The mission of is to collect the documents and other sources of information that are needed to understand the Catholic clergy abuse problem. The files of accused persons form the core of our collection, and various other archives support those fundamental documents. On this page, we provide an introduction to our various archives. For your convenience, we start with links to some of our key document collections – large and small. Then we get into the details. The list below provides links to 43,772 pages of files – about 50% of the total that we offer online, and 20% of our public archive. Our entire holdings, including files that we are preparing for release, total more than 1.5 million pages.

  • Diocese of Bridgeport CT – Excerpt from the 11,187-page document release obtained by the New York Times in 2009 after seven years of litigation. The diocese contested the release up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to consider the diocese’s final appeal. The 494-page excerpt provided here comprises 55 documents illustrating the abuse history of the diocese, with an analysis of that history.
  • Diocese of Davenport IA – Documents obtained by a survivors’ attorney in two lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by Fr. James Janssen and other priests of the diocese. This 505-page archive, posted by us in 2004, contains diocesan documents from 1948-2004 and related materials. It was provided by a Davenport activist.
  • Diocese of Fort Worth TX – This 659-page archive of documents on five accused priests was released by the diocese in 2006 after a judge ruled in favor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News. Extensive reporting on the document dispute is also included on the page.
  • Franciscan Friars, Province of St. Barbara – This 9,307-page archive of church documents and depositions, presented here in full, was ordered released by the courts in 2011 {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} after a prolonged legal dispute.
  • Jesuits, Chicago/Midwest Province and Fr Donald McGuire SJ – This 180-page archive of Jesuit documents, and the 2011 pleading that accompanied it, document how the Jesuits’ Chicago province handled allegations of child abuse committed by Fr. Donald McGuire, who was subsequently convicted in criminal court and died in prison.
  • Diocese of Joliet IL – This 3,730-page archive of 15 priest files is presented in full as released in 2014, part of a settlement with Mr. David Rudofski, a survivor of one of the priests.
  • Archdiocese of Louisville KY – A 392-page selection, posted in 2011, from our 9,153-page archive of 30 accused Louisville priest files and related documents.
  • Diocese of Manchester NH – The entire 8,601-page archive of 60 accused priest files with investigative and other materials, as released by the New Hampshire Attorney General in 2003, together with the AG’s report analyzing the files of eight priests. This was the first major archive that posted. We have also posted the 879-page archive of the AG’s subsequent audit of the diocese. The release of the archive, report, and audit was mandated by an agreement between the AG and the late Bishop John McCormack.
  • Archdiocese of Philadelphia PA – An appendix containing 68 pages of sample documents (gathered in Group 1 and Group 2) was released with the 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report, along with a brief description of each document, linking to it. The report analyzes those documents and many others, together with hundreds of hours of grand jury testimony (see our finding aid, which allows the reader to consult the sections of the report that pertain to each document). The Philadelphia Inquirer obtained copies of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua’s grand jury testimony – 1,260 pages of transcript from 11 days of questioning. The newspaper’s reporters were denied access to the remaining transcripts, which were subsequently placed under seal by a judge (see the links that accompany the Bevilacqua testimony). Bevilacqua’s Vicar for Clergy, Msgr. William J. Lynn, was tried in criminal court in March-June 2012 (see our day-by-day narrative of the trial). We have obtained 5,864 pages of exhibits from the trial – an archive of 23 accused priest files and related materials. We are posting that archive, beginning with the 195-page file of Fr. Edward V. Avery file. The exhibits were released unredacted; we have redacted them for publication.
  • Six Dioceses in Pennsylvania: Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Scranton The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report described the cases of 301 accused priests, and in its Section II: The Dioceses, it provided detailed analysis of 18 accused priests, illustrated with 105 pages of documents. This is a small collection of documents, compared to some of the archives on this list, but it had a huge impact, prompting more than a dozen other attorneys general to launch investigation and contributing to the passage of statute of limitations reform in several states.
  • Diocese of Portland ME – In 2005, the Maine Attorney General released the names of 25 accused priests with 136 pages of investigative files. This release complied with a Maine Supreme Judicial Court order in a case filed by the Blethen Maine Newspapers.
  • Dioceses of San Diego CA and San Bernardino CA – This 10,118-page archive is provided complete. It contains the files of 48 accused priests, released on the order of a judge in 2010, confirming a nonmonetary provision of a settlement.
  • Servants of the Paraclete, Jemez Springs NM – This 607-page collection of documents from our 7,218-page archive on the Servants of the Paraclete, posted in 2017, was donated to us by the late scholar Richard Sipe, after a judge lifted the seal on the materials. It includes the Constitutions of the order, correspondence of its founder with the Vatican, and documents showing the assignment of priests in treatment to surrounding parishes.

