Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bishop Richard Malone recommends to pastor that he lie to parishioners about the reason for a child abuser priest's sudden departure from the parish.

You are urged to view the Graham documents in a single file.

Bishop Malone's memo can be found on pages 43-44.
The memo is transcribed below:
Archdiocese of Boston
Office of the Regional Bishop

TO: Father Higgins

FROM: Bishop Malone (initialed)

DATE: January 26, 2002

SUBJECT: Father Daniel Graham, Father Robert Monagle

I. Father Daniel Graham

I met this morning with Father Daniel Graham and informed him that, because of the new policy of the Archdiocese with regard to past instances of clergy sexual abuse of minors, Cardinal Law was asking him to resign as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Quincy, effective immediately.

I assured Father Graham that we are very aware that he has been giving excellent service as pastor of St. Joseph Parish and as vicar forane, and that absolutely no one is questioning the integrity of his behavior at this time. I told him that we know he had received very good psychological assessments and that the archdiocesan review board, under the former policy, had in the past agreed that he could appropriately serve in active ministry. I reiterated the recent change in the policy, and reminded him that the Cardinal has been giving the assurance that as far as we know, no priest with a past history of sexual abuse of a minor is currently serving in ministry in the Archdiocese of Boston.

While he was shocked with the suddenness of this decision, he seemed to understand the reason for it. He did not fight it in any way, but accepted it in a very sad but manly fashion.

I told Dan that he was not to appear at any Masses in the parish from this weekend on, despite the fact that it is Father Bob Monagle's good bye weekend.

I offered him the opportunity of being admitted to St. Elizabeth Medical Center this afternoon for a full health and pschological workup. I told him that the Cardinal had arranged for this with Dr. McDonald. Dan declined this option. He would prefer simply to go on health leave and move home with his elderly and ailing father. He did say that one good thing about this miserable situation is that he will now be able to attend better to his own health challenges, and also be able to spend more time with his father, whom he does not expect to live much longer. He expressed the hope that he might be able to celebrate his father's funeral Mass. After consultation with you, Father Higgins, I told him that I did not have an answer to that question at this time.

I also told Dan that it is important that he arrange right away with his own physicians to have a full examination, including the psychological dimensions. He nodded in agreement. He told me that only one priest, a close friend, Father John Malloy, knows of his past abuse allegation. He will be in contact with John about this recent development right away. I also assured him of the Cardinal's and my own care and esteem for him, and that we both find this to be a very painful thing. He appreciated that, and knows that we are willing to help him in any way that we

I told Dan that I would be talking to Fr. Bob Monagle about this situation right away. Dan did not have a problem with that.

This was the most difficult thing I have had to do as a bishop and, perhaps, in 30 years as a priest. But, with God's grace, it is done.

II. Father Robert Monagle

After some difficulty, I was able to contact Father Robert Monagle. Because he was preparing to go to a burial, and I to a parish visitation, we had tom speak on the phone in a confidential manner. I informed him of my meeting ewith Dan Graham, and outlined for him what I had communicated to Dan. Bob had no knowledge whatsover of Dan's past abuse allegations. I explained that he and Dan should talk as soon as Bob returned from the burial, and determine what will be said to the parish during the weekend Masses. I recommended that they announce that because of some health problems, Dan has taken a health leave, effective immediately. That will later turn to retirement, but that should not be mentioned at this time.

Bob said there is no problem covering the weekend Masses, since there are several priests who assist at St. Joseph's. He needs no help at this time.