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The Nation

National Briefing / Nationwide

An early church take on abuse

March 31, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The founder of a religious order that treats Roman Catholic priests who molest children concluded in the 1950s that offenders were unlikely to change and should not be returned to ministry, according to his letters, which were obtained by plaintiffs' lawyers.

The Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of the Servants of the Paraclete, was so sure of the priests' inability to control themselves that he tried to buy an island to isolate them.

Fitzgerald discussed the issue with Pope Paul VI and in correspondence with several bishops, according to the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper that reported the content of the letters.

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