PA Parents Demand Justice For Kids


Editor’s note:

There is no statute of limitations on murder in the state of Pennsylvania. Why is there one for child sex abuse? It’s soul murder. All parents regardless of religion must unite to get this legislation passed. Demand justice for all kids in Pennsylvania. Justice4PAKids.com coming soon.

Our guest blogger shares important information on this crucial legislation. We welcome guest blogs on the impact this legislation would have on revealing any institution’s flaws in child safety in addition to how it would make PA safer and more just for all children.

by a Guest Blogger

There are a couple of bills currently stalled in the House Judiciary Committee of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  These bills are proposing changes in the PA Statute of Limitations related to sexual abuse.

House Bill 878 proposes to eliminate the Statute of Limitations in sexual abuse cases involving minors.

House Bill 832 calls for a suspension of the Statute of Limitations for 2 years so that victims of past sexual abuse can file civil charges regardless of when the abuse took place.

 WHY?

A common question associated with revising the statute of limitations in cases of child sex abuse is  Why?  Why aren’t these cases reported when or soon after they happen?   Why are people coming forward twenty and thirty years later with allegations?

There are three issues to consider here.   Two of them are emotional and psychological and a third is neurological.  All three are important.

The first emotional/ psychological issue is that many offenders who victimize children, warn the children not to tell anyone because:

– no one will believe them.

– the offender will hurt the child and/or members of the child’s family.

Children are easily manipulated because they have no way to access the power and influence of the person making such threats.

The second emotional/ psychological issue is that children have often been disbelieved when they report the sexual abuse to their parents.  This crime is so hateful to most adults that we don’t even want to think about it, let alone believe that it could happen to one of our own.  THAT VERY RELUCTANCE to think about child sexual abuse is something that abusers have banked on over the years.

If a child is not believed by his/her parents, it is unlikely that he/she will take matters further.

Both of these issues create a very oppressive situation for children—one in which there is no way out except through silence.  And because children can be distracted by things that they enjoy, they are capable of putting their tensions out of their minds temporarily.   But sexual assault is more than an emotional and psychological trauma.

The third issue is that there are neurological consequences which affect memory.

Memory

Memory is a complicated work of the human brain in which many aspects of a episode are represented and stored, so to speak, in different sections of the brain and brought together at recall by a section of the brain called the hippocampus. (Besides episodic memory, there is semantic memory and procedural memory.)

Most recent research points to the hippocampus as a part of the brain very badly affected by trauma and stress.  Traumatic memories are a unique class of memory.  They are usually triggered unexpectedly and are so filled with emotion that they are hard, if not impossible to put into words.  These memories are also fragmented in nature so that some elements of the traumatic episode are remembered (eg, odors, emotions) while others (eg.place, age at the time) are not.   The emotional character and the fragmented nature of such memories are naturally confusing.  And beyond the effect on episodic memory, after traumatic shock, systems of the brain that function to protect the person experiencing a powerful shock (fight or flight/numbing to pain/ heightened awareness of danger)  seem to be over-sensitized to external stimulus, resulting in regular experiences of inexplicable agitation and upset.

To put this in our everyday kind of talk, people who are sexually victimized as children struggle with:

– fragmented memories—scraps of experience that don’t fit into a meaningful context.

– traumatic memories which can trigger panic attacks which are very hard to make sense of.

– extreme sensitivity to stimulus in which brain systems react as if to danger, causing a pattern of episodes of agitation and upset that are difficult to explain.

To Add It Up

burden of confusing and painful memories and extra sensitivity

+

the probability that as a child, the person was intimidated into silence

+

or was disbelieved by his/her parents

         =

            why these are crimes that take so long to report.

Please support these legislative initiatives  by contacting your representative in Harrisburg and requesting that he/she contact Representative Ron Marsico the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to urge him to expedite these bills. (Click here to find your state rep or contact the PA Judiciary Committee via our Resources page.)


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70 Responses to “PA Parents Demand Justice For Kids”

  1. How do you plan to neutralize the ‘rcc’s lobbying group headed by ‘rigali’ . The catholic conference of bishops have a strangle hold on the PA Legislature who in my opinion are basically harboring those that enabled and abused !

    Again where does the $$$$$ come from that supports the lobbying group and when it is diverted from its source does it then become tazable ?

