27 thoughts on “Bevilacqua Will Not Have to Testify In Court

  1. This is a great victory for C4C bloggers and all Catholics. It appears Cardinal Bevilaqua will likely have to testify soon, where is of much less importance. It will likely be videotaped and publicly available in due course. Well done C4C!

    1. Hooray. I am the 200,000 hit ( I think!). Thanks, Kathy, Susan and C4C bloggers for making it so worthwhile. Now on the 1,000,000 hits.

  2. Please take a minute to answer this poll on philly.com. Not the best poll questions because you have to make a choice between improving the reporting laws and the statute of limitation window legislation -both these things will help keep kids in Pa. safer. The mandatory reporting revisions will proabaly move swiftly through the Pa. House and Senate due to the Penn State crisis. I voted for the third choice concerning the window legislation because this too will keep children safer by identifying through civil lawsuit,previously unidentified, non prosecuted child predators due to past restrictive statutes. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq_ed_board/Poll-There-oughta-be-a-law.html

  3. Once again, Tony Auth presented a great cartoon in the Inquirer this AM, showing the locked and secret files of Penn State(11/18/11). He should have also written ” Secret Archives of the Chancery of Philadelphia”. I never knew, as a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, that such a file system existed. One day, a priest friend of mine, who had recently taken a chancery position, told me that such a file existed and that he was able to get into the file and empty his folder. We laughed about this. Suddenly it dawned on me that there was a reason for this file to exist and that reason was to deceive civil authorities in case a priest was accused of some crime and the authorities requested the file on the priest.
    Could this really be noted as deception???
    Tony Auth has hit the nail right on the head. Lies and deception are to protect the institution and Cardinal Bevilaqua and those chancery officials who stealthfully conceived the plans to hide incriminating evidence need to take responsibility for their actions. All who are tainted with the crime connected to Penn State must pay the price. So it is with the Archdiocese of Philly and all Catholic Institutions in the country who use deception and lies to cover up criminals..

    1. Rev. Wintermyer,

      In your opinion, what would happen to Fr. Chris and the members of his priest association were they to unite and publically announce the following conviction:

      “Lies and deception are to protect the institution and Cardinal Bevilaqua and those chancery officials who stealthfully conceived the plans to hide incriminating evidence need to take responsibility for their actions.”

    2. Yes, your realization of what goes on all the time and over the years is right and you are one of the few priests to own adult, individual responsibility for expressing outrage at the way the institutional, hierarchical church has behaved. Do you have any insight or suggestions about how to motivate other distressed and angry priests to object to this grandiose, arrogant attitude that bishops or cardinals are not all subject to the laws of this nation?

  4. He ( bevilaqua) should be concerned about the next deposition he will under go when he meets his Creator, there will be no delay tactics, PR firms or legal representation he will be alone.

  5. Haditcath:
    Any group of priests who form together outside the approved format of the any Diocese poses a threat to that Archdiocese. Most dioceses frown on any such formation. Priest Councils, which are approved and encouraged by VAT II are mostly rubber stamps of the Bishop. These councils are much like the Vatican Synods which are given agendas and are mostly reflective of that agenda with no or minimal addition from participants.
    Chicago is real exception as it formed the NFPC ( NAtional Federation of Priests Councils ) back in the 60s. This group has its own agenda and is outside the control of the bishop. But this group has teeth and the bishop should be very attentive to the suggestions of this group.
    Fr. Chris’ group is probably just a support group and unless it shows some teeth in handling this case in this Archdiocese, it will be just another support group but without significance.
    This group should be preaching and informing people of their parishes what really is going on and encouraging them to support any legislation which calls for the removal of statutes of limitations. If this group holds together and has some teeth, the bishop is not going to suspend them He cannot afford to lose 400 priests. We have to remember that Responsibility not Obedience is our role of action here.

    the Bishop could suspend and even dismiss priests whom he justifies as disobedient and in most diocese there is no plan of vested retirement by which such priests would receive even partial retirement for all their work in the diocese. Baltimore in this area is the only diocese with a vested plan for the priests. Again, the Bishops have control over the lives of the priest and they are more quick to move against “disobedience” than against pedophilia.
    It is fascinating that priests charged with this crime can receive financial assistance from the bishop, but a priest who even suggests that the Church should ordain women or that married men could be priests in the Roman Rite can be suspended without retirement or support.
    There really is no justice in the church. We can see how religious nuns have been treated over time and also how lay employees have received minimal care in terms of retirement or health care.
    Father Chris, I wish you well but you better be prepared to either support the victims or simply kowtow to the ruling powers. Our only real paradigm is Jesus who sought justice for the poor and oppressed and victims of powerful authorities and it seems that he just made it to the cross. Not a glorious ending for someone who sought only to help and bring justice.

