Father Rocco Perone Summary

 Father Rocco Perone SummaryThe six short years he was in Portland, from 1950 to 1956, Father Rocco Perone, a “Paulist” priest (“OSP”), abused at least 15 boys, and quite possibly another half-dozen who never came forward—two of whom committed suicide. According to the victim’s testimony, Perone followed a standard MO when abusing boys: he called them up to the “Scout Room” (a storage room in the upstairs portion of a building at St. Philip Neri) and had them give confessions about their “impure thoughts.” He then asked the boys to “show” him, at which point he would sexually abuse them. He would bind the boys to sacramental secrecy, instilling divine fear in them should they speak up about it. 

Father Rocco Francis Perone was ordained as a Paulist Priest on May 3, 1949, at St. Paul’s College in New York. Beginning in June, 1949, and throughout his career, he held five distinct positions in five different regions, until his retirement in August, 1989. His first assignment was at St. Mary’s in Chicago, Illinois. He was then transferred in 1950 to Portland, Oregon, to work at St. Philip Neri. Six years later, in 1956, he was suddenly transferred to Layton, Utah, to work at St. Rose, under the capacity of missions ministry. Then, between 1957 and 1988, he worked in missions out of St. Austin’s, in Austin, Texas. His final assignment was from 1988 to 1989, where he was assigned to St. Peter’s Parish in Toronto, Canada. See Assignment Record

The first known report of abuse was made by a boy’s mother in 1953, in Oregon. The 12-year old boy had been informed by Father Perone that a physical inspection of his genitals was necessary for a sports clearance. Infuriated, the boy’s mother called Father Quinn, the pastor of St. Philip Neri, in Portland — Father Perone’s church. The next day, in all-too-familiar Church protocol, Father Perone was placed “on a mission,” to Utah. The boy’s mother was prepared to testify to all this in 2002. The six short years he was in Portland, from 1950 to 1956, Father Rocco Perone, a “Paulist” priest (“OSP”), abused at least 15 boys, and quite possibly another half-dozen who never came forward—two of whom committed suicide. According to the victim’s testimony, Perone followed a standard MO when abusing boys: he called them up to the “Scout Room” (a storage room in the upstairs portion of a building at St. Philip Neri) and had them give confessions about their “impure thoughts.” He then asked the boys to “show” him, at which point he would sexually abuse them. He would bind the boys to sacramental secrecy, instilling divine fear in them should they speak up about it. 

Witnesses were also prepared to testify that the Paulist Fathers again received written complaints about sexual abuse of boys by Perone in 1956, while he was on “mission” in Utah. They nonetheless allowed him to stay in ministry. Father Perone’s victims from the 1950s continued to struggle many years later with the effects of the devastating abuse, as evidenced in one of his Portland, Oregon victim’s 1989 letter to the Father Gallagher of the Paulist Fathers.  ARCH 031; K.A. letter to Fr. Gallagher, dated 6/20/1989. To see Fr. Gallagher’s response to this particular victim’s letter, ARCH 028; response to K.A. To see the Portland Archdiocese’s action taken in response to their conversation with Father Gallagher, click ARCH 018; Lienert to Levada letter. Neither the Paulists nor the Archdiocese ever gave the requested notice, despite that they acknowledged it would help victims. ARCH018-019.

In Father Lienert’s own words, he states that the Church’s protocol for handling incidents of priests’ sexual abuse of children is that they remove the priest from the parish, get him therapy, and then make a determination of whether he can remain in ministry. Therefore, the Church acknowledged that its own policy was to leave the option open for allowing a priest who had been found abusing children to remain in ministry.  ARCH 012; Lienert memo to file dated 4/28/1989

Even after receiving an in-person admission to abusing two boys from Perone himself, the Paulist Fathers nonetheless decided to place him in a position in a parish in San Antonio, Texas, following his release from a Catholic-run sexual treatment program, on the condition that Perone not be allowed to have any contact with young people. ARCH 010; Lienert memo to file, 3/21/89. To our knowledge none of Perone’s parishes, including this one, were ever told of his prior accusations of abuse.

Continuing Deception by Archdiocese Even in Current Internet Postings

Incredibly, even after a decade of being held accountable for sexual abuse by its priests, the Archdiocese of Portland in its own website as recently as of today (11/26/08), continued to post documents in a deceptive fashion. One example is document no. ARCH014 As readers can discern from the narrative above regarding the correspondence between a Perone victim and the Archdiocese in 1989, the Archdiocese never, in fact, agreed to give the notice to St. Philip Neri parish or other parishes concerning Fr. Perone. They simply refused to do it. Yet, by posting this document at the very beginning of its website, taken out of context, the Archdiocese deliberately sought to make it appear that they did, in fact, give this warning.

