DA Probes Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Death

Click here to read: “Philadelphia cardinal’s death investigated,” Fox News.com, February 10, 2012

Excerpt: “Risa Vetri Ferman, district attorney in suburban Montgomery County, said Friday that she wants to lay to rest any speculation about Bevilacqua’s end, given the “peculiar” timing of the 88-year-old cardinal’s death just a day after a judge ruled him competent to testify at the trial of his longtime aide.”


66 thoughts on “DA Probes Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Death

  1. Susan, this is really a sideshow.

    The important issues now are (1) whether Judge Sarmina and Seth Williams will let Lynn cop a plea and bury (a) Bevilacqua’s video deposition, and (b) Bevilacqua’s, Rigali’s and Chaput’s secret diocesean sex abuse files ; and (2) whether the PA legislators will succeed in stonewalling statute of limitations’ reform and requirements for prompt reporting of abuse claims to the police.

    I hope C4C Philly bloggers will follow Vicki’s courageous lead and now write Sarmina, and Williams as well.

    I also hope C4C bloggers who are able, and the victims’ lawyers, will consider contributing to C4C to fund advocacy ads in the local papers in the districts represented by the obstructionist PA legisalators who appear to be tightly in Chaput’s pocket.

    And please don’t forget to demandthat all of the US presidential candidates speak out for victims’ justice and children’s safety.

    1. I have no problem with lynn making a plea only if it leads to more indictments and arrests. He ( lynn) needs to identify everyone both the religious and political conspirators and show how the rcc uses the faithfuls donations, everyone must be exposed or “NO DEAL” !

      1. UTT, exactly. No deals for Lynn unless both he and Chaput fully disclose all relevant info and records. Otherwise, a plea deal would mainly help Chaput to bury the sordid details that all Catholics need to hear completely. Let’s keep the spotlight on Judge Sarmina and Seth Williams to resist Chaput’s pressure.

    2. My apologies, Susan and Kathy. On more reflection and a night’s sleep, I realize that having a prosecutor in a neighboring county acting promptly and diligently, without regard to Chaput pressure, is very constructive. It puts pressure on a competing local prosecutor, Seth Williams, to do the same. I am just so worried that we will soon see a sweetheart plea for Lynn, notwithstanding the your remarkable efforts and so many C4C bloggers’ efforts as well.

  2. Jerry I know what you mean -there are many important things to focus on . I will tell you though that all I have heard this past week from so many people in Philadelphia- Catholic,non catholic, just about everyone sharing their thoughts concerning Bevilaqua’s death. A friend called me yesterday and hit the nail on the head. Like me,she does not think he was killed or any other type of conspiracy, however she thought the DA’s intervention was important because it continues to send a much needed message -the Church is not above the law and will be treated as any other citizen/organization. If a death is “peculiar” the coroner investigates.

    1. To Kathy’s point, no one, not Church officials, not anyone is above the law, and in your cited article this quote caught my attention, ie the Montgomery Couty’s DA said

      ‘Ferman said she learned about the cardinal’s death on the news and was surprised her office hadn’t been notified, given that he died in her county.”

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/10/cardinals-death-in-pa-probed-amid-odd-timing/#ixzz1m7q0EINb

      And to Jerry ‘s point, contributions to fund advocacy is an idea with a lot of merit!

      1. I’m unclear about contributions to fund advocacy.

        Am I correct that C4C does not accept contributions, but that it has partnered with Ms. Martinez’s Justice4PAkids, and that it is her group that accepts contributions on behalf of both her group and C4C?

        Would welcome some clarity. Thank you.

      2. Contributions to justice4pakids can be sent to

        c/o Maureen Martinez
        10 Pine Rd.
        Malvern Pa. 19355

        Justice4pakids is a 501c4 – donations are not tax deductible. Also a paypal link will soon be added to the http://www.justice4pakids.com website.

