Was Msgr. Lynn Protecting Children or Church?

The opening arguments in the landmark clergy sex abuse trial in Philadelphia began with a focus on Msgr. Lynn’s intent. Was he trying to protect children or the Church? My conclusion, after reading only 137 pages of absolutely damning evidence, is that Msgr. Lynn was protecting the institutional Church. I’m not a lawyer and it was crystal clear. I shared some of that evidence in a previous post – Exhibit Eight in Msgr. Lynn Trial: Evil.

Click here to read: “Monsignor’s role at issue as trial opens,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 2012

153 thoughts on “Was Msgr. Lynn Protecting Children or Church?

    1. SW, you and some other C4C bloggers may find of interest my current assessment of the fundamental significance of the Philly criminal case.

      I am also increasingly of the view that the Church’s major problem is that it has been dominated for almost three decades by a tyrant, our current pope, who has deep seated and unresolved sexual issues that we are all paying heavy prices for.

      Please read my NCR comment and cross links under, “Pope’s Waterloo, Amen!”, accessible by clicking on at:


      1. Excellent reads…all of them!

        I especially loved the washington post guest piece. Certainly a prophetic piece!

        I keep reading and adding articles to my “favorites”…adding yours today too.

    1. It is amazing to me that a comment like the one by snapjudy above could get 3 thumbs down. I have read it 3 times and can’t imagine a single piece of it that anyone could have any problem with, except a Catholic follower trying to hide the evil in the Catholic church.

    1. Thank you.

      I was looking and couldn’t find them.

      I can find docket sheets, but not what you are discussing.

      Susan and Kathy, I’m pretty sure we do know amazing when we see it. 🙂

  1. Judy, I’m not sure about amazing. Thank you, but I’m much more “amazed” at the arrogance and evil of those involved. What makes this site amazing is all of you and Kathy Kane’s tireless and informed support.

    1. Again, 3 thumbs down, but I figured it out.

      The 3 thumbs down came from Msgr Lynn (who probably has internet access at his sister’s home), Fr Brennan, and Shero. Engelhardt probably hasn’t figured out computers yet, and Avery’s prison account hasn’t been set up yet.

      Sorry if I’m the last one to figure this out.

  2. I have to say that I look forward to this site and the thoughtful and inspiring comments by everyone here. I am still so sad about what has been done to innocent children and the effects it has had on them and their families. But when I am feeling discouraged in hearing negative commentary I can turn to this site to see that there are others out there that are loving and compassionate and eager for change and justice. Thank you all and Susan you ARE amazing!

  3. I am extremely grateful to Susan for all the valuable information she continues to give. I’m having trouble getting to the trial myself by plan to make it by the end of the week.

  4. Thank you Susan for the information. I only wilsh that more people, including Catholics, would realize that these documents and many more are indeed public record or can be found with some research. If more folks were informed with the FACTS and not just the information that the lawyers and church spin doctors put out there, I believe there would be more outcry. Msgr. Lynn seems to have convenient memory lapse when confronted with the facts, don’t you think? I’m sure we will hear plenty more of this as trial moves forward. I also think there should be pressure put on Rigali, Cistone and Cullen for their actions, cover-up, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence……..

    1. Ourchurch –
      Totally agree. How do we inform folks? I have seriously considered printing copies of some of these documents and distributing at local churches.. I believe it would be an eye-opener for many sitting in the pews every Sunday. Perhaps more members would see the real need for change and accountability with the RCC. I honestly do not think the majority of Catholics are aware of even a fraction of what has taken place over the years.


      1. Ourchurch and 4thechildren, I am have been so frustrated by the very thing you are talking about. I feel as if everyone on this site is so well informed and understanding of the reality of this issue, but when I go out into the “world” it’s the opposite. People just aren’t getting it!

      2. Jackie, the next generation will get it, and that’s what the Catholic church doesn’t understand. Its so ingrained in their DNA to lie, that they don’t realize or care that the truth will be written up in a variety of forms in the future.

        Teenagers for the next few decades will be able to read a 10 page or 100 page or 1000 page document that will illustrate how the Catholic church, in unified fashion, did not follow the laws of God when confronted with an epidemic of the worst evil, all of which was under their complete control. Then they will decide if they think this is God’s church.

        Had the Catholic church been honest, like the commandment says, or honorable, like Jesus Would Do, teenagers of the future might stay in the church. Regardless of the outcome of this trial, teenagers of the future won’t believe that God would let this happen is this were God’s church.

    2. The reason I was so hopeful that there would not be plea deals for all three defendants was exactly the reasons you both state. People remain so uninformed. If all three had plead out, then all of the evidence would eventually be available in court documents….but such a small fraction of people would ever take the time to do the research. With the trial now proceeding, the evidence will now be front page over the course of the next few months. People who would have happily remained uninformed will now be informed.
      Why are people so uninformed? That is a question I had to ask myself. I never read the full 2005 GJ report until about 18 months ago,a few months before the 2011 GJ report. Where was I in 2005 when the report was issued? Why had I never read the document” I read newspaper articles and believed that the abuse was true,but why had I never taken the time to fully understand the scope of the problem? I still can’t answer that question. Maybe it would have been too difficult because then I would have had to act on what I found out? Maybe I would have to give up some illusions of what I thought of the Church?Maybe, like with so many societal issues, it didn’t directly affect me so I didn’t care? I cared,but maybe not as much as I should?
      This is why I have said over the course of the past year that when people are “new” to this situation ,I don’t judge because I was there myself at one point..not too long ago. I realize now how hurtful it was to victims that people simply did not get involved or either bother to inform themselves,I really wasn’t thinking much about the victims before this past year. And I think that is so true for so many people. I was interested in what happened in the reports with the priests I knew that were named, and the chill it sent up my spine that I had encountered some abusive priests in my life, but did not go to the next level of thinking or caring about the victims .

      1. From 2001 on, the passing on of predator priests not only got my attention but caused me to get involved, and it was SNAP that kept ‘commenting’ on various abuse issues that helped wake me up.

        But it was not until I read both Grand Jury reports AND the victims info on C4C that it became very personal!

        Which is why I am so grateful for C4C!

  5. Susan, any and all information on this subject is VITAL for folks to know just what is going on. I have my fingers crossed (any my eyes too if that helps) that the trial will show the TRUE nature of the cover up not only in Philly — but throughout the entire country (and beyond!)

  6. It got my attention when I read the Grand Jury reports. I realized that a number of the priests involved had given my children their first Sacraments. I think they were sent here because the AD thought it was far enough away that suspicion would not be aroused. Wrong, things do catch up! I talk to whoever I can about this horror. Believe it or not my life-long 90 year old Irish-Catholic parents finally listened to me and are actually reading about it online. How sad for that generation.

