Summer Required Reading: 2011 Grand Jury Report, Excerpt 2

Here is some sober reading for Sunday excerpted from the 2011 Grand Jury Report. It picks up where the last installment left off. I also highly recommend Philadelphia Magazine’s July cover story, “Catholics in Crisis.”

“Monsignor Lynn

These are sordid, shocking acts. There was at least one person, though, who could not have been the least bit surprised by what happened to Billy and Mark. Monsignor William Lynn was the Secretary for Clergy under Cardinal Bevilacqua. In that position, he acted as the personnel director for priests. It was his job to review all reports of abuse, to recommend action, and to monitor the abuser’s future conduct.

Before Billy was raped – four years before – Monsignor Lynn learned that one of Billy’s assailants had previously “wrestled,” “tickled,” and groped another boy during an “overnight.” The priest in question was Father Edward Avery. Avery took the boy to his bed on at least two other occasions and again fondled his genitals. After the abuse was reported, Avery was secretly sent to a sexual offender program run by the Archdiocese. While he was there, Monsignor Lynn told parishioners to disregard any untoward reports concerning Avery’s absence as mere “rumors,” and reassured them that Lynn knew of nothing but compliments about their pastor.

Avery was discharged from the sex offender program on condition that he have no further contact with adolescents. An “aftercare” team was supposedly set up to watch him. Monsignor Lynn, however, did not send Father Avery far away from boys. Quite the opposite: he recommended an assignment at a parish with a school. Cardinal Bevilacqua then assigned Avery to St. Jerome – the school where Avery later found, and raped, Billy. The “aftercare” team was a farce: Monsignor Lynn was repeatedly advised that the team wasn’t meeting. He didn’t do anything about it. In fact, he never even told St. Jerome School that he had just sent them a child abuser.

Nor were St. Jerome students the only children at risk from Father Avery. During this period, the Archdiocese actually allowed Avery to “adopt” six young Hmong children. Monsignor Lynn knew about the Hmong “adoption”; he also knew that Avery’s sex offense program had specifically prohibited such conduct. He never did a thing to stop it.

Indeed the Archdiocese did not get around to removing Avery from ministry until 2003, just three months after the release of the prior grand jury report – but eleven years after the first documented abuse reports, and seven years after the rape of Billy. Does anyone really believe there were no others?

As with Father Avery, so it is with Father Brennan, the priest who raped Mark: Monsignor Lynn acted as if his job was to protect the abuser, never the abused. In the years before the assault on Mark, the Archdiocese received repeated complaints about Brennan’s “unhealthy” relationships with boys at the parochial school to which Cardinal Bevilacqua had assigned him. One of the boys even moved into Brennan’s apartment. When Brennan grew concerned that word about his guest was leaking out, he went to Monsignor Lynn – who promptly assured him that the report was just a “rumor” that would never be allowed into Brennan’s file.

That same summer, Brennan arranged for his sleepover with Mark, and sodomized him. In the years that followed, Brennan was cycled through a variety of assignments, without any restrictions on contact with minors. In one of these posts, he actually crossed paths with Mark again. Brennan, unbowed, commanded the boy to come to him. He was thwarted not because of any action by Monsignor Lynn or the Archdiocese, but only because this time Mark was not too afraid to escape.

Avery and Brennan were hardly the only two priests whom Monsignor Lynn so favored. The prior grand jury report is full of similar accounts. We summarize several of them below, in the main body of this report. Those cases, however, were long before Billy’s and Mark’s, and the prior grand jury was unable to document any repeat assaults by those particular abusers that resulted from Lynn’s institutional laxness. Not so this time. There is no doubt that Monsignor Lynn’s refusal to curb Avery and Brennan led directly to the rape of Billy and Mark. We therefore charge William Lynn with the crime of endangering the welfare of a child, a felony of the third degree.

That leaves us with a difficult dilemma: Cardinal Bevilacqua. The Cardinal’s top lawyer appeared before the grand jury and testified that the Cardinal, at 87, suffers from dementia and cancer. We are not entirely sure what to believe on that point. (Editor’s note: My sources indicate that while Cardinal Bevilacqua’s physical health has been fragile, his mind has been quite intact.) We do know, however, that over the years Cardinal Bevilacqua was kept closely advised of Monsignor Lynn’s activities, and personally authorized many of them. On the other hand, we do not have good evidence about the Cardinal’s actions specifically as to Father Avery and Father Brennan, the two priests whose treatment forms the basis for the endangering charge against Lynn. The documents clearly show what Lynn knew in these two cases and what he did or didn’t do about it. But that direct link is lacking as to Cardinal Bevilacqua. On balance, we cannot conclude that a successful prosecution can be brought against the Cardinal – at least for the moment. New reports of abuse continue to come in.” Read more here.

