A Dark Picture Emerges from Hearings

Click here to read: “Allegations pile on priest in sex-abuse trial,” by Mensah M. Dean, Philadelphia Daily News, Jan. 25, 2012

“CITY PROSECUTORS yesterday continued to pile on the allegations that a former high-ranking official of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia facilitated the sexual abuse of church children by repeatedly looking the other way when confronted with jaw-dropping crimes of predator priests.

“Time and time and time again, they lie to victims because they are not concerned about the victims; they are just concerned about the almighty dollar and mother Church,” Chief of Special Investigations Patrick Blessington said of the Archdiocese, which once employed the four defendants who are to stand trial in March.” Click here to continue reading.

25 thoughts on “A Dark Picture Emerges from Hearings

  1. The archdiocese of Phila is trying to protect the members in the ‘chain of conspiracy’ who enabled and protected the abusers. This is more about protecting the Image of an organization that cares more about its image than the welfare or safety of the children or its VICTIMS !

    1. Are we still sending our children to these freaks for moral instruction?

      Except for the very naive, there is no longer any image left to protect!

      1. It boggles the mind, but, yes, some people are still sending their children to Catholic schools! Naive? Or something else?

        Stop enabling the rape of children by priests – Stop giving money to the Church.

  2. I wonder what the difference is between Sp Bradley Manning and Msgr William Lynch.
    Manning appears to have been unable to fulfill his oath of secrecy when he became aware of information which violated his conscience.
    Msgr Lynch appears to have been unable to break his vow of obedience in spite of knowledge of obvious immoral and criminal acts of priests.

  3. This is what I have been waiting for…..the public unveiling of this horrible reality. One can only hope that this will spiral and eventually cause the undoing of a perpetually corrupt RCC hierarchy. That is my only hope for a true Church of Jesus to possibly emerge from all of this. When management is corrupt, they need to go. Let’s hope the law and the press will help this to happen. Perhaps the next lawsuit will be against the Archdiocese itself. Then, other archdiocese, etc……
    This is not the Church Jesus pictured here on Earth. In fact, I have no doubt that he is greatly pained by what he sees…..the absolute abuse of power by those painting themselves as ministers of Christ. He knows who’s REALLY doing His work. Noone is fooling God.

  4. The pain of the victims will not be eased or healed as quickly as some would prefer. As long as there is suffering on the part of the victims, their families and others, this crisis will continue to cast a pall over everyone it touches. One of the most regrettable aspects of this self-inflicted “plague” has been the culture of secrecy, dishonesty and disingenuous behavior on behalf of the hierarchy of the Church. No doubt, other institutions would more than likely have done the same, self-preservation is a natural instinct, what we didn’t expect or imagine is that “our” Church, rather our clerical leadership could be so pervasively naive, arrogant, unjust and self-serving. This is far, far more disappointing than the revelation as a child there is no Santa Claus, we have discovered that the bishops are no more deserving of our trust. Was our trust childish and misplaced? Are we to presume this continues today throughout the world with no checks and balances? Who holds our leadership accountable? Sadly, there is nothing in place as members of the Church to bring to justice those who have caused so much shame and suffering to the most vulnerable amongst us, our children….We have to resort to the courts to find justice because our Church chooses to abstain from holding accountable those who have abetted these crimes. The example of Cardinal Law will haunt the image of the Church for some time. Though he is now retired from this appointment it still provides further evidence of how blind and ignorant our pope, curia and bishops are to the magnitude of this scandal. Even the slightest notion that there is a conspiratorial attitude and demeanor in our Church is enough to make us sick, it is revolting! Our bishops and clerical leaders want to believe “it’s over” or “it’s behind us”….sorry to say, it is NOT! As long as there is antagonism towards the media for exposing the sexual abuse crisis, as long as lawyers are seen as the enemy then the Church will continue to be defensive, paranoid and aloof. What can the Church do to regain our trust? Drop the charade. Be as willing as Christ was to be crucified, naked, vulnerable and bloody upon the cross. Until the leadership of the Church adopts such transparency and vulnerability we will harbor our doubts about the genuineness and authenticity of remorse and repentance of our hierarchy. What they feared most has become a reality, a growing number of “cafeteria Catholics” who now choose to use their intellect and free will either to follow or not to follow their leadership. They have no one to blame but themselves!

  5. Contrary to what Msgr. Lynn’s defense attorneys state, the long history of abuse by priests of the archdiocese is essential to portray the unending pain victims and their families suffer

    1. The long history of abuse, being detailed by the prosecution is also necessary because: ( from earlier posting)

      “Prosecutors want to introduce the evidence under trial rules that allow jurors to hear past evidence of a defendants bad acts IF THAT CONDUCT CAN EXPLAIN HIS MOTIVES, KNOWLEDGE, INTENT, OR A PATTERN.” ( caps are mine)

      I think this is a critical issue. Any reader of the RESOURCES section at the top of this page detailing Msgr Lynn’s behaviour as noted in both the Grand Jury reports of 2005 and 2011, would have difficulty being in any doubt regarding Msgr Lynn’s knowledge, intent or pattern (of behaviour). I leave the motive issue to Msgr Lynn and God.