  2. What states have been successful at removing statutes of limitations?

    The bishops in NY thought they had a “strangle hold” on our state legislature but our Catholic governor’s successful effort to pass the same-sex marriage bill said otherwise. The times they are a changing…

    • Delaware was succesful just recently. I know there are others -I believe California and Virginia have also changed laws regarding the statutes.

  3. Here’s the kind of political cash we are up against:

    -William Sasso, board chairman at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young law firm in Philadelphia. Sasso is a prominent Republican fund-raiser and was a co-chair of Corbett’s transition team. The Stradley firm contributed $173,000 to Corbett. As an individual, Sasso donated $23,000 to Corbett’s attorney general and gubernatorial campaigns.

    This is just one example of just how powerful, influential and connected the Chairman and the law firm that is primary counsel to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia really is. Remember Mr. Sasso is an “Innocence Protector” so he must be using his influence in Harrisburg to do what is right for the Commonwealth’s children. Of course, correct me if I’m wrong.

  4. http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/homepage/world-news/detail/articolo/chiesa-americana-vaticano-papa-pedofiliaus-church-vatican-pope-pedophiliaiglesia-vaticano/ check this link out it says a document for reorganisation of U.S. diocese is coming out in the Fall from the Vatican due to the abuse scandals.

  5. Beth,

    I read the article at the link which you posted. So which one is lying, the church in Rome or the church in the U.S.? At this link http://www.opusbono.org/SuingtheChurchChaput.html Bishop Chaput (who is rumored to be in line to replace Rigali) makes it clear that HE runs his diocese, and he is not beholden to Rome

    Also at this site one can read the church’s position in favor of keeping the statute of limitations. It is MUST reading for those who understand why we should keep our friends close, and our enemies closer.

    Buddy Schmidt

    • Wow WOW………the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing………….or do I see schism on the horizon? Maybe things finally getting so bad the Vatican has no choice but to try to salvage what is left of the church in the USA. Maybe the Vatican is starting to fear the change in these laws more than we think and is trying to get ahead of the game.

    • Buddy, Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought I read that Bishop Chaput was one of a few bishops that refused to comply with the Dallas Charter, he didn’t like it and said he was going to do things his way and felt children were already being protected and he also called the publicity on the Dallas Charter catholic bashing!!

  6. Just remember its justice for kids. The larger the focus the more support. Clark & Dilworth were able to defeated the ruling party in the 50’s and they hoped to do the same in PA in the 60’s. You need to get the state on board. Its not just a Catholic problem, not just a Philly problem. We have “Cash for Kids” in the NE. In Bucks county there was a tatoo artist that may have been trading tatoos for child rape. http://articles.philly.com/2011-05-14/news/29543319_1_child-abuse-assaults-jennifer-schorn

    Don’t trust anyone – “Art of War” don’t let your opponent know your stratagy. Told my kids don’t trust anyone. they asked how about (you) dad and I said even dads abuse. We need to trust someone, but a blog isn’t the place.Too many eyes watching us – there is a contact page for private messages.

    • I agree with you. I also think since everyone is so concerned about money we should examine how child sexual abuse in the longrun costs victims their families, the church and tax payers billions of dollars and maybe that will help change the laws. Victims can’t work sometimes, may need to take more sick days have more addictions which may result in accidents or illness which makes every ones insurance go up. Health insurance car insurance, insurance for counsleing, divorces medication costs for possible depression /anxiety drugs etc. I think if we stop child abuse we could save a heck of alot of money not to mention keep people from having their lives destroyed. My husbands counseling bills were around 20 thousand dollars and that does not even include my individual counseling and couples counseling……..do church officails and lawmakers…….understand the econmic impact of sexaul abuse I don’t think so .If they did they would make the necessary change in the laws to help deter child sexaul abuse.

      • I have to say the church might not realize the econmic impact to the rest of society but the church is now feeling the econmic impact of the law suits.

    • Beth and Ed
      You both see the problem for what it is and some of the thoughts and ideas you express are the exact direction many of the efforts will be heading. It is as if you both have been in the meetings we have attended with the people from various professional backgrounds who have been brought together. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Kathy

  7. Did the SOL run out on this guy in Philly?

    http://www.abolishsexabuse.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1060:judge-to-render-verdict-in-case-of-delaware-pediatrician-accused-of-sexually-abusing-patients&catid=67:delaware-connections&Itemid=201

    Also, Clark wasn’t able to reform Pa politics – got stuck on gun control. Need to concentrate on protecting the souls of our children. The one issue we all can agree.

