Inquirer Editorial Board Disagrees with Archbishop Chaput’s Statutes Stance


“His position is contrary to the Editorial Board’s, which has supported legislation sponsored by Rep. Louise Williams Bishop (D., Phila.) that would eliminate Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations on child sex-abuse cases.

Bishop’s bill recognizes that young abuse victims often take years, even decades, to confront what happened to them, meaning the time limit for filing criminal or civil cases often passes.”

Read about it here: “New archbishop opposes sex-abuse window,” phillynews.com, Editorial Board, Oct. 27, 2011

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111 Responses to “Inquirer Editorial Board Disagrees with Archbishop Chaput’s Statutes Stance”

  1. Mr. Chaput’s true colors are coming to light quickly. He lumps together victims who were traumatized by priests and conned by bishops with other crimes as if they were all the same.

    What would you expect? That he approach this as a Christian? He should be honest and acknowledge that the physical and mental torture of kids really is a different type of crime, as he must surely know it is. His approach boils down to saying “To hell with the victims, I am trying to make a profit here”. And this from a Franciscan no less.

    Philly Catholics, please respond to this outrageous approach. Call and write your representatives and tell them the proposed bills must be passed or they will be elected out. Rally, demonstrate, get every one you know to do this same.

    If you don’t do all you can, just imagine Mr. Chaput’s next big priests’ shindig when the priests celebrate the defeat of the bills. You can get them passed if each of you do all you can and get everyone you know to follow your lead. Susan and Kathy have told you how to do it; now it is up to each of you to step up.

    • Chaput received his marching orders from Ben16, and he is carrying them out. He is a company man, a champion for the RCC Inc., and he is an enemy of the People of God. I am willing to show him the same degree of respect that he has shown us, none to date. Officially, he is the leader of the archdioceses per decree of Ben16. Unofficially, I do not recognize him in that role, and I will be treating him as an adversary while the court proceedings unfold.

  2. I called the Archbishop’s office yesterday in response to Susan’s column advising Philly Catholics to demand that the Archbishop follow the recommendations of the Grand Jury. When I told the receptionist what I was calling about, she put me on hold for a few minutes, came back on the line, asked for my name, address & telephone number. I gave her my name, but not my address & phone number. I asked her why she needed my name, what does that have to do with the issue I was calling about. After speaking with her, I came away firmly believing (perhaps for the first time) that the Archdiocese truly does not care about the damage this organization has done to the children. They are only interested in protecting their image. The woman put me on

    • Yvonne I think your comment may have been cut off before you finished. Your experience reminds me of a commentor, who after her pastor was arrested in February,called the Archdiocese and says she was treated like it was a ‘secret society’ of which she was not a member. I have had some pleasant interactions with administrative staff at the AD
      and also some horrible interactions with AD staff in trying to have questions about child protection answered. It is an odd mixture of defensiveness and arrogance that they would even need to answer someone’s questions and many times – they simply don’t.

  3. As i read the cardinal’s interview 2 things impressed me. First is that he has actively engaged in blocknig people’s ability to have their day in court to expose, convict and punish people who have abused them because of the financail impact this would have on the church.The statute of limitations is not only for catholic abusers but for all abusers. Thus, he would allow all abusers be given a pass to continue such deviant behavior on other innocent children mainly to protect church assets. What would Jesus say?

    .Second, I think being shepherd of God’s flock should have higher priority than “steward of our resources.”
    Jesus tells us how the shepherd risked his herd to protect just one of his sheep. Our chuch seems willing to cut out many of its flock to save its wealth.

    Church pews are empty because this kind of thinking and action has undermined the moral authority of our hierarchy.

    • Grace. You are exactly right the statute of limitations is not just about the Catholic Church. How dare the Archdiocese and Pennsylvania Catholic Conference use their influence to oppose these Bills which could help victims of child sex abuse in Pa.

      • So what newspapers should we write to or what stories should we send to other areas(newspapers) of PA to show that this is not just a Philly problem? The settlement in Delaware included priests that served in Harrisburg. We have someone who writes frequently from Pittsburgh who has a very personal story. Any stories from Scanton/Wilkes Barre? Eire? Need non-clergy articles too and newspapers that are willing to support the HBs. Spent the last few days emailing and calling(expensive option), but need some evidence and other options to sway public opinion. This state has “mupliple personalities” and each one needs to be addressed

  4. Good God, I just watched that interview, It put me into a coughing fit. “Politicians should be faithful to who they are” ???? Integrity???? what about the “Politicians of the RCC” ? I can see how chaput (I can’t even capitalize his name) feels about the SOL and what his priorities are. Please pew catholics, WAKE UP.

  5. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply October 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Maybe he’s not thinking too clearly just yet. You know, the change in ALTITUDE from Denver to Philadelphia may be affecting his reasoning and understanding.

    One thing’s for sure, there certainly isn’t any change in ATTITUDE.

    By the way, has the Philadelphia Inquirer ever invited clergy abuse victims, their families, etc. to address the Editorial Board?

  6. I just took a few minutes to read the comments on philly.com under this article. Overwhelming majority -about 90% slamming the Archdiocese and in favor of the statute reforms. So different than after the 2005 Grand Jury Report where the online comments cried out “catholic bashing” and journalists were taken to task by area Catholics for even writing about this subject.The kool aid supply must have run out because it seems people have finally stopped drinking it!

    • I noticed that immediately too Kathy… maybe that’s the wake-up call many stary-eyed Catholics needed. Watching their new leader in action.

  7. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply October 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    “….. the archdiocese’s financial assets belong to its members, who “expect me to be steward of our resources…..”

    ARCHBISHOP STEWARD, may I ask you this question:

    What is the hourly rate for Brian J. McMonagle, one of Philadelphia’s premier defense counsel, who is presently representing the retired Cardinal Bevilacqua in his court proceedings?

    Yeah, right, that’s why, despite my best efforts, I have been unable to retrieve the following information from the castle down there at 222 N. 17th St.:

    Who is the Chairman of the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?

    Boy, they surely must be those prescription-strength rose-colored glasses the new archbishop is wearing. He’s still probably adjusting to the change in altitude (or is it ATTITUDE) from Denver to Philadelphia. Just as George Costanza advised Jerry Seinfeld the night before he was scheduled to take a polygraph examination – “…don’t worry, Jerry, just remember, it you believe it, it’s not a lie.”

    I would like Archbishop Chaput to remember one thing each and every day during his long tenure here in Philadelphia:

  8. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply October 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Oops, dropped the last line in previous post:

    I would like Archbishop Chaput to remember one thing each and every day during his long tenure here in Philadelphia:

    “If I cannot trust you with my children, I certainly cannot trust you with my money.”

  9. Kathy, very much liked the editorial stance of the Inquirer! Perhaps their editorial board would consider interviewing victims, maybe, with you and Susan?

    I am convinced that it is the victims statements that cut through all that episcopal rhetoric that Chaput has just BEGUN to serve up.

    It would also be really helpful to have that victims statement link you cited a few days ago, in another posting. I am hoping that your readers would not only download the victims statements but make PAPER copies of the statements and pass them on to friends, family, fellow church goers et al. Gerry suggested that there be a cover letter that expresses “the what to do” part.

    I know I take a “pass” on a lot of stuff I get on the Internet, but if someone personally hands me written material, I am far more apt to read it.

    It would be perfectly delightful if not only Catholics4Change did this but also Voice of the Faithful, and those other groups listed in the Resource Section at the top of the website.

