$11 Million to Defend the Indefensible


As I predicted in my last post, the fund raising will now begin.

Click here to read: “Chaput: Priest sex-abuse scandal to cost more than $11 million,” by David O’Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 2, 2012

Excerpt:

“With the current clergy sex abuse scandal likely to cost more than $11 million, and because years of deficit spending have depleted its financial reserves, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will seek donations to help pay for the World Day of Families event here in 2015.

Speaking at a Center City news conference a few blocks from where a jury is deliberating child endangerment charges against Monsignor William Lynn, Chaput said he did not know what the international, Vatican-sponsored event might cost, but that “God is giving us an opportunity to have some good news in a difficult time.”

About these ads

210 Responses to “$11 Million to Defend the Indefensible”

  1. I am speechless, and can not even think about this…. !! Does Chaput live in another world…? ugh..

    • Remember, Judy, C4C bloggers have already won.

      Please read, “Pennsylvania Criminal Trial Has Now Fully Exposed Catholic Leadership Worldwide”, accessible at:

      http://www.bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2012/06/gerald-t-slevin-philadelphia-criminal.html

    • Looks to me like a “knee jerk desperate attempt” to color things differently than they really are in Philly. Nothing that new is it?

      • The pope’s visit in 2015 that is.

      • Regarding the article, “Chaput: Priest sex-abuse scandal to cost more than $11 million,” I can believe that $11 million, probably more has already be spent in defending Lynn (and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia) in the ongoing criminal trial. Regarding anything else, I would accept nothing without its being documented.

        Remember that credibility is long gone.I don’t know how the AOP could even entertain the thought of a “World Day of Families” event without supporting the passage of adequate laws – House Bills 832 & 878 – regarding the sexual abuse of children.

        “World Day of Families?” And who are the most vulnerable members of Families may I ask? Is this a difficult question? Please start sending faxes to all the numbers you have for the AOP asking why they, the bishops of Pa along with the PA Catholic Conference refuse to to support the children of today and tomorrow along with those they betrayed years ago?

        Sister Maureen

        Please, staart sending

  2. S Reid Warren, III Reply June 6, 2012 at 12:15 am

    The Catholic Hierarchy seems “hell”- bent on making itself irrelevant. The Good old boys club is attacking just about everyting that appears to be of value to those in the pews – comprehensive healthcare, realistic concepts about sex and gender, nuns and now the Girl
    Scouts which aren’t even a Catholic organization.

    The “evolution” in values by those in the laity will make the hierarchy appear like dinosaurs and they may just become extinct.

    Reid

  3. It would be interesting to know how much of the $11 million is legal fees and how much is being used to help victims. Unfortunately, that is probably a level of transparency that this archdiocese cannot tolerate. With psychological assistance capped at one year with possibly a second year if you are not resilient enough to get over being raped in a “normal” time, they can’t be spending that much on victim assistance. These men just don’t get it, and they do not want to get it. As you predicted Susan, this announcement was coupled with a plea for contributions to pay for the family conference and possible papal visit. I wonder if one contributes to defray the cost of the papal visit, will we get our money back if the Pope is unable to travel?

    Maybe it is time to become a congregational Catholic. There are a lot of good men in the rectories that support us and provide for our spiritual needs. The Bishops are there to provide administration and guidance on matters of faith and morals. Given that our hierarchy is sufficiently compromised, through their actions in the past and their current inadequate response to those actions, perhaps we should announce that we can no longer accept their attempts to lead on matters of morality.

    I refuse to let my church damage my faith.

    • Therapy is capped at a year? Can anyone confirm this?

      • That’s not enough time.

      • Here is the link to the Archdiocese page:

        http://archphila.org/protection/VictimsAsst/counseling.html.

        Here is the text:

        Out Patient Counseling Services

        The Archdiocese is dedicated to reaching out to victims/survivors with a sincere commitment to their emotional and spiritual well being. The Victim Assistance program provides support and assistance for adult survivors, child victims, and their family members who have experienced sexual abuse to access mental health services. The information below provides an outline of the process to obtain mental health services, any questions should be addressed to the Victim Assistance Program of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

        Summary of Procedures

        To be eligible for payment of out-patient counseling expenses the abuse must have occurred within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and have been perpetrated by a staff member, volunteer or member of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

        Victims/survivors must seek treatment from a licensed therapist. The Victim Assistance Coordinator can assist in locating a counselor/therapist.

        All counseling/therapy that meets the eligibility requirements is approved for a period of 12 months. After ten months the Victim Assistance Coordinator shall notify the licensed therapist providing the service that they must complete the Mental Health Treatment Certification form prior to the consideration of an additional twelve months. Upon receipt of the certification form, an additional twelve months of payment may be approved by the Victim Assistance Program.

        You are not required to utilize private insurance for payment of these services.

        If you choose to utilize private insurance, you can receive reimbursement for the portion not covered by your insurance. You must submit an invoice that reflects the amount you have paid as co-payment or out-of-pocket expense for services rendered.

        If you choose not to use your private insurance, all invoices for services must be submitted by the therapist to the Victim Assistance Program and payment is made directly to the therapist. Your therapist must submit invoices to the Victim Assistance Coordinator on a monthly or quarterly basis.

        The Archdiocese does not pay for missed appointments. Please review the mental health service provider’s policy for cancelling appointments.
        Out Patient Counseling – Related Expenses

        Medications related to mental health treatment are reimbursable with an itemized receipt.

        Psychiatric services are reimbursed in the same manner as those outlined for providers in the above Summary.

        They also reimburse victims for mileage and child care within limits.

      • Thanks parodox for that information. It seems to me it would be difficult if not impossible to heal in someone else’s time frame.

  4. The fundraising will commence. And regardless of how many Philly Catholics fail to give one, red cent, the millions will materialize thanks to the secret, clandestine, out-of-sight, rich, right wing, neocon-Catholics who own, rule, write, and control the show.

    Please, someone, gives us an American Catholic Church.

    • Hadit, you have that right.

      The simple deal is this: The pope agrees to back candidates, via contrived “religious liberty” anti-contraceptive insurance crusades, who adopt tax policies that save mega-billions in taxes if the Bush tax cuts favoring the rich are extended ( read Republicans) and they donate part of their tax savings to the pope, and get another tax deduction to boot.

      It’s called “Rent a Pope” politics/theology. And docile Catholics fall for this. Sad, but true.

      The pope could care less about the poor!

  5. Mother Teresa donated the money she would have used for a Nobel Peace prize dinner to the poor………I think the Pope should follow that example and donate the money to a victim therapy fund, bills etc

    • A very large fraction of Mother Theresa’s money went straight to Rome, a direct pipeline. Had she not done so a great deal more could have been done for Calcutta’s poor. She was a magnificent fund-raiser, above all else. This stuff is well documented, not my bitter opinion.

    • I hope the pope has to use some of that money to defend himself and his cronies when they face the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

  6. Susan, Kathy or someone….could you explain 12.5 million dollar operating budget shortfall for the AD in this fiscal year, and how THAT shortfall factors with an 11 million dollar abuse cost, which doesn’t appear to include current Lynn trial costs, or civil suits or the upcoming trials of Spero and Englehardt? Are these costs overlays of each other, separate issues, what?

    The planned fundraising for the Popes arrival in 2015, noted in the cited article….is a whole other issue and the last paragraph of the Inquirer article raises questions about the Pope even coming….””I think it’s a really great thing…great for us, great for the country,” said Chaput, adding that Benedict told him he hoped he would able to attend but reminded him he would be 88 in 2015, and that health considerations might bar him from attending.

    Key Point:
    ………., that Benedict told him he hoped he would able to attend but reminded him he would be 88 in 2015, and that health considerations might bar him from attending…….

    • Joan, it likely went something like this.

      Chaput said to the pope: ” Hey Joe, you stiffed me. Philly and Rigali are going down the drain. ”

      The pope likely replied: “Nonsense, I will tell the Philly fools that I will visit in three years and I will sell autographs! ”

      To which Ben Franklin-types likely will reply : ” To hell with your autographs. If you cross the the Delaware River, we will arrest your Bavarian a$$ for child endangerment” .

      Amen!

      • it took me a moment to get the $$ connection….

        Seriously Jerry can you make any sense out of the fiscal reports…such as they are?

      • Thank, Joan. I don’t quite undertand the Philly AD’ finances, but have asked Mike below to respond. He understands them best. All I know is I wish I had had clients who spend so lavishly on lawyers as Chaput does. Are we sure his is a poverty-sworn Franciscan?

    • Telling Chaput in effect, we both know this visit will never happen but making this official will give you a fund-raising platform from which you can certainly break even, and maybe even make enough to bolster some faith, hahaha. You done good so far Charlie, you done real good. The cost of your red hat will be in that pile somewhere, my boy, if you find it send it my way!

    • MackerelSnapper Reply June 6, 2012 at 3:17 am

      Spero and Engelhardt are on their own. Spero is a layman on his own nickel. Engelhardt was separated from the current trial because his assignment was really controlled by his religious order, the Oblates of St Francis de Sales who will cover the cost of his defense.

      Shortfall just means that the AD spent $12.5 million more than it took in on whatever.

      Lynn’s trial costs should be recognized as expenses when they are billed. All this tells me is that the AD won’t have the bills by June 30, when their fiscal year end.

      • And Brennan is on his own, covering his own costs.

      • Not exactly. Members of religious communities serve at the pleasure of the bishop. The bishop is responsible. It doesn’t fall entirely on the Oblates. But not to worry. I don’t think there is any possibility of their filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. However, if the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales said or sent in the standard forms attesting to Engelhardt’s “good standing” in the community when they knew of his “behavior” the AOP could sue the Oblates if or rather when Engelhardt’s civil trial begins.

  7. If Chaput wants the pope here, he can pay for it out of his own funds. Priests don’t take a vow of poverty the way the sisters do. And the rest of the priests can sell their shore houses to pay for their fellow pedophile priests’ legal fees. I have had it. Enough alreaady.

