover-up in Boston, the nuns and one of the victims told their story to the NY Times. Since then, Butler publicly has lobbied to change the statute of limitations in NY state, highlighted child sexual abuse by nuns, and written numerous letters to the editor demanding accountability from bishops. Butler has said, "I believe this is our holocaust, our slaughter of the innocents." And, quoting St. Catherine of Siena, Butler added, "We must rid our church of the stench of grave sin." Butler co-founded Catholic Whistleblowers in 2013.|
• Bitterness in Brooklyn Diocese Over Abuse Case, by Daniel J. Wakin, NY Times, 3.15.2002
|Orange CA||A survivor of sexual abuse by her high school choir director, Casteix was invited to join the Orange Diocesan Review Board in 2002. She resigned after six months. Charged with investigating sexual abuse allegations within the diocese, Casteix said of the board, "not once did we discuss an allegation of sex abuse." Further, Casteix stated that priests on the board would complain about exposure ruining the reputations of the accused, and blame greedy lawyers and the 'anti-Catholic' media. Casteix filed a lawsuit related to her own case, and has since been a strong and vocal advocate for countless victims. She sits on several boards of directors for national advocacy organizations, and has long been SNAP's (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) Western Director. Casteix has been quoted as an expert on the church sex abuse crisis in national and international media outlets. A writer, her work has appeared in newspapers, national mainstream and trade magazines, websites, blogs, newsletters and collateral materials. She also authors the blog, The Worthy Adversary.|
• Joelle Casteix Fights for Catholic Church Sex-abuse Victims While Pursuing Her Own Abuser, by Gustavo Arellano, Orange County Weekly, 7.10.2008
Rev. Daniel Clayton
|Dallas TX||As pastor of a Texas parish, Clayton was disturbed by how assistant priest Rudy Kos behaved with boys.He called vicar general Msgr. Rehkemper to discuss it in January 1986. Clayton kept a detailed log which showed that Kos had boys stay overnight with him four out of five nights per week from February 26, 1986 to May 12, 1986. He sent the information to Rehkemper. Clayton also wrote of his concerns to Bishop Tschoepe, warning the bishop that something should be done. Clayton wrote, "I will not play psychologist, but I feel anxious about the situation. My instincts tell me to do nothing is not a|
solution." Clayton testified at Kos' 1997 civil trial. Kos was convicted in 1998 and sentenced to life in prison.
• Siblings Say Father Kos Abused Boys, Priest remains silent on sexual allegations, by Todd J. Gillman, Dallas Morning News, 12.26.1993
Sr. Jeanne Christensen, R.S.M.
|Kansas City MO||In 2011, soon after Bishop Robert Finn was indicted for failing to report Rev. Shawn Ratigan's possession of child pornography, Christensen publicly joined SNAP in urging Finn's resignation. As the diocese's victims assistance coordinator under Bishop Boland from 2000 to 2004, Christensen said she had heard stories of abuse from nearly 40 victims. She is thought to be the first former diocesan victims' advocate to stand publicly with survivors. She worked in the diocese's peace and justice office until 2006. Christensen stated in November 2011, “All of us are responsible to protect children, all of us.” Christensen is a member of the Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee.|
• Priest Abuse Addressed in Confession Letter, by Tess Koppelman, Fox 4
Rev. Patrick Collins
|Peoria IL||In a 2004 document named 'Project Millstones,' Collins, along with Revs. Tom Doyle, Bob Hoatson and Ken Lasch, called for the investigation of bishops and the resignation of those found to be guilty of covering up sexual abuse by clergy. The document was signed by more than 1000 Catholics across the U.S. and sent to U.S.C.C.B president Bishop Wilton Gregory, and to all U.S. bishops. In May 2013, when accusations broke in the news that Newark archbishop Myers protected a priest convicted of child molestation, Collins spoke publicly about similar behavior on Myers' part when Myers was a coadjutor bishop in Peoria years before. Collins is a Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee member.|
• Priests Seek Probe of Bishops;
Rev. John Conley
|San Francisco CA||In 1997, Conley told superiors and the D.A. that he had witnessed his pastor, Rev. James Aylward, acting suspiciously with an altar boy. The boy said they were just wrestling, and Aylward was not charged. A month later, Archbishop Levada placed Conley on leave and told other clergy that Conley had acted inappropriately. Conley sued Levada for defamation but the case was dismissed. Conley appealed, however, following a 2000 civil case in which Aylward admitted that he received sexual gratification by wrestling boys. The November 2002 settlement of Conley's suit required the archdiocese to state publicly that Conley had acted correctly in reporting Aylward to the police. Conley died November 4, 2015.|
