Thoughts on Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Testimony


Click here to read: “Monica Yant Kinney: Bevilacqua’s abuse testimony should have been public,” columnist, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 30, 2011.

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45 Responses to “Thoughts on Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Testimony”

  1. Another Amen!!

  2. I understand her point.

    I also understand that too many of these bishops and priests die before they can be deposed.

    Sure, he needed to make it to court and who knows if it was special priviledge or a way of pushing ahead so they could get documented testimony? I think it matters more that he was deposed and it was recorded than where it actually took place.

    In our state, I’ve seen the church delay, delay, delay getting a court date and then contiinuances and then health issues, then weather-related reasons, then they “fell” and couldn’t make it, so they needed to push it back….and on it goes. In this case, the church would have used every tactic possible to not have Bevilacqua deposed…and he’s old so chances are good he would have died before making it to court. There’s always a reason why they can’t make it…well, let’s go to them.

  3. SW makes a really good point, better to get the testimony, however, than not!

    I don’t like the sound of ‘plea deals’ which the Church has gotten repeatedly throughout the country when it looked like bishops (or a msgr with episcopal management responsibility) might be in legal trouble. Would not surprise me at all if the AD is making frantic efforts toward that end.

    Really hope and pray the prosecutors will be vigorous. This case is about a lot more than Philly…serious as that most certainly is, this case is the first time in the nation, to my knowledge, that a episcopal manager, Msgr Lynn might be convicted of passing on predator priests to unsuspecting parishes, and go to JAIL for it!

  4. An Enigma

    In the 80’s, Father Tom Doyle and two others prepared, on their own initiative, what they proposed as a comprehensive resource for bishops on the abuse crisis. It became known as “The Manual.” If you read the Bevilacqua deposition and the DA’s explicit probes about Doyle’s work, AB has no memory of his connection.

    Father Doyle: “People today are often surprised and even shocked when they learn that Cardinals Law, Bevilacqua and Krol were central figures in supporting the creation of the manual and its attached proposals. Much later their conduct in dealing with individual cases was diametrically opposite of their actions at the outset of the “crisis.” One can only speculate as to the reasons for the dissonance. Perhaps the best explanation is the fact that these cardinals and other bishops who were initially supportive saw the problem in a radically different light when they were confronted with accusations in their own dioceses. Sexual molestation of minors then became much more than a generalized, distant challenge. When confronted with a threat to their power and image they easily chose their own welfare over that of the victims.”

    See http://www.richardsipe.com/Doyle/Manual-History%20%2010-12-2010.pdf

    • While Tom Doyle, a quintessential Christian, would even give Bevilacqua the benefit of the doubt, there is little doubt in this case. There is in the public record clear evidence that Bevilacqua, while an auxiliary in Brooklyn in as early as the late 1970’s, oversaw the cover-up of Brooklyn pedophile priests.

      If Tom Doyle says he had dealings with Bevilacqua in the mid-‘8O’s about trying to set up a comprehensive program to stop clerical abuse, then all who know Tom accept him at his word.

      Few bishops in the 1980’s ever thought it possible they could ever be prosecuted for cover-ups, but they are gradually beginning to think otherwise. A bit too late. The post-Penn State scandal bloodhounds have their scent and groups like C4C bloggers will continue to
      cheer the hounds on.

      If Bevilacqua says he doesn’t recall it, just add it to the thousands of other unfavorable facts Bevilaqua has said since 2003 he doesn’t recall. Does anyone really believe Bevilacqua in these matters?

      • I agree, Jerry. Father Doyle’s speculation is an incredibly charitable and highly unlikely explanation. Martin

      • I can’t believe how far behind Australia is considering the universal issues on abuse.
        Catholic imput appears more to be currying favour including politicians, with no human rights advocates, NGO’s etc, of which we have many affiliation with.

      • jerry, I remember one cardinal in 1994 said, “No one would ever sue the Catholic Church.” This speaks to the arrogance and the pure denial that they are above all people and the law. They have been treated as “special” simply because they wear a collar for years. One of my perp priests when he was with me always received free meals, beer, and cigars because he wore a collar, one women in a bar knelt down and asked for his blesing! This while he was raping me at 14!

    • Fr. Doyle’s explanation makes sense to me. Bevilacqua may have been initially interested until he realized it would affect him. “No more supporting what’s right and good, gotta protect ourselves…let’s change teams.”

