Mike Reck and Patrick Wall Priest Abuse News Conference

WBEN Extras
Tuesday, March 13th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning my name's Mike rep I'm an attorney with Jeff Anderson associates. We are a law firm that represented survivors. Childhood sexual abuse. Throughout the country and here in the diocese of buffalo. With me is how to wall. Patrick he is a former Catholic priest and expert in clerical sexual abuse. We're here today to you discuss the recent developments here in the diocese of buffalo. Primarily for three reasons. Number one. We are releasing a report that has been compiled regarding the clerics here in dice the ball well. Who have been publicly accuse. Sexual misconduct. That report is available hard copy and if you want to go to the web site. Anderson advocates dot com you can download PDF of the report as well as photos and assignment histories for each of the alleged perpetrators. It's. Noteworthy that this report contains thirteen names. Which had been compiled solely from publicly available information. Secondarily. We're here today to call on the diocese of buffalo. To do the right thing and to release. The names of other credibly accused clerics that it knows that it continues to hold in secret. Third we're here to discuss the contemporaneous announcement last week. By the diocese of buffalo. A compensation program. That is available to some survivors. Of childhood sexual abuse here in the diocese of buffalo. First with regard to the fourth. It's noteworthy that this report contains thirteen games. Those names were compiled. Entirely from publicly available information. The assignment histories that have been created disclose. Where the alleged perpetrators were. When we were there and their last known Simon's. For the church. This is only the publicly available information that we've been able to access it obviously does not include. The information available to you the diocese. Awful. Of those thirteen priests. Who are displayed here. Six of them are believed to be deceased. Which then leads seven alleged perpetrators. Whose current whereabouts and status is unknown to us. Got heated up itself. Brings up an issue of vital public safety concern. Where are those seven individuals now. What safety protocols are placed on them and what warnings have been made to the communities. That they now inhabit. We have no indication. That the diocese ties been involved with. Criminal prosecution of these offenders or whether any of them. Are currently under supervision. Or subject to reporting requirements like Megan's law. And things of that nature. The second reason we're here today is to go beyond this report. That was compiled by survivors inspires applicants. They're in very public statements recently by. The bishop of the diocese of buffalo got the diocese is considering. Releasing the identities. Of the other known. Credibly accused clerics. Well the simple reality is that's the time for thinking about doing the right thing he's done. It's now time to actually do the right thing. There are. Buying the diocese owned count. At least 53 clerics who have been accused of sexual abuse. That number 53 stands in stark contrast. To the thirteen. That we know. That means there are my basic math at least forty individuals who've been accused of sexual misconduct. Whose identities. Whose histories and whose whereabouts are unknown. The simple reality is that. The church and the church alone holds this information. And up until today. And through today they have kept this information secret. And kept it away from the survivors. Who vitally need the acknowledgment. And the public who is entitled. To the safety protocols. That come along wit the disclosure. We don't take the allegation that this is a seed to public safety apparently. The reality is that disclosure of these identities. Regardless of when the abuse occurred. Is important. For two reasons. Number one disclosure of the identities. And win the church knew what they knew about them. He is necessary. For the first step for survivors. Who are still suffering in silence. There are many many individuals. Whose childhoods were affected by this trauma. Who to this day I still think they are the only one. They've never seen their abusers name. In public they've never seen the accountability. The acknowledgment. That this happened. It was wrong. And it was not their fault. Dot acknowledgment. Is the first step toward their Heatley. Secondarily. The release. Of the identities and whereabouts. Of known offenders. Protects children. Today. And children tomorrow. Simply because. The mistakes. Of yesterday. By this diocese cannot be effectively change and corrected. Without disclosure of what went wrong and how to fix it. The simple reality is. The diocese house this knowledge they could and should protect children. Now and in the future and they should do so. Failing to do so. He is quite frankly. Unstoppable. From our perspective on various diocese around the country how disclosed what they knew and when he knew it about their abusive priests. Years ago decades ago. Some diocese even the diocese here in New York has been sued. Under an allegation that by keeping him in secret they are actually constituting public nuisance. And creating danger to the public at large. The diocese