25 thoughts on “Summer Required Reading: 2011 Grand Jury Report, Excerpt 2

  1. Pure, unadulterated evil.

    Foxes in charge of the hen house able to devour freely where they may.

    How can anyone give a PENNY to this institution, knowing the lies, schemes and horror going on within, with but a handful of priests saying or doing anything, and even then, not doing much except to try and placate the people. And if they do say something and Rome leaves them alone, they are suspect to me!

    The Churches closing everywhere, in my mind is the best thing that could be happening. Every Catholic Church that closes makes one more innocent child or woman safer. If only people knew not to try to find another CC, but instead turned to the word of God to heal their souls and minds and hearts.

    This makes me weep to read the above.

  2. Having seen some people anxious about leaving their religion on here, because they don’t know how they would get communion and such, I would like to say that God is not about religion, He is about a personal relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ because of His finished work on the cross. It is not about incense, rituals, beads, rote prayers, choirs singing, candles burning, smells of beeswax and enchanting light coming through artfully displayed colored windows. It is not about their parents, teachers or friends belief, or the familiar things we all grew up with. It is about our own salvation by having a real belief, relationship, friendship with our Creator, through Christ alone.

    It depends on each of us individually. No one ever piggybacks to heaven. So we best check ourselves in the faith, and what we are individually believing. To me the above was very hard to let go…it was in my blood and marrow of my bones. It was also about how was I going to get communion, and not go to Hell. The Bible taught me that what I had been taught was not correct. I don’t take Jesus Christ into me physically through bread and wine, but spiritually by believing on Him. He came to live inside me always by His Holy Spirit. He does not come and go, but stays with me no matter what. I don’t have to “eat” Him to have His full presence inside me. I am always in His presence!

    Jesus said this when people could not understand the spirutual and were still only hearing fleshy things: Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

    The Catholic Church, being the fleshy institution of man that it is, did not understand this, and made an incredible mystery, evil and man centered. I have communion in memory of His sacrifice for my sins through the bread and the wine. No man calls the Son of God down from heaven to be continually re-sacrificed, as if His one time death on the cross was not enough!

    Just as priest’s believe they can cannibalize their god, and teach others to do likewise, they eat the innocent for breakfast, and shut up the doors to Heaven.

    I pray for all of us, them certainly included.

    1. I agree the present church is corrupt and reflects how the culture has influenced the church and not vica versa but it is stil the “One True Church”. Check out Realcatholictv .com it has alot of the Bibical reasons for why this is so. Yes, if you have a personal relationship with Christ …….he can and does amazing things . A smaller church right now is a better church because it is easier to clean up. Take a look at all the 30,000 christain denominations why do they keep breaking off from one another? Because they have corruption ,adultry , sexual abuse of children just like the Roman Catholic church and instead of fixing them they start another denomination. Because all the other denominations are smaller they might not have the large scale coverups as the catholic church but I hope you understand the point I am trying to make.Something to think about.Peace

      1. Beth, I hear this argument from Catholics all the time – that other churches have the same corruption and problems. It’s just not true.

        They have some problems, but not nearly on the same scale as the Catholic church. In most churches (or schools, etc), when there is a sex scandal, when there is a sex scandal, it’s between a teacher or coach and a 16 or 17 year old girl that thinks she’s in love with him I’t not right, but it’s not nearly as evil as a priest raping a 12 year old boy.

        I’ve asked on dozens of blogs, and no one has ever given a pointer to any case or document that shows any other institution committing pedophilia at the rate that Catholic church has. That’s because there isn’t one.

        The Catholic church is great at lying about it and misleading people, like they did when they said that the recent John Jay report proved “it wasn’t pedophilia”, but when you read the report, you see they changed the meaning of the word pedophilia so that the cut of age was 10 instead to 13, where 13 is the number that the American Psychiatric Association uses.

        They’ve lied so many times you can’t trust anything they say. Don’t believe the “one true church” comment either. God loves a lot of other churches much more.