    1. If it were up to me the GJR’s would be required reading for any person who wants to work for the Catholic Church, or send their children to their schools. Those reports should be stapled to every classroom door, and a monument should be erected to “never forget” what some kids had to endure while they attended Catholic school.

  7. I’d really like to know if any regulars here still go to church and if the priests or other members of the church know that you advocate for victims and protest the immoral deeds and attitude of the Catholic Church. Are any of you confronted negatively because of the path you’ve chosed in the last year or so? If you wouldn’t mind commenting about it.

    1. Yes, V4J you are 100% correct. I would go further and say that every Catholic should take the time to read them. There leaves no doubt that these things happened and as we know still happening all over the world.

      1. V4J, yes I & we still attend Mass and participate in lay ministry. I refuse to acknowledge that Christ came for just the clergy. I and mine are the Church. The priests and bishops know that we[wife and I ] founded VOTF in 2002 in No Ca. We have met with survivors and SNAP.walked in protests etc. the Faith is rooted in the people of God and the janitors of the Church {clergy] very often in the past have left the Church soiled. The clericalism is dying again now, even though it came back from almost terminal illness in the Reformation. Get a support group and keep the Faith.

    2. I agree V4J , the Grand Jury reports should be required reading!

      And thank God for those DA’s that convened them! And the folks who served on them!

      A pastor I know, encouraged me to stay involved in fighting for victims.

    3. Rich, I have read some nasty online comments that people have made about me but have never been confronted negatively. I have found that people have ‘unloaded” to me about their own personal feelings and disgust. It seems one on one – not exactly a topic that is discussed in groups at this point too much.
      People have asked me questions,want to know more etc… I always make time and give them the info hoping that something I have said or shared has made a difference . I also have learned to not judge a book by its cover because some of the people who I would have categorized as “sheep” have been the opposite. They have stopped going to church or stopped donating,confronted their parish priest ….in one case confronted a bishop. Things that are not earth shattering just a stand they needed to take.
      The one thing that always cracks me up is when people say things in a “whispered ” voice, a quick “keep it up” or “you go girl”. I always want to say “why are you whispering” “what are you afraid of?” Children being abused scares the hell out of me, standing up to the people who allowed children to be abused…not scary.

      1. Kathy,

        The people who sling sh!t in my direction on the streets prove my point without almost no effort on my part. Is there even a point to respond to someone who tells me to “f#ck off” while he’s on his way into a church?

        Jesus only showed anger when he went to church. Now I know why.

      2. Kathy and Rich, I’m pulling out some probably outdated stuff I learned in develpmental psych, in grad schooll, eons ago.

        But it may relate a bit to the over 4000 readers of this blog in the last 30 hours.

        It goes something like this. There are folks who cannot allow data in, that conflicts with their existing belief system, no matter how accurate the data is, it is simply too threatening. In fact, the more the data is pushed on them, the stronger the resistance. Could these be those elderly rosary Sayers who were so very very rude to Rich? I dont know, just a guess.

        Then there are folks who don’t like having their belief systems challenged, but are able to absorb ‘some’ conflicting data, and modify their understanding.

        There are also folks who have been questioning the foundations of their belief system…are not comfortable with it and accurate new data is more easily absorbed.

        I don’t think you have any of the first group here, in fact they may be valiantly opposing you.

        There may be some of the second group, and probably a lot of the third group. Just an idle speculation….Joan

    4. Rich,

      I do not attend church, having exited almost 5 years ago. I practice the faith “by intention” and prayer. The priest in my parish, and every priest in my diocese, knows I advocate for victims and for reform in the priesthood. I’ve been writing about it in our local newspaper, and engaging the sheep in relevant discussions, for the past ten years. I teach a course on the crisis in the Church at our local community college. The course is not intended for students, rather it is geared toward adult Catholics in my community. I have personally confronted many priests in my diocese over the years, discussing the various issues of concern. Rarely do I encountered clergy who deny my concerns or allegations, however few, if any, have been active or vocal in addressing them. Priests generally appreciate and respect informed Catholics, many pathetically looking to us to do the reform work for them. I speak my mind with priests, holding back nothing. Just this morning, I contacted my parish priest informing him that, once the trial ends in Philly, I will personally initiate and relentlessly press for an inquiry into the dark secrets in my diocese– the Diocese of Ogdensburg, NY.

      1. Rich,

        I attend Sunday Mass to keep my wife happy, but I never give money. She is one of several family members who are very uncomfortable hearing about my experience as a religious/seminarian.

        I have never lost my faith in God, but I now have contempt for RC clergy in general. That being said, there are good priests. I know one; together we helped to put a pedophile priest behind bars.

      2. Hadit, as far as I am concerned, you are the Church in Ogdensburg, NY. Everyone else there is trying to catch up. Jesus knows and C4C bloggers know. Soon all will know!

    5. V4J, My family and I no longer attend Church. It was a decision that we made last year. I still have some very hardline RC friends/family members, but they all know how I feel and I present them with the facts as much as possible. I also write of my conflicts and frustrations with the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith on my blog. I grew up Catholic, went to St. Alice School in Upper Darby, PA, got married in St. Philomena’s in Lansdowne, PA and had my children baptized in the Church. I struggled since childhood with conflict and falsehoods in the Church’s teachings. I always assumed I could still practice my faith, and not support the issues I did not agree with. After knowing what the hierarchy has done in helping the Church and not it’s victims, I can not return until there are some dramatic changes.

      1. Haha… I protested at St. Philomena’s last year and after looking at my journal, 2 old ladies cursed at us and told us “get a life,” while she was holding her rosary beeds.

      2. V4J, that sickens me. Those rosary beads should have burned her hand! I am sorry for what you have continued to endure at the hands of so called “catholics.” Much love to you and yours.

      3. Bishop Shappoo perhaps can lead us in a novena? Here’s a good book to recommend to anyone in need of spiritual guidance: Madonnas That Maim: Popular Catholicism in Italy since the Fifteenth Century, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press; or this one on Lourdes (showing how they faked the miracles): Consuming Visions: Mass Culture and the Lourdes Shrine, published by Cornell University Press. Or, Knock: The Virgin’s Apparition in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, describing the fake apparitions in Ireland, published by Cork University Press.

      4. V4J,

        I think the two ‘old ladies with Rosary Beads respectfully offered you some good advice.

      5. Joe B. – Let’s be fair… The rosary “ladies” who cursed and insulted Rich were very much in the wrong. I can only guess that they never “put themselves on the line” for a cause– or had a son who was raped by a priest. Shame on them for their lack of charity.

