Archbishop Chaput Acknowledges Lynn But Not Victims

According to the following article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Archbishop Chaput extended support to Msgr. Lynn during a private Mass for priests. Why is the suspended priest, on trial for alleged conspiracy, more worthy of a shout out than the many survivors and victims of clergy sexual abuse? Where was Archbishop’s prompt to offer them support? Where is the prompt to offer support and prayer for those in the pews still struggling with all that has been exposed? If this is leadership by example, then we can expect more of the same ministry from our parish priests on this matter. Not much to none.

More cynically, was this a placating pep rally? Msgr. Lynn is a string that unravels the rug this has all been swept under. Bolstering his spirits surely tops the priority list.

114 thoughts on “Archbishop Chaput Acknowledges Lynn But Not Victims

  1. Par. No suprises here.

    They embarrass themselves and God…and are so arrogant they don’t even see it.

    Who gets the honor of telling them they have toilet paper hanging out the back of their pants as they parade around?

    1. When I read this article this morning I was almost physically sick. How despicable is a bishop who publicly supports a man who knowingly allowed sexual abuse by priests to continue?! I find it hard to believe that he would not even have the shepherding skills to at the very least tell the victims that he will do the best he can to help them heal. Even if those were empty words, like the pope’s, at least the offer would have been better than nothing. And certainly better than publicly supporting Lynn.

    2. All I can say is Abp Chaput has real chutzpah to mention Lynn at all and a standing ovation from the priests, well, that’s the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, what else is there to say?

      “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.”

      The cover-up has been going on for for almost a century in Philly. I doubt that many rank and file priests have read either of the Grand Jury Reports. Look, Rigali told Catholics via the Philly Inquirer NOT TO READ IT WHEN IT WAS FIRST RELEASED. No doubt priests and the sems were forbidden to go near it. Then there was the what, the 76 page rebuttal?

      Accountability & Transparency, Morality and Ethics have all gone down the tubes. I’ve been down in the courtroom in the Criminal Justice Center for every session but one and I’ve seen the fawning attitude toward Lynn from the gaggle of priests around him.

      Well maybe I’ll see everyone tonight in Plymouth Meeting, tomorrow morning in the courtroom or from 12 noon to 1 p.m. for the First Friday Vigil on the pavement outside of 222 N. 17th Street.


      Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
      Advocate for Victims & Legislative Reform

    3. I just am rocked back— when I frst saw this post there were 3 [three] comments, and now I see 93! How can I miss all that? Anyway. …

  2. This is almost unbelievable, but given the Philly Archdicese’s record for decades, not too surprising!. Of course, Chaput appears to have thought the meeting was “private” ,i.e., SECRET, which gives us some idea of how bishops and priests operate behind closed doors. Since it appears from the legal disclosures so for, Lynn may have the goods on many priests, as well as even on Cardinals Bevilaqua and Rigali. Standard operating procedure is to make a lower ranking person like Lynn happy and secure, so he doesn’t cut a deal with Seth Williams by testifying against others.Barely a few days in office and Chaput reveals his true colors. And he recently went to Australia to help sack another bishop for daring to suggest the matters of female and married priests just be discussed.

  3. My guess is that when the story broke, they were more concerned about WHO leaked it, WHO wrote the story, and HOW they would manage damage control of Chaput’s image.

    Just a guess.

  4. Readers should recall some of the details recently reported concerning Msgr. Lynn available by clicking on to Readers should also click on to the recent National Catholic Reporter article about Archbishop Chaput, including the comment thereto under the heading “MOVERS & SHAKERS??” accessible by clicking on to It appears
    Archbishop Chaput and many of his priests may have punched Philly’s dwindling and distraught Catholic faithful right in their gut with this extremely troubling secret meeting. He may have “MOVED”, but it is the Philadelphia Archdiocese that will be “SHAKING” for many years to come. Seth Williams must now move forward promptly to trial and also make sure Cardinal Bevilaqua is not permitted again to evade the independent court hearing on his capacity to testify, etc. The world is watching to see if Philly children who assert they were raped by priests will ever get justice.

    1. A few brief obsevations to some points raised by others, it seems, with no reply boxes in some cases. Seth Williams inherited the cases of his brave predecessor, Lynne Abraham. Seth has yet to prove how forecfully he will stand up to Chaput and his well connected lawyers. There is a court status hearing tomorrow (10/07). Let’s see how Seth does. Also, rallies, vigils, etc. would be much more effective if they were held in front of Seth’s offices or even the court house, rather than in front of Chaput’s offices. He just closes his fine drapes and pays little attention. Finally, Fr. Chris claims he didn’t applaud at Chaput’s secret pep rally, indicating he knew it was wrong. Big deal! Why didn’t he stand up and shout “This is wrong!” This sounds a bit like the countless priests who turned their heads when their pals raped kids. Now all priests are paying for the sins of some. Very few Catholics now trust or believe most priests these days. Ironically, Chaput’s arrogant secret meeting will only help the plaintiffs lawyers in the criminal case against the Roman clique at the International Criminal Court. The hierarchy are nowhere as smart as they think they are!

      1. Jerry I understand where you are coming from about the protests but the First Friday vigils are important for a number of reasons. The group has been gathering for a number of years,I attended my first vigil about 6 months ago. I thought I was there to change the world and came away with a very different feeling. I met and had conversations with many victims,by the end of the vigil I forgot I was even outside of the AD offices – it didn’t even matter. I left feeling that I made a difference in the lives of some victims,didn’t care that the church officials ignored us. I know some Catholic groups have protested outside of criminal court during the prelim hearings. I think there is room for both type of rallies and yes,focusing on those in the law enforcement/legal field that can assist with putting these criminals in jail is important.

      2. Forgive me all! I just wanted to reply to Kathy Kane’s point below, but there is no reply box. Kathy, of course, you are right, The vigils are extremely important for many reasons. Since I am a lawyer, I tend to focus on keeping the legal case against Lynn, et al., moving forward,since I believe the Roman clique and their new Philly puppet will only change if forced to do so by the rule of law.To be honest, I have a few concerns about the independence of some in the Philly’s DA’s office and some of its judges, so it is important that Philly Catholics be attentive and alert. You are also right that there should be a two pronged approach–vigils and demonstrations at the DA’s office and the courthouse. This is a critical time thanks to Chaput’s arrogant and insensitve behavior. Philly Catholics must act now!