What other possible reason could there be for the Archdiocese posting this document in isolation at the beginning of the material on Fr. Perone? Readers should not be deceived: document no. ARCH014 was the notice that K.A., a Perone victim, requested that the Archdiocese give in 1989. Despite discussion of the possible benefits of doing so, ultimately the Archdiocese decided not to give the notice. For the Archdiocese to post this notice conspicuously at the beginning of the Perone documents is nothing but misleading. 

Court Filings
Include: Complaint w/request for punitives; the Memo in Support of Punitives.

pdf 48 Father Rocco Perone SummaryFather Rocco Perone Documents

Breakdown of Documents Released by the Archdiocese of Portland

pdf 48 Father Rocco Perone SummaryFr. Rocco Perone Documents provided by the Archdiocese of Portland

Reader's Comments

  1. ET Snell AKA Sky Rockford |

    THE CATHOLIC’S PEDOPHILLIA HOLOCOST
    From the walls of justice and common sense comes Father Thomas Doyle within the ranks of the many catholic Priest who are now speaking out, he stands a man of great stature and his commitment to end the cover up of innocent children at the hands of pedophile‘s is unquestionable and admirable. His past would not bring light to the vows of celiseby but rather the cover-up of 1.000’s of victims of some of the most heinous crimes ever known to mankind. “Betrayal of trust, violation of the pastoral contract, soul murder, rape, sexual assault, character assassination, slander and financial mismanagement in the name of religion are some of the abuses that people are up in arms about. These issues will not go away, nor will they be rectified unless drastic changes take place, primarily on the part of the church’s leadership

    The stories of victims were similar in each locale. A priest abuser would befriend a family, attaching himself to a minor, grooming him with gifts and friendship, then abusing the unsuspecting child. The response of the church was similar as well. Church officials, bishops and cardinals, would receive reports of abusive priests, transfer them to another parish, tell the families that the incident was isolated and that they would “fix” the problem.
    In many instances, the families would be instructed not to talk about the abuse and pray for the pedophile priest. In other instances, the victims would suffer in silence and try to cope as best they could with the abuse.
    Their lives were marred with alcoholism, broken relationships, drug abuse, and feelings of inadequacy, suicide, isolation, and loss of faith.
    The Church’s response to the victims has been to deny their abuse, minimize it, attack them for saying something bad about a priest, or telling the victim that the abuse was there fault. Pedophile Priest whistleblower Father Thomas Doyle states that Cardinal Mahoney has ‘done nothing’ to help victims of pedophile priests

    As the documentary reveals, Pope Benedict XVI led the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (formerly known as the Inquisition) from 1981 to 2005, and one of his duties was to protect children from being harmed by priests. Unfortunately, he did a very poor job, and numerous lawsuits have been brought against the Church as a result. He was “accused of conspiracy to cover up sexual abuse” in the US and was granted “immunity from prosecution” by President Bush.
    The raping of a innocent child’s soul can not be measured in dollars and cents but it can be measured in justice and common sense. That is why we need to Lic. and Polygraph all people who regularly come in contact with children.

    ET Snell Founder of BAPP (Bikers Against Pedophile Priest)
    Snell@earthlink.net
    Video’s cut copy paste (2) Items
    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Federal_Probe_Mystifies_LA_Cardinal_Los_Angeles.html
    http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/video?id=6631089

  2. Ray |

    I believe that the abbreviation for the Paulists is CSP not OSP as in the following article:

    Father Rocco Perone, a “Paulist” priest (“OSP”),

    Minor error, but might cloud credibility.

  3. Deanna Leonti |

    Well said & I agree ET Snell,
    Maybe, if there were more priests like Fr. Thomas Doyle, a “Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth”, there wouldn’t be so much traffic out of Rome leaving like a Bat out of Hell. I might have stayed knowing there was still hope for me!

  4. Deanna Leonti |

    I agree,
    Maybe if there were more priests like this “Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth” Fr. Thomas Doyle, there wouldn’t be so much traffic out of Rome leaving like a bat out of hell. Maybe, I would have stayed.

  5. Livingston |

    Fr. Thomas Doyle is the “Pillar of Fire & Pillar of Truth” for Clergy abuse victims.

  6. Davey |

    Whenever I hear, ‘It can’t be done,’ I know I’m close to success.

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  9. Gretta Acklin |

    Great post, I bet a lot of work and research went into this article.

  10. Mark Vice |

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