How Does Child Rape Fall Through the Cracks?


Click here to read: “Monsignor: Abuse investigation fell through the cracks,” by Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press, The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 19, 2012

Excerpt: “A seminarian in 1992 told Lynn and Lynn’s boss, the late Monsignor James Malloy, that he had been raped throughout high school by Rev. Stanley Gana. The seminarian, who testified in person this week, gave Lynn and Malloy the names and parish of two other potential victims.

In his 2002 testimony, Lynn acknowledged the archdiocese never tried to contact the potential victims or to ask Gana’s colleagues if they had seen anything untoward at the rectory. Lynn testified that therapists had advised the church not to contact potential victims to avoid re-victimizing them if they had “moved on.”

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84 Responses to “How Does Child Rape Fall Through the Cracks?”

  1. Top 12 reasons why sexual abuse of children continues in the RC church nationwide:
    1. I was in the middle of a job change.
    2. His file was lost.
    3. His file was misfiled.
    4. The filing cabinet was moved to another room.
    5. I did not know I was a mandated reporter.
    6. I was not trained to be a mandated repoter.
    7. I was unaware that child porn was against the law.
    8. I solved the problem by sending him to be evaluated by professionals we employ.
    9. I solved the problem by sending him to another parish.
    10. I solved the problem by sending him to another diocese.
    11. I solved the problem by sending him to another country.
    12. I solved the problem by blaming the victim who obviously enjoyed what he/she was experiencing.

    • Kay4justice,

      Good list. Allow me to add the most important reason.
      Rule #1…Protect the guilty, disregard the innocent.

      • 13. I was just following orders to protect the predator. The victim will get a life and get over it. Haw’s that?

      • Child rape does NOT ‘fall through the cracks”.

        Clergy rape of children is a ‘concern’ to be passed on, passed over, disposed of expeditiously.

        And the Lynn/Gana scene is a particularly virulent piece of work with the usual 20 to 25 year lag between first reports of abuse and the ‘defrocking’.

        from today’s article:

        ‘The two church officials did question Gana, who denied the allegations. According to Lynn’s testimony, Gana said he’d made a lot of enemies and his affection had been misconstrued, and he called one of the other potential victims “perverse” and “very disturbed.”

        Malloy told Gana to avoid contact with the seminarian because the allegations, if true, might be criminal. Lynn agreed with the assessment, according to his testimony. Asked why he didn’t notify police, Lynn testified: “Because we weren’t required to.”

        Gana remained pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows in Bridgeport until 1995, when a second accuser came forward. He was then sent to a church-run treatment center. He was deemed an alcoholic, not a pedophile , even though the accusers said he rarely drank.’

        THREE POINTS re the quote, one in each cited paragraph

        1. If you want rape to fall through the cracks, you don’t take the abuse claim seriously, rather you accept the abusers defense…ie the victims were perverse.

        2. There is a desperate need for very tough mandated clergy reporting requirements.

        3. If memory serves, Gana was sent to two “church-run treatment centers “(bad idea…’church-run’) AND told to go for an ‘alcoholism’ diagnosis rather than a pedophile diagnosis….Lynn has been quoted as saying..’see he is an alcolohic, not a pedophile’.

      • May I add another reason?
        14. The child seduced the priest.

    • kay, you forgot

      13. I was just following orders

  2. S. Reid Warren, III Reply April 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    What a load of garbage and another pack of lies – “The therapists advised aganst contacting the potential victims to avoid re-victimizine them if they had moved on.”

    Every day that the AD did not address the victimization the victims wsre being re-vitimized.

    No professionally trained therapist would ever say that – unless they were in cahoots with the AD in ignoring/coveringujp the crimes.

    Reid

  3. I personally experienced the reply “the letter must have been misplaced” by Fr. Lynn when letters were sent to the clergy office in care of Fr. Lynn!!! His attitude was “well what do you want me to do?” with the inflection that he didn’t consider the situation described as “not so important.”

