Trial Promises More Shocking Revelations For Philadelphia Catholics


Click here to read: “With church abuse trial set to open, tensions abound,” by John Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 25, 2012

Excerpt: “The case has stoked national interest not because of who Lynn is but what his trial signifies. As hundreds of priests worldwide have been accused or convicted of molesting children, church leaders have consistently avoided prosecution, casting the crisis as an individual epidemic, not an institutional one.

Late last week, an eleventh-hour guilty plea from one of the defendants threatened to upend the trial. Defrocked priest Edward V. Avery admitted that he sexually assaulted the St. Jerome’s boy in 1999 and that he conspired with Lynn and others to endanger minors.”

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75 Responses to “Trial Promises More Shocking Revelations For Philadelphia Catholics”

  1. why are there no comments for or against from chaput,does he have nothing to say?he had a lot to say about the health care bill and the catholic charities money goal maybe this isnt that important to him.

    • stevew, both sides are operating under a gag order and can’t make public comments about the trial.

      • Why do my comments lately have to “await moderation?”

      • V4J I just asked the same question, but think your remarks are vastly more valuable than mine!

      • Nah, that’s not so true, Joan. We all have important comments to make. Well… maybe not all of us. That Pierre guy, who hasn’t shown up on this site in quite awhile (knowck on wood), is most certainly annoying. I can think of a few others who consistently make almost no point, but rather argue and insult. There’s many differently shaped nuts in this world and there’s not always the perfect wrench to un-screw them. 🙂

        Besides, I like your comments, Joan. Yours and many others are important to me.

      • V4J, you are the reason I comment!
        And I owe you and other victims a debt of gratitude that won’t end for helping me understand the horrors of abuse!

        There’s one personal thought that I hope is OK. I think I understand when you say that you would have had a very different life without abuse. And boy, do I wish that had been the case for you!

        But what you have done for many of us to understand the horror, the fact that tonight on CNN, your witness to these issues will literally go worldwide is so important. You play a critical role in changing this unbelievable travesty!

        Many many thanks, Joan

      • I appreciate the support of everyone here and your positive feedback on my decision to comment with CNN on the upcoming trial. Being public about my story was never something I thought I would be able to do, much less go on national televsion to air it all out.

        When I went public with my story in June 2009, literally a handful of people knew about my abuse just one day prior to the press conference. Actually, those people, excluding one, hadn’t even known until a few months prior, when I decided to take my history to the District Attoney in Philadelphia in March 2009. After the press conference I could’ve never imagined how much my story would be covered by national and international media outlets. It all became so real when I returned home and FOX and New York Times news vans were on my doorstep waiting for a comment. Being a nephew of Cardinal John O’Connor was really the catalyst that made the story explode. I just wanted to prove a point that if I can be abused, then anyone can be abused. I wanted other victims to know that I come from a very conservative, Irish Catholic family, and for many years, because of my family, I never thought anyone would believe me. The priest is to be held with royalty and respect in my family, and I was certain my family would be upset and call me a liar. They were upset and they called me a liar.( LOL I was right about that.) But, it wasn’t about them. It was about me and my life and how I could figure things out so I could be okay. I needed to tell other victims that no matter what their own family backgrounds are, or whom they’re related to, or how Catholic their families are that if I can speak up, you can speak up. Within just a few days, a dozen people, whom I know of, spoke up.

        I’m noticing a lot on this site lately of people commenting “I believe the victims.” Thank you for those comments. You may not have any idea just how powerful those words are to many of us. We spend our entire lives feeling like we’ll never be believed about what happened to us. When I read those comments over and over, I get a tremendous sense of relief and I feel like I’m making a difference, and you all make me feel good about me. You’ve given me the courage to be public when I never wanted to. You’ve given me a reason to keep fighting for what I, or we, believe in. You gave me another reason to be alive today.

