Senior Catholics Who Have Protected Pedophiles


Alongside Cardinal Bernard Law and Cardinal Roger Mahony, there are numerous senior Catholics who have protected pedophiles. This list will take time to compile, but we plan to add names often.

Before we look at the senior Catholics who have protected pedophile priests, we need to be aware of the following:


Early Alarm for Church on Abusers in the Clergy


Published: April 2, 2009

The founder of a Roman Catholic religious order that ran retreat centers for troubled priests warned American bishops in forceful letters dating back to 1952 that pedophiles should be removed from the priesthood because they could not be cured. Skip to next paragraph

The Rev. Gerald M. C. Fitzgerald, founder of the order, Servants of the Paraclete delivered the same advice in person to Vatican officials in Rome in 1962 and to Pope Paul VI a year later, according to the letters, which were unsealed by a judge in the course of litigation against the church.

The documents contradict the most consistent defense given by bishops about the sexual abuse scandal: that they were unaware until recently that offenders could not be rehabilitated and returned to the ministry.

Father Fitzgerald, who died in 1969, even made a $5,000 down payment on a Caribbean island where he planned to build an isolated retreat to sequester priests who were sexual predators. His letters show he was driven by a desire to save the church from scandal, and to save laypeople from being victimized. He wrote to dozens of bishops, saying that he had learned through experience that most of the abusers were unrepentant, manipulative and dangerous. He called them “vipers.”

“We are amazed,” Father Fitzgerald wrote to a bishop in 1957, “to find how often a man who would be behind bars if he were not a priest is entrusted with the cura animarum,” meaning, the care of souls. ...

The scandals, which began in the 1980’s and reached a peak in 2002, revealed that for decades bishops had taken priests with histories of sexual abuse and reassigned them to parishes and schools where they abused new victims.

It was not until 2002 that the American bishops, meeting in Dallas, wrote a charter requiring bishops to remove from ministry priests with credible accusations against them.

Asked why Father Fitzgerald’s advice went largely unheeded for 50 years, Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, S.D., chairman of the United States Bishops Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, said in a telephone interview that in the first case, cases of sexually abusive priests were considered to be rare [So what???? – Dusty].

Second, Bishop Cupich said of Father Fitzgerald, “His views, by and large, were considered bizarre with regard to not treating people medically, but only spiritually, and also segregating a whole population with sexual problems on a deserted island.” [(a) What is so “bizarre” about a professing follower of Christ believing that God can heal people without having to rely on medical treatment? (b) Fitzgerald’s idea of keeping these molesting monsters on an island where they could not access more children is no more “bizarre” than putting a prison on Alcatraz island. - Dusty]

And finally, he said, “There was mounting evidence in the world of psychology that indicated that when medical treatment is given, these people can, in fact, go back to ministry.” This is a view, he said, that the bishops came to regret. [Where is this “mounting evidence”? And what did it really amount to compared to the evidence that medical treatment (short of castration) did NOT mean these people could safely be given trusted access to children?  And anyway, why did Rome ever rely on secular, and frankly godless, psychologists instead of taking the advice of their own, highly-experienced, expert?? Why not at least investigate the evidence he had to offer? - Dusty]

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said he could not comment because he did not have enough information.

Responding to Bishop Cupich’s comment about Father Fitzgerald, Ms. Zukin, who represents abuse victims, said: “If the bishops thought he was such a bizarre crackpot, they would have shut him down. In fact, they referred their priests to him and sent him financial contributions.”

She also said the psychiatrists who worked at the Servants of the Paraclete’s centers said in legal depositions that they had rarely recommended returning sexually abusive priests to ministry, and only if the priests were under strict supervision in settings where they were not working with children.

From the 1940’s through the 1960’s, bishops and superiors of religious orders sent their problem priests to Father Fitzgerald to be healed. He founded the Servants of the Paraclete in 1947 (“paraclete” means “Holy Spirit”), and set up a retreat house in Jemez Springs, N.M.

He took in priests who were struggling with alcoholism, drug abuse or pedophilia, or who had broken their vows of celibacy, whether with men or women. He called them “guests.” His prescription was prayer and spiritual devotion to the sacraments, which experts say was the church’s prevailing approach at that time.  [I don’t recommend ‘spiritual devotion to the sacraments’, for the reasons given in the book cited here, but Fitzgerald was plainly sincere and his huge experience of dealing with pedophile priests should have been listened to by his ‘superiors’ - Dusty]

At one point, he resolved not to accept pedophiles at his center, saying in a letter to the archbishop of New Mexico in 1957, “These men, Your Excellency, are devils, and the wrath of God is upon them, and if I were a bishop I would tremble when I failed to report them to Rome for involuntary layization.”

Laicization — or removing a priest from the priesthood — was what Father Fitzgerald recommended for many abusive priests to bishops and Pope Paul VI.

But that step was rarely taken...





Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor:
"In the 1980s Murphy O'Connor was the bishop of Arundel and Brighton. Although he was aware that one of his priests — Michael Hill — was a dangerous paedophile he did nothing to prevent his access to children. When the abuse came to light, Murphy O'Connor helped Hill to move from one parish to another, where his activities continued. Murphy O'Connor ignored three warnings that Hill was likely to offend. Finally, Hill was moved to a place where he could do most harm, with the least chance of discovery - as a chaplain at Gatwick airport. It was there that he abused even more defenceless children. The police eventually brought his reign of terror to an end, but not before this monster had ruined the lives of countless children and young people, some of them suffering from disabilities.