    • Excellent suggestion Yvonne.
      I have another idea for Chaput. Stop paying for lobbyists to fight meaningful SOL reform. This will save the AD money.

    • The catholic church always gets the best that the pew catholics money can buy !

      • unabletotrust thanks you made me laugh at that one it is so true. As I remember Jesus didn’t have a limo, limo driver PR people , mansion, butler, shore house etc etc………

  8. survivor's wife Reply June 6, 2012 at 1:52 am

    11 million…that’s nothing.

    And since pew Catholics don’t seem to mind footing the bill, the hierarchy can do what they want.

    Send the message that you won’t tolerate this…and they will be forced to play differently. If you plan on sending a message, the average pew Catholic has to come out of their coma.

    • Thank you, SW, your coma point gave me a big laugh, even if it is true. Please don’t worry. Before this is over, we will be awakening many from hierarchically induced comas!

  9. Chaput said he did not know what the international, Vatican-sponsored event might cost, but that “God is giving us an opportunity to have some good news in a difficult time.”

    Well, isn’t that special ! Bishop Chaput, the religious leader of Philadelphia-area Catholics, understands this World Family Day event being held in Phila as “God giving us an opportunity to have some good news.” Did he really say this, or am I dreaming? Even worse, he refers to what is going on in our archdiocese now (YES, THE CRIMINAL TRIAL, CLERGY WHO HAVE EITHER SEXUALLY ABUSED YOUNG CHILDREN OR ALLOWED SUCH EVIL CONDUCT TO CONTINUE) as a “difficult time”.

    Just when I thought I was the person in most need of that Dale Carnegie course, I think I’ve found the individual who needs this training (you know, winning friends, influencing people) a lot more than this writer. Send that course material and application ASAP to that villa out there on Cardinal Ave.

    • Mike, you got that right. Please answer Joan’s question above re Philly finances since you have the best handle on them. Thanks.

  10. Since our archdiocesan leadership is looking for funding to support this Pope soiree in 2015, I would like to make a suggestion. Provided there is no legal, regulatory or ordinance prohibition to such conduct, what do the readers think of area Catholics (or anyone else for that matter) to drop, toss, hurl or throw a penny, several pennies, a bag or two of pennies onto the platform outside of the front door at archdiocesan headquarters at 222 N.17th St. to show our support for this upcoming event? The leader of our archdiocese has asked for our financial support for this endeavor and such conduct would represent a contribution (“Pennies from Heaven”).

    If this really catches on at this location, it may be advisable to take our “contribution caravan” out there to City and Cardinal Aves. in order to start “placing” our pennies on the grounds of the Bishop’s residence. Yes, I know, it would be somewhat more difficult at that address and would require that contributors heave their pennies over the fence-enclosed estate.

    Jerry, I’m going to have to defer to your expertise relative to the legal concerns in such a magnanimous activity and gesture.

    • MackerelSnapper Reply June 6, 2012 at 3:59 am

      Mike’s I’m on your side; I really am. You’re local. You had to see the front page of the Daily News on Monday. This city is gonna be so happy that the Pope’s coming.

    • Sorry Michael,
      My pennies are worth more than this endeavor!

      • I think I read the copper and zinc in pennies makes them now cost more than twice what they are worth to make. So I wouldn’t want to be giving them something that valuable;) But I like the thought behind your idea Mike.

    • Starting with Cardinal Law’s big fundraiser in Boston about 10 years ago, I have been an advocate of “Sending Cardinal ____________ your 2 cents, and nothing more! Because a check for 2 cents is a legal contribution, the Archdiocese would need to spend about 75 cents to acknowledge it. This also includes writing a check “For ONLY 2 cents,” and dropping it in the offering. You have a legal record of your contribution, and again, the Archdiocese must acknowledge it for tax purposes. Also, “Sending your 2 cents,” sends a message to Cardinal Chaput that money can’t buy! And the enjoyment is “better than sex!” (Just kidding!)

  11. The obscenity of it all. I find it hard to believe Benedict really knows what’s going on, but how can we excuse him?
    He sits in the Chair of St Peter, elected by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    Maybe the wrong Simon [Peter] has filted through< Simon the Sorcer, it certainly fits the overall picture.

    • Please don’t blame the Holy Spirit for Benedict or his Papacy! No man, who dresses in ermine, is eligible to be “The Vicar of Christ on Earth,” in my humble opinion. Can you imagine Christ doing a photo-opp in ermine, with that horrible, blasphemous-looking crook of Christ on the cross, that looks like it was designed by Salvidor Dali? Is it any wonder that the Catholic Church changed God’s First Commandment to Moses, for the purpose of justifying their pagan statues and images? I believe there is a spirit, who controls the Vatican and all in it, but it is not the Holy Spirit! Take a guess!

      • We certainly are in agreement on your assessment of the standing before God of the Roman “Church.” The most apt description I have come up with is that the hierarchy is what is left of PERSECUTION of any true believers in Christ. Just start believing what the “book says” and you become a “heretic” to the hierarchy. Problem with all the talk of “REFORM” is the “reform ” is just as evil as what is being “reformed.” The only “reform” worthwhile is PERSONAL reform by believing what God says. “Believing” is placing your entire TRUST in God for your everlasting life. Eternal life: Smoking or Non-smoking ?

  12. Associated Press

    “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia expects to launch a fundraising campaign to help pay for a major convocation of Roman Catholic families and possible papal visit in 2015, Archbishop Charles Chaput said Tuesday.

    His remarks about the planned World Meeting of Families came the same day the archdiocese reported spending more than $11 million on legal fees in the past two years, mostly on priest sexual-abuse cases.”

    “We’ll have to do some major fundraising, not just in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, but in our country,” he said (Chaput). “There will be a lot of work.”

    http://www.timesonline.com/news/state/philly-archdiocese-plans-fundraising-for-event/article_9e975206-39fd-58c4-864b-f9b6e8a83e90.html

    • And surely 80% of the funds will come from 20% of donors. Reactionaries, Legionaries, etc. They will tell us though, that the assembled pile is evidence of the strong faith of the many.

      • MackerelSnapper Reply June 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

        This is a very astute observation.

      • Correct, again, mwest. If the faithful leave a huge, gaping hole in the funds, the AD will patch it with neocon monies, never telling about its patch-job, and presenting the appearance that the faithful were indeed “faithful.”

  13. Someone sent me this youtube ad…

    I couldn’t help but think…”I wonder what fund this came out of?”

    Prepare your stomachs…breakfast, lunch and dinner may not stay down.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=D9vQt6IXXaM&hd

    • The organization that sponsored this is Catholics Called to Witness.

      I’m not picking on their organization or calling them out…just wanted to give credit for the ad to the correct sponsor.

    • SW,

      I either saw that ad on CNN or it had a story centered on the ad. Can’t recall exactly. I have no problem with such ads. While I don’t agree with them, they inform people about the Church’s effort to impose its positions, points of view and identity on all Americans, igniting discussions at home, in the workplace, and in the media. The more people talk, the better.

      • I completely agree, Hadit. We know what the truth is–Lynn even confirmed it for us in spades , whether or not he beats his rap. The more people talk about these issues, the better.

        In the past, these issues were not discussed and most Catholics enjoyed the silence.

        Now they need to be made uncomfortable by the truth as the first step in their recovery.

    • SW, i had no audio for that ad. However, i got the jist of it…yuck.

      I don’t know where or for whom that ad ran, but one thing is for sure….
      Americans do not want a church telling them how to vote.
      The image of a craggy old man standing in front of a fire, pounding iron into “social issues” with a mallet only serves to remind me of what’s wrong with the RCC… dreadful commercial!

      • Actually Crystal…I hope a lot of these ads run…will help the opposition, for just the reasons you stated!

      • This mornings NY Times carried several church related articles…Maureen Dowd did a piece on ‘Is Pleasure a Sin?’….but the one I want to note is Laurie Goodstein’s, ‘Nuns, Rebuked by Rome, plan Road Trip to Spotlight Social Issues”….http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/us/us-nuns-bus-tour-to-spotlight-social-issues.html

        The article on page A10, has a picture of Sister Simone Campbell and the bus (with a huge sign that says NUNS on the bus) that will be stopping at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns in nine states, starting on June 18 in Iowa, and ending on July 2 in Virginia.

      • Thanks Joan for the link. I just sent the good sisters some gas money.

      • You know James, the Vatican went after the LCWR AND NETWORK…that’s Simone Cambell. NETWORK is a social Justice lobby, independent of the church. NETWORK has a staff of 9 people, 3 nuns and 6 others. They do lobby for the nuns on social justice national issues, but if memory serves they have 1500 members..? Certainly not all nuns. I am a member.

        I have known Simone a long time and her commitment to the poor is stellar. She is a gentle but competent attorney, very prayerful.

        Their ‘bus trip’ is coming to PA….The point of the trip is to identify the nuns social justice work and the huge cutbacks in federal funding for the poor.

        Think PA folks might want to check that bus out….when it comes to town.

        Really glad you gave them some gas money…I know their budget could use it…and your support, as well!

      • Joan, I saw Sr. Simone twice on Susan’s Uncle Chris Matthews’ Hardball show. He was very impressed with her, as was I. She is tough, effective, articulate and gentle– a rare combo. She is better on TV by far than any bishop or Cardinal I have seen. She is not going to be steamrollered by the likes of Dolan, Chaput, Lori, et al.

      • Many years ago Jerry, my boss sent me to the bishops DC offices to share some poverty organizing stuff I had done in CA. My next stop was NETWORK. The cabdriver was reluctant to go into the area in DC where NETWORK resided.

        The contrast was striking.