  8. “do church officails and lawmakers…….understand the econmic impact of sexaul abuse I don’t think so .If they did they would make the necessary change in the laws to help deter child sexaul abuse.”

    Of course, they understand.

    As I read the replies, each of you is sharing from a moral, ethical standpoint. I promise you that is NOT how the church is handling this.

    The Catholic Church knows exactly the impact, it’s WHY they are protecting their coffers. No way could they ever come clean with what they’ve done behind the scenes all on their own…because it would open them up to not only the victims and their families, it would (hopefully) cause a revolt from within. The lawmakers, many times, are “compensated” by the Catholic Church lobbyists.

    We want all children safe…all victims of sexual abuse to heal, and all those who perpetrated or were complicit to be held accountable…it can’t be that the Catholic Church is exempt. The problem is that the church’s pockets are deep and their political influence is far and wide. As Catholics who are seeing through this charade, you need to recognize your church is working AGAINST you, not wih you…no matter what they may say publicly. Ask any victim…they will tell you the paths that work. Do what your church hasn’t done and LISTEN to the victims!

    • I think from the info and comments that many share on the site -many are extremely aware that the Church is actually working aginst the legislative reforms that are needed. Just look at the comments on this post-people get it. My concern is all the Catholics who have their head in the sand and believe what the Church tells them-that is the problem.

      • Agreed Kathy. I am so frustrated by the people I know who have refused to read the grand jury reports. They are in denial and they basically tell me that is where they want to stay.

      • I was watching a catholic show and it was saying as a catholic you have a responsiblity to God and your neighbor to develop an informed conscience the opposite is an uninformed conscience. So next time they try that line you can tell them to look up in the catholic catecism that when you face God “I didn’t know or I didn’t want to know’ will not work as a defensive against judgment. You have a duty as a catholic to develop your God given conscience whether you want to or not.

  9. Has anyone considered the following outlandish idea?

    If the laity organize and file a class-action lawsuit against their church hierarchy for fraud, including financial? At least it would force an external audit and they would actually listen to you.

    As it stands now, they just use their money to “help” lawmakers” stall SOL rulings.

    • That is why you need to stop the ‘$ cash’ flow

      • I don’t disagree about the cash flow-but you saw from the survey we posted a few weeks ago – the percentage of local Catholics who stated they would still contribute the same amount regardless of the crisis. And then there was the bizarre category where people stated they would donate MORE in the midst of this crisis. If even 30% stopped donating the AD would just reorganize,cut programs and services that effect the laity and still have the money for their own pleasure.It is a reality.I agree completely with you-I just don’t think we will ever see many catholics stop donating.

    • This is an interesting idea survivor’s wife. I wonder if it has been attempted yet in any diocese. It seems like it would have to be filed within a particular diocese. It certainly seems in those dioceses with cases of bishops committed abuse, since the bishops are supposed to be the teaching authority of the church, that would constitute fraud.

  10. Kathy Kane, is the ‘rcc’ holding the ‘faithful’ hostage by threatening to close and reorganize schools and services, maybe the Federal Govt, will adjust the money that the ‘catholic charities’ receives or eliminate it altogether. The ‘rcc’ will no longer lecture me on morality and what I should donate nor hold me hostage !!!!! Let the ‘pope ‘ and his minions get off their a$$e’$ and get real jobs. I am outraged that the ‘rcc’ can BUY the favor of the politicians who need to be looked at more closely, lobbying should be declared null and void !

  11. I agree. And no one is holding anyone hostage-people continue to participate with their heads in the sand and that will only continue. Look at the Heritage of Faith campaign- 200 million dollars raised from local Catholics after the 2005 Grand Jury report and in a bad economy. I can’t figure it out-but obviously the AD has!

    • I think on a spiritual level the hierarchy does hold the laity hostage. Anyone who speaks out is labeled a bad catholic and anyone who leaves is considered damned. I read this stuff all the time on conservative catholic blogs. It is sickening.

