45 thoughts on “Judge Moving Forward with Clergy Abuse Trial

  1. Susan,

    Please keep us update on how the trial is going. I was planning to be there today, but I am confined to my bed with severe back pain. (I wish it was on TV.)

    If anyone is attending the trial on a regular basis, I’d appreciate it if you could email about what has occurred. The media only gives out short information that fits into their scheduled airtime. Victims4JusticeNow@yahoo.com


    1. Rich,if you follow philly.com throughout the course of the day they update the original article with new info .

  2. I can’t imagine how the survivors and family members feel because I feel like after a year of holding my breath, I finally exhaled. Let it all come to light,on every national and local newscast, newspaper and internet site. Let every person who refused to believe that these things could happen, realize they in fact did happen to many innocent children and did not happen by mistake,oversights or lack of knowledge. They happened because both civil law and the Gospel were ignored and those who thought they were untouchable will answer to criminal court at present and the ultimate higher authority once they pass from this earth. As survivors wife says when she imagines Jesus looking down on this “Not in MY name” “Not to MY children”

    1. Sr Maureen was there bright and early, hope she got a seat. Some of us from C4C, justice4pakids and Catholic Accountability will all be attending at some point. There are only so many seats and right now most being filled by local and national press….good! Get the story out there!

      1. I believe the gag order is still in place for all attorneys to not talk to media concerning the case. What we will be hearing is the reports from inside the courtroom, the evidence and witnesses testimony…everything….no gag order on that!

    2. With international links, many legal entities will be watching with unabated interest.
      Maybe the stranglehold on justice will slowly lose it’s grip,
      bringing the United Nations, and the countless Catholic affiliated NGO’s worldwide, failing to pursue the of breaches of human rights and conventions protecting the rights of children and their families, hiding behind their religious smoke screens to light.

  3. Whenever and wherever someone takes responsibility, either voluntarily or involuntarily, for another’s pain, then in some cases healing may begin for those who have suffered. For the victims the reality becomes known, “it wasn’t something I wanted or did”, “it was done to me”…..what the institutional Church has harbored so long will now become an open confession. Philadelphia will be the start of another round of “disbelief”, pain, shame and humiliation, no not for the victims, they’ve already been there and may still be experiencing these emotions, no, this time it will be the “true” Church once again suffering the “pain, shame and humiliation”, that is the People of God. Maybe, just maybe the hierarchy will realize the depth of the pain they have permitted to exist……it ain’t over despite the fat lady (Dolan)singing.

  4. Thank God, there was no more delay. I pray and hope for true justice. I also hope and pray that this will make the hierarchy quake in their boots and this will be the beginning of bringing them to their knees.
    V4J – your words still ring in my ear and I pray for you daily. As I pray for all the victims of these monsters. Your strength is humbling.

  5. This landmark trial is taking place because of the brave victims who have the courage to speak up and take action to expose the truth so that kids can be better protected today.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511
    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests”

  6. I echo Kathy’s comment… my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families today… continued prayers for the strength of those testifying, and for all those who have been denied their right to testify. We are listening, finally.

    I’ve been in a funk all day… my ten-year old’s REC homework this week is on the 9th commandment, “thou shalt not covet…” One of the questions posed was, “What can you do to be chaste?” This on the eve of this trial… I am fuming at the hypocrisy. Sigh….

    Rich… I.hope you are feeling better soon. I will keep you in my prayers, too

    1. I had a pretty amazing conversation with my young son the other day. His Catholic school teacher was speaking to them about the importance of attending Mass every week. We still do attend Mass most weeks, but with a very different mindset. When we don’t attend, we do something instead that we know would make our Lord very happy, such as preparing meals for shut-ins or bringing groceries to a shelter. Anyway, he told his teacher that if people can’t make it to Mass it seemed ok if they did a service project in place of Mass. She corrected him, saying that that was not a replacement for Mass. I explained that the weekly Mass requirement is one that was put in place by the leaders of the RCC based on THEIR interpretation of Jesus’ words and that, even though the RCC priests, bishops, cardinals, etc. would not be ok with people missing Mass and doing a wonderful service project instead of sitting in a pew, I felt very strongly that Jesus was just fine with it. I told him that the relationship that matters for us is the one we have with God and Jesus (my son added Mary, too). Here’s the best part. In school, he is learning about the 10 Commandments. He said something like this back to me,” Yeah, you know the commandments say not to worship false Gods, but to focus solely on our Lord God, so we should be concerned with our relationship with HIM and pleasing Him.” I thought he put it perfectly. I think in our Church we have been worshipping too many falsities and false people and not focusing on what a Church of Jesus should be. I’ve been so concerned lately about confusing my kids with keeping our faith, but fighting what is wrong in our Church. But after that little conversation, I felt like he “got it.”

