My name is Rich Cerick. When I was 13 and in 8th grade, I was molested and sexually abused by Fr. Roy A. Drake, SJ, a Fordham Prep High School Jesuit teacher, in his apartment on Fordham University's campus.
For the past three years, since I reported what Fr. Drake did to me, the Jesuits, the New York Archdiocese, Fordham University and Fordham Prep have treated me like criminal thugs. They have been deceitful, manipulative and dishonest at every turn. They have also allowed Fr. Drake, who lived and worked for decades on Fordham's campus after abusing me, to continue working and residing there - among thousands of unknowing Fordham Prep and University students - and refused to disclose his whereabouts after recently hiding him in several different locations.
Although their lawyer has confirmed - after their so-called "investigation," which included interviewing me, my mom and my friend who was with me on the overnight trip with Fr. Drake - that my
allegations are completely credible, they have refused to publicly disclose the allegations against Fr. Drake, moved and hidden him, kept their investigation secret, refused to report him to Church authorities for discipline and in essence, told me to drop dead.
I would compare these institutions to the Mafia in the way that they casually destroy lives without thinking twice, caring only about their own power and wealth, except that the Mafia subscribes to a code of honor and the Jesuits, the New York Archdiocese and Fordham do not. They care only about protecting themselves and their secrets – nothing more. The notion of acting as Christ's disciples and helping me and other victims is, incredibly, completely rejected by them.
I have concluded, through my personal experience, that the Jesuits - the largest religious order in the world - are outlaws in our society. They view themselves as the crème de la crème of the priesthood, but in
reality they are vicious pedophiles, enablers and protectors of the sexual predators within their ranks. No other religious order has so frequently shuffled and hidden abusive priests and so cruelly ignored
its victims over the decades.
They believe and act as though they are answerable to no one, which deeply traumatizes their victims.
Most U.S. Jesuit provinces - including New York - have deliberately refused to comply with the Dallas Charter and Essential Norms, which are supposedly binding on all U.S. Dioceses and ostensibly seek to prevent and protect the victims of clergy sexual abuse and end the secrecy and lies that have perpetuated such abuse throughout the Church.
One need not be a genius to understand why. By refusing to agree to protective measures or undertake any responsibility, including publicly disclosing credible allegations of sexual abuse to protect potential victims, the Jesuits operate completely outside of the law and all moral and ethical constraints. Their conduct in the real world, where doing the right thing matters most, makes a mockery of the public face they display to society, from whom they continuously seek financial and moral support.
The reason these institutions and their leaders have acted with complete contempt and disregard towards me and their other victims is simply because they can – once criminal and civil statutes of limitation expire, they shamelessly exploit the fact that they have no legal obligation to do the right thing, knowing that almost no victims will ever go public. Thus, they re-victimize their victims again and again.
The only way to end this abhorrent conduct is to abolish the criminal and civil statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse. There are no statutes of limitation for murder, and sexual abuse of children constitutes murder of the soul, lasting for life. Without the accountability this change would bring, the bishops, priests, religious
orders and the Vatican will continue their conspiracy to destroy lives with impunity in order to protect themselves and their interests, at the direct expense of their victims.
Who more than our young and innocent deserve protection from the horrors of sexual predators? As a civilized society, can we in good conscience continue to ignore these victims and needlessly place additional children in harm's way?
Thank you. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.