  5. We ignore history at our peril. It is only now that the laity are not afraid to confront The Church. It is only now that the laity are not afraid to admit that child rape has been going on for ages. It is only now that the laity are not afraid to “out” priests, bishops and cardinals – even the Pope. The power and control of The Church in times past was too great to challenge. Now the press and the fact that people will not be intimidated, a spot light can be focused on the hierarchy. Martin Luther did this 500 years ago when he nailed the 95 thesis on the church door. Not that the new faiths didn’t try to gain their own kind of power and control, keep secrets, and deny women equality in the formation of the new faiths. The Church will continue its nefarious ways until women are given or take their righfful place in the governance of The Chruch.

    1. S. Reid Warren said: “Not that the new faiths didn’t try to gain their own kind of power and control, keep secrets, and deny women equality in the formation of the new faiths. The Church will continue its nefarious ways until women are given or take their righfful place in the governance of The Chruch.”

      Just how would that “change” things?

  6. We are now certain who Chaput really is. We also know that a large number of priests stood and applauded. They either support Chaput’s policy regarding Lynn, and/or Lynn himself, or they were simply too fearful not to stand and applaud (common behavior in the ex-Soviet Union.) We must also be thankful for the “mole” (also called a defector in place, an informant and in the Mafia a rat) that broke into their secret cabal. Chaput will have to begin the purge. Bishop have you started water boarding the troops yet?

    Now that we are certain of who Chaput is, and that he has a significant clerical following, there is no question of who our enemies are. They must be treated as enemies, and everything they tell us we must assume to be a lie.

    The crux of the matter is that we must do everything legally possible to crush these slimy clerics, and that is best done by undermining Chaput, using every means permitted by law, and I mean CIVIL LAW!

    1. The Mafia had so called tough guys when they were indicted. Some of them ‘turned’ and testified against their superiors . Is Lynn a tough/stand up guy? Will he turn? US Attorneys are better getting perps to ‘turn’
      we shall see.

  7. A large number of priests stood and applauded…….applauded what??? applauded whom??? Shame, shame on all of them!

  8. In our more enlighened/informed society, do we need church leaders/dictums to lead searching souls? Let us be counsel/guides for each other by example of charity; truly giving of our assets to the anawim. Perhaps the mantra best suited to a people of any belief system is: May I live and die in peace. May all creatures live and die in peace,.

  9. I am not at all suprised at Chaput’s antics, nor the overwhelming diabolical response of the high-horse clergy.

    What I am is deeply heart-broken and distressed for the victims of this horrific scene of sexual abuse and cover-up over and over again. My heart is so very much with those of you who are victims that I am going crazy over all of this. I am outraged at what “has been” happening to you and disgustingly “contnues” to happen to you. I want to do something for you. My husband and I will stand with you anywhere you go to protest — I’ll call or cry out anywhere I can. I give them no money — and when I get something in the mail from them, I tell them they will never get a penny from me until they stand accountable to you and fall on their faces in shame and repentance at your feet.

    I want to open my home to those of you who are in the Philadelphia area and invite you to dinner. There are also other people whose hearts are broken for you, who along with my

    husband and I want to be at least some small agent of validation and healing for you.

    1. Jane – Join us at the vigil at noon this Friday outside the AD. We will be posting info about the vigil on the site shortly.

    1. Jane, I hear your compassion in your words and thank you for your love and care for us as survivors. I am just sick over this article. Susan puts it so on target with her response. I would love to attend one of your lunches or dinners. I cannot go to the vigil as I work and must be back by 2PM, I also live in South jersey, not far from the ben franklin bridge. I am unable to take the train as due to my abuse, I have a difficult time being in enclosed places. If you would like to contact me let me know on this subject. Again, thank you for your heartfelt expression towards us.

      1. Vicky – I would very much like to contact you – I’m just not sure how to go about it. Let me know what you think is the best way to do it. I would be blessed to have you come to our home for dinner and spend some time with some of us who really care and are just heart-sick about the horrors you are enduring. Not to worry about the transportation – we will work something out.

      2. Vicky and Jane, I just created an email account ,separate from my personal email. There are times on the site that people would like to communicate off site and obviously most don’t want to publicly post emails,phone numbers etc… If you both email me at this email address I will happily put you in touch with one another. Kathy

  10. Exactly what I expected of of Chaput. As I have been saying, as a memeber of Lynn’s parish, the support has been all for him, and not for the victims, or those in the parish struggling with the morale ramifications of his actions.

    I have said it before, it is hard to sit in that church, and hear them beg for more money to build a new church, complain that only 800+ families have donated (out of thousands), threaten non-sustaining tuitiion increases, if they feel your not giving enough. Basically stretching many Catholic school tuition paying parents to the limit. I suppose if the church isn’t concerned about sex abuse victims, they really don’t care that there is a serious financial crisis in our country. Very hard indeed,when we all know who’s paying for Lynns’s legal defense. Apparently his victim status claimed by those in this church, goes right on up the ladder. Not surprising at all. Demoralizing, confusing, and hurtful….but not surprising.

    1. Agree, Deidre, and not to mention that the salaries and health insurance continued for those “suspended” 21. Also, do the people in the pews realize that while they “sacrifice” to give their children a “catholic education” and help build a luxury church and recotory, these priests are driving around in BMWs, Lexuses, Jaguars, etc. and taking trips to Mexico, Rome, Hawaii, belong to country clubs, have chefs, maids, wear designer clothing, not to mention all the gifts they receive for birthdays, holidays and yes, get this— Father’s Day. YIKES. Did anyone ever ask how much they put in the weekly collection plate???????????

  11. I have not been typing many posts because I am recovering from some health issues, but this article just had me so outraged, but I was not surpirsed. I really know why many of the Philadelphia 21 are out partying and living it up before they go back to their duties. I still recall the image of Seth Williams and Chaput hugging. Sickening.

