No! No! No! Diocese Still Not Directing Victims to Police


Really? Are you kidding me? I may just lose it. Every single day I’m reminded that despite global attention on Catholic clergy sex abuse, the Church is in a complete cluster when it comes to handling it. Or, more cynically, these are calculated moves.

A friend just emailed me a link for the “Protection of Children” Web site page for Holy Trinity Church in Washington D.C. It’s beautifully designed and written. I’m sure she thought they were doing a bang up job of addressing the issue. Aside from the fact that the “audit system” is a joke and that there is no accountability if one doesn’t comply with the charter, one huge problem jumped out. The copy includes a link to their Archdiocesan policy that states:

“For the complete policy and other information on the Archdiocese’s program, including how to report an allegation of abuse, go to: www.adw.org/youth/protect_index.asp.”

Follow that link and your told:

“if you have been a victim of child sexual abuse, to contact Marcia Zvara, M.S.W., director of child protection services, so you may get the assistance you need.”

No. No. No. Go to the civil authorities. Why are some diocese still not directing people to the police? This is a CRIME!

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops needs to wake up and do something real. The faithful are informed. We are watching. Get your house in order. Now.

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37 Responses to “No! No! No! Diocese Still Not Directing Victims to Police”

  1. Susan, I am just not understanding what they don’t get about this? It can be for no other reason, than the ability to continue to cover up more. I really don’t want to think that, but that is the only conclusion I feel left with. I’m at a loss.

  2. I know that many Diocese offer services to victims,reimbursement for counseling etc… that is done through their victim’s assistance office. A victim should always report their abuse to law enforcement ,even if the SOL’s have expired. If a victim is going to also report the abuse to their Diocese,make it known that law enforcement has also been contacted. If a victim is going to use the services of the Diocese,they should take a victim’s advocate with them.
    I think many victim’s might feel that because of the SOL’s there is no need to contact law enforcement however the authorities should always be contacted. Who knows if other victims have also named the same perpetrator and this can help the authorities. It is awful that the SOL’s limit so much criminal prosecution but don’t make that decision yourself,inform the authorities and let them decide if they can proceed.

  3. You have to think about this from the following point of view – Rule #1 is that the Catholic church doesn’t care about children or about victims of child sex abuse – it cares about the reputation of the church. Not Christian or God-like.

    They think the best way to preserve that is to make this scandal just go away, and make everything related to it disappear somehow. They will hide everything they possibly can. The Catholic church is run by old, dishonest men who were in a position of power, and this technique worked for 2000 years.

    Then the internet came along, including blogs, social media, et cetera. Now the truth can be preserved and promoted forever. Good for the truth, good for God, bad for the bishops.

    The Catholic church will try to get away with any dishonest, deceptive means possible to hide the truth, and the technique you documented is their 2000 year old technique of asking you to tell the church about child sex abuse first so that they can try to control public relations and mount a case against the victim that just came forward.

    Trying to clean up this mess is a God’s test. The Catholic church is failing every single day. We can pass the test, sometimes just sitting behind our computers armed with a voice and the truth. Godspeed.

    • Patrick O’Malley posted in part: “Good for the truth, good for God, bad for the bishops. ” I don’t always agree with Patrick but in this post he is right on IMO. I left the Church long ago, but I am even today learning more stark reality about the true nature of the Roman system. One can avail himself of careful historical studies that show clearly that the Roman empire disfigured Christianity fataly almost from its birth. Go to this site and check out the audio/visual history lessons there; you will be entertained, educated and most importantly made aware of the true meaning of Roman Catholicism.
      http://www.gracelifebiblechurch.com/SundaySchool/Church_History.htm
      Seen as it is, one canbetter understand how evil can reach the level it has in the Roman system; though ityet beggars understanding.

  4. There is only one solution here. Pastors and religious leaders must be added to the list of mandated-reporters of child abuse. Teachers, for instance, are required by law to report suspected cases of abuse. A child’s self report to the teacher qualifies as a suspected case to be reported.

    • This will only be accomplished when the laws are changed, so ask the PA Legislators why they are stalling, has the ‘ archdiocese have a strangle hold on the politicians’ and if they do guess whose money they are using to tighten the noose ?

  5. This may be completely unrelated to the topic at hand, but I was reminded of the catholic church when I saw it.

    It’s not just the catholic church doing this…

    While driving behind a school bus and then later that day a semi, they each had small signs on the back of them…essentially, they both said something along the lines of: “If you notice this vehicle operating unsafely, please call 012-345-6789.”