      Makes perfect sense.

      • Survivor’s wife, this 1986 episode is described at great length in Jason Berry’s excellent book, “Vows of Silence”. My recollection is that Tom Doyle’s brave effort was stymied by Bernard Law and William Levada, current Vatican clique members.

        In evaluating any US bishops’ statements today, it is important to remember they have been covering up consciously as a group for over a quarter century. Their continuing failure to require that all abuse cases be reported promptly to the police shows little has changed in 25 years.

        Chaput’s appointment of “his choices” for an unnecessary and unaccountable review board is more of the same. We have already seen enough of the farcical performance of Bevilacqua’s and Rigali’s review boards.

        Philly Catholics’ children’s future safety are in the hands of Seth Williams and Judge Sarmina. It is really unacceptable in a democracy dependent on open administration of public justice that Judge Sarmina is still maintaining secrecy via an undemocratic gag order.

        Perhaps, C4C bloggers may want to add a comment to the above Philadelphia Enquirer article by Monica Yant Kinney asking Judge Sarmina to lift the gag order.

      • Have there been gag orders before when someone is deposed? Or is this something new?

      • I think the gag order is in relation to all the attorneys,defendants and judges etc…It became a little bit of a media circus a few months back with the case being tried in the court of public opinion. I know some priests were appearing on radio shows claiming their innocence and Seth Williams was interviewed by the press. I think the gag order is in relation to that -including the judge not answering any questions about the deposition yesterday.

      • Kathy, you are right about what triggered the gag order. But things have settled down a bit and a gag order is unusual and a last resort. The judge at this point could lift it and warn the parties and lawyers they will be sanctioned if they make improper or predjucial remarks, etc., as is a more common judicial approach.

        In a case like this where there is a widespread community interest and the potential for improper political pressure, it is exactly the type of case that should be handeled in the open, it seems to me.

      • Actually Jerry, I think the interest in this case is quite a bit wider than ‘community’…perhaps national, or even international.

        If Msgr Lynn is convicted and sent to jail, I think it will be the first time that an ‘episcopal manager’ is punished for predator passing on from one parish to the next unsuspecting parish, ie ‘child endangerment’ in the US. A punishment that is incredibly overdue.

      • Jerry, I know what you mean but in following the Sandusky case and reading some of the statements his attorney is making in the press, I wish there would be a gag order in that case also. Some of the statements seem to be a way of intimidating more victims from coming forward. If that is the case I would settle for a gag order.

  5. Fair point, Kathy. I do not know why the judge in the Sandusky case doesn’t admonish his lawyer. You don’t have to gag lawyers ordinarily. A warning to hold them in contempt for improper statements, such as trying to intimidate other victims or witnesses, is usually enough. It may have to do with a judge who was “friendly” to Sandusky at the outset, who has now been replaced with another judge who may still not yet be up to speed. Some of Sandusky’s lawyer’s statements have been deplorable, I agree.

    I think at this point the Philly archdiocese’s case is distinquishable, but then again, I am not the judge.

    I also think with Jeff Anderson and Marci Hamilton as of today representing a new alleged Sandusky victim, similar future statements by Sandusky’s lawyer will, I would expect, be vigorously and promptly challenged.

  6. Monica Kinney’s article is excellent.

    Two, young men from my diocese in NY are seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo. My diocese is primarily a rural one. Both young men grew up here and were educated locally. I would refer to the young men as impressionable, limited in terms of worldly experiences and faith-filled. Both entered the seminary upon graduating from high school.

    Clearly, because they occupy the same space as Bevilacqua, at the very least they have crossed paths with him, indeed, it is likely that they have shared meals and have worshipped with him. Possibly, Bevilacqua has visited their classes, lecturing, sermonizing or chatting.

    I can see the young men expressing deep respect for the cardinal. I can see them encountering him with awe. I can see them perceiving him as an icon. I can see them possessing a deep desire to emulate him.

    When the judge, prosecutors, defense attorneys, defendants and protesters descended on St. Charles Borromeo this week, I wonder what went through the minds of the two, young seminarians, indeed, all of them? The nature of the spectacle is hardly something we associate with a cardinal, and hardly a normal occurrence on a seminary campus. It’s surprising, for these reasons, alone, that Bevilacqua and/or the seminary did not insist he be removed.