  3. Thank you Beth for addressing me. It is kind of you.

    I am not a member of any denomination. I am a Bible Believer, a Grace Believer who practices right division. The whole world is sin filled, but not so as the RCC as it is being exposed left and right their complete evil core that has always been there from inception. I believe the reasons there are so many denominations today inside the Catholic Church as well as the Protestand Church, is because people have not rightly divided the word of God. What is for Israel and what is for us today. They mix it up and mess folks up with their man made religions.

    The RCC is not the “one true church”. I am no longer under their brainwashing to believe this lie. Jesus did not come to bring a new religion…in fact he whipped and threw tables around when He saw what they had done in God’s name! Have you ever been to the Vatican? Same thing only they call what they do by different names. You can BUY prayers and novena’s, you can BUY divorces…gee, who knows what some are able to BUY there…

    The one true church today is the Body of Christ, those who believe on Him alone for salvation. They are saved by believing on His Blood and what He did for us once for all on the cross at Calvary, not on a priest or pope or religion of men. It is not an organization…religion, but a body of believers in Jesus Christ and HE is our Head. We have the freedom, joy and peace in Christ that I want everyone to have!

    What the Catholic Church teaches is not in the word of God. They have nullified the word of God for their own purposes, evil intents and mixed up beliefs. Have you ever read the history of the popes? And people wonder where all this sex abuse has come from! You will be shocked to the core, just as I once was! Rome was never a Holy place! They have always been seducers and murderers! You need to follow the succession of them and their lives to see whom Catholics have been following in the name of our Holy God.

    I believe the word of God not the RCC. The Catholic church teaches that the bishops, with the Pope as their head, rule the universal Church.
    But the Bible teaches… Christ, the head of the body, rules the universal church.

    Colossians 1:18
    1:18 And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    I will rely on the word of God for my salvation, not a smaller Church, which is part of the whole according to Catholic faith. (Again, people need to understand what the Catholic faith is according to those who supposedly have the power to say what is and what is not, for your very salvation!) The Lord will clean up the filth from the wolves wearing robes of black, red and gold, smothered in linen, lace, jewels, gold and silver threads…beautiful outside but are white-washed sepulchers, who want your money to try and pay off and hide their crimes against humanity.

    You too are in my prayers Beth!

    1. Hi,
      Thanks for your prayers I can always use them. While I understand where you are coming from I respectfully disagree. As for Rome I have never been there. My dad was and alot of what you say is true. As for Church history what you say is true there was alot of corruption. I went to catholic college and my dad was a PhD of History God Bless his soul so I have had alot of interesting history lessons and discussions outside of formal classes. My mom actually left the Catholic church for awhile and I was lucky to have the chance of visiting many different denomiantions etc. My dad also taught South East Asian history and religion and was in the Peace Corps. I have lived in India for 6months. I say this because I do respect people of all religions and beliefs . Thankyou for clarifying yours. I do believe you can get to heaven and not be catholic . I just believe the catholic church is the church Jesus Christ founded.Anyway I am a catholic who wants change and the most important thing we need to focus on is protecting children and Helping survivors heal

  4. H………………is for “hypocritical”

    U………………is for “unctuous”

    B………………is for “brazen”

    R………………is for “reprehensible”

    I……………….is for “insipid”

    S………………is for “sanctimonious”

    What does that spell? Well, HUBRIS of course.

    Hubris ( /ˈhjuːbrɪs/), also hybris, means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power


  5. Great News: The Vatican finally gets it. Bishops that don’t obey must retire!

    Cardinal Rigali to retire – wait for the Vatican to speak tomorrow.
    But wait. Does the Vatican really get it? Are children more important than church scandal?
    How will the clergy and laity know the Vatican really understands and is now on the moral side and will love children as Jesus Christ Loved children?
    Conservative Catholics believe they are solders for Jesus, to win his battles, and be victorious. In the real military anyone failing to follow orders suffers consequences such as reduction in rank and time in the brig (jail).
    Tomorrow, if the Vatican gives Cardinal Rigali a position in Rome and retirement as a Cardinal as Cardinal Law received from Pope JP2nd, you will know the Pope doesn’t get it! If the Vatican reduces Rigali in rank from cardinal to priest and a position for prayer in the US on a priest’s retirement salary, that they are starting to get it!

  6. This is what made me so absolutely angry and disgusted as a parishoner of this parish, and a tuition paying parent of the school, after I read this the first time back in February, immediately after his arrest.