      On the other hand I get tired of some people in groups like VOTF lumping ordination of women and gay marriage in with clergy sexual abuse. I was never physically, emotionally or spiritually scarred for life by the fact that I cannot be ordained a priest in my church but these child victims were scarred because they were raped. The fight needs to be about the children and the adult victims and leave all the other issues out until there is justice for the victims!

      • Let us not forget history, the rcc in the dark ages took action against those that spoke out against the church leaders. They were labeled ‘heretics’ and murdered in the name of GOD ? I guess women now have to break through the ‘spiritual glass ceiling ‘, I don’t particularly care who in ordained as long as they practice what they preach and most of all don’t abuse children.

      • Theresa,

        The ordination of women and the exclusionary policy on gays and lesbians in our church ARE justice issues.

        While you may perceive the church’s response to the victims of sexual abuse to be “gravely” or “heinously ” unjust, it would be remiss to ignore, or even put on the back burner, the other injustices incurred by the church.

        Are there really gradations to injustices? Don’t they all demean and hurt human beings? Does it matter whether one is demeaned and hurt a lot, or a little? Who is to gage a soul’s hurt?

        You must realize that there is a pattern created by the way the church has managed the sexual abuse crisis and its victims, by the way it systemically oppresses women, by the way it excludes gays and lesbians, by the way it induces fear in order to accomplish priestly obedience, by the way it is secretive, authoritative, and monarchical. The pattern is a pattern of power. Power is notoriously nourished by injustices.

        Voice of the Faithful has concerned itself with the “whole picture” of injustices in the church. Excellent organization.

      • Had it, I think the difference lies in the fact that adults can fight for justice and stand up for themselves on these other issues. Children can not defend themselves. Therefore, the crime/injustice of clergy sex abuse against children and cover up is more heinous in my opinion. Not judging outcomes – just the actual crime.

      • If we focus only on child abuse I think we would get more support and make more progress.

  12. Here in New York State they just legalized gay marriage. The bishops are up in arms over this but have NEVER been up in arms over Catholic priests sexually abusing young innocent children. They should rot in hell like every other criminal. What puts them above the law? At least 2 gay or lesbian people are hurting no one. They are only committed to one another. These priest pedaphiles have hurt and permanently damaged several children for life. Arrest them with no statute of limitations. They deserve it and should also be on the sex offenders register. AMEN>

  13. Does anyone have a flyer re the PA House bills that I could copy and leaflet the cars at my church during Sunday masses? I’d be happy to do it and also go to area parishes and leave the information in the church vestibule. I’m hoping to attend the meeting tomorrow night. Perhaps I can find out there.

  14. Victims4Justice.org Reply June 30, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I just want to thank everyone, Catholic and non-Catholic, who is trying to make a difference and is standing up to those in power who think they can abuse children and get away with it. I know a lot of people here are trying their best to make that difference, and I do know how hard it is when you are Catholic and unfortunately you have to juggle your religion and also what is right. I guess that can be a handful for a lot of people. Regardless of how angry I can be sometimes, the more people willing to jump onboard for this fight, I suppose is much better than the many times in the past when it was just a few trying to change the many.

    I have the “experience” that I want to protect other children from enduring. My life should never be a blueprint for the future of anyone else’s life. Children should be protected from the evils that exist inside and outside of the Catholic Church, because nobody deserves to live the life that I have. The most important aspects of my daily life is to make sure that children are safe and to get justice for those of us who have already suffered. Ultimately, I would trade my life for the ideal of just knowing that what happened to me will never happen to another child again, and that in a perfect world, children will be able to grow up as productive, well-adjusted adults.

    I just want to reiterate that my sole purpose in this life, since it was changed, is to work harder to eliminate child sexual abuse and to educate parents, teachers, and caretakers as to the signs of child sexual abuse. The Catholic Church claims to be doing extensive background checks on people before they are hired, but more needs to be done to make certain they are safe to be around children and vulnerable adults, because as much as we may know about how many priests have abused children, multiply that by 10, and that’s how many we don’t know about.

