Click here to read: “At trial, following a defrocked priest’s 25-year trial,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 26, 2012
Excerpt: “He lives across the street from the largest playground in Sea Isle City,” Dougherty replied. The exchange underscored a point prosecutors have been trying to make in their endangerment case against Msgr. William J. Lynn: that he and other leaders at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia waited so long to act on proof or suspicions of misconduct that child sex abusers escaped civil or criminal consequences.
Editor’s note: This isn’t a “Catholic” issue, this is a public safety issue. This is why all Pennsylvania citizens need to tell their state reps and senators that they demand the statute of limitations be removed for child sex abuse. Don’t accept any excuses. There is no statute of limitations for murder in PA. Child sex abuse is soul murder.
127 thoughts on “Pedophile Across From Playground – Send Thank You to Philly Diocese”
C4C bloggers, I have put the latest Philly trial developments into the bigger picture of current papal and US politics. Please read “Philly Predator Priests & Papal Politics”, accessible by clicking on at:
Awesome article Jerry S. Whoa… How corrupt. I was not aware that most orders of nuns owned and controlled their own assets.–I thought the local cardinal always had his name on their accounts.
Great article, as usual.
I also found the NBC report of 200 pedophile priests in LA (most of whom admitted it) who live within a mile of 1,500 playgrounds, schools, etc, at http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/Catholic-Churtch-Los-Angeles-Archdiocese-Priests-Accused-Pedophile-Molest-Children-139129294.html
The Catholic church has left thousands and thousands of these “pedophile priest landmines” all over the country, free to live near children.
Susan, took your advice and sent my personal “Thank You’ to the Philadelphia AD (The Archbishop & Bishops at 222 North 17th Street) via courier this morning and I feel great!!!!!!!!! Each of the parties received a personal letter from me thanking them for their many years of supporting a cover up while putting innocent kids in harms way. May have noted a few other items and suggested they come join us in the court room. There is not a chance in hell I will receive a follow-up however I am sure the monsignor of my parish will get a call…..Letter writing campaigned anyone???
Maybe the letters the AD should be sending
Good for you WR. I think you will get a reply and from what I have witnessed if you are a man, that reply might be more respectful than if you are a female expressing concerns. Let me know if you are suspicious, odd, confused, harassing, intimidating, bullying, are rash and judgmental, lack charity and virtue,have a critical heart,and my personal favorite “if you are a product of catholic education,we have failed you”. Just a small sampling of replies that have been shared concerning letter/emails expressing a variety of concerns by people over the past few months.
It is interesting because the AD advocates that we write letters to legislators in support of school choice vouchers,religious liberty/birth control etc…but when the school closures were announced and many took that same exact route with the Ad writing letter/emails..it was a different response. Many people shared the “hand slap” responses they received on many of the FB pages that were set up concerning the school closures… the power of the internet.
Below is a letter I sent to Archbishop Charles Chaput
April 26, 2012
Good Morning Archbishop Chaput:
I am sorry that I am once again writing to you but as our Bishop you are our official teacher and frankly, I am so fed up I don’t know where to turn. The daily transcripts and news reports about the Philadelphia dioceses sexual abuse trial are painful but it is necessary for us to follow because of the sin and civil crime of abuse to children and the crime of the dioceses “cover-up.” I know there are some who say that this was not a “cover-up” because the individuals were given the medical treatment that was the accepted method of treatment, but they ignore that abuse of children has always been a civil crime and the individuals involved should have been turned over to law enforcement. I am well aware that in most cases after an individual was arrested they were given probation and medical treatment by the courts but they broke the law and had to first be arrested. The Philadelphia dioceses and many others in the US, Europe and tragically the Vatican ignored civil law and worried more about scandal and how the crime would adversely impact the church financials. I believe, at this time, the concern of the church hierarchy should be on the fact that in the not too distant future similar crimes of sexual abuse by priest and the “cover up” by dioceses in Asia, Africa and Latin America will result in this issue rearing its ugly head for many years.
I try hard to be a good Catholic and I am a Catholic because of my belief in the Eucharist, Scripture and the Liturgy of the Mass. With all respect to you, I must admit that I have lost my respect for many of the church hierarchy. The “icing on the cake” is the recent 8 page report from the Vatican of their 3-yeart inquiry of the US Catholic Nuns and their organization “Leadership Conference of Women Religious.” It seems to me that the church hierarchy in Rome is “asleep at the wheel” – they should have been spending these 3 years performing an inquiry into why dioceses, Bishops and Cardinals were not following the civil laws and taking action to stop the sexual abuse of children. I try to go to Mass daily and regardless of if I am in my parish or somewhere else in the world I see few attendees and I see the young adults avoiding participation in their faith. Why doesn’t Rome see this and know that is a critical issue that must be addressed in today’s society?
I hope and would urge the Nuns do everything they can to ignore this foolish inquiry and that they let Bishop Sartain know he is needed more in Seattle managing his dioceses than he is needed to “oversee the LCWR.” Bishop Sartain must know that he has had priest step down and
Joe, thank you so much for posting this. I struggle daily with how to practice the faith when our leaders are so consumed with this evil that reigns – that they let reign. I have a question for anyone with adult children who would like to reply. If you had to raise them again, would you raise them Catholic? What would you do differently? I am so confused and overwhelmed as a mom. I wish my little Gracie could talk, I imagine myself talking with adult Gracie. I must urgently know what to do and what she needs, in these imaginings she guides me… I am grateful that my eyes are finally wide open, but the sight paralyzes me into this state of uncertainty. I am praying for the victims, I am so sorry …
I am not certain if college kids are considered adult (LOL) but I can share this with you.
Our 3 older children (college age) were raised catholic and attended catholic high school.
Our younger children will not be raised catholic.
Sounds like “little Gracie” has a great and caring mom.
My children are older than your little Gracie, but still young. They are in Catholic school. I am tormented with what i should be doing right now with them. I want them to continue to have a strong foundation and groundedness based on a strong faith in Jesus and his teachings, but I feel as if we are living hypocritically right now. My humble advice, Maureen, is to raise your sweet child with a strong faith in Jesus, but to do that in a Church, whatever it may be, in which you are all spiritually nourished and in which you feel some confidence in the goodness of its leadership. Also, in a place where you feel you have a voice and that you will be listened to. You are in the best position now to make that decision. It’s more difficult to switch once you are entrenched in what seems to be the wrong place in many ways.
