Received from Tom Doyle via email, 3.3.2008
NOTE: Minor re-formatting of the cover page was required to accommodate the difference between the MS Word version of the affidavit and the formatting requirements of the WordPress editor used by this blog.
* * *
CAUSE NO. 2006CI09725
IN THE DISTRICT COURT
408th JUDICIAL DISTRICT
BEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS
MISSIONARY OBLATES OF MARY
IMMACULATE, FATHER THOMAS
OVALLE, O.M.I IN HIS OFFICIAL
CAPACITY AS COUNCILOR,
SOUTHWEST AREA, OF THE
MISSIONARY OBLATES OF MARY
IMMACULATE, HIS PREDECESSOR
AND SUCCESSORS, AND FATHER
ANTONIO “TONY” GONZALES,
AFFIDAVIT OF THOMAS P. DOYLE, O.P., J.C.D., C.A.D.C.
§ KNOW BY ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:
COUNTY OF _____________ §
On this day personally appeared before me Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., J.C.D., C.A.D.C., the person known to me, who being duly sworn, states as follows:
“My name is Thomas Patrick Doyle. I am over the age of twenty-one (21) years. I have never been convicted of a felony and I am competent to testify to the truth of the matters stated herein. I have personal knowledge of the matters stated herein and know such matters to be true and correct.”
1. My name is Father Thomas Patrick Doyle. I am an ordained Catholic priest in the Dominican Order. I was ordained a Catholic priest in 1970. I also served as an officer in the United States Air Force from 1986 until 2004. I currently reside in
2. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the Aquinas Institute of Philosophy in
3. I have held several part-time academic positions from 1974 through 1995. These have included Visiting Lecturer in Canon Law at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois from 1979-1981; Visiting Lecturer in Canon Law, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. from 1981-1986; and faculty member, Midwestern Tribunal Institute, Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois from 1979-1986. In addition, I have served as a part-time Tribunal Judge for the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania from 1986-1990, for the Diocese of Pensacola/Tallahassee and the Archdiocese of Military Services from 1993-1995, and the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana from 1991-1993.
4. I have extensive experience serving as Advocate, Defender of the Bond, and Tribunal Judge for Marriage Tribunals within the Catholic Church. Following my first assignment as a parochial assistant priest at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in
4.Advocate and Defender of the Bond in the Matrimonial Tribunal for the Archdiocese of Chicago. I held this position from 1974-1978. In 1978 I became Tribunal Judge in the Matrimonial Tribunal for the Archdiocese of Chicago. I held this assignment from 1978-1981. From 1986-1990 I served as Tribunal Judge and Special Assistant to the Archbishop, Archdiocese for Military Services,
5. In addition to teaching and administrative work, I have also written several books and articles on a variety of subjects related to Canon Law. Included are one book, several articles and contributions to books on subjects directly related to clergy sexual abuse. A complete list of my publications can be found in my curriculum vitae.
6. I continued to do parish work on weekends until I entered the military in 1986. I served as a reserve chaplain with several active duty assignments until 1990 when I became a full-time active duty officer and chaplain. I have held the following permanent assignments: 1990-1993, Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana; 1993-1995, Hurlburt Field, Florida; 1995-1997, Lajes Field, Azores; 1997-2001, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma; 2001-2003, Ramstein Air Base, Germany; and 2003 to 2004, Seymour Johnson Air Force base, North Carolina. I have also been deployed to Operation Joint Forge, Operation Southern Watch and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE CASES
7. From the fall of 1981-1986 I served as secretary and Canon Lawyer on the staff of the Vatican Embassy in
8. My major involvement in clergy sexual abuse cases began in June 1984 concerning the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana where Fr. Gilbert Gauthe had been accused of sexually abusing a number of minor boys. The publicity generated from this case involving minor victims had also provoked revelations of widespread clergy sexual abuse in several other Catholic dioceses. As the situation became public, additional similar incidents around the
9. I have testified as an expert witness and consultant in clergy sexual abuse cases since 1988 and have studied documentation in cases of approximately 190 of the 195 Catholic dioceses in the
10. I have worked extensively with clergy sexual abuse victims of both sexes ranging in age from nine to 92 years of age. I have provided pastoral care to their families, including parents, spouses and children. I have also worked as a canonical consultant with dioceses and Religious Orders, giving presentations and lectures and developing policies and procedures in this area as well as assisting numerous dioceses in the
11. In preparation for this affidavit, I have reviewed extensive files provided by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. I have reviewed the Plaintiff’s Third Amended Petition. I have also reviewed depositions from the following people: Rycke Marshall, Bishop Michael Pfeifer, Gerry Weber, OMI, Thomas Ovalle, OMI, Betty Swinners and Benita Reina Swinners, Maria Rodriguez and Antonio Gonzales.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF CHURCH AWARENESS OF SEXUAL ABUSE
12. In his deposition given in this case, Bishop Michael Pfeifer, now bishop of
13. The Catholic Church was officially recognized as the state religion by Emperor Constantine in the early 4th century. With this recognition the religious leaders, soon to be known as the “clergy,” gradually evolved into a separate, privileged class, the most exalted members of which were the bishops. Although celibacy did not become a universally mandated state for clerics of the western Church until the 12th century (2nd Lateran Council, 1139), various church leaders began to advocate it by the 4th century. The earliest recorded church legislation is from the council of Elvira (
14. Other gatherings of bishops throughout the Christian world, which encompassed what is now
15. The Catholic Church is organized in geographic regions known as dioceses, from a Greek word meaning a “group.” The term was common from the 4th century. The head of a diocese has traditionally been a bishop. Early church legislation was passed by individual bishops for their own territory but the more important legislation with lasting historical impact was that passed by groups of bishops who gathered at periodic meetings known as councils or synods which were generally named after the place where they occurred. Laws were passed throughout the Christian world forbidding illicit sexual activity by the clergy. These laws, whether the product of individual bishops or groups, did not need the approval of the papacy.
16. By the 9th century collections of the growing mass of legislation began to appear. These were unofficial and generally poorly organized attempts at putting at least some of the known legislation in the same place. Several of the more prominent and complete collections have survived as essential sources for the study of the development not only of church law but of the Christian life in general. The first truly systematic collection was produced by the monk Gratian in 1140. Known as the Concordance of Discordant Canons or more commonly as Gratian’s Decree, it consisted of a wide spectrum of texts arranged in a dialectic method with Gratian’s own opinions added. Though never officially approved, Gratian’s decree became the most important resource for the history of Canon Law. Following the medieval period, the major legislative sources were the popes themselves and the general or ecumenical councils, the most recent of which was Vatican II (1962-65).
17. The practice of individual confession of sins to a priest started in the Irish monasteries in the late sixth century. With individual confession came the Penitential Books, another valuable source for church history. These were unofficial manuals drawn up by various monks to assist in their private counseling with penitents in confession. These books listed the various and sundry acts which the church considered sinful and provided guidance on the acceptable penance to be imposed. The Penitentials provide a vivid glimpse into the darker side of Christian life at the time. Though it is not known exactly how many such books were written, the more prominent ones have been preserved, studied and translated.
18. Several of the Penitentials refer to sexual crimes committed by clerics against young boys and girls. The Penitential of Bede (
19. The most dramatic and explicit condemnation of forbidden clergy sexual activity was the Book of Gomorrah of St. Peter Damian, completed in 1051. The author had been a Benedictine monk and was appointed archbishop and later cardinal by the reigning pope. Peter Damian was also a dedicated Church reformer who lived in a society wherein clerical decadence was not only widespread and publicly known, but generally accepted as the norm. His work, the circumstances that prompted it and the reaction of the reigning pope (Leo IX) are a prophetic reflection of the contemporary situation.