    1. Thanks, John, once again for your incisive, honest and prophetic comments.

      It really amazes me that so very few priests, all knowledgeable about the abusive Church structures which their silence supports, are willing to speak out. They have no wife or children depending on them for economic survival. They are well educated and highly employable.

      If Philly priests practiced what they preach and get bounced for doing so, they will likely survive very well, but with integrity. And in their hearts they already know that they will then be able to rest at the end of the day knowing they were no longer living as hypocrites.

      As the brave priests in Austria and Ireland are now proving, if priests stick together and press their bishops with one voice, bishops will back down.

      What is the Association of Philadelphia Priests waiting for?

      1. Jerry, of course the APP members should speak up. But I am struck by the fact that in Ireland, the Prime Minister has very publicly castigated the Church, complete with 5 regional devastating reports about Church malfeasance, an Amnesty International expose, ” In Plain Sight,” and the closing of Ireland’s Vatican Embassy.

        Our national government, on the other hand has been essentially silent, complicit? I think we would hear more from priests associations, if we heard more from national and local secular leadership?

        Just a thought.

      2. As usual, Joan, I agree with you.

        While C4C is correctly focused mainly on the urgent issue of updating PA legislation, we may need, as the US presidential campaign heats up towards next November’s election, to focus increasingly also on changing our laws nationwide through Federal legislation.

        There are several positive signs indicating that the Democrats are beginning to challenge the bishops on adopting better Federal protection of children from sexual abusers and their enablers and on stepping up Federal prosecutorial efforts agains abusers and enablers.

        For more info on the increasing Federal involvement, please note my comment and related cross links under the comment heading: “KC, Penn State and Feds”, accessible by clicking on at:


        For more info on the bishops and pope’s efforts in the 2012 US election and the child sexual abuse issue’s importance in the election, please see my comment and related cross links under the comment heading, “RCC, NH and Apologists” , accessible by clicking on at:


    2. Fr. Chris and priest association members:

      The reason your group needs to meet, now, or well before January, is because it has not resolved the most basic, fundamental question of all, upon which everything you say and do in the future will rest.

      Responsibility or Obedience?

      Which one will it be? There is no in-between.

  6. St. Charles Seminary: 100 East Wynnewood Road Wynnewood, PA 19096-3099

    Let’s pamper a religious leader who stood by and allowed the shuffling of pedophile priests that put other archdiocesan children at risk over many, many years. And the court hearing isn’t even taking place in the City of Philadelphia. Now, there’s a slap in the face; let’s have the hearing on the “Main Line.”

    What would one expect? Retired Cardinal Bevilacqua is a CIVIL ATTORNEY and you just knew the system would take care of one of its own.

    Wonder if you or I would receive the same courtesy and accomodation if any lay member of the archdiocese were in Cardinal Bevilacqua’s current position?

    1. Michael, as a lawyer, I see it a bit differently. The important point is that Bevilacqua will be deposed under oath and on videotape before a judge.

      This was not inevitable. Your “favorite” Philly lawyer, William Sasso, apparently saved Bevilacqua earlier at the Grand Jury stage by purporting that Bevilacqua was too ill.

      We owe it apparently to the strong efforts of Assistant Philly DA’s Jacqueline Coelho and Mark Gerson, and their boss, Seth Williams, as well as the unusual courage of Philly Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, that Mr. Sasso’s pleas were not heard at this point.

      Hopefully, this deposition will ultimately lead at least to a full public trial to verdict for Lynn. This deposition is a positive and hopeful sign.

