How the Archdiocese Handles Priest Abusers

Information supplied by the Catholic Accountability Project

•    66 priests acknowledged by AD as abusers
•    27 laicized, 17 sentenced to “prayer and penance”
•    2  “defrocking” cases pending
•    Rev. James J. Brennan and Rev. Robert L. Brennan


•    No records are kept of their whereabouts. (Editor’s Note: The Dioceses of Detroit and Chicago hired staff to track their laicized priests. Why can’t Philadelphia?)
•    No charges are ever filed.
•    No Megan’s Law-style registration is required.
•    Background checks do not pick up these former priests.

St. John Vianney Downingtown, PA
•    Addiction Treatment Center with Pedophile “wing”
•    138 treated Clerics
•    New allegations/reinstated  18.1%
•    Insufficient supervision

Villa St. Joseph, Darby PA

•    Location for “Prayer and Pennance Program” participants
•    Participants agree to terms of program
•    Sign in and out, but free to come and go without supervision.
•    Asked to agree never to be with a child without another adult present.

•    2011 Grand Jury Report
•    Archdiocesan Information on Admitted Abusers

35 thoughts on “How the Archdiocese Handles Priest Abusers

  1. One former Phila. Archdiocese laicized priest was teaching at various local public middle schools until the 2005 grand jury report was made public.This is a COMMUNITY problem not just a Catholic problem. By not reporting these criminal acts,the Archdiocese has left all of the children at risk.

  2. I personally know one of the priests in the “prayer and repentance program” He was accused and ADMITTED to sexually abusing 8 boys in 1964.After ADMITTING to sexually abusing children, he was assigned to the parish I grew up in and was put in charge of the altar boys.He was also assigned to a Diocesan high school as a teacher.
    In 1985 he was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from the parish and his teaching position.Was he abusing children? Who knows? He was not restricted from ministry until 2004,40 years after admitting to sexually abusing children. The Archdiocese knew of the sexual abuse, and exposed him to children for 40 years.

  3. Those of us who blog here know that our Faith can withstand criticism. We KNOW that the People of God are not threatened by the truth. We know that our faith can stand up to the scrutiny of the civil law. And, further we know and WANT our priests, bishops, cardinals, and even our pope, to live by the laws of our land. How many times do we have to ask: What did Jesus do; what would Jesus do now.

    How long do those who deny and obfuscate want this nonsense to continue? Let us open the doors to the truth and clean house. And, if it takes the AG of Philadelphia to do it, so be it. And, finally thank God for the end of coverups.

  4. Father Dunne admitted to the Diocese that he was a pedophile in 1957. After being “treated” he was made chaplain of the Boy Scouts and ran Camp Neumann in Warminster. My husband’s family befriended him in the 70s. If my mother-in-law were still alive, she’d be enraged. She sent her sons on camping trips to Canada with a pedophile priest. My husband was lucky, but from the grand jury report, we know many others were not. Father Dunne was in ministry until the 2005 report. Now he is living out in society – probably at his home in Haycock Run, Bucks County or in Canada. We don’t know, because the diocese doesn’t track.

  5. Are any of these 66 individuals in jail or ever been in jail? It would amaze me that of 66 credible preditors of clergy sex abuse of minor children not one of these individuals would have spent time behind bars. Please enlighten me!!!!

    1. From my understanding there were absolutely no criminal charges filed against anyone from the 2005 Grand Jury Report due to the statute of limitations.I read the entire report and to think that these men are now out living in the public or in a “prayer and repentance program’with flimsy supervision is appalling. I worked as a social worker for many years and have just about seen everything there is to see, and the depraved acts that I read about in the 2005 grand jury report still leave me shaken.
      The 2011 report obviously resulted in 5 arrests however what will become of the 20 some suspended priests? If the statute of limitations has run out in their cases then we are back in the same boat. That is why it is so important to have the Pa. house bills passed,for the safety of ALL the children.

