We Need Your Support at Cathedral this Good Friday from 11 a.m. to noon.

Several thousand people visit this site each week. We are asking each of you to join us at the steps of the Cathedral this Good Friday from 11 a.m. to noon. Are you sickened, outraged, betrayed? Do you want your Church renewed? Show it by showing up. The victims deserve a very visible sign of support. Our children, who were left unprotected by leadership, deserve it. Easter is a sign of renewal, what better time to pray for it as a community. Please spread the word via facebook, twitter and email. Click here for the flyer: GoodFriday . One pastor has posted it in his parish. Maybe yours will.

What: Prayer service for the victims of clergy sex abuse and the faithful of the Catholic Church of Philadelphia who have been betrayed by the hierarchy. There will be speakers. April is child abuse awareness month, so we ask attendees to wear the official awareness color – blue. Signs are welcome.

Where: At the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul, 1723 Race Street (on the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy)

When: 11 a.m. to noon this Friday, April 6 – Good Friday. (Prayer Service held inside the Cathedral from noon until 3 p.m.)

How: This will be a respectful, peaceful and prayerful gathering. There is a public parking lot at 17th and Arch Street. Suburban Station is the closest train station at 17th and Market.

Why: To spiritually prepare for Easter. To pray for new beginnings in how Church leadership deals with child sex abuse – here in Philadelphia and globally – regardless of the trial outcome.

For more information, contact Susan through the Contact Page.

49 thoughts on “We Need Your Support at Cathedral this Good Friday from 11 a.m. to noon.

  1. Thanks, Susan, for planning this prayer service. My husband and I will be there. The victims of clergy sexual abuse need to know that Catholics care and believe them.

  2. I have never been to a public demonstration gathering because crowds overwhelm me.

    But I will be there on Good Friday. It is the least I can do for all of our hurting & hopefully healing victims. We love you and pray for you.

    1. Unabletotrust,.. From your link… The following comment under the Kostelnick case struck me. While I’m not blaming all parents of clergy abuse victims for their children’s fate, I speak from personal experience when I say that children in those huge, assembly-line catholic families were often neglected because they had zero value as individuals. To keep it all running smoothly, a child’s personal dignity was kept in check at all times, at home and in cath. school. Their overwhelmed, unskilled, often unloving parents and teachers made them sitting ducks for sexual predators in the church.

      [” SarahTX2Mar 29, 2012 08:42 PM
      I know I’m the only one saying this, but am I the only one noticing a pattern of widespread neglect among parents in “very Catholic” families? This mother was merely negligent, but so many cases across the nation show evidence of criminal neglect.
      Even if we could put all the pedophile priests in jail, we would not have gotten to the core of the sex abuse catastrophe so long as Catholic parents do not recognize the dignity of children. And so one of the things I look for in the evolution of this scandal is any evidence that Catholic laity are changing their cultural views of children. To some extent the perversions of the hierarchy do reflect the mores of the people in the pews, and that’s the central issue in my view. ..”]

    2. I think the mentality was that one of the safest places for a child was within the church. Who would ever have thought that all of this abuse was going on? I know many loving parents who trusted the church, years before all of the abuse came to light. One of the most heartbreaking cases was from an elderly gentleman whose Irish immigrant, widowed Mother sent him to a Catholic run summer camp for a week . A chance for a “vacation” for her child that she could never afford herself. He was abused at the camp, he never told his mother. He felt it would have crushed her, that what she thought was a wonderful opportunity turned out to be a horrific week of abuse. It is all so sad,on so many levels. Parents and children being betrayed by those they trusted most.

      1. He was a 10 year old child when he was sent to the camp,he was an 85 year old ,now telling me his story. He broke down several times and I cried along with him
        I am 44 and am now starting to hear stories from my own peers. People who are now just coming forward to share what happened to them in the 1970’s and 80’s.
        Margaret from Catholic Accountability and I sat in court the other day. We both looked at each other at one point, and said we would never have believed it if someone told us years ago that we would be witnessing this trial of conspiracy and abuse within the Church We did not know. So many parents did not know. Some tragic accounts of children who did tell their parents and were not believed, I think for the most part we all trusted the Church more anything else in our lives.

      2. kathy this man’s story and his selfless love for his mother is too sad for words – only tears will do. It is for him and others who were victimized, that we care deeply about what happens in that trial in Phila. and from here on in the RCC.

      3. For many victims who may have come from dysfunctional family systems, the Catholic Church was the only “constant” a child could count on…even for the families that were in need…the Church was the stability, the security…

        and then the predators used every possible way to hook a child (and family) into their web. Rich is so right…the most vulnerable and innocent didn’t have a fighting chance.

        It is a betrayal like no other.

        Kathy…I am sickened when I think of my inlaws fully trusting the Catholic Church with their little boy at a week long retreat. So trusting, so naive. Little did they know. But others knew! People who could have prevented it…they knew!