• Church Settles Suit by Whistle-Blower, by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 11.27.02
Rev. James Connell
|Milwaukee WI||In June 2010, Connell published an open letter criticizing the LaCrosse diocese's "moral certitude" standard for removing accused priests. In a 2011 op-ed, he called attention to the fact that the USCCB's audits measure dioceses' compliance only with the Charter, rather than the actual law of the Church. Since 2010, he has stood repeatedly with survivors, calling on the archdiocese to release the names of accused priests and to honor all victims' claims in its bankruptcy settlement. Connell sends copies of all his published writings to his bishop and other top-ranking Catholic officials. Until recently, Connell served on the Archdiocesan review board and was Vice-Chancellor. In 2013 Connell co-founded Catholic Whistleblowers.||• National Support Group SNAP Seeks Removal of Sheboygan Priest James Connell from Archidiocese of Milwaukee Abuse Review Board, by Janet Ortegon, Sheboygan Press,|
• Letter from Connell, 6.17.2010
• Addendum to Letter, 6.22.2010
• Sheboygan Priest Works to Help Abuse Victims Heal, by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 6.23.2010
• Editorial: Local Priest Asking the Right Questions, Sheboygan, Press, 6.27. 2010
• Archdiocese Official Argues that Safegaurd Audits are Insufficient, by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 6.25.2010
• A Priest 'Hero' on Sex Abuse?, by Bryan Cones, U.S. Catholic, 1.25.2011
• Clerics' Critique Brings Something New to Talk of Abuse Crisis, by Tom Roberts
National Catholic Reporter
• A Way for Bishops to Begin Rebuilding Trust, by James E. Connell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 10.24.2011
• Statement by Rev. James Connell, 2.07.2012
• New Mission ..., by Janet Ortegon, Sheboygan Press, 10.27.2012
• Sheboygan Family Shares Its Story of Priest Abuse to Help Others Come Forward, by Janet Ortegon, Sheboygan Press
• Priest calls on Vatican to investigate Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, by Mark Mueller, The Newark Star-Ledger, 4.29.2013
• Appreciation for Those who Stood Up to Catholic Church Hierarchy: Editorial, The Newark Star-Ledger, 5.11.2013
|Donna Cox||Jefferson City MO||A youth worker for the diocese, Cox grew concerned after boys confided in her that certain priests, including a number at the minor seminary in Hannibal run by Rev. Anthony O'Connell, were making inappropriate sexual advances toward them. One of the students said he had been raped. Cox took her concerns to the diocesan chancellor in 1991, after O'Connell was made bishop of Knoxville. Cox was sworn to secrecy. When she complained a few months later that nothing was being done about the priests in question, she was fired. In 2002 O'Connell admitted to molesting a minor and stepped down as bishop of Palm Beach. Four other priests named by Cox were removed from ministry years later due to credible allegations of abuse.|
• Worker's Warnings on Priests Led to Her Firing, by Stephen Kurkjian
Rev. Donald Cozzens
|Cleveland OH||Cozzens has been an outspoken critic of the Church on several issues, including its handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis. He is a writer and lecturer whose groundbreaking book The Changing Face of the Priesthood, published in 2000, exposed sexual misconduct in seminaries. Cozzens wrote the book while he was president-rector of Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Cleveland. Cozzens encourages lay Catholics to challenge Church leaders; in his 2002 book, Sacred Silence-Denial and the Crisis in the Church, Cozzens wrote, "[S]ecrecy and denial only tend to exacerbate the harmful effects of inappropriate and scandalous behaviors."|
• Rector's book on clergy, sex is bestseller -- among priests, by Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 6.03.2000
Elizabeth Cucinotta Sorvillo
|New York NY||A teacher at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens, NYC, Cucinotta Sorvillo launched a website in March 2011, with permission and support from school officials. The site was meant to be a place "where people could vent about anything that bothers them... ." She encouraged her students to use the site. When students began posting complaints on the "Bad Teachers" section of the site about teachers sexually and emotionally harrassing them, school officials confronted her, demanding she take down the "Bad Teachers" section. Cucinotta Sorvillo refused and was fired. She then reportedly began to receive anonymous Facebook messages about a long time pattern of sexual abuse and harrassment at St. Francis Prep. In 2013 Cucinotta Sorvillo sued the school for defamation. The lawsuit was dropped in 2014, then appealed. Cucinotta Sorvillo continued to be contacted by former St. Francis Prep students alleging sexual abuse at the school. She continues to blog about the allegations. She has said, “My goal is to help as many people as I possibly can who have been injured by teachers or administrators at St. Francis Prep."|