Maureen, Nothing in life is fair or easy if it is good — I suggest that if you take the time to teach your daughter the beauty of Scripture and the meaning of every part of the Mass you will see a young lady who will build a love of God and faith. yes, this is a very difficult time for our faith and for Catholics but much of it is the result of priest, bishops, Cardinals and the pope NOT following the teachings of Christ. Maureen take the time to read about our faith and you will see the miracle of the Eucharist that happens every day at every mass. Little Grace with your guidance will understand her faith and will understand that anyone can and will sin including the church hierarchy. Hang in there and teach Grace just talking to God is a prayer, so talk often.
Maureen, I was raised Catholic and attended only Catholic Schools. My daughters also attended Catholic Schools and were raised attending mass every Sunday with my husband and me. Our life in the church was the anchor that defined our lives. Daily prayer and keeping God alive daily in our home was what kept us centered. You will notice all of this is in the past tense. Knowing what I know now, I would not raise my children Catholic. This does not diminish the depth of my faith, nor does it impact my prayer life and deep connection to God. On the contrary; while experiencing the grief associated with the tremendous loss to what once was so vital to my life, I have also felt free to divorce myself from an organization that in no way mirrors the teachings of Jesus. To this day, the loss of what was once so comforting to me is intense. I know, however, that I am on the right path. You see; I once believed, as I was taught, that Jesus was truly present in the tabernacle in church. We had to be present to truly experience His presence. We had to genuflect to acknowledge that He was there before us. While I do believe that God was truly present in church during mass, I also believe that we brought Him in with us. He is always with us Maureen. If we simply follow His teachings, and keep Him ever present to our children, we will shine like beacons in the world. The rituals, traditions, and symbols that gave us such comfort were truly wonderful; but not when led by an organization so mired in corruption. Until the day that the RCC is truly a reflection of the teachings of Jesus, I must and will find another way. As my mother always told me: “Tell me who you go with, and I’ll tell you what you are.”
I believe the victims!!!
You worded so eloquently what I would say about having to do it all over again with our oldest.
Raising her in a corrupt system, trying to balance respect for authority while maintaining values (in spite of church hierarchy) was so confusing to her. She states that if she has children she would not raise them Catholic either. Her words, “The Catholic Church is so misaligned with Jesus’ teachings. In this messed up world, I will need all the help I can get from true believers not living a lie. How could I ever trust these men, or their followers, to share the Truth when they’ve systematically lied to the world?”
I don’t know if that’s healthy for her to feel this way about the Church her families have been raised in, but I’m very proud of her for living a life for Him. What more could a parent want? She didn’t escape spiritually unscathed though. How could she not when her parents were doing their best to shield her from our experiences with the RCC. Kids are smart. They know what’s authentic…and trying to “explain” ridiculous behaviors and bishop letters from the pulpit messes with children’s spiritual lives. If it were not true, there wouldn’t be an exodus from the pews.
That said…I absolutely understand why people stay. I have a harder time understanding how parents navigate the inconsistencies and spiritual confusion that is bound to happen with their children in the rcc.
Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and thoughts on this topic. I appreciate all of it. I feel like not being Catholic would be akin to not being American. As I read through blogs, I have learned the term “ethnically Catholic” – I think I will always identify as such, because being a cradle Catholic I feel a great sense of loss of self when I think of leaving. I continue to pray and keep my eyes open to the truth and God’s will for me and my family. As my husband says, “the answers will come”. I believe the victims.
Joe, I wanted to thank you for your ‘letter’ too. I certainly agree with you, although I might be tougher on the Church’s active efforts to sabotage civil laws requiring mandated clergy abuse reporting…
You gave ‘voice’ to what many others feel and that’s really so important.
I also share your concern about Third World abuse!
The Folly of Justin Rigali
There once was a bishop named Rigali
Who was all smiles, plump and jolly
When his priests children boinked
He merrily oinked
And that was his criminal folly
Good one Mark, you poetic scamp! It’s been a poem a day lately! lol!
WR…..you mentioned a letter-writing campaign within the archdiocese. I think one of the easier ways to go is faxing one’s letter to the appropriate official or representative within the archdiocesan management structure. Many PC’s have a fax function built in and if not, there are inexpensive fax programs available on the Internet. It is simply a matter of typing the letter and rather than outputting it to the printer, you can specify that you want to output via the fax program. The list of fax numbers for all offices, parishes, social centers, etc. are available in the Directory of the Archdiocese of Phladelphia, which is for sale at the Catholic Standard and Times.
With fax programs, once the fax number is stored in the program, it can be used for any subsequent letters you wish to send to that particular office or individual within the archdiocese.
Have a better plan – EMAIL… They AD llsit all EM addresses thus you can carpet bomb the place….
Good. Bury them with faxes on the floor of their offices.
We did a “fax blast” in our diocese. It was very effective. We did it to local parishes and to the diocesan offices…the same date and as close to the same time as possible…so they wouldn’t be able to “alert” each other first.
A fax is also a “record.” Email, they act like everything is spam. Written letters they can ignore and unless you pay for Delivery Confirmation, they act like they never received anything.
Your comment Maureen, brings back memories for me.
I’m sure you’ve heard of retired bishop Geoffrey Robinson, when he first became a public face in Australia being a foundation member of Towards Healing, a young woman had been treated so abysmally by a religious order, I began faxing her case to him. Those were the days the paper was on a roll.
The poor man gently asked me not to send anymore as the sheets were almost to the office door.
Always concerned for vicims, in particular vulnerable adults dealing with the ruthless members of the clergy and their insidious behavior.
I know this man and I always knew he was a pedophile. I worked in Sea Isle for 10 years at a bar just down the street from where he lives. The Mayor of Sea Isle, Lenny Desiderio, who I worked for at his bar, tried to get rid of the guy along with residents and others in the city government. Nothing could be done because he’s not a list.
No prosecution.no Megan’s list,….nothing..could pass a criminal background check with flying colors.
I can not believe this…..I always send my kids to the playground at 63rd st…..Not always supervised (it is the shore….thought safe?) Where does he live? I am sick…….ugh
“…….The grand jury said other priests repeatedly reported that Sicoli had unhealthy relationships with boys. Four victims from Levittown, where Sicoli was assigned from 1978 to 1983, testified that he had plied them with alcohol and then sexually abused them when they were 12 to 16 years old, according to the report.
An archdiocese review board looked into allegations of abuse by Sicoli after the nationwide church sex-abuse scandal broke. The board found “multiple substantiated allegations involving a total of 11 minors” between 1977 and 2002, the grand jury said……..”
