Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Testimony


Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Full Testimony, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2011

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26 Responses to “Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Testimony”

  1. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply July 31, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Started to read the grand jury testimony here and I notice immediately the name of legal counsel to Cardinal Bevilacqua. His name is C. Clark Hodgson and the following statement of Mr. Hodgson over five years ago is copied below for your review and remarks. His conduct was so remarkable that his legal conduct earned him recognition from the St. Thomas More Society of Philadelphia.

    C. Clark Hodgson, long-time counsel to the Philadelphia Archdiocese was quoted in the Northeast Times (Philadelphia) shortly after the release of the First Grand Jury Report in September 2005:

    “Church officials were not obligated by state law to report sex-abuse cases to civil authorities unless the actual child victim notified the church personally. If the child’s parent filed the complaint with the archdiocese, however, church officials did not have to notify police.”

    Mr. Hodgson was subsequently awarded the St. Thomas More Award 2006 from the St. Thomas More Society of Philadelphia (Catholic lawyers). Remarkably, St. Thomas More was martyred for his faith because he was a champion for following the “spirit of the law”, not the “letter of the law.” What is the likelihood that a young, innocent and vulnerable school age child who was subject to the humiliation, degradation and physical sexual abuse by a clergy member would have the strength to come forward when this same victim would feel so ashamed, broken, horrified and bewildered? Our archdiocesan attorneys were sure to exploit the legal loophole re reporting such pedophilia to authorities. This conduct was KNOWINGLY, DELIBERATELY and CONSCIOUSLY performed by Church attorneys at the expense of the child’s physical, emotional, psychological and moral well-being and survival. What else can be said?

    • Well stated! These are our moral leaders? Not for me; not anymore.
      Disrespecting them whenever and wherever I can – drwho13.

  2. Ex-Catholic & Saved By Grace Reply July 31, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    How can one disrespect a lost soul.

    It is these lost souls that are “governing the people”….

    They do not know right from wrong, and when they do, they try to escape using “loop holes” with their powerful attorneys. They are not under grace, as they are not under Christ…they say they are “Christ” here in this world!

    No wonder it took me a long time to come to Christ, because I did not see any good in His SUPPOSED representatives! But what I found through my study of God’s word, the Scriptures, is just how they hoodwink the people, giving out a perverted gospel and a false god to be glorified through THEM.

    • They know right from wrong, and they choose to do wrong. They’re are not insane, they’re evil. That’s what makes them so despicable.

      • True, drwho13. And they masquerade as representatives of Christ, which makes them more reprehensible.

        And if you believe in Catholicism, you have two choices. Follow these priests and bishops, who are “false idols”, or throw them out of the church. Thank God they don’t have an army.

  3. I appreciate Michael’s response. Imagine yourself as a child – brought up to respect and obey your parents – in fact most adults, but most especially an adult in The Church. Then picture yourself as a child when a “Man of God”, God’s representative on earth, performing, or asking you to perform, acts which you know in your heart of hearts are wrong, but all the while the “Man of God” assures you that it is okay, or that if you tell he’ll take revenge on our parents.

    Then imagine yourself as all too many children discovered, that their parents did not believe them when they told them what was happening, or they yelled at you, or slapped you for maligning the “Man of God”. Whether the child rapist was a priest, or a grandfather, uncle or brother, too many children were disbelieved – raped physically by the rapist and then their conscience and sense of morality was raped when they wre told that they were lying.

  4. I have read Bevilacqua’s testimony, and I find it sickening. If what he said is the truth (and I am not sure he is acquainted with the word), then Lynn cannot be the ‘pawn’ that practically an entire parish thinks he is. I find it ironic that all of these decisions to review cases were left to people with little to no training, formal or otherwise.

    And as far as following the law, what about the laws of our conscience? Clergy, by choice, put themselves in a position of higher moral standing than the rest of us. Or that is their belief until one of their own is suspect. When you think it can’t get any worse, you read the actual words of these people, and you find you are wrong time and time again.

    I have heard many Catholics I know say the very thing. That they would have gone to the police, that they would be in jail if someone, had done this to their kid. Kids whose families would believe and stick up for them, were not the prey these sick people went after. These are insidious, horrible crimes against children/humanity. The church’s efforts to ignore, deny, lie and pretend do not diminish their significance. It only stands to highlight all we don’t know.