20. Peter Damian begins by singling out superiors who, prompted by excessive and misplaced piety, failed to exclude sodomites (chap. 2). He asserts that those given to “unclean acts” not be ordained or, if they are already ordained, be dismissed from Holy Orders (chap. 3). He holds special contempt for those who defile men or boys who come to them for confession (chap. 6). Likewise he condemns clerics who administer the sacrament of penance (confession) to their victims (chap. 7). The author also provides a refutation of the canonical sources used by offending clerics to justify their proclivities (chap. 11, 12). He also provides chapters which assess the damage done to the church by offending clerics (chap. 19, 20, 21). His final chapter is an appeal to the reigning pope (Leo IX) to take action.
21. The pope’s response, included in the cited edition, is an example of inaction similar to that of contemporary church leaders. Pope Leo praised Peter Damian and verified the truth of his findings and recommendations. Yet he considerably softened the reformer’s urging that decisive action be taken to root offenders from the ranks of the clergy. The pope decided to exclude only those who had offended repeatedly and over a long period of time. Although Peter Damian had paid significant attention to the impact of the offending clerics on their victims, the Pope made no mention of this but focused only on the sinfulness of the clerics and their need to repent.
22. The repeated violations of clerical celibacy were amply documented in the canonical collections of the medieval period. The most authoritative source is the Decree of Gratian already mentioned. Though mandatory celibacy had been decreed by the 2nd Lateran Council in 1139, this law was received with neither universal acceptance nor obedience. Medieval scholars attest that clerical concubinage was commonplace. Adultery, casual sex with unmarried women and homosexual relationships were rampant. Gratian devoted entire sections to disciplinary legislation which attempted to curb all of these vices. He demanded that the punishment for sexual transgressions be more severe for clerics than for lay men. His treatment of same-sex activities was less extensive than that of other celibacy violations, yet his attitude is evident because he cited the ancient Roman law opinion that stuprum pueri, the sexual violation of young boys, be punished by death.
23. From the 4th century to the end of the medieval period it is clear that violations of clerical celibacy were commonplace, expected by the laity and highly resistant to official disciplinary attempts to curb and eliminate them. Referring to concubinage for example, one noted scholar said:
From the repeated strictures against clerical incontinence by provincial synods of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, one may surmise that celibacy remained a remote and only defectively realized ideal in the Latin West. In
24. Clerical sodomy continued to be a known problem though it did not attract as much legislative attention as clerical concubinage, quite possibly because of the ongoing attempts to eliminate clergy marriages. The 4th Lateran Council (1215) repeated the previous council’s condemnation of celibacy violations. It added, however, a specific mention of homosexual sex by clerics and decreed that those found guilty of this transgression were either to be dismissed from the clerical state or confined to a monastery for life. The former amounted to social exile and the latter to imprisonment.
25. The documentation from the medieval period indicates that although homosexual liaisons were not uncommon among the secular or diocesan clergy, most celibacy violations involved heterosexual forms of abuse. Illicit sexual activity by monks was another matter. Although concubinage and even illicit marriages occurred among the monks, the fact that they took vows of chastity precluding marriage and lived a common life theoretically isolated from women meant that their sexual outlets would be considerably restricted. The monks became known for the frequency of homosexual activity especially with young boys. Many monasteries passed local regulations in attempts to curb the rampant abuses. In his Rule, Benedict commanded that no two monks were to sleep in the same bed. Night lights were to be kept burning and the monks were to sleep clothed. Many monasteries enacted their own rules forbidding various kinds of sexual behavior and added punishments that were often more severe than those meted out to the secular clerics. So common was clerical same-sex activity that some scholars have concluded that homosexual relationships were commonly associated with the clergy.
26. There are two aspects of the ecclesiastical legislation and overall attitude toward clerical sexual activity that stand in marked contrast to the contemporary period. The first is the documented fact that in addition to a stringent admonition by Peter Damian in the Book of Gomorrah, at least two general or ecumenical councils took direct aim at church leaders who supported errant clerics by their failure to take decisive action. The 4th Lateran Council (1215) and the Council of Basle (1449) both recognized the fact that curbing the vices depended on cooperative superiors. The canon from the Lateran Council is succinct:
Prelates who dare support such in their iniquities, especially in view of money or other temporal advantages, shall be subject to a like punishment.
27. The other unique feature of this period is the collaboration of the church with secular authorities in the enforcement of ecclesiastical laws. The Catholic Church was the only Christian denomination and the dominant social force in the medieval period. Separation of church and state was unheard of, which meant that the boundaries between secular and religious were often blurred. Church authorities considered celibacy violations to be more than a purely religious matter. They caused some degree of scandal and therefore were a matter of public interest. To enhance the opprobrium, the church often tried accused clerics in the ecclesiastical tribunals and then turned them over to secular authorities for additional prosecution and punishment. Penalties were harsh and sometimes included execution.
28. No prior reform movement in the Catholic Church had an impact equal the 16th century Protestant Reformation. The reformers were concerned about a number of problems they saw with the Catholic Church, sexual abuses among them:
The sexual habits of the Roman Catholic clergy, according to reformers, were a sewer of iniquity, a scandal to the laity, and a threat of damnation to the clergy themselves.
29. In spite of attempts to propagate revisionist versions of the Reformation, the Church’s primary reaction, the ecumenical Council of Trent (1545-1563), was itself proof of the deeply entrenched and wide-ranging corruption in the Church. Secular princes had urged a reforming council but the popes resisted until 1545 when Pope Paul II summoned one to be held in the Italian city of
30. The reaffirmation of clerical celibacy did not conclude without strong opposition from a significant number of bishops who argued that mandatory celibacy was simply not working and accomplished no more than denying priests’ “wives” and children a share in their estates. A canon was proposed which would have permitted marriage for clergy but this was rejected and mandatory celibacy re-enforced. The canon upholding celibacy was followed by one which extolled it as superior to marriage:
If anyone says that the married state excels the state of virginity or celibacy, and that it is better and happier to be united in matrimony than to remain in virginity or celibacy, let him be anathema.
31. In spite of the reforming legislation and the establishment of mandatory seminary training, education and formation for priests, the bishops at
32. Two years later the same pope apparently found it necessary to issue another condemnation of clerical sodomy. The constitution Horrendum specifically named clerics who committed “the sin against nature which incurred God’s wrath” (“quae contra naturam est, propter quam ira Dei venit in filios diffidentiae.”) and stipulated that they be punished with deprivation of income, suspension from all offices and dignities and in some cases, degradation.
33. Summarizing the medieval period, it is clear that the bishops were not as preoccupied with secrecy as they are today. Clergy sexual abuse of all kinds was apparently well known by the public, the clergy and secular law enforcement authorities. There was a constant stream of disciplinary legislation from the church but none of it was successful in changing clergy behavior. In spite of a millennium of failure, the popes and bishops never gave serious thought to the viability of mandatory celibacy. The variety of spiritual punishments was joined, in the later period, with severe corporal penalties, inflicted by secular authorities. Finally, and most important, at certain periods, church authorities recognized that the problem was not only dysfunctional clerics, but irresponsible leadership.
