Nun Calls Msgr. Lynn to the Carpet in Court

Click here to read: “Nun Calls Out Monsignor Lynn,” by Ralph Cipriano, Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog,” May 10, 2012

Excerpt: “The nun’s firm but understated conviction about the need to simply do the right thing sent a ripple of excitement through courtroom spectators, which included victims of sex abuse, and activists hoping for the impossible, reform in the Roman Catholic Church. It also raised an age-old question, namely why do the women in the Catholic church usually have more balls than the men?”

23 thoughts on “Nun Calls Msgr. Lynn to the Carpet in Court

  1. I know I have said it before and I will say it again…

    The fact that a woman is sitting as the judge, that a nun is calling out a Monsignor…the boys who have had “issues” with the role of women are getting it with both barrels.

    1. From Neil Allen’s comment underneath this article:
      “..Cudemo was a pedophile predator for 25 years, and the Catholic church knew about it, and kept moving him around, doing a “lab experiment with live children” without telling the parents. Cudemo is still free today, courtesy of the Catholic pedophile protection program…”

      It was exactly that… An experiment with live children.

    2. SW and WR, don’t dismiss all men. Some of us stand up, except when we are spray painting pews per SW’s observation. LOL


  2. Ralph hit “balls” out the park with his one…. It is truly a great read and he captures the events that transpired yesterday in great detail.. My favorite line “It also raised an age-old question, namely why do the women in the Catholic church usually have more balls than the men?”….Would like to answer that however my post would never make it…

      1. Thanks for link Joan. Sipe’s piece is excellent.
        As you know…I side with the women religious.

      2. John Richard…Rohr’s first paragraph was priceless….BUT it was his second paragraph that really got my attention….ie if you try to reverse back the Second Vatican Council (councils are preeminent theologically) ….

        Then what about all those OTHER church councils….and THEIR theology?…’s the ‘paste job’

        But the real bottom lines in the Roman Church are becoming more and more apparent to thinking and spiritual people in the last decade or so.

        Despite the very clear reforms of the II Vatican Council in the 1960′s , the Roman patriarchy, a closed system that allows no prophetic critique, and their branch appointed officers (bishops) are step by step rolling back both the spirit and the letter of the Vatican II reforms–while pretending and saying they are not.

        (Remember, if you can reject this Council, then you have the basis for rejecting the other 20 Councils of the Church too! The Pope and bishops had better be very careful!)

  3. OMG, you are guys are too funny. Your ” balls ” comment is so real, courageous and relenetless. Thank you all so much for what your are doing.

  4. For the last few days, I have wanted to write about Judge Sarmina. It has taken me this long to find the words and, still, I cannot say it well.

    Judge Sarmina captivated me.

    In room 304, there are a number of scenarios going on: the jury, the prosecution team, Msgr. Lynn and his defense team, Fr. Brennan and his attorney, Lynn’s always-present family member(s), writers, reporters and spectators (ironically, occupying pews), and four or so court staff people. The scenarios are in place on any given day of the trial except for the scenario of people who testify. They are episodic and momentary, entering room 304 when it is time to testify and departing once they have. Each of the permanent scenarios occupies a clear and distinct space in the room. It all seems clear-cut and manageable except for the fact that all of the scenarios are wrought with their own agendas and tasks, and embody their own human dramas.

    We tend to refer to all of this as “the trial” but, in reality, it is more like a complex, epic narrative. Sarmina “reads” it word for word, interpreting the multi-faceted and convoluted timeframes, details, events, characters and people all at one and the same time, and with astounding acuity and acumen. If that fails to floor you, you will be floored by her ability to bring you into the narrative, to make you feel like an integral character, even if it is only for the morning or the day. She accomplishes that by looking at you, seemingly discerning you. Who are you? From where do you hail? What do you do? For what reason are you here? While you don’t hear the questions, and you are not privy to any of her conclusions, you sense you’ve been noticed, that you are welcome in her room, and that, in the time you remain there, you are a part of the narrative. She’ll keep affirming your presence by periodically looking at you while you’re there.

    Sarmina is a quintessential multi-tasker. Take, for example, the day a detective, seated on the witness stand, read volumes (as Ralph would say) of documents pertaining to Fr. Brennan. Sarmina juggled making minor corrections to his reading, with instructing the jury on legal technicalities, with keeping an eye on seemingly ADHD Brennan as he got to relive his grandiose priest-history, with entertaining objections from the prosecution when Brennan’s attorney cross-examined, with keeping abreast of the pulse-of-the-spectators who shook their heads and rolled their eyes over the appalling failure of the AD to do something about the sick grandiosity, with questions from the prosecution, with Lynn and his defense team who were measuring the damage Brennan’s history might have on Lynn, with new arrivals entering the courtroom and people exiting, with orchestrating the duties of the court staff, and with determining an opportune time for lunch. The day was tedious and not easy.