      3. Kathy, thanks for the ‘contributions’ post, info.

        Wonder if it should not be a regular post on all future C4C blogs, or at a minimum located in the link segment at the top of the page?

        Just a thought.

    2. Kathy and Joan, I didn’t say the DA’s intervention was not positive. You got it though. There are, in my view at least, more important things to focus on. I am just trying to keep our focus on the ball. No disrespect intended.

      I am amused at how quickly so many females reacted to my unintended Alpha behavior. With five sisters and three daughters, I have gotten used to it . Fair enough. Hopefully by now you all know I am fully on the same side as you.

      Since the clerical opposition are all Alpha males, sometimes I react like an Alpha. Hopefully, we can all chuckle occasionally as we deal with these depressing and infuriating hierarchs.

    1. I think at the very least many of these bishops should retire or step down. A through cleaning house is in order. I hear the pope is thinking of retiring it probably would be for the best a few people have noted infighting already though. All about politics………..what happen to religion.

      1. Beth, I have been reading a link on Mission and Justice and a relection on past and present priests by Abott Marmion OSB.
        With all the regalia worn by bishops today, and the jolly poses, it certainly gives a different perpective.
        The bishops the meter has no religious signifance other than that of a 12th century land owners hat, and the priest, in turn for the power to say mass, is the serf property of the church. It does go on, but my point being, when does/did the spiritual element come into the picture.
        It certainly shows up the mercenary aspect of today’s church apart from the love of pomp and ceremony.
        I was never told this part of history as a Catechumenate.

    2. Joan,

      Your mention or ‘the Symposium’ (Vatican Symposium) made me flashback to my seminary days, and “Plato’s Symposium.” This is a book (Greek play) that every seminarian has read at some point during his training.

      In Plato’s version, Pausanias (the life-long lover of a boy named Agathon) draws “…a distinction between Common Love, which involves simple and mindless desire, and Heavenly Love, which always takes place between a man and a boy. In the case of Heavenly Love, the boy, or loved one, sexually gratifies the man, or lover, in exchange for education in wisdom and virtue.”

      “Agathon (the boy) is presented as young, beautiful…” “He is the passive partner in a life-long relationship with Pausanias.”

      Socrates corrects Pausanias and others; stating that “Love expresses itself through pregnancy and reproduction, either through the bodily kind of sexual Love or through the sharing and reproduction of ideas.”


      The pedophile priests that have been causing the Church problems for centuries clearly disregarded Socrates’ correction, in favor of Pausanias’ idea that Heavenly Love always takes place between a man and a boy.

      1. drwho13,

        I, too, reverted to the ancient Greeks when I heard the word “symposium” in reference to the one recently in Rome.

        “Symposium,” in Greek, means “drinking party.” In Plato’s “Symposium, everyone at the “drinking party” expounds on Love.

        In Rome, maybe they just drank?

      2. Sadly, at the University, I never got further than The Republic, but I take your point, drwho13!

        My illusion to the ‘SNAP Symposioum review’ had a lot to do with the background of the ‘players’….which was I believe, your point too, in a far more cerebral way! Thanks, Joan

      3. Joe B,

        I attended two major seminaries during the mid and late 90’s, one in the States and one in Rome. In an effort to maintain my anonymity I will not say which ones. While I was there, I was unaware of anything immoral taking place. Everything I observed at both schools was on the up and up.

        On the other hand, the religious order I was connected with had a sordid history. I’m covert regarding the details because the good priest I worked with, as well as myself, were warned by my lawyer that our lives might have been in danger at the time. Those events took place some time ago, but the good priest is still in active ministry, and I faded into the shadows as far as the RCC is concerned. I like it that way.

        The pedophile priest we nailed is still in prison.

      4. Hi DRW!

        Thanks for the reply. I spent 5 years at Saint Charles (1960 – 1965). Like yourself, I never witnessed anything even slightly unusual in my time there.

