|WILMINGTON DELAWARE PROFILE OF ONE DIOCESE|
AN EXAMPLE OF PROTECTING CLERICS
KNOWN TO BE SEXUALLY ACTIVE WITH MINORS
Jack Lind was a priest of the Diocese of Wilmington. He was ordained in 1960. After ordination he was accused of sexual molestation of minors. He was removed from active ministry and died in 1997.
This memo (click here) was obtained from the files of the Diocese of Wilmington in the course of discovery in one of the cases involving another priest. The author’s name is redacted. He had been a seminarian with Lind, and a frequent sexual partner. However he also believed that Lind’s sexual activity, especially with minor boys, was a serious problem. He sent the memo to the diocesan offices in 1965 after he had finally decided to denounce Lind to the bishop.
In the course of this memo the author admits that he had sought the advice of confessors and at least one spiritual director about denouncing Lind. All discouraged him from doing so.
It is quite probable that this is a concrete example of similar situations that have occurred at other times in other dioceses regarding other sexually active clerics. The advice of the priest-confessors and the spiritual director was clearly wrong. In spite of the pietistic rhetoric, this advice was self-serving and, because of the extraordinary influence of the confessor and spiritual director in general and not only in this case, highly influential in enabling Lind’s continued destructive behavior.
November 16, 2010