SOLICITATION IN THE CONFESSIONAL
34. Individual confession of sins by a Catholic to a priest began in the 6th century. Annual confession became mandatory with the Council of Trent. Also, the spirituality of the time prompted many people to go to confession regularly. For some this meant weekly or even daily. By the 17th century the papacy recognized that some priests were using the sacrament of Penance, commonly known as confession, as a way to solicit sex from penitents. The Pope and various regional bishops issued a series of disciplinary laws against solicitation, beginning in 1561 and extending to 2001. Papal laws were promulgated in 1561, 1622, 1741, 1917, 1922, 1962, 1983 and 2001.
35. In addition to the legislation itself, the church courts prosecuted individual cases in great numbers. The most complete records have been found in the Spanish and Mexican tribunals and reveal a shockingly high volume of complaints from women and men, accusing priests of solicitation and sexual abuse in a variety of forms. The most complete study of cases from the Spanish tribunals revealed that between 1723 and 1820, 3775 cases were completed and sentences handed down. The author concluded that this number represents a small portion of the actual cases in that it reflects only those completed and not the total number started and later abandoned.
36. Clergy sexual abuse has been enshrouded in a culture of deep secrecy since the mid-nineteenth century and possibly earlier. It appears that the obligation of secrecy concerning clergy sexual abuse cases was imposed by Pope Pius IX in 1866. The official document that imposes the secrecy was published on
Par.14. In handling these cases, either by Apostolic commission or the appropriate ruling of the Bishops, the greatest care and vigilance must be exercised so that these procedures, inasmuch as they pertain to [matters of] faith, are to be completed in absolute secrecy, and after they have been settled and given over to sentencing, are to be completely suppressed by perpetual silence. All the ecclesiastic ministers of the curia [court], and whoever else is summoned to the proceedings, including counsels for the defense, must submit oaths of maintaining secrecy, and even the Bishops themselves and any of the local Ordinaries are obligated to keep the secret. 
37. After the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law in 1917, the
38. The 1922 procedural norms, sent by the
a. Jurisdiction: Local ordinaries (bishops and heads of religious orders) have the right to process cases included in this document. However, they retain the option of sending such cases to the
b. Secrecy–officials: Tribunal and other church personnel who are involved in processing cases are obliged to maintain total and perpetual secrecy and are bound by the church’s highest degree of confidentiality, known as the Secret of the Holy Office. Those who violate this secrecy are automatically excommunicated and the absolution or lifting of this excommunication is reserved to the pope himself.
c. Secrecy-parties and witnesses: Even the accuser and witnesses are obliged to take the oath of secrecy. The penalty of automatic excommunication is not attached to the violation of the oath. However the official conducting the prosecution can, in individual cases, threaten accusers and witnesses with automatic excommunication for breaking the secret.
d. Anonymous denunciations. Anonymous accusations are not automatically ruled out though they are generally to be rejected. They are to be considered and acted upon if circumstances require and if there appears to be some semblance of veracity to the accusation.
e. Other sex crimes. Title V of the document specifically included homosexual acts between clerics and members of their own sex, bestiality and sexual acts of any kind with children. The document uses the Latin word “impuberibus,” which means “before the age of reason.” This is defined in canon 88 as one who is seven or under. The Code also contains a canon prohibiting sex with minors which is defined in canon law as or under. A careful reading of the relevant paragraphs of the 1962 document (par. 71-73) leads to some confusion as to whom the crimes apply to. It is clear that sex with children is included and sex with males of any age, as well as sex with animals. The only category of possible victims that is unclear is sex with young girls.
39. In 1962 Pope John XXIII approved the publication of renewed special procedural norms for processing solicitation cases. Like the 1922 document, this document was buried in the deepest secrecy. Although it was promulgated in the ordinary manner and then printed and distributed by the
40. The other sex crimes included under Title V are not crimes connected with solicitation but the actual sexual abuse itself. These are to be processed in the same manner as crimes of solicitation. Thus, the three classes of clergy sexual abuse were cloaked in the highest degree of secrecy. Little was known about either the 1922 or 1962 documents until reference to the 1962 document, commonly known by its Latin name Crimen sollicitationis, was included in a 2001 Letter sent to all bishops from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on more grave crimes reserved for consideration to that same Vatican office.
41. The 1962 document was issued prior to the promulgation of the revised Code of Canon law in 1983 and therefore would, under ordinary circumstances, have lost its legal force. The recent letter however clearly indicates that it had been in force until May of 2001.
42. The 1922 and 1962 documents are significant because they reflect the institutional church’s urgent desire to maintain the highest degree of secrecy and strictest degree of security about sexual crimes perpetrated by clerics.
43. The public exposure of clergy sexual abuse of youth which began in the mid-eighties was misrepresented by some and mistakenly believed by many to be a new phenomenon which of course it is not. In spite of a series of high profile cases from around the world, the
44. The 2001 document reflects much that is found in the 1962 procedural norms. There are significant developments however:
a. The bishop or other superior is obliged to send the results of the preliminary investigation of an allegation of sexual abuse to the
b. The canonical age of a minor was raised from 16 to 18.
c. The statute of limitations was extended to 10 years. In the case of sexual abuse of a minor, this time begins to run from the victim’s 18th birthday.
d. All officials involved in processing cases must be priests.
e. Files of cases completed on the local levels are to be sent to the
f. The Pontifical Secret, formerly known as the Secret of the Holy Office, is imposed on all officials connected to any cases. No mention is made of imposing the secret on accusers or witnesses.
There is no mention of reporting such cases to civil authorities.
45. Clergy sexual abuse was unknown by the vast majority of Catholics and the general public until a series of revelations took place beginning in 1984 in the United States and in 1988 in Newfoundland in Canada. The culture of secrecy was enabled by the official policy of the
46. The Contemporary Era. In our contemporary era popes and bishops have been aware of clergy sexual abuse even though the general public has not been aware of this dimension of church life. The revelation of 1984 in the
47. In 1946 Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, a
48. The following is a chronological listing of some of Fr. Gerald’s letters:
1952: To Bishop Robert Dwyer of
1957: To Bishop Matthew Brady of Manchester, New Hampshire on September 26, 1957: ‘From our long experience with characters of this type, and without passing judgment on the individual, most of these men would be clinically classified as schizophrenic. Their repentance and amendment are superficial and, if not formally at least subconsciously, is motivated by desire to be again in a position where they can continue their wonted activity. A new diocese means only green pastures.”
1957: To Archbishop Edwin Byrne of
1960: In a letter to the superior of a religious order, Fr. wrote: “Father, in God’s name, get this man laicized as quickly as possible. This extreme type will never be converted…Men who sin with little children certainly fall under the classification of those who it were better had they not been born. (
1961: To Bishop Ernest Primeau of
1962: Fr. Gerald had been in communication with the Congregation of the Holy Office, now known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. At the request of the prefect, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, he prepared a report dated
1963: Fr. Fitzgerald addressed a letter to Bishop Vincent Hines of
1963: Fr. Gerald had a private audience with Pope Paul VI (1963-1978) and on
1964: In 1964 Fr. Fitzgerald wrote to Bishop Joseph Durick of
49. Fr. Gerald retained his opposition to providing hospitality and help to priests who sexually abused minors. Although the documentation clearly points to the fact that he attempted to treat such priests sent by bishops, he also continued his search for a solution to these problems. In addition to his constant commitment to laicization, even if against the priest’s will, he also had a plan to set up a retreat on a remote island in the Caribbean in which he would house such priests for the remainder of their lives. He mentions this idea in a letter written in 1957 to Archbishop Byrne, his ecclesiastical sponsor and co-founder of the Paracletes:
“May I beg your Excellency to concur and approve of what I consider a very vital decision on our part – that we will not offer hospitality to men who have seduced or attempted to seduce little boys or girls. These men Your Excellency are devils and the wrath of God is upon them and if I were a bishops I would tremble when I failed to report them to Rome for involuntary laicization….It is for this class of rattlesnake I have always wished the island retreat – but even an island is too good for these vipers of whom the Gentle master said – it were better they had not been born – this is an indirect way of saying damned, is it not? When I see the Holy Father I am going to speak of this class to his Holiness.”