        I’m still a practicing Catholic and love the church in its ‘cradle to grave’ mission.

        I just happened across this blog the other month and was really taken back by some of the abuse allegations on this blog.

    3. Joan, thank you for posting this article. I read widely, but I had missed that one. It shows how the foxes are inside the chicken coop and have all the unsuspecting chicks as vulnerable prey. Today I read this PR piece, by Ann Schneible, http://www.zenit.org/article-34292?l=english which in light of the article you posted, is a misleading and dishonest puff piece. Schneible writes for Zenit, a front organization controlled by the discredited Legion of Christ, whose holy founder had numerous children by multiple women, all the while forcing himself on seminarians and trotting around the world with John Paul the Great [sic]. Here is another article from Schneible from a few weeks ago, http://www.zenit.org/rssenglish-34153 which points out that His Excellency Cardinal O’Brien of Baltimore is “now the Pro-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem”. Apparently he is “Grand Master” of this secretive masonic style organization, one of dozens of these elite oriented secret societies that litter the higher levels of the church of Rome. He says, “and I’m certainly taking an extra interest in things Roman, since I will be living here soon, as soon as my successor is installed — and I hope that’s very soon,” Not soon enough, oh Most Worshipful One.

    1. Sure Beth, they would love to do it the “Vatican way.” Never deal with a judge (or banker) that can’t be “bought off.”

  3. Alas, the lawyers may use Judge Saramina’s remarks to their advantage. The USCCB may charge the DA in Philadelphia with anti-catholic bias…They have the money and the power to say and do whatever they want. Remember, originally, the way to deal with those who complained about abusive priests was to pay them off. That money and that willingness to stop investigations has not dried up. Their malevolence is alive and well.

    One becomes sad and weak at the wilingness of the bishops of the RCC to fight the truth. Sometimes I think there is no end to their hunger to maintain their power and status in the USA–and in the world. I believe we are in a very dark and dangerous place. I think the USCCB will do whatever they need to do to preserve their lock on the people of God.

    1. Elizabeth, the judges remarks about widespread sexual abuse in the catholic Church, need no defense. Milwaukee with 570 claims filed last week, is a case in point. It is estimated that there were 8000 cases of abuse and 70 new allegations against heretofore unknown priests….

    2. Dear Elizabeth.

      Judge Sarmina’s ‘offhanded’ comment was a very revealing ‘slip of the tongue’ that betrays her true, innermost convictions. She has an anti-catholic bias and cannot be relied upon to conduct a ‘fair’ trial.

      After all, justice is supposed to be ‘blind’, n’est-ce pas?

      1. Judge Sarmina made the comment in direct relation to the process used for questions for the jury selection. She struck down this question -and other questions to be used for jury selection. Fr Brennan’s defense attorney agreed with her striking this question and spoke to this in an interview.

        And as Susan said to everyone let’s also not have the whole game of multiple posts under multiple names.

  4. Where do you guys get all this stuff from? And why no mention of the Church’s attempts to thwart Obama’s anti-catholic bias? you guys seem to living in a weird bubble of a world.

    1. The source of info is clearly identified – a major news outlet. This site focuses specifically on child sex abuse in relation to the Church. The Church does an excellent job at protecting the unborn. We are seeking to also protect children who have been born. And how many names will you post under – Jack et al?

    2. We get the information from sources other than the AD approved letters read on Sundays to the pew catholics.

      abortion, contraception…is a worthy fight when we’re talking about religious freedoms being denied. It makes sense that the Catholic Church would fight for that religious freedom. But, NO WHERE in church doctrine does it say clergy should be raping children and when those children grow up, the church has a constitutional right to fight their victims. That isn’t about religious freedoms being denied, that’s about power, control and money.

      A better question is why aren’t seemingly intelligent Catholics catching onto the obvious distinctions between media bias against religious freedom and media exposure of criminal activity within the church?