Survivors and Archives: Document Archives and Other Archives Complement Each Other

The archives listed above, and the other church documents and files on this website, are the legacy of clergy abuse survivors in their thousands. The documents are a unique and terrible gift, actual evidence of criminal violation that has been brought to the world by the courage of the survivors. The documents are a precious resource despite and also because of their specific character and limitations. They are the files of the abusers and their enablers, written by men, and some women, who never imagined that we would read them. The files are unguarded and extremely revealing, though they also have their limitations.

We hear the voices of survivors often in these archives, but they are speaking within the clerical system, contingent upon it and often at a disadvantage. So it is important that the survivors have also given their witness in other contexts. autonomously and at length. Many are entrusting their oral histories to (see a brief example by the late Phil Saviano), and many more have written memoirs, testified before grand juries and committees considering statute-of-limitations reform, and spoken at length to reporters and scholars. See a selection of survivor witness here.

In addition to survivor witness, the archives of church documents are also complemented by the reports of attorneys general and grand juries, which use church files together with the testimony of survivors and others. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s report, released together with the files it examined and transcripts of the interviews it conducted, is a good example.

In the United States legal system, we are able to name the priests and other church personnel who are sued or criminally accused of sexual abuse. As in every other area of’s work, we have built on a foundation – established by survivors’ organizations and others – to create and maintain a Database of Accused Priests, Nuns, Brothers, and Other Accused, based on mainstream news reports and publicly filed court documents, almost all from the witness of survivors. Our database in turn has prompted 159 U.S. dioceses and 29 provinces of religious orders to publish lists of their own (see our list of their lists, with over 1,400 links to past and present lists, many of them providing assignment histories of the accused). The church lists are often the product of a file review, sometimes done by a contractor (e.g., Kinsale Management Consulting).

Our database and the church lists are crucial for providing a broader perspective, complementing the deeper evidence of the public document archives. We have major archives for only a dozen or so dioceses, out of the 178 Latin rite dioceses in the United States, and for a few religious orders. But with the help of survivor witness, investigative reporting, and the available data, we can generalize to some extent what we learn from the document archives we have.

One last caveat. The document archives are themselves constrained in several ways. Bishops and order superiors have destroyed files. Documents have been successfully withheld under various claims of privilege. Discussions of sexual misconduct, especially in the seminary, are often expressed in euphemisms and coded language. The released documents are almost always redacted, sometimes in a way that degrades them significantly. And the files pertain almost exclusively to the abuse of minors by priests, religious sisters and brothers, deacons, and seminarians. Adult victims and lay offenders are not well represented. is gathering files on those cases to remedy the archival bias, which is an inherent aspect of the U.S. legal system.

In the rest of this brief introduction, we’ll 1) summarize the history of clergy abuse archives in the United States as represented in our collection, 2) assess the impact of the archives, and 3) offer links to documents that illustrate some important themes.

1) A Brief History of Our Public Archives

After a long era of impunity, clergy abuse of children in the United States began to be prosecuted (see Los Angeles priest Fr. Donald Patrick Roemer, who was convicted in 1981); civil suits began to be filed and legal discovery done (see Fr. Thomas Adamson of then-Diocese of Winona), and seals were lifted on documents (see Fr. Gilbert Gauthe if the Diocese of Lafayette LA). Jason Berry used those documents in his ground-breaking Lead Us Not into Temptation (1992), and the file of Fr. James Porter was available to reporters shortly thereafter. Plaintiff’s attorneys who specialized in clergy abuse cases, such as Jeffrey Anderson and Steven Rubino, began to collect significant private archives. In 1997, reporter Brooks Egerton wrote from an archival perspective about Fr. David Holley and his transfers, showing that the policy of moving offending priests to greener pastures could only be understood across archives.