50. There are other sources that demonstrate that the problem was not unknown or non-existent to the Catholic hierarchy from the mid-forties to the present.
1961: The Sacred Congregation for Religious issued an official document entitled, “Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders,”
1966: Bishop Schenk of
1966: A workshop for psychologists engaged in the assessment of candidates for the priesthood and religious life was held at the
1966 Southdown, a treatment center for Catholic clergy, opened in a
1967: The first public discussion of priest who sexual abuse minors took place at a meeting sponsored by the National Association for Pastoral Renewal held on the campus of
1967: A priest named Fr. Rucker of
1971: Dr. Conrad Baars and Dr. Anna Terruwe presented a scholarly paper to the 1971 Synod of Bishops at the
1972: Dr. Eugene Kennedy Dr. Victor Heckler published a psychological study of
7% psychologically and emotionally developed
18% psychologically and emotionally developing
Kennedy and Heckler stated that the underdeveloped and maldeveloped priests (74%) had not resolved psychosexual problems and issues usually worked through in adolescence. “Sexuality is, in other words, non-integrated into the lives of underdeveloped priests and many of them function at a pre-adolescent or adolescent level of psychosexual growth.”
1975: The Archdiocese of Los Angeles received the first of a series of complaints about sexual misconduct with minors by Fr. Eleutario (Al) Ramos who died in 2004.
1981: Fr. Michael Andre Moody, a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California was convicted (
1981: Fr. Donald Roemer of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was charged with a felony and pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor. The case received widespread media coverage.
1981 St. Luke Institute opens in
1981: The summer edition of The Catholic Lawyer, the official publication of the Association of Diocesan Attorneys, published an article by Edward D. Holtz, General Counsel of the Archdiocese of Omaha, entitled “Diocesan Liability for Negligence of a Priest.”
1982: Bishop Joseph Madera held a mandatory educational meeting for all of the clergy of the Diocese of Fresno, California at which legal, psychological and pastoral experts discussed clergy sexual abuse. This workshop followed upon the arrest of a priest in the diocese for sexual abuse.
1983: The revised Code of Canon Law was promulgated, which included a canon (1395, 2) which explicitly named sex with a minor by clerics as a canonical crime.
1984: “Respondeat Superior – Diocesan Liability for the Torts of its priests,” was presented as a paper by Bob Gibbons at the annual meeting of the Texas Catholic Conference (September, 1984). The paper discussed cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors.
1984: The Times of Acadiana published a series of articles by Jason Berry exposing the mishandling of the case of Fr. Gilbert Gauthe in
1985: In January Rev. Mel Balthazar was sentenced to seven years for child molestation in a
1985: February, 1985 – Fr. John Salazar of
1985: In May a comprehensive report entitled The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy: Meeting the Problem in a Comprehensive and Responsible Manner, commonly known as “The Manual” was written by Michael Peterson, Thomas Doyle and F. Ray Mouton. The 100 page detailed handbook was prepared on the initiative of the three authors with the support and input of a number of influential bishops. The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, though aware of the manual, dismissed it as unnecessary, claiming that it already possessed all the data contained in it and had policies and procedures in place by 1985.
1986: Dr. Jay Feierman, a psychiatrist formerly associated with the Paraclete Fathers, testified that he had treated over 600 priests for sexual problems over the previous ten years at the Paraclete facility in
1986: The Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) sponsored a conference in
51. The bishops of the
52. From the late 19th century into the early 21st century the church’s leadership on all levels has adopted a position of secrecy and silence. They have denied the predictability of clergy sexual abuse in one form or another and have claimed that this is a phenomenon new to the post-Vatican II era. The recently published reports of the U.S. Bishops’ National Review Board and John Jay College Survey have confirmed the fact of known clergy sexual abuse since the 1950’s and the church leadership’s consistent mishandling of individual cases. The bishops of the United States were no doubt aware of the general problem of sexual abuse by clerics based on the information provided them at various times over the years, such as the Eugene Kennedy study in 1972 and the Conrad Baars study in 1971. Although this data
52.pertains primarily to the Church in the
53. Summarily, considering the above, in spite of claims to the contrary, the canonical history and the institutional practices of the Catholic Church clearly reflect a consistent pattern of awareness that celibate clergy regularly violated their obligations in a variety of ways but especially by sexually harassing and abusing minors and even vulnerable adults. The fact of clergy abuse with members of the same sex and with females has been extensively documented for centuries. At certain periods of church history, clergy sexual abuse was publicly known and publicly acknowledged by church leaders. From the late 19th century into the early 21st century, the church’s leadership has adopted a position of secrecy and silence. This obligation of secrecy, explicitly mandated by the official documents issued in 1922, 1962 and 2001 (mentioned above in par. 19) was promulgated as official policy in 1866 in a
54. Any attempt, official or otherwise, to deny the predictability of clergy sexual abuse in one form or another and claim that this is a phenomenon new to the post-Vatican II era is defeated by the above-cited documentation but also by the recent findings of the officially commissioned studies. The recently published reports of the Bishops’ National Review Board and John Jay College Survey (February 2004) have confirmed the existence of known clergy sexual abuse since the 1950’s and the church leadership’s consistent mishandling of individual cases. The John Jay report stated that there had been 4392 known clergy sexual abusers among
THE ROLE OF CANON LAW
55. It is relevant to review the role of Canon Law in this and similar cases of alleged sexual abuse by Catholic clerics. Canon Law is the name for the internal regulatory system of the Catholic Church. The word “canon” is derived from the Greek word kanon, which meant a rule or a straight line. Canon Law is the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the world. Its roots reach back to the 4th century when group of bishops in
56. The Church’s internal regulatory system is not a theological document nor is it an article of faith that must be believed by Catholics. It is a collection of internal rules, regulations and norms that give concrete shape to the institutional Church. It is true that certain of the individual laws or “canons” are directly or indirectly related to theological or religious concepts. This does not mean that the legal system itself is a catalogue of the religious beliefs of Catholics. The Code describes the various offices, bodies and internal political structures of the Catholic Church. It presents the duties, responsibilities and qualifications for the various offices and positions in the Church. It contains a section on procedural laws for settling disputes and providing due process. It contains a section of criminal behavior which lists certain actions that are considered church crimes.
57. The Code of Canon Law is not a substitute for the civil law systems of the various countries where the Church is established. It does not “trump” civil law. In fact, there are canons that stipulate that the civil laws are to be obeyed in all things that are not immoral or contrary to God’s law. Canon Law is used in civil cases to explain and clarify the various aspects about the Catholic Church. When it is presented in civil court the purpose is not to expect the civil judges to use it to interpret, apply, critique or explain civil law. Rather, the purpose is to assist in understanding how the institutional Church works. For example, Canon Law contains specific procedures that are mandatory for the investigation of reports of possible canonical crimes such as sexual abuse of minors by clergy. It also contains the basic requirements that bishops should look for in assigning priests to various posts. When the facts of a case are examined in civil court, Canon Law can be helpful to determine what the Church’s own internal expectations were of an office-holder in a given situation.
