Bishops’ Obligation to Show Pastoral Concern is Spotty

After Archbishop Chaput and the priests’ support of Monsignor Lynn was discussed in court, the Archdiocese issued this statement.

“Bishops have an obligation to show pastoral concern for their people, their priests, and the wider community,” said spokeswoman Donna Farrell on Friday. “That includes victims of sexual abuse. It also includes those accused of wrongdoing, including clergy. The archdiocese fully supports the integrity of the legal process and the need of victims for healing.”

Will the Archbishop and priests show the same support for the coach from Neuman Gorretti who has been charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy and giving alcohol to a 14-year-old student? Will they also show support for  the financial officer of the Archdiocese who was fired in July and is under investigation for allegedly embezzling a few hundred thousand dollars? Will they be given a round of applause as well?

The Archdiocese of refers to the pastoral concern and healing for the victims of sexual abuse. Can they be more specific about that? When exactly can they expect their round of applause?

– Kathy Kane & Susan Matthews

55 thoughts on “Bishops’ Obligation to Show Pastoral Concern is Spotty

  1. It’s now no secret that pastoral concern in favor of the priests is lopsided. Archbishop Chaput when will YOU attend a Vigil and show your pastoral concern for the victims? When will YOU acknowledge publicly through your actions that they need to be healed and supported also?

    1. How about a dinner and a meeting with the victims?Who could be more deserving ? That’s the least they deserve.They deserve so much more. So much has been taken from them.

  2. Clearly, the term “pastoral concern” needs to undergo a metamorphosis. Lynn admitted to his own shortcomings. Are we to accept that applauding him exemplifies appropriate “pastoral concern”? Are we to accept that Church efforts to maintain the statues of limitations on victims of priestly sexual abuse exemplifies “pastoral concern”? The list goes on and on…

    The Church has a long history of misplaced “pastoral concern.” Its intent is entirely self-serving. Period.

    The modern, moral mind is horrified.

  3. Chaput isn’t stupid. He knows that when people – especially church officials – publicly rally around and support accused child molesters, it makes other victims even more depressed, hopeless and less likely to come forward and expose wrongdoing.

    Shame on him.

    1. Chaput isn’t stupid. He knows that when people – especially church officials – publicly rally around and support accused child molesters, it makes other victims even more depressed, hopeless and less likely to come forward and expose wrongdoing.

      Shame on him.”
      How evil is THAT! Words fail again. :/

      1. Good grief. Just because a hater like Clohessy says a thing, you take it for gospel truth?

        Get a mind of your own.

        Clohessy doesn’t know the intentions of the man he writes about any better than you do.

  4. Thanks for staying so closely on top of Chaput’s typical effort to spin his way out his latest insenstive blunder. Chaput foolishly thought he could keep secret his cheerleading and encouragement of accused pedophiles and their facilitators. But due to his arrogance, he has given us a clear picture of how the hierarchy really operates. He has also indirectly made stronger the cases against Lynn in Philly and against the pope at the International Criminal Court. Everyone, including Lynn, are entitled to due process of law protections .A standing ovation led by Chaput is way beyond due process protection. Lynn is surely getting full legal protection; surely more than the raped children he allegedly failed ever did.. Chaput is paying for top lawyers for Lynn, and Chaput’s financial and political clout appear evident to try to pressure the prosecutor and judge. The goal, it appears, is to make sure Lynn doesn’t testify against Bevilaqua and/or Rigali. Meanwhile,Chaput remains a darling of the hierarchy’s apologists as indicated in the article accessible by clicking on to and the comment thereto under the heading “MOVERS & SHAKERS”.

  5. “Bishops have an obligation to show pastoral concern”

    What’s the problem here? The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been fulfilling this mission for many years—- for as long as William Sasso, Mark Chopko and the rest of the crew at Stradley and Ronon have been receiving handsome legal fees from the donations and contributions of archdiocesan parishioners week in and week out.

    Please, let everyone of us on this site remember each and every day that William Sasso has been designated as an “Innocence Protector” on the website of Mission Kids, a Mongtomery County children services agency that supports victims of physical and sexual abuse.

  6. “Being a Capuchin really is who I am,” Chaput said. “If people want to know me, they ought to know the Capuchin tradition.”

