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'I Saw the [Catholic] Bishops Lie on the Stand' (former church insider helps sex abuse victims)
Associated Press ^ | 21 April 2002 | Collen Barry

Posted on 04/21/2002 7:49:19 AM PDT by SkyPilot

RAMSTEIN AB, Germany

Hundreds of alleged victims of clergy sex abuse might never have come forward if not for a former Roman Catholic insider who is now a military chaplain at Ramstein Air Base.

The Rev. Thomas Doyle once was a canon lawyer at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., and on the fast track to becoming a bishop.

But soon after the first major U.S. clergy scandal emerged in the late 1980's, Doyle says he saw a conflict between trying to protect the church and the victims--and sided with the victims.

Now he is one of the few priests committed to appearing as an expert witness for alleged abuse victims in civil court. He has consulted with hundreds of victims in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Britain, New Zealand and Australia, and testified in dozens of cases.

Victims' advocates hail him as a long-running hero. In public, church officials are gently critical of Dole, although sometimes there are private expressions of hostility.

Doyle, an American, insists his goal has always been to help the church become a better institution.

"I wasn't outspoken because I wanted to be a maverick," Doyle said in an interview at his apartment in southwestern Germany. "I found out the system didn't want to bear the truth. I was shocked."

When clerical sex abuse of minors first became an issue, Doyle worked at the embassy, where he administered the promotions of U.S. Bishops. He was smart and ambitious--with masters degrees in philosophy, political science, theology, and canon law.

In 1984, Doyle was asked to prepare a response to a letter from the vicar-general of Louisiana informing the embassy that the Rev. Gilbert Gauthe was accused of sexually abusing five children.

"At that time," Doyle said, "I was still trying to protect the institutional church at the same time as the victims."

The scandal at first appeared containable. Gauthe's diocese was negotiating settlements. But a week later, another letter arrived at the embassy: One of the families had pulled out and was filing a civil law suit.

The case became a watershed, marking the first time the U.S. church publicly confronted sex abuse of minors. Gauthe pleaded guilty to molesting 11 boys and admitted to victimizing dozens more.

Working with two other men, the Rev. Michael Peterson, a psychiatrist who has since died, and Gauthe attorney Ray Mouton, Doyle drafted a protocol intended to help the bishops deal with clergy abuse.

But, the 98-page manual describing a broad range of medical, legal, insurance, and pastoral issues was never formally adopted as the authors hoped, despite its initial backing from influential cardinals.

With his career stalled, Doyle joined the military in 1986 and turned his focus toward helping survivors of priest sex abuse.

Said Mouton: "I really believed in what we were doing. He believed in what we were doing."

"It was like the church said, 'You go walk point for us and find the enemy.' and we did, we found the enemy and radioed back, "The enemy is us.' And they called a strike in on us."

Survivors of clerical abuse say innumerable cases never would have been heard without Doyle.

A rugged and trim 57, Doyle is comfortable with his everyday life in the Air Force. He loves to fly airplanes, is a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association and is more at ease in military battle dress than a Roman collar.

"There is more integrity in the leadership of the military than in the Roman Catholic Church," he said. "An officer does not walk past a problem."

Doyle seems surprised the latest American scandals have led to next week's meeting with the pope, Vatican officials and U.S. cardinals. But in contrast to previous cases, he said, both the offenders and the superiors who protected them now are being held accountable.

"I was involved in all the big cases," Doyle said. "I saw the bishops lie on the stand. I saw the evidence, clear as a bell. But they survived. It's like the Teflon hierarchy. This time, it's different."

___________________________________________________


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; Germany; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: church; scandal; sexabuse
I know Tom, he is a helluva guy.
1 posted on 04/21/2002 7:49:19 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot
The truth is painful sometimes, but if the Church decides to attack this problem (which at this time they are not)the Church will:

1) come away repentant toward specific actions regarding the molestation of children.

2)Provide new policies that guarantee every allegation is turned over to civil law inforcement for a proper investigation

3)come away from this a stronger Church with renewed enthusiasm for Christ's and the Church's teachings.

2 posted on 04/21/2002 8:01:22 AM PDT by rbmillerjr
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To: SkyPilot
"There is more integrity in the leadership of the military than in the Roman Catholic Church," he said. "An officer does not walk past a problem."

Bishops and Cardinals are, first and foremost, politicians. That's how you claw your way up the ladder in a bureaucracy.