        When I think about the Vatican going after a group of 9 workers, who are speaking up for the poorest of the poor in the halls of Congress….well

      • Jerry…can’t resist a bit of follow up on my previous comment…I paid a second visit…different business trip to the good bishops, but this time my follow up visit was to NOW….the cab driver had no reservations about NOW’s location and I had initiated some CA sexual harassment legislation, that brought me to their offices, which were not fancy, but clearly not in the ghetto.

        I am not a fan of all of NOW’s positions….but we did agree on our joint opposition to sexual harassment.

      • Joan: Thanks for your informative and interesting posts about your work with NETWORK. It is always helpful to get first-hand info from intelligent and trustworthy persons like you.

      • Jerry, the ‘poverty’ lobbyists, state or Federal, are a very unique set of folks.

        My boss had me run for our board the CA stats on all lobbyists.
        The big guys, Insurance, banking real estate, oil interests et al made huge salaries and spent heaps of money on the individual legislators campaign committees.

        The poverty lobbyists, mostly church based, got pathetically small ‘stipends’ ….spent no money on legislators and their only asset was that they spoke the truth about the poor…their needs, and the impact of proposed legislation…Before Simone went to NETWORK, she directed JERICHO in CA, an interfaith poverty lobby.

      • Joan: Very interesting. As a young lawyer, I worked on some matters for the Salvation Army, a first rate group of dedicated Christians and not your typical Wall Street law firm client.

        I tried contacting Sister Simone directly but couldn’t get passed her PR assistant. If you think I might be of help to her, please consider forwarding her direct e-mail address, if you have it, to me via Susan or Kathy.

        I have established a direct communication with a senior LCWR person, who seems to appreciate my input.

        Thanks.

      • AND, there are some serious connections with molestation/incest and poverty issues. If memory serves the stats for ‘welfare’ moms and their kids and sexual abuse are high.

        I once researched this in CA and was horrified with the percentages…I think around at least 30% of these families were abused.

        A personal vignette, here. We had taken a poverty mom who worked for us out to lunch, to celebrate what a good job she was doing. While we were all at lunch, her grandson was brutally raped by a family member and required surgery to repair the ‘physical’ damage.

      • Joan, it only makes sense that the poor were/are more vulnerable to sex abuse…. Nothing about this “scandal” makes me sicker than the idea of poor children being targeted and victimized because of their situation in life.
        I’d like to see the statistics for the archdiocese of Phila. on this….ie – Were the children in the poorer schools (we all know where these are around Phila.) victimized more readily ….and were the predatory priests intentionally placed in the poorer parishes… where they could molest without consequences to the AD-?

      • PS…the stats for welfare moms and their kids and abuse is far higher than I stated..closer, I think to 75%…would welcome a correction on this from the ‘pros’.

    • SW,
      I saw this before. I am conservative but I am not motivated to support these Healthcare protests as I feel the bishops created this mess as well as many other messes. If they would just teach like Christ and live like Christ we would not have all these problems and crisises . They disgust me by not even treating our sexaul abuse survivors with compassion and respect but at the same time I am concerned about Obama’s efforts with “abortion rights” etc.

  14. The PEW SHEEP will cover the Pope visit ….BABABABABBABABABABAB
    Pay-Pray-Obey

  15. And the Vatican’s crying blackmail, regarding Vatileaks, http://www.romereports.com/palio/the-moles-of-vatileaks-attack-the-secretary-of-the-pope-english-6984.html. They truly are the ever-suffering servent…. Or is it “you reap what you sow”?

      • The Vatican is terrified by this. Releasing the doc entirely whited out… That insider is dangling something explosive and the spin has started in preparation. Ugly stuff is going to surface over the next few days

      • Infophile,
        I read the article. The RCC says it’s being blackmailed.

        When you operate with integrity, no one can blackmail you, right? What could someone possibly say about the RCC if they are running the corporation with integrity?

        There are moles within the RCC at every level.

        When the “Dolan pay-off pedophiles” documents surfaced….it didn’t take a wizard to realize someone with access to private info leaked them. Those pay outs were not public knowledge or on any public financial record…it’s why Dolan initially denied (LIED) it happened.

        There were 2 separate occasions when the AD asked how my husband had the info he did. They thought he was bluffing. They couldn’t take the chance that he was because they knew the info (we had) was true…and “what if” someone on the “inside” had sold them out? You can’t make this stuff up. Everytime I hear of something surfacing…I think of the “moles” working on the inside. These documents just don’t magically appear out of thin air.

        My husband is no fool. He answered their questions with such vagueness…they started yelling at him, demanding he tell them. It’s laughable. His final words were, “Don’t preach to me about demanding truth, when you are sitting on it. You don’t need to know what I know to do the right thing.” They were seething.

        Just like our AD, Dolan, the Vatican…they are more concerned about who knows their sins (and crimes) than actuallly spending the time cleaning up their messes. Hide and lie, hide and lie…still happening.

      • SW– very interesting!..Did your husb’s abuse occur in the AD of Phila? Wow, It’s all so incredibly ugly! Occasionally now, when I’m caught off guard, the full realization that my church is as dirty and corrupt as an organized crime family, and that it has nothing much to do with God, is still sometimes so surreal to me– that I need to do a “mental double take”…I guess someday I’ll get used to it and I’ll take it all in stride… but for now I allow myself to be shocked and angry as hell when I read stories like yours.

        These AD “Lynn” types are the lowest of the low. I wonder if each and every diocese in the country has a guy as ready and willing to go to jail as our own Msnr Lynn seems to be … I doubt it. One of these “Lynn’s” in some other city is surely going to tell all.

      • Crystal, Lynn told us more than enough.

        He clearly indicated many times that there has been for decades a top down conspiracy, of which he was a key participant, to protect dozens of Philly predator priests who have sexually abused numerous Philly children.

        What more do we need to see? Videotapes of the assaults?

        The current jury delays just show that PA laws need to be clarified and expanded.

        These delays, or even a split jury verdict, do not change one iota of what Lynn and others have confirmed about the massive hierarchical cover-up, with no contrary evidence really being offered.

      • Crystal, to your point about other dioceses that have similar Lynn type situations….

        Without the Grand Jury efforts in Philly…we would never know about the AD, all those suspended guys et al.

        Should prosecutors in other jurisdictions manage to access ‘archival files’ that looked at the whole pattern of diocesan ‘abuse management’….I would not be surprised if there is considerable similarity.

        Hadit asked a really good question about Fitzgerald and his role in the Lynn matter…I did a bit of research on it and am pasting both Hadit’s question and my reply. Please note that it was in 1994 that the PA Catholic Conference was forming an ad hoc committee to protect archival info from ‘civil discovery’….that was EIGHT years BEFORE Boston.

         2 0 Rate This
        Ralph Cipriano has posted TWO, new pieces, today (Tuesday).

        http://www.priestabusetrial.com

        Can someone reiterate for me Fitzgerald’s role in all of this. Unclear, here. Thank you.

        JoanReplyJune 5, 2012 at 9:58 pm
         2 0 Rate This
        Hadit, he was Director of the Offices of Legal Services for the AD….on page 38 of the Motion to Dismiss…that C4C posted on May 15, 2012. on the second page of Exhibit 3….,there is a Confidential letter on PA Catholic Conference stationary.dated March 8, 2002…And I am going to abbreviate the second paragraph…

        It basically said that in 1994….at Bev’s direction, and the other PA Bishops….an ad hoc committee was formed to”examine how the dioceses of PA could better protect their secret archives from civil discovery….Then Father Fitzgerald, now Bishop…was appt Chair”.

      • survivor's wife Reply June 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm

        Crystal,
        No, my husband was not abused in Philly. We are Midwest.

        All anyone has to do is listen to victims share their story all across the country to know the AD’s all operate similarly.

        Also Crystal…time will tell if any one of the “Lynn types” tells all. But, factor into the equation the fact that the “Lynn types” don’t get promoted to those positions because they are free-thinkers or whistle blowers. They are company men through and through…they are tried and tested. They will always “take one for the team.”

        The people are better off counting on the moles.

      • I agree with Mwest. By disclosing just Georg’s signature, the blank documents probably contain information that the Vatican can ill-afford to be made public. Now, who would be profitting by the blackmail? If the threat is made without an implied, expected piece of hush-money being paid, is it really black-mail or just a major pain in the ____________?

      • It’s too bad there aren’t “Moles” in the Archdiocese of Philly! I’m ready for some Philly-Leaks that will scare the living hell out of Archbishop Chaput and Cardinal Rigali. How about you?

      • survivor's wife Reply June 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm

        Jeanie,
        The Philly AD can’t be too comfortable…there are moles everywhere.

  16. Denise McCauley Reply June 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    We are catholics for change!!! Reaching for anything to raise funds for the “maybe-coming” of the Pope in 2015. 3 years from now……Really???
    I BELIEVE the victims, and will always support them!!!

  17. I’m not there but I understand the jury is asking more questions. The attorney’s are arguing over the answers.

    • Thanks, Jack!

      I wonder what the questions are this time? The jury seems to be doing a stellar job at getting clarity on the law.

      • Hadit I totally agree. It is a good sign they are asking questions it shows they are really putting alot of thought and reflection into the case.

  18. The bottom line in all of this is that Rome is burning, and we all know it. Put your seat belts on because the continuation/exposition of the corruption in the RC Church is only just beginning. Wait until everything comes out about the missing “art” (stolen??) and the true inside story of the Vatican bank. The Church will lose all credibility, my prediction, by the end of the year. Perhaps this is the meaning behind the Mayan Calendar end of a “world”? :)
    And the beginning of a new Church-perhaps one totally rooted in the Gospel message and example of Christ, with no marginalization between women, man or child. Wouldn’t that be pretty cool?

    • @Celtic Seeker-the catechism of the Catholic Church describes a “final trial” the Church will undergo. If the revelations of worldwide sexual abuse of children by clergy and the corruption of the members of the hierarchy who covered it up is not this final trial I cannot imagine anything worse.