    1. Good point. Look at their websites and how many are assigned to parishes in this diocese. Sure Fr. Curran would be upset at his parish. He walked through a blizzard to get to a grieving family. 25 years at Resurrection as pastor and check out some of the priests that served there since. Lasalle U aand how they treated rape victims of their basketball players.”Christian” brothers

      1. growing up in reso and being an altar boy there, I’m sure Father Curran is turning over in his grave. I guess we were lucky Sister Frances Cecilia did most of the training and work with the altar boys.

      2. Sister Frances, probably legally blind when she was older, working when she needed to retire. Probably protecting the altar boys there. SSJ’s received so little and worked so hard ( all nuns did). I loved the comments about the change in their habits and then later not wearing a habit. The sisters are another group of Catholics that served the diocese well but were mistreated. Remember those runs to Chestnut Hill because they had no car.Noting what the priests ate, I wonder if any of them tasted a steak dinner.Krol was all about money.

  6. Kathy, I asked Mary Achilles if the DA would be investigating the 21 recently placed on admin leave…she said that the charges against them were so old the DA “couldn’t be bothered with them”.

  7. I was going to use a few choice words and decided not to……. when we change the laws….then the DA will be very happy to press charges I am sure. We should take a poll and see how many of the predators were put in charge of the altar boys after being treated for pedophila…….it’s insanity……..

  8. I wonder what would happen if every parent of a child currently serving as altar boys/girls immediately suspended their child’s participation in the program? Solidarity beginning today across the archdiocese that no child will serve on the altar until the laws are changed, and the accused are prosecuted. Pull the children, and pull the money. Take a stand. Every catholic, as well as every citizen, should know about these criminals being protected from Megan’s Law and released into and unsuspecting society.

    Also, I decided to open the door and ask close personal friends who are not Catholic how they view me and the RCC knowing my devotion to my faith. After their initial shock of me asking for their total honesty, I was floored by their responses. They were relieved that I am taking a stand. While we are all comfortable discussing our views within the catholic circle, going outside is quite an eye opener. The old saying “Tell me who you go with, and I’ll tell you who you are” really hit home. I am so ashamed of being associated with such corruption.

    1. Donna Marie: Great suggestions. Lets make it happen!! C4C is a great starting point. Lets ask friends and family to visit this blog and begin to be better informed. My initial action suggestion.

  9. I read what ed “Forgot.” It is clear that laws for the protection of children need to be strengthened.

    However, let us remember that Our Church Leaders are fighting us every step of the way. Where we would have expected compassion for those abused, and by that I mean not only children and vulnerable adults, I also mean the mentally ill priests and nuns who were placed back in the “occasions of sin.”

    I am ashamed of my Church but now I’m going to have the strength to invite my non-Catholic friends and my relatives to read this blog. Thanks for pointing this out.

  10. What I want to add is that where we expected compassion and cooperation, we have received stonewalling, very expensive stonewalling. Our hierarchy has used every legal manoeuver–no expense spared–to fight the civil authorities.

  11. Has anyone confirmed where ‘rigali’ gets the $$$$$ to pay for his lobbying group in Harrisburg ? Why doesn’t the ‘rcc’ want the law changed ?

    1. It said in the insert…….I believe private bequests and selling church property….but you can double check also…..Rigali is protecting his Archbishop B. who is very sickly I saw him a year ago at the hospital when I took my dad there. He was walking but very fragile and a blank expression……..he looked sad and beaten down by life and vacant like no one home I actually felt sorry for him not like when I saw him the airport years ago going to Rome. Alot of people will go to jail and it will cost alot of money. The priests and bishops were all following orders I believe…….. I think they truly thought they were doing the right thing at the time……..

  12. I was on my way out when I wrote real fast. Just because they thought they did the right thing……..does not mean they did the right thing they obviously did NOT…….I have spent the last several years hating my husband’s offender etc……to tell the truth I was surprised I felt sorry for Archbishop B. but if you did not know who he was you would think he was a sickly old man. After all the suffering my husband and I have been thru at least his offender did not steal my compassion and humanity from me…….I think when people hurt people and cause suffering to others they end up hurting themselves the most in the end and separate themselves from Christ and in the end that was what Archbishop B. reminded me of……..

