Click here to read: “Judge: Won’t dismiss charges against Msgr. Lynn,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 27, 2012
Excerpt: “Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina denied a defense motion after prosecutors said that the recently unearthed documents only strengthen their case that Msgr. William J. Lynn was part of a broader scheme by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia hierarchy to conceal clergy sex abuse.”
70 thoughts on “Judge Won’t Dismiss Charges Against Lynn”
My favorite excerpt…”all the rest of them lied” You can’t make this garbage up.
God must be soooo pleased . NOT
mother Hen, my favorite line was the prosecution referring to the Grand Jury testimony of the A D.
“Oh, yeah, there was a whole lot of lying going on at that grand jury,” Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington told the judge. “Some of the most pervasive and offensive was by defendant Lynn.”
AMEN !! Susan and Kathy, this article and related ones suggest that the Philly DA’s office is reading C4C comments. You should send Chaput a bill.
Let’s hope the DA’s office gets around soon to asking under oath Rigali, Chaput, et al. and their lawyers why the smoking gun memo,reportedly uncovered by the Philly AD’s lawyers in 2006, took almost six years to make its way to the courthouse. This is not a game and Judge Sarmina should not tolerate this.
Hiding material evidence in a criminal trial is a crime. This evidence trail needs to be vigorously pursed, and if anyone is found to have hidden evidence, they should be prosecuted fully.
If not, Seth Williams owes the voters of Philly a full explanation.
Timely disclosure of this smoking gun could have saved some defensless Philly children from being sexually abused.
Jerry, these guys knew about the memo for 6 years….it’s a crass question, but why not just shred it? I guess I am trying to figure out what advantage that memo was to anyone but the prosecution in this case? And why did the defense think it would be anything but dangerous to their client. I can’t believe they were that naive.
And what justification does the prosecution need to depose all those AD ‘players’…..questions, always questions!
Rest assured they shredded plenty of documents that we will never see, and they either missed this single one, or someone saved it to save their own personal ass.
Msgr Lynn, bless his hell-bound soul, looked like he was going to be the fall guy at one point in this trial, like the mafia member willing to go to jail rather than rat out his crime family. Fortunately, he has proven to be a typical Catholic cowardly cleric, now willing to trash everyone within his reach to save himself from going to jail.
Thank God, God won’t let the devil be too smart or twoo honorable.
Patrick…that was what I was wondering about…was there some self serving purpose for the preservation of this ….it turns out, very useful document,…..for someone, but for whom, and WHY?
Joan, all I can think of is the memo was preserved in 1994 to be used in a possible canon law trial where relying on a cardinal’s orders could carry some weight.
In 1994, the possibility of a criminal trial in Philly must have seemed very remote. Indeed, even with Lynn Abraham’s two Philly grand juries, it took almost 20 years for the first criminal trial to begin in 2011 against Lynn.
According to Jason Berry’s book, “Vows of Silence”, Tom Doyle, as a canon lawyer in the papal ambassador’s DC office, had raised the priest abuse issue with Bevilaqua, Law, Levada, et al., as early as 1986.
We also know several US dioceses, e.g., with Milwaukee’s deaf children’s cases, were sending abuse cases directly to Ratzinger in Rome in the late-eighties and thereafter.
“Let’s hope the DA’s office gets around soon to asking under oath Rigali, Chaput, et al. and their lawyers why the smoking gun memo,reportedly uncovered by the Philly AD’s lawyers in 2006, took almost six years to make its way to the courthouse.”
Exactly Jerry! Seems this would change much regarding the 2nd grand jury investigation and report.
YAY!!! smoking gun shoots AD in he foot, after AD has inserted foot in its own mouth!!
Every day more secrets are uncovered…more truths are known. It gets more repugnant and abhorrent by the hour. I’m torn between anger and disappointment. Perhaps it’s time for me to look for a new Church. My husband left in 2002. 4 of our 5 children have left.
One question I truly struggle with…has the garbage happened since day 1? My gut feeling is yes. Were Church leaders ever decent, let alone godly men?
