Father Charles Engelhardt Dies While Appealing Sex-Abuse Conviction

Click here to read: “Phila. priest dies while appealing sex-abuse conviction,” by Joe Dolinsky, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 18, 2014

Excerpt: A former Catholic priest convicted of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy at a Northeast Philadelphia parish in 1998 and 1999 died Sunday, just weeks after an appeal of his conviction was heard before the state Supreme Court.

Clergy Abuse Plaintiff Requests Secret Archive File

On Nov. 14th, The Legal Intelligencer reported that a plaintiff in a priest sex-abuse case asked the court to compel the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to hand over its “secret archive files” and personnel records.

Click here for the link. If it doesn’t take you to the full article, just put “secret archives of Philadelphia Archdiocese” into your Google search.

Excerpt: “Doe’s court papers claim that the plaintiff has received portions of the secret archive files from Lynn’s criminal case, but not files concerning Avery and 16 other priests identified as sex offenders by the grand jury.”

Cardinal O’Malley Says Pope Will Address Bishop Finn’s Coverup

Click here to read: “O’Malley: Pope Recognizes Need to Address Bishop Finn Situation,” by Joshua J. McElwee, Nov. 14, 2014

Excerpt: Speaking in a forthcoming interview with the U.S. television program 60 Minutes, O’Malley says the situation surrounding Finn is “a question that the Holy See needs to address urgently.”

“There’s a recognition of that — from Pope Francis,” O’Malley continues during the interview, which is to air Sunday evening.

Chicago Archdiocese Releases Files On 36 Priests Who Sexually Abused Kids

Click here to read: “Chicago Archdiocese releases files on 36 abusive priests,” by Mary Wisniewski, Reuters, YahooNews.com, Nov. 6, 2014

Excerpt:

The files, which were released online, and other documents released in January show how the archdiocese dealt with abuse allegations during the past six decades, including the practice of moving priests accused of abuse to new parishes.

As part of a mediation agreement, the archdiocese in January released files on 30 former priests accused of abusing minors. Lawyers for victims had said at the time they wanted the archdiocese to release documents on more than 30 other priests.

Lawyers Seek New Trial for Engelhardt and Shero

Click here to read: “New trial sought in parish sex-abuse case,” by Maria Panaritis, The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 29, 2014

Excerpt: Citing newly discovered evidence and errors made at trial, lawyers for a Catholic priest and a former parochial-school teacher jailed for sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy made their case to an appellate panel Tuesday for overturning the men’s convictions.

Chester Co. Priest Removed for Sharing Child Porn

Click here to read –  “DA: Chester Co. Priest Posed As Girl, Shared Child Porn on Instagram,” 6abc.com, Oct. 24, 2014

Excerpt – “A priest from Chester County is behind bars, charged with posing as a young girl on Instagram to send and receive child pornography.

55-year-old Mark Haynes, a priest assigned to Saints Simon and Jude Parish in Westtown Township, is with multiple counts of sexual abuse of children for possessing and disseminating child porn.”

Editor’s Note: This parish already survived a scandal with the removal of Father Joseph Glatts.

Archdiocesan Statement

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has learned that Father Mark Haynes was arrested by Chester County Police. He was charged with two counts of dissemination of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of criminal use of a communications device.

These charges are serious and disturbing. The Archdiocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement regarding this matter and remains fervently committed to preventing child abuse as well as protecting the children and young people entrusted to its care. Child pornography is a scourge that must be eradicated.

There were no prior indications that Father Haynes was involved in activity of this nature. Additionally, no allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have ever been lodged against him.

Father Haynes was immediately placed on administrative leave following his arrest and is no longer residing at Saints Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester, where he was assigned. Priests on administrative leave are not permitted to exercise their public ministry, administer any of the Sacraments, or present themselves publicly as priests.

Biographical Information on Reverend Mark J. Haynes
Father Haynes is 55 years old. He was ordained in 1985. He served at the following parishes, schools and offices: Saint Ann, Phoenixville (1985-1989); Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Doylestown (1989-1991); Chaplain, Archbishop Wood High School, Warminster (1990-1991); Office for Youth and Young Adults (1990-1992); Saint John of the Cross, Roslyn (1991-1994); Office of the Metropolitan Tribunal (1992-2001); Our Lady of Good Counsel, Southampton (1994-2000); personal leave (2000-2001); Saint Pius X, Broomall (2001-2005); Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton (2005-2009); Annunciation, B.V.M., Havertown (2009-2013); personal leave (2013); Saints Simon and Jude, West Chester (2013-2014); arrested and placed on administrative leave (2014).

To Make a Report
If you would like to report a violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries, contact the Archdiocesan Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010. 

If you would like to report an allegation of sexual abuse, contact your local law enforcement agency and/or the Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010. 

We recognize that this public notice may be painful to victims of sexual violence and exploitation. If you need support or assistance, victim services are available to you through the Victim Assistance Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780 or philavac@archphila.org.

New PAC Exposes Legislators Who Are Blocking PA SOL Reform

I recently founded a political action committee (PAC) called Protect PA Kids. Kathy and other dedicated professionals joined the board and generously donate their time to working for candidates who work hard to keep our commonwealth’s children safe. Why a PAC? Lobbyists for financially-driven issues drown out the voices of grandparents, parents, law enforcement officials and advocates. As a PAC, we can leverage our collective resources on their behalf. We support candidates who are working hard to protect children and hold those who aren’t accountable. Please considering joining this PAC. Information is available at www.ProtectPaKids.com. The PAC is non-partisan and not connected to any organization, candidate or ballot measure.

While we focus on issues ranging from teen driving laws to educator background checks, we’ve prioritized child sex abuse Statute of Limitations (SOL) reform. Child predators could be living in your community because of the current SOL. Bill blockers in the state house may say the current ages of 30 for civil and 50 for criminal are adequate. But we know that recourse doesn’t apply to all victims whose abuse happened prior to 2002 and 2007, when those laws were enacted. Our state representatives and senators should not be concerned about whether a particular bill will lead to the financial duress of institutions, will cause insurers liability, give victims false hope or allow lawyers to profit. They should act on behalf of voters and children.

Delaware, Minnesota, Illinois, Massachusetts and other states have enacted SOL reforms. With institutional cover-ups making headlines, including those involving Penn State and our Church, isn’t it time for Pennsylvania to do the same?

We’ve provided a Voter’s Guide for this upcoming election on Nov. 4. Please check it to see if your legislators are child protectors or bill blockers.

Understanding PA’s Current Statute of Limitations Law for Child Sex Abuse

Here is the information you need to calculate if you can currently proceed with either a civil or criminal child sex abuse case in PA. It’s completely confusing, but the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape does a great job of explaining the law.

Civil SOL

Criminal SOL

Date Has Been Set for Msgr. Lynn Appeal Hearing

Click here to read: “Nov. 18 appeal hearing for Msgr. Lynn,” by Joseph Slobodzian, Philly.com, Oct. 9, 2014

Minnesota Gets It Right With SOL Window Legislation

Minnesota may have brutal winters but the legislative climate is warmer for victims of child sex abuse. They can receive justice with window legislation and their communities are safer for it. Not so in Pennsylvania, where State Senator Ron Marsico, chairman of the judiciary committee, continues to block this legislation from making it to the floor for a vote.

Click here to read how another state has gotten it right: “Deceased Robbinsdale priest accused of sexual abuse,” by Madeleine Baran, MPRnews.com, Oct. 2, 2014

Excerpt: The lawsuits are allowed under a law passed in May 2013 that gives older victims of child sex abuse more time to sue. Minnesota law previously required sex abuse lawsuits to be filed before a victim turned 24. The Child Victims Act eliminated the statute of limitations for new cases of abuse and created a three-year window for older victims to file suit. The window expires in mid-2016. More than 30 clergy sex abuse lawsuits have been filed so far, according to attorneys at two law firms handling abuse cases.

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