Behind the Friendly Smiles and Soothing Words

See that nice man, holding the little girl’s hand?

That’s the priest who abused me and thirty other children.

father michael cody, smiling
Father Cody, photo from

See this friendly smile?

That belonged to the late Father Michael Cody, whose name was among 77 abusive priests just released by the Seattle Archdiocese.

The Church is Still in Denial on Abuse – Unsurprising, yet Shocking

For anyone who’s seen Spotlight, the amazing film about breaking the story of abuse in the Boston Archdiocese, the fact that what happened in the Seattle Archdiocese mirrors what happened in Boston, is unsurprising.

The fact that all of the abuse, subterfuge and protection is still going on, and that the Archdiocese continues to want to keep abusive priests out of the hands of law enforcement is nothing short of shocking. How is it that the church is still in denial on abuse?

Last week I was interviewed about the release of the names of Seattle area abusive priests by Bill Radke of KUOW. Click the link for the article and audio of that talk.

Why Does the Church Deny it has a Very Specific Problem?

My favorite line from the article:

In response to a Church spokesman who downplayed the number of priests who abuse, attorney Michael Pfau said:

“I would like to see this Archdiocese – and all the Catholic archdioceses – stop saying things like, ‘This is not a Catholic problem.’”

Sexual abuse is very much a Catholic problem, for the simple reason that the Church continues to assume that priests, at least 4% of whom are proven to be sexually twisted, are safe around vulnerable children.

3 thoughts on “Behind the Friendly Smiles and Soothing Words”

  1. Thank you for your thoughts. I do believe, as you wrote, that there is much more awareness to the crisis of priest abuse in the Catholic Church – however, there still is so much going on. And resistance on the part of the clergy to hide and conceal info about priest sex offenders continues. Still, we will keep working to protect children and hold Bishops accountable.

  2. Yes, many clergy officials would believe you today. Sad to say , many would want to keep the abuse silent and still protect the good name of the Church. Now, attorneys are more up to day as well as the law on such matters and want to help. Thanks for writing. I am sorry for the abuse that you endured. Mary

  3. As a child I lived in an Irish Christian Brothers boys Home I felt that the Brothers being denied the natural wife and kids and family scenarial caused bitterness, anger and being behind closed doors with children they acted out on them because they could! That is the only thing I could come up with the abuse going on around me. When I tried to reach out and told authorities.they wouldn’t believe me. I believe they would now, so keep up the good work! Thanks

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