PRIEST FILES IN LOS ANGELES MADE PUBLIC
Catalyst November Issue 2005
In October, the confidential priest personnel files of 126 clergymen in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles were made public. It was part of a settlement between the archdiocese and lawyers for alleged victims of priestly sexual abuse; the files date from the 1930s.
Here is what Bill Donohue said about this issue in a news release:
“There is so much blame to go around. Among the culprits are the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, some priests, many therapists, some lawyers, some alleged victims and some in the media.
“It is beyond belief that molesting priests were moved from parish to parish when any sensible person in charge would have removed these deeply troubled men from any contact with children. On the flip side, the archdiocese has sold out its priests by turning over personnel files on men who were born in the 19th century, have long ago died and cannot defend themselves from charges which even the archdiocese admits are not credible. So what we have is a garbage pail of information about priests—including those who have been accused of molestation when they were between the ages of two and five—that should never have been made public. Obviously, in current cases of credible accusations of a criminal nature, such files should be turned over to the authorities. But the wholesale dumping of files is an outrageous abuse of civil liberties.
“We know from the files that have been released that in 79 percent of the cases, the alleged victim was male; this comports with the figure of 81 percent cited by the John Jay study of priests nationwide. And we know from the latter study that almost 8 in 10 of the alleged male victims were postpubescent, meaning that the problem is homosexual priests. Yet many in the media continue to lie—they say the problem is pedophilia when the data directly say otherwise. No, homosexuality does not cause molestation, and there are many good gay priests, but the fact remains that most of the problem priests are gay.
“The therapists who said they could ‘fix’ these men are either incompetent or deceitful. Some of the lawyers are hustlers and some of the alleged victims are liars: It is not a coincidence that in the last few years a record number of alleged victims have come forward.
“Get the guilty and protect the innocent. Exercise common sense and have the courage to execute. And stop the lying. That’s my recipe.”