  10. Do you think that now chaput told us his thoughts concerning clergy abuse and his beliefs about the Staute of Limitations publicly, that possibly Chris Walsh is ready to include some of the victims’ statments in his weekly parish bulletin???????????

    • Abigail, it would be great if he would put victims statements in his parish bulletin, but I doubt if he can.. He might be able to refer folks to a website for them. Or to a table in the back of church, where they could be found.

      I used to write parish bulletin announcements to be used in the over 80 parishes in our diocese…there are lots of considerations.

      I really think however that it’s going to be up to concerned and active laymen to get the victims statements into the hands of the rest of the folks.

      I would like to hear suggestions from readers about how to get these statements out!

    • Abigail, I would welcome a conversation (in person, via email or over the phone) with a victim who would like to prepare something that could be shared in their venue.

      • “shared in their venue” or shared with the people in the pews in your parish? There are so many conversations going on in here from victims, family of victims, etc. Why not just print Arthur’s letter as a handout on the table in the back of your church? Chris, most people here trust you as a “good” priest. I pray for you because if God chose you to the right thing, it sure is taking your awhile. Be the priest that Susan and Kathy both are. God is truly working through them for love of His victims and the salvation of His Church. The Holy Spirt is certainly shining through them for all the world to see. Thank you Susan and Kathy, you are what Catholics are supposed to be.

      • sorry – the words should have been “that” (referring to the bulletin)

      • Abigal, I would advise all victims to stay as far from Chris as possible, until we better understand what he is really up to and he does something more than make excuses for priests and Chaput.

      • If this is what U would like then support you personally support the legislation in Harrisburg and then go to the trials , if you have the courage ?

      • What would a conversation with you accomplish ? Can you comprehend the seriousness of the arch’d of phila’s complicity in the enabling and cover up ? We are not speaking of one or two priests , I strongly urge you to study the PGJ reports and ask yourself WHY ? Then reveal what politicians and civic leaders are being influenced by ‘chaput’ to prevent the VICTIMS from having the opportunity for JUSTICE ! I look forward to your responses. As I see it you work for an very well organized organization whose religious members have Sexually Abused innocent CHILDREN all over the planet , this brings to mind the leader of the legionnaires of Christ ‘marciel’ who gained favor with the pope because he was “a good earner” , when in reality he was a drug addict and abuser who fathered God knows how many children.

  11. C’mon parish priests! Where is the voice you SAY you are organizing??? It’s time we HEARD it!

  12. Well susan check out the new inquirer article explains why priests are not speaking out they get punished for doing so. It’ s confirmed.

    • Beth – That’s a universal practice. I clearly saw it as a seminarian back on the 90’s. It’s unwritten, and will never change. Vigorous secular law enforcement is our only hope.

      • I never doubted you Dr WHo 13 s, but now it is in writing………….and hopefully law enforcment will follow thru on want needs to be done……..namely justice while we work on law changes.

      • drwho13, I truly appreciate your telling us like you saw it while in the seminary. I believe you saved your soul by leaving.

    • Thank you for sharing this Beth.

      What’s the worst that could happen to any priest for doing the right thing? The bishop meets with them, gives them a stern “talking to,” and then assigns them to some horrible assignment? Or the bishop reprimands them publicly (highly unlikely now)…and makes their social circles with other priests uncomfortable? I mean, really…what’s the worst that can happen to a priest for supporting victims?

      I’d like to hear from Fr. Chris on this? What’s the worst that can happen to a priest if they follow the Holy Spirit before their bishop?

      • I guess defrock them and take away their pension which I hear they don’t even do to pedophile priests that much. Today I was driving home and thinking if Lynn and Chaput really wanted to heal the church Lynn would plea guilty. It’s that simple. Because they need to “protect mother church” they are going to further hurt our victims and subject them to court etc. By not pleading guitly Lynn is truly evil. Read the reports it’s all there. They don’t even know the lengthens a real mother will go to protect their child and other children. Ironic it took “Real mothers” like Kathy and Susan to start this site. I want to tell you the story of a brave mother I met. She goes to the vigil on first Fridays when she can because her daughter was abused by a priest. While she and I were talking realizing I had alittle girl told me about the seminar she went to that Justice4pakids sponsored and she told me how the pediatriaican said as young as 3 or 4 take teachable moments like when your kids are in the tub to teach them no one touches there private parts. This mother is truly courageous despite her pain she is trying to help others.

      • Calls made. Letters sent. Emails done.

        I hope everyone who wants better for children will do the same.

        Keep up the good work Susan and Kathy…and everyone supporting victims.

        Susan and Kathy, I’m sure you didn’t imagine wearing these shoes, but you’re wearing them nonetheless. Your efforts are appreciated.

      • SW, please tell Chris Walsh (an Irishman, it appears) that his Irish priest cousins are putting Chris and his Philly priest pals to shame. A very significant percentage of Irish priests have joined together to resist the shameful Irish bishops. Please note the article, including my comment, entitled, “Irish priests push reform, pledge to stimulate a “groundswell” , accessible by cliquing on at

        http://ncronline.org/news/global/irish-priests-push-reform-pledge-stimulate-groundswell .

      • I believe that most priests have done the right thing and continue to do the right thing (as evidenced by the report in this article). I also belive that there are many ways a priest can support victims. Could more be done and should more be done? Without question. Again, I welcome that conversation with victims and their families to understand what that “more” might be.

      • Chris, You, and some similarly minded clerical confreres, could start by emulating what your Irish confreres are already doing, speaking out publicly and on the record, like even the distinquised biblical scholar, Wilfred Harrington O.P., is now doing.

        Where could Chaput next exile you to? Perhaps to Australia to help the brave Bishop Morris, who Chaput recently helped the pope to sack for daring to think pastorally. You might not like all the kankaroos, but I bet you will sleep more peacefully.

        You are gaining respect here; but you must act more prophetically.

        You know what needs to be done better than any victim. Please just do it!

      • Fr. Chris,
        Clearly priests have NOT done the right thing (as evidenced by the decades of abuse), otherwise the bishops would not have been able to do what they are doing now. And I’m not referring to the priests who have abused. If a bishop knew he would have been “ratted out” by even one of the “good priests,” they(bishops) would have been forced to behave otherwise. Good priests have to “own” their part in this mess too.

        Don’t hide behind “many ways priests can support victims.” That’s a generic way of saying it’s ok to minister “behind the scenes” so I don’t have to be uncomfortable when I call out my bishop for behaving criminally.

        To do the right thing, you have to speak out publicly. You have to minister to the congregation, you have to initiate the conversations about the untouchable topic, you have to name names of brothers and bishops who are not aligned with Christ’s teachings. You MUST NOT wait for victims to reach out to you…you need to find them, and minister to them! The “I’m availiable” approach is not helpful, it’s hurtful and places responsibility onto the victim once again. How many priests are doing this? Challenge yourself and other priests to move beyond protocol.

        If someone has an abortion, what does the church have in place? Project Rachel, right? Why? Because the church realized women and men NEEDED to be ministered to becacuse they were hurting. So here it is…this ill (sexual crimes and exploitation of children) in the church will not be healed if everyone tries to deal with it behind the scenes. Silence breeds these ills. Where is the church-wide support and ministry for victims and their families?

        Project Rachel is a glaring example of the church’s hypocrisy and this issue. You provide support for people who have obliterated the innocent lives of children (necessary and commendable), and yet, you don’t provide support for the innocent lives YOU obliterated. “I’m available,” isn’t enough.