• Claims of abuse in lawsuit against St. Francis Prep, by Michael O'Keeffe, New York Daily News, 6.13.2013
• St. Francis Prep School Was not Amused
• In St. Francis Prep Sexual Harassment Civil Suit, First Battle is Over Accuser's Anonymity, by Michael O'Keeffe, New York Daily News, 8.7.2013
• My goal in life is to give you pleasure: Sick words of Catholic school teacher who 'massaged female students in class' as victim breaks silence to join $17m lawsuit, Daily Mail, 9.23.2013
• A Decades Long Sex Abuse Scandal At America's Largest Private Catholic High School, [blog] by John Cardillo, 1.24.2015
Bishop John M. D'Arcy
|Boston MA||During his ten years as auxiliary bishop in Boston, D'Arcy wrote letters to his superiors objecting to the assignments of four priests - John Geoghan, Thomas Forry, Richard Buntel, and Robert Meffan - who since have been accused publicly of child sexual abuse. In 1983, he informed Bishop Daily that Buntel was believed to have problems with alcohol and drug use and that he was called a "pothead" by young people in the parish. In 1984, he alerted the newly arrived Bernard Law of Geoghan's history of molesting young boys. Soon after his second letter to Law, the archbishop transferred D'Arcy to South Bend IN against his wishes. D'Arcy's fruitless warnings came to light in 2002, when the archdiocese was forced to make public more than 100 priest files. Although his letters today provide an important paper trail, proving notice, D'Arcy did not publicly criticize the church's handling of child molesters, and there is no indication that he ever reported allegations to the police. D'Arcy died Feb. 3, 2013.|
• Bishop D'Arcy Letter Protesting Assignment of Rev. Buntel, 11.01.1983
|Rev.Tom Doyle, O.P.||Worldwide||Ordained a Dominican priest in 1970, Doyle was the canon lawyer at the Vatican’s US embassy in 1984, when he learned that bishops in Louisiana had responded to the rape of children by Rev. Gilbert Gauthe by transferring him repeatedly. In 1985, Doyle joined with Rev. Michael Peterson, a priest-psychiatrist who treated offender priests, and Louisana lawyer Ray Mouton to issue a report to US bishops, advising them of the catastrophic implications of continued cover-up and hardball legal tactics. Doyle’s embassy position was terminated. From 1986 to 2005, he served as a chaplain in the Air Force, where he was promoted to major and honored repeatedly for distinguished service. In the last 30 years, he has testified in more than 800 civil cases. He has also served as an expert witness to prosecutors. Doyle holds a pontifical doctorate in canon law from Catholic University, and master's degrees in canon law, political science, church administration, theology, and philosophy. In 2006, he co-authored Sex, Priests and Secret Codes with Richard Sipe and Patrick Wall. Doyle is a co-founder of Catholic Whistleblowers.||• The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy, by Mr. F. Ray Mouton, J.D. and Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, O.P. J.C.D, June 1985|
• Clergy Sexual Abuse: The First Decade, by Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., J.C.D., 07.1993
• Does v. Diocese of Dallas et al, Memorandum from Thomas P. Doyle, 0.P., J.C.D. to Sylvia Demarest, 5.16.1996
• The Sacrifice of Father Thomas Doyle, The Best of New Orleans, 2.13.2004
• The Catholic Church: Keeping the Faith - at Great Personal Cost, by Kevin Horrigan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11.28.2004
• Voice of the Faithful Priest of Integrity Award, Fall 2007
• Archbishop Bars Prominent Priest As Canon Lawyer, by Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter, 10.02.2008
• The Pope, the Church and Sexual Abuse: a Perspective, by Thomas P. Doyle, Voice from the Desert, 4.01.2010
• Writings by Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., J.C.D., richardsipe.com
• Project Millstones, fatherlasch.com, 05.08.2005
Rev. Thomas Economus
|Chicago IL||Economus was sexually abused by a priest during high school at a South Dakota home for boys. While a Catholic seminarian he advocated for clergy sex abuse victims. He was told while in seminary that if he continued to push the envelope on the sexual abuse issue, he would never be ordained. Economus continued his advocacy, left the seminary, and went on to become a priest of the Independent Holy Catholic Church. In 1991 Economus co-founded The Linkup-Survivors of Clergy Abuse. He was president and executive director of Linkup from 1993 until his death in March 2002.|