    Because he was not removed, one assumes that the priests and administrators at the seminary were confident they could manage and “survive” the spectacle. How, exactly, did they manage it with the seminarians? Did they use it as “a teachable moment”? If so, what did they teach??? What perspectives, messages, ideas, and points of view did the priests and administrators impose on the seminarians regarding the cardinal-spectacle?

    The two seminarians from my diocese are young and malleable. It breaks my heart that they are not fully informed, that they are not being trained to think critically, and that they are defenseless in the face of opinions and ideas that originate in a cultish and dysfunctional culture.

    I can see them endearingly beaming at the cardinal, today, much like the AD of Philly priests endearingly embraced Lynn with their applause.

    The two, young seminarians are in training…

    • Had it….do the seminarians have computers, can they access C4C?
      Same question for anyone they know?

      Your comments were, as usual, very compelling..but I am hoping that access to the truth…’might set them free’?

      • Joan,

        Actually, originally, my diocese sent 3 seminarians to St. Charles Borromeo. The third one had been a student of mine, attending the college where I teach for 1 year. Since I knew the student, I spoke to him on several occasions about his interest in the priesthood. I directed him to reading material, including Sipe’s graphic works relating to life in the seminary. Much of the material was online. We frequently discussed what he had read. While he had read it, his parish priest, acting as his “discernment director,” seemed to have an uncanny sort of control over him. My student would acknowledge understanding what, say, Sipe would bring to light, but it didn’t bother him, rather, he seemed far more concerned with finding a place where he believed he could “shine,” receive accolades and feel useful. His college experience had been rough academically. His “discernment director,” in my point of view, blinded himself to my student’s psycho-emotional needs, promising him, instead, that the priesthood was the answer to his sense of feeling adrift. I asked my student whether he realized that the parish priest would earn accolades were my student to enter the seminary under his direction. I asked him this because, as the months went on, it seemed to me to be the parish priest’s entire objective. My student’s psych-emotional well being, according to the student, was never explored by the parish priest. Their meetings, according to the student, entailed light, social fellowship and some spiritual discernment. My student entered St. Charles Borromeo and lasted one year.

        My student had access to the truth, but it did not set him free because “belonging” was more important to him than the truth. There are seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo who know or have access to the truth but deny it or fail to explore it because their needs supersede the truth.

      • Thank you so much, Hadit, for the informative and insightful comments on your former student’s spiritual odyssey. It helps me to understand better how some priests I have met became priests when it seemed to me they were very unhappy and had made a mistake. How tragic for all concerned.

        We really don’t know with certainty how many of the original apostles really stayed with their vocations. In any event, they were likely married with families and had other tasks beyond ministry, more like married deacons today.

        It makes one ask whether it makes sense to expect an inexperienced teenage boy to make an all out lifetime committment to celibacy in a collective environment . It is increasingly clear that many priests really cannot handle the unnecessary demands, but unfortuntely for defenseless children, we often find out about it when the harm has already been done.

        This must change.

      • Oh, Had it, no wonder your description of the seminarians was so compelling!

        And their need for ‘belonging’ trumped their developmental reality. And their advisors were inadequate. And the truth even well documented, ‘could not set them free’….

        I think there is a huge responsibility on the seminary to screen for emotional maturity…yet another bit of unfinished business, Church wise. (I hope the ex seminarian is OK?)

        If I take your point correctly, seminaries are populated by some, perhaps many candidates who are not free enough psychologically to deal with hard truths…actually, I think the pews are so populated as well.

        I am recalling a Sipe piece recently quoted here, that suggested that many priesthood candidates were damaged by the seminary experience, a few survived intact.

        Thanks for your insights, painful as they are.

      • Joan,
        There are pews full (well, not as full) of catholics who can’t access the truth and it’s right at their fingertips. They aren’t seminarians. What’s their excuse? How about the children in the catholic schools? (I’m not throwing daggers)…but the truth is that not all the children have Kathy or Susan for moms to dispel some of the junk filtering through to the impressionable children. How about the formation during CCD classes?

        I’m not only concerned about the seminaries cranking out more stunted priests. I’m concerned about the children coming up being another round of complacent laity.

        Hadit…your perspective is so helpful.