      I haven’t posted much lately because I am so sick at heart over all of this. Given the latest financial disclosures of the AD I do have some small hope that even if they won’t admit it, the hierarchy is noticing people in the pews are quietly making a statement by the dramatic reduction in donations.

      • I agree. All it would take right now is a leak of some communication in direct, damning contrivance to their PR spin and they are through. Kaput. Another shoe is about to drop. I just don’t think God is going to allow them to get back into the shadows after allowing circumstances that have brought this much sunlight. Their own words will do them in. It is the what of the leaks, not the who…

    • Personally, I take pride in the fact that the People of Ireland have stood up to the Vatican and closed their Vatican Embassy. This should speak volumes to the Vatican, coming from “The Jewel in the Papal Crown!” I had never connected the Mayan Calendar with the “End” of the Church, but I hope that She dies a slow, excruciatingly painful, agonizing death, finalized by Her complete destruction as found in the Book of Revelations (Chapters 17-19). It’s funny how all of Her Scandals are being revealed simultaneously! What’s funny to me is that the Vatican accuses those who “leaked” the documents with “ruining the credibility of the Vatican!” Once the past Head of the Vatican Bank, Tesdesco, is put on the witness stand, kiss the IOR, “Goodbye!” Yes, it’s time for the “Good news” of the Gospel of Christ to be preached, rather than the Gospel of the Vatican, which has always been, “Bad News!”

  19. Let me see if I can sneak this by our Mother Superior.

    Not a single Republican senator, not ONE, voted for the Equal Pay Amendment, yesterday.

    Tell me that doesn’t hurt children!

    • As a card carrying independent, Hadit, I strongly object to your mentioning politics. But because I liked your sunglasses when you appeared on TV after visiting the trial. I am not pressing charges with Mother Superior.

      • Shh, Jerry. Don’t draw attention to my post. Just click the thumbs up. Mother Superior is slaving away at work for 23 cents less on the dollar compared to her male counterpart. Let’s just lay low and make our point by letting people click away ad infinitum.

      • lol. I thought the sunglasses were cool too…….I was like hey I know her:)

  20. Mr. Independent Jerry,
    Can you shed some light on the Avery questions. Namely, was the fact that the jury not told about Avery related to state law regarding admissions. One of the exhibits that the jury initially asked for was Brennan’s conversation/memo with Quirk. Blessington said that they couldn’t have it and he said it had to do with an admission.

    James@15 said that it may have to do with the fact that Avery is attached to the trial which makes sense. What do you think?

    Signed,
    A Fellow Independent

    • Jack, I am not a criminal lawyer and am not sure. I suspect it relates to the view that if the jury knew Avery had pleaded guilty, it would have unfairly predjudiced Lynn. I find that view dumb.

      I had objected from the getgo about the secret, sudden and “soft” way Sarmina and Williams handled Avery, who was always very likely to be convicted anyways, which is probaly why he grabbed the plea bargain .

      I didn’t like Avery’s plea deal then and don’t now. To me it smells too much of old time Philly politics. If Sarmina and/or Williams have a different explanation, they should have offered it instead of suddenly and imperiously whisking Avery away. Quite suspicious.

      Too conveniently, Sarmina’s excessively protracted and very anti-democratic gag order, has denied us the right to ask the lawyers and prosecutors why this was done.

      I am unclear about the Quirk/Brennan issue. Hopefully, Brennan’s already four year old canon law case will be over before the popemobile arrives in 2015.

      Truly aburd and disgraceful.

    • Jack and ‘Jerry’,

      Don’t you think that the jurors are aware of the Avery plea by now? They most likely have had this information for some time as they’ve not been sequestered.

      Some have probably been discussing the case with their family and friends, been reading about it in the newspapers, on the internet – perhaps even this blog – all in spite of Sarmina’s admonitions.

      The whole jury pool HAS to know. How can the court be certain that they don’t??? By just asking each one under oath? Don’t think so.

      In my opinion, anyone who believes to the contrary is very gullible. Did not Lynn’s attorney request a new jury after Avery’s plea was announced, but was denied?

      Should there be a conviction, could this be one of the points brought up in an appeal??

  21. Thanks Jerry – I agree that there are many aspects to this sad story that are absurd and disgraceful.

    I guess that we will have to wait for the trial to end to get the answers.

    I do recall someone else here making that point. In the sense that if there is a just verdict we won’t be all that concerned, but if not, the second guessing will begin.

    Thanks for all of your reports and the links. What do you think it would take for people to completely stop their financial contributions, and would a relative boycott be effective?

    As a means of clarification, I would like to add that if the grooming, and raping of children isn’t enough to do it, what would be?

    P.S. Will you be there on Friday in Philly?

    • Jack, thanks. I have only been involved in this struggle for 2 years, and positive developments that were unthinkable 2 years ago are happening now.

      The disclosures from criminal trials like Lynn’s are critical. Lynn has unconditionally testified that his bosses ran a massive child sex abuse conspiracy for years, several of which bosses had and/or have major Vatican connections.

      The confluence between less contributions and more survivor payouts will help wake up bishops, but our Rent a Pope then just sells out more to the highest political bidder to back whatever top 1% donors want the pope to back, like presrving thr Bush tax cuts that didproportionately benefit the over-rich 1%. That will diminish as more Catholic voters realize what is really going on, as they are beginning to this election year. .

      We are making much progress and I believe will continue to do so.

      I will be attending the noon Friday “counter” rally at a politicians office on Long Island. My understanding is some Philly Catholics are working on gathering many for the Independence Hall counter-rally.

    • Jack, you said, “What do you think it would take for people to completely stop their financial contributions, and would a relative boycott be effective?

      As a means of clarification, I would like to add that if the grooming, and raping of children isn’t enough to do it, what would be? ”

      Sad, isn’t it?

      Close schools, merge parishes, sell off Great-Great-Aunt Matilda’s memorial stained glass window on the north side of St. So and So’s and you’ll see people pay attention. That will make them really upset with those (hierarchy) who made the decisions that have affected them personally. The rape of children and lying about it…not so much.

      The boycott happening is coming by way of people leaving the Church. However, in order for a boycott to be effective for those who remain in the RCC…there would have to be quite a few people organized or a very large contributor pulling their money out…and then telling the AD exactly why they are doing so. Even then…the AD does what it wants, how it wants.

      The laity forget…the RCC is not a democracy. But, even monarchs can change when the people demand differently from their leadership. Action. It requires action. Are Catholics known for their action?

      • SW,
        All very insightful points you make.

      • MackerelSnapper Reply June 7, 2012 at 1:29 am

        I’ve been contemplating printing up a little note to leave in the collection basket every Sunday. It would say something like, “Dear Msgr, I won’t be supporting the parish financially until either SOL reform is enacted or Abp Chaput announces that he will encourage the PACC to cease lobbying an against SOL reform.”

        Seems like Saturday would be a good day to start. Abp Chaput will be at my parish helping to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

      • What a really good idea…MackerelSnapper!

      • Fish,

        I like your idea a lot. Do you have only one reason for not contributing? What if SOL laws were changed tomorrow, you’d have no problem returning to contributing?

      • MackerelSnapper Reply June 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

        Hadit,

        There are probably a lot of good reasons not to contribute. I think it’s in my nature to look for something that is important and doable.

        For some reason I’m focused on Abp Chaput’s track record in Denver. Getting him and the PACC to back down would be major.

      • I’m all for it, Fish. Initiating it on the day Chaput visits your parish church adds meaning and significance to your plan and objective.

        I hope you let us know how it goes. Any chance you can get other parishioners onboard?

  22. To the courageous wife of a survivor,
    Well said. It’s very sad. I spoke to my Dad tonight and he couldn’t even broach the subject even though it was heavy in the air. The last time I felt that from him was the first days of the Iraq war. We didn’t have anyone in the service, but he was depressed.

    I quess the obvious point is that the good Catholics are hurting bad too, they just haven’t figured out where the pain is coming from. They feel under fire, but they need time to identify the enemy. He said that they are very confused. Their minds know that these are despicable crimes, but their poor little indoctrinated hearts cling to the sentiments that they’ve lived and breathed for lifetimes, and generations.

    As Art Baselice has said, they’re selling salvation. What better product is there in the world. Forget the proverbial Brooklyn Bridge, these guys are selling seats in the next life. It’s the greatest racket in the world, cause no one ever came back to make a return. Just trust us, and all will be well. My son needs the computer or I would keep going. Goodnight.

    • Very complex, Jack. Sorry for your father’s pain, loss, sense of being adrift, experience of betrayal, lack of direction, sadness, disillusionment, confusion, and fear.

    • Jack I have thought about this quite a bit as I go through dificult times in my life who is the enemy? Your comment “they need time to identify the enemy” is insightful. I feel all my heady thoughts got sinlged down to one ……the enemy is Satan and people either choose to let him work thru them or Jesus to work thru them and at anytime they can choose to do the opposite all about free will……..but everything we choose affects others……..people can always disappoint you but in the end Jesus never will……

    • Jack,

      As you noted, “…their poor little indoctrinated hearts cling to the sentiments that they’ve lived and breathed for lifetimes, and generations.”

      De-programing a brainwashed person is a very hard nut to crack!

    • Jack,
      You are right…”…good Catholics are hurting bad too,.”

      “…their poor little indoctrinated hearts…” I know that heart because I had one and most of our extended families still have them.

      I don’t think C4C would have the traffic it does if the AD hadn’t closed schools, or merged parishes. Many Catholics came on board when they started to worry about their own kids, their own schools, their own parish, their wallets. And that’s just the laity.

      What makes an AD pay attention? I repeat…the 2 M’s …Money and Media.

      The victims have essentially said this for years. I believe the victims.

  23. It was late when I wrote that Beth. I guess what I meant is that as Jerry said, they are still trying to understand what is really going on. You are correct that this is pure evil as many have said including Sister “Irene” on the stand.