  13. Article by Rod Dreher from 2005 is apropos today, is it not?

    Where’s the rage, Catholic men?

    By ROD DREHER / The Dallas Morning News
    Tuesday, February 8, 2005

    With Pope John Paul II ailing, Catholics are starting to think about the next pope. My choice? Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the crusty leatherneck now in trouble for saying that in war, it’s fun to shoot bad guys.

    The Marine general told his audience: “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

    Whoa! That’s a real man talking. OK, OK, I’m not serious about wanting the Marine Corps’ Dirty Harry serving as the Vicar of Christ. Still, my church needs a leader who takes visceral satisfaction in delivering justice to bullies. If John Paul had pitilessly shot down the careers of molester-shuffling American bishops early on, the church would be a better place today.

    “I loathe cruelty and injustice,” Teddy Roosevelt once wrote to a friend. “To see a boy or man torture something helpless whether in the shape of a small boy or little girl or dumb animal makes me rage.” It’s fine to be conventionally virtuous, he said, but if these qualities are unsupported by “something more virile, they may tend to evil rather than good.”

    “The man who merely possesses these traits, and in addition is timid and shirks effort, attracts and deserves a good deal of contempt,” wrote Mr. Roosevelt.

    By that chivalrous understanding of manhood, we Catholic men bishops, priests and laymen are a pretty contemptible lot these days.

    Father Matthew Bagert, a Grand Prairie priest, was picked up on child pornography charges last week. Days later, Bishop Charles Grahmann turned up in the parish pulpit, weeping and telling the flock to “welcome him back,” as Jesus supposedly would have. Once again, a bishop counsels cheap grace to thwart justice, corrupting the concept of Christian mercy as part of an excuse-making strategy for the clerical class.

    And you know what? It works. If the recent past is any guide, Father Bagert’s ultimate guilt or innocence won’t much matter to most Catholic men, who remain largely mute and accepting as unspeakable things come to light.

    Why aren’t the men who run the Catholic church raging against the cruelty of priests who prey on kids? Why do so many good priests and Catholic laymen remain as docile as eunuchs despite it all? Do we think we’re not going to have to answer to God for our moral cowardice?

    Within the church, there is a culture of what C.S. Lewis called “men without chests.” Most of us go along to get along, shirking our duties as Christians and men to protect the weak and guard the integrity of the religious community.

    Here we are on the fourth Ash Wednesday of the church’s long scandal-ridden Lent. As we examine our consciences in Mass today, we ought to be asking ourselves what our sons and daughters, if they remain Catholic, surely will one day: Where were you when the church needed good men to stand up to defend what’s right?

    We don’t have to stay silent. Look what the men (and women) of Rockwall’s Our Lady of the Lake parish who had enough of their pastor, Father Bill Richard, and the parish’s sex-offender liturgist accomplished by taking a public stand against the pair. Last weekend, the dodgy duo resigned. If we Catholics were real men and not company men, we would knock as many heads as we had to, figuratively speaking, and get this mess sorted out.

    “In all times the laity have been the measure of the Catholic spirit; they saved the Irish Church three centuries ago and they betrayed the Church in England,” said the great Cardinal Newman. By that standard, the American Catholic spirit is passive and demoralized. We cannot let this stand. The church, if it is to be saved, will not be delivered, in the main, by today’s clergy.

    I used to think it’d be great if my boys grew up to be priests. Now I’d rather they joined the U.S. Marines: men with chests, men with backbones, men who know evil when they see it, and who aren’t afraid to fight. I am privileged to count a few priests like that as friends. They are true warriors of faith. They are also truly rare.

    When the Catholic Church rids its clerical ranks of the Grahmanns and the Richards, and starts producing bishops and priests with even half the moral courage of Gen. Mattis, the vocations crisis will solve itself. Until then, no man graced with valor and honor will long to give up his life to run with a herd of moral geldings.

    1. Add comment to Rod Dreher piece:

      Comment:…[from 2005]

      Paul God provides the answer
      Come out of her.

      Because God knows the men who would stay and fight would be wasting their time butting their heads against a brick wall

      Rods heart is in the right place, but he does not realize the corruption goes right to the top.

