Breaking News: Archdiocese Delayed Reporting Priests’ Porn Until Last Month


BREAKING NEWS

After reading the linked article below, I’ve lost ALL faith that the Church leadership in Philadelphia will ever do the right thing. I read this and wonder where we would be if the Archdiocese had invested the time, money and thought into evangelization, social services or Catholic education that it has into lawyers and hiding facts from the police.

Click here to read: “Prosecutors: Archdiocese delayed reporting priests’ involvement with child porn,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 14, 2012

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167 Responses to “Breaking News: Archdiocese Delayed Reporting Priests’ Porn Until Last Month”

  1. Which is why the laws in Pa. are so important in this situation. If the Church won’t change,the laws need to. It is the only hope for this to stop.

    • Kathy, according to the article cited above, the AD delayed reporting ‘priests involvement with child porn’ when apparently the AD has been aware of the matter for ‘years’.

      What are PA’s laws regarding such reporting?

      We’ve all seen the Finn/KC situation where a bishop has been charged with violating Missouri’s reporting requirement, regarding porn.

      Does PA have similar laws?

      • Joan, the mandatory reporting laws in Pa. are pretty weak. Lots of technicalities as to who is a reporter and also very weak penalties for failing to report -it is a misdemeanor third degree. And before the comments saying people won’t prosecute the Church or they get special treatment – that is the penalty for anyone who does not report under the guidelines -not just clergy. At Penn State the two officials Curley and Schultz are being charged with failure to report but the real charge that are facing is perjury in their Grand Jury Report testimony. The perjury charge is what will bring them to trial. Right now failure to report is a misdemeanor third degeree in Pa. -basically could walk with a fine the same as a speeding ticket -which is why -everyone say it with me now….the laws need to change.

      • Kathy, I took an Internet look at PA’s porn laws and came up eith a relatively recent 2009 tightening up of the law…as it deals with the alledged abuser

        http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=PA+laws+against+child+porn&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CE0QFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.24-7pressrelease.com%2Fpress-release%2Fpennsylvania-expands-child-pornography-laws-111650.php&ei=UQUTT8L8B-qOiALfm5zBDQ&usg=AFQjCNFqZWAee_F7PeZbYFEuBI3Ath-E5A

        I am also wondering about federal law which is tough on these issues, didn’t the Feds come in to KC relative to the Finn/Ratigan case?

      • Joan although the article is a little confusing,my hunch is these crimes were prior to 2009. They seem to allude in the article that there was a long time between the AD knowing of the chid porn possession and the letters disclosing the findings. If the crimes were able to be prosecuted -the Philly DA’s office would do it. Because Msgr Lynn is being charged with conspiracy there are many records that will be presented at trial. I am sure we will learn of many crimes that will go unprosecuted because of the predator friendly laws of Pa. Very,very frustrating for the people working on these cases.

      • There is also only a 2 year statute attached to mandatory reporting .

      • Oh Kathy, how very frustrating for EVERYONE!

        If I read you right, the AD pledged to ‘Zero Tolerance’ of sex abuse since 2002, has known about the porn issues for lots of years, any chance the ‘suspended’ priests are involved?

        And how typical is it that just as the AD would drag out victims claims to get past the legal limits for prosecution, they would ‘sit’ on porn data, to protect themselves.

        Just plain disgusting, and Msgr Lynn’s criminal conspiracy and child endangerment trial will, apparently, disclose more of the same.

        It’s no wonder that the AD is fighting so hard to prevent that trial!

      • Of course frustrating for prosecutors working on these cases,devastating for the victims of these crimes.

    • Joan I know nothing about this case other than what was in the article: “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia waited until last month to tell law enforcement about priests caught with child pornography despite knowing years ago about their “deviant and possibly illegal activities,” prosecutors say.

  2. Words fail.

  3. “The archdiocese has a demonstrated interest and a heavy investment in lynn’s acquittal,” this observation is absolutely correct as it insures the dirty secrets remain hidden by the hierarchy. The abuse and cover up won’t last much longer as the public awareness grows the PA Legislators will have no choice but to pass HB 832 &878, marsico and his pal caltagirone will not be able to cover up for the rcc any longer.

    • Exactly -all about the laws at this point. Statute of limitation reform and strengthening the mandatory reporting laws are the only things that will change this situation. Anything else is just spitting in the wind.

  4. S. Reid Warren, III Reply January 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    When will we be truly surprised by something the Archdiocese does? Surprised and feel vindicated? Surprised and exceeding glad? Surprised and believe that God’s will, not the vatican’s, prevails? That God has taken back His church.

    So far it is the will of those in power in the church – not the will of the parishioners. The true deciples – those who honor the Lord – not desecrate his name.

    Reid

  5. Whatever is left of the Catholic Church in the Philadelphia Archdiocese is nothing but a fraud. That is about as polite and respectful I can be. All that is left is dysfunctional sex freaks who seem to have all the power needed to all the sheep in the pews in the dark.

    A little bit of incense and a few pious words, first learned in seminary school in Pious 101 and all will be forgotten. Check books will be pulled out and more money donated to sex freaks, their pr firms and their world-classless attorneys.

    The Catholic Church may be the NUMBER 1 terrorist organization in the world. What other organization abuses and assualts so many innocent children on a regular basis? Then denies and covers up.

    Mike Ference

  6. This is another reason for signing the petition for abolishing statutes of limitations for child sex abuse. Click on the link above to sign it. How much more abuse hasn’t been revealed in churches, schools, universities, families, neighborhoods? Please tell your legislator and the governor to protect the victims of these vicious crimes not the criminals.

  7. I may be wrong, but at least in the Philadelphia area we may be seeing the demise of the Catholic Church. There is so much disillusionment and anger within our young adults- and I am not sure if that can be healed. But God is in control and may have other ideas. Just take a look at what young adults are posting on youtube: videos like “I love Jesus but hate religion”. Does any one out there take the time to really listen??

  8. So, NOW will you stop giving these criminals money? Or will tomorrow be just another Sunday?

    • Let’s see, 6 priests and a porn ring, very belatedly reported to the authorities, when known for a long time. (Were some of these guys part of the 26 suspended priests or a new and ugly constituency?)

      Diocesan attorneys busily stifling witnesses in the Lynn trial. And my favorite, these attorneys hired by the diocese are to represent witnesses testifying, perhaps against Lynn? The DA’s office has strenuously objected! To their credit

      School closures in a mighty turmoil.

      Tell me Kathy, how is the morale in the diocese?

      • I need to correct my language, I have no idea if there was a porn ring, what I do know is that the porn related info communicated by the AD to the authorities, came forth two months AFTER it was requested and came BECAUSE it was officially required. It was officially required by the prosecution based on data they had subpoenaed in Oct.

        “The filing says the information about the child-porn allegations surfaced in archdiocese records that prosecutors subpoenaed in October. Two months later, investigators got their response: records of six area priests involved with child porn over the years.

        The motion did not say if the priests remained in active ministry. But the records included letters the archdiocese sent to police properly notifying them about the priests’ conduct. Three were dated Dec. 23, 2011, the motion said.

        “At least some of these were cases where the archdiocese learned of the priests’ deviant, and possibly illegal, activities years ago, but never reported them,” Assistant District Attorneys Mariana Sorensen and Patrick Blessington wrote in their filing.”

    • Good question Joan. This past week has been like nothing I have ever seen I found out about the philly.com article when I logged on to facebook and saw that people had posted it on their pages. Usually I post these type of articles and a few friends comment, so to see so many people now doing the same was certainly a welcome sight. Social media is playing a very important role in this whole current crisis with the school closings,upcoming trials and now articles like this.
      Usually a change in culture takes a generation or two to see results. In Philly this past week,it has been a whiplash of culture change. And yes ,people are questioning the abuse,how the victims must have been treated all these years. It seems someone will post something about the school closings and within a few comments the conversation turns to the abuse. I think between the school and parish closings the trials and the decisions about the suspended priests in a few weeks, it is in many ways an unbelievable number of events that have unified people in way I never expected to see. God does work in mysterious ways,doesn’t he.

      • Kathy, He sure does!

        At 73, I am an incompetent, social media wise…but found your description of the speed with which cultural change is occurring locally, very encouraging, particularly the part relating to abuse issues.

        There’s a part of me that wonders after watching the ‘Arab Spring’ phenomena, if there might not be a ‘Philly Winter’ on the horizon. That folks might organize via Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, et al to express their concerns in a way that might cause the AD to make some substantive course changes. Perhaps call off their legal folks and let Msgr Lynn take his chances in court, perhaps to call off their SOL opposition.

        It’s going to get really ugly with those trials, where is the ‘tipping point’….and what would be a healthy direction that it might take?

  9. http://www.youtube.com./watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqYe
    Take a look at this spoken word if you have a moment…I think it is significant. I hope others do too…

    • Celticseeker…I tried your YouTube link and there was a problem..could you redo it? Thanks!

    • @Celticseeker-A friend of mine shared this on facebook this week. Beautiful. Kind of reminds you of what Jesus Himself spoke out against within the Jewish hierarchy of His time, doesn’t it?

      “Christ makes all things new.”

      I truly hope so. and soon.

    • Thank you so much for sharing. It is significant to me. I finally have something to share with my children.

  10. I am so grateful for this website and to read everyone’s comments. Why aren’t more Catholics outraged? Were we all groomed by our religion to be so passive to the point that we allow our own children to be in harms way? Victims are choosen very carefully and this holds true with this entire church. We really are sheep and the leaders of our Catholic Church are disgusting shepards.

  11. It’s called “generational brain washing”. We’ve been “had” people. Thank goodness God heard our many prayers over the years . Our prayers, dispite what HE knew was going on in the hearts of most of the priests, nuns and brothers, were pure love for HIM!

