Catholics4Change Mentioned in Inquirer Year-End Column

Click here to read: “Monica Yant Kinney: Checking in on some past acquaintances,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 21, 2011

Important clarification: I do not have a problem with the formality of Mass or any doctrine of Catholic faith. I take issue with apathy and the cover up in regard child sex abuse. That is what makes going to Mass difficult.

My letter to Monica:

Shortly after you wrote your column on Catholics4Change, the priest who married me, baptized both my children and employed me at the Archdiocese was removed from ministry. The watershed moments of my life and faith are now marred by dark questions. But those questions are far easier to deal with than the child sexual abuse endured by survivors.

Lately, I find myself in surprising emotional conversations. People at work, friends and strangers – often the people I least expect – want to talk about religion and faith. I think if you have faith you can deal with just about anything. But people have lost their moorings in all the hypocrisy, denial and lies. I don’t have the answers for them but I share the struggle and think that helps. People need to know their experience is shared. That’s the point of the site – even more than the information it provides.

There’s been increased focus on legislation because of the Penn State scandal. But I’d like to point out that the Archdiocese still hasn’t implemented the other recommendations of the Grand Jury Report. Knowing that, I’ve focused my child protection efforts outside of the Church where there is hope.



24 thoughts on “Catholics4Change Mentioned in Inquirer Year-End Column

  1. This is slightly off-topic, but Philly’s most famous sportswriter, Bill Conlin, resigned today due to multiple child sex abuse allegations. He probably can’t be prosecuted due to the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. However, more people will see that this law should be extended.

    However, Rep Marsico can still prevent movement on the bill, especially since Guy Marsico, an accused Philadelphia priest and probably a relative, would be affected. See

    1. I mentioned that before but everyone keeps saying no relation. Kathy posted an article yesterday on Bill Conlin that was so sad and yes Patrick your right they can not press charges.

      1. Patrick the one you posted above. Read the line that starts with “tormented” says “Mariscos not related”

      2. In 1982, on one of the evenings before he insisted I sleep in the bed with him, instead of the other bed available, but having just moved into the rectory, the 2nd bed, full of boxes, at St. Rose of Lima, in York, Pa., …he ( Fr. Marsico ) made a few points to impress upon me that he had several relatives in the government in Harrisburg. He showed me pictures. I recall being told this ( in the least, more than once ). That certainly did, yes, did, leave an impression. However, not like the impression physically & frankly, sexually, he left on my 13 year old body during that night.
        On another one of two occasions, before he took me out to Ohio to the Josephinum Seminary, “for the experience of Seminary life”, (btw, an 8 hour drive, as a child, I had to “relieve” myself, during that drive, to/from Columbus,)( I always felt, I supposed, so he could have some control over me, he would not stop that car or pullover to allow me to “relieve myself”, frankly an awful feeling, one I will never forget…but, children never forget?) I am in my early 40’s now and I cannot go to the bathroom to this day, without thinking of him and that trip to Ohio and him not allowing me to relieve myself)…(off subject) also, specifically remember being 1 or 2 blocks from visual sight of the Capital building in Harrisburg, ( Him understanding my feeling of a “call” to the priesthood ), ( He took me to 2 pastoral ordinations at St. Patrick’s Catherdral, in Harrisburg…for the experience ), (I believe it is called St. Patrick’s ), and, point, he again reiterated to me that he had family in goverment in “that building”, pointing from the sidewalk, towards the Capital building.
        SIDENOTE: I had been reading this particular page of this blog for so many months, saved, I simply could not compete with my feeling’s or compelment to write this comment…to you all, whom are rightfully and possibly, still wondering of the possible family ties
        Also, my feelings on this blog, catholics4change…if any significant feedback should makes its way to within the walls of the Vatican, and if anything should get the Pontiff’s attention as to the church pews within ANY given Catholic church, and/or, why the pews aren’t filled, it should be this blog and catching his attention should be just how the “typical American Catholic is feeling, overall, right about now”. This blog is NOT for the radical groups, it is for the groups whom have members in their family still saying prayers before every meal, “doing the stations”, have, Rosary’s hanging from their bedposts, to this day and remembering their Great Grandparents …& their God blessed loyalty to their Church,…AND…THOSE OF YOU WANTING SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE TRANSPARENT CHANGE. Especially regarding child molestation, mental molestation, physical or verbal molestion, to a point, all the same results on the affected. FOR LIFE !
        My feelings, you may touch that child, teach that child, set good examples through positive religious visuals for that child…JUST DON’T MOLEST THAT CHILD.