"Not only was there abuse on a massive scale, of which the Cardinal was aware, money was paid by the Roman Catholic Church to victims in his diocese to hush the matter up. I am not aware of any apology or explanation for this by the Cardinal.

"There were strong suspicions that other priests in the Arundel and Brighton area had also been involved in child abuse while under the wing of Murphy O'Connor, but for some reason the investigation into the Cardinal's culpability came to an abrupt halt. The Times reports are very disturbing.

"The BBC, which was investigating the matter inexplicably dropped the story and the police enquiry fizzled out when the Catholic Church accused the media of "persecuting" Murphy O'Connor.

"The victims of the crimes committed under the leadership of this man, who is now about to be given privileged access to our lawmaking body, certainly don't think he was persecuted. They think that the real crime is that he got off scot-free.

"Murphy O'Connor's defence is that "the decisions he made at that time were not irresponsible and that there was a genuine ignorance among bishops, priests, and society at large about the compulsive nature of child abuse". For a bishop of an organisation purporting to be a moral authority to claim to be ignorant of something everyone else knew can only be stupidity and / or dishonesty of a stunning degree."


Cardinal Sean Brady, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland:

Brady was “embroiled in controversy earlier this year when it emerged that he had sworn two of Fr Brendan Smyth's teenage victims to secrecy in 1975 after recording their statements in a church inquiry. He refused to resign when the revelations emerged.” []


Monsignor Francisco de Guruceaga, a bishop in Venezuela:


Certain cardinals and bishops in Ireland

“[B]ishops of the Catholic church in Ireland have been ... censured in a report on clerical child abuse over three decades in the Archdiocese of Dublin. An official commission investigated 320 allegations against a sample of 46 out of 183 priests from 1975 to 2004. It found that several cardinals and bishops protected criminal priests while taking no action to protect children.” []

Here are some specifics:

·     -    Archbishop John Charles McQuaid.  He ruled the Dublin archdiocese from 1940 to 1972. Among other instances, his dealings with a Father Edmondus in 1960 “were aimed at the avoidance of scandal and showed no concern for the welfare of children.”


·     -    Archbishop Dermot Ryan, “who served in Ireland from 1972 to 1984, “failed to properly investigate complaints” against six priests and ignored the warning of a psychiatrist in the case of another priest who subsequently seriously assaulted a young teenager.”


·     -    Archbishop Kevin McNamara, who served from 1984 to 1987, restored to the ministry a priest, Father Bill Carney, who had pleaded guilty to charges of child sex abuse.


·     -    Cardinal Desmond Connell, who held office from 1988 to 2004, while “appalled” was slow to realize that it could not be dealt with “by keeping it secret and protecting priests from normal civil processes.”


·     -    The report was also critical of three auxiliary bishops of Dublin, Dermot O’Mahony, James Kavanagh and Donal Murray for dealing “badly” with complaints. Bishop Murray, now Bishop of Limerick, said last night he would not resign. His failure to reinvestigate earlier suspicions against an offending priest was described as “inexcusable.”

Cardinal Francis George:

For some details of Cardinal George's protection of a pedophile, see

"When Cardinal Francis George released his deposition on the sexual abuse scandal last week, he offered an unprecedented look into the Roman Catholic Church's shameful actions and also into his own mind.

Many Catholics were appalled to learn the cardinal worked to reduce the 20-year prison sentence of a convicted child molester, Norbert Maday. Others were infuriated by evidence of his repeated refusal to follow recommendations and promptly remove abusive Chicago priests from ministry. ... 

As president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, George is the most influential leader in the American church and ... the third American cardinal to be deposed in sex-abuse litigation. ...

The deposition was released Tuesday by the Chicago archdiocese as part of a $12.7 million settlement involving 16 victims and 11 priests. 

...[B]y the time he became Chicago's archbishop in 1997, George had apparently become convinced sexual abuse was mostly a thing of the past.

He couldn't fathom a Daniel McCormack. When McCormack was arrested in January 2006, George said: "We thought this was done, or at least contained," referring to clergy sexual abuse. ...

"While it's a milestone on one hand, the road ahead is very long," said Timothy Lytton, an Albany Law School professor who wrote "Holding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse."

"The cardinal's rhetoric about protecting victims and showing compassion to perpetrators and pastoral concern for incarcerated priests omits the theme on people's minds," Lytton said. "That theme is: What is the institutional church going to do to hold officials accountable?"

Victims advocates remain cautious and say change can only come by disciplining those officials who covered up for abusive priests."


See also:

Cardinal Egan (ex-Cardinal of New York):

For just some details of Egan's protection of pedophiles, see this article :
For more, see:
For even more, see

Cardinal George Pell:

For an example of Pell's protection of pedophiles, see:
Consider too:
Consider also

Bishop Dingman:

Archbishop Kelly:

Bishop Banks:

Bishop McHugh:

Archbishop Rembert Weakland:


Bishop Robert Finn:



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