    I was a convert at the age12 to bring my Dad back to the church. I was a good, married in the church, Catholic wife and mother for over 60 yrs. All the things we heard from our family that were in religious orders, over the years, we wouldn’t believe but when it all came out we knew what they told us was true. They were lovers of the Lord and died before their times of “broken hearts”

    “We see now through a looking glass but we will see then face to face.” How sad are we now but we know and must not hesitate to do
    God’s Holy will in this as fast as we can and as prayerfully as is possible. Never cease praying. I too am grateful for this web-site and Kathy.

  12. Whats new? Here in Victoria, the Catholic QC Independant Commissioner engaged by our Archdiocese to deal with sex-abuse allegations icluding clergy posessing porn which appear to go hand in hand, has been known to tip off clergy that they’re the subject of police covert investigations.
    The pressure these men are placed under, to protect the church is as criminal as those committing the crimes.

  13. S. Reid Warren, III Reply January 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Whatever the outcome of the various Arab Springs is in the Middle East, the people did not sit around and wring their hands and pray. They took action. Gandhi took a public stand and defied the English nation.. Martin Luther King put action behind his words and prayers and took on the power structure, the political structure, until he had a grip on the conscience of white America and the headlines throughout the world brought shame to America. It was one of America’s finest hours..

    What would the City think if there was a great sit-in outside Chaput’s office. A big pray-in? What would the Vatican think about the headlines? How would they respond? How might the rest of the Catholic world around the globe respond?

    Reid

    • The Vatican doesn’t care Reid, honestly. They would sell their mothers if they had to; actually it’s hard to believe they had one.

  14. Reid, I am not sure if you are local to see the coverage of the various protests.People are protesting at their schools,parishes,neighborhoods -not one group effort. The good thing is the local news is providing great coverage. A unified protest is interesting,I think after this whole appeal process that is playing out over the next few weeks,maybe we will see something like that. What Susan and I are hearing from many,many people is that they are “walking’ just finished with it all. It reminds me of the scene from the movie “Network” where the charachter opens the window and screams “I can’t take it anymore”..not sure that is th exact quote but something to that effect.

  15. “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

    William Shakespeare

    • Hell is empty, and all the devils are here:
      At this point in time, I think they’re in Poland, NCR Accountability have another horrific case where a young thirteen year old boy committed suicide[Polish Church faces demands to confront sex abuse].
      How can we stand against this holocaust against innocent children.
      With all the alleged apparitions around the world and never a mention, maybe that’s why they are just that, alleged.

  16. S. Reid Warren, III Reply January 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Kathy, I’m from the boonies out here in Elverson, but I do get local news from Philly and surprise – even the Inquirer is delivered to our front door every morning. I am not a believer, but I know how much faith is so central to so many people’s lives. If it is, and they want to reclaim it, I suppose that leaving the church is a protest of sorts. Unfortunately it is one that often backfires as the church leaders will say that their faith is not strong enough or that they are back sliders or that they have abandoned God. It’s wonderful projecton and scapegoating on the part of the hierarchy – puts the blame on the parishioner and finds fault
    with the parishioner and with her/his protest. Seems confession is good for the soul of the
    parishioner, but not members of the hierarchy. Keep up the good work, you and Susan and all others on this site. I’m hoping you will be able to reclain YOUR church

    Reid

    • Reid, I really like your comments, consistently, on C4C and thought these comments were especially timely.

    • Reid, I like your comments, too. I’ve been at that point where I just can’t understand why I don’t take my kids and walk away. You are right though regarding what the response would be of the heirarchy. They use those reasons now to explain why attendance is down, donations are down and even why Catholic school enrollment drops. Somehow, they never, ever seem to reply that these horrendous scandals and coverups are a reason for people walking away.

      If I walk away, am I just as guilty as those who promote the cover up? Why should I let the church remain in the hands of such evil doers?

      • Mimzy..We are the Church! ..If you stay you say, you “agree with what they are doing in the” cover ups”. If you leave, you say a very powerful thing to them, that” they are not”your God but Jesus Christ is Lord……Christ would never stay in a place like this. HE said , if when you go out among the people and they don’t accept you “briush the dust from your feet and leave” .

      • Mimzy,
        I don’t see how Gloria’s advice is not correct in this. Are there no “dots” connecting those you call “evil doers” with the structure
        people are “walking away from?” Look: if the church were not in their hands, whose hands would it be in? Are you and other like minded souls “the true church?” Just trying to understand here.

  17. Years before it fell, there were signs that the Soviet Union was about to fall. What signs will foretell the end of the monarchy in the Catholic Church or Philadelphia? Looking back 10 years from now, we might say: “oh, of course, we should have known it was all over when x happened?” Would love to hear your thoughts.

    • Martin, what about SNAP and their suit at the Hague?

    • Martin, In Philadelphia a few interesting things. One is that people are speaking out and when the Archdiocese issues statements -the uproar gets even louder.There are a few things that have happened that the AD has issued statements referring to ‘rumors” or miscommunications and people are not buying it….at all. Also we hear of local pastors that are flat out rejecting the recommendations of their parish school closing/merging and are invoking their rights under Canon Law.
      Someone could do a study about all that is happening in the AD right now. When I was in grad school I took an organizational psychology course. It is found in most organizations when people have conflict it is because of the decisions that are made at the top,often resulting in pitting people against each other. That is what I see changing in reference to the discussions of the abuse. It is not “the victims are liars” but “look what they have done to the victims also”. Everyone feeling the sting of mistake/,inaction of the AD and using that to gain a better understanding of all that has occurred in the Church in Philadelphia in the past years.

      • Kathy, I was surprised to hear that pastors were rejecting the school closures. Recently, I read somewhere that the closing of a school was up to the pastor, not the diocese. This baffled me, because from my experience, the diocese always had final say. I know a priest who spoke out against a school closing in my diocese, and he received a firm rerpimand and was banished with a placement in a very undesireable location. It will be interesting to see what happens with these priests in the Philly AD who resist the closings.

    • When the priests finally speak.

      • The ‘let’s excuse the hierarchy’ dodos and web trolls are giving up..’the everybody does it’ crowd is going into their caves.

      • Joan, Kathy, Mimzy, Hadit, and Friscoeddie, I felt some real hope when I read your posts.

      • Martin, I think SNAP will continue their Hague efforts. I agree a lot with Haddit, that the priests are critical to the issue.

        In Ireland there are around 450 priests continuing to develop their ‘association’ and they invite laity to their meetings.

        In the Diocese of Milwaukee, Peter Isely (SNAP) and Fr Connell, Vice Chancellor, have been working together with clergy and victims, to a point where they recently bought a major newspaper ad dealing with their collaborations. Fr.Connell, a canon lawyer, is very special, in his own right, has publicly supported abuse legislation, and made a case for it canonically, paid for the ad out of personal funds, this is a man well worth watching.

        And there are other glimmers of hope! Including the recent use of canon law by laity et al. to rein in goofy hierarchy.

        What’s that line, ‘the unremitting sign of a Christian is hope’….I am cautiously hopeful!

      • Martin, I mispoke, the Irish Priest Association now numbers 650 folks. I just posted the full article on the Philadelphia Priests website.

        http://www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie/2012/01/january-update-to-all-our-members/

    • Martin, in the spirit of optimism, but probably not too helpful to east coast catholics, the NCR just did an editorial on the Seismic Shift in the church….lots of discussion about the narrowing done of east coast church facilities, but a more optimistic picture on the west coast, where I live.

      I have more than once on C4C tried to sort of describe this matter, but Tom Roberts does a much better job of how it works out here, in CA et al.

      “What we know, Couturier said, is that “Catholics are developing a complex relationship between their Catholic identity on the one hand, and the way they understand what it means to practice their identity in the traffic of daily life on the other.
      “They are changing their mind and their behavior when it comes to the moral authority of the hierarchy and their commitment to the institutional church and its policies and regulations.”
      Unlike those who begin the analysis with questions about why Catholics
      have lost their faith or “fallen away,” Couturier begins with the understanding, based on considerable evidence from surveys over time, that Catholics “show an amazing level of continuity in their beliefs. … Whether rich or poor, young or old, urban or suburban, liberal or conservative,” they continue to hold core beliefs in such matters of faith as the Resurrection, the real presence in the Eucharist, Mary as the mother of God, God’s special presence to the poor and the importance of prayer and charity in everyday life.
      Catholics may really like being Catholic and identifying themselves as such, but research also shows, Couturier said, that those same Catholics “are diverging, sometimes dramatically, on their attitudes toward church practice: how frequently one should attend Mass, on issues of sexual morality, on abortion and homosexuality, on the discipline that only celibate men can become priests and over the church’s involvement in activities directed toward social justice.”

  18. What can be said at this point? It would seem the tactics of the Philadelphia AD and the RCC, in general, are going to bury themselves. Perhaps this is their unconscieous wish. Why else continue to cover up in the wake of what the whole world knows and has known for a very long time.

  19. The truth is coming out, and there is no way it can be shoved back into the big corrupt hole…!!!

  20. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply January 15, 2012 at 4:57 am

    But the records included letters the archdiocese sent to police properly notifying them about the priests’ conduct. Three were dated Dec. 23, 2011, the motion said.

    In the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the more things change, the more things remain the same. We have a fresh new team of civil and criminal attorneys for the archdiocese and those clergy charged criminally and civilly, but the style and ethics are just about the same. To wit……three of the letters to police were dated Dec. 23, 2011 (approx. three weeks ago).

    These important (and very, very late notifications to law enforcement) were probably included in the final administration mailing of Christmas wishes through the US Post Office. One wonders whether such notices were sent registered mail?? Probably not, too expensive. Need the cash for the mounting and mountainous legal fees.

    DId someone say we are closing elementary and high schools in the Catholic archdiocese here in Philadelphia? Yes, the BJR Commission………some believe it is the Blue Ribbon Commission, while those in the know, refer to the group as the Biased Rigged Conspiracy.

