Investigative Trailblazer

News: Video Reports
by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  •  September 1, 2021   

Exposed cover-up decades ago

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The Boston Globe rocked the Catholic world in 2002 with its exposé on child molestation and cover-up in the Boston archdiocese. But while that bombshell is probably the most famous, the Globe was not the first to research abuse and cover-up in the Church. Church Militant's William Mahoney looks at one investigative journalist who began exposing predator priests 40 years ago.

While the Globe's exposé made it to the big screen in the award-winning 2015 film Spotlight, Catholic journalist Jason Berry, decades earlier, was already connecting dots in Louisiana.

Jason Berry: "It's certainly fair to say I broke the Catholic Church story."

Recently featured in the New York Times' piece "Almost Famous," Berry first exposed corruption using publications back in 1985.

Berry has been widely interviewed nationwide, appearing on everything from ABC's Nightline in the '80s to the Phil Donahue Show in the early '90s.

Jason Berry: "A big part of the problem is that the lawyers representing the Church are making terrible blunders, and they're treating the victims of child sexual abuse as if they were people filing lawsuits about chemical pollution or something like that."

In "Anatomy of a Cover-Up," the first part of his 1992 book, Lead Us Not Into Temptation, Berry discussed notorious predator then-Father Gilbert Gauthe.

Gauthe was appointed chaplain to the Lafayette Boy Scouts in 1975 despite then-bishop Gerard Frey's knowledge of at least one homosexual incident involving a young man.

Gauthe is currently out of prison, roaming about in Texas, but one of his predator cronies in Lafayette, Fr. Michael Guidry, was denied parole earlier this month. With the Lafayette diocese so far refusing to laicize Guidry, it seems journalists like Berry will never be out of work.

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