I Want You to Tell the Truth


by Fr. Christopher M. Walsh, Pastor of St. Raymond Church, guest blogger

A member of the “Catholics4Change” community recently forwarded me the following questions:  I am asking you and your hierarchy to tell the truth about who the perpetrators and enablers are. Also where does the money come from that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia uses for the lobbying group Penna. Catholic Conference? Why is Abp. Chaput lobbying against HB 832 & HB 878?

Unfortunately I do not believe I am able to provide complete answers to these questions.  I am not unable due to a desire to protect my brother priests or our bishops, or out of a desire to protect the institution of the Church or out of arrogance.  I truly do not know the answers you are seeking although I have been asking some of the same questions.  Based on what I do know, I can offer the following…

At this point the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website publishes the names and photos of priests and deacons who have been accused and whose accusation has found to be “credible” by the Archdiocese.  I realize that this system does not include all the accused, which is a concern to many given the belief of the Philadelphia District Attorney that the Archdiocese’s process was often flawed and left children at risk.

Regarding the identification of “enablers”, I am not aware of the Archdiocese doing this at all.  Again, the various Grand Jury Reports did name a variety of priests who worked for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who they believed contributed to the system that continued to place children at risk (which led to the current prosecution of Msgr. Lynn).  One of the recurring conversations among priests in recent months has been on this topic: who knew what and when (I assure you that those who were having these conversations truly did not know what was happening regarding the victimization of children and their families).  While there is continued encouragement to move forward in faith and seek healing, I do not believe that this can happen for many people until there is clarity and transparency on “who knew what and when”.   Like the person who posted this question, I too would like to know a complete answer from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Regarding the finances that the Archdiocese contributes to the PA Catholic Conference, the “public affairs” arm of PA’s Catholic Bishops and our Dioceses: sadly, the answer remains “I do not know”.  I do not know the budget of the PA Catholic Conference (nor is the information available online) nor do I know the amount of contribution made by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (not listed in the Archdiocese Financial Statement).  The Conference advocates on a variety of issues including: school choice, respect life issues, poverty concerns, marriage and family issues, and I imagine they will soon be advocating on behalf of the Bishops regarding the proposed lifting of the statute of limitations to allow for civil suits against perpetrators of sexual abuse.  In general, the income of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia comes from a few sources: interest from investments, the assessment levied against parishes and gifts in kind made to the Archdiocese.  I imagine that any support for the PA Catholic Conference comes through these sources however I do not know that for certain.

Finally, I do not know that Abp. Chaput is lobbying against the proposed legislation that would allow civil suits on behalf of victims of childhood sexual abuse.  I have not had a conversation with Abp. Chaput about this matter nor has he communicated anything to priests at this point.

As I am able to gain more complete answers to these questions I will share them on this forum and in other ways as I continue to seek a renewed integrity in our Church for the glory of God and the good of the human family.

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143 Responses to “I Want You to Tell the Truth”

  1. So basically, his answer is “I don’t know” – Come on, really? Give me a break. They can’t hide anymore, they have lost so many of their parishioners. My children go to Catholic school in Philadelphia ONLY because the public schools are worthless and there is a long waiting list for the Phila. charter schools. Once my children have graduated (in a couple years) — I am done with the Catholic Church.

    • As far as Fr.Chris, he may in fact not have the answers.

      Hierarchy of a Cosa Nostra clan is ranked as follows:
      -Boss
      -Under-Boss
      -Caporegine
      -Solder
      -Associates

      Just like members of the Mob, each priest does not have the the same amount of information. The RCC and the Mob are very similar in structure. The information is compartmentalized, so it’s difficult to reach the higher ups. Also, even if you do have the info, whether it’s the Mob, or the RCC, rat then out, and you’re done!

      Sure there are good bishops (somewhere), but collectively (including the Bishop of Rome) don’t trust your soul, child, or money with them.

      The sooner that Catholics start treating the bishops with contempt and disrespect, the sooner we’ll be able to repair the Church.

    • PATHETIC: Yvonne, your reaction is both understandable and warranted. Chris’ replies are pathetic for us and for him. His basic reply is “I don’t know”. I believe him mostly. Chaput, Rigali, Bevilaqua and Krol often treated parish priests as morons., but the purpurted morons accepted this to avoid in many case possible retribution from dictatorial bishops. Now the bishops may permit even some possibly innocents priests eventually to go to prison, while our kids continue to be at risk of rape. It appears Chris has two options: (1) Resign, or (2) Organize his parishoners and fellow priests, as is now happening in Ireland. He needs to stand up at Mass before his flock and acknowlege his failures and his weak position before Chaput. He must then sincerely ask his flock’s help to resist Chaput and reform the Church as a teammate of his flock, not as Chaput’s uninformed apologist. At the same time, he must work hard to get his priest friends to do the same and work together against Chaput. Chaput’s policies are aimed at sacrificing not just kids, but innocent parish priests as well. Until then, it is a waste of C4C’s readers time to read Chris’ pathetic posts.

    • I would just like to point out that this is one priest who actually engaging with this group at risk to his standing among his fellow priests and the archdiocese leadership. I take his word on this. Your problem is with the larger Church Administration. the problem with them is that they are trying to limit the financial risk to the church, which is not exactly (irony meant) a human and Christ-like response to the scandal. There are priests who want answers and get treated poorly (like the pastor up in Newtown PA). They are pretty much in the same boat as the laity. As far as the legislation in Harrisburg, as long as any law opens up ability for anyone (not just the Catholic Church) to be sued, then the law should be passed.

      I would also separate the Church leadership apart from the “Church” as we know it. Remember, you put your kids in Catholic School since there wasn’t another option. There’s got to be some good somewhere there. The resolution of liabilities will force more of the closing of these schools. We have a responsibility to shepherd the Church to a more just position. As such I would fight to stay and make change rather than just walk away, no matter how frustrating it gets.

  2. I read a comment that priests are taught to be non confrontational. That was my biggest block in the late 70’s and early 80’s until I took my first pastoral counseling course. Did these priests read the Grand Jury reports? Did they read about what was happening in Boston? I remember in the 60’s my high school friends had difficulty with their Catholic School teachers(religious) and their(religious) civil suits have been settled. Can thses priests understand and able to confront their feelings and put themselves in the place of these victims. Can they confront the pain? It is easy to define oneself as a dispenser of Sacraments, but Jesus did more

    As rape is a one on one crime, proving it is difficult. Before certain laws were passed a person had to fight till near death to prove rape. High expections in the evidence department for those priests is difficult when records are withheld.

    I believe your Archbishop proved his position in Colorado. Not only is he protecting his priests, but the many other predators out there like the pediatrician from Delaware who practise in NE Philly. We are asking to have our children to be protected from all predators and why the Archbishop doesn’t support the two year window? Or at the least propose a law he supports.I guess it isn’t important and doesn’t want to confront that issue.

    I respect you for coming on this forum. Some priests are struggling with the pain of protecting victims and wanting to say something. They need to protect the victims so they may for reasons they can’t explain, not able to speak out

  3. Ed, your comment “Can thses priests understand and able to confront their feelings and put themselves in the place of these victims. Can they confront the pain? It is easy to define oneself as a dispenser of Sacraments, but Jesus did more’

    This comment is probably one of the best descriptions of the priests non response to this crisis – “but Jesus did more”

  4. That’s an awful lot of “I don’t knows.”

    Thank you for answering though.

    But the real question you need to be asking yourself is WHY you don’t know.

    • Fr. Chris,
      You may not have the details about a lot things happening…but you have to educate yourself so you can MINISTER to the people.

      I am angry that after all these years, you (priests, collectively) “don’t know.” Why? What’s preventing you from “knowing” so you can minister? I don’t even know if I trust your “I don’t know,” because that’s the line we’ve been fed for YEARS. You “don’t know” anything, but you somehow know exactly how NOT to respond to your laity about this issue. How can all of you “pick and choose” what you discuss in exactly the same manner?

      Why don’t you know? And don’t lay it at a bishop’s feet.

      I almost feel pity for all of you.

      Ugh.

  5. if fr.walsh cant find the answers and he is on the “inside”,what chance do we on the “outside”have????????????

  6. Let me first begin by stating that the archdiocese of phila DOES NOT PUBLISH ALL THE NAMES OF PRIEST WITH CREDITABLE COMPLAINTS OF ABUSE AS EVIDENCED BY ‘charles newman and regiz howitz’ not being on the list , both were franscians assigned at archbishop h.s in Northeast Phila, the loophole is that they were not ‘roman catholic’ priests. Second your statement of “I am not unable due to a desire to protect my brother priests or our bishops, or out of a desire to protect the institution of the Church or out of arrogance’ clearly defines your position and devotion to the hierarchy which is the problem. I don’t know why you responded as you write many words and say nothing. You fail to mention the amount of money the catholic charities receives from the Federal Government. I like the comment : “The Conference advocates on a variety of issues including: respect life issues’ even though the archdiocese has enabled and protected the abusers, what a contradiction, until you have answers I would ask that you keep quiet as your missive is nothing more than ‘ GASEOUS RHETORIC’ ! I am not going to continue writing as I disgusted with you and your bullshit mr. walsh !!!!!

    • I have attended rallies only for two causes – a pro life demonstration when I was in high school and now the rallies in support of justice for victims and protection of children.I value all life,the unborn,the children,elderly. I don’t think someone has the right to call themselves pro life if they are not advocating for the lives that have been ruined by child sex abuse and the safety of children at present. We can’t undo the past but we can PROTECT CHILDREN today.
      At the press conference in Harrisburg yesterday we were joined by an Orthodox Jewish rabbi from New York. He has been ostracized from his community for his efforts in protecting children within the Jewish community from child sex abuse. He told us that some rabbi’s are now understanding his efforts and are becoming sympathetic to his cause. For some time he has been unable to perform many of his duties as a rabbi and has had to worship in his own home but that God is with him wherever he worships.
      We were not joined by any clergy from the Catholic Church however we have been informed that either the Archdiocese or Pennsylvania Catholic Conference sent a local PR person to observe the press conference. Typical response – let’s find out what these people are up to.
      This crisis in our church has now been exposed over the last 10 years. If our local clergy wanted to get involved – they have had plenty of opportunity. Ten years is a long time to still try to be figuring things out,getting information etc..
      Children have been raped and sodomized,victims have been abandoned and ignored- and still silence from clergy who claim to be following the Gospel message. What more is their to understand before you will act in defense of children? I know there are many local clergy who follow this site? Why the silence? Why are you not standing up for children? Why are you not condemning actions that have ruined, and in some cases taken the lives of victims. Do you not see Jesus in the faces of victims and children? How can you turn your back on people who you believe are created in God’s image?
      So yesterday I stood on the steps of the rotunda with a rabbi who has risked almost everything to protect the children in his community. Good for him.

      • My impression is they are finacial dependent on the archdisocese and they don’t want to “rock the boat”.They want to”ride it out”. The courts will take care of the mess. They don’t like what is going on but why stick your neck out even though they don’t like what is going on because whether they say something or not they can’t really change anything only the courts can do that. If a vicitm comes to me I will help them heal but I am not going to actively seek them out like Jesus would do because that might make waves put me in the limelight and who wants to be there.I might stand out from my brothers priests and who wants that. I would rather conform and be pratical and, cautious and safe. I will try to take care of my parish because that is all I can do.

      • Funny.. as I was reading Kathy’s comment, I also had a thought about not wanting to “rock the boat”. To “rock a boat”, one has to be ready for the conflict and unbalance that is to follow. The source of faith and courage that is needed for this unsteady ride of confrontation has already been explained in Matthew 14:25-31:

        “Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

        “But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

        “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

        “Come,” he said.

        “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

        “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

        Take courage… Do not be afraid… Have faith… and Go ahead and rock the boat!

        “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19: 13-15

      • Thank you Laura for such a beautiful post. I have had a tough time today after being in Harrisburg yesterday and hearing the stories of those who were sexually abused as children. Your post brought me a sense of peace that I have been trying to find all day.

      • Kathy,
        Since reading this post, all I can think is “Wasn’t there another Jewish Rabbi who was willing to speak out against injustice and wasn’t he was too ostracized by folks in his community, especially the leaders. That Jewish Rabbi was even put to death, nailed to a cross, all because he dared to bring God’s message
        against injustice to God’s people. He publicly rebuked and called out the leaders who were corrupt and He publicly showed his love and mercy towards those on the receiving end of these injustices.
        Do the priests of the Roman Catholic Church even know Jesus, the Jewish Rabbi whom they are said to personify here on earth?
        Michele

  7. Priests and deacons are not privy to any strategy sessions. We find things out like everyone else on here through the newspapers. It is like a kick in the stomach every time. What have they done now??? I think it is a power thing. To be more transparent is to some a sign of weakness, or a forfeiture of power. I foresee the upcoming Lynn trial as a knock down drag out battle. More things will come to light about mother Church.

    • Deacon Den – “Priests and deacons are not privy to any strategy sessions.”

      As a former seminarian and religious order member I can vouch for that Deacon.

      Like the Mob you have to reach the level of “A Made Man” before they start letting you in on important plans. Lynn would be at the level of where they START to trust you with strategic info.

      The RC org. is corrupt. Forget get that, and you won’t have a chance against them.

    • Great point, Michele.

  8. I call Shenagins on this one! This guy is a pastor at a parish WITH A SCHOOL and he claims ignorance? OK. New questions: What have you done to get answers? Who have you called? On what dates? Who have you written? On what dates? On what date did you meet with your Paraochial Vicar to ask questions? On what date did you ask for a meeting with your bishop? When did you say “Hey, I have a SCHOOL here, and I need to be honest and open with the parents.” To whom did you say THAT? And, you never did answer the original question: When the clergy applauded Mr Lynn, what did you do? What did you say?

    In 1981, I applied to Dunwoodie, the seminary in the Archdiocese of NY. I was turned down because “there is sufficient cause to believe that you would not conform to the priesthood.” Damn right.

  9. Mr Chris: In your Letter From the Pastor dated October 16th, you call upon the parish to “Respect Life”. You state:

    “As we continue to celebrate “Respect Life Month” I ask you
    yet again to commit yourself to being a warrior on the front lines of
    the pro-life cause. When abortion comes up in conversations,
    defend the right to life for the child. When people speak about the
    Death Penalty, defend the dignity of the condemned person. When
    people speak poorly of the disabled, defend their honor as a child of
    God who gave them life and endowed them with dignity. Judges and
    politicians may fight the pro-life cause, but it is really won in our lives
    – on the front lines – as we stand for life with no exceptions!”

    In including the Death Penalty and the dignity of the disabled you cast a net wider than just abortion. So why did you not use that opportunity to also include “When sexual abuse of children by the clergy comes up in conversation, always defend the child’s right to a childhood.”

    Why?

    • I am aware of Catholics who justify and defend challenges to their religious affiliation by claiming , among a few other things, “We Catholics are against abortion, and contraception, we are pro-life and have always been etc. etc.” I have news: so was Hitler, the Roman emperors, etc. etc. So what? What does being against abortion have to do with believing what God has revealed to mankind? That’s what counts.

      • I have thought the same thing. I now get upset when I hear prayers in Church for the sanctity of life and taking care of the weak in our world. I get upset, not because I don’t strongly believe in both of these, but because of the terrible hypocrisy represented by these prayers when neither of them are being followed by the very people who have issued that they be included in Mass. I guess they believe in the old cliche, “Do as I say, not as I do.” That seems to be the philosophy for the leaders of the Catholic Church today.

    • That is a good question. I have thought about it on many occassions……..I am like Kathy only been to protests against abortion and sexaul abuse ………..one kills the body,one kills the soul…………….I think they are both extremely important priorities why are they not to the church? It goes back to the white elephant no one wants to talk about.

      • Why? I think the true answer to that question is that the abuse of the children hits “too close to home.” Maybe most of us have been looking for more complicated answers when the answers are simple?!

    • Charles, I simply had not considered adding the victims of the sexual abuse to the list. I will be more mindful of this in the future. Thank you for your insight on extending the respect life issue to all who are vulnerable in our society.

      • Father I think this illustrates a disconnect with more than just you but many catholics even myself til last Feb. We all need to think of the victims of child abuse more. I think of them all the time now. We all need to be more compassionate to “our victims” they have been ignored , neglected and unacknowledged for too long and I am truly sorry and upset about that.

  10. Excellent Charles – it remains the elephant in the room. Let’s talk about every other group other than the victims harmed within our own church. And at the same time the church always refers to the “healing’ for the victims. What healing?

    • Pardon me please for bringing it up again and again, but I truly believe “healing” can come to the victims of child abuse by their being rescued/saved by Christ. That’s why I always champion the Word of God for everyone including victims and perps.

  11. There may be priests and deacons who do not have the answers, and are afraid to ask the right questions. The same things come up with catholic education. My childrens grade school was closed with no notification in June. Our pastor who strangely was only with the parish two years before this happened told us there was a promise to keep it open. His main phrase during this whole grueling affair? The bishop held his hands in mine. I would also have liked him to have asked questions also. Other than the horrific grief that this kids and their families have experienced and continue to experience, the secondary horror is that there is no end in sight and no knowing where the casualties will end. Will the answers ever come? What will be left of the archdiocese after all of this is done with?

  12. Maybe a representative of C4C could call in to a Catholic “Open Line” radio show and ask for answers. I can’t get on anymore- they know me.

  13. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply October 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Fr. Chris, do you believe that Msgr. (now Bishop) Fitzgerald’s statement in the following paragraph is believable and/or accurate:

    Shortly after the release of the first GJR, I reached out to then Msgr. Fitzgerald, recently reassigned to vice-rector of St. Charles Seminary. I did so because in the early 90′s he was the first director of the Office of Legal Services at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

    He is a civil attorney and I sent e-mails, faxes and phoned in attempt to speak with him. Basically, I was interested in determining what action he and/or his office took in response to the cerlgy abuse allegations that came into the Office of Legal Services. Finally, after a couple of weeks, his assistant told me over the phone that the Msgr. could not speak to me directly but did want me to know that none of the clergy sexual abuse allegations came into his office.

    • “Could” not speak to you directly or ‘would’ not speak to you directly?

    • Michael, since there was not a policy in place at that time that directed how accusations against clergy were handled I cannot speak to how aware or unaware Msgr. Fitzgerald was regarding the allegations. I too would find it hard to believe that the Director of the Office of Legal Services was not aware of these cases but I am not truly not aware of how these allegations were handled/mishandled by the Archdiocese (since it seems everything was going through the Office of Clergy). It also saddens me that Msgr. Fitzgerald did not speak with your directly (in person or over the phone) regarding your questions. I can tell you that the Archdiocese if in the final stages of developing a detailed policy that will be used for allegations that are made in the present.

      • Fr Chris,

        Smarten up.