      1. Jackie, I’m right there with you. My son just made his Confirmation and along with that is the mandate about attending Mass.

        My son is 14 and headed to high school next year. In all the years of Catholic schooling, neither my 20 nor 14 year old have ever had the scandal mentioned in class. I was just curious whether you or anyone else reading this blog has heard of the schools covering the topic.

      2. Jackie, what a relief to know that kids are no longer being subjected to brainwashing because of parents like you! It’s the brainwshing that has caused many of the problems throughout the ages… I am a survivor, and so glad that this trial is underway. Lynn will use every possible defense he can (like Finn, stating that he didn’t know that he had to report) but I do believe the tide may be too powerful to ebb at this point. Keep up the good work with your kids. There is a difference between the message brought by Christ and the chaos created by the authority of the church.

      3. Mimzyb, as far as I know, it has never been mentioned to any of my children in their schools.
        Thanks to you and kay4justice for your supportive comments. Kay, I am sorry for what you have been through. I will keep you in my prayers during this trial.

  7. Lately I have been seeing alot of pain in people’s eyes, voices and posture………………just remember put on your life jacket first and if you can reach out and help someone with their’s……….. do so…………one thing this site has reminded me is that we are our brother’s keeper and no heirarchy can make me think otherwise……….

    1. Attacking victims for having drug issues and criminal histories? In my book both those things are a big red flag of abuse in childhood………..hello anyone in the AD read about affects of child sexaul abuse??????? We have been trying to tell you child abuse interrupts these children’s emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual and mental development……..they “don’t just get over it”. There can be destructive behaviors to unlearn and healthy coping skills to learn. That is why early intervention and support is so necessary. Abuse that takes place over years is not going to be remedy in 10wks……….many times it takes a lifetime to develop a healthy sense of self, good boundaries ,relationships with others and even God. When are they going to understand this? ……..prevention is a heck of alot cheaper emotionally and moneywise. Protect the children and maybe we will have alot less addicts and criminals . Connect the dots. This is not to say every child abused is an addict or winds up in jail a supportive family etc can make a big difference sometimes. Just a higher portion of addicts and criminals have been abused ……sexaul abuse does affect everyone its all connected……..we are all connected………..

      1. Beth,

        The generational impact of this monstrous abuse is greatly under- discussed. How many of these victims over the decades (probably centuries) have turned to the bottle to forget? How many have turned to physical violence? How many children or spouse’s lives have been damaged? In my own extended family…so many are alcoholics. Perhaps generations of Church abuse are the root cause. I sense the all Archdioceses harbor the same dark secrets.

      2. John Richard,

        You have repeatedly alluded to the idea that the same “dark secrets” inflicting the Philly AD most probably inflict all diocese. I emphatically agree. I believe that the trial in Philly will trigger, eventually, inquiries into the “dark secrets” of diocese across the country and the world. Philly will accomplish its task. Then, concerned Catholics and enpowered law enforcement in the U.S. and across the globe will continue it with vengeance.

      3. John Richard and Hadit, yesterday’s post from the Inquier, quoted Patrick Wall as follows:

        “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.”


        Not only do I agree with both of you that this abuse debacle is not limited to Philly, but there is real hope with this trial that thanks to the efforts of prosecutors throughout the nation a lot more Phillys may be uncovered.

        The tragedy is that, I suspect, there are so many.

        The tragedy is that not only is Philly not

    1. It is such a comfort to know that Lynn was a hero! Check out the defenses’s defense

      “There is documentary evidence that the sexual abuse of children happened in the Catholic Church. We’re not going to run from that,” defense lawyer Thomas Bergstrom said in opening statements. “He, perhaps alone, is the one who tried to correct it.”


      1. Joan ,my response to their defense is did he own a phone? a car? do his legs function? anything that would put him in touch or go directly to the authorities to say “Hey I am trying to do the right thing to protect kids and they won’t let me!”

      2. My reply to Bergstrom that Lynn alone may have attempted to stop it is Yeah, right! Like I might believe this nonsense? And where is Rigali these days?

