Priests Applaud Msgr. Who Admits to Endangering Children – Vigil Today

Many of us at Catholics4Change are wondering what the Archdiocesan Office of Child Protection and Victims Assistance thinks about priests applauding Lynn during their private gathering with Archbishop Chaput – the very same priests who are being taught about mandatory reporting. While we believe that one is innocent until proven guilty, Lynn has already admitted to moving sexually abusive priests around like chess pieces. Is this worthy of applause?

Any priest who stood up and clapped should rethink. Even if a priest believes the grand jury report to be political propaganda (as many do), Msgr. Lynn’s own admissions indicate a serious failure on behalf of children. That’s no cause for a pep rally.

In previous statements, Archbishop Chaput said he hadn’t read the grand jury reports. Perhaps someone should highlight critical sections of testimony and brief our new bishop. Of course, I think he is quite familiar with the material.

Msgr. Lynn could implicate others but seems to have decided to take the fall for the “greater good” of the Church. The payment of his legal fees, a shout out and the applause are insurance. All the risk is well-managed – except the risk that our children were placed in.

Please pray for our priests. Those who support victims and children will be outside the Archdiocesan Offices at 222 N. 17th Street in center city at noon today. The staff of OYCP and Victims Assistance are welcome to join us.


20 thoughts on “Priests Applaud Msgr. Who Admits to Endangering Children – Vigil Today

  1. Supporters of John Gotti (The Teflon Don) shot off fireworks when he was aquitted of murder charges. The Philly Archdiocese is no different. What do you expect from an organization that allows childen to be abused as sex toys and then covers up the crimes.

    Mike Ference

  2. Right on, Susan. The money, the applause is all insurance. I’m sure Lynn is also being told very clearly by his superiors that taking the fall is his duty to protect the Church. We can only hope that, once the pressure of the trial starts to affect him and the reality of prison shines, he will reconsider and do what is right to protect our children and provide justice to the countless victims. Even if he does it only to protect himself out of fear, revealing all that he knows would be a great help to breaking down the power that is ruining our Church.

  3. Once again, Susan, you have shown your courage and leadership on behalf of Philly’s kids. Chaput has shown in a few weeks what many familiar with his record feared. His first interest is to protect the power and wealth of the Church’s hierarchy. Philly Catholics must now do all they can to get to take back their Church for the People of God. Vigils, demonstrations, and the like are a good start.

  4. I think it is reprehensible that these men think it is okay to laud and applaud a fellow priest who knowingly allowed children to be sexually abused. I seriously doubt that Chaput will change once he gets into the proceedings! There is so much corruption in the Catholic Church, beginning with the pope, that I don’t believe it will ever change.

    1. on vacation, playing golf, having lunch with Msgr. Lynn or praying that this will go away… and they won’t have to speak up about what they know or suspect. In other words, being comfortable under their new leadership, AB, Chaput

  5. With the credential of having survived 18 years in the clerical world only to leave it out of integrity, I agree with your assessment. Many priests lead double lives under the cloak of ideals and the illusion of uncompromised goodness. When they feel nobody is watching, a different reality emerges and they engage in self-congratulatory narcissism. It is no mystery that most priests would never be seen standing with survivors at a SNAP event. A survivor’s courage and healthy sense of self only serve to incite their narcissistic rage.

    When they got behind what they thought were closed doors, the truth of who they really are came out of their own mouths. With every word and action, the church hierarchy and the priests reveal their secret predatory intentions. They like each other. They don’t like survivors nor their supporters.

  6. How easily the human heart and conscience become hardened, even those of priests, bishops, archbishops and beyond. If their hearts and humanity weren’t soiled, distorted and damaged, these clergy would not, could not have acted this way, both the perpetrator predators and the ones who covered up their crimes against God and children.

    This is Yom Kippur, begun within the hour in Israel….the holy day of repentance, reckoning and reconciliation.

    Let us look at our own hearts, sins and relationships over the next 24 hours and make sure we go into Sunday with new, clean hearts, minds, ears, eyes, lips, hands and feet.

    All blessings,

  7. Susan said: “[e]ven if a priest believes the grand jury report to be political propaganda (as many do), Msgr. Lynn’s own admissions indicate a serious failure on behalf of children. That’s no cause for a pep rally.”
    Assume, for the sake of argument, that the grand jury reports were political propaganda. Assume also that all of the other investigations in the country, which pointed to identical patterns of behavior, were also political propaganda, motivated by feminists, gays, and other “anti-Catholic” types. How do you explain the fact that faithful Catholics, who love the Church, discovered the very same patterns that make up the bishop’s handling of the sex and power abuse scandal in the Catholic Church?
    Let’a ask: what was the actual experience of the bishops by Catholic leaders chosen by the bishops to head review boards?
    2003 Gov. Frank Keating, Chair, National Review Board compared the bishops to the Mafia. He said this in his letter of resignation:
    As I have recently said, and have repeated on several occasions, our Church is a Faith institution. A home to Christ’s people. It is not a criminal enterprise. It does not condone and cover up criminal activity. It does not follow a code of silence. My remarks, which some bishops found offensive, were deadly accurate. I make no apology. To resist grand jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church.