I meant to say that he’s not on Megan’s List. Trust me when I say, residents of Sea Isle have been extremely upset about this man’s presence in their town, especially when he’s across the street from Play By the Bay.
I like the idea of a letter campaign. Who would listen though? Please let us know if you get any response. I also really like the idea that “Joan” posted on the last blog about a powerful YouTube type video/photo/fact montage set to poignant music. Do you remember how much press and attention the Kony 2012 got? I would be happy to work on this, with someone. I just want there to be a message out there in the general public that the victims do not stand alone. That those of us Catholic and/or raised Catholic do not all drink the KoolAid, so-to-speak. Now with the sisters being under attack and the Catholic school teacher being fired for going through IVF…. as a woman I want to stand up and scream, but again….. Who in the Church hierarchy would listen?
Michelle,to me writing a letter is not about the answer,more just letting them know ” I am not buying it any longer” I know what WR meant about feeling great after sending the letter..it is not changing the world,but it is letting them know that you see through it for what it is.
Kathy – YOU NAILED IT…
MIchelle, I think you can pretty much count on the fact that a ‘viral’ U Tube piece might want to look at the Philly ‘Timeline’ of reported abuse, ..ineffective clergy response, more appalling abuse and somewhere around 20 years later (after Boston has blown up and Grand Juries have been convened) ….
the perpetrator may have been sent to a comfortable (and relatively unsupervised) place for ‘prayer and penance’…or laicized and living across the street from a huge child center.
I think C4C’s last month with 65,000 ‘hits’ is a remarkable accomplishment…but those numbers pale when you consider the number of folks reached in an effective U Tube piece.
I am very trusting that the Holy Spirit is involved in this matter and very hopeful that very soon we might see such a U Tube video.
Speaking of videos….abuse, a crackdown on nuns and Simone Campbell, NETWOORK’s director…this link covers it all…
If you’re a Megan’ List it’s virtually impossible to live on any of the islands along the coast, especially Sea Isle because it’s so small. These islands were some of the first to enact laws so that “convicted” child predators could not live within 1,000 feet of any school, public playground, or federal building. In Sea Isle, I think it’s nearly impossible to live anywhere where you’re not considered less than 1,000 feet from any of those areas. The beach in Sea Isle is classified as a public playground also. I lived in Sea Isle for 13 years. I spent every summer there in my childhood before moving there when my family left Philadelphia. It’s a small town where everybody know everybody and everything about everybody.
I have been talking about this priest for years and many residents have been trying to oust him without success. He’s been in the bar that I worked at for years, KIX, and I have stopped working and left the bar because of his presence there. I used to called him Father Creepazoid.
A couple of years ago, I thought for sure we’d be able to get rid of Sicoli, and residents had numerous town meetings, but in the end it turned out that Father Creepazoid wasn’t doing anything wrong because he had never been legally convicted of abusing children. I know exactly where he lives and I won’t go anywhere near that house, not for all the gold in Fort Knox.
I know so much about this case and this guy.
I owned a vacation home in Sea Isle for a number of years when my kids were very young,spent so much time at that park. It is has tennis courts, skateboard ramps,basketball courts,swings,slides..a center of activity on the island. Reminds me of how Jerry Sandusky’s home backs up to an elementary school.
There are thousands and thousands of these Catholic pedophile priests that are living on a Catholic pension, are about Jerry Sandusky’s age, and have free access to children. Fr Cudemo is in Florida along with Fr Gana from the trial.
Catholics living in denial might think that because they are older, they aren’t as sexually active, but that isn’t close to being tru. Bishop Lahey of Canada is 71 years old, and was just caught last year importing child porn into Canada, and was found guilty. Catholic lawyers got him off with no jail time, thanks to your contributions.
Here is some insight into why they are still sexual predators well into their 70s. Normal people have a normal sex life, but if they get married or have a normal relationship, they have as much sex as they want, maybe multiple times a day. After 10 or 20 or 40 years, the novelty wears off, and it isn’t such a prevailing force in their lives.
Catholic pedophile priests don’t have that same lifecycle. They can have sex with 2-10 children a year, and can have sex once a week when they can get away with it. Therefore, they still have strong urges and curiosity well into their 70s, and it is still new to them.
They are sick, dangerous predators, and this is the contribution the Catholic congregation has given to society.
Maybe the superiors/bishops should include ‘full body massages’ as a theraputic deterent across the board, I’ve heard they’re the next best thing, with male and female practioners.
I agree with you, Patrick.
Funny thing is I know exactly where Sicoli lives now. I went to St. Martin’s for grade school and since coming forward about my own abuse, I have learned that at least 6 predator priests were assigned to St. Martin’s. Along with my abuser at Father Judge, I know of 4 other predator priests who taught at Father Judge. Sometimes I think, “what a small world.” Then I think, “yeah, it is a small world, with plenty of predator priests to go around.”
A couple of years back, I was talking to a SNAP director from the mid-West who told me to take a video camera with me and knock on Sicoli’s door and ask him if he’s notified the neighborhood and police of his presence in our town and his propensities toward young boys. I never worked up the courage to do that though. I just decided to do what I’ve always done, steer clear if I ever saw him out and about.
This case is just another reason why the SOL must be abolished civilly and “criminally.” These guys must be made known to the public. In Sea Isle, Sicoli lives across the street from a playground that is frequented by thousands of children in the summer months, and even many, many children in the winter months.
It’s time to take out the garbage.
Was at St Martin’s also (1984 – 2005),. The person that observed abuse at Camp Brisson taught there and that was around the time Sicoli was there. Wonder which priest he reported the abuse to. The person left St Martin’s by the time I was there 1984. Happened over a quarter of a century ago and I can remember the conversation even with the stroke and other conditions – guess I thought it was important.
Do you remember a brother named Gerlach? I think that’s how you spell it. I went to St. Martin’s from ’82 to ’89. My Mom taught there also.
Another survivor’s wife did exactly that…brought a video camera and knocked on the perp’s door. Living free and clear in a beautiful location overlooking a lake. KNOWN abuser, could never be charged…and he could do whatever he wanted until the day he died.
The numbers are staggering.
Yeah, my family knew him, the kids loved him – hope he wasn’t a problem.My wife talks about him alot and my mom. Sorry wasn’t much of a church goer after my experiences – was a PIA for both Catholic and Non-Catholic churches in that area so I didn’t know him.
I am related to Brother Gerlach. When my mother was teaching at St. martin’s and we had to wait until she finished school for the day so she could drive us home, Gerlach spent time with my brother and I, but he never abused us. He showed us around the rose garnder in front of the rectory.