      1. You can bet the farm on that one Joan. Msgr. Lynn had the keys to the personnel files, he had the access to any previous allegations and as such he could not plead inculpable ignorance. At the very least he demonstrated poor administrative and management skills, at the very worst, insensitivity, arrogance and deceit. The results of the latter will ultimately be proven in a court of law.

      2. Thanks Leo….you know they call this pretrial hearing “the Bad Acts” hearing, which is the language in my above referenced quote….right before the capitalized wording.

        I don’t think there is any defense of Lynn’s behaviour….and the notion that he was ‘just following orders’ reminds me of high level Nazis at Nuremberg.

      3. Imagine what Archdiocese’s would do if police raided their offices over abuse files as in Belgium.
        Maybe that is what is needed.
        Belgium police raid…[Yahoo News/Reuters January 19th 2012]

      4. L. Newington….I followed the Belgium story…their files were invaded initially to great clamor…this time it was an orderly process….But these european nations, often heavily connected to Rome, some of which have predominantly catholic populations and a state tax structure that funds the local church (and Rome) are so different from a US, hopefully constitution based democracy, that you would probably bring in the ATF if anyone invaded US diocesan disgusting files.

        What I suspect you would find, if invasion was possible, is the kind of very ugly stuff that is trickling out of Judge Samina’s AD hearings. Filfth, S&M, gang rape, masturbation parties, you name it and it wouldn’t surprise me for a moment if it was there. Evil is NOT limited to the Philadelphia AD.

    2. The Ballarat Diocese of Victoria, over the years, there has been dozens of sex-abuse related suicides,dozens. The Bishop retired and the Vicar General administrator, promoted to the Australian Bishops Conference Secretary, the timeline shows these cases would have certainly passed through his hands.
      He is now Bishop of the Brisbane Diocese.
      The letters after his name relating to Canon Law, would show he was no mean VG, but an expert in his field and climbing up the ecclesicastical ladder.

      1. The comments of successsor of retired bishop, [previous VG of Melbourne Arcdiocese where further suicides are recorded], was interesting.
        Church Sex-abuse Inquiry Not Needed; The Age August 2 2011.

  6. What could be a darker picture than a 10 year old boy who shows up to “serve Mass” at 5:30 in the morning, after walking blocks to get there, and is raped repeatedly back in the 1950″s .? .. . just one story among many, many sad accounts

    1. Actually, Theresa, the Lynn response in the hearing, quoted in Susan’s article, accusing a ten year old of seduction was obscene.

      In 1994, after Father Thomas F. Shea admitted molesting two altar boys from 1972 to 1977 and told Lynn that one boy had been fooling around with other children, Lynn wrote: ” ‘It is possible that Shea was seduced into it.’ ” Blessington said. Shea retired in 1995.

  7. William Sasso, Chairman, Stradley and Ronon, according to the firm’s website:

    “Attesting to Stradley Ronon’s strength in this area, we have long served as general counsel to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

    This proud claim was part of archdiocesan counsel’s website until shortly after the release of the first Grand Jury Report in September 2005. I wonder why such a proud and noteworthy statement is no longer depicted on the website of Mr. William Sasso’s law firm.

    Let me understand this, legal fees have been paid for so many years to the law firm of Stradley Ronon and WIlliam Sasso and what we witness down there being played out at the Criminal Justice Cneter is part of this firm’s legacy, results and accomplishments? Now let’s get a new crop of archdiocesan counsel, throw more of OUR (parishioner) money at this despicable, reprehensible and Satan-inspired conduct and stick to the same management, organizational and (dis)leadership approach and philosophy that has taken thhis archdiocese to the brink!

    And, for a touch of salt in the wounds, Mission Kids, a Montgomery County child services agency that provides counseling to victims of child sexual abuse has the understanding to identify WIlliam Sasso and his law firm as “Innocence Protectors” on their website due to their financial support of their organization and mission.

  8. Sad to realize that legal protocol brings the victims of sexual abuse through a method of tortured testimony, and seems to want the victims to suffer after having already suffered throughout their lives.

  9. With so many Catholics in “high places”, one doesn’t have to wonder why it has taken years for these issues to surface, even when courageous religious men and women have stepped out.
    I thought I’d throw in:
    When following one’s conscience, a faithful catholic is guided by Vatican 11: “In forming their consciences a catholic must pay careful attention to the sacred and certain teaching of the church”.
    I wouldn’t know anything about deadlines before or after Vatican 11 being a convert.

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