22 thoughts on “Cardinal Bevilacqua Deposed Today at St. Charles Seminary – Protesters Gathering

  1. Thanks for keeping on top of this, Susan.

    The Philly 2011 Grand Jury Report indicated that the grand jurors determined that Bevilaqua was at the center of the massive Philly Archdiocesean scandal involving a large number of priests who allegedly raped or otherwise sexually abused defenseless young Philly children.

    The grand jurors wanted to indict Bevilacqua, but deferred due to his health problems. These depositions should indicate whether Bevilaqua would be sufficiently competent to defend himself in a criminal prosecution for enabling multiple priest child abusers.

    If he is legally competent, the demands of justice for his many alleged victims require that Seth Williams, the Philly DA, act on the clear and express findings of the Grand Jury Report and indict
    Bevilacqua promptly.

    He would become the first Cardinal worldwide to be indicted for criminal complicity is the still ongoing child sexual abuse crisis. He will not likely be the last Cardinal indicted.

  2. In the RESOURCE section at the top of this page, in the Grand Jury Report 2011, on page 43, Section IV…..a description of Msgr Lynn and Cardinal Bevilacqua’s passing on predator priests behavior, doubtless the topic of today’s deposition is as follows:

    “as Secretary for Clergy under Cardinal Bevilacqua’s, Msgr Lynn was responsible for protecting the welfare of children entrusted to the Archdiocese’s care by ensuring that no priest with a history of sexual abuse of minors was put in a position to prey on them.

    ….yet time after time, Msgr. Abdicated this responsibility. He did so, moreover, not through negligence or simple incompetence, but purposefully. He did so with the Cardinal Bevilacqua’s knowledge and at the Cardinal’s direction, as part of a knowing practice–continued over decades– of placing sexual predators in positions where they would have easy access to trusting minors, just as long as the Archdiocese was spared public exposure or costly lawsuits.”

    Philadelphians may want to take a good hard look at the 2011 Grand Jury report in the RESOURCE link at the top of this page.

  3. And just to round things out, below you will find the Link for the Grand Jury 2005 report which ALSO discusses Cardinal Bevilacqua and Msgr Lynn’ deplorable behavior!

    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?????

    1. Thanks so much, Joan, for once again making so readily available the real story, in chapter and verse. The bishops rely on busy Catholics forgetting earlier relevant reports, as the media quickly moves on to the latest scandal. The bishops weren’t expecting your tenacious and diligent effort to keep the truth in front of Catholics’ attention.

      1. Jerry, I am increasingly convinced, especially after C4C survivors stories, that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution!

  4. Joan, I don’t really understand what you mean by “part of the problem after C4C survivors stories”. I am a lawyer, not an abuse counselor, so I have some limitations. If I am troubling survivors, that is certainly not what I intend. Please ask Kathy or Susan for my e-mail address and please e-mail me and let me understand better what you are getting at.

    If I am unintentionally upsetting survivors, I would like to know. It would then be better if I focus more on my other efforts where I can still try to benefit survivors and defenseless children with less risk of upsetting anyone.

    C4C can manage well without me, especially if my efforts here are unintentionally counterproductive. I am not offended, just perplexed by your ambiguous comment.

    1. Jerry, the LAST thing I meant was any criticism of your very useful efforts!

      You were thanking me for providing hopefully relevant data, and my comment was a personal one….in that I felt I needed to, hopefully be a part of the ‘solution’, just I know you are. And what had most convinced me was the very poignant survivors stories on C4C….

      Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks. Joan and Mimzyo. I misunderstood the “you” reference. Lawyers tend to overread words, as I just did. I am often attacked on NCR and dotCommonweal for my views, so I suppose I am getting punchy. C4C bloggers are special to me and the last thing I intend to do is add to survivors’ pain. This blog is about “Change” and to accomplish that against a ruthless opposition that still tries to deny victims’ justice, sometimes involves “straight talk”. But if my language ever offends a survivor, please be assured, it is not what I intended. I am trying to be part of the C4C solution.

  5. Jerry, that’s how I took Joan’s comment also. She wasn’t directing the “you” towards you -Jerry, but just a generalized /plural “you.” In other words, one can be part of the solution to this or just be part of the problem. Sit back and do nothing or come forward and in some way add to the solution.

  6. The Unauthorized bio of Anthony “Boom Boom” Bevilacqua
    By Mike Ference

    Seems there was a young fellow by the name of Anthony “Tony” Boom Boom Bevilacqua who, along with fellow thugs, hijacked a delivery truck filled with Halloween costumes coming into Pittsburgh from Jersey. These weren’t ordinary costumes; they were religious in nature – mostly gag priests’ outfits and nuns’ attire. “There was some good stuff– bishop costumes and cardinal gear,” recalled a priest at St. Luke’s.

