15 Priest Abusers In Memphis: The Court Seal Is Lifted

The more we look under Peter's rock, the worse it appears. From the Memphis diocese, a court seal was just removed from the court cases dealing with sexual abuse. It shows a church routinely ignoring the past pedophile records of priesthood candidates, and even when abuse has occurred, the routine response was reassignment to other parishes. The case of Father Juan Carlos Duran is among the worst:

"I just remember him asking me in the car or asking when we are alone, 'Please, please, let me give you (oral sex),' stuff like that," said a 14-year-old boy identified as "John Doe" in a sex abuse lawsuit filed against the diocese and the Dominicans. "I can't remember the exact number of occasions, but it was multiple."

The "John Doe" case prompted The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Daily News to file suit to gain access to court documents related to that case ... The documents show that at least 15 priests have been accused of sexual misconduct over about four decades in the Memphis Diocese. Some had been accused of sexual abuse elsewhere and had been moved from one diocese to another.

A summary of the Memphis Commercial Appeal's stories on the abuse here. This extract from a deposition is pretty staggering:

Here is a deposition exchange in 2007 between attorney Gary Smith, who represented the Memphis boy and Father Rodriguez:

Smith: "Let's see if I read this right. 'No other bishop has been willing to grant him faculties for ministry. Some other dioceses within the territory of the province have been contacted. . .'"

Rodriguez: "Yes."

Smith: " '. . .All of them have rejected my requests for faculties and ministry.' Close quote. Did I read that accurately?"

Rodriguez: "Yes."

Smith: "So after Juan Carlos abused my client, you were still going around seeking faculties and ministry for him with other dioceses?"

Rodriguez: "I had to put that there to prove that there was no other option."

Smith: "Did you lie to the Pope?"

Rodriguez: "Yes."

Smith: "You did lie to the Pope?"

Rodriguez: "Yes."