The media attention of the conspiracy to
cover-up sexual abuse by members of the Roman Catholic Church
(ministers and employees) is very similar to the past actions (and
inactions) of the Boy Scouts of America. Peter Boyle's book - Scout's
Honor - is an insightful look at how BSA mishandled sexual
predators within the organization.
Surprisingly, one of the issues BSA rejected in dealing with this
situation was the linking of homosexuality with pedophilia.
Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic Church has yet to move out of the
Dark Ages and learn what modern science and -- ironically -- BSA
knows about this falsehood. Although, in talking to support groups
of survivors of clerical abuse, more than half have turned out to be
women -- not men.
However, since the Catholic
Church has historically been a major persecutor of men who have
engaged in same-sex acts (at least in the West) and has been in
public denial of the number of gay priests (both priests who do and
do not live chaste lives) within the church, we've decided to
highlight the sexual abuse committed by some national Catholic
Scouting leaders. (A recent review of historical documents and news
articles reveals several other priests involved with Scouting who
sexually abused youth. One of them was honored by the BSA with the
Silver Buffalo award! For more information on these past incidents,
Information about Brother
Edmund (AKA Robert Coakley), is now available. This Franciscan
brother was a Scoutmaster who sexually abused a boy in his
troop. Edmund's victim later committed suicide.
- The Rev. Thomas M. Kohler, was
laicized in January 2005. He was was accused in a lawsuit
of abusing a Bucks County (PA) boy from 1973 to 1978 during
trips to the Jersey Shore and elsewhere. The suit, filed in
1994, was dismissed because the statute of limitations had
expired. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia removed him from
active ministry that year. At the time, he was the Archdiocesan
- The Rev. Robert Ray Peebles,
Scout Chaplain for the Diocese of Dallas, was accused of molesting
a 15-year-old boy in 1984 at Fort Benning, GA. Peebles admitted
molesting the boy, according to court documents and testimony,
and was allowed to resign from the Army instead of being prosecuted.
For more information, click here.
Scout Chaplain -- Rev.
James McShane -- for the Burlington Diocese (Burlington,
VT) resigned from ministry due to sexual abuse allegations.
In 2004, the diocese settled a lawsuit from on of his victims.
What his current status with the Church is, is not known at
BishopAccountability.org web site has accumulated an impressive
amount of documents regarding the former (1980-90) Scout Chaplain
for the Diocese of Davenport (IA), Rev. James M. Janssen.
To learn more about his background and victims, click here.
former Scout Chaplain for the Spokane Diocese is not only
a self-confessed sexual predator, but has testified about
his actions. For more information about Patrick O'Donnell,
Gerald Gettelfinger (Evansville, IN) is the current Bishop
Advisor to the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (the
Catholic Church's liaison between the BSA and the Catholic
Church, NCCS). At the May 2002 Bishop's meeting, he was a
vocal opponent of the one-strike policy in the USCCB adopted
Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
At the November 2002 Bishop's meeting, he was one of only
seven bishops who voted against the new policies
the US Bishops voted upon to prevent sexual abuse of minors.
He has admitted to allowing at least one convicted child molester
serve as a priest in the diocese, as well as other known molesters.
"In late March 2002, Bishop Gettelfinger told parishioners
that priests who sexually abuse children are guilty of "grave
sins" and that he would not tolerate them. A couple months
later, news accounts detailed the backgrounds of six diocesan
priests," some had been convicted for sexual abuse, yet allowed
to remain ministers in the diocese. One had been a Scout
Chaplain. For more information, click here.
the Diocese of Providence (RI), the Rev. Edmund Micarelli,
who had been the Diocesan Scout Chaplain, the NCCS Regional
Scout Chaplain, a member of the Executive Board of the NCCS,
and at one time, the chaplain for a council scout camp, caused
the diocese to settle with his victims for millions of dollars.
For more information, click here.
Thomas Rainforth, an Eagle Scout and a priest of the Diocese
of Paterson (NJ), who has received the Bronze Pelican and
St. George awards from the NCCS, was returned to ministry
after a diocesan board determined that he had genital
contact with a minor. The board felt that such action did
not rise to the level of sexual abuse. Until recently Fr.
Rainforth had been a unit leader for a unit sponsored by St.
Philip the Apostle Church. It is unclear if Fr. Rainworth
has rejoined the BSA. However, a lawsuit has been filed by
his alleged victims. For more information, click here.
- Bishop Joseph
Hart, who retired in September 2001 as the Bishop of Cheyenne,
WY, was also a former Bishop Advisor to the NCCS and is an
Eagle Scout. It recently came to the public's attention that
he had allegedly assaulted several children while serving
as a priest in Kansas City. For more information, click here,
- Rev. Donald
Peters, who had served until 1993 as Scout Chaplain for
the Milwaukee Archdiocese, has recently confessed to having
sex with children. He also was a member of the NCCS Executive
Board and served for 20 years as his OA lodge's Chapter Advisor.
For more information, click here.
M. Boucher, while serving as a Vice-Chairman of the NCCS,
was arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced for the crime
of child molestation. For more information, click here,
Morning News has reported that several priests who
sexually abused children were also serving as Diocesan Scout
According to the Dallas
Morning News, the following Bishops knew that priests had
sexually abused children, yet allowed them to stay involved with
Ft. Worth - Bishop Joseph Delaney
"In the late 1980s, Bishop Delaney hired an old friend, the
Rev. Philip Magaldi, who had been suspended in his original
diocese of Providence, R.I., for stealing from a church. Rhode
Island authorities said he used some of the money for tropical
vacations with adolescent boys and once gave a teenager he met in
a park enough money to buy a car. Father Magaldi, who has denied
wrongdoing, served as chaplain of the Fort Worth diocesan scouting
program . Bishop Delaney no longer allows him to have a public
Dallas (Victoria, TX) - Bishop David
"As a high-ranking Diocese of Dallas official in the 1980s, he
helped move the Rev. Robert Peebles to different jobs after
molestation complaints were made. One transfer made him a military
chaplain in Georgia, where he sexually assaulted a boy. He was
sent back to Dallas to avoid a court martial and became the
diocesan scouting director. "We made the best decision at the time
in view of the circumstances," Bishop Fellhauer told The Dallas
Morning News in 1994. "There are also matters of
confidentiality and people's reputations." Mr. Peebles was forced
out of the priesthood in the late 1980s after he acknowledged
abusing other boys, but he was not prosecuted. The diocese has
paid millions to his victims and also paid for him to get a law
degree in New Orleans. Bishop Fellhauer has acknowledged making a
mistake regarding Mr. Peebles."
Chicago (St. Thomas, USVI) - Bishop George
"Despite the Rev. John Calicott's admission that he engaged in
sexual misconduct with two teenage boys in the mid-1970s, the
Chicago archdiocese reinstated him in 1995 - contrary to its
policy against letting known abusers work. Bishop Murry, then an
auxiliary to the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, was supervising
the archdiocesan region where Father Calicott was stationed. And
he led Father Calicott's reinstatement ceremony. Bishop Murry said
at the time that church members had assured him that they wanted
Father Calicott returned to their parish. After the victims had
come forward in 1994 and an archdiocesean review panel recommended
removal, Father Calicott was placed on leave and sent to
treatment. Evaluations prepared during his treatment concluded
that he wasn't a sexual predator, clearing the way for his
reinstatement. Upon his return, Father Calicott described himself
as "angry" that the church removed him and put him through
"rigorous" counseling. The archdiocese did order that a monitor be
present whenever he had contact with children, which today
includes his work as a Boy Scout master and a grammar school