|"secrecy and accountability
In order to hold the bishops accountable for bringing abusers into the
priesthood and for transferring known abusers into unsuspecting parishes,
has developed a comprehensive archive of the evidence.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY "ACCOUNTABILITY"?
It is a matter of public record that U.S. bishops have knowingly
transferred thousands of abusive priests into unsuspecting parishes
and dioceses, placing fear of "scandal" ahead of the welfare of
The bishops themselves have apologized for what they call their
"mistake," but they say nothing about the crucial actions that
For true "bishop accountability" to occur,
two things must happen:
1) there must be a full "account" of the bishops' responsibility for the
sexual abuse crisis, both individually and collectively, and
2) bishops who have caused the abuse of children and vulnerable
adults must be "held accountable."
1) How will a full account be given?
The "account" of the bishops' responsibility for the crisis has so far
come through the witness of survivors, through documents unearthed
by law enforcement and the legal system, through depositions taken
by lawyers, and through media reports. BishopAccountability.org is
dedicated to consolidating and preserving that record.
The "account" has not come from the bishops.
Indeed, during this 60-year crisis they have made
every effort to conceal the truth from parishioners,
from victims with whom they negotiated settlements,
and sometimes even from each other.
In their new era of embarrassed transparency, many of them are
fighting the publication of accused priests' names, and even the
production of legally subpoenaed files.
In our view, all diocesan and conference files relating to the crisis
should be made public, so that a full accounting may begin.
Every day that the bishops delay, their "moral authority" weakens
further, and the damage that they have done to the Catholic church
"Studies" by their own hand-picked boards, working with whatever
data the bishops themselves choose to relinquish, is not a full
2) Who will hold the bishops accountable?
Bishops serve at the Pope's pleasure, and he will accept the
resignation of any bishop who is credibly and publicly accused of
abuse (Weakland of Milwaukee WI and O'Connell of Palm Beach
FL), who is indicted or arrested (O'Brien of Phoenix AZ), or who is a
liability because his people and especially his priests no longer want
him (Law of Boston MA).
It is our hope that the information we are collecting
at BishopAccountability.org will help expose bishops
who have abused children or vulnerable adults,
or have aided abusers.
We hope we can encourage an informed public to
demand indictments of bishops where appropriate.
And failing these legal remedies, we hope that our
Web site will embolden priests and laity to beg the
removal of culpable bishops by the Pope.
BishopAccountability.org aims to facilitate the accountability of the
U.S. bishops under civil, criminal, and canon law.
We document the debates about root causes and remedies,
because important information has surfaced during those debates.
We take no position on the root causes, and we do not
advocate particular remedies. If the facts are fully known,
the causes and remedies will become clear.
Has these resources:
Database of Accused Priests
Access by Main Search Page
Or by last name
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Or by clickable diocesan map
Current News & Archive
Thousands of investigative reports, articles, essays, and
Depositions, affidavits, complaints,
Assignment records of accused priests and
our guide for researching a priest’s career.
BishopAccountability.org has launched a project to gather and post
the assignment records of every U.S. Catholic priest who has been
accused of sexual abuse since 1940, so that vulnerable communities
can be identified and bishops' transfer policies can be determined.
Files of the Bishops
Documents on church administration and the abuse crisis, including
major collections of diocesan and investigative files from:
Boston MA | Manchester NH
Davenport IA | Portland ME | Fort Worth TX
“It is essential to document the truth,
and BishopAccountability.org does this.”
—Fr. Thomas Doyle, priest, canon lawyer,
advocate and friend of the survivors of clergy
sexual abuse, who in 1985 warned the Catholic
bishops of the scope of the sex abuse scandal
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We hope we can encourage an informed public to demand indictments
of bishops where appropriate. And failing these legal remedies,
we hope that our Web site will embolden priests and laity to
beg the removal of culpable bishops by the Pope.