Announcement on Priests Removed From Ministry May Come Today

Click here to read: “Announcement may be at hand on accused priests,” by John P. Martin and David O’Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 2, 2012


Archbishop Charles J. Chaput plans to meet Wednesday with hundreds of Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests, stirring hopes that he may announce the fates of nearly two dozen clergy suspended last year over child sex-abuse or misconduct allegations.

The e-mail invitation sent to priests Monday did not disclose the purpose of the afternoon gathering at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Delaware County. Archdiocesan officials did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

65 thoughts on “Announcement on Priests Removed From Ministry May Come Today

  1. Could today be the day that my prayers for our Church are answered? Could Chaput be telling the priests that he is going to tell Lynn to stand up in court and say “I AM GUILTY of endangering children”. Thus putting a end to this trial which is so painful for victims and our church. Stop making excuses, stop twisting words on memos, stop accusing the victims and their families. Be what you are….GUILTY

    1. no, Bernadette…that will never happen.

      They believe they are innocent. They believe they were acting in the best interests of THE CHURCH.

      I will not trust whatever decisions are made today about suspended priests. The process for determining “safe people” in the rcc is absolutely flawed, as evidenced by decades of abuse and lies. The current trial clearly shows they will not protect children, even when faced with facts. You can point out the obvious to them…and they still haven’t learned the lessons. This isn’t decades ago…it’s happening right now.

      So they can come out with whatever assignments/placements/restrictions they want about the suspended priests. I will not be trusting their decision making skills…from the review board process to Lynn in court…safety of children is not their priority!

  2. Is the meeting open to the public? I could do the criminal trial in the morning and the priests’ meeting in the afternoon.

    1. CBS Philly report this am.

      “Archbishop Chaput has called all Archdiocesan priests to a 2 p.m. meeting Wednesday at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pa.

      The invitation to priests was sent by email Monday, although the purpose of the meeting was not included in the email.

      The meeting comes days before Archbishop Chaput’s self-imposed deadline to restore some or all of the suspended priest to clerical duty.

      The priests were suspended by Cardinal Justin Rigali after the 2011 Grand Jury report.

      A letter was sent home to catholic school parents in the Archdiocese around Easter alerting them that a decision was forthcoming.

      Sources say counselors will be sent to the Philadelphia area on Friday to work with any potential victims.”

      Why send counselors?

      1. ABC has just posted the news that the AB will hold a press conference on Friday..could account for the ‘counselors’ to be made available on Friday.

  3. Is O’Hara closed today at 2pm -? Or is it closing early just for this big meeting –Just wondering… what with so many priests milling around —some perhaps credibly accused of pedophilia … I don’t think a school is the right place to hold this particular meeting.–But O’Hara’s parents and teachers mustn’t mind– (baaahh.)—Is it ever possible to discuss this topic without bringing up sheep?- lol

    It’d sure be interesting to listen in today.
    Why not just send another email with the fates of the priests —-just a PR move -? I believe I recall a similar meeting held last year at St. Timothy’s.–A sort of pep rally for the AD priests. Many priests were seen beaming afterward, energized and renewed.

    The Inquirer article above is quite sympathetic to poor Fr. McCormick who doesn’t know anything about anything.

    1. I just got back from being in that area and saw a lot of O’Hara students so they must have dismissed early. I don’t blame the parents or teachers of O’Hara for this meeting being held at their school,it’s not like parents or teachers have must choice in these things.

      1. Why settle for not having a choice?–The balance of power is all screwed up –and contributes to why their kids were victimized over the years. (– and I say that as a product of an AD high sch.)

        Chaput could easily choose another venue for his “What to do with our pedophile priests” meeting –rather than holding it at a local school during school hours.

      2. Believe me I agree. From what I understand the meeting was not even known to the priests until Monday..who knows when the O’Hara community found out..they could have chosen any AD high school…my point is that the O’Hara parents had no I am not going to they must not have minded. I think it is going down a dangerous road to assume all people feel the same way. Catholic Accountability Project and justice4pakids were both founded by parishioners from parishes that had priests removed. Not everyone is welcoming back suspended priests with open arms..we can’t categorize all as having the same opinions..some people feel strong enough that they founded organizations in response to having priests suspended.