        As Americans, they had a duty to honor– or at least tolerate, his right to peacefully protest. It’s all he has.

      6. The story of being cursed at by the old ladies with the rosary beads reminds me of something a priest,actually a Monsignor, shared with me years ago. He said he has a usual crew that shows up for the daily mass at the parish -rosary beads and all. He said he feels like when he interacts with them -before and after Mass, they think that the closer they get to him by fawning over him,the quicker they will get through the pearly gates. He said this same crew can be heard openly throwing around racial slurs in their conversations in the church parking lot -the fear that their neighborhood is “changing”. That, he said,is what I have to deal with,people thinking showing up at mass and fawning over a priest is being a good Catholic or in any way reflecting the Gospel message.

      7. crystal – exactly ,their lack of charity. Why would someone ever attack a victim physically or verbally.? I used to work in center city and would walk by many different protests almost everday. I would just smile politely if people approached me with literature etc…I certainly didn’t curse them out. But it is different with the Church,people see the victims as a threat to them ,threatening to expose that maybe not everything is as it seems. I wonder if when they say the rosary, and recite the Sorrowful mysteries they see any correlation between what Jesus suffered and what the children have suffered. My hunch is Jesus would see the similar suffering. Joe,what Gospel reflects the message of attacking those who have suffered. Seriously, after 16 years of Catholic education,I feel like some of us were taught completely different than others. Can you imagine sitting in Church and hearing a Gospel of Jesus and his disciples coming along the road and finding a group of people who had been abused as children and they yelled and cursed at them and went on their way.

      8. V4J and Kathy I have a story about St Philomena. My friend while in High School worked in the rectory there. One day I was there and an Africian American man called said he was cold and needed to go see his family and needed money for the bus out of town that he was poor etc. The pastor there asked if he was a parishoner and if not he could not help him. This guy was so desperate he called back again. He sounded like he was a street person. Anyway I called my mom she had left the catholic church and went to another Christian denomination and a male member of that church came and gave the man a coat and bought him a bus ticket. He seemed to think the neeed was real and said the man was very very grateful. Maybe he was a con maybe he was runnning from drug dealers but maybe he really needed to see a sick relative only Jesus knows. The nuns at Prendie taught us well…..we were only freshmen or sophmores I believe they taught us compassion.

      9. Folks,

        Yes, I would agree with you that any alleged ‘cursing’ was inappropriate. I was referring to the ‘get a life’ comment.

        I would probably (gently) offer the same suggestion if I ever came across someone who alleged sexual abuse and was protesting at my church.

      10. Joe B. if V4J “got a life” who would raise awareness to protect new victims……..the people in the pews that did not know what was going on? or the people that knew but did not want to believe it or actively covered it up? Do you realize he is trying to protect kids today? or maybe even prevent a suicide of someone who feels alone abandoned and damaged? Do you even realize what you are saying? Survivors have so much shame and they many times have unhealthy distancing coping skills so they make sure no one hurts them again and boundary issues. I would really like you to uderstand what it is like to be a victim my husband can’t even think about it the fact v4J can even discuss it is amazing. Peace.

      11. kathy.. When i used the word “charity”, i was only trying to be charitable.(lol)….The hypocrisy of the foul-mouthed rosary ladies is just laughable – which is why V4J noted it. Anybody who has lived in the US long enough understands the need for, and the etiquette around the right to protest peacefully…
        For some aggressive, bullying, more ignorant types, being confronted with a sign or a slogan is an open invitation to lash out and abuse or mock a vulnerable protester.
        But then, who cares what the foul-mouthed, rosary lady, bully- types do anyway? – It’s the more rational, disciplined, righteous hearts and minds, that a peaceful protest aims to reach– and possibly change one day.

      12. Joe B,
        “get a life” was what people yelled out the windows as I quietly prayed in front of an abortion facilty I think people that yell at survivors “get a life” are the same. bible verse “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” aways comes to my mind. Killing minds and souls of innocences must be stopped.

      13. Kathy,

        I hope that priest was able to reflect on why the laity is inconsistent in their behaviors. I’m sure he is challenged by parishioners that behave that way, but his predecessors set him up for it.

        They taught the laity that THE CHURCH was the end all, be all…not Who the Church was built on. Think about what that generation was taught about missing Mass? Skipping confession? Not serving the church in some way? It’s no wonder they believe the closer they are to the church (priests especially), the quicker they will get through the pearly gates. They’ve been trained that it’s all about The Church and The Eucharist! And who changes that water into wine and bread into the body for The Eucharist? None other than The Priest.

        I’m reminded of my Grandma and her dear friends service to the Altar Guild, Daughters of Isabella, and Altar and Rosary Society…what an “honor” it was to clean the priests vestments…they were “close” to God when they served in that way. This generation is more apt to tell the priest, “Wash your own clothes like the rest of us.” Priests could put a stop to this by not allowing the laity to baby them. It’s sick, really…they are to be in service to their flock and instead the laity is in service to them.

        I’d tell that priest not to worry much longer about that dynamic continuing…that generation is expiring. His challenges will be much greater as he tries to deal with a laity that doesn’t trust a word he says. Hopefully, the clergy are brainstorming ways to earn the trust of the generations they’ve betrayed. Talk about living out the Gospel…now THAT would be a refreshing change!

      14. Joe,again what Gospel message is this. Would Jesus encounter a person in pain and gently tell them to get a life? This goes against anything I was ever taught -by the same good nuns at Prendie that Beth mentioned. Rather than tell a victim to ‘get a life” why not listen to what happened to a victim’s life? Why not offer 5 minutes to bear witnesss to his pain and suffering? Why not the basic human decency of compassion? Why Joe?

      15. survivors wife. I had to laugh at your generational examples. I see it crystal clear each day between the “honor” of doing something like washing the vestments to this generation that says “By the way where the heck is my money going?” It really was such an unhealthy set up ,one that is changing with this generation ,sometimes at whiplash speed. There are a few throwbacks here and there -definitely the minority with this generation. A family member who now practices a different faith explains to me how loving,open and equal she is treated in her community. She says it is not about rules and someone having the power, but about the clergy wanting to engage with you and bring Christ into your life.

      16. Let’s not all jump on the band wagon of trying to convince Joe the error of his ways…he’s entitled to his opinion.

        I don’t think it was a kind thing to imply “get a life” to Rich…but that comment says everything about Joe and nothing about Rich. Rich knows who he is and what he’s working toward.

        Keep up the good work Rich! When people are uncomfortable by your mere presence it speaks volumes…whether it’s little old ladies holding rosary beads or people on a public forum challenging you.

