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MAR 15 2016

Today the Attorney General charged 3 priests of the Franciscan, Catholic Religious Order in connection with their role regarding notorious predator Fr. Stephen Baker. Religious Order Priests are associated with a particular Catholic Order (i.e. Franciscans) and can move more freely from Diocese to Diocese and Jurisdiction to Jurisdiction.  This jurisdictional mobility allows Religious Order priests to likely be the most unreported group of clerical sexual abusers in existence.  Often a particular Diocese claims to not have authority or information regarding a Religious Order..


FEB 29 2016

The impact Spotlight has made on the child protection movement became even more apparent yesterday when the movie won Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture at the Academy Awards.  This is in addition to several other awards claimed by the movie this year.  Based on a true story, Spotlight portrays the Boston Globe’s uncovering of the clergy abuse scandal in the early 2000s.  It is a powerful film exposing the global concealment and cover-up of sexual abuse by Catholic officials for decades at the expense of children.


NOV 13 2015

Spotlight, the movie directed by Thomas McCarthy, chronicles the investigation undertaken by a team of investigative reporters from the Boston Globe.  Their investigation uncovered a decades long cover-up of sexually abusive priests by the Archdiocese of Boston.  The passion and tenacity of not only the reporters but the others who had already been laboring against the injustice including attorneys, whistleblowing priests and the survivors themselves can be viscerally experienced by the audience.  The movie is quite simply one of the most important and compelling films of our ti...


OCT 13 2015

You may know of Ockham’s Razor, a principle developed by William of Ockham in the 14th century.  He espoused simplicity of thought, that is, the simpler theory is more likely to be true.  I take it as, “Ask the next, obvious, and simple question, and you will get to the truth.” The same goes for the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis. My experience has shown me that in order to get to the root of the problem of the crisis, the best question is the simplest and the most obvious. Why? Because it opens up the most complex web of secrets. For the sake of argument and example, let’s look...


SEP 17 2015

In recent days the Archbishop of Santiago Chile has refused to turn over documents to a Chilean civil court regarding Father Fernando Kardima's sexual abuse of children.  The Archbishop is attempting to invoke a doctrine of canonical or pontifical secrecy.  By hiding behind the pontifical secret the Archbishop is clearing communicating that the reputation of the Hierarchy and individual clerics are more important than child safety.Pontifical secrecy in matters of child sexual abuse is an official policy of the Holy See.  The reality is that the Archbishop is following the direct...


JUN 22 2015

One of the most common questions we are asked in child protection is how many minors does a child molester sexually abuse in their lifetime? In the case of Norbertine Father Reverend Brendan Smyth O. Praem, we have a glimpse into the mind, methods and devastating results from a Priest who was allowed by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to decimate children in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the United States.  “Mr. Aiken said that Smyth was convicted of 117 cases of indecent assault against 41 children in the North and South. There were 74 convictions against ...