The subjects in this study are members of the United States Roman Catholic Church. The term Catholic is also used by other denominations such as High-Church Episcopalians and Lutherans; to be accurate Roman Catholic should be used when referring to those who follow the Pope and believe him to be a direct successor of St. Peter (cc: 330, 331, Lumen Gentium 22).[1] However, because all the subjects in this study are Roman Catholics, I use the term Catholic to refer to only Roman Catholics.

The term Roman Catholic Church refers to the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, the institution headed by the Pope. He is also called the Supreme or Roman Pontiff, His Holiness, the Holy See, or the Vicar of Christ.[2] When referring to the hierarchy within the world-wide Roman Catholic Church, I use the term Roman Catholic hierarchy, which includes the Pope and the bishops, some of whom are patriarchs or archbishops. When referring to the hierarchy of the U.S. Catholic Church, that is its archbishops and bishops, I use the term Catholic hierarchy or Catholic bishops. I use the term bishops to refer to both archbishops and bishops.[3] These bishops may be active or retired, and they may be the ordinary or an auxiliary. The term ordinary of the diocese refers to the bishop’s power, which is inherent in the office of bishop. The bishop has full jurisdiction in his diocese.[4]

The laity, also called “the faithful,” include all, except priests and religious, who believe in the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings (Lumen Gentium 31).[5]

The term clergy abuse is generally used to describe the sexual behavior of some members of the clergy with inappropriately aged youth. But the term is troublesome because it is similar in form but not in content to child or elder abuse. In child or elder abuse, the child or elder is abused, whereas in clergy abuse, the clergy member is the abuser. Since the term clergy abuse is widely understood to mean abuse by a clergy member, I use it in this dissertation.

Bishops often refer to priests as the presbyterate. Presbyter is an ancient term that means “elder.” Bishops prefer presbyter, or presbyterate, to the Roman pagan term “priest.”[6] In using the term, bishops and priests, “although hierarchically graded, fundamentally are brothers,” and within one diocese, form “one body (the one presbyterium) under the leadership of the bishop” (Young 1966, 527).[7]

Unless otherwise noted, biblical quotes are from The New English Bible. Standard abbreviations are used.

For ease of presentation, archbishops and bishops are identified as B and a number (B5), auxiliaries as AUX (AUX4), and priest-perpetrators as P-P (P-P3).

[1] The notation c: (cc:) refers to canon(s) in the code of canon law used by Roman Catholic Church. I use The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary, edited by Coriden, Green, and Heintschel (1985). The decrees or documents from the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) and are referred to by their more common and shorter Latin names. For example, Lumen Gentium (Light of the Nations) is the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. The title comes from the first words of the Latin text. The number after refers to the numbered paragraphs in the text.

[2] The office of the Pope is also called the Holy See, which has two meanings. It can refer to the office of the Pope or it can refer to “ ... the whole complex of Congregations, Tribunals, Offices, Commissions, etc. through which the Supreme Pontiff provides for the government of the Catholic Church” (Ciprotti 1970, 63).

[3] For information on cardinals, see the section on Bishops below.

[4] The Pope can limit the bishop’s exercise of power and/or the geographical in which his power is exercised, but he cannot alter or suppress it (cc: 134, 401-411).

[5] In Vatican II, the Church is called the People of God, and includes the total community, priests as well as laity (Lumen Gentium 9-29). The laity have rights and are bound by certain canonical obligations (c: 224) and can be subject to penal sanctions (c: 1311).

[6] In his introduction to the Vatican II document on priests, Young (1966) writes that the Vatican II decree “enlarges our vision of the priesthood: no longer is the focus almost exclusively on the priest as the ‘cult man,’ as the representative standing apart from the community at the altar” (526-527).

[7] Dioceses have presbyteral councils, that is, priests’ councils. Presbyter is also used with cardinals, “cardinal presbyters;” see Provost 1985,