        I believe the victims.

        I am here so that it nevers happens again…
        neither the abuse, nor the lies.

      17. JoeB…. I am trying to restrain my anger at your response. When someone is sexually abused as a child, their potential life is stolen from them. Your and the “church ladies” insensitivity is unacceptable. It is burying your heads in the sand and not believing THOUSANDS of victims of clergy sexual abuse. For every one that comes forward there are at least 5 that remain silent. JoeB, please please understand how your words can HURT. Please, I beg of you, listen to the victims stories, READ THE GRAND JURY REPORTS! They are the files from the CHURCH! The Church was and IS wrong on these abuses.

      18. I actually cannot believe that little story brought up so many comments from people.

        I actually don’t care that much about those parishioners who treat me and my fellow victims negatively. It actually makes me feel like I’m doing something right and doing something that needs to be done.

        They think they’re able to hurt me somehow by acting that way toward me. It’s impossible to hurt me anymore. If the abuse itself didn’t manage to destroy me, I sincerely doubt some little old ladies will be able to.

      19. One more thing, Joe, because it must be said. The Diocese of Wilmington and the Delaware Courts found my story “credible.” I was also sent a letter of apology by the Oblates of Saint Francis De Sales acknowledging my abuse by Rev. John M. McDevitt.

        No such thing as “alleged.” Just TRUTH!

      20. V4J and SW,
        I understand what you are saying it’s their opinion etc. but to miniumize or deny the suffering of others is what the predator does it’s wrong unChristian and what allows child abuse to continue.

      21. Michelle – sorry, I did not mean to anger you.

        Kathy – perhaps a better way to have expressed my feelings would have been to…’get on with your life…’.

        I guess that I just don’t understand how hanging around a church with a sign and / or passing out literature possibly be constructive or therapeutic for oneself? Were it me, I think that I’d spend much of my discretionary time praying inside the church.

        Joan – thanks for your comments on the stages of belief systems. I’ll have to ponder that one because of my background.

        Beth – thank you for your prayers for the unborn and for the information on your husband’s abuse. I hope he is feeling better.

      22. Joe, you are very welcome. Because I do have a background in Human Development and because I have been very interested in the stages of spiritual development, I have book suggestion.

        Elizabeth Liebert wrote, Changing Life Patterns, which looks at those spiritual development stages, that in a sense I was very very lightly addressing in that post.

        I have met with her to assess work I have done. I think she’s terrific, and you might like the book…just a thought, Joan

    6. VJR, I left the church after many, many years of guilt (I am a survivor). I slowly awakened to the fact that God cannot be defined, and that anyone who claims to know guide and speak on his/her behalf is a fake, a fool, and false. I am active with SNAP and sometimes I cannot believe the idiocy of the sheeple… so take heart. They are brainwashed and closed to anyting that might erode their “religion.”

    7. I have not been to church since the second grand jury report, but my children still go to Catholic School. The reason being is that the public schools in Philly are not an option. I do not allow my kids to be alter servers. I am involved heavily with their scout troops.(they are never alone one on one with anybody). My pastor knows my feelings on the abuse and cover up and he just rolls his eyes. I have been by others to renounce my Catholic beliefs and leave the church, for I am not a “True” Catholic. I am told that not being obiedant to the bishops teachings make me guilty of mortal sin. I will be going to hell. My response to them is usually the same. That the priests that molested children are sick. They need help. The mortal sin involved is not me, not going to church, but the caculated cover up of the priests involved and the systematic “turning a bling eye” to the problem. The bishops and all who knew of abuse will be going to hell. My faith is between me and my God. People just walk away from me at that point.

    8. V4j, I never did commend you for your interview on CNN. You were a symbol of truth, and a pillar of strength. You are a survivor…a life line to others who are looking for their voice. Your mom is so proud of you, I am sure.
      To answer your question, I still go to church. I don’t contribute anymore. My husband and I are looking for another parish with a pastor who makes the laity a priority. Still looking. Our pastor is a joke. He lives in his own world. The priests in this area have absolutely ignored my family in their hour of need. I couldn’t get ANYONE from the area parishes to come give my mom the sacraments when she was dying. It was a disgrace.
      I still have devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, just not the one “celebrating” the mass. It has been a struggle for our family, but if you can survive what you have been through, this is nothing. God bless you for your strength. Thank you for inspiring us to find the Holy Spirit in other places. I hope my voice has somehow been helpful toward your healing. I believe you…every word.

    9. V4J
      I still go to church and it is only the grace of God that keeps me there. Everytime I think about leaving he pulls me back in and says who will rebuild my church? who will cleanup my church? It’s been a struggle. After dealing with my husbands offender to go to church and have to deal with it again was horrible. My husband converted to catholicism also so it made me angery this was going on in my church. I have had many discussions with 3 priests in particular and 2 of them helped me alot in confronting my husbands offender and the gradual healing that has been going on in my life. A few things I have learned is that you can forgive and it does not mean you need to reconcile, trust in God and he can do amazing things, Sometimes the most Christian thing to do is let people have the consequences for their actions so that they have the opportunity to repent make amends and change their life around. When I get discouraged I just go and sit with Jesus.

  8. While I am not a “regular” on this page my name does seem to “pop up” here and there on various articles. I am a victim of clergy abuse as well as being a priest. While I am still a “priest in good standing” in the Archdiocese of Boston I am not in ative ministry because of my conscience – I cannot allow myself to represent these “yahoo’s” who wear the funny hats. Since my flashback in the Fall of 2001, any my writing to over 40 priests (classmates and those I had served with) I heard back from, at most, six (6) of them — and NOTHING since 2002. My new “mission” in life is to be a pain in the butt to the hierarchy!!!

    1. Welcome James. I believe I saw an interview with you (and others)? Do I have the correct person? If you are the same person, it was phenomenal!

      I hope you consider being a regular here or at least point us in the direction of ways to help safeguard children. Clearly, you are in a unique situation.

      Keep posting!

      1. Clergyvictim,
        That was a very well done straight forward, honest video .Thanks for posting it.

    2. Hi James.
      I am sorry for the abuse you endured. My prayers and best thoughts go out to all the victims. Being a victim and a priest, your perspective and input will be quite valuable to C4C.
      I am wondering if you reported your abuse…and if the abuser was punished.
      I love the “funny hats” reference.
      I too, believe the victims.