    • I am being devils advocate here but do you think that the letters were sent because Archbishop Chaput is here now with new lawyers vs Rigali and his lawyers? or it just has to do with the trial?

  21. Chaput,

    Just another manic Sunday?

  22. Someone should consider writing a strongly worded letter to the Archdiocese saying that the diocese should reconsider their current practices as they relate to sex with children.

    As long as it won’t offend anyone.

  23. I’m from Montana—may I butt in? I’m a 78 yr old lady who just happens to be a survivor. I prefer that to the word victim as the victims were the ones who took their lives because they had no resources to deal with the horror of sexual abuse by the clergy.
    First Thank you to each contributor who is speaking out for the survivors.. Two of you had positive ideas and it appears like you have the skills to pull it off. Each of the groups in your large city need to send a representative to an organizational meeting to form a united voice. A few Sundays ago our assoc pastor entitled his homily “Occupy the Church”, so borrow from OWS and get organized. Second , talk to as many people who are on the brink of leaving the church to stay and fight. I was away for 35 yrs and came back just before Boston scandal become public. A older lady (a survivor stated on National TV that she would remain in the church because “No damned abusing priest was going to destroy her relationship with her God and Her Church”

    Vatican II says the laity IS THE CHURCH . How you organize and fight will effect all Roman Catholics across this Nation and possibly the world. Inundate the Chancery Office with letters Every Day voicing your displeasure at how Your Church and Your diocese is not admitting wrong and cleaning up this mess according to the laws of your state. Inundate the local newspapers with letters to the editor. Ask The people ( Laity) to deposit their contributions into a locally owned Credit Union and withhold it until the hierarchy begins to address the real issues of hiding the abuse with some good old fashion truth and honesty. Let the Chancery Office know what you are doing and tell them you will put the monies in the collect when THEY start handling the mess correctly–that is showing respect to the survivors and ALL Of The Laity.

    And ask each of the parish priest to hold a Lamentation liturgy to express your sorrow to GOD for the outrage the hierarchy has and continues to do by withholding information concerning abusing priest from the legal authorities and the laity. If he is constrained by obedience to refuse then hold one yourselves. No you will not be celebrating the Eucharist but just holding a prayer service and publicize, publicize, publicize for all of Philly to come.

    Only when you become United and speak with one Voice and one Check Book will you be listened to and heard. Thank you for allowing me to butt in and may god bless each of you and keep you strong in this battle.

    Magy

    • Magy, Welcome and thank you for your thoughts.

    • Magy,

      Thank you for speaking out. I pray that you continue to have the strength to be the strong survivor that you have been over the years.

      The first post in this discussion, made by Kathy, seems to be triggered by her frustration with a Church hierarchy that is clearly embedded in a despicable modus operandi. The modus operandi is truly an assault upon reason and morality. The assaults have been relentless. It would seem that the hierarchy and its modus operandi are impervious to change. Kathy writes: “If the Church won’t change, the laws need to.” In changing the laws, the Church hierarchy will be forced to change… or forced to pay the consequences. The way to deal with the crisis is from the outside, not the inside.

      The brunt of your prescriptions for change entail inside efforts. Why are you so certain, or on what basis do you have faith, that inside efforts can result in change? Because the unity of the faithful can force it through one voice and one check book? The Church hierarchy has repeatedly and clearly stated that it intends to forge forward with its modus operandi in order to preserve tradition, even if it results in a smaller and poorer Church. And, a host of scholars and theologians warn that this, indeed, is the future of our Church.

    • Magy,

      The next time your associate pastor delivers a homily entitled “Occupy the Church,” tell him that the single, greatest impediment to change in the Church is his reluctance, and his brothers’ reluctance, to follow his own words.

  24. Very sage advise Magy. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. God Bless You!

  25. Many parishes have web sites. And some of those web sites have links to the Sunday Bulletins. And in some of those bulletins the results of the previous weeks’ collections are shown, and where the parish is budget versus actual. Of those reporting, most are on budget. So, people continue to drop in their coins, bills and envelopes in support of an organization that participates in the rape of children. As Patrick said (I think), if this was Walmart you wouldn’t shop there. Until the parishes are choked financially it will be business as usual.

    In Ireland, the people in the pews are so pissed off that they have stopped giving. As a result, clergy salaries have been cut by 5%. The dioceses of Tipperary and Limmerick are so hard up the bishops have asked the priests to contribute, on a monthly basis, to a fund to help compensate victims of rape.(link:http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0109/breaking51.html)

    Apparently, a lot of people in the ADofP are not pissed off that their priests are raping children. I’ve been told, here, that “it’s complicated”. For people of Principle it’s shouldn’t be complicated at all: you rape my children, I give you no money.

    • Charles Philadelphia- 2005 first Grand Jury report issued, 2009 start of a capitol campaign that raised $200 million. I understand what you are saying I also understand it is a losing battle.I don’t keep harping on the laws for no reason ,it is the only place that we could possibly see people held accountable.The parishes will not be choked financially,it will be business as usual as you state. I am not going to try to convince people what they should do in regards to the Church I don’t want to be in a losing battle for the rest of my life. I can’t answer the legitimate questions you ask,no one can, because it does not make sense.When people I knew were donating to the capitol campaign.I told them flat out it was crazy,they put their checks in the mail. Enough said.

      • For the past week Kathy I have been wondering what the percentage of contributors to the Capitol Campaign was in the parishes where the schools are now closing and merging vs those that are staying openand if this was a factor in the decisions of the Blue Ribbon Commission.

        We ourselves refused to contribute to that campaign, both as a statement against the hierarchy’s failure to respond properly to the abuse victims, and also as a statement against their trend of following the money trail to the wealthier and growing parishes in the western suburbs, while allowing the parishes of the inner ring suburbs to decline, just as they have done for years with those in the city.

        Some of our school parents have been giving the required weekly church donation in a check written out directly to the school, in an attempt to keep the archdiocese from receiving any of their money.In doing so the parents cannot consider this contribution to be tax deductable but they are willing to do this to send the AD a message.

    • Charles, the Irish scene is fundamentally different, from the US. Ireland had been a ‘catholic country’….the Church ran most of the schools, the hospitals, those tragic orphanages, and laundries, et el. And sexual abuse of children and clerical cover up were endemic.

      Abuse Tracker has been citing article after article regarding just how angry the Irish people are with the Church. There have been 5 or 6 regional reports, most recently Rapphoe (sp)’ detailing the church sexual abuse,(and cover-up) to say nothing of Amnesty International’s recent expose of orphanage abuse, ‘ In Plain Sight’….the Irish Prime Minister publicly castigated the Vatican, and closed the Irish embassy at the Vatican.

      The reality of priests organizing is actually happening in Ireland, and to some degree other European countries.

      Not so much here. I ran some numbers that indicate that on a given Sunday about 7% of the US population is at mass….that’s the 31% of the 25% of US folks who STILL identify as Catholics and go to mass weekly.

      I support withholding donations AND explaining why, but don’t think that will change Church behaviour all that much (it may well help the charities that you alternatively donate to).

      What I think will help and Magy mentioned it, is lots of publicity, lots of letters to the Editor and speaking up on talk shows. And any other way one can think of to persuade public opinion.

      Kathy is right….it’s the courts where protections for kids will be found. AND it is the punishment of hierarchy that are complicit in abuse. Which is why the Lynn case is so important. If Msgr. Lynn is convicted and incarcerated, dioceses throughout the nation will run scared, and be far more attentive to ‘the protection of children’.

  26. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply January 16, 2012 at 12:37 am

    It’s the Ski broken record here again. Since we are talking about finances and our archdiocesan leadership, will someone please tell me:

    (1) Who is the Chairman of the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?

    (2) Who are the members of the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?

    I think retrieving and having this information available to all who post and visit this site could be valuable information in this advocacy for accountability, transparency and finding out what the hell is going on with the money the Philadelphia area parishioners contribute week in and week out.

    • Michael, call or write Fr. Senior who signs my small check for milage to see my therapist. Perhaps he might help, but don’t hold your breath!

    • Michael, it’s my fond hope that sometime soon you will get those answers!

      I happen to handle our family finances, and I assure you I would not invest in anything without that type of data available.

      There’s no excuse for the AD not providing fiscal accounting to it’s members/investors.

      When will these guys grow up and behave like responsible adults?

      • Michael, on page 12 of Berry’s, Render Unto Rome, subtitled Financial Accountability, There is a quote by Charles Zech of Villanova, when discussing the fact that Protestants give $580 per year and Catholics average $320.

        He said Catholics “….did not feel they had sufficient influence in Church decision-making, lacked information on how Church funds were spent, and didn’t think denominational leaders were accountable on how contributions were used.”

        Sound familiar? Pages 8 and 9 discuss Bevilacqua. And the whole book deals with Church finance, Church closings and I think is very relevant to the AD, right now!

  27. The problem I have is that we are asking the legislature and the courts to provide remedy because the organization that we belong to can not be trusted to stop raping children nor can they be trusted to report to the civil authorities when a rape occurs.

    Same with Letters to the Editor and appeals to the public – we are asking Jews, Protestants, Atheists, Pagans and anyone else who is out there to help us solve an internal problem because we cannot.

    Information is King and relentlessly keeping the subject of children being raped by priests in the forefront is hugely important – so Letters, emails, blogs are all important, of course; that’s why we are all here. The legislative and judicial processes exist for a reason, so we might as well take advantage of them, too. But if/when the statutes are extended, and if/when Lynn is convicted, what will that change if all the same liars, thieves and rapists are still in their exalted places within their rectories?

    Kathy & Susan, here we can politely agree to disagree: I contend it’s time to clean house. Starve the parishes; End the most-favored-nation status of the priests; stop financially enabling the rape of kids by priests.

