The Tradition of Recycling Priests

Before the Servants of the Paraclete, where did Bishops harbor disciplinary problems? Benedictine Monasteries.

“But the most consistent charitable work carried on by the second Abbot was the harboring and rehabilitation of diocesan priests who had disciplinary problems.  Abbot Wimmer had agreed at the II Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1866 to assist the American bishops in this difficult responsibility, and opened the doors of his monastery to all who were sent. 

St. John’s carried on the tradition started by St. Vincent, and during these years priests lived at St. John’s from such dioceses as Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Peoria, Fort Wayne, Marquette, Milwaukee, LaCrosse, Green Bay, St. Paul Vicariate of the Dakotas, Omaha, Denver, Monterey-Los Angeles, and Dublin. 

Abbot Alexius took a personal interest in their problems, visited them regularly in their quarters on the third floor of his new quadrangle, and worked assiduously to have them re-accepted by a bishop. His correspondence files contain many copies of recommendations the wrote for such priests. 

At the same time Abbot Alexius felt that religious houses conducting schools were not the proper places for suspended priests.  He recommended to Archbishop James Gibbons before the III Plenary Council of Baltimore that contemplative monasteries would be best qualified to conduct an institution for priests (AAB, Collegeville, 29 August 1884).  As nothing definite was accomplished in this matter at the council, St. John’s continued to supply this service.”

“Worship and Work: Saint John’s Abbey and University, 1856-1956”   by Fr. Colman J. Barry O.S.B.   Liturgical Press  1980


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Principles of A Child Protection Strategy Using Artificial Intelligence Tools

Artificial Intelligence has changed how mercy and justice is delivered to survivors of childhood sexual assault.  The advantage once enjoyed by perpetrators and those who harbor them is being eroded by data and A.I. technologies.

Unlike the stories of the printing press, industrialization, the telephone, the semi-conductor or the internet; A.I. has no correlation in history.  A.I. is a new law of thermodynamics and it already has been deployed and cannot be stopped by commerce or small governments.  Some groups counter to child protection have demonized or tagged A.I. as anti-child and antilife.  Rather, big data combined with A.I. technologies challenges organizations and governments that can no longer use their soft power avoiding scandal by sitting on their hands.

First and foremost A.I. provides a new capacity to denigrate safe havens for those who sexually assault minors.  This is especially true for Child Protection whose mission is to stop child sexual abuse in all its forms.  Child Protection relies on insights from data to protect children.  Depending on the choices governments, schools and parents make today to adopt A.I. they can determine the future safety of children. 

Child Protection is charged with stopping child trafficking, child porn and child sexual assault.  A.I. is a current capability that will be a foundation to deter, disrupt and dismantle groups that harbor perpetrators.  It is essential to harness Big Data, A.I. technologies and partner with allies around the world to understand the institutional behavior of those protecting perpetrators.

This document serves as the framework to align our efforts with all right thinking governments, companies, NGO’s and schools.  It details the fundamental principles, essential functions and objectives for child protection.  Child protection in the digital age is contingent upon making A.I. operational for all advocates.

Lastly, A.I. is not a magic elixir for all present and future threats to children.  Child Protection will develop and implement A.I. capabilities for child protection.  We do this to best protect the children of today in order that the past is not prologue to the future.  We believe this aligns with the vital interests of all countries.  

In the spirit of St. Peter Damian

Patrick J. Wall

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Sexual Assault and Sex Trafficking: My Charleston School of Law Presentation

Last month, the Charleston School of Law invited me to share my expertise on child sexual assault and sex trafficking within the Catholic Church.

Here is my presentation, with photos.

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Roman Catholic Church Finance Explained by Monsignor Hawkes

Church finance is one of the great mysteries.  Few comprehend it and even fewer can succinctly explain it.  How is the taxpayer to know if any Diocese or Archdiocese really needed help during Covid-19?  One document, “The Los Angeles Plan”, is a short must read to understand the playbook for how Roman Catholic Bishops camouflage Billions and take Millions.

In 1981 Monsignor Benjamin Hawkes of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles put pen to paper and in seven pages made the Churches Byzantine accounting system understandable.  “It is the story of nine corporations / that make up the structure of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, comprising three Counties / covering 8,772 square miles… During the 45 years we have been an Archdiocese / We have had three Archbishops … We are doing our utmost to maintain our parishes, schools, and welfare institutions / They have built.”

How is the Archdiocese organized? Monsignor Hawkes explains, “The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los   Angeles, a corporation sole, is more or less the parent company.  His eminence (Cardinal Timothy Manning) is the incumbent, and yours truly the Attorney-in-fact.”  Hawkes is well qualified in his description as he was an accountant for the Lockheed Aircraft Company in Los Angeles prior to studying for the priesthood.

What does it mean for the Archbishop of Los Angeles to be the incumbent?  Monsignor Hawkes explains, “As incumbent, the Ordinary (bishop of the diocese) is the owner of 1,500 automobiles.  He owns and operates 10 cemeteries, 232 elementary schools, and 35 High Schools.   He paid $688,482 in taxes and assessments last year.  Including the school plants and welfare facilities, along with the churches, parking lots and rectories, the County Assessors of our three Counties (Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles) have established for these / a total market value of $369,993,228.

What is the insured value of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1981?  Monsignor Hawkes answers. “The replacement value of our buildings and contents for the purpose of insurance is $792,071,869”. 

Does the Archdiocese have an investment portfolio of stocks, bonds and land?  Hawkes says, “Our investment portfolio contains only stocks which must be held in accordance with the requirements of the donors, and Government Bonds.  These donated stocks have been restricted to the use of income only.  We own the sites of future parishes / with a cost value of $3,083,924.00.  We have a franchise from the State of California to sell annuities.  Currently we have $992,709.73 in annuity liabilities and a corresponding investment in income properties and bonds with a market value in excess of $1,500,000.

How does the Archdiocese conduct regular business?  Monsignor Hawkes, “This Corporation operates its own little bank / which we refer to as the “X” account.  Parishes may borrow from funds, only from the Chancery (central office of the Archdiocese).  Pastors are encouraged to deposit surplus funds with the Chancery… Since 1962 $40,000,000 has been contributed by parishes with surplus funds and the Chancery Office / to pay for office debts of parishes that have been unable to not only pay their principle (back to the X account) / but even interest on the principle.  As of the present date (14 March 1981) 8 of our 278 parishes have a debt totaling less than one-half million dollars.  

Where do the funds for the Seminary, High Schools and Chancery office come from? “The following assessments are levied on each parish…1% ordinary income to assist in the operations of the Chancery Office; 2% of Ordinary income to help finance the three seminaries; 4% Ordinary income to help finance the High Schools. During the past 25 years (1956-1981), the Ordinary income of our parishes has increased 400% ”

How is Catholic Charities or the 8th civil corporation funded?  Monsignor Hawkes states, “…total revenue coming to $7,554,167 ($2,114,559 from United Way) ($3,936,279 from Government Contracts) ($993,058 from Public)”.  In short, 80% of the good works of the Catholic Welfare Bureau came from taxpayers, not Church members.

The plan goes on to describe seven other civil corporations as reported to the I.R.S. in the Official Catholic Directory making up the Archdiocese.  Not surprising what Monsignor Hawkes does not answer is what is the total net worth of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles?  When tabulated from Monsignor Hawkes’ representations in The Los Angeles Plan, the total net worth in 1981 was approximately $1,183,907,212.00.

In 2020 when the Parishes and Schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles simultaneously applied for PPP grants and Loans, the total net worth of the 9 Archdiocesan Corporations based on Monsignor Hawkes report is approximately 70 Billion Dollars. 

The question today being asked is whether the parishes and schools of the Archdiocese during the Covid-19 crisis really need Tax payer grants and loans?  According to Monsignor Hawkes, the Archdiocese is self-insured, debt free, and is housed in nine tax exempt Corporations.  With the building of the Cathedral of the Angels or the all cash purchase and remodeling of Crystal Cathedral in Orange County one has too way the needs of the local business owner versus the capacity of one of California’s largest Corporations to survive the storm.      Who was Benjamin Hawkes?  “I am in charge of everything that has a dollar sign in front of it.”  As we have also come to learn, Monsignor Hawkes also sexually assaulted minor children at St. Basil’ parish in Los Angeles.

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A Formula for Institutional Change

Financial Downgrade + Statute of Limitations Reform on Child Sexual Assault + Revelation of Secret Archives + Unexpected Revenue drop + Deposition of Top Official = Bankruptcy Reorganization.

1.31.2020 Moody’s downgrades the Archdiocese of New Orleans debt rating.

1.15.2020 Legislative groundwork to change the statute of limitations in Louisiana for child sexual assault.

March 2020 Child sexual assault case threatens to reveal priest file that shows the last four
Archbishops of New Orleans were aware of a perp in 1988 and did not reveal him to the public until 2018.

April 2020 COVID 19 shuts weekly collections.

5.1.2020 Archdiocese of New Orleans files for Bankruptcy reorganization.

5.28.2020 Deposition of Archbishop CANCELLED

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Thirty Year Reflection for Child Protection Advocates

Here are core lessons from the masters: Peter Damien OSB Cam., Thomas Verner Moore OSB MD, Gerald Fitzgerald s.P., Aquinas Walter Richard Sipe, Marianne Benkert Sipe M.D., Thomas Patrick Doyle, Leo Bartemeir M.D., Ansom Shupe PhD, Eugene Kennedy PhD and Sarah Charles MD

  1. The sexual assault of minors is about power, not sex.
  2. Child Sexual Abuse Imagery, assault and trafficking are fruit of the same delict.
  3. The conduct is criminal behavior, not issues of belief, sin or other magical thinking.

Child sexual abuse includes, but is not limited to, showing a child pornographic images, placing the child’s hand on another person’s genitals, touching a child’s genitals, and/or penetration of any orifice of a child’s body (mouth, vagina, penis, anus, ears) with a penis, finger, tongue, toe, or an object of any sort.  Penetration does not have to occur for it be sexual abuse.

The prevalence of sexual abuse in the Churches was massively covered up and thus underestimated for two millennia.  An additional delay was the recantation by Sigmund Freud of his original theory that serious psychological disturbances were caused by sexual abuse of children.  Freud changed the theory that the histories of sexual abuse provided by his patients were fantasies.  As a result, the secular recognition of child sexual abuse was delayed until around 1950 when Alfred Kinsey surveyed women discovering 25% suffered from pre-pubertal sexual abuse.  David Finkelhor confirmed this in their 1970’s surveys.  These findings were reaffirmed in the largest study to date, Adverse Childhood Effects (A.C.E) study with Vincent Felitti M.D. in San Diego.

The Catholic Church is a monarchical system that promises salvation to followers that adhere to the teachings.  The system is fueled by a three tiered taxation engine rooted in powerful myths.   Nota Bene, the first teaching against clerical sexual abuse of minors is from the Didache in 60 A.D.

The Catholic Church is a consortium of 23 sui generis churches under  from many cultures and languages under the Bishop of Rome.  Each church is rooted in a specific language/culture called a Rite with the Roman Rite representing 95% of the 1 billion worldwide followers.

The Catholic Church is also a secular State known as Sanctae Sedes or the Holy See.  The Holy See has diplomatic missions in hundreds of countries called Nunciatures staffed by representatives appointed by the Pope.  The Vatican Bank or I.O.R. is one of the conduits by which the Holy See receives taxes from the 4,400 Dioceses and hundreds of thousands of parishes, missions and auxiliary enterprises.   The Holy See rules by soft power and has not maintained a military force since the creation of the Italian State.

The core Governmental principle is that Power flows down and money flows up.  At the top of the pyramid is the Bishop of Rome aka the Pope who holds universal jurisdiction where he alone teaches, governs and sanctifies the world. The world is organized by Dioceses which are geographic regions established by the Pope.  Only the Pope appoints the Bishop of a Diocese, the Bishop reports to the Pope and pays annual taxes to Rome.   Each Diocese is a geographic region of parishes established by the Bishop.  Only the Bishop appoints Priests to the parishes, the Priests report to the Bishop and pay annual taxes to the Diocese.   Laity do not have the capacity to govern.  Respondeat Superiori is a common law principle that closely expresses the Roman model of Church polity.  One of the key cases to be aware of is Hosanna-Tabor v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 565 U.S. 171 (2012).

A general norm of roman structure is to adapt to the local civil laws (canon 22) in so far as they are not contrary to Codex Iuris Canonici.  Roman Catholic institutions adapt to State law and incorporate to what most closely represents Church Polity.   Corporation Sole is a common listing in the annual Official Catholic Directory (O.C.D.) delivered to the I.R.S. and a document you will come to rely upon.

There are three types of Roman Catholics: Clerics, Religious and Laity.  Clerics (Patricians) are men ordained as Bishops, Priests or Deacons to teach, govern and sanctify the Religious and Laity.

Religious (Centurions) are vowed men and women following a Rule under a Superior.  If male religious are also Clerics they can serve in parishes under the jurisdiction with faculties (permission) of the Diocesan Bishop.  Religious men can be either Priests or Brothers.  Religious women are referred to as Nuns or Sisters traditionally running schools and hospitals.  Religious Institutes also are in the O.C.D.

Laity (Plebs) are all the baptized (99%) whose job is to pray, pay and obey.  They achieve salvation through participation in the seven sacraments which are only provided by the Clerics.

Insurance is a requirement of all institutions with each Diocesan Bishop or Religious Superior as the autonomous administrator.  Dioceses and Religious Institutes rely upon commercial insurance companies as well as risk sharing pools as Catholic Mutual Group and Catholic Risk Retention Group.

Once rumor or direct knowledge of child sexual assault comes to a Bishop or Religious Superior there are several traditional management options.  An initial investigation is conducted by the Vicar for Clergy or a trusted Priest and a confidential report (canon 489) is created for the Holy See and the Secret Archives which only the Bishop and Vicar General (2nd in command) have access.

First and most common option is to quickly change the assignment, a geographic solution.  A second is to command the offender to see a sympathetic psychiatrist or psychologist.  Upon further offenses the Cleric or religious is ordered to the Servants of the Paraclete, Saint Luke Institute, House of Affirmation, Saint John Vianney Institute or Southdown.  Final solutions are being sent to a monastery for prayer and penance or involuntary laicization.  All of these management decisions have document trails maintained in the Secret Archives, their retention policy is in to maintain these files in perpetuity.

The Church has a closed loop wholly owned system of Treatment Centers created in 1947 for Clerics and Religious.  The purpose is to evaluate, report back and recycle back to ministry.  Initial evaluations as well as monthly and final reports are sent back to the Bishop or Superior with the most common diagnosis being Pedophilia, Ephebophilia or N.O.S. (not otherwise specified).  Pedophilia is the sexual attraction to pre-pubescent minors.  Ephebophilia is the sexual attraction to post-pubescent minors.

The Church in the past faced minimal criminal exposure with a few exceptions of Fr. Donald Roemer in 1981 or Fr. John Goeghan in 2002 or Fr. Donald McGuire S.J. in 2006.  There currently are 12 Grand Jury reports and charges against Bishops for failure to report and consumer protection violations for knowingly employing sex offenders.  For a short moment the California criminal statute of limitations was opened but quickly closed with Stogner v. California 539 U.S. 607 (2003) based on ex post facto principles.

Myth is Power: The Pope is the descendant of St. Peter and St. Paul, his teachings ex-cathedra are without the possibility of error.  Every Bishop chosen by the Pope is a successor to the Apostles.  Every Priest ordained by a Bishop is ontologically changed to be a little less than the angels, set apart to provide the sacraments necessary for salvation.  Rome is the one, true, holy, catholic (universal) and apostolic church.  Obedience and Secrecy are the highest virtues while creating scandal is a deadly sin.

Notice:  64 high level documents from the 1st to 21 century demonstrate notice by Catholic Bishops of child sexual assault by clerics.  Here is a short sampling.  Didache of 60 A.D.; Council of Elvira of 309 A.D.; Book of Gomorrah by Cardinal Peter Damian O.S.B. Cam. in 1051 A.D.; Sacramentum Poenitentia by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741 A.D; Instructio de Modo Procendi in Causis Sollicitationis by Pope John XXIII in 1962 A.D.; Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela by Pope John Paul II in 2001 A.D.

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Geographic Solution

In the early 2000’s I was asked by prosecutors and private attorneys to explain the management techniques applied by Bishops and heads of Religious Institutes.  In short I called it the geographic solution.  Instead of calling 911 the Church leaders quietly moved the perpetrators to different jurisdictions.

“The geographic solution of thinking that the [problem] is solved by moving the criminal from one place to another made everything worse, because the problem spread,” Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera, of Monterrey, president of the Mexican bishops’ conference and treasurer of the Latin American Conference of Bishops (CELAM).

Mexican prelate says bishops should admit moving predators was a mistake

Thank you to the President of the Mexican Bishops conference for acknowledging the problem.  Now it is time to speak the full truth and have all the Bishops of North America report the names of their perpetrators to law enforcement and to the public for healing to begin.

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Why Arch/Diocese Perp Reports are Fatally Flawed

“As it is, the Oklahoma City report is incomplete. McAfee & Taft says 37 boxes of records were taken from the archdiocese by its former chancellor and her husband, who served as outside general counsel. The boxes were only turned over to the law firm the day before the report was issued. Thus, another shoe will drop at a later time.

