Child Abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon:
As Told By the Documents Themselves.

Welcome to the website of ArchPdxPriestFiles.com. This site is sponsored by a coalition of child sexual abuse attorneys, all of whom are committed to making sure that the truth about child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Portland, as revealed in the Archdiocese’s own documents—which were the most closely guarded secrets for nearly half a century—is readily available to all who are interested.

The goal of this site is to help the public, child advocates, and any institution which sponsors “relationships of trust” between adults and children, to see what the Archdiocese of Portland, and its Archbishops and Staff, knew or should have known about pedophile priests, so as to learn from these mistakes and thereby ensure that the tragedies of child abuse do not happen elsewhere.

How this Site Came to Be

At the conclusion of the three-year long Chapter 11 Bankruptcy of the Archdiocese in April, 2007, and as part of the negotiations toward closure of that legal proceeding, a deal was struck between survivors of priest and nun abuse, on the one hand, and Archbishop John Vlazny and the Archdiocese, on the other hand.   That agreement, one of the first of its kind in the nation, required the Archdiocese to release to the public its historical internal documents, including the Archdiocese’s so-called “secret archives”–secret personnel files–concerning offending priests.

A process of mediation and arbitration was set up for the lawyers for both sides to try to agree on which specific documents should be released. Unfortunately, the negotiations broke down in the Spring of 2008, and an arbitration was held before US District Court Judge Michael Hogan on June 9, 2008.

Though prior to the Arbitration before Judge Hogan the parties never were able to agree on which specific documents should be released, and the attorneys for the survivors claimed that the Archdiocese never fully lived up to its agreement, the Archdiocese did release two sets of documents, once in June, 2007, and once in April, 2008.

This website has been initially stocked with the documents released in June, 2007 and April, 2008; but as Judge Hogan’s ruling comes into effect and the Archdiocese releases more and more documents, those also will be added to the website. Additionally, where key evidence was gathered through personal testimony or summarized in court filings, that information will be eventually included in this site. As of August, 2008, this website is still only partially complete; it is anticipated that new files will be added until all the material Judge Hogan ordered released is posted and organized.

How this Site is Designed

The primary focus of this website is on documentary evidence that was discovered in the hundreds of lawsuits brought by survivors against the Archdiocese from the years 1994-2007. These documents are organized by the name of the accused priest or nun, and also by reference to the parish, or school, or other institution, where the clergy was assigned.

Of course, not all evidence in such cases is from documents: in many cases, the key warnings about child abusing priests were never reduced to writing, and so in many cases in person testimony was a crucial part of proving what the Archdiocese knew concerning a particular clergy, priest or nun. Accordingly, where possible, this website will supplement the documentary evidence with summaries of the testimony witnesses were prepared to give. Finally, in some cases, lawyers for the abuse survivors submitted court papers attempting to summarize what the evidence showed about a particular priest, and so in a few instances, these court papers will be included.