Podcast Show Notes

In this podcast, we ask Tom for his perspective on New Zealand and for clarification around the responsibility that lies with the Bishops.

The depth and breadth of Tom’s expertise is unrivalled. He is the acknowledged world authority on the Roman Catholic Church not only as a doctoral canon lawyer with impeccable credentials but also as a victim survivor advocate of unparalleled experience. This is not in some theoretical, ivory-tower way but at the cutting edge of this pain and in the very heart of the beast; in the depths of survivor anguish and suffering for nearly four decades. Sleeves rolled up, Tom confronts this beast and reveals its entrails , blood, guts and all.

That the man is still standing is a testimony to his endurance and total commitment to survivors. He has been remorselessly demonised and vilified by church authorities, most recently here in New Zealand by the former Bishop of Palmerston North, Charles Drennan who described Tom as a “loose cannon” and a “liar”, harsh words from a man now disgraced and outed as the liar himself.

Water off a duck’s back for Dr Doyle who is used to such slander and who, in civil courts, has been found to be entirely credible and trusted, so much so, the Church is now over USD$6 billion in the red because of survivors’ law suits against the institution that sexually abused them.

Listen to this podcast. You will hear a deeply erudite man speaking plain language to ordinary people in his uniquely, engaging style.
Victim survivors are a bulldozer levelling Everest, a seemingly impossible task but one which will succeed because this bulldozer is fueled by Truth and Everest is just a mountain.

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About The Guests

Tom Doyle image -

“You don’t deal with a paedophile by sending him on retreat and telling him to say some prayers. That’s like trying to convince a rattlesnake to eat salad. It makes no sense. It’s just not going to happen”

Dr Tom Doyle

Thomas Patrick Doyle (1944) is an American Catholic priest in the Dominican Order. He attended Aquinas Institute of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, Aquinas Institute of Theology, Catholic University of America, and the University of Ottawa.

Dr Doyle also holds a Pontifical Licentiate in Canon Law from St. Paul University, and a Pontifical Doctorate in Canon Law from Catholic University of America. Dr Doyle also served as an officer in the United States Air Force from 1986 to 2004. Tom Doyle has taught at several universities and seminaries, including Catholic Theological Union, Catholic University of America, and the Midwestern Tribunal Institute of Mundelein Seminary. Father Doyle also held several positions in Catholic dioceses. He served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Chicago, Diocese of Scranton, the Diocese of Pensacola/Tallahassee, the Archdiocese of Military Services, and the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana. He served as the Advocate and Defender of the Bond for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Dr Doyle was one of the first people in the Catholic church to bring attention to sexual abuse by clergy. In 1985, Dr Doyle authored a report on medical and legal issues raised by pedophilia in the priesthood, and “warned of a national scandal if the hierarchy did not adopt a sound policy.” His warnings were ignored.

(Extracts of The Hague Case Report Affidavit of Thomas P. Doyle notes follow verbatim: )

“I have testified as an expert witness and consultant in clergy sexual abuse cases since 1988 and  studied documentation in cases from approximately 190 of the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States.( In the course of this work, I reviewed more than 1,500 priest personnel files.  I have been qualified as an expert witness and/or consultant on clergy sex abuse cases since 1989 involving several hundred separate cases in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Israel.  I have appeared before the legislatures of the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, California, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia to testify relative to child protective legislation including matters related to child abuse, clergy reporting statutes and statutes of limitations. I have also appeared before or consulted with several grand juries in the United States.  In addition, I have appeared as an expert witness and served as a consultant to the Ferns Commission and the Dublin Commission in Dublin, Ireland and to the Cornwall Public Inquiry, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada.  In February 2011 I addressed a special commission of the Parliament of Belgium at their request.

“The most important part of my involvement has been my direct contact with victims and their families. From 1984 on I have worked extensively with clergy sexual abuse victims of both sexes ranging in age from nine years old to 92 years of age.  I have provided pastoral care to their families including parents, spouses and children.  I have also worked as a canonical consultant with Dioceses and Religious Orders, giving presentations and lectures and developing policies and procedures in this area as well as assisting numerous dioceses in the United States and abroad in compiling similar policies and procedures.  I have given workshops to various dioceses around the country on the issue of clerical sexual misconduct against minors. I have lectured extensively and published articles on issues related to sexual abuse by clerics and religious brothers.  In addition to working with victims of sex abuse I have also worked since 1984 with accused clerics as a canonical advocate and advisor and as a pastoral support person.”

Here is Tom in 2010 on Australian television:

In February 2017 Dr Doyle appeared as an expert witness at the Australian Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse of Children.

Dr Doyle on Radio New Zealand in February, March and November  2018:

About The Host

Murray Heasley

Murray is an advocate and historian for The Network of Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions and Their Supporters and a founding member of The Reckoning NZ