  5. Deidre
    I agree.After reading Bevilaqua’s testimony ,it leads me to believe that the culture of the Church will never allow this problem to be solved. You mention laws of our conscience -I agree. What about laws of nature -protect the young.
    If I saw someone get hit by a car -I would call an ambulance.If I saw my neighbor’s house on fire -I would call the fire department.If I witnessed a crime take place,I would call the police. Am I legally required to do these things -No. But as a decent human being I am going to do the right thing and help out my fellow man.
    The fact that these crimes were against children makes the situation even that more sickening.It seems that the Church was so concerned with liability and scandal that it prevented them from doing the right thing. By not doing the right thing they have destroyed many children’s lives and the Faith of many Catholics. All in the name of religion,all in the name of Jesus Christ? I think not.

  6. Totally, Kathy. This is why, as a parishoner of St. Joseph’s where Lynn was/is pastor, I have been so outraged by the handling of this . I sincerely, hope all of those who tried to lie to me and my children about the reality of what was happening have since taken the time to read the GJ reports as well as Bevilaqua’s testimony.

    My guess is that they probably have not (Chaput claimed he hadn’t). Apparently you are not a good Catholic if you question the church. And certainly, life is easier if we hide from reality. I don’t have the ability to lie to myself that much. I think at this point, I am more concerned with being a good person, and that is a struggle everyday for all of us.

    As far as what Jesus would think? Go back to 70’s (??). There was a bumpers sticker out that said something to this effect “Jesus is coming and boy is he pi#*ed”. That pretty much sums it up.

  7. Ex-Catholic & Saved By Grace Reply August 3, 2011 at 4:15 am

    I am not convinced that many of these priests do know wrong from right. They understand we think it is wrong, but I really think they have raised themselves above the laity to the point that they have God complexes…meaning what might be wrong for us, is perfectly okay for them. I think this is why you rarely if at all, see remorse, except for being caught.

    It may also be that they are so deep into their sin, that just as God has told us about such, and the people who hide their sins for them, as they themselves have become in their own minds God:

    Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

    Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    • Had a few who said they would sleep with a boy, they are not in ministry now so I don’t know where in Philly they live. One was sent to a parish to “test” his vocation. He may have been sent to a priest who pleaded guilty to rape later. There was so much anger from them, as if I broke some sacred trust by asking students/or the camp nurse about kids who looked like they may have been abused. Even the person that witness abuse didn’t say anything – I had the ask did he saw abuse. Wondered about the relationships. Were some raped then became priests, Where some raped in formation? Not to lessen the guilt, I am upset that the Church is still a haven for these monsters.Unless they open files, these questions won’t be answered and how can we trust the church.

      Difficult to believe that a large group of parishioners would travel from NC to Philly to support a priest that admitted raping a boy. That isn’t innocent until proven guilty but a confession.Probably other victims but this case could move because the priest left the state and stopped the clock with the SOL. Hopefully this makes sense – brains been a little tired.

  8. The church in Philly was run by a bunch of pharisees. As a recall Jesus didn’t like pharisees that much……..called them a brood of vipers and hypocrites……………….. but it did not stop Jesus from challenging them and trying to throw them out of the temple and trying to clean out the synogue………..History repeats its self………as good catholics it is time we act like Christ and do the same………….Jesus still visited his Fathers house and kept holy the sabbath despite their presence……….

  9. ed- you state that you hope that your post “makes sense.” it doesn’t. if you don’t mind my asking, what does “had a few….mean?you are talking about people who have “left ministry”, testing vocations and your being in a camp situation and “there was so much anger from them.” anger from who? you say you “wondered”, “MAY have been abused”, “MAY have been sent to a priest who pleaded guily” “PROBABLY other victims”, “case COULD move.” (mycaps), etc. what priest left the state? are you talking about philadelphia?

    i really would like to know where you are coming from? otherwise, this is only a forum for people to just say whatever they want and people reading have no clue of any facts or clarity.

  10. sorry, i meant to say that to ed the most important thing. you say that you are upset that “the Church is still a haven for these monsters.” That is very upsetting and totally FALSE.

    FACT: In 2009, there were 21 allegations of sexual abuse of minors against Catholic priests in America. 8-acknowledged, 4 without foundation, 1 recanted by accuser, 8 were still under investigation in 2010. i think-don’t have right here now-that the outcome ended up being that a total of 7 were substantiated of the 21. i do not have any stats for 2010. also, 300 cases of priests who claim that they are innocent are still pending before the vatican, as well. Space does not afford the stats of the monsters in families, public schools and in other denominations and professions-you can find info on that. the point is, the priesthood in america today is NOT a “haven for monsters”. There are plenty of other monsters out there that i read about EVERY day.

