A reader writes the following ideas for any eager beaver journalists out there who want to pursue, not just exposure (we’ve got that, thanks!) but healing of the grievous wounds inflicted on the Body of Christ by evil clergy (see Shanley, Paul), and or idiot/abusive/corrupt/arrogant prelates (see, for the present, Curtiss, Elden [though the Heartless Prelate Award is now being updated almost hourly]). I don’t have the time to do this stuff myself, but if a reader wants to take on the job, knock yourself out:
Here are some ideas for your use in researching and writing on the RCC
Scandals, and graphics that would show the gravity and extent of the problem.
I have posted an earlier version of these to the LINKUP survivors’ list, but
also wanted to put them in front of you. Feel free to use them yourself, or
to forward them to anyone … including other writers, attorneys, police,
survivor advocates, etc.
1. Compare the treatment given to priests who left in order to marry,
regarding pensions, housing, logistical support, etc. … to that given by
the Church authorities to suspected ped/abuser priests (at least until
zero-tolerance policies appeared, within the last few months).
2. List the dioceses who have sent their suspect priests to serve in:
(a) marriage tribunals … and give a special mention to any diocese
tribunal has a majority of suspects on its staff
(d) overseas missions
(e) retreat centres
(f) old age homes
3. Publish a map showing which bishops have engaged in cover-ups; color the
“clean” diocese blue, where there has been no cover-up or transfers of
pedo-priests … and color the offending dioceses various shades of pink.
Shade the pink according to the proportion of years in the last 40 or 50 that
the bishop in charge has been doing a cover-up … so the range could be from
pale pink for less than 10 years of misgovernance, to shocking bright pink
for 50 years of misgovernance. And color the diocese RED if its bishop is
(or was) both a molester and a cover-up artist.
4. Prepare a map of each diocese, and show each Catholic institution on the
map (parish, school, college/university, religious house, etc.) … and give
each one a color code. (Probably, include the ones that have operated at any
time in the last 40 years, but have since closed. This is relevant, since so
many institutions have closed since 1965.) Color the dots blue, if
no suspect priest ever served at the site for the last 40 or so years. Light
pink, if there was one suspect present there, etc. How many of the dots will
be blue, and how many dots would be varying shades of pink?
5. A possible addition to the above map would be the addition of arrows and
names, to track the movement of suspects around the diocese during the last
40 years. Add arrows from outside the diocese for suspects entering the
diocese from elsewhere, and arrows leaving the diocese, for suspects who find
a haven in other diocese or overseas.
6. Prepare an organization chart for each diocese, seminary, religious
order, etc., showing the leaders and positions as of 2001 (i.e., the official
directories for last year). Color the boxes: blue, not a suspect. Pink,
credibly suspected or proven molestation. Lavender: cover-up artist. Bright
molester AND cover-up artist. How many of the boxes will be blue?
7. Do the same org chart as in 6 above, but for the national and regional
Church bureaucracies. How pink are they now? How pink have they been?
8. Tally the victims over the last 40 years nationally, by age (12 and under,
13-17, and adult) and by sex.
9. For each proven (or credibly suspect) priest/religious, note when and
where they were trained, and when they were ordained. How many were in
seminary during these 3 periods: before the Council (earlier than 1962), from
the Council until the Gauthe scandal and the Doyle report (1962-1985), and
more recently (1986 to date)? How many of the perps were ordained in these 3
periods? The statistics will tell the extent to which the problem
pre-existed the Council, and the extent (if at all) to which it became less
after the mid-1980s.
10. For each cover-up bishop, analyze when they were in seminary, ordained
to the priesthood, and raised to the episcopacy. Do the same analysis for
them as for the perps … when were the bulk of the bad bishops trained,
ordained, and consecrated? Any relationship to the Council, or to papal
I will bet that these pictures would be VERY INTERESTING to attorneys, to
journalists, to prosecutors, and to juries.
I will bet that — contrary to those who are defending the Corporation now —
that FAR MORE than 2% of the dots/boxes/etc. mentioned above will be pink,
lavender, or red. “A little leaven leavens the whole loaf … ”
Note that when I refer above to a “suspect,” I mean anyone who has been
guilty of molestation or cover-up, or against whom credible charges exist …
i.e., including those for whom the church paid settlements, so the case
stayed out of court.
I use 40 years as what seems like a reasonable time
window … but anyone who would actually prepare these pictures could make
their own decision on how many years back the pictures should cover.
What do you think? I can’t do these graphics, since I do not have the
relevant data, nor the time, nor other resources … but maybe you, or one of
your associates, can do this.
Pursue the truth wherever it leads.
Another reader has created a “just plain boring facts” site containing “current and historical information about Bishops and Dioceses in the Americas and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, etc.). Other regions of the world are in development. The site is at http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/
“Whoo boy. Tell them what you really think. The part about the spoiled brat getting the snot beaten out of him was great.”
Much obliged, Anne.
and a link to an interesting, albeit unfortunately titled, piece by Thomas Hibbs in Christianity Today.
No death threats so far. This is good.