    Pure evil is cunning and deceptive and a tremendous adversary. We must continue to beat the drum. Regarding the donations, Sister Maureen’s suggestion I believe is a good one. Namely. if you like your parish, ask them for direction on how you may contribute directly to their utility bills. Determine if you can write a check directly to Peco or Comcast, and include the parish’s account number. There has to be a way.

    Susan, perfect headline by the way. I hope that you are ok in dealing with your kids education. I was there a few years ago. It is tough so hang in there.

    • Jack, maybe I am missing something in this donation discussion, but if you pay utility bills, money is fungible…don’t you simply free up other contributions….

      I really like ‘fish’s’ suggestion.

      • None of this has been too well thought out its just a natural extension of the discussion of what the average person can do to try to affect change.

        A drop in revenue is quantitative, and relatively anonymous. Not everyone is willing to vote with their feet.

        Very quiet in 304 today

      • Thanks a ton Jack, for all the room 304 updates.

    • “they are still trying to understand what is really going on.”

      Because C4C folks are informed, they “understand what is really going on.” That doesn’t mean they don’t contend with feeling hurt or disillusioned, but their knowledge, continual pursuit of knowledge, and advocacy efforts, provide foci, substance and meaning, anchoring them. The anchoredness lends balance and perspective to the feelings of hurt and disillusionment. Were the feelings to be experienced alone, folks would be set adrift.

      There are many reasons why many Catholics are adrift and “still trying to understand what is really going on.” The failure of clerics to be teachers and shepherds, indoctrination, the disempowering effect created by a patriarchal Church that relegates its laity to children, the passivity that results from monarchical and religious authority, the shocking and perplexing oxymoron created by celibate and holy priests committing sex crimes against children… There are so many reasons.

      While the sex abuse crisis has brought to light a lot of serious problems with our Church, no problem is more serious than the one that affects us all. Namely, our institutional Church is not fit for human consumption. It does not foster our dignity, growth, development, stability, well being, and safety. It does not prepare us for meaningful and effective inclusion and engagement in the world and humanity. Its condition threatens all of us, including clerics.

      Folks adrift have a hard time articulating and making sense of the situation. Many will cement themselves in this reactionary stage because the next one involves the task of reinventing identities that do not depend on a noxious Church.

  24. Denise McCauley Reply June 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    My donations are going to Camilla Hall, Immaculata, PA for the infirmed and elderly nuns. They take a vow of poverty…
    I believe the victims!!!

    • MackerelSnapper Reply June 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Yes, this makes a hard hitting statement. “Sorry Msgr, but you have to send too much of my church envelope downtown. But I am increasing support to the IHM’s, my high school alumni association or whatever.”

  25. You ever have a day things line up and everything falls in place? That happened today. God gave me a glimmer of hope and joy in my heart. I just want to encourage everyone whether you go to a catholic church or not to contact and meet with your local priest and speak about what you have learned from Vicky, Rich, James, Billy, SW etc Don’t underestimate the power of personal connection ask them not to ignor our victims any longer and then let God take over if they are open and learn from you fine and if not “shake the sand from your sandals and move on’ Peace.

    • Oh and the second part is pray.

    • I have to add that just because you have left does not mean everyone else has and you may benefit people in the future if you are inclined to do so.

    • Beth I respect the way you have continually tried to reach out to your parish clergy…and i truly hope good things come of it. I’m glad some good people still have a desire to do so.

      I hope you don’t mind if I speak plainly about how I see our local clergy….(and it ain’t good–lol!) I don’t think it’s wise or necessary to have any dealings with them. I couldn’t care less what my parish priest thinks or says about the abuse scandal, or the victims. His opinion is inconsequential to me. He’s a biased, subservient employee of a big business , The AD of Phila.- He has to be, in order not to be thrown out of the priesthood.

      All the clergy can offer us at this point, is phony lip service to quiet us down. They all knew there was rampant child abuse going on in their ranks –most since their seminary days–and yet they stayed on board– working and living, side by side with known pedophiles – warning nobody! — basking in the rewards of clerical life! Their silence put thousands through a living hell. How insincere to start “caring” now that the damage has been done–Let them save their opinions for any DA investigations to follow.

      I have no real need for my pastor to care– or to pretend to guide anyone with their struggles about it … By his silence, I assume he sides with the AD in the cover up. I’m not responsible for informing him of anything… He can read and learn the same way I do, if he really wants to…I know him all too well and I can clearly imagine the way our conversation would end.–very badly.

      • Crystal,

        You stated, “I couldn’t care less what my parish priest thinks or says about the abuse scandal, or the victims. His opinion is inconsequential to me. He’s a biased, subservient employee of a big business.”

        I couldn’t agree more. It took until I was in my 40’s to understand what was going on. After I entered religious life as a second career, the creepiness (with some exceptions) of these guys became apparent, and I got out.

        My parish priest is the last one I’d go to for advice of any type. Whatever they’re offering I’m no longer interested. I know first hand what’s going on behind the veil, and IT’S NOT PRETTY!

        No thanks no more for me.

      • Crystal, I have two different thoughts competing in my brain at times in regard to the clergy. Personally I tried and am finished. They are adult educated men who preach the Gospel,what needs to be done is black and white in regards to the victims. It is their choice to not become involved with helping the victims. I am not reaching out any longer to ‘convince” them. As my friend says “if you have to tell your husband to send you flowers..it means nothing when the bouquet arrives on the doorstep”
        Then I think about the people who warmly received Susan and me when we were new to this last year. People who had been involved in this issue for years while I was doing nothing. But then again Susan and I decided to become involved ,no one had to convince us. As survivors wife says “the Body of Christ train is leaving the station,hop on board” Hope I got that quote right. If a priest reached out to me that he wanted to help the victims..great..but I am finished trying on my end. If anyone can make headway in that area it is Beth.

      • I respectfully disagree with you, Kathy.

        If anyone can make headway with the clergy, it is people like you who are doing and will continue to do exactly what you are doing, until the “educated” and “adult” clerics, who like and respect what you are doing, will do it themselves.

      • Hadit..your key words being ‘will do it themselves” I agree.

      • Crystal I understand and thanks for being frank. Some pastors you are going to have to shake the sand off and leave. But there are new and younger priests and while the older priests retire they are left with a church in ruins and they are going to need to rebuild.

      • Beth,

        The younger priests impede and reject reform much more than the older priests. The younger ones were educated and emerged as priests during the orthodox and authoritarian papacies of John Paul II and Benedict. The older priests are Vatican II guys who watched their fresh vision of the Church evaporate into thin air over the years of both papacies.

      • Hadit you are oh so right about the Vat 2 period….what the church desperately in my view needs is a ‘reform of the reform’. Ie conservative curialists ‘reformed Vat 2, back to the old days’ and boy does that ‘reform’ need to be reformed!

      • Hadit and Joan,
        What exactly did you like about Vactican 2 I am curious as I was very young during all the changes.

      • Joan,

        Vatican II will soon be 50 years old. Were its documents to be brought to fruition, would it result in a viable and relevant Church in the 21st century?

        What about a Vatican III? Considering the enormity and the multi-faceted nature of the crisis, implosion, meltdown, and disarray, the circumstances seem to merit a fresh start and a new vision, one informed by the body of knowledge that has evolved over the last 50 years, the sins and crimes of clerics, and the failures and mistakes. It may serve the Church and the faith well were we to officially bury what has always been the lifeless documents of Vatican II.

      • Hadit, I pray nightly for another John 23rd….and Vat 3 might be the answer.

        But to answer Beth’s very good question at the age of 73, I didn’t and don’t see those Vat 2 documents as lifeless.

        Certainly the docs on religious freedom and the laity…were, for their time, totally liberating.

        And I lived and worked in that time. Beth….all of a sudden with an interim, placeholder elderly Pope, we had a Council (and there are not that many and, at least technically, their statements are hugely important) that fought out and I do mean fought out an understanding of the role of the ‘people of God’…..the primacy of personal conscience, our role as laity both in the Church and the world!!!!The role of the Church in the world.

        The laity found out it was a ‘player’ and not just a pay, pray and obeyer…that had rights, and serious responsibilities. Our status as the People of God…while not the same as clergy, was a very serious issue. And with it came a lot of responsibility….we were to work both in the Church and beyond it…inclusion was the name of the game, so was ecumenism. The laity was both trusted and entrusted..hasn’t happened since.

        It was a glorious time…theologians who had been stifled by the curia, were Council experts….Their names are legion and Hadit knows them better than I do, but Kung, Rahner, Schilbeek (sp?) Murray, and so many others who had been working in the dark were suddenly speaking in the light and they put the floor on the Council agenda.

        To put it mildly, the reactionary Curia fought tooth and nail to oppose those documents. They feared that the Council had gone too far, that the faithful could not be trusted, that doctrine must be imposed by the Magesterium to keep ‘proper order’…sound familiar? AND they set about ‘reforming the reform’.

        I was involved at many levels during this period…and my experience was that the laity could clearly be trusted and indeed was both very generous and excited. We were fortunate in my world to have a bishop who trusted and empowered his people.

        I think Beth…when I look at the nuns…who were Vat 2 types, and clergy and other religious from the same age and I include myself…we KNOW what was possible in the church and for THAT reason, we want a REFORM OF THE REFORM!

      • CRYSTAL, Thank you for your informed views on this institution! You nail it and get it! From a A Survivor!

      • thanks beth…you’re a kinder, more patient person than I.
        I don’t dislike clergy, I simply see them as middle managers….as men who were selected and educated to do specific tasks for the AD…to manage parish affairs and people and parish assets and funds in a very limited way…. —but nothing more.
        They wear many hats— but they are not counselors or psychologists or thinkers, teachers or caregivers –or even necessarily good people.
        We ask too much of human nature when we expect these things from them… Therefore the idea of going to my local priest and asking him to “please start caring about the victims of clergy abuse” seems so futile. If he doesn’t care about them on his own by now…then, it’s just too late to start now …and that’s his problem…not mine. Priests have no money or power in the AD anyway –all they have is the ability to stand up together and walk out.–and this is obviously not happening.
        The future of the church is on OUR backs –not the clergy’s.

