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Nov. 30, 2022

S2 Ep85: Unsolved Murder of Sister Cathy [Transparency and Accountability at the Archdiocese of Baltimore]

S2 Ep85: Unsolved Murder of Sister Cathy [Transparency and Accountability at the Archdiocese of Baltimore]

The Maryland Attorney General investigation into the sexual abuse of children by clergy in the Archdiocese of Baltimore (AOB) has concluded. The 456-page report details the sexual abuse of more than 600 victims at the hands of 158 Catholic Priests that were part of the AOB. Attorney General Brian Frosh has turned his report over to the courts and has asked the court to release it to the public saying his investigation uncovered many attempts of coverups of priests abusing children by those in the Archdiocese.

While Shane travels to Baltimore to do some podcasting with Gemma, he stops at a hotel in Pittsburg and records this phone conversation with Teresa Lancaster about the conclusion of the report and where we are now... as well as a mysterious group of individuals who have come forward to oppose the report being released. Concluding the episode is Jean Wehner at the SNAP press conference after news of the report being finished.

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Hosted by Shane Waters. You can find his history podcast Hometown History here.

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Teresa === [00:00:00] [00:00:35] Hey, Shane [00:00:37] Hey there. How are you? [00:00:39] I'm good. I'm good. How about yourself? [00:00:41] I'm good. Can you hear me okay? [00:00:43] Yeah, I can hear you. [00:00:45] perfect, and I can hear you just fine and I hope that you're comfortable. [00:00:50] Yes, I'm in Randy's reading chair, which is very comfortable. [00:00:53] good. I'm in a hotel in Pittsburgh actually. [00:00:58] Oddly enough, not far from where [00:01:00] Sister Cathy's buried. [00:01:01] Oh wow. [00:01:02] Yeah, whenever I travel to Baltimore it brings me through this area. Weird, isn't it? [00:01:08] really nice. That is nice. [00:01:10] Yeah. I've stopped there. Have you ever [00:01:12] No, actually I haven't, I should put that on a list of, to-dos really? [00:01:16] Yeah, if you're ever in the area it's pretty easy to find. The cemetery's actually a really cool old cemetery the town that it's in is a really cool town anyway, just to visit. It's a really cool area. Really [00:01:30] Mm. [00:01:31] But yeah, it's a really cool place. So if you're ever in Pittsburgh, I definitely would recommend stopping. [00:01:38] I'll do that. Thanks. [00:01:40] Yeah. All right. So Teresa, the attorney general, we've been waiting on it. We've done a lot of podcasts about the report. Gemma and I have shared with people to contact the attorney general investigator who's been working on this entire investigation. [00:01:57] And now it seems like finally [00:02:00] after these four years, the report is finished and it's been turned over and it sounds like now we're just waiting to see if they're gonna be able to release it. Is that right? [00:02:10] It's been sent to the circuit court for the judge to rule whether it gets released. And I think they had 15 days. The church did to file something against this, but we do know that there's an anonymous group asking to seal the proceedings. [00:02:31] Before we get into the anonymous thing, can you just explain how and why the report is sealed and why they have to wait for the court to hopefully release it [00:02:42] When the report is going to include a lot of names and a lot very personal information they have to put a motion before the court so that other people such as the anonymous group have an opportunity to oppose. It's [00:03:00] release, they have to have legitimate ground, to oppose the release of this investigation because the sexual crimes were so heinous and they would have to convince the judge, why it should not come to light. [00:03:16] And the attorney General did the entire investigation through a grand jury, correct? [00:03:22] That's correct, yes. [00:03:24] And that's a part of why he has to go through that court system, is that right? [00:03:28] he has to present it in the circuit court for the judge to rule. But we do, oh, go ahead. [00:03:36] go ahead. [00:03:37] I was gonna bring up the anonymous group again, only because I looked into that and I found out some information about the anonymous. [00:03:47] Yeah, let's go ahead and talk about the anonymous group. What we know about them is at some point, we all were waiting to see if the other party, who was the Archdiocese of Baltimore.[00:04:00] The Attorney General gave his report over to the court, and the only other party that could have seen the report would have been the Archdiocese of Baltimore. [00:04:11] Is that. [00:04:13] Yeah, because the report is based on a subpoena. They subpoenaed a lot of documents from the archdiocese. I think it was like a hundred thousand dollars, a hundred thousand pages. And the report is based on the Archdiocese information, then they have an opportunity to look through it. Does that make sense? [00:04:38] Yeah. And although we don't have the report. What the Attorney General did release, is the filing. Is that right? [00:04:46] Yes. [00:04:46] what we have And in the filing it mentions that there was 158 Catholic priests that were accused of sexual abuse [00:04:55] the number of priests that were mentioned, I think is the [00:05:00] result of the witnesses that came forth to the Attorney General. I went in there and I told them father Maxwell abused me, and they take down all that information. So I believe that's where they got all the