    Of course the numbers you are to call are to the company that owns/operates the bus/semi. Which made me think? What happens once you call? (I know what happens because one of my friends owns a trucking company). Do you think they call the police so their drivers get tickets? No. They handle it “in house.”

    How about instead of calling the company, people are directed to call the police. What if the sign said, “If you notice this vehicle operating unsafely, call the police.” If those drivers get tickets, or are under the influence, that company has to do something about it…but, if they get a direct random call about one of their drivers, they can do whatever their “policy” warrants or not…because who holds them accountable?

    Of course I don’t equate the crime of child sex abuse and speeding, but the dynamic is the same.

    Careful Susan, your disgust with the hierarchy is showing…

    • Survivor’s wife,
      Excellent observation. Perhaps one company owner might do the responsible thing, but another might not. There’s a chance an unsafe driver might be left on the roads. The same thing happens in other organizations including the church. You can’t take that chance

      As for my disgust – a year ago, I would have thought this was a copy writing over sight. Now, I’m cynical or maybe just realistic.

      • A year from now when you see the same thing posted to a website, you may have to hold the top of your head in case it comes flying off.

        It’s strange though…as realistic (cynical) as I am about the church…I believe change is possible. May not happen how I think it should, but these boys are not getting away with what they’ve done (and are doing) to the victims, the families, and the laity.

      • Survivors wife,
        I have to agree. I believe most people only change when made uncomfortable enough………I think it is getting to that point for many in leadership.

      • This isn’t about allowing them to change when they get uncomfortable enough.

        These are now criminals – child rapists, pedophile protectors, and co-conspirators, who are all harboring secrets about pedophiles who had sex with children. Its organized crime, and they don’t give themselves up until law enforcement goes in to get them. Fortunately, they don’t have guns.

        The only reason these satanic priests (those who committed the crimes) and bishops (all of them, since they are all complicit in following the same secret code to hide it) can continue is that the Catholic congregation hasn’t had the guts yet to remove Satan from their own church.

        Tell me where I’m wrong.

      • I agree survivor’s wife. That’s why I haven’t checked out.

      • Patrick I said “made uncomfortable enough” meaning jail, lawsuits, threats of lawsuits and losing all their money, bankrupt and selling their homes like the archbishop of Delaware.

      • Beth,

        I’m not being argumentative here, but for me, “uncomfortable” involves jail sentences for every priest who had sex with a child, and jail sentences for every priest that knew and did nothing. It involves jail sentences for every single bishop, since they all knew the consistent conspiracy to hide these pedophiles, and none of them did anything. They ignored the laws of the land, and the laws of God, and followed thier bishops and their pope instead.

        If this was a company, they’d all be in jail. Catholics hold their priests and bishops to a much, much lower standard than corporations even though they supposedly have a more important job.

        One of thoughts (that some will think is crazy) is that Satan is running the Catholic church, and his goal is to drop your standards. In today’s Catholic congregation, they don’t think child rape is that big of a deal. We expect bishops to lie. If victims of child rape come forward, Caholics fight viciously to protect money and property, even though they only go to church for an hour a week, and a lot of Catholics only go a few times a year.

        The Catholic church does much more of what Satan would do than What Jesus Would Do, and the remaining congregation is cool with it. The congregation doesn’t get upset at raping children, lying about it, and ignoring (or fighting) the victims (over money). Satan’s smart, and he’s winning, and if you don’t throw him out, your standards will be so low that eventually, any evil is possible.

    • “Careful Susan, your disgust with the hierarchy is showing…”

      They are a disgusting collection of people, and must be treated as such. There’s no way around that. They deserve contempt, never respect.

  6. I say it is time for an American CAtholic Church not under Roman rule. Then and then only will this disgusting abuse end. Those perverts in power are never going to give in or report this to authorities. They want the easy way out and most are willing to give it to them. Expose them to the authorities. They are NOT above our law even if they think they are. This is so disgusting to me. Keep keeping us informed. YOu do a splendid job of that and it is appreciated. God bless.

