14 thoughts on “Archbishop Chaput Says Hello to Harrisburg

  1. This is disgraceful, if anyone should be invited to breakfast with the ‘POLS’ it should be the VICTIMS not the PERPS and ENABLERS !!. Where is the separation of ‘church and state”?

  2. Okay let’s take a quick review. We are a few months past the horrific findings yet another Grand Jury report. Three priests,a teacher and a Monsignor are awaiting trial . Cardinal Bevilaqua’s testimony was just publicly released a few weeks ago and he is now scheduled for a competency hearing on September 12th. Twenty six priests remain on suspension. The financial officer of the Archdiocese was fired and is under investigation for possibly embezzling a few hundred thousand dollars from the AD. And throw in the possible Archdiocesan teacher’s strike for next week. For the first time in Philadelphia history the priest’s of the Archdiocese have formed an association because morale is low and confusion is high.
    Victims have been betrayed yet again and many laity are beyond disillusioned. And how many of the Grand Jury recommendations have been fulfilled? I am thinking there are plenty of things in Philly that deserve 24/7 attention.

  3. Sorry- forgot that the results of the “Blue Ribbon Panel” announcing the future plans for the closing of many schools is also supposed to happen in September.

  4. Why am I not surprised? The fight we’re up against with the Catholic Church and our desires to change the laws will only be more difficult when our elected leaders are having lunches with our evil perpetrators. But who says one is worse than the other?

    “The one time speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives pleaded guilty Wednesday to eight criminal charges stemming from a public corruption investigation. Former state Rep. John M. Perzel entered the plea to two counts of conflict of interest, two counts of theft, and four counts of conspiracy.” – Atlantic City Press

    Criminals conspire together to defraud tax payers and to protect child rapists. Again, the idea of change falls upon us. If our lawmakers fail to hear our voices, we must silence theirs when Election Day rolls around. When the Church disputes our claims of abuse and fails to demonstrate any kind of sympathy toward victims and the further protection of future children, it has been my mission to financially bankrupt the Catholic Church and to yell from the rooftops of the injustices and the tragedies that accompany too many innocent children, who will grow up to be emotionally, mentally, and socially bankrupt. The Catholic Church acts more like a dictatorship than a moral-based religious institution and even our elected political leaders fall for their bullshit. You can’t expect changes to occur until more people are willing to start a revolution and demand that leaders within the political and religious arena listen to the people.

    How much is your child’s innocence worth? Can you put a price tag on the life of your child? Just read the GJR once, and then pretend as if the victims in that report are your own children. What would you do to demand accountability and justice? You can never make things right again, because even if by some miracle the priests involved or the Church actually owns up to the evil deed done, you still can’t change anything for your own child. Justice or no justice, it still remains a lifelong battle. I think the only way to find justice for child abuse victims is to work as hard as you can to make sure it never happens to another child.

    When I first came forward about my own abuse, I contacted the D.A. in Philadelphia. After reporting the abuse, I naively assumed that the Church would care about what happened to me and they would do something about it. If anything at all, I expected an investigation, maybe some history of the priest who abused me, and maybe even the question I’ve been waiting for somebody to ask me from Day 1, “What can we do to help you heal, Rich?” Instead, I was bombarded with a Victim’s Assistance Coordinator who sounded more like an overzealous telemarketer trying to handle me over the telephone by creating arguments rather than offering me any kind of helpful service. Instead of believing that Church officials might look for other victims, I was asked to keep my mouth shut. When it came to providing anything at all for my recovery, it was only because I am related to a high-ranking Catholic Cardinal that I realized I could finally get somewhere in all of this. And, not once… NEVER has anyone within the Church ever apologized directly to me. Will an apology change anything? No, probably not, but it would be a start.

    By the way, about 25 years ago, I was attending a political event in Downtown Philadelphia. It was a school trip for class (History, I think) and when I approached a politician, who if I can remember correctly it was Mayor Wilson Goode, and I asked to speak with him, he said “Got five bucks kid?” If kids have to pay money to speak to politicians, how much money do you think it might cost adults?

