The burden of disclosing sexual abuse by Catholic clerics and its cover-up by religious leaders has fallen almost completely on victims. Most church insiders who have witnessed misconduct have chosen not to report it. Fortunately, there have been remarkable exceptions. is pleased to present the first database of church whistleblowers – priests, men and women religious, and other church employees and volunteers who reported colleagues to church or civil authorities and fought their superiors’ concealment of abuse. We have defined “whistleblower” broadly: our table includes both those who spoke up internally and those who went outside the church. Many of the individuals profiled below have experienced retaliation and grief in some form – defamation, job loss, career derailment, ostracization, pressure by superiors to admit to mental illness, and in at least one case, suicide. By documenting this overlooked aspect of the crisis, we hope to raise awareness that whistleblowers must be protected in both the church and civil society. We hope too that these stories will help still-silent witnesses find the courage to come forward.

In 2012, in the early stages of our whistleblower research, we brought together ten of the brave individuals pictured below. After months of planning and conversation, they launched Catholic Whistleblowers, the first group of priests and nuns dedicated to helping Catholic church insiders who have witnessed wrongdoing. See “Church Whistle-Blowers Join Forces on Abuse,” by Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times, May 20, 2013.

Note: On December 18, 2013, we added lay whistleblowers to our database of clergy and religious whistleblowers. While we always intended to document the role of lay as well as ordained whistleblowers, the stunning revelations in October 2013 regarding the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis by former canonical chancellor Jennifer Haselberger made this expansion urgent.

We will be adding steadily to the lay and clergy databases, as well as to our international list. To suggest names in any of these categories, please email us.

Clergy and Religious Whistleblowers

Rev. Felix Alarcon | Rev. John Bambrick | Dr. Marianne Benkert | Rev. Ryszard Biernat | Rev. Thomas Bolte | Msgr. Lawrence Breslin | Sr. Sally Butler OP | Sr. Jeanne Christensen | Rev. Daniel Clayton | Rev. Patrick Collins | Rev. John Conley | Rev. James Connell | Rev. Donald Cozzens | Bishop John M. D’Arcy | Rev. Tom Doyle OP | Rev. Thomas Economus | Jim Fitzpatrick | Rev. Joseph Fowler | Rev. Terence German SJ | Rev. James Gigliotti T.O.R. | Msgr. Gene Thomas Gomulka | Bishop Thomas Gumbleton | Rev. Gary Hayes | Rev. David Hitch | Bob Hoatson Sr. Peg Ivers Rev. Peter G. Jankowski | Sr. Jane Kelly | Rev. Joseph Ladensack | Msgr. Kenneth Lasch | Rev. Ron Lemmert | Jane Levikow | Rev. Michael Lipareli | Rev. James A. “Seamus” MacCormack | Rev. John McNamee | Msgr. James Molloy | Sr. Catherine Mulkerrin | Sr. Joyce Newton | Rev. Joseph Okonski | Lynette Petruska | Msgr. Michael Picard | Rev. Richard Reissmann | Msgr. Phillip Saylor | Fr. James Scahill | Sr. Joan Scary | Rev. Edward Seagriff | Richard Sipe | Sr. Claire Smith, OSU | Rev. Robert Smoot | Rev. Stephen Stanbery | Rev. Joseph Starmann | Rev. Tim Stier | Sr. Jean Marie Stross, OSU | Rev. Frederick E. Sweeney | Rev. Bruce Teague | Sr. Janice Thomas | Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish | Juan Vaca | Deacon Wieslaw Walawender | Patrick Wall | Rev. Mark White | Rev. Robert Williams

Lay Catholic Whistleblowers

Linda Briggs-Harty | Anne Burke | Joelle Casteix | Elizabeth Cucinotta Sorvillo | Donna Cox | Robert Fontana | Connell Friel | Frank Keating | Theresa Gerstner | Jennifer Haselberger | Jim Jenkins | Margaret Mata | Rita McDonald | Frank Murray | Siobhan O’Connor | Linda Porcaro | Larry Probst | Barbara Westrick

Rev. Felix Alarcon
Diocese of Rockville Centre
Diocese of Venice FL

A Legionary of Christ priest and native of Mexico, Alarcon established the Legionaries’ U.S. headquarters in Connecticut in 1965. The following year he left the order to work as a priest of the diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, and later moved to Florida to work in Hispanic ministry. Along with former Legionary of Christ priest Juan Vaca, Alarcon sent letters in 1978 and again in 1989 to the Vatican accusing Legionary founder Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado of sexually abusing them and others in the order when they were minors. The Vatican did not respond. Alarcon was also among nine former Legionairy priests and seminarians who filed a canon lawsuit against Maciel with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith in 1998. The charges were not investigated until 2005. Alarcon retired to Madrid.

 Breaking the Silence, Head of Worldwide Catholic Order Accused of History of Abuse, by Gerald Renner, Courant Religion Writer
and Jason Berry, Special to the Courant, The Hartford Courant, 2.23.1997
 Vatican Revisits Abuse Charges. Accused Priest Is Close to the Pope, by Gerald Renner, Hartford Courant, 1.3.2005
 Legion Leader Faces Sanctions. Report: Vatican to Restrict Ministry of Maciel, Accused of Sex Abuse, by Gerald Renner, Hartford Courant, 5.19.2006

Rev. John Bambrick
Diocese of Trenton NJ

Just before his 1991 ordination, Bambrick reported to the New York archdiocese that, as a 15-year-old altar boy, he was sexually abused by New York priest, Anthony J. Eremito. Eremito ultimately was removed from his Manhattan parish, and Cardinal John O’Connor assured Bambrick that Eremito would no longer work as a priest. In 1998, however, Bambrick discovered that Eremito was working in the Trenton diocese, just 45 minutes from Bambrick’s own parish. In 2002, Bambrick went public with his accusation against Eremito after he found that Eremito was working in Texas as a children’s hospital chaplain. In 2006, Bambrick discovered Eremito was a bereavement counselor at a Texas hospice. In each case Bambrick notified Eremito’s employers, and Eremito was fired. Eremito finally was removed from the priesthood in 2006. A SNAP member since 1993, Bambrick has been a strong advocate for fellow victim/survivors. He has identified other priests who have been accused of molesting children and turned their names over to prosecutors and church officials. Bambrick is a co-founder of Catholic Whistleblowers.

Victims Then, Priests Later, by Bonnie Miller Rubin, Chicago Tribune, 6.03.2002
• Perv-Clergy Tracker Can’t Catch Cardinal’s Ear, by Douglas Montero, New York Post, 6.14.2002
• A Priest’s Burden: He Now Seeks Censure of Allegedly Abusive Former Mentor, by Stephanie Saul, Newsday [New York], 6.17.2002
• Priest Who Saw Abuse from Other Side Becomes Watchdog, by Richard Lezin, New York Times, 7.07.2002
• Abuse Survivors Optimistic after Meeting with Officials, by Tracy Robinson, Asbury Park Press, 3.16.2003
• Former Lubbock Chaplain Fired after Abuse Allegations,, 1.05.2006
• Hospice Operator Fires Counselor, by David O’Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer
• Father John” Embraces His New Congregation, Never Forgetting, but Moving on, by Williams Boyd, Asbury Park Press, 5.11.2008
• Three More Resign after Priest Was Allowed to Work with Kids despite Lifetime Ban, by Mark Mueller, The Newark Star-Ledger, 5.5.2013

Dr. Marianne Benkert
Psychiatrist, Former Maryknoll Sister

As a psychiatrist and former Maryknoll sister, Benkert has worked with thousands of people affected by clerical sexual abuse. In 1990, she delivered with Richard Sipe a 13-lecture series called “Celibacy and Sexuality” at St. John’s University in Collegeville MN, a Benedictine abbey dealing with revelations that a number of its monks were sexual abusers. She co-authored with Tom Doyle, Religious Duress and Its Impact on Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse.

 Religious Duress and Its Impact on Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse, by Marianne Benkert and Thomas P. Doyle, 11.27.2008
• An Interview with Marianne Benkert, M.D., by Jaime Romo, Healing and Spirituality, 2.04.2010


Rev. Ryszard Biernat
Diocese of Buffalo NY

Biernat was secretary to Bishop Malone and vice-chancellor when, in September 2019, he turned over to news media audio recordings that implicated Malone in the cover up of sexual harassment accusations against a priest. Biernat had secretly recorded conversations with Malone due to his concerns about the way the bishop and others in the hierarchy handled complaints about sexual abuse by priests. Biernat had himself allegedly been sexually assaulted by a priest as a seminarian. Just before resigning under pressure in December 2019, Malone imposed on Biernat “A Decree Imposing A Penal Remedy,” for “breach[ing] confidentiality” and causing “further scandal” in going to the news media. Biernat was removed from his position as vice-chancellor his faculties to minister in the diocese were revoked. 

Buffalo Bishops Silenced Fr. Ryszard about Alleged Sex Assault, by Charlie Specht, WKBW, 9.05.2019
Who is Father Ryszard Biernat, and Why Would He Secretly Record Bishop Malone?, by Dan Herbeck and Jay Tokasz, Buffalo News, September 6, 2019
Malone Suspended Priest Secretary Who Leaked Chancery Tapes, Catholic News Agency, March 4, 2020
Clergy Sex Abuse Survivors and Whistleblower Priests Join Together for Healing and Worship, by Kimberly Curth, WVUE, February 24 2021

Rev. Thomas Bolte
Archdiocese of Cincinnati OH

In 1985 and 1993, Bolte told archdiocesan officials about victims of Rev. David Kelley, and in 2005, Bolte publicly accused Archbishop Pilarczyk of cover-up.

• Archdiocese Documents, by Laure Quinlivan, WCPO Cincinnati, 2.03.2005
• Local Priest Cheered for His Role As Whistleblower, by Julie O’Neil, WCPO Cincinnati, 2.06.2005

Msgr. Lawrence Breslin
Archdiocese of Cincinnati OH

In the 1990s, Breslin twice warned Bishop James Harvey, a high-ranking Vatican official, that Msgr. Daniel Pater, a Cincinnati priest in the Vatican diplomatic corps, had admitted to sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in Breslin’s parish. The Vatican promoted Pater despite Breslin’s warnings, and in 2003, Breslin exposed the Vatican’s cover-up to the news media. He also publicly criticized Archbishop Pilarczyk for ignoring early warnings about convicted priest Rev. Thomas Kuhn. In response to the archdiocese’s 2003 deal with the county prosecutor, in which the archdiocese, rather than the Archbishop, pled guilty to five counts of not reporting child sexual abuse, Breslin said publicly that Pilarczyk had lost credibility. Breslin died in 2008.

• Concerns Were Voiced About Priest, by Jim DeBrosse, Dayton [OH] Daily News, 9.15.2002
• Vatican Elevated Abusive Priest: Warnings Didn’t Deter Rise through Catholic Diplomatic Corps, by Reese Dunklin, The Dallas Morning News, 10.30.2003
• Abuser’s Exit from Vatican Pleases Victim, by Kristin McAllister, Dayton [OH] Daily News, 9.01.2003
• Churches’ Plea Angers Some, by Jim DeBrosse and Tom Beyerlein, Dayton [OH] Daily News, 11.22.2003
• Msgr. Breslin Receives Priest of Integrity Award, The Catholic Telegraph [Indianapolis IN] 7.13.2005
• Long-Time Leader of Kettering Parish Dies, by Jim DeBrosse, Dayton [OH] Daily News, 9.30.2008
• Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Linda Briggs-Harty
Archdiocese of St. Louis MO

A public relations employee at a Marianist high school in St. Louis, Briggs-Harty resigned her position and pulled her son out of the school in 2008 because she said school officials ignored her expressed concerns that accused priest, Rev. Robert Osborne, was allowed to visit campus. The Marianists and the high school settled in 2007 with a student who claimed Osborne sexually abused him. There were two other known accusers in 2008. Briggs-Harty also voiced alarm publicly that Osborne was allowed to say mass at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. After successfully advocating for the Rev. Robert Osborne’s removal from public ministry in the St. Louis Archdiocese, Briggs-Harty has remained an active proponent for victims, primarily by writing letters to the editor and other communications calling for openness, honesty and transparency in all spheres of the Catholic Church.

• “Whistleblower” & Victims’ Group Challenge School & Church Officials, SNAP, 11.11.2008
• Catholic Groups Decry Fr. Osborne’s St. Peter Duties.
Former Vianney Head Target of 2006 Civil Suit Alleging Sexual Misconduct
, South County Times, 11.15.2008
 Ex-Vianney Staffer Campaigns Against Former School President, By Shawn Clubb
Suburban Journals, 11.18. 2008
• Moral Authority, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 3.12.2009
• More Letters Online Other Views, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 4.22.2009
• The Vatican’s Unspoken Message, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 7.20.2010
• Mixed Messages, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 1.17.2011
• Church Leaders Shut Out Those Who Question Them, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 10.16.2013
• Catholic Church Must Encourage Openness Without Retaliation, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the Editor, 4.16.2014

Anne Burke
National Review Board

A then-justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Burke was appointed by the U.S. bishops in 2002 to the newly formed National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People. Burke helped push the bishops to establish the Office of Child and Youth Protection and to hire as its director retired FBI official Kathleen McChesney. When the NRB’s original Chair, Frank Keating, stepped down Burke took over as Interim Chair. Burke was tough and uncompromising in her role. Under her direction and despite strong objections from the USCCB, the John Jay study was implemented. Throughout her three-year tenure as Interim Chair, Burke was outspoken and critical of certain bishops’ efforts to continue “business as usual.” She was never given the title “Chair.” Burke eventually donated her collection of emails and letters from this historic period to her alma mater, DePaul University. This remarkable archive reveals behind-the-scenes tensions between the NRB and the bishops around such developments as L.A. cardinal Roger Mahony’s 2003 attempts to cancel the John Jay Study. Now a justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, Burke continues to decry dishonesty by church leaders and to affirm the laity’s “right to truthfulness.”