MotherHen, I am totally on the same page with you regarding my feelings about the Church, now and always. However, sick as it may be, the more I see in the paper about the disgusting tactics of cover-ups and lies, the happier I am at this point. You see, most contributing to this website have, for so long now, known and believed that these horrible things had occurred, but too many people have been oblivious to it all. Now, when articles appear in the paper nearly every day, more eyes are, hopefully, opening to the reality. The more who understand the truth, the better….the more chance that the number of blind sheep will be reduced and those willing to stand up for true morality will increase. There’s power in numbers.
My guess is that its been this way since the beginning. It’s a bad institution. A lovely apple, rotten at the core. I’m torn like you.
Anyone who truly believes that Monsignor Lynn did not know what had happened to the list may also believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.
Mother Hen, in my lifetime, I have known and met so many godlike priests who are suffering b/c of this atrocity. And also, I sense that you, Mother Hen, like me, are torn between the FAITH we grew up with to the adult decisions around the narrowness, arrogance and “wool being pulled over our eyes” situations as believing Catholics. This has all changed now for me. I have seen/lived inside the church. Human nature abounds in any/all work situations. However, a cover up us a cover up, as well as shredding is for reasons of cover up. Now, I ask you > let us recall when Jesus went to the Temple and reacted in justifiable anger at what was happening. Jesus drove out the “violators” from the Temple.Seems like we are in a similar moment in history. Maybe we are seeing now a repeat of that scene as these “violators” are pursued by Civil authorities to bring justice to the abused.
Lynn’s new defense – “The Bevil made me do it”.
Loved Lynn’s new defense!
Thanks Teresa, I appreciate your thoughtful reply.
I too, have known many Priests (most all I liked/admired greatly). However, as this sordid drama unfolds, it seems impossible that many of the same Priests were unaware that rapes/molestations were happening. Why didn’t they “warn” the parishioners that their children might be in danger. They owed us that much. sorry for rambling.
Mother Hen, you are not putting all your eggs into one basket. Your observation is spot on. You are speaking as one who, as a Mother, knows EGGactly what life is about.
im still waiting for chaput to comment on this case and the abuse in phila .he had a lot to say in denver but he hasnt said much here.im starting to think he doesnt care about us except for the catholic charities appeal letter i just recieved.
Tell him you won’t contribute until he gets every bit of truth about this case out in the open. You will never be able to persuade him to do the right thing or to do the Christian thing, but if he thinks it will affect him financially, or as “steward of the diocese”, as he likes to call himself, he might be persuaded.
That’s the only card the parishioners can play other than trying to force Seth Williams out of office and getting a non-Catholic DA to really investigate.
SW, I suspect Chaput has been advised by criminal lawyers to say absolutely nothing. He may have learned his lesson with the screw-up of his giving Lynn a big party, now likely Lynn’s last AD party.
The unnessary negative publicity that resulted from Chaput’s bad decision to give Lynn that party, as well as the mystery of the apparent “six year lag” in the public disclosure of the “smoking gun” shredding memo, may be related to the reasons why Chaput so dramatically and suddenly replaced recently the Philly AD’s long-time principal law firm from the abuse scandal case.
Some Philly AD lawyers, I also suspect, may have trouble sleeping these days. This is serious and may also relate to Vicky’s report that she has been told things are quite bad currently in the Philly AD’s offices.
The “secret” preservation in a permanently locked safe of the last copy of the memo also suggests a high level of distrust among AD officials.
Who else has preserved memos to protect themselves?
We may soon find out as the clerics jump from Chaput’s sinking ship.
I called up Cathnews, Chaput… His profile stating a ‘real conservative because he believes and teaches as true what the Catholic Church believes and teaches what is true. A tough guy when it comes to holding Catholic politicians accountable…read on.
He was sent to Australia by Rome over the dismissal of Bishop Bill Morris of Toowoomba.
I wonder if he will escape any accountability with his high profile, he sounds a little like a mixed bag.