        There was a policy in place, and it started over 2000 years ago. The policy was called, “WHAT JESUS WOULD DO”. Since you aren’t familiar with it, I’ll explain it, focusing on this context.

        If Jesus found out that a child was raped in His church, He would be flabbergasted and furious that Satan had gotten into His church and violated one of His most innocent children. He would have done everything to put “Satan in a white collar” in prison, or a church created dungeon, where he could never access children again. He would have looked for other children who might have been victims, and would have done anything to get the truth about those names from the satanic priest. He would have looked for other satanic priests, and tried to find and help their victims.

        He would have spent any amount of money to get therapy to help those children. He would give them a lifetime to get it, and would believe them when they came forward. He wouldn’t care about his elaborate real estate holdings and His priestly pension.

        People would follow Jesus because He did the right thing.

        You and your other priests follow policies dictated by lawyers who want to protect money, and never, never stopped for a second to think about how you’ve destroyed the lives of God’s most precious gifts, the young, innocent, promising children in the church.

        You and your church don’t do “What Jesus Would Do” and don’t even understand What Jesus Would Do. You do the opposite. You do What Satan Would Do, hiding the rapists, moving them around, lying to the public, endangering children for at least 60 years. You fight and discredit the victims that have the guts to come forward. If you can’t beat the victims in court, you ignore them afterwards. Satan is proud of your handywork.

        You try to convince people that “we don’t have a policy for dealing with child rape yet”, and some people will somehow follow you.

        Jesus would have solved this problem when the first child came forward. This problem still exists because you and your fore-fathers didn’t have the guts, the morals, or the courage to do What Jesus Would Do.

        Jesus is also smart – he made this simple enough for everyone to understand. Each person just has to choose who and what to follow.

        I just taught you Christianity 101. Don’t feel bad that you failed the class – none of your other priests understand it either. For all of you, next semester is going to be hell.

  14. I know that priests have spoken within their parishes about this crisis. While that is good it would be like me just speaking within my own family about how wrong this all l is,let’s pray for the victims. Might make me feel better thinking I acknowledged it somehow, but really isn’t doing anything on behalf of victims or children.I spoke to a staff member of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,which has opposed legislation that will help victims and protect children. She told me she “holds the victims in her heart”. That is really amazing – guess that is what people tell themselves to make themselves feel better. It certainly isn’t doing anything for victims and children.

    • Kathy I know that’s like watching your child run into the street when a big mac truck is coming and you standing on the sidewalk saying I will pray for him and I hold him in my heart mean time the kid gets run over and killed…………..

      • Kids need our help now

      • Excellent analogy Beth. Why do our clergy in Philadelphia not realize that kids need our help now? Do they even realize that the proposed legislation will help all children in Pa.? Do they even realize this? Do they even care?

    • Re: Kathy on 10-18-11 at 5:59 pm.
      You know Kathy, in my79 years I have been in church for mass many, many times– I raised 3 kids in the church. When I reflect back on the experience, I really don’t recall that the priests were speaking to or relating to me as another human being when they spoke from the pulpit.

      It was as though they werencasedsed in a glass enclosure” and just tossing out words that were seldom resonating with me, and probably anyone else. What a shame! I am certain it has been that way throughout the history of the church since “church” became a tool of Kings and rulers to govern “their people.”

  15. What we are asking this priest to do is to go against a lifetime of learned behavior. He is a priest and we are really unable to plumb the thought processes that make him the way he is. The priests of the RCC are not like Protestant ministers, Muslim imams, Jewish rabbis. The priests of the RCC are asked to deny themselves the fullness of their humanity in following their celebate life. The fact that women are not allowed to serve in roles equal to those of men also speaks volumes about the RCC lack of understanding and acceptance of people’s humanity. Any group that would demand that a person work in the world and yet be denied his or her basic, natural, human rights is an organization that does not understand the very humans they purport to “serve”. ( I believe that in the case of the RCC, they desire to RULE rather than to SERVE.)

    Let us not be sad. Let us be happy that we are writing, that newspapers are publishing, that the civil courts are indicting. Let us be moderate in our joy that things are changing. The truth–and opening of the books of the RCC–will make us free. The days of total control of thier environment are OVER for the RCC.

  16. Fr. Chris stated; “I do not know that Abp. Chaput is lobbying against the proposed legislation that would allow civil suits on behalf of victims of childhood sexual abuse. I have not had a conversation with Abp. Chaput about this matter nor has he communicated anything to priests at this point.”

    If Chaput had any integrity, his position regarding the proposed legislation allowing civil suits on behalf of victims of childhood sexual abuse would have been made known to everyone the day he took office.

    If we don’t understand that Chaput is the Enemy of the People, and the Champion of the Church, RCC Inc. will win again.

  17. Brother Chris,

    I find your post to be brilliant, clever and courageous! That’s because I read it as though you had written it cryptically– having obscure meaning; having clues that indicate the solutions indirectly.

    I think you’ve hadit with not knowing anything. But, because you haven’t quite hadit with priestly obedience, you’ve reverted to expressing your anger and frustration cryptically lest your bishop come to feel he’s hadit with you.

    You basically say that the Archdiocese’s website, naming only some of the accused and credibly accused, sucks. You basically say that because the Archdiocese won’t identify enablers and assist in articulating who knew what and when, the utter lack of transparency impedes healing. You basically say that the Archdiocese’s world of finance is convoluted and sketchy. You basically say that Chaput is a non-communicating mystery.

    You basically slam the Archdiocese and Chaput. Put out or get out!

    “I Want to Tell the Truth”

    It’s fascinating how the true state of affairs of the Church are best understood in a vacuum of ignorance.

    I like the way your journey’s going, Brother Chris. I like it a lot.

  18. S. Reid Warren, III Reply October 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk……………… As our Jewish brothers and sisters might say: ENOUGH ALREADY! Is the situation at stalemate because some want more assertive action and confrontation while others want to rely on spiritual communion with God, prayer, silent vigil? Until lthe “comfort zone” of The Church hierarchy comes under sustained protest from those in the pews, nothing will change – nothing. It has been the history for centuries. Suppose, in the name of the children, as a recognition of the bravery and suffering of the victims, Catholics stayed away from church every Sunday until the hierarchy was FORCED to come down from the pulpit and talk to and negotiate with the laity. That’s where they belong anyway. Gathering in prayerful vigil OUTSIDE the church every Sunday would provide a powerful statemwnt to the hierarchy, to the victims, to the world. Confrontation and prayer – what’s not to like?

    • This is from Irish Central

      Posted by Intercessor on Oct 18, 2011, 01:20 PM EDT

      I contend that fear of the Church is in our DNA and collective memories. If one goes back to the Spanish Inquisitions, one can easily see how much fear was instilled by the Catholic Church in the hearts of not only the Jews, but ALL Catholics. Turning people over to the government (i.e. the Crown of Ferdinand and Isabella), for public burnings at the stake, the “Church’s hands would be clean,” and She would not be responsible for the outcome of Her Inquisitorial Trials, which more often than not included unspeakable tortures of both men and women over 12 years of age. For insight into this age go to “History’s Mysteries” and type in “Inquisitions.” Jesus taught us, “My kingdom is WITHIN!” I don’t believe that Jesus ever intended for an institution like the Catholic Church to dominate us with threats of being excommunicated from the Body of Christ! Unfortunately, over the years the Roman Catholic Church has been successful in intimidating Her members into not leaving and into not questioning the actions and SINS of Her “Holy Priests.” Finally, in our generations, people are coming out of an “Inquisitions Mentality of Fear,” which in my opinion has many similarities to Communist Regimes.

      Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/story/news/sidewalks/was-catholicism-worse-than-communism-131782053.html#ixzz1bE157vON

      • Re: “Irish Central” article and comments. Posted by drwho13 10-19 -11 11:14a.m.

        I think that on many points “Intercessor” is right, both historically and scripturally. I study church history almost daily, and I study the letters of Paul the apostle, to whom the Lord revealed the gospel for us, specifically Gentiles, to believe- in order to be reconciled with God, have His righteousness and eternal life. Those once “sealed” in the Body of Christ ; according to scripture were sometimes subject to discipline but NEVER cut off from the Body (ex-communicated.) Of course, this is not the way the Roman church has presented the gospel, as we know.

  19. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply October 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Confrontation and prayer – what’s not to like?
    ………….S. Reid Warren, III

    Now, there are two words I love.

  20. While I’m here, these are from the L.A. Times:

    IraqOut at 11:05 AM October 18, 2011
    What? Most people think the Catholics have this under control? No, most people think they don’t. Has the Pope come forward and resigned for having protected abusers for so many years? No, and 99.9% of the church (priests and parishoners) are silent and complicit. This is part of their culture. A job has to have some perks. Pedophiles become priests in order to have access to children. If they crack down on that, why would anybody want to be a priest?
    GregBullough at 8:12 PM October 16, 2011
    Let’s not forget the case of Bp. Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa, California. He was charged with delaying reporting to authorities long enough for an accused pedophile priest to flee to his native Mexico, where he is still at large. Walsh was allowed by a crony DA to enter a “diversion” program (“traffic school” for pedophile-enablers) to get the charges dismissed.
    daffodil3 at 7:59 AM October 16, 2011
    A priest is the perfect job for someone who is gay or a pedophile. Parents and grandparents are so proud of their “son the priest”. He is trusted instantly by the church and community.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bishop-charged-20111015,0,416314.story

  21. The day before the 26 priests were suspended back in March,I had a very long and interesting conversation with an employee of the Archdiocese. He was destroyed,feeling beyond betrayed by the findings of the February grand jury report. He was angry,disillusioned and spoke at length about the employees of the AD being just absolutely horrified by what was happening.I had the chance to talk to him again last week and what a change. I asked him why he thought the AD employees seem so oblivious to the people at the vigils. They rarely make eye contact with the victims and supporters. Refuse to take a flyer we are distributing etc….he replied quickly “that is because you are attacking the Church” Wow. I am attacking the Church,the victims who have been raped are attacking the Church? Maybe we are standing up for children. It is not just clergy in this situation who are blinded to the reality of what is happening. I asked him why he is not doing more,being that he expressed his own anger and betrayal a few months ago. He said if he did “he would be out of a job and selling shoes somewhere” I told him there is a lot of honorable shoe salesmen in the world – maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad job.

    • Sheesh! Can’t LOL that one! Many thumbs up Kathy!

    • I’d rather sell shoes than sell my soul.

      Kathy, all was fine as long as you stayed silent. The moment you publicly “outed” them you became the attacker.

      This is what the victims have felt for decades.

    • The archdiocese employee is a mental midget for thinking this is an attack on the church, for example if a person is injured by a careless driver and sustains severe injuries due to the drivers negligence is the injured person angry at the car or the driver ? This holds true with the church, you can’t be mad at the church however you can be angry at the hierarchy for the ABUSE, enabling and cover up in the church’s name and the best part is that the hierarchy is using the pew catholics money against them , this is better than any Ponzi scheme I can think of .

    • Oh but of course the AD employee backed away from including himself in the group that thinks it is an attack on the Church. That is so common in this whole fiasco- everyone throws each other under the bus – and tries to have themselves come out looking good.

  22. The questions posed to Father Chris are totally reasonable in a democratic society. Which the Church is NOT.

    My experience with a Catholic Conference in the 70s and 80s was good from a social welfare lobbying point of view, the conference very effectively supported programs that helped the poor.

    Just as an aside, one of the saddest parts of this molestation mess (not however to be compared to the damage to victims), is the fact that the Church has been so discredited that the value of their support for the poor has been sadly compromised.

    But going back to those questions and the bishops position on lifting the statute of limitations to allow for civil suits against perpetrators of abuse. I think it’s obvious that the bishops lobbyists will be directed to fight it. I would be amazed if they did not team up with insurance lobbyists and any other group that might be vulnerable to such suits.

    What you have here are two competing interests. The bishops are determined to protect the church from further fiscal and media disasters. And those who support the opening up of the statute limitations are trying to protect and bring forth victims and protect future children.

    I think it comes down to the ability to love selflessly. Most parents are hard wired to protect children at all costs. Bishops appear to be programmed to protect “the Church” as they define it.

    The tragedy is that these are competing interests. They should not be.

    The most vulnerable amongst us should be our first concern. Jesus made that clear. And if that is a costly matter, with unpleasant media attention, so be it.

    I think the bishops should be at the forefront of opening up the statute of limitations, and taking whatever pain comes their way. Can you imagine the headlines nationally and worldwide, if they did so? That would help to restore trust in the Church!

    • Many times I wonder if the bishops and priests had children would they treat them the same way they treat our children? I am not talking about the pedophiles they would molest their own children if they had them. I mean the priests , bishops that coverup or will not stand up for the innocence child victims. Jesus said to lay down your life for your neighbor was the greatest way to show love for your neighbor………..how much greater is that love if it is for a child? Many priests will speak about the evils of killing the child in the womb and even go to protests but ironically they will not speak up or stand up for the innocent children in their midsts in the church. Maybe like Gerald it is to close to home for many but it does not make what they do right. Truth and right action always comes at a cost but in the mean time innocent children are paying the highest price not the adults that deserve to be held accountable. I guess we should have our next blog topic be why this legislative changes are not an attack on the church ad how in the long run will make all kids safer and cleanse the church of the pedophiles making it stronger and holier and more like Christ intended.

      • I meant to say like Gerald said it hits too close to home for many

      • Very well stated, Joan. I especially agree with what you said about how parents are instinctively hardwired to protect our children. The bishops cannot relate to this feeling. They replace it with protecting, as you said, what they define as the “Church” which, at this point, I think, is just the protection of their control and their management structure. How sad. That’s so “off the mark” from what Jesus wanted (and wants).

  23. Oops, one more thought on your Catholoc Conference. While the diocese may not be forthcoming on the source of funding it’s lobbyists or for that matter, the amount spent.

    Generally states have public records under some version of Fair Political Practices, that do list salaries of registered lobbyists. If you factor in the cost of space used and common office costs, you can probably get a pretty good idea of dollars spent.

  24. Well I guess Chris told all of us how much he wants to be recruited by God or anyone else about helping the cause to protect our children and support our victims. His letter reminded me of the show Hogans Hero’s character, Sgt. Schultz, who always replied “I KNOW NOTHINGGGGGGG”

  25. How long can clergy claim to pray on the same problem? If you have read the GJ reports, and the testimonies, the paper, watched the news in recent years…. I don’t understand what you don’t get? It is just more proof of how disconnected the clergy seems to be from the rest of us.

    For a church that sees very few gray areas for their people when it comes to divorce, lifestyles, abortion….there sure are alot of them when it comes to the issue of abuse at the hands of one of their own. I may be a very liberal Catholic in many of my views, but I just can’t stand this hipocracy. Like one of the comments above talking about ‘respect life’….how about we respect the lives of those children who are here, who trusted and were abused so vilely. What part of this is so hard to understand?

    • I feel exactly the same way and that is why I am no longer Catholic. Each and every time I spoke to my pastor or “one of the good priests” I would walk away so angry that they didn’t get what I was talking about. How can they say they are “Pro-life” when they simply don’t care what happens to our victims lives. They may be anti-abortion but they are certainly not pro-life.

  26. Victims4Justice.org Reply October 20, 2011 at 4:10 am

    This is the only truth you will ever get…

    Peer into the eyes of a hurting childhood sexual abuse victim. F#ckin’ breaks my heart!

    • Some people might not like the F words or the same sex attraction reference…….. since we took my husbands offender to jail……..I find I curse alot more too…………not saying you should be cursing but the emotion is all the same whetther you curse or not.The people that may find the cursing offensive should ignore the curse words and listen to the message he is trying to convey…………sexual abuse screws with your life and your head big time and it never goes away……..

  27. Victims4Justice.org Reply October 20, 2011 at 4:12 am

  28. Absolutely heartbreaking, Rich.

  29. Rich,Thank you for posting these videos.I went on youtube and watched a few more more of Henri’s videos. So brave of him,just like you, to share his journey and innermost thoughts. It is so heartbreaking that children’s lives and childhoods were forever changed. Tammy Lerner who spoke at the press conference the other day says the abuse she suffered as a child changed the entire trajectory of her life. When she was a little girl she dreamed of growing up and being the things all other little girls dream of. Al Chesley the former Eagles player who spoke,talked about the shame and guilt he carried for so many years and how it destroyed his life for so long.

  30. Some people don’t have a heart!!! Thumbs down on any victims story definitely isn’t Christian. V4J I still pray for you(family) and all victims. Sorry, not in the Philly area so I can only join you in prayer. Sorry, Know that is not enough

    • Ed, I’m the eternal optimist and I’m hoping the thumbs down was intended as a thumbs down on what happened to the victim. If not, you’re right – they are heartless.

      • Susan,Same here, thanks for showing me the light, reading and watching these stories and knowing too many victims I get a little sensitive. Sorry, if that is the intent(thumbs down on the rate this because of what happened to the victim)

  31. Many thanks for the video…tried to punch the Like button and it snapped back to it’s former number! Please fix!

    The video was very very moving and it was really gracious of Rich to share it!

    • “tried to punch the Like button and it snapped back to it’s former number!”

      Yes, this is an on going problem, and invalidates the the voting.

  32. I’d like to revisit both Jackie and Beths comments about parents loving their children….

    I’d like to revisit the issue as both a mom and a grandmother. When I talk about the hardwiring that we feel for our kids…it’s not just a strong visceral bond which it surely is, but it’s all those nights we sat up with a sick child, or those horrifying times when some medical test might be life threatening, or those challenging times in a marriage when you stuck it out, for the kids…and hindsight proved that was a good idea for everybody. Or the times when the other kids treated your child meanly and you knew you had to get to the bottom of it, to help the child…and there’s so much more…

    Now why do I go into this lengthly scenario?

    When the Boston Globe first revealed the horrors occurring in Boston, and if memory serves a Vatican spokesman, Navarro Wells (sp?) very dismissively announced that it was a US media hype and US problem, I was horrified.

    I thought Rome’s response was unbelievably ugly and the descriptions of molestation infinitely more horrible. And the media reports covered more and more molesting horrors, throughout the US….and eventually the world.

    I had a lot of friends in religious life and while they were concerned, it seemed to me that even the best of them …just didn’t get it.. They didn’t connect emotionally to the horror of molestation as it affects innocent little kids. They were, even the best of them, extraordinarily limited in their sensitivity to abuse. Perhaps religious life desensitized them..I don’t know, but I do know that other parents did ‘get it’ when these guys didn’t.

    And if my religious friends were lacking in compassion that was nothing to the bishops behavior. Lawyering up, treating victims in an appalling fashion, protecting the financial assets of the Church at all costs, consistently dehumanizing behavior…. without the media, the Dallas Charter such as it is, would not have occurred.

    But if there is anyway that bishops could begin to fathom the pain and destruction that their clergy have visited on these innocents, if bishops could relate in a deeply human way regarding these matters, rather than defensively and intellectually ‘protecting the Church’ we would be in a much better place.