3 posted on 04/21/2002 8:03:25 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: SkyPilot
Any priest with an advanced canon law degree is a potential bishop. I've seen Doyle on MEET THE PRESS and a couple of cable shows, and he is definitely not going to tow anybody's party line, especially when he knows it ain't the truth.

He is very comfortable doing what he's doing, and the fact that the hierarchy condemns him in public must give him a great deal of solace.

Doyle knows where all the bodies are buried and how much more lies beneath the surface.

4 posted on 04/21/2002 8:17:36 AM PDT by sinkspur
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To: sinkspur
He is very comfortable doing what he's doing, and the fact that the hierarchy condemns
him in public must give him a great deal of solace.


I saw Doyle in an NBC DateLine report on the current crisis on Friday night.
Too bad he isn't running at least whatever part of the Catholic Church should
be protecting the innocents from the priests who have gone bad.

(Full disclosure: I'm not Catholic...and I feel for the average Catholic parishioner during
the current events...I just hope justice will be done fairly.)
5 posted on 04/21/2002 8:33:17 AM PDT by VOA
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To: SkyPilot
Bully for Father Doyle.
6 posted on 04/21/2002 8:45:29 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: sinkspur; SMEDLEYBUTLER, VOA
Thanks - I will pass that on to Tom.

He did the Dateline interview in Boston about a month ago.

I have passed on some of what you discuss here on FreeRepublic. He was very interested, especially in some of your thoughts sinkspur.

7 posted on 04/21/2002 9:15:02 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot
I know Tom, he is a helluva guy.

Thanks for the comment.
As I watched him on DateLine, I kept waiting for "the other shoe to fall" in which
NBC would air some discrediting information about Doyle...but seems they
didn't find anything damaging enough to reveal.

I don't ask priests/clergy to be perfect, just fairly honest and real as humans.
Doyle struck me as that sort.
And the type of person who hasn't forgotten the verities about "the truth shall set you free"
and about the proper use of a millstone and the ocean for those who would abuse
children and young adults.

I hope Doyle keeps the faith. He is on a great crusade.
8 posted on 04/21/2002 10:19:56 AM PDT by VOA
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To: SkyPilot
>There is more integrity in the leadership of the military than in the Roman Catholic Church," he said.

Come on...He may indeed be a great guy, but I'd bet he'd like to take back this howler. Just think about the actions of the military during the Clinton administration, for starters....

9 posted on 04/21/2002 11:57:31 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
I mean, wasn't ol' Bubba, his ownself,"Commander in Chief?"
10 posted on 04/21/2002 11:59:51 AM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: SkyPilot
In 1984, Doyle was asked to prepare a response to a letter from the vicar-general of Louisiana informing the embassy that the Rev. Gilbert Gauthe was accused of sexually abusing five children.
"At that time," Doyle said, "I was still trying to protect the institutional church at the same time as the victims."...
The case became a watershed, marking the first time the U.S. church publicly confronted sex abuse of minors. Gauthe pleaded guilty to molesting 11 boys and admitted to victimizing dozens more.

I wonder why the article does NOT mention that the former Fr. Gauthe is sitting in Angola Prison in LA right now. When he comes up for parole, the liberal nuns argue for his release. His fellow priests always go to the Parole Board and argue AGAINST it!

11 posted on 04/21/2002 12:15:07 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Catholicguy
Are you really blaming the US Military for Clintoon?

This should be interesting.

I am going to stand w a y over there for awhile...(Now where did I put those earplugs...)

12 posted on 04/21/2002 12:19:17 PM PDT by ventana
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To: Catholicguy
Clinton never represented integrity, or the military--ever.


13 posted on 04/21/2002 12:31:57 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Lemonhead
How much of this stuff is going on in the other religions?

I don't know. All humans are fallen creatures and sinful. We ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If it wasn't so serious, God's son would not have had to endure torture and death to save the human race.

But, I believe it was Father McBrien who said that the priesthood served as a "cover" for many homosexuals. Two reasons--

1. Some thought celibacy would "cure" them of their lust towards other men and boys

2. The priestly vow of celibacy was an easy answer for questions as to their status: Question: "Why are you not married?"---answer - "Oh, I am studying to be a priest."

"Oh--OK--that makes sense."

Again, the above was offered by a priest.

15 posted on 04/21/2002 12:43:30 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: SkyPilot
Agreed. That is why I suggested the gentleman might want to take back his remark regarding integrity and the military being superior to the church
17 posted on 04/21/2002 12:54:22 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: ventana
Are you really blaming the US Military for Clintoon?