    • Sandie- It won’t work; at least not to the glory of God. The so-called “Church” is misbegotten from the beginning because it has no resemblance to the Body of Christ that started with Apostle Paul when Christ saved “Saul of Tarsus, Christ’s worse enemy” and gave him the plans for the Body of Christ [church] apart from Israel and the law.
      See more:
      http://xcatholic.yuku.com

    • Gerald
      Obviously this crisis has caused people to struggle with their faith – how could it not.I just don’t want the comments to turn into any type of religous debates that move our focus off of assisting the victims and protection of children. Believe me questioning my faith is something for me on a daily basis.But I know that the victims and victim’s families that follow this site have been relieved to finally see the laity take a stand and speak up. I personally don’t care what people’s religous beliefs are Jewish,Christian,Buddhist ,Muslim, – whatever works.I continue to focus on what happened to children within our Church,hopefully by focusing on that we can make a difference for the victims and children. It is not about us -it is about them.

      • Kathy: With all due respect, what you said makes no sense when day after day this blog is facing the same dilemma: The power and influence of one of this worlds largest institutions, and one which has made millions of human beings take part in its activities by promulgating a political system and giving it the gloss of respectibility by calling itself “Christian.” This started immediately upon the gospel being first preached— men saw the possibilities of using it and they did so. The truth is there for any who will open their hearts and minds to it. What is it that makes some want to know the truth and others not? I know that I want to know the truth,and thank God,I have found it.

      • There is a difference between struggling with one’s faith, and struggling with whether one should remain connected to a church that neglects assisting its victims and protecting its children. In struggling with one’s faith, one struggles with its tenets of belief. In struggling with the church, one struggles with whether the organization represents the moral mandates of one’s conscience, and whether it functions accordingly. When it does not, one is morally obliged to withdraw one’s membership and support. This need not evolve into a struggle with one’s faith.

        One’s faith-struggle is not relevant to this website. But one’s church-struggle is. It is not enough to “take a stand and speak up” on behalf of victims and children while maintaining one’s membership in, and support of, an organization that relentlessly impedes their well-being. When an organization’s modus operandi defies one’s conscience, yet one remains firmly implanted in it, what does it say to its victims and children? I am willing to take a position, utter strong words, and invest myself in advocating for change, but I am not willing to endure the effects that abandoning the church would have on me, personally?

        There is nothing the church likes better than its ability to arrest the full expression of the laity’s conscience. Our paralysis fuels its agenda, and maintains the continuity of its modus operandi.

        Along with the sexual abuse victims and the children, we, too, are victims… in unity, these morally require us to listen to, address, and resolve our struggles with the church.

    • Gerald, You make many great points. What I am trying to express is that I realize that the horrific problem of the sex abuse is due to the clericalism,power and misinterpretation of what the Church is meant to be. I realize that these points could be addressed and explored at great length. I feel strongly that we can make an impact by speaking up,changing the laws and supporting the efforts of law enforcement. I am action oriented in my thoughts. My energy is focused on concrete things we can do today rather than exploring the history of my religion. I get that the two go hand in hand ,just not sure this forum is the place to focus on so much history. I am happy you have found what works for you -I don’t ry to push my beliefs about religion on others.

      • Kathy, you said: “I am happy you have found what works for you -I don’t ry to push my beliefs about religion on others.” I don’t know if I can find the words that would express accurately how that statement reverberates inside me.

        Let me try: I’m convinced that when the saving gospel of grace was preached, and is preachd today— the difference between those who believed it and found eternal life in Christ— and those who didn’t believe it, and didn’t receive it, is some said “don’t push your beliefs on me.”

    • “hadit” – excellent point. I am not struggling with my faith,I am struggling with the belief that the Church has any commitment to being true representatives of the faith.

  7. When I hear this I only feel better about leaving the Church. Until the “not-guilty of abuse” or “non-boundary issue” priests (notice I did not say good priests or innocent priests) begin spilling their guts about what goes on, this will never change. It’s sort of like these priests pretend they do not know what goes on. Really, you mean to say they never talk among themselves in groups, Like saying “hey did you see Father Pedofile was called out by the Monsignor today” Come on, they all know who’s who and who does what. The priests are just like any other employee on the job, they know what’s going on in their office. Just sayin.

  8. Victims4Justice.org Reply August 12, 2011 at 4:46 am

    I read all the comments of this psot and I wanted to respond to more than one person. So here’s what I’ve got for you.