        Initially, I didn’t want anything to do with this site. I just thought it would be another bunch of illinformed, misguided Catholics, who may very well be against child abuse, but would support the Catholic Church until the very end. I thought maybe if I opened up on this site and gave you the raw truth, some of the most graphic details of my own abuse, maybe you could try to imagine what my eyes have seen and how my body has felt. I started my own website and I realized I was only attracting other victims or people who supported us entirely, and that wasn’t exactly a bad thing, but I wanted to win a debate with people who didn’t get it and those who pledged never to support us or believe us. I just wanted to get people to believe that the stories we are telling is at least possible. I wanted those parishioners who have spit in my face, thrown coins and stones at me on the sidewalk, and who have insulted me with every degrading and foul word you thought you’d never hear out of the mouth of a good Catholic old lady, to just give us a chance and consider that we might actually be telling the truth.

        I’ve seen the discussions here change. Just after the birth of this site, reading here made me more angry than any insult or object a parishioner could throw my way during a demonstration. I see different reactions, and a collaboration of the eternal search for accountability and justice, and most importantly, the protection and well-being of children everywhere, that today and in the future children are a little bit safer because we chose to do something about it. Over a year later of discussions, I now see the exact opposite of what I had originally anticipated from people on this site. To me, that’s just another aspect of justice. Your alliance with us victims has been important, inspiring, and greatly appreciated.

      • this is the part of the “gag”order that i dont understand,the good old boy network.

        Last September, six months after his arrest, Lynn drew a standing ovation during a dinner that the archdiocese’s newly installed leader, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, hosted for priests. That same month, Chaput told an interviewer: “It’s really important to me, and I think to all of us, that he be treated fairly and that he not be a scapegoat.”

      • Rich…
        I wish I had something powerful to say to you…to let you know I’ve read every word and nodded through the whole thing and at some parts, teary-eyed…

        Keep sharing…we all need to hear it.

    • Rich,the sytem is acts up sometimes.One of my comments is awaiting moderation also.

  2. Thanks, Susan, John Martin must read C4C. Some C4C bloggers may find of interest my Philly trial comments today under Jason Berry’s new article on NCR. Please read my comment, “Machiavelli Back in Rome”, accessible by clicking on at:

    http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/ratzinger-altered-canon-law-soften-maciel-punishment-book-argues

    • What happened? The trial will tell us all that happened. Why did it happen? It happened because hierarchy put their own interests before the protection of children. There is often talk of having not understood the dynamics of child sex abuse in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s and thinking perpetrators could be rehabilitated. But the shredding of a list of abusive priest’s names in 1994 to avoid future lawsuits,while many of those priests were still in ministry with acccess to children,pretty much blows that theory out of the water. Maybe the trial will curb future standing ovations for clergy who put children in harms way.

      • Kathy, I agree with you and hope there is a trial.

        Given the sudden plea deal with Avery, we should also consider that we could wake up tomorrow to a Lynn plea deal. Since that could happen suddenly, and it very well may, we should think a bit now of our best reactions.

        At a minimum, we need to consider pressing Seth Williams and Judge Sarmina to pursue Rigali, Cullen, Cistone, the AD’s lawyers, et al. and to require the AD to open all its secret abuse archives and to release Bevilacqua’s video deposition. Final resolution of Avery and Lynn’s cases will help, but it cannot end there.

        Now is the time to demand that this mess be cleaned up once and for all!

      • That’s the legal side and you can count on me following through on the pressure for additional charges for other enablers. i’m spreading the word about Judge Sarmina and DA Williams…Pay attention to their loyalty to the protection of children!

        See below for what I think needs to be done in the meantime for catholics and non-catholics whether there’s a plea deal for Lynn or not.

        I believe the victims!

      • I’ve heard that crap over and over from Catholic apologists who say “they didn’t understand the dynamics of child sex abuse in the 60′s 70′s and 80′s and thought perpetrators could be rehabilitated”.

        This is a lie.

        Ask any parent of any age whether they would have allowed their 10 year old boy to be alone with someone who had sex with a 10 year old boy. No one would ever, ever have allowed it, and the church knew that, so they would pay therapists that would promise to have cured the pedophile.

        The Catholic church then did the most cowardly, risky, evil thing, which was to test the psychiatrist’s theory out of real children. Just like Satan Would Do, if Satan was a despicable coward.