    • Charles,

      The hierarchy is like a house of cards (Jokers?), supported and facilitated by the obedient, fearful but, for the most part, humble and dedicated priests who dutifully manipulate the sheep in the pews. Were the priests to find their voices, unify, exert their consciences and wills, and bring the sheep in the pews to their senses, the house of cards would fall.

      The entire future of the Church depends on the priests.

      Which reminds me. The Philadelphia Priest Association meets on January 26. The entire future of the Church depends on you. The ENTIRE future of the Church.

    • I’ll be the first to say that one of the reasons I hang around catholics is to educate, not only the laity, but the hierarchy.

      My main focus is through legislation and media coverage of the truth. ANY avenue that will help provide healing for a victim I’m open to it.

      For me, it will never be about legislation alone though, because much of that is “after the fact.” I believe tighter laws about reporting, tougher penalties for perpetrators and enablers will affect prevention, but I’m not stopping there.

      I’m a former catholic who wants all children safe. All the laws in the world (even if the hierarchy has to abide by them) will not change the messed up thinking that seems inherent in the clerical culture. It will require the LAITY to protect their children. (Sorry, hadit, I don’t agree. The priests are as useless and incompetent in this area as their bosses, and often times caught in the middle which renders them paralyzed). This falls to the laity to be educated about the sexual abuse of children.

      The priests (and bishops) got away with these crimes because the laity was “unaware” and allowed it. They demanded nothing from the hierarchy. If we really leave it up to the priests…the laity are in the same boat, (whether it’s sexual abuse of children or closed churches/schools) looking for “permission” to do what is right. The laity do not need to look to people who have mismanaged everything from finances to child rape for what is right. They must listen to the One they claim to follow. If their hierarchy is following Him too…then no one would need to be worrying about press conferences, rallies, or collection plates.

      At present though, the rcc has taught their own exactly how they listen…the 2 M’s…media and money. More of the first and less of the second. In my opinion, it’s the most effective way to protect more children.

    • Charles Carroll,
      I have to ask— any relation to “Charles Carroll of Carrollton”, the figure so prominent in the establishment of the Church in the U.S.A. — particularly in Maryland where my ancestors settled?

  28. Charles, I don’t think we disagree. I stopped giving to the collection a long time ago. I do give to non-diocesan Catholic charities and pay tuition for a Catholic school. I’m pretty sure Kathy feels the same.

    • We stopped our donations ages ago, too. The response of my diocese seems the same as Philly. Blame the lack of attendance and lack of envelope us on the people or that famous “shift of demographics.” Again, never mention that it’s the people’s response to these scandals,.

      Has there ever been mention of thought of the church losing it’s tax emempt status?

      • Some of us think about it all the time.

        http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f13909.pdf

      • Charles,very creative of you to provide a complaint form re tax exempt status, for the Church. I am, however, convinced that legal counsel for the AD has dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’.

        Perhaps a more productive route might be an examination of the Diocese bond indebtedness.

        As usual, I am again quoting Jason Berry, Render Unto Rome, who on page 7 says “These days, many dioceses have turned to the bond market to reconsolidate debt and for building projects. “Investors increasingly view the collection plate as a reliable source of cash flow,” James Freeman wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “Church debt, which is increasingly packaged and sold as a bond, has even offered sanctuary from otherwise turbulent credit markets”. (I might add as an investor, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole!)

        I personally found what looked like AD bonds that had been recently downgraded.

        I doubt if the average AD parishioner has a clue that their contributions may well provide cash flow to bond holders.

        I think THESE are questions that folks should ask of the AB.

      • When accessing the above referenced link, count down 15 to find AD reference.

      • Charles, the kind of questions that I think folks who live in the AD, attend Church and contribute to weekly collections, might want to ask the AB run something like this:

        1. What is the dollar amount the AD has taken on in bond indebtedness?

        2. Is the AD planning to extend its(ours) bond indebtedness, if so, by how much?

        3. What dollar amount and percentage of cash flow of weekly parish contributions throughout the AD is used to repay bond holders?

        4. Should not parishioners understand exactly where their contributions go, for what and to whom?

        5. Jason Berry says 5 to 15 per cent of weekly parish contributions
        Are sent on to the AD, what is the percentage in my parish?

  29. Susan-How do you bypass the minimum required by your parish in the Sunday collection in order for your children to attend school? Are you just adding this on to the tuition and sending it directly to the school? I am trying to find the best way to suport the school without allowing any amount, no matter how small, to reach 222?

    With regard to the large percentage the AD took from each parish through the last capitol campaign, I considered it to be akin to extortion.

  30. Theresa, There is no bypass. I’ll have to pay the penalty of higher tuition. Insult to injury.

  31. Charles I have said this many times -where we have chosen to focus our energy is by no means the only angle to approach -anyone thinking they have a way of making change should be pursuing that themselves -absolutely.

    • Kathy, we must have been posting at the same time.

      I agree with everything you said. I agree there are many ways to pursue safety and protection of children and justice for vicims.

      I just wanted you to know I respect the focus of this site…I was just offering my .02.

  32. survivor’s wife,no worries at all. I sense Charles frustration..it is real..I get that. I just want people to understand that C4C is a forum,not a dues paying group with a list of what we expect people to believe or act upon. We have chosen to not go down the road of doing that for various reasons. People are entiltled to their feelings,thought and opinions and if they don’t match up with what we are doing here I would absolutley encourage them to follow what they feel is best. I don’t say that at all as a way of discouraging people from coming to the C4C site – I just don’t want people who want to take a different approach to think that is going to happen here. A few months ago Susan was misquoted by a local news station, that she called for a boycott of attending Mass -she never said that and for the next few days that is all that was discussed on the site -nothing about victims and children just people weighing in about boycotting or not boycotting Mass. Totally took the focus on what we are trying to do here and made us even more convinced that we made the right decision by not going down that road in the first place.

    • Today I went to the Bonner Prendie Rally. I am inspired by those young men and women. 1,500 people showed up at the rally. I think the sleeping giant is waking something good is about to happen. I felt a sense of peace. Two things stand out in my mind. One I was standing around the cricle surrounding the Bonner and Prendie field and the Dad next to me asked my daughter what year she was. She said my mom went here and I told him what class. We said we were from Bucks County and he said “thankyou for coming”. His daughter is a current student. That simple “thankyou for coming took me back to a Friday Vigil which I attend with my other daughter at 222 n. 17th street.
      A mother of a survivor had said the same exact thing to me “thankyou for coming’ . A coincidence I don’t think so. I believe something good is on the way. The second thing that stood out was on the way home my daughter asked me all kinds of questions about the prendie building and property and questions about the Drexel family as the prendie building sits on Drexel Hill and was related to Mother Catherine Drexel. When I was all done she said mom Mother Catherine Drexel in spires me. I have hope because I have hope in our future the children.I believe a sleeping giant is coming to their aid. I can see it in the organizing of people for saving the schools and lobbying for victims……people are starting to speak up and it is a beautiful thing.

      • Thank you Beth. That was exactly what a survivor said to me at my first vigil and “thank you” is what I have said to every person who has called or emailed me in the past week. I agree there is something happening,you can just feel it.

      • Beth-I am taking my daughter up to the shrine of St Katharine Drexel in the morning because she is doing a social studies project on St Katharine as a famous Pennsylvanian and I thought it would be wonderful for my daughter to visit her tomb and see many artifacts of this great saint. I also need to be somewhere peaceful for a couple hours, away from all the feelings of anger and sadness I have when I am in my own church these days. I will remember everyone here from Catholics4Change, esp. the courageous victims who post here in my prayers tomorrow, asking St. Katharine to interceed for all of us that the truth may be revealed, that the laws will be changed, and true healing may begin.

      • Thankyou Theresa I hope the visit brings you peace and we all could use some healing so thankyou for the prayers. My daughter asked me if we could go also as they have off from school but we will not be there til later as they are doing a service project in the am. Peace

    • Hi. The words under Susan’s picture say that the site is for folks interested in “real reform…child sex abuse.” Are you saying that the reform you seek is primarily via the legislature/judiciary and secondarily through the church and that the focus of the discussion on this site should be weighted in favor of that sequence? I so, that’s ok, but you’d be right in saying that’s not my approach . (I believe that the reform should come from within – hence my call for financial boycotting at the parish level.) I think it’s an important point that needs clarification. Thanks.

      .

      • You know Charles, there’s something else that occurs to me as I read over the last 10 or 15 comments relative to contributions, legislation and media attention, in shaping up the Church.

        It’s this. Until the laity, in effect grows up, acts like mature adults, makes decisions based on personal conscience (considering Church input, their own experience, what their conscience tells them is right) the Church will continue to get away with bad stuff.

        When was the last time anyone heard a sermon on the primacy of personal conscience? That we are all called, in the last analysis, to do what we think is right? Probably never.

        And yet, I genuinely believe that is the standard that we need to live by and will be judged on. Joseph Ratszinger was a vocal proponent of that position at Vatican 2 . Not so much, now.

      • Charles, I would say that the only way to protect children more immediately is through laws but that shouldn’t negate reforming within the Church.

      • Charles I believe reform needs to come from without and within also.

      • Charles you stated “I believe that the reform should come from within – hence my call for financial boycotting at the parish level.”

        I tend to agree. To continue to give the Church money is in fact working against what we are trying to accomplish. That money is being used to retain the best lawyers to defend creeps like Lynn. It is also used to pay lobbyist who work against removing SOL.

        I don’t understand the reasoning behind continuing to fund them. It’s analogous to going to the Middle-East to fight Al-Qaeda, while at the same time sending them money from back here in the States.

        I don’t get it! What is it I’m missing? I’m open to correction. Someone please tell me how the situations differ.