No conspiracy here ???? From the article:
“In their court filing, the prosecutors said the documents and other evidence suggested Lynn didn’t prepare the list voluntarily, but was directed to do so by Bevilacqua. The cardinal, they said, made reviewing child-sex-abuse complaints a priority, not out of concern for victims, but to help the church devise a strategy to combat a wave of complaints and lawsuits.
Prosecutors cited a copy of a memo from Robert O’Hara, the head of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the church’s lobbying arm. The memo refers to a 1994 committee that Bevilacqua and other bishops had formed “to examine how the dioceses of Pennsylvania can better protect their secret archives from civil-law discovery.”
Kathy, your comment about the 1994 Catholic Conference memo, from the PA bishops to better protect their ‘secret archives’ from discovery….’ reminds me of an Internet search I did in 2001 when wrangling with a bishop about USCCB ‘history’ of abuse cover up.
I don’t remember the exact dates, but by the late 1980’s the USCCB was increasingly concerned about abuse issues and beginning to discuss them at national meetings….they then initiated a program, called….if you can believe it, Restoring Trust, and devised a series of basically, ‘suggestions’ for diocesan management to RESTORE TRUST. Doubtless the word went out to State Catholic Conferences, ‘to batten down the hatches’….legally .in case TRUST WAS NOT RESTORED!!!
See Restoring Trust link
Joan, as described in detail in Jason Berry’s, “Vows of Silence” book, Tom Doyle was investigating the priest abuse issue in 1986 on behalf of the pope’s ambassador in Wash DC. Tom’s report was buried, in effect, until the mid-’90’s when the “Restore Trust” figleaf was fabricated. Bevilacqua was involved with this directly.
Separately, Lynn’s lawyers, who have a potential conflict since Chaput pays their fees, have in their recent “smoking safe” motion only gone after minor former Philly bishops and a dead cardinal. Rigali, who was in charge when the shredding memo was “discovered” in 2006, seems to have gotten a pass from Lynn’s lawyers. Why?
And where does Chaput fit in? Why do Lynn’s lawyers say Lynn is being left out to dry? Who is leaving Lynn out to dry? Rigali? Chaput?
Finally, Lynn’s lawyers asked, in their motion, to strike Bevilacqua’s video deposition. Why? The publlic needs to know what Bevilacqua said. It must have been relevant and admissible, or Lynn’s lawyers would not care enough to try to stike it with this unusual motion.
Stay tuned, please.
Back in 1982, the bishops were beginning to lawyer up, see USCCB report cited above for initial episcopal response.
“NCCB/USCC staff assist personnel from two dioceses in appreciating the civil liability risks involved in child molestation cases. Occasional inquiries about specific complaints follow over the next eighteen months.
Misconduct of Father Gilbert Gauthe of Lafayette, Louisiana, focuses public attention. NCCB/USCC staff have limited discussions with diocesan administrative and legal personnel about concerns presented by resulting claims. Additional claimants in other dioceses come forward. NCCB/USCC staff act as resource to Bishops and their staffs who have ultimate responsibility for responding to claims.
Several state legislatures change child abuse reporting statutes. NCCB/USCC legal staff survey and provide summary of statutes to dioceses.”
With each new article, it boggles my mind more and more? Where will it stop? What else is covered up?
Looking forward to this upcoming trial. Praying that there is no plea deal and that it all comes out in the open.
Don’t think for a minute that you will ever get more than 10% of the truth of the extent and the depth of this child sex ring. After years of wrestling to try to get the truth out of the Catholic church, and a Msgr who knew he was on the way to jail, a memo finally surfaces that shows the Bevilacqua was exactly what we all knew he was – a professional pedophile protector.
Lynn’s lawyers somehow figured that would get Lynn out of jail, but what it should teach all of Philadelphia and the rest of the world is that the Catholic church is even more evil than we thought, and they will knowingly rape children, move known child rapists and lie to your face about it in the name of God. And you will defend them because they told you to. WWSD?
There is still more that we will never find out, but you are seeing a little more than you’ve already seen in 180 diocese in the United States, where 97% had at least one pedophile priest that the church admitted to in their John Jay report of 2004.