        • Not only that but the Archdiocese utilized the services of psychiatrists to evaluate priests “with issues.” These psychiatrists had to have had access to the same studies I had in college in the 80s. In my human sexuality course, we learned that pedophilia could not be rehabilitated. The studies had begun decades before. I was an underclassman, not even a psych major and I knew this.

  3. For those victims who will be testifying this week and in the coming weeks and months… know that a growing community of believers believe *you*. What happened was and never will be your fault… and your brave testimony is bringing us closer to justice for those who are at fault. My thoughts and prayers for your strength will remain with you throughout this trial.

  4. Martin J. Leahy, PhD Reply March 25, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Consider posting a comment on John Martin’s article (link above in Susan’s initial post) as a way to keep the public pressure on judge, DA, and AoP.

    I asked why Avery got off lightly and is not required to testify.

    • MJL,
      I attempted to post a comment… was unable… message stating “comments are closed”. What’s with this?

      • Martin J. Leahy, PhD Reply March 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm

        I don’t know. This morning, I tried posting a comment to several articles from last week and could not. Tried several times. Maybe they close out comments at some point??? Martin

  5. “With church sex abuse trial set to open, tensions abound.”

    Until last evening, that described me for the last several months. Then I read Rich’s post describing how he was driven to distraction in order to attend his mother’s memorial service, yesterday. He had to ignore the things that were meant to calm, console and inspire him because, in reality, they cause him pain and suffering– the church, the altar, the priest, the sacred ambience. In Church, at his mother’s memorial service, Rich survived by maintaining eye contact with the floor.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the trial set to open will explode into a drama of untold magnitude for Catholics in Philly and across to world. As each shred and detail of sin and corruption unfolds, as the truth appears, very acutely, I will be “there” intellectually. At the same time, however, I’m going to take Rich’s lead, using forms of distraction to protect myself from asking questions like how or why our hierarchy is a fallen group of misfits, dragging us through their obscene and sordid pasts and presents. Not interested any longer in the sick and convoluted hows and whys of despicable men. When my head and heart go there, I will look at the floor.

  6. Three points

    One, — as this trial unfolds, I pray that victims and survivors are not revictimized with the data, that as Vicky suggested, they can take really good care of themselves!

    Two, — that Catholics in the pew grow in their understanding of the horror of clergy abuse, and the insidious passing on of known predator priests to unknowing parishes to abuse again, with the knowledge and tacit approval of the hierarchy.

    Three, —- as one who is very interested in this trial from a national justice perspective, this quote in the article is particularly important:

    “Simply that a trial is taking place might be more significant than its outcome, said Patrick Wall, a former priest turned lawyer and victims advocate.

    Since Lynn’s arrest, prosecutors in seven jurisdictions from California to New York have started exploring charges against priests’ superiors, according to Wall.

    “Any time I’ve talked to a prosecutor and I’ve brought up Philadelphia, it gives them greater moral authority to do this,” he said. “Because most D.A.s were afraid to take on the Catholic Church”

    The trial comes seven years after another Philadelphia grand jury delivered a searing 418-page report that faulted archdiocesan leaders for their handling of sex-abuse claims. “

    • Today’s article covered a lot of ground, but there was one piece of it that caught my attention, as I have been hopeful from the beginning that what starts in Philly doesn’t stay in Philly…ie that other DAs in other jurisdictions will not only NOT give the church prosecutorial passes on passing on predators but will prosecute Church leadership.

      Here’s the quote

      “Simply that a trial is taking place might be more significant than its outcome, said Patrick Wall, a former priest turned lawyer and victims advocate.

      Since Lynn’s arrest, prosecutors in seven jurisdictions from California to New York have started exploring charges against priests’ superiors, according to Wall.

      “Any time I’ve talked to a prosecutor and I’ve brought up Philadelphia, it gives them greater moral authority to do this,” he said. “Because most D.A.s were afraid to take on the Catholic Church.”

      SEVEN JURISDICTIONS FROM CALIFORNIA TO NEW YORK!!!!?!!

  7. “Did a lot of bishops do very STUPID things for which they should have been held accountable and they were not held accountable? Yes, absolutely,” said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a scholar at Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center.