    1. WHAT??? The Philly DA , Seth Williams, hugging Chaput–And I thought NYC politics was bad! Philly citizens have to express their outrage against Seth Williams’ injudicious behavior and let him know he has seen his last election victory unless he demonstrates he is not under the influence of the Archdiocese and their politically connected lawyers. Demand justice now for these raped kids before more kids are raped. Get out in the streets and make your voices heard like brave citizens are now doing all around the Wall Street area. Just get out there,please. As each day passes, more and more Philly citizens will join you. It’s inevitable.

  12. This morning looked like a glorious God given sunny day! And then I read the front page of the Inky and saw that awful article about Chaput clapping for Lynn.


    I am sick now and am so sad for all our abused victims.

    Did Chaput honor or clap for them?

  13. I believe that it’s time for me (as a matter of conscience) to start the process of officially leaving the RCC. I can’t take it any longer! At the present time I’m looking at the Orthodox Church in America. The RCC recognizes all of their Sacraments as valid.

    More info:

  14. Not to squash any hopes, but an OCA Archbishop in Canada is currently under investigation for child sexual abuse.

    1. Sibyl – There comes a point when it seems as if one has to follow Jesus of the Bible alone, studying and following his life as a private person. This is discouraging indeed. Maybe a small gathering of Christians for support may be helpful.

      Then again, which direction is it to Mecca? Just kidding.

      1. “Maybe a small gathering of Christians for support may be helpful.”

        Hmmm-Sounds like what Jesus actually started and not the heavy handed top down hierarchy of the current RCC.

      2. I’ve been practicing my faith alone for years, now. I would love to express my faith in a like-minded community of people, but that hasn’t happened for me. I’ve been surviving for years on the priestly stole I purchased from a liturgical vestments store, bags of Frierhoffer wheat bread, and the 32 ft. high sheet of glass forming one wall at my home (church/divine-ambiance).

        One’s faith matures exponentially…

  15. How disappointing are both the sympathetic comment by the Bishop and the standing ovation for Msgr. Lynn, both of which are symbolic and revelatory of the clericalism and intitutionalism operating among the leaders of the Catholic Church. Yet, it’s better for everyone that this has been made public. I hope some of these clerics had the grace and integrity to blush and feel shame when this article was published.

  16. Blush, and feel shame. I sincerely doubt it. They have no shame, remorse or anything else. They are who they are. Also to drwho, what is the process of leaving the church? I simply left and no one noticed me until I got a call because they missed my weekly envelope, so I simply told them I cannot support a church that does not support victims of clergy abuse. And then, I was shunned….

    1. abigail – In April of this year, the Catholic Church modified the Code of Canon Law to remove all references to the act of formal defection, the process used by those who wish to formally renounce their membership of the Church…

      …In response to this, the Church in Ireland released the following statement to RTE News:

      “The Holy See confirmed at the end of August that it was introducing changes to Canon Law and as a result it will no longer be possible to formally defect from the Catholic Church. This will not alter the fact that many people can defect from the Church, and continue to do so, albeit not through a formal process. This is a change that will affect the Church throughout the world.”

    2. Abigail posted, in part: “Also to drwho, what is the process of leaving the church? I simply left and no one noticed me until I got a call because they missed my weekly envelope, so I simply told them I cannot support a church that does not support victims of clergy abuse. And then, I was shunned….”
      Excepting some European countries, most places there is no official process of leaving, as far as I know. It is just the baptismal record that ties one to the RCC. As so many others, I just stopped going to mass etc. when I was secure in my biblical faith, and that has never changed.

      I know some are wondering where to go when they leave and I could post a list of Bible churches in the Philly area or anywhere else but I don’t because I feel that is not the point … to switch churches; rather
      I believe one has to expend the effort to find personal identification with Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Everything else will be taken care of after that.

  17. None of the abuse nor the cover-up changes the absolute fact that Jesus Christ is Lord, nor does it change or revoke the Scripture and the Commandments. What God forbids is sin…and sin just as sinful and damaging when the person is 18 or 30 as when he or she is 15 or 8. Sin always traumatizes and harms us whether we do it to ourselves or another or when it is done against us.

  18. We should not be surprised at Chaput’s behavior and by the behavior of those present at the dinner. Sad yes,

    To me it says that the struggle is not nearly over. The need to keep blogging, keep publicising is still urgent. And, of course, do NOT send money, and tell them why. The day of reckoning for them is at hand. Perhaps it will be in the form of R.I.C.O. statutes.

    We must always remember that those in power allowed the wounding and soul-killing of innocent children and vulnerable adults. They knew about it and they covered it up, and thereby, they propitaged it.

  19. Too bad they did not put his speech on utube. Bottom line is he is a priest not a victim and he and alot of the priests are afraid in the furture of prosceution either justified or unjustified. One glimmer of hope. I was looking at the Philadelphia Priest Association website and it does say on their website “if you are a victim of sexaul abuse to call your local police dept. to start the process of healing” so at least some of the priests get it. Thank God. Probably the same ones that linked this to the press.

  20. From SNAP Wisconsin: “There are many in Philadelphia who deserve a standing ovation, however Monsignor Lynn is not one of those individuals. Rather a standing ovation should be given to the District Attorney of Philadelphia, Seth Williams, a Catholic who had the courage to expose the continued sexual victimization of children in his church. A standing ovation should be given to the members of the Grand Jury who listened to hours of testimony about children who were violated and knowingly put in danger. Most importantly a standing ovation should be given to the victim/survivors of the archdiocese of Philadelphia for their bravery and courage in coming forward to expose the crimes that were committed against them in an effort to protect future children from sexual abuse.”

    Beautifully stated!

  21. drwho, I am not trying to split hairs, but since I am no longer Catholic in my heart, mind and soul, I don’t really care what the Canon Code says about my departure. If I need to send a letter of defection to the Pope, I will. I’m just sayin. I still believe in God, just not the church’s gods of perversion, greed, power and lies.

    1. Abigail – I understand completely; we are both reading off the same sheet of music. I posted that quote simply as a matter interest. I don’t care what Canon law, or the slimy RC bishops have to say about any issue.

      Someone, somewhere, recently struck a cord with me. They said that the Roman Catholic Church is NOT the only authorized franchise on earth for The Spirit in the Sky. I was brainwashed into being a RC as a child. By carefully studying the institution’s actions (abuses) for many years, I was finally able to deprogram myself. I’m done with them spiritually, but I’ll never be done with trying to debunk these frauds. I’m doing everything I can to bring this filthy organization, and its evil actions to the attention of as many people as I can.