        My husband attended the same seminary retreats as several others from the area. Two of his best friends in seminary became priests, one diocesan and one is a Benedictan monk at the location my husband was abused. The diocesan priest was assigned to our parish (when we were attending) not even 2 blocks from our home. The priest who married us (also now fully aware) was assigned to a parish less than 40 miles away. The moment my husband challenged the church, he became the enemy. Not one word. Not. One. Word. Of. Support. Or. Prayers. Do you see how pathetic that is as the clergy?
        I recognize you stick your neck out Fr. Chris…and I hope you know I write to “you,” collectively, knowing there are others who lurk here. You actually put words to what we’ve known all along. Thank you for that.

      • Fr Chris,

        1. Publicly speak out Say we are sorry we handled it wrong and we will call the police next time.

        2 Attend a Fri. Vigil Nov.4 take some priests(wear plain clothes) with you talk to the victims and their families ask them how you can help them.

        3.Ask the victims and their families do they know any victims or families that no longer attend church would they be open to meeting with a priest take some concerned laity with you.

        4.Ask your 125 priests in the association to hold meetings in each parish so laity can voice upset with the abuse in the church. Some vicitms might show up too.

        5. Have a prayer service for victims, their familes and supporters at each parish. Talk to them after mass .Ask them what you can do for them. Even if one shows up it can make a differnce.

        6.Include them more in mass prayers and in the bullentin

        7Leave the victim stories Kathy has in the back of your church.Some of the victims were not victims of priests

      • Fr. Chris,
        These are simple ideas. It would be a start and a far cry from the neglect and abandonment the victims have been use to. I am not a victim I can’t speak for them. I just see the great disconnect and the simple key to that is face to face connection. That is what Jesus did. He went to the people and stayed with them awhile. The issue is very complicated and some survivors may never want to look at a priest again but you can at least try to reach some.

      • Fr. Chris,
        8 Most importantly if you or any other priest know or suspect a child was abused call the cops let them handle it now that you know the archdioscese will not.

    • Fr Chris,the priest who found the child pornography in his fellow priest’s bedroom did not even come close to doing the right thing. Child pornography = call the police. This is not a personnel issue to report to superiors such as maybe a priest not getting along with people,or even a priest having an affair with an adult. It is a CRIME!!
      And if this priest was “hushed” as Lynn says he would remind him about confidentiality – then he should have gone directly to the newspapers and told everyone that the AD tries to silence priests who report crimes involving children to their superiors! This isn’t complicated. Call the police and then let the world know children are at risk because the hierarchy is attempting to keep you quiet. And when Lynn and Murtha concocted the lies about why this abusive priest was being sent away-did this other priest tell the congregation the truth? There is nothing right about any of this at all!!

      • Kathy, I agree that the phone call to the police is what should have happened. A crime is a crime. Sadly, when the incident involving Murtha took place, I believe most priest thought that what “should” have happened was to call the Archdiocese and let them handle it and they believed that things were truly being handled the proper way. After the Grand Jury Reports I believe many realize that this was not the case. I believe that things would be handled differently today.

      • So are you saying the priests thought management would call the cops?

      • Chris, your statements that the priests thought calling the AD and it would be then be”… handled in the right way” is such nonsense. It is insulting to victims and to everyone else here who is not a moron.

        Forget the past, forget about you as a priest talking to a victim and forget about using “Fr.” to gain clerical advantage. Just tell us why you and your confreres can’t stand up to Chaput, like the Irish priests are standing up to their bishops.

        I hear you do some good things in a challenging parish, which
        after all is what you are paid to do with your fine education that Philly Catholics paid for.

        If you can’t treat us like thinking adults, I will expose each of your objectionable comments if you persist. I don’t know what you are really up to and wish C4C would stop giving you a platform to further insult our intelligence, and please stay away from C4C victims, or I may call the police. They have been hurt enough by your confreres.

      • Fr Chris, If priests were being arrested -that is big news. Obviously priests were not being arrested and other priests were aware of that. Priests were sometimes ‘punished” for reporting other priests. And priests knew in some cases that the reasons given to the congregation for a priests’ absence were not true. And after all of this you think it took a Grand jury Report to point out that the AD did not handle things properly.. Although individual priests may not have known all specific and details – they certainly knew their fellow priests were not being turned over to authorities.
        Even the seminarian who reported Father Gana,one of the most notorious abusers in the AD,was told by his spiritual advisor at St Charles Seminary to not report until after he was ordained or the AD would somehow turn it around and place blame on the seminarian. Which is exactly what ended up happening. I believe that priests in the AD did not know all of the specifics of each abusive priest’s situation,but they certainly were aware that they were operating a system that protected abusive priests ,long before and Grand Jury Reports.
        There is a disconnect that exists where somehow the protection of children pales in relation to following orders. It is so obvious that the rest of society does not need Grand Jury reports to protect children. I do not believe that priests in the AD thought for all of the years that the hierarchy was behaving appropriately in turning over abusive priests. I think priests simply reported to their superiors and then were able to feel they had a clear conscience,but would never take the next brave step of “outing” the way the AD did NOT protect children. because of this even more innocent children became victims and that is what is totally unacceptable.
        Survivor’s wife comments hit the nail on the head. The” I am available” approach to dealing with victims is hurtful – on so many levels. The Church continues to collectively ignore the one group who deserves acknowledgment possibly more than any other group – those who were harmed within the Church.

      • Jerry, People in the comment section addressed questions/comments to Fr Chris. Although his comments today angered me deeply,it is a way to understand the thinking process of the clergy.
        If people do not want Fr Chris to answer questions they simply will stop asking him. But it is not your right nor mine to tell people what they can or cannot ask on this site. Not sure what you are even talking about calling the police?? Hopefully that was an attempt at humor that didn’t translate .Please don’t think I am defending Fr Chris – couldn’t be further from the case. But I do find his interactions useful in the sense that it continues to show me the disconnect that exists with clergy on this issue.

  13. Things seem to be getting complicated . Priests are unlikely to give the victims flyers out or put them in the parish bulletins. Chaput would nail them and these are also the same priests who applauded Lynn. What is so hard about C4C readers printing out some victims statements, slapping on a simple one paragraph cover memo , getting some copies made and standing outside Sunday Mass ,friendly like your were selling chances for a parish raffle.

    When a non-intimidating parishioner walks by after Mass, say hello, smile and hand them a copy. No signs or threatening gestures. If the parishonrer says no, move on to the next person. Do this with one friend for moral support, etc. What’s the worst that could happen? If it works, please try it again the following Sunday. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    • Beth, I disagree with your view wanting Lynn to plead guilty. I hope, in all events, that Lynn has a full trial through to a verdict. Only a full public trial will show to all how the sick pedophiles and heartless bishops ruined so many of our children’s lives.

      It may be painful for some who may then have to look away, But there is nothing more important to the joint goals of protecting our defenseless children and respecting victims than making sure Lynn’s trial goes the full distance.

      Even if Lynn were, by some impossible miracle or possible corruption, not found guility beyond a reasonable doubt, his full sordid story must be told publicly.

      • I understand your point. The victims in this case need alot of prayers. There is more than meets the eye alot of it will be about finding strength to fight the battle both seen and unseen.

      • Kathy, I never said Cris can’t blog here. I do hope, however, he does stop. But if he does stay, I will continue to expose him. He constantly ducks hard questions.

        I realize you thought he might have something interesting to say. But how much do you need to hear before you realize, as I and others have concluded for some time, he is just another apologist for his compromised brethren and Chaput.