This national perspective was shared by the Linkup and SNAP, two survivors’ organizations that started in Chicago in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Individual survivors were also seeing their abuse as reflected in the church archive and were connecting with survivors in other states who were abused by the same priest. Phil Saviano came forward about his own abuse by Holley in the Diocese of Worcester after he learned that Holley had subsequently abused boys in Alamogordo TX. By filing suit and refusing to settle with a non-disclosure agreement, Saviano was able to acquire church documents in discovery and remained free to discuss them, including this remarkable articulation of the transfer rationale.

But into the late 1990s, the technology to preserve and send documents wasn’t mature. The internet was in its early stages, downloads were slow, and a file format to share documents had not caught on. But by the time the Boston Globe launched its archivally based Spotlight series on January 6, 2002, the technology was ready. Adobe had released their popular PDF reader and made it free, and newspapers were online and open. The Globe soon began posting document PDFs to support its stories. Bill Mitchell at the Poynter Institute launched Abuse Tracker, hosted since 2006 by, which enabled journalists and their readers to follow an increasingly national and international story across all the news sources. Our ongoing collection of those sources forms the basis of our Database of Accused.

We acquired our first church file in April 2002, after working for its release. was officially founded in June 2003 and posted two archives that year – a reader’s edition of leaked emails from the Los Angeles archdiocese and the New Hampshire attorney general’s 8,601-page investigative archive and report on the Diocese of Manchester. Our 1,276-page selection of the Boston documents and the 505-page archive of the Diocese of Davenport IA followed in 2004. We posted online editions of five other investigative reports by 2005 and also launched our Database of Accused Priests, Nuns, Brothers, and Others in that year. In 2006 we posted our collection of Survivors’ Accounts and an extensive selection from the 2,217-page Shanley file, and acquired the Abuse Tracker news blog. Book-by-book, we acquired a full set (1900-present) of the Official Catholic Directory, a resource like the German Schematismus that lists the purported location of every priest in the country – essential for researching assignment histories and understanding abuse histories (see, for example, the assignment and abuse history of Fr. Romano Ferraro, with links to documents, articles, and maps).

In the 2010s, significant diocesan archives, some of them listed and linked above, were released through nonmonetary provisions of large settlements. Several dioceses chose to post the files at the same time that they were posted by attorneys for survivors: Los Angeles (2013), Chicago (2014), and Milwaukee (2017). The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis MN witnessed a convergence of document release and revelations in 2014. Jennifer Haselberger, the archdiocese’s Chancellor for Canonical came forward as a whistleblower in interviews with Madeleine Baran at Minnesota Public Radio and in an affidavit. MPR built a database of accused and released thousands of pages of documents, as did attorney Jeffrey Anderson. preserved those document releases, some of which have otherwise aged off the internet. MPR’s award-winning Betrayed by Silence explored the connections between the earliest major clergy abuse case in the United States – Fr. Gilbert Gauthe in the Diocese of Lafayette LA – and clergy abuse in the Twin Cities, with many links to documents from and other sources.

The 2010s also saw the release of two very significant international archives. In 2016, the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland posted its report with transcripts of its hearing and document exhibits. In 2017, the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

We have gathered all of the documents described above, and many other collections, to create a searchable archive totaling 250,161 pages. In a partnership with the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, we assisted scholars in accessing the collection for their research. This Gender, Sex, and Power project held its final symposium in March 2022, and the first research results have begun to appear. See Reproductive Abuse in the Context of Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, by Doris Reisinger, in the journal Religions, with links to our document archive.

2) The Impact of the Archives

The archives have already had a major impact on society, and their significance will increase with time. But we should remember that before these materials were “archives,” they were the active files of dioceses and religious orders. In that previous life, these documents certainly carried information, but they also made terrible things happen, functioning as what philosophers call speech acts. For example, minutes in our Servants of the Paraclete archive not only record the disastrous decision to send priests who were in treatment to minister in the community, they also serve as an instruction set, even providing a list of the target parishes. Thousands of children were abused as a direct result of this document, and clergy abuse in the United States was accelerated and made more national in scope.

The archives have a remarkable power to help as well as to harm. Perhaps their most important positive effect is that the documents – and the databases, reports, survivor witness, investigative journalism and other archives that support the documents – have affirmed survivors and their families and friends, confirming the widespread societal impact of the crimes and forming a basis for improvement. Those improvements in children’s and women’s rights and in society’s self-understanding can be traced to our greater knowledge and the sources from which it comes.

