Friday’s Announcement: Which Priests Are Out?

Today, Archbishop Chaput held a meeting of Archdiocesan priests at Cardinal O’Hara High School. Many presume he shared the outcome of at least some of the investigations regarding the priest removals that occurred in the wake of the 2011 Grand Jury Report. I don’t think we’ll hear much more than speculation until Friday’s public announcement (0n an also undisclosed topic).

According to sources, he asked the priests to keep silent on today’s information. Because of their vow of obedience, they will most likely comply. If only Archbishop Chaput would direct them to police each other more thoroughly, to offer ministry and compassion to victims and to support the removal of the statute of limitations on child sex abuse in PA. Then, we might get somewhere. But priests are well-practiced at silence and the faithful are quite used to it.

Here are the possible outcomes for those who will not be returned to ministry.

– (not-so supervised) lives of prayer and penance

– laicization

With the latter, the District Attorney might have the opportunity to step in – if the statute of limitations has not run out on newly acquired evidence. That is a big “if.” Otherwise, those laicized priests are free to move right next door to you or me. That’s why this is a public safety issue and not just a Catholic issue.

Priests returned to ministry will be announced in the clerical assignments published by the Diocese each late Spring. It is my understanding the allegations lodged against the cleared priests will not be disclosed to the public.

Thank you for watching my interviews and for your kind comments. I’m going to save my betting for the Kentucky Derby. I’ll keep everyone posted on any information that comes my way.

64 thoughts on “Friday’s Announcement: Which Priests Are Out?

  1. Great job as usual, Susan! I am so happy that this website is here and I can’t thank you enough for all that you do. BTW – you looked great on camera!

    I eagerly await the lack of information that will be disseminated to us lowly parishioners on Friday.

    1. Whatever the archbishop has to say on Friday I don’t expect there will be much outrage. Remember, this is the AOP and Catholics drank the Cool-Aide and bought into the promises made by the AOP and went along with the trashing of the 2005 Grand Jury Report.

      People even thought the the “Witness to the Sorrow” media event held by Cardinal Rigali at the seminary was more than that. It wasn’t.

      Maybe Archbishop Chaput will have another “Witness to the Sorrow” PR event.

      If Catholics in this five county archdiocese don’t ask questions and demand answers….

      Read my NCR article of April 21, 2011, Philadelphia: Where is the Outrage? at

      Hope to see some of you tomorrow, First Friday, out in front of 222.

      Sister Maureen

      1. Thank you Sr. Maureen. Do you have a regular blog I can subscribe to? Your writings are dead on. Thank you for all that you do. I hope to join you next month at First Friday. Much Love

  2. I don’t know how much longer I can tolerate our diocesan leaders operating as though our country’s laws do not apply to them! Thanks Susan for keeping us informed.

    1. John, I’m praying for civil authorities to have the cohonies to grab these creeps by their Roman collars, and say “UP AGAINST THE WALL!

      The time for giving clerics a pass is over. This is the 21st century,

      1. I agree with you John, the conservative, republican, catholic bishops like Chaput really do think that our country’s laws do not apply to them. Canon Laws are only an excuse to protect the hierarchy and condemn the laity. I hope that the Catholics in Philadelphia who realize how these priest and the bishops have acted like criminals will continue to put pressure on the Church to open up and tell the people in the pews the truth about their actions in regard to the sexual scandal and the finances of the church.

  3. I feel like here we go again. Just like the school closings. Why not have meetings at the different parishes affected instead of all this PR. Just announce at each parish and then announce it at the press conference at a later date.

    1. I agree with Susan’s comments on the newscasts. At this point, my expectations are so low regarding this AD administration. I would be shocked to actually see them do something right.

  4. Isn’t it interesting… Chaput’s delay… do you think he is being soooo melodramatic.. or are they doing damage control…?

    I have heard sooooooooooo many horrific stories from victims who have been sexually abused by clergy…that sometimes I feel like I am living in a “science fiction movie”

    But we can handle it…let the full truth be exposed…Our kids, grandkids,and great grandkids are at stake..!!!

  5. Susan,
    I have been following this for awhile. Thank you for keeping us so well informed on this shameful pattern of geographically “handling things”.

