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What This Research Is and Isn't

  • This research is not anti-Catholic in nature, nor is it an indictment on the Church. It is objective historical research.

 

  • I do not offer recommendations on reforms for the Church.

 

  • I do this research because when the dioceses release lists of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, they typically contain very little detail.

 

  • The public has a right to know the dates the predators served at parishes, when the abuse occurred and when the allegations were received by the diocese. These details help victims to identify their abusers and come forward to get help.

Limitations of Transparency: Only the Credibly Accused

  • The most important factor guiding this research lies in the title of those disclosure lists: they only name those priests who were credibly accused.

 

  • By limiting the clergy disclosure lists to only those priests for whom an accusation was documented, the dioceses omit:

 

The priests they knew were sexual abusers who did not receive a formal complaint from a victim.

 

And those for whom a complaint was received, but was never documented. See German Cardinal Reinhard Marx who stated at the February 2019 Vatican prevention summit

 

“Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible,” he said,  “were destroyed, or not even created.”  “Instead of the perpetrators, the victims were regulated and silence imposed on them.”

 

 

  • The dioceses control all the information behind their lists; therefore there can be no accountability because no one can verify if they are indeed being transparent. I do this research and present it here so victims of clergy sexual abuse can have resources to identify their abusers and hold the dioceses accountable. 

What is Historical Research? 

  • Historical research is a qualitative research method that studies past events and interprets the facts in order to explain the cause of those events, and their effect in the present events. 

  • Using historical research techniques, I examine the backgrounds of the known sexual abusers, their parish assignments and dates, their education, criminal or civil public records and any other available contextual information.

  • From this examination, patterns and practices emerge for those credibly accused priests and the Church administrators who transferred known sexual abusers. I look for evidence of the application of Canon Laws that dictate every step of any Church procedure.  

 

  • After identifying the patterns of the credibly accused, those same patterns can be identified in the histories of other priests. In short, I have determined a set of indicators using the identified credibly accused clergy as the control group. I continue to analyze priests active from 1950-2019 whose histories exhibit the same patterns.

  • As a professional researcher, I know how to locate, analyze, interpret and present historical evidence for clients, including government agencies, attorneys, non-profit entities and private citizens.

  • I have extensive experience with the Catholic Church and its patterns and practices, public records, regional archives, state archives, libraries, agencies, Canon Law and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

 

Everyone has a story, and the priests on the clergy disclosure lists from dioceses across the country are no exception. Their stories can serve to identify other sexual abuser priests.

Statement of Purpose