Accused Priests Painted with Same Brush


I received some important clarification today from The Archdiocesan Office of Communication. Of course, it’s not the information we are all seeking. But it’s something.

All 23 priests placed on administrative leave have been painted with the same brush. The accusations could range from boundary issues to sexual abuse. That’s a broad range of behavior. While all accusations should be investigated, I don’t think priests should be referred to as alleged pedophiles by the press unless accusations include sexual abuse. Of course we don’t know specific accusations because the Archdiocese won’t release them. I will be going on FOX 29 Good Day this Monday morning at 8:15 to discuss this.

All of the accusations have been deemed credible enough to warrant further independent investigation by Gina Smith, the former D.A. hired by the Archdiocese. If she finds evidence of criminal behavior, those cases will be forwarded to the Philadelphia D.A.’s office. It is possible that some priests will be cleared and returned to their prior status.

Through previous mishandling of allegations, the Philadelphia Archdiocese has created an atmosphere of fear and mistrust that is destroying faith and lives on all sides of the scandal.

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12 Responses to “Accused Priests Painted with Same Brush”

  1. Susan:

    What information shared by the Archdiocesan Office of Communication today is “new”? I thought we were already aware of the fact that the types of incidents ranged from boundary issues to sexual abuse.

    Any particular information re the alleged incidents with regards to details, locations, parishes, multiple allegations, etc.?

  2. While not new, (I term it a clarification), it was not repeated in the press with these current suspensions. They were called alleged sexual offenders by at least one news station.

    As for specific information. Silence from above.

  3. Prayers of thanksgiving are being prayed for you, Susan, by so many. Truly, you are chosen and called to be the voice in the wilderness crying out for accountability. I pray for you, that your courage and resolve will be strengthened each moment of each new day. You, as a gospel witness to the suffering of Jesus, know that anyone who speaks in His name will be subject to suffering. Know that I promise you my continued support in prayer. (Love this forum to respond to you!) Theresa M. Coleman, North Wales, Pa

  4. Theresa – Thank you for your kind words but I think we are all chosen to be the voice of our faith. That is what has blessed this site. People, such as yourself, have taken the time to share your thoughts here and read what others have to say. By and large, it’s been a respectful and positive exchange. It’s an honor to host the forum and relay everyone’s concerns to the public at large. Thank you for your prayers.

  5. Susan,
    It is disheartening to hear you report like this on any information from anyone at the Archdiocese.

    I am concerned that you may have been manipulated, or that you are attempting to manipulate.

    Gina Smith is not an independent investigator. She, herself has acknowledged that she does not even have access to all of the files. She is considering only those files which Rigali chooses to grant her access. She is being paid by the archdiocese.

    In my opinion, this forum ceases to be viable at the very appearance of collusion with the archdiocese.

    Of course some of the priests will be returned, Barabara Blaine of SNAP predicted as much on the day of the announcement.

    It is a shell game, and it always was.

    Regarding the media, as the old saying goes,”you can’t beleive everything that you read in the papers.” What that really means is not that the information is contrived, but that it is being reported in relative immediacy, and they do not always get their nuances covered.

    For example, I saw one report that stated, “Victims of the clergy crisis picketed …” Well they weren’t all victims, there were supporters there as well. Some producer wrote what they thought was an accurate desription, but the error is semantical, and most of us know what is meant by alleged pedophile. Namely, that there is enough evidence to be included, but that the accusations have yet to be proven.

    I did not see any of your appearances on Fox news, but I would hope that you are using this access to address what we all can agree is the central issue of this case.

    Namely, that if the church decided to announce, TODAY, throught their sophisticated Office of Communication, that they will end the cover-up, and turn over ALL of the records pertaining to these cases, you could begin the process of picking up the pieces.

    John Salveson of abolishsexabuse.org, has said, that if Rigali stood on the steps of the capitol in Harrisburg, and said,”I’m not moving until the laws pertaining to these crimes are changed.”

    Do you not think that the laws would be changed, and why do you think that Rigali has not taken similar action.

    Of course, it is because he is more concerned with the business interests of the church, and the reputation of the priests, than he is for those who were raped as children.

    What aspect of the gravity of this situation do you not understand?

    Also, I am curious have you dropped your demand to meet with Rigali?

  6. JFH, First, I’ve posted my appearances on news. Please watch them. This post was to a follow up to a post where I asked questions of the Diocese that many had been asking in this forum. In this post, I was merely printing their answers. I will share as much relevant information from all aspects. It is up to the readers to decide and speak out. Are we now reduced to questioning each other?

    Why on Earth would I have dropped the demand to meet with Rigali. Please save your suspicion for the Church leadership.

    I clearly state that Gina Smith was hired by the Diocese in the above post.

    If someone is accused of boundary issues and not child rape, I think that is more than a nuance. Don’t you wish to be more just than those we are speaking out against?

    It doesn’t forward the cause against the very real pedophile priests.

    How dare you question my grasp of the gravity? I think I’ve made my stance extremely clear. Zero tolerance for cover ups and child sex abuse.

    Please save your vitriol for those who inflict and enable child abuse.

  7. Hi JFh
    I think Susan is just trying to provide some clarification,not defend in any way the Archdiocese. I have read a lot of your posts and you seem very informed on the subjects that are being discussed.Actually I think a lot of the problems come from people not being informed.
    I think that anytime someone takes a stand such as Susan is,they are going to occasionally take some knocks and jabs.People are going to critique what you say,what you don’t say. Believe me Susan and I have learned this in just the past few weeks.What has been helpful is the people who have been working on this issue for over the past 20 years.They have shared with us their wisdom,encouragement and thoughts,with not a trace of criticism.Not one.
    They realize that this is new territory for some of us and we may trip,stumble and fall on occasions but our hearts are in the right place.I am grateful for their support and know that Susan is also.
    I am also so impressed each time I come to the site and see that people are commenting using their full names.Thanks to all who are going public with their thoughts.

  8. Susan,
    It seems as if I have touched a nerve.
    Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

    What you read is not vitriol, but hurt, the pain of knowing that the church dodged justice long enough for the rapists to go free. They are out there now around the world, not subject to the monitoring that protects communities from these predators. You can thank the church for that.

    Kathy,
    Thank you for the compliment. Although I have followed these crimes from the outset, I have been actively involved for approximately one month. It may show that alot can be quickly learned about this issue.
    My real name appears on these pages.

  9. Susan — Amen to your post here and your response to JFH. I think it is EXTREMELY important to clarify the difference between pedophile and someone with boundary issues. Lord, haven’t we all had boundary issues at some point in our lives?!?!? Seriously — some people have to cool it just a bit. Of course we all abhor the sickness of the pedophiles and those that have covered it all up but I agree with you, Susan, when you say that we shouldn’t stoop to their level by sending blanketing accusations across an entire group of people. After all, the majority of those people are innocent and men of God. Shouldn’t their be some sanctity in that and some consideration for those good men and women?

  10. I had nothing but positive experiences with Father Givey, He opened the doors of The Catholic Standard & Times for me and I am sick of this “witch hunt” witriout a trial.

  11. What witch hunt? The Archdiocese suspended the priests-we didn’t. Father Givey was the chaplain at my high school -until I know what he is accused I can’t speak to guilt or innocence.

  12. Kathy, again Chaput’s “cloud of secrecy” around Givey and Bowe. So many are asking what they are accused of.

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