  9. Did anyone say the hierarchy – THE GOOD OLD BOYS CLUB?

    Maybe a new saying could be: AND A WOMAN SHALL LEAD THEM. Susan, Survivor’s wife, Joan, Mare, Kathy………………………


  10. I just read an article by Monica Yant Kinney, who has been very good at trying to expose the Church in her journalism. This current article upset me, because I am worried that the prosecution is not being tough enough. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20120327_Monica_Yant_Kinney__Clergy_sex-abuse_trial_takes_a_sharply_sanitized_turn.html
    Can anyone answer these questions: Can the Grand Jury Reports be used in the trial as evidence? Can the accusations of others who’s statue of limitations has expired be used? Do the charges against Lynn also hinge on the accusations of this victim? For instance, if the Jury does not believe the victim, will Lynn be held accountable for the victim of Avery, or is that now not on the playing field? I am worried.

    1. Michelle, the opening testimony was from a detective reading a letter from a victim of Avery -the allegations did not fall within the statutes but show the pattern of conspiracy in allowing him to remain in ministry after allegations came to light. The crimes Avery plead guilty to were several years after the initial victim contacted the Diocese. So yes, the case of Avery seems to still play a role in the conspiracy charges against Lynn.

      Will the defense bring up the history of the victim..yes. Will the prosecutor’s bring up the history of Brennan…yes.
      Brennan, Avery and Lynn could all face different verdicts. Avery has already plead guilty,Lynn could be found innocent and Brennan guilty or vice versa or both could face guilty or innocent verdicts .

      1. Kathy, Thank you so much for the clarification. I wonder why the prosecution is now calling what Brennan did “attempted rape.” It is not the hard line approach I was hoping for. According to the Grand Jury Report, it was rape.

    2. Michelle, I’m grateful that you posted this. I’ve been rattling around today with this article and a segment from Good Day (Fox29) this morning going thru my mind. I know this trial is expected to go on for several months, and I can’t imagine nit-picking every commentary, but these 2 items concerned me today.

      The article by Ms. Kinney was unsettling. Just as you said, she gave the impression that the prosecution was going soft on the defendants. According to her article, Brennan was not being charged with rape, but with “attempted rape, child endangerment, and conspiracy.” She outlined the stark difference between how these acts were described in the Grand Jury Report vs. in the courtroom.

      Good Day Philly (Fox29) had a segment this morning with a lawyer giving his impressions on the beginning of the trial. He emphasized the separation of emotion from legal aspects of the trial. From his legal perspective, he felt gave the impression that the case against Lynn wasn’t that strong. That he was being accused of things that were outside of his control… that being the placement of priests. Bevilaqua was the one who was accountable for that.

      Perhaps I need to take a breather, take a step back and not follow as closely, but I feel it is so important to get accurate info and keep informed. I want a fair trial, of course, but I also don’t want issues to be glossed over!

      This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I pray that the iceberg be broken up once and for all!

      1. I have also been following so closely that I am getting anxious and angered. I also want to get accurate information and keep informed but it does take a bit of a toll. Which is, I am sure, NOTHING compared to what the victims have been through and are currently going through. I do like Yant-Kinney’s reporting and that is why, when I read it I started to panic. I just hope that the jury can see that Lynn conspired to protect the abuser priests. I hope they see past the scrutiny and attacks the defense puts on Brennan’s victim. I believe the victims, and I know that there are so many more out there who were/are not able to come forward and name their abuser. I pray and send love to them all and am so anxious for the walls of betrayal to come tumbling down on the heads of the hierarchy.

    3. Kathie Z, I am not struggling, but your bold honesty has still helped me. I am confident and believe Jesus has appointed Kathy and Susan to lead me, until I disagree with them anyways. LOL

      If you are on this site, you care. The rest is easy.

  11. Only because, I have a commitment at 10:00am, am I one hour light on my ‘hits report’ so the numbers are light too….but in the last 23 hours, there have been 3382 folks visiting C4C.

  12. Does anyone read that whispers in whatever columns? He is an idiot, in his latest he talks about 2 grand jury reports, you would think he would do enough homework to figure out it was 3 Grand Jury reports!! This is basic info and he should be ashamed at himself for being so clearly uneducated and or bias on the topic. Blind leading the blind!!

    1. Dave, you are tight that 3 grand juries were impaneled,the first preceeding the 2005 report .My understanding is that the first report was not ever filed as an official document with the courts because the amount of evidence and investigation was so widespread that the investigation led to the 450 page 2005 GJ report. Technically I have seen most news sources refer to 2 Grand jury reports also.

      1. Impaneled is really the important part, not how the resulting paperwork is filed. To say there is only 2 is very misleading and I feel it is another effort to minimize the real scope and length of this problem.

    1. What’s with that name “Whispers in the Loggia….”? Why do we whisper?-or is it the clergy who’s whispering ? I feel positively like an eavesdropper! Why promote the idea of needing to whisper back and forth about church matters.—- or maybe i’m wrong about the meaning of the name…?

    2. It appears you lack basic reading comprehension!! Are you related to him or just educated at the same school!!

      1. That was directed at the “victims4justice”. In another place i would refer to that person in different terms.

      2. Well the only comprehensive education I got in school was sexual abuse and rape, Dave. He was 50-something. I was 14. He coerced me, held me tightly, and did his thing. Want me to tell you about it? Would you like me to print some stories about my friends and how the priests raped them? I have many, many stories to tell. If you’ve got the stomach for it, I’d be less than happy to share some of the details, but I think our stories are worth being told to enlighten ignorant people.

      3. I think that from Dave’s comments from the past, he has lived those stories. I think that is why the correct info is so important to him. Nerves are raw right now for many people.

      4. I am sorry, that you are the ignorant one!! Who do you think you are talking to me that way!!! I am also a survivor!!! The difference is, I do not think it gives me the right to do and act as I please. You have some real nerve running around talking to people however you like!! As if the world or god knows who owes you something!! After the 2nd Grand Jury I was asked down the city to meet with the Deputy District Attorney Charlie Gallagher. I might add that I have been quoted in a story by the inquirer on the victims as well. So you better get some manners, the abuse we suffered as children does not empower us to give the finger to everyone else. Grow up!! Some people are totally unbelievable…

      5. Dave, I want everyone to feel welcome here,especially survivors. I know you have shared with us from time to time and I want you to know that I think of you often and all the survivors right now who are being confronted with this 24/7 news cycle of abuse and cover up.

      6. As a victim myself, I have very little tolerance for abuse being thrown in peoples faces in an aggressive manner. As horrible as the abuse was, its just not acceptable to use it as a weapon to intimidate people. I want people to understand me, not fear what I may say next.