  4. When you’re in the seminary, the “gift of ordination” is held over your head like a carrot. Everything that you say and do is put under a microscope and “evaluated.” Unfortunately, the ones looking into the microscope were blind fools. I knew Rob K. in the seminary. He was (and I can assume, still is) one of the kindest, most thoughtful individuals I’ve been honored to have known. However, he made a costly mistake. He indicted one of “boys already in the club.” When you do this, you’re head is literally on the block. And so, they can make accusations and fabricate anything they want about your character, and put a halt to years of dedication and sacrifice at the drop of a dime and threaten to withhold the ordination that you’ve spent years working towards. I’ve seen this game played far too many times to care to remember. Rob is a true man of courage, and, in my estimation, a far greater man than those who attempted to railroad his character and send him out of town.

    • Jerry, I am not sure if you have commented on the site before today,but thank you for the insight you bring to culture that exists in the seminary. Like Rob K. said in his testimony, something to the effect that they got rid of him however Gana remained in Philadelphia. So twisted.

    • People better believe it. Traditional Anglican Communion primate Archbishop John Hepworth on relaying his sex-abuse complaint as a Catholic seminarian certainly opened a lot of eyes, when saying just that Jerry.
      “Boy’s club” underestimates it.
      Of course Archbishop Wilson, President of the ABC didn’t accept his story.

  5. I think that’s an accurate statement about falling through the cracks.

    At the same time, you know who didn’t fall through the cracks? The priests they moved around. They worked hard…documenting, meeting with the abusers, CONSPIRING with other dioceses to accept the abusers…and as far as the investigation? Well, that just “fell through the cracks.” So, he dropped the ball when it came to the victims and because he did, he ENDANGERED THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN!

    Victims…SING LIKE BIRDS!!!!!

    Every day this trial continues…every victim is telling the story of thousands of victims. It is eery as I’ve heard the abuse stories of many survivors and the details are strikingly similar. States away, and the stories are the same. Beatings, Passion re-enactments, priests passing victims from priest to priest…same stories.

    I hope Lynn doesn’t “fall through the cracks” this time. Or Rigali. Or Bransfeld.

  6. Quirk has to testify – AP just reported!!

    • Maureen,
      Where is the site where this is stated?

    • Thanks Maureen. This is potentially huge news. If DA can prove these monsters transported kids across state lines for sex, I am almost certain this now becomes a crime the Feds can prosecute. Jerry, if you’re there, please comment on this.

      • John, I could be wrong but I think what Quirk is testifying about is the canon law trial pertaining to Brennan’s removal. Quirk was on of the three presiding and it was found that Mark’s claims of abuse were credible ,resulting in Brennan’s removal pending in Rome. I don’t think Quirk is testifying about anything to do with Bransfield and Gana and the teens at the farm in the 70’s

      • I understand it the same as Kathy. However this is still huge as the church’s hiding behind Canon Legal proceedings will be challenged.

      • John,
        I’m not sure, but I don’t understand the connection between the WVA judge mandating the Msgr. to testify in the Brennan case and “transporting kids across state lines for sex.” Wouldn’t these be two entirely separate issues. Albeit, both need to be addressed.

      • And unfortunately the cases of kids being transported across state lines and abused has been documented. Priests taking kids from Philly to the Jersey shore..priests taking kids to Europe..priests taking kids on ski trips out of state.. and abuse taking place on these “trips’

      • Thanks guys. I should stay away from legal issues. Sorry

      • Maureen, It is huge. Mark’s allegations were found credible by the Church which then led to the Canon Law trial which then had him being recommended to be laicized. So in the case of Mark and Brennan, the church found Brennan “guilty’ in their proceedings.

      • John,this all gets beyond confusing at times. What are the odds that Msgr Quirk who presided at Brennan’s “church” trial, is a priest in the Wheeling Diocese under Bishop Bransfield? I think it was on Tuesday,the Wheeling Diocese was saying that Quirk would not testify and referred to the trial as a “circus” and in testimony the very next day in relation to the Gana case, a witness implicates Bransfield,who is the head of the Wheeling diocese? As you said before,you can’t make this stuff up.

      • Kathy, is there going to be a hassle over Quirk’s testifying in a criminal proceeding about a canon law proceeding….I’ve seen media comments that the prosecution already has the canon law data, and needs Quirk to validate it??