• Review Board Head Charges Bishops ‘Manipulated’ Sex Abuse, by Joe Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter. 5.11.2004
• Burke Fears for Priest Panel Autonomy, by James Janega Chicago Tribune [Chicago IL], 9.21.2004
• Catholics Urged to Stay Vigilant in Battle against Child Sex Abuse, by David Briggs, Plain Dealer [Cleveland OH], 3.03.2005
• Who Is Anne Burke?, by Abdon M. Pallasch, Daily Southtown [Chicago IL], 4.06.2006
• Anne Burke Gave the Catholic Bishops More Reform Than They Were Ready For…and Thus Becomes the Leading Exponent of Change, By Thomas F. Roeser,,, 8.19. 2006
• Anne Burke Out-Maneuvers the Bishops, Gets John Jay Report Detailing Clerical Sexual Abuse Correction, Hires Tough Female FBI Agent to Supervise, by Thomas F. Roeser,, 8.24.2006
• Anne Burke and Bob Bennett Go to Rome, Meet with Then Cardinal Ratzinger, Craft a Comprehensive Report, by Thomas F. Roeser,
• The Truth Shall Set Us Free: Responding to the Sex Abuse Crisis, by Anne M. Burke, U.S. Catholic, 03.2010
• Sex Abuse Critic to Pope: Swap White Cassock for Black, Lose the Red Shoes, by David Gibson,, 7.31.2010
• Faithful Expect Bishops to Tell the Whole Truth, by Anne Burke, Irish Times, 8.13.2011
• LA Cardinal Called ‘Obstructionist’, by Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter, 4.23.2013

Sr. Sally Butler, O.P.
Diocese of Brooklyn NY

In 1996, Butler and two fellow nuns, Sheila Buhse and Georgianna Glose, met with the diocesan chancellor to report abuse of boys in the 1970s by three priests at the nuns’ parish. One priest had died; another denied the charges; and the third, Rev. Anthony Failla, allegedly admitted to the abuse and was sent for counseling. The diocese never informed the parish. In early 2002, after reading news reports of Brooklyn bishop Daily’s history of cover-up in Boston, the nuns and one of the victims told their story to the NY Times. Since then, Butler publicly has lobbied to change the statute of limitations in NY state, highlighted child sexual abuse by nuns, and written numerous letters to the editor demanding accountability from bishops. Butler has said, “I believe this is our holocaust, our slaughter of the innocents.” And, quoting St. Catherine of Siena, Butler added, “We must rid our church of the stench of grave sin.” Butler co-founded Catholic Whistleblowers in 2013.

• Bitterness in Brooklyn Diocese Over Abuse Case, by Daniel J. Wakin, NY Times, 3.15.2002
• Talk at St. Hugh Parish Voice, by Sister Sally Butler OP, 9.22.2003
• Pay Victims of Sex Abuse, Letter to Editor, Newsday, 9.18.2004
• Sex Abuse Victims Rejected by Nuns’ Leadership, SNAP Press Release, 12.09.2004

Joelle Casteix
Diocese of Orange CA

A survivor of sexual abuse by the choir director of her Catholic high school, Casteix was invited to join the Orange Diocesan Review Board in 2002. She resigned after six months. Charged with investigating sexual abuse allegations within the diocese, Casteix said of the board, “not once did we discuss an allegation of sex abuse.” Further, Casteix stated that priests on the board would complain about exposure ruining the reputations of the accused, and blame greedy lawyers and the ‘anti-Catholic’ media. Casteix filed a lawsuit related to her own case, and has since been a strong and vocal advocate for countless victims. She has sat on several boards of directors for national advocacy organizations, and was long been SNAP’s (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) Western Director. Casteix has been quoted as an expert on the church sex abuse crisis in national and international media outlets. A writer, her work has appeared in newspapers, national mainstream and trade magazines, websites, blogs, newsletters and collateral materials. She also authors the blog, The Worthy Adversary.

• Joelle Casteix Fights for Catholic Church Sex-abuse Victims While Pursuing Her Own Abuser, by Gustavo Arellano, Orange County Weekly, 7.10.2008
• An Interview with Joelle Casteix, by Jaime Romo, Healing and Spirituality, 1.07.2010
• The Worthy Adversary, Joelle Casteix.

Sr. Jeanne Christensen, R.S.M.
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph MO

In 2011, soon after Bishop Robert Finn was indicted for failing to report Rev. Shawn Ratigan’s possession of child pornography, Christensen publicly joined SNAP in urging Finn’s resignation. As the diocese’s victims assistance coordinator under Bishop Boland from 2000 to 2004, Christensen said she had heard stories of abuse from nearly 40 victims. She is thought to be the first former diocesan victims’ advocate to stand publicly with survivors. She worked in the diocese’s peace and justice office until 2006. Christensen stated in November 2011,  “All of us are responsible to protect children, all of us.” Christensen is a member of the Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee.

• Priest Abuse Addressed in Confession Letter, by Tess Koppelman, Fox 4
• KC Nun Speaks out on Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal, KMBC [Kansas City MO], 11.08.2011
• Former Diocesan Advocate Criticizes Failed System in KC, by Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter, 11.08.2011

Rev. Daniel Clayton
Diocese of Dallas TX

As pastor of a Texas parish, Clayton was disturbed by how assistant priest Rudy Kos behaved with boys.He called vicar general Msgr. Rehkemper to discuss it in January 1986. Clayton kept a detailed log which showed that Kos had boys stay overnight with him four out of five nights per week from February 26, 1986 to May 12, 1986. He sent the information to Rehkemper. Clayton also wrote of his concerns to Bishop Tschoepe, warning the bishop that something should be done. Clayton wrote, “I will not play psychologist, but I feel anxious about the situation. My instincts tell me to do nothing is not a solution.” Clayton testified at Kos’ 1997 civil trial. Kos was convicted in 1998 and sentenced to life in prison.

• Siblings Say Father Kos Abused Boys, Priest remains silent on sexual allegations, by Todd J. Gillman, Dallas Morning News, 12.26.1993
• To Do Nothing Is Not a Solution, by Jim Holman, San Diego News Notes, 9.1997
• Documents of Windle Turley, Statement of Windle Turley, Attorney, & The Plaintiffs,
• America’s Worst Bishops, by Laura Sheahan, Rebecca Phillips and Deborah Caldwell,,

Rev. Patrick Collins
Diocese of Peoria IL

In a 2004 document named ‘Project Millstones,’ Collins, along with Revs. Tom Doyle, Bob Hoatson and Ken Lasch, called for the investigation of bishops and the resignation of those found to be guilty of covering up sexual abuse by clergy. The document was signed by more than 1000 Catholics across the U.S. and sent to U.S.C.C.B president Bishop Wilton Gregory, and to all U.S. bishops. In May 2013, when accusations broke in the news that Newark archbishop Myers protected a priest convicted of child molestation, Collins spoke publicly about similar behavior on Myers’ part when Myers was a coadjutor bishop in Peoria years before. Collins is a Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee member.

• Priests Seek Probe of Bishops;
Former Peorian Among Group Urging Closer Look at Church Leaders Accused of Covering up Sex Abuse
, by Michael Miller , The Journal Star, 6.06.2004
• Healing a Betrayed Community, by Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter [United States],
Downloaded 6.03.2004
• Former Pastor From Archbishop Myer’s Time In Peoria Recalls Similar Abuse Allegation, NJ Today with Mike Schneider, 5.06.2013 [video]
• Project Millstones,, 05.08.2005

Rev. John Conley
Archdiocese of San Francisco CA

In 1997, Conley told superiors and the D.A. that he had witnessed his pastor, Rev. James Aylward, acting suspiciously with an altar boy. The boy said they were just wrestling, and Aylward was not charged. A month later, Archbishop Levada placed Conley on leave and told other clergy that Conley had acted inappropriately. Conley sued Levada for defamation but the case was dismissed. Conley appealed, however, following a 2000 civil case in which Aylward admitted that he received sexual gratification by wrestling boys. The November 2002 settlement of Conley’s suit required the archdiocese to state publicly that Conley had acted correctly in reporting Aylward to the police. Conley died November 4, 2015.

• Church Settles Suit by Whistle-Blower, by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 11.27.02
• Settling Things Quietly, by Ron Russell, SF Weekly
• The Man Who Keeps the
, by Jason Berry,, San Francisco Magazine, 9.22.05
• Vatican’s Top American Has Mixed Record on Abuse, by Gillian Flaccus and Brooke Donald, Associated Press, 5.14.10
• John Conley, Priest Who Was Whistleblower, Dies, by Cynthia Laird, Bay Area Reporter, 11.12.15

Rev. James Connell
Archdiocese of Milwaukee WI

In June 2010, Connell published an open letter criticizing the LaCrosse diocese’s “moral certitude” standard for removing accused priests. In a 2011 op-ed, he called attention to the fact that the USCCB’s audits measure dioceses’ compliance only with the Charter, rather than the actual law of the Church. Since 2010, he has stood repeatedly with survivors, calling on the archdiocese to release the names of accused priests and to honor all victims’ claims in its bankruptcy settlement. Connell sends copies of all his published writings to his bishop and other top-ranking Catholic officials. Until recently, Connell served on the Archdiocesan review board and was Vice-Chancellor. In 2013 Connell co-founded Catholic Whistleblowers.

• National Support Group SNAP Seeks Removal of Sheboygan Priest James Connell from Archidiocese of Milwaukee Abuse Review Board, by Janet Ortegon, Sheboygan Press,
• Letter from Connell, 6.17.2010
• Addendum to Letter, 6.22.2010
• Sheboygan Priest Works to Help Abuse Victims Heal, by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 6.23.2010
• Editorial: Local Priest Asking the Right Questions, Sheboygan, Press, 6.27. 2010
• Archdiocese Official Argues that Safegaurd Audits are Insufficient, by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 6.25.2010
• A Priest ‘Hero’ on Sex Abuse?, by Bryan Cones, U.S. Catholic, 1.25.2011
• Clerics’ Critique Brings Something New to Talk of Abuse Crisis, by Tom Roberts
National Catholic Reporter
• A Way for Bishops to Begin Rebuilding Trust, by James E. Connell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 10.24.2011
• Statement by Rev. James Connell, 2.07.2012
• New Mission …, by Janet Ortegon, Sheboygan Press, 10.27.2012
• Sheboygan Family Shares Its Story of Priest Abuse to Help Others Come Forward, by Janet Ortegon, Sheboygan Press
• Priest calls on Vatican to investigate Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, by Mark Mueller, The Newark Star-Ledger, 4.29.2013
• Appreciation for Those who Stood Up to Catholic Church Hierarchy: Editorial, The Newark Star-Ledger, 5.11.2013

Donna Cox
Diocese of Jefferson City MO

A youth worker for the diocese, Cox grew concerned after boys confided in her that certain priests, including a number at the minor seminary in Hannibal run by Rev. Anthony O’Connell, were making inappropriate sexual advances toward them. One of the students said he had been raped. Cox took her concerns to the diocesan chancellor in 1991, after O’Connell was made bishop of Knoxville. Cox was sworn to secrecy. When she complained a few months later that nothing was being done about the priests in question, she was fired. In 2002 O’Connell admitted to molesting a minor and stepped down as bishop of Palm Beach. Four other priests named by Cox were removed from ministry years later due to credible allegations of abuse.

• Worker’s Warnings on Priests Led to Her Firing, by Stephen Kurkjian
Boston Globe, 4.05.2002

Rev. Donald Cozzens
Diocese of Cleveland OH

Cozzens was an outspoken critic of the Church on several issues, including its handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis. He was a writer and lecturer whose groundbreaking book The Changing Face of the Priesthood, published in 2000, exposed sexual misconduct in seminaries. Cozzens wrote the book while he was president-rector of Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Cleveland. Cozzens encourages lay Catholics to challenge Church leaders; in his 2002 book, Sacred Silence-Denial and the Crisis in the Church, Cozzens wrote, “[S]ecrecy and denial only tend to exacerbate the harmful effects of inappropriate and scandalous behaviors.” He died December 9, 2021.

• Rector’s book on clergy, sex is bestseller — among priests, by Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 6.03.2000
• Facing the Crisis in the Priesthood, by Donald Cozzens, 11.04.2000
• Father Donald Cozzens: How to Build Better Church, by Mary Jo Dangel, St. Anthony Messenger, 2.2006
• Gadfly priest challenges mandatory celibacy in new book, by Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Associated Press, 1.05.2007
• Donald Cozzens, Priest Who Pressed Church From Within, Dies at 82, by Katharine Q. Seelye, New York Times, 12.16.2021

Elizabeth Cucinotta Sorvillo
Archdiocese of New York NY

A teacher at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens, NYC, Cucinotta Sorvillo launched a website in March 2011, with permission and support from school officials. The site was meant to be a place “where people could vent about anything that bothers them… .” She encouraged her students to use the site. When students began posting complaints on the “Bad Teachers” section of the site about teachers sexually and emotionally harrassing them, school officials confronted her, demanding she take down the “Bad Teachers” section. Cucinotta Sorvillo refused and was fired. She then reportedly began to receive anonymous Facebook messages about a long time pattern of sexual abuse and harrassment at St. Francis Prep. In 2013 Cucinotta Sorvillo sued the school for defamation. The lawsuit was dropped in 2014, then appealed. Cucinotta Sorvillo continued to be contacted by former St. Francis Prep students alleging sexual abuse at the school. She continued to blog about the allegations, and has said, “My goal is to help as many people as I possibly can who have been injured by teachers or administrators at St. Francis Prep.”