  33. Charles, I am trying to say that what you seem to want us to do -is not going to happen and that you should do what you feel you need to do. We don’t call for boycotts etc…and aren’t going to. We are involved with legislation and present the opportunity for people to get involved in that -if they want to. I am just trying to be clear, not harsh in any way so that no one wastes any time if they feel they have their own plan they would like to implement. I know a few different FB and websites have popped up in the last week or two . That is what I have always said to Patrick -set up a site,get people involved in what your ideas/plans are -no one is holding anyone back from that. At this point I really don’t know what else to say because no one has ever held me back from doing my own thing when I feel strongly about it. No one else should feel held back -it is a big world and social media can help you implement the plan you would like to see. Survivor’s wife said a few months ago that “we are shining a light in dark paces” and we will continue to do that, while also working on legislation that can help all kids in Pa.

  34. S. Reid Warren, III Reply January 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    If all change comes through changes in legislation and media coverage won’t the response of The Church be: “Government intrusion and Media fanning the flames. They are picking on The Church. It is unfair and an assault on Christ.”

    That is always their fallback position.

    All change comes from within. We know that through our own lives. Apparently the AD does not subscribe to that maxim.

    Reid

    • Reid, if the Church response is very defensive, and it probably would be to both legislation and media coverage, frankly, who cares?

      That’s what I meant when I said that personal conscience is key.

      If my personal conscience tells me that protecting innocent children is what I must do, than so be it if the Church is offended.

  35. Wake up people, it’s been going on from the beginning. The following quotes are from the book, “The 33 Doctors of the Church”, by the very conservative Father Christopher Rengers, OFM Cap.

    Saint Gregory Nazianzen (Roman Catholic Bishop, 329 AD to 390 AD)
    Page 52: In a section titled “Poet and Friend”, “In a letter reflecting on the joys of their days of prayer and work together at Pontus, St. Gregory wrote to St. Basil: ‘I breathe you more than the air; and I am only alive when I am with you, either in your actual presence or by imagination in your absence.’”

    Saint Ambrose (Roman Catholic Bishop, 337 AD to 397 AD)
    Page 79: In a section titled “Close to God and Man”, “St. Ambrose was very mortified and austere. He recommended the consecration of human affection to Christ through virginity. Yet at the same time he had an extraordinary love for children … In his later years he brought up the three grandchildren of a friend, maintaining them in the episcopal residence.”

    Saint Jerome (Roman Catholic Bishop, 347 AD to 420 AD)
    Page 92: In a section titled “Deep Friendships” in a letter to his friend, “Believe me brother, I look forward to seeing you more than the storm-tossed mariner looks for his haven, more than the thirsty fields long for the showers, more than the anxious mother sitting on the curving shore expects her son.”

    Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (Roman Catholic Bishop, 1090 AD to 1153 AD)
    Page 289: In a section titled “A Man of Strong Friendships” in a letter to a much younger man, “Unhappy man that I am who have not you by me, who cannot see you, who am obliged to live without you for whom to die would be to live, and to live without whom is no better than death! So I do not ask why you left me. I only grieve that you do not return; I do not blame you for going away; I only blame you for not coming back … No doubt it may have been my fault that you left.”

    • I agree with you Mark that a gospel other than the Gospel thatJesus Christ taught (way back )when St. Paul was teaching the new gentile Christians to be very careful not to listen to the “infilltraitors” of their little groups was a bastardization of theGospel. But the people wanted their “ears tickled”. We have today, a gospel from the RCC that is nothing like what Christ taught or would approve of.
      The words spoken in those books are from one lover to another. Not from one person whose God is their lover. What say you????

  36. Reid I agree real change comes from within, whether that is in a family system or an organization. But given that these issues involve crimes against children,I am more comfortable going with the quickest route that will have a bigger impact. In Delaware part of the civil suit settlements involve outside third party overseeing child protection -basically they are being babysat. Actually I will post all of the changes that have occurred in Delaware since the civil suits. And I also agree – they will blame the press etc…although that certainly won’t work in Philly.The press has been the biggest help to the schools that are protesting -the bond has been formed -people ran to the press for help when all they announcements were made -there is now a relationship between the press in Philly and the laity- that will be hard to reverse..

    • I think the rot goes much deeper than most people realize. It is rotted to the core. If you have not yet read David Yallop’s 1984 expose, “In God’s Name,” please do so or you will have no idea just how corrupt these men are. The very Bishop Magee who is personally responsible for much of the Irish pedophile scandal was involved in the last moments of Pope John Paul I’s life, and was heartily promoted by JPII, the so called “Great.” The Great Imposter is more like it. The corruption that you see in Phillie occurs in every nation which these men infest. Also, Penny Lernoux’s excellent books, The People of God, and In Banks We Trust, both provide excellent source information on church corruption. Penny died very unexpectedly after her last book was published. Reading just a few pages of it gives an idea that she would have had a lot of enemies inside the Holy Roman Empire/Church.

      • Mark,

        I couldn’t agree with you more regarding the condition of the Church, and I acquired that opinion by reading, reading, reading… been reading about it for decades… still reading about it.

        The group that isn’t reading, but needs to read, are the priests. Rev. Wintermyer alluded to this in one of his posts months ago. The priests are integral to reform in the Church, but they are hardly informed or prepared to lead.

        Fr. Chris, will you address this problem at the Priest Association meeting on January 26?

      • Hadit,
        I agree completely about priests not being informed or prepared to lead. So what then?

        This is my concern about laying everything at the feet of the priests…they clearly do not know what they are doing and children aren’t safe. So then what? Wait until they are informed? Who will prepare them?

      • SW,

        The power and influence waiting to explode in the parish priests centers around their deep disillusionment and dissatisfaction with Church leadership. They’ve HADIT! Indeed, they’ve hadit to the degree that you and I have hadit. However, fear and the vow of obedience have imposed on them a paralysis, preventing them from exerting their wills and consciences.

        You and I are made bold, courageous and independent by our knowledge. The more knowledge we acquire, the bolder, more courageous and more independent we become. The accruing of knowledge exposes and magnifies the disparities between what we know and how we operate. These disparities reach the core of us. We can’t live with them or ourselves. Our entire personhood is called into question. The crisis of ourselves in crisis forces stable, competent, good and moral people to act decisively. People with these attributes comprise the brunt of the priesthood. Fr. Chris is one. Yes, he is. Fr. Chris is one…

      • Hadit,

        Are you suggesting it’s simply fear and the vow of obedience that are preventing priests from doing what is necessary to protect children?

        I don’t see that dynamic changing any time soon, do you? The hierarchy is not going to do away with the vow of obedience. So what is the tipping point for these priests to break their vows? The rape of children hasn’t done it…knowing they are working for bishops who have enabled the rapists hasn’t done it.

        You said, “The more knowledge we acquire, the bolder, more courageous and more independent we become. The accruing of knowledge exposes and magnifies the disparities between what we know and how we operate. These disparities reach the core of us. We can’t live with them or ourselves. Our entire personhood is called into question. The crisis of ourselves in crisis forces stable, competent, good and moral people to act decisively.”

        As you stated…Fr. Chris is one. I’m not convinced yet, but there’s hope. The whole “ACT decisively” is critical and I have yet to see it, from any priest.

        I understand their fear. I understand (to a certain degree) the promises they made and what it will mean if they break them. What I cannot understand is how they can know what they know (and as Rich so bluntly put it) still not know. How can they not act with all the knowledge they have today? Fear and a vow? What’s the tipping point?

      • SW,

        I think they have reached the tipping point. The hold-up lies in organizing themselves.

      • SW,

        Were it you or I, we would walk away on our own two feet… forget the need to organize.

        However, these guys are a “fraternal order,” having a fraternal mentality They will organize and respond as a fraternal order.

        I’ve said it before, the religious sisters can best equip priests with the skills to organize and respond. Sr. Maureen is beyond capable.

      • Hadit and SW, do you remember that Deacon who commented a few months ago as he was leaving the diaconate, relative to his distress over the hierarchical handling of the sexual abuse issues in the AD?

        He made the point that he had independent means, his retirement plan was secure and he could afford to do so, (leave, that is)!

        I think it’s a critical point in the discussion relative to priests speaking up and taking positions that are antithecal to their bosses.

        Many of these guys were ordained in their late 20s with an M div degree, not a very marketable asset, in a tough labor market.
        To say nothing of being imbued with that clerical culture we have discussed at length.

        I think most of us, commenting on C4C are in no way dependent on the AD for ‘our daily bread’….these guys are.

        Actually, while it may be politically unpopular, I have a lot of sympathy for the good guys that are in many ways stuck in the system.

        I agree that many of them have ‘Haddit’ probably for more unhappy reasons than we know.

        But I do think that those who speak up, take tough risks ( like the 4 who may testify against Lynn) deserve a lot of credit and gratitude.

      • Hadit and Joan,
        As you describe the priests…they sound like women who have entered abusive marriages, beaten down, weak, used, with little to no means to help themselves or completely controlled by their abuser…all while telling everyone how much they love their spouse.

        Similarly to leave that abusive marriage where one person controls everything and there’s a complete imbalance of power makes it easier to stay and let others know “it’s not so bad.”

        I don’t have a lot of sympathy for priests. I just don’t. I see them as part of the problem and not because they’re victims, but because they’ve behaved like cowards by not speaking up. They have some serious repenting to do when they wake up and realize what they’ve done and what they’ve failed to do. I’m tired of the excuses made for why they’ve lacked leadership and moral intregrity. Who cares what the reasons are why they let children get raped or continue to work for people that eenabled rapists. It’s time to quit cutting them slack for their part in this mess. They need to be accountable for their complacency.

        And what about shepherding the laity? What excuse could they possibly give for that?

      • I just want to clarify that I know no one is making excuses for priests’ behaviors (action or inaction). I know we’re all striving to understand the dynamics of a system that has allowed this to go on for so long.

      • SW, I think you are one of the most serious commenters on this blog and I, invariably, have a lot of respect for your comments!

        And no, I am not trying to cut priests a huge amount of slack.

        Any priest who knew molestation was going on and didn’t deal with it, is complicit and there is no defense that I can think of.

        My point, perhaps very ineptly stated, was that I think there are some of these guys, not clued in specifically on the molestation, but very unhappy with the whole situation, that are fiscally stuck.

        That’s all.

      • Joan,
        I agree. Some are stuck.

        All are complicit if they are speaking up.

      • SW and Joan,

        Way too many posts on this subject for me to deal with individually! But here is one idea…

        Joan points out the fiscal problems for priests were they to leave the priesthood or be relieved from it. She’s correct that this weighs heavily on them… it is one of their fears. Their career experience is so unlike ours. The priesthood is a sure thing, a “taken care of” world… albeit a relatively modest one at the parish priest level. The bills are paid. It’s “forever.” The “ease” leads to attitudes of entitlement, incurs a sort of Peter Pan mentality in terms of reality, and obstructs the development of the important life skills and coping skills that got the rest of where we are today. Picturing themselves as independent and personally responsible is overwhelming because they altogether lack the stuff and maturity necessary to pull it off. Their degrees are a problem, too, but, hey, I have the same degrees and I’m making it (after I got 2 more degrees). What about the tens of thousands of priests who have left the priesthood on their own fruition??? They’re making it.

        (I’m tired of babying dysfunctional baby priests through this.)

        Another thing that priests fear with regards to leaving the priesthood or being relieved from it is the cold rejection they will have to endure from fellow clergy members. And I mean cold. You have no idea how cold and cruel… made especially cold and cruel by the fact that the “errant” priest has lived, thrived and flourished on the “brotherhood-fraternity-club” for god knows how long. When you are out, you are soooo OUT.

      • Haddit, you are so, on target! To your priestly assessment, I would add the thought that I once heard that whole description described as ‘kept’, not in the nicest sense of the word. And, of course, it surely does not promote maturity.

        I have a huge respect for friends of mine that have dealt with shattering personal situations, I worked for many years with the poorest of the poor and learned a whole lot about their courage, resilience and generosity.

        These are the “grown ups” worthy of respect, and love.

      • Joan,

        “Kept.” Next time I’ll convey it in one word. Thanks.

        You mentioned the people you know and/or have worked with who have overcome great obstacles in their lives with courage, fortitude and grace. These examples in our lives create in us a real distaste for priests who wallow in their predicament.

        SW,

        The reason we should focus on the priests, with all of their shortcomings, is because they, like we, have hadit. There is no need to convince them of much. The need is only to inspire them to react and respond.

      • I meant to say: All are complicit if they aren’t speaking up.

      • Hadit wrote, “Another thing that priests fear with regards to leaving the priesthood or being relieved from it is the cold rejection they will have to endure from fellow clergy members. And I mean cold. You have no idea how cold and cruel… made especially cold and cruel by the fact that the “errant” priest has lived, thrived and flourished on the “brotherhood-fraternity-club” for god knows how long. When you are out, you are soooo OUT.”

        Interestingly, this is how many victims would describe their experiences when they came forward. In fact, I think many would describe it much harsher than the above, given that knew they would lose their families and friends when they told. I’m sure it’s why many stayed silent for so long…and yet, they still had the courage to tell the truth IN SPITE of the additional suffering they would incur. Let’s keep it in perspective…the priests aren’t the real victims here and each time we paint them with that brush, they act like they are. I have compassion for their circumstances, but they have perpetuated victims’ pain and suffering…they still do, with their silence.

        Perhaps it’s my clouded view, but I find it (__?___), I don’t even have a word… that catholics are so willing to create space for the priests to “have their awakening,” while they treated victims and their families like liars. I hear it, “Even the priest was upset…” “Even the priest was angry…” “Even the priest said…” I’ve seen too much of “the priests” behind closed doors to ever be in a place where I wait for them to get their act together. The ship is sailing and my focus is on protection of children and justice for victims. I’ll happily welcome anyone who hops on board…but I will not wait and hand-hold while those who should have been captains are still standing on the dock.

      • SW, you make many great points about the severe isolation and rejection that victims experience (and perhaps to some degree departing priests) but the part I really wanted to comment on is this.

        It’s what I call the ‘infantilization issue’. And it goes something like this. When priests pledge ‘obedience’ to their bishops at ordination, they are pledging an almost child like dependency. A friend of mine in our local Chancery office, has commented on the fact that while pastors we both know are adult in their parishes, they fawn all over the bishop, like little kids. Personally, I’d like to see priests commit at ordination to supporting the Churches teachings. Period.

        I’d also like to see priests have a paid ‘day job’ in the real world, sort of like the ‘worker priest movement’ in France. The guys that I know have a considerable amount of ‘free time’.

        AND, the infantilization is reinforced and magnified by a not very mature group of laity that fusses and frets over ‘dear Father’….when I encounter that kind of drivel, I generally say something to the effect that ‘actually my concerns are centered on Mrs. So and So who is caring single handedly for her terminally ill husband, and what can we ALL do to help….

      • Joan,
        Great points.

      • Joan… great points made in that post.

        SW… great points made as well in all of your posts.

        We’re getting somewhere.

        It’s complex, but I still say the potential is great. Thanks SW for the constant reality check.

    • Hadit, it is interesting because with all that has been going on in Philadelphia with the school closings, some interesting things happening. First the laity has been extremely outspoken about some of the decisions and the AD seems to have changed their tune on some things. Also pastors of parishes have spoken publicly that they will not accepts some of the recommendations,such as changing the name of their schools etc…and now we are hearing this also may be changing some of the original plans by the AD. I realize these issues cannot even compare to the gravity of clergy sex abuse,I only mention it because it seems to be a change in the culture and I hope the beginning of a change so that the priests who testify at the upcoming trials feel released of the clerical culture of obedience,punishment etc..for standing on their own. I would be interested in your thoughts,you always have such a good handle on the part the priests play in all of this.

  37. Mark, I agree also. I have read all of the reports ,I think it was 5 total, out of Ireland over the past year. You could literally take the name of the Diocese that was in the report and insert Archdiocese of Philadelphia . And hadit, I agree read all you can ,information is important to understand all that has happened dating back centuries and world wide.I wonder if we will hear from Rev Wintermeyer soon, I hope so.

  38. The illusions continue. In a little noticed press release today, Vatican Secretary of State His Excellency Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. appointed Father Sergio Pellini S.D.B. as director general of the Vatican Press. Gee, I wonder what that’s all about? Just what is SDB, and what has been its role in the cover-up of catholic prelate sex crimes? The founder of the SDB is “Don” (a title reserved for royalty, nobles, and church hierarchs) John Bosco. He is known as the patron saint of illusionists and stage magicians; in Italy, magic shows are given for targeted “underprivileged” children (who would ever suspect anything other than a good deed being done for poor kids?) on his feast day. Yet rumors and settlements-in-return-for-silence surround the order to this day. Known for controversies during his lifetime–and claimed by some as having an unnatural attraction toward children–the controversies have continued ever since; the order he founded has a record among the most corrupt of all catholic religious orders–the notorious SDB—Salesians of Don Bosco. Today’s announcement is an illusion before your very eyes, with a message invisible to the human eye. Here is another. Watch closely. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYWd7m7LJhY

  39. Dr. Jerry Hutchison Reply January 17, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    The main reason that the church has taken any action to curb child sex abuse has been the continued exposure and media attention gained by SNAP. The church portrays SNAP as an arm of money hungry lawyers trying to bankrupt and destroy the church. In fact, the reason SNAP shows up to call attention to reports of abusive clergy is that there are usually several new survivors who come forward at every event. This is often the first time they are able to start their healing process. Now the church is trying to destroy SNAP. They are using a hardball legal tactic against SNAP in Kansas City and St. Louis of subpoenas requiring SNAP to turn over confidential records of victims to church defense lawyers. The legal costs for SNAP to fight this could bankrupt it. SNAP operates on only about $350,000. a year from donations, (in spite of false allegations that SNAP is funded by plaintiff’s attorneys.) I believe this new attack by the church is in response to SNAP filing a claim of crimes against humanity with the International Criminal Court. I think the best way to protect children and reform the church is to donate to SNAP, so they can continue the fight. I’m not giving any money to the church.

  40. I agree with Dr. Hutchison, donate your money to SNAP. I will be from now on.

  41. I agree with Dr. Hutchison too! A couple years ago SNAP’s income was in the $450,000 range annually.Many of their staff donate their time as do volunteers et al.

    When I think of SNAP I often think of that adage about a very small and highly dedicated group of folks that can change the world. They ARE that group and they have literally done that.

    Truth in blogging, I have been a SNAP donor for a long time and encourage anyone and everyone to do so to, especially, right now. You can go to their website and donor info is there, along withe the 53 languages that are available for victims and all sorts of other good data for victims!

  42. On Jan.18, 4:23 a.m. Hadit made the last post in a conversation with Joan and SW that I want to hark back to because I believe it brings to the fore some truth in this situation that shouldn’t be lost. Please read the short series of posts that ended there and then consider:

    If one agrees that the priests are “Kept” , what does that reveal about the “Fruit” of the “Tree?”
    If the “Tree” is the Roman religion and they are the “Fruit” of that “Tree” — can the Tree/Church
    be truly of and in Christ? I ask myself that question; do others?

    • Gerald,

      I don’t ask myself that question because I don’t consider the clergy to be the fruit of the religion-tree called Catholicism. If the tree is the religion called Catholicism, then the tree is composed of the tenets of faith that make up Catholicism. In your view, what fruits “spring” from or proceed from Catholicism’s tenets of faith? Maybe faith, hope, charity, truth, freedom, certainty, understanding, forgiveness, salvation, eternal life?

      “Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers.”

      Who are the “others”?