  15. I understand the rage that we as survivors have at the very people who were suppose to represent God and was told you could trust. This act of betrayal suffered as a mere child has, no, words adaquate to discribe the aftermath of this kind pain. The total lonliness and not being believed by the people in your life who are suppose to protect you was an even larger betrayal. Unless you have endured this kind of terror and in many cases torture you cannot in your best efforts know what a survivor went through. It has taken me over 20 years of 4 days a week, 2 hours a session therapy to come to a place of some understanding why catholics in the pews still hang on to their faith as I humbly say I am a work in progress as I continue to try and see where good, decent people need to remain catholic. Thanks to this c4c I am understanding a bit more and what I hear in the writings is much confusion and a great deal of struggle, I can only respect that as I have been there, I struggled for a long time between my love of the church and my rage at the church. I stayed with it and found in my struggle my personal spiritual connection with the Divine which has been for me a much more enriched connection with God, for that I am grateful.
    Thank you for the many people who blog for your continued patience and compassion for those of us who fight so hard to be heard, our pain and our pure intent to protect the most vulnerable because we know how it feels to be alone with a rapist who says no one will believe you because I am a priest, friend, couch, teacher.

    • Think you both Vicky and victims4justice for what you have shared here. In light of your testimony and in answer to haditcatholic’s question “Are there really gradations to injustices?” I would say absolutely there are gradations of injustice. As Susan pointed out a child cannot fight for justice the way an adult can. How can anyone compare raping a child with denying ordination of women? I grew up at a time when I was not permitted to be an altar server because of my gender. I was not scarred by that but I now know that some children at the same time were being raped and later went on to take their own lives. There is no comparison.

      • In focusing on priestly sexual abuse, alone, you are focusing on one among a host of symptoms stemming from a single, systemic cause. It would be wiser to eradicate the cause, as opposed to one of its many symptoms. After all, in eradicating the cause, ALL the symptoms are eradicated.

        If I have lung cancer, my symptoms will include, say, shortness of breath, pain, dizziness, cough. Say I deem my shortness of breath to be the most “grave” and “heinous” symptom. And, somehow, say, it is eradicated. However, my other symptoms persist. And, more importantly, because THE CAUSE persists, it is likely that my shortness of breath will return.

        In Philadelphia, “the return,” over and over, of sexual abuse is glaring! It is because THE CAUSE of it has not been eradicated.

      • “Had it” -Other than sitting at a computer and commenting on a website,what is it that you are doing to eradicate the “cause” ? Just asking, because from your response to Rich on how he should cope with being a victim and giving advice to people on what they are doing wrong-you seem to have it all figured out so well that you must be doing amazing things yourself. Please do share.

      • Yikes!

        Kathy, I didn’t mean to come across as telling people what they are doing wrong. Should I always submit posts that agree with the posts on Catholics4Change? If I disagree with a post, should I be silent? Please advise because I respect your work and Susan’s, and I respect the points of view that so many concerned Catholics have posted here. I am struggling along with the rest of you. Certainly, I do not want to add to the struggle.

        These factors bring me to your website:

        I have studied the crisis in the Catholic Church for 39 years (particularly the culture of the priesthood). I have a BA in theology and philosophy from Boston College, and an MA in theology from Emory University. I am a professor of philosophy at my local college. I also teach an adult workshop at the college called “Exploring the Crisis in the Catholic Church.” I have written for various newspapers, and I read profusely, on topics related to the crisis in the church. I have counseled victims of sex abuse. I have traveled to Sierra Leone, W. Africa (living there for 5 months), Haiti and Cuba, exploring the issue of Catholic identity. I am a member of, and I support, Voice of the Faithful.

        What do I do considering the crisis in the church? I inform myself; I teach others about it; I write about it; I counsel its victims; I support an organization concerned with it; and I pray about it.

        Still, considering the enormity of the crisis, I am struggling along with the rest of you.

      • Hadit,What you are feeling from me is probably a little ill will because of a post you left Rich a few days,maybe a week ago.I think comparing his journey to the progress of other victims and telling him that you want him to “blow you away” with turning his life around etc…Was way out of line.I have made some enormous ,unbelievable mistakes in the way I have responded to Rich and some of the other victims in the past few months,but your post was just a little too much for me.
        The focus of C4C is the abuse crisis. If we start bringing in other issues,some which are controversial,then we lose people. I don’t care what people’s politics are or where they fall on the Catholic spectrum.

      • Kathy

        It is important, I think, to not place the issue of sexual abuse in a vacuum. For example, it would seem that the issue of women’s ordination is unrelated to the long history of sexual abuse in the church. But, had there been woman-priests saturating all levels of the hierarchy, many theologians and scholars believe that priestly sexual abuse, and its cover-up, would never have occurred in the first place.

