Children Welcome at Good Friday Prayer Service at Steps of Cathedral

Many have asked about bringing children to the prayer service as it is a day off from school for many. They are certainly welcome and this a peaceful vigil versus a protest. Many children attended vigils in Boston. Prayers read aloud will be appropriate for all ages.

64 thoughts on “Children Welcome at Good Friday Prayer Service at Steps of Cathedral

  1. I’m bringing them if they choose to come along. What a good opportunity to show them the good, the bad and the ugliness of the church.

    1. Yes, ugliness to be sure, Crystal.

      I sent late last night a second “Appeal” to the Philly Inquir. reporters, because of my growing concerns, especially about the Avery “deal”. My second Appeal was also posted at Bilgrimage earlier this morning.

      The first comment on Bilgrimage is from “Michael McShea”. I don’t know who he is, but he seems knowledgeable about the Philly AD. He said in his comment, “Avery…got bought off with promises of a pension and a retirement villa in an Asian country if he survives prison”.

      If any C4C bloggers know of McShea or anything about his startling charge, please tell what you know to PI reporters John Martin ( and David O’Reilly ( Thanks.

      Please read my second Appeal, accessible by clicking on at:

      1. Jerry,
        I haven’t replied to your appeals…but wanted you to know I’ve read every word multiple times.

        I’m praying ears and hearts are open to your appeals because they are NEEDED!

        Thank you everything you bring to the table!

    1. SW, thanks. If you saw me, you would realize I spend too much time at the table. LOL

      I appreciate that you, Joan and other regular C4C bloggers are trying to delicately handle the sensibilities. By now, I know where your hearts are.

      I can’t get through to Bishop/Accountability and am getting a tad concerned somebody may be filtering my e-mails.

      A bit paranoid, perhaps, but who would have believed priests would abuse 100,000 American kids and lie about it for over a half century. Nothing would surprise me with these devils.

      If you read about me hanging from a London bridge like the pope’s banker, take solace that I at least finally go to visit London. LOL


      1. Jerry- Do not be found hanging from a bridge! (lol) Please keep writing. Your appeals are so perfectly worded. IS ANYBODY HOME AT THE PHILA INQUIRER?
        It’s not fair that this thing has us paranoid –and even sounding it occasionally –It’s so incredibly dirty and twisted, that when I turn my attention to it for a while each day, I almost feel myself needing to figuratively put on special safety lenses to focus on and decipher it properly.– It’s so hideous, that it’s too unnatural for normal people to conceive of. When I’m done, I take the “lenses” off and go back to seeing the world in a familiar, pleasant and positive way.

        Kathy, I’d bet that one million plus 87K would buy Avery any number of villas in a place like Thailand or such …the smug smile on his face tells us that this prison stay is just a quick stop along the way to his retirement in a land where kids are unprotected. It’s unfathomable that he’ll get away like it seems he will.

  2. Avery was laicized in 2006. I believe he received or was offered $87,000 on his exit. He comes from a wealthy family and it has been said that he recently sold some property his family owned on the Main Line for $1,000,000. I believe he was also the sole heir of his family’s inheritance.

    1. I wonder if there are any little “Avery’s”, in the background.
      He won’t be able to pass his inheritance on if there is, the church will need it to pay for all the legal cost’s incurred.

  3. Kathy, what are you saying? Is the Avery plea deal totally OK or should we at least try to probe a little more? What he did in 2006 or with his family’s home is interesting, but it doesn’t really explain to me satisfactorily what happened with Avery two weeks ago.

    If your sources turn up anything new, I hope you share it promptly with John Martin and David O’Reilly. I personally have little trust at this point in anyone directly involved in the Philly criminal justice system. Thanks for all your efforts.

    1. I think what Kathy is saying is that as heir to the Avery fortune – money may not be a big factor in his game plan. Nothing about any of this is OK. We will likely never know the inner workings of Avery’s plea. Regardless of rumors and conjecture, the facts of the case are enough for us to stand on when asking the DA’s office to take a strong stance in regard to Lynn and Church leadership.

