Netflix's "The Keepers" Exposes Sex Abuse Crimes In The Catholic Church

Netflix's "The Keepers" Exposes Sex Abuse Crimes In The Catholic Church

Who killed Sister Cathy?

Trigger Warning: Sex, abuse, and murder

Released in May of 2017, “The Keepers” tackles the unsolved murder of the beloved nun Sister Cathy Cesnik, a Catholic teacher at Keough High School in Baltimore. She disappeared on November 7th, 1969 and her body was found nearly two months later. Her killer has still not been found.

Not only does this series delve into the theories of how Cesnik died, but it also reveals the horrific sex abuse that occurred at Keough between Father Joseph Maskell and the students. The full story is too complicated to express in one article, but I’m going to give you the basics.

In the early 90s, many women started remembering the abuse that Maskell committed. They remembered being called to his office in the middle of the school day (he was a counselor there) and that he would proceed to rape them and then send them back to class. Many of these girls had Sister Cathy as their teacher and were very close to her.

One of the students, later known as Jane Doe, told Sister Cathy what Maskell was doing. Cathy told her she would take care of it. Next thing you know, Cathy was missing.

The forensics behind the investigation would go way too in-depth for me to talk about simply. But the bottom line was that the Catholic Church seemed to have some shady business going on.

I didn’t grow up Catholic, or even religious. And from the point of view of someone who doesn’t believe in organized religion, this disturbs me greatly. Nothing is wrong with having faith. Nothing is wrong with believing in God. But there are many wrongs when that belief comes before saving innocent children to protect a pedophilic priest.

Many believe that Maskell or someone associated with him that knew about the abuse didn’t want their secrets to get out. It’s thought that once they figured out that Cathy was going to go to the police, they decided to shut her up.

If this story seems familiar, it is very similar to what happened in Boston in the early 00s. The Boston Globe’s investigative team, Spotlight, delved into the Catholic Church and discovered many of the priests guilty of sex abuse on the children of their parishes. And if this was brought to the attention of the archdiocese, Spotlight discovered that instead of removing them completely, they just moved them to another parish or school or place where the same abuse could continue.

This isn’t private knowledge that the Catholic Church has been covering up pedophilia among its priests, and it seems even more relevant now with the exposure of pedophiles and rapists that Hollywood has been covering up.

Of course, I don’t believe that everyone in the Catholic Church knows about it and covers it up. And of course I don’t believe that all priests are pedophiles or rapists and I don’t even believe that all men are like that either.

But it’s like playing Russian Roulette. Not all of the chambers has a bullet, but one of them does. Not all men are rapists, not all priests are pedophiles. But not all of the chambers are empty of bullets. It’s a risk either way.

There needs to be more coverage on this phenomenon. Docuseries and survivors are doing their best to make these stories known, but it’s not enough. These instances show the crimes that men have been getting away with for decades, if not centuries. And there needs to be something done about it.

Both “The Keepers” and “Spotlight” are currently available on Netflix.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments