Monday, April 05, 2010

The Fixer: How one Monk came to fight cover ups & child abuse in the Catholic Church

On Easter Sunday an acclaimed radio show called This American Life ran a moving and true story about a Monk who went from helping to cover up abuse by thousands of priests to helping lawyers for those abused find the secret files kept by the church on such cases. He is someone you should know.
Patrick Wall was a special kind of monk. He was a fixer. The Catholic church sent him to problem parishes where priests had been removed because of scandal. His job was to come in, keep events from going public and smooth things over until a permanent replacement priest was found. But after four different churches in four years, after covering up for pedophiles and adulterers and liars and embezzlers he decided to make a change. Carl Marziali tells his story. (21 minutes)
You can listen to this story on NPR at this link: The Enemy Within

You can also read Wall's book titled, Sex, Priests and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000 Year Old Paper Trail of Sex Abuse.

Meanwhile, on Easter Sunday, a senior Cardinal and friend of the Pope has rejected the abuse claims in Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Latin America and the
U.S. (1) as "petty gossip".

The BBC reports in that same story that the Pope

... has been accused personally of failing to take action against a suspected abuser during his tenure as archbishop of Munich - a claim the Vatican strongly denies.

Critics also say that when he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with sex abuse cases, he did not act against a priest in the US state of Wisconsin who is thought to have abused some 200 deaf boys.

Calls have gone up throughout the Catholic world for the Pope to resign.

My thoughts today are with all those who were hurt by those they trusted.

My thanks to Ira Glass and the staff at
This American Life. It is one of the best produced and most interesting show's you'll find. I recommend listening to their podcast.



(1) See
Abuse Claims by Country - Wikipedia

Related Articles

Review of Sex, Priests and Secret Codes at

She Who Watches

1 comment:

Hecate said...

Perfect. Thank you.