      1. To drwho: Thanks for the information regarding defection. I know how you feel, I can say I was brainwashed as a child, but what was my excuse as I grew and became more intelligent and aware of things. I hung on for so long but then one day, it was like, an ah-ha moment and I knew my soul would be safe because of leaving the church.

  22. Just another slap in the face for all of us clergy sexual abuse victims who have been continuously beaten down by the Catholic Church and our criminal justice system. If I understand the meaning of “administrative leave,” should Msgr. Lynn have been there in the first place? I thought he should be off on a retreat somewhere. If in any other profession someone is suspended it means, “Don’t come back. Stay away until an investigation is conducted and you are proven not liable.” But in the Catholic Church, I guess it means to fly under the radar and stay away from your current position, even if it means making a public appearance once in awhile.

    My past haunts me every minute of everyday. I exhaust myself with panic attacks, anxiety, nightmares, constant thought, and the letters I write to our lawmakers every week. This has been the battle of my life. What these eyes have seen most people could never fathom. You’d look away in disgust and anger, but I have to look at these things everyday. What have we gotten for all our effort? The top guy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archbishop Chaput, praising the kind of man (Msgr. Lynn) who knew myself and countless other children were being sexually assaulted by clergy members and he did nothing to stop it. If the measure of a good priest, or a good man for that matter, is an example of how the Catholic Church conducts itself, I want to burn it down. If this is the kind of virtue that gets a person into heaven, I’m wishing for eternity in hell.

    Where are the parades and cheers for victims who have come forward to report the abuse they suffered? Where are the cheers from the crowd? Every victim I know, myself included, who came forward did it to protect other children from the same type of abuse. We didn’t want money. We were all worried that the clerics who abused us were still in active ministry, some even around children. We never wanted another kid to ever have to feel that type of suffering, so we put ourselves out there, and reaped the rage of Catholic parishioners for it, but we still continued on hoping and wishing that we would never see a new face at our monthly support group meetings. Cheers for the men who protect child rapists and jeers for the victims who want to protect children from those child rapists?

    We are getting stronger though; we victims, I mean. I can see that after a support meeting in North Jersey last night, many of us are dealing. Thank you to everyone not directly affected by childhood sexual abuse, who has put themselves on the line to protect children. Thank you Survivor’s Wife, Kathy Kane, Susan Matthews, Michael Ski., Beth, Patrick O’Malley and many others who constantly contribute to the protection of children and those willing to stand behind those of us already abused, searching for justice. I find that I do have strength in numbers, and I have an entire army of fellow abuse survivors. Now we’re incorporating those who care about us.

    Regardless of what Chaput and Lynn and all the other scumbags have up their sleeves to contend the guilt of those who abuse children and those who hide abusers, we have something they will never have – THE TRUTH.

    1. Rich ,You are alone no more my friend, I am just sorry it took us so long to join with those who have suffered so much . Peace ,Kathy

  23. Keep going Rich…I stand with you in support and behind you as a voice echoing the truth.

    The ice is cracking with each wrong step they take and that private priest mass applauding their support to Lynn was foolish at best.

    1. Was Fr. Chris at the “private priest Mass”???? Did HE applaud? What were his thoughts and feelings?

      1. I did attend this gathering. Just for clarity, it was not a Mass but Evening Prayer and Dinner. I did not applaud.

        In regard to Rich’s question above, while priests on Administrative Leave have not been attending regular diocesan functions (nor are they allowed to celebrate sacraments publicly), they were invited to this gathering.

        The purpose was for the priests to meet Abp. Chaput. In the past there was a grand dinner at a hotel following the Installation Mass. Abp. Chaput chose not to have that gathering following his Installation. This meeting was overall a very good experience as he began to map his plan for the Archdiocese and took the time to meet the priests.

        Since the article appeared last evening, and through conversations with very insightful and passionate people today, I am struggling great deal with how I “should” have reacted in that moment. Was Christ inviting me to be a more prophetic voice in that moment to my brothers? I have been speaking with my brother priests, with trusted friends who are lay people and with members of my parish family – as well as with the Lord in prayer – trying to understand the event.

        As always, it is helpful to hear the thoughts of those who post here and elsewhere as I continue on this journey.

      2. Oh, if you had the moment back…what would you have done differently Fr. Chris?

        Prepare, because it’s likely that you will be given more opportunities where you’ll have to do the right thing in spite of your leadership.

        In that moment, I think I would have quickly glanced around to see who was not applauding…and that would have been my ticket in knowing who was for real…and who is either in support of Chaput’s actions or the weak sheep following the crowd.

      3. Fr. Chris,

        I respect your journey, and I see evolution in your thought. I persistently confront you because there is hope.

        While the evening was “billed” as Evening Prayers and dinner, and while prayers were said and dinner was had (and Chaput spoke), there is no doubt in my mind that it was clearly apparent to EVERY clergy member in attendance that the function was ultimately intended to be a display of clerical camaraderie, fostering the “brotherhood of priests.” When “the brotherhood” celebrates itself, blind loyalty reigns. It doesn’t matter who’s done what. It doesn’t matter who says what. It doesn’t matter what happens. “The brotherhood” blindly rolls with it.

        Please, Fr. Chris, get a grip on this. Whenever you find yourself immersed in “the brotherhood,” you must be acutely attentive to it. You must critically think about it. You must be insightful, ready and aware. You must inquire into, then and there, how your prophetic voice should speak.

        Beware of the brotherhood. (I know that statement goes against every indoctrinated fiber in your being, but I’m certain that in your rational mind, and in the rational minds of all priests, you understand the truth of it.)

      4. Fr. Chris I agree with survivors’s wife. Prepare……… confession to a good priest, adoration and the prayer of St. Michael. This is spiritaul warfare and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only thing that will strengthen you. I was scared too with some things I had to do.Expect Satan to throw alot of bad stuff your way. The Holy Spirit always comes thru just in God’s timing.

      5. Fr. Chris, I should have been clearer…I didn’t ask so you would feel you had to answer publicly. I meant it more as a question to ask yourself so you are prepared for the next round that’s coming.

