“In Bad Faith” Fault Lines; Puts the Pressure on Cardinal Dolan and NY Abuser Msgr. John Paddack; Honors Survivors’ Stories

On October 23, Aljazeera English released In Bad Faith: Child Sex Abuse and the Catholic Church (posted below). Part of their Fault Lines series, it is an unflinching investigation into survivors and perpetrators of Catholic clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese of New York. This is an important piece of journalism for the child protection movement, told with the compassion, the scrutiny, and the urgency the Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis requires.

Journalist Natasha Del Toro lays the foundation for the piece with the harrowing stories of sexual abuse survivors of Msgr. John Paddack, who summoned the courage to share their truth (both publicly and anonymously) in the hopes that Archdiocesan leaders – specifically Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York – will come clean, and that Paddack will be held accountable and removed from any position in the Church where he has access to children.

Attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Reck discuss behavioral patterns of abuse practiced by Paddack and other, similar serial offenders. “Survivors have come forward from three different boroughs,” says Reck. “Survivors of different ages, at different facilities, and told the same story [about Paddack].” To Del Toro, the pattern is clear. She proceeds, undaunted, to bring light and heat to both Paddack and Dolan in person. Each cleric adamantly denies the allegations.

“It’s all in the past,” says Dolan, turning his back on Del Toro. ”It’s all being investigated [internally], so drop it.”  But for survivors of the abuse—and for the Catholic communities served by perpetrators and those who cover for them—the consequences of the abuse still resonate today, and continue to do damage. “[These crimes] are the worst of the worst,” says survivor Joseph Caramanno.
Joseph’s story has power. His willingness to come forward and share it has power. The stories of the anonymous survivors have power. This piece of journalism has power. We applaud Natasha Del Toro, Aljazeera English, and the courageous survivors who made this episode of Fault Lines possible. And to Archbishop Dolan, we add our call to the growing chorus: It’s time to do the right thing. It’s time to come clean.
Among the Most Dangerous Dioceses in the Country
In February 2019, Jeff Anderson & Associates released The Anderson Report on Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of New York – a list of 112 clergy accused of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of New York, using publicly available information. In April 2019, Cardinal Dolan released a list of 126 Archdiocesan clergy credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. Msgr. Paddack was not on Dolan’s list.

Since the release of the Anderson Report in February 2019, seven survivors of sexual abuse by Msgr. Paddack have come forward, including Joseph Caramanno who spoke publicly at a press event in New York City on July 16, 2019, to report their abuse to the Archdiocese.

In approximately 2014, the Archdiocese received a report that Msgr. Paddack sexually abused a minor in approximately 1994. Until summer of 2019, Msgr. Paddack had worked as a priest in the Archdiocese of New York for 35 years. Paddack resigned his post on July 7, 2019. His current whereabouts and whether he has access to children are unknown.