  6. Thank you for continuing to be an advocate in this never-ending saga! What you are doing is truly God’s work! I am related to one of the priests most recently put on leave this year and that’s how I found this amazing website after googling his name to find out more about the allegations against him. Any priest who breaks his vow of celibacy should be investigated… And any priest who abuses a child should be removed permanently and prosecuted, just like any other pedophile caught in the act! God bless you Susan for keeping us well informed and for Helping to protect God’s children!

  7. One priest said, “the meeting yesterday apparently had no real value, and many priests left knowing little more than they already did”.

  8. If one has no expectations as it relates to the Philadelphia AD and the Catholic Church then one can never be disappointed…..What a way to live ones life…

  9. Dear Susan.. you wrote:

    ” If only Archbishop Chaput would direct them to police each other more thoroughly, to offer ministry and compassion to victims and to support the removal of the statute of limitations on child sex abuse in PA.”

    ***Maybe the Archbishop did do that in the “closed door meeting”… but you are so critical that you assume he didn’t. You have no proof either way….Also “the Church” has offered many services like counselling, help with bills, food, housing, etc… you never acknowledge that… you only push for the statute of limitations to be removed so people can sue… because getting money from “the Church” is always equal to reconciliation and healing and justice!

    “Then, we might get somewhere.”

    ***And where do you want to go? Clearly this is more about your agenda than about true justice or even what the victims want!

    “But priests are well-practiced at silence and the faithful are quite used to it.”

    ***This is just a slam at priests that is unwarranted and mean spirited.

    I’m sure there will be lots of bigoted and uninformed responses, riddled with anger and hatred for the Church and using this current crisis to vent your anger about “other Church teachings” that have nothing to do with this abuse crisis/cover-up. So… I won’t be returning to read what you write because this is always a one-sided dialogue platform, that really doesn’t care about people’s opinions unless you share that opinion.

    So… talk amongst yourselves

    Deacon Joe

    1. Deacon Joe,you reference that statute of limitations means more people can sue when in reality it means more children are protected by exposing organizations and institutions that have harbored offenders.When offendors are publicly named in civil suits,society then knows there identity. Criminal statutes can not be retroactive so often a civil suit can be the only recourse. Yes,the Church has paid for counseling..,it has been referenced as “christian charity” So the many children who were put in the path of known predators are receiving an act of “christian charity” by having counseling paid…actually it is the least it can do for these victims . As for the other Church teachings you reference,nothing else about the Church has kept me up at night or concerned me so greatly as children being raped..nothing. At this point the Church seems to be the “cafeteria catholic’ that so many laity are categorized.

    2. Deacon Joe,

      First, I love the Church and I value every thought shared on this forum. I have no hatred for our Church or priests. But I am absolutely disgusted with how child sex abuse has been handled. Why would a request from the Archbishop for priests to step forward and minister in regard to this issue be so delayed or kept secret? And had that request happened earlier, would we not see massive acknowledgment across the diocese? No, instead they had a standing ovation for Lynn at a dinner held by our Archbishop.

      Many parish priests still don’t believe this is a problem. Of course, there are exceptions. Thank you Father Oswald at St. David Parish in Willow Grove and to the others who have addressed this from the pulpit.

      I beg silent or disbelieving priests to sit in court with me at Msgr. Lynn’s trial and to review the facts. And just to better inform you, people are fighting for the criminal statute of limitations to be removed as well. As for the civil awards, (of which there have been very few in PA) sometimes losing money is the ONLY way to get institutions to change the way they handle things. That is the way our justice system works across the board – not just in regard to sex abuse.

      If abusive priests were removed when leadership first knew of their issues, there would be a lot less victims and and therefore less “charitable” need. That’s the LEAST we can do. Far more money has been spent on legal strategy. That’s our donation money at work.

      I want priests to research this and to speak on this subject with the same passion they address all other important issues. It should have happened long ago but it’s never too late.

      Where do I want to go? To a healthier, stronger, more Godly Catholic Church. Do you object?


      1. I wanted to second Susan’s thoughts!

        ESPECIALLY the desire for …”a healthier, stronger, more Godly Catholic Church “!!!!!!!!!!!”””

    3. Deacon Joe,

      In another post I stated, “Pew Sheep will continue seeking moral and ethical advice from such priests regardless of how asinine the response is.”