      • survivor’s wife
        I have had so many conversations with other parents in reference to some of the things you pointed out.I do not see how this generation of kids could end up as complacent laity,I wonder if this generation will even be in the church let alone complacent.This is not a taboo subject in my house at all. But I do think it does remain a taboo in many households which must be so confusing for kids. I have seen some “online chatter” where kids talk about it -of course in a joking way -but there is truth to their statements and feelings. How can this not be discussed? The kids are well aware of what is going on and that will only increase once the trials start.

      • Joan, I have no doubt that seminaries do damage. I also know that I owe a huge debt to the Marist Fathers. I was a seminarian in that community for 7 years. That was a life changing experience for me. I left there healthier, happier, and spiritually much more mature. I was taught and mentored by wonderful priests. I try to “pass it on” in my own work. In that toxic culture of clericalism, there were and are some priests doing God’s work. Martin

  7. I hope that no one is offended, but I thought we could enjoy a little levity. Last night the “The Colbert Report” pointed out that the College of Cardinals has agreed to drop the PE requirement!

  8. Kathy,
    Your points are well made.

    My hope is that those who remain come from parents like you and Susan…eyes wide open, hanging onto Him, and fighting for truth, accountability and transparency.

    • SW, and Kathy at 73, I m seeing a real mix of kids and grandkids, ours, friends of ours and all the folks we know….and as a general statement these guys are terrific.

      Some are in the Church, many are not, but their generosity, social consciousness, childrearing practices, care for others is very special.

      A number of them are very political, and have really impacted the world, I think of it as a diaspora….the best we all, as parents, tried to do, seems to have worked out and I don’t for a moment think that God wasn’t or isn’t involved.

      In all fairness, none of these folks would qualify as docile or compliant laity.

      • I agree.

        I see wonderful, kind, compassionate, faith-filled catholic youth as well. I work with them and my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. But most are consciously and unconsciously taught not to buck the catholic system. And that perpetuates the more of the same. I suppose I want change yesterday and when I things move so slowly it means more children are at risk.

        I’m not challenging anyone. I’m just sharing my perspective from what I’ve experienced.

      • You know SW, I think my previous comments were an attempt to reassure Kathy and her friends, that they would be happy with the results of their parenting…especially because they had an ‘open’ discussion style, which God knows we all did.

        I am less sanguine, about parenting that buys the whole package without critical analysis, or open discussion, particularly in a 24/7 news cycle.

        But maybe it’s just a regional thing. I took a look at the religion syllabus of my granddaughter’s catholic high school….in which 53% of the kids are catholic, 25% are Jewish, I think the balance are baptists, Hebrew is taught, and I had no problem with the religion content, but it certainly wasn’t the Baltimore Catechism.

        I think there is an educational emphasis out here, on compassion for the poor…lots of community service (Matthew 25), on responsible behavior personally and globally, and it is OK to ask tough questions about the Churchs behavior, both historically and currently. Somehow, it sounds like that may not be the case in Philly?

    • Joan,you ask a great question. I was a student in Catholic elementary school in the 1970’s. When I first started the nuns were in full habit. Over the course of the years,the habits changed, we could now see their hair! A few nuns even had pierced ears. We called them by their real names, Sr Kathleen, Sr Carol etc.. The curriculum was heavy on the social justice your reference. The Beatitudes,corporal works of mercy. Jesus loved us,he died for us. He wasn’t a scary image but a loving,compassionate image. If he died for me then the least I could do was treat others with the same mercy and compassion. Right? I think my Catholic education actually led me to choose a career in social work.
      We had a mixture of young and old priests at my parish. One young priest had shaggy hair and a beard and used to play his guitar for us,I remember being young and actually thinking he was Jesus. Then also some older priest,one who used to scream at us any chance he could.
      A friend who is my age,thinks we were not catechized properly and that is why so many leave the Church. No Baltimore catechism,not a lot of emphasis on the Church being the one true religion.
      So you have a generation of Catholics who were taught a certain way but live in a very clerical and conservative Diocese. That is an interesting dynamic. I didn’t think my upbringing would lead me to feed into the clericalism, but it did. My husband is a convert. He has met a mix of some great priests and some not so great priests since he converted . He treats them the same he would treat anyone else in his life. If they respect him,he respects them – if they don’t -game over. I didn’t realize how much clericalism affected me until I saw the way my husband relates to the clergy. It was a wake up call into a culture that not only does not reflect society but did not even reflect what I was taught in my Catholic education. There is such a disconnect between what I was taught and what I witness.

