Had It Catholic’s Take on Today’s Press Conference

While I put together my thoughts on today, I thought I’d share one of our commentor’s thoughts. – Susan

by “Had It Catholic”

These are SOME of the things that disappointed me as I watched the live stream of the announcement, today:

1. Neither Chaput nor the woman in charge of this weekends parish-based “counseling initiative” (“response trauma”) could articulate how it will proceed after this weekend. They are going to watch things and see. The initiative lacks scope and clarity at this point.
2. The “counseling initiative” was presented, today, in light of the fact that, statistically, 1 in 4 people will be victims of sexual abuse. The “counseling initiative” was presented in a way that seemed more focused on the national epidemic of sexual abuse than the Philly AD’s history of abuse and cover up which is THE main cause of parishioner distress and lack of trust. The “counseling initiative” seems to want to take the focus off the AD and put it on the general issue of sexual abuse.
3. How can the “destruction of trust” be repaired by the AD when the fates of so many accused priests remain on the table? It looks like Philly Catholics will be exposed to a series of calculated doses of priest-fates that could conceivably go on for another year or two. To think that trust can be repaired in this broken up, no timeline, no deadlines, and unfinished scenario is ridiculous. While the fates of priests remain on the table, there is no trust.
4. Does Chaput limp? He seemed to be limping, today. Is Donna Farrell friendly? No. She’s short with people and intent on protecting her people from hard questions. She’s a rottweiler.
5. When Chaput was asked by Susan Candiotti of CNN why it took a grand jury report to get to today’s announcements, he responded, “I don’t know. I’ve only been here 9 months…” Trust me, he knows!!!
6. Chaput said that the facts and details of individual priest-cases would not be released in order “to protect the victims.” Why can’t victims remain anonymous while the facts and details of individual priests are released? In not releasing the info, naturally, the priests are the ones protected!
7. Chaput is in charge of monitoring the 5 priests who will not be returning to ministry. God help us. Of course, won’t be Chaput, but may be the person who holds Lynn’s former position. What expertise, skills, methods and devices does the AD have for monitoring abusive priests?
8. There is a humanizing feel to everything that was delivered, today. Everyone’s (victims, abusive and falsely accused priests, parishioners, etc) best interest is always taken into account by Chaput, the commission that investigated abuse cases, and the woman in charge of the “counseling initiative. The Gospel ethic is the effect. But the only one’s who, presumably, seem to really feel, or experience, or benefit from the effect are the priests.
9. Susan asked how the “counseling initiative” would reach people who have left the Church. The response to her question, by Chaput, I believe, was unclear to me. All I can say is, from a person who has left the Church, today’s announcement only reconfirmed for me that I did the right thing. The entire media event made me sick.

I invite everyone on C4C to go to Ralph Cipriano’s piece, written today, and read the comment under it (if there are multiple comments, it’s the first one). I like Ralph’s piece, but the comment says it all.


18 thoughts on “Had It Catholic’s Take on Today’s Press Conference

  1. If these so called “boundary issues” harmed anyone, they need to be considered very serious.

    Hopefully anyone, who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by George Cadwallader, Francis Feret, Robert Povish, John Reardon, Thomas Rooney. Philip Barr, Michael Chapman, or Michael Flood, will have the courage to speak up and report it to police. Do not report your abuse to the church officials, they are not the proper officials to be investigating sex crimes against kids.

    Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511
    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
    SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

    ps. and I will keeping posting this on all the articles about this, until kids are safe today and victims get justice…!!!

      1. L.N. I have a friend in Australia who insists that the scandal has not been a major issue down there? Is there much media coverage? She typically is very well informed, but I can’t see how this news has escaped her.

      2. Australia has a huge problem, and the victims are having a hard time getting the abuse exposed. The laws are different there. They even need a permit to hold a press event.

        But the media there is starting to listen, they are much behind the USA. It is a sad situation in Australia.

      3. Judy, thank you for the link. More unpleasant reading to add to my list. It’s a sorry state down under just as it is here.

  2. Hadit, As to your #3 point regarding trust… The AD can spend millions of our dollars trying to protect and renew its assets… They can buy the most formidable legal representation, they can buy all the right PR firms, all the experts they need, ….but the one vital thing they can never buy back is our trust…

    1. Crystal today I was at the vigil and I was talking to a survivor and he was telling me he was at every day of the trial . He mentioned that when the AD sent over the records they were all mixed nothing was together….. the court spent days putting the papers in the right files..why would they send over the paperwork like that? Makes you wonder…….do they really want transparency????? Sometimes messages come through loud in clear in the little things……they fail to do…….

      1. Beth,

        I bet the defense team had all their paperwork in order.

        The AD has no credibility. They’re in that courtroom for one reason, to WIN, and they’ll do whatever that takes. They’re seeking to minimize their losses, and could care less about justice being carried out.

