More Falsehoods From John Manly

Check out this bogus tale that John Manly told in a radio interview on KABC, July 17, 2007, during the 7 a.m. hour. Manly was claiming that the Catholic Church has retaliated against priests who spoke out during the abuse scandals.

The bottom line is if you speak out, if you have the courage to speak out, and speak out for children, as a priest, they (the Catholic Church) run you over … In Boston, you remember, about 100 pastors signed a petition [in 2002] calling on the Cardinal (Bernard Law) to resign. Well, five years later, none of them have their own churches. And all those churches they closed, they closed the churches of the pastors that spoke out.

Manly's tale is completely and utterly false. Let's take the above bold lines, sentence by sentence.

1. "[A]bout 100 pastors signed a petition calling on the Cardinal to resign": Nope. The actual number was 58. (Uhhh … Is that even near 100?) Here's the list, from WCVB in Boston.

2. "[F]ive years later, none of them have their own churches": Again, this is completely false. A 30-second Google search easily finds that Rev. Louis D. Bourgeois, of The Church of St. Paul in Hamilton, signed the petition. He arrived at St. Paul’s in 1993 and is still the lead pastor there.

3. "And all those churches they closed, they closed the churches of the pastors that spoke out": Do I even need to say how untrue that is? (Click the links if you haven't figured it out yet.)

The real "bottom line" is that John Manly can't be trusted to tell the truth when giving interviews.


In the very same interview, again while claiming retaliation by Church officials, Manly spun a tale about Fr. Thomas Doyle, a pioneer critic of the Church's failure in dealing with abuse by priests. Manly claims a bishop retaliated against Doyle by "[taking] his credentials away to be a priest, ostensibly (?) because he said you didn't have to go to Mass on Sunday."

Manly is not even close. Read the far more accurate version in the New York Times. ("In the latest chapter of his turbulent career, Father Doyle was quietly removed from his job as an Air Force chaplain in a clash with his archbishop over pastoral issues.")


Finally – the same interview … Manly implies that the Los Angeles media has been light on Cardinal Mahony, that they're "afraid of a religious leader." What?? He's got to be kidding! Los Angeles Times: Clergy Abuse and School Abuse

Manly then calls Cardinal Mahony "a monster."