Father James Porter, the evil priest who raped over 200 children, confessed his pedophilia to the Pope who decided it best to “forgive and forget”, it has been revealed.
By ignoring his pedophile confession, the Pope left Father Porter to sexually abuse many more children that could’ve otherwise been spared.
The pedophile priest was caught after a private investigator, who was working with the serial rapist’s victims, taped a phone conversation in which Porter admitted to raping over 100 children.
The church ended up settling 131 claims related to Porter, making it the largest sex abuse scandal in history until new allegations later emerged in Boston involving defrocked priest Paul Shanley. Although he admitted to raping all those children, prosecutors on the case believe the actual number was well over 200 victims.
According to the Boston Globe, the Roman Catholic priest admitted in a 1973 letter to Pope Paul VI that he had molested youths in five states.”I know in the past I used to hide behind a Roman collar, thinking that it would be a shield for me,”
Porter wrote to the Pope in a four-page affidavit seeking absolution for his “unholy deeds”.
NY Times reports: The affidavit, which was accompanied by a 20-page statement of his troubles statement, is a clear indication of how widespread knowledge was inside the Roman Catholic Church about Mr. Porter’s activities while he was a priest from 1960 to 1974. Pope Paul VI approved Father Porter’s request on Jan. 5, 1974, The Globe said.
The newspaper reported that Mr. Porter’s personnel file showed that the Bishop of the Fall River Diocese in Massachusetts and other church officials had removed Father Porter from his priestly duties at least eight times because he had sexually assaulted children. But each time they allowed him to resume his work after favorable reports on his treatment.
There is also no evidence that the Diocese or churches where Father Porter served ever sought to help any of his victims or their families. More Than 100 AccusersMore than 100 men and women who say they were sexually assaulted by Mr. Porter have come forward since the first disclosures. Specialists on the church say this makes the case one of the largest of its kind ever involving a priest.
Frank Fitzpatrick, a private detective who says he was one of the victims, said that the letter to the Pope “just goes to show how far the knowledge of this, and the cover-up, went.”Mr. Fitzpatrick, who has accused Mr. Porter of raping him while he was an altar boy in North Attleboro, Mass., in the early 1960’s, said, “It’s horrible that not even Rome acted.”But Eugene Kennedy, a former priest, and author who teaches psychology at Loyola University in Chicago said it was totally unrealistic to expect that the Pope or the Vatican would intervene in a case like Father Porter’s.”The Vatican is simply too far away”, Mr. Kennedy said, “and its policy is to leave such matters up to the local diocese”.
It is unclear whether Father Porter’s letter to Pope Paul VI is covered by the rules of confidentiality that apply to confessions within the Catholic Church. If it was covered, that presumably would have prevented church officials from notifying law-enforcement officials or the victims’ families. The Globe did not indicate where it had obtained the material, citing only sources.
The Rev. John Moore, director of communications for the Fall River Diocese, which was responsible for Father Porter while he was a priest, denied that the Diocese provided the material to the Globe. Father Moore said the Diocese had recently turned over all its files on the former priest to the Office of the District Attorney for Bristol County in nearby New Bedford. The reason Father Porter wrote to the Pope, Mr. Kennedy and other experts said, is that only the Pope could free a priest from his vows, a process known as a dispensation. Mr. Kennedy said only two explanations were acceptable at the time: that the man had never wanted to be a priest or that he had real psychological problems.
James Carroll, a former priest who is now a novelist living in Boston, said that when he sought to give up his vows in 1974, he was advised by a superior in the church that, would have to show he was a misfit with a chronic psychological problem. Mr. Carroll said he had refused, and when he wrote a letter to the Pope expressing pleasure in his priestly work, he was initially rejected.
It may have been this requirement that led Father Porter to write his letter. In it, he acknowledged that he had become homosexually involved with some of the youths in his parish, according to The Globe account.Father Porter was also careful not to give details that would leave him legally liable. In much of his letter, he merely said he had “lapsed” into his “past problems.”Nowhere in his letter did Father Porter express any regret for his actions, The Globe said.