Talked my wife into converting and was there for my wife when my broke his growth plate in his arm – instead of years of therapy he was healed within a year – Doc said it was God’s work not mine, so my wife remembers Gerlach well.
I don’t have the balls to knock on the door of a suspected child raping priest. I’m even afraid to stand outside of this scumbag’s house. Vicky asked me to write the flyers to be handed out on Sunday during your protest of Sicoli. I will do that if you get back to me today.
As for taking part in the protest, this will be the only time I will say, “I can’t do that.” This week has been horrible for me. Billy’s testimony just sent me into a spiral effect of my own abusive memories. I wish I could’ve yelled out in the courtroom after Billy said he thought no one would believe him, “I BELIEVE YOU!” His testimony was the worst thing my ears have ever heard and it couldn’t have been more similar to my own story of abuse by clergy and by a neighbor. I wonder, almost every day of my life, why a grown man would want to do such things to a little boy of 7 years, or 10 years-old. Billy’s testimony are the same words I have been trying to mutter to my therapist for over 3 years, but I’m scared to give away those details. I’m horrified by that abuse and what people might think of me if they knew what kind of abuse I went through. It’s just something I’d rather keep for me, but I know at some point I’m going to have to let it all out.
I will contact a friend, the Mayor of Sea Isle, Leonard Desiderio and I’ll let him know about the protest on Sunday. I know he’ll be more than approving of such a gathering. I’ll start writing the flyers tonight, and I’ll be sure to add the perfect photograph Philly.com so gracefully provided in its story about David Sicoli.
Just another bag of garbage that needs to be left in the gutter.
You are strong Rich…more than you know.
Notice that I said a survivor’s wife did it…because her husband couldn’t walk up to his door and do it either…it didn’t mean he didn’t have the “guts,” …more like he needed to take care of himself first.
I haven’t responded to all of your postings, but I want you to know I have been thinking about you and hoping you are taking care of yourself. You have my complete support!
I just finished the flyer that is to be handed out in Sea Isle on Sunday regarding former priest David Sicoli. I wish I had a way to post it on this forum.
I need some more help in distributing the flyers in sea isle city. Let’s put a shining light on this guy. Please contact Kathy kane if you can help me on Sunday April 29. My therapist who lives in Collingswood can be the central place to meet and we can car-pool from there. Please help if you can. We need to be proactive and finally do something! Thank you,
Shoved into the shadows
Children only by name.
Deprived of everything beautiful.
Left alive, but not the same.
Shattered against the waves, a child left lost.
Innocence the cost.
Laughter taken away.
Responsibility not theirs they say.
Do they look in the mirror and see Gods?
To admit fault would be against the odds.
Free to take all they desire.
Casting children into the fire.
Betrayal from those most trusted.
Those too proud to admit they’ve lusted.
Men through which God is supposed to be provided
Ripping children apart, their hearts divided.
What person that sees themselves as human
Would find a right to do that to another?
Superior to flesh, they have no brother.
Preying upon those smaller
And leaving nothing left.
Pretending nothing happened
Another Good Father’s theft.
Waiting to be told, never turning the monsters in themselves.
Downplaying, redirecting the blame.
Post-pubescence and gays, their justification and cause.
And the world skips to the beat of the insane.
Casting judgment to all around
‘Cept for perhaps a mouse.
Respectability shatters on the ground.
When they don’t protect their own house.
Claims of redirection, the problem is solved.
They made changes and turned the page.
But another case comes out, cover-up involved
Voices ignored, crying out with rage.
In their actions they ignore the cries,
But in their words they say they changed.
An institution swimming in lies.
Lets all dance to the beat of the deranged.
Turning their backs to the tears.
Ignoring the victims, the rejected.
Telling some victims to bite their tongues
So monsters can leave the Church respected.
A society that can’t see the difference between consent and rape.
A Church that claims to be the victim twists the truth.
They close the blinds and shut the drapes.
More love for the monsters than for the planet’s youth.
Men living on a planet that’s flat and doesn’t turn.
Masses listening to men that are hollow
Men that don’t know how to learn.
May they get their just due in death and feel the burn.
– Joshua Ray
Hard to watch…but not doubt true.
Son’s of bitches!
How is Megan’s law in Philly? Have a few offenders that seem to live or work with the 500 foot boundry here. Well protected also. Seems the PA and MD are giving less info on their web sites. The only good point is that they are listing outside the state offenders.PA laws are so poor and they are slowly repairing the loopholes. Small towns are not able to muster the money to fight the lawyers protecting these abusers.
*****Attention, Atttention, Attention*****
This Sunday, April 29th, we will be leafletting outside of the home of former Rev. David C. Sicoli at 5909 Apt. B, Central Ave., Sea Isle City, NJ at 2:15pm. As you all know Sicoli lives directly across the street from “Play By the Bay,” a playground that is frequented by thousands of children in the spring, summer, and fall months.
I consider Sea Isle to be my 2nd home, as I lived and worked on the island for 13 years. This leafletting will be very personal to me. I have already drawn up the flyers to be handed out and I am committed to knocking on every door if I have to and expose this creep to neighbors. Sea Isle is considered a resort town, and those who may have known about Sicoli in the past may not be returning for another summer season in Sea Isle. We must warn new “shoobie” renters of the danger that lurks maybe next door, a few doors down, or across the street from where their children are playing.
We have a real opportunity here to make a positive impact and to protect innocent children from abuse. Please join me tomorrow in Sea Isle City to alert the community of this “alleged” child predator.
For those unfamiliar with Sea Isle City, from the Garden State Parkway, exit 17 and stay to the right. Follow Sea Isle City Blvd. When you cross over the Sea Isle Bridge, drive to the first traffic light and make a Right, and continue driving to 59th street. Since it’s still technically the off season, there should be plenty of parking close by. (Also, the speed limit is 25mph. If you have Pennsy plates, I suggest you do no more than 25mph 🙂 )
This is wonderful! So happy it’s happening. What should people understand about raising awareness while remaining law-abiding citizens?
Where to leaflet? What you can officially say about him (he is legally an “innocent” man). Please share any details that will help people raise awareness while at the same time not landing them in court for slander.
Worked for this monster many years ago! What a service you are doing for the people of Sea Isle. Wish I could be there with you. I will be praying for you and hoping you get a good turnout!