      • Kathy, this is just too funny. I am sitting at the breakfast table reading your posting, and MY husband looks up and says about a priest who is coming to visit Sunday pm, ‘you know Joan, he called, told me how busy he was the rest of the week so he would come Sunday pm…these guys are spoiled, they think of their schedules, but not ours.”

        Actually, I will be glad to see the guy and I pointed out that my husband could have said we were busy?

        Relative to your 70s and my 50s catholic education, I had been meaning to comment on the Vatican Council, the promise it held in so many ways, for all of us. There was an insider who wrote a very thick book about all the internal Council political machinations that happened behind the scene ….the Curial opposition to John the twenty thirds agenda. It made contemporary politics look like a garden party.

        And those Curial players have, in my view, gotten even. We now have the reform of the reform. I think it was Sister Sandra Schneiders who did a very good piece on this in the NCR, recently. If I recall even a fraction of her thinking, we now have a new normal, where in a sort of parallel universe, you have lots of Catholics moving right along, exercising primacy of personal conscience and on another track, you have the the mess in PA, AD arrogance et al.

        No easy answers on this one…but it’s good to have savvy husbands!

  9. survivor’s wife, I literally could write pages and pages about what you pointed out,Catholics ‘don’t buck the system” Exactly,but let me tell you about a situation that shows things may be changing. The high school teachers went on strike in September. The teachers agreed to return to work and have the students return to the classrooms if a mediator was brought in to aid with negotiations. The Archdiocese refused the request. Normally we all would have just sat here like sheep.That didn’t happen. A few people developed a facebook page called Catholic Parents Respond. Over a thousand parents joined and people were loudly and publicly calling the AD on the carpet for not agreeing to mediation. It was facebook so your name is public,people had no problem voicing their opinions. Parents talked to the press,wrote letters to the newspapers etc…..The other interesting thing was they flooded the AD with phone calls and emails. I realize this may not seem like a big deal but in Philadelphia it is. We have a very conservative Diocese,we simply do not speak up.
    Many people shared the emails they received back from the AD. They were asked to treat the AD with the respect they would give any organization. That is the point -they were treating the AD the way treat any other organization,the AD is just not used to that.
    I was impressed but also upset that so many people were speaking up about a teacher’s strike but remain silent on the abuse issue. And then it started to happen,people in their comments were also referencing the abuse. It is always there,right on the surface.
    Another interesting thing was a local parish school was unexpectedly closed at the end of last school year and a similar thing happened. The parents went to the press,felt lied to by the AD,had the kids protesting outside the school etc…. I see a change with that that attitude of ‘do not question”. I don’t think it works with our generation , so I have hope the same will be true of the next generation.

    • I hope both you and Joan are correct.

      You’ve been at this for a relatively short time and you’ve accomplished so much.

      I think I’m just weary. Weary of the “changes are just around the corner,” and the “see, there IS change.” I know it seems big to you…but it feels slow and weak to me. Perhaps it’s impatience on my part. Maybe it’s because I’ve been at this for years and I see it differently. Imagine in 15-20 years you are still fighting this same fight? I don’t get excited about a bunch of parents challenging the AD about school issues…hoping that maybe they’ll get around to challenging their hierarchy about what trumps any school issue they could ever have. It’s necessary that someone does though and I’m grateful you are standing in the gap for me (us), Kathy.

      Those changes you mentioned show glimmers of hope, but they are not what needs to be happening by a long shot. I want more than glimmers. Oh great…I can add greedy to impatient.

      I hope no one takes this personally as I know all those connected to C4C are working diligently for reform in and out of the church.

      It’s been a long week of information-gathering about the priest who abused my husband…so I can share it with the people who are SUPPOSED to be supervising him. Don’t even get me started on what a joke it is to “supervise” a pedophile priest. I’m just so sick of the catholic church’s lies.

      I need to take a break. Pray I can get that spark back…refreshed, rested, and with a new sense of hope moving forward.

      • SW you have so much to offer….Kathy says she has learned so much from you…and I can surely see it! I have, too.