      7. I apologize, Dave. I misunderstood your point with something earlier and I became defensive and somewhat offensive.

        I didn’t know you were a survivor, and I’m sorry that we are alike in that regard. Sometimes I jump to conclusions too fast. It’s been a real struggle lately for me and I suppose I’ve got some built up hostility. Also, my first abusers name was Dave, and when I saw that name it did set off something inside of me. It’s not your fault though, and I sincerely apologize for my harsh remarks toward you. I hope you can accept my apology.


  13. V4J,
    I was raised Cathoilc. My husband was raised Catholic. All of our respective families are Catholic (that is changing…surprisingly). I taught in a Catholic school… our children all baptized Catholic, our oldest went through Catholic elementary school and received all the Sacraments. Long story short….life unraveled in the church after the birth of our youngest (a son). My husband (because of our vows) attended church with me and then eventually, could no longer attend.

    I stayed in the church much longer than I was being led to stay. When it was time for our second child to begin First Communion sessions (Catholic school was not going to be an option once I knew the details of what happened to my husband), she came home and shared with us that a visiting priest met with the class. She shared (in the innocent way children do) that “homosexuality is a sin and is NOT of the one, true Church.” What the hell?!!! What priest discusses this with 1st and 2nd graders? An innocent First Communion session and no one saw a problem with what he shared! They defended him. I knew I would never be able to protect my children from the “squirrels” in the church and worse than that…the people surrounding the “squirrels” would never see them as “squirrels.” I had to leave. I knew my children’s spiritual lives depended on it.

    So, today, my family attends a different church…I searched and prayed and cried a lot. The church we attend is beyond what I would have ever dreamed of for my children (and me…and my husband). When I promised at the altar, before God, in a Catholic Church to make Him the most important part of our marriage…I always believed it was going to be surrounding the catholic church…and instead it was in spite of it.

    There is no place IN the catholic church to heal from these wounds. They won’t allow it…all because of their own shame.

    1. SW, Jesus led you to your new church. I am sure of that!

      Now thanks to you, SW, I am quite perplexed about what color spray paint to use when I paint on the pews of my church the words, “I believe the victims…” I think I will use red in honor of the pope’s and Dorothy’s red slippers. LOL

      Thanks to C4C bloggers’ tenacity and sincerity, under Susan’s and Kathy’s leadership, as each day of the trial passes, more and more people around the world are believing the victims as well. Amen!!!

      1. A bright red would be festive, Jerry. Purple might add a nice touch…depressing, yet in keeping with the Lenten vestments.

        Disclaimer: Jerry and I are joking!

        Watch some crackpot actually take red spray paint to the pews and blame us. Can I hire you to represent me if they come after me?

      2. Of course, SW. Your disclaimer made me chuckle. The years of Catholic schooling are showing. LOL

  14. “Was Lynn protecting the children or (the) Church?” , well one thing is absolutely certain, he could not do both in this instance, so guess which one he chose…..
    He is ONLY one example of countless other ordinaries, auxiliaries, vicar generals, secretaries of the clergy, directors of priest personnel, chancellors, diocesan legal counselors, abbots, provincials, and others who have been under the impression that the “crisis” was minor, a ripple in the ocean, a passing phenomenon, a temporary problem, with easy solutions and expedient remedies. Then with the advance of technology in the media and the educated faithful, the “business as usual” methodologies went out with the trash. I want to shout, NOT NOW, NOT TOMORROW, and hopefully, NEVER AGAIN. We the People of God are entitled to the TRUTH, we expect transparency and we rightfully demand accountability from our leadership, anything less is a travesty, a charade and morally wrong. AMEN

    1. Leo, I meant to comment on your post because I thought it was so well written and perceptive.

      I especially liked your point that Lynn was NOT the only ‘passer on of predators’….and I liked the list you noted of diocesan and religious order ‘passers on’, throughout the US.

      AND I liked your point about the PC hierarchical ‘spin’ on the notion that it was a ‘solved’ problem.

      AND the notion that with an ‘educated’ faithful and a 24/7 news cycle this ‘spin’ was no longer working!

      You get a 10 in my book for that comment.
      Thanks, Joan

      1. Thank you Joan for your nice compliments. I am so very disappointed in the hierarchy that somehow wants this “mess” to go away without dealing with it, confronting it, embracing it, owning it and taking responsiblity for it. Somehow I sense that they (Church leadership) believe “it you ignore it, it will go away”. Well we ALL know that ain’t happening, WHY because there are enough of us who rightfully demand and expect accountability and procedures to insure this will not happen again, God bless you Joan!

    2. Kids obviously weren’t on Lynn’s radar..they weren’t important to him or anyone else in charge. Children were “things” sitting in desks in schools, with no needs or rights or position in society. Placing priests in locations where they could best collect $ for the AD was the important thing –the “only thing” for decades and decades.

  15. I was pleased to hear on PBS Newshour reference to the trial in Philly. Publicity is our best hope right now; a conviction and jail time would be wonderful, but I doubt if that will happen.

    Alas, we members or former members of the RCC have plenty of evidence that the RCC is corrupt, and what’s more, that it as an organization has harmed children and continued–knowingly–to harm children and vulnerable adults.

    How, how, how can we get the RCC tried in civil courts under RICO statutes?? As of today, I fear, there is no one who wants or cares to take on this task…Our best hope for now is the trial of Lynn.

  16. Mr. Palma:

    Are you the same Rocco Palma that is listed as a member of the Pastoral Council of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on the website, http://www.catholicphilly.com?

    Rocco Palmo Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Philadelphia; At Large

    I was reading your article at Whispers in the Loggia today covering the criminal trial of Msgr. Lynn and others and was wondering whether you are the same Rocco Palma on the Pastoral Council. I also noted the following information at “Whispers in the Loggia”:

    A former US correspondent for the London-based international Catholic weekly The Tablet, Palmo’s served as a church analyst for The New York Times, Associated Press, BBC, NBC, National Public Radio, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and a host of other print and broadcast outlets worldwide.


  17. no, there are probably plenty of rocco palma’s around… besides, the PCA will only be made up of regular folk chosen by their pastors – to give lay advice to “keep it real” and that the AD will use in their plans for us.-right?

  18. I just read Rocco’s Monday post summery of the Philly situation. All the facts are there and I saw no weasel wording. Many of us are trying to stay with the RCC and do our best to reform it. We can appreciate those who have to leave, but ask that those who fed up don’t accuse those who are still toiling as being stupid, duplicitous, toadies etc. We still believe the Holy Spirit will drive the church around the current road blocks.

    1. Off the subject a bit, but maybe not. I keep Abuse Tracker on my home page…the link is. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AbuseTracker/

      Abuse Tracker, tracks sex abuse, worldwide, minute by minute. So the Philly situation is getting a lot of articles, including everybody from the NY Times to that Lggia piece….C4C blogs are cited, so are German, Irish, Vatican, third world et al.