    2. I think it’s odd to have the meeting at O’Hara. Why not have it at the Seminary? I would think there must be enough room to accommodate the meeting there. Why disrupt the school day? If the purpose of the meeting is to address the status of the suspended priests, why hold this in a school? Heck, that’s just downright poor taste!

      1. Mimzy I thought the same thing..have it at the seminary..why choose any AD high school for the meeting.

      2. I agree, Kathy. Why have it at any of the schools? Who knows what the thought process was when they decided to use a school facility for this meeting. Remember when they had the Big Meeting back in Jan about school closings? They held that mtg at Neumann Univ. Perhaps they wanted to put distance between this meeting and the trial going on in Philly? If that’s the case, there are still plenty of other options other than a high school for this mtg.
        They just don’t get it.

      3. Again, it’s an example of a lack of sensitivity when it comes to this whole issue. To have a meeting regarding priests accused of possible child abuse at a school rather than another perfectly feasible location is more proof of their disregard for the people in the RCC Church and schools.

      4. Exactly Beth! Such insensitivity and absolute poor taste for holding the meeting at the high school!

        Don’t these kids and parents have enough to cope with? Do they really need to have the thought of the priests meeting in their school to discuss this topic! NO! Geez, it never ends.

  4. Look out……..the archdiocesan-paid counselors are available again ! Be on the lookout for the forms they ask you to read and SIGN. Remember since the counselors are being paid by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and despite their announced intentions to assist the victim and their families, their ultimate responsibility, loyalty, commitment and allegiance is to their employer, Bishop Charles Chaput.

    1. skiadvocat – You’re right.

      When someone says, “Hello, I work for the RCC, and I’m here to help you.” RUN!!!!

  5. When these decisions are announced the thing we don’t want to happen on C4C is for people to “bash” the parish or schools that are affected. I have heard that many people at the affected parishes are extremely upset -not all people in a parish feel the same way. I was in a meeting last year with a woman who had a priest removed from her parish and another parishioner paid for a newspaper ad in support of the priest and something about the language in the ad made it sound like everyone at the parish supported this priest. This woman was very upset “he doesn’t speak for me” is what she said about the man who took out the ad. This is not about the people in the parishes /schools,this is about decisions that the AD is making.
    The meeting locations last year were determined by the AD…several meetings held at various locations throughout the AD. The people in the parishes had no say about this.I have friends and acquaintances at many parishes and schools throughout the AD including O’Hara.


    The regular First Friday “Prayer, Picketing and Protest” outside the archdiocesan office building at 222 N. 17th St., from 12 noon til 1 p.m. will take place on Friday, May 4. Bring your signs supporting victim/survivors, financial accountability and transparency, passage of more adequate legislation against childhood sexual abuse, support of sisters, justice in Judge Sarmina’s courtroom, etc., etc. Make your own signs if you like.

    See you outside the AOP on Friday before noon and possibly in Judge Sarmina’s courtroom on Thursday.

    I encourage anyone who is able to experience what happens in that third floor courtroom.

    Remember, spectators are not allowed to bring cell phones into the courtroom, period.

    Sister Maureen

  7. Why aren’t the Philly AD priests using the opportunity for the Chaput-called meeting to decline the invitation, not show up and, instead, to sit in the sanctuaries of their churches to pray for the victims, contemplate the future of the Church, and reflect on the 5 1/2 weeks of incriminating testimony?

    Chaput calls? Better scurry on over there…

    That’s NOT the only choice!

    1. To tell the truth alot of parish priests have not been informed of much of what has been going on. They want information as much as we do,

  8. Look out. They’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic again. Lead story at the archdiocesan website, concerns the restoration of the Basilica:

    The Preservation Alliance of the Greater Philadelphia Area has selected the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, to receive one of its 2012 Preservation Achievement Grand Jury awards.