Our presence here today is to expose a former priest who has credible allegations of abuse lodged against him.Former Rev. David Sicoli has been named in a criminal suit in Philadelphia, PA as allegedly abusing young boys. David Sicoli is accused of abusing at least 12 boys in his career as a priest and was placed on administrative leave in 2004 and further restrictions were added in Feb. 2005. David Sicoli was laicized in early 2008 and currently resides in Sea Isle City, NJ directly across the street from a playground, also known as “Play By the Bay,” which is frequented by thousands of young people in the summer months, as well as many young people in the off season.
David Sicoli had recently been named as an “alleged” abusive priest in the priest sexual abuse trial currently ongoing in Philadelphia. Residents of Sea Isle City, NJ can accredit Msgr. William J. Lynn, Secretary for Clergy and current defendant in the Philadelphia criminal proceedings, as having placed David Sicoli in Sea Isle City, NJ, for the purpose of hiding an “alleged” child rapist.
There has been no conclusive evidence to prove David Sicoli had abused young teenaged boys, but the Statute of Limitations in Philadelphia has prevented his victims from filing criminal charges and civil lawsuits against this former priest and his enablers. If not for the Statute of Limitation laws in Pennsylvania, there’s no doubt David Sicoli would be facing multiple charges of gross indecency on a child when he was a priest. However, because Sicoli has never been charged with abusing minors (because of the Statute of Limitation laws in Pennsylvania) he can, as he current does, live directly across from “Play By the Bay” on Central Ave. in Sea Isle City.
We beg of you to keep your children away from David Sicoli, and to be leery of his presence around his home and anywhere in the city of Sea Isle City, NJ. More allegations against David Sicoli are expected to be publicized in the days ahead as the criminal trial for Msgr. Lynn continues.
For more information, you can search David Sicoli on http://www.Bishop-Accountability.org
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter, and please protect your children.
That is an excellent write up Rich!I
I just gave the Sea Isle Police Department a head’s up that we will be peacefully demonstrating outside of the home of Rev. David Sicoli on 59th Street in Sea Isle City, NJ. I’ve also contacted CBS3 in the hopes they will cover the event. Please, please, please if anyone is available to participate we’d really appreciate it. Like my mother used to say about Mass, “God gives you an entire week. You can give him 1 hour.” Well I’m asking you all to give us 1 hour of your time.
The demonstration with start at 2:15pm in front of David Sicoli’s home at 5909 Central Ave., Apt B, Sea Isle City, NJ
Great job V4J.
Perhaps some of these “good” Philly priests some of you comment about will join in the protest.
Please do a videotape of the protest, showing how close Fr Sicoli is to the playground. The video can be under 30 seconds long, and can even be done with an Iphone if no one has a camcorder. Let me know, and I can show you how to get awareness from it.
Prayers for much success tomorrow at Sea Isles and Patrick that is a great idea about a videotape!
I lived in Sea Isle for a long time. I know where Sicoli lives and he’s less than 50 feet from the playground, directly across the street.
Rich, I have contacted channel 6 and told them I am a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, they seemed very interested. I am so happy we are doing this, I’m bringing Sharon and a couple of my friends. Kathy suggested we also leaflet the boardwalk, might reach more people although the weather is going to be great, so we see many children in the playground. As rich has pointed out, please come and help us, we need more people to distribute these flyers. Let’s me active and do something about this. When I hear the horror stories of his victims next week, my consolution will be that we may have saved a child by our action tomorrow!
Good on you girls.
The flyer we’ll be handing out in Sea Isle City, NJ tomorrow.
Rich, your flyer is excellent and informative!
Thank you to you and Vicky for organizing the Sea Isle demonstration. You and the others who attend are protecting children.
Please report to us on it once it’s all said and done.
I hope I can wipe the smile in his picture off his face today! Scumbag!
I am with you all in spirit this afternoon. I wish I could be there in person. You are doing God’s work.
V4J – did it ever occur to you and to others who post on this blog that these Scioli ‘comments’, and even this ‘demonstration’ itself might be actionable later???
Joe B. – Actionable in what way? What are they doing wrong?
Actionable by whom? The accused pedophile or the Church?
If it’s the Church, that would be shooting themselves in the foot in regard to PR and also because the people demonstrating today are doing what the Church SHOULD have done years ago for the sake of all children. If it’s Sicoli, what grounds does he have? Can’t limit the freedom of speech. If they were saying untrue things or printing falsehoods, that’s slander. They aren’t doing either. Look at the word choices in the leaflet…they will be on public property, speaking to the public.
If the Church brings action that would be a “war on free speech.” *said in my best Dolan voice*
Joe,read all about Sicoli..then decide which is worse.a protest by a few survivors trying to protect kids or the actions of Sicoli. I doubt you will read this link
.Everything is documented in court records,they aren’t making this stuff up. They want to protect CHILDREN Joe.
What I hope becomes “actionable later”, if the Statute of Limitations Laws are finally amended…are the lawsuits from the victims of these wonderful priests.
Rich and Vicky, I’m sorry I have a family obligation. Keep us posted. I’m so glad you got good weather.
Joe? Go blow! My Mom told me to go do what’s right. She told me to protect kids. Nothing can hurt me anymore. Not you or your freaks in dark clothing.
It was a good day. I was a longtime resident of Sea Isle City, up until a couple of years ago. One victim came forward to me who I knew for more than 15 years. He asked, and I told him I’d be more than happy to go to the District Attorney with him, and I’d even rent a limo. I spoke to a mother whose son was abused by a priest, who just happened to be the boy’s basketball coach, on a trip of all places, to Syracuse University to see a basketball game. (Bernie Fine)
We handed out 250-300 flyers. People were very receptive. We had the full backing of the Sea Isle Police Department. Locals were finally grateful that protestors took to the streets to warn mostly “shoobies” about a man they’ve known about for years, David C. Sicoli. For the first time in such a long time, people listened and they were genuinely sympathetic to my own story and to the stories I shared with them of countless other “unnamed” victims. They told me to “keep up the good work.” They thanked me for protecting their children.
After a hellish week in court, crying over the testimony of Billy and James, and not being able to eat, sleep, or relax, I feel like a big heavy rock has been lifted from my shoulders.
“Accused” Child Predator David C. Sicoli was outed to parents and neighbors, and when the Statute of Limitations on sexual abuse changes, I look forward to seeing him explain his story in a court of law.
We are planning another leafletting for Memorial Day Weekend in Sea Isle City, NJ. I hope more people will be able to join us. 🙂
Rich and Vicky,
I was praying for you all day. Glad it went well. Thanks for protecting kids.
i will come over from Ocen City to help on Memorial Day weekend. I just read about today late last night and could not rearrange my schedule. But it on my calendar for Memorial Day weekend. Let me know the day and the time.