    Stupid?? Father, you’re a scholar and would think that you would choose the correct word(s) to describe the bishops’ conduct…..Criminal, Evil, Immoral, Reprehensible, Cowardly, Despicable, etc. Wouldn’t any or all of these words be much more accurate than “stupid” to describe the bishops’ actions?

  8. From the article:
    Simply that a trial is taking place might be more significant than its outcome, said Patrick Wall, a former priest turned lawyer and victims advocate.

    Since Lynn’s arrest, prosecutors in seven jurisdictions from California to New York have started exploring charges against priests’ superiors, according to Wall.

    “Any time I’ve talked to a prosecutor and I’ve brought up Philadelphia, it gives them greater moral authority to do this,” he said. “Because most D.A.s were afraid to take on the Catholic Church.”

    I have had some very interesting conversations with attorneys concerning what even a guilty plea by Lynn could mean for future cases,not only in Philadelphia, but in other Dioceses. This case is groundbreaking in so many ways. The feeling is either that a guilty plea or verdict and one day or 20 years served in prison by Lynn ,changes the course of so many things and victims may see the affect of this throughout the U.S.

    • Kathy, while I take a different position on what a successful outcome would look like in the Lynn case and on what tee shirts should say and where we should wear them, I hope you understand I am playing devil’s advocate mostly.

      We have been treated by bishops and prosecutors as if we were complete fools for so long, I think someone needs to really push back, especially when they all operate mainly in secret. I was paid to be pushy for over three decades so I am pushy out of habit, I suppose.

      I also liked SW’s idea of spray painting the pews LOL. SW can be wilder than even me at times.

      And Susan you are right to tell us to make up our own tee shirts. I shouldn’t have tried to add to her already excessive workload.

      What I need to think more about is how we might establish an ongoing organization for sustained resistance. I am not sure I have enough energy left to do that. The blogging itself is a full time job already.

  9. ABC news 22 minutes ago on the trial and priests role, something we have been discussing a lot.

    “The trial is sure to be painful for priests across the archdiocese as well. Pastors will testify against church leaders, complaining they were never told when accused priests were assigned to their parishes.

    The Rev. Chris Walsh started the Association of Philadelphia Priests last year, so the 800priests in the archdiocese can share support and information.

    “The priests want the same thing as the lay people,” Walsh said Thursday. “We want to know what happened. And, if possible, why it happened.

    “The gospel says the truth will set you free. Let’s find out what the truth is.”

    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8594669

    • Joan, I meant to post this here in response to your link.

      What happened? The trial will tell us all that happened. Why did it happen? It happened because hierarchy put their own interests before the protection of children. There is often talk of having not understood the dynamics of child sex abuse in the 60′s 70′s and 80′s and thinking perpetrators could be rehabilitated. But the shredding of a list of abusive priest’s names in 1994 to avoid future lawsuits,while many of those priests were still in ministry with acccess to children,pretty much blows that theory out of the water. Maybe the trial will curb future standing ovations for clergy who put children in harms way.

  10. Michael, your comment on what Fr. Reese said describing what happened as STUPID!! I agree with you, what a stupid defination from a supposedly intelligent man. By the way, Rich is on CNN tonite at 7 and again 10PM. Please look for him. Good luck Rich.
    I didn’t know your Mom died, I express my deepest sympathy to you. Entering a church for me today would make me physically sick, I can no longer step foot in such evil. Only the victims again, only the victims will you hear the truth!

  11. These questions have been on my mind for some time, and with Avery’s pathetic sentence, are growing louder. Perhaps someone with knowledge of the law can shed some light.
    Why did it take TWO Grand Jury reports to finally bring charges against these clergy? In the intervening years, more children were abused, and God only knows the extent of further “cover up” attempts, “shredding”, etc. that took place. Why weren’t charges also brought against Devilacqua years ago, before his health declined so? (The extent of his dementia claim nothwithstanding.) Why weren’t charges brought against Cistone, Cullen, Rigali?? “Non-indicted conspirators”? It is clear to anyone who has read the GJ reports they all played a part. It is beyond my comprehension. They are just as guilty as Lynn.