God is in control, and He is proving that this is not God’s church. Now people have to decide whether to sit back and let evil continue to run the church, or whether the real Christians in the Catholic church
– force the FBI to go into every diocese in the world
– find all of these documents
– subpoena every complicit priest or bishop
and let the cowards like Lynn roll over on the heartless punks like Bevilacqua.
There should also be a motion to dig Bevilacqua out of the ground and bury him in a cesspool somewhere.
I apologize if that isn’t harsh enough. I just re-read page 4-5 of the second grand jury report to see what Avery did after Msgr Lynn and Bevilacqua let him loose. Anyone who reads that and doesn’t think I was being too nice is a gutless Catholic sheep.
I hope the DA reviews both Grand Jury records and issues arrests warrants on those who perjured themselves, and as william sasso was bevilaqua’s attorney the DA should take a hard look at him. Hopefully the patron saints of pedophiles in Harrisburg will be compelled to stop ignoring HB 832 & 878
Was the cause of Bevilacqua’s death ever made public?
They said the labs would take a month I believe.
“Several prescription medications were found in Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua’s body at the time of his death, but the Montgomery County coroner won’t know for a few weeks whether those drugs matched prescribed levels.
Walter I. Hoffman unveiled the preliminary results of his autopsy of Bevilacqua yesterday.
Hoffman also warned that results may be inaccurate due to the body having already been embalmed when the test was taken.”
Oh!, “…results may be inaccurate due to the body having already been embalmed when the test was taken.”
IS THAT WHY THE AD RUSHED TO EMBALM HIM?
This is from the PDN :
“Prosecutors cited a copy of a memo from Robert O’Hara, the head of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the church’s lobbying arm. The memo refers to a 1994 committee that Bevilacqua and other bishops had formed “to examine how the dioceses of Pennsylvania can better protect their secret archives from civil-law discovery.”
Now we also have the lobbying group aiding in the cover up , indictments and arrests are in order !
Drwho, results of BEVIL’S death still out. What is mind boggling to me is how the 2005 Grand Jury report lead nowhere – no responsibility laid upon anyone … all supposedly due to the Statute of Limitations excuse.
Theresa-After the first grand jury report they laid the responsibility for protecting children on their parents. It was after that first report that the AD began mandatory safe environment training and fingerprinting for all parent volunteers. Now I have no problem with the training and fingerprinting in and of itself but it sort of boggles the mind that parents have to go through all of this just to be able to attend their own child’s field trip-while our leadership kept suspected priests in active ministry! They absolved themselves of any responsibility but put the responsibility on the parents whom they had lied to all these years.
unabletotrust-I totally agree with you that the DA should review those 2 grand jury reports and issue arrest warrents to those who perjured themselves.
THE ASSOCIATION OF PHILADELPHIA PRIESTS: On the Occasion of its One Year Anniversary (Easter Season, 2011).
Dear Fr. Chris,
In the spirit and promise of transparency, I ask that you report to the concerned and interested faithful on the efforts made by your group over the past year, any challenges and/or obstacles it has encountered, the progress it has made, and its visions for the future.
Sorry, but just a little bit of cynical sarcasm in my following comment.
On a previous blog on this site, I reminded our readers that in the history of the church, Pope Formosus(?896), affter his death, was charged with heresy by this successor in the papacy. Formosus was disintered, dressed in papal finery, placed on a chair in St. John Lateran Church (The Popes’ Church before St. Peter’s was built) indicted and excommunicated. He was then stripped of all finery and buried in a common grave.
As more and more evidence blurs the “sanctity” of the recently deceased cardinal and places him as a real conspirator against abused victims, should the crypr of the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul have full time guards to protect the bodies buried therin?
Thanks, John. Disinterring is even more relevant than you may be thinking. Tom Doyle gave his 1986 abuse report to Philly’s Cardinal Krol, Bevil’s predecessor, as he left for a meeting with his Polish pal, JP II, in Rome. Krol indicated he would personally deliver it to the pope.