    Okay, it’s time for a “little research” regarding the Capuchin tradition. Then we can do a little “compare and contrast’ like in college where we look at the facts, evidence, information, conduct and decision-making in the Chaput legacy with the principles, ideals, values and concepts of the Capuchin order.

    Everyone is free to help out with this very exciting process and undertaking.

    1. I was just reading the article and thought the same thing. It’s always good to understand where people are coming from and how that effects their decisions and interactions or lack of interactions with others.

    2. No, a member of the hierarchy, with ambition for a red hat, is who you are.

      Of course he suggests we look at “Tradition”. It’s a way of us not focusing on the present!

      A book recommendation for everyone in the pews: “Willful Blindness; Why We Ignore the Obvious At Our Peril” by Margaret Heffernan (2011). It’s a fascinating study on why people ignore the obvious. It looks at this phenomenon using examples from lots of different sources – The Church, Madoff, The Federal Reserve, Enron, BP, Nazi Germany (Actually, the segue from the discussion on the Church to Albert Speer, mastermind of the Third Reich is wonderful.)

      1. Charles, my late father was the sacristan at St. John the Baptist Church in Manayunk. He saw Rev. James Dux kiss altar servers on the lips, a thank you after Mass. A late uncle was a part-time sacristan and he witnessed the same many times as well. One day the pastor, Father George Hiller, was there and warned: “Jim, you are going to get yourself into trouble.” Dux: “oh, this is an innocent German custom.” Everybody knew this was going on and were creeped out by out. Yet no action was taken; I will buy the Heffernan book. PS Dux was subsequently identified as a child porn collector and serial abuser of pre-pubescent children. One not fully mitigating factor in the pastor’s favor, I suspect no one in the AOP ever told him about Dux’s history. Martin

    3. Being here, and learning all that is disclosed here about Catholic “leaders” has clarified for me something I probably knew but hadn’t verbalized yet:

      When one starts out to seek God, and invests in, or commits to following a leader toward that goal; after a season one will discover if the leadership you follow is leading to God, or a counterfeit [an idol]
      The “orders” have been following for a long enough time to have learned this lesson; therefore, they know it is not of God. In turn, I will not follow THEM.
      This is right off the top of my head— it came to me while reading Michael’s post.

    4. Being here, and learning all that is disclosed here about Catholic “leaders” has clarified for me something I probably knew but hadn’t verbalized yet:

      When one starts out to seek God, and invests in, or commits to following a leader toward that goal; after a season one will discover if the leadership you follow is leading to God, or a counterfeit [an idol]
      The “orders” have been following for a long enough time to have learned this lesson; therefore, they know it is not of God. In turn, I will not follow THEM.
      This is right off the top of my head— it came to me while reading Michael’s post.

      1. This is getting really crazy— my post was a reply to Michael S. at
        10-10-11 2:24 pm but it was placed in error.
        I suggest Kathy and Susan consider using another blog set-up to replace this one. No editing, no way to correct etc. etc. I use YUKU.COM and it is satisfactory at least.

      2. Blackberries went on the blink, facebook and other sites have the same problems. I hate it also when dropping a letter changes the meaning of a sentence I just posted. Just need to live with it and realize that it isn’t us or Susan or Kathy. At least we have a place to vent and if God ,He is,is with us the inspiration to find a way to protect God’s children.Again, might not be under the right post.

  7. I see a lot of begging. From the laity. “Please do the right thing…think of the victims…don’t you see?” The answer is, “Yes, we see…and we don’t care.”

    Unless and until more people in the pews wake the hell up, THIS is the rcc. THIS is the immoral, spiritually bankrupt leadership consecrating the Eucharist. When people say, “I can separate the institutional church from my faith…is that what you are called to do? I just don’t buy it. Like it or not, your faith is linked to the corruption…you know that whole “when one part of the body is hurting…?” It applies to all areas.

    I briefed my husband about the happenings about what Chaput did with Lynn and then the article…and he totally called it. “They’ll come out with some statement about fraternal support or something like that and it will be what the pew catholics need to stay compliant.”

    And then he asked me not to share any more with him, because “to look to the criminals to do the right thing is insanity.”

    I think people should quit begging and being surprised at the level the rcc is willing to sink.

    1. Begging and surprised………….no. In blogs you don’t get the tone……sarcasm……….frustration………that’s more like it.I know what they are.

    2. I totally agree with Survivor’s Wife statement that the people in the pews must wake up. Chaput is no dummy. He makes the statement that he did not even read the Grand Jury Report (whether he did or not makes no difference) he stated that he did not read it. Oh come on, he is taking over the leadership of an AD in turmoil over an extremely horrific situation and he doesn’t read (or at least admit that he read) the very thing that is on the top of the list that needs to be addressed. Something tells me that he is too confident in his allegiance to Lynn and the others. I am really wondering what’s up and is there some type of deal in the making. More pew catholics need to know that he is taking care of his brothers (actually more like sons) first and foremost. The DA needs to get some letters regarding how disgusting Chaput’s “perp” rally really was to the voters in Philadelphia.

      1. Abigal, your idea of letters to the DA is a good one, but regular , well publicized demonstrations outside his office would be much better. Like with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, the protesters would likely increase over time. Also, I would not really be surprised if Chaput did not read the Grand Jury reports. His lawyers may have told him not to read them to avoid having to answer prosecutors’ or plaintiffs lawyers’ specific questions about the reports. Chaput will be put under oath likely soon and have to testify under penalty of perjury. Obviously, he has been told all that has happened (and may still be happening); otherwise, why was it so important for Chaput to hold his Lynn, et al pep rallly?

    3. To have reached their current level of corruption, the priests and bishops in the Philly AD MUST have really , really been living “high high high on the hog” for a good long time, methinks!

    4. Survivor’s wife said: “Unless and until more people in the pews wake the hell up, THIS is the rcc. THIS is the immoral, spiritually bankrupt leadership consecrating the Eucharist. When people say, “I can separate the institutional church from my faith…is that what you are called to do? I just don’t buy it. Like it or not, your faith is linked to the corruption…you know that whole “when one part of the body is hurting…?” It applies to all areas. :

      Yes! 🙂

  8. Ok, now that the archdiocese of phila has confirmed their pastoral mission , I ask how many VICTMS has the cardinals met with ? Excluding that public relations disaster know as witness to the sorrows .

  9. Your sentiments are right on target. We are opposing a well financed clerical machine. We must stay focused and as united as our consciences permit. For example, some on this blog have had bad experiences with some people at SNAP. For sure, others should be informed about this so that these bad experiences can hereafter be avoided. But if SNAP is just broadly denounced, we are just playing into Chaput’s, Bill Donahue’s, etc., strategy of “divide and conquer”. At present, SNAP is one of the major forces in the opposition. That must be kept in mind when criticizing it excessively. We are only undercutting our own objectives by so doing. I have no connection to SNAP, but recognize their significant role. It would have surprised me if a random group of people, thrown together by different horrific experiences of priest sexual abuse, would have functioned as smoothly as the US Marines, but we have to work with what we find or we are just talking to ourselves and will achieve little.

    1. Jerry, I appreciate your comment. There will be many mis-steps on the way to recovery and real change in the RCC. Right now, let us keep focused on the safety and dignity of children and vulnerable adults.

      And let us remember, too, that where crimes have been committed, apologies, no matter how sincere and tearful, are NOT APPROPRIATE. CRIMINAL PROSECUTION–UNDER RICO STATUTES IF NECESSARY–IS WHAT IS JUST.

  10. We always seem surprised when the RCC clergy act according to their interests. Clearly, they are not yet willing to change and cannot see the Church as a welcoming, circle where all are equal in the Sight of God, all are seeking the love of Christ. To them it is top down and will ever be thus. Pity.

    However, those of us who wish the RCC to be a circle of equals still have a long way to go. Change in the RCC is coming. It will be a rocky time. Let us pray for the grace to accept what we say we want.

    Remember, that when reparations are paid to victims, many who seek justice for vctims, seem to believe that some victms are flying under false colors. That puts us right back in the same place as the hierarchy we so decry.

    Let us continue to pray for the grace to do right by all for all.

  11. “Bishops have an obligation to show pastoral concern for their people, their priests, and the wider community,” said spokeswoman Donna Farrell on Friday. “That includes victims of sexual abuse. It also includes those accused of wrongdoing, including clergy. The archdiocese fully supports the integrity of the legal process and the need of victims for healing.”

