The Boston Archdiocese has admitted for the first time that Irish sex abuse priests worked in its diocese.
The priests, named as Brendan Smyth, Dennis Murphy and Joseph Maguire, were transferred from Ireland to the U.S. in what critics say was little more than an attempt to insulate the priests from scrutiny and possible prosecution.
Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said that the trio did, at one time, work in the Boston Archdiocese.
But he said he was unaware of any abuse allegations against the three men during their time in Boston or before that.
Well that's alright then.
The absence of allegations given the subject matter is hardly reassuring. The Archdiocese, which only released the names under pressure from the activist organization BishopAccountability.org, needs to do more investigation.
Terry McKiernan, for one, from BishopAccountability.org, wants more details.
“It’s a bit of surprise and not really a surprise,” McKiernan said. “It seems to me a shame that this is still the way things are working. Surely the Boston Archdiocese by now should know it needs to come forward, it needs to come clean about situations like this.”
BishopAccountability.org had urged Cardinal Sean O'Malley to give them the names of Irish priests who had served in the area and had been accused of sex abuse in Ireland.
Their request was prompted by the publication of the Murphy report in Ireland which revealed that Dublin church leaders shielded pedophile priests between 1975 and 2004.
The group wants to know if the same thing was happening here.
They maintain a detailed database which seems to suggest that the Irish church kept exporting monsters to the U.S.
One such monster was Brendan Smyth.
Smyth masqueraded as a man of a the cloth in Ireland and the US from the 1940s right up until the early '90s.
As we now know, he was no man of the cloth.
No one knows how many children he preyed upon, but what we do know is that his order, the Norbertines, went to great lengths to cover up his crime.
They moved him from parish to parish whenever any allegations were made against him, and shipped him out to America when they needed to.
It is beyond belief that the man discovered his real faith crossing the Atlantic and became a true man of the cloth.
The Boston Church — and the rest of the American church — needs to do more to investigate whether these men continued their abuse in America and who, if anyone, knew about it.