Predatory Pedophile Catholic Priests Fathered Children

Much has been written about the now-worldwide phenomenon of predatory pedophile Catholic priests who molested young boys, but it is important to note that priests also molested young girls and older teens. These girls and young women (how many?) were also impregnated by these priests.

A recent NPR audio caught my ear on Tuesday, April 20, 2010’s Morning Edition: “Priest’s Dual Legacy: Transgressions And Money”. The transcript can be found here:

NPR hosts Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne use these statements to introduce the story:


Father Marcial Maciel built the conservative Legion of Christ into a
powerful Catholic order. Over several decades, Maciel raised millions of dollars for the church. Some estimate the order’s assets are worth $20 billion. After Maciel died in 2008, his order revealed that he had fathered a daughter. Others have come forward claiming to be his sons.


There were years of allegations ignored by the Vatican that Father Maciel sexually abused seminarians as young as 12. Our next guest has reported that Father Maciel hid his secret life by buying the protection of key Vatican officials.

The fact that Father Marcial Maciel fathered children does not seem to be an issue; discussion of the money and assets followed. The adult children get an “honorable mention”, but the mothers of these children get NO mention at all. The story focuses on the MONEY but is missing crucial details.

While this story focuses on just one priest, it raises the as-yet-not-publicly-addressed topic of what happened to the children of these predatory priests? What happened to the mothers of these priests’ children?

I’ve recently been told by a friend, Mary L. Foess (Bonding By Blood, Unlimited) that this a major reason why The Catholic Church and its organizations oppose the opening of birth and adoption records to adoptees. This makes sense, but is not addressed by main stream media — not even NPR.

Mary adds:

The main reason which I believe is responsible for lobbies for adoption agency, owned by Catholic Church organizations, ones which keep blocking the release of original birth certificates to persons formerly adopted as children, is this: Once the mother is found by this adult who was adopted,  she will then tell her adult ‘child’ who his/her father is. This may lead straight to the priest. There are adoption agencies funded by Catholic church sources; they have powerful lobbies. The Associations for Lawyers, too, block these bills, too, by opposing them when they speak in committee meetings (public hearings). Some birthdads, too, are ‘married men’ who had an affair with these birth mothers.

The Catholic Church’s opposition to unsealing birth and adoption records to adoptees is based upon the unspoken and unacknowledged problem that many, possibly thousands, of priests are indeed fathers — and not just “men of the cloth” religious fathers. The Church wants to keep under wraps the identities of priests who sired out-of-wedlock babies.

For the girls and young women involved, the cover-up means that they remained silent for decades because they conceived outside of marriage. The shame of conceiving through the rape of a priest is even more horrifying. These girls and young women were, of course, forced into relinquishing their illegitimate children, sentencing both the mothers and their adopted-out offspring into lifetimes of shame, degradation and guilt.

But that shame, guilt and degradation doesn’t belong on the young mothers and their children. Let’s put the shame and blame where it belongs: on the not-married fathers — priests — who, not only molested children, but broke their vows of celibacy, destroyed trust, mocked their vocational priesthood and took away the innocence of thousands of children, and their own children.

A very long time ago, I watched the romantic movie series The Thornbirds, about a priest and his love for a woman. Romantic and melancholy, this story tugged at my heart. That was when I was much younger than what I am now. Now, decades later, the thought turns my stomach. Not because I don’t think priests ought to be married, but because if marriage were allowed, perhaps some of the sexual problems of priests might be solved.

We have real-live adoptees who want their birth certificates unsealed, who want their adoption records unsealed, and who want to know who is responsible for giving them life. Because the Catholic lobby is so strongly opposed to opening these records, these adoptees will never know the truth. Correction, these specific adoptees — and millions of other adoptees not produced by predatory pedophile priests — are forced to live life not knowing the truth of their births because protecting the identities of these flaky fathers is more important than fessing-up, telling the truth, admitting to the sins committed and going about the business of rectifying the wrongs. Opening birth and adoption records would help millions of adoptees answer their questions of personal identity, but the Catholic Church says no.

Perhaps the reason the world has not heard about this issue is because The Catholic Church cannot cope with more public scrutiny.

I want to know why more Senior Mothers, and perhaps younger women who were impregnated by priests, do not step forward. The shame is not on you, the shame belongs on the perpetrator. Your adult children need you to step forward and step up to the plate to rally with adoptees to open birth and adoption records. Let’s start naming names of the priests who first committed the rapes, and then causing pregnancies, and who then forced the relinquishment of thousands of their own children.

Father Marcial Maciel of the conservative Legion of Christ is not the only priest to have fathered out-of-celibacy and out-of-wedlock illegitimate children. Who are the others?


~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

~ ~ ~

By coincidence, the following was sent via Adoption News Service about the fight for open records in New Jersey where adoptees are being held back by the Catholic Conference:

At adoption standoff’s center

Regarding Contributing Editor James Ahearn’s “Battle to open adoption records” (Opinion, Page O-2, April 18):

The true battle is the adoption community (to include birth mothers) against the Catholic Church.

Ahearn has written on priestly abuses in the past, so it is especially frustrating that he did not make the connection that the church wants secrecy in adoption to protect clerics who are, well, fathers.

Ahearn goes on to say that there are Democrats and Republicans on each side. Really? That’s funny. In the state Senate, only one Democrat voted against the bill to give adult adoptees access to their birth certificates and family medical histories of their birth parents.

The adoption community longs for a brave editor or reporter who might think it a bit funny that the Catholic Church is advocating for secrecy over transparency.

Peter W. Franklin

Haskell, April 19

The writer is associated with the Web site

3 thoughts on “Predatory Pedophile Catholic Priests Fathered Children

  1. My comment left at the Comments’ Section —

    Joan Wheeler (legitmatebastard) wrote:

    What is the matter with people? Doesn’t this quote mean anything to most people? – “After Maciel died in 2008, his order revealed that he had fathered a daughter. Others have come forward claiming to be his sons.” This is a major problem, yet most readers skim over the fact that, as a by-product of molesting young girls and young women, priests cause pregnancies. That means that Father Jim may also be the father of a child. The young mothers of these children, born out of “wedlock”, were forced to relinquish the babies because no one wants the proof of sin hanging around. The Catholic Church is a big opposition to adoptees opening their birth certificates. All other American citizens can get their birth certificates, most states do not allow adoptees access to their own birth certificates. One major reason is because the identity of the fathers would then be released — names of thousands of pedophile priests.
    Me, I was the fifth child born to married parents. Mom died shortly after my birth. Dad was talked into giving me up for adoption by a Catholic priest. Secrecy and celibacy do not mix well with the truth.

    Friday, April 23, 2010 11:51:37 AM

    1. Lynne Newington

      Australia has had it’s fair share of lost children fathered by clergy to. To the extent that a young Sister of Charity was approached to extend the maternity ward of the hospital she had founded to cater for women “in situations created by clergy”. This was still being serviced by consecutive Archbishops and their fellow ecclesiastics until 1980. Documents and records have been misplaced or lost so there is no chance for these now adults to trace their parents.
      Some mothers who believed their babies had gone to good homes, are now learning their infants were in fact reared in institutions,
      The Australian Federal Government , through the dogedness of a few, has called for a Senate Inquiry into all illegal and forced adoptions including Catholc agencies in Australia.
      Queensland Senator Claire Moore, has been absolutely outstanding in the manner she has carried out her role ,without fear of favour or for personal political gain.
      For more infromation look up Origins NSW.
      I hope someone reads this belated, post, maybe the above contact can be of assistance.

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