    The very credibility of this diocese and the greater RCC in general is in question because of the sinfully unbalanced support of the clergy and vicitims. The hierarchy has fully supported its clergy and offered itself its fullest protection. It has not supported the victims, nor offered them the fullest protection of the Church. The grand jury reports show a history of fully supporting clergy who have admitted to crimes of abuse, with very little – indeed if any – support of the victims. This stance continues today when those that call for justice are accused of being “anti-Catholic”, when victims are prohibited from seeking justice due to statutes of limitation.

    When the RCC throws its full support behind the victims of the mortal sins its clergy committed and its hierarchy allowed to happen, only then will it begin to regain its credibility in my eyes.

  12. Obviously, there are no easy, quick, simple solutions to a criminal problem and a deceitful hierarchy that has been centuries in the making. We are all aware of the power, money and influence that the Catholic Church wields locally, statewide and nationally. I applaud the efforts of all those, victims and supporters alike, who participate in the First Friday vigils at 222 N. 17th St.

    However, I would like to repeat my suggestion that we select an individual parish where advocates and supporters would come together on a Sunday, attend a Mass and display some outward sign of support, solidarity and prayer for the victims and their families.

    And, yes, you’ve probably guessed this by now. There is no better place to start then at St. Helena’s in Blue Bell where our Archbishop Chaput displayed his support for the accused, criminally charged Vicar of Clergy. St. Helena’s parish community and its members must also be reminded in a caring, prayerful way of the pain, suffering, and heartache of victims and their families in just the same way.

    I am not suggesting that such an ongoing effort will be any more effective or beneficial than the First Friday vigils, but, at least, we will be celebrating the Liturgy with parish faithful and reminding them that the victims and their families must not and will not be forgotten.

    As the colder weather approaches, any idea might be to use a scarf or something similar that is wide enough to use on the shoulders or around the neck on the outer garment to display a heartfelt and genuine message of how we feel about the victims, their families and the heartache they suffer each and every day.

    1. Michael,
      This suggestion makes sense.

      If you are “in” the church, the support for victims needs to happen INSIDE the church. The more vocal and demonstrative people are about their support “in” the church, the more it influences others inside the church to join in support.

      I also notice how everyone says, “the” victims… or “clergy abuse” victims. But, they need to say, “OUR” victims, because that’s what they are. They can distance themselves from “clergy abuse” and “the” victims…but, when you say “our,” you are taking responsibility and ownership for what happens to victims now.

      I think I would wear something with “Supporting our victims” on it.

  13. 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 a 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!

  14. To Jerry, there was no reply button so I’m just typing as the next post. I totally agree with you but for anyone who cannot get to the rallies, etc. possibly letters may be their way of letting the DA and his staff know how displeased they are with the possiblity of Lynn getting away with this. Also, I really hope and pray that Catholics and non-catholics alike, from not only Philadelphia, but from all over the country participate in reacting to this. I love the idea of a scarf or ribbon or something visible to let the world know who supports the victims of this crime. I am sure Susan and Kathy will consider this. We need to let the world know that we support victims of clergy abuse and hope that this will begin to end, not only in Philadelphia but all over. I think a tear drop would be an idea of a symbol of support.

    1. Abigail, Please click the “t-shirts” link in the gray bar at the top of the site. It takes you to a secure store where one can buy all sorts of items with the Catholics4Change logo. I’ll try to add more soon. You can also create your own with whatever sayings you’d like.

  15. Donna Farrell, spokesperson for the archdioceses states: “It (the archdiocese) fully supports the integrity of the legal process and the need for victims to heal.” Hunh? Say What? That’s news to me since The Church from time immemorial has tried to hide the truth of its crimes from the faithful and the public at large – ammassing great cadres of lawyers and great pots of tithing to influence and if need be, bully those who champion the victims and the truth. Even now The Church is trying to influence the Pennsylvania Legislature so that the statute of limitations on child rape will remain in effect. Donna Farrell – stop being a mouthpeace for the men in The Church – speak for the laity.