    Perhaps it is an ‘impossible dream’….I hope not.

    • I understand what you saying Joan…

      but then what is the “excuse” for the laity’s response? All those parents and grandparents sitting in the pews following suit.

      I think it has more to do with the character of a person, the climate in which they are trained and what their superiors foster in them.

      I know too many people who do not have children that will protect them at the expense of their own lives. I’m not convinced it’s because we have children that we are more inclined to protect.

      What type of environment fosters a group of men to think of themselves over those they SERVE?

  33. Victims4Justice.org Reply October 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    It bothers me that every time Chris writes something on this site he NEVER mentions the victims of clergy sexual abuse, and he doesn’t even consider us until someone comments about it. Just goes to show that these guys care more about their brother abusers than the children they have abused.

    Every so often, TNT broadcasts Saving Private Ryan, without censorship. Instead of bleeping out explicit language and graphic images, they show it all. Why is that okay, but it’s not okay to curse when victims are describing their experiences with being sexually abused as children? It’s no f#ckin’ movie!

    In October 2009, I attended a hearing in Wilmington, DE where the Vicar Msgr. was being deposed about the ongoing clergy abuse crisis. In 7 hours of testimony, I heard “I don’t know. I don’t remember. I don’t have that information with me. I can’t recall. I have never heard of that. This is the first time I’ve been notified. I’ll have to check with my office. I’ll have to contact my superiors.” As if he wasn’t heading into a meeting where he knew he had to answer these questions, somebody must have hit him over the head before he walked in the door, because he seemed to be struck with sudden amnesia.

    In the videos that a posted, a young guy bares all. He opens his defenses for just a couple of minutes each, throughout several videos, and has chosen to let other people into his life. You see the raw nature of sexual abuse and its long-lasting affect on the victim, and you worry about the explicit language he uses to tell his truth? I have got some news for all non-victims; this life isn’t so politically correct and many of us don’t have the proper etiquette to describe what it was like having a grown man shove his penis in our butts when we 7 years-old, or 10 years-old, or 14 years-old. Most of us talk about the f#ckin’ hell during and after the abuse, and speaking for myself, it was f#ckin’ crazy, b!tchin’ sadistic sh!t, that some scumbag a$$hole son of a b!tch did to us, and f#ckin’ made us do to them. That’s why were’re all so f#cked up in the head!

    “I Want to Tell You the Truth,” should’ve been titled, “I Want to Tell You the Truth, by Pinnochio”

    • I hereby declare that the ‘low life ‘ that gave a thumbs down on this site is a ‘COWARD’ , and like Jerry Quarry always said when he was in training for a fight and his opponent would try and bad mouth him his response would be ” Well I’ll be easy to find when the bell rings”, the same goes for me without the bell !

  34. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply October 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Joan – your comment:

    “I had a lot of friends in religious life and while they were concerned, it seemed to me that even the best of them …just didn’t get it.. They didn’t connect emotionally to the horror of molestation as it affects innocent little kids. They were, even the best of them, extraordinarily limited in their sensitivity to abuse. Perhaps religious life desensitized them..I don’t know, but I do know that other parents did ‘get it’ when these guys didn’t.”

    That is so true and leads to one of the items that upsets me so much for those in supporting leadership roles DEFENDING the conduct and decision-making of the religious leaders here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The clergy’s understanding and perspective (without children) is one thing, but when husbands and fathers, e.g., William Sasso, primary counsel to Cardinal Bevilacqua, Mark Chopko, 20 year counsel to the USCCB who is now head of the Non-Profit Group at Stradley and Ronon, Rep. Ron Marsico, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, PA House, who is both a father and grandfather, etc. align themselves with the religious leadership, there is no excusing or explaining their conduct and decision-making other than (1) their philosophy and conduct is determined by the fees earned or the power they wield in their positions or (2) they actually BELIEVE that the position of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is fair, Christian, compassionate and honorable with respect to the conduct of those in the clergy leadership regarding the destruction and devastation visited on the innocent victims and their families.
    I always wonder whether others in their immediate personal circle of friends and associates AGREE with the conduct of professionals like Sasso, Chopko and Marsico, since many of these individuals are parents, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers, who have families and innocent children.

  35. Such interesting comments about clergy not being able to “get it” when understanding the issue of protecting children. When we did the photo campaign a few months ago with people sending Rigali pictures of their children,I received a thank you note from him expressing his gratitude for the “welcome reminder that children are indeed a precious gift”. I don’t need that reminder as a parent.
    Before I had my own children,I was fortunate to have nieces and nephews that I spent a lot of time with. I love my nieces and nephews dearly. I worried about them when they were sick,comforted them when they were upset. I do not think someone has to be a parent to love and want the best for children. But being a parent is different. From the minute you find out you are pregnant,it is life changing. I remember when my first child was born,my Mother said “everything is different now that you have a child”
    I would hope that I would save any child from danger,but I KNOW that I would save my own. As I said to a friend,if I saw a child about to be hit by a car ,I would jump into the street to try to save the child. If it were my own child about to be hit by a car I would jump into the street to to try to save them,but I also would think to myself,if I can’t save my child, then take me too.

    • Kathy,

      Because I am one of fourteen children, my children enjoy the company of twenty-seven cousins. Viewing children as a “gift” and protecting them are ideas that reach the core of me.

      Over the centuries, sustaining and glorifying Mother Church (a clergy-ruled organization or institution) has been the “idea” inculcated in the clergy. Vatican II clarified that Mother Church is not an organization unto the clergy, rather it is people– “WE are the Church.”

      “We are the Church” has never been fully acknowledged by the clergy because it requires an exclusive, all-male fraternity to step into the sea of humanity, rather than hover above it. The view is poor from the position of hovering above… which is why they “don’t get” you, me, others, our children, and the victims of sexual abuse.

      This disconnect, supported and magnified by the developments in psychology, sociology, anthropology and philosophy, is at the core of the imploding priesthood, and is the reason why the clergy appear to us as strangers in a strange world.

  36. Upon a bit of reflection, I think Survivors Wife makes some really good points and I am happy to modify my thoughts to ” some or many parents” are deeply sensitive to children, as are some or many single folks. And that brings us to that very good question about silent parents and grandparents in the pews.

    My own background is in human development and many years ago I found myself with Elizabeth Liebert, who taught at Berkeleys Graduate Theological Union and had written a book, “Changing Life Patterns” which looked at stages of spiritual development from a psych perspective.

    Her thesis, which I am about to badly mangle, was that we are all on a spiritual developmental track but different folks are in different places. If I remember the numbers right, the majority of folks get to a mid stage developmentally where their lives are orderly and predictable,they are good to family and friends, loyal to civic and religious organizations and could clearly be thought of as good citizens. And they psychologically need the security and stability that these choices bring.

    The next stage, fewer folks ….is different. And generally brought on by some life changing events, ie critical illness, major family shake up…something that dislodges the status quo.
    Something like the abuse crisis in the Church which forces one to rethink loyalty to a religious institution that is disclosed over and over, as venal. And for many parents and grandparents in the pews I suspect that the discomfort they feel relative to the Church’s behavior is very unsettling.

    I think Liebert would say, though, that whatever the disconnect one might feel as one who loves kids, with the present institutional church, that to restructure ones thinking and allegiances, to fault a system that is core to ones belief system, to actually speak up, make a wave et al is a huge deal. And folks need a lot of support to take those risks.

    And many folks just simply can’t.

    For those that that can and do, membership in groups that share their thinking is important. Voice of the Faithful comes to mind, certainly Catholics4Change, and there are any number of groups emerging. I think the priests movements in Ireland and Austria et al are very interesting.

    So, no easy answers on the silent laity….but the formation of groups that support a more independent and vocal laity are certainly desirable.

    • Joan ,I agree with both you and survivor’s wife. There are parents who abuse children and non parents who would never hurt a child. I speak from my own experience of never feeling so protective of anyone as I do with my own child.

  37. Well Catholics4Change, the time has come for me to say goodbye. I have some other pursuits that I now choose to turn to and give more time. Before leaving I will offer just a few of my thoughts or , maybe, conclusions about your blog:
    The blog itself, as some have mentioned, has flaws in its operation, e.g., like/dislike thumbs, reply boxes , and a few more.
    I cannot agree with one of your “tenets” i.e., that there is a difference between your Catholic faith and the “institutional church” as many frequently say here. They are inseparable. It is because Catholics believe what they have been told by the hierarchy of the Roman “church” that the institution has survived, when it should have been extinct long ago— because it is not what it claims to be.
    I admire much, very much, of what is said and done by C4C because it is a noble task you have set. As has been asked though— will you be discussing apraying overver these same concerns 300 years from now?

    I ask one thing: Please don’t consider those of us ex-Catholics who left Rome because of what we believe about Christ and the bible as BELONGING TO those ignorant, vunbelieversivers and atheists [as they claim they are]and I include Gay activists, feminists, abortionist, and just plain God-haters that are using the failure and ugliness of Romanism as their excuse to pile vile and evil accusations upon those of you who are Catholic by circumstance and current situation. We Christian believers have nothing in common with those people. I see their stupid and ignorant comments after most of the news stories about the Catholic abuse crisis.

    Thats it. It has been a pleasure to have been with you for this time.
    Gerald Nichols
    http://xcatholic.yuku.com

    • From one Gerald to another, you will be missed and are always welcome back. While I didn’t always agree with you, you taught me much, especially about being authentic and passionate. We are up against a massive, well funded adversary and can always use your unique support. This adversary has taken 1,600 years to hone its position. It is a bit utopian to think we will all agree quickly, given our different life experiences, etc. But we all profess Jesus and want to restore the Church he left behind. We need to be tolerant of different approachs, while still marching together towards our single goal.