The American legal scholar Timothy Lytton has argued persuasively in Holding Bishops Accountable that civil law in the United States and the documents it has produced have prompted Catholic bishops to change their policies and procedures. Lawsuits and document releases and criminal inquiries – particularly the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report – have also prompted improvements in the law, including statute-of-limitations reform to admit time-barred claims.

We see the beneficial effects of our archives in our daily work. Attorneys general have used our documents and data in their investigations and in preparing their investigative teams. Survivors contact us to thank us for the documents and data we post, to offer us documents of their own, and to participate in our oral history project. All archival work on Catholic clergy abuse is made in the image and likeness of survivors’ individual work to gather information about their perpetrator and to confront the effects of the crimes.

3) Documents Illustrating Important Themes

Survivors’ Accounts

•  Survivor Robert Costello writes to Pope John Paul II (May 20, 1994)

•  A survivor describes his experience of abuse by Fr. James Janssen of the Davenport diocese (May 11, 2004)

•  A survivor describes his experience of abuse by Fr. Paul Shanley of the Boston archdiocese (July 18, 2003)

•  A survivor describes his experience of abuse by Fr. Francis LaMothe of the Manchester diocese (2002)

•  A survivor’s mother writes to Bishop Tod Brown of the Orange diocese about abuse by Fr. Michael Pecharich (March 30, 2002)

Priests’ Accounts and Writings

•   Newsletter by Rev. Paul R. Shanley – During 1972 and early 1973, Shanley wrote a newsletter and distributed it to a mailing list with the help of his secretary, Eileen Mulcahy. Several hundred pages of this newsletter are preserved in archdiocesan files. See Shanley’s introduction to this writing project, in his Christmas letter of 1971.
   •   Letter #3: The Hermit of Terrible Mountain or “The Street Priest” [Received 3/8/72]
   •   Letter #4: Throwaways and Child of Clay
   •   Letter #6: My Route; Covering Letter; Letter #7: Language and Respect; Letter #8: Atheists and the Liturgy, and The Mountain, and The Holidays [Received 5/16/72; incorrectly Bates-numbered in reverse order; sequence corrected here]
   •   Letter #9: Diane Has a Baby; Letter #9A: A Sermon [Incorrectly Bates-numbered in reverse order; sequence corrected here]
   •   Letter #10: Finale and A Prayer for Runaways [back-dated 5/1/70]; Letter #11: Communes [Bates order corrected]
   •   Letter #11: Methadone [Dated 4/72 from Albuquerque]

•   Sexual Autobiography, by Rev. Robert Van Handel OFM (mid-1990s)

•   Letter to Cardinal Law by Rev. Robert V. Meffan (7/8/93) enclosing autobiographical essay signed Prisoner of Love

•   Affidavit of Rev. David A. Holley (7/12/93) with links to the documents cited

•   Excerpt from Therapy Journal of Rev. Louis E. Miller (2/94)


•   Pope John XXIII’s Apostolic Blessing for the Servants of the Paraclete (9/14/59)

•   Notes by Very Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald sP to the Holy Office (4/11/62) with transcription

•   Letter by Fitzgerald to Pope Paul VI (8/27/63)

•   Brochure for Via Coeli, Facility of the Servants of the Paraclete

•   Brochure of the House of Affirmation (9/73)

•   Brochure of Saint Luke Institute at Marsalin in Holliston MA (early 1980s)

•   Extensive Materials on Treatment and Other Issues Sent to Each U.S. Bishop by Fr. Michael Peterson of Saint Luke Institute (12/9/85)


•   St. Paul’s Church Centennial (1971) [5.6 megabytes] or for easier download, Parts 1 2

•   Celebrating 125 Years – St. Paul’s Church in Hingham (1996) [7.7 megabytes] or for easier download, Parts 1 2

•   Bulletin of St. Paul’s Church in Hingham MA with Pastor’s Note on Geoghan (9/22/96)

•   Financial Report – St. Michael’s Priest Fund – Milwaukee Archdiocese (1980-1981)

•   Articles of Association and By-Laws – St. Michael’s Priest Fund – Milwaukee Archdiocese

•   Quinquennial Report to the Vatican by the Wilmington Diocese (1998-2003) [21.1 megabytes] or for easier download, Parts 1 2 3 4 5 6

The Vatican and the International Situation

The Vatican has extensive archives on the global clergy abuse crisis in the congregations that have handled requests for laicization. On April 30, 2001, Pope John Paul II’s motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela (see also an English translation of SST and its associated Norms) consolidated all abuse cases in Cardinal Ratzinger’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The future Pope Benedict XVI would devote Friday to the reading of abuse files, a practice he referred to as “our Friday penance.”

