The Votum for Laicization
Vatican files contain over one hundred thousand pages of requests for laicization for thousands of offending priests. The files include the priests' confessions and detailed descriptions of their crimes. These two laicization files are rare examples that have become public, the first in discovery in civil litigation and the second as a result of survivor activism during a diocesan bankruptcy.
Names of priests who have been laicized or ordered to live a life of prayer and penance have been kept secret by the Vatican, as have the laicization files in which a case was made for disciplining or dismissing the priests.
These sample files show the enormous potential for transparency and accountability, should the Vatican choose to open its abuse files to the public.
• Laicization File of James R. Porter (1973)
• Transcript of Porter's Letter to Pope Paul VI from the Laicization File
• For more information on this case, see Town Secret, by Linda Matchan, Boston Globe Magazine, August 29, 1993
• Laicization Votum for Fr. Francis G. DeLuca with Supporting Appendices
• For more information on this case, see Stop Abuse by Priests, Victims Ask, by Beth Miller, News Journal, November 15, 2006