    • Senga,

      You drink the Catholic Kool-Aid, probably from the Catholic League, since you write from their playbook. Let’s talk real facts:

      – the Church is still the world’s largest pedophile protection program. For 2 examples from this year, in Philly, Cardinal Rigali said there were “no reasonably accused priests in ministry”, then suspended 21 a week later after the Grand Jury report proved that there were 37 accused priests in ministry. In Kansas City, Bishop Finn got a memo about a pedophile from a school principal and did nothing about it for a year until a computer tech found pictures on t he pedophile priest’s computer. That’s a pretty safe haven until we get a Grand Jury in every city.

      – 12 year olds that get raped by priests don’t come forward. If you read the Philly Grand Jury report, you’d see that the priests tell these kids they won’t be believed, or that they will go to hell if they tell anyone. The fact that any had the guts to come forward is astonishing. Most don’t come out until decades later, and more than half never do.

      – the Catholic church can’t be trusted. They have at least a 60 year history of lying about child sex abuse, so if they determine that any cases are “without foundation”, those cases should be sent to legal authorities, not Catholic authorities

      – your Catholic argument about “look over there at public schools and other religions and anyone but us” doesn’t work. The percentages of pedophiles in the Catholic church is higher than anywhere in the world other than prison. There are no statistics from any legitimate source that prove any different.

      – worse yet, no institution anywhere has ever covered up child sex abuse like the Catholic church. They are the child molesting mafia – an organized crime unit, where priests have sex with children, bishops hide it, and the congregation (like you) minimize its impact as you distort the truth.

      Seek the truth? You found a mouthful of it. Wash it down with your Kool Aid.

    • Victims4Justice.org Reply August 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Angus,

      I don’t understand why you continue to post here. If I felt like I wasn’t being heard regarding a certain topic, I would move elsewhere, to a particular group who will hear me. I don’t argue about it, but I just tell people the way it is from my perspective, since I have quite a lot of experience being sexually abused by a priest, and having to deal with the emotional and psychological turmoil throughout life that is a direct result of the abuse.

      Even if you do not agree with the statistics of abusive priests, you must be smart enough to know that it is factual that even one child has been abused by a priest at some point in time. If you believe this to be true then you must know that one child abuse victim is one too many. I don’t know of any “new cases of abuse” because all of the cases go back before today. That would make those cases old, because abuse doesn’t start with a police report 20 years after the fact. It starts when an evil and demented priest decides to corrupt the innocence of a child in order to relieve his own perverted desires.

      I reiterate what others have said here, “The Church is a haven for monsters.” As long as non-abusive priests keep silent and do not speak out about the atrocities of their fellow clergy members, they are accepting the decision made by a few to allow more children to become victimized. Your stance on this board proves that you are unwilling to discuss this matter with logic, and because so many have disagreed with your interpretation of the countless victimized children within the Church, you are doing two things: 1)You are promoting the victimization of more children by challenging statistics that prove abuse has occurred, and 2)You are angry that your thoughts have not been well received well and you are not the center of attention. That’s what I see anyway. You don’t know the facts because you only see what you wish to see.

      By the way, if you “can’t do it anymore,” why do you still continue to post here?

      Also, in Delaware alone, there were 156 reports of clergy abuse in 2009. Get your facts straight before you post uninformed rubbish!

  11. Senga
    You are correct child sex abuse exists in every segment of society and as a parent it shatters me when I read news accounts of children being abused.The thing about statistics,whether they be about the Church or other organizations ,is that behind every staistic is a child whose body was violated. One is too many. And as a Church community I would expect that just like with many other social problems and injustices,we would take the lead in speaking out and standing up for children.

    • I agree. Sexual abuse of children is a kept a secret in many cases whether it happens in families or a church. So I don’t know how accurate any statistics are. What we can be sure of is that most vicitims don’t report it or report it later in life. But one thing I do know is that in no other denomaination has it documented that the church covered up cases of abuse as extensively as the catholic church. Other churches might have had much sexual abuse but it is not documented . Also other churches for the most part are not as big as the catholic church. I also know from experience that the offender that abused my husband jumped from one evanglical church to the next to find victims it was easy for him to hide because the churches were individual entitties in no way connected. .But since we do know the catholic church has covered up abuse it should and does need to be addressed.As for my statement above many local protestant churches near me have lost their pastor due to an affair with a women and many complain that is their main problem but who really knows about child abuse in may happen in their church but they might not talk about it

  12. whoa… i was asking “ed” to explain what he said and his “hopefully this makes sense-brains been a little tired”. you can post all you want-it still does not make sense. i was merely asking him to explain his disjointed musings. did anyone read what i said? did anyone read what he said? my 2ndcomment because it was important was the statement “Church is still a haven for these monsters”. It is simply not true.

    patrick, i have read the grand jury report and am pretty well familiar w/all aspects of the issue….(by the way, i am a philadelphia as well where i know you are not.) including what the catholic league may say from time to time.your response does not have anything to do w/the
    real point..however, i knew you would post something-no surprise there.i don’t like or drink kool aid -last time i posted you said that my thoughts were like a 4 year old or something like that i must refrain from answering you…..sorry.