•   Pope Has Gained the Insight to Address Abuse, Aides Say, by Laurie Goodstein, New York Times (4/23/05)

It is to be hoped that the Vatican will open its abuse archives and make the process of laicization transparent going forward. In the meantime, document releases in the United States, Australia, and Northern Ireland provide some insight into the role of the Vatican in abuse cases in those countries. For example:

•   Notes by Very Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald sP to the Holy Office (4/11/62) with transcription

•   Letter by Fitzgerald to Pope Paul VI (8/27/63)

•   Exchange of Letters between Bishop Curtis of Bridgeport and then-Archbishop Vagnozzi, Apostolic Delegate, Regarding a Survivor of Rev. Laurence Brett (1966-1967)

•   Cardinal Seper at the Vatican’s CDF Asks Medeiros to Explain Shanley’s ‘Changing Norms of Sexuality’ Tapes (11/14/78)

•   Letter from Cardinal Medeiros to Vatican about Shanley, Homosexuality, and Seminaries (2/12/79)

•   Seper’s Response to Medeiros’ Letter about Shanley (3/27/79)

•   Medeiros Updates Seper on Shanley at St. Jean’s (7/4/79)

•   Ratzinger Delays Laicization of a Convicted Priest (11/6/85) – see English translation of Latin text and other documents

•   Letter by Bishop Windle to Apostolic Pro-Nuncio Curis about Msgr. Prince and Vatican Knowledge of Allegations (2/10/93)

•   Apostolic Nuncio Storero Warns Irish Bishops on Reporting Policy (1/31/97) – see Irish bishops’ 1996 Framework and Murphy’s analysis

•   Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos Praises Bishop Pican (9/8/01)

•   Letter from Then-Archbishop Dolan to Cardinal Hummes, Asking Permission to Transfer $56.9M to the Cemetery Fund of the Milwaukee Archdiocese (6/4/07)

•   Letter from Cardinal Hummes to Archbishop Dolan, Granting Permission for the Transfer (7/18/07)

•   Msgr. Augustin Romero of the Archdiocese of Paris Announces the CDF Conviction of Maronite Priest Msgr. Mansour Labaky (7/11/12) – see an English translation, a news article about the conviction and pending appeal, the website of Labaky survivors, and the website of Labaky supporters

FAQs Regarding Management of Accused Priests
with Documents from the Boston Archdiocesan Files

•   Is the survivor experience ever expressed in these archives? – David Coleman called this remarkable essay “Living on a ‘fault’ line.” It exists in the diocesan files because he faxed it to John B. McCormack, a decade after he’d told McCormack the same story in person. Only after the second communication was the accused priest investigated in California, where five other victims came forward. (See other documents on Fr. Richard T. Coughlin.)

•   Is the experience of the parents of survivors represented in the archives? – In this remarkable letter, a mother begs Cardinal Medeiros to keep Geoghan away from other children. Medeiros’s reply, urging her to “love the sinner,” is in stark contrast to the moral clarity that the mother showed. (See other Geoghan documents.)

•   How do dioceses keep track of a priest’s career? – Every diocese keeps assignment records on its priests, like this record for Boston abuser Joseph Birmingham. If they were made public for all known abusers, these records would help other victims to come forward, and would allow tens of thousands of U.S. parishes to assess the harm they have experienced during the last fifty years. But dioceses don’t release these records except under duress. These records only tell part of the story, however, because they generally don’t list treatment centers to which the priest had been sent. (See other documents on Birmingham.)

•   Did worried parents ever try to get information about a priest’s career? – Dioceses used the borders between parishes to restrict information about abusers and facilitate their quiet transfer. In this document, a fearful parent requests information about Fr. Joseph Birmingham.

•   Are there examples of such requests being rebuffed? – Fr. John McCormack deflects the parent’s question, although McCormack knew that there were already allegations against Birmingham in the chancery files, and indeed had personal experience of Birmingham’s behavior.