        His near obsesssion to connect with a victim here disturbs me greatly. Have you examined his personnel file? What do you really know about his real interests? And yes, I was serious about calling the police if he continues to solicit victims on C4C. I am surprised the thought hasn’t occurred to you by now.

    • Jerry, What are you talking about soliciting victims? I am not even sure what you mean. I think most of the commentors feel that Fr Chris and the other priests are ignoring the victims. Fr Chris answers people’s questions -that’s it. He is not involved in any way,shape or form with any of the work that Susan and I do on behalf of victims. What you see is publicly stated by Fr Chris on this site -that’s all it is.

      • Kathy, Please read Chris’ reply at 10/29/11 6:45 pm to Abigal. How is Chris’ open offer to meet personally with any victim just “answering e-mail questions”?

        If you want to meet with Chris, fine. But letting him roam free on this blog, is ill advised in my considered opinion. Why, after all that Philly priests have done or failed to do, do we think he has something to tell us?

        Chris said he sat and didn’t object when Chaput cheered for Lynn and several other suspected abusers. He refuses to say why he continues to fail to speak out like the Irish priests. He repeatedly makes lame excuses for priests and Chaput. Why does C4C continue to tolerate him and his clerical “yes Fr.” “no Fr.” clerical narcissism?

        You and Susan can continue to carry him if you like, but I am really tired of wasting my time talking about him. It is distracting me from other blogs where I can be more fruitful and spend less time on marginal issues, such as debating about some unusual priest with a questionable agenda.

  14. In numbers that are
    alarming and threatening to them, Catholic adults are not disengaging their
    brains and their maturity when they walk into Church or when they approach
    a cleric. This of course comes as a tremendous shock to the hierarchical
    system which depends for its survival on the institutionalized conviction that
    the Church is an unequal society. Thus the truly adult Catholic lay person
    has become the bishops’ worst nightmare.
    Possibly the nest comment ever from Tom Doyle.

  15. Kathy would you please again give that link to access the victims statements, that were distributed to your state reps? So that folks who want to, could make copies for their own distribution?

    Also, Jerry suggested a cover letter that might be added to that link that would direct folks to, yours and Susans specific suggestions, for political action.

  16. Joan ,Anyone interested in receiving the info about the victim’s accounts, can email me at kmkane242@gmail.com. If people want to get started right away with a cover letter/fact sheet. I would include the Grand Jury recommendations (which are available under Resources) on this site. I would include the contact number and email to State Rep Ron Marsico,head of the Judiciary Committee -for people to call and support the Bills being put on the agenda for hearings. Also the contact info for the Phila. D.A.’s office ,to call and support their efforts. And contact info for the Philadelphia Archdiocese -call and ask the status of the implementation of the recommendations of theGrand Jury reports.

  17. Kathy, thanks for that link!!!!

    The reason I was pushing for a cover sheet is that for folks who might be given the victims statements, the “what to do next,” can be a bit of a mystery. And folks who are downloading the material may not have a comfort zone with putting together the “what to do next”, cover sheet.

    So, with your suggestions, I will try here to mock up a cover sheet, please feel very free to critique it.

    COVER SHEET ACCOMPANYING ABUSE VICTIMS STATEMENTS

    1. The materials you have in your hands are statements by Sexually Abused Victims, telling you what happened and how devastating the abuse was. It’s tough and shocking reading.
    These statements were provided to the 203 PA House Representatives, recently.

    2. For folks who want to do something about it, here are some suggestions:

    The RESOURCE link on the Catholics4Change home page, upper left hand
    corner is a rich informational tool that provides you with the following data:

    a.Grand Jury Reports for 2005 and 2011 – these reports are devastating in their
    content, the 2011 report is of immediate interest in PA, and very strongly
    recommends opening up the statute of limitations windows for victims.

    The 2011 Grand Jury report also makes a series of additional recommendations
    which are listed at the end of the actual report and separately in the RESOURCE
    Link.

    b. Contact phone number and e mail address for State Representative, Ron
    Marsico, who is Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Currently, HB 878 and HB
    832 which open up the statute of limitations for abuse victims are held up in
    this committee and need to be put on the agenda for hearings, a fact you could
    share with Rep. Ron Marsico.

    c. Contact info for the Philadelphia District Attorneys Office, so that folks might both
    call and support their efforts.

    d. Contact info for the Philadelphia Archdiocese, so that folks might contact the
    Archdiocese to inquire as to the status of those Grand Jury recommendations
    mentioned above. The Grand Jury made a series of recommendations that were
    directed to the Diocese, based on the Diocese treatment of abuse victims,
    molesting clergy and administrative clergy charged with Child Endangerment
    for passing on known predator priests.

    The question for the Diocese is, are they implementing the 2011 Grand Jury
    recommendations?

    • Outstanding memo, Joan, thanks so much. I risked insulting Beth (I believe) by telling her, after seeing some of her profound and Christian comments, that she would have made a great priest. I now risk insulting you, Joan, by telling you that you would have made a great lawyer!

      • As long as you meant it as a comment I will take it that way Jerry. I was lucky and had a great experince being taught by sisters in grade school and high schoool. IHM, St. Joseph and Mercy sisters. They all acted like they cared.I will give them alot of the credit.

      • “compliment.”……… typo

  18. Oh fudge, I had the above data set up in a nice orderly outline that DID NOT COME THROUGH, well.

    I am a firm believer that the content of a message is much better understood if the format is clear, orderly, spaced appropriately, et al.

    Probably a strong argument for a cover memo that is properly set up and comes with the victims statements!

  19. Jerry, you don’t insult me at all! I ve had the privilege of working with a lot of poverty law guys, who were much involved in protecting the voiceless poor. I have nothing but respect for them.

    But I really do wish that memo had come through as I set it up!

    There is one error, I misunderstood Kathys allusion to the Grand Jury 2011 recommendations…I thought they were separately listed on the RESOURCE link…and said they were. Maybe they should be….?????

  20. I just created a WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW PAGE that gives a call to action and list the grand jury recommendations. I also added a link to this page from the Resources page. I also included those recommendations in several posts which can be found through the search function.

  21. From the 2011 John Jay report…

    “One factor that is consistent with nearly all sexual abusers is the adoption of “techniques of neutralization,” which alleviate feelings of guilt and shame, thus enabling offenders to commit the acts of abuse. Sykes and Matza list five primary neutralization techniques: the denial of responsibility, denial of injury, denial of the victim, condemnation of the condemners, and appeal to higher loyalties.” (Chapter 5, page 103)

    I would argue that the diocese and “approved” leaders in the Church are using these same neutralization techniques to deal with individuals/groups who advocate for victims. The techniques are used to discredit individuals and groups who want transparency, who want the right for victims to be heard, who want those responsible for the crimes and their cover-up to be brought to justice.

    • Thanks. I agree with the first paragraph and it is helpful when trying to understand the thinking process that lead up to the abuse and coverup.

  22. from Inquirer article, 10/28/11 , “Chaput says Philadelphia school closings concern parishioners most” http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20111028_Chaput_says_Philadelphia_school_closings_concern_parishioners_most.html

    1) “Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said anxiety about parish school closings – not abuse – was “the biggest issue people have contacted me about” since he arrived six weeks ago.”
    Clearly, more of us need to be contacting the AB. Facebook – he has a FB page, phonecalls, letters, presence. I will do more to make my voice heard.

    2) “Statutes restricting the time in which lawsuits can be filed “are a good idea or we wouldn’t have them,” he said.”
    Just because a law exists, doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Restricting women’s and minorities right to vote was a law… not a good idea.