      • Joan, Canon law remains a mystery to me as well. I know the judge in West Virginia said something to the effect that since the prosecutors already have the transcripts of the Brennan’s canon trial,the confidentiality is no longer an issue. There is so much testimony being introduced at the trial. When the various testimony,grand jury etc,,,is introduced ,detectives from the DA’s office have been on the stand going over the documents,being asked questions from the prosecutors and then cross by the defense. I guess the same will be the case here with Quirk’s testimony on the canon trial documents ?He will be on the stand concerning the testimony,answering questions from the prosecutors and then the defense. I think the judge referenced it would also be fair for the defense to have Quirk present for fairness to the defendant (brennan) in the proceedings also…I am just guessing about how this plays out.

    • YES, YES, YES. GOD IS IN CHARGE OF THIS TRIAL AND THE TRUTH IS COMING OUT!!

  7. It fell through the cracks because it was so commonplace. It wasn’t a high priority. It wasn’t a big deal.

    If I heard of a child being raped by a priest, and I was in charge, I’d go down there with 2 people whose sole job would be to keep me from inflicting physical damage upon the priest. There would be a serious interrogation, and then the police would be called. Nothing else would matter, including whether I made the right changes to the Latin phrases in mass, or whether my robe was ironed, or whether I’d fought enough gay activists that day.

    However, priests think differently. They are social, psychological, and sexual misfits. They decide at age 17 that they will never have sex with a woman, and will join an all-male fraternity. They don’t know anything about children, and know very little about people. To them, these crimes are no big deal.

    That’s why so many more of them should be in jail, in general population, where they could learn more about how men who have sex with children should be treated.

    • The sad thing is, mothers believed they were doing the right thing encouraging their son’s to become priest’s, in fact they were obligated to.
      Those who seeking the intimacy which resulted in bringing children into the world were definately ‘misfits’. John XX111, understood this, therefore releasing them from their vows without the nonesense of today. Especially those entering junior seminaries at 13.
      He was renowned for having a father’s heart.

  8. Thank you, Maureen. Great news!

  9. Dr. Cronin is a professional therapist listed on the staff at the St. John Vianney Center, where priests are sent for treatment and/or evaluation as a result of allegations of sexual abuse. Is there a conflict of interest since he is a therapist at the center and his clinical recommendations with a particular client may come in conflict with his repsonsibility and role as a Clergy Support Associate? What resources will Dr. Cronin have at his disposal in order to “encourage priests’ compliance”? What steps, if any, will be taken for lack of compliance on the part of a priest-client by the Clergy Support Associate?

    I notice that Dr. Cronin has the initials “JD” in his professional title. Is Dr. Cronin an attorney? With his Juris Doctor and employment by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is his primary responsibility to his employer, i.e., to act in the best interests of the archdiocese and protect it from civil and criminal liability?

  10. Is it too late to add to the list? Maybe the hardest and coldest of the entries, but perhaps the truest:

    15. I just don’t care.

  11. How did child rape fall through the cracks? Because the church hierarchy is morally bankrupt and thought the church was above the law. The truth is coming out.

  12. Jerry S. has a great post found at: http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2012/04/gerald-t-slevin-philly-abuse-trial-more.html

    I have e-mailed some of the TV networks asking them to please start covering this major national news story. As Jerry points out, there has been very little (next to none) national attention given to a story that is getting bigger each day. What happening in Philly is of national interest.

    Please e-mail at least one of the national news networks and encourage them to cover this important trial.

    • one article in a central pa newspaper next to the last page. nothing on 5,6 or 11 news. Only news I get is from philly.com and here. You would think the RCC and Penn State scandles happened on another planet. Just had another story in NEPA where a parish is shocked that a priest has been accused.

    • Great suggestion drwho13.
      Not a shred of TV coverage in Chicago.
      Only a single paragraph, on the second to the last page in one of our major newspapers the day the trial started.

      • Have you seen this yet?