      Your remarks as a deacon (if in fact you are a deacon) are just another example of the valueless moral and ethical advice that many clerics dispense.

      PS “So… talk amongst yourselves” WHAT!

      With 399,303 hits, that’s hardly the case. I’m certain the AD leadership, its lawyers, and PR people are monitoring this site 24/7.

      Hi Archbishop Chaput!

      1. Deacon Joe,

        You said, “I won’t be returning to read what you write because this is always a one-sided dialogue platform…”

        If the above statement is true, why do I have a feeling that the thumbs down I received came from you?

        Keep logging in Joe.

    4. Joe,

      I asked you to keep logging, but please don’t vote more than once, thanks!

    5. Deacon Joe,

      Please look through what you see as mean-spirited, and seek the content of the message. I speak only for myself here. When I say something that one may perceive as critical or harsh, what lies behind my words? Anger, disgust? Yes, and what lies behind the anger and disgust? Fear, sadness, insecurity, uncertainty. I was raised Catholic and taught that this is the one true church. I respectfully question that, but then what if it is and I leave?! What is to become of my soul? Okay, so then what if I stay, is my baby daughter safe in our church? This is no joke and no political maneuver. While the victims fight for some semblance of peace in their lives, I advocate for them and pray for them. I also am left trying to make choices that will affect my eternal soul, and my daughter’s!! We will absolutely continue to talk amongst ourselves, and I am so pleased that this community exists. Please seek to understand the struggles we all face – it is not about bashing, it is about safety, truth, justice, and life everlasting. God bless us all.

      1. So well put, MaureenJE. I agree completely. Your words are eloquent and thoughtful. There should be no problem with questioning authority, EXCEPT for when they have something to hide. Then they seem to close the doors, back each other up and look down on us as if they know better then us lowly laity. I hate that I sound so angry. I hate that I get so angry. But when you are backed against a wall and told to stop rocking the boat, anger seems a reasonable reaction. I sincerely hope for change in our Church.

    6. Deacon Joe, it’s a shame you won’t return to continue the dialogue, but I will join in with the others and offer you a reply.

      True, we don’t know what was said in the “closed door meeting.” Like so many other situations in the church, this was kept a secret from the people.

      Yes, the church has offered counseling, food, but push had to come to shove for that to be offered. They also knowingly covered up and protected men who raped children FOR YEARS.

      Many of us feel the statue of limitations for crimes of sexual abuse of children does need to be lifted. NOT so people can sue, but so that abusers can be brought up on charges, and if in fact they are guilty, be sentenced and removed from the possibility of raping and destroying the lives of more children.

      Obviously you don’t follow this blog often. If you were a regular, you would see that overall there is very little bashing of the Church and very little push for “other agendas.” On the contrary, there is a love of our church and a deep saddening of how it has been abused by the hierarchy. There is disgust at how clergy has raped young, innocent children and it has been allowed to continue. The prime agenda, as I have seen it, is for the protection of children.

    7. Deacon Joe,
      I love my church and am heartbroken over what has happened. As a matter of fact I was just at a AD faith formation meeting…….first time in the 222 building………why did I go? To ask the faith formation heads, Fr. Gill and Sister what are they doing to reach out to our victims……..yes I am a real catholic hater…….I am also on my parish council…….why? because I want to help change things…… the end Jesus working thru us is how that is going to happen………I will be at the vigil fri…….come see for yourself ………talk to our victims………I promise you you will never be the same….. One thing I learned at the AD meeting……..the speaker said Jesus went to the people ……….he went to the people and pitched his tent ………I will be doing the same……..

  10. I think what comes down on Friday is going to be huge. It may prove to be a much bigger headache for the AD than the trial has so far or will once the verdicts are announced.

    Friday’s announcement will go to the core of hundreds of thousands of Philly Catholics, many of whom have remained essentially unmoved by the crime and corruption in the AD and the Church as a whole.

    If anyone is wondering how the AD will manage the fallout, its methods will center on the preservation of its image, and its sole goal will be pure and utter self-protection. In terms of “best practices,” Tradition articulates them which has a lot to do with why the Catholic Church is one breath away from gone.

