The Keepers: Where to Sign the Petition For the Archdiocese to Release Father Maskell Files
The mystery of who killed Sister Cathy Cesnik might remain unsolved, but there’s no denying that The Keepers has brought investigators one step closer to figuring out what really happened. In addition to inspiring internet sleuths to come up with a few intriguing theories about the 1969 murder, the Netflix documentary has also prompted the creation of a Change.org petition demanding transparency from the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The petition, which now has over 12,000 signatures, specifically asks for the release of their files on A. Joseph Maskell, the priest at the heart of the murder investigation.
Although Father Maskell denied accusations that he had anything to do with Cesnik’s murder up until his death in 2001, the former teacher at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keogh High School is widely believed to have orchestrated the crime. Cesnik, an English teacher at the school, figured out that Maskell (along with another priest at Keogh) was sexually abusing a number of female students and was likely going to bring the information to the authorities. She was murdered under mysterious circumstances before that could ever happen, but the ongoing investigation into her death points at Maskell’s involvement.
The petition’s Change.org page asks the Baltimore Archdiocese to release whatever files they have on Father Maskell. “The release of these documents will restore public trust in the Archdiocese, and confirm the Archdiocese statements regarding their handling of the sexual abuse claims,” the petition’s description reads. “This petition requests that the Archdiocese of Baltimore release their files regarding A. Joseph Maskell, who is now deceased, in an effort to thoroughly investigate all avenues that may have led to the murder of Cathy Cesnik in 1969.”
So far, it doesn’t look like the Archdiocese has been swayed by the petition since they claim releasing any files is against their policy (which echoes a similar comment they left on Reddit during The Keepers director Ryan White’s AMA). “Archdiocesan policy and state law would preclude us from disclosing much of the information in them as they include confidential personal information (e.g. names of alleged sexual abuse victims), personnel records, health records, attorney-client communications, personally identifying information (such as social security numbers), etc.,” they said.
Although Maskell was never charged, The Baltimore Sun reported that, since 2011, the Archdiocese has paid over $472,000 in settlements to 16 women who accused Maskell of sexual abuse.
Source: Pop Sugar