      So how do men fight? Write a letter? Wring hands? Call the bishops office to be turned away?

      With all the spiritual geldings and others defending and making excuses for it….we know what happens to at least the clergy who made a stand. They get tossed out, fired, sent to that parish in Siberia.

      Excerpt from R. Sipe–
      “So, I think about Luther,” he said, “I think about this young, pious monk, quite a scrupulous young `monk, who in 1510 went to Rome to see things and, I think, be inspired. Inspired of what the authentic teaching and practice of the church was.”

      He left Rome, said Sipe, “terribly disillusioned. He saw the essence of the theology of Eucharist being laughed about in the streets. As I read the history, he saw the bishops and cardinals and priests with their little boy companions, with their women companions. I think he went back and then, in the light of that dichotomy between the teaching and the practice–call it corruption, hypocrisy–he re-evaluated all of his stances. In 1517, he put up his theses on the Wittenberg door, the challenge that was the real opening of the Reformation.

      “Today,” said Sipe, “I’d say that we are at 1515.”

      From Gerald 5-13-2011]I am no Martin Luther, though my name is “Martin” and while a Catholic I visited Rome [1958]. I was a young member of the U.S. Army Security Agency stationed in Bavaria. Two of my buds and I took a train to Rome for a 7 day furlough during the “coronation of Pope
      John XXIII. I was shocked by the commercial atmosphere of the city and the Vatican and at first felt a great disappointment and alienation, for I wanted a “spiritual experience.”

      It was 24 years before I left the Roman church for good and all. I had been saved about 5 years before I left. I know the day I was saved [13 Sept. 1976.] I left because I learned
      enough scripture to contradict Roman doctrine.

      1. With all respect do you realize the Catholic Church wrote and put together the books of the Bible? The Bible did not exist for about 3oo years after Christ died. For the 1st 300 years the Church was led by the Holy Spirit. They fought amongst themselves, where marytered etc. but the church did survive and will survive because Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit to guide us and yes along the way we have had our share of”false prophets”.The Church Fathers followed the Apostles who saw and heard things that were not in the Bible but actually happened.Saint Ignatius of Antioch for instance……..he followed John the Apostle and many believe St. Ignatuis was one of the children that was Blessed by Jesus. Just like your entire life may not be recorded in your diary and many famous people have people around them interviewed to fill in the gaps or validate what we might already know about a person. Ignatius wrote some very interesting letters on his way to martyerdom in Rome………he speaks about Bishops, the Eucharist and Mary(before the Bible was even written)………these are a wealth of information……..did you say you use to be a priest? I forget from the early blogs…..You just keep saying scripture has all the answers but there is so much more….. sacraments, mass which early Catholics celebrated, and an incredible amount of writing by early Catholics……..

  14. No Beth, I never wrote that I had been a priest and I have never been one. I did have a Catholic education for 8 years at the parish school of St. Matthews Cathedral in Wash. D.C.– (where JFK had his funeral.) It was called Calvert School and we were taught by Nuns. After that I had one year with the “Christian Brothers” at St. John’s Military Academy. They sent me home prior to final exams in my first year because my parents had failed to pay the tuition timely enough for them. I then spent one year in a vocational school before enlisting in the Army at age just short of 17 (by altering my birth cert.)

    I drifted away from regular mass attendance when away from home. Much later in my life, around 25, I became “scrupulous” and turned back to my Catholic faith with a vengeance. i was really a fanatical Catholic who tried to convince my friends to return to the RC church when they had told me they had been “saved” and even become missionaries.
    I stayed a Catholic until age 44 when I heard the gospel of grace and believed it, and got saved. The rest is history and I won’t burden you with it.
    I have been where you are in my walk.I don’t choose to debate with you, but be assured of my prayers for you in your journey to the truth.

    1. Thanks for your response and prayers I can always use them. I don’t want to debate you either…..I just feel there is so much more than just the Bible………I have had many amazing encounters with Christ thru people and the Eucharist and some of these people have even been from other Christian denominations………….and yes I believe Jesus saves me everyday and rescues me everyday:)

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