58. Sexual abuse of minors is listed as a canonical crime in the 1917 Code of Canon Law (canon 2359) and in the revised 1983 Code of Canon Law (canon 1395). Both Codes contain a mandatory procedure to be followed by a bishop or religious superior when he receives a report of suspected sexual abuse of a minor. This is known in both Codes as the Preliminary Investigation. It consists of an investigation conducted by the bishop or one appointed by him into the accusation and the proofs. The investigation is to be documented and the documentation or record kept in the secret archives. Once the bishop or religious superior reviews the results of the investigation, he makes the decision as to whether the evidence is such that either an administrative or judicial proceeding is to take place. Such a proceeding amounts to the prosecution of the case. In cases of alleged sexual abuse of a child, since the ultimate penalty can be dismissal from the clerical state, the only option available is a judicial trial. A bishop is forbidden by Canon Law from imposing a permanent suspension or dismissal by an administrative act. These can only be imposed following a canonical trial.
59. Between 1922 and 2001 the bishops were expected to follow the special norms issued in the
OPINIONS IN THIS CASE
60. The perpetrator in this case, Antonio Gonzales, was born in 1927. He was ordained a Catholic priest in the religious community known as the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate on
61. In between his ordination and his laicization, former Father Gonzales had a variety of assignments, including assignments as assistant pastor and pastor in parishes staffed by the Oblates in the
62. The documentation which I have studied provides a significant amount of information about Fr. Gonzales’ life while a member of the Oblate community. It contains information that indicates that the Oblates were aware of complaints about Gonzales’ sexual activities with young females as early as 1961. In fact, a letter points to a suspicion that they were aware even before that time. By 1963 his Provincial issued him a Canonical Warning giving notice of his sexual misconduct with females.
63. The documentation shows that Fr. Gonzales was sexually involved with at least four underage girls between the time of his ordination and his laicization. These are: Jane Doe 3, who was 14 when Gonzales began having sex with her (circa 1971); Jane Doe 2, who was also 14 when Gonzales began having sex with her (1973); Jane Doe 1, who was 15 when her sexual abuse began (1983) and Jane Doe 4, with whom he began a sexual relationship when she was 14 (1984). Gonzales himself was approximately 44 when he first sexually assaulted Jane Doe 3, 46 when he first sexually assaulted Jane Doe 2, 56 when he sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1 and 57 when he met and began having sex with Jane Doe 4.
64. The Oblates had notice of Gonzales’ particular immaturity at least by 1960 (cf Letter of Eduardo Martinez, OBL 0283). Throughout his years in active ministry, there were regular complaints about his questionable conduct as a priest. These included complaints about his involvement with social justice causes, his excessive drinking, his resistance to authority and his inability or unwillingness to relate well to people who didn’t do things his way. These complaints are not the subject of this case, however, although they do indicate an overall lack of maturity. This immaturity may have been the reason for his transfer from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in
65. NOTICE. The file contains a letter from William Hatten to Fr. Seidel, dated
a. Hatten talked to Fr. Knevelsberger. Fr. Knevelsberger said that he had heard the rumor at the county courthouse….that he had from time to time heard other rumors of indiscrete actions on the part of Fr. Gonzales.
b. Hatten met Nem J. Bryan, Deputy Sheriff of Cameron County…while she (Jane Doe 5) was sick. Fr. Gonzales would come to see her and then began to take her to church, the he would take her riding; that this led to a relationship with him and she was worried about it.
66. Mr. Hatten decided that deputy Bryan was not reliable: “My observation is that Nem Bryan is possessed of a vicious and most suspicious nature…There is no doubt in my mind that Nem Bryan is the perpetrator of the rumors concerning Fr. Gonzales.” He concluded his report by expressing the opinion that Gonzales was not the father of Jane Doe’s baby, but recommended that Gonzales be moved from the area since he believed that a transfer would cause the mater to be quickly forgotten. Gonzales subsequently admitted under oath that he had been sexually involved with Jane Doe 5. Hatten’s dismissal of the allegation was not grounded on fact but in his subjective opinions
67. The Hatten letter constitutes notice. Although Hatten dismisses the reports and the rumors, he does not do so other than for subjective reasons. This report should have been the subject of a more thorough and objective investigation by the Oblate superiors.
68. NOTICE. On
Because of the many proven instances and accusations made against you by various people of the parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Houston, and many suspicious incidents associated with you in Brownsville and Austin, in the nature of embracing and kissing and fondling women and girls, I hereby issue you a canonical warning to desist from such acts, to avoid giving scandal and to take the treatment set up for you by a competent psychiatrist and or doctor as part of your penance.”
69. The only follow-up to this warning is a letter dated
70. Bishop Pfeifer, provincial at the time of the sexual assault and rape of the plaintiff, was asked several times about the 1963 canonical admonition in the course of his deposition. When asked if he knew about this warning when he assigned Gonzales in 1981, he said “I don’t have clear knowledge. I was briefed on his case and I believe that was brought to my attention (p. 46). Under further questioning he admitted that anyone who saw Gonzales file would have seen the 1963 admonition and the admission by the Oblates that they were aware that Gonzales had sexually assaulted several young girls (p. 56).
71. Bishop Pfeifer also stated that between 1963 and 1981 corrective measures were taken regarding Gonzales. However, these measures were clearly inadequate. “He was asked to get into counseling. He was not given positions of responsibility) (p. 58). Yet the documentation also shows that the Oblates were notified of other instances between 1963 and 1981 when Gonzales behavior came under question, for example the letter from parishioners dated
72. NOTICE. A group of parishioners from St. Margaret Parish in
73. Shortly after this letter was received, Gonzales was sent to Via Coeli (part of the Servants of the Paraclete treatment facility references in paragraph 47 of this affidavit) for what has been referred to as a “retreat.” The documentation contains no reports or evaluations from the Paraclete Fathers even though such reports were always provided to bishops and religious superiors of priests sent there for treatment.
74. NOTICE. Mr. Pete Pruneda, a police officer and members of St. Patrick Parish where Gonzales was assigned in 1978, sent a letter to the oblates on
75. NOTICE. A group of parishioner’s from
76. NOTICE. Fr. Roy Boucher, provincial of St. Peter’s Oblate province in
I must make clear that much concern was being expressed about you by many parishioners. These concerns were voiced to me by parishioners directly as well as by the local OMIs. The concerns, as I have already shared with you, are basically around two matters: your questionable and indiscreet behavior in respect to a number of parishioners (a number of young women) and the quality of your preaching.
77. There are then at least six examples of direct notice to the Oblates about Antonio Gonzales sexual behavior ranging from 1961 to 1985. The canonical admonition provides evidence that even by 1963 there were “many proven accusations.” Although the documentation does not provide detailed evidence of the many reports prior to 1963, the fact that this phrase is used indicates that there were, in fact, a number of such reports. I make this statement because a canonical admonition is an official ecclesiastical document that is used in the penal process. Before a superior can issue such a warning, which has very serious consequences, he must be assured of documented facts to substantiate the action to be taken. In this case the wording of the decree indicates that there were reports of inappropriate sexual activity not just in 1963 but before.