Congratulations, Rich. You are doing God’s work. Joe & others will grasp at any straws to defend their pedophiles no matter what. Ignore them and continue your heroic work, and that goes for everyone that was with you, also.
By the way Joe, I’ve been held down and raped by a priest. He crushed one of my testicles when I thretened to tell my parents about the abuse he was doing to me. His stuck his privates in my mouth and made me choke and almost suffocate. He tore me “inside” with his thick sharp fingernail. He shoved his tongue into my mouth. I have tried to commit suicide. Combined in my life, I have drank more Irish Whiskey than John Jameson distills in a year. I’ve broken hearts and had my heart broken too many times. I’ve cried, I’ve screamed from the top of my lungs, and I’ve torn apart my home during a panic attack.
What else can the Catholic Church do to me that it hasn’t already done?
I can only hope the Church is reading what I write here, because I’m going to get my justice, you can count on it! One thing I’ve got that the Church doesn’t have… the TRUTH! The TRUTH gives me more power! I am powerful. I am loving and I am loved. I am just and I seek justice. I’m not a object to molest. I am a man and some day I will be a free man!
Actually, I can’t believe I just wrote that above. It feels good. I’ve reread it numerous times now. It helps. It makes me feel good because I know deep down inside I am fighting back and I’m trying to do whatever I can to survive.
I’ve been told by my fellow victims/survivors and my therapist to be selfish and take care of myself every once in a while, but I feel like I’m healing myself by doing my damnest to make sure no child ever has to go through the hell that was my childhood. I’m not going to let this thing beat me. I’m going to beat it, or I’ll die trying.
I am worthy. I am important. I have something to offer to this world. I’m not always right, but I always try to do what’s right. I live by my own standards and I won’t compromise anything I believe in for anyone. I won’t sell what is left of my soul for money or power. I will never ignore a child asking and crying for help. I will love today and I’ll let those who want to, love me more. I won’t let the Church keep me down. I won’t let you or anyone come between my journey toward healing and my human right of living my life. Every part of my body is telling me today that I am doing the right thing. I am doing what needs to be done. I am protecting children. This world is mine just as much as it is yours. I will become the man I was always supposed to be. I will be unafraid and open to new possibilities, and tonight… I will sleep soundly.
You certainly conveyed a really powerful message, yesterday, Rich. People listened and were open to you. I’d say you were a really formidable spokesperson for justice for victims and the protection of children. It takes a special person with special skills to pull that off! You and Vicky keep demonstrating your ability to reach people. Thank you!
Rich, You “got me” with that one. More power to you, with God’s grace!
Rich, I am glad it went well and people were receptive and am happy people also listened to your own story and others. For those that follow C4C from all around the country..a “shoobie” is a term used for a person who is making a “day trip” or short stay at the Shore points,as Rich pointed out the locals already knew of Sicoli’s history but people spending a short time in Sea Isle with their kids/families would have no idea. I have spent part of every summer in Sea Isle since I was 5 years old and a few years ago heard that there was a former priest with abuse allegations living on the island. I didn’t know his name or location or even if it was true. Now thanks to the testimony in court and the article in the Inquirer,we know who he is and that he lives across from the playground. I have posted the info on my FB and emailed links to the article to friends who also vacation there. I will drive my teenagers past his house and point it out this summer and cut out his picture and show it to them..time to protect the kids..not the alleged perps. Thank you Rich and Vicky.
What a huge thing it was you did today in Sea Isle, Rich. It was an act that promoted both justice and safety for children. Thank you! I am also glad that it lifted that rock off your shoulders a bit after a brutal week. God Bless You.
Rich, I know it is easier said than done, but don’t let “Joe B.” get to you. It may have been an innocent question and true concern. If it wasn’t meant in that vein, it was meant to stir up anger and frustration. A troll, as the internet world calls them. I wish we had a way to know, but since we don’t we can take it as an innocent question. WE have the POWER when it comes to other’s comments. I have to learn to try and not give the comments of some the power and importance that they do NOT deserve. I have a difficult time with it myself as I have posted on catholicphilly.com and been blasted both ideologically and personally. I went back and tried to defend myself and my position to no avail. It’s not worth it.
On a better note… DAMN good job today! I am so proud of all that went to Sea Isle today and spread the truth. Keep shinning that light. We will get to ALL the dark corners sooner or later! I wish I could have been there.
You’re right Michelle it is hard to figure out a person’s intent often in blogs etc..so I don’t know the intent of Joe’s question. All I can say is that when I attend vigils/ protests I make my own sign,I don’t hand out any literature from other persons/organizations..it it what I comfortable. I am making a flyer I will give to friends only focusing on the facts of Sicoli being named in the 2005 GJ report , the Inquirer article and now laicized and living across from the playground.What others write and hand out is up to them and their right. I just know my comfort level is sticking to Sicoli living near where children play and now that it is in court testimony and published in the Inquirer..that is public domain.
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”
Rich I thought of you when they read this tonite at mass………..you my friend did not run…….you protected the sheep with Vicky and otheres help
As the pastor read this today and gave a beautiful sermon about the Good Shepherd…I was overwhelmed with gratitude. More than 25 years ago I sat in a Catholic church listening to a priest shake his finger at the congregation declaring, “I KNOW MY SHEEP!!!! I KNOW WHAT YOU DO WHEN NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION! I KNOW MY SHEEP!’ I happened to be at mass with my mother that Sat. evening and I remember feeling this sense of unearned guilt, so I asked her, “Mom, should I even go up for Communion, have I done something wrong?” Her words, “He’s off his rocker and doesn’t know what he’s talking about, you do as God leads.” I went to Communion.
Anyway, as I sat in church this morning listening to the Gospel reading…I couldn’t help but think of how that priest completely distorted the Gospel and the teachings of Jesus. How impressionable I was (and I was an adult)…how wonderful my mother was for not teaching me to follow a sinful man, but a Perfect One…how grateful I am my children aren’t exposed to the roulette wheel of Catholic homilists for spiritual nourishment. I thought of all the beautiful people who were willing to lay down their lives for me and my husband. Rich and company leafleting today …wiling to lay down their lives. I also couldn’t help but think of all the hired hands and wolves running the Catholic Church.
Beth, thank you for posting…
Rich, Vicky, and others…thank you for keeping children safe. Rich, reading the hope in your post is healing for you and me! You deserve it.
What a day! I’ve been thinking and praying for you folks in Sea Isle all day.
