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Because of the different sexual abuse pay outs over America, confidential personnel data files of abusive priests have been revealed. One noteworthy discovery from these records has been the level to which bishops transported priests from the parish that they had been charged with sexual abuse to an alternative parish to remain within the ministry.
Bishops were found to have moved priests without giving an explanation that explains why. Priests were reported to be on sick leave or affected by exhaustion then silently taken away to a new location. Priests charged with sexual abuse were shielded from repercussions and continued getting housing and living expenses. Even each time a priest’s abuse became known to the community, he'd be relocated to a parish where no person knew of his abusive history.
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Bishops along with other high level leaders within the diocese would keep the awareness of a transferred priest’s actions to themselves, containing them in secret documents within the diocese. Even priests who confessed to abusing children were returned to ministry often to abuse kids inside the new place.
One example identified through the Pennsylvania grand jury analysis was Father Ernest Paone of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. In the first nine years of his ministry, Father Paone was transferred to several different parishes. In 1962, a pastor had to intercede to prevent Father Paone from being arrested for molestation, and the diocese’s response would be to shift him to a parish in a new location. Father Paone remained in the ministry enjoying assistance of the church right up until his resignation in 2003.
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Also in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Father George Zirwas was issued to 8 various parishes from 1979-1995 when he was put on a leave of absence. Diocese data discovered that Father Zirwas started receiving allegations of child abuse towards him in 1987 that continued until his leave of absence. In the Diocese of Scranton, Father Robert N. Caparelli was transported to half a dozen different parishes after his ordination in 1964 until finally he was absolved of obligations in 1991. Less than four years after starting his ministry, the bishop was called by a police officer warning him of Father Caparelli’s misconduct with 2 altar boys.
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Father Caparelli was moved to yet another parish and claims of child abuse continued to follow him to subsequent parishes. Father Joseph M. Pease, from the Diocese of Harrisburg, was one more case in point outlined in the Pennsylvania grand jury report. Father Pease was transported to a variety of parishes in his 40 years of ministry in the diocese in spite of facing a number of allegations of sexual abuse.