    3) “Opening a window here could have “consequences for the services the church offers to the poor,” he said, adding that the archdiocese’s financial assets belong to its members, who “expect me to be steward of our resources.”
    I second Grace Bernardi’s comment that “I think being shepherd of God’s flock should have higher priority than “steward of our resources.” But if he is going to be a “Steward of Resources”, then I would argue that handling the sexual abuse crisis should be placed on the top of his priority list. When we have properly addressed the issues of trust, accountability, transparency, and justice… perhaps then our Church will stop bleeding membership and resources can again be built. I would very much like to know how much of the Church’s resources have been lost to silencing victims and their families, lobbying against changes to SOL, legal fees to defend the abuse crimes, etc.

  23. I agree Laura -how much of the Church’s financial resources have and will continue to be used
    in this abuse crisis. Picking up the phone to call the police and remove predators from having access to children,is not only the moral and legal thing that should have been done – it also was completely free!

    • Yet we have an eight-person Review Board – and who knows how many paid staff members and legal consultants – for the specific purpose of reviewing allegations of abuse. The 2002 Charter called for the formation of these boards with the idea that this would alleviate the problem of hidden allegations. We know that did not work.

      Every once in a while, I take a mental step backwards and look at the fact that we have an entire bureaucracy that has been created to handle the issue of abuse… in the Church. And the priority of our AB is school closings and vouchers.

      • Laura, the 2002 Dallas , including its Review Boards, was and is a sham, to protect bishops who manipulate their Review Boards as Bevilaqua and Rigali did routinely.

        The Review Board chairwoman says, in effect, she was conned by the Cardinals. She advanced in near record time from her community college degree to a senior professorial position at LaSalle Un., where the Cardinals had influence, so she can’t complain.

        The Review Board serves Chaput, not Philly Catholics. It is
        unnecessary, As Kathy Kane wisely says, if there is an allegation, just call the police immediately. Pretty simple. That is why we have a professional police force.

      • Jerry… I completely agree. We should not have to have a review board in place to handle abuse allegations. Like Kathy said, a phone call to police + proper training should be enough. I worked in the public school system for several years. There were clear policies in place for handling abuse allegations, and during our training it was emphasized that we were mandated to report any suspicion of abuse to CPS. This was in the mid-90s in Texas. I do seem to remember that we were told if we were not comfortable making the call, our school counselor would make the call with us in the room. In any case, in the mid-90s there were policies and procedures in place in public schools… and they didn’t involved big review boards. No one needed to reinvent the wheel when it came to “how to handle abuse allegations”.

  24. One of the recommendations from the 2011 John Jay Report [Chapter 6 – “Conclusions and Recommendations”, page 120: “Prevention policies should focus on three factors: education, situational prevention models, and oversight and accountability.] was to “Increase the Risks” by making it more likely that those who commit acts of abuse will be identified and, once recognized, have more to lose. Safe environment education programs, as well as zero-tolerance policies, are part of increasing the risk. Transparency of allegations and opening the Statute of Limitations would also “Increase the Risk”.

    “Such changes [in Oversight and Accountability] can be achieved only through transparency in reporting and dealing with sexual abuse; with continued transparency and accountability mechanisms in place, changes can become institutionalized. In general, change must come from the leaders of organizations, and the case of the Catholic Church is no different.” – JJ Report, p 121

  25. Jerry, what drives me nuts about the Dallas Charter is all that ‘self reporting’…sort of like having the fox guard the henhouse.

    And I think the Philadelphia Archdiocese reported 100 per cent compliance through 2011, when the Grand Jury issued THEIR report! One wonders how many other Philadelphias there are?

    And, all that clergy reporting to civil authorities language while under the radar screen the State Conferences were eviscerating mandatory clergy reporting requirements wherever they could.

    AND the Vatican directing the bishops to report to civil authorities IF CIVIL LAW REQUIRED IT?

    Gives a whole new meaning to two-faced!

  26. Oops, forgot one more point on Dallas Charter….The USCCB norms directed clergy to report to civil authorities, BUT the Vatican directed the Bishops not to make it an ‘essential norm’ to
    Report. Bishops were let off the Vatican hook…indeed in a sense encouraged to non report.

    Totally disgusting.

    Similar Vatican behavior in Ireland is what sent the Irish Prime Minister into a vocal fit of rage…maybe why that significant number of Irish Priests are convening

    Would that we had outraged sovereign leaders.

  27. I just want to remind everyone that I don’t want the comments section to turn into personal attacks. Some of the comments made to Father Chris are just that. We may not all agree all the time. However, civility is critical to communication.

    I’ve met with Father Chris and want his perspective here. I think he has exposed himself to incredible criticism. While I believe his motives are sincere and good, I don’t expect any victim or advocate to take my word for it. However, there is nothing to be gained by assumptions. There are enough facts to focus on.

    • Fine, Susan. I have repeatedly praised you and Kathy when you did well. I have tried to help you every way I could. I believe you and Kathy are just being stubborn here, because your are emotionally committed to your original Fr. Chris decision.

      You state you have met with Chris. Have you never met a priest before whom you trusted, only to be fooled? Are you vouching for Chris when he meets with victims he has broadly asked to meet with on your C4C blog, with yours and Kathy’s implicit endorsement? Do you know what is in his personnel file? If you haven’t been fooled by priests before, all of your C4C victim readers have been.

      Now you accuse me of personally attacking him. You should have e-mailed me personally before making this outrageous charge. I never met him, but have only observed how he operated on this blog.

      I have always respected priests, but have grown wary of them in light of what I have learned in my full time advocacy for kids over the past two years, especially in light of my four decades experience as a prominent lawyer.

      You and Kathy are way out of line in attacking me. I will now move on and hope you succeed in protecting Philly’s kids and comforting Philly victims.

      • Jerry, I would have emailed you privately had I only meant my comment for you. I was just calling out for general civility. I’m sure you’ve read the other comments on other posts in regard to Father Chris. I would do the same for anyone posting here – and have.

        I have been deeply disappointed by more than one priest in my family’s life. I refuse to let that disappointment become blanket. I see that as a form of bigotry. There are good priests out there. They may not be perfect. They may need our perspective.

        We need to hear their’s as well. That’s how communication happens. Otherwise – where is the solution?

        You’ve been a tremendous resource and support. Thank you.

  28. Just to add to what Susan stated. The request for a priest to answer questions came from the C4C community and Susan and I thought it was a good idea.I have said in the past that at times I have am Fr Chris toughest critic but but at least he is willing to engage with the C4c community. I would never expect people to feel that his answering questions is any way attempting to sway or placate people.In fact the comments from Fr Chris Q@A’s have ranked as the highest number of comments on the site with people weighing in with their own opinions and challenging his thoughts. That is good,silence only makes this crisis worse.

    • No Kathy, that is bad. Encouraging C4C bloggers to ask “yes Father”, “no Father”, “why Father”, “do you think Father” type of questions just perpetuates the unnecessary and debilatating hierarchical submission that led to the raping of the “dumb sheep” in the first place. I just don’t understand why an intelligent person like you, with children still at risk cannot understand this. You meant well, gave Chris some fair shots, but he missed the basket by a mile. Time to clear the bench, in my opinion anyway. My last comment on Chris.