      1. Susan, you and Kathy ought to give your bruised egos a rest. For 50 years or more, the Philly criminal law system has stiffed Philly children to please bishops. I fear it is happening again.

        Cut me off if you like. I just think that until the two of you get a law degree, you should slow down with your ” I talked to my friend at the DA’s office, and all will be well” or “Don’t worry, the real case is just around the corner” . You mean well, I am sure, but C4C bloggers are misled by your unfounded optimism.

        I have dealt one-on-one with the Chaputs of the world for decades. If I am worried enough to spend 14 hour days trying to flush out the too docile press, you should be too and should forgo lecturing me that “…the facts of the case are enough.”

        You and Kathy appear to get a lot of input from private lawyers who make money off victims or DA types who are trying to protect their jobs. Ask why they say what they say what they say.

      2. Jerry, I’m not sure what you are referencing. We have never cut you off. You’ve “left” repeatedly. We are appreciative of your input but that doesn’t require us to always agree. I’m not sure why a disagreement would result in a bruised ego. This is about children – not me, not you, not Kathy. I’ve never, not once, said all will be well or the real case is around the corner. There is valid reason for Catholics to be concerned and a chance that Lynn will get off. I’m not a lawyer and I’m not here to debate the legal ins and outs. But I do know that facts get us closer to solutions. I’m here to raise awareness and encourage Catholics to be active regardless of the trial outcome. You are the only lawyer I’ve spoken to since last Spring. Please let’s rise above the petty.

    2. While I am an attorney, I am not a criminal defense attorney; however, could the Avery deal be part of the overall strategy by the DA’s office?
      Even though as part of the deal, Avery does not have to testify, he can always be subpoenaed to testify. His testimony would collaborate the conspiracy charges against Lynn since he admitted to several conversations with Lynn about his actions when he plead guilty. If his testimony would be different, that would be perjury. Avery also cannot take the 5th amendment against answering questions due to self incrimination since he has already admitted to the actions. While Avery may have received a somewhat lenient deal with respect to jail time, he will always have to register as a sexual predator which will provide some protection against future abuse. I think the DA’s office is looking at the big picture which is to convict Lynn and send shock waves throughout the catholic hierarchy throughout America. In exchange, they cut a deal to try and make that happen and tried to limit the downside by having Avery admit to sexual abuse. Remember the DA’s office has some skin in this situation as they will look foolish if after 2 grand jury reports they go and lose out on the big fish.

      1. Jim, with all due respect, what makes you think committing purjury would worry them, it doesn’t.
        They are clergy and would kill their own mother’s to protect the church.
        I’ve been in a court room, seen them take the oath and still lie.
        They receive “special dispensations”, as Ive mentioned elsewhere, there is no unforgiveable sin, because the Pope deals with those, so at the end of the day, they’re free.
        So forget the perjury.

      2. L. Newington, if Avery reverses his testimony from the plea deal and in effect commits perjury, I would imagine he would extend his jail time.

        As has often been said on this blog, the name of this trial game is survival, each player out to protect himself.

      3. Joan exactly my point. if he commits perjury during the trail that is more jail time.

      4. Jim, I want to seriously thank you for that trial overview!

        I think it is the single most encouraging set of thoughts I have seen.

        And I think the Lynn trial is hugely important. It seems to me that the Philly trial is a prototype for all the other Phillys…that have gotten away with it.

        Today is a peculiar day, in Kansas City, Bishop Finn will stand trial, along with his diocese. In Madison, Wisconsin a judge just refused to release depositions that would ’embarrass the bishops’, probably similar to the horrors in Philly.

        But your comments really made my day!!!

      5. Jim, Jack, Mark:

        I really appreciate Jim’s analysis of the plea deal, the trial, and the DA’s possible objectives, especially because I’m interested in accomplishing the big picture.

