"Dear Bishop Malone … "

January 4, 2009

LETTER 1 of 2

January 2009

Bishop Richard Malone

Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

Portland, Maine

Dear Bishop Malone,

I am writing on behalf of Paul Kendrick, and the recent events that have taken place in banning his attendance from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

First, as a survivor of criminal sexual abuse at the hands of James Vallely, I would also be interested in meeting with you in person. I cannot understand how you can make such misjudgments upon Paul Kendrick when you have refused to meet with him, and do not even know him. When I came forward for the second time to report my sexual abuse, Paul Kendrick reached out to me with mercy, love and grace. He cared about me as a person, and cared of the suffering that I have been living with since 1976, while serving as an altar girl.

You see, when I called St. Michaels Church, in So Berwick, Maine in 1994, and tried to report my sexual abuse the first time to Priest Philip Tracy, Sr., I was simply met with a harsh and cold heart. Priest Tracy, Sr. did not respond with compassion, mercy or love; but rather, rebuked me, asking me, “what do you expect me to do about it?” and further telling me, “you just need to forgive him,” and “move on with your life.”

When I sit down with you, I would very much like Priest Tracy, Sr. to be present so he may be accountable for his lack of mercy, lack of compassion, lack of love, and lack of his commitment to children and abuse survivors. You know Bishop Malone, the secrecy in sexual abuse at the hands of a “holy” priest lies in the shame and guilt of the child. Priest Tracy, Sr. only perpetuated my feelings of self-loathing, filth, shame and guilt. Paul Kendrick did the opposite. He is only the second person in my entire life that has said the sexual abuse “is not my fault.” I was a little girl; eleven years old, and innocent.

So in retrospect, I have an answer for Priest Philip Tracy, Sr. What did I expect him to do with this information? First, I expected him to care, and like Jesus, be “moved with compassion,” and reach out to me with love and sadness for the life that was lost. Second, I expected him to report this crime to the proper authorities, since the standard of care stated, “four years before the 1997 Law, the Portland diocese adopted a policy to investigate reports of sexual abuse by priests as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.” He violated both statutes; first and foremost, his vows as a priest to protect children, and further, to spiritually guide and nurture a wounded adult.

Paul Kendrick is a decent, God-fearing person who stands for justice, and has defended the weak against a corrupt and wicked system. Paul Kendrick has simply shown a “righteous anger” towards a most vile and criminal situation like the sexual abuse of children.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but Jesus Christ NEVER refused to meet with anyone who called upon His Name. Being filled with love, and moved with compassion, Christ made the time for children, the sick, poor, widowed and shunned. He never turned anyone away. In fact, Matthew 9:12-13 states, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I WILL HAVE MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE: For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Don’t you understand Bishop Malone? There is a great need for your wounded, hurt, and spiritually dead parishioners to meet the Great Physician who is called Jesus. Don’t you have a special responsibility as a leader and representative of Christ to reach out to those who call upon your name?

A man’s character, and the actions behind his words show a direct picture of the condition of his heart. Bishop Malone, I pray that your heart will be filled with Mercy, Love, and Grace. How can there possibly be peace and reconciliation if there is no communication? I pray that you will choose to meet with Paul Kendrick,20and all the others, such as Marie Tupper who needs and desires spiritual healing, mercy, and understanding.

On 17 April 2008, Pope Benedict XVI met with a group of sex abuse victims, listening to their personal accounts, and “offered them words of encouragement and hope.” Pope Benedict goes on to say, “I don’t have the words to describe the harm and pain inflicted by such abuse,” citing “Bishops for mishandling the crisis,” and “promised to do better,” stating, “we are deeply ashamed and we will do all that is possible that this cannot happen in the future.”

Bishop Malone, do you think you have acted as the Pope has stated? Have you done all that is possible to ensure the protection of our children? Have you done all that is possible to facilitate communication and healing among the spiritually dead? Have you extended mercy and grace to your brother when mercy and grace are not due? To me, a promise is a vow. The Bible says that it is better not to make a promise, and to say nothing, rather than to make a promise to God Almighty, and not keep it.

(Ecclesiastes 5:4-5)

Bishop Malone, in all due respect for you as a person, and your leadership position as a Bishop, I must question your feeling that Paul Kendrick is attempting to “unnerve or distract” you. I have to believe it is your own conscience that is convicting you of right vs. wrong, reflecting as the Bible states in Romans 2:15, “the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness.”

In closing, I implore you to meet with Paul Kendrick, and other victims and family of clergy sex abuse. Only honest and open communication will produce lasting and peaceful resolutions. Paul Kendrick is a sincere, compassionate, peaceful man full of mercy and grace. Mr. Kendrick’s only goal is to pursue righteousness for the innocent, and bring healing to the hurt. Paul Kendrick fights only for truth and justice; solely for the positive and much needed reform of the Catholic Church.


Catherine [name redacted]

LETTER 2 of 2

December 22, 2008

Bishop Richard Malone

Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

Portland, Maine

Dear Bishop Malone,

I was dismayed to see that you served Paul Kendrick with a criminal trespass notice, barring him from attending Midnight Mass at the Cathedral.

As an advocate for those who were abused, Paul has stood firm that victims and survivors be treated with dignity and respect, actions that Jesus would certainly have applauded.

Paul has chosen to make people aware of how their action (or inaction) affects survivors of clergy sexual abuse. He has held people accountable for their actions, another belief that certainly follows the teachings of Jesus.

You sir, have opted to use your position to protect an institution, calling on civil authority when it best serves you. This is not the first time you have done this.

Shame on you.

Paul, Marie Tupper and I wanted only to ask you about the status of the Reverend Thomas Lee case, and did so in front of Bull Feeney’s only because you refused to meet with Marie and myself. You chose to shuffle us off to underlings, as though it wasn’t important to you. I can’t even begin to tell you how important this is to Marie Tupper.

In case you had forgotten:

Marie’s son was molested by this monster who is still called a priest, and the damage to her son is ongoing.

Shame on you again.

In the past five years, we have called you to account on a number of different issues. All of them have been concerned with helping survivors and protecting children. You chose from day one to stonewall and dismiss us as a fringe group out to tear down the church. The very first time we showed up on the sidewalk outside the cathedral, you served Paul and me with criminal trespass notices, though we had not stepped on the church property.

Sound familiar?

We were asking for the names of ALL those credibly accused of molesting children, and you served us with a criminal trespass notice.

Shame on you again.

We stood outside your cathedral for over a year, and you eventually released the names of many of those who have been credibly accused. How sad that it took so long to do something that will help protect children from being abused.

We discovered that priest Michael Plourde had been living for years within a block of where he had raped children. Please note the plural use of child, since there were multiple victims, one of whom came to us as we were standing outside St. Josephs in Biddeford. He told us that he was one of Fr. Plourdes victims, and he cried unabashedly while thanking us for making other children safe. You knew Michael Plourde was living there and never let anyone know. We were castigated by parents for standing in front of St. James School, yet two days later you released his name.

Shame on you again.

I have to tell you that I am planning to be at the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at the Cathedral. I will not give you any reason to call the local police. I fully intend to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus. I will also stand there in support of the victims of abuse, and the prevention of further abuse by those who you KNOW present a danger.

Please look for me.

Harvey Paul

Director, Maine Chapter

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)


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