Please Attend First Friday Vigil for Survivor/Victims and to Protect All PA Children


Voice of the Faithful Greater Philadelphia invites everyone to attend the First Friday Vigil on Friday, Oct. 7, 2011 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Philadelphia Archdiocesan offices, 222  N. 17th St.Philadelphia, PA, 19103 to support all victim-survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and support House Bills 832 & 878. These bills would better protect all the Commonwealth’s children and allow adult victims of childhood sexual abuse – by anyone – access to justice in civil court.

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9 Responses to “Please Attend First Friday Vigil for Survivor/Victims and to Protect All PA Children”

  1. If anyone in the Chester County area needs a ride, just contact Susan using the ” contact me” link above. I would be happy to drive a carload of people to the vigil. Susan gets inundated with emails each day so just put “carpool” in the email subject line and she will forward on to me.

  2. My best from Long Island, NY on your vigil. I wish I could be there. I hope future rallies will be held outside Seth Williams’ offices or the Philly court house. Chaput pays no notice to your vigils. Perhaps DA’s and judges that need your future votes will pay more notice. I think they will. Please think of giving it a try.

  3. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply October 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Based on what occurred recently re the “standing ovation” for Msgr. Lynn, I believe a very effective, meaningful and appropriate gesture to indicate our support for abuse victims, their families and all of our children would be to attend a particular Mass at St. Helena’s in Blue Bell. This would be a “prayerful” protest and the pastor would be notified of our group’s intention to attend Mass and pray for the victims and our children. If a date were set several weeks from now, then arrangements could be made to design, produce and purchase some article of clothing, whether it be a ribbon, button, or even a shirt with a sincere, simple Christian message which describes what we are advocating and praying for. I would be interested in what others think of this idea.

    I would like to see such an event held regularly at different churches throughout the archdiocese on Sundays in the upcoming months and not just in response to a particular incident such as that involving Msgr. Lynn at St. Helena’s.

    • I’ve been thinking about something along the same lines. Sort of.

      I was thinking that we should get 200 people and attend the Mass at the Basilica at which Chaput regularly presides. We do not alert the church, we do not alert the media. We attend Mass respectfully, we sing and pray just like everybody else. Then, when Mass ends, Ita Missa Est, we stay in our pews. We do not leave. We sit in silence. For as long as it takes until Mr Chaput meets with with us. We designate someone to call the media after Mass ends. Let’s see the cash-strapped Philadelphia justice system arrest 200 Catholics for misdemeanor trespass.

      If the silence is too forbidding we can read Mr. Belilaqua’s deposition out loud.

      • Say Chaput meets with us (the 200 people). Say we all designate you, Charles, as the person who will initiate our conversation with Chaput. What will you say?

      • Charles and Mike,
        Love those ideas. Do you think catholics would do it?

        If the intent is for catholics to take back their church, then they do so inside the church, not outside.

        If the goal is for all children to be safe, then that has to come from the outside of the church, because they’ve shown they won’t do it internally.

        Great idea.

        My husband made a t-shirt that read, “I survived Bishop ******* 09, 08, 07, 06, 05..” Oh, the wonderful conversations that t-shirt sparked! Catholics wanted to know…

        Before I left the church and I was still “begging” the church to do the right thing, I had an idea of doing a reverse collection…put down on a piece of paper all the things you are not giving to the church…the amounts of $, things you won’t support, children who won’t be attending the catholic schools, etc., place it in the collection week after week with a note at the bottom…”I am the church.”

        Over the years, I’ve learned…the rcc doesn’t care. That simple truth freed me from begging a CHURCH to do the right thing.

        So, I think if catholics organize and do so within the walls of the church…it could be very powerful, not as a method to make the hierarchy hear them, but more of a statement that they are the church!

  4. “Archbishop, you were installed one month ago and have been actively, and publicly, engaged in the opposition of the Federal HHS Mandate, the defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the expansion of church-state relations. You have met with legislators in Harrisburg and gone on retreat. Yet you have been silent on the issue-of-the day here in the Church in Philadelphia: the abuse of children at the hands of the clergy. Indeed, the only news that we have heard is a newspaper account of your vocal support of Mr. Lynn at a recent meeting with the clergy. What, here, today, can you tell us about the status of each of the individual priests who have been “suspended”, for lack of a better word, by your predecessor? I am not asking you to comment on the cases currently before the Courts but, rather, each of those that we were told were being investigated, aggressively, internally. Can you please tell us where on the learning curve you are with regard to this pressing problem? Prior to your installation you stated that you had not yet read the Grand Jury Reports and the depositions to which they refer. Have you now read those documents in their entirety? Have you read all of the files in what are known as the “Secret Archives”? Finally, although you have not publicaly discussed the issue of child abuse at the hands of the clergy with the people of the diocese, have you discussed the issue with outside counsel at Stradley Ronon?”

    • Charles,

      Thank you. The questions you raise are excellent. Why Chaput thinks it is acceptable to not have already addressed each of them boggles the mind. As Jerry said… they aren’t as smart as they think.

      Say you were alone in a room with Lynn. What would you say to him?

      • “Monsignor, At your ordination your hands were anointed with chrism and bound together with linen, thus sealing your priesthood. Years later, those same anointed hands would hold, time and time again, letters, memos, and reports containing the filthy details of the sexual deviance of your brother priests. Indeed, those same hands that trembled when they first held the Host, would, time and time again, firmly hold the pen that signed the letter of reassignment enabling a mentally ill priest to sin again. At what point did you realize that your hands were stained with sin, unworthy of elevating the Host, making you unworthy of the privilege of offering Mass; that your priesthood that held such promise on your ordination day, was now over? Do you find peace in reading Cardinal Bevilaqua’s Grand jury testimony in which he praised your work, called you “competent”, said that he trusted you? Even as reports of the sexual abuse of children at the hands of the clergy morphed from rumor, to scandal, to crisis why did you deliberately close your eyes to what was obvious? Why did you not say something? Why did you not resign rather than be complicit? Why did you destroy your priesthood?”

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