of buffalo don't cost. The starting to do the right thing and we urge them to do it without delay. The third topic that he is very important for. Discussion today. He is the compensation plan that was contemporaneously announced by the guys as well. On one hand the bishop house disclosed that the diocese is considering releasing these names. Contemporaneously last week they also announced the institution of the IR CP. The other CP stands for independent. Reconciliation. And compensation plan. It is a third party and minister plan that will compensate some survivors. Of childhood sexual abuse. He is a confidential plan in that the survivors who qualify. Are protected their identities are confidential. And their information remains product. To the credit of the diocese. They have already stated that there will be no gag order imposed and the survivors. Will be able to discuss their case and their settlements. If they accused him. Or keep that information private if they choose to. This program while just announced last week carries with that deadline that deadline comes up in June of this year. Which is a few short months away for the survivors who are still struggling struggling with this trauma and have difficulty discussing it. Unfortunately. Those survivors are forced to comply with this deadline. And it's our belief that. There is a support structure for the survivors. If they come forward they will be treated with. Respect the dignity and David we will feel better having gone through that process. Now this higher CP that the diocese of buffalo has created. Well it does follow on. Framework created downstate. Originally by the Archdiocese of New York. And then followed by Brooklyn brought the senator and now. Both Syracuse and often spurt in addition to buffalo announced that the plants. Buffalo differ Buffalo's plan differs slightly in Nate is only available to survivors who have already reported their views to the space. So that means well the bravest of the brave survivors who have already been able to talk about this. Are you can avail themselves to this plan hand to. Modicum. Of justice. I can come with it. We wish to be clear got this plan falls short from the justice available in the court system. It is not full justice but it is some measure of justice that does provide some acknowledgment. For these survivors. When the downfall of this program. It's currently instituted. He's the only applies to those brave survivors who've already been able to share their information. Those survivors who are still suffering in silence. Wondering if they will be believed. Are not eligible to this program. Obviously the diocese should. And could continue this program out of the diocese in New York out and reach out to those survivors. Who are in desperate need for that support. And that accountability. Again that deadline for those who are able to participate. He is June 1 2008 team. You those survivors who qualify can avail themselves. To advocates working to contact the diocese directly. But please know that we urge you to reach out to law enforcement. And report these crimes. The district attorney has bravely called for survivors to do just that. And we also encourage them to reach out to law enforcement. Speak to the district attorney let them know. So that they can be sure this doesn't happen again two other children. Two survivors. Who are wondering about this. We see TUU and a loan. This is not your fault. You did nothing wrong. Please come forward. Also with me is Patrick wall Patrick is a former Roman Catholic priest. Essentially a whistle blower many years ago and one of the most knowledgeable people on clerical sexual abuse the country. He's here to discuss a few specific issues that are particular to the infrastructure. Hand the hierarchy and their handling of child sexual he's seen claims for buffalo. Good morning. First thing I wanted to see I think is really really important is that. Survivors do not operate. On that time line. Like everyone else. It should be when that survivors ready. To come forward that should be the timeline many survivors it takes in decades. To be able to deal with that incredible trauma happened to them. Two women just talking about. A small things written about sexual assault criminal sexual so reasonable rate. Tomas I mean. Forced the world population on all kinds of ugly things that he do those who was released in the capital rule don't wanna talk about the crimes. But that's what recruiters were doing. That's what you know brother priests were doing. For a survivor to be forced into a time line it's ugly. It's really ugly. In most of them honestly will not respond in time and we know that and we know that based on. Past experience. Where we've worked on cases twenty years ago. And now they're still coming forward twenty years later. That's going to be the reality the other tough reality for some survivors is that they weren't. Sexually assaulted by it to us some trees. If this can give Buffalo's consistently fielded diocese here in New York. They rule only deal with analysis entries so princes none of them and sanctions in Ankara. Nick not Lou. Frances Kansas and bombing. None of the nuns know the religious Warner Bros. would be part of this program if it's too if below those consistent with the other diocese. And that's