        In my experience, some sexual abuse victims feel or believe that the only way to penetrate the hearts and minds of others regarding their devastating plight is to employ a “shock and awe” method. Sometimes, sadly, and quite normally, it is the only method they have to offer. There is nothing wrong, whatsoever, with the method, however, it reflects a stage in recovery. Rich, it seemed to me, was further into his recovery. I was asking that he share with us more informative and deeper perspectives. Clearly, he has recently. I think about him several times a day, and the way he courageously elevated the content of his posts.

        You seem to say that you want to contain the issue of sexual abuse in a box because you are certain it results in this site’s large number of hits. I am less concerned with its number of hits, and more concerned with getting at what I perceive to be the heart of the matter on sexual abuse. It is not neatly contained in a box. To narrowly define what is relevant to the sex abuse issue would result in a failure to thoroughly explore its complex and multi-faceted dimensions.

        This is a blog. I put forth how I perceive the heart of the matter to be. I read how others perceive the heart of the matter to be. The exchange of ideas is how adults productively address an issue. However, you say that this exchange threatens your site’s number of hits.

        I am dismayed.

      • Hadit -if everyone always agreed on this blog that would be very boring.I am not referring to the number of hits the website gets.I am referring to working towards having the Pa. House Bills move forward.I am not looking for change to occur within the Church-I am looking for change to occur with the laws. So we are coming from two different perspectives-neither one right or wrong.If we were to take on other issues that affect the Church then some people would drop out-that is a reality-plain and simple.I don’t care if people are fallen away Catholics,on the fence or devout-if they care about child protection-all are welcome.

      • .”Hadit” I also meant to comment on what you refer to as victim’s methods.I don’t look at it that way.I look at it as Vicky a survivor states, as a “work in progress’.There are times victims will have highs and lows-good days and bad days. I think it is odd to refer to that as “methods” I think when Rich posted he was probably having a horrible day dealing with some things,I don’t think there is any “method” people use when expressing their pain.

    • Vicky said:
      It has taken me over 20 years of 4 days a week, 2 hours a session therapy to come to a place of some understanding why catholics in the pews still hang on to their faith as I humbly say I am a work in progress as I continue to try and see where good, decent people need to remain catholic.
      Vicky,please help me understand— was the object of the “therapy” you experienced for 20 years to help you understand “why catholics in the pews still hang on to their faith?”
      I don’t know from personal experience what it is like to be molested by a “religious figure” but I assume one thing such a victim would need would be the assurance of peace with God, and just as anyone else needs— reconciliation with God– eternal salvation.
      I ask every reader here at C4C this question:
      Do victims of sexual abuse by “religious figures” suffer specifically because they cannot find what I listed above, e.g., peace with God, salvation, reconciliation?

      Is this a major factor in this abuse situation?

      • Gerald, Thank you for the opportunity to explain myself and also refer to your question. Part of my therapy was trying to understand why catholics weren’t outraged by what was happening “behind the PR stuff” starting with the Dallas Charter and reading how each Bishop from every diocese had in fact covered up and protected their brother priests. The victims were pretty much left to handle their pain alone and told to sign a silent agreement to keep us quiet. I now know that because of this blog most catholics were not as informed as the survivors were because we knew first hand what their real intent was simply by the way were treated.
        To you next question. The abuse of children provokes horror among catholics, the most devout and trusting of us, the survivors, have been the most victimized. “after he would rape me, he would bless me,”its very confusing. The horrible acts perpetraited against us was always done in the name of God,in places reserved for the most sacred such as confessional, alter, sacristy, rectory, having your name incribed at the bottom of his chalice and so forth. Their is such a huge betral on so many levels and that is why I continue in therapy so that I can come to a place of peace with myself and with God. I do NOT hold God responsible anymore, through my hard work I can now put the blame and the toxic shame where it belongs squarely on the shoulders of the priests and the corrupted hierarchy. This scandle is an attack upon its own integrity-by its own clergy. Until this evil is rooted out-and until the culpable bishops and cardinals who tolerated it resign, or go to jail, it will surely be hard for American Catholics to ever again trust or love their church. I hope this helped you understand from a survivors point of view and thank you for the question.