    It is very important and absolutely necessary to report if you were abused as a child. All reports should be filed with the police department and/or the District Attorney’s Office. Even if the Statute of Limitations has run out and you have no recourse in pursuing criminal or civil charges, by reporting abuse you are doing three things: (1)You are standing up for yourself and you are finding your voice to talk about it and through that process you will start your recovery toward healing. (2) You are basically warning the Catholic Church or anyone else who is harboring and hiding a child abuser “that their victims are coming forward now.” (3) Which I think is the most important aspect of reporting your abuse, YOU are protecting present and future children from abuse. Regardless of the laws, you can publicly sound-off to your abuser. You can tell him, “I remember what you did to me. You were wrong. The world will know what you did to me.”

    Now just think of all the kids you’re protecting from ever experiencing the abuse we endured. You are warning parents, teachers, caretakers, etc., of a particular person, known to be abusive toward children, who may be working around children at the present time or may be living in a neighborhood where he has easy access to children. When you come forward, essentially you are shouting, “NO MORE!” That is a great first step to take. Regardless of what anyone thinks, I promise, you will feel good about you. It’s so validating to break free of those chains our abusers bind us by, hand, foot and mouth. Sometimes, it feels like the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders, and from my own experience, I can tell you there’s a ton of self-satisfaction when you use your voice to enable other victims to find their own and come forward. When I went public in June 2009, I got a call from my attorney the day after the press conference and he told me that another person has come forward. Total validation! I thought to myself, “I’m not crazy. I did the right thing. I empowered others.” Even through the despicable and horrible memories of such abuse, my life has meaning in spite of it. I am worthy and I didn’t even have to convince anyone but myself.

    Be careful with what you accept from the Victim’s Assistance Program. If they grant you therapy, choose your own therapist. Never choose a therapist that they recommend. If you can’t find a therapist, email me at Victims4JusticeNow@yahoo.com and I will point you in the right direction. Treat the Victim’s Assistant respectfully, but do not give away too much information. Tell them merely what they need to know and nothing more. I have heard too many war stories of victim’s who have delved into a heavy conversation with the Victim’s Assistant, only to have that information somehow twisted and torn apart, in an effort so the Church can “make” holes in your story and screw you over. We were already screwed over by clergy as kids. We don’t need it to happen as adults.

    The changes that need to be made regarding clergy abuse specifically is a Roman Catholic problem and it’s also an American problem, and a worldwide problem. Let’s face it, the Church will continue to allow it’s own corruption so long as no one faces the music. However, when countries and states enact laws that make it almost impossible for abuse victims to expose and convict their perpetrators, the more important issue becomes a legal one. The Catholic Church, or any organization on the planet that harbors criminals should not have to worry about repercussions from just their employers, but more drastically from the legal system. Our legal system has all but failed us, our children, and any crime of the past, present and future. An entire field of trained psychologists and psychiatrist constantly publish medical findings that abuse victims often take years, and even decades, to report that they were abused as children. Our government only seems to listen when the medical field links cigarette smoking directly to causing cancer, while suing Big Tobacco for billions of dollars, forcing them to discontinue it’s ad campaigns, and requiring all tobacco companies to print warning labels on its products. Ironically, when I light up a cigarette, I have a pretty good idea that because of all the information publicized over the last 20 years, cigarettes are significantly harmful to my body. Yet, there are no warning signs for other organizations that have contributed to the death of so many innocent victims of child abuse. There’s no warning signs above classroom doors, or outside confessionals, or pamphlets available in rectories cautioning children to “Beware of the priest.” Our laws do not reflect society’s need for justice. The Catholic Church pays no taxes and they are almost never held responsible for criminal acts such as child sexual abuse. Similar to victims of cigarette smoking, childhood sexual abuse victims will never know the harm inflicted upon their bodies and minds until years after the abuse. God damn this Catholic Church. God damn our legal system.

    I have explained in the past that through my lawsuit in Delaware I am privy to more information than people find in their local newspapers. I have heard stories of priests inviting young boys to stay overnight at the rectory, while the priests dressed up in drag, and forced the young boys to do the same. Many times, the parties ended with one or more of the boys being sexually abused. Some were gang-raped by as many as five priests at once. Others were forced to sleep naked on top of sleeping bags or in the priest’s beds. I have listened to victims talk of being naked with a priest and sitting in his room in the rectory with the door open and other priests walking back, looking in, and just walking passed. Can you imagine? It’s as if another priest walked in on a Monopoly game and didn’t think twice about it and left. Not one priest helped that little boy. Not one! I’ve heard so many stories of abuse. Too many stories of abuse. I have been angry with my fellow victims and I’ve cried with them.

    I’ve heard people say, “There’s good and bad everywhere.” “Bad,” definitely. “Good,” I don’t know about. We were children once.