    • 4the children The main answer to your question is the statute of limitations were the reason for no charges stemming from the first Grand Jury report. The current charges fell within the statutes which is why we are seeing criminal charges and a trial. Also mandatory reporting laws have changed over the years -some changes a direct result of the clergy abuse -great claim to fame right? Pennsylvania is nicknamed a pedophile friendly state. We would like to think the good guys come along and arrest the bad guys no matter when the crimes took place and the good guys lock the bad guys away for the rest of their life. No,couldn’t be further from the truth in many cases involving child sex abuse in PA -even non clergy abuse. Also there were technicalities for “endangering children” -did the person have to be a direct supervisor over children to be charged with that or did the supervisory role over adults of people working with children make that applicable.
      No matter what the personal feelings of those involved, police,investigators,prosecutors,we exist in a system of laws -pretty bad ones in Pa. when crimes involve children .

    • 4thechildren, beth has commented in the past about the short sentence, I believe 18 months, that her husband’s perpetrator(non clergy) received. I also believe that if the crimes against children took place before the law enacting Megan’s List -you don’t have to be listed on that registry. The laws in Pa, are a nightmare and just look to the Sandusky case and how many things fell through the cracks from the investigation by both police and child welfare in the late 1990’s to the failure of mandatory reporting in the later case. The current penalty for failure to fulfill a duty of mandatory reporting in Pa. is a misdemeanor and the fine is similar to a speeding ticket.

    • 4thechildren, I am going to give your questions an inadequate, non lawyerly ‘try’.

      When the 2005 Grand Jury report came out, 63 priests were noted as a concern to the GJ, but it’s my understanding that the laws operative at that time made it impossible to indict or prosecute these guys, including Bev. Also, the political climate was hostile to the report.

      In 2011, the political climate had clearly changed and the Grand Jury cited 41 priests as matters of great concern AND had several abused folks who fell within the legal period for prosecution. The 2011 Grand Jury (as had the 2005 GJ) examined Lynn’s ongoing behaviour, and indicted him on two counts of Child Endangerment and two counts of Conspiracy. Avery’s recent confession noted that the AD knew of the molestation and Lynn knew too..and continued what appeared to be diocesan policy of predator passing on and cover up..shades of Conspiracy.

      Meanwhile, Bev’s shredded docs showed up, implicating other bishops and perhaps Rigali. Right now the trial deals with the 2011 counts. But the prosecution has said it will not rule out other indictments…this is one of those ‘stay tuned’ moments!

  12. Today I was in church when our parish mission speaker Fr. Domenic Rossi introduced himself he will be at Our Lady of Grace Penndel speaking tonite, Monday and Tuesday at 7pm. He told us how his order was struggling with many issues and it lead him to start the Bethesda Project that helps homeless men and woman. The story he told made me cry because it uncannily paralleled something I had experienced during my dad’s struggle with cancer and even now as I struggle with my faith and church. His talk is called “Listening To God’s Whispers”. It is my experience when we listen to God amazing things can happen even in the mist of great suffering. I will be the catholic for change sitting in the back of the church. I do want to say both my priests have been very kind to me.Peace.

  13. There are a couple of thoughts I’ve had about tangible ways to provide ministry to victims, support for truth, and possibly open dialogue for catholics (on the fringe) who normally wouldn’t be vocal about this issue.

    There are many catholics who are upset about what is happening in their church. A few will speak up, attend a vigil, possibly challenge a priest. A few more might blog about it, express their disgust with Kathy or Susan behind the scenes, but would be challenged to speak up publicly. Most will never speak up…and yet, they are not in denial about what happened and are disgusted by what the hierarchy has done to children.

    I propose a way of creating “space” and a “ministry” to victims while at the same time supporting avenues of protection and safety for children. This seems simplistic, but I think it’s a start. Bumper stickers (window clings) and t-shirts with “I believe the victims.”

    I think to make it more personal, they could be more specific…”I’m Catholic and I believe the victims.” “I’m a trustee at our church and I believe the victims.” “I’m a teacher at St. So and So’s and I believe the victims.” “I love my Church and I believe the victims.” “I’m a bank president and I believe the victims.” I left the church…because I believe the victims.”