our reality. That that faces us. So that timeline can't emphasize enough how hard that is answer yours it's really. But torturers. Type of thing and some family members may have to go to the Brothers go to their sisters in say. You know we kind of thought this was going on we always thought this was one of those lingering things. And they have to console. The other thing I wanted to point out to I know it's obvious. But if you look at the data that we put together. The distribution. Of the perpetrators. Only the thirteen that was law. And there are going to be more now. That is consistent throughout the diocese. Statistically this is an impossibility. Except war. Human administration to be able to distribute. The pain and distribute the criminals in order to get them all geographic solution in order to move those perpetrators. Across the diocese. So that they would not be known. So as we know we're gonna go through a couple of these this ministries that we put together. In your wanna rule where were these ministers come. The documents that are sitting right there. The official Catholic directory. It's is really big right big ugly brown book but the reason that's judicially noticeable and reliable. Is because since 1940s. The Roman Catholic church and order in the United States in order to maintain his tax exempt status passed to submit that big blow to the IRS. In order to maintain tax themselves. And they tell Leo IRS exactly where every priest. And work every searches. So that that property and all of those operations. Maintain tax exempt. The second vote just you're gonna while ago and yet he is the Catholic directory published by the diocese of buffalo. The current one courses on line in the diocese website you can download it. In you can see exactly. You've been Judas specificity of nuns or Brothers or whomever they see exactly where people are from years and years now these documents are not. Perfect. Because they are snapshots. So they're not gonna give you a date night dating. Operate don't know where the guys are but they're really give you year by year. Another dot thus says the documents that you don't want to take a look at they're going to be publicly available. Are going to be in Niagara Catholic universities and seed money. Great there on the shelf you're gonna see all kinds of things that are received in maintaining. And lastly you want one now the single best and most important resource. On priests is going to be the Chancery office not not surprising there. The Chancery office maintains all these produce documents because it's part. But we will call cannon rating nine months of secret archive files this what room exists all sizes across the world. Not unique to buffalo they must maintain these files in perpetuity. So for instance a wanted it he could jump to those priest personal area. Great example of that if you wanna see you both cool priest file. Just goes to monitored changed partners while. And we got that not from ball. It was publicly produced to us. In California. Because after father's heart problems here with children buffalo this in the San Diego. Sharks do insurers do that he. Former Carter offended in San Diego and he was part of the large settlement that we had in the Bakersfield and San Diego. So if you wanna see the actual contents. What these priests while looks that looks like it would be fodder otters. Some of the things that really jump out and choose you start to see them. The evolution things. The first 11 opera but really. Went from there. All those assignments that he had. He's a judgment. He has nowhere else he is moving from place to place also you see you all these unknowns. Well you even with all that that. It has to be unknown. Is so. Strange in the capital group because when the pressure to sign you to a place. They know every day we're here. It's more to new that your organization this is not well and he's kind of him fluid injuries not really cool. Know every single day there has to be a priest on duty at a parish. There's no such thing is unknown science. Those are things to look for it and different. Red flags to take a look at. I want to be different angles and that's on page. You see another category of things that you see. One of the things I've really learned is that. There is a 121 relationship. Between increase in child pornography. Preach to acts out sexually with children. If you're able to do enough investigation. You generally find there's evidence of that. And here here's a classic example. Also when you see these guys that are sent off to various treatment programs. The Catholic Church operates its own in house. Psychiatric facilities. One of the closest she only hear the courses the soft on institute. Outside of Toronto. South zone is operated by the Canadian bishops. And it is a facility. Oftentimes headed by in American religious we've. And those whose priests they go there for treatment using it to six month in how's mandatory. Under obedience treatment program. In the reason is so convenient to go there is therefore. All of the reports. Are coming in Canada. And I doubt that the community and non police are gonna give the state police in New York call. If any of them ever comes out. And it never leaves the facility. It's written down into report that I report that is communicated that