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/bishop-jenky-notre-dame_n_1441786.html

        Here’s the diocesan newspaper with coverage of the homily where he compared Obama to Hitler and Stalin…

        http://www.thecatholicpost.com/post/PostFeatured.aspx

        I especially loved the way he gave a “rally homily” for men to take their position as Catholics…and referenced a climate of “war” and a posture of “huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches.” If you read the article, take a look at who they point out as the enemies of the Church.

        THIS is what the people near where I live listen to…

        And this Bishop is on the Notre Dame board!?!!

      • JR- I get a feeling that as long as it happens to other people’s kids, clergy child abuse is something for the back burner. I guess nobody dreams it could ever happen to their kids… there’s an arrogance and a lack of imagination about this.–Plus with the gag order and the questionable suppression of the media coverage…nobody knows, nobody cares.

        I so wish other faiths were more outraged and loud about this — Where are our Jewish friends?–They could teach us a thing or two about standing together and protecting our own…Guess they washed their hands of our stupidity long ago.
        It’s so shameful– Some days I feel the shame of this thing worse than other days…

      • Well SW…This just HAS to be said…. (and I blame the 3 cups of java I just downed) Your bishop out there has a lot more confidence in the strength and protective instincts of his catholic manly man than I do. They might be good at marching in parades but he’s barking up the wrong tree if he’s looking for “tough guys!”

        -They sure were girly when it came to preventing hundreds of thousands of their own kids from being raped and sodomized by the same priests and bishops who are issuing this present call to arms. –And even now in 2012, when the truth is right in their faces, they’re still too fragile and chicken to recognize evil and to think for themselves and MAYBE EVEN TAKE A STAND AGAINST IT!!!

      • Crystal, Funny you should mention the Jewish community.I have mentioned before that at both of our press conferences in Harrisburg with justice4pakids for statute of limitation reform,we were joined by two rabbi’s. The one Rabbi is from the Hasidic community in New York and for years has been working in that community to protect children from abuse. He has been ostracized and physically attacked, but just keeps going. The other rabbi was from the Harrisburg area and attended because he wanted to get involved due to an incident of abuse at a synagogue in that area. Both men spoke passionately to us about their commitment to children and that children are the greatest gift. I left the conversations thinking they were indeed “holy men”. Then I ended up somehow on an email group of 40 rabbi’s ..and me…where various scripture pertaining to children was shared and reflections on interpreting the scripture in present day life and the commitment to children. That lead to me somehow being included on emails from a Jewish community in Israel and also having to do with protecting children. Having been raised Catholic some sense of other religions being beneath us was definitely instilled in me,my eyes have been opened. The same legislation the Rabbi’s support is what the church is against,calling it “bad law”. Bad law for them maybe, but good law for children. We also have support from the Episcopal community for the SOL legislation. These private institutions would be opened up to the same civil suits as the Catholic Church under the SOL reform. So this tells me they either don’t have the widespread abuse and cover up or they actually value children…I am thinking it is both.

      • Crystal,
        The Bishop has zero confidence in their abilities…that’s why HE’s leading them to what they need to be fighting for. He has to rally them to fight his agenda. He’s using them and they don’t even know it. Distraction, distraction, distraction.

        There is a case that is going to rock that diocese to the core if it goes to trial, which I doubt it will. He’s preparing the pews for the “war” against the church and the catholic media haters.

      • SW,

        What I really like is how the faculty at Notre Dame AND Boston College emphatically exerted themselves in the past week. Both outcries centered on clerics who are members of the colleges’ Board of Trustees. The faculty members at Notre Dame are angry over the incendiary, anti-Obama comments made by one of its cleric-trustees; the faculty members at Boston College were instrumental in removing a cleric-trustee when his history of enabling sexual abuse came to light. All in the last week!

        The voices of faculty on Catholic, college campuses have the potential to powerfully affect reform in the Church. Naturally, their efforts will attract the attention and engagement of their students. Together, these two groups know how to articulate agendas, confront systems and fight the fight. I hope we continue to hear a lot more from them.