      I’ll be waiting an eternity to hear an argument that supports how a church fighting the SOL is anything about being denied their religious freedom. Apples and oranges Simon, or Jack, or whoever is posting.

      1. SW, cheer up. The bishops’ “anti-contraception crusade” will sink the bishops. It is a patent ploy to try to remove Obama for his recent denunciations of child sexual abuse and his prosecution of the Kansas City pedophile priest involved with Rigali’s protege, indicted KC Bishop Finn. The bishops are ,in reality, trying to avoid Federal criminal prosecution, not Federal religious persecution.

        The bishops’ lawyers are terrified of Federal prosecutors. Hence, the bishops want to replace Obama as US “prosecutor-in-chief” with a “friendlier” Republican, like Santorum.

        The bishops’ assault on women’s health insurance will only drive up Obama’s women’s vote and assure he will aggressively prosecute bishops even more in his second term.

        Catholics should vote their conscience, but should not be conned by this unconscionable ploy by the bishops.

        For more, please see my comment,”Shame on NCR” , accessible by clicking on:


        and my comment, “Obama Dream Comes True”, accessible by clicking on at:


    3. Simon,
      For the past 50 yrs not many bishops have stressed the teachings of the church regarding contraception and that lead to not many priests teaching about it from the pulpit now about 98% of catholics use contraception because they have not been taught otherwise despite Pope John Paul ‘s theology of the body. So again the bishops reap what they sowed with their silence on the issue. Maybe they should have spoken up sooner. And by the way I am one of the 2% that believe contraception is wrong. I learned the hard way……from experience………the churches teachings are in our best interest.

      1. I need to clarify the church has not explained “why” it is wrong throughly enough and now with 3d and 4d pictures technology science has even aided the fight against abortion.

      2. Too sum it up I think the bishops have been too silence on many topics they find uncomfortable including sexual abuse of children.

  5. THANK GOD for this forum … many of us need a “community forum” in which to unburden ourselves because we are all victims in this tsunami of disrespect for the real victims of priest pedophilia.

  6. To everyone who might be interested, I started a petition and if everyone who either has facebook or tweets we can overload Caltagerone office with my petition. It is on change.org this is the website that Molly Katchpole went on to stop the 5.00 dollar charge that Bank of America was going to charge its customers she was also featured on Sunday Morning channel 3 today. If we can get enough people to sign across this country it would be huge. I am so fed up with the rcc and then to top it off in todays paper chuput has a long article he writes on the HHS rule “insulting”a call to rescind the dangerous mandate concerning birth control. What about the children who were born and were raped by His priests? Just insane! However I do love what Karen Heller on page A2 says and I quote “priets may know a lot about some things, but sex and family planning are not 2 of them. The last people we should have lecturing us about birth control is a group of celibate men employed by a PATRIARCHAL theocracy”.

    1. Vicky I think too much sometimes……….but lately I have been thinking about how the church opposes contraception. They teach that the “maritial act” a.k.a. sex should be open to creating children, forms a marital emotional bond (should be emotionally strengthening not soul destroying)and has a pleasure aspect and all aspects should be present. Well then if you follow this type of thinking they should be fighting against child sexual abuse tooth and nail………and I mean to stop it. They violate their own teachings by not protecting kids and demanding change. They are so blind…………

    2. Just a reminder about this petitionhttp://catholics4change.com/2012/01/13/petition-to-abolish-the-statute-of-limitations-for-child-sex-abuse-in-pa/

  7. Do you guys really think the Bishops wanted priests to abuse child? That is ridiculous! And truth be told, we’re not really talking about paedophilia, which is attraction to “prepubescent children” …. the majority of those abused where teenage boys, hence after puberty. they may have been under the age of minority according to the law, but physically they were adults… this doesn’t justify things!!!… but facts seem to get all mixed up with reality in this blog. Also howcan you expect new societal norms and laws to be retroactive? it doesn’t make sense…

    1. Hi to he who does not have enough conviction to use his name.
      No i don’t think bishops wanted this abuse. I think they have not done enough to prevent it and I think they have covered it up.

