Podcast Show Notes

If you found Part 1 hard hitting then you’ll need to buckle up for Part 2. Tom shows both the breadth and depth of his knowledge and research talking about:

  • Celibacy and the problems around Bishops being personally compromised
  • The first response of the hierarchy is to protect itself and therefore should not be responsible for investigating itself
  • The Vatican’s continuing failure to fulfill it’s obligations to the UN, particularly with regards to the “Charter for the rights of the child”
  • Abuse is not historical, it continues today
  • That clerics still don’t understand the impact of sexual assault on children
  • Soul murder – when your spiritual basis has been smashed beneath you through abuse
  • Levels of paedophile compulsion
  • How survivors have had to expose the abuse crisis because the Church was never going to do it and still can’t cope with it, so it has to change.
  • His advice to the clerics of NZ with regards to how they should respond to Royal Commission

Dr Tom Doyle is a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter. His work with clergy abuse survivors has been featured in the documentaries

  • Holy Water-Gate: Abuse Cover-up in the Catholic Church,
  • Deliver Us From Evil,
  • Alex Gibney’s Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, (*See the Video Section to watch)
  • Robert Kaiser’s book Whistle: Fr. Doyle’s Steadfast Witness for Victims of Clerical Abuse,
  • PBS’s show Frontline episode Secrets of the Vatican.
  • Dr Doyle is credited for his major influence in informing the makers of the Academy Award Best Picture Spotlight (2015 *See the video Section to watch this movie) which revealed the scandal of child sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese.
  • Tom Doyle has also recently appeared in the Matt Gallagher Canadian documentary, Prey (2019)
  • and Christoph Rohl’s documentary, Defender of the Faith (2019).

Despite the enormous pressures on his time and energy and an advocacy of more than three decades of tireless, selfless work, Dr Doyle’s generosity has been extended once again to our Network and our quest for justice in New Zealand.

In this podcast episode Dr Doyle addresses the many issues of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church from a unique perspective informed by nearly 40 years of research and advocacy. He discusses it from a global point of view and as it relates to the New Zealand Abuse in Care Royal Commission and he does so as the most experienced expert in these matters in his normal fearless and self- effacing manner. It’s all about the victim survivors. The paradigm has shifted. The bishops no longer drive the bus or call the shots.

Tom has played a huge role in helping this to happen.

This podcast is the latest expression of the power of this man’s determination to uncover the truth.

If this podcast has raised issues for you and you need help, then click on the button below for a list of support services.

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If you’d like assistance with

  • Finding support
  • Reporting your abuse to Police
  • Reporting to the New Zealand Royal Commission into Abuse in Care

Then we may be able to provide help. Members of our Network have lived experience in all of these areas and by sharing their experiences and knowledge they can make the road a little easier to navigate. Contact us in confidence.

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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