  16. Maybe withenough contributions, C4C can take a nice glossy ad out in the new “Phaith” magazine, with just the blog site address, so that the pew catholics can tune in. I didn’t not actually see a full copy but I would bet my last dollar that there was no mention of clergy abuse or support of the victims in that new magazine.

    1. Yeah, that article in yesterday’s Inquirer about the premier of “Phaith” was pretty telling. The Machine has been oiled and the propaganda is in the mail. No shortage of funding for Communication. They’ve even managed to drag Mr. Foley out of bed as a columnist. If you read the article in a hard copy of the Inquirer did you notice the headline on the article above it? “They Should Have Marched Years Ago,” about the economy-based street protests – but really it applies to us, too – we are waaay behind the curve. Saving our pennies for an ad in “Phaith” is an idea; another would be to actively boycott the existing advertisers. Call them up, Every Day, and remind them of what they are supporting – a Criminal Organization.

  17. From today’s Legal Intelligencer:

    Judge Rejects Efforts to Lift Gag Order in Phila. Sex Abuse Case

    The Legal IntelligencerOctober 10, 2011

    A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge presiding over the second criminal prosecution of Roman Catholic Church officials for the alleged sexual abuse of parishioners is keeping in place a gag order.

    The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office charged the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s former personnel director for priests, Monsignor William Lynn, failed to protect children by shuffling accused sexual offenders to new parish assignments. Two priests and a former parochial school teacher were charged with committing sexual abuse.

    The interplay between the media and lawyers in the second grand jury investigation into the archdiocese was exemplified Friday as Judge Teresa Sarmina rebuked an attorney for giving a quote to The Philadelphia Inquirer .

    The Inquirer ran a story last week reporting that Lynn “drew words of encouragement from Philadelphia’s new archbishop [Charles J. Chaput] and a standing ovation from scores of priests at a private gathering last month.” Lynn’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Lindy, was cited as saying he was gratified to hear about the ovation.

    Sarmina scheduled a contempt hearing Friday over Lindy’s quote.

    Lindy, of the Law Offices of Jeffrey M. Lindy in Philadelphia, told the judge that his recollection of her oral gag order was it barred lawyers from talking about the case and he did not think his comment about the ovation was related to the case.

    “My true and honest recollection is, ‘Don’t talk about the case,'” Lindy said.

    He said the event he was asked to give a reaction to was “discrete” from the criminal case.

    “It’s all intertwined, Mr. Lindy,” Sarmina retorted. “For you to argue otherwise really is disingenuous.”

    Lindy said his understanding that not talking about the case meant not talking about the courtroom strategies of either side, the motions or the discovery related to a prior grand jury presentment or the current grand jury presentment.

    The contempt hearing ended in peace with Sarmina’s acceptance of Lindy’s apology.

    Lindy’s co-counsel in representing Lynn, Thomas Bergstrom, of counsel with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Philadelphia, joked that he had the bail money ready, while an attorney for retired Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, Brian J. McMonagle of McMonagle Perri McHugh & Mischak in Philadelphia, said that he definitely did not.

    Meanwhile, Bergstrom tried to get Sarmina to lift the gag order on the case, arguing that she should lift the order so attorneys could talk about matters that are of record in the case.

    Bergstrom said that he was not part of Lindy’s decision to give the quote. But, Bergstrom said, there is still merit for Sarmina to lift a gag order that was first entered by former Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes and then renewed by Common Pleas Court Judge Lillian Ransom.

    Bergstrom and other defense lawyers in the case have complained that grand jury evidence, some of which will ultimately be used in trial, was released despite the gag order.

    Sarmina said she did not have jurisdiction over whether the release of the grand jury evidence went beyond the judicial orders allowing it to be used for trial.

    Sarmina rejected Bergstrom’s arguments, saying that members of the press are not “unsophisticated bystanders” who are incapable of understanding the case.

    On a separate track, Sarmina ordered that Bevilacqua can be examined by the prosecutors’ medical expert. Prosecutors have made a motion under Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 500 to preserve Bevilacqua’s testimony.

    While Bevilacqua is not charged in the case, Lynn was the personnel director for priests when serving as secretary for clergy under Bevilacqua’s tenure leading the archdiocese.