  9. To answer your question Rich,I simply can’t imagine. Other adults not helping children,can’t even begin to process it. Who doesn’t help kids? What kind of person doesn’t protect children. That is the hardest part of all to imagine.

  10. I read in Q/A where Father Chris answered some questions regarding why priests don’t tell. You know the obiedience to the bishop stuff, brotherly love. Okay, I see what he is saying and I am not saying he knows more. But I just want to ask him, did he ever hear rumors, gossip about his fellow priests, do fellow priests go out to lunch occassionally and talk about what’s happening and who might look like they have some tendencies toward sexual abuse or “boundary issues”. I am not saying he has to stand up on the pulpit and rat out his brothers,(although I think that day, I’d go back to the Church just to hear it) I am just saying can’t he try to organize a group of priests who want to set things straight, start a blog like catholics4change? maybe “priests4truth” ??? I am not trying to start an argument or war here against Father Chris or priests like him , I just would like to know what is deep within his/their heart(s) and mind(s) about clergy sexual abuse, that’s all.

  11. Haditcatholic posted in part: “When it does not, one is morally obliged to withdraw one’s membership and support. This need not evolve into a struggle with one’s faith.

    One’s faith-struggle is not relevant to this website. But one’s church-struggle is. It is not enough to “take a stand and speak up” on behalf of victims and children while maintaining one’s membership in, and support of, an organization that relentlessly impedes their well-being

    There is nothing the church likes better than its ability to arrest the full expression of the laity’s conscience. Our paralysis fuels its agenda, and maintains the continuity of its modus operandi. ”
    There is a lot of wisdom in that I believe. What I add to this is : to extricate from membership without finding the truth that has been robbed from you by the interlopers leaves you no better off, or worse off. Too bad but we do have to admit we have been wrong in who we have followed and what we have accepted as tenets of faith. But that is exactly [emphasis without caps here] what God says to us in the gospel of grace: All have sinned, all. There is nothing you can do to save yourselves but I, I God, I Christ have done something that when you believe it , I accept you in The Beloved, I wash you white as snow. When we can believe this and we are changed , become “a new creature in Christ” then we are freed from all our past mistakes, sins and wrong beliefs. As Paul said to the Phillipian jailor when he cried out “What must I do to be saved?” Paul said “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
    Acts 16:31.

    • Gerald, As moderator I would like the comments to focus more fully on the clergy sex abuse issue. Leaving the Church is certainly one option for Catholics and I encourage people to discuss their struggle with it. But this site isn’t meant to serve as a recruitment area for other faiths. You may not believe there is a distinction between your comments and the scandal but you’ll have to save that for your blog.

  12. Susan wrote: “But this site isn’t meant to serve as a recruitment area for other faiths. ”
    Fair enough Susan, I respect you and the others here for what you do.
    As you say in the quote- my faith [the faith of Jesus Christ] definitely is “other” than the faith of Catholicism.

  13. In an effort to possibly save others from committing suicide or some other self-destructive measure; I’m trying to get in touch with memebrs of the Pittsburgh Diocesan Review Board for clergy abuse. I want to share my information with the board that I have collected over the past 22 years of investigating clergy abuse. A priest by the name of DiNardo refuses to provide with with any contact information for board members. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Mike Ference
    mike@ferencemarketing.com
    412-233-5491

    • Mike,

      “When people show you who they are, believe them.” Maya Angelou

      The fact that a priest will not disclose who serves on the review board speaks volumes and tells you everything you need to know about how the diocese is run.

      I second what victims4justice has shared with you. Go to civil authorities or bishopaccountability.org. If your goal is to protect children, then going to the review board would be a step in the wrong direction. Don’t trust their words….trust their actions. And their actions tell you they are not forth-coming. It’s not just DiNardo…it’s systemic. We know this, because we’ve been there, done that.

  14. Victims4Justice.org Reply August 14, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I know you Mike Ference. I’m not quite sure how I know you, but give me a couple of days and I’ll figure it out.

    As to contacting the Diocesan Review Board in the hopes that you may be able to sway them with information that could be used against any certain priest, I think you’re probably pissing in the wind. The Board only cares about protecting the Church from scandal and saving face. If you want to do something truly powerful with that information in the hopes of saving victims from suicide, give the information to Bishop-Accountability, or to the media.

    If anyone has information on any child abusing clergy who are not known to the public or organizations like Bishop-Accountability should hand over that information. It may save another child from abuse.

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