        I also appreciate Jack’s great report from the trial, today, and Mark’s exceptional tenacity.

        Thanks very much to everyone.

  4. ” I talked to my friend at the DA’s office”..a statement never made by either of us. I have no friends or sources in the DA’s office. Charlie Gallagher who was the deputy District Attorney on the 2005 Grand jury report is someone who has been a valuable resource in explaining the laws in Pa. concerning cases of child sex abuse..all child sex abuse. Whether my questions are about statutes,mandatory reporting..anything to do with child sex abuse. Laws, not trials,witnesses, theories or opinions. We met him through our work with justice4pakids and he was a speaker at a seminar, speaking about the laws in Pa.
    Bruised ego, no I may leave this place with a bruised psyche after dealing with so many accounts of children’s bodies being violated and souls shattered. This has never and will never be about “us” it is about victims and children. And in most recent days a case that hits so close to home with someone I grew up with, that it has literally almost brought me to my knees. There is no ego here, just a desire to help people,most who will never have their day in court. There have been times that we have been brought into situations we never imagined or wanted but is necessary and we will be here for those who need us. Posting relevant articles and making comments accounts for a tiny fraction of what we do and there is no one I would rather be doing this with than Susan. She was a stranger to me until last year but now is a friend and confidant as we weave our way and try to help those who have been lost for so long. It always has been and always will be about them. It has consumed our days and nights and I would not change one moment of any of it because it has been an honor to help people who in the midst of personal tragedy have reached out on their journey. I would not change one single moment.

    1. Kathy and Susan, I want to thank you for working so tirelessly to keep this site objective and factual while also providing a place to vent our feelings and reactions to the heartbreaking realities of clergy sex abuse and cover-ups. Kathy, I know for sure that this site never has and never will be about “you or “Susan.” You always bring the focus back to what is most important…..healing and justice for victims and protection of children. You never let us lose sight of that and I thank you.

  5. Speaking of Pa laws,this is a good blog post from Max Kennerly on the Philadelphia trial blog. I would encourage anyone local to attend the trial at least once. I left feeling like it was one big reality check. The prosecution has a complex case to present with overwhelming evidence that simply overwhelms at times. Lynn’s defense team that is being paid for by the Archdiocese, is seasoned and sharp. The jury box is full of every day citizens who will ultimately render a verdict. I didn’t leave feeling like it was a slam dunk or a lost cause.

    1. Kathy, if the jury box is full will even in a minority of Catholics don’t underestimate the power of the Confessional.
      Nothing is unforgivable on that stance, there are “special dispensations” for anything on that subject Papal ones at that in some instances.

  6. Kathy, your Max Kennerly citation is hands down the BEST information I have seen on the trial issues. Just plain outstanding. Talk about a ‘must read’.

    It deals with some technical issues that are vastly important to the Lynn trial, the language of existing child endangerment law, and GOD WILLING some future improvements on the law especially as it should specifically name responsible ‘supervisors’ who supervise those with responsibility for the care of innocent children.

    In a boring refrain, I keep saying that ‘child endangerment’ legislation throughout the US needs to be strengthened…and Kennerly says it so much better.

    You can count on the Church being opposed…but then, what else is new?

  7. Isn’t it strange that constantly someone is clicking the “thumbs down” button? Why not contribute to the blog and tell us all how you really feel? Do you just disbelieve everything people write here?

    Try this one on:

    Fire trucks in Philadelphia are red.

    1. I think people comment and also use the thumbs up or down, I commented today and also gave 1 of the many thumbs down on this thread, although to be honest I usually forget that thumbs up/down thing even exists. How is your back feeling?

    2. v4j, thumbs up or down, they’re not relevant.
      Your point of view, and opportunity to express it is what counts, forget it.