78. In addition to the direct notices listed above, there also are a number of indirect indicators that the Oblates were aware of Antonio Gonzales’ sexual problems and their seriousness. The documentation contains several references to psychiatric or similar care but falls short of stating the reasons for such care.
c. January to May, 1973: There are letters from Fr. Matt Feit of the Paraclete community referring to Gonzales stay at Via Coeli and his discharge in May. Fr. Feit suggested that Gonzales see Dr. Simon Herman while at Via Coeli. (OBL 0183 and 0184)
j. Aug. 20, 1981: Fr. Michael Pfeifer, provincial, wrote to the Oblate Superior General and told him, “I have spoken with the doctor who is handling his (Gonzales) professional counseling and the doctor feels that Father Gonzales is now at the point that he has worked out his problems sufficiently so that he could be reinstated to ministry on a part time basis. Father Gonzales has been seeing his doctor once a week and has been in group therapy.” (OBL 0238). This letter is remarkable because it claims that Gonzales is “cured,” yet a previous letter written by the same person on July 16 told Gonzales that he would be evaluated on the 17 and 18 August at the Paraclete facility. If Gonzales had worked out his problems then why was he sent to the Paraclete’s for evaluation, and if he had such an evaluation, it is highly unlikely that the two days between the evaluation termination, August 18, and Pfeifer’s letter to the Superior General provided adequate time for sufficient counseling. Fr. Pfeifer made the same assurances to Bishop Flores on
n. In January 1984 Gonzales went to the Oblate Galilee Community in
79. In spite of several references to evaluations and therapy at the Paraclete facilities, the documentation contains no reports or evaluations, which is highly unusual because the Paraclete practice has been to send out a detailed evaluation based on the initial battery of tests and interviews as well as a treatment plan. They then follow-up this documentation with regular reports to superiors and a discharge summary and after-care plan.
80. There is no medical documentation that explicitly states that Gonzales was being sent to the various psychologists, psychiatrists and psychiatric facilities because of sexual acting out with young women. I can assume, however, that this was the primary reason. There is some mention in the documentation of excessive drinking but not enough to lead to the conclusion that alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse were active diagnoses. On the other hand, the consistent practice among Catholic Church superiors, both bishops and religious had been to carefully avoid direct and detailed reference (“discrete language”) to sexual acting out by priests. That this practice was followed here appears obvious as I review the many letters sent to and about Gonzales. There is reference to his “problems” in several documents but only two make direct reference to problems with women, namely the canonical admonition and the letter of the Canadian provincial. The others “dance around” the issue, yet it is obvious to me that they were aware of the sexual problems at least as far back as 1961.
81. In addition to the direct notices listed above and the conclusions drawn from Gonzales’ long history of medical and psychological counseling, there are also several indirect references in the correspondence of the Oblate superiors.
d. April 1973: Letter from Gonzales to provincial: “I have given them all of the problems I have had in my past…” (OBL-0187).
82. It was not unusual for the Oblate superiors to avoid any direct mention of Tony Gonzales’ sexual problems. It was also not unusual to be evasive and non-committal in any correspondence about the sexual problems of priests. Nevertheless, the indirect references cited above, when considered within the context of the direct notice and the canonical admonition, all point directly at a clear awareness by the Oblate superiors that Antonio Gonzales had a persistent problem with sexual acting out. The amount of documentation and the fact that it is spread over the entire period of Gonzales’ ministry indicates that the superiors knew of the problem in detail and probably had reports about more sexual victims than the four that are mentioned in the documentation of this case.
83. There is reference to the “medical situation,” to a “controlled ministry”, and to “helping other priests with similar problems”. In my extensive review of personnel and medical files of priests who have been sent to treatment at various facilities, I have found that the only time euphemisms, code-like language or cryptic phraseology are used is when the issue is sexual in nature. Other types of psychological problems, including alcohol or other substance abuse, are generally referred to directly without the use of veiled language. In this case there are references to excessive drinking in two documents and to the use of lithium in one document but there is insufficient information to conclude that the primary reason for of the direct, indirect and medical references were to anything other than sexual problems.
84. Antonio Gonzales wrote a letter on May 21, 2003 to Jane Doe 3. In this letter he openly admitted his extensive sexual acting out with women:
From that time on I had to prove myself as a real man. It would be difficult to count the number of women I have been with. (OBL 0548)
85. There is documentary evidence that the Oblates knew about Gonzales’ sexual problems as early as 1961 and that they knew these problems were serious enough to seek medical and psychological help over the years. Since there are no extensive medical reports available, it is impossible to determine the type of advice given to the superiors concerning Gonzales’ placement in ministry. What is clear is that he was repeatedly assigned from parish to parish in spite of direct reports of his sexually acting out. Although Oblate superiors said in letters that doctors had cleared Gonzales for ministry, this is all second-hand because none of the actual reports or recommendations have been produced. In spite of what the superiors claim to be doctor’s advice, what is incontrovertible is that by 1963 the Oblate superiors had sufficient information to issue a canonical warning, which is the first step in the process that could lead to penal trial and possible dismissal from the clerical state. The documentation and subsequent events show that the canonical warning had little long-term effect. By his own admission, Gonzales had been with many females, some of them underage girls. By his own admission, his first heterosexual experience was at the age of thirty, the year he was ordained. Therefore, all of his sexual experiences were while he was a priest.
86. There is no evidence of direct follow-up with the persons who either reported abuse or reported circumstances that appeared as if sexual behavior had happened. There is no evidence that the required canonical investigations ever took place at any time. There is, however, evidence that in spite of repeated examples of Gonzales’ incapacity to live a celibate life and his attraction to underage girls, the Oblate superiors continued to ignore the fact that he would continue to act out. They continued to assign him to parish after parish and, even when he was ordered to take part in counseling and treatment programs, they failed to take any decisive action that would prevent continued abuse. The Oblate superiors continued to put women and girls at high risk by assigning Gonzales to various types of pastoral ministry, with the same consequences every time. It sounds very much like the alcoholic’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.”
87. There is evidence that the Oblate superiors knew that the only way to effectively deal with Gonzales’ sexual problem was to separate him from the community and from the priesthood. This evidence is found in a letter send by Fr, Meagher, provincial at the time Gonzales asked for laicization. He wrote to Father Reilly, the official at the Oblate headquarters in
88. In my extensive experience working in the area of clergy sexual abuse, I have found that Catholic clergy superiors, both bishops and religious, usually have very limited awareness of the complex nature of sexual abuse and limited appreciation for the extensive harm done to the victims. In spite of the advances of the behavioral sciences in the area of human sexuality, many clerics remain convinced that it is a two dimensional reality: cognitive in that we know it is there and, volitional, in that it can be controlled by the will. In this case they obviously failed to accept the fact that Gonzales’ repeated sexual behavior with women and girls was driven by a highly compulsive nature. Adhering to a philosophy of human sexuality that results in denial of the damaging effects of sexual abuse is not a valid excuse for enabling such abuse.
89. The Oblate superiors from 1961 through 1985 were clearly negligent, and grossly negligent in their response to the regular reports of inappropriate sexual behavior by Antonio Gonzales. Their behavior towards Gonzales in the light of the repeated reports can be accurately described as “enabling” in that they continued to either ignore obvious warning signs or re-assign him knowing he was a danger to young girls. The Third Amended Complaint describes how Oblate Fr. James Ward, the pastor of the parish where Gonzales was assigned when he began to sexually abuse the plaintiff, knew what was happening and ignored it. He actually saw the plaintiff sitting on Gonzales’ lap and allowed her to be alone in his room. This was all happening in 1982 and 1983 and not at the outset of his career. There is no valid excuse why this behavior should have been allowed by Fr. Ward or why he should not have reported it to the provincial.