  13. So let me get this straight, the Philadelphia AD admits that a child rapist / priest, employed by them, slipped through the cracks…. Yet with this latest omission we continue to support the church and its leaders… Something is wrong here folks, maybe it time for us to stop listening and take back is rightful ours. There are some great priests in the Philadelphia AD however as more details emerge each week the good apples / priests are starting to become bad ones due to their association (bet this sparks a furor)…What is that expression, if you lie with the dogs you get fleas……

    • Not to be contrary to your statement, WR, because I understand your point, but I lay with my dog everyday, and he doesn’t give me fleas. He doesn’t hurt me and I can trust him. He’s my therapy dog. 🙂

      A couple of weeks ago, I had a pretty crazy panic attack in my living room. My partner was in bed asleep and my dog “Jameson” ran up the stairs and sat outside the bedroom door barking like crazy. I’ve had this little Jack Russell for 2 months and he hasn’t barked more than 4-5 times in all of that 2 months, except for that one day. I believe he knew I was in pain and he went to get help and I cry everytime I think about what he did.

      I was sick one day, and Jameson just laid with me the entire day. When my partner took him outside to do his business, he didn’t want to play or run around with his tennis ball. He came right back inside the house, up on the couch and laid with me.

      Dogs are very affectionate, trustworthy, and they love no matter what.

  14. The priest who abused me fell through the cracks too, and you know what? You can’t believe it. He fell right on top of me and got his hands stuck to my body (and other body parts stuck inside my body). Bad luck?

    I am tired of the Church’s poor excuses for why they allowed predators to roam inside of the walls of their institution, knowing well of too many complaints of sexual abuse against such scum, but continued to shuffle them around.

    That crack must be like the Grand Canyon, because at it’s bottom lays at least 5,000 priests.

    These scumbags fell through this gigantic crack the day they were ordained and set loose to run wild on innocent kids. I was one of those innocent kids. What did I ever do to anybody to deserve that abuse and this life?

    • You didn’t do anything wrong. Like the rest of us, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and were chosen to be his victim. It didn’t have anything to do with luck, actually, because these guys are predators.

  15. Dear Susan,
    I just want to truly thank you for providing this forum for discussion, healing, and growth. As a survivor, I find that I really need to not only keep updated, but also read what others are thinking and feeling, as well. This, I believe, is an extremely vital ministry, YES, ministry, that you are providing. Thank you, again, and please keep up the tremendous work you do.
    Respectfully,
    Jerry.

    • Jerry,
      I am sorry for what you endured. NONE of this garbage should ever have occurred.
      I believe the victims.

  16. http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/20/11306372-catholic-nuns-group-stunned-by-vatican-scolding-for-radical-feminist-ideas?lite

    Makes you wonder why the Catholic Church doesn’t put as much effort into stopping their priests from raping children.

    • V4J ….yesterday a friend said to me that she thought the hierarchy was treating nuns in a similar way to abuse victims.

      Sister Simone Campbell just gave an interview to BBC…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/21/sister-simone-campbell-vatican-us-nuns_n_1442301.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

      • Probably a good idea to qualify my comment.

        There’s no comparison between sodomizing and raping an innocent child, passing on predator priests, et al and cracking down on the nuns….at the level of initial encounter.

        Where I think the parallel might have merit is the hierarchical mindset, where both are concerned.

        We know that the bishops have ‘under the radar screen’ been using their lobbying arms to fight legislation that would assist victims. We certainly have witnessed in the last month, huge numbers of horrifying examples of Archdiocesan contempt for victims.

        The recent nuns crackdown is, I think, an example of hierarchical ‘contempt’, without merit or justification.

        It is a thinly disguised example of hierarchical arrogance.

      • Joan,

        As you said, “…the hierarchy was treating nuns in a similar way to abuse victims.”

        As I have said in the past, (we are no longer children) these men have only as much power over us as we allow them to have.

        My position is to show them no respect whatsoever! Their behavior should have earned them nothing but our disdain.

      • Drwho13…totally agree.

        One of the most poignant parts of Simone’s BBC quote (it’s linked to the citation) was where she explained NETWORKS political work of protecting the most marginalized amongst us.

        And the Vatican critique is that the nuns have spent their time helping the poor…when I interpret their remarks to say…the nuns should have been pushing the Bishop’s agenda.