        I wish I could make the Church stand up and fly straight for you, immediately, but I fear it is a somewhat endless process with some progress and a good bit of backsliding. I think God must be impatient, too!

        Please take care. Joan

      • survivor’s wife, I don’t blame you at all for feeling that way. A bunch of parents challenging the AD about a teacher’s strike – I get it. My hope is that because children see their parents speaking up and not behaving like sheep -then that will give an example to them and their generation. That is really the thing,change in culture is not immediate – and in this case it needs to be!
        As for what you are going through right now making sure the priest who abused your husband is being supervised and not abusing children. I can’t even imagine it -not even slightly the emotion that would illicit in me. I read a chillingly accurate description of how victims feel about their abusers still being at risk to children because of the statute of limitations. This was written by Chris Gavagan of Coached Into Silence. Chris was sexually abused by his hockey coach when he was a teen. Those who have suffered sexual abuse as children have become tragic experts in a field that the rest of the world wants to pretend does not exist. Yet survivors can be society’s lifeguards. While millions of children splash about in the surf right now, there are sharks circling. Survivors bear the scars of these sharks. We are the ones who can say “There. There is the predator that attacked me.”

        Give the people who know, the chance to say what they know.

        The statute of limitations have taken the whistles from the lifeguards. Victims are forced to watch; helpless, mute—as predators sink their teeth into the next victim, and the next victim. While we scream on the sand, child after child is snatched from the sunlight and dragged to the darkness below. Not every child will survive to see the surface again. None will emerge from this fully intact.

      • Sorry for some reason the quote did not seperate from my text when it posted. From Chris Gavagan of Coached Into Silence

        Those who have suffered sexual abuse as children have become tragic experts in a field that the rest of the world wants to pretend does not exist. Yet survivors can be society’s lifeguards. While millions of children splash about in the surf right now, there are sharks circling. Survivors bear the scars of these sharks. We are the ones who can say “There. There is the predator that attacked me.”

        Give the people who know, the chance to say what they know.

        The statute of limitations have taken the whistles from the lifeguards. Victims are forced to watch; helpless, mute—as predators sink their teeth into the next victim, and the next victim. While we scream on the sand, child after child is snatched from the sunlight and dragged to the darkness below. Not every child will survive to see the surface again. None will emerge from this fully intact.

        There is blood on somebody’s hands here…

      • survivor’s wife,

        Over the years, one thing I have learned is that my passion for affecting change can, at times, exhaust me, mentally, emotionally and physically, leaving me feeling hopeless and wanting to retreat. Always, I have recovered in time because advocating for change is the most rational and viable way to honor the memory of my brother, protect the well being of children, and affect a new vision for our Church.

        For years, my brief stages of hopelessness deeply affected me. My frame of mind stood in sharp contrast to my normally sturdy and rational self. While I considered retreating from my passions, instead, I learned to retreat into my self, re-clarifying my strengths and attributes and re-locating my center of gravity. In reconfirming my self, I was empowered to return to my passions.

        Few, if any of us, here, are not familiar with your strengths, attributes and centeredness. Reflect on them. They will reignite your passions and hope.

      • hadit,that was beautiful. survivor’s wife,I need to apologize. I read the quote I posted and it was so powerful I wanted to share it on the site but probably not good timing in response to the way you are feeling.You have shared so much with us and in many ways that has helped us focus on some very important things that need to be done. This site would not be what it is without the survivors and family members sharing their journey. A newspaper article described C4C as a victim’s website. Is that what we are? who knows? But it is ever evolving based on the people who visit and share. I always think of the victims I have met and the stories that people have shared on this site. I carry your husband and hadit’s brother with me in my work.

      • SW
        The lies are what at times I feel suck the life out of me. Only quiet and Jesus (Truth)restore me. Feeling only outrage is comfortable and safe……..action takes courage to paraphrase John Salveson Courage comes at a price I have found.Perservance though builds character and I think we have many people of character on this website. Kathy you said the article says we are a website of victims………well it seems like people are interested in what bloggers at C4C have to say if you look at the number of hits……….who else but victims and family members of victims know the personal devastation child sexual abuse creates.