    The continued arrogance, lies to parishoners, and school children, stating that he did nothing wrong, and to not believe everything you read, was unfathomable. The acts of abuse are horrific. The covering up of them is unconcionable. Unfortunately only roughly 90 people from his parish showed up (2 months later) for a parish meeting. Most of whom just wanted him back. Still very hard to comprehend.

    Most blamed Rigali. Ok, he’s gone. Whose taking his place? An ultra conservative, who does not believe in the removal of the statute of limitations. What/who is he hiding?

  7. Beth said: I have lived in India for 6months. I say this because I do respect people of all religions and beliefs . Thankyou for clarifying yours.

    ex-catholic replies: I also respect people of all religions and beliefs. I also want to witness to them the truth if I can so that if they are not believing on Jesus Christ alone for salvation, they won’t burn in Hell for eternity.

    Beth said: I do believe you can get to heaven and not be catholic .

    ex-catholic replies: The point is that this is not a Catholic belief. Rome says if you believe this, you are anathema, did you know this? If one is not Catholic, they cannot take the Catholic ‘sacraments‘, and the RCC says if you say they are not necessary for salvation…you are anathema. This is exactly what the canon of Rome says and has never said anything different, Beth.

    Canon 4 “If anyone shall say that the sacraments are not necessary for salvation, but are superfluous, and that, although all are not necessary for every individual, without them or without the desire of them, through faith alone men obtain from God the grace of justification; let him be anathema.”

    Your religion has declared you anathema for believing that you don’t have to be Catholic to go to heaven. Does the Word of God believe you are wrong. Not hardly. Rome is against the word of God, just the same as they believe they can do anything to a person in their care, as long as they can keep it hushed up.

    If one is truly Catholic, they have to believe what the CC teaches, or they have already left their religion and made their own. That is what most Catholics don‘t understand.

    You have decided to be a Catholic and according to Catholic belief you agree that the CC is completely run by a man called the Pope, and he is supposed to be the representative of Christ on earth who makes your religion’s laws, etc. If indeed this is true, you cannot pick and choose what you believe or you are not following the Catholic Christ and will burn in Hell for eternity. Sure you can go to confession, get forgiveness, but if you don‘t follow all their laws, not just believing them but living them out, you cannot be truly forgiven and will perish in fire for eternity according to the RCC.

    I don‘t believe the Pope is Christ‘s representative on earth. I believe those who believe on Jesus Christ alone for salvation are Christ‘s representatives on earth. We are His ambassadors to preach the simple gospel of the reconciliation between man and God, for believing on the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for our sins by grace through faith…every one of them. All those who believe on Him alone have peace knowing they are saved forever, from past, present and future sins. No one can take His acceptance of us away, as the moment we believed we were sealed by the Holy Spirit. Eph. 1:13.

    I would ask you this question: Can you ever be sure of your salvation prior to dying?

    1. Ex-Catholic And Saved By Grace wrote in reply to Beth:”
      I don‘t believe the Pope is Christ‘s representative on earth. I believe those who believe on Jesus Christ alone for salvation are Christ‘s representatives on earth. We are His ambassadors to preach the simple gospel of the reconciliation between man and God,…”
      I thought I recognized what was written as being from scripture and sure enough it was. I found it here:

  8. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

  9. 2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

  10. From the catechism of the catholic church section 1260 ” Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny , which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the posibilty of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery. Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such pesons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.” That is what I am refering to.

    1. Beth wrote:From the catechism of the catholic church section 1260 ” Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny , which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery. Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.” That is what I am referring to.

      Ex-Catholic And Saved By Grace also quoted Catholic sources,i.e, I believe the Council Of Trent, a key Roman Catholic council to reject the “Protestant” Reformation.
      So, in effect the Church teaches two contradictory things:
      There is no salvation outside the Roman Church, and—
      There is salvation outside the Roman Church [under the right circumstances according to “us”]

  11. Question for Ex-Catholic:
    If you agree that 2 Cor. 5:20 is the pertinent scripture to support what you said in your reply to Beth, what would you say if a “Catholic apologist” replied that St. Paul was saying in that verse that he and the other apostles, not all believers, are ambassadors for Christ?

  12. I would say they are once again trying to sew up the curtain in the temple that God tore asunder so that all men might have reconciliation, relationship and a real personal friendship with God, through Jesus Christ.

    Here is the answer, plain and simple.

    We need to understand the context, so we go to verse 18 to get it straight.

    2 Cor 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled US to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given TO US the ministry of reconciliation.

    Christ did not just reconcil the Apostles but any who believe on His Son unto salvation.