      Jason Berry said he used Abuse Tracker very extensively when researching, Render Unto Rome. I think it is a great resource for folks on C4C.

    2. If he takes the time to point out that some of the cases are 50 yrs old, he should take the time to point out the facts concerning the Grand Jury.

      1. and quite frankly, the reason why we are in the position we are today is because people are waiting for the holy spirit to come and fix things. That day has long passed, it is my opinion that people can be part of the solution or tpart of the problem. One thing is for sure, nobody can be both.

      2. Dave, I agree about not waiting. We need the laity to act as quickly as they did when the diocese threatened to close schools. I think the Holy Spirit works in conjunction with people.

  19. You can thank Kathy Shaw for piling up the endless amount of information on Abuse Tracker. She is a fantasic woman and deserves so much credit for working hard to keep this subject front and center in the media.

    I have not gone more than a couple of days in 3 years without looking to Abuse Tracker for my news.

    1. Rich, I know the media uses it a lot too!

      And Abuse tracker doesn’t just follow catholic stuff…but they sure as heck follow sexual abuse. There’s a place on the site where you can learn more about THAT Kathy! And I do thank her!

      If you were trying to keep up with the breaking news in Philly….Abuse Tracker has key articles cited almost immediately.

      1. Joan, you can also sign up easily at Phillynews.com, which is the Philadelphia Inquirer (PI) site and immediately e-mails you the articles. PI has the most reporters covering the trial.

        Anyone wanting BishopAccountability.org to pick up articles that fit their general specs can send them by e-mail to kashaw@peoplepc.com. Kathy Shaw lists articles 7 days a week beginning often at 6 am. She is an unsung heroine in fighting clerical child abuse.

      2. Kathy Shaw is an unsung hero!!!

        She has been unrelenting…tireless in her efforts, even when few people were following her blog, her mission was clear…to expose truth.

  20. I no longer attend Mass. My husband was first to stop going and he refused to let me continue to support the church financially. In the late 90’s, I worked for one of the worst abusers mentioned in the 2005 GJR. He was reported to the Archdiocese almost from the minute he arrived and all the complaints fell on deaf ears. Had I not worked at the church my sons could have easily been his victims. After he was finally outed, I left the parish and went to Mass at another church nearby. While attending Mass there, we found out that one priest (deceased) was mentioned in the 2005 GJR and now another in the 2011. That’s it!!! I am done. I cannot even look at a priest without wondering what is in his past. I know that is terribly unfair, but I can’t help the way I feel. My relationship with God is a strong as it always has been. My faith is strong and I believe that it is more important to be a good mother, wife, daughter and friend. I believe that is what I will be judged on, how much I loved and how much I was loved by others. I hope this helps someone who may be struggling.

    1. I know how you feel. The grade school I went to had two predator priests Fr. Cannon and Fr. Smith in the parish while I was going there. Any of my siblings or friends could have easily been his victims……..it’s heartbreaking and scary. Some how my siblings had a 6th sense and avoided the grooming process(one was an altar boy) but what of the others?. All I can say is listen to your kids when they ask if something is appropriate etc.

  21. Excellent articles!
    –but popes don’t listen to the likes of us; they tell us what’s what. -and they’re infallible about it too — and the church goes farther and farther out of reality..

    1. Thanks, Crystal. Now you know why the pope and I differ so strongly. We both think we are infallible! LOL

  22. I agree with the comments in the “Philly News.” The three Cardinals and now bishop Chaput were all trying to keep this scandal underground to protect the Church. These Cardinals and Msgr Lynn all obstructed justice by not informing the police. I pray that these alleged criminals will be found guilty if the evidence is presented clearly to the jury. God Bless all of the victims of this sexual abuse in Philadelphia and the rest of the world. Chaput was successful in Denver preventing the legislature from extending the period of time for the victims to file charges against the pries predators.

  23. To all the victims who were sexually abused in the Philly Archdiocese or any diocese, stay strong, You are very brave, your voices are powerful and they are being heard.

    The truth will prevail and children will be much safer because you do ‘not’ stay silent.

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

  24. Anyone who knows anything about jury trials knows that most jury trials are won on the strength of the Opening Statements. According to this report, http://www.priestabusetrial.com/2012/03/prosecutors-opening-statement-whispers.html the opening statement of Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Coehlo was substantially weak. “She came out whispering, and left behind a confusing pile of facts. … But for more than an hour, as Coehlo rambled, the biggest challenge was hearing what she had to say. … In terms of oratory, eloquence and humor, as well as presentation, the defense was the clear winner in opening statements.” Really? What will her performances be like on Direct and Cross Examinations? Please let the DA knows that we deserve better.

    1. This is a worrisome account of the openings -although probably biased. Coehlo’s facts can be straightened out later. I love defense atty Brennan’s line, “I’d be proud to be related to this man.. (even though I’m REALLY, REALLY not!!!)- hopefully the jurors recognize a load of it when they hear it.

    2. Would like to hear Jerry’s take on Mark’s post concerning Coehlo’s performance during Opening Statements.

      Thanks, Mark.

    3. That is a shame. The DA, Seth Williams, is a devout Catholic, and may not be trying to really win this trial. Supposedly he wasn’t even at the first day of the trial.

      He might be like a coach who wants to lose a game, and puts out his worst or most tired pitcher, knowing that the pitcher will lose, but outsiders won’t know that the coach was trying to lose.

      However, if people couldn’t ever hear her, that’s ridiculous.

      1. i wonder if the jury heard Coehlo OK…surely the judge would have insisted upon it. -? she can’t possibly be a novice -?

        Seth Williams sits or sat “on the boards of Cath. Social Services and the St. Martin DePorres Foundation…..”

      2. From Seth Williams own web page at http://www.phila.gov/districtattorney/meetTheDA.html he is also on the board of St. Cyprian Catholic Church, and I’m sure he is a politician who depends on the Catholic vote, and isn’t going to fight the Catholic church too hard.

        This trial needs a tougher DA, and one that will put his best prosecutor on the trial, and one who wants justice instead of votes.

        Seth Williams isn’t that guy.

  25. I’m wondering why, since he was Archbishop from October 2003 until 2011, no mention is made of Justin Rigali in any articles about the Philadelphia Archdiocese child abuse scandal. Will he escape notice now that he has “retired”? That would be yet another tragedy for the good people of Philadelphia.

    1. Rigali is not sick, or old enough to be part of the current events. As soon as he is diagnosed with dementia and on his death bed, that will be the time to take his deposition.