      Sex abuse takes many forms. In all forms it is and has always been wrong.

    2. Any other name -what doesn’t make sense is that any adult would sexually violate any minor whether that child be 8 or 13 years old. Physically they were adults? Okay that is disturbing in so many ways. I am 5 “6” at 44 and was this same height in 8th grade. I guess physically I was an “adult” at 13? I

      1. Kathy & Susan: You must know I am dying to step in and put “any other name” in the right place, but you two are doing so well standing up for your own, and everyone elses’, children, I will just focus on other issues. You both are wonderful models for Catholic women, so many of whom for much too long let Catholic bullies push them around. No more! Thank you both for your fortitude. .

    3. What makes sense to me is that we should protect our kids and the only way we have found to protect kids today is to out predators and since in many cases the kids today getting molested are terrified or hurting so much they can’t speak up their past victims the adults that have suffered so long ago and lost so much have now hit rock bottom enough to realize the destruction in their life abuse has caused to want to speak up and spare one child what they went thru because we now know these predators don’t stop at one child. “it doesn’t make sense”………stopping pain of one child does not make sense???????????????????????? If you knew the pain my family and I have been thru it would all make alot of sense. My compassion and action comes from my pain. So in a very real way we are talking about the present not the past. The kids getting molested today……this minute.

      1. Oh and the problem I have with the bishops is they pay alot of money lobbying against the law changes and will not support laws to help kids today PREVENTION not after the fact when lives are already ruined. If they really showed they cared about victims in and out of the church they would not have so many lawsuits to begin with. Suing is last resort for many after trying for years to be heard. The bishops brought this on themselves.

  8. Vicky, excellent idea about the CHANGE.ORG petition. Any way that it (petition) could be put onto this site so those who do not have facebook or twitter accounts could sign it, and, also forward it to others? Hopefully, and, many thanks, in advance.

    1. Theresa, I contacted Susan about your great suggestion. I am waiting to hear from her. I have already received quite a few signatures, I am excited!The more we unindate the legisture the better!

  9. Typically throughout history, when the ruling elite (clergy = same thing) are “discovered”, there is only one solution powerful enough to distract the “sheeple” long and hard enough so they will come running back, and that is war. When their kids are sent off to die and be maimed, the people come begging back. What’s different now, though, is the internet. People can find out about these monsters. So I am not sure it will be back to business as usual. Though, my neighbor went to mass this past Sunday, and she said the place was crowded and many freely giving $$$ to the Cardinals’ Appeal. Hahaha, the sheeple are fools. I think the word is getting out on this brood of vipers though.

    1. Mark, when else in history, could you in a 24/7 news cycle in one week learn about the accumulated goofiness of the ‘Symposium” the 570 claims that survivors have filed in Milwaukee, cardinal Egan’s non response, then a denial and then the local press’s rebuttal, (see my post to Martin). And then we have the explosion of leaked letters et al regarding Vatican financial malfeasance and serious Vatican infighting to unseat certain Curial players, complete with Vatican bank emboglios,, excessively bad management of Vatican resources, plus even John Allen suggesting there is an 800 pound gorilla, informationaly, in the Vatican relative Vatican infighting, including a death plot against the Pope.

      To say nothing of the Archbishop of the Phillipines publicly identifying that priest’ s mistresses are more of an issue than molested kids….in the Phillipines and that major culturally related abuse problems are rampant in Africa, South America, and certainly the Phillipines…..this while winding up the Vatican Symposium, with world church leaders present, and hopefully listening

      Meanwhile, back at the farm, we have major sex abuse and child endangerment issues right here in Philly, to say nothing of righteous bishops on a contraception national move…one wonders at the timing..would distraction be a possibility?

