Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Diocese audit does not account for secrecy

Bishop Richard Malone is still keeping secrets.

That's why we're only finding out now that, from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009, eleven more child sex abuse victims reported that they were molested by five living and four deceased priests.

Even as he reports the numbers, Bishop Malone won't tell us the names of the nine accused priests and how many more children each priest has abused.

When child abusers are identified, victims may learn for the first time that they are not the only one. Or, if it is now known that a previously accused priest abused a child in a different parish or school, this information may help other victims to feel strong enough to reach out for help.

According to a statement issued by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, the diocese has been found in full compliance with the articles of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The independent audit evaluates the effectiveness of child protection policies and practices and reviewed the period from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.

The audit was conducted this fall by the Gavin Group, an independent company of investigators led by Bill Gavin, who has nearly 30 years experience with the FBI


In April 2002, former Bishop Joseph Gerry turned over the names and files of all accused living and deceased priests from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland to the Maine Attorney General.

Almost two years later, the Attorney General’s Report was released to the public. See also the attorney general's investigative materials released on May 27, 2005 and July 8, 2005.

A database of accused living and deceased priests from the Diocese of Portland is posted on BishopAccountability.org.

Here's what the Audit failed to report

During the audit period, eleven individuals came forward with accusations of sexual abuse that date back from 30 to 70 years ago.

1) These claims involved nine priests of which four are dead;

--- What are the names of the deceased priests?

2) One priest was laicized (returned to the lay state) years before the complaint was received;

--- What is this priest's name? Where and when did the abuse occur?

3) Two had already been restricted from public ministry;

--- What are the priests' names? Where did the abuse occur? What years? How will additional allegations against these priests affect their cases?

4) One is unidentified (meaning the name provided could not be connected to any priest who ever served in the diocese) and;

5) One is in a religious order (this claim was referred to the religious superior for final resolution).

--- What is the priest's name? What is the religious order? Where did the abuse occur (parish, school, etc.)?

6) Nine of the complaints have been investigated and the process completed–six of the accusations have been substantiated.

--- What are the priest's names? Where did the abuse occur?