  5. Rich, could you share a little more about your experience with the victim assistance coordinator? Creating arguments – not sure what you mean by that but would like to hear more.

  6. Okay, here’s the deal and I will write from my experiences only. I spoke to a Victim’s Assistance Coordinator from Washington, D.C. three times on the phone in the beginning. This woman was nothing more than a hustler. She spent most of the conversations telling me what the Church won’t do for me rather than what the Church can do for me. Usually when I called and left a message my calls were not returned. After demanding some sort of mental treatment from a counselor or a therapist, I got into the position of begging and pleading for help. It seemed to be less about what was good for me and more so what was better for the Church. As I have said in the past, I was often told to keep quiet about the abuse and who my abuser was. Frustrated and exhausted from all the bullshit of waiting and getting nowhere, it was only then did I decide to contact the Church again and tell them who I was related to and if they weren’t going to listen to me, I told them, “I am a nephew of the former Cardinal of New York, John J. O’Connor, and maybe the Philadelphia Inquirer will listen to me.” It was only then did I feel like I had everyone’s full attention. Facing certain exposure and publicity, I think the Church felt they had no other choice but to provide a therapist (of my choice), rather than deal with public scrutiny. Furthermore, often times when I asked the VAC to ask the Church for something specific, when I was finally able to get a hold of the VAC again, she said she either didn’t remember us discussing that or she forgot. I suppose evil scumbags breed incompetence.

    Unfortunately, as for my fellow survivors, I haven’t found another abuse victim related to any high-ranking Catholic priests, and because of it sometimes I feel bad that I could use who I was related to for the purpose of finally getting what I wanted… what I needed. Too bad so many others aren’t related to such scumbags.

    Although my contact with the VAC was very brief, I know other victims who have gone through hell with these people. They care nothing about the abuse we endured as children by the institution their representing, but more importantly how effective they can continue to conceal from the public eye another victim coming forward. It’s all about hide, deny, and lie. The Catholic Church and the PR law firms they hire, like the Victim’s Assistance Program, is nothing more than to create smokescreens and false appearances.

    1. I was reading how Archbishop Chaput said changing the statue of limitations laws in CO were not fair because there were caps on law suits in public schools for sex abuse cases and they were lower than caps on suits for catholic and private schools because public schools are funded by taxpayers. Was this true in the case for DE?

  7. The invitation contained in this topic……..who was it sent to? Are the events (Mass and breakfast the next morning) open to the public?

    1. Michael, It is my understanding that it was sent to the state reps and senators. I can’t imagine the breakfast is open to the public. However, I can’t imagine they would turn people away from Mass. Check with the PA Catholic Conference.

    2. I was wondering the same thing and what were the topics he would address? Law changes having to do with sexual abuse? the scandal? abortion? gay marriage? religious freedom etc?

  8. I’m not a Pa. resident but you guys have 4 weeks to email the Pols and say “you go to that event you lose my entire familys’ vote.”
    Pols show up thinking it’s a winner… convince them otherwise and it’s a no show. .

  9. Archbishop Chaput has often spoken (and previously in Harrisburg) on the importance of Catholic politicians voting their faith. I would think that will be a theme of his address. It will be interesting to hear whether or not he addresses the statute of limitations.

  10. E-mail sent Sept. 1 to kmcfadden@pacatholic.org :

    Ms. McFadden:

    As per the invitation from Pa Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus, I am notifying your office that I will be attending the Mass and Breakfast with Bishop Chaput in Harrisburg on Sept. 27 and 28.


    Michael Skiendzielewski
    Philadelphia, PA

    I believe it would be worthwhile for anyone on this forum who has an interest or intention to participate in these events to notify this representative at the office of the PA Catholic Bishops.

  11. Just this morning, I checked with the Pa Catholic Conference and inquired whether either event (Mass or breakfast) was open to the public. The person in the office, after a brief pause, replied that it (the invitation?) was not written in “that way”, but anyone could attend either event if they wished to.

    I wanted to share this important information with readers of this site, since such an opportunity rarely exists for child advocates to interact directly with Pa Catholic Church officials as well as elected PA state representatives and senators, who were invited to these events.

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