You may have read recently about how the Holy See withdrew Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella from the Nunciature in Washington D.C.
One thing Father Colman J. Barry OSB taught us over and over again: the past is prologue to the future.
So with the Capella case I put the thesis to the test: Is there evidence that fallen priests are assigned to the Holy See’s Diplomatic Corp with prior notice for offending against minor children?
Low and behold, a simple Google search found Reverend Daniel R. Pater of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Father Pater sexually abused a 14-year-old female in Dayton, Ohio on his first assignment after ordination in 1979.
Fr. Pater admitted to the conduct.
Most civilized countries call this child sexual abuse.
Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk then exercised the geographic solution by sending Fr. Pater out of the jurisdiction to Rome to the Holy See’s Diplomatic Corps.
After serving in Burundi, Australia, and Zaire, a survivor sued Pater and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1993.
Pater was sent from Rome to the Maryland Saint Luke Institute in 1995. At the same time, the Archdiocese entered into a confidential settlement with the survivor. After that, Father Daniel Pater returned to Italy, serving at the Holy See’s Office of the Secretary of State and continued at the Nuncio’s Office in New Delhi, India.
In 2003 Reverend Daniel R. Pater resigned from the priesthood and in 2014 the Holy See assigned Fr. Pater to a life of prayer and penance. I do not know the current whereabouts of Pater, or if he returned to Ohio long enough to run out the criminal statute of limitations.
Unless and until the U.S. Attorney General and the Department of Justice opens an investigation, there is no reason for the Holy See to stop the pattern and practice of protecting offenders.
Sadly, when you compare Pater and Capella it appears the past is the prologue to the future and the future is now.