Dr Doyle is an ordained Catholic priest, canon lawyer and addictions therapist. Since 1982, he has been involved in the issue of clergy sexual abuse, beginning with his work as the staff canon lawyer at the Vatican Embassy in Washington D.C. His involvement includes: pastoral care of victims and their families, canonical defence advocate for accused clerics, consultant to dioceses and religious communities and as an expert witness and consultant in civil and criminal cases throughout the United States and other countries. In 2006, he co-authored the book Sex, Priests and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse. He served as a consultant and expert in several of the investigatory commissions in Ireland and, in 2017, as an expert witness before the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Dr Doyle’s Submission firstly sets out the scope and recent history of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, how canon law applies and how the Catholic Church has responded. He sets this in context by explaining the governance and structure of the Catholic Church and the nature of Catholic priesthood. The second part of Dr Doyle’s Submission explores how the Catholic Church’s institutional system enables abuse. He also describes the ‘trauma bond’ and spiritual damage experienced by survivors of Catholic clergy abuse. Dr Doyle’s Submission ends with an analysis of why the Catholic Church has failed to adequately respond to the issue of clergy sexual abuse.