to the diocese in quarters ago the secret archives. Those can 49 files there's going to organize in the diocese and access to that the bishop. In the description. So skip very close to the list. Now that chancellor courses in charge of the entire archives. But only the vicar general and the bishops have access to these kinds of medical records and they get placed in the priest's file. Another example where you I think there's pretty powerful. He has we're. Father and particularly. He which is obviously very common name suggested to repeat Jerry Kelly. In Austin on sick leave programs and don't leave a couple different times there are certain. He words that you see in the camping directories all the time apps and on leave. Apps and on sick leave. With our assignments. Even residents in places so just kind of hanging out yet please these are all classic replaces your NC. I think another one that regularly. Jumped out at me his father Bernard. I'm Bernard from 1970. To 1991. He S exporters assignments and thirteen years. They were churning him around they were moving him around the diocese because these reports were coming in and so they have to keep in mind so much. Another classic example. Is this for tomorrow. And be. Treatment facility that he's clearly sent to is that your guy you're gonna look at the side assignment. 1999. To 2013. He's few blocks ten and tennis brings New Mexico. Hammonds springs New Mexico. Is a rock and place it is a facility religious order that would lead treats. Fallen trees and fallen trees at courses who Wear those who have offended and had all kinds of quote. No boundary violations we've seen hundreds of files so servants is apparently done Henis springs. Seen Luke institute. In Maryland which is owned and operated by the niceties camp in bishops the Seton institute in Baltimore. That's now done is institute in Canada. These are all very specific places. And all which clearly going to be assignment histories that we we're able to put together they were used by the diocese of buffalo. So there has been all along long tradition here getting pretty silent dodging getting them to treatment. On war the various afflictions of sexual assault and crimes they committed. You have other specific questions and I'm sure if you take a look at these assignment histories we fully expect more. Priest. Information will come now to our report. And would be more than happy to answer. And can questions real quick before we go to questions I wanna point out something that's been. Great public interest lately. There's been a lot of discussion about father. Norbert. Porcelain it's publicly if and when you look through the report and I'm not gonna talk you through right now but it's there it's available on our website. His complete assignment history. Is available dollars compiled from the official Catholic directory which is a year by year analysis. Four where he worked. Where he was assigned by position this is available for all all for increased that are in there. But when you look at father horseless history. The note that there are two gaps in history where it is highly likely from our perspective. That father horseless was sent to you one of these treatment facilities. Now we can't confirm that because that information. Is contained. In secret files. Under control by advertisements. So that's something that as we look at these reports even that thirteen that are publicly available. We don't know exactly. When they knew what they need. We just know that the diocese has this information. And they can and should disclose it. Did you do edition of I think it's really important say that you'll want to do we get there are no time world. You know memories creating people pass away in all kinds of things school. But the cruises along oral tradition. And there are people still around that know what happened back into the 1970s. We have retired bishops. We have former vicar generals that are still bishops in the state. Cunningham back was. Bishop Cunningham was. Bishop heads. Secretary pre secretary in the 1970s. So we've done you know on hand in living memory. So that is the diocese wants to really compiled this and put it together. The people who are available and the memories are still alive. And that would be great service to survivors. Because that way. Where at least the diocese to acknowledge. That priest was an offender. Would be a tremendous help when there. And there's no lesion on pieces. Absolutely. Me any questions. Oh. Oh yeah. Patrick won't be you know. I might wrap party CK with a lot from Jeff Anderson says it's well Clinton did. Quote. That that's the case. All right. Okay. Actors. What is the list while there and our party. Sure too good question and goes right to the point why we're here today. The thirteen names. Are already out there what you have in your booklet now he is. The review of the official Catholic directory which goes year by year through the assignments that each of these alleged offenders so that. Those members. Of those parishes in those count we'll know in fact. This alleged offender was here he was here during this time period. Perhaps someone in my family perhaps someone that I know is hurt and suffering in silence the other reason why it's very important. That we acknowledge these thirteen games these are not new names. And should it have been put together one location. But they're not but the thirteen here. Differs dramatically. From that 53. Got the diocese of buffalo has publicly acknowledged. That means there are forty. Forty. Alleged clerics. From the diocese of buffalo. Whose identities and whereabouts are unknown to the public. So we view this report. We view this report. As a jumping off point this is a steppingstone. This is what we can compiled because it's the right thing. We asked the diocese to do the right thing and supplement. Join us and acknowledging Kennedys. And making sure that those survivors know they're not alone. We've had no communication with the diocese of buffalo. If you cut just icing I don't know what they're aware of to be honest with. Respond to her. Heard. Well I don't wanna mince words with the former bishop what I do you know he is that not. Which is compiled simply with a thirteen names that we know. Speaks for itself. If they want to talk about it as we think they should. Then they should acknowledge. If they were utilizing any geographic solution by moving priests around. They should acknowledge that they should fix that. If there's some other reason then by all means they should explain to you all and to the public. View. So. There you know. So besides. Previous music wise. Dozens. They know that helps. People. You're you disguises to include those people who have not go forward war to be included in piracy. What would you do if today say because there's you or your news we will catch you. We do not and I think women. Well at that point. We have. Survivors. Of childhood trauma. Who are not even eligible for the modicum. Of justice in the modicum of acknowledgment. That the bravest and the Braves are eligible for. That the situation that your conditioning would mean those who are still suffer in silence who have not begun healing journey. Are not even eligible for the full acknowledgment. I would pose to you got hurt survivors. It prevents them from saying at the very least meet you. That's my fender. They could and should be able yet there. There. Yes we represent thousands of survivors throughout the country and across the world including several survivors here in the diocese of buffalo. Some of whom qualified for the RC program some of whom you know. There. Some of them how some of them not some of them have received the paperwork from the diocese and others actually. There. Well. As I'm sure everyone has where has been. Publicly discussed the statue limitations in New York which is in basic terms time limit. Within which you can't. Green claims against abusers and those responsible for these users is particularly strict. Team in general terms he is a survivor doesn't come forward and isn't able to go into courtroom in their early twenties. The eight core was part so the aside from the higher CP. There are few options sometimes there are options that are available and I know the governor has recently come out in favor of changing that statue limitations. But as it stands today we would encourage survivors to do qualify. To at least consider the hires TP. That. Sure so. What we've done in other diocese around country. First in New York in Rockville Centre he is we brought aid lawsuit. Alleging that the diocese of Rockville Centre. By keeping the identities of its known few known offenders secret created dangerous condition. And dangerous condition constitutes a public nuisance. That's a lawsuit that's been brought the currently pending. Down in Rockville center it's been brought in other diocese around the country. And he is something that you know we as a law firm. Consider for public good where Rory. Now that he. He didn't just walk us you were definitely. Your poem a member of Jeff Anderson solutions and so my whole job is to help survivors and obviously when it comes to church documents. On the resume you know it. Everyone I don't expect anyone in the country to be able to look through assignment history and see appeal Watson Imus brings me immediately. Key in two. Servers that correctly or if you see the recon unit. In in Saint Louis you see the actors off. You're not gonna know what that is unless you. He lived in this space for several decades. And since I interviewed survivors for all these shooters it's. Unfairly do that and it's matter comfort as a model what is most of time we can't do anything legally. So we're we're the statue of limitations stops so it's the only modicum of relief it's almost like a dome or in the confession way. And so that's that's what we do and continue to do the research obviously increase Nixon's secret codes number of years ago published. You know taking knowledge no back through the ages specifically. You know churches reacted in different ages and different times. And if a court orders which is what happens once in awhile pretty cool. The court will give us in order to allow us to go into our time and again it goes in America. And us open journal archives and gentler times. In the Christian Irish Christian Brothers are constant to be able to figure out that information because. I know it's not it doesn't seem natural Tia. That an institution would maintain. These kinds of documents that they do in perpetuity. And it's just about you know flattering and ferreting out that she wouldn't. I