    1. Hadit. I agree. Think that the AD is going to be very cautious in its decisionmaking, especially in light of the ‘trial’ atmosphere.

      The fact that ‘counselors’ were to be made available on Friday, when the announcements are made, suggests that school faculty may be involved in the decisions.

      1. Today’s BiLGRIMAGE, in a Jerry piece, quoting Whispers in the Loggia …if that’s not convoluted enough, suggests a possible outcome on Friday:

        “Despite reports that Chaput admonished his priests to keep yesterday’s  discussions confidential, Rocco Palmo, well known Philly blogger of “clerical whispers,” had reported some of the details at his Whispers in the Loggia site last evening.

        As reported, Chaput informed his assembled priests generally on the current status of the more than two dozen  priests suspended en masse 14 months ago by Cardinal Rigali as reported last July in Philadelphia Magazine.

        Serious questions had existed about many of the suspended priests going back apparently at least two years or more, given the ongoing grand jury investigation during 2010, among other factors. Notwithstanding this, the head of the Philly AD’s child protection review board shockingly reported last year that she had never heard anything about more than half of the suspended priests as reported here. Her report also offers direct links to the two shocking grand jury reports that are important to read.

        After all the investigations over this long period, mainly by lawyershired by the Philly AD, reportedly less than half of the suspended priests’ Philly AD reviews have to date been completed.  Of the 27 cases under review, Palmo reports Chaput will disclose his findings on eight of them tomorrow, with another six having been referred for review and action by the Philadelphia District Attorney (Philly DA), Seth Williams”

      2. Joan I can’t find that post about the meeting on the Whispers in the Loggia site..I googled it and a short blup about 8 priests fate being announced came up on the google search but I can’t locate the post on the Whispers site…anybody else having trouble finding says it was posted 11 hours ago.

      3. Kathy…Jerry cited it in his BiLGRIMAGE piece…I tried to bring it up too….not successfully….perhaps it had a short ‘shelf life’????

      4. Today’s Philly paper says:

        “Signaling an end to an investigation that stretched past a year, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput on Friday will announce the fates of parish priests suspended over allegations that they sexually abused or acted inappropriately around minors.

        At least a dozen of the 27 affected priests are scheduled to learn the outcome of their cases in private meetings with Chaput on Thursday and Friday, according to a source familiar with the process but not authorized to publicly discuss it.

        Insiders predict that only a few of those priests will be cleared of wrongdoing and restored to ministry, the source said. The ones who are not reinstated could be defrocked or choose to remain priests under a supervised life of prayer and penance.

        The archbishop will disclose his decisions at a 2 p.m. news conference Friday at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Center City headquarters, church officials confirmed.”

      5. I have a copy of Rocco’s piece which he obviously pulled when the Philly AD saw it.. I can’t e-mail it; that is not an option offered. I don’t know how to copy it, and at this point won’t try. I stayed up until 4 AM writing my Bilgrimage piece and not one of you even bother to link it. Instead you question my word. How sad. You are behaving like Chaput, for God’s sake. Shame on you all.

      6. Jerry,

        I do not post often, but I read constantly, this blog and others. There is too much at stake for any of us to be distracted with squabbles. We are on the same side. I thank you for all of your work for our common cause of protecting children, but this cause must be greater than anyone involved.

        God bless,


      7. Jerry, question your word..I was trying to find the link on Whispers and could not locate..obviously it was God really this is too much. If I want drama I have teenagers for that.

      8. Jerry, there are many of us here that love your work and your blogs. (I am one of them) I really don’t see anyone as questioning your work. Just wanting to read what you referenced. I am glad Joan told us about the Billgrimage piece. She may not have “linked” it, but I got there. We are all on edge here, but like others said, we are all on the same side. Your work is valuable and valued. I look forward to your future blogs.

  11. Why are you here ,Joe? Wake up and look around you at what has been going on. Keep drinking the kool-aide, Joe. And hopefully people of this site, and others within this confused religion will continue to talk amongst ourselves. What a jerk.

  12. Over the years, I have repeatedly read that the most conservative diocese/archdiocese in the U.S. is Philadelphia. One has to wonder whether the conservative bent at all fostered the crisis (my position being that parallel crises remain hidden in every diocese in the country), and what affect the crisis may have on the long-held conservative bent.