  38. Susan, I respectfully request that you remove Gerald’s goodbye message in that it is offensive to those of us who are fighting the good fight and happen to be gay. Thanks.

    • While I, too, consider Gerald’s goodbye message to be offensive, I respectfully request that it remain visible to all who visit this blog.

      I think it is important in that it brings attention to the various issues that divide Catholics. Let’s not delete them. Let’s face them.

      Clearly, there is much work to be done.

  39. Victims4Justice.org Reply October 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Gerald,

    Thanks for visiting my site a couple of times to participate in the chat room meeting. It was then, now, and always has been a gay owned and facilitated site. I happen to be the homosexual, pro-choice, democratic owner of Victims4Justice.org, and a daily participator of this site. With all of my gayness, I continue to fight the Catholic Church and its ideas that’s that it is okay to rape children.

    Thank you for letting me know where you stand. Your post makes it obvious to me that you are quitting protecting children. I guess this gay man is king after all.

    By the way, word to the rest, I don’t mind sraight people either, just as long as they act gay in public.

  40. Yeah, OK let’s leave it up for the sake of open discourse. He’s 79 and a product of his Times; his small-minded commentary cannot be helped.

    • “Small minded commentary”, Charles, you sounded like Bill Donohue with that comment. Do you think we all agree with everything you write? Lighten up, please. He is 79? So what? The most articulate and informed scholar for our cause, Hans Kung, is 83 years old and still fighting really hard and very effectively for reform.

      • My original objection to Gerald’s statement stands: As a gay man I take offense to his statement:

        “…those ignorant, vunbelieversivers and atheists [as they claim they are]and I include Gay activists, feminists, abortionist, and just plain God-haters that are using the failure and ugliness of Romanism as their excuse to pile vile and evil accusations…”

        I’m tired of people, in the pulpit, in the pews, and on this blog, lopping gays in with pedophiles. Sex has nothing to do with rape: it’s about power. The clergy abuses boys because they are easily available to them: girls historically play no role that puts them in the sacristy. The grooming and “trust building” that goes on prior to the abuse is about power – it’s not about a gay sexual gratification. The abusing priests are not [necessarily] gay – anymore than are inmates who rape other inmates. It’s about power.

        I don’t give a crap if you agree with everything or anything I write. Most of what I offer is links to information published elsewhere; information that I hope others may use in fighting the Church. But if I am going to be discounted on this blog the way I am discounted every single F$$#ing day from the pulpit, than I’ll take my toys and find another sandbox. Let the group decide: 3 thumbs down and I’m outta here.

  41. On the subject of parents being protective: I think some religious parents, be they Catholic or otherwise, elevate their beliefs over the well-being of their children. One of my friends who was abused by a priest was told by his mother that if she had to choose between her son and the church, she would have to pick the church. Another told his mother, only to have her rebuke him and say, “A priest would never do that.” Other parents have been harsher- slapping their kids for telling as well as not believing them.
    Any religious system that puts too high a value on obedience to outside authority is dangerous. Look at the Mormon offshoot group where the families give their little girls up to be old men’s brides. And even now, after all that’s been in the news about the RCC crisis, there was a little girl abused by a priest in Kansas City, a case now in the news. I can’t help but wonder why on earth her parents gave him access to their child, after all they should know about this situation.

    • Charles, the anti-gay comments were clearly wrong. But this site is about kids, not gays. There are a surplus of gay sites and other gay groups to defend gay rights. Given your ranting and threats, I for one hope you find a site that can benefit from your heavy-handed approach. I have given your threats a thumbs-down. Stay or leave; it’s your call. But to threaten C4C to capitulate to your demand to protect gays over kids is not much different in my mind than Chaput’s approach. As to your links, anyone can post them. or for that matter find them and more readily at Bishop/Accountability.org. Please don’t slam the door on you way out. PAX

  42. Charles, I am not going to give you a thumbs down ,this is not a game of survivor,no one is getting voted off the island. I think Gerald managed to offend various groups on his dramatic exit. In the past few months,Susan and I have had just about every type of insult thrown our way. When Monica Yant Kinney wrote an article about us back in March,many comments directed at us on philly.com were personal attacks on both Susan and me. Unfortunately my children read many of the comments.
    This issue is not about “me” or about ‘us”. No insult or offensive remark could have me stop in my fight for victims and children. What about the insults that victims have had to endure while fighting for the protection of children? Being raped as a child and now called a “gold digger”.
    Sorry but when I leave a group,I don’t make parting shots on the way out as Gerald did, and I don’t ask for a group vote about me staying or leaving.

  43. sw wrote:

    “if fr.walsh cant find the answers and he is on the “inside”,what chance do we on the “outside”have????????????”

    I think the people on the outside have a much better chance since we aren’t clouded by the miters and crosiers. Of course the bishops tight hands on the secret files are going to be difficult to pry off…but, I think that day is coming too.

  44. Jerry, Thank you for your perspective; it was important for me to hear. You’re right; my heavy hand is not an appropriate approach for this topic or for this site. I’ve given myself a thumbs down, making it the last strike and retiring the batter, for being perceived as a bully. I’m done here; I’m sorry to those whom I may have offended.

  45. Victims4Justice.org Reply October 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I’m gay. I’ve been dealing with bullies throughout my entire life because of my sexuality. In one way or another, I have faced discrimination from all walks of life; from my school’s administration to my own government. The benefits granted to heterosexual couples have never equaled the benefits offered to same sex couples, and even though we can be loving and supportive in marriage and parenthood, our government and your religion doesn’t agree.

    But guess what? I don’t give a shit!

    You see… I’ve been through so much shit in my life that who I’m attracted to and whom I choose to love is less important than the set of standards I live by every day. Never have I heard of the gay man who molested and raped a child, but yet I often hear of the priest or the married father who did. The hypocrisy in the Catholic Church is so evident every day. I wasn’t raped by a Catholic priest because I was gay. I was raped by a Catholic priest because I was a child, in spite of my sexuality.

    I don’t even know how the “gay topic” came up in this comment section, when in fact the original post had nothing to do with human sexuality. I suppose I could admit that I was slightly offended by Gerald’s statement, when proclaiming that he was “quitting,” but I’d be fooling myself if I didn’t say that I haven’t heard comments being directed toward GLBT people when the discussion of child molestation comes up. Apparently, this way of thinking makes a lot of sense to an awful lot of people, even though it makes no sense to me.

    However, while gay bashers are trolling this site looking for attention, I am still committed to one goal only, and that is protecting children and vulnerable adults from sexual abusers. As were the moderators of this site insulted in newspaper articles and on the city streets, I can attest to the experience that I too have been insulted often by your caring, loving parish priests and fellow parishioners. I’ve gotten the finger, I’ve been spit on, I’m the victim who has been called a “gold digger,” and a “money-hungry leech.” I’ve been pushed, shoved, and threatened with physical harm. I’ve been called a “faggot” and the “anti-Christ” and was told I would burn in hell. I’ve had rocks and coins thrown at me. I’ve been cursed at by “good Catholics,” and at a demonstration in North Jersey, a male Catholic parishioner approached a male survivor’s wife and ripped the flyers we were handing out, out of her arms, ran to his car and drove off. I have asked this same question before, and have never gotten any answers… “Why do I have to go through all of this to protect YOUR kid?”

    This gay man is not allowed to have any of his own kids he can love and raise, nor is he able to adopt, and in many states he can still go to jail for having consensual sex with his partner of 7 years. But he can stand up, in well over 150 protests in four different states, and take shit for trying to protect your child? Explain to me why you are so hung up on homosexuals, but not so on pedophiles who rape children.

    I could easily state on this site, “heterosexual, right wing, Catholic, Conservative, Pro-Life people are ruining this country,” but if I did I would’ve started an argument that has no place on a site for people who are interested in protecting children and vulnerable adults from sexual predators. I can only hope that if I wasn’t a victim, myself, and if I wasn’t a gay man, that I would still stand up and fight for what is right and just. I’m confident I would.

    Instead of studying what divides us politically and socially, why not come together to fight for the same cause and to protect children and vulnerable adults from heterosexual sexual predators, homosexual sexual predators, clergy and political sexual predators, or more specifically just SEXUAL PREDATORS.

    I wish I knew people who would’ve fought so passionately for me while I was being raped as a child. I just didn’t think anybody cared.

    • I think in a way it sounds like a few people that were on this site to get something for themselves(new recruits, pat on the back) have left and we are left with people that want to help others whether they are gay or straight catholic or non catholic.

  46. You know, lobbying is not rocket science, but merely the expression of your views to YOUR legislators. Catholics4Change has suggested contacting Ron Marsico relative to the, hopefully, pending legislation in PA to open up the Statute of Limitations for abuse victims.

    Not only should Marsico be contacted, but ALL your state officials might be contacted on this matter.

    You can find their contact info, generally speaking, in either your newspaper or phone book and it only takes a few minutes to contact them.

    It’s really important for these guys and gals to know that there are folks ‘out there’ who care about this issue, and WANT THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS OPENED UP FOR TWO YEARS!

    • Ron Marsico has set the agenda and has left those bills off without explanation. There is a link on the resources page of this Web site that enables folks to find their state rep and the contact info for all reps. We need to let everyone know how we feel about those bills being ignored. We also must encourage Republican State Senators to come up with like-minded bills.