  2. “I think if you have faith you can deal with just about anything…..”

    The C4C site talks a great deal about faith – mostly about faith in the Man Upstairs. I don’t have that sort of faith any more. My faith is in other human beings, relatioinships with friends and family, with human values, with ideas and creativity, justice, equality, love…….

    All of these things are valuable and life sustaining and don’t in any way separate one from another because of a religious passage, a clerical collar, a symbol such as a Star of David, a Crescent, a Cross, some threat of sin or eternal damnation or some cock-eyed gender or unproven gay slur or belief or ethnic difference.


    1. Reid,

      I like the way your faith recognizes a wider range of experience. It is drawn from the material of daily life. It’s a practical, concrete spirituality. When faith is blocked off from daily experience, our deepest destiny goes unfilled.

      Sometimes comments on this website seem to say that it is more admirable to remain in the Church while working for reform. Sometimes they ignore the comments made by people who have lost their faith. Every blogger brings to this cite a unique drama, a special story, an individual journey. I appreciate the way you thoughtfully develop and share yours.

      1. haditCatholic – “Sometimes comments on this website seem to say that it is more admirable to remain in the Church while working for reform.”

        Your statement is true, and I believe that it is the result of our deep indoctrination into the RCC, often from a tender age. Even after seeing the vile behavior within religious life, it took me about a decade to free myself psychologically from Church control.

        Fr. Tom Doyle states, “I believed that all of the robes, rituals, customs, rules and traditions had an essential place in God’s special community on earth. I believed that priests and bishops really were “different” and possessed special powers given them by God through ordination. I firmly believed that this was the only way to God and the only true Church.” I believed just as Fr. Doyle did.

        When one is deeply indoctrinated to believe this type of teaching, you can not simple extract yourself from it by a single act of will. The extraction process (deprogramming) takes place in stages over time.

        At first, I believed that I could remain in the Church and work for reform. Then I realized that if a layperson could bring about such reform it would have occurred by now. That being said, this attempt to “… remain in the Church while working for reform,” was for me the first stage of freeing myself from what Fr. Doyle and I once believed.

        For a layperson to reform the RCC from within, would be analogous to a simple citizen of North Korea reforming their government within. Both the Catholic and the North Korean would have to completely dismantle the current leadership. We each have our own “Dear Leaders.” They now have Kim Jong-un, and we have Ben 16, and it would take an army to change that leadership. No, we’re not going anywhere in terms of internal reform, unless by “internal reform” we mean self-reform.