    According to the grand jury report, Bevilacqua’s counsel, William Sasso of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young in Philadelphia, testified that Bevilacqua has dementia and does not always recognize Sasso when he visits. Sasso also testified that Bevilacqua’s doctors said any testimony he would give to the grand jury would be unreliable, the report said.

    Prosecutors have said that the cardinal could act one way with his physicians in order to make it seem that he is incompetent but act more cogently with others.

    Sarmina said that she assumes Bevilacqua is competent and the burden will be on Bevilacqua’s advocates to show that he is not competent. A status conference is scheduled for November on Bevilacqua’s potential testimony.

    Sarmina has also held in abeyance, for now, a motion to change the trial’s venue.

    Prosecutors argue that Lynn is criminally culpable. They allege priests were able to abuse children because Lynn, Bevilacqua and other church officials did not respond to reports of inappropriate emotional intimacy or direct sexual abuse by moving the alleged abusers out of contact with children; reaching out to law enforcement; or initiating stringent internal investigations.

    One adult victim in his 20s reported that he was sexually assaulted by two priests and a parochial schoolteacher during the 1998-99 school year at St. Jerome School in Philadelphia when he was a fifth-grader. Another adult victim in his 20s reported that he was sexually assaulted by a priest, who had developed a close friendship with his family, during a sleepover at the priest’s apartment in 1996.

    Prosecutors have charged two priests, the Rev. Edward Avery and the Rev. James Brennan, whom Lynn allegedly failed to supervise. Avery, of Haverford, has been charged with raping and assaulting a victim given the pseudonym of “Billy” in the grand jury report. The Rev. Charles Engelhardt, of Wyndmoor, also was charged with raping and assaulting the same victim. Former parochial school teacher Bernard Shero, of Bristol, was charged with raping and assaulting the same victim.

    Brennan, of Linfield, was charged with raping and assaulting the second victim, Mark Bukowski.

  18. FYI

    Still gaps . Think Childs, MD is in that Diocese – should they be listed? Meagans list in MD was down so I could compare that to this list There are still some good priests just like there are some pew catholics that are sending their letters to support the House Bills – They are worshipping God, not those men on the altar.

    Also, how many of these religious and employees have STDs and other diseases? A few of the religious may have had AIDS. How does this relate to the new Archbishop’s concern for his flock? Still remember the pain in some kid’s eyes when I told the kid that that person still needs to be tested for AIDS, several tests. Sorry, they don’t get it, these are people made in the image and likeness of God – Doesn’t he see God in these victims?

    1. Ed, Great question. I know I see Christ in the face and story of every victim. I am proud to stand with them I will treat those who have been harmed with compassion and understanding. If I am true to what I have been taught then I will not abandon those who have suffered. It seems like the most basic and simple lesson of the Catholic faith.How that message can become so twisted is beyond me.

  19. No house bills? Look at the “settlement” in DE gets me sick.

    “But co-counsel Stephen J. Neuberger expressed concern that two of the men have been moved from a Maryland farm to Washington, D.C.

    “Two are still on the farm, but we also expect them to be set loose soon,” he said.”

    I am so damn sick.

  20. “over a 9-year period beginning in 1976, when he was 8 years old”

    “O’Neill would be removed from his post at Salesianum, receive psychotherapy and not be put in a position in which he would be around other children”

    “O’Neill was deposed again in December after Superior Court Judge Calvin Scott Jr. ruled that he must answer questions about alleged incidents of abuse in Delaware and New Jersey, but not other states, because the criminal statute of limitations in those two states has expired”

    Is one of those states PA?

    also, little about Robert Drelich – where did he abuse at? Would that open a large can of worms?

    FYI I was an Oblate in the late 70’s & early 80’s and was stationed in DC and there is a lot that Father Doyle didn’t write about what was happening there. Also, attended a minor seminary in the 60’s. Sorry, thought that the church would actually care when the people where outed.

  21. Sorry to keep harping on this but the “suspended” 21 are all out there somewhere doing whatever they want. What’s to keep any of them from fleeing the country if they decide that things may not be going in their favor. So, who did or is keeping track of their actions while they are on their “administrative leave” (Really!!)???????? Don’t you think we should at least be informed of what they are accused ? (even if they don’t mention each and everyone by name and the complaint) I think we are entitled to know what type of complaints are out there.

