Irish Benedictine monk Patrick Wall thought his life was over when he quit the priesthood in disgust at the way he claims his bosses covered up sickening sex scandals.
But the angry Irishman decided to adopt the maxim, “don’t get mad – get even”, by turning detective to expose the corruption and depravity in the Catholic Church.
Amateur policeman Wall has spent six years travelling across America investigating sex abuse cases and his shocking discoveries are now to be published in a book called Sex, Priests and Secret Codes.
Leaving the closeted comfort of St John’s Abbey was one of the scariest things Wall had ever done. There, everything was provided – from food and clothing to healthcare and cars. In the real world he had none of those and his training in Church history, divine texts and Italian and Latin seemed of very little use.
Fortunately, his ability to read ancient Church texts and his inside knowledge of the priesthood have become invaluable in exposing the cancer in the Church.
The turning point occurred when Wall read a newspaper commentary by a lawyer who had won a $5 million sexual abuse settlement from a diocese.
Wall could only agree with the lawyer John Manly’s assessment that, “Catholic bishops act more like the tobacco industry than like the successors to the apostles that they are supposed to be.”
The next day, he called Manly and told him he was a former priest who could help penetrate the secrecy of the Church.
“I was sure he thought I was an absolute kook,” recalls Wall.
However, Manly put Wall to work decoding the archaic language of the Church and flying him out to Alaska, Oregon and Florida to investigate priest abuse claims.
His new book – written with former priests Richard Sipe and Tom Doyle – threatens to blow the lid off the Church’s wall of secrecy by proving that the Church knew its priests were violating their vows.
To research the book, Wall and his two colleagues interviewed 2,000 victims of clerical sexual abuse in the US alone.
They uncover a shocking internal Vatican document which demands absolute secrecy when it comes to sexual abuse.
Bishops are instructed to pursue sex abuse cases “in the most secretive way…restrained by a perpetual silence…and everyone (including the alleged victim) …is to observe the strictest secret, which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office…under the penalty of excommunication.”
“This is the code for how you must deal with sex by priests,” says Richard Sipe. “You keep it secret at all costs. And that’s what’s happened. It’s happened in every diocese in this country.”
The release of the book comes as The Vatican launches its long- awaited “apostolic visitation”, which looks at the best way to select prospective priests in seminaries.
Wall, meanwhile, has made his full transition into the secular world. He married ballerina Lisa Hill and the pair now have a daughter, Erin.
PRIEST QUIT CHURCH TO EXPOSE SEX SCANDALS ; Book ‘lifts the lid on Church’s secret code re: abuse by clerics’; EXCLUSIVE By JULIAN BROUWER
Sunday Mirror 08-28-2005
Priest Quits Church to Expose Scandals