• Claims of abuse in lawsuit against St. Francis Prep, by Michael O’Keeffe, New York Daily News, 6.13.2013
St. Francis Prep School Was not Amused
by Nick DIvoito, Courthouse News Service, 6.14.2013
• In St. Francis Prep Sexual Harassment Civil Suit, First Battle is Over Accuser’s Anonymity, by Michael O’Keeffe, New York Daily News, 8.7.2013
• My goal in life is to give you pleasure: Sick words of Catholic school teacher who ‘massaged female students in class’ as victim breaks silence to join $17m lawsuit, Daily Mail, 9.23.2013
• A Decades Long Sex Abuse Scandal At America’s Largest Private Catholic High School, [blog] by John Cardillo, 1.24.2015

Bishop John M. D’Arcy
Archdiocese of Boston MA

During his ten years as auxiliary bishop in Boston, D’Arcy wrote letters to his superiors objecting to the assignments of four priests – John Geoghan, Thomas Forry, Richard Buntel, and Robert Meffan – who since have been accused publicly of child sexual abuse. In 1983, he informed Bishop Daily that Buntel was believed to have problems with alcohol and drug use and that he was called a “pothead” by young people in the parish. In 1984, he alerted the newly arrived Bernard Law of Geoghan’s history of molesting young boys. Soon after his second letter to Law, the archbishop transferred D’Arcy to South Bend IN against his wishes. D’Arcy’s fruitless warnings came to light in 2002, when the archdiocese was forced to make public more than 100 priest files. Although his letters today provide an important paper trail, proving notice, D’Arcy did not publicly criticize the church’s handling of child molesters, and there is no indication that he ever reported allegations to the police. D’Arcy died Feb. 3, 2013.

• Bishop D’Arcy Letter Protesting Assignment of Rev. Buntel, 11.01.1983
• Bishop D’Arcy Protests Geoghan Assignment, 12.07.1984, posted by the Boston Globe
• Bishop’s Letters of Warning Ignored, by Michael Rezendes, Boston Globe, 12.04.2002
• Reasons Vague As to Transfer from Boston, by Rebecca S. Green, The Journal Gazette [Indiana], 5.01.2005
• Bishop John D’Arcy: A Legacy of ‘Tough Love’, by Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, 1.04.2012

Rev. Tom Doyle, O.P.

Ordained a Dominican priest in 1970, Doyle was the canon lawyer at the Vatican’s US embassy in 1984, when he learned that bishops in Louisiana had responded to the rape of children by Rev. Gilbert Gauthe by transferring him repeatedly. In 1985, Doyle joined with Rev. Michael Peterson, a priest-psychiatrist who treated offender priests, and Louisana lawyer Ray Mouton to issue a report to US bishops, advising them of the catastrophic implications of continued cover-up and hardball legal tactics. Doyle’s embassy position was terminated. From 1986 to 2005, he served as a chaplain in the Air Force, where he was promoted to major and honored repeatedly for distinguished service. In the last 30 years, he has testified in more than 800 civil cases. He has also served as an expert witness to prosecutors. Doyle holds a pontifical doctorate in canon law from Catholic University, and master’s degrees in canon law, political science, church administration, theology, and philosophy. In 2006, he co-authored Sex, Priests and Secret Codes with Richard Sipe and Patrick Wall. Doyle is a co-founder of Catholic Whistleblowers.

• The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy, by Mr. F. Ray Mouton, J.D. and Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, O.P. J.C.D, June 1985
• Clergy Sexual Abuse: The First Decade, by Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., J.C.D., 07.1993
• Does v. Diocese of Dallas et al, Memorandum from Thomas P. Doyle, 0.P., J.C.D. to Sylvia Demarest, 5.16.1996
• The Sacrifice of Father Thomas Doyle, The Best of New Orleans, 2.13.2004
• The Catholic Church: Keeping the Faith – at Great Personal Cost, by Kevin Horrigan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11.28.2004
• Voice of the Faithful Priest of Integrity Award, Fall 2007
• Archbishop Bars Prominent Priest As Canon Lawyer, by Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter, 10.02.2008
• The Pope, the Church and Sexual Abuse: a Perspective, by Thomas P. Doyle, Voice from the Desert, 4.01.2010
• Writings by Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., J.C.D.,
• Project Millstones,, 05.08.2005

Rev. Thomas Economus
Archdiocese of Chicago IL

Economus was sexually abused by a priest during high school at a South Dakota home for boys. While a Catholic seminarian he advocated for clergy sex abuse victims. He was told while in seminary that if he continued to push the envelope on the sexual abuse issue, he would never be ordained. Economus continued his advocacy, left the seminary, and went on to become a priest of the Independent Holy Catholic Church. In 1991 Economus co-founded The Linkup-Survivors of Clergy Abuse. He was president and executive director of Linkup from 1993 until his death in March 2002.

• Group Says It Forced Church to Expose 4 Pedophiles, by Greg Seigle, Washington Times,
• The Grand Inquisitor, by Zach Mucha, Chicago Reader, 11.04.1999
• Tom Economus Lost Frontline Interview, Frontline, 1999
• Obituary, Rev. Thomas H. Economus, 46, Chicago Tribune,

Jim Fitzpatrick
Diocese of Winona MN

A priest of the Winona diocese 1963-1973, Fitzpatrick stated in a 2012 news conference that he told then Bishop Edward Fitzgerald that Rev. Thomas Adamson was sexually abusing boys. Fitzpatrick said that when he asked the bishop what he was going to do about it, he was “shown the door” and the bishop told him he would deal with his priests. Further, Fitzpatrick said that in 1981 he told the chancellor of the diocese that Adamson was still abusing boys, and that he also discussed the problem with Bishop Robert Carlson. Adamson was kept in ministry. Adamson admitted to sexually abusing boys, and is said by experts to have up to 100 victims. He was removed from ministry in 1984. Fitzpatrick eventually left the priesthood. In 2012 Fitzpatrick was prepared to be a witness in a case against the Winona diocese and the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, but the case was dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Fitzpatrick said he decided to speak out “as a matter of conscience.”

• Former Diocese of Winona Priest Describes Encounter with Bishop, Concerns about Adamson Abuse, by Jerome Christenson, LaCrosse Tribune, 7.07.2012
• Rev. Thomas Adamson – Assignment Record,
• The Courage of One, by Patrick Wall, May 20, 2013

Robert Fontana
Diocese of Yakima WA

Fontana was the Yakima diocese’s director of evangelism and a diocesan employee for 25 years. In 2005 he sued the diocese, claiming he was forced to resign after he voiced concern when the diocese allowed a priest in 2003 to remain in active ministry while being investigated for possession of child pornography. Fontana’s lawsuit was dismissed. Fontana was honored in 2012 by SNAP for “speaking out when [he] saw a dangerous situation and for continuing to reach out to survivors and working to protect kids.”

Fontana Case Raises Church-State Separation Issue, by Jane Gargas, Yakima Herald-Republic [Yakima WA], 5.4.2006
• Diocese Lawsuit Dismissed, by Chris Bristol, Yakima Herald-Republic, 5.10.2006
• Sevilla’s Had Little to Say, Yakima Herald-Republic, 4.2.2008
• Bishop Admits He Was Wrong Giving Job to Former Seminarian Facing Child Porn Charges, by Mark Morey,
Yakima Herald-Republic, 4.02.2008
• Lawsuits against Yakima Diocese Still Pending, by Jane Gargas, Yakima Herald-Republic, 7.4.2010
• National Award Goes to Fontana, Yakima Herald, 8.17.2012

Rev. Joseph Fowler
Archdiocese of Louisville KY

In 2002, when the sexual abuse crisis burst open in Boston, Fowler spoke at Masses in support of victims. In 2004, he wrote a letter to block the early probation of convicted pedophile, Louis Miller, a fellow Louisville priest. In 2008, when the KY legislature passed a bill abolishing the criminal statute of limitations on child sex crimes, Fowler stood with victims at a press conference and said, “Perhaps no institution has desecrated its sacred trust of our youth more than the Catholic Church in America during the past 70 years. … With passion, organization and lots of work, we can, and must, do even more to protect the innocence of our children in a society that often fails to respect the sacredness of every human life.”

 Letters Oppose Shock Probation of Pedophile Priest, by David McCarthur, WAVE3-TV (Louisville KY), 1.05.2004
• Louisville Priest Honored for Advocacy of Sexual-Abuse Victims, by Peter Smith, The [Louisville] Courier-Journal, 10.15.2009
• A Dedicated Few Remain Vigilant to Protect Children after Sex Offender Is Ordained, by Rachel Platt, WHAS, 11.5.2009
• Fr. Joseph Fowler Receives Priest of Integrity Award, Voice of the Faithful,, 2009

Connell Friel
Diocese of Rockville Centre NY

A business manager for a Sound Beach parish, Friel was told by the church secretary in 2002 that she found a shortcut to a pornographic website on her computer. Friel checked the computer belonging to the parish pastor, Rev. Charles Papa, and found hundreds of “cookies” from porn sites, many of which had photos of young boys. Friel reported the find to Bishop Murphy and to law enforcement. Papa was not criminally charged. Upon his return from a leave of absence, Papa fired Friel.

• A Parish Divided over Priest. A Fierce Debate over Internet Sites He Visited, by Katie Thomas, Newsday, 2.26.2003
• In Sad Times for Church, the Spies Have It, by Bob Keeler
Newsday, 3.27.2003
• Rockville Centre Bishop to Be Deposed in Firing Lawsuit, by Ann Givens Newsday, 1.27.2009
• Church Employee Fired after Blowing Whistle on Porn Watching Priest, by Rob Hoell, WPIX, 1.27.2009

Rev. Terrence German, S.J.
Archdiocese of New York NY

German said he told Cardinal O’Connor about Rev. Bruce Ritter in 1986, long before the Covenant House founder was criminally charged. German resigned in 1989, alleging that widespread misconduct left him unable to stay a priest and “live a life guided by the established principles” of the Church. In 1993, after years of receiving no response to his repeated complaints of widespread sexual and financial misconduct, he filed a $120M suit against Pope John Paul II, Cardinal O’Connor and the Catholic Church, claiming fraud and breach of contract. As of 1994, he was impoverished, unable to get a job because of blackballing by the Church, and facing eviction. German was known to be living in Las Vegas NV in 2007. He died August 23, 2019.

• Focus on Ex-Priest Who Sued the Pope: Vows Broken: Former Jesuit Claims Breach of Contract, by Patricia Cohen, Newsday, 2.02.1994
• Terence German v. Pope John Paul II et al, Appellate Court ruling, 1.10.1995
• Catholic Priest Accused: Tale of Obsession, by Brian Haynes, Review-Journal [Las Vegas NV] 02.28.2007

• Father Terrence Joseph German, Savannah Morning News Obituary 9.27.19

Theresa Gerstner
Archdiocese of Miami FL

As longtime secretary at a Miami, FL parish, Gerstner grew concerned about pastor Neil A. Doherty’s questionable behavior with boys. Doherty was placed on leave in 2002, due to allegations of child sexual abuse. Gerstner was interviewed in 2006 by a sheriff investigating a claim against Doherty. Her statements, which lead to Doherty’s arrest, were made public in July 2006; she was fired by the archdiocese the following week. By November 2011, 26 men had come forward with accusations that Doherty drugged and sexually abused them as children. In January 2013 Doherty was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child, and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Gerstner has said, “My main focus is to open the eyes of the people who truly do not know what has happened and what is still going on in the Archdiocese of Miami and to stop [church members] from giving money to support this immorality and corruption.”

• Speak No Evil. When a Margate Priest Misbehaved, the Archdiocese Punished His Secretary, by Thomas Francis, New Times, June 12, 2008
• Aide: Church Knew of Priest’s Woes
Court Documents Paint a Disturbing Picture of a Priest Who Is Accused of Molesting Young Boys
, by Wanda J. DeMarzo, Miami Herald, July 22, 2006
• Assignment Record – Rev. Neil A. “Gus” Doherty,

Rev. James Gigliotti, T.O.R.
Archdiocese of Philadelphia PA

Gigliotti told archdiocesan officials in the early 1980s that Rev. James J. Brzyski was molesting altar boys. Brzyski was quietly removed from the parish; parishioners were not told the reason, and the abuse was not reported to the police. Gigliotti said in 2005 that an assistant chancellor told him, “This comes from the highest authority: You’re to keep your mouth shut.” According to the Philadelphia Grand Jury report, Fr. James Gigliotti, T.O.R., persistently reported victims’ names to Church officials and sought help for the victims, in the face of Archdiocesan managers’ indifference and even hostility. Gigliotti went on to serve an Arlington TX parish. Bryzyski may have abused at least 100 boys. He left active ministry in 1985 and was laicized in 2005.