    1. You are so right, Abigail. Children are still at grave risk. A suggestion for you and other C4C bloggers. Considering sending e-mails to express your concern to the attorney, Gina Maistro Smith, at Gina is a mother of five and was formerly the Philly DA’s office’s expert on child abuse cases. She is reviewing the current cases for the Archdiocese, which in theory includes all Philly Catholics. She may not be in a position to reply due to her confidential obligations, but I would expect she would give your concern serious consideration and do what she could to alleviate your very legitimate concerns.

    2. I believe it is standard practice to publicly name those criminally accused of abuse crimes once a criminal charge has been made. This allows other victims an opportunity to come forward and allow a more complete profile of the accused, as was the case with a Bucks County abuser last year (not church-related). I don’t believe it is standard practice to publicly name those accused while an investigation is taking place before a criminal charge has been made. I may be wrong about that, though… just going on what I see in the papers generally. Someone with more experience in this field – journalism, police, DA – may shed some light on these norms.

      The problem goes back to the SOL… because SOL may have expired in many of these accusations, no criminal charges can be made. The Catch-22 is that we are all left in the dark about possible patterns of abuse.

      I am sensitive to the concerns about innocent clergy/staff being falsely accused. It does happen and it is devastating. This is why it is important to have a valid and reliable investigation process in place of all allegations by those properly trained in handling such investigations… the police and Child Protective Services.

      The RCC hierarchy laments the “guilty until proven innocent” characterization of those accused of abuse, and uses this as an excuse to limit its transparency. What it does not seem to acknowledge is that its history and continued mishandling of allegations — highlighted in the Grand Jury Reports — is what has led to our mistrust. To turn this around, the RCC must be transparent in its actions.

      1. Well said, Laura. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is only a criminal law requirement that our society says we must meet to imprison someone. The standard for suspending and investigating someone who deals with kids against credible abuse allegations is much lower. If the bishops promptly referred the allegations to the police, the police would have investigated quickly, confidentially and professionally. The innocent priests would have been cleared early by a transparent process. Instead, bishops for selfish reasons (including in some cases trying to hide the bishops’ own crimes) tried to bury the allegations, and some pedophile priests hen just continued to rape kids. This approach has made innocent priests “collateral damage” of the bishops’ selfish policies. Since few if any priests blew the whistle on their pedophile “brothers” that most priests had to have had some awareness of, it is hard for many Catholics to have great sympathy for any priest. At the end of the day, in our government they are still entitled to their due process of law rights, but little else, I am afraid.

      2. Well put. There are a few not guilty priests that are still hounded so watch and report, read articles and post or send information to the appropriate person.Don’t stalk or demonstrate against the predators(except with legal advise) – but do support the victims. I posted several well worded articles on other blogs been told I was very close to crossing the line with Meagan’s law ie pre 2006 conviction. Also for those who get curious, don’t research Drelich’s case – not sure but his victims need their privacy – another catch 22 and not hurting the victim is my first concern..Just making sure his name is out there for other victims

  22. Keep harping. Great dicussions but our mission is to protect kids and unless we know where they(predators) are our kids are not safe. I didn’t write three entries to see my name, want others to “watch” the Philly 21 like I watch my old religious congregation.

  23. Reposting this information so that all may be aware; info is relevant to the topic “Bishops’ Obligation to Show Pastoral Concern is Spotty”

    1. Just got word,……agenda set for 10/18/11 Judiciary Committee hearings in Harrisburg in PA House, and of course, all you gambling fools out there who actually care for our children, we LOST again. No 832 or 878 on the agenda.

    Speaking with the office staff quite regularly there at Rep. Marsico’s office, whether the district or Harrisburg office, I had an idea……….I recommended that all personnel working for Mr.Marsico should bring pictures of their children and grandchildren to work and place them on their desks and office walls. But the sad, tragic and disheartening fact is that such a display of PA children, even in his own offices, would not make a bit of difference to Rep. Ron Marsico. Do you think that Rep. Marsico will ever prove this writer wrong?

    The simple fact of the matter re this topic……….the Bishops DO NOT HAVE AN OBLIGATION to show pastoral concern to the victims. A review of the history of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church clearly demonstrates this.

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