      4. Kathy, when I hear the story of an 85 year old, breaking down in tears telling you of abuse that he couldn’t share with his widowed mother, who just wanted him to have a week’s free ‘vacation’, when I think about Rich praying to ‘Superman’ to make the raping stop, when I think about ‘Tim’ whose mother thought he was ‘lactose intolerant’ thanks to Ganas repeated anal raping, when I think about all the other stories I have heard on C4C,

        AND when I know it ISINT just Philly, or even just the US, I am absolutely convinced that Thersa’s recent Irish quote about standing up against such appalling abuse and those who perpetrate it, is a moral obligation.

        And you and Susan have opened up the ‘window’ on these horrors. Have provided a place where, awful as the horrors are, they can be discussed, and about 2500 folks a day are reading about them.

        It is Holy Week, a week I take quite seriously. And you and Susan are providing an opportunity for folks to pray in public about these matters on the day Jesus died.

        If ever prayer was needed, it is now. Thanks to you both for opening up these varied ‘windows’,

  3. I will be there. My husband and I have never been to a public demonstration together and are discussing whether or not to bring our kids, ages 3 and 8. Can I get some guidance? We are not completely sure it is appropriate for the kids and we may just split up and I will be there alone and meet up with them later. Any input would be welcome. Thanks

    1. I will not be there, but DO NOT bring your kids! Keep your kids far away from that place.

      #1 Kids just don’t understand why they’re there in the first place, especially at the ages they are.

      #2 I refuse to show a photo of me as a child when doing a protest, like so many other victims do. I will not bring that kid I was back to a place like that again.

      #3 Protect your children by leaving them at home!

      I’m not just fighting to get victims justice, but I’m also fighting so that present and future children will never have to know what sex abuse is. I wuldn’t have my child within 1,000 square miles of a priest or a church, but hey, that’s just me.

    2. Michelle,
      I know Rich disagrees and for valid reasons, but others have brought their children in the past. This issue is about children and children go to Church and Catholic schools. I may be bringing my daughter. I think it’s important for our youth to know they have a voice and they are allowed to use it appropriately.

      1. Susan, I agree with you. I, to understand where Rich is coming from. When you bring your child and he or she is told appropriately what this is all about, I believe it gives them permission to talk about what they observe and openly ask questions. This is another venue of parents protecting their children by giving them a voice. I WILL be there with my sign and sweatshirt on showing a little girl with a teddy bear on the front and on the back stop priest child sex abuse.

    3. I brought my 4yr old before bring juice and something to color 🙂 I dont know if this will be different from regular vigils on fridays.Everyone was nice to us on the street. The AD just walked by us.

    4. Beth, I was going to write the same thing. All the passerby’s are nice to us and the AD people just ignore us….a lot of truth in that statement.

  4. I have been following this site for some time. I am physically disabled, but will be there, in spirit, praying for all of the victims!

  5. Thanks Susan and Rich for your input. My husband is leaning toward Susan’s point of view and I am leaning towards Rich’s point of view. Since we will all be in the city that day, I think I will have them drop me off. My husband can explain to them what is going on and they will pick me up after. Either way I will be there, wearing blue.

    Since today is the anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. I was reading about him. There were two of his quotes that stood out to me in light of the demonstration. “A lie can not live.” and “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” So appropriate. They would make great signs.

  6. Susan — thank you! My husband and I will be there! I will be wearing blue. I believe that there is no more HOLY way for us to spend Good Friday. Our hearts, our support and our love are 100% with all victims. God bless.

  7. Why not just leave the idol worshipping, false teaching and pedophile ridden church behind? For real change attend a bible believing, bible teaching church this Sunday.See what a difference the “living word of God’ makes in your life. You will never regret it.

    1. Because I won’t let anyone take my faith from me – especially those who harbor pedophiles. I will stand up, address the criminal behavior, protect children and fight for the renewal of the Catholic Church. I may fail, but I will try. And it looks like I’m in good company.

    2. Kurt, I respect your choice to attend another church, as I have considered it myself. However, I can not leave the Church of my ancestors, the church that taught me to stand up for injustice, behind. I can not turn my back on those that have not yet found their voice and deserve change in the Catholic Church.

      1. I would rather stay and fight to clean it up besides the Blessed Sacrament opened the clouds and rained grace down on us and clear away the darkeness and the lies and he went to jail and others felt it also.

    3. Kurt, yours does seems like such an obvious and good solution. I guess some here are still fighting to try to make the church that they’re so emotionally and spiritually invested in, a good one..They want to wrestle this church away from those who ruined it centuries ago…. and there is still a chance for reform -anything is possible.
      Others stay because they’re in denial of the problems and falsehoods of the RCC..and this is for many reasons -too many to go into.

      Others (like me) are trying to figure out what they want. They’re so disgusted by this “crisis” that they don’t know what they believe in right now.. Shocked into reality, they only know they’ve been “had” by the clericalism of the RCC and its perversion of Christianity. Some of us feel we owe it to the victims of this church, and to ourselves, to stick around the RCC, to see that justice is done and that certain wrongs are righted. Many of us are so hurt by the RCC, that jumping into another religious environment just doesn’t make sense right now.–maybe someday.