•   Did the dioceses keep track of allegations? – This detailed chronology of allegations against John Geoghan was written in 1994. A few years later, Cardinal Law granted Geoghan’s request for Senior Priest Retirement Status, praising his “effective life of ministry, sadly impaired by illness.”

•   Do priests ever try to “do the right thing” in the diocesan files? – This letter was written in 1967 by Fr. Arthur Chabot about Fr. Paul Shanley. Thirty years and two cardinals later, Shanley’s record was still being concealed. (See other documents on Shanley.)

•   Do the files offer any examples of harmful clericalism? – This letter from John Geoghan’s pastor, denigrating a credible abuse complaint in the middle of the priest’s sorry career, is one of the worst examples of this clericalism, especially read with Bishop Daily’s reply to him.

•   Did bishops ever try to “do the right thing”? – In Boston, only Bishop John M. D’Arcy cared about vulnerable children and proper discipline among priests. In this letter he expressed concern to Bishop Thomas V. Daily about Fr. Richard Buntel, an abuser and a drug dealer who remained in service for another decade. Shortly after another letter, this one to Cardinal Law about John Geoghan, D’Arcy was shipped off to South Bend, despite his request that he be allowed to stay with his gravely ill mother in Boston. (See other documents on Buntel and Geoghan.)

•   Did bishops sometimes lie in order to transfer priests to unsuspecting new dioceses? – Bishop Banks told the San Bernardino diocese that Paul Shanley was a priest in good standing, thirty years after the Boston archdiocese began to receive allegations against the priest.

•   When bishops told the truth, were they heeded? – Boston had learned from Youngstown that Robert Burns had a “problem: little children.” (See the notes at the bottom of that document, and also the affidavit of the “sending” bishop.) Yet Cardinal Medeiros placed Burns in St. Thomas Aquinas in Jamaica Plain, and Cardinal Law placed him at St. Mary’s in Charlestown. After Burns was sentenced to prison in New Hampshire for sexual abuse, an incredulous survivor questioned a Boston abuse bureaucrat about the Burns placements. (See other documents on Burns.)

•   What does a treatment center report look like? – Treatment centers are an important link in the quiet transfer of abusers into unsuspecting parishes and dioceses. This report from the Institute of Living on Joseph Birmingham provides a window into the process. Its assessment of Birmingham is complacent and inaccurate, but even its mild recommendations were ignored by Cardinal Law. Birmingham was subsequently assigned to a parish without restriction, and without telling the parish about his past.

•   Is there any evidence that dioceses manipulated the treatment centers? – In this letter, Bishop Robert J. Banks makes clear that he wants a more upbeat assessment. He receives an Orwellian but compliant answer.

•   What do the diocesan files tell us about Review Boards? – In this 1994 document, the Boston Review Board recommended that an abusive priest not be allowed to say weekend Mass. Fr. Thomas P. Forry had over the years been accused of assaulting his housekeeper and abusing several boys, and had abandoned a woman after a clandestine live-in relationship of many years. But the Review Board reversed itself in the next year (see Law’s explanation), and then closed the case. These and other documents raise serious questions about the independence of consultative boards and their relationship with diocesan abuse bureaucrats. Even after bad behavior as a prison chaplain, Forry was filling in at parishes, until a victim who encountered him at Mass complained, and Forry was finally removed during the 2002 Geoghan and Shanley revelations. (See other Forry documents.)

•   Do the documents offer any unexpected insights? – If this Canadian priest’s insight into an abuser’s “dual life,” written in 1968, had been heeded by the Boston archdiocese, one woman’s life would certainly have been saved. If the lesson had been applied to the hundreds of other abusers in Boston, a better policy would have emerged much sooner, and many survivors would never have been abused. (See other documents on Fr. James D. Foley.)

•   Have these documents ever had a major effect on the crisis? – These notes (pictured above) by Fr. John B. McCormack on a 1993 meeting between Cardinal Law and Fr. James D. Foley probably resulted in Law’s resignation. In the meeting, Foley revealed that he had abandoned one of his female victims during a fatal drug overdose. Despite this admission, Foley continued to serve in parishes for almost ten years, well beyond the bishops’ Dallas meeting. He was removed only when the archdiocese accidentally released his file, mistaking him for another Foley, and the story came to light. Law resigned a few days later.