In September 2007, the Knights of Malta (KOM) gave an award to Doug Perlitz for his ten years of charitable work with Haitian orphan children. (1) The Knights’ publications praised Perlitz repeatedly – in 2005 (2) and in 2008 (3), as well as in 2007.
a Fairfield University graduate who had been a commencement speaker for
the school in 2002, set up a child care project in Haiti: Project Pierre Toussaint (PPT). He
had active support – including over $2 million in donations to his
Haiti Fund – from the Knights of Malta (KOM), affluent alumni and
benefactors of Fairfield University, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (a
Canadian order), and other prominent Catholics from the Diocese of
Bridgeport. (One of the board members for this Haiti Fund was Philip
Allen Lacovara, the attorney who represented the Bridgeport diocese in
the failed attempt to block release of documents relating to clergy
sexual abuse cases, and his wife, Madeline. She is a member of the
Dames of Malta, and Lacovara is legal counsel for the Knights of
Now, Perlitz has been convicted of sex abuse crimes in Haiti by a US court. For his violation of 'sex tourism' laws, Perlitz has received a 19-year Federal prison sentence. (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11)
1998-2008 while operating PPT in Cap Hatien, Perlitz regularly abused
boys. They were forced to comply, knowing that if they did not,
they would lose access to food, clean water, clothes, etc.
Perlitz's "charity” was organized and chaired by Fr. Paul Carrier,
S.J., long time Campus Minister of Fairfield University, Magistral
Chaplain in the Knights of Malta (12,13) – and a close mentor and
friend of Perlitz. Funding and support for the PPT were actively
solicited from persons associated with Fairfield University (whose
alumni/benefactor list (14, 15) contains heavy hitters in the world of
Opus Dei's Mammon), and from the KOM - both corporately and in
individual contributions from its Knights and Dames. (16, 17)
self-justification, Perlitz stated - without specifically naming
Carrier - that his:
into sexually abusing homeless Haitian street boys he set out to help
is linked to 'a dark and abusive relationship,' both 'physical and
spiritual,' that he developed with a Fairfield University priest
shortly after his arrival on campus in 1988, according to a document
filed by his lawyers."
becomes obvious that the priest was Carrier, who not only chaired the
charity and visited Perlitz, but also (as reported by witnesses) called
him daily in Haiti. So we have a priest who abuses and seemingly
grooms a vulnerable young man – and then sets him up (fiscally and
psychologically) to abuse other innocents. (18, 19)
In this scandal, the lines of authority – and moral responsibility – seem to run to the top of the Catholic hierarchy in the US, and to some prestigious nation-wide Catholic organizations.
We can begin with Cardinal Edward Egan, the former Bishop of Bridgeport from 1988 until 2000, when he was promoted to the Archdiocese of New York (which he ruled until 2009). As the Diocesan bishop for Bridgeport, he had a degree of influence over Fairfield University (a Jesuit school). Egan was the Principal Chaplain of the Knights of Malta in the US until he retired in 2009, and he oversaw the activities of all of the Knights’ chaplains in the US. After Egan became a Cardinal in 2001, he was given a new title by the Knights: Bailiff Grand Cross of Honor and Devotion. Therefore, Egan was a leading Chaplain of the Knights of Malta during the period of PPT’s establishment and the period of the abuse (20) (21).
bishop of Bridgeport since Egan's departure for NYC is Bishop
William Lori (22). He is a Chaplain of the KOM (since 2000), and is
also the Supreme Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus. (23)
successor to Egan as Ordinary of the Archdiocese of NY (from 2009
onward), and Principal Chaplain of the Knights of Malta in the US, is Archbishop
Timothy Dolan (24). He was recently voted President of the USCCB.
It is a matter of public record that Egan has been a part of the hierarchical cover-up of the abuse scandal (25). The same is true for Lori (26) and Dolan (27), his episcopal associates. With this history, there is reason to suspect that these prelates failed to discern – or, if they ever knew, failed to act in a timely way to restrain – Perlitz’s predatory activities.
the Jesuits, or Fairfield University, or the Knights of Malta said even
one 'Mea Culpa' for this abuse? No. Rather, they are still exercising Denial in Excelsis. On a mundane level, such
Administrators are either grossly incompetent, or (if cognizant of the
ongoing abuse) criminally insane. Either way, such irresponsible
Administrators should be immediately fired.
"Fairfield University and the Order of Malta are in the works of financing a $850,000 project to help feed, educate and counsel the boys left [behind] after the closing of Perlitz’s Haitian school, according to the Connecticut Post. Fairfield University president, Rev. Jeffrey von Arx and a representative from the Order of Malta have negotiated with a Haitian charitable ministry, Kids Alive International, to finance this five-year support program." (28)
Kids Alive (29) is an evangelical Christian entity, not in any way Catholic. The smooth transfer of the PPT ministry from Catholic control to Evangelical Protestant control is anomalous. Because of the little-publicized connection between Opus Dei (and other right-wing Catholics) and right-wing Evangelical Protestants (30), the Catholic-to-Protestant transfer of PPT points to possible Opus Dei involvement in the whole sordid mess.
As a postscript, it might be interesting to contemplate the mystical possibility if the earthquake which struck Haiti in the wake of the discovery of the dark truth of PPT was aimed at the horrors which were perpetrated upon the people of Haiti. Note that the Catholic Archbishop of Haiti, and many clergy, were wiped out in the quake, along with the Cathedral of Port au Prince. Billions upon billions of dollars in 'charity' have been poured into Haiti - yet the people were literally eating dirt to keep from starving. Meanwhile, the Church hierarchy ate well and enabled the elite and wealthy of Haiti to profit off the poor.
"Light of the World - A
Conversation With Peter Seewald"; 2010 - First Edition - p. 119
(1) http://www.maltausa.org/files/newsletter_hospitallers_14.pdf, p. 2, and http://www.maltausa.org/files/newsletter_hospitallers_16.pdf, p. 8; for an introduction to the Knights of Malta, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_Military_Order_of_Malta.
(11) http://www.margueritelaurent.com/law/DouglasPerlitz.pdf; the Federal indictment lists $2 million in donations to Perlitz from 2002 through 2008.
p. 5. This is a 2006 newsletter.
(26) http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2003_07_12/2003_09_22_NBC30_SnapCriticizes.htm; http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ten-minute-activist/2003-12-05-LoriRyan-BridgportCT/2003-12-05-main.htm; http://www.bishop-accountability.org/docs/bridgeport/history/.