    1. Hadit,
      Well stated…I am in total agreement. Would like to add – in regards to the below quote from Chaputz’s statement… their “many steps” are smoke and mirrors. And what about reporting future claims of sexual abuse to criminal authorities??

      “We’ve taken many steps in the past year to reform and improve the way the Archdiocese lives up to its duty to protect children. There are enhanced policies and procedures for handling allegations of sexual abuse of a minor which are under final review. Going forward they will reflect the lessons learned from this process. For example, we take all allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by clergy to the Archdiocesan Review Board; but we do the same now for all complaints involving violations of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries.”

      Unfortunately, this will most likely satisfy a great number of Phila. Catholics. I caught a brief comment by an elderly woman on the news regarding one of the priests who was returning to ministry (not certain which priest). She was happy to hear the news because “he has been at this parish so long”. What the heck??!

      I wish to change my C4C name to “Hadit 2”!!

  3. On Monday, the trial will enter its 7th week. If a person wants an objective overview of the daily events, she can access the multiple, daily reports published by the Philadelphia Inquirer. But if she wants to have sat in room 304, and if she wants the day’s events to penetrate her, she will salivate until around 10 p.m. when Ralph Cipriano posts his rendition of the day’s events.

    Who is Ralph Cipriano? Presumably, there is not a Philadelphian who does not know his story. However, I am a New Yorker. How was I to know the convoluted saga entailing the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philly AD, Devilacqua, the Washington Post, Brian Tierney, the National Catholic Reporter, the Beasely (law) Firm and Ralph Cipriano?

    Finally, I know why I like Cipriano’s work. He’s a “wise-guy.”

    C4C bloggers who are new to the “Catholic discussion” have no idea what it was like for people who initiated it, say, in the ’90’s or, for that matter, any time prior to the Boston Globe’s bombshell in 2001. We were “wise-guys” and wise-gals up against a lot of denial, up against formidable institutions, up against people who had protected each other’s interests for decades if not centuries, up against silence, up against fear, up against ignorance, up against threats, and up against the deeply engrained belief that one never, ever, disturbs or takes on the “holy” Catholic Church. The “wise-guys” and wise-gals endured a lot. You had to be there to really understand what it was like to be ignored, jeered, insulted, ridiculed, attacked, fired and “crucified” for telling the truth.

    It was out of control.


  4. I wish I were there with you. I am disgusted reading that Chaput attempted to deflect the immeasureable intensity of shame away from the church by joining it to a national issue. That is a classis avoidance and dissociative defense. If the clergy truly believed in the sacramental power of the priesthood they would see that the magnitude of harm done by their abuse far outweighs what we see in the secular world. If they could see that then they could understand why the church is being attacked from the outside, it is because its leaders still lack the wisdom and empathy needed to be respected.

    1. Sorry to tell you that there is no sacremenal power in the priesthood or anywhere else! That is all part of the “faux church” to get you to believe in what is only possible with God. There is no God in these men. They have made their choices and it has been to follow lucifer!

  5. And in the Diocese of Kansas City, where Finn is denying that he sheltered abusers (he has already admitted he is guilty) all reference to contcting loca authorities has been removed from the website…

  6. But I pray-and I do believe-that the lessons of the last year have made our Church HUMBLER (my caps), wiser, and a more vigilant guardian of our people’s safety. That is our commitment today, tomorrow, and permanently.

    Given the context of this last line of Archbishop Chaput’s presentation at the press conference, I believe it is correct to conclude that “our church” refers to the leadership and administration of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. But to use the word “humbler” when describing the conduct and decision-making of archdiocesan leadership here in Philadelphia is to take the level of hypocrisy and disingenuousness to a tier unseen so far in this despicable horror of clergy abuse and coverup.

    I challenge anyone here in Philadelphia to provide an instance, example, situation or evidence of conduct by those in leadership and management in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that substantiates or portrays a “humbler” conduct, understanding or decision-making on the part of Church leaders with respect to the clergy abuse crisis.

  7. Susan, thanks again for your article about the press conference. You are sssooo analytical,objective, fearless and rational in your arguements. They atill think they can imtimidate as if ” we were bad in class”. Please dont leave the church. We need your brain and heart”

    As the buddhists say” Take what is good and what you need and leave the rest”

    1. This analysis comes from one of Catholics4Change’s readers. It echoes my reaction, but I’ll be adding my thoughts to the site later today. I am trying to do just as the buddhists suggest.

    2. We are the “Church”! “Leave!”….. an Institution that can completely ignore the “hell on earth” that they have caused for our children of God!
      It is no place a loving Christian would be able to stay in! Jesus IS Lord! Buddha is your Savior????? I don’t think so!!! Read your Bible!!!

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