• Group Says It Forced Church to Expose 4 Pedophiles, by Greg Seigle, Washington Times,
|Winona MN||A priest of the Winona diocese 1963-1973, Fitzpatrick stated in a 2012 news conference that he told then Bishop Edward Fitzgerald that Rev. Thomas Adamson was sexually abusing boys. Fitzpatrick said that when he asked the bishop what he was going to do about it, he was "shown the door" and the bishop told him he would deal with his priests. Further, Fitzpatrick said that in 1981 he told the chancellor of the diocese that Adamson was still abusing boys, and that he also discussed the problem with Bishop Robert Carlson. Adamson was kept in ministry. Adamson admitted to sexually abusing boys, and is said by experts to have up to 100 victims. He was removed from ministry in 1984. Fitzpatrick eventually left the priesthood. In 2012 Fitzpatrick was prepared to be a witness in a case against the Winona diocese and the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, but the case was dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Fitzpatrick said he decided to speak out "as a matter of conscience."|
• Former Diocese of Winona Priest Describes Encounter with Bishop, Concerns about Adamson Abuse, by Jerome Christenson, LaCrosse Tribune, 7.07.2012
|Yakima WA||Fontana was the Yakima diocese's director of evangelism and a diocesan employee for 25 years. In 2005 he sued the diocese, claiming he was forced to resign after he voiced concern when the diocese allowed a priest in 2003 to remain in active ministry while being investigated for possession of child pornography. Fontana's lawsuit was dismissed. Fontana was honored in 2012 by SNAP for "speaking out when [he] saw a dangerous situation and for continuing to reach out to survivors and working to protect kids."||Fontana Case Raises Church-State Separation Issue, by Jane Gargas, Yakima Herald-Republic [Yakima WA], 5.4.2006|
• Diocese Lawsuit Dismissed, by Chris Bristol, Yakima Herald-Republic, 5.10.2006
• Sevilla's Had Little to Say, Yakima Herald-Republic, 4.2.2008
• Bishop Admits He Was Wrong Giving Job to Former Seminarian Facing Child Porn Charges, by Mark Morey,
Yakima Herald-Republic, 4.02.2008
• Lawsuits against Yakima Diocese Still Pending, by Jane Gargas, Yakima Herald-Republic, 7.4.2010
• National Award Goes to Fontana, Yakima Herald, 8.17.2012
|Rev. Joseph Fowler||Louisville KY||In 2002, when the sexual abuse crisis burst open in Boston, Fowler spoke at Masses in support of victims. In 2004, he wrote a letter to block the early probation of convicted pedophile, Louis Miller, a fellow Louisville priest. In 2008, when the KY legislature passed a bill abolishing the criminal statute of limitations on child sex crimes, Fowler stood with victims at a press conference and said, “Perhaps no institution has desecrated its sacred trust of our youth more than the Catholic Church in America during the past 70 years. … With passion, organization and lots of work, we can, and must, do even more to protect the innocence of our children in a society that often fails to respect the sacredness of every human life."|
• Letters Oppose Shock Probation of Pedophile Priest, by David McCarthur, WAVE3-TV (Louisville KY), 1.05.2004
|Connell Friel||Rockville Centre NY||A business manager for a Sound Beach parish, Friel was told by the church secretary in 2002 that she found a shortcut to a pornographic website on her computer. Friel checked the computer belonging to the parish pastor, Rev. Charles Papa, and found hundreds of "cookies" from porn sites, many of which had photos of young boys. Friel reported the find to Bishop Murphy and to law enforcement. Papa was not criminally charged. Upon his return from a leave of absence, Papa fired Friel.||• A Parish Divided over Priest. A Fierce Debate over Internet Sites He Visited, by Katie Thomas, Newsday, 2.26.2003|
• In Sad Times for Church, the Spies Have It, by Bob Keeler
• Rockville Centre Bishop to Be Deposed in Firing Lawsuit, by Ann Givens Newsday, 1.27.2009
• Church Employee Fired after Blowing Whistle on Porn Watching Priest, by Rob Hoell, WPIX, 1.27.2009
Rev. Terence German, S.J.
|New York NY|
German said he told Cardinal O'Connor about Rev. Bruce Ritter in 1986, long before the Covenant House founder was criminally charged. German resigned in 1989, alleging that widespread misconduct left him unable to stay a priest and "live a life guided by the established principles" of the Church. In 1993, after years of receiving no response to his repeated complaints of widespread sexual and financial misconduct, he filed a $120M suit against Pope John Paul II, Cardinal O'Connor and the Catholic Church, claiming fraud and breach of contract. As of 1994, he was impoverished, unable to get a job because of blackballing by the Church, and facing eviction.