    1. ski – I must admit, I was surprised to see that the Trial was addressed at all on that site! I don’t go there often, but this is the first I’ve seen it mentioned.
      I don’t subscribe to the Cath Standard… has the trial been covered there? I do receive the Star Herald – Camden Diocese. There was one very short article, barely a blurb, where there was mention of the trial at the start.

  9. I wish there was a Samuri code in the priesthood. Where honor and integrity meant something. They think there is have a priest shortage now….

  10. It’s time for another Friday afternoon press conference from the AD. Just heard a report on 6ABC news that the meeting held today was to gave a heads up to the priests regarding what would be released at the conference on Friday. No other details were released from today’s meeting.

  11. Susan was interviewed by CBS,NBC and Fox local affiliates and CBS National news today…tune in

    1. I’m disappointed that I missed Susan’s interviews, but thanks to everyone who posted links. Maybe I’ll catch the news repeat tonight or in the morning.
      I first saw Susan interviewed on Good Day Philly, Fox29 – must have been at least a year ago or more. That’s how I found this blog, too. I was impressed with her then and have continued to be even more impressed as the time has gone by.

      1. Watched the links. Susan, great as always! (and you looked marvelous!)
        Thank you for speaking with the reporters and sharing the thoughts of many of us, with them.

  12. The only thing I’ve heard so far on the five o’clock news is that the AOP will hold a press conference on Friday.

  13. Michelle..tonight’s newscasts..I just watched her interview on local NBC. I am assuming her CBS National interview will be on the 6:30 broadcast

    1. Good work, Susan! I like the way you made the distinction between having faith in one’s faith, and not having faith in the institution purportedly representing one’s faith.

    1. Kathy neither Susan link will come up on my I pad….could you give me sense of her remarks? Thanks, joan

      1. Joan,

        Basically, Susan says in the two pieces I watched that it’s been a long and grueling wait while the AD decided the fates of priests, it’s been a huge strain on parishioners, the news over the last year regarding the AD’s history with pedophiles and its role as enablers is “infuriating” and has impacted a lot of folks’ trust in the institutional church.

    2. Thanks for that Kathy.
      It was great to see a face in real time. Did anyone notice the grimace of a smile for the camera’s, quicky removed when thinking he was out of range. It just goes to show the grooming that appearances are everything.
      Vanity, woman is thy name so I thought, these guys take a lot of beating.

    1. Thank you Judy for posting this link. It doesn’t make one too hopeful for any transparency and cooperation from the Philly AD

  14. Presumably, the 90 minute priest meeting called by Chaput entailed how the AD expects priests to manage the impending announcement on Friday concerning the status of accused priests– how to manage it among themselves, in their parishes, and with individual parishioners. Considering its history, we have reason to be leery of how the AD manages these things. I’m wondering if priests are ready to fall into the AD management plan, blindly and obediently following it, or whether some or many priests are a wits end with the AD, have pent up feelings, and different ideas for dealing with the fallout.

  15. hadit, sounds like much of that could have been done by email. i’d guess Chaput gathered them in that school today to scare them into blindly obeying him.

    The Archbishop’s rather sudden move to dismiss the kids early to hold this meeting at 2pm in a high school auditorium, is beyond bizarre…and everyone follows along and does as told…no explanations given… It’s as if he did it just to show that he could. It’s all so antagonistic and disrespectful of the laity they supposedly serve.

    1. Email can be leaked…they won’t put anything that serious in writing.

      Control, control, control. Closed doors, 90 minute de-briefing on how to handle the response that’s going to come when they lower the boom on who is returning and who isn’t.

      Mark my words…they will not answer the important questions…”Why aren’t they returning and WHERE are they now?!”