    • Senga…we’re not stupid. We have experience to back us up. We have witnesses to crimes. I don’t need statistics to prove the Catholic Church harbors derelicts. It continues today. I don’t put any weight to the numbers you mentioned because we all know there are thousands of clergy abuse survivors who may never speak of it publicly.

      Curious…where did you get your numbers?

    • Senja, Well aware of the monsters both in and out of the church and as long as the Church supports these monsters – think rapists are monsters they are a haven for molesters if those priests aern’t reported. You don’t have to tell me that families protect theit rapists either been through that issue also. I would like the Church to come clean with this issue and if you look at the links you will read a few. The stats you quote may be accurate, but as in all child abuse cases, reporting does not happen immediately so there may be a delay in those numbers. I pray to God those are the only abused kids. The reason SOLs changes are important is that it may take many years before the victim will come forward – all victims not just the church.

      Also, as I am using a different browser not supported here many of my longer posts get disjointed as I can’t review them so I shorten them. I agree they could be more detail, but I am not giving them.So I agree, more time needs to be spent on getting justice for all victims and I have posted links to that effect.

      Also, I am angry when I realized the problems I had in ministry with guilty priests in the school – principal and vice-principal- I taught and the camp, my two superiors are guilty priests. So for two straight years I had to confide to priests who abused and my spiritual dirctor at that time is mentioned in the above article. To define guilty either pled guilty or a civil settlement.This is not saying the problems that occurred when I confronted my new superior with the problems with abuse.

      So we agree that more needs to be done for all victims – victims 4justice but as we have different experiences you and I repectfully disagree on the Church being a haven for monsters

  13. I was talking with someone over the weekend who is Protestant. She said that the pastor (married with several children)of her church was relieved of his duties, because of a ‘sexting’ event with a parishoner. Naturally, my question was, was this sexting with another consenting adult? Details are unknown.

    But they addressed it. Head on. Immediately. I’m not saying whether or not I agree with the outcome, I’m just pointing out that things do happen elsewhere, but get adressed. No denomination can be blamed for the sick in society.

    What is offensive is the long list, many years, spanning countries, that the Catholic church has had the taint of child sex abuse milling around it. What is also offensive is thier stubborn, arrogent refusal to DEAL with it, and contact police. There is no other reason to hide this other than church politics, personal gain, or any other number of wrong and indecent reasons. Anyone suspected of abusing, raping, harming a child, in any way, should be reported to law enforcement. Period. Not clergy, so they (who may or may not have credentials of any kind) can make ingnorant decisions about whether or not someone is a dangerous sex offender.

    Anyone in contact with a Catholic School child must have background checks, safe training courses, etc….. (though whether they follow up or take issues seriously is another topic). But whose checking the background of the priests when there is never anything being reported? Crazy? Exactly.

  14. deirdre- briefly, 1) ALL Catholic personnnel and volunteers have background checks. the lay teacher at archbishop carroll who was talking to a former student on the computer and was arrested has a background check.(i cannot get into the story now-there is history here and in paper-was months ago) 2) did this protestant pastor have a background check? did he go to training for inappropriate behaviour? do any of the protestant ministers do that? how come the details are unclear about his demise-was it in the paper-if it was a minor, i SURE
    hope so!!! maybe we MISSED it.

    WHILE WE ARE ON THE SUBJECT THAT YOU BROUGHT UP DEIRDRE-THANKS FOR
    REMINDING ME-AS IT HAS BEEN BUGGING ME-HAVE SEEN NOTHING ON SNAP ABOUT IT
    i am in a hurry, but a DR.STEVE TAYLOR from LA was arrested months ago for 100 counts of kiddie child porn-he took a plea and is doing 2 years in jail. i wonder if he had a background check. also i wonder if they investigated any further than the porn

    I am in a hurry but i wonder if the SNAP psychiatrist who is in jail for 2 years (he took a plea)-arrested for 100 counts of kidde child pornasname is STEVE TAYLOR and it has

  15. sorry for repetition in typing-something is wrong w/ the reply section-maybe it’s my computer? i don’t post here too often and i have to go.

    ed, thank you for the clarity. i appreciate it.

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