    Can you imagine what this would do for the victims?…the people in the pews? Skip the hierarchy…I don’t think the goal can be to change them, because they won’t. I know many feel this would be an “in-your-face” approach to the hierarchy…but, I hope it’s more about what would be created for victims and not about priests.For those catholics on the fringe…who would never come forward…they could see that others who love their church are doing something and that it is ok to minister to victims.

    Last July I posted a reply to a sharing by Rich. The power of his story and his quest to protect children was palpable. It reminded me of the many victims I have come in contact with who have shared their stories. He ended it with something like…”heed my warnings…” I responded, “I believe you.” It is what every victim has needed…to be heard, to be believed. Because when you hear their stories and you believe what they’ve shared, you will want it to never happen to anyone else again…and you will want to support them in healing from the horror they’ve endured.

    Since that time…I have ended some of my posts with “I believe the victims” because it sums up why I continue to advocate for children and survivors of child sex abuse.

    If this is an avenue C4C goes…I’d like to help in any way I can. I see this not only as a Philly outreach, but national, possibly international ministry.

    Thoughts? What’s the down side to something like this?

    • SW, I think you must know by now, I love your idea. It is easy for me to say, because I am an “in your face'” kind of guy anyway, as most of you should know already.

      I have dealt with ruthless Wall Street types for decades and see the bishops as quite similar. They only react to powe,r unfortunately.

      This approach, at first, is mainly for the naturally bold. Those who are initially hesitant, must be respected. We all must be true to ourselves.

      I know some pew Catholics will be offended at first, but the sincere ones will begin to think harder about what is really going on.

      It would not really be directed mainly at the parish priests either, since few of them have any real power.

      In some ways, it would make it easier for parish priests to complain to their bishops of the need to clean up the hierarchy.

      • Jerry, your approach may be beyond the window clings, bordering on spray painting the pews. lol I appreciate and respect your approach.

        Great link in the above post too!.

    • SW, I come from a political family…politicians use bumper stickers for a reason. They work.

      But they work because everyone knows who the candidates are. When it comes to abuse situations a bumper sticker making the rounds in Philly would have to be more explicit than I believe the victims…ie what victims, victims of what ???

      Help Children Molested by Clergy, is one possibility, Stop Clergy Molestation of Kids, Protect Kids from Molestation is a third more generic version …don’t know…just a thought!

      • Joan,
        Right!

        If it’s signed Catholics4Change would people get it?

      • Joan, How about:

        LOCK UP ALL BISHOP/PRIEST SEX ABUSERS NOW !!!

      • You guys are too much…Jerry yours might be pushing the envelope a bit…

        SW, these bumper stickers messages need to be short, just like political talking points…I am trying to visualize a bumper sticker that has no more than 5 or 6 words on it, but perhaps bordered in small print on all 4 sides with Catholics4change…or a soft screen behind the words that says Catholics 4Change..I used to do graphics in a former life…think we need a graphics consult on this one….

        And there is a part of me that would like to see the message relate to all kids…., but a — Protect Kids from Sex Abuse— message should DEFINITELY have a Catholics4Change statement and not just C4C, which many folks don’t have a clue about!

      • Our C4C logo says it all. I would just add the url.

      • Roman Catholic Church = Too Many Secrets.

      • Susan I almost always agree with you, but if we are talking bumper stickers…on .cars ..in .philly, I am not a bit sure C4C much as I love it is going to register with the other drivers….Catholics4Change, identifies the issue clearly.

        “Stop Child Sex Abuse” with a subset of Catholics 4Change is clear to drivers on the way to the store, school, work, play et al.

      • Joan, our logo doesn’t say C4C. It’s a cross with a blue ribbon wrapped around that reads – Protect Kids – with the url below. It’s in the right hand column of this site. I think a combination of all the above ideas would be great. Everyone can go to CafePress.com and order their own products at the C4C store or create new products with their own sayings. It’s an easy site to navigate.

      • Susan…you are right! thanks…joan

    • Thanks SW. The more we communicate and express or are visual and take action on things the better. All great ideas. If I had a shirt I would wear it today. I talked to my priest today and one of the last things he said was I know your story. I think he understands more because he took( more than a few hours) the time to really listen to me. Unfortunatley somethings take time(Ifeel the need is urgent to change laws). I myself use to not be very vocal or invoved so I leave room for hope for change in others but we need many people to move things forward in the right direction.

