After suffering abuse from the age of ten, Mike McDonnell says that he stole more than $100,000 dollars as recompense.
At ten, McDonnell “wasn’t sure [of] the things that were going on,” but by the time he was 12 years old, it was all too clear. McDonnell told Reuters that he woke to being molested by a priest in the bed he was forced to share with him. “From that day forth, I would never be that same child,” he said. “I went into shock mode and shut down. I would hold onto those secrets for 20-plus years.”
And while the Archdiocese of Philadelphia paid for counseling, it did not prevent him from struggling through years of broken marriages and alcoholism. Yet McDonnell had his quiet revenge, to the tune of $100,000. “I sought retribution in the form of submitting false invoices for a number of years,” he said.
McDonnell is one of about 1,000 children abused by priests since the 1940s in Pennsylvania, according to a grand jury report into Catholic sexual abuse following an investigation launched by the Pennsylvania attorney general.
McDonnell’s prescription for the church is simple:
These bishops and the dioceses and the Cardinals need to come clean. You need to tell the Catholic faith community what you did. How you covered it up, how you transferred one to another parish so that he would go on and abuse more children. No one knew more about these abuses and no one did less.