May 01, 2005

Reasons vague as to transfer from Boston

The Journal Gazette

By Rebecca S. Green
The Journal Gazette

Twenty years after his arrival in Fort Wayne, Bishop John M. D’Arcy will say only that his old boss, Cardinal Bernard Law, wanted him to leave the Archdiocese of Boston.

What he won’t speculate on is why.

However, at least one person who knows the situation he left behind in Boston is happy to connect the dots: she says the red flags that D’Arcy raised over sexual abuse by priests ultimately got him transferred.

When the sex abuse scandal exploded in the Roman Catholic Church in early 2002, amid the thousands of documents outlining abuse and an active cover-up by the hierarchy, a handful of letters written by D’Arcy surfaced.

The letters, addressed to Law and other superiors, warned of the conduct of at least four priests accused of violence, alcoholism, drug use and sexual abuse. Beginning in July 1978, the letters continued up until D’Arcy’s transfer to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in 1985. D’Arcy will mark the 20th anniversary of his new assignment this weekend.

“He won’t say it, but obviously the effect of what he did, it had to be in retaliation for him bringing to light this conduct,” said Illinois Appellate Court Justice Anne Burke, the former head of theAbuse Tracker Catholic Lay Review Board tasked to examine the scope of the clergy sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in the U.S.

Posted by kshaw at May 1, 2005 08:03 AM