      Lets be fair, the SOB hasn’t had enough time to enjoy his retirement yet. Give him a break! (LOL)

      1. drwho: while I can appreciate your dark humor, I really, really do want to know why Rigali, who bears enormous responsibility for the disgrace of the Philly AD has seemingly vanished, leaving others to bear responsibilities which he shares. I am frightened to think that this mentor of Dolan and Finn, this colleague of Law and Burke, may escape notice and thus never be held accountable for his own despicable conduct. Can anyone shed some light on this?

      2. Pittsburgh,
        I think many of us are wondering how Rigali is not facing charges at this point.

        How can he not be involved, in some way, in this trial?

        I have similar questions as you. Maybe someone can offer some perspective or possibilities why Rigali seems to be flying under the radar.

      3. Pittsburgh,

        I totally agree, and I have been looking for ANY info on Rigali for several months now. The only thing that someone wrote was that he might be in Nashville (I believe). As odd as it is that we do not know more about his current situation, I find the lack of general curiosity even more peculiar. This guy is a major player.

      4. My guess is that the Rigali silence has a lot to do with the timing of the rapes, and cover up, in the cases.

        I think Rigali came on board in 2003, and Lynn only served under him till 2004.

        I don’t believe it was illegal to shred those documents, immoral, yes.

  26. After yesterday’s memo release, Lynn is truly evil. Do we really need a jury and judge to confirm what we all have known for a long time??? Going forward how can we EVER trust the AD in Philadelphia without a complete flushing of its clergy and lay management. On another note, all the clergy (Rigali, Cistone, etc.) who jumped shipped as the boat was sinking need to be held accountable as well. Hiding in TN and MI is just not an acceptable solution.

  27. Anyone watch this clip of Lynn and Brennan leaving the courthouse?

    I thought it was going to be something significant, but it’s just them walking out.

    What struck me was the fact that Lynn is flanked by his AD legal team and PR reps, insulated…and Brennan walks out alone and without any fanfare. Doesn’t that just say it all? Protect the big boy.


  28. Avery was admitted to St. John Vianney in Downingtown for nearly a year of sex therapy and mental-health treatment.
    St. John Vianney never diagnosed Avery as a pedophile, but said he should not be around adolescents or work as a DJ.

    No surprise here……St. John Vianney is a facility operated by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, with services and treatment staff salaries paid by the same Archdiocese of Philadelphia that employed Father Avery.

    In the professional world, this is known as a serious “conflict of interest” not only for the archdiocese, but for the client/patient as well. Who ultimately pays for this treatment, services and “conflict of interest”?….the parishioners of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

  29. Lynn’s patronizing responses to the parishioners who inquired into the whereabouts of their pastor, Avery, make me sick. Decent, concerned, faithful, hardworking, and conscientious parishioners ask questions. Lynn responds by admonishing one for inquiring into “rumors.” (Reminds me of when the Vatican admonished us for asserting that the sexual abuse crisis was something more than “gossip.”) What a loyal, con-man, chump Lynn was, telling another parishioner that Avery’s history amounted to nothing more than a series of good character-references. How demeaning and condescending can you get, ignoring the rational concerns and red flags in the minds of parishioners? The clerical trickery is appalling. Lynn’s MO wreaks of how he viewed the faithful– inane and easily deceived imbeciles. Indeed, he went as far as admonishing them for their concerns… shame on you, you bad, bad children! Lynn knows, based on years of experience, that lies and reprimands have the effect of arresting the reason and logic of the faithful. The manipulation, conniving and arrogance is appalling.

    Lynn, what a weak, freakish, footman-to-the-prince you are, and the same goes for the hundreds of other clergy members I have witnessed over the years behaving in EXACTLY the same, sickening manner.

  30. SW. drwho and Joan,
    Thank you all for taking my comments seriously. I’ve been following this conversation since Susan and Kathy began it and find comfort among you, though I’m far away. I also read that Rigali is in Tennessee, having been given a home by a bishop there. And I do understand that in the cases now at trial he is not a major figure. However, he arrived in Philly in 2003 and was given an opportunity to do great good. He certainly was/is aware of the 2005 and 2011 grand jury reports. Yet nothing changed until DA Williams filed charges against those now accused. And credit for that belongs to Williams. I am not aware of any actions on Rigali’s part taking positive, redemptive action to provide justice for any victims, or clarity and truth to his flock. Because of his close friendship with many powerful hierarchs, I have no trust at all that he will ever have to face any responsibility for his failures as archbishop. That is why what you are doing is so important. Just as we must never lose sight of the victims, we must never allow anyone who has been responsible for their abuse to fade away and be forgotten.

  31. Joe B.,

    Thanks for the advice and I’m a little bit shocked that you care so much about myself and my ability to “get a life.” If you’ve never been told this by anyone, here goes nothing – You’re a sweetheart! I do have a life, brother. In fact, I think this life I’m leading now is more important than anything I could’ve ever imagined doing at the age I am now. When I was a young kid, I was certain I wouldn’t even make it to the age of 35. I was sure I would’ve either taken my own life, or somehow, in some way, my abusers would come back for me.

    I never wanted to be the poster child for any type of campaign against childhood sexual abuse, but after awhile, when no one seemed to be listening to me, I thought I had to get more serious about exposing this problem. I really prepare for battle before I get to the location of a protest. I cover my body with thick leather skin, and I zone everything out of my mind, and try to leave the past behind, just for a little while. I carry a weapon that is my “voice.” My ammunition is my “experiences.” I need to be strong enough for the kids today who might be in danger of abuse, those who might currently being abused and I want to show them it’s okay to speak up, and for my fellow victims who think they don’t have the courage to come forward and speak about the abuse they suffered. Few have been able to penetrate my thick skin, but in reality some have, three to be exact. I think they did it by using words to “trigger” me. Once I’m triggered, something else inside of me takes over and I often have little or no control with my behavior. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with all three people, and I’m not ashamed of it at all, but I wish I didn’t let them get to me so much.

    Maybe people will never understand what I do and why I do it, but at the end of the day, it makes me feel good about me, and I feel like I am contributing to doing something for kids today that nobody ever did for me when I was a kid. I’ve come a long way in such a short period of time, but I’ve got so much more to learn and so many more places to protest, and there will always be an endless amount of children to protect, as long as there are priests, teachers, parents, coaches, scouts, neighbors, aunts & uncles. I’ve decided this is a worthy cause to spend my life in. Who knows? Maybe we’ll end up running into each other at a protest. 🙂

    1. BRAVO! Oh, and as information for all the folks on this thread, the occasional no votes on all the truthful comments that are made here probably come from AD or their spin doctors plants. We have found that to be true here in the KC area. Love to all.

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