• Philadelphia Grand Jury Report, Case Study: One of the “most brutal abusers” – whistleblower ignored and warned about “confidentiality”, 2005.
• Priest: Silence Ordered on Abuse, by Nancy Phillips, Mark Fazlollah and Craig R. McCoy, Philadelphia Inquirer [Philadelphia PA] , 8.07.2005

Msgr. Gene Thomas Gomulka
Dioceses throughout the United States

A former diocesan priest and pro-life director, seminary instructor, and Navy/Marine Corps Chaplain, Gomulka was coerced into leaving the priesthood by then-Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, his superior in the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS), as well as by his Pennsylvania Bishop, Joseph Adamec, of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. Gomulka confronted both of them for covering up sexual abuse. Shortly after O’Brien removed Air Force Chaplain Thomas Doyle’s ecclesiastical endorsement in retaliation for his testimony at abuse trials around the country, O’Brien then withdrew Gomulka’s endorsement for exposing clerical sex abuse in the military in an August 2001 article in America entitled “Home Alone in the Priesthood.” At the time of Gomulka’s dismissal in 2004, O’Brien had been covering up for Washington priest, Chaplain John “Matt” Lee whom Gomulka reported in May 2002 for engaging in homosexual behavior with a “live-in boyfriend” in Oahu, Hawaii. Mentored by Monsignor Philip Saylor, another sex abuse whistleblower from his diocese, Gomulka refused to be exiled by Adamec to a remote state prison in retaliation for reporting clerical sexual abuse. Just as O’Brien had been covering up abuse in the AMS, a Pennsylvania Grand Jury would later show how Adamec protected predators including two priests – Robert Kelly and Martin Cingle – with whom Gomulka served in a State College parish between 1975 and 1980. Three years after Gomulka took a leave of absence, married, and had twin children, Chaplain Lee, whose predatory behavior was being covered up by O’Brien, was arrested on numerous sex charges and is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence. Gomulka strongly believes that Pope Francis and other prelates who engaged in abuse or covered it up should all be laicized and retire to lives of prayer and penance. Having never been laicized, in 2023 Gomulka continues his priestly ministry outside of the institutional church by serving as a sex abuse victims’ advocate ministering to priests and former seminarians, as well as assisting victims who were abused as minors. He also works as an investigative journalist and has published several articles exposing abuse, cover-ups, and reprisals which can be accessed at

Priests Say Dismissal Lacked Due Process, by Arthur Jones, National Catholic Reporter, 08.10.2004
Cardinals Behaving Badly, by Thomas P. Doyle,, 12.11.2015
Home Alone in the Priesthood, by Eugene T. Gomulka, America Magazine, 08.27.2001
Former Catholic Navy Chaplain on Cdl. Edwin O’Brien and the Hierarchy’s Cover-up of Homosexual Predation, by Gene Gomulka, Church Militant, 08.23.2018
Is Msgr. Burrill the Tip of the Iceberg?, by Gene Thomas Gomulka, Crisis Magazine, 07.28.2021
The Homosexual Mafia in High School Seminary, by Gene Thomas Gomulka,, 06.01.2021
Corrupt Cardinal, Corrupt Pontificate, by Msgr. Gene Thomas Gomulka,, 07.18.2022
USCCB to Vote on Corrupt Candidate Next Week, by Gene Thomas Gomulka,, 11.11.2022
Addressing the Present-Day Culture of Sexual Predation and Cover-ups in U.S. Seminaries, by Gene Thomas Gomulka,, 05.14.2023
The State of the U.S. Catholic Episcopate and Priesthood, by Gene Thomas Gomulka,,

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Archdiocese of Detroit

In January 2006 Gumbleton joined clergy sex abuse victim/survivors and advocates in testifying before the Ohio legislature in support of expanding the statutes of limitations for civil lawsuits related to sex abuse. It was there that he first publicly disclosed his own abuse by a priest as an adolescent in a minor seminary. He also met with Colorado legislators in 2006 in support of SOL expansion. Gumbleton was forced into retirement later that year, a move he attributed to his having spoken out.

• Silence Shattered on Sex Abuse Detroit Bishop Backs Bill Expanding Victims’ Rights, by Jim Siegel and Dennis M . Mahoney, The Columbus Dispatch, 1.12.2006
• Bishop to Call for Sex-Abuse Legislation, by April M. Washington and Jean Torkelson
Rocky Mountain News [Denver CO], 4.20.2006
• Retired Bishop Who Says He Was Abused Backs Colo. Bill on Victims, KCTV 5, 4.21.2006
• Retired Bishop: Church Could Have Done More for Sex Abuse Victims, Newsday, 7.23.2006
• Advocacy for Sex Abuse Victims Cost Him His Job, Gumbleton Says, by Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter [Detroit MI]
• Retired Bishop Asked to Leave Detroit Parish for Testimony, by Zoe Ryan, National Catholic Reporter, 11.04.2011
• Causes of the Unfathomable Clerical Silence on Clergy Sex Abuse, by Vinnie Nauheimer, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, 4.15.2011

Jennifer Haselberger
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis MN

Hired as Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in 2008, Haselberger resigned in April 2013, citing her superiors’ failures to respond to her warnings to them regarding problem priests. One of the priests in question, Rev. Jonathan Shelley, was found to have what Haselberger discerned was child pornography on his computer. According to Haselberger, she copied some of the images and sent them to Archbishop Nienstedt; Nienstadt failed to call the police. Subsequently Vicar General Rev. Peter Laird ordered her to hand over the images; Haselberger did so and proceeded to inform law enforcement and the news media. Haselberger also expressed frustration that she tried unsuccessfully to warn her superiors about Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, who was later convicted of child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography. She said archdiocesan officials knew that Wehmeyer had engaged in sexual misconduct for years, yet kept him in ministry. In October 2013 Haselberger publicly called on Archbishop Nienstadt to release the names of priests credibly accused of abuse and those who could pose a threat to children.

• Former Official: Archdiocese Didn’t Report Priest’s Pornograpy, by Madeleine Baran and Mike Cronin, Minnesota Public Radio, 10.04.2013
• Former Archdiocese Official Pushes for Independent Review of Priest Files, by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio,
• Statement by Jennifer Haselberger, via Pioneer Press,
• Church Whistleblower Pressed Superiors to Take Action on Problem Priests, by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio, 10.08.2013
• For Minn. Catholics, Troubling New Abuse Scandal, CBS Minnesota, 10.08.2013

Rev. Gary Hayes
Diocese of Camden NY
Diocese of Owensboro KY

Hayes went public in the early 1990s about being abused as a child by priests – one of the first priest-survivors in the country to do so. Set for ordination in Camden in 1989, Hayes was told by his bishop to find a job in another diocese because the fact that Hayes was a victim of clergy sexual by other diocesan priests was uncomfortable. Hayes went on to serve as a priest of the diocese of Owensboro, KY, where he was ordained in 1990. He filed the first RICO lawsuit against the Catholic Church. For decades, he was an outspoken advocate for victims, instrumental in the formation of The Linkup-Survivors of Clergy Abuse. Hayes assumed the role of president of The Linkup after the death of founding president, Rev. Thomas Economus. Hayes stood publicly with survivors at countless demonstrations and news conferences. He said, “There’s a prayer that starts, ‘Lord, let me be a holy disturbance.’ I’d like to think, when it’s all said and done, that will be my calling.” Hayes died April 4, 2019.

• Three Charge Catholic Church with Conspiracy to Hide Abuse, by Jim Walsh, Camden Courier-Post , 6.10.1993
• Three Settle Sex Suit Against 2 Priests, New York Times, 10.13.1993
• Once a Victim, A Priest Wants Zero Tolerance, by Sara Rimer, New York Times, 6.12. 2002
• Victims Then, Priests Later, by Bonnie Miller Rubin, Chicago Tribune, 6.03.2003
• Hundreds of Clergy Victims as Children, Many ExpertsBelieve, by Michelle Nicolosi, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9.23.2004
• Abused Priests Shatter Code, by Bill Zajac, Republican [United States], October 23, 2005
• Rev. Gary Hayes RIP,, 4.04.19

Rev. David Hitch
Diocese of Davenport IA

Hitch’s younger brother was a victim of Davenport priest James Janssen. Rev. Hitch became an outspoken and compassionate advocate for victims, participating in demonstrations and leading a SNAP group in his area. Hitch has said “The world knows, and our diocese must know, that it was not the fault of those who were abused. The fault was the position taken by the leadership of the diocese.” Further, “I’m a priest. I can’t turn my back on evil or the way these folks have been treated. It’s not the Christ I’ve given my life to.”

• Catholics Seek Healing for Abuse Victims, By Rob Daniel, Press-Citizen [Iowa City IA]
December 9, 2004
• Healing from Abuse by Clergy Is Focus of Weekend Event, by Shirley Ragsdale , Des Moines Register [Iowa City IA] , June 14, 2005
• Priest to Lead Religious Sex Abuse Group, by Kristen
Schorsch, Press-Citizen [Iowa], June 20, 2005
• Area Priest Says Bishop Could Have Prevented Diocese Bankruptcy, by Dawn NeusesQuad-Cities Online [Tipton IA], 10.11.2006
• Davenport Diocese Files for Bankruptcy, by Thomas Geyer
Quad-City Times, October 11, 2006
• Speaking out against the Diocese
Mason Kerns and Margaret Poe – the Daily Iowan, The Daily Iowan, May 9, 2007
• Training to Blame for Abuse, Study Says, by Brian Wellner, Quad-City Times, May 19, 2011

Bob Hoatson
Archdiocese of Newark NJ

A former Irish Christian brother, then priest of the Newark diocese, Hoatson has long been an outspoken critic of the church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse. In 1981, while working at a boys’ Catholic high school in Boston, Hoatson reported to the Headmaster his suspicions that Fr. Frederick Ryan was molesting school athletes. Nothing was done. Years later, multiple victims of Ryan came forward.

Newark archbishop Myers placed Hoatson on administrative leave in May 2003, just days after Hoatson testified at a legislative hearing in Albany, NY, on a series of bills to support victims of sex crimes. Hoatson sued unsuccessfully for wrongful termination.

Hoatson repeatedly called on Archbishop Myers to resign for allowing Newark priest Michael Fugee to violate an agreement made with the local prosecutor to never again minister around children.
In 2005 Hoatson, along with Rev. Ken Lasch, established Road to Recovery, which provides direct support services to survivors. Hoatson is himself a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. He resigned from the priesthood in 2011. Hoatson is a Catholic Whistleblowers co-founder.

• Priest Loses Post after Criticizing Sex-Abuse Policy, By John Chadwick, [Newark NJ], 5.28.2003
• Outing Cardinal Egan: A Priest’s Lawsuit Alleges the Catholic Church Is Hiding Pedophile Clergy, by Kristen Lombardi, Village Voice [New York], 2.07.2006
• More Claims against Priest, by David L. Harris, Transcript, [Boston MA], 3.30.2006
• Stop the Murder of Young Souls, by The Rev. Robert Hoatson,
Daily Record, 11.11.2007
• SNAP Papers Downtown Jersey City Neighborhood with Fliers Accusing Priest of Past Sex Abuse, by Carly Baldwin, Jersey Journal, November 22, 2008
• Nutley Parish, Protesters Face Off over Pastor, by Denisa R. Superville and Jeff Green, The Bergen Record, 5.13.2013
• Newark Archdiocese Reaches New Settlement in Decades-Old Case of Alleged Sexual Abuse, by Mark Mueller, The Newark Star-Ledger, 5.15.2013
• Man Pleads with Diocese to Reopen Abuse Case, by Matthew McGrath and Abbott Koloff, The Bergen Record, 5.16.2013
• Newark Monsignor Loses Job for Failing to Stop Priest’s Work With Children, By Marc Santora and Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, 5.25.2013
• Project Millstones,, 05.08.2005

Sr. Peg Ivers/Sr. Siena
Archdiocese of Chicago IL

Files released in 2014 by the Chicago archdiocese reveal that, over many decades, Sr. Peg spoke up repeatedly for child victims of clergy sex abuse and pushed for the archdiocese to take appropriate action. He efforts were largely ignored. As a Catholic school principal in a Chicago suburb in 1974, Sr. Peg went to the church’s pastor to report disclosures by two boys that Fr. Thomas Job had molested them. The pastor did nothing and told her over and over again that she was overstepping her role. Sr. Peg resigned in frustration. In the early 1980s, as archdiocesan Director of Ministry in Higher Education, Sr. Peg complained to the archdiocese about University of Illinois at Chicago chaplain, Rev. William Cloutier. Cloutier had been accused in 1979 of sexually asaulting boys. He was sent to Boston to work in a parish and undergo treatment, then returned to his previous post. When Sr. Peg learned of this, and the fact that college students were spending nights with Cloutier, she “begged” archdiocesan officials to do something. He was reassigned in 1985. In 2005 Ivers warned Cardinal George about three other priests whose behavior concerned her. Of the child victims Sr. Peg said, “With my last breath, I will remember their faces. The greatest sin, in my eyes, is that these things were allowed to go on as long as they did.”

Rev. Peter G. Jankowski
Diocese of Joliet IL

In January 2017 Joliet priest Jankowski went public with his complaints that the retired pastor he replaced at St. Patrick’s in 2006 had failed to provide background checks on parishioners and volunteers who had access to children in the parish school. Further, he said the retired pastor allowed a priest credibly accused of child sex abuse, Edward Poff, to participate in some church functions. In 2016 Jankowski asked Joliet bishop Conlon to keep his predecessor from celebrating sacraments, or to at least publicly apologize for not enforcing the U.S. bishops’ child-protection charter. The retired pastor remained active in the community during retirement and was highly popular among parishioners. The bishop’s response to Jankowski was that the retired pastor would not comply and that he should just try to get along with him. Jankowski first complained to archdiocesan officials about the situation prior to Conlon’s installment as bishop in 2011. Conlon was the USCCB’s chair of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People 2011-2014. In September 2016 Jankowski appealed to Pope Francis for help. The Vatican’s only response was a short note acknowledging receipt of Jankowski’s concerns.

• Joliet priest says diocese failed to follow protocol to protect children, by Christy Gutowski, Chicago Tribune, January 17, 2017
 Homily, Epiphany of the Lord – A, Rev. Peter G. Jankowski, January 07-08, 2017

Jim Jenkins
Archdiocese of San Francisco

Jim Jenkins is a PhD clinical psychologist and former Holy Cross brother who served on the San Francisco archdiocese’s Independent Review Board from 2000 to 2005. Jenkins, who was then board chair, resigned in January 2005 when Bishop Levada would not publicize the results of an abuse investigation. Jenkins has said, “Besides being conniving corrupt politicians, bishops have also proved to be cowards!” Jenkins has since been involved in church reform efforts, as well as advocacy for victim/survivors. He is a co-founder of the National Survivors Advocates Coalition.