90. When the plaintiff became pregnant with Gonzales’ child in 1983, she notified Father Ward, who responded: “Fr. Tony gets a lot of girls pregnant. He is not here.” The plaintiff was left on her own with no sympathetic response from the Oblate clerics. Gonzales was transferred from
91. Since there is no reason to believe that the Oblate superiors were incapable of comprehending that Gonzales was a danger to women and girls, the only reasonable conclusion I can reach is that they were grossly negligent in their actions. There is no evidence of an awareness of the damaging effect of his actions, much less evidence of compassion for the plight of the victims.
92. There is no doubt that had Gonzales not been a priest he would never have been able to groom and seduce these particular young women. They had all been raised to believe that priests were beyond reproach, were all-powerful and were never to be questioned. Some of his victims, including his victim in this case, may have believed they were in love with him, but regardless, the bond that he forged between him and them was clearly toxic and destructive.
THE SEXUAL ABUSE OF JANE DOE 1
93. The plaintiff was sexually abused by Gonzales when she was 14 years old. The abuse started in 1981 and ended in 1983. The Oblate superiors, including Bishop Michael Pfeifer, who was provincial at the time, became aware of the abuse when Jane Doe 1 confirmed that she was pregnant. The Oblate superiors’ response to Jane Doe 1 was grossly negligent. Had they taken appropriate actions when they became aware of Gonzales sexual problems years before, he would never have been able to assault the other victims including Jane Doe 1.
94. Bishop Michael Pfeifer’s deposition confirms the plaintiff’s contention that the Oblate order acted with gross negligence before Anthony Gonzales raped her as well as after they became aware of the sexual assault. Although sex between an adult and a minor is considered a felony and constitutes rape in most States, including
95. Pfeifer gave confusing and inconclusive information about what happened to Gonzales after the incident with the plaintiff. Under questioning the former provincial tried to create the impression that he and his Oblate advisors seriously discussed Gonzales’ future but their actions indicate quite the opposite. It is difficult if not impossible to find any justification for what Pfeifer did after knowing that Gonzales had a history of sexual abuse and the Oblate superiors had a history of completely irresponsible and negligent responses to this abuse. Gonzales was given yet another assignment. Although Pfeifer may have claimed that he was under supervision, this had been tried before with no success. On
96. Bishop Pfeifer claimed several times in his deposition that he knew little or nothing about Anthony Gonzales’ history of sexual problems. He even tried to claim that the reference to Gonzales’ “medical issue” had nothing to do with sexual problems. Yet the subject of this discussion, Anthony Gonzales, stated forthrightly that he discussed his sexual acting out and his attraction to underage girls with the provincial superiors of the Oblates and named Frs. Seidel, Hakey,
97. Anthony Gonzales’ deposition clearly confirms that the Oblate superiors had known all along that he had a sexual attraction to underage girls, that he was sent for treatment for the problem, that the superiors knew about the various times he had engaged in sexual relations (rape) with underage girls, that he had fathered children and that, in spite of knowing all of this, they continued to re-assign him to parishes and other places where he was able to find victims.
a. Gonzales confirmed that he was sent to see. Dr. Wade Lewis in 1962 because of his sexual problems with underage girls. He saw him weekly for about a year. (p. 29-30).
b. After he was issued the canonical warning in 1963, he was again sent to a psychologist for his problems (p. 34).
c. In 1961 Gonzales met and had a sexual relationship with Jane Doe 5, who was of age. His admission is important because it negates the letter of Mr. Hatten who claimed the problem was the due to a rumor planted by one of the men reporting Gonzales. (p. 36).
d. At some of his assignments the lay people complained to Oblate superiors about Gonzales apparent familiarity with young women (p. 40)
e. Anthony Gonzales admitted that he had many instances of sexual touching of young girls in addition to acts of sexual intercourse and he believes it was caused by the fact that he was sexually violated by a man at age 8 (p. 49).
f. He told all of his Oblate superiors about the sexual acting out with young girls but they kept putting him back in assignments (p. 51).
g. The Oblate provincial council members all would have known about Gonzales’ sexual acting out and all would have had access to the reports and the files (p. 54).
h. In 1981, Gonzales while he was a leave of absence he was seeing Dr. Jimenez. The Oblates sent him and paid the bills (p. 58).
i. Gonzales signed releases to that all of the records from the various psychologists, psychiatrists and treatment centers could be shared with the Oblate superiors (p. 82).
j. He was re-assigned from Immaculate Conception parish because of his relationship with the plaintiff. (p. 87).
k. The Oblates superior, Fr. Hakey, knew that he had been sexually involved with Jane Doe 6 in 1960-63 timeframe in Austin (p. 116).
l. Gonzales believes the Oblates knew of his relationship with Jane Doe 3 in Albany, Louisiana because they sent a representative to warn him about it. (p. 121). The relationship ended because he was sent to the Paraclete facility.
m. He was then sent to Sabinal, Texas where he had a relationship with Jane Doe 2, with whom he had two children. The Oblates knew about this situation from the parishioners. He was then sent to the Paraclete facility for counseling (p. 124).
n. Fr. Hakey, Oblate provincial in the sixties, knew almost everything about his sexual activities. He (Hakey) received letters from parishioners. (p. 142).
o. Fr. Seidel, another Oblate provincial, knew about the relationship with Jane Doe 5 (1960). (p. 143).
p. Gonzales gave a written statement to the Oblates about two years ago (p. 163) in which he admitted having sex with the plaintiff as well as Jane Doe 2 and the other girls whom he remembers having had sex with (p. 164)
98. The Oblate superiors claimed that they were not aware of the nature of sexual abuse of underage girls in the 70’s and 80’s in the same way they were aware in the 90’s (Weber deposition, p. 17; Bishop Pfeifer, p. 105). When asked about the responsibility to protect young people, Fr. Weber replied:
I think the Oblates…did what they thought was the necessary thing to correct what was going on…But it wasn’t understood in the 80’s – I’m going to go back..to what we understood in the 90’s. Because psychiatrists, you lawyers, doctors, FBI, nobody understood what was going on. (p. 71).
99. I have seen this defense numerous times and believe that it is an irrelevant excuse. It matters not whether the Church authorities, in this case the Oblate provincials, knew about the medical/psychological basis for sexual dysfunction or the psychological aspects of the impact of sexual assault on an underage girl. The superiors clearly knew that sex between a cleric and a minor is seriously wrong because it is the subject of a long standing law in the Church’s own legal code. They also must have known that sex between an adult male or female and a child between the ages of 14 and 16 is a crime. They had a serious obligation to take corrective action as a follow-up to any and all reports of sexual activity by Anthony Gonzales. They consistently failed to take such action and this failure is grounded not in ignorance but in gross negligence.
100. Based upon my review of over thousands of cleric files, I have observed a pattern of conduct throughout the ecclesiastical entities in the
101. This same pattern and protocol for dealing with pedophiles and ephebophiles among the Catholic clergy and religious is also identified in recent nationwide yet limited audits of dioceses conducted by the Catholic Church. Following their meeting in
102. Thus, observation and evidence confirm pre-existing patterns and practices within the Catholic hierarchy of bishops and religious superiors routinely accepting and recycling priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children. This pattern certainly pre-existed Defendant Oblate’s assignment of Antonio Gonzales to the Houston Parish where he raped Jane Doe 1. The Oblates were clearly negligent in the screening, hiring, assignment and supervision of Gonzales. The files of the other Oblate clerics also support these opinions.
