Part 3 of 4
Father Thomas Doyle
Analysis Using the
Rev. Rudolph Kos, a text book priest pedophile, what a atrocious simile, was sued in 1993-1994 by at least twelve victims. Abuse occurred before ordination, during priesthood, and while he was on leave from treatment at Paracletes. There was a $119 mil civil jury verdict for Plaintiffs July 1997, reduced to $30.9 mil after negotiations in 1998. Kos was convicted in 1998 of criminal abuse of four of the plaintiffs. He received four life sentences. Laicization announced June, 1998. Later lawsuits also filed. This was the pivotal lawsuit that turned the Church from enabling denial to settlements. Unfortunately most of the subsequent settlements, emboldened by “Confidentiality” clauses left the predators free to sin again. And they are.
Thus it is instructional, and please note, pardon the redundancy, Rev. Rudolph Kos was apparently treated at “Via Coeli”, to continue the chronological analysis of the Paraclete letters by Rev Thomas Doyle (see comments on Doyle under “Synonyms”). We pick up where we left of in Part 2 of 4. The extensive quoting continues. “
In 1964 Fr. Fitzgerald wrote to Bishop Joseph Durick of Nashville, who was attending the Vatican Council at the time. Fr. Fitzgerald was trying to alert the Vatican authorities and the Council itself about the problem of sexually abusive priests. In this letter he draws attention to the growing numbers of such problems:
“May I take this occasion to bring to your attention what is a growing concern to many of us here in the States. When I was ordained, forty three years ago, homosexuality was a practically unknown rarity. Today it is rampant among men. And whereas seventeen years ago eight out of ten problems here [at the Paraclete facility, Via Coeli] would represent the alcoholic, now in the last year or so our admission ratio would be approximately 5-2-3: five being alcoholic, two would be what we call “heart cases” (natural affection towards women) and three representing aberrations involving homosexuality. More alarming still is that among these of the 3 out of 10 class, 2 out of 3 have been young priests.
Fr. Fitzgerald retained his opposition to providing hospitality and help to priests who sexually abused minors. Although the documentation clearly points to the fact that he attempted to treat such priests sent by bishops, he also continued his search for a solution to these problems. In addition to his constant commitment to laicization, even if against the priest’s will, he also had a plan to set up a retreat on a remote island in the Caribbean in which he would house such priests for the remainder of their lives. He mentioned this idea in a letter written in 1957 to Archbishop Byrne, his ecclesiastical sponsor and co-founder of the Paracletes:
“May I beg your Excellency to concur and approve of what I consider a very vital decision on our part – that we will not offer hospitality to men who have seduced or attempted to seduce little boys or girls. These men Your Excellency are devils and the wrath of God is upon them and if I were a bishops I would tremble when I failed to report them to Rome for involuntary laicization….It is for this class of rattlesnake I have always wished the island retreat – but even an island is too good for these vipers of whom the Gentle master said – it were better they had not been born (this is an indirect way of saying damned, is it not?). When I see the Holy Father I am going to speak of this class to his Holiness.” (The 1957 letter is scanned in at City of Angels 11.)
The Paraclete Fathers provided the most widely used resource to bishops for treatment of priests with problems for many years. By his own admission Fr. Fitzgerald had encountered many priests accused of sexually abusing children very early on in his career. In addition to his letters to bishops and Vatican officials, there are other sources that demonstrate that the problem was not unknown or non-existent to the Catholic hierarchy from the mid-forties to the present, if not always known and in denial.
The Oblate Fathers (OMI) sponsored a one day seminar at the Oblate College in Washington D.C., attended by about 50 seminary rectors and clergy staff members. The presenter was Dr. Norman T. Bowes, a psychiatrist and consultant to religious communities and dioceses. According to the bulletin of the National Catholic Educational Association, January 1960, “Dr. Bowes based his lecture on psychological assessments made over a twelve year period on approximately 3000 seminarians, priests and religious.
Areas of conflict found among those examined were reported in their order of frequency:
1) sexual maladjustments;
2) three types of scrupulosity (a psychological disorder characterized by pathological guilt about moral or religious issues);
3) problems in interpersonal relationships;
4) mother-fixation complex (oedipal complex);
5) obsessive-compulsive personalities (Disorder is characterized by perfectionism and inflexibility);
6) depressive components;
7) affect-laden individuals (the relationships between beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behavior).”
Dr. Norman Bowes published (through St. Paul Publications, a Catholic publisher), a book titled Professional Evaluation of Religious Aspirants. The book contained much of the information that grew out of his findings in examining 3000 aspirants to priesthood and religious life.
The Sacred Congregation for Religious issued an official document entitled, “Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders,” 2 Feb. 1961. The document states that one of the common causes of “defection’ or departure from the priesthood is “…sexual tendencies of a pathological nature…” which refers to homosexual tendencies.
Later in the document reasons for dismissal are listed. The following statement is found:
“Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.”
Bishop Schenk of Duluth wrote an open letter to all bishops asking if anyone would be interested in the priestly services of a priest of his diocese who had been treated at the Paraclete facility in New Mexico for “psychosexual problems.” He admitted in the letter that he had taken in some former patients of the Paraclete Fathers but that the ventures had turned out miserably.
The first public discussion of priest sexual abuse of minors took place at a meeting sponsored by the National Association for Pastoral Renewal held on the campus of Notre Dame University in 1967. All U.S. Catholic bishops were invited to attend that meeting.