• House of the Accused. When Priests Within the Salesian Order Based in San Francisco Were Accu, by Ron Russell, San Francisco Weekly, 1.05. 2006
• Oakland Diocese Begins Abuse Detection Training With Help of Web Site, Clergy Can Spot a Child in Potential Danger, by Rebecca Rosen Lum, Inside Bay Area, 11.14.2006
• Absolute Must Read: the Church Continues to Betray Its Soul in Exchange for Temporal Power, by Dr. Jim Jenkins, Voice from the Desert, 1.13.2010
• Philadelphia Story, by James Jenkins, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, 3.16.201

Frank Keating
National Review Board

In June 2002 former Oklahoma governor and FBI agent Keating was appointed Chair of the National Review Board by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. The panel was created to oversee the bishops’ adherence to their new Charter to Protect Children and Young People. Early on, a reporter asked Keating if lay Catholics had any power. Keating, a man of deep faith, responded that lay Catholics could “vote with their feet and with their pocketbooks,” explaining that they could go to Mass in another diocese, or give money to a Catholic charity rather than to their diocese. In his new role, Keating repeatedly insisted that bishops who moved abusive priests from parish to parish be held fully accountable. Some bishops, including the archbishop of Keating’s home diocese of Oklahoma City, retaliated by spreading false rumors maligning Keating’s character. Cardinal Egan of New York even rescinded the invitation of board members to the Knights of Malta’s annual black-tie dinner. Keating was undeterred. He insisted that survivor witness was crucial to the Review Board’s research, and he worked skillfully with then-Bishop Wilton Gregory to parry Cardinal Mahony’s attempt to undermine the John Jay College process. A year into his service Keating stated of the bishops, “To act like La Cosa Nostra and hide and suppress, I think, is very unhealthy. Eventually it will all come out.” Under pressure, and frustrated with what he saw as obstructionism by some church leaders, Keating stepped down. In his resignation letter to USCCB head Bishop Gregory, Keating wrote of his previous remarks, “I make no apology. To resist grand jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church.”

• Clergy Abuse Panel’s Chief to Step Down, by Larry B. Stammer, LA Times, 6.15.2003
• ‘No Apology’ As Keating Leaves Panel, by Alan Cooperman,Washington Post, 6.17.2003
• Finding Hope in My Faith, by Frank Keating, New York Times, 6.19.2003
• The Last Straw: Quitting the Bishops’ Review Board, by Frank Keating, Crisis Magazine, 10.01.2003
• Keating Recalls Service on Review Board, by Joe Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter, 8.4.2009
• LA Cardinal Called ‘Obstructionist’, by Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter

Sr. Jane Kelly, P.V.B.M.
Diocese of Santa Rosa CA

A sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin order, Kelly repeatedly confronted Santa Rosa bishop Ziemann in the 1990s. Kelly served for many years at a Ukiah parish school and at a center for the poor and homeless. In 1992 Ziemann sent a seminarian named Jorge Hume Salas to the parish, whom Ziemann seemed to rush to ordain. Kelly’s concerns about Salas grew as parishioners complained that he had “young men” sleep with him in the rectory. In 1996 she caught Salas stealing parish money, and he was moved to another parish. Kelly admonished Ziemann, saying “Appointing Jorge to another parish is only perpetuating the real possibility of repeating his scandalous actions.” Frustrated by the inaction of diocesan officials, in January 1999 Kelly decided to go to a reporter with the information about Salas. She said, “It was the hardest, scariest decision I made in my life,” and “I couldn’t live with my conscience if I didn’t.” Subsequently, Salas accused Ziemann of coercing him into a sexual relationship, and Ziemann resigned. Ziemann was later accused of the past sexual abuse of at least three boys. Kelly was sent to a mental hospital by her order, which then expelled her. She was 75 years old. Kelly has said, “The scandal is one thing. The cover-up by these cardinals and these bishops, it’s a crime. They should all be in jail.”

• Little Known of Hume before Priesthood, Trouble, by Mike Geniella, Press Democrat, 7.23.1999
• Hellraiser, Meet the feisty nun who rocked the Diocese of Santa Rosa, by Janet Wells,, Sonoma County, CA, 9.9-15.1999
• Sr. Jane Kelly: She broke rules of the clerical club, by Arthur Jones, Healdsburg, CA, National Catholic Reporter, 3.03.2000
• The sister’s battle with the bishop. One nun’s outrage helped bring down a church leader,
by Jon Bonné,, Santa Rosa, CA, 4.29.2002
• Bishop Bad Boy, by Ron Russell
San Francisco Weekly
• Priestly Sins, Commentary,, 3.31.2010

Rev. Joseph Ladensack
Diocese of Phoenix AZ

Ladensack, a highly decorated Vietnam vet whose medals included a purple heart, was ordained in 1976. In 1984 Ladensack called the police after a friend told him that he had walked in that night on Rev. John Giandelone sexually abusing his teenage son. Five years earlier Ladensack had reported to his superiors that Giandelone sexually assaulted another boy; Bishop Rausch said he would “take care of it.” Ladensack went on to report a number of other sexually abusive priests, and was dismayed when they would routinely be quietly moved to other parishes, by Rausch and his successor Bishop Thomas O’Brien. When Ladensack went to police in 1984, O’Brien was enraged and told him to have the family recant. Ladensack refused. He began to receive death threats. Giandelone pleaded guilty in 1985. O’Brien withdrew Ladensack’s faculties to minister in 1986. Ladensack went on to marry and continued to help investigators with clergy sex abuse cases. He died in 2021. 

Priest: Bishop Wanted Abuse Cases Hidden, Associated Press, September 16, 2003
Hard to Kill: A Hero’s Tale of Surviving Vietnam and the Catholic Church, by Joe Ladensack with Joseph A. Reaves, published March 26, 2018
As deadline nears, adults flood Arizona courts with lawsuits alleging childhood sex abuse, by Lauren Castle, December 30, 2020

Msgr. Kenneth Lasch, J.C.D.
Diocese of Paterson NJ

In 1985, when Lasch was pastor of St. Joseph’s in Mendham NJ, he was informed by Mark Serrano, a former parishioner, that he had been sexually assaulted as a boy by Lasch’s predecessor, Rev. James Hanley. Lasch says that Serrano’s revelation moved him to “make a preferential option” for victims of clergy sexual abuse. In 1993, Lasch arranged for law enforcement to meet with three former altar boys who had been raped by Hanley. In 1995, as more Hanley victims came forward, Lasch defied both the DA and church officials by sending a letter to parents of the parish, calling them to meet and discuss Hanley’s crimes. After the meeting, he sent a letter to his bishop, Frank Rodimer of Paterson, suggesting a summit on sex abuse. He received no response. When the crisis was exposed again in 2002, Lasch stood publicly with victims and led a campaign to establish at his parish a monument to their bravery and suffering. A co-founder of Catholic Whistleblowers, Lasch writes, “There will be no forgiveness and healing until there is justice; no justice until there is the full disclosure of truth; no disclosure of truth until there is full accountability.”

• Victims Share Pain, Anger in Mendham, by Abbott Koloff, [Hackensack NJ] Daily Record, 4.21.2002
• Survivors Connect to Heal, Raise Voices, by Jason Berry, National Catholic Reporter, 11.08.2002
• Priest Disciplined in Sex Abuse Case, by John Chadwick, [Bergen County NJ] The Record , 1.29.2004
• Don’t Scapegoat Father Lasch, [Paterson NJ] Observer-Tribune, 3.02.2006 
• “There are no cheap graces,” by Msgr. Kenneth Lasch,, 10.20.2007
• Voice of the Faithful Priest of Integrity Award, Fall 2007
• Memorial Plaque for US Clerical Sex Abuse Victims, by Charlie Bird, RTÉ News, 6.15.2009
• Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
• Project Millstones,, 05.08.2005
• Mendham Victim and Others Talk about “Spotlight” and Clergy Sexual Abuse, The Observer-Tribune, 2.24.16

Rev. Ron Lemmert
Archdiocese of New York NY

In the 1990s, Lemmert blew the whistle on a serial predator, Rev. Gennaro Gentile, who was later laicized. In 1997, when the NY archdiocese publicly smeared a family of two Gentile victims who had filed a lawsuit, Lemmert supplied the family with evidence proving that the archdiocese had known of an earlier Gentile victim. Lemmert was also the “deep throat” behind the explosive NY Times and NY Daily News articles about Gentile that ran in March 2002. Five of Gentile’s victims have died by suicide. In 2013, Lemmert co-founded Catholic Whistleblowers.

• A Secret Settlement, but Little Solace for Family in Lawsuit against Priest, by Alison Leigh Cowen, New York Times, 3.24.2002
• Twisted Journey of a Problem Priest, Part 1 of 2, by Heidi Evans and Richard T. Pienciak, NY Daily News, 3.27.2002
• Problem Priest Had Church on His Side, Part 2 of 2, by Heidi Evans and Richard T. Pienciak, NY Daily News, 3.28.2002

Jane Levikow
Archdiocese of Los Angeles CA

When she was a member of the Sisters of Social Service in 1985, Levikow reported to police that an altar boy was found in Rev. Cristobal Garcia’s rectory bed. Garcia fled to his native Philippines and admitted to sexually abusing boys. Levikow left the order and went on to work in nonprofit organization management.

• Priest Who Had Sex with Boys Now Tells How to Smuggle Ivory, by Brooks Egerton, Dallas Morning News, 9.18.2012

Rev. Michael Lipareli
Archdiocese of New York NY
Archdiocese of Philadelphia PA

Lipareli was among those protesting child sexual abuse by clergy and the cover-up by the hierarchy outside of Cardinal Rigali’s offices in Philadephia. Lipareli stated in April 2011, “I am horrified and humiliated to see what our church has not done, how they have covered this up for so many years.” He said, too, that he would like to see more clergy members speak out and join in the protests.

• Priest, Nun Join Catholic Protestors, My Fox Philly, April 1, 2011

Rev. James A. “Seamus” MacCormack
Diocese of Manchester NH

In 1999 MacCormack was witness to the peculiar circumstances surrounding the death of another priest, Richard Connors, and the diocese’s response to the situation. Connors died of a heart attack at the home of two men after taking Viagra; he was found partially clothed and with a leather device tied around his genitals. Found among Connors’ possessions was a large collection of adult and child pornography. Diocesan officials disposed of the pornography before police could investigate. When the clergy sexual abuse crisis was making headlines in 2002, MacCormack was moved from the parish where he was pastor to a rural parish, and he was forced to seek psychiatric help. MacCormack sued Manchester bishop John McCormack and others in the diocesan hierarchy in July of that year, claiming that he was transferred and labeled mentally unstable to ensure his silence about the Connor affair. MacCormack spoke out publicly about what he said was the church’s “moral decay,” and he reported the child pornography cache to the Attorney General’s office. He has since left the priesthood.

• Church leaders destroyed pornography found in dead priest’s home, by J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press, Foster’s Online, 7.23 2002
• Priest Alleges Sex Cover-Up [Manchester NH] Union Leader, 7.24.2002
• Pastor Admits to Priest’s Secret Life But Denies Cover-Up, by Gary Dennis, New Hampshire Sunday News, 7.28.2002
• Church Lawyers Contesting MacCormack Suit, by Nancy Meersman, [Manchester NH] Union Leader, 10.03.2002
• Jaffrey Priest Settles Suit Against Diocese, by Nancy Meersman, [Manchester NH] Union Leader, 5.14.2003
• NH Priest Praised by Church Victims Group, by Scott Brooks, [Manchester NH] Union Leader, 11.17.2003
• Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Margaret Mata
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph MO

As an independent contractor for the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mata advocated within the diocese for victims of accused priest Shawn Ratigan and for changes in policies toward child protection. She said Bishop Finn retaliated against her by disabling her email, taking away her laptop and confiscating her business cards. Mata sued the diocese in October 2011, claiming retaliation, wrongful dismissal and invasion of privacy.

• KC Diocese Settles Two Cases from Stack of Civil Lawsuits, by Judy L. Thomas, Kansas City Star, 10.21.2012

Rita McDonald
Archdiocese of Milwaukee WI

A former nun and Marquette University psychology professor, Rita McDonald, served on the board of the Milwaukee archdiocese’s Project Benjamin, which was established by Archbishop Rembert Weakland in 1989 purportedly to promote healing for victims of child sexual abuse by clergy and other church employees; it also sought healing for the offenders. McDonald resigned after a few meetings, critical that the program was to operate inside the archdiocese. She said,  “That’s just too difficult for many victims. Some can’t even walk into a church, and that’s what Project Benjamin is asking them to do.” Further, “That’s like asking someone who has had their legs broken by the Mafia to go to the mob for treatment.” Of the fact that the archdiocese would set up a meeting between victims and their abusers, McDonald said “The only person to benefit from such a meeting would be the perpetrator.”

• Critics Say Program for Abuse Victims Is Flawed, by Marie Rodhe, Journal Sentinel Online, 5.19.2002
• The Sexual Abuse of Children in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Project Benjamin, submitted by Peter Isely and Jim Smith,, 2.10.2004
• Weakland Spreads the Blame, by Marie Rohde, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11.20.08
• The Prophet, by Marie Rohde, Inside Milwaukee, 9.11.11

Rev. John McNamee
Archdiocese of Philadelphia PA

In a Feb. 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer opinion pieceMcNamee took on his local brethren priests for their passivity, writing, in part: “…my lament …[is] for the local Catholic Church in the face of new and terrible revelations of pedophilia, denial, and concealment….What began in our seminary days as clerical obedience has become a fearful, mute submissiveness.”

• A Docile Tradition Protects the Church, by John P. McNamee, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2.11.2011

Msgr. James Molloy
Archdiocese of Philadelphia PA

As the archdiocese’s assistant vicar for administration, Malloy was ordered by Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua to destroy a list of 35 priests who were credibly accused of sexual violence. Malloy secretly stored in a safe a memo of the meeting in which Bevilacqua handed down his order to shred the incriminating document. The safe was opened after Malloy’s death in 2006. Prior to his death, Malloy wrote, “I couldn’t be sure that I could trust my superiors to do the right thing.I wanted my memos to be there if the archdiocese’s decisions
were eventually put on the judicial scales. This way, anyone could
come along in the future and say, this was right or this wrong. But
they could never say it wasn’t all written down.”