names, was from witnesses. [00:05:15] Yeah. And we know from the filing that there were more than 600 victims f from over 80 years. [00:05:22] yeah. The 600 victims I think is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure there are many more, hundreds more victims and that's another thing. This report is centered around the Archdiocese of Baltimore. There are other diocese in Maryland, and if they included all of them, it would be even more victims. [00:05:46] And I also wonder if that 600 number is just a number of people who felt comfortable enough to talk to the investigators from the Attorney General's office. [00:05:59] [00:06:00] Absolutely. There are a lot of people. Can't talk about this, and many sex cases go unreported. So you have to consider if there's 600 that we know of, how many more are in the dark, [00:06:13] right? Yeah, that's a really good point. And we know from that number, the 158 Catholic priests that the attorney General found were accused of sexual abuse, that 43 of them were never publicly announced or publicly named by the archdiocese and. Yeah, so that's a huge number. 43 was never released. [00:06:37] That's what's troubling me too because the church is leaning on some key words about properly accused or properly investigated. They're gonna bring that up, that they wanna protect the privacy of these people that they were not found credibly accused by the church. And out of the [00:07:00] 13 living church officials that have been accused the church makes sure we know that they're entitled to representation. [00:07:11] It's still crazy to me that the church does their own investigating. And that they are the keyholder on deciding on who is credibly accused and who's not credibly accused. And ultimately, they're the ones that get to say on whose name is being released and whose name is not being released. [00:07:30] When I talk to Sean Kane [00:07:32] My interview with Sean Kane is [00:07:34] from 2019. [00:07:36] One of the things that that I got out of it was that when they deemed someone as credibly accused. They still were not placing them on, any type of list where, like for example, I have an app where I can see all of the sexual predators in my neighborhood, and that wasn't the same thing for these priests because this is an. [00:07:58] Organization doing their own [00:08:00] naming and their own investigation, and that's just crazy to me. Even if you go to the Archdiocese website now and you go to report abuse, The very first thing that they want you to do is to contact them. Now, there's a secondary line that says, and also contact the police, but that line is you can tell it's been added and it's a second thought, but that to me is just that should be the very first thing you do. [00:08:28] If you are abused by a priest, do not contact the archdiocese. Your first move should be contacting the police. [00:08:37] Right. You're very right. I have known people. Victims that actually reported it first to the archdiocese and they were talked out of going any further. The archdiocese will get their hands on you and manipulate you and use words to confuse you and you won't ever go to the police. You're right. [00:08:58] Go to the police [00:09:00] first. And make sure you got it on record. And the other thing you mentioned about the priest they are living among us and that has been found out time and again that we should be able to have them on the sexual abuse list like we do in our neighborhoods. Like I can look in my neighborhood and see who the sex offenders are, put those priests on those lists. [00:09:26] Yeah, and that's especially important because, like for example, if you live in a retirement village or if you have a mom or a dad that lives in one, if there is a former priest that lives in one, you're gonna probably trust your kids around them just because, oh, it's father so and now the people who are listening to this probably will not, however the normal. [00:09:48] The normal people probably would just because of the fact of them being, at one point a priest. So I think that's a very important thing to take away, that these people, whether or [00:10:00] not the church deemed them as credibly accused for whatever reason. They're not being monitored and they're not being, listed or anything like that. [00:10:09] So I think that's a very important takeaway. [00:10:12] But I know that [00:10:13] is I. [00:10:14] yeah. When the Attorney General Brian Frosh when he handed over the report, he mentioned that. He believed that it was time to release the full report to the public because it was time for a reckoning, and he talked about how. [00:10:32] During his investigation, he saw countless times when the archdiocese and people in charge of priests were covering up the abuse that was happening. And so I think it's important for people to realize that he is using that kind of language as reasons for why this report should be public. [00:10:54] Exactly, and it's time and again. The archdiocese chose the [00:11:00] abuser over the abused, and people are entitled to know that to see how the system worked. Out of these, I think it's 456 page reports, people can read how they moved priests from Paris to Paris. There are some people that don't know what happened, and in Father MAs school's case, he was found to abuse boys, altar boys. [00:11:24] And so the church is, answer was to put him in the all girl Catholic high school. Because I guess they figured he wasn't interested in girls. So yeah the public has a right to know how they covered this up. [00:11:40] Yeah. And in the filing that the Attorney General put in that filing suggests that the official