    1. hadit, aren’t most diocese located in major cities held in tight grip by tough, ultra-conservative, unscrupulous cardinals? Isn’t this why these men are chosen for these huge dioceses? Nothing will ever change there…–It seems the Cath. population of Phila has been an easily manipulated/abused one historically.–this due to many factors having to do mostly with ethnicity and immigration and poverty.–leading to a terrible amount of mistreatment of children by authority figures.

      1. Crystal,

        Your post is hugely informative and enlightening, especially for a person associated with a rural diocese.

        Thank you for giving me several things to think about.

  13. Deacon Joe: (from website) FYI

    “…Our attorneys are committed to cooperating fully with law enforcement…”

    Mark your calendars…’s May 3, 2012 and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its attorneys are committed to cooperating fully with law enforcement.

    Why the change?

  14. Joe,
    This is one former Catholic who does occassionally find myself feeling anger and hatred toward the Catholic church, a natural enough reaction after hearing all the incredibly evil stories from people who were sexually assaulted as children or young people, and even more deeply wounded by the almost Satanic actions of the hierarchy.
    Coming to CFC and reading Susan’s words puts me in touch with the warm feelings I once had for the church I grew up in. I would like to think that she, and all these good people who fight for children and those who were so grievously wronged, represents the best of that church. They do show the face of Jesus much more than any actions from the secretive, self-protective all-male hierarchy.

    1. Janet, I totally agree. I also feel as though, I have found a place here with these good people. We may not all agree completely on every topic. But the one thing we all want is for all children to be safe, protected and loved. This blog is only a threat to those that stand to lose the most….. the Church Hierarchy!

      God Bless Susan, the people on this blog and all the victims.

      I believe the victims.

      Much Love

  15. Deacon, It must be difficult to read the negativity here. The only thing I’d disagree with you about is that those here are misinformed. It takes a bit of surfing, but the truth about the RCC clergy abuse situation is available to those who look for it, and are willing to think independently…and have the guts to face what they find.

    Some of the comments here are as you say, angry and mean– Sexual abuse of children is a MEAN topic.. Most of us here will never be at peace with it –or even the shadow of it. Our terrible truth is that the church is pervaded by it…and that the catholic children of Philadelphia were especially victimized –and the systematic cover up for it goes on daily, arrogantly, right in our catholic faces …and this makes me angry – and mean.

    But anger’s just an emotion.. don’t run from ours here.. Stay and help shape this dialogue.

  16. Thank you, MIchelle~ that’s really all we wanted in the first place: first, for our horrid but true stories to be believed, and second, for the church to care. If that had happened, we would not be in the quagmire we find ourselves in today.

  17. Food for thought….at least angry and mean responses are honest emotions to such actions as raping, sodomizing, manipulating children, then covering it up. I would rather be considered angry an mean by those who would be so misguided as to support those behaviors than whatever the alternative is. The truth might hurt, and be ugly sometimes, but at least its the truth.

  18. Could it be that the Sister issue is a smoke screen to help us forget the sexual abuse issue.
    Our Church is telling us the sex abuse is a thing of the past, now let us move on. This we must not do. The victums still need our help.

  19. Leo.. you and I hope a lot of other people, have finally come to the right conclusion. That is what “they” are all about, “diversion”. Get them thinking about how hard we are on the nuns that taught them and we’ll be home free from them thinking or talking about the sexual abuse of children.! What a group of devils.

  20. Deacon Joe, it seems to me that more Catholics are waking up to the fact that the AD has been hiding this sexual scandal for many years. Unfortunately because of the statute of limitations, many of the priest may not face criminal trials. They may face civil trials which would at least identify them to the public at large. Bishop Chaput has been sent here by the Vatican to make sure that the PA legislature does not extend the statute of limitation. This is the conservative, republican, catholic bishops “modus operandi,” keep it secret as long as possible so no criminal charges can be brought against the alleged sexual predator. The Pope has great trust in Bishop Chaput since he has been the “hit man” for an Archbishop in Australia last year. Bishop Chaput took a three day visit to investigate and sent message back to the Pope that it was OK to sack the Australian Bishop. Bishop Chaput wants that red hat and knows how to get it. Lets hope that Holy spirit will continue to enlighten the people and priest to not be afraid to protest these actions.

