Protesters Object to Reverend John Dooher's Elevation

By Sophie Yon-Gharbi
Boston Independent Media Center
December 12, 2006

Just like they have done Sunday after Sunday, right after mass, for the past 4 years, the "sidewalk protesters" gathered once again in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End.

Except it is 1:30 on a Tuesday afternoon and today's mass is not your usual Sunday one: Reverend John Dooher – a high-ranking chancery officer who coordinated sexual misconduct matters, alongside Bishop John McCormack- is being elevated to Auxiliary Bishop overseeing the Boston Archdiocese's South Region. It is believed that as a coordinator, John Dooher helped create housing for abusive priests and by remaining silent about the issue, participated in covering-up the sexual abuse.

Holding signs with the words "Speak Truth To Power" or pictures of children who had endured years of abuse, the protesters manifested their disappointment that once again, the Church was not promoting a "clean Priest".

Amongst the 15 people watching the stream of priests come in and out of the Cathedral, was Ruth Moore, Co-coordinator of STTOP, one of the organization behind today's protest. "All these Bishops gathered today for the elevation of Dooher… It tells the world that they are complacent of the crimes," she said.

Accross the street from her, Mary-Etta Dussourd from Jamaica Plaines was holding a picture of a little girl. "I am also here for my sons and my nephews who were victims as well," she said. Like many, Mary-Etta is disgusted that a priest who handled the cases of molested children by simply moving around the responsible ones is being rewarded. "They didn't say anything. I am proud to stand here against their hypocrisy."

Next to her in the shade of the building, Jeff, a survivor simply added, "It's too late for me… but I don't understand why they won't protect the children today." By honoring a man who was in a position to help but instead hid the truth, one cannot help but wonder: What message is the Church sending?


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