      • Hadit catholic,
        When you first shared your brother’s story i was amazed by the dignity and grace in which you expressed it.At the same time I unexpectly was flooded by the bittersweet feelings of having lost a loved one my father tragically from cancer. While not at all the same circumstances.The beauty of love like that is that it does not end. Just as your love has not ended for your brother.The communion of saints has taken on a whole new meaning for me. My dad once said if anyone messed with his kids or grandkids he would sock them in the nose. I always laughed at this because he was very intellectual so a comment like this was out of character for him
        but deep down I knew he meant it and it meant he loved us. It is in this spirit I hope the new legislation passes and is a symbolic sock in the nose to all predators. My dad taught me to be a fighter and when I want to give up I just think of him .

  10. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply December 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Many people shared the emails they received back from the AD. They were asked to treat the AD with the respect they would give any organization. That is the point -they were treating the AD the way treat any other organization,the AD is just not used to that.

    Kathy, imagine that…….an organization in the 21st century that does not know how to respond to outside inquiry, concern and criticism. I’ll be sure to invite the management crew down there at 222 N. 17th St. to my introductory class entitled “Advocacy – powerful, persistent and, yes, unpredictable”

    • Michael
      All I could think was ,do they not watch the local news? Any day of the week there is coverage of some issue where there are school board meetings or township meetings with people lined up at the microphone to have their say. The news usually highlights the person who went ballistic when it was their turn to speak!
      My friend received one of the ‘treat with the same courtesy/respect as you would other organizations” emails and was half furious,half laughing. She said” I don’t think they would want me to treat them the way I treat other organizations I have a problem with!

  11. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply December 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Kathy:

    Been through that scenario many times before……..when an organization/agency and its senior management responds with “….I’ve never had to account for my decisions before” or “I don’t appreciate someone questioning my integrity” or the very popular, “are you threatening me?”

    Standard response here…….”not to worry, look on the bright side, next time you are challenged or asked to explain your conduct and decision-making, you won’t feel so bad”

  12. First of all, there is no need to apologize for posting something of interest. It’s not only valuable, but necessary. Even if victims or their families don’t agree with it, the input is purposeful. This site may be categorized as a victim’s site by outsiders, but the people who lurk are catholics wanting other than what they living. It’s advantageous to have differing views, even catholics in the pews who think victims aren’t doing things the right way. It will be how we grow and learn.

    I absolutely loved the analogy of the lifeguards warning about sharks…especially given the past few weeks. Spot on! Thank you for the support, kind words, insights (hadit, beth, and Kathy), and prayers.

    This site doesn’t have to “appeal” to victims…it has to rally the people in the pews to speak up, demand more from their hierarchy…and it means you have to meet them where they are. There are so many disgruntled catholics that don’t know which way to turn, so they keep putting one foot in front of the other hoping “you people” will make the changes. Legislation is key for the survivors and for protection of children. It’s been a very wise choice to focus your energies in the secular community since this religious one has not had the best track record for keeping children safe. First things first. The church needs you now more than ever.

    All of that said…this is your CHURCH. Whoever thought the social justice focus of your lifetime would be the sexual abuse of children in your church? Let’s pretend for a moment the bills pass. After all the celebrating and a sigh of relief that victims may get their day and children will be safer…will you be satisfied with what remains? There will still be a church that never “got it.” There will still be a clerical elitist culture to deal with. There will still be a hierarchy that thinks victims are liars and likely will never be ministered to. There’ll be a church that still cares more about their coffers than they do about their children. Their lobbyists more than their ministries. I don’t know how any priest can offer up a homily about priorities and how messed up we all are when they are part of the system that has put what should be their top priority to the bottom of the list. You may think this is a fight to protect children (and it is!!!), but you are also fighting for your Church. Catholics4Change…I’m guessing you want your children safe and the way things have been handled to change. It’s vital to impose all the rules of secular society to the church leadership, but the key will be to reach the laity.

    Thank YOU….each of you on this site for extending His Hand to me. You have done what none in the church had the courage or faith to do…minister . There is hope for those who serve Him.

    • SW, You touch my heart. Everything you express on this site is so accurate. I love reading your posts, they give me hope and solidarity because you really do get it. You are a healer because you know the truth, have seen the suffering and endured outcomes that are not pretty to see. Never underestimate,your value to this site. I am a survivor and for too long I felt so alone with my pain, you survivors wife have taken away that lonliness and embraced me as a fellow warrior. Thank you for your constant wisdom.

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