        C4C is protecting innocent children from rape and sodomy, I think, with a few degrees of separation, there is solidarity with these good women who are ALSO protecting vulnerable folks.

      • Joan, I logged onto my FB page earlier to see many friends had posted various articles about the Vatican crackdown on the nuns. Many were sharing their thoughts about the power of the hierarchy,the abuse cover up,the notion of going after the Nuns as an ultimate power play.
        The second most popular story FB friends were sharing was the situation of a young girl at a Phila. Archdiocesan high school who is now being banned from attending her prom because her date backed out, and the AD rule is… no date…no prom. Because of course rules are rules..and everyone follows the rules at all times…right? You know all those rules and laws about protecting kids…No ,lets enforce prom rules instead.

      • Kathy, it doesn’t get more bizarre than this, right before your comment, a son in law sent me the Prom pictures of my only granddaughter, she is beautiful, statewide soccer champion, straight A student…and there’s more, but that is clearly ‘more than enough ‘ from a proud grandma…

        So let’s chat a bit about your Facebook page. And the nuns. And let’s come up to speed on NETWORK named by the Vatican in their denigration of US nuns, and NETWORK’s director, Sister Simone Campbell, Sister of Social Service and lawyer.

        I have known NETWORK’s Simone Campbell a long time, our lives have interconnected very usefully. The Vatican named NETWORK as a part of their denigration of the nuns. For readers who are not familiar with NETWORK, it is a national social justice lobby, started by nuns many years ago, to lobby in DC on behalf of the poorest of the poor, and…the most ‘marginalized’!

        Frankly, it doesn’t get a lot better than Simone….when I am irked in a given situation, Simone is both gracious and prayerful..indeed, I keep getting Micah quotations from her.

        And while it may seem ‘off subject’ that really is the point relative to the Vatican and the nuns, and NETWORK!

        The nuns, pray a lot, they ‘discern’ a lot, they choose their agendas after much consideration, reflection and collaboration. They consider their Founders principles and what are the ‘signs of the times’. They are, in my view, ‘holy’. While many are aging, their numbers are about 3.5 that of US priests.

        There is much speculation as to why the Vatican is going after their Leadership Council right now. Some say it’s a diversion from the abuse issues. Some say it’s ‘payback time’ because the nuns through NETWORK were the political ‘tipping point’ on Obamacare, and supported the Obama recent compromise on contraceptive funding.

        Some say that the Vatican is going after the Leadership Council first and if that doesn’t work, the nuns individual congregations are next.

        The Vatican, itself says the nuns have not supported the bishops agenda sufficiently relative to sexual issues, as they have been uniformly protecting the poor and marginalized!

        I need say no more!

      • Joan,
        Thanks for this info on the NETWORK. What good works they do.
        In our extended family, we have a NUN and a priest.
        One lives in near poverty, and has spent over 50 years serving the neediest people. The other drives a brand spanking new foreign luxury car, has a personal tailor, chef, nutritionist etc.
        No mystery which of these two I have more respect for.
        BTW. What grandma wouldn’t “brag on” such an accomplished young lady.

      • The nuns will figure it out. Their solution(s) will not entail going backwards.

      • JR and Hadit both NETWORK and the nuns are doing ‘what Jesus would do’..

        This is a very painful time for them. They need our prayers. As do all victims of abuse.

    • http://www.christianaggression.org/item_display.php?type=NEWS&id=1128225631
      In a continent devastated by Aids, nuns, and early adolescent girls, are perceived by some as safe sexual targets. Countless cases of nuns forced to have sex with priests were cited. Some were obliged to take the Pill, others became pregnant and were encouraged to have abortions”
      “She noted that a contributing cause was the “conspiracy of silence”. When she addressed bishops about the problem, many felt it was disloyal of the sisters to have reported the abuse.”

      • ed,

        I first read about this when I was in Rome in 1999. As I recall JPII was fully aware of it. God only knows when it first came to his attention. Well over a decade had past (likely much more than that), and what have they done about it?

        Now that’s moral leadership (LOL)!

