Former Catholic Priest: “This Church Is a Criminal Enterprise”


Saw this interview today and just had to amplify this beautiful quote from Bob Hoatson, a former Catholic priest and the co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, which assists victims of sexual abuse:

This church is a criminal enterprise, that actually covers up the massive sexual abuse of children for centuries.

This is in response to a shocking new Pennsylvania grand jury report that has revealed that more than 300 Catholic priests sexually abused 1,000 children, and possibly thousands more, over a span of seven decades. The church leadership covered up the abuse, lying to communities, transferring predator priests rather than firing them, and locking abuse complaints away in what the church called a “secret archive.”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro emphasized how the Catholic Church delayed taking action on reports of priests engaged in child sexual abuse in order to prevent criminal charges from being filed:

The pattern was abuse, deny and cover up. The effect not only victimized children, it served a legal purpose that church officials manipulated for their advantage. The longer they covered it up, the less chance law enforcement could prosecute these predators, because the statute of limitations would run. As a direct consequence of the systematic cover-up by senior church officials, almost every instance of child sexual abuse we found is too old to be prosecuted.

Mr. Hoatson continued:

In 2003, I testified before the New York state Legislature, and I was a priest at the time. I was directing two schools in the inner city of Newark. And I called for the resignation of any bishop in the United States who has covered up child sexual abuse. Three days later, I was called into the chancery of the Newark archdiocese and fired by my bishop for speaking out.

I was told that my language was too volatile at the hearing in Albany, and the bishop asked me to tone down my language. And then I was—they slid a letter across the table at me, and it said that “You’re fired, effective immediately.”

When Governor Frank Keating resigned as the chair of the first National Review Board, that was set up after the Dallas Charter was passed in 2002, he resigned and said, “This is exactly what the Mafia is like. It’s dealing with the Mafia.” And that’s what we’re dealing with.

Frank Keating was governor of Oklahoma from 1995 to 2003. In June 2002, Keating, a practicing Roman Catholic, was named chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops National Review Board examining sex abuse by Catholic priests.

Shortly after, on June 16, 2003, Keating stepped down from the Review Board. The resignation came days after Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony criticized Keating for comparing some church leaders to the Mafia.

Keating told the Los Angeles Times:

I have seen an underside that I never knew existed. I have not had my faith questioned, but I certainly have concluded that a number of serious officials in my faith have very clay feet. That is disappointing and educational, but it’s a fact.

To act like La Cosa Nostra [the Mafia] and hide and suppress, I think, is very unhealthy, … Eventually it will all come out.

In his resignation letter to the Review Board, Keating said:

My remarks, which some Bishops found offensive, were deadly accurate. I make no apology…. To resist Grand Jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church.

Just happy to know that I’m not alone in calling the Catholic Church a criminal organization.

If you want to know more about the inner workings of the Church and the priesthood, please read: The Hypocrisy of the Clergy – Preachers who are not Believers, by Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola, Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University, March 15, 2010.

And just for fun, take a look at what the church has paid out in sex abuse scandals during the last 10 years:

  • December 2003: $100 million to sex abuse lawsuit brought by 87 plaintiffs
  • June 2005: $35 million to 33 victims
  • August 2005: $56 million to 56 people
    December 2006: $60 million to settle to 45 cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests
  • January 2007: $48 million as compensation to people abused by priests
  • July 2007: Record-breaking pay-out of $660 million to settle 508 cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests
  • September 2007: $198 million to settle 144 claims of sexual abuse by clergy
  • March 2010: $166.1 million to Native Americans sexually abused by US priests

This is a total of roughly $1.3 billion dollars, just using the little information that I’ve been afforded. You can read more about this in this article: More Money than God?

Thanks for reading,


You can watch the full interview at DemocracyNOW!:

Leave a Reply