    3. I have a request for C4C readers that have a propensity for the thumbs down button. I’ve seen more thumbs down votes in the last 3 days, than in the previous 3 months, when I first found this blog.
      Please do not vote thumbs down to the victims. I know it may seem trivial…but it bothers me greatly.
      On C4C, we respect, support and believe the victims.

      1. You go John, my sentiments exactly! Someone put a thumbs down when Kathy told me she would be glad to see me on good friday, I thought my God, give me a break!

  8. This a wonderful idea, mine were always a part of my prayer group, one later becoming a missionary for many years, another a Youth Minister of the Eucharist until an altercation with a woman religious over a child involving a family member related to misconduct within the church.
    No one attending Mass in the Catholic Church since, apart from funerals of course.

  9. Crystal, prison life for clergy in Victoria at least is no party.
    They have to segregate them from others so I’m told in fact prison mates don’t look too kindly on anyone who sexually abuse children, even the hardened ones.

    1. And he was by himself at the end of all that testimony..awful. I know attorney’s are aggressive in defending their clients but it sounds like this was quite a cross exam.

      1. Kathy, I want to ask the same question I just posed on a neighboring site. Is there any way we could let the victim know that we are very sympathetic????

        I sure hope so.

      2. This victim is so fragile he should have a therapist with him in court. I hope the judge or someone in authority realizes this. I am really upset about this.

  10. Mark fits the profile of innumerable sexual abuse victims, many of whom are no longer with us. Doesn’t the prosecution have an expert witness who can testify to the profile?

    1. Surely the prosecution acknowledges some level of responsibility regarding the well being of Mark Bukowski considering the fact that he was last seen running down 12th St. alone. Right???

      1. Hadit,
        You would think. But then it seems no one has any common sense, compassion or common decency anymore. This makes me angry we have been trying to tell people how messed up child sexual abuse can make a person but no one seems to listen.This victim needs our support he obviously has none. As for lying and deception the predator teaches this to their victim………..they are many times master manipulators………keep the secret……don’t let anyone know………act like everything is fine……nothings wrong …..that is the lie they teach…….this teaches them not to trust themselves and how they feel……… you better find something to numb the pain……..

    2. “According to report being released Tuesday by Safe Horizon, a victim assistance group that operates child advocacy centers in New York City, and the Childhood Violent Trauma Center at Yale University, children who are abused or neglected are 59 percent more likely than those who were not victimized to be arrested as juveniles, 28 percent more likely to be arrested as adults, and 30 percent more likely to commit a violent crime. They also face much higher rates of teenage pregnancy and are likelier to abuse or neglect their own children.”

      1. Thank you, Martin.

        The prosecution is going to have to show that victims having issue-laden histories, and who are not “poised” on the stand, are among a classic group VICTIMS!

  11. Martin, I take the NY Times. Read the article this am..and what was encouraging about it was that with very early and short term interventions, they could reverse out a lot of the trauma…of course kids don’t tell anyone about clerical abuse…till years later when the damage is extensive and very challenging to deal with.

    The Times also, on page 11 did a piece, ‘Jury Told That Church Put Off Abuse Complaints…relative to Fr Cannon…reported by William Daly in 1992….same old story, extensive abuse as a kid, huge Church delays., 11 years from 1992 to 2003 from reporting the issue to Church involvement.

    It is interesting to me how often the Church contacted folks in 2003…..a year after Boston exploded.

  12. Hey John, (I was awarded 11 thumbs down yesterday.–a record for me!- lol) I think it’s a good thing that C4C attracts “thumbs downers”– Our hosts welcome diversity and even adversity –and we need it to have a real discussion.
    As for our victims being t.d.’d –They’re strong, and in this fight. They can hack it – They know we’re here for them!
    Hopefully things said here will help inform and a change a few “thumbs down” minds.

    1. — my comment defending thumbs downers just earned me 2 thumbs down. (lol) -I can’t ever seem to get it right!

  13. Thumbs down all you want…

    they had to read what I wrote to thumbs down it. Where’s my laughing emoticon?