      • survivor's wife Reply July 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

        Vicky,
        Your explanation sums up my husband’s experience as well.

        Thank you for taking the time to post this.

        This part was especially true for me:

        “I now know that because of this blog most catholics were not as informed as the survivors were because we knew first hand what their real intent was simply by the way we were treated.”

  16. Another thing I learned is that Jesus on the cross is the perfect definition of love of neighbor. When mediating on the cross we see that Jesus feet are fixed to the cross with nails. This reminds us Jesus never run away from us and so we should not run from our neighbor and just as Jesus arms are stretched out to welcome us and embrace us we should never shun or abandon our neighbor.

    • I thought this was beautiful, why are there more negatives than positives, Still don’t know what this rating system is for. Are we rating a thought or opinion or the statement.(many of mine should be negative as the links are moslty statements about evil people that have committed horrible crimes), Would hate to find out some person is just rating to aggrevate good posters and not voicing their opinions. If we go by the action of many catholics we would think that abuse is acceptable. I don’t believe that, but hate a rating system like this. Just my opinion, rock pile on the side.

      Sorry,beth for ranting after a nice post.

      • Just to add, the negatives could be victims expressing their anger as they may not feel the love of God right now.They have every right to do that as the Church abandoned them in their hour of need and enabled the predator. Just don’t want a person to be afraid to express an idea or feeling for the first time and get a negative response and think they are being rejected or get confused. Again Just my opinion and sorry if I offended anyone with the above statement, just don’t want to discourage new people from posting.

      • Ed,
        I wondered about the system too. Evidently the “thumbs up/down” is for readers reaction to a post and the blue ball ,when clicked on shows you which posts have the highest “score” for a day, week, month etc. It is a little confusing.

      • Thanks Gerald, using IE9 and this version is causing me fits – been involved with data processing since the 60’s with those 80 column cards and laugh when tech services have the answers. Knowledge is moving so fast I wonder how our kids will keep up with it. At least this site is working hard to have some great discussions on abuse and add to the knowledge we need to fight these horrible crimes.

  17. In response to the differences between the cause and the symptoms I guess I believe nothing will get through to the hierarchy until someone among them is convicted of child endangerment and put in jail. Once that happens,the others may actually begin to do the right thing, even if it is only out of fear. Then and only then does it seem possible to address the root causes. I am not against addressing the causes, but I think working to overturn the SOLs in PA and every other state where they exist must be paramount. That is why it is also such a shame that the DA was unable/chose not to indict Cardinal Bevilacqua due to his current health situation.

  18. I have read the blogs back and forth from haditcatholic and kathy kane. I had one of those winces when I read the word “method”. For me, it implies an agenda to almost force people to hear our shocking history concerning sexual abuse. I will not speak for other victims, as for me, I choose to keep a low profile when it comes to my personal history, I share the details of that with my therapist. My intent is to get these laws passed not just for the safety of our future children, I also hold out hope that one day by the jury of my peers I can face one of my perps in a court of law and stand in the truth of what he did to me.
    The church changes very slowly, history bares this out, so I agree with Kathy, let’s keep the issue of sexual abuse by priests in the limelight, the rest of whats wrong with the catholic church will have one day its opportunity. Let’s now concentrate on getting these very necessary laws passed. Kathy, thank you for understanding that on some days we don’t have our act together and because of our woundedness, we let the anger cover our hurt.

    • Vicky, I have learned so much from your comments over the past few months.I have a background in counseling but no experience in dealing with adult survivors of child sex abuse.I too winced when I read “pain” described as “methods”. I used to work with cancer victims. Some days they were hopeful and determined to conquer the disease -other days they were just distraught and asking “Why me”.
      The road to any type of healing is not a straight and easy path. There are many obstacles and detours along the way. The one thing I would like to say to you Vicky, and the other victims who follow the site is “I see you”. I may not be able to solve all the problems, but just know that you are no longer invisible and your pain is something we all must acknowledge.

      • Kathy, it brought tears to my eyes when you said “you see me”. I have felt invisable for so long that I couldn’t see myself for a long time. it is a long journey and sometimes it’s not pretty and it is a tremendous amount of work and dedication to face the pain. The anger is easy,confronting the pain underneath is where your true courage lies.