• Shining light on a cover-up, A priest and a prosecutor detail how it happened, by Michael Newall, National Catholic Reporter, 4.28.2006

• Fighting for the Future. Adult Survivors Work to Protect Children & End the Culture of Clergy Sexual Abuse. An NGO Report, The Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, 2.2013

Sr. Catherine Mulkerrin, C.S.J.
Archdiocese of Boston MA

Mulkerrin was the assistant director of the Boston Archdiocesan Office for Victims of Abuse from 1992-1994. In that capacity she dealt directly with victims, receiving allegations against more than 100 priests. She adamantly and repeatedly appealed to her boss, Bishop John J. McCormack, to warn parishioners about molester priests, insisting there had to be announcements in church bulletins where accused priests had served. Her pleas were ignored. Mulkerrin died in 2008.

• Officials Avoided Confronting Priest, by Stephen Kurkjian, Boston Globe, 1.24.2002
• Excerpt from Deposition of Bishop John McCormack, with Links to Mulkerrin Memos, 6.03.2002
• Bishop Tells of Shielding Priests, by Michael Rezendes and Stephen Kurkjian, Boston Globe, 1.09.2003
• Archdiocese Nun Says Concerns Were Ignored, by Robin Washington, Boston Herald, 4.08.2003
• 2003 Attorney General Report on the Boston Archdiocese [see PDF pages 55-57]
• Nun Who Pressed Boston Church Leaders to Combat Abuses Dies, Associated Press,  5.19.2008
• Catherine Mulkerrin, Activist Boston Nun, Dies at 72, by Bruce Weber, New York Times, 5.22.2008

Frank Murray
Diocese of Yakima WA

Long-time employee and pastoral assistant at Holy Family Parish in Yakima when asked in September 2003 by the new pastor, Rev. Darrell Mitchell, for help with his computer’s printer. Murray discovered that Mitchell’s computer held photos of naked boys, which he promptly turned over to diocesan officials. The diocesan chancellor told Murray not to speak of the photos “or there would be consequences.” Murray did speak with police detectives and an FBI agent. He spoke with the diocese’s moral ethicist, who said not to be “overzealous,” and that the bishop and others would think the problem was with Frank Murray and not Fr. Mitchell. Mitchell was sent to treatment and returned to ministry in the diocese. He told Murray that he and his wife should stay silent “for the good of the church.” Rumors spread in the parish that Murray planted the photos, which time-stamps showed was not possible. Murray’s duties at the parish shrunk. In 2006 the parish council told Murray his salary was to be cut and his role changed to more of a secretarial position. Murray left Holy Family, and went on to work for the Yakima County juvenile court system. He became an advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care as supervisor of the CASA program. Murray has said, “My motive, quite honestly, is to help protect children and to help protect — I hate the term whistleblower — but to help protect anybody who’s under the authority of the church, being able to make reports without being retaliated against.”

Former Holy Family Parish worker recalls aftermath of finding photos on priests’s printer, Yakima Herald-Republic, 7.17.2022


Sr. Joyce Newton, S.S.J.
Archdiocese of Miami FL

In 1987, while working at the archdiocesan pastoral center, a 15-year-old boy walked in and told Newton that her boss, Rev. Neil Doherty, had had sex with him and had given him a venereal disease. The archdiocese investigated, after which Newton was discredited and fired by Doherty. In January 2013 Doherty pleaded “no contest” to six counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child, and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Doherty was the subject of numerous accusations of drugging and raping boys over his 33-year career. Newton died in 2021.

• Lambs to Slaughter, by Thomas Francis, New Times, 4.17. 2008
• Sister Joyce Newton, 81, Archdiocese of Miami Obituary, 5.07.2021

Siobhan O’Connor
Diocese of Buffalo NY

As exective assistant to Bishop Malone, O’Connor grew concerned in March 2018 when her boss agreed to release only 42 names of priests credibly accused of the sexual abuse of minors, when she knew there were many more. She also came across, in a supply closet she was cleaning out, a 300-page binder that showed that Malone had allowed accused priests to stay in ministry. Further, moved by speaking with dozens of people who called the archdiocese to say they had been abused, she said Malone was dismissive when she tried to get him to be more responsive. O’Connor decided to take action. She secretly copied hundreds of incriminating documents, leaked them to the press in August 2018, then resigned. O’Connor came forward publicly in October 2018. She said, “The reality of what I saw really left me with no other option. Because at the end of my life, I’m not going to answer to Bishop Malone. I’m going to answer to God.

Whistleblower says bishop knew of sexual abuse allegations, but did nothing, by Bill Whitaker, CBS News/60 Minutes, 10.28.2018
Why Bishop Malone’s assistant became a whistleblower, by Brit McCandless, CBS News, 10.28.2018
Bishop blasts whistleblower who copied sex misconduct files, by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press, 10.31.2018

Rev. Joseph F. Okonski
Archdiocese of Philadelphia PA

In 1995 Okonski discovered a sexually explicit “love letter” to a seventh grade altar boy written by Okonski’s rectory mate, Fr. Michael Murtha. He also found among Murtha’s possessions pornographic magazines and sado-masochistic videos, some depicting male minors. Okonski sent a copy of the letter and a video to North Philadelphia vicar, Monsignor Charles Devin. After undergoing an evaluation at St. John Vianney Center, Murtha was kept in ministry until 2010.

• Plan by Archdiocese to Protect Priests Alleged in Motion, by John P. Martin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10.29.2011
• Prosecutors: Archdiocese Delayed Reporting Priests’ Involvement with Child Porn, by John P. Martin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1.14.2012
• Archdiocese Priest Writes Love Letter to Seventh-Grade Boy, by Ralph Cipriano, Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog, 3.28.2012

Lynette Petruska
Diocese of Erie PA

In 1999 Petruska, then a nun, was appointed the first female chaplain at Gannon University in Erie, PA. Petruska was forced to resign her position in 2002 after she exposed sexual harrassment and misconduct by a priest at the University. She filed suit against the University and the bishop of Erie. The lawsuit was resolved after the Bishop of Erie’s deposition was scheduled, during which Petruska and her legal team planned to question the bishop about the ongoing cover-up of priest sexual misconduct and abuse in the Erie Diocese.
Petruska left her religious order and went on to practice law in St. Louis.

• A Federal Trial Court Dismisses a Nun-Priest Sexual Harassment Claim: A Dubious Case for Invocation of the “Ministerial Exception” , by Marci Hamilton,, 1.27.2005
• Where Faith Abides, Employees Have Few Rights, by Diana B. Henriques, 10.09.2006
• Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Former Nun Appeal, Associated Press, carried in The Pennlive,
• Three Women Share $15,500 in Second Round of Voice of the Faithful Emily & Rosemary Fund Grants, PRLog, 2.08.2011

Msgr. Michael Picard
Archdiocese of Philadelphia PA

In 1996 Picard expressed misgivings to Philadelphia archdiocesan official, Msgr. William Lynn, about a priest who was to be transferred to his parish. Picard had heard that the priest, Rev. Donald Mills, had engaged in “troubling conduct.” Lynn’s response was to recommend Picard be disciplined for disobedience and that he be denied more staffing. Further, Picard was ordered by Cardinal Bevilacqua to apologize and take a two-week retreat to reflect on his actions. While most pastors achieve the status of Monsignor in just a few years, it took Picard fifteen. Mills was later accused of child sexual abuse.

• Plan by Archdiocese to Protect Priests Alleged in Motion, by John P. Martin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10.29.2011
• Trial Evidence: Philadelphia-area Pastor Punished for Raising Concerns About Predator Priest, Washington Post, 5.02.2012

Linda Porcaro
Diocese of Brooklyn NY

Porcaro was a middle school teacher at Holy Cross parish in Maspeth, Queens when, in 1990, some of her female students told her that parish priest Rev. Adam Porchaski was sexually abusing them. Porcaro said she informed the school’s principal, who laughed at her in response. She said she told a new principal the following school year, but that not much was done; Porchaski was moved to another parish. He was suspended in 1994.

Porcaro spoke out publicly in September 2017. She was subsequently contacted by “hundreds” of former students who told her that they, too, had been abused by Prochaski, some when they were as young as age 5. She stated, “The man was massive in this parish, he was very important. This has been hidden and covered up and it has to stop.

• Ex-Maspeth Priest Molested Girls: Lawyer, by Christopher Barca, Queens Chronicle, 10.5.2017

• Victims Seek Justice for Former Maspeth Priest’s Sex Abuse, by Mark Hallum, Queens Times Ledger, 10.6.2017

• Number of Women Accusing Catholic Priest of Sexual Abuse Rises to 23, by Graham Rayman, New York Daily News, 10.9.1207

• Fifteen Women Accuse Ex-priest of Sexually Abusing Them at Queens Catholic School over Two Decades, by Esha Ray and Graham Rayman, New York Daily News, 9.26.2017

• NYPD Opens Investigation into Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Claims, by Easha Ray and Graham Rayman, New York Daily News, 9.27.17

• 23 Women Accuse Former Queens Priest of Abusing Them As Children, by Sharon Otterman, New York Times, 10.11.2017

Larry Probst
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph MO

Probst was an employee of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, working in the diocesan archives, where he has said he was subjected to sexually offensive language, sexual advances and pornography on the diocese’s computers. Probst claimed he was fired for repeatedly complaining about the situation. He sued the diocese in January 2012, alleging sexual harassment, retaliation and sex discrimination.

Probst has said, It is my hope “…and hope does not disappoint…” (Romans 5:5) that this institution I love be whole and safe. Safe for everyone – not merely as a dominion for those seeking after and clinging to status and prestige, power and position, privilege and entitlement, self- preservation above all else.

• KC Diocese Settles Two Cases from Stack of Civil Lawsuits, by Judy L. Thomas, Kansas City Star, 10.21.2012
• Fourth KC Whistleblower Speaks,, posted by Barbara Dorris, 11.18.2011

Rev. Richard Reissmann
Diocese of Wilmington DE

In response to the 2005 release of the scathing Grand Jury report on sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Reissmann gave a homily that was highly critical of the hierarchy and he encouraged his parishioners to read the report. One of the priests implicated served at the parish in the 1980s. Reissmann expressed concern about anyone who may have been harmed and needed help, and asked them to talk with him if they had been abused. Reissmann testified in 2007 before the Delaware State Legislature on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse for the passage of a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations and provide a two year “look-back” window. The bill passed.

• Voice of the Faithful Calls for Transparency,
by Gary Soulsman, The [Wilmington DE] News Journal, 11.22.2005
• After Years of Refusal, Diocese Releases Names of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse, by Beth Miller, Mike Chalmers and Gary Soulsman, News Journal [Wilmington DE], 11.17.2006
• Abuse Scandal Casts Pall over Sunday Mass, ‘Let It Not Lead US to Spiritual Suicide’, by Gary Soulsman, News Journal [Wilmington DE], 11.20.2006
• House Passes Landmark Child Abuse Bill, 41-0, by Beth Miller
The News Journal, 6.20. 2007
• Voice of the Faithful Priest of Integrity Award, Fall 2007
• As It Pays for the Past, Diocese Tries to Move on, by Beth Miller
News Journal, 8.7.2011

Msgr. Phillip Saylor
Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown PA

In the 1994 sex sex abuse trial of Rev. Francis Luddy, Saylor testified that former bishop Hogan and others knew of abusive priests as early as 1978 and responded by shuffling them from parish to parish. This testimony contradicted that of Hogan and other church leaders. In 2003 it was reported that Saylor had been silenced by Bishop Adamec in 1999, with the threat of excommunication. The order came the week of Saylor’s retirement.

• New Sex-Abuse Bombshell: Time Bishop [adamec of Altoona-Johnstown] Comes Clean, The Tribune-Democrat, June 23, 2002
• Diocese Muzzles Priests, by Susan Evans. The Tribune-Democrat, March 2, 2003
• Silenced Priest Warns of Gay Crisis, by Julia Duin
The Washington Times [Arlington VA], 11.15.2004

Fr. James Scahill
Diocese of Springfield MA

In May 2002, Scahill became the first US pastor to refuse publicly to pay the cathedraticum, his parish’s required tax to the diocese. Scahill said that his parish would withhold the tax until Bishop Dupre stopped all financial support of Rev. Richard Lavigne, a convicted child molester and suspected murderer. In Sept. 2002, Scahill reported publicly that Dupre had boasted about the diocese’s destruction of abuse files. Scahill counseled one of two known victims of Dupre before the men went public in 2004, triggering Dupre’s resignation. In 2010, Scahill called on Pope Benedict to resign for mismanaging abusive priests. Scahill announced in April 2014 that he would retire in June. 