Rich, you sound so strong in your posts! I hope you’re feeling positive and uplifted by today’s events. Bless all of you who were there today. I am so glad that you were received so well by the people.
My husband says the pastor today was on a rant about how priests are being treated and that we need to pray for them. I’m glad I wasn’t at church today, after these past 5 wks of trial coverage, I don’t know how I would have reacted.
They are starting a new program in the parish. http://www.thekingsmen.org Is anyone familiar with this group? From their website, they originated in Philly in 2004 and have spread across the country. I’d appreciate any info you may have.
The Kings Men– Its all-male “transformative outings” rely on a series of “extreme,” normally in-nature, cooperative, he-man experiences intended to foster male testosterone surges and hyper-bonding. From these, men feel empowered but, in reality, they are disempowered. Individuality and logic are replaced by a skewed and frenzied need to be a part of, follow and rely on the he-man group, creating a ripe climate for manipulation and brainwashing of the conservative Catholic kind. The Kings Men is in response to the fact that too few men are in the pews. The thinking is that maybe the pews are perceived by men as “soft” and “wimpy.” How can the Church produce an attractive, macho, football effect where men will be grunting and groaning to play the “game”? That would be The Kings Men.
FROM THE KING’S MEN HOMEPAGE:
“… Fundamental to the development of authentic manhood is the knowledge that all men are called to lead, protect and provide for women, children and the common good. ..”
So while these guys are out in the woods, learning how to be “Catholic men,” who’s back at home protecting, providing for and leading their helpless, defenseless womenfolk? –Are these ladies supposed to do all their own thinking for an entire weekend?! (lol)
All the Kings horse, and all the KINGS MEN couldn’t put Humpty back together again…
Hadit, Crystal and CG, thanks for your input. That is the impression I got when I read the website. I really had to do a double-take. Knowing the make up of our parish, It baffles me to think who initiated it being one of our ministries. With all the needs that are out there, I can’t imagine this is a top priority. The group meets every Saturday at 7 AM. Too bad the men attending will be too busy getting their macho on and won’t be able to be home with their families
How’s this for some twisted thinking in 2012, from The King’s Men site?
…”servettes”..?–Rush Limbaugh must have helped him write this article.
IMO, Todd Aglialoro needs to admit to himself that he’s deeply attracted to men, and move on already!…. No need to be hate’n on women as he does here.— lol!
As in all cases, the “balanced attitude” will be found in careful study of scripture. Any OTHER way will fail to hit the “mark.”
V4J – did it ever occur to you and to others who post on this blog that these Scioli ‘comments’, and even this ‘demonstration’ itself might be actionable later???
Where or where has “Joe B” gone? Actionable??? Just love that word. Sure is “actionable” down there in front of Judge Sarmina. Joe B, come out, come out, wherever you are?
Was there any media coverage of the handing out of flyers? I did not watched the news this weekend.
Beth Thanks to you, Vicky, Rick and all who are making people aware of the problem and finding solutions
Some testimony concerning Sicoli from today
I just went back and read the whole case of Sicoli from the 2005 report. I think it is hands down the case that ‘wins” for having the most clergy,nuns and lay people report a priest..and nothing done.
I need to clarify…nothing done until 2004..even though he was ordained in 1975 and had problems the first few months into his first assignment
Can someone tell me how far the airport is from City Center?
Less than 10 miles..about a 15-20 minute cab ride .
Thank you, Kathy.
I’ll be attending the trial next week– Tues., Wed. and Thurs.
Here is Ralph’s excellent commentary on the activities in the courtroom, today (Monday, Apr. 30).
Things seem to be piling up on Lynn. Not the case, however, for Brennan.
Extract from Survivor’s Wife: “More than 25 years ago I sat in a Catholic church listening to a priest shake his finger at the congregation declaring, “I KNOW MY SHEEP!!!! I KNOW WHAT YOU DO WHEN NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION! I KNOW MY SHEEP!’” ……………..
Last Sunday our Pastor gave a sermon about the Good Shepherd. He began the Mass by saying that this was ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’ and then he pointed to himself and his liturgical garment and said that he was the ‘Good Shepherd.’ During the Gospel Reading, he read the verses from John 10:11-18. In his sermon on the ‘Good Shepherd’, he spoke mostly about himself. He said that the word ‘Pastor’ meant ‘Good Shepherd’ and that he had shepherded, fed, gathered, led, protected, and corrected his flock. He said that sin scattered the sheep … that Satan divided God’s people… that the Devil was a divisive force while Yahweh was a gathering force… that God wanted to overcome sin by gathering his flock together. He said that sin was present in persons who chose to stand alone and that God was present in people who remained together. He misled the congregation, misinterpreted the scriptures and encouraged cowardly mob-mentality against those who courageously speak-up for justice and truth.
In conclusion, he said that he was the Shepherd and that we were the sheep. He said that if we wanted to be good sheep, we would need to 1) Listen, 2) Follow, 3) Gather, 4) Be Fed, 5) Rejoice. I thought we had moved beyond the days of ‘Pray, Pay, Obey’. I was so upset that I had to restrain myself from “bleating” in response. He ended his sermon with ‘Listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd. I am your Shepherd.’ By this time, he had completely blurred the boundaries between God and Himself and had presented himself as persona Christi … as standing in place of God Himself. His arrogance, sinfulness, inflated ego, hypocrisy and persona Satan are in stark contrast to the humility of Christ and His True Church.
JB, that’s disgusting. Your pastor sounds like an complete idiot. May we know his name or the parish?
Crstal,when I read JB’s comment I could think of two priests off the top of my head that would deliver that sermon and am glad JB could blow off some steam here. However JB please do Not name the priest and parish,it only leads to parishioners thinking their priest is being attacked,creates an atmosphere on C4C we are not looking for and distracts away from our purpose.I am sure many of us can relate to JB’s experience.
I certainly understand Kathy. —
It is a shame this delusional “good shepherd” cannot be publicly called out ….It’d be great to explain to him that he’s not in a god-given position of authority over us –that he’s just a servant. In the real world, we are held accountable for the things we say in public – but not so in the church.
I think it was especially irresponsible, to the point of being inappropriate, to say these things to an audience where children are present. Children in our culture are encouraged to stand alone and think critically and independently, and quite frankly, to be wary of adults who want to dominate them.
There comes a point where some of the messages of the rcc are not things you want for your kids to hear… you wish these buffoons would just sit down and shut up.
Wow. Your analysis of that homily is extremely insightful. Thank you.