    2004 Justice Ann Burke, Keating’s successor, claimed that the bishops manipulated the board for public relations purposes. The NCR headline read: Review board head charges bishops ‘manipulated’ sex abuse panel and withheld information: Bishops ‘anxious to put these matters behind them.’
    The high-profile lay committee investigating the clergy sex abuse scandals was “manipulated” by the bishops, who used the 13-member National Review Board for public relations cover while withholding key information from the panel.
    That charge was made in a March 30 letter from Anne Burke, the Illinois Court of Appeal Justice who serves as the Board’s interim chair, to bishops’ conference President Wilton Gregory.

    She learned that Pennsylvania and New Jersey bishops, including Justin Rigali, were working in secret to undermine the work of the review board.

    Charles Chaput, archbishop of Denver, was the attack dog who took on Justice Burke. The following is from NCR
    Meanwhile, on April 2, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput and his auxiliary bishop, Jose Gomez, responded to Burke. Her letter, they wrote, “assumes the worst motives on the part of the bishops, despite the progress that has already been made. Your language is designed to offend and contains implicit threats that are, to put it mildly, inappropriate for anyone of your professional stature.” Burke’s letter, said the two bishops, “invites resistance”….
    Chaput and Gomez, however, questioned whether such audits are necessary.
    The Charter, said Chaput and Gomez, “nowhere requires an annual national audit and the expense, staff and structures that would involve. We do not necessarily oppose such an audit. We do think it would make more sense on a triennial or quadrennial basis.”
    Further, said Chaput and Gomez, the Review Board overstepped its mandate. “It is not the NRB’s duty to interpret the Charter. The NRB is an important advisory body at the service of the bishops. It does not and cannot have supervisory authority”.
    This is more data about Chaput’s track record on the sex and power abuse crisis; this, from a letter with his signature.

    2011 Ann Marie Catanzaro, Chair of the Philadelphia Review Board, says members of the Review Board learned about the most recent Grand Jury investigation only days before the release of the report. In a letter to Commonweal, she explained the Review Board’s process and how the archdiocese withheld information from members. On the Philadelphia bishops, she had this to say:
    Although concerns about liability can be legitimate, addressing the abuse scandal from a legalistic perspective focused on protecting the archdiocese from liability is simply wrong.
    Cardinal Rigali and his auxiliary bishops also failed miserably at being open and transparent. Their calculated public statements fueled speculation that they had something to hide. Since the release of the February grand-jury report, their carefully scripted statements led laity and clergy alike to wonder whether the archdiocese had told the whole truth. As a result, many Philadelphians believe the archdiocese kept child molesters in ministry.

    We all know the pattern: secrecy, silencing, concern for small “s” scandal (public relations damage), lawyering up, and reminding all around them that bishops have ultimate unilateral authority. There is rarely much, if anything, about the child. I have read hundreds of page of subpoenaed documents and don’t think I ever saw: “How is that little boy!?!” In some cases, clerics reminded parents and others about the need to avoid “giving scandal,” the big “S” Scandal, that sin against charity where saying negative things about the Church, even if true, risked undermining the faith of the “little ones” — us ignorant sheep who, having had our faith shaken, might leave the Church and risk eternal damnation.

    The standing ovation for Lynn could be interpreted in many ways. I see it as a hip hip hooray for clericalism.

    How much more evidence do we need to know that we cannot count on the clergy, especially the famously compliant Philadelphia clergy, for leadership to change this organizational culture?

    When people are at Mass on Sunday how many will look up and wonder: Did that priest jump up to applaud Lynn? Maybe you should ask him.

    1. Dr. Leahy said, in part: “When people are at Mass on Sunday how many will look up and wonder: Did that priest jump up to applaud Lynn? Maybe you should ask him.”

      From years of observation of Catholics in my family, and those attending mass– I doubt they will ask. I am convinced the whole subject of priest sex-abuse is getting the “silent treatment.”

      As has been pointed out numerous times here and elsewhere: For Catholics this subject is so explosive, so penetrating in its enormity for the indoctrinated, that there is no way for them to “handle it.”

  8. Maybe the letter writing campaign should be from the AD parishioners to their own pastors or their own individual parishes, asking the question of whether or not their pastor applauded Lynn. They can let him know, they are withholding their Sunday offerings until he answers. Any thoughts?

    1. Terrific idea, Abigail. But there should be two questions: Pastor, did you applaud. He will likely say No. Then ask, did you stand up and shout;:”FORGETABOUTIT, fellow priests. It is immoral to clap!”. If he says No, he is admitting to moral cowardice. If he says Yes, he is likely lying because there are no reports that even one priest had the guts to object to the obscene applause. Hopefully all Philly Catholics will ask their pastors these fair, but urgent, questions directly.

    1. Come and see next month……………..Got there late because of accident on turnpike. I heard channel 29 was there earlier before I got there.About 25-30 people. A few new faces. Sister Maureen is always there God Bless her! People hold signs and peacefully walk back and forth on the sidewalk. Some pedestrains stop……..some just walk by. A priest walked by us.Sister has a great way about her of letting people know why we are there. Everyone is respectful and somber.There is a goodness and a sadness that the people at the Vigil give off………it is hard to explain. I am always moved when I go to a Vigil…’s just hard to explain the feeling you leave with. You feel the compassion of people that have been deeply hurt but still are kind despite what they have been thru. After they walk back and forth we pray.After that we pack up and exchange stories. Everytime I go down I hear another story of a loved one that has been deeply affected by child sexaul abuse or the story of a survivor and I feel my heart will never be the same. I always leave with such a respect for these survivors and families of survivors

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