German was known to be living in Las Vegas NV in 2007.
• Focus on Ex-Priest Who Sued the Pope: Vows Broken: Former Jesuit Claims Breach of Contract, by Patricia Cohen, Newsday, 2.02.1994
|As longtime secretary at a Miami, FL parish, Gerstner grew concerned about pastor Neil A. Doherty's questionable behavior with boys. Doherty was placed on leave in 2002, due to allegations of child sexual abuse. Gerstner was interviewed in 2006 by a sheriff investigating a claim against Doherty. Her statements, which lead to Doherty's arrest, were made public in July 2006; she was fired by the archdiocese the following week. By November 2011, 26 men had come forward with accusations that Doherty drugged and sexually abused them as children. In January 2013 Doherty was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child, and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Gerstner has said, "My main focus is to open the eyes of the people who truly do not know what has happened and what is still going on in the Archdiocese of Miami and to stop [church members] from giving money to support this immorality and corruption."|
• Speak No Evil. When a Margate Priest Misbehaved, the Archdiocese Punished His Secretary, by Thomas Francis, New Times, June 12, 2008
Rev. James Gigliotti, T.O.R.
|Philadelphia PA||Gigliotti told archdiocesan officials in the early 1980s that Rev. James J. Brzyski was molesting altar boys. Brzyski was quietly removed from the parish; parishioners were not told the reason, and the abuse was not reported to the police. Gigliotti said in 2005 that an assistant chancellor told him, "This comes from the highest authority: You're to keep your mouth shut." According to the Philadelphia Grand Jury report, Fr. James Gigliotti, T.O.R., persistently reported victims’ names to Church officials and sought help for the victims, in the face of Archdiocesan managers’ indifference and even hostility. Gigliotti went on to serve an Arlington TX parish. Bryzyski may have abused at least 100 boys. He left active ministry in 1985 and was laicized in 2005.|
• Philadelphia Grand Jury Report, Case Study: One of the "most brutal abusers" - whistleblower ignored and warned about "confidentiality", 2005.
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
|Detroit MI||In January 2006 Gumbleton joined clergy sex abuse victim/survivors and advocates in testifying before the Ohio legislature in support of expanding the statutes of limitations for civil lawsuits related to sex abuse. It was there that he first publicly disclosed his own abuse by a priest as an adolescent in a minor seminary. He also met with Colorado legislators in 2006 in support of SOL expansion. Gumbleton was forced into retirement later that year, a move he attributed to his having spoken out.||• Silence Shattered on Sex Abuse Detroit Bishop Backs Bill Expanding Victims' Rights, by Jim Siegel and Dennis M . Mahoney, The Columbus Dispatch, 1.12.2006|
• Bishop to Call for Sex-Abuse Legislation, by April M. Washington and Jean Torkelson
Rocky Mountain News [Denver CO], 4.20.2006
• Retired Bishop Who Says He Was Abused Backs Colo. Bill on Victims, KCTV 5, 4.21.2006
• Retired Bishop: Church Could Have Done More for Sex Abuse Victims, Newsday, 7.23.2006
• Advocacy for Sex Abuse Victims Cost Him His Job, Gumbleton Says, by Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter [Detroit MI]
• Retired Bishop Asked to Leave Detroit Parish for Testimony, by Zoe Ryan, National Catholic Reporter, 11.04.2011
• Causes of the Unfathomable Clerical Silence on Clergy Sex Abuse, by Vinnie Nauheimer, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, 4.15.2011
