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Monday, August 5, 2019

Opus Bono Sacerdotii: The Secretive Clan That Gives Aid To Catholic Priests Accused Of Sexual Abuse

     The Catholic Church, in the United States and around the world, is an organization riddled with pedophiles. The church has a long history of protecting its in-house sex offenders by moving accused priests from diocese to diocese and intimidating victims. When those tactics fail, the church pays off its victims. In 2018, according to BishopAccountability, an organization that tracks Catholic Church sex case payoffs, the church, since 1950, has dished out $3.8 billion in hush money to U.S. victims abused by priests.

     The stunning BishopAccountability report came out in the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report that documented the abuse of 1,000 victims by 300 priests in six of the state's dioceses. All of this, of course, represented the mere tip of the massive Catholic Church sex crime iceberg.

     As high ranking officials in the church scrambled to assure the public that the organization would no longer tolerate or cover up the crimes of its priests, and help sex abuse victims to heal, the Associated Press, in 2019, published the results of its investigation of a secretive nonprofit organization devoted to "providing life saving care for priests experiencing difficulties." These "difficulties" include accusations of sexual abuse.

     The subject of the Associated Press inquiry is called Opus Bono Sacerdotii which in Latin means: work for the good of the priesthood. Since its founding in 2002, OBS has provided legal services, money, shelter, moral support and transportation to thousands of priests accused of child sexual abuse. The organization, headquartered in Dryden, Michigan, operates out of unmarked buildings scattered throughout the rural part of the state.

     While not officially associated with the Catholic Church, some of OBS's financial support comes from practicing Catholic priests.

      OBS became known to citizens of Michigan when, in 2018, the Michigan Attorney General's Office, following an investigation into the nonprofit organization, found that OBS had engaged in deceptive marketing practices, and that two of its founding members, President Joe Maher and treasurer Pete Ferrara, had unlawfully enriched themselves with donated funds.

     Pursuant to the January 2019 settlement with the Michigan Attorney Genera's Office, Maher and Ferrara resigned. Four months later, founder Father Eduard Perone was removed from OBS following allegations he had sexually abused a child decades earlier. Perone has denied the charge.

     What is so alarming, disgusting, and infuriating about the Catholic Church and OBS is just how engrained the culture of pedophilia is within the Catholic clergy, and in many ways, society at large.

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