    1. “Bishop Chaput has been sent here by the Vatican to make sure that the PA legislature does not extend the statute of limitation.”

      That’s a presumption on your part, Cyril… I don’t think the Pope assigns Bishops based upon legislative battles… seriously! the church is in every country with different forms of government in each, thousands of diocese all over the world, with millions different circumstances and people involved. over a billion catholics to think about and you seriously think the Pope sent Chaput to prevent the change in PA Law. There are places where the Church exists and teh statute has been lifted, the Church still contues there so I don;t think that has anything to do with the sending of a bishop…. that’s a weird way to calculate who the Spiritual Leader of anyplace would be…

      Just a thought buddy 🙂

      1. You wrote: “The Pope has great trust in Bishop Chaput since he has been the “hit man” for an Archbishop in Australia last year. Bishop Chaput took a three day visit to investigate and sent message back to the Pope that it was OK to sack the Australian Bishop. Bishop Chaput wants that red hat and knows how to get it.”

        This is just meanspirited talk…. a “hit man” for the Pope… seriously!… are you a writing for Dan Brown? And that Australian bishop had a laundry list of doctrinal and spiritual problems! He needed to be removed… he was not Catholic!

  21. Jerry, control your frustration… You undo all your exceptional work when you make demands and hurl insults. It’s abusive…and unbecoming.

  22. On the witness stand, Picard told how Msgr. Lynn congratulated him at the ceremony, and then said, “Everyone deserves to get out of the penalty box.” Can you call a priest / Lynn a “horses ass” (think I just did)…Hope Lynn enjoys the “penalty box” he is heading too shortly were his fellow “box mates” will welcome him with closed fists…Yesterday’s testimony by Monsignor Michael C. Picard gave me some faith that there are some good men with collars…Unfortunately many of them are afraid to voice their concerns…..

  23. I am proud to call Monsignor Picard the pastor of my parish! And I agree with WR…there are still some good men with collars and Father Picard is clearly one of them!!!

    1. TZ I have heard only good things about Msgr Picard and was happy to see he had the chance to speak about his experience .

  24. I just logged on and saw that we surpassed the 400,000 mark for site visits,along with Susan’s local interviews and her interview with CBS National News airing Friday night…a pretty good week for sharing info and thoughts.

  25. I just have to say that I truly believe that we are on the precipice of real change. I say this because of the constant stream of exchange and dialogue that is taking place here. Susan and Kathy, I also believe that the two of you remarkable women are true pioneers to “ministry in the new age” of the internet. What a beautiful way for all of us to feel connected and be in communion, even if we all don’t agree. We’re not supposed to! We just need to be respectful, which is what I’ve experienced 99% of the time since I’ve found a home on this beautiful blog.
    I don’t mean to sound cheezy or anything…but every time I’m on this blog, I feel as though I’ve gone to communion, (with a small c), but it’s really a big C because I’m with my brothers and sisters in Christ who only want to make us “a healthier, stronger, more Godly Catholic Church.” (To quote our dear “Pastor” =:)

  26. Hey Deacon Joe is that you? The “other” speaker at Our Mother Of Consolution Church that took place in April? Sure sounds like you. Want to set a few things straight. You give the benifit of the doubt about Chaput caring about victims “behind closed doors” at the high school. All you need to do is look at his past behavior to know what you suggest is not only pure denial but utter nonsense. In reference to you saying that the church offers financial help, ah, NO. When I requested emergency financial help I received a big flat NO. And as far as agenda’s you sound very much like the deacon who spoke that nite who had his own agenda, protect the priests!

  27. To Deacon Joe….Also “the Church” has offered many services like counselling, help with bills, food, housing, etc…”

    I know this sounds terrible but the first thought that came to mind when I read your above extract was that the RC Institution was paying for services rendered, as in a business transaction, except that it was not by mutual consent. The RC Institution is still fighting, tooth and nail, to protect the predators, to cover-up the sexual abuse, and to re-traumatize the victims with their ‘investigations of them’. And it is our money that pays for the lawyers, the insurance-coverage, and the lobbyists. They are just making it easier and easier for me to see the light. God works in mysterious ways. I believe the victims.

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