|St. Paul and Minneapolis MN||Hired as Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in 2008, Haselberger resigned in April 2013, citing her superiors' failures to respond to her warnings to them regarding problem priests. One of the priests in question, Rev. Jonathan Shelley, was found to have what Haselberger discerned was child pornography on his computer. According to Haselberger, she copied some of the images and sent them to Archbishop Nienstedt; Nienstadt failed to call the police. Subsequently Vicar General Rev. Peter Laird ordered her to hand over the images; Haselberger did so and proceeded to inform law enforcement and the news media. Haselberger also expressed frustration that she tried unsuccessfully to warn her superiors about Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, who was later convicted of child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography. She said archdiocesan officials knew that Wehmeyer had engaged in sexual misconduct for years, yet kept him in ministry. In October 2013 Haselberger publicly called on Archbishop Nienstadt to release the names of priests credibly accused of abuse and those who could pose a threat to children.|
• Former Official: Archdiocese Didn't Report Priest's Pornograpy, by Madeleine Baran and Mike Cronin, Minnesota Public Radio, 10.04.2013
Rev. Gary Hayes
|Camden NJand Owensboro KY||Hayes went public in the early 1990s about being abused as a child by priests - one of the first priest-survivors in the country to do so. Set for ordination in Camden in 1989, Hayes was told by his bishop to find a job in another diocese because the fact that Hayes was a victim of clergy sexual by other diocesan priests was uncomfortable. Hayes went on to serve as a priest of the diocese of Owensboro, KY, where he was ordained in 1990. He filed the first RICO lawsuit against the Catholic Church. For the last twenty years, he's been an outspoken advocate for victims, instrumental to the formation of The Linkup-Survivors of Clergy Abuse. Hayes assumed the role of president of The Linkup after the death of founding president, Rev. Thomas Economus. Hayes has stood publicly with survivors at countless demonstrations and news conferences. "There's a prayer that starts, 'Lord, let me be a holy disturbance.' I'd like to think, when it's all said and done, that will be my calling."|
• Three Charge Catholic Church with Conspiracy to Hide Abuse, by Jim Walsh, Camden Courier-Post , 6.10.1993
Rev. David Hitch
|Davenport IA||Hitch's younger brother was a victim of Davenport priest James Janssen. Rev. Hitch became an outspoken and compassionate advocate for victims, participating in demonstrations and leading a SNAP group in his area. Hitch has said “The world knows, and our diocese must know, that it was not the fault of those who were abused. The fault was the position taken by the leadership of the diocese.” Further, "I'm a priest. I can't turn my back on evil or the way these folks have been treated. It's not the Christ I've given my life to."||• Catholics Seek Healing for Abuse Victims, By Rob Daniel, Press-Citizen [Iowa City IA]|
December 9, 2004
• Healing from Abuse by Clergy Is Focus of Weekend Event, by Shirley Ragsdale , Des Moines Register [Iowa City IA] , June 14, 2005
• Priest to Lead Religious Sex Abuse Group, by Kristen
Schorsch, Press-Citizen [Iowa], June 20, 2005
• Area Priest Says Bishop Could Have Prevented Diocese Bankruptcy, by Dawn NeusesQuad-Cities Online [Tipton IA], 10.11.2006
• Davenport Diocese Files for Bankruptcy, by Thomas Geyer
Quad-City Times, October 11, 2006
• Speaking out against the Diocese
Mason Kerns and Margaret Poe - the Daily Iowan, The Daily Iowan, May 9, 2007
• Training to Blame for Abuse, Study Says, by Brian Wellner, Quad-City Times, May 19, 2011
A former Irish Christian brother, then priest of the Newark diocese, Hoatson has long been an outspoken critic of the church's handling of clergy sexual abuse. In 1981, while working at a boys' Catholic high school in Boston, Hoatson reported to the Headmaster his suspicions that Fr. Frederick Ryan was molesting school athletes. Nothing was done. Years later, multiple victims of Ryan came forward.
Newark archbishop Myers placed Hoatson on administrative leave in May 2003, just days after Hoatson testified at a legislative hearing in Albany, NY, on a series of bills to support victims of sex crimes. Hoatson sued unsuccessfully for wrongful termination.
Hoatson repeatedly called on Archbishop Myers to resign for allowing Newark priest Michael Fugee to violate an agreement made with the local prosecutor to never again minister around children.
