Church Secrets: Abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis

The Commercial Appeal has put together a series written by Lawrence Buser exploring sexual abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis.

The series, Church Secrets: Abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, is centered around the lawsuit John Doe vs. The Catholic Bishop for the Diocese of Memphis, et al, which the diocese settled for $2 million last year. The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Daily News sought successfully to have the case unsealed. A judge granted the request on the condition court documents were redacted to protect the victim and other innocent people.

The documents show how an abuse Memphis priest was reassigned rather than reigned in, and that sexual abuse and misconduct allegations were made against more than a dozen local priests in the past 40 years.

I handled the online publishing of the documents themselves, of which nearly 7,000 pages of the original 11,000 or so we published. You can read them on the site, or download them yourself for offline viewing (but beware, some of the PDFs are quite large). Many of the documents’ contents are quite graphic.

The documents were redacted by attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant, but inadequately so on the first-go-round, so they were taken down from the site for five days until the attorneys could take another stab at it.

About the Author

grant smith
Hi. I’m a freelance journalist and data specialist living in NJ/NYC. I like to play outside.

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