Selected Documents
from the Archdiocesan
Files of Rev. Michael J. Cody

In 1988, Rev. Michael J. Cody admitted during a psychological evaluation that he had sexually abused "approximately 20-40 female victims between the ages of 8 and 12, and one male child victim," the most recent abuse being several years before. The Seattle archdiocese had been informed in 1962 that Cody had already, three years into his priesthood, " molested at least eight girls twelve years of age or younger."

After that report, Cody was sent to the Institute of Living in Hartford CT for treatment. Upon his return, he was assigned to six parishes during the next 15 years, from 1964 to 1979, and abused many children, including Jeri Hubbard, whose tenacious lawsuit produced the file that is excerpted below, and forced the archdiocese to trial. Days before the case went to the jury, the archdiocese acknowledged it acted negligently and recklessly in appointing Cody to Hubbard's parish, thereby causing “Ms. Hubbard severe emotional distress.” The archdiocese settled for $1.2 million. Cody claims that Hubbard was not a minor at the time of the abuse.

Cody several times expressed interest in retiring or being laicized, but he was not dismissed from the clerical state until 2005, after an aggressive Review Board recommended this action to Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett. The full text of his votum with exhibits is included below. All the documents on this page were downloaded from the Whatcom County Superior Court website.

Cody had abused children throughout the 21 years of his active ministry (1958-1979), while Thomas A. Connolly and Raymond G. Hunthausen were the Seattle archbishops, despite Cody's early admission that he was a pedophile and ample evidence thereafter. He also abused children during his leave (1979-1988), when Hunthausen was archbishop.

We will be posting additional documents from the Cody case, including more correspondence regarding Cody's treatment at the Institute of Living, and more information about alleged abuse.

Personal Record: List of Assignments

Letter from Archbishop Brunett to Cardinal Ratzinger: Laicization request and all 46 document exhibits (11/5/04)  [6.5M file]

Letter from Psychiatrist to Archbishop Connolly: Cody is a pedophile who has molested at least 8 girls in 3 years as priest (3/19/62)

Letter from Fr. McGrath to Connolly: Cody's sexual abnormalities, if discovered, could put him in prison (3/29/62)

Letter from McGrath to Connolly: Cody is deteriorating and sexual violence is possible (5/14/62)

Letter from Connolly to Institute of Living: Cody will be admitted 5/28/62 (5/18/62)

Letter from Connolly to Cody: You have many years of zealous service to the Church and her children before you (5/24/62)

Letter from Cody to Connolly: Description of Institute of Living and other priests there (6/15/62)

Letter from Psychiatrist to Connolly: No difficulties with Cody saying Sunday Mass at suburban CT parish (10/12/62)

Letter from Psychiatrist to Connolly: At Institute of Living, Cody's been saying Sunday Mass in local CT parishes (1/30/63)

Letter from Braceland to Connolly: Cody's ready to go home; we're waiting to hear from you; don't assign him to a parish (3/13/63)

Letter from Chancellor Power to Cody: Enclosed is your return ticket from Hartford to Seattle (5/16/63)

Excerpt of Letter from Bishop Gill to Connolly at Vatican Council: Cody's mental deterioration requires rest (10/14/63)

Assessment by Fr. Gill: Cody is intelligent, eccentric, a good speaker, remote, easily bugged by people (1/12/67)

Letter from Holy Name Pastor Duffy to Connolly: Cody's deviant behavior with girls is a danger to the good of souls (12/7/67)

St. Charles Bulletin: Father Cody on retreat Monday through Friday this week (6/21/70)

Letter from Cody: Request for seminary transcript on St. Charles letterhead shows 2 missions of the church (10/21/70)

St. Charles Bulletin: Father Cody will be on retreat this week (6/6/71)

Personnel Board Minutes: Cody wants to leave Burlington for a bigger parish (10/4/71)

Letter from Cody to Connolly: Setting the archbishop straight on Cody's 6-week leave to visit relatives in Panama (12/5/71)

Personnel Board Minutes: Cody won't go Burlington to Bellingham except as pastor so others won't think anything's wrong (8/7/72)

Personnel Board Minutes: Connolly accedes to Cody's demand for Bellingham pastorate (8/23-24/72)

Memo from Connolly to Fr. Perri: For the welfare of his current parishioners, move Cody to a smaller parish (3/27/73)