  14. Joan and John Richard; Thanks for the kind responses. Kathy; I look forward to further revelations. Jerry; thanks for the reading material this morning. Anyone truly interested in the scope of issues involving the church; take a deep breath and follow Jerry’s links.

    Jane R.; Your wish list is shared by many. If I read you accurately, you want the church that you thought you had been introduced to as a child. The survivors want the childhood that they thought they were going to have, before it was insidiously and violently taken from them. Both have been deceived.

    As we know, victims of sexual abuse are in many cases unable to address their abuse for many years. So too is it difficult for non-victims to face the very real notion of the fundamental, and pervasive corruption of the church of their childhood. It is incomprehensible. It is an attack on the psyche after a lifetime of assumptions, and a seismic shift in your world paradigm. It pales in comparison to the plight of the victims, but it is nonetheless very real. Don’t feel too badly if it doesn’t make sense.

    The monsters who repeatedly attacked the children of the catholic church were savvy to this perplexing assault on the sensibilities of parents and caregivers. They carefully chose and groomed certain victims. Their targets were those who were vulnerable, not unlike animal predators. Their targets were among those of pious families who revered the priests. The Grand Jury Reports describe in detail these tragic dynamics.

    The church believes the victims in the sense that they were there when the crimes took place. They knew exactly what was going on, and so did many other enablers who were in the general vicinity of the rectories that housed these predator priests.

    What they don’t want to do is pay restitution. Despite the fact that they have viciously attacked the credibility of the victims in depositions, in courtrooms, and in the court of public opinion; almost 3 BILLION dollars has been paid out thus far in settlements to those who have had the courage to challenge the church in court.

    That’s a huge number. If you are an uninformed apologist; that’s a tremendous amount of fabrication.

    Of 6000 credibly accused priests, just over 500 of them have been convicted of their crimes.
    That is a colossal cover-up of crimes, and an obvious obfuscation of justice. The one true church indeed.

    Lastly, the church does include the LGBT among us, just not the ones in the pews. This rank hypocrisy may very well prove to be the straw that breaks the bishop’s backs.

    I just hope that I live to see it

    My condolences to you Rich on the passing of your Mom. I applaud your tireless efforts to raise awareness, and realize that your focus is keen on speaking to the victims and the vulnerable who are out there right now suffering in silence. History will reveal those whom you have assisted as you travel all of those miles. If I may borrow your phrase, “Peace Out”. CU on CNN

    • Excellent, informative post!

    • Thanks, Jack, for that comprhensive and generous reply. I agree my NCR replies are long, but it is important that Catholics get a fuller picture if they are going to challenge the hierarchy effectively.

    • Jack, I think it’s great that you are here on C4C. It’s an amazing place.

      What I particularly like about it is how posts like yours will trigger off so much needed discussion on so many topics.

      I don’t think you will be bored, I do think you have substantial contributions to make!

  15. My sincere thanks to all who have posted today. May God continue to bless you with the hope and courage that in turn inspires the readers of this blog.

    Rich, my family and I will be watching your interview on CNN tonight. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for victims.

  16. I think “I believe the victims” says it all. A bumper sticker is generally designed to get people to think, that expression does: which victims, victims of what, says who!! Catholics 4Change web address should appear as well.

    Then, the money collected should go to a fund for hiring the best lawyers to challenge the hierarchy in the CIVIL COURTS. This should go all the way to ROME–which is where the buck stops!!

    If the contributions of the house workers in NYC were enough to build St. Patrick’s cathedral, then the contributions of those of us who are ashamed and brokenhearted at the way or beloved church betrayed all of us should be enough to bring down the perpetrators of the rape of innocents…

  17. First segment set to air at 5:25pm on CNN. Just got a call from the producer.

    • Ok.V4J.
      God put on my heart to pray hard Fri. So I prayed for you and all our survivors and a whole bunch of people. I was not sure who I was suppose to pray for so I prayed for everyone at adoration:) You have been thru alot.

