Another month, another multi-million dollar settlement against the Catholic church for knowingly—knowingly—putting children directly in harm's way, this time in Nova Scotia.
This suit claims the conspiracy went all the way to the Pope. The church doesn't deny it and doesn't want to spend any of its (considerable) resources disproving it. The silence speaks volumes:
The suit against the Roman Catholic diocese of Antigonish was filed last year. It claimed the church, under instructions from the Pope, had a policy to keep sex-abuse allegations against priests secret, with ex-communication as the penalty.
It also claimed the church, diocese and bishop sent priests from the Antigonish diocese for treatment for "sexual deviations," but kept it secret and didn't protect children.
That "treatment" was most likely at the Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico, run in the 1940s and 1950s by a Father Gerald Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald got sick of seeing predatory priests coming in and out of the revolving door of his facility. In 1957, wrote a letter to the Bishop of Manchester, arguing that predatory priests could not be effectively treated and should not be allowed to continue in the ministry:
Their repentance and amendment is superficial and, if not formally at least subconsciously, is motivated by a desire to be again in a position where they can continue their wonted activity. A new diocese means only green pastures... We are amazed to find how often a man who would be behind bars if he were not a priest is entrusted with the cura animarum [the cure, or care, of souls].
Father Fitzgerald eventually proposed building an island fortress in the Caribbean to keep these priests away from the public. He even bought an island but was forced to sell it—according to an ex-Benedictine monk named Patrick Wall—because "it all became too public. The Holy See would never be able to explain Father Fitzgerald's leper island for pedophile priests."
(I only know this—sometimes I wish I didn't—because of a long, depressing story I wrote about it earlier this year.)