      1. Kathy, Jerry and everyone, I finally found the Grand Jury Report 2005, and it heavily relates to this topic.

        The link is. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/pa_philadelphia/Philly_GJ_report.htm

        And when one opens up the link what one finds are a series of choices or segments of the Report.

        Section I- ‘Intro to Grand Jury Report,’ among other things on page 3, details examples of abuse, so horrific that I was going to hand print them, (you can’t ‘copy and paste’ but decided it was better for folks to visit page 3, privately.)

        Section III ‘Overview of the Cover-Up by Archdiocesan Officials’ a very germane topic RIGHT NOW, on pages 30 to 55 details the malfeasance of the AD, with special emphasis on pp32-35 relating to Msgr Lynn and Cardinal Bevilaqua.

        I think this is a ‘must read’ for anyone concerned about these matters….AND I find it totally incomprehensible that THIS G J report with 63 accused priests didn’t evoke a firestorm of reform in 2005?????

      2. Joan, thanks so much for the liink to the 2005 Grand Jury Report. It is incredible that another Report was necessary in 2011.

  7. Kathy, logically, if Bevilaqua is sufficiently competent to offer testimony that could be determinative of the guilt or innocence of his long time Secretary for Priest Personnel, Lynn, then Bevilacqua should be sufficiently competent to defend himself, with unlimited quality legal counsel, against the same charges Lynn is facing.

    Practically, and possibly even “politically”, Seth Williams and even Judge Sarmina likely need to see how Bevilacqua will handle the deposition before even considering meaningfully the possibility of actually charging him. As you likely know from the Grand Jury Report, the principal culprit the grand jurors wanted to indict was Bevilacqua, and only hesitated, it appears, because of William Sasso’s remarks about Bevilacqua’s mental incapacity. We will just have to keep close watch and see what develops.

    The deposition will be the best evidence of whether Bevilacqua can defend himself. He may plead his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, assuming he has not already legally waived this right by his earlier 2003 testimony.

    As you may also know, Vincent (the “Chin”) Gigante, head of one of the NY Mafia families, unsuccessfully claimed mental incapacity a few years ago only to be convicted and die a few years later in prison. Similarly, a Brooklyn Mafioso, Sonny Franzese, was earlier this year sentenced to a seven year prison term at 93 years old.

    Oddly, Sonny used to frequent the same local restaurant as did the local Brooklyn bishops when when Bevilacqua was an auxiliary bishop there in the early ’80’s . More oddly, Joe Paterno grew up in the same neighborhood, as did my saintly mother in law, who was wonderful with kids. Hard to figure.


    1. The only difference between Vinny The Chin Gigante and Anthony Bevilacqua is that Gigante wandered the streets of Greenwich Village in his pajamas whereas Bevilacqua wanders the halls of the seminary in his cappa magna.

      Both men led organized crime families.

  8. Jerry, thanks for the follow-up. I know that this is indeed a positive sign. And, in reality, it just may be more prudent to keep such a court proceeding away from the “media circus.”

    I feel somewhat confident in the focus and determination of Seth Williams and the integrity of Judge Sarmina. Though we will not be privy to all that goes on out there at the hearing at St. Charles Seminary, we have no choice but to accept the outcome and the judge’s determination.

    My “favorite” lawyer – William Sasso………..you must be croaking, er I mean joking. I’ve switched my allegiance to some old retired guy, who’s pro-child and supports child protection efforts who I believe is a “long-islander”.

  9. 800 ‘Hits’ away from 200,000 !!!!!

    Probably by tonight or tomorrow AM….C4C will reach the 200,000 mark on folks reading this blog in a very short period of time that the blog has been in existence!

    Congratulations and thanks, Susan and Kathy!!!!!!!!

    1. Amen, Joan !!! Susan and Kathy have done an extraordinary job and we all thank them. I read recently that the US bishops established a couple of years ago a targeted website that they have pushed nationally, etc. My rough estimate is that their monthly hit rate is below C4C.

      I am placing Susan and Kathy on my short list to be voting participants at the next ecumenical council, which will surely include married women.

  10. Wow, Susan and Kathy…..did you ever imagine C4C would reach these heights? It all started with two caring, passionate Catholic moms. Thank you for giving us all a voice and a chance to listen to each other. I think you have already changed some people’s lives with this forum. Surely, God is smiling.

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