  29. Jerry ,When have I ever encouraged bloggers to ask the type of questions you are referring to? It is a forum and the C4C requested a priest -simple as that. Not my idea or Susan’s either but we try to provide what people ask.When survivor’s wife and Abigail asked questions to Fr Chris today,I let him know that people had addressed questions to him.Fr Chris is not roaming free soliciting victims on this blog. In his response to Abigail I believe he was offering to have a victim share their experience to be shared with his parish through handouts,the parish bulletin etc… Sorry Jerry but when you state Fr Chris has a near obsession to connect with a victim and mentioned calling the police…wow.
    I will agree with you I have been very disappointed by some of Fr Chris responses . Early on this site people were always wanting to know a priest’s perpesctive and I will say some of Fr Chris responses have been eye opening and have left me beyond depressed that their is simply no hope for clergy to really “get it” I also agree with you that I am not discussing this any further -too much important advocacy work to be done.

  30. I found this website a couple months ago. And I value it. I’ve come to really respect the contributors and thought Survivors Wifes remarks today were exceptional.

    I love Jerrys tough legal analysis and think it’s invaluable, have found him on NCRs website many times. His comments today about the importance of a trial process for Msgr. Lynn were important!

    It goes without saying that Kathy and Susan are providing a desperately needed service. Out of curiosity, I checked the Blog hits numbers over a 5 hour period and was frankly shocked at the number of folks that are obviously reading the blog, but not commenting.

    As to Father Chris, I am not as connected to his input, but Kathy and Susan say that folks on this blog had asked for a priests comments.

    I think you have an exceptional blog in a city with totally exceptional and horrifying abuse problems. Philadelphia is the center of the US universe in terms of clergy abuse, and institutional malfeasance! But this blog provides hope, and ways to respond.

    It’s really important, and so are the folks who comment!

    • Thank you Joan.

      The only thing I can say is that Philly isn’t exceptional or central in the horrifying abuse problems…unfortunately, this crime and cover up is being handled systematically throughout the country (and internationally). What makes Philly exceptional is the media coverage, the GJ Reports and the pew catholics (with support) keeping the sexual abuse of children on the radar. The tidal waves of hurt, betrayal and anger the laity is sending to the hierarchy is gaining attention as well.

      This all means children will be safer.

      • Survivors wife….My apologies for not being clearer. I know abuse is worldwide and totally appalling.

        My reference to Philadelphia was aimed at the gross Archdiocesan noncompliance of the Dallas Charter, the sheer numbers of offending priests who are being investigated, to say nothing of those on bail, the fact that with Msgr. Lynn, you have the first US diocesan official that hopefully will go to prison for knowingly passing on predators. The Cardinals that should also go to prison.

        Enough of that, I loved your response to Fr. Chris today, it was extraordinary. And many thanks for sharing those terrific insights!

      • Joan,

        I see what you are saying now. It’s an internet thing…because had we been in person we would have been nodding our heads while the other person was speaking.

        Thanks for clarifying…and I completely agree…so many people are watching PA right now.

    • thank you Joan, I feel the same way. I don’t feel I am rude or anything else to Chris. I refuse to call him Father, simply because I no longer call any priest Father. I don’t think of them as that. Also, I feel since he is here and wants us to understand his brotherhood side of us, he would welcome the tough questions. But I do have my doubts about his sincerity since he still socializes with some of the suspended 21. Silence is not a solution, silence is what got everyone here in the first place. No matter who leaves and who stays, doesn’t matter, this blog is here to stay, and thank God that he has guided Susan and Kathy to provide it.

  31. Joan,
    I have learned so much from “survivor’s wife’ over the past few months as well as the other victims and family members who share their journey. The site would not be what it is without their insights.

  32. So, Fr. Chris and Fr. Okonski are on the leadership team for the Association of Philadelphia Priests. Hmmm………. http://philadelphiapriests.com/about/

    • The association for priests…is pretty much what I thought it would be.

      It’s worth the time to take a look at the site, see what they support, where their loyalties are, and what their focus is.

      From the perspective of a family member of a victim, it’s saddening.

      For being a “new” association, they have some very dated perspectives.

      • I couldn’t agree more and the site has been known all around Philly for the last few months. I have visited about once a week since it was up and running.
        The one thing I have learned in the past few months is how the Phila. AD is very conservative and steeped in clericalism. I have lived here all my life so I don’t know any different. I know that the priest’s even forming an association was thought of as groundbreaking. Then to look at the site all I can think is “this’ is shocking and groundbreaking?

  33. Would everyone permit me to say why the brunt of my posts center around the priesthood and, therefore, are frequently addressed to Fr. Chris?

    First and foremost, I am concerned with justice for victims, which is why I support efforts to bring it to fruition via civil laws and courts. When perpetrators and enablers are held accountable for their actions, victims will receive the justice they need and deserve.

    However, I am reminded of the fact (supported by statistics) that the death penalty does not deter crime. As long as the culture of the priesthood persists, which is wholly responsible for fueling and permitting the sexual abuse crisis, holding the clergy accountable for their crimes does not mean that their crimes will vanish. Indeed, as long as the culture persists, its crimes will. The difference will be that the clergy is held accountable for them, delivering justice to the victims.

    I do not want victims in the first place! If we move to a cycle of victims pursuing justice, civil laws and courts delivering it, and the clergy paying the price of their crimes, while continuing to allow the culture to persist, we will still have victims. A culture that victimizes people must be eradicated.

    The culture of the priesthood, in its form throughout history, compromises its original intent (compromising the aim of Christ), compromises its participants, compromises the religious and laity, and, most pathetically and horrendously, compromises children. In some form or fashion, the culture of the priesthood has victimized all of us. This far-reaching reality is not intended to overshadow or minimize the pain of the victims of sexual abuse. It is merely intended to say that the priesthood, as we know it, has, and continues to, hurt all Catholics. Because it does, we must admit it, work to articulate what it was intended to be, and be relentless at bringing it to fruition.

    Someone once said, “to be Catholic is to be complicated.” The quote is interesting because it says, in part, that our faith and identity exude a richness, a complexity, a sacred mysteriousness, a nobleness. Yet, when noble and intelligent Catholics blind themselves to the reality that “to be Catholic is to be a victim,” in some form or fashion, of its priesthood, every thread of our “complicated” Catholicity unravels, rots and vanishes.

    The brunt of my posts center around the priesthood (and are frequently flung at Fr. Chris) because I know that in order to remove the word “victim” from the vernacular of Catholics, the priesthood must be reformed.

    • Hadit, Your fine statement, and Joan’s nice compliment, compels me to offer one final comment. I have lost confidence in Susan and Kathy’s judgment. I also don’t like being called a bigot by Susan because I expressed deep reservations about Chris. Utterly inexcusable and unacceptable.

      Chris is in charge of the new Philly Priest Ass’n that is clearly aimed at protecting priests and working for Chaput, not comforting victims or protecting kids. Look carefully at the Priest Ass’n’s complete website, cited above by michele. Also, look carefully at Chris’ comments on C4C and my and others’ responses. Chris’ agenda is opposed to C4C’s agenda and he clearly is only using his access here to pursue Chaput’s agenda. Chaput, in effect, blessed Chris’ mission here. As far as I am concerned, Chris is Chaput’s mole at C4C.

      Philly has a unique and extraordinary opportunity among US dioceses, because it may soon have a full and public trial that will show the world how a clerical pedophile operation really works. Philly may also offer a full trial of two cardinals, Bevilaqua and Rigali, as well as their Secretary. This will be monumental and the best way, maybe the only way, to end clerical narcissism so rampant in Philly.

      Seth Williams must be closely monitored and pressed to follow through vigorously with Lynn’s trial and with the potential charges against the two cardinals. Seth, and likely the elected Philly judge, appear to be under considerable political pressure since Chaput’s lawyers are very well connected to the powers that be in both Pa’s major political parties.

