Richard Sipe, RIP
Richard Sipe was in the forefront of the campaign against priestly pederasty and its cover-up for over 30 years, since the epidemic broke out in Louisiana in the 1980s. Here are obituaries from the NY Times and NCR. (Note that NCR used outside reporters, unusual for such an obituary.) Together with Thomas Doyle, Sipe tried for over three decades to reform the Catholic Church from the inside. In the Spotlight investigation of Boston’s epidemic of priestly abuse, Richard Sipe was the expert witness.
Neither the NY Times nor NCR mentioned the fact that as a reward for their attempts at reform, the Catholic Church punished Sipe and Doyle far more severely than it did pederast priests. Sipe left the Church, and Doyle was forced to obtain employment outside the Church. The U.S. Conference of Bishops repeatedly rejected their suggestions, apparently with guidance from the Vatican. Pope John Paul had a nasty habit not only of protecting pederast priests (and their enablers like Cardinal Law), but even promoting them. John Paul was close friends with Father Marcial Maciel, one of the vilest and most infamous offenders, who not only raped youths and seminarians, he even raped his own illegitimate children.
Recently, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has made news as a long-term sex offender. The Church has had one leader after another declare they knew nothing about it, and were shocked to hear it. But Richard Sipe documented McCarrick’s crimes and campaigned against him for almost a decade. He published this information on web site, and it is hard to believe that none of these good Catholics heard about it either directly or indirectly.
In over thirty years, the Catholic Church has failed to produce reformers like Sipe and Doyle. He will be missed.