In 2005 Hoatson, along with Rev. Ken Lasch, established Road to Recovery, which provides direct support services to survivors. Hoatson is himself a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. He resigned from the priesthood in 2011. Hoatson is a Catholic Whistleblowers co-founder.
|• Priest Loses Post after Criticizing Sex-Abuse Policy, By John Chadwick, NewJersey.com [Newark NJ], 5.28.2003|
• Outing Cardinal Egan: A Priest's Lawsuit Alleges the Catholic Church Is Hiding Pedophile Clergy, by Kristen Lombardi, Village Voice [New York], 2.07.2006
• More Claims against Priest, by David L. Harris, Transcript, [Boston MA], 3.30.2006
• Stop the Murder of Young Souls, by The Rev. Robert Hoatson,
Daily Record, 11.11.2007
• SNAP Papers Downtown Jersey City Neighborhood with Fliers Accusing Priest of Past Sex Abuse, by Carly Baldwin, Jersey Journal, November 22, 2008
• Nutley Parish, Protesters Face Off over Pastor, by Denisa R. Superville and Jeff Green, The Bergen Record, 5.13.2013
• Newark Archdiocese Reaches New Settlement in Decades-Old Case of Alleged Sexual Abuse, by Mark Mueller, The Newark Star-Ledger, 5.15.2013
• Man Pleads with Diocese to Reopen Abuse Case, by Matthew McGrath and Abbott Koloff, The Bergen Record, 5.16.2013
• Newark Monsignor Loses Job for Failing to Stop Priest’s Work With Children, By Marc Santora and Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, 5.25.2013
• Project Millstones, fatherlasch.com, 05.08.2005
Sr. Peg Ivers/Sr. Siena
Files released in 2014 by the Chicago archdiocese reveal that, over many decades, Sr. Peg spoke up repeatedly for child victims of clergy sex abuse and pushed for the archdiocese to take appropriate action. He efforts were largely ignored. As a Catholic school principal in a Chicago suburb in 1974, Sr. Peg went to the church's pastor to report disclosures by two boys that Fr. Thomas Job had molested them. The pastor did nothing and told her over and over again that she was overstepping her role. Sr. Peg resigned in frustration. In the early 1980s, as archdiocesan Director of Ministry in Higher Education, Sr. Peg complained to the archdiocese about University of Illinois at Chicago chaplain, Rev. William Cloutier. Cloutier had been accused in 1979 of sexually asaulting boys. He was sent to Boston to work in a parish and undergo treatment, then returned to his previous post. When Sr. Peg learned of this, and the fact that college students were spending nights with Cloutier, she "begged" archdiocesan officials to do something. He was reassigned in 1985. In 2005 Ivers warned Cardinal George about three other priests whose behavior concerned her.
Of the child victims Sr. Peg said, "With my last breath, I will remember their faces. The greatest sin, in my eyes, is that these things were allowed to go on as long as they did."
• Fighting to be Heard Amid Church's Silence. Sister Peg Ivers Stood up to Pedophile Priests, Stubborn Church Hierarchy, By Christy Gutowski, Chicago Tribune, 3.01.2014
Rev. Peter G. Jankowski
|Joliet IL||In January 2017 Joliet priest Jankowski went public with his complaints that the retired pastor he replaced at St. Patrick's in 2006 had failed to provide background checks on parishioners and volunteers who had access to children in the parish school. Further, he said the retired pastor allowed a priest credibly accused of child sex abuse, Edward Poff, to participate in some church functions. In 2016 Jankowski asked Joliet bishop Conlon to keep his predecessor from celebrating sacraments, or to at least publicly apologize for not enforcing the U.S. bishops' child-protection charter. The retired pastor remained active in the community during retirement and was highly popular among parishioners. The bishop's response to Jankowski was that the retired pastor would not comply and that he should just try to get along with him. Jankowski first complained to archdiocesan officials about the situation prior to Conlon's installment as bishop in 2011. Conlon was the USCCB's chair of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People 2011-2014. In September 2016 Jankowski appealed to Pope Francis for help. The Vatican's only response was a short note acknowledging receipt of Jankowski's concerns.|
• Joliet priest says diocese failed to follow protocol to protect children, by Christy Gutowski, Chicago Tribune, January 17, 2017
|San Francisco CA||Jim Jenson is a PhD clinical psychologist and former Holy Cross brother who served on the San Francisco archdiocese's Independent Review Board from 2000 to 2005. Jenkins, who was then board chair, resigned in January 2005 when Bishop Levada would not publicize the results of an abuse investigation. Jenkins has said, "Besides being conniving corrupt politicians, bishops have also proved to be cowards!" Jenkins has since been involved in church reform efforts, as well as advocacy for victim/survivors. He is a co-founder of the National Survivors Advocates Coalition.||• House of the Accused. When Priests Within the Salesian Order Based in San Francisco Were Accu, by Ron Russell, San Francisco Weekly, 1.05. 2006|
• Oakland Diocese Begins Abuse Detection Training With Help of Web Site, Clergy Can Spot a Child in Potential Danger, by Rebecca Rosen Lum, Inside Bay Area, 11.14.2006
• Absolute Must Read: the Church Continues to Betray Its Soul in Exchange for Temporal Power, by Dr. Jim Jenkins, Voice from the Desert, 1.13.2010
• Philadelphia Story, by James Jenkins, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, 3.16.2011
|National Review Board|
In June 2002 former Oklahoma governor and FBI agent Keating was appointed Chair of the National Review Board by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. The panel was created to oversee the bishops' adherence to their new Charter to Protect Children and Young People. Early on, a reporter asked Keating if lay Catholics had any power. Keating, a man of deep faith, responded that lay Catholics could "vote with their feet and with their pocketbooks," explaining that they could go to Mass in another diocese, or give money to a Catholic charity rather than to their diocese.