      I will watch all of this closely at other venues, like NCR and the PE. I am finished with trying to work with two petulant amateurs.

      Incidentally, SOL reform is clearly a worthwhile goal, but in many states only helps a small number of victims and is usually driven more by plaintiffs’ lawyers, who benefit financially from the potentially new clients.

      In the present circumstances, Philly Catholics should focus mainly on seeing that the criminal trials proceed to a verdict with no plea deals.

      My best to all here, many of you have taught me a lot. I hope C4C will get some new experts to blog here who have a better experience than I had. God bless you all.

      • I checked out the website for the Association awhile ago. I saw that it pretty much started so priests weren’t thrown under the bus. It’s interesting Fr. Okonski is on the leadership team. I think you have a different perspective from alot of those who blog and hope you will still continue to comment. Susan and Kathy have changed alot in there approach towards the Arch. of Phila since they began. I remember thinking it is nice that they want to dialogue with the cardinal but it just is not going to happen that’s not how he works. When you have personal experince with pedophiles and enablers you know you can’t trust anything they say even though they might come across as trustworthy. I myself have been fooled so I know what you are talking about.

      • Jerry, I hope you will seriously reconsider totally moving on from C4C.

        You bring a unique and very experienced legal mind to the table. hard, if not impossible, to replace.

        And victims, their families, and unprotected children need your input.

        C4C is unique, too. Right in the center of a burgeoning molestation storm, with well over a thousand hits in the last 24 hours, with the potential to do some serious good.

        Warm regards, Joan

      • Jerry you are dead on . Please keep posting . How could anyone trust Chris after looking at phillypriest website is beyond me.

      • Jerry,
        Is this now your second send-off?

        If you are most comfortable and successful fighting for justice for victims from a different place, then of course you can do so. No one should ever try to convince someone to stay when that person knows they are most useful elsewhere.

        I’ve watched the back and forth of it all and it all started when you made harsh personal accusations about Fr. Chris. When all of us were reminded to be more civil in our comments, things turned even uglier and you ramped up the “Fr. Chris might have ulterior motives” posts and made some other digs along the way. A lawyer tactic if i ever saw one…casting doubt so it takes the focus off yourself. I don’t know Fr. Chris or his intentions…but, who cares?

        It became evident to my husband and me that our diocese knew fairly private things about our family, where our children went to school, how old they were, our social circles, where we spent our time and money, etc. So, do I think the AD would have moles? Sure. Is Fr. Chris one? Who cares? I don’t say anything on this site that I wouldn’t say to the Pope’s face, so what do I care if the AD knows it? What will they do? Strategize about how to defend themselves against our efforts? They pay a hefty sum of parishioner’s money to legal teams to do that already. Are you worried Fr. Chris’ intentions wouldn’t be true? Again…that would be on him if that’s the case.

        I would take being called an “amateur” as a compliment, not the dig it was intended. Do you realize what 2 little ol’ (you know what I mean) moms from Philly have been able to do in a few short months? They have something on this site that’s authentic.

        If you are supposed to share, then share. If you are supposed to take a break, then do it. If you are supposed to leave, then leave…but to play these games creates distraction and division.

        Perhaps it would have been easier to say, “I’m sorry I stepped over the line with personal attacks, in the future I’ll keep that in mind when making my points.”

  34. To the catholics4change community, I resent even having to write this post,but hear it goes. Back in April/May of last year Fr Chris contacted Susan to say that it was good that she was providing Catholic laity in Philadephia the opportunity to voice their concerns etc…I don’t state that was the exact wording, but the basis of the conversation. That was all it was.
    A few weeks later when we were assembling the C4C Q&A panel,it was suggested by the C4C community to have a priest be on the panel. We asked the AD to provide a priest and were turned down. I then contacted Fr Chris to see if he would agree to be on the Q&A panel – he agreed. This was when Rigali was still in charge in Philly.I don’t know how Fr Chris can be a mole for Chaput when we are the ones who apporached him and Rigali was still in charge.
    The Philadelphia Priests website has been up and running for several months – that is widely known and has been visited by many Catholics in Philadelphia. Fr Chris has spoken about the organization on this site.
    I strongly disagree with some of Fr Chris opinions and feel that sometimes he misses the point of people’s questions, and I never fail to point this out to him.
    We do not refer victims to Fr Chris or any priest in the Archdiocese .
    Please know that the ‘petulant amateurs” that Susan and I have been described as – have had the opportunity to work with the most informed and passionate people who have been on the front lines of working on the crisis in the Archdiocese for many years. Their knowledge and guidance has proven invaluable in many ways – more than anyone on this site will ever know.

    • Thanks Kathy. I think you and Susan are doing a good job. As for Fr. Chris I have never met him in person. Blogs are not the same. I tend to trust my gut more now due to past experiences. Thats’s seems to work quite well and I think you and Susan seem to do that also.

    • Kathy, because you contacted Chris six months ago, after he first, out of the blue and the goodness of his heart, contacted Susan just after his site opened on Easter, he can’t be a mole? Why not?

      I specifically raised my concerns about him by e-mail to you several weeks ago and you personally vouched for him telling me, in effect, he was a dedicated priest working in a poor parish. You never told me he was running the new Association of Philadelphia Priests (APP), which had just started when Cris first approached Susan. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

      I have tried to warn you about Chris several times, but instead of listening to what I tried to tell you, you and Susan just lashed out defensively. If that isn’t petulant amateurism, I don’t know what is.

      Neither you nor Susan have to advocate, but if you hold yourself out as advocates, you have to try to exercise good judgment and prudence. Otherwise, you are misleading C4C bloggers who may mistakenly think you know what you are doing.

      Just look closely at the website of Chris’ APP, which you should have just done, as I just suggested, instead of once again shooting from the hip. If you want to lead people, Kathy, you and Susan need to know what you are talking about, instead of just winging it and digging yourself deeper into a self-created hole.

      If you had taken the two minutes to check the AAP home page, you would have seen it states clearly, in pertinent part: ” The AAP leadership {presumably, including Chris}…was blessed {yes, “blessed”} with the opportunity to meet with Archbishop Charles {Chaput}…and share with him the …mission of APP. We found the Archbishop to be open, supportive and encouraging. APP will continue to gather priests for the …sharing of information, {and the} advocacy for the rights of priests…APP looks forward to collaborating with Abp. Chaput…” I am sure Chaput was encouraging. He now had a mole inside C4C.

      Three out of four links on the APP blogroll are to aggressive “protect-priests-at-all- costs”-style websites. The APP site also has a special “priests only” page requiring a special access number. What is this secret page about? Do you know? Or have you even noticed it before?

      What information is Chris’s group planning to share? Might that have anything to do with Chris’ message to Abigail above, namely, “Abigail, I would be interested in a conversation (in person, by e-mail or over the phone) with a victim who would like to prepare something that could be shared in their venue.” What is this about Kathy? How long do you think Chris would hold this victim’s story before he sent “blessed Charles” and Chaput’s lawyers a copy?

      Susan’s and your hope to open a dialogue with Chris was well intentioned, but naive. Your refusal to reassess Chris’ role on C4C when alerted by an experienced lawyer (me) and your and Susan’s attack on me on a public website as a “bigot” instead, is the action of petulant amateurs , very ungrateful ones at that.

      If Philly Catholics want to share experiences at C4C, great. If they are looking for competent leadership, they should look elsewhere. If the truth be known, many of your better pieces resulted from my suggestions, but that is over.