report lists out, who oversaw these priests and accuses them of not doing enough to protect the victims. Who were victimized by those very priests. And that brings us to [00:12:00] this very kind of shady thing that happened. [00:12:03] So the Archdiocese, of course, who was the other party in this? They received the report, the only party to have received the report. And they come out and Teresa they say that they're not going to object to that. Is that right? [00:12:20] Yes, but you have to read the language they use. I pulled out a couple lines that, that they said they're committed to transparency, to rebuild trust, but they include, should include responsible and accurate reporting of events. That's a criteria they want the report to meet also. Agreed to release does not mean legal requirements should not be observed. [00:12:50] And then those named should be heard. So it, they talk out of both sides of their mouth. They're not gonna oppose, but it looks to me [00:13:00] like there's a gray area where they will object and they'll be redacting names. I. [00:13:06] It almost seems like the Archdiocese of Baltimore as an organization wants to look like they're gonna be transparent and in doing so, this is a whole marketing thing where these newspapers are going to report with which they have, the quotes from. The officials at the archdiocese saying that they are not going to oppose the report, the accurate report, that we should say, and that's what so far people have been reporting. [00:13:36] However the day after they released those statements, we know that there was this group effort of a filing that went through to the very court to try to seal this report. The and Theresa, can you correct me in, in, in my statement of saying this, but are, is this [00:14:00] group being represented by the same attorneys? [00:14:03] Yes, that's what I wanted to get to. The people that are representing the anonymous group are attorneys, Greg Bernstein and William Murphy. And Lori Archbishop. Lori has engaged. Bernstein in the past in 20 18 20 19 claim against Bishop Michael Brasfield of Wheeling Charleston, West Virginia Diocese. [00:14:36] So that lawyer worked for Lori and also Bernstein represented the Catholic priest, Michael j spilling, S P I L A N E. Who admitted to abusing six children in Baltimore? So Bernstein's name has come up, at least in my research twice, where [00:15:00] he's been an attorney for the church. [00:15:02] church. [00:15:03] That means who is this anonymous group? [00:15:06] They must have something to do with the church. You. [00:15:10] And we also have to think like when I saw this news come through that they filed this filing with the court. The only information that they released was that lawyers representing anonymous clients. That they filed to keep the report a secret. [00:15:25] And then there was this quote that clients are named on the report. And this is a quote that the attorneys said that their clients are named on the report, but they are not accused of sexual abuse and that they would only identify their clients in a closed sealed proceeding. So there what is a sealed proceeding? [00:15:48] It's just another way of secrecy. If there it's gonna be closed, then the public's not gonna have access to the information. It's very [00:16:00] suspicious. Very suspicious. [00:16:01] So basically you have these attorneys representing one group of people. And what we know is that the only group that received the report is the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Like I racked my brain around trying to figure out like, who else could have gotten this report? [00:16:17] Because no one else is getting it. Everyone, think about this for a minute. All of these news channels, all of these newspapers are reporting on this report. If this report was able to be leaked anywhere, you'd find it some. [00:16:31] Yes. Yes. You. [00:16:33] It's not [00:16:33] No. So it has to be, these lawyers for the anonymous group has to have been seen by the archdiocese who has the report. It's common sense what you're saying. [00:16:46] shortly after. Teresa and I have recorded this conversation within an hour. News broke that the Archdiocese of Baltimore is in fact paying the attorney fees of this anonymous group. [00:16:59] [00:17:00] And to further that I had to think to myself the entire reason for the report and all of the reporting that's on it is going to be talking about victims, talking about them being abused and how they reported. [00:17:16] And so who else would be on this report except victims, the abuser, priest. And the names of people who they reported them to. So in, in my thinking, I'm, I really seriously wonder if these are gonna be name, like if these attorneys are representing people who victims say that they've reported or knew about the abuse happening and maybe that they're trying to sue to. [00:17:46] Get it prevented from coming out because it makes them look bad. Because one thing that we do know is that when the Pennsylvania report went out, because in all of the US the only report from [00:18:00] an attorney general investigating wrongdoing of a history of child sexual abuse by clergy. It's only happened in one other state, and that was in Pennsylvania. [00:18:10] And in Pennsylvania there it took two years, and this is a four year investigation that's been happening in Maryland, but in Pennsylvania. As a result of their report, there was a lot of arrests. There were arrests of priests. There was an early retirement of their archbishop, and there was a bunch of new policies put into place. [00:18:33] And I can't help but just wonder who is this