• Abuse Victim Tells the Story of a ‘Great’ Priest, by Tom Shea, [Springfield MA] Republican, 9.14.2003
• Ruined Files Spark Allegation, by Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe, 9.17.2003
• Priest, Bishop at Odds, by Bill Zajac, [Springfield MA] Republican, 10.29.2003
• 2003 Deposition of Fr. James J. Scahill
• Dupre Accusers Tell Lurid Tale, by Bea O’Quinn Dewberry, [Springfield MA] Republican, 2.20.2004
• Priest Unafraid to Criticize Diocese for Abuse Scandals, by Adam Gorlick, Associated Press, 3.07.2004 
• Bishop Dissolves Fund for Accused Priests, Removes Scahill from Board, Hampshire [MA] Gazette, 5.12.2004
• Bishop and Pastor Offer Mass for Victims, Associated Press, 9.13.2004
• The Rev. James J. Scahill’s Call for the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Meets Silence, by Jack Flynn, [Springfield MA] Republican,  5.08.2010
• Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
• Rev. James Scahill, An Outspoken Critic of the Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal, Announces Retirement, by Jeanette DeForge,,, April 28, 2014

Sr. Joan Scary, R.S.M.
Archdiocese of Philadelphia PA

As Director of Religious Education at a parish, Scary had suspicions about a newly arrived priest in residence, Rev. Edward DePaoli. She was told by the pastor, Rev. James Gormley, that if she said anything about DePaoli she could “pack her bags and leave.” Scary noticed that DePaoli detained three children in the confessional and wrote of her concerns to each of the children’s parents. In 1996 Scary discovered diskettes and magazines of child porn that were sent to the priest. Depaoli, in fact, had been convicted in 1986 of possession of child pornography. Scary sent one of the magazines to Cardinal Bevilacqua. Scary also called the regional vicar several times with her concerns. There were no consequences at the time for DaPaoli; Scary was fired. In 2002 Depaoli was accused of the sexual abuse 14-year-old girl in 1970, and he was removed from ministry. In 2005 he was laicized. Scary testified before the Philadelphia Grand Jury, “We had a whole program with children, and my fear was that he would have any contact with the children in the parish; and I just was, very concerned that . . . if he was . . . enticing them in any way, something could happen to them.”

• 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report: Summary of Case of Father Edward M. DePaoli
• Witness Says She Was Told Not to Ask Questions about Priest, by Joseph A. Slobodzian, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4.09.2012
• Nun Testifies She Was Fired for Reporting Montco Priest’s Explicit Magazines, by Joann Loviglio,
Morning Call, April 9, 2012
• Reporting Priest’s Porn Got Her Axed, Jury Told, by Joseph A. Slobodzian,
Philadelphia Inquirer, 4.10.2012
• Philly Abuse Trial Hears Testimony about Priest Caught with Porn, by Brian Roewe
National Catholic Reporter

Rev. Edward Seagriff
Diocese of Rockville Centre NY

Seagriff reported Rev. Matthew Fitzgerald to his pastor, the vice-chancellor, the diocesan lawyer, and finally then-Bishop John McGann. All three officials told him not to go to the police and, according to Seagriff, the bishop was more angry at him than at the abuser.

When Seagriff took a leave shortly after meeting with the bishop, the diocese deprived him of his salary and health insurance. Seagriff believes this was retaliation.

• Priest: Former LI Bishop Ignored Reports of Abuse, by Eden Laikin, Newsday, 3.18.2003

Richard Sipe
St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville MN and worldwide

A.W. Richard Sipe was a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor who spent 18 years as a Benedictine monk and priest. In 1970, with the Vatican’s permission, he retired from the priesthood. Trained specifically to deal with the mental health problems of Roman Catholic priests, he worked more than 45 years as a counselor, psychotherapist, and teacher of clerics. In 1990, he produced A Secret World: Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy, the result of more than 30 years’ study of the celibate/sexual behavior of priests. He authored scores of books, chapters, and articles on Catholic priests’ sexual behavior. He served as consultant or expert witness in hundreds of civil cases involving clergy sexual malfeasance, and he provided expert testimony to investigations of dioceses by prosecutors in MA, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. In his address to the 2003 Linkup conference, he said, “… [W]herever abuse by a priest occurred, some superior ‘gave permission,’ either through easy forgiveness or by some sexual activity himself. … Sexual corruption is conferred from the top down – from men in power. … A system of blackmail reaches into the highest corridors of the American hierarchy and the Vatican and thrives because of this network of sexual knowledge and relationships.” Sipe died August 8, 2018.

• Preliminary Expert Report (in cases against the diocese of Dallas), by Richard Sipe, 1996
• View From the Eye of the Storm, by A.W. Richard Sipe, Keynote Address, The Linkup National Conference, 2.23.2003
• St. John’s Troubled Abbey, by A.W. Richard Sipe, Behind the Pine Curtain, 9.30.2007
• An Interview with Dr. A.W. Richard Sipe, Healing and Spirituality blog, 12.03.2009
• Beneath the Child Abuse Scandal, by A.W. Richard Sipe, National Catholic Reporter, 7.22.2010

• A.W. Richard Sipe (1932-2018), by Terence McKiernan,, 8.9.18

• Richard Sipe, pioneering expert in clergy sexual abuse, dies at 85, by Peter Feuerherd and James Dearie, National Catholic Reporter, 8.10.18

• A Heroic Ex-priest Immortalized in “Spotlight” Uncovered Years of Catholic Abuse and Cover-ups. In Death He Has Been Vindicated, by Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2018

Sr. Claire Smith, O.S.U.
Archdocese of New York NY

In the 1980s Smith disclosed to her religious community that she was sexually abused as a child by a priest in the 1950s. She informed the archdiocese and became active in SNAP. Smith has spoken publicly about clergy sex abuse, and has stated that she is committed to encouraging others to “speak out about the abuse and demand reform.” She is a member of the Catholic Whistleblowers steering committee.

• New Rochelle Nun Speaks about Childhood Abuse, By Gary Stern, The Journal News [New Rochelle NY], 11.13.2005
• Film on Confronting Clergy Abuse to be Shown at Church, Hanover Eagle, 9.22.2014
• Catholic Whistleblowers Calls for a Vatican Investigation of U.S. Bishops, Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, 1. 25.2016

Rev. Robert Smoot
Archdiocese of St. Louis MO

Smoot testified in 2003 against his fellow priest and close friend, Rev. Bryan Kuchar, who was on trial for the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy. Kuchar had confessed to police, then recanted. Smoot told authorities that Kuchar admitted to him that the accusations against him were true. Kuchar was convicted of statutory sodomy.

• Attack on Family at Priest’s Trial Was Unnecessary, by Bill McClellan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8.31.2003
• Problem Priests UncollaredSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9.04.2003
• NH Priest Praised by Church Victims Group, by Scott Brooks
The Union Leader [New Hampshire], Downloaded 11.17.2003
• Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Rev. Stephen Stanbery
Diocese of Toledo OH

Stanbery has openly criticized church leadership on a number of issues, including its handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis. He called twice for the resignations of Toledo Auxiliary Bishop Robert Donnelly and the the Episcopal Vicar for Administration, Rev. Michael Billian. In 2005 Stanbery testified before the Ohio legislature in favor of extending the statute of limitations for filing civil litigation alleging child sexual abuse. Stanbery is said to have been admonished and censured by the bishop. In response to being called a ‘renegade priest,’ Stanbery said “I don’t think I’m a renegade from Jesus Christ, who declares himself the way, the truth and the life. The bottom line is that people have the right to know the truth.”

• Communion Debate Focuses on Politicians’ Abortion Beliefs, by David Yonke, Toledo Blade, 6.21.2204
• Victims’ Group Calls on Diocese to Explain Cover-up with Police, by Joe Mahr, Toledo [OH] Blade, 8.04.2005
• Ohio’s Victims of Clerical Sexual Abuse Left Frustrated by Senate Bill 17, by Todd Jarrett, Toledo [OH] City Paper, 2.28.2007
• Henry County Priest Criticizes Diocese Leadership, by Jack Palmer, Crescent-News, 8.10.2007
• Pastor Is Named a ‘Priest of Integrity’ by Joe Vardon, Toledo [OH] Blade, 10.01.2007

Rev. Joseph Starmann
Diocese of Jefferson City MO

Starmann provided unwavering support to victim/survivors of clergy sexual abuse morally and financially. He lobbied the Missouri legislature for the passage of a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for civil child sexual abuse claims. Shortly after his testimony, Starmann is said to have been told there was a miscalculation in his retirement benefits and that they would be reduced. Starmann was a harsh critic of diocesan leadership, headed by his seminary classmate Bishop John Gaydos, and is said to have called the leadership a “Wolf Pack, bent on destroying badly wounded lambs.” Starmann died December 14, 2011.

• Ex-student to sue bishop who quit, The Associated Press,
Published: Sunday, 3.17.2002
• Jefferson City Priest Honored by VOTF & SNAP, SNAP Statement, 6.21.2011
• Priests & Nuns Honored by Catholic Reform Group, SNAP, 6.28.2011
• Rev. Joseph William Starmann Obituary, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12.16.2011
• Childproof 24: The Six Degrees of Separation in the Clergy Sexual Abuse Saga, 1.29.2012
• Thy Child’s Face, Breaking the Silence, 5.20.2012
• Courageous Priests, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Rev. Tim Stier
Diocese of Oakland CA

As long-time pastor of Corpus Christi parish in Fremont CA, in the early 2000s Stier directly addressed the issue of clergy sex abuse from the pulpit and, despite the objections of some parishioners, he removed accused priest and previous pastor Rev. James Clark’s name from the parish hall. In 2004 Stier met with former parishioner Dan McNevin, who alleged abuse as an altar boy in the 1970s by Clark. Stier’s meeting with McNevin had a profound effect on him; he took a sabbatical during which he decided he could not take another assignment. Stier declared himself a “priest in exile,” committed to solidarity with clergy sex abuse victims and other “people that are being stepped on” by the institutional church. Beginning in 2010 and continuing beyond 2016, Stier stood every Sunday outside the Oakland Cathedral in protest, often alone, sometimes with others. He says, “The reason I speak out on behalf of abuse survivors and against erring bishops is because silence is complicity with a hierarchical structure that is secretive, self-serving and incapable of hearing the cries of anguish coming from people for whom getting out of bed in the morning is a moral victory.” Stier was informed by the diocese in 2020 that the bishop wanted him removed from the priesthood. In 5/22 he was notified that had been laicized in 3/22 by the Vatican.

• Questioning Tradition Leads to Priest’s
, by Jonathan Jones, Inside Bay Area, 11.28. 2005
• Good to Know—What You Won’t Hear in Your Parish, by Tim Stier,
Voice from the Desert, 4.10.2010
• Oakland Tribune Viewpoint: Crisis in Catholic Church apparent in East Bay, by Tim Stier, Contra Costa Times, 4.02.2011
• Oakland Man Marks Church Protest Anniversary, with Protest, by Ann Rubin
KTVU, 04.13.2015
• Crying Out for Justice, Full-Throated and Unsparingly, A Parish Priest’s Story, by Tim Stier, Mill City Press, copyright 2015.
• Guest Commentary: ‘Spotlight’ Shows Why Transparency is Needed in Catholic Church, by Tim Stier, Oakland Tribune, My Word, 11.11.2015

• Farewell Letter from a Whistleblower to Former Fellow Priests, by Tim Stier, 07.05.22

Sr. Jean Marie Stross, O.S.U.
Archdiocese of Atlanta GA

Helped expose pedophile priest Douglas Edwards, who was removed from ministry in 1990. As a result, Stross reportedly suffered defamation and firing.

GA PAC Report 3.20.2023

Rev. Frederick E. Sweeney
Archdiocese of Boston MA

Sweeney became pastor of St. John’s in Haverhill MA in 1988, where Rev. Ronald H. Paquin was associate pastor. Sweeney grew concerned about Paquin’s involvement with boys and in 1989 and the early 1990s, he repeatedly reported alleged sexual abuse of boys by Paquin to the archdiocese. He is credited with forcing Paquin out of ministry. Paquin pleaded guilty to child rape in 2002. Sweeney died March 8, 2016.

• Suit Ties Boy’s Death to Abuse by Priest, by Stephen Kurkjian and Walter V. Robinson, Boston Globe, 4.11.2002
• Records Show Law Reassigned Paquin after Settlements, by Stephen Kurkjian, Boston Globe, 5.30.2002
• Priest Wrote of Forgiveness before Surprise Resignation, By Mike Labella, Eagle-Tribune, 6.25.2010
• Rev. Sweeney, former St. John’s priest, dies at 88, Eagle Tribune, 03.08.2020

Rev. Bruce Teague
Diocese of Springfield MA

In 1997 Teague informed diocesan authorities that child molester Rev. Richard Lavigne, who was convicted in 1992, continued to have proximity to children. Teague did not receive a response from the diocese, so he went to the police. Teague was reprimanded by the diocese for going outside of the church. Diocesan officials questioned Teague’s leadership of his parish, and he was eventually terminated as pastor. He was told he would not receive another appointment as pastor. Teague is quoted as saying , ” thought I was doing the right thing, to protect the children,” . ”They [diocese officials] were unhappy with me. I was a whistle-blower, and people got mad at me.” Of the bishops Teague has said, “Their efforts and their diagnosis proved to be disastrous and destructive to victims and the church.”

A former university and hospital chaplain, Teague is himself a survivor of clergy sex abuse. In 2013, he joined the steering committee of Catholic Whistleblowers.

• Priest Cites Cost for Speaking Out, by Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe, 3.23.2002
• He Remembers, Tries to Forgive, by Bill Zajac, The Republican [Springfield MA], 9.14.2003
• Chapter Sixteen: Where Are They Now?, 4.2009

Sr. Janice Thomas
Archdiocese of Newark NJ

In 2001 Thomas reported to the police an allegation that Rev. Michael Fugee fondled a 13-year-old boy. The report led to Fugee’s arrest and conviction, which was later overturned.

• Former Priest Granted New Trial, Judges Cite Mistakes in Groping Conviction, by Justo Bautista, Record [Bergen County NJ], 4.18.2006

Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish, S.N.D.
Diocese of Wilmington DE

In 2002 Turlish began to persistently speak out on behalf of victim/survivors of clergy sexual abuse and in calling church leadership to task for its role in the crisis. She said, “What is truly blasphemous and should be deeply offensive to all is that so many children could have been spared a lifetime of agony brought on by sexual abuse but for the callous behavior of enabling church officials who shuffled sexual predators around with abandon, instead of calling the police.” She lobbied for the elimination of statutes of limitations on sex crimes against children in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Turlish was a prolific writer of letters to the editor and internet commentator, and she  contributed op-ed pieces on the topic of clergy sexual abuse to numerous publications. A sister of Notre Dame de Namur, Turlish was a founding member of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition, a member of the Justice 4 PA Kids Coalition, and a founding member of Catholic Whistleblowers. She died July 18, 2018.

