Indoctrination: Former Seminarian Alleges Superiors Ignored Sexual Harassment

According to recent allegations of a former St. Charles of Borromeo seminarian, his superiors failed to respond to complaints of sexual harassment and ignored the “toxic” environment.

“Philadelphia Archdiocese probes sexual harassment allegations at St. Charles Borromeo seminary,” by Kristen E. Holmes, The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 16, 2018

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Who Will the Catholic Church Drive Out?

 

Please listen to the homily that begins at the 1:43 minute mark.

This homily was delivered a week prior to the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report by the pastor of the parish where I would attend Mass if I were a “practicing” Catholic. I’m just an average Catholic.

I met Father Marks, who delivered this homily, at an event a year ago. Prior to his ordination, he worked in business and then as a lawyer. He’s the kind of priest who makes me miss Mass. Statistical likelihoods aside, I remind myself that any person I meet could be an awful human being. So, I don’t assume that every priest I encounter is a child predator or involved in a cover up. So when a friend shared this link, I listened.

His message of not letting evil get in the way made me think. I’ve separated my faith from the tragic abuse and cover up – the divine from the human. So why can’t I just plunk myself down in the pew and participate?

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

Jesus didn’t intend for us to ignore our sins or the sins of others in the Church. As our moms taught us, saying sorry isn’t enough. We also need to act differently. There are hundreds of Cardinal McCarricks who remain in ministry – many even seemingly rewarded with positions – even at the Vatican.

The hierarchy hasn’t driven evil out. Instead, it enables cover ups to flourish. They only take action when public outcry reaches the highest decibel or the legal system demands it. Leadership hides behind arcane, politically-driven Vatican protocols that trickle down into a warped culture of clericalism. Many, including myself, feel participating in the institutional Church makes them complicit in the hypocrisy and deceit.

Father Marks is confident in Catholicism’s future based on its 2,000 years of existence. This offers him proof of God’s intent. My Dad has said the same. That’s a long time. But Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and many other major religions also share that timeline.

Why can’t I just plunk myself down in the pew?  I turn to the always helpful follow up question, “What would Jesus do?” “What would He do if abusers and those who cover it up refuse to leave the Church?”

Clean the temple out. Or one day, only the moneychangers will remain.

– Susan

 

 

Archdiocesan Web Banner Refuses Truth

Archbishop Chaput’s response to the PA Grand Jury Report is topped off by a website banner that refuses to acknowledge the truth. It neglects to say the Archdiocese isn’t in the latest Grand Jury Report because its abuse and cover up was revealed in Grand Jury Reports released in 2011 and 2005. Why were two Grand Jury Reports necessary? Because the lie and cover up continued after the first investigation and report. They seem to continue today.

Here is a recap of the last two months on C4C:

· Priests from the Philadelphia Archdiocesan hierarchy preside at the funerals of predator priests.

· A porn-addicted priest investigated for possible child porn is reinstated and stationed at the Cathedral, where he was present at a high school Baccalaureate Mass. A clergy sex abuse survivor happened to be in attendance and was shocked. No response from Leslie Davila, Archdiocesan director of office for child and youth protection (OCYP).

· C4C contacted the Archdiocese twice requesting that an abusive priest’s falsely flattering bio information be removed from a parish website. No response to Kathy’s email sent to Leslie Davila, OCYP director. No archdiocesan outreach to victim.

· Some abusive priests were transferred from the prayer and penance program at Villa St Joseph to St Francis Nursing Home…. where young children visit grandparents. Visitors not informed.

· Although the Archdiocese touts the Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries as protecting children, they never teach kids the specific Standards. How are children supposed to know what and when to report?

· The Archdiocese has never adequately answered this question: Do the “Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries” apply equally for 18-year-old high school students as they do for their minor peers. In other words, is it age-based or student-based?

· After 15 months of Kathy’s advocating, the Archdiocese will still not agree to a written policy that parents must be informed when their child is the victim of a boundary violation. No one from the Archdiocese has helped – including OCYP.

· The just-released Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report details that child predators were sent to St. John Vianney Treatment Center – located directly across the street from Bishop Shanahan high school. CHILD PREDATORS. We have worked on
that issue for 5 long years. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia owns the facility and they also receive payment to accept the priest child predators from out-of-state Dioceses.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Breaking News: PA Grand Jury Report Reveals 1000 Child Victims

Adult men disguised as God force their penises into 1,000 defenseless children – ripping apart their skin, souls and minds. Then, other adult men, also disguised as God and in positions of authority, cover it up. This is in essence what the just-released Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report reveals.

