Peeling back the thin, sacred veneer

The calendar year opens today with simultaneous court appearances by two of the largest Roman Catholic Archdioceses: Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

In Philly, jury selection begins in the criminal trials of priests accused of sodomy and child sexual abuse. These cases will continue to expose the “omissions” of Cardinals Anthony Bevilacqua and Justin Rigali.

In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press will argue for the release of unredacted secret personnel documents of priests and bishops accused of sodomy, rape and sexual abuse of minors.  These documents expose the “acts of commission” by Cardinals Manning, Mahony and Levada.

This opportunity in L.A. for public accountability does not come twice in a lifetime.  The Cardinals’ fingerprints are on these documents.  If produced unsanitzed, they peel back the thin, sacred veneer covering the Cardinals’ business practices.

Not since Judge Sweeney ordered Boston’s Cardinal Law to turn over the documents in 2001 have we been at such a crossroads for child protection.

It is a tragic hour in some ways—that hour when the hierarchy is driven to reckon with themselves.  When every avenue of procedural distraction has been cut off and when documents are produced that these men penned that prove their acts of omission and commission and how they protected their own reputations over the safety of children.



Filed under canon law, Clergy Sex Abuse

4 responses to “Peeling back the thin, sacred veneer

  1. Why would the Philly Inquirer run a story on Father Michael LeDoux and the Pittsburgh media doesn’t even want to touch the story. (See link to story below).

    When the reporter refers to Michael LeDoux being an administrator for a high school and university in western PA, she means Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
    It should be noted that friends and I exposed Michael LeDoux weeks ago on several Internet sites.

    Michael LeDoux is now the second Franciscan cleric who served at Serra Catholic High School in the 80s and 90s to be credibly accused of sexually abusing innocent children, the other was Brother Kenneth Ghastin. A fellow colleague and I exposed Ghastin years ago. After Ghastin case was settled with twin brothers in the Boston Archdiocese, sadly, one of the brothers would commit suicide. Very similar to another case at Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA where a teenage boy tried to kill my son back in 1989 when Ghastin was at Serra and just a few years before LeDoux showed up as headmaster.

    The shooter in my son’s case, just like in the case of the twin brothers would commit suicide.

    One can only surmise the extent that the Pittsburgh Diocese, Serra administrators, McKeesport elected officials, McKeesport Police, Pittsburgh media and other law enforcement officers needed to do to make sure everything was covered up.

    LeDoux served at Widener University near Philadelphia, but LeDoux served at Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA as the Headmaster and later taught at Duquesne University. Plus, LeDoux was the second credibly accused cleric to have been placed at Serra Catholic High School from the Franciscan Order in New York.
    Is the Pittsburgh media afraid that more sexual abusers might be exposed with any publicity. Where’s the so-called investigative reporters from the Pittsburgh media when a story is sitting there waiting to be plucked from the air.

    Keep in mind the attempted murder of my son on the Serra High School campus was covered up. The shooter had an extraordinary interest in satanism and the occult. I have documentation from a volunteer who worked with Animal Friends in the late 80s and early 90s and can verify that animals were abused in rituals at the time McKeesport, Clairton and Braddock, PA.

    Former Catholic priest John Wellinger, a close friend of the shooter (in my son’s case) and a credibly accused sexual predator sought out the advice of then Mt. Lebanon police officer and occult expert John Mihalec, when, yet, another teenage boy took his own life with a shotgun blast to his head, just like the shooter who tried to kill my son. I met with Mihalec, and talked to him over the phone a few times back in 1990. Our first meeting was just a few weeks after he first met with Wellinger. Over the years since Mihalec has retired, I tried several times to contact him, he’s never returned my calls or emails. Even good cops, no what cases to avoid.

    The Pittsburgh Diocese has a lot of explaining to do. For now, the Pittsburgh media will help keep the open secret an open secret.

    Mike Ference

  2. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is also featured in another example of “chutzpah” of a a sometimes advisor to U.S. Bishops and former Pittsburgh diocesean counsel to the infamous Cardinal Bevilaqua, Nicholas Cafardi.
    Mr. Cafardi has just been mentioned by a prominent Vaticanista reporter as a contender to be named President Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.
    For more, please see, “Obama’s Next Ambassador and Pressing the Next Pope”, accessible at:

  3. Good news from LA where a wise judge ordered the files released UNREDACTED. It was a long wait but it’s a huge victory! Patrick, thanks for all that you do! Mike Ference, keep fighting the good fight! You are brave.

  4. I was going to mention Nicolas Cafardi but didn’t want to confuse the issue. Cafardi was probably the canon lawyer for the US Bishops Conference around that time. Lot’s going on in Pittsburgh Diocese that will make a few catholics blush when it’s all said and done.

    Thanks for mentioning Cafardi. And , yes, Kay, There is a Santa Claus. That’s great news about LA.

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