        No pressure to answer in a public forum.

      6. Fr. Chris I went to school with Fr. George. I didn’t know he became a priest ………small world. We called him “sparrow”

  24. Lynn is the archdiocese’s/bishops’ fall guy. He’ll be rewarded emotionally and financially for assuming the troubles of the institution and its hierarchy. He’s been indoctrinated to believe that it’s his “duty,”– a real privilege– repaid ten-fold.

    Sick, pathetic, criminal, having a gangster feel to it.

    1. Anyway if Fr. George is anything compared to what he was when he was younger he has the skills, compassion and background to be a good leader for the philadelphia priest association and also to reach out to the abuse survivors.

  25. As these clerics at every level of power betray the children they harmed, they betray Christ who loved and respected children, women, those who are misused and suffer for it.

    Jesus is The Champion and Advocate of the powerless, the Healer of those who suffer wounds and betrayal. He is our true Priest, the Head, Builder and Judge of His Church. All who misuse His Name and His sheep will be brought to justice.

    1. Sibyl, These priests really do believe that a simple act of contrition and being obsolved for their sin, God has forgiven them. My perp priest said this to me when I confronted him. No “firm purpose of amendment” and these perps went to their buddies for confession which is one of the reasons you don’t hear from too many priests in support of victims. It is so sick! All I want to say is God help you when you appear before Him in judgement, your rational will not sit well with God.

      1. These guys ever think of purgatory? I don’t think it is fun in fact I think it is simliar to hell but when it is finally over you get to heaven. I think many of these pedophiles will end up in hell anyway because they were not truly sorry when they went to confession

  26. It’s my understanding that District Attorney Seth Williams has done a good job with the RCC cases in Philadelphia so far. However, how close is his relationship with Chaput? Is his relationship too close to act as the DA when these cases go to trial?

    Should he recuse himself from these trials? Is there a lawyer out there that can address this issue?

    1. The Sunday NYT published a Letter to the Public Editor from Stephen Gillers. Gillers is a professor of legal ethics at NYU Law. He’s a teacher, author and expert on the subject of ethics. The subject of the letter was conflict of interest.

      The money shot:

      “If the public reasonably believes that [the DA’s] independence is compromised by a personal interest, he has an actual conflict. If the [DA] in fact acts because of his personal interest, it’s no longer a conflict, but a breach of trust.”

      In a separate opinion, Dennis Thompson, instructor of government at Harvard, states that

      “The purpose of conflict-of-interest rules is precisely to avoid an inquiry into the motives of professionals. The rules are meant to maintain the trust of those who are not in a position to investigate the motives of the professional. The rules in effect tell professionals to avoid circumstances that we know from experience create a substantial risk that professional judgement may be unduly influenced by improper considerations.It is about the circumstances not the individual.To say that the professional has violated the rule is not to say anything about his motives. It is to say that he has failed to respect the reasonable expectations of the public. That is a serious offense.”

      So, our DA was probably taken up in the moment with the fluttering in his heart at the idea of meeting a Prelate. He’s Catholic and attracted to the smells and bells. The hug may not influence his focus on the prosecution of pedophiles, but at very least it shows poor judgement. And he should be called out on it.

      Letters should be sent to the DA’s office, and to the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Professional Ethics Committee. Or, wait until election day at which point he can be reminded of the ideal of Separation of Church and State.

      1. Does this apply to members of the PA Legislature ? If so what action can be initiated. Is the catholic conference of bishops the lobbying group that influences the legislators a violation of the Separation of Church and State and when the church sends out a voter guide can it also be considered a violation ?

  27. The pastor at St. Helena’s parish, where the event was held with Msgr. Lynn and Archbishop Chaput, was contacted today and asked about the standing ovation for Msgr. Lynn. Msgr. Nicolo stated that Msgr. Lynn has only been accused of these crimes and has not been convicted. Msgr. Nicolo was reminded that the basis for the criminal charges derived from Msgr. Lynn’s OWN STATEMENTS in the grand jury report where he admitted moving credibly accused pedophile priests from one parish to another, putting other young children at risk of the criminal conduct and sexual abuse of the newly arrived, credibly accused priest.

    Msgr. Nicolo was reminded that a standing ovation for Msgr. Lynn was an outrage and insult to those victims and their families, whose lives, spirits and worlds were destroyed by the criminal, evil and unholy conduct of not only the pedophile priests but also of those in archdiocesan leadership who abdicated their ethical and moral responsibility to protect other children from further danger and exploitation.

    Oh, by the way, St. Helena’s Parish is also known as “SASSOVILLE”. Wonder whether William Sasso was there at the soiree? Did he applaud for Msgr. Lynn? Or did he applaud for the handsome legal fees?

    1. “Msgr. Nicolo stated that Msgr. Lynn has only been accused of these crimes and has not been convicted.”

      Watch, those same SOB’s that gave Lynn a standing ovation that night, will do the same when Lynn is lead away in shackles, WORTHLESS, IMMORAL, COWARDLY PIGS!

      Sieg Heil !!!! Sieg Heil !!!! Sieg Heil !!!!

      The German-English translation means “hail victory.” The Nazi meaning is “we will win” or “we salute the highest.”

      The other night you DEVIL PRIESTS saluted your Führer.

    2. Two thumbs down so far. I can’t help but wonder if any of those thumbs were involved in the standing ovation.

    3. Michael, I wonder if the same would be true for the coach at Gorretti who is accused but not yet convicted. Do you think he will be welcomed at the high school Christmas party and recieve a standing ovation? And the CFO of the Archdiocese who is under investigation for embezzling a few hundred thousand dollars- only accused not even formally arrested yet. Would she recieve a standing ovation if she visited 222 N. Broad? We all know the answer to these questions.

      1. Point taken Kathy. We must never forget that priests are members of a Brotherhood. Only an exceptional priest will EVER break ranks with the Brotherhood. ANYONE OUTSIDE OF THE BROTHERHOOD COMES SECOND TO A BROTHER PRIEST.

        All most every priest will take the side of the sodomite (if he is a priest), before they will take the side of the child whom that priest sodomized.

        The coach may have committed the same crime, but he’s not one of the Brothers, BIG DIFFERENCE!

        Sorry coach, MEMBERS ONLY!