      The whole community of believers are priests, including you and I through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, and the hierarchy of priests through Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders. The hierarchy of priests, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, act in persona Christi Capitis… acting in the power and place of the person of Christ. The presence of Christ in priests “is not to be understood as if priests were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin.” Indeed it is to be expected that priests will act as humans. This is the priesthood instituted of, in and by Christ.

      The inclined-to-be-imperfect-priesthood-yet-called-to-act-as-Christ sits in tension with the perfect faith, but you erroneously seem to believe that each should be perfect when that was not Christ’s thinking, understanding or intention at all.

      .

  43. “The Catholic church now maintains that it abhors child abuse and that it wants to root it out. If the Catholic church is serious about this – and I’ve no doubt that there are at least some in the church hierarchy who are determined to confront the problem – then in my view it has a responsibility to come clean about past abuse. And there’s a simple way for the Catholic church to do this – open its secret archives to the” public. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/richard-scorer/catholic-church-abuses-secret-archives_b_1208905.html They refuse.

  44. Joan referenced this above; could not figure out how to reply to her original post.

    From a younger Paparatz:

    “Over the Pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official Church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism.”

    (Joseph Ratzinger in: Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II ,Vol. V., pg. 134 (Ed) H. Vorgrimler, New York, Herder and Herder, 1967).

  45. I wanted to share this very encouraging news with everyone. As most of you know the SOL reform bills have been stuck in the Judiciary Committee of the House of Reps. Some big news today about bills being introduced in the PA. Senate -these Bills won’t be stuck in committee as they were in the House. Best news in a long time.http://justice4pakids.com/2012/01/19/dinniman-introduces-bill-for-victims-of-childhood-sexual-abuse-legislation/

  46. KATHY, how do we thank Senator Dinniman?

  47. I am posting this here because so many commentors on this post have been involved with discusssions about clericalism, passivity of the laity etc..I have always said that clericalism will end with the younger generation of Catholics. Check out this video made by some “Bambies” (school mascot) at St Hubert’s – one of the high schools designated to close. They use a few songs -take notice of the words of the song around the 38 second mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjJE2qaHyuA&feature=share

    • Kathy,

      After you read this very recent piece by Eugene Cullen Kennedy from the National Catholic Reporter, would you please share with me whether you are still optimistic about the laity’s or the younger generation’s ability to affect and/or eradicate clericalism?

      http://www.ncronline.org/blogs/bulletins-human-side/who-knew-irish-seminary-could-be-so-much-prison

      • Sheer numbers.

        Look at vocations. Fewer are going into the priesthood, and now with moves to make seminary more archaic, think about what “type” of person will gravitate to it? Shudder.

        In the minds of many of the laity, they’ve been running the Church with the priest as merely a puppet on stage performing the necessary Sacraments for years. They are loyal though and they won’t be leaving. Their positive memories of their church outweighs the ugly they are witnessing…they believe there is hope.

        I watched the Bambi (St. Hubert’s) youtube video…IF the rcc is lucky enough to keep these young people as adults, it will be a miracle. The numbers aren’t favorable for the younger generation when it comes to positive memories outweighing the corruption they’ve witnessed.

        What do parents tell their children as all of the corruption about their moral leaders unfold? Do they lie to them? Do they ignore the topic altogether? They don’t live in a bubble. I’m sure many of the students who have been affected in the philly area are hearing about the sexual abuse issue whether the parents wanted them to know or not. If they know all about it…how can this NOT affect their spiritual lives? Are parents raising another generation of catholics who have to separate the spriritual church from the institutional church they interact with daily? It’s incongruent now…what will it be in years to come?

        I have more questions than answers for the younger generation. Time will tell.

      • HAdit and SW , try the Irish Times article http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/0114/1224310242796.html
        on the subject of isalating seminarians, it’s dynamite.

      • SW,

        I started studying the Catholic Church in college, which was several decades ago. When I had my two boys, I taught them what I knew about the faith and the Church the way I taught them about sex, drugs and absolutely everything else. I delivered information on an age-appropriate basis. Throughout their lives, they were exposed to layers and layers of information, each layer building on the one before, each layer in sync with their mental, emotional and spiritual maturity.

        Today, the Church is in crisis. The crisis imposes on children a learning landscape that is a learn-fast-and-according-to-shock-and-hurt one. In a crisis, parents always set the tone for how their children should think, feel and act. They can either weave their way through things like competent and sturdy adults, or they can freak out and melt down. Their children will follow closely.

        If I were a parent in Philly, today, I would do everything possible to remain competent and sturdy, and I would deliver to my child age appropriate information. I would hope to convey to my child, “Trust me, we are ok.”

      • Joan… re the Irish Times article:

        Dolan! AGAIN! !@#$%^&!@#$%^&

        I felt sick when I read how “separate formation could give rise to an overly intense comaraderie which could lead young recruits to confuse their sense of duty to the wider population.”

        Tell us about it…

      • Hadit, was it Rahner who said that the post conciliar period would be a winter?

        This quote from the Irish Times article (amongst many others,) got my attention.

        “Irish bishops are not in a position to comment on what was in those reports from the apostolic visitations but the Irish Catholic suggests that Archbishop Dolan expressed a wish that a distinctive community be created in which the seminarians could be differentiated from other students on campus.

        Given their dwindling numbers, the institutionally protective mindset which contributed to the errors made in handling allegations of clerical child abuse and the need for a revitalised church to integrate more into the community, one would have thought the apostolic visitation should be encouraging greater integration of their seminarians into college life rather than less.”

      • Joan,

        Yes on Rahner.

        There is something seriously flawed about an institution that leads in ways that defy knowledge, reason, experience, data and “best practices.” This is not simply quirky hierarchical behavior. It is cultish and dangerous. It is immoral.

        When the cloak and dagger ideals and traditions of an institution supersede knowledge, and the well being of human beings and societies, you have to morally question your association with it. Who or what, exactly, is seriously flawed? Is it I in my association with it, or it? Or both?

      • Hadit,
        I wasn’t wondering how to “inform” children of the rules and regs of the catholic church and age-appropriate history lessons. I was wondering more about how parents walk their children through the hypocrisy they face in their moral leadership while they are teaching their children about what Jesus has commanded His followers.

        I was wondering about childrens’ spiritual lives and how this will affect them long term. Many of the practices that have kept some catholics in the pews will not hold the younger generation there. At a certain point, all the rules, regs, and rituals will be pale when those children (and grown children) face their “forks in the road.” Unlike generations before, this generation, already at a tender age, understands they cannot rely on their church for moral integrity. The hierarchical structure is setting the stage for another mass exodus (pun intended).

        Perhaps, in addition to a separate entrance, and separate dining hall, they should have separate bathrooms too.. how about water fountains? Maybe a sign hanging in front that reads, “Seminarians only.”

        I think they will attract to the priesthood exactly what they’re advertising for. God help those with a true vocation!

      • SW,

        You walk your children through the hypocrisy by age-appropriately informing them of it. You say that the hypocrisy lies in the Church, not in the faith. It seems right to them for awhile. Much like tolerating the bad boy at school… God made him, too. Then you wait for the day they announce that the Church is “sick” in the way it practices one thing and teaches another. You argue it is best to stick around and change it. They remind you that the Church has not changed in two thousand years, and that it’s structured to prevent change. Everything they say is true, and everything you say is exactly what the hypocritical Church would want you to say. They wonder why you remain attached at the hip to hypocrisy. You do too.

        This is the cross-generational family dynamic created by all of the hypocrisy. This is the family dynamic our hypocritical Church imposes on us! In no other domain would we tolerate such a detrimental dynamic. Nowhere! Over the decades, the dynamic has become not merely a common Catholic affliction and a source of bizarre humor, but, literally, it has become a facet of Catholic identity. We have come to permit the affliction and assume the identity as a condition of being Catholic.

        SW… the rest of your post is right on!

      • Hadit,
        Exactly!

        Hadit said, “We have come to permit the affliction and assume the identity as a condition of being Catholic.”

        The bar is so low for the laity. “It’s just the way it is.”

        This is one of the reasons I could not hand my children over to the rcc any longer. Especially with them being raised by a survivor and a mom that was disgusted with the incongruency of what I’d been taught to believe and what I witnessed. It would have completely “messed” with their understanding and relationship with God.

        I took Matthew 18 seriously…and realized The Church would have been what got in their way of getting to Him. And clearly, I would have clouded their spiritual walk too (not knowingly anyway…but you can’t not “know” when you live in the same space).

        The younger generations of catholics will have to fight even harder against a tougher, more distant clerical culture than we ever had. This is the condition necessary to being catholic?

      • Sw,
        I am honest with my kids about what is going on and I talk about the Saints and Jesus alot. By telling them what is going on today in the church and contrasting that with what Jesus taught and how the Saints lived they know the truth and what is right. They also know what is going on has happened in the church before and that is where many Saints came into the picture. I myself fall short alot and they know this too. We pray and read the Bible , do service and recieve the sacraments. It is what keeps you rooted in faith and Jesus. Focus on Jesus. I tell my kids what is most important is that we get to heaven and take as many people with us.

  48. Well that was quite an article! The difference I see is this generation of young people not feeding into the clericalism. They will speak up,question,critique even more than the generation of Catholics similar in age to Susan and me. How will that mesh with an authoritive clerical culture -probably not well. I was speaking to an elderly Catholic woman the other day and she said she felt that her generation had an unnatural reverence for the priests and also many times the priest was more educated than the parishioners. More education in many circles generates more authority so that will be different in the future also, as the priest is ministering to people who have equal or more education than he does.

  49. I think that as long as the institution of the priesthood continues to build “walls” around itself, separating and insulating it from reality, the world and us, clericalism will flourish, no matter how hard we speak and act against it, or try to eradicate it. The “walls” say “do NOT disturb.” The result, however, will be a borderline prepared priesthood and poorly developed human beings in an era of knowledge, information and self-awareness. It’s interesting how preserving the closed culture for the sake of tradition is more important than the development and well being of human beings… it’s that skewed and obsessive idea that Mother Church– the institution– is more important than its members, people. (Same skewed view led to the sex abuse crisis… protect Mother Church, not the children!)

