Archdiocese of Baltimore
If you finished the Netflix docu-series The Keepers, you’ll know all about the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Many of the people involved in the series have a less than favorable opinion of the church. Some are frustrated by the lack of willingness to help with the investigation. Furthermore, others go as far to accuse the church of complicity in the sexual abuse by covering up for Father Joseph Maskell. However you see it, you’re probably not surprised that the Archdiocese of Baltimore has been feeling the heat.
Now, the Archdiocese of Baltimore website loaded a new FAQ page dedicated to The Keepers. Whether in response to the petition, with over 40,000 signatures demanding transparency or simply to address the uncomfortable questions that are likely flooding the church, the new effort to address the scandal is notable. Some may applaud the Archdiocese’s attempts while others may think it’s too little, too late.
Here are a few samples from the FAQ page:
First of all, Father Joseph Maskell:
What does the Archdiocese know about allegations of abuse by Joseph Maskell?
The allegations of abuse by now-deceased priest, Joseph Maskell, arise from incidents that occurred between 40-50 years ago, primarily in connection with his role as Chaplain at Archbishop Keough High School. Sexual abuse is a horrible crime, and no child should be subjected to sexual abuse.
When did the Archdiocese first learn about allegations of abuse against Maskell?
The Archdiocese first received an allegation of sexual abuse against Maskell in 1992, more than 20 years after the abuse occurred.
How did the Archdiocese respond to the survivor who raised the initial allegations against Maskell in 1992?
The Archdiocese offered counseling assistance and strongly encouraged the survivor to report the alleged abuse to civil authorities.
Also, The Murder of Sr. Catherine Cesnik, S.S.N.D.
When did the Archdiocese learn of an alleged connection between Maskell and the death of Sr. Cathy?
The Archdiocese first learned that some believed Maskell was involved with the murder of Sr. Cathy in 1994, through accounts reported by the media.
Is there a record that Sr. Cathy reported allegations against Maskell to the Archdiocese?
There is no record of any report, verbal or in writing, by Sr. Cathy to the Archdiocese about allegations of abuse by Maskell.
What did the Archdiocese do in 1994 in response to renewed interest in Sr. Cathy’s murder?
In 1994, the Archdiocese and Metro Crime Stoppers offered a $6,000 reward leading to the arrest/conviction of Sr. Cathy’s killer. The Archdiocese cooperated fully with authorities investigating her murder and continue to offer full support for efforts to solve her murder.
And, About “The Keepers”
Is the Netflix series the first time this story has been told?
No. The abuse committed by Maskell, the death of Sr. Cathy and the reported connection between Maskell and Sr. Cathy’s murder have been the subject of numerous media reports, locally and nationally. The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, The City Paper, Baltimore Magazine, and The Huffington Post are a few examples of past coverage of these tragic events. Prior articles and reports regarding these matters are available at the Archdiocese’s website at www.archbalt.org.
Did the Archdiocese comment for the production?
Yes. The Archdiocese offered on several occasions to answer any and all questions for the production and, in fact, provided written responses to questions from producers of the series. Unfortunately, the producers asked very few questions of the Archdiocese before releasing the series and did not respond to the Archdiocese’s request to receive an advanced copy of the series. Advanced copies were provided to media outlets.
Naturally, Archdiocese of Baltimore would not like to be the focus of all the negative attention. The Keepers raised many questions about the Archdiocese’s role in the scandal, murder and possible cover-up. Many have not been answered by the series or the Archdiocese’s FAQ page. Hopefully, they’ll be answered one day.