Minutes of Personnel Board Meeting Including Archbishop Hunthausen: Cody wonders if he should be transferred or retire (2/3/75)

Minutes of Personnel Board Meeting Including Hunthausen: Hunthausen will talk with Cody re future plans/problems (7/28/75)

Minutes of Personnel Board Meeting Including Hunthausen: Father Cody will take up residence at St. Margaret, Seattle (8/25/75)

Letter from Hunthausen to Psychiatrist: Cody's 1962-1963 treatment and arrangements for therapy and parish residence (9/3/75)

Psychiatrist's Letter to Hunthausen: Arranging appraisal and therapy and recommending that Cody stay occupied (9/5/75)

Letter from Hunthausen to Fr. Murphy: Arranging residence and ministry during therapy (9/5/75)

Memo by Fr. Espen: Cody as one of the "unassignables" (4/8/87)

Memo and Notes from Ryan et al.: Cody's move to FL and his request for faculties there, with info in secret archive (7/25/88)

Orlando Chancellor Bendixen to Vice Chancellor Espen: Reference request on Cody for whose priestly service we're grateful (9/1/88)

Reply from Vice Chancellor Ryan to Bendixen: Hunthausen's writing to Bishop Grady about Cody (9/19/88)

Letter from Hunthausen to Grady: Cody's history, but I want to help him minister in Orlando (9/19/88)

Letter from Hunthausen to Cody: "At this moment in our history," you must go for an assessment (10/3/88)

Reply by Cody to Hunthausen: I wouldn't have asked for faculties in FL if I thought I was any danger to anyone (10/13/88) [transcript]

Letter from Cody to Fr. Thomas: Cody has moved to NH to live with his brother, who might be moving to NC (12/4/88) [transcript]

Psychological Report: Cody reports abusing 20-40 girls and 1 boy (12/20/88)

Letter from Cody to Hunthausen: In the Church's and my own best interest that I seek laicization now (1/20/89) [transcript]

Letter from Hunthausen to Cody: Formally accepting Cody's offer to be laicized (2/13/89)

Memo of Call: Vietnam vet said he and several other boys were abused by Cody in Swissvale PA and Seattle in early 1960s (4/26/89)

Letter from Canonical Consultant Bawyn to Cody: Explaining why laicization wasn't pursued and offering to do so (7/21/93)

Reply from Cody to Bawyn: Describes current life and explains that he considers himself informally laicized (7/31/93)

Memo from Bawyn to Archbishop Murphy: Not sure laicizing Cody would be advantageous (8/13/93)

Memo: During a call on another matter, Murphy warned Bishop Walsh of Las Vegas not to give Cody faculties (9/13/93)

Memo from Sr. Cox to Fr. Thomas: Alleged abuse by Cody of boy and his sister in 1958-1961 (11/29/94)

Cody File Review by Bawyn: "Has someone selectively purged this file?" (12/7/94)

Intake Statement: Woman called to report that Cody had abused her sister at St. Luke's in about 1960 (5/2/03)

Intake Statement: Woman whose sister had called herself called and made an appointment with Jessie Dye (6/20/03) [transcript]

Memo by Dye on Meeting with Victim: Cody digitally penetrated her, was removed after girl told pastor in confession (7/2/03)

Letter from Archbishop Brunett to Victim and Spouse: Apologizing, offering therapy, and summarizing Cody case (2/3/04)

Decree by Brunett: Starting preliminary investigation of the girl's abuse in 1960 at St. Luke's (9/15/04)

Decree by Brunett: Preliminary investigation is concluded, and votum will be sent to the CDF (10/29/04)

Letter from Brunett to Cardinal Ratzinger: Laicization request and selected supporting documentation (11/5/04)

Letter from Brunett to Cody: Without mentioning abuse, notifies Cody that laicization is being requested (11/1/04)

Letter from Brunett to Ratzinger: Laicization request and all 46 document exhibits (11/5/04)  [6.5M file]

Translation of CDF Decree: Cody is dismissed from the clerical state and must not give scandal (6/17/05)

Letter from Archbishop Amato to Brunett: Confirming 6/17/05 laicization of Cody (6/21/05)

Statement: A woman molested by Cody at St. Charles church in Burlington in 1970-1972 describes her experience (7/26/07)

Chronology: Burlington survivor's timeline of abuse and revelation

Intake Form: Description of Cody's abuse of the Burlington girl and the assistance she is seeking (6/29/10)




















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