  19. These posts are from 2 July, and I have had to find them by going to an older email . Why do I not receive emails for the last couple days?

    • Here is an example that technology is ahead of the law. Sometimes I just want to know where common sense and common decency comes into to play?

  20. Hopefully you can follow this link – some people in Harrisburg had problems accessing another link I sent about a girl being lured by illegals being hired to work on the shale gas here.

    http://www.wnep.com/wnep-schyl-coaldale-mayor-faces-child-pornography-charges-20110714,0,5534879.story

    So many issues here. Don’t think he just became addicted overnight- where did he get his porn before, read the comments – church goer, how did he know to go to those sites or how to get the porn? Are there groups that help these monsters, do they learn in their small protected groups in prison?

  21. This is in reply to Vicky [7-4-11, 1225 am,in which she replied to me.]
    I am trying to understand how victims of clergy sex abuse are affected. Your post is helpful in bringing me understanding, and also, I just completed reading “Don’t call me A Victim” by Gary Bergeron— one of the abused in the Boston AD back in the day. His book has helped me as well. A most poinant story in his book is about his own father being abused by a priest as well, and his father’s being overcome by horror of going to hell [he was aged and knew death was near.]His father agonized and was terrified because he didn’t find a way too get peace with God because his only knowledge of God came from his “devout Catholic upbringing.” Who really knows if he ever did find peace? The best the official Roman Church, and the Vatican could do was give him several rosaries to take home with him.I can say with no fear of being mistaken— the Roman church officialdom has no power to bring peace to those it has abused. For spiritual guidance , reconciliation and peace with God, only God’s Word and the help of the Holy Spirit will be effective.
    http://xcatholic.yuku.com
    And second: in regard to whether the efforts of C4C and all who desire to defend and heal the young and the susceptible should be widened to include such advocacies as women priests, homosexuals etc. in the Roman church— No! What use is it to waste our/your time,energy and effort on changing the Roman Church? It is not common sense— what is common sense is to proclaim the gospel of Christ as it comes to us authoritatively in God’s Word—not twisted by false teachers.

  22. Ex-Catholic & Saved By Grace Reply July 16, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    “Bishop Chaput (who is rumored to be in line to replace Rigali) makes it clear that HE runs his diocese, and he is not beholden to Rome”

    Buddy, I read that and realized that many Catholics today have no understanding of how the RCC works. In the USA, the Catholic Church is a bastardized form of Catholicism. They do not hold to a lot that Rome does…and the RCC does not hold with others proclaiming different actions on their own behalf! In the RCC ignorance of this is not bliss. If you do not follow Rome, you are in a different religion, basically. Read Canon Law, as I have done to see. Just like they believe if you have an accident before you die, and don’t have time for confession…you toast in Hell. Same thing if you do not adhere to the Catholic beliefs as come from Rome…you toast in Hell.

    I too do not talk about my abuse on open forums. I will say that I was abused since the age of 7 and my first confession, until I was 19 and walked away from it all, including God, until much later when I was saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

    I learned that Jesus died on the cross for our sins past, present and future…and when I do sin now, I have an Advocate, the only Advocate to the Father, Jesus Christ…and I thank Him for my forgiveness that was obtained by the shed blood of Christ, once for all. I learned that He died for me while I was yet a sinner, and all I had to do for salvation is to believe on Him, and Him alone. Such freedom!

  23. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/09/30/incest.phillips.family/

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20308234,00.html

    public airing of incest in one public family and the anger towards the victim

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41715577/ns/today-today_people/

    As one comment writes this is textbook for families as one group protects the abuser, while the other the victim.

  24. I understand some of the priests maybe guilty of abusing children, but there are also some priests that have been wrongly accused. I think some people see money signs and report the priests in hopes of getting money. That is wrong. I hope those that do that will pay a price for ruining the good name of a priest.

    • Fran, According the US Bishops’ Conference own studies, just about 1 percent of accusations are false. It’s far better to err on the side of caution when it comes to children. I understand the devastation it can cause an adult to be falsely accused, but it is far less than the devastation of an abused child who isn’t believed. Most victims couldn’t care less about money, they just want the offender removed. It would be far easier to “slip” in Walmart – if one just wanted money. Please read what the victims have so eloquently written on these pages. I pray for the truth.

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