Please God, let this report be a tipping point.

The report investigates clergy child sex abuse and its cover up in six Catholic dioceses has just been released. It covers Allentown; Erie; Greensburg; Harrisburg; Pittsburgh; Scranton. Philadelphia and Altoona were were the subject of earlier Grand Jury Reports.

Despite the horrifying details it revealed, too little has changed since the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report. Our post could be rewritten today. In 2002, Catholics were warned by Boston Globe headlines breaking the epic priest abuse scandal there. But back then everyone thought it was isolated. Now we know better. It’s global and deep.

Child sex abuse can and does happen anywhere. It will flourish where its sheltered by ignorance, denial and self-serving interests. The Catholic Church has become one of its best anywheres.

Some Catholics think the media is unfair. Others don’t know what to do. And then, there are those just counting the minutes until Mass is over.

Be smart. Be Catholic (clericalism-free and Christ-like). Be present. Read the report.

After you’ve thrown up dinner, call your state rep. Demand a civil window for victims whose abuse falls outside the statute of limitations. Delaware and other states got one. Don’t Pennsylvania citizens deserve the same? Information from those cases will shine a light on ALL child predators (not just priests), bring some justice for survivors and protect against present and future child abuse.

If you can’t stomach the report, please read “Catholic Church Covered Up Child Sex Abuse in Pennsylvania for Decades, Grand Jury Says,” by Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times, August 14, 2018

Kathy and I thank the survivors and witnesses who cooperated with The Grand Jury Report at great personal expense. You are heroes and child protectors. 

Catholics4Change supports a one-time, two-year window for survivors who were previously blocked by the civil statute of limitations.

If you agree, contact your state legislator.

 

Leading Clergy Child Sex Abuse Researcher Richard Sipe Dies

A.W. Richard Sipe, who passed away last week, has left an important legacy for those who work to understand and prevent clergy child sex abuse. The former priest turned psychotherapist was a leading researcher on the subject.

His work revealed a clear connection between the lack of celibacy among clergy and child sex abuse. Click here to read “A.W. Richard Sipe, a Leading Expert on Clergy Sex Abuse, Dies at 85,” by Sharon Otterman, August 9, 2018, The New York Times.

“Failures of celibacy among church leaders, he argued, even if they happened with adults, created a system of hypocrisy and secrecy in which the abuse of minors could take place.”

 

Activist Sr. Maureen Turlish Dies

You’re a bold and brazen article. Back in the day, an Irish nun might shame a defiant student with this derogatory phrase. Today, I honor a nun with it. Sister Maureen Paul Turlish was a bold and brazen article for all the right reasons. The Sister of Notre de Namur was a rebel with a cause. She tirelessly advocated for victims of clergy sex abuse and the misled faithful.

Sr. Maureen died on July 18th in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In remembering her today, Kathy and I couldn’t help but laugh. Sr. Maureen was hilarious. Not what one expects when dealing with the horrific and tragic. Her humor was dark, honest and clever. It honored the victims. She was a pistol aimed at clericalism.

Sr. Maureen helped found the National Survivor Advocates Coalition and served on the board of directors for the Delaware Association for Children of Alcoholics and on the steering committee for Philadelphia’s Voice of the Faithful and Catholic WhistleBlowers.

CHANGING LAWS & LIVES

A member of the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, she spoke before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees in support of the 2007 Delaware Child Victims Law which removed all statutes of limitation covering the sexual abuse of children and provided a two-year civil window which remains open for previously time-barred cases. She wanted the same for Pennsylvanians and spoke in Harrisburg.

Her articles on the subject appeared in secular and religious publications and she spoke at national conferences. Sister Maureen was frequently interviewed on radio and tv.

Sr. Maureen leaves a legacy of changed lives, including my own. I know that C4C followers will carry on the fight to protect children and the Church.

Click to read her editorial on the Diocese of Altoona-Johnston. We are sure to learn more if/when the PA Grand Jury Report is released.  “It’s time for diocese to put victims first,” The Tribune-Democrat, March 21, 2017

 

“Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.

All is well.”