Search Site

Church Whistleblower Regrets not Having Blown Her Whistle Stronger

Jennifer Haselberger calls the Catholic Church her home. Two relatives went into religious life. Haselberger was a canon lawyer for the archdiocese until she could no longer tolerate her warnings of sexual abuse being ignored by church officials.

Haselberger says that she began complaining to church leaders about a priest in 2008. Their inaction allowed this priest to molest two boys in his camper in 2010. Recently, Haselberger found indecent materials, including pictures of child pornography, on computer disks that belonged to a priest who is still in ministry. When Archbishop John Nienstedt did not respond to Haselberg’s complaints, she resigned and reported two priests to police officers. Her only regret is that she did not do more to stop the abuse.

Introducing the Catholic Whistleblowers

The Catholic Whistleblowers are a group of priests and nuns who want to push Catholic Church leaders, including the Pope, to enforce the zero-tolerance policy of abuse that was adopted more than 10 years ago. Most of the members of the Catholic Whistleblower’s steering group have reported abusers in the past. Three are canon lawyers who handled abuse cases for the church. Four admit to being victims of sexual abuse as kids.

What is the group’s goal?

The Catholic Whistleblowers have two primary goals: support victims and fellow whistleblower and to identify inadequate church policies. One priest describes members as having dedicated their lives to the church and wanting to make it better and safer.

First step

The group has already sent a letter to Pope Francis asking him to take action against sexual abuse. The group challenged the Pope to take the following steps:

  • Revoke oaths of secrecy
  • Open files on abuse cases
  • Remove any bishop who obstructed justice
  • Create an international forum to advance dialogue between survivors and church leaders 

Continued vigilance is necessary. Recently, a priest in Newark, New Jersey who was a convicted sex offender under court ordered restrictions was working with children in a Catholic parish, taking confessions and attending youth retreats. 

Whistleblowing plays a valuable role in all aspects of our lives — preventing fraud in business, protecting the environment and combating criminal activity. For more than 35 years, Steve Kardell, a Dallas whistleblower lawyer, has been assisting whistleblowers in Texas and throughout the U.S.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.