  8. At a retreat in MD last year, Fr Diarmuid O’Murchu addressed us as he connected to his journey in Ireland with priest sexual abuse victims. His quote to us was: “Be prepared to walk into a wall at times during the trial, or hearing some witnesses, or whatever, but, you must break that wall down to the other side, always going toward the Light. If you do not break the wall down, no one else will.”

    1. Theresa ,
      Knowing no one else will is one thing actually doing what no one else will do is unfortunatley one in a million. Big risk but when you take that step all kinds of doors open…………..and walls do come down.

  9. Theresa, your quote was really helpful. ‘You must break that wall down to the other side, always going toward the Light. If you do not break that wall down, no one else will’.

    None of us asked for the horror of child sexual abuse, and complicit hierarchical predator protection.

    But for folks who really ‘get it’, standing against it is justice obligation, ‘no one else will’.

  10. You did not do everything possible that a woman could do in the rcc and be an apologist for the rcc also, then realize that after 60 yrs in the church,(2001 WE LEFT) you knew that what you had apologized about WAS A DAMN LIE! .BUT I DID ALL THIS.!!!!.

    WHEN YOU KNEW . All the evil things that you heard and defended were TRUE and not defendable you feel like a fool. You were a fool. I was a fool. Many I know are still fools, listening to the evil doers line of crap and believing that THE RCC WILL CHANGE. IT NEVER WILL, NOR CAN IT !! The devil is who he is and Jesus didn’t change him , nor can you….

    You will never change the devil. Jesus didn’t try to do that! He just knew who he was and said “get thee behind me //satan” I say the same thing! The rcc is satan , personified, in our lives to day.

    The lie, was a lie of the devil, why do you want a lie, when what you want is something that is not REAL? HE IS REAL AND ABIDES IN YOU!

    What you want is somthing that is NOT REAL! THE EUCHRIST IS NOT CONSECRATED BY THE PRIEST (to become)JESUS CHRIST.. You do the consecration… No one can transfer their FAITH to you by any means. THAT is WIZARDY!….. ASK FR. TOM DOYLE. HE SAYS IT IS ALL FALSE.


  11. How can one support the AD of Philadelphia after the last two weeks?? How can one give any money to the AD of Philadelphia after the last two weeks?? Quiet frankly, how can one trust anyone affiliated with the AD of Philadelphia?? The church has trained us to OBEY – PRAY – PAY (OPP) and we are naive enough to accept it today. IT”S OUR CHURCH NOT THEIRS so stop walking on egg shells. Do some research and see what Chaput did in Denver before coming to Philadelphia as it relates to abuse. If I did not know better I would think our new Archbishop represents the AD of Harrisburg as he and his legal eagles are spending a lot of time & resources ($$$) to maintain the statue of limitations. Yes I feel sorry for the victims however there is nothing I / we can do to change it. The focus needs to be on nailing the SOB’s who did this and keeping this from happening again while keeping “faith and god” out of the equation. So as you sit there Sunday, the holiest day of the year, ask yourself one question “AM I an OPP (Obey, Pray, Pay)???”……………If the answer is yes then its time to stop blaming others and point the finger at yourself…….

  12. See you all at 11am God willing. I have really felt the hand of God working this week I don’t always know what it means.My parish priest will be praying for us and our victims at 11am while he does the station of the cross.

  13. Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,implored your help or sought your intercession,was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother, to you I come, before you I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate,despise not my petitions,but in your mercy hear and answer them.Amen.

    I believe the victims she does too. She also knows the heartbreak of a parent watching their child suffer. When I need her help I pray this prayer and she always gives me much needed spiritual strength and many times does some other pretty amazing things.

  14. Beth…I love that prayer and lover her. I am very devoted to Our Blessed Mother, the Mother of Christ. Just because I do not go to a rcc anymore, does not change my love or the prayers I say and have said my whole life. God knows our hearts.. Have a Blessed Easter and KNOW that God is really doing a work in The City of Brotherly Love.

    PS When my Mother was dying(one breath every 5 min. and the Dr. was there to pronounce her death, he left after 45 min) I sang the rosary to her thinking I was praying her into heaven. (God had other ideas) She , after 20 min of my singing the nurse walked in and said what is that you are singing and I said the rosary. My mother had awakened and was lucid and knew me as she hadn’t in a yr. She was up and talking and wanted to eat… the nurse said she had never seen anything like it in her life. I thought Id be able to take Mother home. It was God’s way of letting me( an only child ) say good bye to her. In two weeks she was gone( in her sleep.. What a beautiful way to show , we are not in control but HE IS. We must trust HIM! Bleased Easter to all.

      1. I, too, am interested in any reports on today’s 11:00 a.m. prayer service. Who were the speakers? How was the turn-out? What was particularly compelling? Did clergy attend? Did children attend? What did individuals have to say about the service, the trial, victims, the state of the Church, SOL legislation, the hierarchy, C4C, etc.?

        Thank you.

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