      3. Joan, of course I know you are kidding. I was just practicing the closing remarks/rebuttal I will be giving at the trial 🙂 Now I hope you know I am kidding,

  8. The beginning of this trial is such a step forward on the road to Justice for so many victims and their families. At the same time we hope that this experience will enhance the learning curve of so many catholics who appear to be quiet in the pews rather than taking the spirit of Jesus and challenging those even in authority who collude in evil and feel that they can get away with this type of action while wearing clerical garb. I would like to suggest a wonderful and powerful article which appeared in Rolling Stone September 15, 2011, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, titled The Catholic Church’s Secret Sex-Crime Files(rollingstone.com). The subtitle is “how a scandal in Philadelphia exposed the church’s most guarded archive-documents that reveal a high level conspiracy to cover up decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests”. She has presented stories of some of the victims in Philadelphia and the descriptions are rather tragic and discusting. She should be a witness for the prosecution for the information that she has obtained for this article. If her article says anything to the readers it is that Monsignor Lynn and the Archdiocese are in serious trouble.
    Again, thanks to Kathy and Susan and to those of you victims who have come forward to testify to truth. You continue to unite all of us in this struggle for truth and responsibility. This issue is not going to go away until all predators are discovered and the colluders and conspiraotrs in these crinminal acts are charged.

  9. Philly Priests Association,
    Are you watching?

    Lynn’s case is that he was following orders, that he was doing his best, that he was just doing his job…and look where it landed him…in a criminal court facing conspiracy of child endangerment charges.

    Whether he is found guilty or innocent…”just doing your job” and “following orders” is not enough. When you are given an order to remain silent on this topic, may you remember this trial. We expect more from our priests than the silent treatment and “I’m obedient to a bishop.”

    You can find out what happened, but I hope you reflect on where Lynn got it wrong and where each of you can do it differently.

    1. SW and Father Wintermeyer…

      First of all my very best and special thanks for the Erdely article reference. I posted the link BEFORE I read the article, having implicit faith in Father W. THEN I read the 5 page article. I know that media folks have been known to read C4C and if ever there was a time to check out a reference, it is now and it is that Rolling Stone article. Any questions that anyone might have about the entire situation, historically and personally are dealt with.

      It is unequivocally the best piece I have ever seen on the issues that are ‘on trial’, in Philadelphia, today!

      Having said that and deeply thanking both the author and Fr. W, I’d like to go back to SW’s comment regarding ‘Lynn just doing his job’ and the price he could pay for it…when his legal fees are paid for by the Archdiocese…..

      …and a section of page 5 of the article where a judge is trying to help protect Lynn in the clear ‘conflict of interest’ that would ensue if the Archdiocese paid for Lynn’s defense said, and I cite from the article on page 5, the following:

      ‘Lynn stands in the courtroom in Philadelphia, having been sworn in by Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes. Hands clasped, his face pulled into a frown of concentration, the monsignor proceeds to answer a series of routine questions: He holds a master’s degree in education. He takes medication for high blood pressure. He has never been treated for mental illness or substance abuse. He understands that the charges against him carry a maximum penalty of 28 years in prison.

      Then the judge comes to what she considers the most pressing point: Does Lynn truly understand the risk he faces by allowing the church to pay his legal fees? If Lynn’s attorneys are paid by the archdiocese, their loyalty to their benefactor may put them at odds with his needs as a defendant in a criminal trial.

      “You have been charged. You could go to jail,” Hughes says gravely. “It may be in your best interest to provide testimony that is adverse to the archdiocese of Philadelphia, the organization that’s paying your lawyers. You understand that’s a conflict of interest?”

      “Yes,” Lynn replies.

      The judge massages her temples and grimaces, as though she can not believe what she’s hearing. For 30 minutes straight, she hammers home the point: Do you understand there may come a time that the questioning of archdiocese officials could put you in conflict with your own attorney? Do you understand that you may be approached by the DA offering you a plea deal, in exchange for testimony against the archdiocese? Do you realize that is a conflict of interest for your lawyers?

      “Yes, Your Honor,” Lynn continues to insist cheerfully, though his voice grows fainter as the minutes tick by. In one final plea for rationality, the judge asks if Lynn would like to consult with an independent attorney for a second opinion. He declines and returns to his seat.’

      1. In the last 9 hours, there have been 2000 ‘hits on C4C, at 10:00 am, west coast time there were 322,346 hits, at 7:00pm, same place, there are 324,285 hits…so I’m off by 60…you get the point…

    2. SW’s advice to the Philly Priest Association needs to be extended to the administration and faculty at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary who are training and indoctrinating seminarians (including ones from the Diocese of Ogdensburg, NY) in the immoral and dysfunctional ways of the priesthood and its culture. Preparing young men for a life sentence in an institution that has imploded, and for a culture that has infected the well being of an entire Church and a host of innocent children, is a crime in itself.

