Dozens of predator priests who were credibly accused of sexual abuse were sent by the Catholic Church to Mexico and other foreign countries where it would difficult for local authorities to find them, according to the Friendly Atheist.
The details were produced in a joint report from ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle:
ProPublica and the Chronicle analyzed lists published by 52 U.S. dioceses — encompassing the top 30 in terms of the number of credibly accused living clergy and those located in states along the U.S.-Mexico border. Reporters found 51 clergy who after allegations of abuse in the U.S. were able to work as priests or religious brothers in a host of countries, from Ireland to Nigeria to the Philippines. At least 40 had worked in U.S. states along the southern border, including 11 in Texas. No country was a more common destination than Mexico, where at least 21 credibly accused clergy found refuge.
Those priests also remain on the Church’s payroll, the Friendly Atheist noted.
Further, the investigation “found discrepancies between the Church’s statements about how they had no idea where certain accused priests were these days.”
“The omissions, inconsistencies and other shortcomings undercut the church’s professed desire to repair its relationship with millions of disaffected Catholics, said Anthony M. DeMarco, a California lawyer who has handled hundreds of child sex abuse cases,” the ProPublica/Chronicle report states.
“Every bit of hedging that they do to protect a pedophile just undermines completely any level of trust they’re trying to build,” DeMarco told the reporters.