      So what IS different, thank God, is the Internet and the accelerating timing….mind you in 7 days these horrors.accumulated ang got reported….the times not are “a changing”. They have changed. And it’s never going to be the same again. The Internet is a gift of God and an action arm of the Holy Spirit.

      1. Joan, I am convinced the “anti-contraception crusade” is a “distraction” that is closely linked to the bishops’ child abuse legal defense strategy. Obama has been too outspoken against child sexual abuse, in the pope’s view. The bishops have been directed to replace him with a “softer” Republican as US prosecutor-in-chief. If Obama is re-elected, he will likely go after the bishops forcefully.

        I elaborate on this in my three NCR comments, “Founding Fathers’ Shock”, “Obama Dream Comes True” and “No Deal Ever, Obama”, all accessible by clicking on at:


      2. Jerry,
        Your take on the politics is interesting. The “Rabbit Rule” term made me chuckle. Natural family planning is not the old rhythm method.John Paul II in Love and Responsibilty and Theology of the Body thought that the ideal number of children a catholic family had was 3. As someone in the healthcare field I have come across many of the sideffects of contraceptive devices and drugs. Natural family planning I believe is cheaper and healthier both emotionally ,spiritually and physically for women. In many cases couples with infertilty are using NFP to get pregnant because it can be very accurate if followed properly. I just feel people need more education on it.

      3. Jerry,
        Do I think the Bishops are figthing for religious freedom yes…..but then they have been quiet on the contraceptive issue for so long…….could this have a secondary effect of causing distraction from the scandal yes.

      4. Jerry, I need to qualify my ‘perhaps a distraction’ remark on the contraception deal. I think it’s obvious that the bishops had a well and previously organized plan to address the issue. Obama gave them an opportunity to execute it.

        Personally, I am glad that Obama backed down, as I think the administration went too far.

        As Susan and Karhy so often say, C4C’s expressed concern is the safety of children who might be sexually molested….plenty of work needs to be done on THAT one!

    1. The only thing that runs through my head when I read Chaput’s letter about financial stewardship…

      Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…said Charlie Brown’s teacher.

      He’s upset someone stole “the people’s” money? Imagine how upset the people are that he is mismanaging theirs?

      I don’t know how so many people can take him seriously.

      1. I hear you the proof is in the pudding………he promises more transparency and accountablity I will believe when I see it.

  10. Beth, in reference to the catholicphilly.com article cited in your previous post, here is the comment I posted there. I feel this issue needs to be addressed.

    “… Working with our Archdiocesan Priests’ Council, our Archdiocesan Finance Council and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council now in formation, I do promise that every aspect of our shared life as a Church will be subject in the years ahead to the kind of clarity, greater accountability and careful stewardship our people deserve…”

    In light of your statement, Cardinal Chaput, regarding the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, what access, information, input, etc. will be available to individual parishioners concerning the discussions, decisions and reports provided by the Finance Council of which you are the Chairman?

    This clarity and accountability of which you speak……will the members of your archdiocese be able to participate in these important values with regard to the operation of the Finance Council?

    When will the Archdiocese of Philadelphia publish a complete, thorough and comprehensive annual financial report that details ALL of the expenses, revenues, assets, liabilities, trusts, real estate holdings, etc? Such a much-needed and long-overdue archdiocesan financial report to the parishioners of the entire archdiocese would do much to accomplish your mission of “clarity” and “accountability”.

  11. Any other name or Nameless:

    When any person who is a position of trust or power, priest, teacher, male or female, sports coach, boss, senior ranking in the military, legislative page…………………. They know that it is not only wrong, but if the person they abuse is underage, it is criminal.

    End of story Any Other Name. Get your morality screwed on tight – very tight. Your flimsy note above leads me to believe that you would not be trustworthy.


    1. SRW III, I thought the same thing when I read Nameless’ comment.
      Yuck…I would never trust my child around someone with that thought process.

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