    2. Crystal,

      When priests are called to congregate in person it’s for the purpose of getting the fraternal blood flowing and the brotherhood groupthink ignited around a particular purpose. In the case of the meeting, today, the purpose, exactly, remains a little unclear, but the media reports that priests emerged “tight lipped,” and the fact that 300 attended, and the fact that not a single priest has stepped out of line in the past year, and the fact that they are gagged, and the fact that silence reigns, pretty much points to a meeting, today, where priests were told something is coming down and this is how you’re going to deal with it. We have no reason to believe that priests will do anything other than what they are told.

      I wonder what the Irish priests would do were they in the shoes of Philly AD priests in the days to come?

      1. Gee, wouldn’t it be a hoot if some resourceful members of O’Hara’s Audio/Visual Club left the equipment running in that auditorium today??? To be a fly on that wall!

        It will be interesting on Friday to see what is shoveled out at the press conference. It will be interesting to see if Givey and the other unnamed priest, will be included with the priests already on The List. In the event that there are credible accusations against any of these priests, and if they are laicized or removed from active ministry… will the information be turned over to the DA?

      2. mimzy,my understanding is that law enforcement in each county of any supposed crimes is given the allegations in this investigation. Before people hammer me…I said for this investigation…I know that has not been done in the past. Then law enforcement in each area determines if anything is able to be prosecuted…however I think I remember Seth Williams already saying that many had not fallen within the statutes. I think one of his comments had to do with the Church leaving people in ministry because statutes had tolled..and not considering that these people still posed a threat. Also some involve those infamous “boundary issues” which while troubling may not constitute an actual crime but more like a grooming pre crime.

  16. Anyone else find it ironic that on the day of Msgr. Picard’s testimony, the AD says jump and all the priests respond with “how high?”

    Msgr. Picard…better to be on the witness stand than at the defense table! Look what following orders got Msgr. Lynn…standing trial for conspiracy and endangering the welfare of children.

    1. Msgr Picard gets reprimanded for not wanting a problem priest while priests such as Fr Gana leave their psych treatment centers,take off to with teens,abuse kids and on and on while being treated with kid gloves by the AD. Or maybe that was the story of Fr Cudemo…I can’t even keep track at this point.

      1. I was at Msgr Picard’s mass this past weekend……….it was about the good shepard………….he noted in his homily when the priests……..heirarchy no longer prays…….they are no longer close to Jesus………then scandal comes………to paraphrase……..

    2. Obedience!

      I can just “hear” in Cipriano’s writing an escalating mental nausea as the days wear on. He’s injecting a little sarcasm and discreet humor into his work to take the edge off.

  17. He said the same thing aboutthe laity…………stop praying………….basically then things fall apart.

  18. Archbishop Chaput made a point to visit this parish a few months ago just for mass.

  19. I just love Ralph’s reporting style.
    Msgr. Picard certainly spilled some interesting stuff there! I’ve got to admire his defiance–They all should have been so difficult!!!
    He probably could have just let Fr Mills move in, grand piano, boyfriend and all…let the truth hang out, and let the 6000-family parish find out the truth about this man first hand…it wouldn’t have taken very long before he’d have been sent elsewhere.
    I’m surprised Picard was made a Mnsgr after being so disobedient. I wonder what they did to him on his time-out retreat… What a weird, secretive. corrupt institution.

  20. Just typical Catholic macheavillean stuff from the church. It doesnt give me much faith that things will change at all. If there was truly a zero tolerance policy it wouldnt have taken years to make the decisions. It would have been a priority to root out all the monsters and rapists.
    Chaput still wnts to be in control, make a spectacle of all decisions and of course tell his priests first.

  21. I am sure many of these pries ts knew, heard about or suspected these twisted things were going on. Shame on all priests for not standing up to the torture of kids. One child being forced to perform sex acts on middle age men is TOO MANY. Shame on Chaput for keeping the same dysfunction going. They dont care about the kids and they never did. The church and its priests need to be in penance and prayer and reformation, not having some grand

    lmeeting and expecting church members to be enthralled and wait for justice. Shame on Chaput . Thank you Kathy and Susan for helping to transform our church.

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