    Here we see that the people who have been given the ministry of reconciliation are the people who have been reconciled to God by Jesus Christ.

    Then when Paul says that “ambassadors” must say to the lost: “be ye reconciled to God,” that sure sounds like the ministry of reconciliation given to us all, huh!

    This cannot be limited to Paul or any other spiritual leaders, it must include all believers. The “we” of Verse 20 is the same as the “us” of Verse 18.

    1. Thanks Ex-Catholic for your reply. I appreciate your help in understanding that passage in 2 Corinthians better. I also checked with some other bible teachers and believers and they agree wholeheartedly that Paul is teaching that any believer in the gospel of grace revealed to the apostle Paul becomes an Ambassador on earth of Christ as He is seated in heaven. As to the twelve apostles in Matthew, Mark,Luke and John, plus Acts: they are part of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel and not The Church, the Body of Christ.

  13. I meant to add to my last post:
    Lest some object that this is all ‘off-topic” I believe it is definitely germane to the previous discussion, virtually from the beginning of the thread. Tell me if I am mistaken.

  14. Yes. The Roman Church still follows….though superficially….Peter, to whom Christ on earth committed the keys of a kingdom long since rejected and held in abeyance, while it is Paul to whom the GLORIFIED LORD IN HEAVEN later committed “the dispensation of the grace of God,” and it is the Pauline “gospel of the grace of God” which lays the axe to the root of Romanism. (my caps are for emphasis only)

    It is also interesting to note that the Catholic Bible reads the same as mine, but the hierarchy ignores that the Bible expressly states we are saved by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ…not sacraments distributed by unholy men. It startedd only because they had their own agenda and ignored right division.

  15. The other thing, Beth…is that the Catechisms often don’t match the Canon… One is Dogma and the other is Doctrine, but they can contain both.

    As an example, Catholic must believe in Purgatory, since it is a defined DOGMA of the Catholic Church. It is a dogma because it is both a de fide article of the Apostolic Deposit (the universal belief of the Catholic Church) and it was also dogmatically mandated by the Council of Ferrara-Florence and the Council of Trent. So, you do not have the freedom to reject Purgatory.

    It is hard because you just about have to be a Law Professor to understand this religion! As for what a dogma is, as opposed to a doctrine … “Doctrine” is merely a formal (or informal) teaching of the Catholic Church. And, in Catholicism, you need to recognize three classifications of “doctrine”:

    1) Dogma
    2) Canon Law (or disciplines), and …
    3) Theolegoumena (or theological opinions).

    You pick what this one is:

    “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.”

    This is a quote from the Council of Trent Canon 14. According to this, every Christian in the world stands under the official, NEVER changed curse of the Roman Church, and you need to be aware of that fact. According to the Catholic church, those who believe in justification by faith alone are anathema. It is DOGMA. Now try to justify this dogma with what you quoted from the Catechism. You can’t. What you quoted cannot be dogma.

    It is the ecumenical movement that has cluttered this maze of beliefs, but the dogma remains in force, regardless. Ecumenicalism is just another lie of the RCC to try and get more people to join them, under false pretenses. Sort of what they do with the children they abuse and torture.

  16. I’d like to further this thought so that it is completely clear…or at least as clear as we can get from the RCC!

    Canon 9 of the Council of Trent states categorically:

    “If any one saith that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to the obtaining [of] the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.”

    In November of 1544, in the northern Italian community of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church convened its 19th ecumenical council. The Council of Trent officially lasted from December of 1545 through December of 1563. During that time the Church intensified its ongoing affront on Protestantism by codifying Catholic dogma in unprecedented fashion, in matters ranging from the strategic place of the sacraments to the doctrines of transubstantiation, purgatory, indulgences, the veneration of the Virgin Mary and the saints, and the efficacy of relics. Tradition was declared coequal to Scripture as a basis for authority.

    Now you might be thinking, “But the Council of Trent met a long time ago, hasn’t Rome since modified its position?” No, it has not! The Vatican II documents as well as the new Catechism of the Catholic Church reinvoke the theological position of the Council of Trent, condemning the gospel of justification by an imputed righteousness.

    This is what Pope John Paul II believed and taught. This is Catholic theology. Catholic theology anthanamizes the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    The Catechism that you quoted…is it dogma? Or a theological opinion? The RCC always has an out you know…sadly, it is just the laity who are always left holding the bag…physically, emotionally, and worst of all, spiritually.

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