Catholics4Change – One Year Later


February 28, 2012 by Susan Matthews

This blog was born one year ago in the wake of the 2011 Grand Jury report on clergy sex abuse. So much has unfolded since then and yet so little has changed.

It started with my grief and anger and continues with the concerned and committed people who comment here and share my outrage.

More than two dozen priests were removed from ministry (their fates yet to be determined). These priests, despite undisclosed allegations and serious concerns, had been left in ministry by leadership until pressed by the District Attorney’s office. One of those priests was a life-long friend of my husband. He was my first boss at The Catholic Standard and Times. He also married us and baptized our children. This was the second blow to the family. The first came after a 2005 Grand Jury report revealed Father Peter Dunne, another family friend, had been a known pedophile to the Archdiocese since the 1960s. Yet, he was made chaplain of the Boy Scouts and director of Camp Neumann in the 70s.

But it’s not just personal. Almost every area Catholic I know has been impacted by this cover up. It’s soul crushing for all – especially the victims. Speaking with them about their abuse has taken me to dark places. The difference is I can leave and go back to “normal” life. They can’t. All I can do is shine a light on the truth.

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