      • Susan, I checked your Resource box and there they were, the ten phone numbers of the Judiciary Committee. Would it be a good idea for folks to call these guys and explain that they, the caller supports HB 832 and HB 878 and wants to see these bills go through the normal legislative process?

        At two minutes a call, it would take about twenty minutes.

        This extensive blog has been dealing with unanswered Church questions, relating among other things, to HB 832 and HB 878. We may not be able to get information from the Church on these matters, but we can surely express our point of view to our ELECTED representatives.

        This might be a good way for some of those quiet pew occupiers to help victims.

      • Great suggestion, Susan. One of the negative effects the hierarchy has had on many of us is that they have in a thousand ways taught us to be totally submissive. The result is we are often overly timid in reacting to clerical evil. This can and must change. Do all and everything you can think of to protest legally. I am reminded of a great story about the famous peoples’ advocate, Saul Alinsky, who was Barack Obama’s model when Obama was a community organizer in Chicago. I will continue below,

      • Continuing, Saul Alinsky once advocated in the 1950’s on behalf of racially discriminated African-American employees of Kodak in Rochester. Kodak paid no attention to Saul’s advocacy until this happened.

        The top execs at Kodak all attended regularly performances of the Rochester Symphony. Saul wrote Kodak’s top execs and said that unless Kodak stopped discriminating, he was going to bring dozens of African-American Kodak employees to the next Symphony performance. The kicker was that Saul also wrote that he would have them each eat a can of beans before they arrived at the performance. What a “gas”! Kodak immediately stopped discriminating.

        I wonder if Chaput enjoys classical music?

      • Saul Alinsky’s advocacy books are availble with some free info, etc., on Amazon. You might find it of interest to check them out on Amazon.

      • Joan that is a fantastic way for people in the pews to help. Also, everyone should let their own reps know how they feel. If anyone is unsure of who your reps are, please click the link on the Resources page.

  47. Joan and all, you can find contact info for the members of the Judiciary Committee as well as a link to find contact info for your local State Rep,under the Resources link at the top of this page.
    I would also like to remind everyone to please go to our justice4PAkids Facebook page and “like” the page. There is a “like” icon you simply press at the top of that page. The info on the page will keep you updated as to our efforts in relation to the House Bills. Also sign up on the http://www.justice4PAkids.com website to receive email alerts when new info is posted. Thank you,that concludes my commercial!

    • Good job Kathy and a considerable improvement on my comment!

      It did occur to me in a blog where the topic was answers to relevant church questions, that the church may stonewall, but as citizens we can get more action and better answers from our elected public officials.

      People died to give us this right and we should use it!

    • Susan and Kathy just revisiting the idea of folks contacting those ten phone numbers for Judiciary Committee members AND their own reps, again see the Resource link…..

      Folks making these calls should know that when they phone, ( and phoning is very effective,) the caller can simply give their message to whomever answers the phone and the message will be passed on to the elected official.

      Elected officials are very sensitive about constituents views.

      I am guessing that while a smaller group reading this blog, actually make comments, there is a much larger group of non commenters who may well be willing to call their legislators.

      I just read the Grand Jury report for 2011 regarding Msgr. Lynn at the top of your Resource link and it was horrifying. Anyone thinking about making phone calls might want to read it. One of the Grand Jury’s strong recommendations was to open up the statute of limitations for abuse victims for two years which HB 832 and HB 878 are all about.

      When calling elected officials, a caller might ask if their legislator has read the 2011 Grand Jury report regarding Msgr Lynn et al!

      It wouldn’t hurt to have your elected public officials know that you KNOW what is in that report!

  48. Victims4Justice.org Reply October 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I have been writing to Rep. Marsico, other PA, NY, NJ, and DE Reps., senators, congressmen, District Attorneys, Governors, Councilmen, and I’ve even written to Barack Obama over the passed 3 years. I started a letter writing campaign way before this site or my site was founded. I have tried everything to get to these guys and nothing has worked, other than a reply from the White House with a holiday card during Christmas time in 2009.

    Since April of 2009, I have written 914 letters. How much do you think I’ve spent in stamps, paper, printer ink, and evelopes, not to mention my own time involved?

    If only we had enough money to settle the debt in this country, only then do I think we might have any leverage at all, because money talks, and child abusers can keep walking down the street, hanging out in playgrounds, teaching children and raping children, and that’s the bullshit that walks.

    I have protested many churches, schools, and Catholic owned buildings. That’s all going to change. My new sign will read, on the steps of our city halls and capitol buildings, “Which Legislators Protect Child Rapists?” My government needs to start protecting me as a victim, all the other victims out there, and the present and future children, who will eventually wind up on the path of the many priests we have been fighting to expose. When that day happens, and another child is abused after we have desperately tried to expose a predator, I’m going to sit down and cry. What else do I have to do? Whose ass do I have to kiss to get justice and protect kids? I’ll do anything! I will sell what is left of my soul and everything I own to find justice and to make sure the world has less people like me wandering around in it.

    Maybe I’m doing this for the money? Well this passed week, I laid in bed with a bottle of pills in my hand and I thought, “If I take this entire bottle it will probably kill me. Then I don’t have to be afraid anymore, and I don’t have to fight anymore, and I can maybe go to another place where I can be free from all of this shit I go through every day of my life.” I administer my mother a dose of 135mg of Temador (Chemotherapy) every night. The bottles of Temador and the thick plastic bag it comes in reads “Toxic” all over it. The person administering the drug must wear protective gloves and even scrub their hands after taking the gloves off. I’ve learned that a dose of 200mg would be lethal for anyone. This is the kind of shit that goes through my mind when I terribly depressed. I convince myself that even my family, my partner, and my friends would be better off if I wasn’t around.

    I’m probably the last person I know who would actually commit suicide, but I have entertained the idea all too often. Recently, I went back to taking my anti-depressants and today I’m starting to feel so much better. I think I have some fight left in me after all, and I have not been knocked out. I’ve just been knocked down a few times, but I’m back up, and I’m ready for another round. I will win. It just depends in what round, sooner or later.

    I look at it this way, like “John Doe” in this article, who recently came forward publicly against Scumbag Avery. When I started speaking about what had happened to me as a child, I felt relief. I felt like this rock that had been pushing me down my enitre life was finally being lifted off. I was reassured by my attorneys, fellow victims, and supporters that I was protecting other kids from abuse. There’s a certain measure of pride that accompanies a victim who couldn’t protect himself from abuse but is now able to protect other children. I am not weak. They didn’t destroy me. I am still strong. Sure, I have my bad moments here and there, but I am willing to trade my life so that the truth can be known. I have the truth and I’ve been talking about it and screaming it from the rooftops. The Church can’t scream the truth because they only have lies. I am winning. We are winning.

    Never have I seen such a crowd, like the one here, willing to protect children as much as I want to protect children. Non-victims finally coming to the rescue. Thank you! You make us feel less alone everyday.

    Our voices will be heard on Election Day. I believe that.

    • You ever read the butterfly affect by andy anderson? Every good deed causes a chain reaction of good that has the potential to reach millions. In his book he starts with a true life story of a family rescuing a slave child and that child grows up and teaches another person to appreciate nature which causes him to interest another person in biology and that person grows up to save bilions by developing disease resistant crops in areas having difficulty raising crops. If that one family farmer family had not saved and raised that child millions around the world would have starved to death.I believe in God and not sure were you are with your beliefs but I believe sometimes God blesses us while we are alive to see the good he has worked thru us and sometimes we will not know til we get to heaven what work he did thru us.I strongly feel God is working thru you and you are the start of a butterfly affect for many people. Get some rest when you can Rich.Peace.

      • Sorry the author was Andy Andrews not Anderson and he lost his whole family and was homeless living on the street and completely turned his life around and became an author and motivation speaker for many sports people and exceutives. He is now married with 3 kids I believe.

  49. Victims4Justice.org Reply October 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    And as for the “money aspect” that is all too often thrown our way, I recently got a settlement from the DE bankruptcy case. Guess what? I’m still mentally screwed up! I still think about the oral and anal rapes. I still dwell on the sheer horrible physical pain and sexual torture. I still cry for that little boy I was. I want to reach out and grab his hand and save him, but I can’t. The nightmares, night terrors, panic attacks, and the voices of my perps in my head are still loud and clear. A little bit more money in my bank account hasn’t solved a damn thing. Actually, the Church can have it all back if they turn over every priest, nun, layperson with credible allegations of sexual abuse against children and vulnerable adults. They can have every penny, and I will work off what I already spent to pay back every dime I got in the settlement, if they’ll lobby in our state legislators to protect children and prosecute the rapists, whether they are clergy or non-clergy. 6,000 US Catholic priests have credible allegations of sexual misconduct against children and adults. I want to know how many worldwide, and how many do we not know about?

    If the Catholic Church can agree to my terms and produce that information, not only will I give the settlement back, but I’ll also be very impressed!

  50. Let me preface all of this by saying I already know why HB 832 and HB 878 passing would be beneficial and why it’s vital for all of us to lobby the politicians with phone calls and letters.

    We are all concerned about justice for victims and the safety and protection of children. But, if you are a catholic in the pew that feels like this is an attack on the church, how would you reach them? How do you let catholics know that this is in THEIR best interest as well? What do you say to them?

    • I actually think a blog saying how this is not an attack on the church is a good idea. I want as many reasons as I can give pew catholics why this is not an attack on the church. Hit it from every angle.