  3. I think Monica hit the nail on the head when she said of Susan and me, ‘their catholicism both devastates and defines them” I think that is true of so many people we have met over these past months,as well as many who follow this site.
    Just a little background for those who are not familiar with the photo campaign to Rigali. It was an idea I had shortly after first connecting with Susan. For people to send photos of their children to Rigali, to show him the faces of the children he was supposed to be protecting. I didn’t think this photo campaign would have any effect on the Archdiocese, it was a way however to bring together people who shared the same outrage about what had happened. From Monica’s article last March,we have met so many people. Maureen Martinez who founded justice4pakids, and Margaret Reif who founded the Catholic Accountability Project were two of the first people who contacted us after the article was in the Inquirer. We received countless emails,phone calls from people who wanted to speak up and get involved My favorite email was from an 85 year old man who said he had waged one man email campaign to Rigali, emailing him everyday demanding protection for children. So in that sense the photo campaign did exactly what I had hoped.
    I received a thank you note from Rigali about the photos. He thanked me and said the photos provided a “welcome reminder” of the children. I don’t need a welcome reminder as a parent I see the faces of Catholic children everyday.
    Susan and I had only known each other a few weeks before sitting for the interview for the inquirer. We had emailed and spoken on the phone but never had even met in person. I am usually a cautious person ,very thoughtful about my actions and with whom I get involved and here I was being interviewed along with someone who basically was a stranger in many ways. I am glad I threw caution to the wind because over these past months,my connection with Susan has proven valuable in so many ways. We laugh that we share the same brain,often sending exact thoughts in emails that cross paths at the exact same time. It has been a pleasure to work with Susan and all of those we have met through the C4C site,there are good people supporting victims and demanding protection of children .They have been in the pews right beside us all of they years. I guess sometimes we looked in the wrong places for leadership and values.

  4. Dear Susan, Thank you so much for your courage in your personal act of faith challenging, against all odds the hypocrisy of the institutional church especially as experienced here in Philadelphia. This sexual abuse challenge touches the lives of all of us as people who believed that we were part of a church that was based on true morality and justice.
    I believe that we have been led into distraction by the recent translation of the liturgy ( Advent 2011). We should be concentrating on the issues of moral responsibility in developing Adult Faith and not simply teaching compliance to authority.
    The institutional Church has made many mistakes in the past and has failed many people by the way it has forced them to believe teachings that were really false. Must we remember the terror that Galilleo must have experienced even under the Pope who was his friend.
    Barbara Tuckman in her book The March of Folly describes the problem of “cognitive Dissonance” within people and institutions when faced with dilemmas and challenges which go against what people would rather believe than to understand newer information and better understanding of what is happening. Her second chapter on the Church at the time of the Reformation is a powerful challenge to the institutional church to simply listen to what is being said rather than simply condemning the process of thought.
    Institutions would rather blame ” culture” and the Media rather than simply trying to understand what is is being said and what questions are being asked.
    Thank you again for this site and for your courageous Act of Living Faith and for your friend Kathy Kane and all who share their thoughts on this blog.

  5. Two words.

    Thank you.

    To victims who came forward, for those families who had the courage to speak when victims could not, and for those who know there are better ways to protect our children and demand justice for victims.

    I pray for all catholics who have yet to see the light…

  6. Hi Father John, I know which book I’m putting on my Christmas list. Thank you. I had never heard the term cognitive dissonance prior to creating this blog. Understanding it has given me a new perspective on history and the present. I appreciate your kind words and that you’ve shared so much on this site. Have a blessed Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

  7. This is not the first article written by Kinney that either directly or indirectly supports the efforts of C4C. Love her work, mind and conscience!

    What a well-deserved tribute to Kathy and Susan! Two, great, Catholic women!

  8. Christmas thanks to everyone! To Susan and Kathy for making this ‘interchange’ possible, To Monica for noting it publicallly. To those exceptional commenters, who somehow take an issue and ‘run’ with it.

    To Father John who lends a serious note, beautifully.

    A very happy Christmas. joan

  9. Thank you to everyone who has commented on this wonderful website begun by Susan and Kathy, and a big thanks and hug to them as well. You give courage and hope to me and to so many Catholics who are otherwise disappointed and surprised by the widespread apathy and disinterest in the topic of child sexual abuse that occurs everywhere.

    Through this grassroots effort, I am confident that 2012 will see laws passed that will help victims of long ago as well as those of the present and future. Together, with the help of God, we can be strong, effective, and successful in bringing justice to victims.

    Best wishes for a very blessed Christmas and a happy, hopeful, and peaceful New Year.


