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By Joseph M. Hanneman, Church Militant, January 13, 2020
‘Kent did the bish’; accusations pile up against Bp. Ryan
Editor’s Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of sexual abuse of minors and adults that readers might find disturbing. This material is not intended for children. If you or someone you know was sexually abused, contact local law enforcement for help.
Decorated U.S. Marine veteran Frank J. Kelly was fed up. Outside the Hyatt Regency hotel in Washington D.C., Kelly spotted the U.S. papal pro-nuncio, who a year earlier did his best to deep-six the sexual-misconduct investigation of Illinois Bp. Daniel L. Ryan. The no-holds-barred Kelly strode up to Abp. Agostino Cacciavillan, poked a finger in his chest and boomed, “You belong in jail for what you did to protect Daniel Ryan!” A nervous Cacciavillan said nothing and quickly retreated to his car. Kelly was with a group of protesters praying the Rosary and holding signs outside the semiannual meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB). One sign read, “Bishop Ryan, Obey Your Superiors and Resign as Bishop!”
The retired lieutenant colonel’s tongue lashing of the archbishop in November 1997 is described in a nearly 570-page investigative report compiled over eight years by The Roman Catholic Faithful (RCF), a nonprofit watchdog group based in Petersburg, Ill. The document was initially filed with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Office for Child and Youth Protection. It describes a serial homosexual predator bishop who sexually abused minors, sexually harassed his own priests and consorted with male prostitutes. The altercation with Abp. Cacciavillan and the six protest signs carried outside the NCCB meeting were indicators the RCF campaign to oust Bp. Ryan had new urgency.
Just weeks later, a woman contacted RCF, alleging she knew where Bp. Ryan picked up teenage male prostitutes. Sandra J. Elraghy, 34, said she knew many of the male hookers who “dated” Ryan. Stephen G. Brady, RCF president and chief investigator, interviewed her outside of a Springfield, Ill. restaurant. She said she came forward after reading the chancery’s denials that Bp. Ryan was a homosexual, and public comments from the bishop’s spokeswoman that RCF officials were “ignorant of good church teaching.” She said she wanted the truth about the bishop to come out. “I was sitting on the laundromat table and when I read that I jumped right off there and looked up Steve Brady. I read that article, slammed the paper down, jumped off the table. I called Steve Brady and he came the same night.”1 ….