103. There is no question that all of the Provincials including Pfeifer who had direct dealings with Gonzales were grossly negligent in meeting their obligations in dealing with him. These obligations were derived from the Catholic Church’s internal legal structure and from the civil laws of the community. The Church’s own legal system deals with a broad spectrum of issues including the screening of candidates for the priesthood, supervision of candidates for the priests, obligations to Catholic and non-Catholic lay people and procedures to be followed in cases when a canonical crime has been alleged and committed. The specific obligations referred to are in the following areas: discernment of Gonzales’ suitability for ordination; proper supervision; proper response to reports of allegedly criminal activity and competent response to the obligations to protect the spiritual and moral welfare of lay people and especially young people in his territory. In certain cases the church-based obligations overlap with the civil law obligations. The bishops and religious superiors knew what the church-based (canonical) obligations were and should have been aware of the civil law obligations, especially in the area of sexual abuse of minors. Nevertheless, there is a consistent pattern of negligence, throughout Gonzales’ career on their part. This conduct was not accidental nor was it based on nonculpable ignorance of the nature of sex abuse and the impact on its victims. The Bishops and Provincials are citizens of the
104. The patterns of conduct throughout the ecclesiastical entities in the
105. Based on the evidence given to me as well as on my experience as a priest and a canonist, consultant and an expert witness, it is my opinion that the Oblates were not only negligent but grossly negligent in their assignment of an obviously unfit man Antonio Gonzales. The foreseeable result was that Jane Doe 1, among others, were sexually abused. Then, in keeping with a well established pattern of secrecy systemic in the Roman Catholic Church, the Oblates, along with Gonzales and others, conspired to thwart justice. The negligence and gross negligence of the Oblates was a proximate cause of Jane Doe’s damages.
SUMMARY OF EXPERT OPINIONS
106. a. Anthony Gonzales sexually abused at least 15 women during the years he served in active ministry. Some of these women were underage and therefore their sexual abuse can be considered to have been rape.
b. The Oblate provincial superiors and other Oblate superiors had certain knowledge of specific cases of Gonzales’ sexual abuse at least from 1960. The provincials knew or should have known of his sexual abuse throughout the years of his ministry and certainly before his rape of Jane Doe 1.
c. The Oblates sent Gonzales to various psychiatrists and psychologists as well as to therapeutic facilities because of his sexual actions with underage girls.
d. The Oblate superiors had a serious canonical and moral obligation to take decisive action as set forth in official Church documents, yet they intentionally and recklessly failed to take such action.
e. The Oblate superiors were grossly negligent in their canonical and pastoral response to each report of illicit sexual activity by Antonio Gonzales.
F. Antonio Gonzales summed his summed up his scandalous Oblate career in his own words when he wrote to one of his victims, Jane Doe 3, on May 31, 2003: “First I denied you back then. I ran away scared. I ran back to the Church which has always protected me.” (OBL- 0550).
FURTHER THIS AFFIANT SAYETH NAUGHT.”
Thomas P. Doyle O.P., J.C.D., C.A.D.C.
SWORN AND SUBSCRIBED before the undersigned notary on this the ____ day of
Notary in and for the State of
My Commission Expires
 John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), p. 42.
 See Pierre Payer, Sex and the Penitentials (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984).
 Pierre J. Payer, “Introduction” to The Book of
 John Boswell, op. cit., p. 187: “There is in fact a considerable body of evidence to suggest that homosexual relations were especially associated with the clergy. Some Christian authors have rather defensively rejected this idea but with little supporting documentation.”
 Vern Bullough, Sexual Practices and the Medieval Church, p. 61.
 Decree of Gratian, D. 1, de pen., c.15 in Decretum Magistri Gratiani, editio Lipsiensis Secunda, editor, A.L. Richter,( Graz, Friedberg, 1879, 1959). (The manner of citing Gratian is unique. The citations here noted refer to the first part of the Decretum, and each number refers to a section known as a distinctio.)
 John Lynch, “Marriage and celibacy of the clergy: the discipline of the western church: an historico-canonical synopsis,” Jurist 32(1972): 199-200.
 Canon 11, 3rd Lateran Council in H.J. Schroeder, editor, Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils, (St. Louis, B. Herder Book Co. 1937) , p. 224.
 John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality, (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1980), p. 188.
 Michael Goodich, “Sodomy in Ecclesiastical Law and Theory,” in Journal of Homosexuality 1(1976), p. 427: “in the 13th century, the few references to homosexuality suggest that it was generally regarded as a clerical vice. Both the manuals of penance of the early Middle Ages and the conciliar and synodal legislation initiated in the 12th century placed greater emphasis upon the prevention and suppression of sodomy among the clergy.”
 See Peter Damian, Book of Gomorrah, chapter 2, p. 30: “ And some rectors of churches who are perhaps more humane in regard to this vice than is expedient absolutely decree that no one ought to be deposed from his order on account of three of the grades which were enumerated above….Consequently when someone is known to have fallen into this wickedness with eight or even ten other equally sordid men, we see him still remaining in his ecclesiastical position. Surely this impious piety does not cut off the wound but adds fuel to the fire. It does not prevent the bitterness of this illicit act when committed, but rather makes way for it to be committed freely.”
 Schroeder, Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils , p. 256.
 See Richard Sherr, “A Canon, A Choirboy and Homosexuality in Late 16th Century
 Ibid., p. 554.
 See Cross and Livingstone, op. cit., p. 1050. Pope Paul III himself had three sons and a daughter yet promoted the reform.
 Brundage, Law, Sex and Christian Society, p. 568.
 Canon 10, Session XXIV in H.J. Schroeder, editor, The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, (St. Louis, B. Herder, 1941), p. 182.
 Pope Pius V, “Romani Pontifices, 1 April 1566, in P. Gasparri, editor, Codicem Iuris Canonici Fontes , Vol. 1, (Vatican, Typis Polyglottis, 1926), p. 200 (Hereinafter identified as Fontes.)
 Pope Pius V, “Horrendum,” Papal Constitution,
 Charles Henry, A History of the Inquisition in Spain.( New York, MacMillan, 1907), p. 135.
 Codicis Iuris Canonici Fontes,
 Acta Apostolicae Sedis or Acts of the Apostolic See is the official periodical that contains
 “Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela,”
 In the
 Jason Berry, Vows of Silence (
 At that time it was common among Catholic churchmen to use the term “homosexuality” to refer to the condition of priests who sexually abused young boys. The cases Fr. Gerald refers to all constitute sex between priests and minors.
 Fr. Gerald actually proceeded with concrete plans to purchase an island in the
 W.J. Coville.” Basic issues in the development and administration of a psychological assessment program for the religious life.” In W.J. Coville, P.F. D’Arcy, T.N. McCarthy, and J.J. Rooney, editors, Assessment of candidates for the religious life: Basic psychological issues and procedures (Washington, DC: Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, 1968), p. 28-29.
A.W. Richard Sipe, “Affidavit,” Doe v NOSF, District Court of El Paso, Texas, Feb. 9, 2004, . 19, p. 5-6.
 Conrad Baars, M.D., “The Role of the Church in the Causation, Treatment and Prevention of the Crisis in the Priesthood.” Unpublished, 1971.
 Eugene Kennedy and Victor Heckler, The Catholic Priest in the
 Ibid., p. 11.
 Jason Berry, Lead Us Not Into Temptation (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992), p. 30
 Thomas Doyle, F. Ray Mouton and Michael Peterson, The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy: Meeting the Problem in a Comprehensive and Responsible Manner. 1985. (Private)
 This talk was given by Fr. Alan Placa, a civil attorney with the Diocese of Rockville Center, NY. In 2002 Fr. Placa was removed from ministry after he himself had been investigated by police for having abused a minor years before.
 S.C.S Off. Instruction,
 The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests and Deacons (