    Was Sarmina tearing her hair out? Did she want to storm off to her chambers, fling her robe to the floor and curl up in a fetal position on her leather couch? Was it week 7 but more like week 34 in her book? Was she wondering when it all would be OVER? Is “the trial” her trial from hell?

    No. There is no up and down to Sarmina. There is only a calm, cool and consistent zing-along manner to her. She is brilliant, decisive, fearless, and appropriately intuitive, empathetic and caring.

    The sins, crimes and failures of our patriarchal Church and men-priests are littering the floor in room 304. You would think the room would have a stench and the feel of a battlefield imbued with X-rated effects. Instead, room 304 is dignified, orderly, approachable, productive, on an even keel, and just the right daily dose which is how Sarmina gets the jury through all of the human failings and heartbreak, around all of the lies and deceit, into all of the laws and procedures, onto the truth, and, eventually, around to a verdict.

    You wonder what the men think.

    1. had it, You literally took the words out of my mouth,my same observations concerning Judge Sarmina .

      1. Tell me she looked at you!

        If it is humanly possible, EVERYONE should attend the trial.

    2. Thanks so much, Hadit, for that brilliant description. This man, from afar, feels much better about Sarmina than I had. Nevertheless, the game is still ongoing, and I for one will reserve judgement for now.

      1. Jerry,

        “… man, from afar…”

        To be honest with you, Jerry, that’s how I have always perceived your writing– brilliant but “from afar.” Your pieces seem to result from writing and researching from within the confines of your own, personal space. They are solo, mental accomplishments, having great breadth and depth in terms of knowledge. But your work lacks “beyond my computer,” or “beyond myself,” or “been there, done that” or “in the shoes of others.”

        Imagine if your work synthesized knowing with doing.

        You’ve been a Wall St. lawyer all your life ($$). You never expected to see the Church implode as it is in your life time. You live a matter of a few hours from room 304. Go there! Do it! Get over the logistics of traveling to Philly. Put the money on the table. Get over thinking others should do it, but you don’t need to. Do it! Then, write one hell of a piece about it!

        Consider me one of your die-hard readers who lives and breaths for your work but, well, I DID it, and until you do, your work will lurk in the shadows of my experience.

      2. Hadit, I just saw this on Sunday, 5/20, with disappointment. You don’t know me or my situation. I gave up millions of dollars because of personal, principled decisions I took on Wall Street. It also led to the end of 40 year marriage and to a impoverished retirement.

        As to my efforts, your remarks are again disappointing and narrow and reflect a huge ego.

        It is wonderful that you and others went to the trial, but I see other priest abuse issues as important also, but are too neglected by most.

        Many, including Tom Doyle, Richard Sipe and Hans Kung, as well as numerous survivors, have repeatedly encouraged me to push on.

        I will not be deterred by your unfair remarks.

    3. That courtroom could have turned into a three ring circus the way some high profile cases have in the past, instead it is controlled and dignified as you said.
      Sometimes when there is an objection, even a spectator can guess whether it should be overruled or sustained,other times the objections more technical or complicated and whether she rules in favor of the prosecution or defense I always respect her decision that it is fair and knowledgable.
      Any young woman considering a future in law should visit room 304 for at least a day of this trial.

      1. A “certain” writer reports that Sarmina is bias to the prosecution. I emphatically disagree. Can she help it if the preponderance of evidence doesn’t bode well for the Brennan and Lynn defense teams, and that they counter it with weak or inadmissible arguments that are frequently overruled? No. The defense teams will do what they have to do. Ok. Fine. But Sarmina will do what she has to do as well. What’s interesting is that the same “certain” writer who reports bias will tell you that, hands down, the prosecution seems to have it wrapped up.

  5. re: Sarmina. Yes she’s biased and as a Judge she has a tremendous amount of influence in how the case is presented. Having said that, the church leadership made it’s bed, now it has to lie in it. The irony is overwhelming. What ticks me off the most is that someone else has the high moral ground. they’ve (church leadership) failed in everyway on this one, which is as big a moral issue as you get. Lynn’s taking the fall for the big guys who are no longer here with us, but he was in a position to stop the madness.

    1. How, exactly, has Sarmina been bias? Is having a tremendous amount of influence in how the case is presented synonymous with bias?

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