St. Gall Catholic Community

1343 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville, NV, 89410 | (775) 782-2852 | (775) 782-3784 (Religious Ed)

A Message from Fr. Dan -- 8/20/2018

Dear Members of St. Gall’s Community,

FrDanDeskIt has to be addressed. We can no longer stick our heads in the sand like ostriches. I speak of course of the continued tragedy of the cover up of the abuse of children in our US church, and most especially the way in which this atrocity has been handled. Following the recent revelation concerning Cardinal McCarrick, and then the Pennsylvania report, it does beg a question. When the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children was put into place by our US bishops, the emphasis was placed on improper behavior by priests, religious, and parish staff or volunteers. Somehow the bishops did not include themselves, perhaps considering themselves to be above the law. We now know that many bishops, apart from themselves being abusers of children, were also responsible to continuing the tragedy by moving credibly-accused priests or religious to other assignments, where the cycle of abuse continued. Please refer to this statement from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the head of the US bishops conference, regarding steps to be taken in the future. Personally, I am very skeptical about his statement and I don’t believe the issue will be resolved satisfactorily. Basically, what I am saying is that some of our children are still being exposed to abuse, but I note also that abuse mostly takes place in the family setting. The reason why Fr. Oliver and myself are here in the diocese of Reno is because of bishop abuse, not sexually, but verbally and emotionally. We were both ordained for the Diocese of Gallup, NM, and when a new bishop was assigned to Gallup it was quickly apparent that he was addicted in many ways, including alcohol and sex. At that time, being the president of the Priests’ Council, I wrote to the then head of the Bishops’ Conference outlining what was happening, and begging for action. His response was simply to forward my letter to my bishop. I again wrote him and told him that there was no need to forward my letter to my bishop as I had already copied him. Next, I tried getting help from the pope’s ambassador to the US, but that letter was never answered. Finally, perhaps out of desperation, I drafted a letter to be sent to the Congregation for Bishops in Rome, which was co-signed by Father Oliver and another priest. Again, nothing happened. Except…our bishop ‘ordered’ us to apologize or to get out of his diocese. He had no right to do this as we were incardinated priests. But, we did take him up on his offer when it became clear that bishop accountability was non-existent. For that reason, Fr. Oliver came to work in the Reno diocese, and I transferred from reserve status in the military to active duty. Upon completion of my active duty service I too came to work in the Reno diocese. And what a wonderful move that was, and what a kind and caring bishop we have in Bishop Calvo. Fr. Oliver is now retired in Minden, and I am happily here in St. Gall’s. The beginning of my letter, I know, is rather negative, but from experience I hold little hope that anything will change. Oh, I do hope that they start finger printing and doing background checks on bishops as they did on us priests!

God bless, Father Dan

Link to Bishop Calvo's Letter --8/18/2018

Link to Pope Francis' Letter to the People of God -- 8/20/2018