      In the case of the SOL efforts, you appear to have benefitted from the direction of plaintiffs’ lawyers who may get more cases if the SOL is liberalized. That is fine, since some victims may be helped, but once the SOL effort is over, who will guide you?

      I have moved my Philly efforts back to NCR where I don’t have to waste my time with this nonsense. It is too difficult to protect Philly’s kids on this site.

      • Thanks for laying that all out there.Jerry after the SOL changes and the trial where do we go from there……..I am curious what are your ideas??????

      • Jerry,
        Is this now your second send-off?

        If you are most comfortable and successful fighting for justice for victims from a different place, then of course you can do so. No one should ever try to convince someone to stay when that person knows they are most useful elsewhere.

        I’ve watched the back and forth of it all and it all started when you made harsh personal accusations about Fr. Chris. When all of us were reminded to be more civil in our comments, things turned even uglier and you ramped up the “Fr. Chris might have ulterior motives” posts and made some other digs along the way. A lawyer tactic if i ever saw one…casting doubt so it takes the focus off yourself. I don’t know Fr. Chris or his intentions…but, who cares?
        It became evident to my husband and me that our diocese knew fairly private things about our family, where our children went to school, how old they were, our social circles, where we spent our time and money, etc. So, do I think the AD would have moles? Sure. Is Fr. Chris one? Who cares? I don’t say anything on this site that I wouldn’t say to the Pope’s face, so what do I care if the AD knows it? What will they do? Strategize about how to defend themselves against our efforts? They pay a hefty sum of parishioner’s money to legal teams to do that already. Are you worried Fr. Chris’ intentions wouldn’t be true? Again…that would be on him if that’s the case.
        I would take being called an “amateur” as a compliment, not the dig it was intended. Do you realize what 2 little ol’ (you know what I mean) moms from Philly have been able to do in a few short months? They have something on this site that’s authentic.
        If you are supposed to share, then share. If you are supposed to take a break, then do it. If you are supposed to leave, then leave…just like everyone else that comes here.

    • Kathy, I have no doubt that Fr. Chris came to you, as you described it. And, as you know, I seriously support what C4C is doing. Also, I am aware that you have outstanding advisors. I personally don’t think it gets a lot better than Marci Hamilton as one, of many very professional folks, who assist you, behind the scene.

      I think you and Susan have been juggling a very tough act. Giving folks in the pew, and, much more importantly, victims of abuse, a supportive and loving community in which they can communicate.
      On top of all that, you are organizing around legislation to assist victims, at a time and in a place, where one of the worst molestation crisises in a US catholic archdiocese, since Boston, is occurring.

      My fond hope is that C4C will continue it’s fine work. Not only PA catholic children and victims, but catholic children and victims nationwide will be affected by legal decisions made locally. Holding the Church, finally accountable is terribly important.

      I would hate to lose anyone who can seriously help C4C.

  35. Just my own old opinion but I think the last thing we want to do is fight with each other. We are all here for the same purpose and that is to keep our children safe and to support our victims. We all have different thoughts and feelings about Chris. He has just as much right as anyone else to come here. Do I personally know him or trust him, no I don’t. But it’s not about my trusting him or any other priest, it’s about the goal Susan and Kathy started with C4C. To protect children and to support our victims. We don’t always have to agree, but we really should respect each other’s comments whether we approve or disappove of the content. Oh, and I really appreciate Jerry’s intelligent and thought provoking blogs, so I hope he stays because he expresses so well what sometimes needs to be said.

  36. Jerry is a bully. Don’t confuse his long winded diatribes with actual helpful hit-the-ground-running information. He has bullied others off this site and creates havoc on many other sites that he comments on. Let him work for change on Long Island. Philly needs people on the ground who can actually DO something!

  37. Jerry, I don’t claim to be a professional advocate. I’m a Catholic and a mother. I developed this site out of my own frustration and found that others felt the same. As a former reporter, I believe information is the catalyst for change. The comments are the heart and soul of this site.

    As a working mother and wife, I don’t have nearly the time to dedicate to this cause that it deserves, but I will always make the time to keep the conversation going. I hope it leads to the individual activism. I hope the About page of the site makes our mission clear.

    While we support the removal of SOL’s, it is by no means the only necessary solution. I’m not sure why supporting one idea would negate others.

    Many people, including yourself, have generously given their time to email me and comment on these pages. I never take that for granted.

  38. Beth,Joan and Abigail, Thank you for your insights – I value them very much. Yes, Susan and I have taken on alot in the past few months but it is all well worth it if anything we do protects children. Working on the SOL’s has become important to me as a Mother because I do not want any child to suffer from a lost childhood and the everlasting effects into adulthood from being victims of child sex abuse.We have met many victims from outside of the Church who were abused by family,neighbors etc… My heart breaks for each and every child regardless of of who abused them.The Grand Jury recommendations concerning the statutes are not limited to helping victims within the church. We have had the honor of working along side some of the experts in this field. John Salveson and Tammy Lerner of the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse,Sr Maureen who has had such a positive impact in Delaware with the Child Victims Act, Charlie Gallagher who was the Deputy District Attorney on the 2005 Grand Jury Report and many ,many others. Although we have access to working with many qualified and exceptional people,it is the victims of child sex abuse who have been the real teachers in this process.

  39. Yes, SW I am saying goodbye for the third time. Susan thinks I am a bigot, Rick thinks I am a bully, SW thinks I should apologize to Chris, whatever. I have given my best advice, which the largest multinationals were happy to pay $1,000 an hour for. I have spent thousands of hours at this over the past 18 months prodding worldwide politicians, journalists, human rights lawyers,, etc. and am at peace because I believe I am making a difference.

    Rick overstates my “causing havoc” elsewhere , but I have shook up some sites that too often play dead for the bishops I am proud of that and will continue to do so. It has been over 25 years since Tom Doyle gave Cardinals Bevilaqua, Law and Levada his report on pervasive priest abuse in the US. Little has changed since then. Bevilaqua lives lavishly as he plays his cat and mouse game with Seth Williams and Law and Levada live like princes in Rome. Rigali is doing well also.

    This is a tough fight, but I know how to fight tough if I have to . I am satisfied I have flushed out Chris as Chaput’s mole, but Susan and Kathy made it tougher for me than they had to. If SW thinks that was unimportant, then we disagree.

    Philly is one of the key battlefields and I am not retreating, just changing venues. You can follow me if you like at the National Catholic Reporter by entering my name in the Search box on the top of the first page.

    I have already told you that you must pressure Seth to try Lynn and pursue Bevilaqua and Rigali. Beth, what happens after that is laid out in many of my comments on NCR.

    Good luck all with your efforts.

    • I wasn’t challenging your fight, passion, or quest to protect children by exposing truth. It’s evident and needed. It was the manner in which it was done.

      There is an “sw” on this site and Seth Williams is abbreviated with the same SW I am sometimes referred to. I wasn’t sure which SW you were referring to in your post. Either way…

  40. In the midst of one of the most chaotic 24 hours on the site,several C4C followers have stepped forward to make significant donations to the efforts of protecting children. We work closely through justice4PAkids with the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse (FACSA). FACSA was started by John Salveson who himself is a clergy sex abuse survivor.Our work with FACSA and justice4PAkids has opened many doors and given us access to some of the most qualified people both locally and nationally who are fighting for the protection of children. All wonderful people who donate their time and expertise to this cause. So thank you for the contributions which have brought us closer to implementing some very important actions which will help protect children. We have met some wonderful people in the catholics4change community – thank you one and all!

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