      • Amen, Crystal!

      • Really good thoughts on the clergy, Crystal. The pleading, praying, hoping and wringing of hands that they “come around” is over. There have been far too many blatant examples of silent and unconscionable, clerical wimps.

        Thank you.

      • Crystal,
        It is ironic you mention that as my pastor reminded me today that the Laity is the church also. He is a vactican 2 guy and in a homily around the time of the grand jury report he said he believes in the end it will be the laity that rebuild the church kinda like St Francis…..

  26. “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see” Hebrews 11:1

    • Where or how does the human responsibility to be a critical thinker fit into that?

      • Hadit i will find a critical thinking bible verse and get back to you:) There has to be one. And I do appreciate your thought and reflection hadit…….you make me think and I am sure many a priest that silently reads this blog also…….as well as everyone else.

      • hadit,
        I have been a critical thinker my whole life recently I have discovered they are just some things I can’t explain……like today something really powerful happened but I can’t go into the details. God might as well have parted the clouds and said” hey Beth I am here”.

  27. I continue to be upset by the lack of national coverage this trial has received.

    The Philly AD case is every bit as big as the Sandusky case, and I can’t turn on the TV without seeing an hourly update on that man. Why?

    • Church sex abuse is old news…there’s been so much of it….the fact that Lynn is the first ‘manager’ is newsworthy, but mostly to the ‘connected’…..Sandusky is a celebrity sports figure…much sexier.

    • A national reporter said that the rest of the country cares little about the Philly trial.
      I think that they do, but are docile similar to the some of the folks here.

    • drwho13,
      I wish like Jerry mentioned the trial was on tv for all to see.

      • Beth & Jerry,

        This trial certainly should have been on TV. Clerical pedophilia is a matter of the greatest public concern, and all media should have had an opportunity to participate.

        Jerry, legally what purpose did the gag order serve in this particular case? What rational could a judge use to justify it?

      • drwho, I believe that one of the reasons for the gag order was that some attorneys/priests took to the airwaves shortly after the GJ report claiming their innocence and maybe questioning the credibility of the victims. I believe without a gag order the victims would have been trashed in the court of public opinion. There is a gag order in the Sandusky case also after his attorney went on a PR blitz shortly after the case became public.
        We have to teach our children that they will not be villified if they speak up about their abuse,if gag orders in these cases,helped even one child/victim feel safer about reporting their abuse then to me that is more important than anything.
        As for the trial being televised. I personally would not want that if I or my family member were a victim and had to testify.

      • Having the trial televised would help some people get their head out of the sand..but at the expense of invading the privacy of the victims who suffered and now were testifying?

      • DW13, at this point, the interest of the public’s right and need to know in an open democracy far exceeds any legitimate judicial objective in maintaining the gag order.

        This is one of the reasons I am still suspicious of Judge Sarmnia’s objectives, no matter how impressive her courtroom demeanor may be.

        The “sweet” Avery deal and the gag order, in my view, have helped Chaput far more than they have advanced justice, and that was obvious from the start.

      • I expect Kathy is dead right that some surviors could be hurt by watching media public disclosure. Trials, however, are not intended to be therapy sessions and survivors could always turn off their TV’s.

        But otherwise, Kathy, who has made this point before, in my view is dead wrong on this issue. You cannot build public support for change when close to 99% of the public doesn’t know what is going on.

        With all due respect, how many Philly citizens read C4C?

        There will be more victims in the future because of the lack on significant media coverage of Lynn’s trial, plain and simple.

        That is mainly why our Founding Fathers insisted on fully public trials in the Constitution. Philly had plenty of Chaput-types in 1789.

      • The fact that the jury is not sequestered also makes me grateful for the gag order. They are supposed to stay away from media reports..as much as that is possible. But they are returning to their homes each evening..where I am sure their families must watch TV, listen to the radio, buy a newspaper. It would be impossible that the jurors would literally have not heard about the case outside of the courtroom. I am grateful we are not subjected to the very expensive and fine tuned PR blitz that the DA’s office would never have the finances or time to compete with..it would have been played out in the media rather than the courtroom.

      • Jerry, I was referring to the victims who actually were testifying in the trial,not victims who would have watched the TV Coverage. I have been there when victims testified.They give their full name they stand in front of the full courtroom there is not “john doe” anonymity in any way. Do we need to add TV cameras to that mix. There have been grown men sobbing on that stand..do we need that televised? Cipriano stopped using the names of victims on his blog because in some instances the abuse of others was discussed in a victims testimony and that victim had not gone public….so in some ways another victim was outed. I know this was the case for a woman that testified about her own abuse by a priest and her sisters had also been abused however they did not come forward . By publishing her name the sisters were not “public” and not by choice. I know there are problems with gag orders but having been in Philly before the gag order..I am happy it exists..in some ways ,of course not in all ways.

      • correction..sister’s were “now ” public

      • Beth, Jerry, Drwho13 Kathy and All,
        This is not a black and white issue. On the one hand I hope that the stories told and lessons learned in Rm 304 will find their way into every home, to paraphrase Jack from earlier today “no longer can we look away”. However the reason Kathy points out for the gag is correct. We’ve had to watch for the past year as the personal histories of the two plaintiffs in this case were bandied about the blogosphere by Dave Pierre and his ilk. (Will we incidentally be seeing an apology from him on the media report for the pain he’s caused once the convictions are in – doubtful) The past year and a half has been a difficult personal odyssey culminating in my testimony with many moments where I wanted to stay in my safe life and avoid the exposure. I was able to request that my name not be published in the articles on my testimony day and this was honored by Cipriano, Martin and the AP. I was able to maintain some semblance of control for a while. I’d note that most poster’s here enjoy the shield of some degree of online anonymity and that remains their choice. All that said I’ve spoken my truth and am happy to have my name associated with it, and if Cipriano, Martin and the AP are ready to talk when this whole thing’s over you know where to find me.

        Robert Fisher MD
        New Bern, NC
        catfisher24@gmail.com

      • James,

        Nothing will ever supersede your courageous testimony. But I’m hearing in your post that (1) you are no longer concerned with remaining anonymous, and (2) Robert Fisher is ready to assume a new role, separate and apart from, however, related to, being a survivor. If I am correct, can you articulate that role and how you see yourself in it?

      • Hadit, What I’m saying is that James is the name bestowed upon me by the Grand Jury and served a purpose for a time but that my real name is Bob. And among all the other complexities of my life I’m a clergy abuse survivor and after 35 years and this trial don’t much care who knows it. Hopefully my story along with others will be able to help this cause going forward. My role beyond burgeoning family and career responsibilities will be to advocate as I can for others who have been through this experience. Thankyou for asking.
        Bob Fisher
        The survivor formerly known as James@15 sorry for any confusion.

      • James,
        I understand what you are saying.Thanks again for what you have done to help protect all children.

  28. Not looking good for verdict today
    Jury on lunch off Friday and coming in late on Monday

  29. I have some questions maybe Jerry or others can answer.

    Many people are calling for investigations into all dioceses and archdioceses in the U.S. Is there an entity or body that could take such an action, one that could mandate investigations into all of them? Or can investigations only be initiated by DA offices within the locale of each diocese or archdiocese? How common or uncommon is it for a person or a group of people to request or petition that a DA’s office initiate an investigation into a person, institution, or whatever? Is it permitted?

    • Hadit: Usually, each county’s DA is independent of other counties. You can ask them to investigate, but it is pretty much at their discretion. You can then vote either them or the official that appointed them out of office.

      A national investigation could be launched by the US Justice Dept.–who in effect works for the president. National investigations are rare, although my high school chum, Rudy Guiliani, did a successful one under RICO against the Mafia families in the ’90s. RICO doesn’t presently cover child abuse.

      Given the battles Obama is having with the bishops, he might try to go after them if re-elected–but so far he has not promised to do so.

      • Thanks, Jerry.

        And thanks, Joan, for the Appleton link and your insights on Vatican II.

      • Hadit…it dawned on me a bit belatedly, that what I was really saying about Vatican 2 was that it treated the laity as adults, and with respect….it was not shame based in its approach….

        And the timing was remarkable….the Church literally went from a medieval entity to a twentieth century institution, in a matter of a few years.

        Exciting, yes. Hopeful, yes.

        That was then….

  30. To haditCatholic: That’s a terrific question. My question to Jerry or others is about the merits of class-action suits for this situation? I think most people shy away from suing the RCC because of its power, wealth, and canon-lawyers. The individual is no match for Rome but there is power in numbers, especially if the legal-issues are taken care of by the team of lawyers. It would be harder for the RCC to take-on a larger group. I wonder if there are charitable associations, comprised of lawyers, who prepare people for civil-suits, people’s courts, criminal cases etc. The media-generated exposure would be a reward in itself. I believe the victims.

      • And a quote from the cited article:

        If it survives appeal, the Appleton verdict will establish an avenue for lawyers who brought abuse cases that were dismissed on the basis of state statutes of limitations to bring them again as fraud complaints.

        . Victims who have been frustrated for decades could finally get their days in court. Bishops, who historically responded to complaints of abuse by moving suspect priests to new assignments, face a new wave of crisis and liabilities that would add substantially to the billions of dollars already paid out by the church in America to resolve sexual abuse lawsuits. Many dioceses could be bankrupted by claims.

        Beyond the financial threat it poses to the Church, which is substantial, the Appleton verdict highlights the conflict of values between a religious institution that is also a monarchy, and the morality of liberal democracy.

        And it is in this arena, the moral arena, where the pope and the Church face the greatest challenge as ordinary citizens render their judgments. “You folks are the only people in this community and the only people in this world that can hold them responsible,” said Anderson, in his closing. The jurorsresponded by requiring the Diocese of Green Bay to the face same standards other corporations confront in civil suits.