      2. And that is the root of the problem for the abuse continuing. How blind they are………enablers……… the classic sense……….the only solution is for them to think for themselves not as a group……….when the group is condoning sin.I pray for Fr. Chris and other priests who know deep down that condoning abuse is wrong. They might think they are loving the sinner but not the sin but what they are doing is really condoning the sin………to the point many laity are losing there faith in the church.

  28. Thank you, again, to Susan and the other Catholics who are not directly touched by the abuse but yet stand in solidarity with us. As a SNAP leader and survivor, I know the greatest pain has been not the assault, no matter how horrific, but the response of the community.

    Tomorrow I’m going to listen to a speaker, the Central Park Jogger as she’s come to be known, the woman who was raped and brutally attacked in Central Park a number of years ago. She says the response of her community has been a tremendous factor in her healing- the cards, letters, flowers and outpouring of love and concern.

    While I certainly don’t envy her for having to experience such a horrendous event, I can’t help but notice the difference in how others have responded to her, when her attackers were a group of black men, and how people have respondeds to us. Many victims suffered very violent attacks, and yet the Catholic community overall has not responded with love or even concern. We have experienced secondary wounding because of the community’s response, or lack of response.

    So is is heartening to see there are those who do care and are taking action.

  29. It is heartbreaking to read these notes of victims, victim’s mothers, fathers, those who gave birth to the victim, spouses who live with the victims to nurture them and help them deal with the insult.

    BUT, change comes only when it is demanded as every revolution in history has proven, and is perhaps being proven today in the Middle East and in the demonstrations on Wall Street and in cities throughout the United States. As was proven by Rosa Parks. That marvelous woman who started the movement to bring about equality for Blacks. That was carried on by Martin Luther King and others.

    I don’t mean to be harsh or dismissive – but enough hand wringing. The faithful need to take back THEIR church from those men in power who stole it so many centuries ago when they distorted the real message of the Prince of Peace. Justice is needed as much as compassion and charity.

    There is a role for those who want tocomfort – but a told also and others who want to be involved in confrontation.

    There is

    1. I also agree!! My husband and I are in it for the long haul on both counts. We are in it with heart-felt compassion and caring – but we are also in it with a willingness to confront evil for justice sake for so many victims who deserve nothing less!! We are in it for the long haul!

    2. In his book, A Theology of Liberation, published in 1972, Gustavo Gutierrez coined the phrase “preferential option for the poor”. Based on a scriptural understanding of the poor, Gutierrez asserted that God is revealed as having a preference for those people who are “insignificant,” “marginalized,” “unimportant,” “needy,” despised” and “defenseless.”

      He makes the argument that “the poor” in scripture has social and economic connotations that etymologically go back to the Greek word, “ptochas” “Preference” implies the universality of God’s love, which excludes no one.

      What originated as a rallying cry against oppression in Latin America became Roman Catholic doctrine in 2008 when Benedict told the Jesuits that it was “implicit in Christological faith.”

      Gutierrez, however, emphasized practice over doctrine. He called for a “People’s Church” and called for change from the bottom up. He advocated revolution.

      This, of course, got him into trouble with then-cardinal Ratzinger who wrote that In liberation theology, the “people is the antithesis of the hierarchy, the antithesis of all institutions, which are seen as oppressive powers. Ultimately anyone who participates in the class struggle is a member of the “people”; the “Church of the people” becomes the antagonist of the hierarchical Church.”

      And we wouldn’t want that.

  30. To Chris: this is going to sound a little odd, but I got an extremely heavy sensation to pray for you today. Why? I really don’t know because I do not pray much anymore, sometimes I even forget how. But God put upon my heart the struggle you must go through. You love the RCC, because you feel that he has chosen you to serve the Church (us the people) but you feel at times you feel more loyalty to the priesthood. So, it occurred to me that maybe God sent you in as a warrior for His Church. To help save His Church. When you got all those inclinations for your vocation, you probably never even considered that the Church would be in this much serious trouble. I always thought I could defend the Church through anything, but I could not. I took my disgust and hatred for the sins of the hierarchy and ran as fast as I could. But Susan and Kathy and you and others here, stay, you look beyond all of that and stay. Your responsibility is great. You are here reading all these posts, one priest out of many that acknowledge your priesthood, in spite of many of our comments. I pray for you Chris, I pray that you are one of the good guys for Christ (his name is even in your name) I pray you speak out, I pray you make headlines, I pray you disclose, I pray you help change the RCC, I pray you invite the Holy Spirit to once again dwell in the Church.

    1. I pray that Fr. Chris will consider all of his options, among them, leaving the priesthood. If he is unable to effectuate its dysfunction and corruption, languishing in it is immoral.

      1. I cannot see how he can stay in the priesthood and call himself a shepherd of God’s people without acknowledging the secrets of the brotherhood and persuading other priests to take his lead and change this misguided loyalty to the heirarchy. To those that much is given, much is expected. I hope Chris will follow God’s love of the victims first and foremost.

      2. Anyone who thinks that leaving the priesthood should NOT be among Fr. Chris’ options should take a course in moral theology.

        When a corrupt institution is impervious to change, it is immoral for a human being to continue allegiance to it.

      3. I think to remain and not speak up and not be an agent of change is a complete moral failure. To stay and fight for change is what is needed or this problem will just go on and on.