When thinking about disinterring hierarchs, don’t forget the pope recently buried in St. Peter’s, who looked the other way on priest abusers for almost thirty years. He even as late as 2001 congratulated a French bishop, who had refused to report to the police about a serial pedophile priest. At least we should cancel JP II’s canonization!
Father – you should be ashamed of that comment.
The devil of BEVIL
way down in the tomb
while visions of pedophiles
are free to seek “room” –
so, “open the windows”
split open the safe
so truth and real justice
will bring honest debate.
Wonderful poem, Theresa!
Bev was a man who knew
Legalities up the gazoo
Kids were raped
And juries were lied to, too!
Too good Joan! It’s all so sick but, thanks for making me laugh.
I have always maintained that the reason Bevilacqua was sent to Philadelphia after a brief reign in Pittsburgh is that he was not only a canon lawyer but also a civil lawyer. The Vatican knew they had a lot to cover up in Philadelphia and brought in an expert.
Nancy, you are probably right. A prominent, longtime religion journalist who even covered Vatican II and also studied for the priesthood, indicated to me recently that among ‘insiders”, the Philly AD has long been considered, in effect, a pedophile paradise.
Very sad for Philly children and their loved ones.
The Philly AD isn’t the only pedophile paradise by a long shot. Every Catholic church is.
Boston was worse, but we just never heard the human side of the story, because the lawyers insisted on silence for their hush money. Cardinal Law was promoted to an amazing job in Rome as his reward for hiding the evil. In one particular story he will tell in hell for eternity, Cardinal Law told a congregation in the 90s that he wanted “the wrath of God” to reign down on the newspapers that were investigating Fr James Porter. Law had moved Porter himself, and knew he was a pedophile, but was too cowardly to let it become public.
God sided with the newspapers, and they found out that Porter had sex with over 100 children, and he wasn’t the worst. There have been over 160 other known pedophile priests in Boston alone.
In LA, bishop Mahony refused to report for the John Jay report in 2004. He hid and moved Oliver O’Grady, the famous serial pedophile from the movie “Deliver us from evil”, even after he KNEW O’Grady was a pedophile. However, Mahony was still promoted to bishop, and the cowardly Catholic sheep in LA just went along with it.
I’ve actually done research at the other ends of the spectrum. Satanic churches despise pedophilia. Prison inmates beat pedophiles senseless, since they are the lowest level of criminal in a prison. Other churches or colleges have the occasional pedophile, but despite comments by Catholic apologists, Catholic priests are 100 times more likely to sexually abuse a child as anyone else. See http://tinyurl.com/3jgxwko
The Catholic church is the ONLY institution to hide, harbor, move, and defend them, and the only place where the overwhelming parishioners condone or defend the pedophile and not the victim.
The Catholic church is a pedophile’s paradise all over the world.
In reference to Bevilacqua, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the following is a reprint of a comment on the topic of St. John Vianney, treatment center for clergy in Downingtown, PA.
“Kevin Raphael, a lawyer for the hospital and Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Seth Williams, declined to comment. Both cited a gag order issued in the case by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina.”
In Mr. Raphael’s bio on the law firm’s website:
Kevin Raphael is on the Board of Directors, and served for a number of years as president, of Northwest Victim Services, a non-profit organization providing counseling and advocacy services to victims of crime. With his background, one can certainly be assured of his concern, commitment and sensitivity to those victims of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of pedophile priests.
Last, but definitely not least, Mr. Raphael is a member of the law firm, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP headquartered in Pittsburgh. William Pietragallo is the Chairman of the firm and his firm provided legal counsel to the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh. I have had discussions with him relative to the Church and other matters but what is of interest on his website is the fact that he studied at Loyola University of Rome in Italy.
Let us not ever forget to ask the important question here: Are the parishioners of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia once again paying for the significant legal fees charged by Mr. Pietragallo’s law firm since Kevin Raphael is a partner at the firm?