  51. Several steps, SW. First, cite Jesus’ clear mandate to protect children. Second, cite the hierarchy’s refusal for the last 25 years, since Tom Doyle’s first report to the US bishops in 1986, to address the abuse horrors effectively and honestly, as clearly evidenced by the Philly 2011 and 2005 grand jury reports’ horrific stories. If the bishops had merely adopted a basic rule that all allegations were to reported promptly to the police, most abuse cases by repeat offenders would have been prevented. Third, point out the mistreatment by the hierarchy and the desparation of many victims who were at the mercy of a heartless hierarchy and hardnose Church lawyers, until a few lawyers were willing to take their cases on a purely contingency fee basis, that is, the lawyers got nothing if they lost the case.Fourth, point out the type of victims, often young children, and the type of injury, mainly psychological, that understandably remains latent for years due to misguided shame, unwarranted guilt, denial, etc. (continued below)

    • (continued from above) SW, fifth, point out that the extension of the statute of limitations merely gives a victim a chance for some justice. The victims still have the burden of proving their allegations. In fact, the older the cases, the tougher it is for the victims to prove them, due to faulty memories, missing witnesses, lost evidence, etc., and by the same token, the easier it is for the Church to defend the older cases.
      Sixth, there is considerable evidence to show that whatever positive steps in reducing child abuse occurrences the hierarchy has taken have mainly been as a result of the litigation pressure put on the hierarchy by the victims’ lawyers.

      Seventh, the hierarchy will only change if this pressure continues, that is common sense. Nothing else has deterred them, not shame, bad publicity, etc. (continued below).

  52. Finally, the flawed “take no prisoners” legal approach of the hierarchy will only bankrupt the Church, with more Church and school closings, etc. The hierarchy must be pressed by giving all victims a fair chance in order the get the hierarchy to change to a cheaper and kinder legal approach, like was used for 9/11 victims and BP Oil spill claimants. The current system just incentivizes the hierarchy’s lawyers to needlessly run up hundreds of milliions in their fees with their hardball and macho tactics.

    I have pointed this out in a comment under the comment heading “A Flawed Legal Strategy”, accessible by clicking on at
    http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/do-lawsuit-allegations-touch-dioceses-noncompliance-issues .

    If all else fails, just tell the parishioner it is fundamentally unChristian to deny an innocent victim some minimal chance of justice just because the wealthy hierarchy can hire high priced lobbyists who direct large contributions to state lawmakers campaign committees, etc.

    • Jerry,
      I posted between your second and third postings.

      Didn’t let you finish and you certainly point out in your third post how it benefits catholics in the pews.
      Sorry about that.

  53. All excellent points so far…

    but all are about what’s best for the victims and protection of children (of course), and that hasn’t been a motivating factor yet for the complacent catholics in the pews.

    I live in “the world according to catholics” region of the country…and none of what you posted (albeit exceptional and worthy of action) would motivate any of the people here. They have to know how it hits their wallets, how it affects their church closiings, how it forces the hierarchy to meet “their” needs as parishoners. The self-absorbed need to know how it benefits THEM in order to be moved to action. Pathetic, but true where I live.

    Mess with Friday night bingo and we have a problem, possibly a revolt…rape some children though and “oh, that’s a shame, let’s pray for our priests.”

    • SW, I hope I gave you something to work with with. If not, give me your reaction, and I will give it more attention tomorrow. Of course, if your pew Catholics just say it is cheaper for my parish to stiff abuse victims and save money on some few SOL barred claims, they are not much different than the ruthless and selfish hierarchy, and as equally short-sighted from a legal and financial viewpoint.

      After the hierarchy has spent over $3 billion of their bingo proceeds, etc., so far, if they want to see their Church go down with their short-sighted hierarchy, it may be that will be the only way forward. What more can we do? It may be ecclesiatical suicide, but we will then rebuild a new and better Church with the Spirit’s help out of the hierarchy’s bankruptcy. GM just did it.

      • Jerry,
        You gave me plenty to work with and thank you!

        You wrote:
        Of course, if your pew Catholics just say it is cheaper for my parish to stiff abuse victims and save money on some few SOL barred claims, they are not much different than the ruthless and selfish hierarchy, and as equally short-sighted from a legal and financial viewpoint.”

        I’m certain this is what’s happening here.

        Thank you for your time on this.

  54. “Many priests who abuse minors were themselves abused as special friends of older priests or others; these kinds of liaisons are frequent in seminaries where solitary or mutual masturbation is looked upon as an “innocent” failure. Secrecy about all clerical sex is sacrosanct within the system. ”

    http://richardsipe.com/Media/2010-04-28-ncr.htm

    So the “pew Catholics” will pray for vocations while some clergy prey on those who may want to persue a life as a priest or a religious brother or sister or a server at God’s Altar.

  55. I can’t think of any way to improve on Jerrys input, except EVERYONE should read the 2011 Grand Jury report that is at the top of the Resource section on this blog, or at least, skim it.

    And I am hopeful that folks who read this blog will take the plunge and call those Judiciary Committee members soon! And that anyone who has called will share with their friends the data on this blog and encourage their friends to contact appropriate elected officials as well.

    In a former life, I did a lot of lobbying, generally for the elderly poor at the state level.

    What I learned, early on, was that an incredibly few number of folks who spoke up, had a very desirable effect.

    What I also learned was that legislators are under staffed, overworked and inundated with a huge number of concerns.

    I also learned that, sadly very few folks personally contacted their legislators relative to issues as important as HB 832 and HB 878. So, the bishops lobbyists, who are doubtless well connected, simply have a good old boys understanding that these bills will ‘never get out of committee’ …that’s the Judiciary Committee.

    I live in a state that did open up that legislative statute of limitations window for victims.

    And while I knew things were egregiously bad in PA and particularly in Philadelphia, until I read that GJ 2011 report, I didn’t realize just how horrific your situation is.

    I’m no expert on Grand Jury Reports, but I am willing to guess that this one ranks highly with the ‘most outraged’, and your Grand Jury clearly and very strongly wants that statute of limitations window opened up…They said it at the beginning of the report and they said it at the end.

    A fact that I am sure the bishops and their lobbyists would prefer NOT to discuss.

    • Joan, thanks, and I couldn’t agree with you more about the importance of reading, even skimming, the 2011 Grand Jury report just before calling the legislator’s office. It is well organized and easy reading. But what it will do is get one so genuinely angry, that the words and passion will flow easily and automatically when one speaks with a staffer. That passion is important and will be well noted by the staffer. One should try to be passionate but not obnoxious.

      The report was likely drafted by an Ass’t. DA, but it reflects the express
      views of the jurors, who were everyday Philly folks who had the misfortune to be called for jury duty and compelled to hear the gruesome
      details of victims as well as the evasive answers of the hierarchy.

      The jury said expressly there was clear indictable evidence of other child sexual abuse crimes, but they couldn’t ask for indictments , because the SOL barred the criminal charges. (continued below) .

  56. Jerry, thanks… I think we generally agree on this stuff!

    I am wondering if Susan and Kathy might want to get a Philadelphia Grand Jury 2011 review as a topic for discussion…perhaps it’s been done? But if not, I think it’s really relevant right now.

    • The Grand Jury Report is linked via the Resources page. We printed excerpts over the course of the summer. “Required Summer Reading for Catholics.” The most important part to reference when speaking to lawmakers is the recommendations sections. I’ve broken them down several times on the site and will do so again – since they’ve been ignored by the Archdiocese. If you want to review them before I post, just type “grand jury recommendations” in the search bar on this site.

    • Joan, thanks for your agreeing with me “generally”. When I volunteered my advice on dealing with the legislative staff, I did not realize that you had nonprofit advocacy experience. I don’t. My experience with government is mainly advocating with government lawyers, not politicians.

      As the real expert, you should not hesitate to correct or disagree with me. If it is important, and I think I should weigh in on your comment, I will do so respectfully. Philly Catholics are fortunate to have your expert input.

  57. http://www.pcar.org/

    gave points on the bills they want included. Again, what points do we stress when making a call to show our unity? Sorry, but being outside Philly I get its a Philly problem if I only state the grand jury report.Sorry, can’t force anyone to read the REPORTS. I have been using part of Michael’s letter to show some unity in purpose. Short and to the point so others can also call to support inclusion of the bills.

  58. Every state has a different approach on how it handles situations with the RCC. In trying to gain a better understanding, I came across the following site. Quite an eye opener:

    http://epiph.blogspot.com/2006/01/who-owns-church.html

  59. Gerry, you are kind, but my non profit advocacy experience occurred a long time ago…in fact before the Internet was a major player.

    But what I do remember and suspect is still operative is that while lobbyists for whatever cause, are needed and necessary…the individual voters heartfelt statements of concern are definitely “heard” by legislative staffers, communicated to their bosses and, in some ways are far more effective, than a registered lobbyists predictable position.

    Which is why I am pressing for folks to call those Judiciary Committee members (phone numbers in the Resource link at top of website) to express the callers concerns about getting HB 832 and HB 878 moving through the legislative process, not hung up in the Judiciary Committee.

    • Joan, wisdom doesn’t grow old and the Internet hasn’t supplanted good judgment. Your advice is wise and I hope C4C bloggers will follow it and get their friends, relatives, ex-relatives, ex-friends, fellow parishioners, etc. to follow your sound advice. If they don’t do that, they will be doing exactly what was expected by Bevilaqua, Rigali, Chaput, Lynn, Avery, et al., that is, behave like submissive dumb sheep. What does it take to call your the office of your state representative. You pay his salary through your taxes and he works for you—but only if you squeal louder and more often than Chaput’s countless and well funded lobbyists. Now is the time to call!

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