    2. Abigail, Your comments hit home with me a great deal. I will be honest, I have been angry at Fr. Chris since I read the article about the meeting.I never even thought about praying for him,thank you for the reminder. The reason I am angry is because I know there are priests in the AD who think that this is an attack on the Church,that victims are liars etc…. As horrible as that is, I can see why they would applaud Lynn,they honestly feel he is innocent. My problem is with the priests who do realize the horror that has occurred and could witness the standing ovation and not somehow act on that.
      I don’t know that Fr Chris should leave the priesthood. I know the good work he does in his parish. I know the commitment he feels to his parishioners and the children at the parish school. I think it would be every hard for him to walk away from that. But being a priest is not confined to parish boundaries. If there is wrong being done,people being harmed within the Church,it is every priest’s responsibility to speak up,reach out and try to somehow have a positive influence. That is not happening and for me,that is just heartbreaking on many levels. I had the chance to talk to Fr. Chris yesterday and express my feelings and thoughts. I invoked everyone from Rosa Parks,Oscar Romero,St Maximilian Kolbe, Martin Luther King in our conversation.
      I see this whole crisis in almost biblical terms. We can sit in Church and hear Gospel reading about Jesus and the lepers,the Good Samaritan, and in the meantime what is happening right here in our own Archdiocese could be a biblical story in itself. People have been harmed and abandoned. We don’t need stories from 2,000 years ago, just look at the present.
      I will give Fr Chris credit for always being open to learn from others. I am thinking I might be one of those passionate laity he referred to in his comments. Whenever I talk to him on the phone it is like all of my emotions and thoughts come to the surface and spill out in sometimes loud and passionate ways. Not in any sense an argument because Fr. Chris does not in any way argue my points, just a very emotional conversation. My 12 year old daughter came home from school one day while I was on the phone with Fr Chris, When I hung up she asked me who I was talking to and I told her I was speaking to Father Chris . She said ” Mom,you really need to find some bad priests to yell at, you shouldn’t yell at the good ones.” gotta love kids!
      Do I think Fr. Chris is a good priest – absolutely. Do I expect more from him in this crisis – absolutely. Will that happen with Fr. Chris and some of his fellow priests who are not blind to the horror that has occurred? Time will tell. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

      1. Always pray………. God can do some pretty amazing stuff thru us……we could never do alone. I forget to pray sometimes too but it can be the most powerful weapon we have. God prepares people to do his work ……..I see it all the time………. Confession……..Communion that is what gives us grace……..if you pray for others……..things happen……everything is in God’s time… pray he use you or someone else he will………if they are open to His Will……….

    3. Fr. Chris,
      I will be at the vigil Fri. not to support any organization only to acknowledge the suffering of innocence children that are now adults. I go broken and with a heavy heart. I hope to see you there……..bring Fr. George and any other compassionate priests “Be not afraid” and “Fear not” are very common phrases in the BIble………why? Because of moments like this………………..

  31. Seriously applauding Lynn’s actions is an outrage. He is not entirely to blame, but he does bear personal, moral responsibility as a result of his actions. All this shows me, is that the church continues to function under old big business standards. The good old boys network is still alive and functioning in the RCC. Botherhood, cult, religion? Getting harder and harder to determine.

    How many priests stood up and declared Lynn’s part in this horror to be wrong and not to be condoned, let alone applauded? (crickets….crickets…)

  32. Having read Bevilaqua’s deposition we all now know that the bishops have little real authority over the priests. Let’s be honest: pre-deposition we all thought that when the bishop called a priest, he took the call; that when the bishop said jump, he asked “how high?”; that when the bishop said “go”, you went. But the curtain was drawn back and we read that it was not as “easy” as that because priests have rights and the priest could “make trouble for his bishop.” Good for them.

    So I do not understand why any priest would feel compelled to attend this affair. I mean, it’s not like he is going to be “called on the carpet”. So why would he attend? To give the new guy a chance? Fair enough. So why would he not leave during the ovation? To stick around for the meet and greet? OK, so did he use that opportunity to speak out? Why not?

    What is there to think about?
    Why are we giving wiggle room to the clergy? Some will say that “Oh, there are good priests and we should not paint them all with the same brush.” OK. But these are the same priests who teach us that we are born into Original Sin – that we must “pay” for the sin of all those who went before us. These are the priests who teach us there are only two options Right and Wrong. It is either Black and White – never gray. Follow ALL the rules or you’re not in a state of Grace. So why are we still deferring to them?

    Let’s start by stop calling them “Father”. It’s a title, an honorific. Stop saying “Good Morning, Father” when you pass on the street. “Good Morning” will suffice if you feel the need. Call them “Mr.” in print. Never call them “Reverend” because that is the last thing they are. Stop buying in to the cult of clericism. Worried that this will hurt the innocent? Isn’t that what this is all about? That the institutional church hurt the innocent? Bad for morale? Too bad. Reading the depositions was bad for our morale, too.

    What is there to think about?

  33. Let’s give a standing ovation to the parents and parishoners in Kansas whose attorney Rebecca Randles brought suit against the Diocese for breach of contract – for not abiding by the terms of the child protection agreement made with the families in their care in 2008.

    Here is a quote:
    “The breach of contract suit — filed in Jackson County Circuit Court by 42 of the 47 plaintiffs from the 2008 case — claims that the diocese and Finn have failed to abide by some of the settlement’s terms that were designed to protect children from abuse. The suit does not seek damages but asks a judge to force the diocese to go to arbitration to ensure that it complies with the reforms agreed upon three years ago.
    Rebecca Randles, a Kansas City attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the action is rare.
    “The 2008 settlement is the gold standard for nonmonetary commitments in a sexual abuse lawsuit,” Randles said. “But now we’re wondering, when diocesen officials shook our hands, did they ever intend to fully comply?”

    That is a good question. Experience and evidence tell us that the church leaders will only comply when compelled by the courts and when it costs them a great deal of money and when the truth is brought to light.

    1. breach of contract…an avenue every victim who has had any dealings with a diocese should consider. Depending on the state, the statute is usually much longer than the statute for raping a child.

      If you have a diocese that was paying for your counseling and then stopped…check the statute on breach of contract in your state. They don’t get to just stop paying because they think they are done with a victim.

      1. Oh…another thing about breach of contract and diocese that don’t hold up their end of the bargain…with a little effort and time, consider small claims court. Check the limits in your state…and each time a victim approaches the limit, file a claim in small claims court for breach of contract payment. In that situation, you can subpeona any official within a certain distance from where you file the claim. The official who has been subpeonaed (sp?) cannot send a representative, they must show themselves, or simply not show, in which case, the victim would most likely win the case. Yes, you can subpeona a bishop, a cardinal, etc.

        If you choose to go that route, invite all the media to cover it.

        Not that I would know anything about such things…ahem.

  34. My idea of church reform would be for the Bishop to bring the resume’s of prospective priests to the parish board, NOTHING WITHHOLDING on penalty of law, including psychological profiles, and allow the parish committee to interview and choose their own priests who would also be accountable and transparent thereafter to both Bishop, a committee of Diocesan officials and the parish committee – including ALL private email and computer files.