When I ponder the events over the last year in the Philly AD and in the Church as a whole, and I “listen” to all of the priestly silence, I hope that individual priests have been humbled by it all, that in the recesses of their own minds they are regretful, and that sorrow will ignite in them a new vision of “shepherd” and Church. I’m hoping for individual, private transformations in clerics, bits of which surface, now, in our encounters with them, but appear in full glory when the landscape is “safe,” and when the conditions “permit” a unified voice.
Between your analysis of that homily and Rev. Wintermyer’s long ago comment that clericalism remains an attractive culture for far too many of his brothers, I am brought to my senses. I hate myself when I manufacture a hope that defies reality.
hadit,a priest shared with me that he fears that clericalism will only increase because with so few vocations..the few seminarians that do exist are exalted to even higher levels than before.
I mean the few seminarians are held in an even higher regard by laity..because clericalism is a two way street.
Pretty much sums up what I heard 25 years ago. And here I thought it was just that one misguided priest. Seems they are still training them in the same distorted fashion.
Their self-absorption is blinding them to the Truth. They truly are an embarrassment to themselves.
Just clarifying, this homily occurred in Philadelphia?
Extract from Kathy: “However JB please do Not name the priest and parish,it only leads to parishioners thinking their priest is being attacked,creates an atmosphere on C4C we are not looking for and distracts away from our purpose.I am sure many of us can relate to JB’s experience.”
I am respecting Kathy’s wishes and will not name the priest or the parish. However, I wish to support the C4C purpose by saying that such-like homilies are being given in other countries as well. The pastor, in question, belongs to a parish in Calgary, Canada. He maintains good relationships with his superiors, so complaints have not been looked into. This is my take on the abuse of power in the RCC. Clerical culture dictates ‘the obeying of superiors’ and this often results in the bullying of subordinates. Bullying behaviors are often a sign of chronic low self-worth which could have been brought upon by years of indoctrination. The young, impressionable seminarians are groomed into believing that they are attaining godliness and the virtues of obedience and humility through the giving up of their bodies, minds, and spirits into the control of their superiors. This is fertile ground for the abuse of power, which is at the root of the present sexual-abuse crisis. After the lengthy formation aka mind-control or brain-washing, I question whether these seminarians are psychologically-competent to make that final decision towards ordination. They have given up so much and have waited so long, sometimes doing ‘extra time and penance’ because they have dared to disagree with those in authority. On the other hand, if they choose to leave the seminary, they are considered as having lost their God-Given Vocation and, in some cultures, the family is dishonored by this. So, it is a no-win situation, either way. I have withdrawn my financial support of seminaries and catholic charities till they provide us with transparency and accountability. I will not pay for canon-lawyers, insurance companies, or lobbyists.
To JB: Excellent analysis of the priest’s homily. My below-mentioned article seems to fit well with what you have written.
City of the gods
The Pope’s rule extends globally, through a sophisticated and organized network, from the Vatican to local-parishes around the world. The Parish-Priests (Diocesan and Religious-Orders) oversee the work of Parish-Ministries. All are groomed within the centuries-old culture of clericalism, initiated at the seminaries, monasteries and nunneries. This culture is passed down to the Leaders of the laity, who feel privileged in emulating clericalism. They are accepted into the church-hierarchy and offered the perks of job-referrals, social recognition, invitations etc.
Presently the Governance of the Parish-Ministries are being transferred to the laity, with police-checks being required for certain sensitive positions. I am hoping that after this transfer of power from clergy to laity, there is more transparency, responsibility and accountability. The laity is being trained in the same authoritarian manner, high-handed and arrogant, without any mediation strategies in place to ensure fairness and social justice to victims. Without the necessary checks and balances against the abuse of power, this arrangement could turn out to be no different. Is this simply an internal transfer of the main players, while the autocratic, patriarchal policies remain the same? How often have transfers been cooling-off periods to protect offenders or to avoid responsibility? If the laity are to be taught the virtues of servant-leadership, the clergy have to change their top-down position. If the laity are not given the proper formation, how will they succeed? Will the laity be held responsible in the position of the ‘middle-man’. Will they be ‘thrown under the bus’ if they speak-up against injustice. Many Council-Members have chosen to remain silent instead of speaking up on behalf of victims, so will we have a situation of a divided Laity? A generation later, will we be asking the clergy to return to the governance of lay-ministries if this present arrangement fails? Will the new generation know anything about the present-day clergy sex abuse of nuns and children, just as many know nothing about Vatican 11. Will Vatican-conservatism reintroduce the ‘spiritual-aids’ that have helped clericalism in the past? Are they not already doing this with the new (old) missal, the Latin-Mass, the bells and smells?
The endemic and systemic abuse may be perpetuated by the laity, who may become another breed of gods, perhaps worse, because of their wealth of ‘time, talent and treasure.’ Will the Holy City be over-run by gods, as in the Greco-Roman Era. Some call Catholicism a religion of idolatry and polytheism. I have no objection to the ‘Communion of Saints’ who are a bridge between heaven and earth. I do, however, object to a legion of human gods… with gods reporting to gods within the different levels of the hierarchy …. an ‘I and Thou’ relationship between the upper-echelons and the general members of the parish… having them pray, pay, and obey … This occurs in cults, gangs, mobs, the mafia while religions supposedly have voluntary membership. Organized propaganda is hurled by those in authority against dissenters and whistle-blowers and the mob-mentality then takes over and does the rest of the work. We are appalled at the literal stone-throwing that goes on in certain countries but what about the psychological stone-throwing that is done through character-assassination, detraction and calumny that the hierarchy inflict upon their victims.
We cannot allow the on-going sexual abuse of our youth and if we have to take down one offender at a time, so be it. In addition, we need to eradicate the problem at a grass-root level, which is during the Formation-Years, when the ‘spirit and will’ is broken under the guise of religion. Perhaps akin to the breaking-in of a beautiful, wild horse. The majestic grandeur of the horse’s spirit changes into a docile, fearful and submissive one.
Religious abuse is the fore-runner of all types of abuse, including sexual abuse. When religious leaders are given the power, by the hierarchy, to discern the spiritual well-being of another, then it is no wonder that abuse will creep into the system. When a Superior is allowed to discern if the other has a ‘vocation’, then we have the potential of a serious abuse of power. Power corrupts … absolute power corrupts absolutely. Some Superiors unabashedly say that they stand in place of God Himself. Amidst so many gods, how do we find a personal relationship with the true God. I believe clericalism is polytheism at its worst.
Wow- Speaking Up! An absolute GEM of an article! 🙂