‘They Knew And They Let It Happen To Kids

On his first day on the job in July 2001, Globe editor Martin Baron stopped by the desk of Eileen McNamara, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. A week earlier, on July 29, 2001, McNamara had published a column about the Boston Archdiocese’s silence on three Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children. One line, in particular, had irked Baron. McNamara had wondered whether an accused priest’s superiors had known about his crimes. Court documents were sealed. “The public,” she concluded, “has no way of knowing.”

McNamara recalls Baron standing over her desk: “Why don’t we find out,” he said.

Spotlight’s investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church did not begin with a tip or newly obtained document, as so many investigations do. Instead, it started when a new

What to Know About Priest Sexual Abuse in New York

New York’s population is over 30% Catholic.

With the abundance of Roman Catholic Churches and schools in the state and the sordid reality of predatory clergy, it’s unsurprising that New York has a significant number of priest sex abuse claims. The widespread molestation and rape that clergy have committed against children have caused the Church to face serious financial troubles and severe damage to their reputation.

The statute of limitations was extended in several states and led to thousands of new priest abuse lawsuits throughout the U.S., including New York. Combined with the NY Child Victims Act, which allows

Catholic religious order Society of the Divine Word exporting abusive priests

Even before he was ordained a Catholic priest, the Rev. Ronald Lange went to Ghana in 1968 to do missionary work.

In a profile by a community newspaper years later, Lange spoke of his commitment to learning about Ghana while teaching at schools there and leading a parish with more than a dozen worship sites.

“The people are just so happy to see you,” Lange, a member of the Society of the Divine Word’s Chicago province, based near Northbrook, was quoted as saying. “You don’t even have to be a good priest.”

And he wasn’t, as his order now acknowledges.

New Diocese list of abusers includes 16 former local priests

A recent bankruptcy court filing by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre sheds new light on the scope of sexual abuse by clergy who served on the North Fork, but critics say they believe an attached list of abusers omits the names of dozens more perpetrators. 

The April 15 filing documents allegations against some former local priests who hadn’t previously been publicly accused of abuse and offers new details about locations where incidents occurred here and elsewhere on the East End.

But attorneys representing victims of clergy sex abuse say the report excludes allegations leveled at prominent figures in the Catholic church on Long Island, including the late Bishop John McGann and Msgr. Alan Placa. 

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston, Mass., whose work with clergy sexual

St. Therese no stranger to clergy sexual abuse

St. Therese Catholic parish in Albuquerque knows too well the scourge of clergy sexual abuse.

Eight of the 79 priests and other clergy members on the archdiocese list of those “credibly accused” of molesting children worked at the North Valley parish over a 32-year period. The first priest was assigned in 1959, five years after the current church was built.

The eight included Jason Sigler, one of the few priests who worked in New Mexico who were criminally charged and who went to prison after being convicted of sexually abusing a minor.

Across the U.S., many survivors of clergy abuse served as altar boys in the church or belonged to parish youth groups when they were molested.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s website says it has adopted a “zero-tolerance” policy on

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