    According to the priestly snitch, Tony Boom Boom Bevilacqua showed up dressed as a bishop at an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner at a Catholic church in the Bloomfield section of Pittsburgh – the rest is history.

    Eventually, Bevilacqua opened his own seminary St. Paul’s, near Pittsburgh, where he sold off the priest outfits and nun clothes to persons released from psychiatric treatment centers for sexually dysfunctional men and women. Bevilacqua would then place the pedo – priests in church parishes and the pedo -nuns in Catholic schools where they could prey on little children. But Bevilacqua didn’t care because he made sure the “priests” and “nuns” would kick back a share of the Sunday collection take and school tuition. This brought in a lot of money which Bevilacqua shared with the Vatican. In just a short time, Bevilacqua was up for a promotion to cardinal. Again, according to our sources, Bevilacqua used his position to further his second career as a mobster and became a made-man. Our sources described it as a buy-one-get-one free type of promotion that was offered by the Vatican back in those days.

    Eventually, Bevilacqua could see the benefits of partnering with Allegheny County Government. That’s why DA Stephen Zapalla would never push for a grand jury investigation into clergy sex abuse cases. Bevilacqua also made friends with the local media including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who often featured him in its Seen Column. The partnership with the PG continued with Bishop Donald Weurl (a.k.a. The Lavender Don) who added his own media partners to the mix– KDKA radio and television, which are oftentimes referred to as the Catholic Channel.

    As for Tony Boom Boom Bevilacqua, you’ll find him walking along the streets of Philadelphia’s Little Italy; stopping occasionally to bless video poker machines in the pizza shops and Philly steak houses. Folks in the neighborhood say he wears pajama pants and mutters something about being the only living felon ever to be canonized a saint. A check with Vatican authorities revealed nothing, although it’s rumored that canonization as a living saint for a felon may cost upwards of ten-grand, a figure many say is peanuts compared to what Boom Boom was bringing in during his glory years as a bishop and cardinal.

    According to Vegas bookies, odds are 5 to 1 Boom Boom Bevilacqua is a saint (not necessarily in good standing) years before JPII.

  7. This is my thought about how all this Penn State, Syracuse, NY, basketball coach Bernie Fine and of course the Roman Catholic Church, has created these scandals. Whenever a institution is dominated by a masculine culture the possibility for abusive behavior looms large. Any organization that lacks the influence of the feminine limits its consciousness connection to a greater sense of conscience. A conscious feminine perspective infuses into a masculine bound culture an awareness of protection,nourance and global connectedness, unlike the masculine the feminine is not motivated by competitiveness and winning: instead, the feminine seeks fairness, community and personal growth for all. In the masculine culture, ideals are set aside for the win, in the feminine ideals are upheld for the good of all.
    These realities have been demonstrated through out history and in more recent times they have been demonstrated within the male culture of the military, at all levels of government, boy scouts of america, the catholic church, penn state football and syracuse basketball coach. Currently the most glaring example of this comes with the blockage of a change to various sex abuse state laws in Pennsylvania, the masculine culture has taken the greater culture of Pa hostage and is refusing to allow the perspectives and insights of the feminine to have a voice. Until this is changed the entire culture of the state of Pa. as it relates to child sex abuse is out of balance and will continue to put children and survivors lives in jeopardy.

    1. Vicky, I’m not challenging you, just offering some information and thinking out loud.

      If you are referring specifically to sexual abuse, then you may be correct…not sure of the specific statistics on that right off the top of my head.

      But, statistics show that women are more likely to abuse or neglect children than men. Which makes sense, because statistically women are more likely to be around children more often than men.

      Women (the feminine influence) in all of the places where sexual abuse occurs (the FAMILY, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Penn State, the rcc, girls basketball teams, public schools, private schools, etc) have not been able to stop it, identify it, or report it properly to date. That isn’t because of a masculine dominance or lack of feminine influence, in my opinion.

      I think of the Syracuse situation. The head coach initially comes out in strong support of the assistant coach who is being accused. The head coach now is pretty much silent on the issue. He felt the need to defend his colleague (a brotherhood type of situation, hmmm, what does that remind me of?). Sure, it’s a male defensive response of loyalty. But then, the phone conversation between a victim and the wife of the accused coach! She didn’t staunchly defend him, but she certainly KNEW he was abusing minors or at the very least was “behaving inappropriately.” Where in the heck was that nurturing, motherly, protective person to speak up for her husband’s victims? Defensive and loyal and sympathetic of her husband (hmmmm, who does that remind me of again?)…until the backlash hits her. We may see her change her tune when she realizes she may go up the river too. If not in a court, then in public opinion.
      There are so many situations that show exactly why we have to take decision-making/discipline/consequences out of the hands of those involved. In our state, it used to be that when a woman called the police for domestic violence, when the police arrived and she changed her mind, she could decide not to press charges. Expecting the parties involved in a domestic to make sound, rational decisions was insanity…and it put the abused at greater risk. Soooo, they took that responsibility to press charges out of the hands of the people who are in a dysfunctional state. Why? Because they can’t see the situation clearly because they are IN it. Same is true for the church. The hierarchy cannot be a part of the discipline because they are IN it too. They do not see things clearly, they defend, are loyal, and sympathetic to the abuser. If they did see things clearly, then children wouldn’t have been abused in the first place and/or they would have been forthcoming when victims came forward. C4C, keep the pressure on!!!!