  18. Jerry- I’m sorry if I was unclear. I find the links to be very helpful and informative. Keep ’em coming! What I meant by take a breath was that it can be overwhelming to realize the breadth and depth of how this church operates.

    In retrospect I should have said brace yourself for some unsettling information. It’s similar to telling people to read the Grand Jury reports, but not on an empty stomach. It is absolutely no reflection on your writing. No, on the contrary, we do not always know where to access information pertaining to this crisis. Without the lead of the vanguards like yourself we would remain relatively uninformed.

    For example, I mentioned SNAP the other day, but I neglected to make the connection with the filing in the International Court. This is certainly why the gloves came off vis a vis the Catholic League and the request for documents in the trials in St. Louis, and Kansas City. This increased intensity is surely a signal that SNAP is getting to close for comfort. If SNAP is stymied in their efforts to pursue justice for the victims, who will take up the cause?

    Similarly, I had been wondering what the latest news was regarding the Vatican Bank. The link that you provided today brought it into focus for me. Thanks very much.

    The t-shirt is a good idea. Have you considered listing the names of those who have taken their lives as a result of this evil?

  19. Well CNN aired about 3 seconds of me on that segment. I don’t know if they will show more of my interview at 7pm or not. I talked for over an hour on camera. Heck, my dog got my air time than I dd. How pathetic is that?

    However, it must be said, “My dog “Jameson” is against child abuse too, and he growls everytime the news shows the scum priests in Philly.” He’s an advocate dog. 🙂

    • 10pm also right?

    • Rich, you were very credible and effective. It is just the beginning. That CNN had Bill Donahue on as a credible Catholic shows us how far we still have to go. But it certainly was a good start. Thanks for your courage.

  20. 7pm and 10pm, but I don’t think it will appear exactly on the hour. It’s also slated to appear some time tomorrow.

    Bill D. is a tool.

    • Bill Donohue is more than a “tool” V4J…he is disgraceful. I don’t know of one Catholic or ex Catholic that share his views (except Dolan).

      • Might not be a bad idea to suggest to CNN that John Allen would be a better Church rep?

      • John, Donahue is merely a hired gun. He gets over $400k per annum to say whatever will please the hierarchy. Nobody serious takes him seriously. As to John Allen, I am not sure if Joan is serious here. John is smoother and slicker tha Bill, but as someone that follows and usuall comments on all his NCR articles, he spins way too much for the Vatican. Put on Judge Anne Burke or Tom Doyle or Jason Berry, etc. They are more knowledgeable and honest than Bill or even John on the abuse issues. Probably will never happen, but who knows? The winds are shifting.

      • Jerry, I was sort of serious. I’m no great fan of John Allen a clear Vatican apologist, but he does advise CNN and is vastly more civilized than Donohue, who is frankly, embarrassing.

        CNN has to present ‘balanced news’ so need the other side’s pt. of view.

      • Joan, I understood when and why you mentioned Allen. But I didn’t want C4C bloggers to think you were endorsing Allen. I agree. Anyone but Bill Donohue!

  21. Peter Pan would be a better church rep. Although if you really don’t know many Catholic’s who share similar views of Bill Donahue, join me at my next demonstration, in front of whatever Catholic Church that might be. Listen to what people say to myself and my fellow victims, then you can make that assessment.

  22. Unfortunately Victoria Aust. lost a wonderful catholic advocate for abuse.
    Margaret Joughin,B.Phil(Hons) a housewife, mother and journalst, had no illusions about the capabilities of the heirarchy. Back in 1996, she wrote an article picked up by CHRISIAN ORDER, a British Catholic monthly periodical. Her article “A Catholic Response to Clerical Corruption” was well before your time, 1996, but I can recognise so many similarities. There is also mention made to Helen Last, Pastoral Advocate who “had to go”, stated the Archbishop of Melbourne, now Cardinal Pell, after a “faux pas” that the corruption of those she worked for, extends to the removal of “sensitive files”.
    Someone may like to read it.

  23. Thank God for our most courageous people who are speaking, out to encircle the evil and annilate it, by their TRUTH!

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