  17. I’m sorry, I’m just so sick and tired of some well-intentioned individuals who ask: “Why didn’t they call the authorities…”
    You also need to understand the culture. Generations of faithful family who have been devoted to the church. Generations of family who have told their children that their highest calling was the priesthood. Generations of families who have been taught to “be quiet.” Why not call the authorities?! The authorities were part and parcel of these generations of faithful families. This is a call to reform, not on just one level, but on a societal level that is crying for justice. Justice sometimes takes time to be heard. Just take a brief look at any other societal atrocities…the Borgias, before that, Rome, after that, the Holocaust, and so on. Sometimes it takes us time to wake up. Well, we HAVE! Enough with Monday morning quarterbacking. How many of us, imperfect individuals, no matter what we’ve been through, wish that we could go back and change things? Would that the authorities would have even done something! Look at the incredible force we’re up against, as it is!

    • So true Jerry, these are not men of honor (as some continue to believe), but rather the very dregs of society (modern day Borgias.)

      The call to reform is well underway. Most young adults no longer set foot inside a RC church, much less kiss a bishops ring. The bishops are rapidly losing their authority, and they are fully aware and disturbed by it.

      There is no longer a place for them to hide in the era of cyberspace. The internet is doing for us what the printing press did for Martin Luther at the time he posted his “Ninety-Five Theses.” The advent of the internet has made available to the public information about RCC corruption in ways that had never been seen before.

      The beginning of the end of unquestioned Church authority has arrived. Good-by freaky bishops!

    • The question that keeps coming up is: Why would the world’s oldest, largest, wealthiest, and most politically powerful organization allow itself to go through all the negativity associated with this tria? It can only be that the negative consequences are few and limited.

      • Mark,

        An infallible, religious institution can’t admit to moral wrong. It can be “proven” wrong in civil and international courts, but these venues consist of fallible people and their fallible laws. It can always be said that the people were mistaken, anti-Catholic, or whatever, and that the laws were imperfect or unfair, all of which are intended to leave eternal doubt. Under a cloud of eternal doubt, there is no definitive reason for people to altogether reject the Catholic Church. Hierarchical spin will keep the sheep engaged and happy.

        Lynn is a pure, unadulterated scapegoat intended to accomplish the above. He WILL be rewarded.

      • but mark and hadit, An empire can only shrink to a certain point, and then it becomes unsustainable. Isn’t the “catholic cabbage truck” getting emptier and emptier.— with ENTIRE countries loudly exiting…Nobody of any consequence is buying the vatican’s unchangable, “infallible” nonsense.

      • Crystal,

        This is a hierarchy that is perfectly fine with the Church shrinking. Its goal is to foster uber-orthodox theology to the demise of Vatican II theology, acquire uber-orthodox money (there’s a lot), maintain power and Tradition, and threaten priests and the faithful into obedience. If there are people, priests and nuns who don’t like that, then exit and take your big, progressive mouths with you.

      • Mark, my impression of your question about why the Church allowed itself to go through this trial…is they didn’t have a choice…and with their best and most expensive legal counsel, they couldn’t stop the judge from ‘allowing’ the prosecution to bring in all those ‘bad acts’ that prove the Archdiocese handled abuse issues in the last 7 decades, horribly.

        And Crystal, to your point, cabbage truck-wise….today’s Abuse Tracker notes that Ireland will NOT be reopening it’s Vatican embassy.

        AND if the nuns shut down their Leadership Council, and the Church THEN goes after the individual congregations (possible next shoe to drop) I would not be surprised if many congregations ‘decanonize’

        It will be a pretty sad ‘produce truck’ that’s left.

      • Joan,

        Couldn’t Lynn and Brennan have copped pleas? A trial could have been avoided, correct or no? (Of course, pleas would entail admitting guilt which the AD wants to avoid.)

      • Hadit,

        You stated, “This is a hierarchy that is perfectly fine with the Church shrinking.”

        I agree, and I do not have a problem with that. I no longer believe that the RCC is infallible, nor do I believe that She is the only route to salvation.

        The shrinkage of the RCC is as relevant to me as the shrinkage of Rev. Moon’s Church. I simply don’t need either one of them. My interest in the RCC rests in getting justice for the victims, and stopping future abuse. Jesus and I are how doing fine together, without the intersession of the corrupt RCC.