• In Effect, Archdiocese Gives Sexual Predators a Pass, by Maureen Paul Turlish, Philadelphia Inquirer, 11.06.2007
• Sister Maureen Asks: What about Accountability and Transparency in Wisconsin?, by Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, Voice from the Desert
• Catholic Church Still Squandering Its Moral Authority, by Maureen Paul Turlish, Baltimore Examiner, 11.11.2008
• In Effect, Archdiocese Gives Sexual Predators a Pass, by Maureen Paul Turlish, Philadelphia Inquirer, 11.26.2007
• The Pope’s Empty Words to Ireland, by Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish, National Catholic Reporter
2.19. 2010
• Sister Maureen Turlish Honored for Work on Behalf of Sexual Abuse Victims, by Joe Barron, Montgomery News, 3.18.2011
• The Time Is Now: Childhood Sexual Abuse and Statutes of Limitation, by Maureen Paul Turlish , National Catholic Reporter, 12.09.2011
• Guest Column: Chaput’s Top Priority Is to Protect Children, by Maureen Paul Turlish, Daily Times, 5.26.2012

• Sister Maureen Turlish, a Voice for Sex Abuse Victims, Dies at 79, by Sam Roberts, New York Times, 7.30.2018

Juan Vaca
Diocese of Rockville Centre NY

A Legionary of Christ priest who was the order’s U.S. Director in Connecticut, Vaca left the Legionaries in 1976 to become a priest of the Rockville Centre diocese. He explained to Rockville Centre bishop McGann that his request to leave the order and join the diocese was because Legionary founder Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado raped him repeatedly when he was 12 to 25 years old. Maciel had recruited Vaca in Mexico for the priesthood at age 10. Vaca told McGann of 19 other former seminarians who were victims of Maciel. With McGann’s support and encouragement, Vaca sent a detailed account of his abuse to the Vatican, along with the names of the other known Maciel victims. He received no response then, nor when the papers were re-sent two years later. In 1989 Vaca again sent details of abuse by Maciel to Pope John Paul II, along with a request for a dispensation from his priestly vows, so he could marry. The Pope again ignored Vaca’s disclosures. In 1996 Vaca was among a group of nine Maciel accusers who spoke out in the media. In 1998 they filed a canonical case against Maciel. It wasn’t until 2004 that the case was officially investigated. In 2006 Maciel was removed from public ministry by the Vatican, and “invited” to live a life of prayer and penance.

After coming forward, Vaca was relieved of his full-time job. He believes this to be the result of a campaign by the Legionaries to smear his reputation. Vaca is a professor of psychology and sociology at Mercy College in New York. He has said, “When you know the truth you are supposed to witness to that truth…not just for me but for the many other children, men, and women who were abused. Also, for those who have been ignorant to what has been going on.”

• A Priest’s Story How McGann Tried to Help One Victim, by Carol Eisenberg, Newsday [Long Island NY], 5.04. 2004
• Vatican to Reopen Case against Maciel, by Jason Berry
National Catholic Reporter, [Vatican], 1.07. 2005
• Finally, Vindication, by Carol Eisenberg, Newsday [Long Island NY], 5.20.2006
• New York City Mercy College Instructor Seeks Justice Against the Vatican and Legion of Christ for Merciless Acts, by Shelley Samone, Yahoo! Contributor Network, 6.12.2011

Deacon Wieslaw Walawender
Diocese of Buffalo and Archdiocese of Baltimore

While enrolled in a major seminary in Poland, Walawender was recruited to study for the priesthood in the United States. Accepted by the Buffalo Diocese and enrolled in Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, New York, Walawender reported Father Dennis Riter in writing for sexually abusing Anthony Ravarini, a young parishioner that Walawender witnessed running out of the rectory covered in semen. Walawender was assisted in writing the letter by his confessor and spiritual director, Father Joseph Moreno, another whistleblower who is thought to have been murdered after his untimely death was initially reported to have been a suicide. Misled by Ravarini’s stature to believe that he was much older than his six and a half years, the Diocese, the Catholic District Attorney, and the compromised local police argued that the semen reported on Ravarini’s shirt, face, and hair was his own. Walawender also wrote a letter to Pope John Paul II and to his secretary, then-Monsignor Stanislaw Dziwisz, documenting sexual predation and homosexual misconduct in the Buffalo Diocese and Christ the King Seminary. The incriminating letter that Walawender hand-delivered to the Pope in Denver on the occasion of World Youth Day was later forwarded to Bishop Edward Head who then dismissed Walawender on bogus academic grounds despite excellent grades and favorable evaluations.  A Buffalo priest, knowing that Walawender was sent away because of his whistleblower communications, arranged for him to be accepted by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Unfortunately, while working in a Severna Park parish, Walawender reported being drugged and sodomized by Monsignor Edward Staub. Cardinal William Keeler appointed Monsignor William Simms to investigate the criminal sexual assault even though Simms himself was accused of abuse by multiple victims.  Soon after Walawender was ordained a deacon with the promise of being ordained a priest within a year, Keeler, Simms, and Staub discovered that Walawender reported the assault to friends at the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C. Fearing Staub could be arrested for assault and both Simms and Keeler could be charged with criminal omission for failing to report the crime, Walawender was thrown out of the rectory and offered a one-way ticket back to Poland which he refused to accept. To cover up Staub’s alleged criminal behavior, the Archdiocese fabricated a story that Walawender left because he wanted to marry and have a family in Poland. Years later Walawender appealed his dismissal and reported his sexual assault to Archbishop William Lori who offered to have Walawender laicized without offering him any compensation whatsoever. Unfortunately, the lifting of the Maryland statute of limitation for sex abuse does not apply to victims like Walawender who were abused as vulnerable adults. Walawender was featured in Marcin Gutowski’s documentary, Bielmo, which vindicates Diocese of Buffalo whistleblowers and provides evidence showing that Pope John Paul II, just like Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, covered up sex abuse before and after his papal election. 

Buffalo diocese persecutes seminarian for reporting sex abuse, by Bradly Eli,, 08.24.2018
Buffalo bishop returned priest accused of abuse to ministry after ‘thorough’ investigation. Others call it ‘a sham’, by David Wright, Pete Madden, Cho Park, Shannon K. Crawford, ABC News, 07.06.2019
Buffalo whistleblower hits back at Bp. Malone, accuses him of lying, by Bradly Eli,, 07.31.2019
How does a priest get reinstated with three allegations of sexual abuse and a failed polygraph?, WIVB, 08.12.2019
Seminarian Sex Trafficking, by Gene Thomas Gomulka,, 10.26.2021

Patrick Wall
St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville MN, and worldwidw

Both as a seminarian and as a newly ordained priest of the Benedictine order, Wall was sent repeatedly to replace monks who had been removed due to allegations of child sexual abuse. A self-described “company man” at the time, Wall began to have doubts about his role as his understanding of the depth and breadth of the problem of clergy sexual abuse and its effect on victims and their families grew; he felt he was being used to do the institution’s dirty work. Five years after his 1992 ordination Wall abruptly left the order and the priesthood. In 2002, as the church crisis was raging publicly, Wall decided to offer his expertise as a former church insider to victims’ attorneys. He has since worked on upwards of a thousand clergy sexual abuse cases. His role has included listening to and providing moral support to victims, researching abuse claims, testifying, and decoding church language. Wall has spoken out in the media and he co-authored the book Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church’s 2,000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse. Wall has said, “I see this work as a continuation of my priesthood. This work is fundamental to the Catholic religion. It’s fundamental to the human race.”

• Patrick J. Walls’ Blog
• From Monk to Sex Plaintiffs’ Advocate, by William Lobdell, Los Angeles Times, 1.19.2003
• Revealing Secrets: An Ex-Priest Disheartened by Abusive Clergy Sets out to Make Things Right, by Chris Knap,  Orange County
Register [California], 8.03.2005
• Onetime Priest Crusades for Abuse Victims Suing Catholic Church, by Richard Allen Greene, CNN, 6.19.2011
• Twenty Years Later, I Look upon My Ordination, Patrick J. Wall, 12.12. 2012

Barbara Westrick
Archdiocese of Chicago IL

The principal of a Chicago parochial school, in January 2006 Westrick reported the sexual abuse of a boy by Rev. Daniel McCormack to police, the archdiocese and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. When she came under fire from the archdiocese for what they said was her poor handling of the case, Westrick publicly stated, “I will not be the archdiocese’s scapegoat or allow my reputation to be destroyed in order to deflect the truth about the archdiocese’s atrocious handing of Father Daniel McCormack.” Westrick was subsequently fired. McCormack pleaded guilty to sexually abusing boys and was sentenced to five years in prison.

• Principal Speaks out on Priest Abuse Case, Woman Claims Archdiocese Is Blaming Her, NBC, 12.19.2006
• Principal Rejects Blame for Priest Reprimanded for Letting McCormack Teach, Coach Kids, by Lisa Donovan, Chicago Sun-Times, 12.19.2006
• Principal Who Criticized Archdiocese Expects to Lose Post, by F.N. D’Alessio, Chicago Tribune, 6.06.2007
• Activists: Catholic School Principal Fired over Criticism of Sex Abuse Cases, Associated Press, carried in WBBM [Chicago], 6.09.2007
•, Brief Analysis of Cardinal George’s Deposition, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 8.13.2008
• McCormack Gets 5 Years for Sex Abuse, Ex-Priest Taken into Custody Immediately after Hearing, CBS 2 Chicago, 7.02.2007
• Priest Admits to Abuse
Defendant Gets 5 Years in Plea Agreement
, by Azam Ahmed, Margaret Ramirez and Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune
• Priest Gets 5 Years for Molesting Boys, Associated Press, carried in Daily Herald [Chicago, IL], 7.03 2007

Rev. Mark White
Diocese of Richmond VA

Ordained by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2003, White began speaking out on his personal blog after allegations came to light in summer 2018 that McCarrick had been accused of sexually abusing minors as well as seminarians, and church officials knew of it for decades. In his criticism of the hierarchy, White said, “No one was looking at it from the victim’s point of view, and the bureaucrats of the church have crookedly tried to protect their power.” In November 2018 Richmond Bishop Knestout demanded that White remove his increasingly popular blog. White did so for several months, resuming after asking the bishop permission to do so and receiving no reply. In April 2019 White was suspended from ministry, made to leave the two parishes he pastored. He appealed unsuccessfully twice to the Vatican to be reinstated. Knestout later wrote to the Vatican, requesting White’s laicization.

Peace be with you, by Bill Wyatt, Martinsville Bulletin, January 31, 2020
Ousted Priest writes new book: Ordained by a Predator, by Bill Wyatt, Frankin News Post, October 21, 2020
Father Mark White is a priest without a church after Vatican, bishop reject pleas, by Bill Wyatt, Martinsville Bulletin, July 3, 2021
Catholic priest outspoken about clergy abuse faces removal as Richmond Bishop petitions the Vatican, WRIC, July 13, 2021

Rev. Robert Williams
Diocese of Dallas TX

A newly arrived assistant to pastor Rudy Kos at a Texas parish in 1991, Williams was alarmed by the amount of time Kos spent with young boys. Williams repeatedly told diocesan officials of his concerns about Kos, including writing a 12-page letter to Dallas Bishop Grahmann with detailed information about Kos luring boys into the rectory. It was a year before Kos was removed, in the fall of 1992. Williams testified at Kos’ 1997 trial against the diocese and in support of Kos’ victims. Williams said after the trial, “There has been a failure of responsibility by the leadership of this diocese.” One of Williams’ parishioners stated of Williams, “Ignored by the bishop, he suffered through a dark night of the soul. But he didn’t relent.

• Editorial: On child sex abuse, when will bishops get it?, National Catholic Reporter, 8.15.1997
• Opinion: A true hero emerged from the priest sex scandal, by Randolph Severson, Dallas Morning News,, 7.08.2002
• Documents of Windle Turley, Statement of Windle Turley, Attorney, & The Plaintiffs,
• Dallas Bishop to Offer Resignation
Growth: He Hopes for Hispanic Successor to Lead Booming Population
, by Jeffrey Weiss and Brooks Egerton, WFAA [Dallas TX], 7.14.2006

International Whistleblowers

Sr. Marie McDonald

Victor Buhagiar
Rev. Maurie Crocker
Rev. Kevin Dillon
Rev. Bob Maguire
Rev. Michael McKinnon
Bishop Bill Morris
Bishop Patrick Power
Rev. John Purnell
Michele Mulvihill*
Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

Rev. Rik Deville

Wilson Kennedy

Rev. Héctor Berenguela
Rev. Peter Kliegel*

Rev. Pierre Vignon

Rev. Peter Kliegel*
Rev. Klaus Mertes, SJ

Deacon Steve Martinez

Paul Lennon
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Kenneth McCabe SJ
Rev. Gerard McGinnity
Rev. Bruno Mulvihilll, O.Praem
Sr. Maura O’Donohue
Rev. Iggy O’Donovan

Jose Barba
Rev. Alberto Athie

Rev. Marcin Mogielski, o.p

Rev. Joaquim Nazare

Rev. Matthew Despard
Rev. Patrick Lawson
Rev. Gerry Magee

Rev. Fidel Blasco Canalejas

Michele Mulvihill*

Rev. Anthony Musaala

* associated with more than one country

International Lay Catholic Whistleblowers

Carmel Rafferty
Graham Sleeman

Angie Richardson

Ian Elliott

Joao Oliveira

Alan Draper

Page last updated July 1, 2024