Leader of Catholic order that once treated priests like Dallas’ Rudolph Kos spoke out in the 1950s

The leader of a Catholic order that operated one of the biggest U.S. treatment centers for sexually abusive priests told bishops and the Vatican in the 1950s that the predators were “devils” and “vipers” who should be confined to an island and kicked out of the clergy. The leader’s views were expressed in letters previously placed under seal by a New Mexico court as part of litigation involving a notorious Dallas priest. They undercut the bishops’ longstanding claim that they didn’t understand the scope and seriousness of the abuse problem until recent years. “If I were a bishop, I would tremble when I failed to report them to Rome” for removal from the priesthood, wrote the Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald of the Servants of the Paraclete order in 1957. “It is blasphemous to let them offer the Holy Sacrifice.”