        The RCC has a life cycle similar to a red super giant star. They both expand as they grow old. Then as the core of the star runs out of hydrogen and then helium (bishops running out of gas), the star contacts and the outer layers expand, cool, and become less bright (RCC has lost a lot of luster.)

        The super giant RCC, like the super giant star, will eventually collapse, explode, and shrink to a small black hole. Neither one of them will emit light again.

        All things are passing; God alone remains.

  18. Hadit, if Lynn and Brennan copped pleas, I doubt if the prosecution and the judge would have ‘bought it’ unless they ‘gave up’ perhaps, Rigali…et al. And it has been said that Lynn is a good old ‘loyal’ boy, who would take the fall.

    When Avery did plea bargain, he implicated Lynn at the Conspiracy level (i think it may account for a shorter jail sentence) as well as child endangerment. Brennan has gone through the canonical ajudication and has been found credibly guilty, by Quirk and his boys….which is why Quirk is a material witness. It will be interesting to see what the defense does with Quirk.

    I think it’s going to be an intersection of canon and civil law. With the defense arguing that canonical proceedings are ‘protected’ and the prosecution arguing that criminal law trumps canon law in a criminal trial.

    I personally am very tired of canon law behaviour that hides perps…unless the statutes of limitations are open. You will recall on that Bev ‘shredded list’ that Lynn had marked ‘5 years’ after some of the priests names. I think the allusion dealt with statutes of limitations timing.

    • Joan stated, “You will recall on that Bev ‘shredded list’ that Lynn had marked ’5 years’ after some of the priests names. I think the allusion dealt with statutes of limitations timing.”

      This is another point some Catholics may find hard to believe…but it’s been true in our diocese and I have a hard time believing it didn’t happen elsewhere and that is the intentional, purposeful delays when a victim came forward. Once a victim came forward, a diocese would make “promises” to the victim about the handling of the perp. Essentially, the church would “string along” a victim so the SOL would expire and then “cut them off,” soon after when the victim would start to connect the dots about the lies the church had told. By that time, it was too late for the victim to sue the church.

      Contrived, purposeful, intentional…none of what the church has done has been “careless.” The idea that they’ve been “unsure” of what to do is a lie. They’ve done what they’ve always done…protect themselves at all costs.

  19. Survivor’s wife……..you are absolutely correct. Every step, every decision, every maneuver on the part of archdiocesan management in response to an abuse allegation and subsequent communication with the victim was measured, calculated and focused on deflecting and escaping responsibility and liability for the horrific, criminal conduct of certain pedophile priests. Yes, they, archdiocesan management, knew what they were doing every step of the way.

    • SW and SKiadvocat…you are both so right…I went back and took a more thoughtful look at the 1994 ‘shredded list’ which Lynn’s defense is so busy saying it expressed Lynn’s concern for victims…and this is what I found relative to the list and the 5 years thing

      Avery, Dux, Gausch, Jones, Leneweaver, Powers, Siegle and Vath were noted as ‘action occurred more than 5 years ago’ ….the balance of the list did not have this designation….

      I leave it to the Prosecution to do due diligence on what that meant, but a non lawyerly guess would suggest that the criminal statutes of limitation were being noted, subtlety.

      I feel sure the prosecution will be noting Lynn’s pious concern for victims….in this researched and ‘shredded list’.

  20. The total insanity of it all… the Pope is “cracking down” on the Religious women, telling them to “toe the line”, while harboring and protecting pedophiles. Beyond belief. The RCC hierarchy would become a laughing stock (maybe it already has) if these issues weren’t so serious.

    • Believe it or not 4thechildren, but sometimes the Catholic Church gives me reason to laugh. Sometimes that’s just one of the emotions that come out during panic, grief, and despair.

      They’re just so damn arrogant. All abusers are arrogant and think we’ll never be able to find our voices and the courage to speak up. They believe they have destroyed us.

      So when I see victims testifying and naming priests who aren’t even a part of this case, like Bishop Bransfield, I laugh. His “fair-haired boys” came back to bite him in the butt. How do ya like dem apples?!

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