    In my classrooms, my students are anti-organized or anti-institutional religion, not anti-God, anti-faith or anti-spirituality. Just anti the people (clergy), structures and systems that keep failing religions’ tenets of belief.

    • I am seeing a change in thinking in some priests that where in the past respect was assumed now from the younger generation of priests it is going to have to be earned and that some younger priests see the laity as more as equals in the mission of Christ rather than a superior attitude to the laity . My pastor has even stated thoughts along these lines.

    • The recent NCR study, done every 5 years had some compelling stats. In the What is Core to Catholics, belief wise, section, the Vatican got a 30% rating, with an additional segment rating it with ‘somewhat important’ …..while basic tenets of the faith, ie the resurrection, Eucharist, Mary, helping the poor, et al. all got vastly higher marks.

      The rating scale on beliefs is to be found at the bottom of the article.

      I think I would hazard an argument that this report is the picture of an ’emerging church’ perhaps more visible in the west, (where we have a lot of earthquakes) than in the east.

      There is, of course, a very congruent arguement (courtesy of SW) for moving on. But for those who stay, I think many are staying on their own terms which are reflected in this study. What say you.?

      Mhttp://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=National+Catholic+Reporter+study+What+is+Core+on+catholics+in+2011&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fncronline.org%2Fnews%2Fcatholics-america%2Fwhat-core-american-catholics-2011&ei=gSocT42PO8GeiQLy2Mi3CA&usg=AFQjCNGolH7EWGgVPJoQZnC8bbeSyB7o8w

    • My I Pad has a mind of its own, which I neglected to rein in, hence the ‘Celine’ error.

      Could not resist copying and pasting the ‘chart’ of ‘core’ beliefs noted in the NCR piece. (which probably won’t format all that well)

      FIGURE 2

      CATHOLICS’ DIFFERENTIATION OF THE ASPECTS OF
      CATHOLICISM THAT ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO THEM
      Jesus’ resurrection  73%
      Helping poor  67%
      Mary  64%
      Sacraments  63%
      Prayer  46%
      Opposition to abortion  40%
      Devotions  36%
      Opposition to same-sex marriage  35%
      Vatican authority  30%
      Opposition to death penalty  29%
      Celibate, male clergy  21%

  50. This is a totally off the wall question, someone asked me recently. Are priests required by the Charter/Diocese to take the same abuse prevention training that is given to volunteers et al?

    • SHORT ANSWER IS NO… They are not required to take the training. Want to coach CYO football you have to go to class and be subject to a background check.. Want to be a priest no training and no background check…………

      Let me say it one more time…….. What would Jesus do?

      The only way to change what is going on is to cut the purse strings i.e. no more $$$ to the church. We also need to get some B___’s and standup to these guys in collars. It’s is ok to question authority and for god’s sake CHANGE IS GOOD>>>>>>>

      • Actually, it was a non catholic CYO coach who asked the question. He said the questions were very personal, and he thought it highly hypocritical if priests were not subject to the same abuse prevention training….he was very turned off on the clergy molestation issues and said his wife, a former catholic felt so strongly about the issue that she literally left the room if the subject was raised.

      • i do not normally comment here and i thought by now after many hours of this false comment remaining on here someone would have corrected it.

        all one need do is go to ANY archdiocesan website in the country to read about the facts of the training and background checks that are REQUIRED of all employees,priest, religious, , staff, etc. i don’t have the time to elaborate. i am frankly amazed that this basic fact known for years is not known to people who blog here it seems on a daily basis.

      • senga the arch. site was the first place I checked it is there and I do remember my priest talking about having to go thru training.

  51. Senga, actually you just beat me to it. I was so overwhelmed with all that I have heard today that commenting on this didn’t come to the top of my list ,but I was going to get to it before the night was over. I just keep thinking of the young boys in the passion play abused by the parish priest, priests with possession of child porn. All this horror involving children,I am sure you can understand how emotional that is -because it involved children.
    Yes ,priests have to do the training, get background checks just as volunteers,coaches . Senga it is interesting and I will share this with you . Do you know that the National Office of Child and Youth Protection in Washington of the United State’s Bishop Conference has no jurisdiction over the Diocese in the U.S. concerning child protection .Then to find out the local Office of Child and Youth Protection in Philly AD does not have jurisdiction over the parishes for many child protection issues. Things we may think are strict policy are nothing more than recommendations -varies from parish to parish on how or if they are followed.
    The other thing for everyone to remember is that abusive priests and staff have been to the very training sessions we mention. An AD employee told me the coach from Neuman Goretti was at a training sesssion just a few weks before his arrest. Also a clear background check does not mean someone is not abusive . While the vast majority of people who have clear background checks are not abusive -there are people who abuse children who just have never been caught -so trusting a piece of paper with your child’s safety should not be taken as a sure thing. Best advice I was ever given by a law enforcement officer.

    • Kathy, I was going back to share with Senga that at 73, I was not up to speed, today on training issues but in my ‘salad days’ I had worked with kids, CCD, started the teen retreat program in our diocese, and many other programs and in those days such training was not available.

      My question was asked in good if ignorant faith, because someone asked me.

      THEN I read your remarks that REALLY got my attention. And I may have misunderstood them, but I think you said that the National DC Church office has NO jurisdiction over ANY US diocese concerning child protection.

      AND the local Philly office does not have jurisdiction over local parishes ‘for many child protection issues’. It’s all about ‘recommendations’ and the compliance varies.

      I am reminded of the management problem facing USCCB in that individual dioceses are like fiefdoms and the USCCB won’t/can’t require behaviour but apparently merely ‘recommend’ it. With the exception of the ‘Essential Norms’ which Rome requires compliance, the dioceses are on their own.

      Which brings me to a question for you or Senga or someone.
      In the last ten years has the AD reported being in compliance with the ‘recommended’ charter norms. Did the AD report the 63 priests identified in the Grand Jury report of 2005, OR the 41 priests identified in the Grand Jury report of 2011 to the national office.

      Or perhaps did the AD report a couple priests, whose behaviour was so public and reprehensible that such reporting was unavoidable.

      I ask this question because it occurs to me that perhaps there are many other US dioceses that also have a very unpleasant situation in terms of molestation, but have not had the Grand Jury investigate them. My understanding is that these ‘other’ dioceses are obliged by the ‘Essential Norms’ to deal with molesting clergy if the molesters pass an extremely high standard of guilt, way beyond any US legal standard.

      Or put another way, how many more Phillys are out there?

      • Let me tell you a thing or two about the Essential Norms…they are worthless. They are only as good as the person’s conscience.

        Mere suggestions. No consequences.

        Did you also know that a diocese doesn’t have to follow the Charter? Want to know what happens to a diocese that preaches to the laity about being compliant with the Charter and treats victims abusively behind the scenes? NOTHING. Want to know what happens when you have victims submit to the OCYP, using all of their Charter language, documented evidence of errant bishops and policies not being followed, so it will “prove” their are non-compliant? NOTHING. The audits are self-reporting.

        We followed all proper channels…involved the National level people of the Charter and OCYP…and after their long-winded explanation of the “process,” for errant bishops, self-reporting audits, background checks, I spoke 2 words that left them speechless.

        “Or what?” I wanted to know. They are so proud of their policies and procedures…so confident we’d be impressed.

        It went something like this…stammer, stammer, clear their throats, stammer, uh, um…well..”

        “That’s what I thought.”

        What do you suppose our roadways would be like if the speed limit signs were never enforced? An officer stops you for doing 80 in a 50…imagine them telling you, “It’s ok, we don’t really give tickets…the speed limits are just suggestions, but you need to follow them!”

        Just for the record…the predator priest who abused my husband and dozens more probably went through the training and he would pass a background check, no problem.

        No consequences in the catholic church for child rape or enabling the rapists.

      • SW, I have not a doubt in the world that what you report is true.

        I do have a question about the Essential Norms, which I thought were approved by Rome as Church law, and the bishops were obligated to obey. The standard applied to molesting clergy was ‘moral certitude’ of guilt….a standard that I believe has no US legal equivalent.

        I am reminded in part of the work of Peter Borre, when fighting church closures in Boston…..he went to Rome, repeatedly, hired a canon lawyer and worked his way through various Curial offices.

        It would probably take that kind of effort to PERHAPS get some recognition of the issues you identify.

        My marbles are on changes in US law, that strengthen protection for kids and punish both predators and those who pass them on.

        I would love to see tough Child Endangerment legislation, tough mandatory reporting requirements, very tough sentences for predators, et al.

        Your analogy of the speed laws is right on!

  52. There are so many Philly’s… “All” over the RC World….. you can’t count them..

    Who writes these charter norms? Guess who? There is always a loop-hole , provided but you’ll never see it, as therse guys(priests) are clever. Of course they all had to go through the classes, even if they wrote them… I even could have gone to one when I taught CCD and also for RCIA. But.. I decided, I’ve done this for years, I’m going to let the younger ones teach.. I can’t go through all that stuff at my age.

    This was so long ago i can’t remember….. long before the” ——- hit the fan” in 2001. So these “turkeys” (too good a name for them) knew something had to be done quickly, as they were getting feed back from parents. (in the 90’s) I remember that and thought “oh, my” what’s going on”, that they needed classes for sexual stuff going on. Whoa!

    Little did any of us, who were so involved in our churches, know what would be the outcome of these Crimes Against Huamanity committed by the RCC. ” Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice Shame on me!” The dumbies (us) are NOT going to be messed with anymore.! You’re (RCC) Done! Out ! Caput! .Sadly there is no shame! Just arrogance on their part.

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