  10. First of all, thank you Susan, for giving me my favourite colour as my icon, a “Signal Grace”, that reminds me of my responsability to place my hand over my heart, before making a comment as I no longer go to Confession, a sacrament I had to embrace as a convert but no longer trust, thanks to the understanding of the abuse of mental reservation and others being held to ransom by what was confessed.
    Secondly, what an introduction by Monica Yant Kinney and not on a Catholic website too. A Signal Grace for you, wonderful, particularly at this time of the year.
    With every good wish to you and yours.

  11. I, too, find that my catholicism both devastates and defines me. My beliefs influenced every aspect of my life. Once being known for stating to family and friends “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”, I can no longer say that and mean it. When I honestly stepped through the door to truth and opened my eyes, I knew that the door would be forever closed behind me. As the saying goes, I pray that “God opens another window” for me and everyone struggling; especially the children who have suffered for too many generations.

    Thank you Susan and Kathy and to everyone on this site. May we all be blessed this Christmas Season with justice, honesty, truth, peace, and hope. Merry Christmas!


  12. Wines Tampering in PA

    The Statute Governing Intimidation of a Witness in Pennsylvania
    Below you will find the actual text of the Pennsylvania statute governing intimidation of a witness in Pennsylvania. This was current as of July 2010. Our Pittsburgh criminal defense law firm is primarily in the business of fighting for defendants’ rights; we are not in the business of updating websites, but wanted to at least give you some information for educational purposes, only. You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. Our Pittsburgh attorneys explain to you the intimidation-related crime, possible punishment, and all your options.

    Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION.

    Intimidation of Witness
    § 4952. Intimidation of witnesses or victims

    (a) OFFENSE DEFINED.– A person commits an offense if, with the intent to or with the knowledge that his conduct will obstruct, impede, impair, prevent or interfere with the administration of criminal justice, he intimidates or attempts to intimidate any witness or victim to:

    (1) Refrain from informing or reporting to any law enforcement officer, prosecuting official or judge concerning any information, document or thing relating to the commission of a crime.

    (2) Give any false or misleading information or testimony relating to the commission of any crime to any law enforcement officer, prosecuting official or judge.

    (3) Withhold any testimony, information, document or thing relating to the commission of a crime from any law enforcement officer, prosecuting official or judge.

    (4) Give any false or misleading information or testimony or refrain from giving any testimony, information, document or thing, relating to the commission of a crime, to an attorney representing a criminal defendant.

    (5) Elude, evade or ignore any request to appear or legal process summoning him to appear to testify or supply evidence.

    (6) Absent himself from any proceeding or investigation to which he has been legally summoned.

    (b) GRADING.–

    (1) The offense is a felony of the degree indicated in paragraphs (2) through (4) if:

    (i) The actor employs force, violence or deception, or threatens to employ force or violence, upon the witness or victim or, with the requisite intent or knowledge upon any other person.

    (ii) The actor offers any pecuniary or other benefit to the witness or victim or, with the requisite intent or knowledge, to any other person.

    (iii) The actor’s conduct is in furtherance of a conspiracy to intimidate a witness or victim.

    (iv) The actor accepts, agrees or solicits another to accept any pecuniary or other benefit to intimidate a witness or victim.

    (v) The actor has suffered any prior conviction for any violation of this section or any predecessor law hereto, or has been convicted, under any Federal statute or statute of any other state, of an act which would be a violation of this section if committed in this State.

    (2) The offense is a felony of the first degree if a felony of the first degree or murder in the first or second degree was charged in the case in which the actor sought to influence or intimidate a witness or victim as specified in this subsection.

    (3) The offense is a felony of the second degree if a felony of the second degree is the most serious offense charged in the case in which the actor sought to influence or intimidate a witness or victim as specified in this subsection.

    (4) The offense is a felony of the third degree in any other case in which the actor sought to influence or intimidate a witness or victim as specified in this subsection.

    (5) Otherwise the offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree.



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