A priest named Fr. (George Neville) Rucker of Los Angeles was arrested in El Segundo CA for alleged sexual molestation of a nine year old girl in January of that year. He was arrested again in April and another complaint was filed by the parents of another nine year old girl. The arrest records were not sealed and the information was known to the priest’s bishop and other bishops in the region.
Dr. Eugene Kennedy and Dr. Victor Heckler published a psychological study of U.S. priests commissioned by the U.S. Bishops’ Conference. His findings concurred with those of Baars and Terruwe and concluded that American priests were
7% psychologically and emotionally developed
18% psychologically and emotionally developing
Kennedy and Heckler stated that the underdeveloped and maldeveloped priests (74%) had not resolved psychosexual problems and issues usually worked through in adolescence.
“Sexuality is, in other words, non-integrated into the lives of underdeveloped priests and many of them function at a pre-adolescent or adolescent level of psychosexual growth.”
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles received the first of a series of complaints about sexual misconduct with minors by Fr. Eleutario (Al) Ramos who died in 2004.
Fr. Michael Andre Moody, a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was convicted (1-9-81) of “lewd conduct” for sexually abusing a minor male on June 30, 1980.
Fr. Donald Roemer of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was charged with a felony and pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor. The case received widespread media coverage.
The summer edition of The Catholic Lawyer, the official publication of the Association of Diocesan Attorneys, published an article by Edward D. Holtz, General Counsel of the Archdiocese of Omaha, entitled “Diocesan Liability for Negligence of a Priest.”
Bishop Joseph Madera held a mandatory educational meeting for all of the clergy of the Diocese of Fresno, CA at which legal, psychological and pastoral experts discussed clergy sexual abuse. This workshop followed upon the arrest of a priest in the diocese for sexual abuse.
The revised Code of Canon Law was promulgated, which included a canon (1395, 2) which explicitly named sex with a minor by clerics as a canonical crime.
“Respondent Superior – Diocesan Liability for the Torts of its priests,” was presented as a paper by Bob Gibbons at the annual meeting of the Texas Catholic Conference (September, 1984). The paper discussed cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors.
The Times of Acadiana published a series of articles by Jason Berry exposing the mishandling of the case of Fr. Gilbert Gauthe in Lafayette Louisiana.
In January Rev. Mel Balthazar was sentenced to seven years for child molestation in a Boise, Idaho court. The presiding judge said at sentencing: “I think the church has its own atonement to make as well. They helped create you and hopefully will help to rehabilitate you.”
February, 1985 – Fr. John Salazar of Los Angeles sexually abused a minor boy. He was later charged with other similar counts for actions he perpetrated during the ensuing months. On July 30, 1987, Salazar was sentenced to prison following conviction. Following his release from prison (1991) he was hired by the Catholic bishop of Amarillo, Texas and assigned as pastor to a remote parish. He again abused young boys, was tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2004.
In May a comprehensive report entitled The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy: Meeting the Problem in a Comprehensive and Responsible Manner, commonly known as “The Manual” was written by Michael Peterson, Thomas Doyle and F. Ray Mouton.
The 100 page detailed handbook was prepared on the initiative of the three authors with the support and input of a number of influential bishops. The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, though aware of the manual, dismissed it as unnecessary claiming that it already possessed all the data contained in it and had policies and procedures in place by 1985.
Dr. Jay Feierman, a psychiatrist formerly associated with the Paraclete Fathers, testified that he had treated over 600 priests for sexual problems over the previous ten years at the Paraclete facility (1976-1986).
The Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) sponsored a conference in Ohio called A Consultation on Male Sexuality in Men’s Religious Orders. One of the talks was entitled “When sexual problems become crises; Incidents of Sexual Misconduct and Church personnel – A Legal Perspective.” (October 29, 1986).
Pope John Paul II (1978-2005) issued the first of eleven public statements on clergy sexual abuse in a letter directed to the Bishops of the United States. The bishops formed the first ad hoc committee to study the sexual abuse issue. The committee published a three-part manual in 1994, 1995 and 1996 successively.
The Vatican published the official Catechism of the Catholic Church which contains a remarkable paragraph about child sexual abuse: “Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing.”
The late Bishop Bernard Flanagan, former bishop of Worcester MA, stated in a deposition (June 6, 1995) that in 1971 he had heard of clergy sexual abuse in dioceses other than his own and that bishops were privately discussing this issue.
On April 15, 2008 Pope Benedict XVI is characterized by the following on his arrival in the USA. “He showed himself to be deeply ashamed and spoke of the ‘large suffering’ inflicted by representatives of the church. He did not resort to some line of defense, as some bishops (Cardinals, Priests and Pastors) in the US (and sadly also in Germany) did and still do. He made it clear that pedophiles could not become priests (and thankfully distinguished pedophilia from homosexuality). He confessed guilt and promised atonement.”
Bishop Geoffrey Robinson writes about the sexual abuse of children “It is in the abuse of minors more than anywhere else that one learns that sex is never trivial, for it impacts on the deepest being of a person, on the very concept of who one is.” “In sexual abuse there is always spiritual harm, for the abuse always harms the person’s sense of wholeness and connectedness, and hence the person’s sense of meaning and identity.”
“Those who tamper with the innocence of the innocents – it were better if they had never been born.”
Part 4 of 4, will conclude the observations “Father Thomas Doyle Analysis Using the Paraclete Letters 1995-2008.”