      1. Vicky and survivor’s wife, You both make excellent points. Many men I have spoken to since the Penn State crisis have been very vocal that this would not have happened if a woman was involved. I don’t want to sound sexist,this is men themselves expressing this view. I can see where they are coming from,I too have had similar thoughts. But then when you read the reports from Kansas City with Fr Ratigan having the child porn on his computer and the hierarchy taking months before they reported him,it turns out woman were involved and also did nothing A female archdiocesan employee was the one who accessed many of the files once his computer was turned over to the Diocese.Her supervisor,also female. They made some “noise” about what should be done,but they did not make a call to the police.I think in the end it comes down to the character of a person and their ability to break free of any group think mentality.

      2. Kathy ,
        While men may abuse more and women generally are more protective.I totally think it is character and inner strength that protects kids. There is a system in place when molestation happens either in a family, church, school etc. You have to be willing to sacrafice your job, your marriage, your finicial security and even times your sanity to fight childhood sexual abuse and take action. Many times people you don’t expect to turn on you. You have to do the right thing anyway.

      3. To tell you the truth that is why I love Marci Hamiltons abuse hotline anouymous reporting idea. Where they take your name and number and call you if they have any questions but do not give out your name. Something has to be done so that it is easier to do the right thing. Many times people are threatened or silenced when they seek to report.

  8. Both of those examples Kathy are in male dominated systems and the women have pretty much been silenced in the rcc.

    I think Vicky’s point was about the “culture” of feminine influence….and the rcc doesn’t have that, unless, of course you count the reverence for Mary…and even that is determined, not by women but by male permission.

    Family systems where children are most likely abused are female dominated. Their handling of it has been atrocious too. I guess my point is that sick is sick. (pretty profound, huh?) Pretty much what you are saying Kathy about the character of the person.

    1. Vicky, SW and Kathy, that was a very thoughtful interchange.Which made me think about ‘whistleblowers’ and what made them tick.

      I went looking for some data and came up with the thought that they are folks, either gender, who saw a very serious problem, tried to deal with it internally, perceived that the power structure would not budge and finally went outside their comfort zone and world to the media, or some outside power system.

      One of the things that came up in a google search was SNAP’ s piece on a guy who had worked in the archives section of the Chancery Office in KC. He had been very concerned about the treatment of abuse victims in KC, and the general atmosphere in the office. He tried internally to address those issues, was fired…..And there he was on the Internet, telling his story.

      This doesn’t address the timing issue…why didn’t this guy speak up sooner, but the ‘character’ question ….what caused him to speak up at all…had a lot to do with his disgust, his efforts to work internally, and the intransigence of the system, and being fired. Sound familiar?

    1. Carol – “As A. Richard Sipe writes, “Where is a priest who wants to stay in his ministry to go with complaints of sexual harassment from his boss—a bishop or cardinal? To go outside the clerical system will make him a pariah or destroy his ministry altogether. Within the system there is no recourse.”

      As I have said in the past, when I was in seminary we were told openly in class (not covertly), NEVER snitch on a brother priest!! “If you do you’re done; you’ll be ostracized, and your life as a priest will be made unbearable.” I left shortly thereafter as a result of a number of similar “inside” clerical attitudes, and a conspiracy by some priests to cover up the criminal activity of another priest, now in prison.

      Clericalism affects the lay Catholic only to the extent that they personally allow it to. It all comes down to deciding how much power one is willing to allow a cleric to have over their own life.

      After my experience in Catholic religious life, I allow clerics to have no power over me, and that applies to popes, bishops, priests, rabbis, imams, ministers, and all other religious leaders.

      1. Boy, do I agree with drwho13, “Clericalism affects the lay Catholic only to the extent that they personally allow it to. It all comes down to deciding how much power one is willing to allow a cleric to have over their own life.”

        Kathy made the point recently that her husband, a convert, treats priests the same way he treats everyone else, well, if they act well, no sale… if they don’t.

        I heard a very well known catholic speaker, over last weekend, say that he kept one foot in the Church and the other foot in a number of satisfactory groups that both do good and are just.

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