When Catholic Laity Complain

Rod Dreher tells the story of a Catholic layman in Dallas who complained about a priest to then coadjutor bishop Joseph Galante. The layman, Steve Sandifer (a lawyer), had recently been received into the Catholic church by Fr. Art Mallinson. He learned that Mallinson was involved in a ring of homosexual priests.

The story Rod tells is one many Catholics can recognize.

…over and over in the sex abuse scandal, there were instances of bishops minimizing the seriousness of sexual misconduct on the part of priests, and telling laymen they were making mountains out of molehills. And the bad priests were left in place.

Laymen did complain, over and over. And it did them no good. They were told that they were the ones with the problem.

And this doesn’t just happen when lay people complain about sexually abusive priests–it has happened in church after church, diocese after diocese, when laymen have complained about anything wrong, whether financial, liturgical, or theological.

For details of what was going on in this particular case you can go to the webpage of Roman Catholic Faithful, the lay ministry that exposed St. Sebastian’s Angels in the year 2000. Be warned–the documentation is graphic. A point to emphasize is that RCF exposed this fully two years before this layman went to Bishop Galante to complain about Fr. Art Mallinson. In a recent DMN article, the spokesperson for the Diocese of Dallas claims Mallinson left SSA in 2001, when its webpage allegedly became more risque. In fact, RCF’s expose was in 2000, when Fr. Mallinson was, by his own admission, still an active member.