OKLAHOMA CITY — For more than a half-century, Oklahoma City's Catholic Archdiocese responded to reports of child sexual abuse by its priests with bungled internal investigations that masked the problems and often enabled the abuse to continue for years, according to a damning report released Thursday by law firm McAfee & Taft.
A report commissioned by the Archdiocese was made public Thursday; it identified and named 11 priests in the Archdiocese who had been "credibly accused" of child sexual abuse since 1960. McAfee & Taft made it clear its investigation is not yet complete.
The law firm said most of the priests still under investigation relate to allegations raised with the Archdiocese after the law firm's investigation was announced in August 2018, but a few relate to older files that need additional investigation.
The law firm provided detailed descriptions of the child sexual abuse allegations made against the 11 priests it identified as having been "credibly accused." The firm also provided detailed descriptions of actions taken the Archdiocese in response to those allegations and bluntly criticized actions it found to be improper or inappropriate. In some instances, the Archdiocese apparently engaged in coverups, the report indicated.
For example, the report cited the response by the Archdiocese to reports of child sexual abuse by Father Edward Prather that surfaced in 1989 after he left Our Lady of Fatima church in Nicoma Park. Father Prather died in 1996.