It begs the question of why would an Archbishop allow a report to be published when a former Chancellor walks in with 37 boxes the day before publication. 

First, how it is that 37 boxes of documents left the Secret Archives and were in the personal possession of the FORMER Chancellor who is also an Attorney?

Second, since we have waited 17 years under the Zero Tolerance Policy adopted in Dallas, what is another 60 days to be complete?

Third, why did 37 boxes go missing from inventory?  Is there no inventory of documents?  Didn’t the FORMER Chancellor sign out the documents?

Since the data set was knowingly incomplete at the genesis of the project there is no other conclusion than to say the Archdiocese of Oklahoma’s report is fatally flawed.  


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Supervised Learning Lessons for Analyzing Priest Files

Key Indicators for Red Flagging Bad Actors

Irregular Assignment history is the earliest indicator I learned after being ordered to replace Bad Actors. Whether the Bad Actor belonged to a Diocese or a Religious Institute, deviation from the typical path is a red flag. The Roman system promulgates consistency. Pastors are in office for six to twelve years or more. X = number of assignments in any ten year period. If X > or = 3: red flag.
There are several thousand examples, Father Michael Stephen Baker is instructive. Ordained for the Archdiocese of L.A. in 1974. Baker had 16 assignments in 25 years.

Geographic Solution A is a personnel management technique of transferring the bad actor to another part of the Diocese/Country/World where people do not know the bad actor. Monsignor Peter E. Garcia was moved around the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, other states and he requested work in a foreign Diocese. While in New Mexico Garcia was not allowed to return to LA because of criminal and civil legal issues. Father Richard Eckroth O.S.B. after teaching philosophy for decades at Saint John’s Abbey was sent to be a missionary to tiny island parishes in the Bahamas.

Geographic Solution B is another management technique of removing the bad actor from their office and tasking them to a monastery. The cleric is required to follow the horarium of the monastery, meet with a spiritual director/confessor and then the Abbot contacts Bishops or other Religious Institutes to place recycle the bad actor. My former monastery did this both Diocesan and Religious Order clerics which is documented in “Worship and Work” by Fr. Colman J. Barry O.S.B.

Geographic Solution C is the management technique of removing the bad actor and giving them the single option of transferring to a monastery to take on a new persona, name and way of life. Father George Pausch was a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles who sexually assaulted minors, was sent to the Jemez Springs N.M., never returned to Los Angeles, joined the Servants of the Paraclete and is buried in the Orders cemetery.

Geographic Solution D is the technique of retraining the bad actor for working in the Chancery Office of the Diocese or Procurators Office of a Monastery. A bad actor would be sent away for further graduate training in Canon Law, Accounting or Computer Science for future 9-5 office work buried deep in bowels of an office with no outside parish assignment. Fathers Gerald Fessard in L.A., Joseph Wajda in St. Paul and Robert Becker in Chicago.

Life of Prayer and Penance is a common penalty imposed by the Holy See for those who sexually assaulted minors. After a finding of fact by a canonical court or an administrative office, the Holy See removes that cleric from office and sends him to a specific monastery to live out the rest of their life. Bishop Anthony O’Connell was sent to Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, South Carolina.

Treatment Centers and Halfway Houses are facilities controlled by the Institution and staffed by Institution personnel. Most common were the Servants of the Paraclete, Saint John Vianney Institute and the Saint Luke Institute. Bad Actors were sent to these centers for analysis, self-help programs and recycling back into the workforce. The second monk I replaced is instructive, Fr Francis Hoefgen O.S.B.

Laicization is the penalty imposed by the Holy See on bad actors who have violated code section 1395.2, the sexual assault of minors (<age 16) and section 1044.2, a psychic infirmity. Fr. Oliver Francis O’Grady is an instructive example.

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Buffalo Diocese

Extraordinary series of events because of clerical child sexual assault that will surely affect the nation.

The event will be live streamed on the diocese’s Facebook page here:

Charlie Specht (@Charlie_Reports)

9/4/19, 12:32 PM
‪BishopRJMalone is calling a 2:30 p.m. news conference in reaction to our ‪@WKBW investigation, but the ‪@BuffaloDiocese says I’m not allowed to attend. Diocese spokeswoman has chosen which reporters she is allowing to the news conference.…

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