A Federal judge in Dallas unsealed the records concerning a series of cases of sexual abuse by priests in a single diocese in Texas. The Dallas Morning News reports on what was in these records and it’s stunning. A couple of examples:
1. Rev. Philip Magaldi. Magaldi. In 1997, the church finds him guilty of paying an 18 year old to give him enemas (after buying him drinks). Bishop Joseph Delaney decides that his punishment is to do some volunteer work. He does remove him from working with altar boys, but he leaves him as chaplain of the church’s boy scouts program. The next year a man in Massachusetts comes forward to say that this priest had abused him back in the 70s when he was a priest in Rhode Island, also with enemas. He was briefly suspended but returned to the ministry in 1999, when he was again accused of sexual misconduct. Even after that, he was still allowed to continue in the ministry at a retirement home until a new bishop finally removed him.
2. Rev. James Reilly. He molested three young boys in the 70s. Bishop Delaney says that he had heard other “allusions” to previous incidents like this involving this priest, yet he told the Philadelphia Diocese, where Reilly had been moved, that he didn’t think he was any threat to anyone. The Philadelphia diocese let him stay until his death in 1999. Meanwhile, several more men have come out and accused him of having abused them when they were children.
And here’s the kicker: not one of these cases, over the course of several decades, was reported to the police. If the principal of a school found out that a teacher under his authority was molesting children and just transferred them to another school without reporting it to the police, that principal would be in jail. So should Bishop Delaney. He is an accessory after the fact and complicit in covering up multiple felonies. He should be in prison. And the same thing goes for Cardinal Law and every other Catholic Church official involved in every single case. The moment they heard a report of such abuse by a priest, they should have called the police. The fact that they failed to do so in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cases goes beyond negligence and becomes nothing less than aiding and abetting.