  10. I think Rich Green is an amazing man and I think you should too. I met Rich last year after we had so many discussions in emails. I told him I was abused by a priest in Philly and he always supported me, listened to whatever I had to say when sometimes I talked to him for hours on the phone, he just listened to whatever it was that was bothering me at the time. I’ve called him at 2 in the afternoon and 2 in the morning and he ALWAYS answers his phone. I always felt bad about waking him up if I did and I told him so many times that I would call back in the morning but no, he told me to start talking. I don’t what I would’ve done without him listening on the other end and the really good advice he always gave and making me feel like I’m not alone when I always thought I was alone.

    He helped me explain to my wife what happend when I was in the 5th grade and a priest touched me and preformed oral sex on me. I didn’t go through anywhere close to the kind of abuse Rich had to go through. His abuse was so horrible and I don’t know how he was able to deal with it all and rise above it to help out other people and strangers like me. I would think that if that kind of stuff happend to me then there’s probably not a chance I would be able to worry about anyone other than myself. I think Rich has a real deep passion about kids being abused and I think he takes every case personally even though he doesn’t know the victim of that abuse so many times. We were eating lunch at a place in Deptford when there was a story on the tv about a little girl who was raped by somebody in her family I think and then Rich just said some angry words and went outside to smoke cigarettes and I walked outside to see him leaning against a wall and banging his head against his hand leaning against the wall and kept saying ‘I got to figure out a way to stop this shit.’ I’ve never seen anyone get so upset by something that happend to somebody he never even met.

    Rich Green told me he’ll go with me to the DA when I feel like i’ll finally be able to report it. He keeps supporting me and telling me that I can do it but says he will wait until the time is right for me. He finally convinced my wife that I’m not gay because she always thought I was because I’m scared of being intimate. Evrytime I call him he tells me he’s busy writing to some politician and lawmaker or he’s protesting a church or school somewhere to protect kids from pedophile priests. I never knew people worked so tirelessly to expose all of this stuff and I never seen anyone so devoted to any cause at all. I don’t know how he can deal with everything that happend to him and still find the strength to help other kids and other victims. I just find that amazing.

    I think Rich Green did a great job on CNN. No way in the world I could’ve ever done something like that and sometimes I read his posts here and that girl Vicky and I wish I had the courage to be like them. I’m just kinda starting to figure stuff out for myself now but so many thanks to Rich for making it a little easier by just being there as someone to lean on. I’m not to good at this writing stuff and I wish I could be more eloquent like alot of people here but roughnecks like me use their muscles and not their brains.

    You’re a very good man Rich Green. I hope you know how much you’ve ment to me and my family and I’m sure so many other victims and their families. Thanks.

    1. Justintime…

      I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through…

      You do have the same courage in just the right ways.

      Keep talking. Keep sharing.

      On your terms, in your way.

      If your wife ever needs an ear to listen to her as well, I’m here.

      1. justintime
        I am glad that you have found Rich and I too am amazed at his dedication to protecting children. I think every survivor of child sex abuse is courageous in so many different ways. Rich and Vicky would be the first to tell you that when the time is right you will know.
        I just want to tell anyone in the local area (philadelphia) that there are some terrific people associated with the DA”s office. I have had the pleasure of getting to know two outstanding gentlemen who have long been associated with the issue of clergy sex abuse,the victims and their families. Both men understand the dynamics of abuse and the difficulty coming forward. One is no longer with the DA’s office but makes himself available at any time, for any victim. The other is still with the DA’s office. “On your terms,in your way” is the philosophy they work by when dealing with victims. If someone wanted to simply start a dialogue or actually file report- whether the crimes fell within or outside of the statutes – we can connect people directly to them. The thought of making a cold call, I imagine would be overwhelming to most people. To know the person on the other end of the phone is compassionate and understanding, I hope would make a difference. It is not something that can be rushed or forced,but just know there are people who understand when and if that time ever comes.

  11. Holy cow!!! I just am seeing this now. Thanks JustinTime for those kind words, but the truth is I have not done anything but listen to you and just gave you some of my experiences and what I did to make my life better. YOU are doing it for yourself right now. Don’t forget that. We victims just help each other on the way a little bit.

    You flatter me with what you said, but it’s very unnecessary. I’m glad I can be there for you and I always will. Just keep telling your truth and at the end of the day, we’ll all get the justice we seek.

    Way to go! By telling our truths we are protecting future children from abuse.

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