      1. Hadit,
        It saddens me. That the topic of support for women’s ordination particulary gets a finger wagging from the pope with a topping of ‘we’ll have no tolerance for disobedience’. Where was that kind of strong message when it came to the Pope addressing the sexual abuse of men, women, and children, by clergy?

        It was the last paragraph about what reforms the Austrian clergy are calling for, that really broke my heart……..
        >>>>>Their appeal comes amid calls for reform in the Catholic church on issues including the ordination of women priests, abolishing celibacy for clergy, divorce and support for victims of sexual abuse by priests<<<<<

    1. Michele,

      Here is the toxic trinity — an autocratic organizational structure, headed by a tyrant with a fascist worldview (and roots), who is preoccupied by a curious obsession with sex, especially homosexuality and virtually anything related to women. As someone said all sins are sexual and obedience is the only virtue. Sex and obedience/power — those are at the heart of the call to disobedience by those 400+ Austrian priests.

      What are the ways in which WE can engage in disobedience in addition to withholding money?

      Some might object that what I post here is a distraction from the sex/power abuse crisis. I see these issues as inextricably linked. Bishop Robinson recently said that a root cause of our difficulties is that we need a major reexamination of how the Church thinks about sexuality.


      Of course, I forgot to mention the signature cologne and saying yes to the dress. Why is it that Catholics don’t talk about Raztinger’s apparent homosexual orientation (see link below)? Oddly, here the emperor does have clothes – fabulous frocks and ruby slippers!

  14. The last part of my reply message to hadit got cut off.

    The last paragraph broke my hear, because here is a group of priests that is not afraid to publicly call for reforms in the ways the church shows support to victims of clergy sexual abuse, among other issues. These Austrian priests are called to task by the Pope for “supporting disobedience” and yet, they refuse to renig on their position.
    In Philly, I wish we had priests of such valor. Sad….just sad…..

    1. Michele and Martin,

      Thanks for your important and interesting discussion.

      It boggles the mind that priestly efforts to reform and renew a Church in crisis are met with papal condemnations. Possibly we could see acts of “disobedience” from Philly priests once the trial has ended. Certainly, their Irish, Australian and European brothers are showing them the way.

      Martin… I agree with all of the points you make.

      1. I have this fantasy that Monsignor Picard, who is a good and holy man, will go to court to share his experience with Brennan. He was Brennan’s first pastor after ordination at St. Andrew’s in Newtown. I was a parishoner there at the time. Now I don’t know if Picard had ANY experiences that raised concerns. But, we do know that other priests expressed concerns about Brennan. And, I cannot imagine a canonical trial ending in a request for laicization based on the account of one abused layperson. So, there are priests with experiences to share. One of them might show some courage.

        You might recall that then Father Picard was punished for resisting Lynne’s effort to send a priest with a bad reputation among priests to Newtown. When he was ultimately named Monsignor, Lynn is reported to have said: “Everybody deserves to get out of the penalty box at some point.”

      2. Martin, The canonical standard of ‘MORAL CERTITUDE’ is, I believe what is required at a canonical trial, for application to Rome for Brennan’s laicization.

        Given the AD’s total lack of respect for Mark, I too doubt that Mark’s testimony would be sufficient, in a canonical trial.

        And I, too remember that appalling Lynn comment, about letting Father Picard out of the ‘penalty box’….With any luck it will be Lynn inthe ‘penalty box’…one with bars.

    1. Kathy, read the linked Kennery article. WHY is PA the only state in the union that will not allow expert witnesses in child abuse cases to testify for the prosecutors/plaintiffs. Where these ‘expert witnesses’ could have been helpful to Mark….(such testimony would indicate that there are a vast number of responses possible when a child is abused….). Has there been any attempt to initiate legislation that would correct this matter? I sure hope so!

      Perhaps the Women’s Law Center…might do it?

      Would not surprise me at all if the PA Catholic Conference would oppose such possible legislation.

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