"Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious." - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, 1972
THIS MAY BE WHY THEY AREN'T MESSING WITH FR. EFREN
In August of 2014, I received a letter in support of Fr. Efren Adversario. It was written by a Fr. Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C. whom Fr. Efren had met while serving as a military chaplain. I published the letter here.
Since then, many have wondered why Fr. Efren has been essentially left alone by the bullies on the hill despite his being outspoken about their crimes.
Today, I got a hint as to why, and also how Fr. Doyle ended up with Fr. Efren in the military.
In 1985, Fr. Doyle was part of three member team that was tasked to look into the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. The study by Doyle and the others was prompted by a serious sex abuse scandal that erupted in Lafayette, Louisiana in the mid-1980s.
1985 was nearly twenty years before the clergy sex abuse scandal exploded into the American consciousness, but in their report, Doyle and the others predicted that the abuse was so widespread and damaging that the church would eventually have to pay out billions (which it did).
However, it appears Doyle was a little too ahead of his time and his report exposed a bit more than the bishops wanted. In fact: A LOT MORE.
In 2012, Paul Rahe, a professor of history at Hillsdale College wrote that Doyle's report "spoke movingly about the long-term damage done those who were sexually abused as children; it argued for an immediate suspension of clergymen who were accused; and it urged the bishops to weed out from the seminaries those likely to engage in such misconduct."
He goes on: "Doyle hoped to have their report discussed in detail by the bishops at their annual conference, but (Cardinal Joseph) Bernardin’s boys at the NCCB saw to it that the report was tabled. Some months later, Father Peterson, who would die of AIDS in 1987, sent a copy to every bishop in the United States. He received no response. When Father Doyle insisted on pressing the issue, he was dropped by the Papal Nuncio and treated as persona non grata by the American bishops. He ended up in exile as a chaplain on a military base in Greenland, and the problem was hushed up."
Thirty years later, it can be said that Doyle and his team have been exonerated. But it is too late. Thousands of children have been mutilated for life because people like Doyle - even someone as credentialed as Doyle - were hushed up by bishops who were vested in protecting their network of seminary brothels and whorehouse rectories.
Seeing Doyle's name on my blog last year probably sent a shudder through the chancery and there was probably a quick memo to "leave Efren alone."
You will want to read the whole piece. But a warning. It is staggeringly sad.