Winner 2014

Betrayed by Silence

Minnesota Public Radio News

Starting its investigation in the Twin Cities and following the leads throughout the country, Minnesota Public Radio unveiled hypocrisy and cruelty by leaders in the Roman Catholic Church to rival the most ruthless corporation. Archbishop Harry Flynn of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis built a career as the public face of a repentant, healing Church coming to terms with its priests’ crimes of sexual abuse. He was called to Boston to lead the response to the scandal in 2002 and helped to write and promote the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” All the while he was doing the opposite in his own archdiocese. MPR painstakingly documents how abusive Minnesota priests were paid off to retire quietly and how a representative of the Church was sent to victims in a pastoral capacity, only to give the archdiocese the information to help in its legal disputes. The documentary contains audio of a young man dying of AIDS whose abuse in childhood led him to drugs and unsafe sexual behavior. MPR contrasts his fate with that of his abuser, who was classified as “disabled,” retained in the priesthood and paid extra to keep his status secret. For giving listeners an unprecedented look at how cover-ups were handled by the Catholic Church in the United States, Betrayed by Silence receives a Peabody Award.


Project Editor: Chris Worthington. Producer: Sasha Aslanian. Lead Reporter: Madeleine Baran. Radio Editor: Mike Edgerly. Digital Editor: Meg Martin.