    Statistics show that clergy are almost as likely to become hooked on pornography as parishoners and that number stands around 30-40%. It would be hard for me to trust my adolescent son to any priest or minister without that kind of accountability and transparency. In fact, safe standard practice should be that no priest or parishoner have one-on-one contact or any contact with a child without chaparones or monitors present.

    The scandal and shame of this is that the confessional has not been holy to those who were supposed to BE holy. But worse, the children were not regarded or kept holy by these supposedly holy men.

  35. Long ago, I joined my husband’s Lutheran church. It now seems very strange, to see how little power the people in the RCC have. We call our pastors, we interview them, we fire them if need be- after all, we are paying their salaries!

    1. The Episcopal parishes operate in the same way. There is great value in Search Committees and Employment Contracts. The Power is less centralized and the People have more input into most of what goes on. It’s not perfect; I worked at Church House for the Bishop of PA and can assure you that it, and it’s clergy, is as dysfunctional as the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

  36. The Lutheran church is certainly not perfect, either, but I wouldn’t say it’s dysfunctional. It’s essentially healthy because it operates in a fairly transparent manner. That’s the key, along with the equality between men and women, laity and leaders, and the main structural difference between it and the RCC.

  37. There has not been sufficient transparency or accountability in any form of church governance for the protection of everyone, children, teens, women, clergy that there needs to be. To a large extent, measures have been taken to increase these things, but they must be implemented. The Diocese of Kansas is an example of good measures in place, without the will to employ them.

    Now that time, observation and evidence in science, medicine and CDC reports, have shown the horrible damage that occurs when GOD’s sexual, spiritual and relational boundaries (that have been clearly declared and set in the Commandments and throughout Scripture) are trespassed, we must stop it and set strict boundaries for ourselves and in our churches. Love and respect are how God’s people reveal His character and the way they are known and seen as different from other cultures.

  38. (Paragraph cont’d – after a certain number of characters, the comment box begins to jump like crazy!)

    …The Diocese of Philadelphia seems to be an example of a lack of respect and love for the children who have been abused as evidenced by the comments of Bishop Chaput and the standing ovation given to Msgr. Lynn.

  39. Father Chris,
    thank you for posting here, thanks to you I am at least hanging by a thread to be a practicing though non-monetary contributing Catholic rather than just skipping this mess. This is coming fom someone who was on pastoral council for 6 years in the late ninties and a collection counter for 18 years until I resigned this year and a CYO coach for 6 years.

    The question I have is: the priests association is having a meeting in a few weeks, will they discuss and possibly condemn the priests for appaulding Lynn or if not condemn this action explain why priests feel the need to appalud and voice approval for someone who by his own words enabled men to sexually abuse children.

    1. Jim, Great question regarding the priest association. I have to credit Father Chris for my “thread” too. My faith in God is intact, but participating in Mass has become increasingly difficult. The applause sealed the deal for a few friends of mine who had been holding on. They don’t want to wonder if the priest on the altar clapped and they can’t trust they’d be told the truth. It’s so sad. I’m not sure sad is a powerful enough word. Perhaps, devastating.

      1. I was thinking along the same lines but I go to church to love and worship Jesus not a priest or a bishop.This situation reminds me of Peter denying Jesus 3x’s.Except in this case they(priests at the meeting) were denying the true victims and their suffering. I pray these priests have a change of heart and show true remorse and action just like Peter. Peter wept and went on to be one of the most faith filled apostles. If I was not comfortable with a priest i would try to find another church to attend.I still need to be spiritually strengthened in this fight against evil. I feel if i abandon Jesus in the Eucharist then the devil has won.Satan likes when we despair and i refuse to do so. I have hope we will see some priests at the Vigil in the near future.These are my thoughts and I respect the views of others.

      2. I am offering my condolences to Susan and all the Catholics of C4C whom are quite understandably hurt by this latest disappointing action of those [priests and bishops] whom Catholics normally look up to and give special honor in the Catholic church. If it were feasible, I would send flowers to each of you; for it is truly a sad day for you all.

    2. Jim,

      Excuse me, but there are several Catholics on this blog and, indeed, millions around the world, who have left the Church due to a crisis in conscience. In leaving, they are not “skipping this mess,” rather they are fully engaged in dealing with it on their own terms, much like you are.

      Your attitude about Catholics who leave the Church in light of the “mess” is a prevalent one, albeit a misinformed one.

      1. True Beth, those in power don’t seem to notice, but I left for moral reasons, and I don’t care if they noticed. I can’t do anything about their behavior, except for keeping it in the public eye.

        The info we (most of us on this site) provide hopefully allows people to make an informed decision regarding the moral obligation to leave or to remain.

      2. hadit ,I don’t like to speak for others,but having met Jim in person and having a very insightful conversation with him,I don’t think for a minute he is passing judgement on any Catholics who leave the Church due to this crisis. Not even slightly.

      3. I am continuing to be amazed how even with the enormity of the crisis in Philly AD, it remains “under the radar” in the American Catholic Universe. People continue to attend mass in every state in the union including my own. My close family gives no sign they know anything of Philly’s problems. EWTN is still busy “calling lapsed Catholics and non-Catholics home to Rome.” Indeed, they are bragging and extolling the Catholic Church and its good works in advertisements galore on radio, Television , INTERNET etc.

        I would think the natural feeling at C4C would be that the message needs to get to these folk whom are oblivious [or seem so.] Ex-Catholic And Saved By Grace

      4. My comments were not directed to anyone who has decided to leave the church.

        I believe the RCC church is a mess and except for hope that there is one priest who gets it and the Holy Spirit has strengthened him enough to speak out and my wife I would probably not be going to church. Since February, I have missed Mass maybe 6 – 8 times which is much more than in the previous 21 years we have been married but it would probably be much more if not for those 2..


  40. I didn’t mean to misunderstand your words, Jim. It’s just that I am constantly confronted by Catholics who believe, because I have left the Church, that I have stopped working for justice and change in it. That is hardly the case, nor is it the case for millions of other Catholics in the world who have left the Church. In abandoning our participation in the Church, we have not abandoned efforts to bring the Church to a state of renewal that is in sync with our conscience.

    Thank you, Kathy.

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