Wouldn’t you just love to read the Integrity, Conflict-of-Interest, Confidentiality and Professional Standards outlined in the operations manual at St. John Vianney’s, particularly in light of the fact that St. John’s Vianney is owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia? Where are the professional associations and organizations in mental health treatment and services, both at the public and private level, who monitor, review and accredit such an institution, particularly one with such a peculiar alliance and operations arrangement.
And Seth Williams is a politician and a very active Catholic, giving him two reasons not to pursue this vigorously.
From DA William’s website, …”he is also proud to serve on the boards of several community organizations, including the Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, St. Cyprian Catholic Church, the St. Martin de Porres Foundation, …”
The best thing that could come out of this horror story is that Philly kids would be REALLY protected, and the multiple offenders would be jailed.
The second best thing is that nationwide, prosecutors would no long give church criminals prosecutorial ‘passes’.
The third best thing would be that worldwide Catholics would now see with absolute clarity the massive criminal conspiracy against children the hierarchy has created.
With such clear evidence, it can be expected many more Catholics would increasingly demand the right to select and remove their bishops, as the early Christians did successfully for over 300 years.
… Here’s what I get stuck on”…the multiple offenders”—?? If the charges involve “covering up”,then who in the clergy ISN’T guilty? How can “good” priests (bright men with Master’s degrees, for Pete’s sake!) share a brotherhood, share meals, a rectory, vacations, retreats, a life with sexual predators, day after day, year after year—- and not know?! They ALL knew the specifics of who was who, and they still know.
My dad attended a local seminary as a teen in the 1930’s and HE KNEW– he saw it back then! Even as a young, poor, powerless, uneducated boy, he managed to get the heck out of that place. He paid a high price for leaving, but he did it despite the cost.
Take for example, Fr. Brzyski and Fr. Joseph –They lived and “worked” together at St. Cecilia’s during the 80’s. Guess there were no clues around that rectory to any wrongdoings- huh??!! What would the personal cost have been for a “good” priest to decide that he was not going to tolerate child abuse at St. Cecilia’s for one more day. What actually stopped the “good” priests from stepping up and doing the right thing – no matter what the cost? Who of us doesn’t have to do horrendously difficult tasks sometimes?
I’m more astounded and disgusted by the “good priests” for their complacency, than I am at their evil superiors. They’re all complicit, lightweight cowards.
I’ve said it before – there are no good priests.
Realize also that these priests hear the confessions of the other priests, so they know absolutely, positively when the others have sex with a child. They then have the right to “retain the sins”, but of course, they never do.
They have the right to tell the pedophile priest that he won’t be absolved unless he goes to jail and makes sure the child gets help and justice, but they never do.
This is an interesting Inquirer article from October 2005.
TODAY’S NCR offering on the Bev, Philly, Malloy, et al situation…well done.
Joan, I thought the NCR article was too “soft”, especially on Rigali and Chaput, so I added a substantial comment, “Bevil’s Devils”, putting Patrick’s clever words to use.
I had trouble cross-linking to the 9/06/11 Rolling Stone article on secret files and to the Commonweal article by Rigali’s outraged Review Board Chairwoman. I have added some corrected links, which may fix it. The comment makes the key points, nevertheless.
Jerry, I am glad you sorted that one out…..it was ‘soft’ and didn’t reflect my take on Chaput, at all…..normally Tom Roberts is a fine writer, wonder who his ‘source’ was?
Great comments by you. The NCR article was soft, but the detailed version at http://natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2006b/042806/042806a.php is heartbreaking, nauseating, and infuriating.
I also think I know the problem with your links. If they are too long, NCR trims them, leaving them useless. Instead, try a site called tinyurl.com which allows you to trim a large URL into a smaller one. It even allows you to give it a customized name.
Thanks, Joan and Patrick. I will try the link, thanks.
Well things are beginning to move in Victoria Australia, with the findings of a report yesterday into sex-abuse against children, called for by the Liberal State Premier, Ted Ballieu.
New laws sought, in particular interest to us, is that priests should be compelled to report suspicions of abuse to authorities which currently covers teachers, police and medical professionals.
