Survivors' Accounts

Diocesan files and court cases are precious sources of survivors' witness. Legal affidavits are the the most detailed and personal accounts we have of sexual abuse by priests, and the nearly 200 bishops' archives contain thousands of survivors' accounts. These letters and memos of conversations convey the evasions and secrecy of the bishops, and the frustration and intimidation regularly experienced and overcome by victims of abuse.

Robert Costello Writes about Rev. John M. Cotter of Boston

This heartbreaking 1994 account by survivor Robert Costello describes abuse by Rev. John M. Cotter and its effects. The account was sent by Costello's attorney, Laurence E. Hardoon, to archdiocesan attorney Wilson D. Rogers, Jr., together with descriptions of the abuse suffered by other Cotter survivors. Newspaper coverage (1 2 3) of Costello's original complaint had helped other Cotter survivors to come forward. See Hardoon's letter to Rogers with survivors' accounts and other supporting documents. See also Costello's remarkable letter to John Paul II.

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