group of people trying to prevent this report coming out? [00:18:40] Yeah. It's crazy. My attorney, Kurt Wolfgang from the Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center I agreed to file a motion of support. Of the grand jury subpoena on my behalf. [00:18:54] Gene Weiner is also represented by Kurt Wolfgang and has joined in filing [00:19:00] a motion of support [00:19:01] and this Kurt pointed out to me that there's no indication of criminal indictments or ongoing criminal investigations into this conspiracy. [00:19:13] Like you were saying in Penn. They had indictments in Pennsylvania and we don't see where anybody's gonna face justice yet, and it's troubling since the state's pending. Motion to disclose refers to the 43 new alleged abuser's, names, and 13 still living. Why aren't there indictments but the reason Pennsylvania was able to indict people was because I guess the names were made public and if someone commits a crime, then they should answer to. [00:19:46] Yeah it's really confusing to me on why there are so many names in this report and why there would be so many living people, but there would be no one at least no charges being pressed. At least press charges and have that day in court, [00:19:59] [00:20:00] yes, exactly. And this motion to the court to support the release. Hopefully the judge will take all this into consideration. [00:20:08] Yeah, I agree. And I hope that everyone will not stand for, this anonymous group coming in. And if by any means that anonymous group is able to get any names redacted from the report. I just hope that enough people will come together and, speak out against that happening and get something done to change that [00:20:30] I'm sure that snap and our group will come forth about that because we've waited long enough decades. We've waited long enough to get these names out there and seek justice. [00:20:41] Do you know. if they would likely redact any of the names in the report. But beyond of course this group wants to prevent the entire report from coming out, but would they redact any parts of the report? [00:20:55] I expect the redaction. Of those 13 living [00:21:00] people, which is tragic because we have a right to know who they are. [00:21:05] It is very tragic and I hope that we hear soon. The result of this, do you have any idea of how long the court has to make a decision or because of the new filing by the anonymous group? Will it push back the timeline at all? [00:21:19] I believe there was 15 days to respond [00:21:23] I'm hopeful that the release of this report. We'll provide an understanding of how important the look back window is in the statute of limitations reform, because you're talking over the past 80 years, all this abuse, and when we get to read exactly what we've done to these children, people can get an understanding of why it is so important that we give the victims a voice in the courtroom. [00:21:53] This is Gene Weer at the Snap Press Conference in Maryland. [00:21:59] I'm Jean [00:22:00] Hargan and Wainer. I was abused at Archbishop Keo High School for three plus years. [00:22:08] Like a lot of practicing Catholics. I spent many hours sitting in church pews listening to the priest with a deep respect for their position within my faith community. In 1992, I was so distraught with memories of being sexually and psychologically abused in the late 1960s by Father Joseph Masco and Father Neil Magnus at my Catholic high school that I stood up and went to my church leaders for. [00:22:38] Father Rick Roy told me I was the first person to voice a complaint of this kind about Joseph Mascal. Therefore, I continued to believe that I was MAs school's only victim. With time I learned of other victims of Mascal and wondered if my faith leaders had lied to me. The peak of this [00:23:00] awareness was when I heard that around 19 66 67, the mom of an al Boy named Charles, learned what their church pastor Joseph Mascal was doing to her son. [00:23:14] She called the Archdiocese of Baltimore and told the church representatives to basically tell Masco to leave my boy alone. Shortly after that call in 1967, the church authorities moved Masco from Charles' Parish to Archbishop Keo, the new All Girls High School, where I unfortunately was starting as a freshman and eventually became one of MA School's victims. [00:23:44] Joseph Mascal was in his fifties when I came forward in 1990. The statute of limitations at that time was three years after abuse ended, that it had to be reported. The church paid a lot of money during our [00:24:00] 19 95, 19 96 lawsuit, and now to keep the statue of limitations in place. It is the Archdiocese of Baltimore's fault, not ours, that Masco died before being charged with a crime. [00:24:16] for them to say that these perpetrators are dead, I feel they need to be held accountable for their responsibility in making sure they died before they were ever charged criminally. I believe the Maryland Attorney General's report is about to shine light on many hidden truths throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore. [00:24:38] It is time for Catholics sitting in church pews like I once was, to stand up and demand accountability from their leaders. It is your church and you have a right to hold your leaders responsible for what they do or what they have chosen not to. Archbishop L [00:25:00] and other clerks need to be held to the same laws that lay people are held to. [00:25:06] And every lay person knows that certain actions like sexually abusing a child and or covering that crime up will not be excused with sincere apologies. End quote, as Lori seems to think. [00:25:23] [00:26:00]