number where. You sit you look. Blue. There since connected us. Witten out. Doing man as commerce. Which obviously reliving it is and you years ago. And its own land he. You. And I'll pass orders that are out there. And early eighties typically. It subsidizes. That happened is not yours. Come a little while that can we assume I'll and number or or is there any way you can extrapolate and say. That our problem is this car. Yes you can because we have reports from Australia. We have reports from. Ireland's the that are involved in public these government inquiries. It was disorders and we have litigation across the country and Ruth disorders so we can we can pull those numbers out. The classic numbers 6%. Of clerics who sexually assault trial in their lifetime. And this is over long periods of time and that first number came Richard sites study. Net program study from 1960s in 1990 they polished it and that consequently. As in certain places that comes up to rule. Because of the geographic solution your refine certain spots where it's much higher. And the religious orders actually come off and higher percentage so the thing that's hard is it with religious orders. They're geographic solution is not limited to the jurisdiction. Buffalo no buffalo did a huge as far as giving people law degree to. They sent people San Diego these people. Florida these people because Brazil and Rio and our mission in Brazil. And so I mean they they did it there both Hutus who orders it's even greater because they offer to them. You know what you hear his. Personal life viewers. I. Historically that's what's true. You know what your question really touched on something that he is a little else to grouse sometimes on initial inquiry. The iris TP is being created is available for. As we said survivors. Dialysis and priests who are reported. That leaves out survivors. Religious order clerics. Now we would have to review the official copycat directory to see exactly. What the percentages of religious order clerics hand diocesan clerics. But in other guys who I know we've we've looked at this in the Archdiocese of New York traditionally about 50%. Of the priest who work in. Got diocese were in fact religious order clerics. So the question here could be. To the bishop of the diocese. The diocese of buffalo ease import. Religious priests from whatever order jesuit benedictine Franciscans. Have allowing them under the bishops direction to work here in the diocese. Why are survivors of those priests not eligible players. You. It is unfair or you. Home. I don't think it we can make that estimate I think the better question he is instead estimating instead of survivor I think it gas. I information available. If I see how that information they know exactly. Who has been alleged to committed this act against a child. They simply have to make it now the rest of us are you know kind of guessing and trying to push with clout. Your your question really brings up an interesting point because. Remember of them back win cardinal law was removed and and a big explosion. Part of the resolve that is the United States bishops hired that John Kerry Collins and promote justice. In the various diocese not everyone participate most of the diocese then. Went through their secret America produce confidential report and sent that to John today. And so you see these letters from the actors diocese reporting adjusted to us some clerics are not reporting religious because they don't. The bishop doesn't consider himself the highest ordinary guys guys CEO charger. That particular corner so if you're given a number. Just make sure that you know that that is the dialysis and number. For for a judge's. And remarkably. And he. Well this is like call enumerate or denominator shuffle right. So when we need those religious order Prius. We bring him in and then there were we can reduce that is that they're regulatory news total number threes that that existed. In the diocese. Welcome you take that against. Just the fastest and but when they don't when they wanted to get rid of the religious or guys in the shuffle lunatic tomorrow. And and so bass line. Obviously you know if you look non account under the numbers at all. But I do know I've seen this new rendered denominator felt so often. That it's hard for me to get roosters teammates there to put. What numbers just secure its. Movies these days moving forward. More people make or play games and it does the problem worse. Or replace happy piracy. Was. The problem. Exists. The problem is that those individuals who suffer that trauma already suffered it. Then being empowered. Those survivors being able to talk about it to say this happened. Meet two it was wrong it helps them. Yes it highlights what the shortcomings of the higher CP in that they may not all be eligible. Or this self created program by the diocese that's true it does point out that shortcoming. But anything that empowers the survivors to be able to acknowledge this to heal and be on he's a good first. Wrong. Okay. You know. Well I think that the diocese of buffalo hasn't raced secrecy. And that secrecy. Has bred Sheen. And silence. And that has hurt individuals. And the diocese now he's on the cost of doing the right thing. And we would urge them to take that step turn that corner. And do the right thing.