In his new role, Keating repeatedly insisted that bishops who moved abusive priests from parish to parish be held fully accountable. Some bishops, including the archbishop of Keating's home diocese of Oklahoma City, retaliated by spreading false rumors maligning Keating's character. Cardinal Egan of New York even rescinded the invitation of board members to the Knights of Malta's annual black-tie dinner. Keating was undeterred. He insisted that survivor witness was crucial to the Review Board’s research, and he worked skillfully with then-Bishop Wilton Gregory to parry Cardinal Mahony’s attempt to undermine the John Jay College process.
A year into his service Keating stated of the bishops, "To act like La Cosa Nostra and hide and suppress, I think, is very unhealthy. Eventually it will all come out." Under pressure, and frustrated with what he saw as obstructionism by some church leaders, Keating stepped down. In his resignation letter to USCCB head Bishop Gregory, Keating wrote of his previous remarks, "I make no apology. To resist grand jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church."
• Clergy Abuse Panel's Chief to Step Down, by Larry B. Stammer, LA Times, 6.15.2003
Sr. Jane Kelly, P.V.B.M.
|Santa Rosa CA|
A sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin order, Kelly repeatedly confronted Santa Rosa bishop Ziemann in the 1990s. Kelly served for many years at a Ukiah parish school and at a center for the poor and homeless. In 1992 Ziemann sent a seminarian named Jorge Hume Salas to the parish, whom Ziemann seemed to rush to ordain. Kelly's concerns about Salas grew as parishioners complained that he had "young men" sleep with him in the rectory. In 1996 she caught Salas stealing parish money, and he was moved to another parish. Kelly admonished Ziemann, saying "Appointing Jorge to another parish is only perpetuating the real possibility of repeating his scandalous actions." Frustrated by the inaction of diocesan officials, in January 1999 Kelly decided to go to a reporter with the information about Salas. She said, "It was the hardest, scariest decision I made in my life," and "I couldn't live with my conscience if I didn't." Subsequently, Salas accused Ziemann of coercing him into a sexual relationship, and Ziemann resigned. Ziemann was later accused of the past sexual abuse of at least three boys. Kelly was sent to a mental hospital by her order, which then expelled her. She was 75 years old. Kelly has said, “The scandal is one thing. The cover-up by these cardinals and these bishops, it’s a crime. They should all be in jail."
• Little Known of Hume before Priesthood, Trouble, by Mike Geniella, Press Democrat, 7.23.1999
Born April 15, 1970, in Belleville, N.J. Ordained May 25, 1996 Parochial Vicar, Sacred Heart, Moline, 1996; Asst. Chaplain, St. John’s Newman Center, Champaign, 1999; while remaining Asst. Chaplain at St. John’s Newman Center, Champaign, to assoc. director of vocations, 1999. Pastor, St Mary, Wenona and St John the Baptist, Lostant 2002. While remaining pastor ast Wenona and Lostant, to adm., St. Patrick’s, Minonk, 2003. Vicar, Henry Vicariate, 2003. Chaplain, Newman Foundation, Bradley University and Illinois Central College, Peoria, Director, Office of Divine Worship and Vice Chancellor, 2004; Director of College Ministry, 2006; Remaining Director of Divine Worship to Executive Director of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Cause, 2008; Chaplain to His Holiness, 2009. Rector, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Peoria and pastor, St. Bernard’s, Peoria and St. Peter’s, Peoria, 2011.
Vice Chancellor; Director of Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation; Director of Divine Worship; Rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Peoria, Pastor of St. Bernard, Peoria and Sacred Heart, Peoria and St. Joseph, Peoria (2015)