No. I was citing the fact that Clintoon was the Commander in Chief, rendering the gentleman's point about the superiority of the military and its refusal to "walk past a problem" a howler.

18 posted on 04/21/2002 12:59:03 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Lemonhead
How much of this stuff is going on in the other religions?

It goes on in all religions.

Baptist congregations typically strip their pastors of their positions immediately upon learning of any credible accusations of any kind of abuse, and the Southern Baptist Convention kickes them out of the convention.

Abusers are everywhere. How they're handled sends a signal to the perps and victims alike.

19 posted on 04/21/2002 1:01:46 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: Lemonhead
I was driving by a Protestant Church and a women was walking in with a very provocative outfit and I said to myself, "What the heck is she after?" Probably some action with the minister no doubt.

This is a bizarre statement.

And, if the minister had done something, would it have been the woman's fault?

20 posted on 04/21/2002 1:03:48 PM PDT by sinkspur
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Catholicguy
Oh I get it now. You are saying the Military could have done something about Clintoon, so they failed to "walk past the problem"

......(Flac helmet, Flac helmet, I know I had one around here somewhere)...

22 posted on 04/21/2002 1:07:53 PM PDT by ventana
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: sinkspur
"Abusers are everywhere. How they're handled sends a signal to the perps and victims alike." - sinkspur

Exactly. My problem isn't with these nutcake predatory creeps who seem to have have taken over the US RC priesthood in the US, it's with the US BISHOPS, like Cardinal Law, who have actively worked to ennable & protect all these bogus "priests" pursuing their decadent lifestyles on the rank & file Catholic's hard earned dime- via the weekly collection basket. Get these weirdo sleaze-bucket predators, & their apologists & ennablers, OUT OF THE CHURCH, ...NOW!!!!!

24 posted on 04/21/2002 1:29:35 PM PDT by leilani
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To: Lemonhead
Another poster on FR the other day said that in the Protestant denomiations, the married ministers work their way through all of the women in the church and then they are moved on to another church.

Well, that's as stupid as portraying all Catholic priests as pederasts.

25 posted on 04/21/2002 1:32:16 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: Lemonhead
That sounds highly dubious as a common occurence. Note however that there is not an allegation of sex crimes. If there are no sex crimes, it ceases to be a matter for the public square in my opinion, and becames a matter for the religion to work out internally.
26 posted on 04/21/2002 1:54:19 PM PDT by Torie
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To: ventana
Oh I get it now. You are saying the Military could have done something about Clintoon, so they failed to "walk past the problem" ......(Flac helmet, Flac helmet, I know I had one around here somewhere)...

Actually, yes. That is what I am saying. Imagine for a moment what would have happened if some military officers refused to bomb that pharmacy to distract from the Lewinsky matter? What if some military officers refused to lie and cover-up the deaths with the lie that pharmacy was actually making weapons?

The military is not superior to the Catholic Church and military officers do, frequently, "walk past problems."

27 posted on 04/21/2002 2:06:19 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
The military is not superior to the Catholic Church and military officers do, frequently, "walk past problems."

I suspect most American Catholics would disagree with you about that, at this point in time.

28 posted on 04/21/2002 2:09:55 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: SkyPilot
Clinton appears to be giving the finger during his salute. That's probably a figment of the angle of the photograph. But, isn't he also gripping something between the thumb and the forefinger of his saluting hand? I know you are technically not supposed to return salutes if you are not in uniform which Ronald Reagan (I believe) was the first president to ignore. Now, presidents routinely return salutes (I believe Bush does this). But saluting with something in your hand?
29 posted on 04/21/2002 2:17:22 PM PDT by Irene Adler
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To: sinkspur
I suspect most American Catholics would disagree with you about that, at this point in time.

Agreed. But, imagine if journalists were to collect incidences of when military officers did "walk past problems." Then, imagine a lengthy series of articles for several moneths detailing these incidences. Imagine endless editorialising about the incidences of "walking past the problem."

After several months, the vast majority of American Catholics would agree with me. And, after all, that is what truly matters - not objective truth, but that others agree with me.

30 posted on 04/21/2002 2:31:21 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: SkyPilot
I used to have some social contact with Fr. Doyle as well -- doubt he remembers. I was not a Catholic then, and a lot of this sort of thing was keeping me out of the Church at the time. But I was impressed with him and wished all priests were as straightforward(heck -- as straight!) as he.
31 posted on 04/21/2002 5:09:42 PM PDT by Temple Drake
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