      • Joan,
        Thankyou for those quotes they have some powerful statements. I hope if they find fraud the victims can go to court to get justice.

      • So do I, Beth…so do I.

        If fraud was the standard…it would change the paradigm, big time.

        Doubtless this Appleton verdict will be fought on appeal…would love to hear from lawyer types on this!

      • Thanks Joan for the article which states that the Appleton verdict, if it survives appeals, will allow dismissed cases (because of SOL) to be brought up again as fraud complaints. If the SOL’s are not extended, at least this is another way to be heard. Great news!

    • SU, class actions are civil, not criminal, cases involving a common factual issue, for example, a faulty car design. Each abuse case usually involves unique facts. RICO could be amended to cover child abuse conspiracies, but so far, politicians have shied away from this, mainly due to powerful lobbying by bishops, etc.

      • iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

      • Thank You Jerry for helping me understand class actions. I’m wondering if crimes against humanity can come under class actions. We already have internet-access for global petitions and movements … now we need legal-access to victims, via ‘lawyers without borders’ … may be just a pipe-dream or may be not. ‘The Times They are A-Changin.’

  31. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AND SURVIVORS
    Yes, the Church pays for our therapy once our claims are deemed relevant, and they’ll pay for our meds-but if we have insurance, we have to use that and they’ll pay our co-pay. but, if a survivor is deemed disabled to work because of the abuse, it is the taxpayers and NOT the Church who pays that bill. As a result, someone who was abused may end up getting about $1,300.00 a month to pay rent/mortgage, food, maintanin a car (with gas), attend to health issues, pay utilities, and house taxes, clearly not enough money to live on. If the Church was really sorry for what happened to us, you think they’d take on the financial responsibility to make sure all survivors were able to live without continued fear of losing our homes/apartments, cars, etc. No, they let the government do it, i.e. YOU! All taxpayers, no matter your religion.
    Many survivors either go through difficult times when they cannot work, or they can’t work at all because of being raped by priests. Yes, they help with therapy and medication is nice, but what about the rest of our lives. As a survivor, I struggle every month to meet my financial obligations. I even asked the Ad if they could help me pay my property taxes {which are the highest in Nj? their phone response was No.

    • Vicky,
      The AD refused your request for property tax assistance, but they are reportedly paying $75,000/week for lynn’s legal team. It’s beyond pathetic.
      I BELIEVE THE VICTIMS.

      • Read in the BIble once that a tax collect stole money and Jesus made him pay back three times what he took…….how much more we owe our survivors who had their innocence and trust stolen. Time to sell more property……empty buildings that could be put to good use.

    • Vicky.Thankyou for making us aware of this. You point to another reason SOL’s need to be changed.

  32. Yikes. Cipriano’s rendition of today’s events in 304 verge on bizarre. I’ll be the first to throw out a guess on verdict day. NEXT THURSDAY! But I won’t put any money on it.

    • haditCatholic’s excellent comment “Because C4C folks are informed, they “understand what is really going on.” That doesn’t mean they don’t contend with feeling hurt or disillusioned, but their knowledge, continual pursuit of knowledge, and advocacy efforts, provide foci, substance and meaning, anchoring them.”

      I believe that It is through this blog that I have become better informed on the issues of child sexual-abuse. I wonder if it is beneficial to have sufficient or a limited knowledge of the subject-matter in order to be an objective jury-member? I can only imagine how difficult it must be for those jury-members who have not been exposed to terms such as: civil and canon-law; role of the judge; lawyer-strategies; court-room politics; examining witnesses and documents; work of investigators; the crime of pedophilia; criminal charges; treatment centers; vows of chastity, poverty, obedience; culture of the hierarchical church; structure of corporations and institutions etc. This could be a daunting and life-altering experience for many of them. They will need some knowledge of law, psychology, sociology, religion etc. to make informed decisions. Could someone tell me if the jury were allowed to go home each weekend? Are they allowed to discuss the case with others during this time? Are they allowed internet-access and other outside influences? I was under the impression that jurors were only released from jury-duty after they had announced their verdict. They may have some ‘aha moments’ during this week-end break as they must be under information over-load. Let’s pray of them.

      • Speaking up, you accurately point out all that the jury has to sift through. One of the times I attended the trial was in the second week, a day of detectives on the stand reviewing the cases of abusive priests. It started with a cross examination of a detective concerning one case, moved on to the introduction and cross examination in another case and then the introduction of another case before the day wrapped up. I have read the Grand Jury reports and was familiar with each case and I had a hard time keeping track of everything that was happening. Memos.phone calls, letters ,emails,case after case of abusive priests. I cannot imagine hearing all of this for the first time and being able to accurately follow along at times. This case is overwhelming with evidence, that simply overwhelms at times.

      • The jury was not sequestered at all during the trial..not during the testimony or the deliberations.

  33. Bishop places pedophile-priest in parish without informing parishioners … he re-offends.

    • Wow. The interviewer is so soothing, she should be doing relaxation tapes. “I’m sorry I can’t get all the truth out in the way that I want it.” – Bishop Henry……. Just wow.

      • james@15 – WOW is Right!

        “I’m sorry I can’t get all the truth out in the way that I want it.” – Bishop Henry

        You’re right bishop, and that type of interview technique was certainly of no value in helping you to “…get all the truth out…”

        I believe that extraordinary rendition to a CIA black site would have been much more helpful to “…get all the truth out…”

        They have sophisticated ways of setting the truth free, and their methods may be helpful in your case.

  34. One of the delays is apparently due to a graduation which is certainly understandable.
    Another blip is from the fact that Judge Sarmina is dealing with other on-going cases. She has presided over approximately one hundred murder cases

    Yesterday morning, Judge Sarmina was hearing a case in Room 304 when we arrived. We watched a portion of the hearing. Opposing lawyers argued before her about some sort of criminal/domestic matter.

    At one point, they were arguing over $5 due to one of them for the cost of duplicating a CD. The one lawyer wouldn’t give up the five-spot, and the other turned away in a tiff saying that he would never duplicate anything for that lawyer again. The Judge said something like, “Ok this has nothing to do with me.” as she smiled.

    When the witness was asked what time the event happened, she said that she did not know because there wasn’t a clock, and her watch had stopped, and she didn’t know how long it had been since it stopped. The judge just gave a look, and we stepped out.

    So we don’t know what is happening from day to day, and we certainly don’t know what the jury is thinking. In paraphrasing what Marci Hamilton has said, a week or a week and a half of deliberation is not unexpected after an 11-week trial. Especially, when the Judge acknowledged in her charge to the jury, that the conspiracy charges were complicated, and even the attorney’s have trouble understanding them. In fact,as we all remember, the attorney’s in this case spent hours the other day trying to agree on how to answer the jury’s questions.

    As Marci has also said, and again i am paraphrasing the professor, the dry-erase board may be an indication that the group is attempting to analyze and organize the priest transfers to determine any overlap with the years that Lynn was the Sec of clergy.

    My opinion, which is as good as anyone’s guess, is that they are conscientious, and are trying to get it right. if that is the case, and that is what they are doing, I can accept any decision. There will be plenty of time for second-guessing if it is warranted, but for now I am giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    For all the victims who are our family and friends, and those who we know are suffering in silence; please know that there are many of us who care about what has been done to you.
    To the families of the crestfallen victims who have taken their own lives, we mourn with you for the loss of your precious loved ones. May a just verdict bring you all some small measure of peace.

    No longer will we look away.

    • Amen Jack and thankyou.

    • Jack, thanks again….for your insights and trial report…..couldn’t help think as I read your post…that with all it’s limitations…how much more I’d like that jury to make its decisions than some grotesque religious system.

      • What chance does the pope’s butler have for a fair trial in that religious system? Secular justice, with all its flaws, is a trillion times better.

    • Jack,
      Your reports of what is happening in 304 help paint a fuller picture.

      The most powerful words in your post are at the end…”No longer will we look away.”

    • Jack, Thank you for your kindness and compassionate response to us, the survivors! For me, it meant a great deal. The waiting is very hard, but as you said, the jury is trying to do this right and for that I am grateful.

    • Jack,
      Thank you for your ongoing commentary on the deliberations and your undying support for victims and their families. It means more than you can imagine.

      Bob Fisher
      james@15

  35. A Tale of Two Child Sex Abuse Trials Involving Two Iconic Pennsylvania Institutions: Penn State and the Philadelphia Roman Catholic Archdiocese – Marci A. Hamilton

    http://verdict.justia.com/2012/06/08/a-tale-of-two-child-sex-abuse-trials-involving-two-iconic-pennsylvania-institutions

  36. You’re welcome Bob,
    Thank you for your courage. Your kids are lucky to have a Dad like you.

  37. You’re welcome Vicky! I didn’t see your post when I responded to Bob.

    Steve and I and my wife were on Independence Mall today and spoke to a couple of well-intentioned Catholics who unfortunately are very misguided. They say they want to understand, but they haven’t read the grand jury reports.

    It was civil, but I know that they don’t understand what is going on. I guess it does come back to that all the time. Kind of like speaking different languages. Underwater.

  38. I attended the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally in my area, today, as a counter-rally person. It’s fascinating how pew sheep, clerics and nuns will rally around hierarchical tyranny but not victims. I’m a demonstrator from way back, so there was a little bit of jaw-dropping on my part as I witnessed demonstrators sit or stand in place, pray, and listen quietly to speakers. There was little, if any, discussion on religious freedom among the demonstrators. No informative or intellectual element. No chanting. No pounding the pavement. I wondered if they really knew why they were there. Father said to go to the rally, so they went… I’d say the crowd was definitely on the older end in terms of age. Retirees.

    My sign said: Stand Up AGAINST Hierarchical Tyranny. Even my sign hardly raised an eyebrow. There was a zombie, orchestrated feel to all of it.

    I spent 30 or so minutes at the rally because I had to get back to work.