While confessions to priests should be exempt, clerics of any religion who fail to report suspected abuse by members of their organisations should be prosecuted.
The suppression of names by judges should also be repealed.
The Australian Bishops Conference have their own reservations and opinions and have made them known, naturally.
We are now waiting to see if the State Attorney will re-open files on suicide deaths, related to abuse by clergy, numbers mounting to already recorded cases by the State Coroner.
You probably know this, but in Australia, 26 victims of pedophile priest Robert Best have already committed suicide, but Bishop Peter Connors says there ‘s no need for an investigation, since the church has learned what is inappropriate behavior for priests.
Education is expensive – it cost 26 lives to teach the Catholic church not to rape children. The bishop sees no need to find other victims before they commit suicide.
What Would Jesus Do? I’m guessing He’d drop everything to make sure the other victims were ok before he threw Bishop Connors in hell.
Patrick your right.
That is very good news L.Newington….and I am glad for you AND Victoria Australia. Slowly, way too slowly civil justice is helping sort out this mess! Joan
THANK YOU to all on this forum who are posting “links” related to this disgusting debacle. The information you supply is accurate and informative. At this point, I am ashamed to say that I am first generation Irish b/c of the connection of the Irish culture in Philly. Unfortunately, we all suffer disgrace b/c of the horrendous acts of these so called “priests.” But, our disgrace is nothing in comparison to the pain of the victims and their families who live everyday with the horror of this tsunami of factual information.
Theresa, as a son of parents born and bred in Donegal, don’t blame Philly all on the Irish culture, which surely has suffered enough because of the Church in Ireland. Krol, Bevilacqua, Rigali and Chaput hardly sound like Irish names. Of course, they had a fair number of Irish American accomplices. In the end, it was and is a matter of personal character and individual responsibility, not genetics.
Now I know why I liked you Jerry 🙂 My great-grandmother was from Donegal and boy was she a tough lady……..anyone not Irish on this site? 🙂 I am just kidding. We now have many laity of Irish descent being very vocal on this site among other nationalities.It is always good to learn from the past so not to repeat the same mistakes. That is why I appreciate the information and articles referenced on this blog as well as first hand experiences so that we can examine and make changes in our attitudes and actions.This site has lead me on a personal journey …..In looking at the ugliness of child sexual abuse……it caused me to take a deeper look at myself and my relationship to others.
Theresa, I’m of 100% Irish descent too. Jerry’s right – these leaders weren’t Irish. But a great number of the offending priests and victims certainly were! I think there were definitely factors specific to our Irish-Amer. culture which enabled much of this tragedy. Better to acknowledge and face up to the reasons for this – because some surely still exist. Some of these causes might have their roots in Ireland, some in America.
I’m not sure, but here’s what I’d be inclined to blame for this “Irish thing”….I’d blame the generation-to-generation, pressure from all sides TO CONFORM AND FIT IN, IN ORDER TO SUCCEED IN THIS COUNTRY– To stay humble and obey our leaders, “our betters”… never questioning or challenging them…. rarely varying from the way our parents did things… afraid of being an individual, (or heaven-forbid) even a Public Schooler (lol)…. afraid of being considered to be “a fallen away Catholic”, who is “not in good standing with the Church”… afraid of being humiliated or ostracized for making a mistake…and so on ….blah, blah blah…
I have always been struck by the Irish surnames of so many of the problem Priests. I would be curious to view the hard data. Cloyne, Raphoe, Murphy, Ferns, Dublin reports etc. Could it possible be that Ireland is the “eye of the hurricane”.
Crystal, Jerry, and Beth, thanks for your words of support re the “Irish” thing. Proud of Father, Thomas Joseph from County Sligo who first showed me the face of God. He, along with my Mom, Eva modeled “ordinary holiness” in their lives. They never had places of honor, or, rich, ornate robes, etc. My Mom and Dad were wrapped around in mercy and kindness. Oh, how richly blessed all 10 of their children are!! And, in advance, Happy st. Patrick’s day one and all!