    • Hadit, interesting, i’ve been ill but wondering how those rallies went.
      “…no discussion..no informative or intellectual element…retirees… a zombie, orchestrated feel to all of it…”
      — Hadit, are u sure u weren’t mistakenly observing a Mass?!!! (jk!)

  39. P.S.

    Counter-demonstrators were asked to wear white. I wore my white jeans, but on top I wore my infamous “Reform Catholicism” t-shirt. It’s navy, with the slogan embroidered in red. Nobody seemed to know what my sign meant. All eyes went directly to my t-shirt. I said, all eyes went there, I didn’t say it produced any reactions. Umm. Maybe they didn’t “get it.”

    Interesting crowd, sort of.

  40. Good for you Hadit

  41. Thank You for your responses to my questions of June 8. My knowledge of law only goes as far as the TV’s ‘Law and Order.’

  42. Oops! That Thank You was meant for Kathy.

  43. Several times, I have returned to the Appleton article Joan cited. Thanks, Joan.

    If the Appleton verdict withstands an appeal, survivors, who were unable to sue the Church for damages because state statute of limitations said too much time had passed, will be free to sue based on fraud. “Fraud stops the statute clock from ticking…” Wow. The ramifications could be huge for survivors and the Church. I immediately thought of Vicky who wrote about her ongoing financial struggles as a survivor. Imagine the number of survivors we know about whose cases do not fall within state statute of limitations, and imagine the number of survivors who never came forward, feeling defeated by state statute of limitations. Everyone could collect the damages they deserve. Imagine, also, what an onslaught of fraud cases would do to the pocketbooks of dioceses, archdioceses, and the Church as a whole. Bankruptcies would abound. Financial ruin would likely occur. You have to wonder how all kinds of Catholics, clerics and the hierarchy would deal with such a catastrophic scenario? Would it have the effect of landing us all in the palm of Christ’s hand, jolting and bringing us to our Catholic senses, re-revealing and reaffirming in a shock and awe way His way, the only way?

    Also interesting about the Appleton article is how it discusses two, competing moral powers, the morality of a monarchical, religious institution, and the morality of democracy. The freedoms inherent to democracy and exerted by democratic people (as in Blessington prosecuting Lynn, and the jury deliberating a verdict) function as a check on the morality of the monarchical, religious institution. Democracy permits individuals to confront powerful institutions.

    The article notes that the Church is entitled to its own form of governance, doctrines and beliefs. “It can even cling to its traditions of secrecy and intrigue. However, as it engages with the larger society in courtrooms and the court of public opinion, its authoritarian mindset (and its rendition of morality) leaves it ill prepared for challenges raised by people who believe that they are equal to any bishop or pope. In the contrast between monarchy and democracy, the world, if not the universe, is becoming more democratic and open every day.” The hierarchy’s arrogant failure to perceptively note and effectively respond to the political, culture and morality-clashes developing between the Church and the universe is an utterly unacceptable failure in leadership, prodigiously compromising the well being of our Church and us. The colossal nature of the failure renders it immoral.

    • Hadit, am glad you came back to the Appleton verdict. I think the thing about the case is that it was such a common phenomena….abusing priest, passing on af abuser to other parishes, finally priest being sent to another state….with a letter indicating he was a priest ‘in good standing’ THEN the effort to prosecute with termed out SOLs.

      Anderson changed the game plan. Now it was FRAUD to knowingly do what the church has done oh so often. And the Appleton jury bought the argument.

      I am putting another long quote from the citation here:

      “Like countless other victims of clergy abuse, Todd and Troy Merryfield had been unable to sue for damages because a state statute of limitations said too much time had passed between the moment when they knew they had been harmed and their decision to go to court.

      Noting that fraud stops the statute clock from ticking, their attorney Jeffrey Anderson re-filed the case to claim that higher-ups had defrauded his clients and the public by permitting a criminally flawed man to work as a priest. The way Anderson saw it, bishops who didn’t act swiftly to protect the public from suspect priests were like the Ford Motor Company executives who unleashed fatally flawed Pintos on an unsuspecting public and should be held responsible.

      The most remarkable thing about the Appleton case is that the facts were not unusual or extreme. Father John Patrick Feeney had been the subject of complaints about his behavior with children years before he met Todd and Terry Merryfield, and each time his superiors quietly transferred him. After Feeney assaulted the Merryfields in 1978, a district attorney showed his bishop evidence that the priest had committed other sex crimes.

      Still the Church did not remove Feeney from ministry. Finally, in 1983, the bishop barred Feeney from working in Green Bay but sent him off with a letter of recommendation — calling him “a cleric in good standing” — that allowed him to work as a priest in California and Nevada. All of this — Feeney’s pattern of behavior, the bishop’s foot dragging and the deceptive letter of recommendation — were standard operating procedure at the time.

      In the records in the Feeney case his superiors don’t use the kind of smoking gun language that would scream “we knowingly loosed a criminal on the community.” Instead his bishop sounds exasperated, scrawling, “Father Feeney Please!” at the top of one letter of complaint and writing “If I hear any more about the swimming in the nude and encouraging boys to do it I’ll suspend you.”

      But as the evidence of Feeney’s criminal sexual compulsions accrued, the bishop neglected his threat.

      And it was this neglect of duty, juxtaposed with the bishop’s role as pastor to the Catholic people of Green Bay, that met the legal definition of fraud. In his closing argument Anderson said, “They knew he had sexually molested and they knew he posed a danger and a risk to children and thus they deceived the Merryfields and the community.”

      • Hadit..we have SO many examples of ‘justice delayed is justice denied’….in these abuse victim trials, so very very many examples of episcopal stonewalling, foot dragging, That “SHREDDED LIST” in 1994 had many notations relating to ‘5 year’ issues….ie the SOLS had run out…

        Folks on this blog have often talked about applying RICO laws, certainly there has been an effort in PA and elsewhere to extend the civil statute of limitations ‘windows’….and yet in Appleton, if the verdict survives appeal (doubtless hugely fought by the church,) fraud may be the answer.

        Thank God for our legal system.

      • AND from JSOnline, May 23 relative to the Appleton verdict.

        The Merryfields are the first sex-abuse victims to successfully sue the Catholic Church in Wisconsin since 1995, when the state Supreme Court barred negligent supervision lawsuits against religious entities under the First Amendment. It ruled in 2007 that such cases could move forward if they allege fraud.

  44. Extract from wisegeek.com: In the United States, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is a federal law that was enacted to give extended penalties in the prosecution of organized criminal acts … Although it was intended to be used against the Mafia and others engaged in organized crime, the RICO Act has been used to prosecute all sorts of criminal activity… Under the RICO Act, a person can be charged with racketeering — which includes bribery, extortion, illegal drug sales, loan sharking, murder and prostitution — if he or she has committed two of the 27 federal and eight state crimes under U.S. legislation within a 10-year period … The law gives the government the power to criminally prosecute and imprison an organized crime leader even if he or she has never personally committed any of the components of racketeering. This is because he or she is part of a criminal enterprise.

    WOW! This RICO Law could encompass the goings-on of Lynn’s bosses. And we may also have the Appleton Verdict to ‘stop the statute clock from ticking!’ The Times Are A-Changin for large religious-corporations but “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” … quote by Edmund Burke. There was no secular legal system in place during the revolution of 1789 … only unholy allegiances between the government and the religious institute. Thank God we have come a long way from those days.

  45. I have tried posting the Voice in the Desert link that discusses the Appleton case…it just won’t post…so apologies for the Peter Isely quote that was part of the citation…God willing, it will post.

    Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
    CONTACT: 414.429.7259
     
    It took a jury today in Appleton, Wisconsin barely four hours to conclude in a landmark decision that the bishops and senior managers of the diocese of Green Bay had committed fraud in concealing and transferring serial child sex predator, Fr. John Patrick Feeney.  What is so significant about this decision is that the jury reached its conclusion even though the judge had severely limited the amount of evidence, including hundreds of pages of internal church files, that they could examine.  If the jury had seen the totality of Feeney’s file they would likely have reached their decision in even less time.

    This is the first trial against a diocese for sexually abusive clerics in state history.  A pair of controversial state supreme court decisions in the mid 1990’s fully immunized the church from any and all corporate liability for priest child molesters based on a controversial interpretation of the first amendment.  It is a testament, therefore, to the courage and persistence of Todd and Troy Merryfield and their families who have doggedly pursued justice through a much more daunting path of filing their claim under the state’s fraud statutes.

    How today’s decision is going to impact other dioceses in the state—including the 570 cases filed in federal bankruptcy court in Milwaukee, many of those cases for fraud—is yet to be seen.  But this much the jury in Appleton has made clear today:  Society cannot afford—children cannot afford—to have an institution, no matter how laudatory its other accomplishments—that is accountable to no one.

    Fortunately, for the Merryfields, the trail of paper which documented the decades of deceit by several Green Bay bishops was obtained through a criminal case that led to Feeney’s imprisonment in 2004.   Now the question is: who is going to hold the diocese accountable for the at least 51 other admitted clergy child sex offenders now that most of their files appear to have been destroyed by former Bishop David Zubick in 2007, in the wake of the first fraud filings in Wisconsin—before he left to become bishop of Pittsburg?

    SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Visit us at SNAPnetwork.org and SNAPwisconsin.com

  46. Why Benedict chose Philadelphia for his 2015 visit. The “thinking” that went into that decision.

    http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/analysis-whats-stake-pope-benedict-xvis-visit-philadelphia

  47. “Trying to read the tea leaves in priests’ trial” by John Martin.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20120610_Trying_to_read_the_tea_leaves_in_priests_trial.html

  48. Not sure why the John Martin link does not work. Find the article at philly.com in the local section of Sunday’s paper.

  49. I got into the John Martin link by typing philly.com, then cursor on news opens up local news, then click on local news and go to more … and click on Reading priest jury’s tea leaves. I hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 462 other followers

%d bloggers like this: