The Commonwealth’s response to Msgr. Lynn’s motion to dismiss is available online. Please give special attention to Exhibit 3, which speaks to the archdiocesan effort to protect the secret archives from discovery. Click here to read the pdf: http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/321482/commw-v-lynn-answer-to-lynns-motion-to-dismiss.pdf
117 thoughts on “Trial Evidence Available for Your Review”
I have read various parts of this document for the past hour and I have to say, there is so much cold calculation on the part of the Archdiocese. Cold cold calculated self preservation. I wish EVERY Catholic would read these documents and see the truth behind the Archdiocese lies and “forgetfulness.” How can we get the general Catholic public to see this and care? How can we make them understand the deceitfulness and the cold calculations of our Church’s hierarchy? I feel at a lose.
“How can we get the general Catholic public to see this (cold, calculated self-preservation) and care”?
PLEASE, please Philly Catholics! Open your eyes! The best, most viable way, NOW, today, to get the general Catholic public to see this cold, calculated, self-preservation style of the hierarchy is to JAM room 304 and the halls around it with outraged Catholics! Your voices will be heard. Pictures will be taken. Writers and reporters will flock to such a spectacle, telling Philly and the world the story of your outrage.
The world is wondering why you are not there? It is dismayed!
Room 304 is empty! What does that say about you? OMG! Everyone in Philly is oblivious to THE “tool,” in the form of the trial, waiting to be implemented by Catholics as a force imparting and driving home their outrage.
Instead, people are in denial, or are disinterested, or are at their computers.
NO! Stop failing your fellow Catholics in the world!
It’s not easy being a criminal and covering up sex crimes against kids.
–have to carry lots of keys
–have to memorize lots of code words
–erase pertinent incriminating info from computer
–have to attend secret meetings
–have to tell tons of lies
As I was scanning through these exhibits, when I came to exhibit 10.. I thought. “All of these guys knew they were committing crimes and they needed to keep the evidence out of law enforcement hands”.
I knew about secret archives, I have been lied to by church officials, but to see it in writing is too real. They were committing these crimes on purpose..!!!
Were these men ever little children..?
Now, I gotta get back to work and reach out of still silent victims…..
Judy, I understand that Barbara Blaine handed out a paper identifying 11 jurisdictions where, I think bishops got a ‘prosecutorial pass’ from the prosecution….any chance you could give us a copy….thanks Joan
Joan, I have not yet heard about this list– I’ll see what I can find out..
Judy…thanks…think the list may have identified 11 Grand Juries that all reported no diocese contacting civil authorities relative to abuse, and some of the dioceses cut prosecutorial deals….still trying to separate out in my mind….how this game played out nationally….
How many dioceses opted for bankruptcy when the abuse situation got ‘expensive’ and which ones were they?
How many dioceses cut deals? And which ones were they?
How many dioceses simply settled claims without benefit of deals or bankruptcy?
How many dioceses simply had no claims?
Sorry to be a pest…but these questions have been on my mind, for rather a long time…and SNAP may not be the right place to ask them…if so, my apologies! Joan
Michelle, the truth is they don’t want to know or else what remnamts of faith in those meant to lead us to Heaven’s gate will be lost forever.
The faith it’s self belongs to them, between them and God, and can never be taken.
Spiritual Communion is a practice to be utilized, and the All Seeing Eye of God is never far away.
Below is an article written for lawyers and it’s well worth reading.
“The Truth About the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Child Sex Abuse by Its Priests, and Its Latest Missteps” – Marci A. Hamilton
Excellent article by Marci Hamilton.
Chaput was sent to the Philly AD to clean up in the unconscionable ways of the hierarchy. They “worked” in Denver. However, Philadelphians are “onto” to him and them. My question is why Donna Farrell, Gina Smith, and the woman in charge of the diocesan “hope and healing” initiative are not?
I just forwarded this to my pastor as well as a few other people……..thanks for the truth Marci……….it’s terrible what they are doing…….. gets me angry. Please consider donating to Foundation to abolish child sexual abuse……..teh yare lobbying to chnge the laws………
So angry I can’t type 🙂
Drwho13, when I attended the trial this past wednesday, Marcie sat in front of me and was taking a lot of notes. I know her from way back, she has been supporting victims from day one. I have the upmost respect for her and her work. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your always insightful remarks and I am glad you have decided to continue to blog on this website. I appreciate your wisdom.
I am late in making this comment, but that Marci Hamilton article is a really serious piece of work…could well be the post topic…
She does a great job of reviewing the Philly ‘history’, goes on to look at ‘boundary violations’ assesses the tragic impact, ‘revictimization’ of the 22 abused folks whose cases have been revisited to help make the point about the AD’s ‘pattern’ of handling such cases, looked at the recent AD “announcements”….
I sure recommend this article and I picked one of many possible quotes “Although the importance of this trial is plain to see, there is one element that likely is escaping the casual observer: There are only two victims in this trial whose claims fit within the statute of limitations, but the cover-up obviously affected many more victims than those two. Indeed, Judge Teresa Sarmina permitted evidence to be introduced regarding 22 other victims, even though all of those victims’ claims are beyond the statute of limitations.
That is a tragedy. To recap, there are 22 known victims whose evidence is relevant and sufficient enough to be presented by the prosecutor to a jury in a criminal trial proving the clergy child-sex-abuse cover-up, but the law of Pennsylvania is keeping those 22 victims from filing their own criminal charges against their abusers and the institution that created the conditions for their misery.
At least the public is learning, in digestible bits and pieces (rather than the 600 pages of grand jury reports that have already been published), the truth, which is that the Archdiocese has been callous toward children and victims, unerringly protecting its own.
This is a fresh hell for the 22 victims and their families and friends, but they have been willing to endure it, because they too understand that the cold arrogance of the Archdiocese demands public justice.
March 8, 2002
In 1994, at the direction of Cardinal Bevilacqua and the other Pennsylvania Bishops, an ad hoc committee of canonists was formed to examine how the dioceses of Pennsylvania can better protect their secret archives from civil law discovery. Father Michael J. Fitzgerald, Director of the Office for Legal Service for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was appointed committee chair.
Attachment II is a committee report summarizing the conclusions and recommendations of the committee. Please note a request from Father Fitzgerald (page 6) for further analysis of a potential conflict between canon law and civil law in the implementation of “V. Annual Review of Secret Archives Material” particularly as it relates to the destruction of specific materials.
The above paragraphs are presented on page 39 of the link presented on this topic. Please note the references to Father Michael Fitzgerald, civil attorney and Director of the Office of Legal Services. Shortly after the release of the first grand jury report in September 2005, after repeated requests from this writer, Father Fitzgerald’s office assistant at St. Charles Seminary related to me that Father wanted me to know that he and his office did not have anything to do with nor did they handle the reports and allegations of clergy sexual abuse that came to the archdiocese. He is now Bishop Fitzgerald in charge of the Office of Catholic Education.
So my question is how do we get him to stepdown if there are no criminal charges?
Susan, Was this just recently made available to the general public online by the DA’s office?
The motion to dismiss and the Commonwealth response are both on linked on The Morning Call site.
Exactly Beth,That is what I thought when I read it…evil. There was a part of me,a tiny fragment of hope, even after all that I have read and all that I know,that still wanted to believe this cover up was a series of mistakes made by people with human flaws…these were not mistakes.
The analogy I used after reading it ,was if people were telling you that your spouse was cheating and although you believed it,a part of you still had hope,until someone showed you a picture of your spouse with the mistress, to me this document is that picture.
All 10 of the exhibits attached with this document show horrific details of cover up, but Exhibit 3 hit home the hardest for me. The meetings ,committees and memos about the secret archives. Who has meetings about keeping secret archives secret? well we know that answer.
And to think that this evil was going on all over the country. How many files have been destroyed or hidden from civil law. Completely disgusting.
Yes, every single diocese needs to have a grand jury investigation, and those responsible for committing sex crimes against kids and those who cover up these crimes should be charged and sent to trial, as is going on in Philly.
Ask any victim, the high ranking church officials all are run their territory in the same manner.. Protect the church and themselves at ll cost.
It is sickeningly sad..!
All over the world Mare.
Just as well religious have their own protocols to deal with internal abuse issues.
I’ve read this before… and I frequently wonder how Lynn’s defense has a shred of merit / credibility in anyone’s eyes… Lynn took it upon himself as Secretary of the Clergy to compile a list of “accused / suspected” priests out of personal concern? Concern for potential future victims? Such bulls**t. These documents, as well as others, clearly shed a very different light on what was going on.
Yeah Kathy to see it in black in white is terrible and then what it meant and means to so many victims………..much could have been prevented…….even if they did not want to pay out large sums of money why didnt they remove these priests on the list? One of the most disturbing things is that unless the priest confessed it or was a diagnosed pedophile they did not seem to go any further . They should have just turned it over the the police.
Many thanks for your fine coverage of this horrifying trial.
I don’t know…. I don’t recall… Maybe…Not sure…I really don’t remember… Lynn is not a priest he is a politician with the “lack” of answers he provided…. The guy is evil as is EVERYONE noted in the documents…The AD of Phila stinks and no one can be trusted…. Still not sure how Lynn’s predecessor and successor get hall passes as they are just as guilty…Crucify the guy…
WR, what about the ringleader, Cardinal Rigali? 36 six priests were quickly identified last year for suspensions a few weeks after Rigali, in effect, denied having any bad priests, as Chaput now dribbles out crumbs of info about them when and if his legal defense team approves.
Some of the suspended priests are to be sacked now. Why didn’t Rigali sack them earlier between 2006 and 2011? The 2005 grand jury report made clear that Rigali had inherited a pedophiles paradise. Why did he fail to act on so many priests with bad records? Even now, we don’t know how many more children were victimized as a result of Rigali’s action and/or inaction. Some of Rigali’s conduct, if illegal, is apparently still not yet barred by the statute of limitations
What did Rigali know of the shredding memo and when did he know it? Surely, his own lawyer, Tim Coyne, must have discussed this with his boss, Rigali.
Are child endangerment charges now warranted for Cardinal Rigali? If not, why not? What say you, Seth Williams?
Great work, Susan and Kathy. Thanks much!
I believe the victims!! I pray for you and your freedom. Just finished reading the pages and pages of lies and cover-up and the “i don’t remember”…..God knows, He knows all things. How disturbing, frustrating…How can priests, bishops,cardinals, the pope, representing Jesus,……… look at themselves……. evil is alive and well, thriving throughout the archdiocese, the country, the world, Rome…. Secret archives…….no concern for the victims of abuse.
I am catholic and I want change to come……..
I’d say you are abeliever in Jesus Christ not an institution that does all THESE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. The have “murdered the souls”of our precious ones!
This documentation is necessary and important. I’m thankful it’s public. Someone who is computer savvy needs to make sure it is downloaded somewhere, so when the DA decides to pull it, we can still access it.
I have mixed feelings. I’m grateful the information is “out there” for the world to see. And at the same time, I am angry. If Catholics (or anyone else) choose not to read it or educate themselves about what is going on with their hierarchy, then they will have every consequence that comes with it. I don’t care if they bankrupt themselves, stay in their denial, fail to live out their Christian faith, listen to a bunch of liars, or run their church like a corporation…that’s their business.
BUT, I will not stand by while they neglect the safety and protection of their children because of their ignorance!
Months ago, on a rant-posting, I put at the bottom of my comment, “I believe the victims.” With the public posting of this documentation, they can collectively say, “ I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!” For every victim reading…I want to let you know there is a group of us here that didn’t need proof. We didn’t need a smoking gun. We didn’t need a DA to tell us the hierarchy was a bunch of liars covering for each other. We didn’t need a press conference to prove they are inept at integrity and transparency. We didn’t need a DA’s office making a public posting to demonstrate the RCC orchestrated this entire mess. We didn’t need any of it…because WE BELIEVE YOU! The rest of the world needs to document this and it is important…but, none of it would have been necessary if every Catholic had believed the victims.
I believe the victims.
SW, You are indeed the first that I recall who always ended your blog with I believe The Victims! The first time I read that, my heart danced. I knew in the simple way you posed it, it was so sincere. In your responses to me, you continue to be kind and compassionate. All of you who are blogging, I was at this trial last Wednesday, to see all this on a hugh screen, in black and white was for me sickening and beyond demonic. How anyone can walk into a catholic church knowing all this, is beyond me. Thank God this is coming out. We survivors have known all this since 1993!
I too believe the victims. I heard there was a priest that abused students in North Catholic, Phila. Anyone know his name?
“Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
It is the most heinous evidence of evil and death. And to think that I had bought into the papal propaganda that the west was a “culture of death” because of consumerism, materialism, relativism. I even read encyclicals on this topic and listened to the Vatican “Wednesday Talks”. I paid attention to warnings that we should be wary of anti-catholic bashing through lawyers, the media and the Internet. The Truth will always find a way to be heard. What a relief!
Speaking-up, they’re still attempting to use that “Catholic bashing” propaganda stance…..the priest did it in his sermon last week. That’s why I walked out. Sadly, I believe I was the only one who walked out….it will still work on people….that’s why they continue to do it. It’s so frustrating!
Yea, that “Catholic bashing” line is a sign that they’ve “run out gas” in terms of valid arguments.
As damning evidence is being made public in a court of law these fakes, phonies, and frauds have nothing credible left to say.
The gig is up; you creeps have been exposed!
Cullen, Cistone, Burbidge, McIntyre, McFadden, Senior, Thomas, Fitzgerald, etc….All of those closest to the situation were made bishops. I wonder why??? All in an attempt to put them “out of reach” for potential legalities. There was no way that Bevilacqua or Rigali would make Lynn a bishop because he took it upon himself to make a list that Bevilacqua saw as a threat to be shredded. That was one man you never crossed.
One thing bothers me though, why did Lynn really make that list? What were his real motives? Were they trying to “size up” their potential problems. Were they trying to foresee any potential legal pitfalls? Did he do this via the suggestion of AP legal counsel, (Stradley, Ronan, etc.)?
Whatever the reason, reading all of those documents were/are truly disturbing.
Jerry, I read through the documents and was unable to find mention of McIntyre and Thomas. Can you explain more to me about how they are involved? I am especially interested in them because McIntyre was the Bishop that came to our parish for Confirmation in April and Thomas was the Bishop who was sent to our parish the weekend after Chaput’s press conference – so both have been at my parish within the past month! And to think my sister-in-law thought I was nuts when I looked up McIntyre on BishopAccountability before my nephew’s confirmation! Obviously I should have been checking the secret archives too??? Unreal.
Mere speculation. Just that McIntyre was Bevilacqua’s and Rigali’s secretary. Thomas has very strong Rome connections. I had no intention of implicating…just like everyone else, trying to connect the dots.
Can anyone help me? Why after some posts does it say: “You comment is awaiting moderation?”
Certain innocent words might trigger moderation it sometimes it is not what you necessarily say.
Just finished watching Holy Water Gate on documentary channel…………..alot of people I recognized………..guesss who was sitting next to Law…………. Archbishop Bev………not much has changed since Boston…………
Thanks very much, Beth.
Were you talking to me. Yes that is my opinion from what I see and hear it seems like the attitudes are still entrenched save the money not the souls. I mean if some one stole money they would call the police whether it was a priest or not……look at the lady that just embezzled why can’t they do the same with a child molester? Let the poilce investigate.
If what you are stating is an opinion, it must be clear that it’s an opinion and not a fact. The aforementioned post, (5/15/2012), is such.
Jerry I miss read that sorry.
No problem, Beth. God knows, we’re all a little on-edge. Rightfully so.
I would like to invite any of you who are victims or supporters or family members to our SNAP conference in Chicago in July 27-29th… It is such a great learning experience and terrific speakers.. great break off sessions.. and it really is fun and uplifting… !! Even though it is all because of being sexually abused by clergy. Here is the link.. pls consider coming, I, for one would like to meet all of you.. tks Judy
To Jerry’s comment: “One thing bothers me though, why did Lynn really make that list? What were his real motives? Were they trying to “size up” their potential problems.”
I browsed through the above-mentioned article on “Commonwealth’s Response to Defendant William Lynn’s Motion to Dismiss” and I found several possible answers to your comments. I was impressed by the detailed reporting of the trial evidence and, I think, in hindsight, Lynn must have regretted submitting this motion to dismiss. Long live secular laws.
Beth I wasn’t able to find the full video to Holy Watergate but this 10 minute segment gives a good feel for the documentary
The first church mentioned in this UnHoly Watergate video is about 10 minutes from my childhood home. I knew people who attended this church. Small world.
To Kathy: “The motion to dismiss and the Commonwealth response are both on linked on The Morning Call site.”
Could you please help me connect to the ‘Motion to Dismiss and the trial evidence’ on The Morning Call site. I couldn’t find the link you mentioned. Thanxs.
Here is Lynn’s motion to dismiss..on the right hand side there is the pdf option . Towards the bottom of the page is the link to the Commonwealth’s response which we posted above
Nightmares have gotten me up at 2:30am and this has been going on every night since my back sugery 2 weeks ago. My doctor prescribed me a muscle relaxer (Zanaflex) right after my surgery, and after a few days of taking this medication, I wondered why my nightmares had become significantly worse than at probably anytime in my past. I thought maybe the pain resulting from the surgery had something to do with it until I looked up the medications I was prescribed and many people cited in their reviews after taking Zanaflex that it contributed to very odd and frequent nightmares. I had been able to drastically reduce the frequency of my nightmares since August, when I decided to completely stop taking all of my psychiatric medications (At least 14 pills every night, and anywhere from 2-10 pills during the day.) It was hard getting off that crap and I swore so many times I would ween myself off the medications months before I decided, in the late August of last year, to stop the medications cold turkey. After a couple of weeks without these medications I felt better. It was difficult, but I felt better. Now I’m beginning to feel worse because of this Zanaflex, which I am suppose to continue taking for another 2 months.
There is a point I am writing this here. Msgr. William Lynn was Secretary for Clergy after my abuse had occurred, but while my abuser was still teaching within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Msgr. Lynn was in charge of priests and I believe knew all about my absuser, who taught at Father Judge High School in Northeast Philadelphia until 1994, two years after Msgr. Lynn was promoted to Secretary of Clergy. If Msgr. Lynn was supposed to have known all about the abusive priests within his Archdiocese, then certainly he knew about Rev. John M. McDevitt, who had a long track record of abusing young boys in at least three separate states before his retirement in 1994. Msgr. Lynn took office in 1992. I left Father Judge High School in 1991 to attended a public high school, as I begged my parents all summer after my year at Father Judge, to go to a different school, most specifically a public school. Returning to Judge after the summer meant esentially returning to the abuse. I wanted to attend a public school because after my years at Judge I had become extremely fearful of Catholic priests, and after attending a seminary reunion for my Uncle, Carindal O’Connor that particular summer, I found myself physically ill and threatened by being around priests.
Msgr. Lynn knew my abuser, Rev. John M. McDevitt was a child predator and allowed him to teach young boys for two more years before his retirement. When I went public with my story in June 2009, hoping to expose McDevitt as a child predator, I had hoped it would bring more of his victims out of the Darkness. It did, but every victim that had come forward was abused in Delaware, where McDevitt taught for a number of years as well. No victims came forward from Philly. I believe he has victims, still in the Darkness, in Philadelphia. I know of one, who wishes to remain in the Darkness. I’m relatively certain that another boy in my feshman class at Father Judge was abused as well, because McDevitt would often describe the boy’s genitals to me. There must be more. Rev. John M. McDevitt also taught at Northeast Catholic High School.
A guilty verdict handed down by a jury against Msgr. William Lynn would be as much a victory to me and those other victims who were sexually abused/raped by Rev. John M. McDevitt, as for “Billy, James, and Mark” and any other victim while Msgr. Lynn held his particular position in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. A guilty verdict would mean that children in the future would be more protected since certain high-ranking members of the Catholic Church could now be held accountable if they choose to do nothing with knowledge that a child is being abused, and they know of the priest(s) committing the abuse. A guilty verdict would mean that these creeps didn’t just get away with what they did to young boys like Billy, Mark, and James. A guilty verdict against Msgr. Willaim J. Lynn has the ability to help us all heal, knowing that justice is possible, forseeable, and a lesson for those who might be struggling with an ignorance of not knowing what to do if you know a child is being abused or if you know of someone who is abusing a child. A guilty verdict could be a future book written “What Will Happen to You If You Ignore A Child Being Abused: For Dummies.”
Justice for victimizers can be a turning point in the recovery of a victim. It can lead to the start of real healing. There must be a inner glory to know that YOU had the balls to stand on a pedestal and protect so many children, many you will never know, from ever knowing what it is like to be “one of us.” I believe a guilty verdict will become justice for anyone ever abused in the past, not just in Philadelphia, but worldwide. It will reflect our silence transformed into noise and finally transformed into action.
I want Msgr. William J. Lynn dismissed from the courthouse in handcuffs and shackels and a long sentence, so he can have plenty of time to think about why his judgment was judged so harshly.
victims4justice, thank you for sharing your story… YOU are amazing and there are thousands who are standing with you in your hopes..!!
Well said, V4J.
Never Admit there are other victims….http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/151577515.html
The chancellor who my husband initially told of the abuse made the same grave mistake. He admitted there were others, but that’s not what ousted him from the position of chancellor. What sent him packing was his statement to my husband, “I had concerns, but I didn’t want to think such things of such a holy man. I thought it was me. Because I’m a more private person, I saw his out-going personality as an asset to the youth.”
The Philly hierarchy(and I’m sure others) made notes about the types of attorneys they’d face, what to say and to whom to say it. I’m confident they made notes about the “fight” and persistance of some of the victims. Our diocese had to have notes about my husband.
Just in case you think this is only Philly…
When it came to the final straw and the diocese was backed into a corner with my husband, they didn’t want to pay for his counseling…they get him on a conference call…3 against 1…and say, “IF we go ahead and pay for your counseling, what do you plan to do from then on?” We knew they were really asking if he would plan to just “go away.” My husband told them this, “Well, first, I plan to breathe, and then I plan on living my life in the moment and to ask God for direction in every step I take.” What can you say to that? It wasn’t the answer they were looking for.
Next conference call, a day later, was about how they could pay for his counseling IF he agreed to sign off on their version of what happened…which would have been a lie. How’s that for ya? Not only are they willing to lie, but in order for the whole charade to work, and for a victim to get his counseling paid, they needed him to lie about it? Isn’t that extortion? Blackmail? I don’t know.
When my husband said he couldn’t agree to that because that wasn’t how it happened, they started screaming at him, name-calling…it was pure evil. And then this the following week in the Catholic newpaper, “We are doing everything we can to help victims heal…” blah, blah, blah. My husband didn’t blink. The hierachy thought they could isolate him, make him look like fool, shun him, and when he wouldn’t relent or submit, they could bully him. None of it worked. He had the truth…something they were incapable of grasping. It was a living hell for him (and those who love him) to walk through this. No victim should EVER have to go to the lengths he did to get some measure of justice.
I hope our diocese has notes next to my husband’s name…”won’t be silent.” LOL
This is opinion, OUR FACTS, because they are our experiences.
I read Ralph’s blog from the trial yesterday.My question is isn’t one victim enough(in my book it is one too many) to investigate and turn over to the police………there were so many victims. Then reality is stranger than fiction. A priest running a traveling company out of the rectory and having immigrant workers stay on the property and having an affair with one and owing them $60,000 dollars
beth ..and what’s so strange about a travel agent-priest? I knew a water-filter salesman-monseigneur! .. Having a hustle going on the side, buys the little extras of a priestly life.(lol!)
Crystal aparently from the article it is against cannon lawyer and they take it much more seriously than molesting children……….are they for real
i meant against cannon law to have a side job not “lawyer”. That is what the article said
What is strange about the travel agency story is that while one could visit Thailand, for many other reasons…it is a known destination for pedophiles….
On a lighter note, NCR. Just posted Joan Chitister ‘s piece on the Girl Scouts….http://ncronline.org/blogs/where-i-stand/attack-girl-scouts-shows-current-law-isnt-working
Thank you for sharing that, SW, and to both your husband and you for your inspirational courage. You just make me want to fight harder to get some justice for survivors and more protection for kids.
AND EVERY VICTIM, ASKED!! And every time Lynn lied!
The thing is they seem to react to things when they are out of the ordinary(to them) like side professions, owing large sums of money but it seems molesting children is normnal………..just my impression from what I have read from the trial. Doesn’t seem like they take it too seriously. Where were the immediate interventions to protect children? I was watching a clip from the above mentioned film and Fr. Doyle said ask your bishop one question. Why? Archbishop Rigali why?
I read the USCatholic study recently, on abuse issues, but SNAP just posted a shorter version..the stats will not please the hierarchy.
Here are some of those stats, cited above:
New survey on clergy abuse is release; SNAP responds
POSTED BY DAVID CLOHESSY ON MAY 16, 2012 · FLAG
Despite a decade of vigorous public relations, a new survey shows that most Catholics don’t believe their bishops are “reforming” how they deal with clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
In what must be sobering news for the Catholic hierarchy, the survey, conducted by US Catholic magazine of its readers, finds that
— only one third say Catholic parishes and schools are now safer for children,
— almost 60 % say church leaders have “done the bare minimum and should be doing much more,”
— barely half of the respondents say bishops are less likely to cover up abuse cases today than in the past
— 76% believe that “those who should get credit for the church’s reform after the sex abuse crisis include “victim advocacy groups, such as SNAP” and
— 44% say they were abused or know someone who was abused by a priest.
US Catholic writes:
“When it comes to the church’s willingness to report accusations of sexual abuse to authorities, respondents credit pressure from outside sources—not a change in attitudes by the bishops—for improvements made since 2002.
“Eighty percent say there is still a lack of transparency on the part of church leaders in handling sexual abuse cases. As evidence, several readers point to the case of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, who is facing criminal charges for failure to report to civil authorities a priest in his diocese who was in possession of child pornography.”
We are grateful that so many parishioners understand the difference between real change and public relations. We hope this survey will prod at least a few Catholic officials to move beyond the “bare minimum” and immediately report knowledge and suspicions of child sex crimes and cover ups to law enforcement and aggressively seek out other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers. We hope it will also prod even one bishop to – for the safety of kids- permanently and prominently post on his website the names, photos and whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics.
Thanks for this data
The % of responders that “say they were abused or know someone who was abused by a priest”…is staggering.
It’s just so dark.
BREAKING NEWS.todays PI quote regarding archival material cites a memo that indicates the PA Catholic Conference was working to “
The citation for information regarding today’s trial, AND the 2002 memo that discusses the PACatholic Conferences efforts to prevent legislation that would extend deadlines for victims to file lawsuits is
Oops…here is today’s quote
” A 2002 memo from Bishop Joseph Cistone to Lynn, introduced by Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington, refers to the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the church’s lobbying arm in Harrisburg, and its effort to prevent the legislature from extending the deadline for purported victims of sexual abuse by priests to file lawsuits against the church.” Philadelphia inquirer, 5-16-12
I can’t begin to tell you just how important I think this memo is ……and Kathy, I would VERY MUCH like to see the whole memo if possible.
The idea that the Church is the ‘victim’s friend’….is CLEARLY disproven ….
That the PA Catholic Conference is using its LOBBYING ARM in Harrisburg to ‘prevent legislation from extending the deadline for purported victims of sexual abuse by priests to file lawsuits against the Church”….says it all!!!!! With a smoking gun memo!!!!!!
Joan I believe the 2002 memo is the same as the one in Exhibit 3 in the link to the Commonwealth’s response in this post.
Kathy…looked at Exhibit 3 and it didnt deal with preventing the legislature from extending time limits on abuse trials …perhaps there was aditional data related to Exhibit 3 that was not included?
Joan sadly people like John Salveson from Foundation to Abolish child sexual abuse have known about this for awhile. That is why he switched his efforts from vigils to lobbying. My question is why does it seem the church has such a hold on Marisco? I would like to see a memo about that 🙂 He seems to be personally holding back legislation that would protect our children from known predators that are unable to be charged because the statue of limitations has run out. So these predators are able to continue to rape and molest children and no one can stop them unless they are caught in a new crime how evil.
I totally support lobbying for legislation that protects victims!!!
Very strong mandated molestation reporting requirements for everyone, legislation that makes supervisors criminally liable for passing on predators, SOLs extensions for windows, et al.
Groups that have ‘exposure’ to such legislation typically fight it. It would be interesting to check out the PA Catholic Conference’s ‘legislative history’ in these matters….and for that matter, the legislative history of individual state Catholic Conferences, nation wide…perhaps a grad school project?
I believe the victims… I pray everyday for all…. The truth will set you free. May the light of Jesus surround you and continue to protect you. We live in an evil world……, set you sight on Jesus. Know that he will always hold you in the palm of His hand.
I watched the 10 minute film,Holy watergate, how disgusting. Admitting to the horrible abuse against children, and so many priests have “houses down the shore”, up the mountains, on a lake…….
Everyone be certain to read Lynn’s deposition carefully…Exhibit 8. Such contradictions to his defense claims. What a tangled web we weave…
I BELIEVE THE VICTIMS and I hope the revelations coming out of this trial will give silent victims the courage to speak out. I hope and pray it will help them heal.
Just watched the 10 minute Holy Watergate. Wow….wish we had more priests like Fr. Bambrick(sp?) and Fr. Doyle. It is such an organization of bullies that it seems only a few have the courage to stand up for what’s right….to actually do what Christ would do. It’s really quite pathetic.
Yes Fr. Bambrick who was abused by a priest when he was a child was disclplined for speaking out……..how on Earth is child sexual abuse suppose to be stopped if those that are abused by priests are not even allowed to say so……..ridiculous…….. goes aganist common sense.
It’s a cult, beth. Clerics are indoctrinated, brainwashed and trained to follow the clerical culture, modus operandi and groupthink. The idea of disassociating oneself, and enduring the consequences, amount to total and utter personal, spiritual and professional devastation or “kill.” The “kill” scenario acts to disempower clerics, keeping them in line and paralyzing independent thought and action. The effect is wholly intended because it nourishes, maintains and sustains the clerical culture, modus operandi and groupthink. It keeps the cult alive and “well.”
In regard to the Holy Water-Gate clip…where is Fr. Bambridge (sp?) now? Does anyone know?
Let’s connect some dots here. Who was Archbishop of Chicago at the time that priests from that archdiocese were sent to the police station where the police report “magically” disappeared? Late 70’s and early 80’s…Archbishop John Patrick Cody. Here’s a link to learn more about his short-comings…he was followed by Bernadin and now Cardinal Francis George.
And who was the bishop of the diocese in which this happened? The Diocese of Peoria. Oh, why none other than Bishop John J. Myers, who is now Archbishop of Newark. What’s he known for in regard to sexual abuse by clergy?
Find out here:
You can learn more about him here too
Myers was followed by Bishop Daniel Jenky…whose latest comments landed him in questionable territory. I’m not as concerned about Jenky’s homilies as I am about how he treats victims. He’s another bishop that talks a great talk…but can’t seem to walk the talk.
Good article, drwho13! It really describes the cruelty of Chaputs’ press conference and its effect on the people who were desperately waiting for real information from him, only to get their hopes dashed again.
Hadit, about your question… I can’t think of any reason that these women tolerate and play along with the ways of the hierarchy, other than for money and recognition –They seem to see this AD mess as their big career moments…-?
There was an annoying cluelessness to both these ladies, as to the seriousness of the subject at hand — the sexual abuse of children by priests!….It was as though they forgot that children had been sodomized and raped and that an angry public is now demanding the truth…. it seemed as though they could have been at that podium discussing their community’s recycling program…or whatever…
The article nails it about Gina Smith:
“…. The irony here is that while survivors were deflated and depressed, she was at the press conference publicly thanking her kids and her mother, as though the event was the Academy Awards.”
And yes instead of following the clerical culture they should be following Jesus.
I had an interesting experience today. I went to an Amish market where half the vendors are Amish and half non Amish. All the Amish vendors were closed due to Ascension Thurs and all the non Amish vendors were open. You should have seen the surprise, disappointment and denial(lol people waiting in line in front of counters that obviously had no one behind them) of the potential customers.. The Amish had put out signs they were closed for Ascension thurs. It was funny standing in the non Amish lines listening to the non amish vendors responding to questions of why the Amish were closed and what actually Acension thurs was all about. Many had no idea what it was so I put in my two cents and explained what it was and it seemed people were genuinely interested in why it was so important. It really hit me that such a simple thing as closing for a religious holiday would give such a witness to others………it lead me to think what is our witness?………what is the witness of those on trial ? Eveything is connected everything we do or don’t do affects others…… and the impact can be more than we ever know……
Isn’t “our witness” and “the witness of those on trial” commonly referred to as Catholic identity? At the moment, the way it is being perceived by others, Catholic and non-Catholic, throughout the world, is with shame, anger and disgust.
Beth, funny you should mention witnessing…
I was in a small shop today where I recognized the clerk. She’s an older, really kind, devout woman whom I had known through my high school years, into my first years of teaching at the Catholic school. She also knew my parents through Cursillo and me through TEC. We hadn’t seen each other in over 15 years, so we were making small talk.
I asked about her family and she was quite proud her son was getting married…he’s marrying a “good Catholic” person, a widow with 3 young children. She shared all this stuff about how wonderful the priest was, why the Catholic church they had chosen for the ceremony was more “spiritual,”…frankly it was a bunch of crap, but she was happy about it…so I just kept smiling and nodding and commenting on how proud she must be.
In the last few minutes of our interaction, while she was checking me out, she asked if I was still teaching at the Catholic school. I told her I wasn’t and changed the subject. She then asked if I was still involved in the WATCH (We Are The Church) program through the Catholic Church in my city. I told her I wasn’t involved in that program because our family was no longer Catholic. Her response? She gasped and then said my name in the most shaming tone, as if I had done something terribly wrong.
Such a condescending tone meant to put me in my place. While I replied, I watched her face and ears turn beet red…and I realized that if there was anyone who should be embarrassed it shouldn’t be me for no longer being Catholic, but her…for behaving so rudely. I politely told her, “My husband is a survivor of clergy abuse and we’ve seen too much of the underbelly of the Catholic Church to place our children at risk. Quite honestly, from the hierarchy to the laity, there is something amiss when the response to our family has been anything but Christian. BUT, there has been a lot of healing. A beautiful church family has helped us through all of this…St. John’s Lutheran in *****, …have you heard of it?” She stumbled out something like, “oh yeah, I have heard of that church.” She was at a loss for words.
I keep coming to this site because the Catholics here provide hope that the true body of Christ is not lost. I have to keep reminding myself that these are the actions of one person and not an entire church. Although, sadly they reflect most of my experiences with Catholics.
Thankyou for sharing that story. I don’t believe in coincidences anymore. I think God can use us especially if we cooperate:) Alot of “us catholics” dont get it but if anyone is going to help us get it it would be you and people like you. We need to hear your truth and your wisdom.
Survivor’s wife, I am a Philadelphia Catholic priest who loves the Church, but fully understands why people choose to leave. Not only did we fail to protect your husband when he was young, but now some want to condemn you for not remaining Catholic. If we had addressed this horrible act done to your husband in the way Christ wanted us, i wonder if you would not still be Catholic.
Welcome PhilaCathpriest! Your post was refreshing… I trust your question was rhetorical.
I am a cradle Catholic, and am struggling like many others as to how to maintain my faith and continue to practice as a Roman Catholic. Unless major changes are made within the heiracrchy of the RCC… and soon… I will very likely search for another Christian church as many have already done. The RCC has failed miserably (understatement) and continues to do so. It (not “she”) has stolen our very souls… the victims, first, the laity second. We have been betrayed.
Do I wish to receive the Eucharist from a priest who may or may not have been involved… directly or indirectly? A priest who may have “turned the other way”? Kept silent? Do I wish to confess MY sins to a priest who may or may not have been involved… directly or indirectly? Do I wish to contribute my hard-earned money to an institution that treated victims horribly, concerned only with the Church’s reputation? A reputation that is now virtually worthless…but could have been prevented if the so-called religious had the morals they preach. Shame, shame, shame!
Yes, we know child sexual abuse is not limited to the RCC. However, the way in which this grave issue was handled by the Church is an abomination.
Do you have the courage to voice your opinion? To condemn the actions and non-actions of the RCC heiracrchy? Are you willing to stand outside the Phila. courtroom and 222 N. 17th St. in support of the countless victims? Are you willing to demand change within the RCC? Will your fellow priests do so?
I can’t speak for Survivor’s wife, but I can speak for myself.
The way the hierarchy “addressed” the sex abuse crisis made me leave the Church. But had it addressed the crisis differently and “well,” I still would have exited. I will not be associated with a religious institution that fails to implement its documents of Vatican II, fails to include, honor and respect all creations of God, uses threats and scare tactics to force orthodoxy, maintains and fosters clericalism in the priesthood, functions according to secrecy, and is neither transparent nor accountable.
The reason the largest religion in the U.S. is comprised of Catholics, and the second largest is comprised of ex-Catholics, is primarily due the way the sex abuse crisis has been covered up and mismanaged. But there are a host of other compelling reasons why people will not associate themselves with the Catholic Church.
Thank you for posting, Philly priest. You are a glimmer of hope.
Welcome PhilaCathpriest. Thanks for your comment.
I have so many questions, but for know I’ll just ask one.
What is your personal opinion on meaningful Statute of Limitations reform?
Full disclosure..My family and I have left the Church.
I can assure you that had I seen a glimmer of hope that anyone within the Catholic Church had given a hoot about what happened to my husband and was making an attempt to make sure it didn’t happen again, I would be in the RCC. In order for that to have happened though, the hierarchy would have had to align itself with the teachings of Jesus. As of yet, they do not. How could I ever sit in a Catholic Church anywhere, knowing what I know? Witnessing what I witnessed through my husband? Sacrificing our children for what? I craved Him…and when the moral leadership was absent of the very basic teachings of Him…I had to go where He led me…and it wasn’t the RCC.
The biggest challenge of all though…was the responsibility of shaping the spiritual lives of our children. (Interestingly, I hear many Catholics say they stay BECAUSE of their children…and I felt just the opposite…I had to leave for the sake of our children.) What happens when someone becomes an obstacle to a child getting to Him? There were too many obstacles in the RCC. We experienced the hypocrisy. But, more importantly, between my husband and me, had I stayed, we would have very likely become the obstacles…living hypocritical lives as we were disgusted by the silence of the hierarchy, the betrayal of the laity, while at the same time clinging to the rituals and merely going through the motions. Hypocrisy…what example is that to our children? The same example the hierarchy is showing the laity as we speak? Perhaps that’s why the RCC is experiencing a rebellion of sorts from some of their laity. I think it’s the healthiest expression to this mess so far by the laity.
In my naivete, I approached the Church when I realized there was no avenue for healing, thinking I could create something that had been lacking. Their response was denial that anything was wrong and minimalizing the effects the abuse had taken on the victims, their families, and the laity. I now realize the reason it was lacking was intentional.
There wasn’t room for both sides…they couldnt’ have their lies with the truth-tellers sitting in the pews.
PhilaCathpriest…please keep posting. I’m interested in hearing what you are experiencing as you watch this trial unfold. Any thoughts?
SW, you used the words, with feeling, the “betrayal of the laity”. I am not sure you used that so pointedly before. You are right, but it is not so easy for me to say so. I betrayed you and your husband by letting the hierarchy get away with this for so long. I am sorry and trying to make amends now.
If my blogging fails, I can always break out the spray paint. Please keep speaking out.
You, Hadit, Joan, Vicki, Beth, Crystal, Mark, Jerry, Mike, Patrick, et al. and, of course, Susan and Kathy, are teaching us all so much.
Like SW, LEAVING the Church was how I emphatically conveyed to my children my deep regard, love and respect for the Christian ethic, and my disdain for the hypocritical religious institution that failed follow it. The decision was the result of reason and conscience alone. I didn’t spend a second clinging to guilt, traditions, what my family or people would think, Catholic school tuition, crisis of faith, emotions, or agendas…
I did what the nuns and priests taught me to do.
I did the right thing.
Unlike you Hadit, I initially experienced guilt. I was concerned, not so much about other people, but about how family would react. I was concerned about my children and traditions. I think I wasted more than a few seconds on each of them, because it was devastating, for me, to leave the RCC with my children. One would think I could despise them so much it would be easy to leave…but, it wasn’t. I loved the Church so much it was extremely painful to be betrayed and then leave. I chose it willingly though…as painful as it was initially…I chose it. Ultimately, nothing trumped my children’s spiritual lives…not traditions, rituals, guilt, family reactions. I’m also not arrogant enough to believe I made all the right decisions. Time will tell and it will be my childrens’ relationships with the Father that determines whether I did the right thing for them.
I didn’t expect a priest to be commenting today but thankyou for doing so. I hope you comment often and learn both with your heart and your head what our survivors need to heal and that this site transform your understanding as it has mine . They have taught me alot about justice , compassion and truth and for that I am grateful.
I have not attended a Vigil outside the Archdiocese for the same reason I did not attend a vigil to keep our parish school open. Our school is now open and I played a large part in that by being very vocal privately with the Archbishop and publiclly speaking out in other forums. The Vigils outside the Archdiocese have merit but I believe i can do more by addressing this in my parish bulletin, praying for the victums during Mass, and continuing to speak about it with my fellow priest and bishops.
Actions speak louder than words. WWJD?
I feel exactly like 4thechildren. Well said….I struggle everyday. I believe in the Eucharist, yet I debate every Sunday, should I go, or do I change. It is not an easy decision. My focus is on Jesus, and His dying and rising again, for all mankind… I follow the commandments and my inner spirit, not the “man-made” rules. I read the Bible, and am born again…….
I Believe The Victims…..
Oh how my heart breaks, reading yet another court document about this “evil” rcc over a period of ten years. And how they try and turn everthing all around for their benefit rather than to stop the abasemant of our blessed innocents and do as Christ would do. We must not let them get a way with another sham court trial.. Let this trial be the first to reallty get the ball rolling.Guilty, guilty guilty!!!!!
To Philadelphia Catholic Priest:
I know you directed your remarks to Survivors Wife. May I please share my thoughts about why other Catholics who mercifully have not been living the horror of rape at the hand of a priest, like myself, may also be having a difficult time remaining in the Church.
Catholic priests need to speak up to protect, advocate, and defend the people who have been brutally abused in the name of Jesus Christ. THAT is the sacrilege, not turning in one of your fellow priests who has murdered the innocence of a little child, disgraced his sacrament, his church and for that matter, humanity. They need to do this regardless of a promise you made to the bishop. You made a promise to serve all God’s children. The Good Shepherd left his flock to find the one that was lost. Perhaps The statute of limitation reform would help in your search of all those who are spiritually lost.
Catholic priests need to be present to their congregation. They need to visit the sick and the dying. They need to give the sacraments to the people who ask for them. It was my experience in this archdiocese that NO ONE was available for THREE WEEKS to give my mom the sacraments when she was dying. We asked THREE DIFFERENT PARISHES. No one came. It so happened that my mother was a very devout Catholic, but I think that Jesus would have come to her even if she weren’t Catholic. In fact, He would have come especially if she wasn’t Catholic.
Catholic priests need to be MINISTERING along side the willing laity at hospitals, nursing homes, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and SCHOOLS. They need to put themselves up to the same background scrutiny that the archdiocese demands of their employees because that is how service is rendered to others. Besides, they should have nothing and no one to hide. Then they can claim they were a part of the saving grace that Jesus Christ gives to all those who ask.
Catholic priests need to recognize that there are not many of you. Perhaps it is because young people don’t know what you do. Young people certainly don’t have the opportunity to see you out in the world Monday through Friday ministering to the poor, the sinner and the marginalized. Young people should be able to see what you do. Instead, Catholic priests are leaving those ministries up the nuns, sisters and laity. That is the impression you have left to my four grown children, all educated in Catholic schools, academies and colleges.
As long as Catholic priests are leaving the ministry to the victims and survivors of clergy abuse up to the laity, at least don’t criticize, reprimand, belittle and stand in the way of those that are cleaning up your mess for sake of the church. Stand with them. No, better, LEAD them back to the church by restoring their faith and trust in the priesthood, begging for their mercy and forgiveness. THEY are the ones who deserve it.
Wonder no more, Father. People are leaving the church because Catholic priests are no longer bearing witness to what Jesus did on this earth. People are willing to sacrifice their membership in this institution because it no longer reflects their faith in God, and God’s love for us. It is a matter of spiritual survival.
If none of these shortcomings apply to you, please tell me where your parish is. I’d like to join. You see, I am a Romin’ Catholic. I am looking for a place to call home.
Just my two cents. Thank you for posting. Thank you for listening.
Well said, Child Guardian, well said…
Sorry, I wanted to say I am a “Roamin’ Catholic”.
I have been reading this site since the trial began. I do so to listen and hopefully be influenced and changed by what I read. I do visit the sick in their homes and hospitals, but just last week I missed an emergency call for a hospital I failed to hear the pager. I felt bad, but i recommitt and try again the next day. The parish in which I am pastor have a food cuboard, our St Vincent De Paul society helps people with their bills. I have no interest in convincing people to stay in the church even though I am committed. I am very angry and hurt with the harm we have done and I beleive that the DA is one of the instruments that God is using to purify the Church. The entire O.T. story is a about the unfaithfulness of God’s chosen people and God purifying them, correcting them, but the Lord never gives up on them. I think the story continues in this church in which I belong. Yet, I now understand in a more real way why Martin Luther did what he did and why so many Catholics today ae doing likewise. I am actually surprised that so many stay. My goal is to try and teach those who chose to stay that we have a real problem that cannot be blamed on the media; yet i know
J esus in our midst for the hungry are fed, the needy our helped and some people who were burdoned have told me that our liturgy or talking to me has lifte
Once I said on C4C how impatient and frustrated parish priests of integrity are when they have to minister to uninformed sheep at a time of crisis, lacking compassion for survivors of abuse, and carrying on with the “pray, pay and obey” mentality. The sickening scenario pushes a priest of integrity to have greater respect for the thoughtful people who exit the Church.
Is that how you feel?
Those O.T. readings are very meaningful to me especially as I get older. I have also learned to know Jesus we must spend time with Jesus, To spend time with Jesus we come to love Jesus. When we love Jesus we see him in our neighbor and all around us.And when we recognize him it is amazing.
Philacathpriest, I am sorry in a way, that you didn’t start reading this blog long before the trial started. If you had, I think you would have a very clear idea of just how frustrated the commenters are about the silence and apathy of both clergy and laity relative to child sex abuse.
Over, and over and over for many many months victims, survivors and concerned ‘others’ have been telling their stories and asking why ‘the church’ , both clergy and laity have not responded with love, and compassion personally and justice in the legislative arena.
They wonder why priests who knew about the abuse did not go to the police or other civil authorities, why laity have been extremely critical, in one case spitting on one of our survivors at a vigil. And it goes without much discussion, why hierarchy has covered up abuse, treated victims horribly and passed on known predators to unsuspecting parishes.
I agree with you, it’s amazing that even more Catholics have not left the Church. It is quite possible that they will.
But in your own efforts around these matters, I would suggest that Thomas Reese’s recent remarks in CA in which he talked about ‘a preferential option for the abused’ might provide you with some food for thought. You mention a food pantry and support for the poor in your parish….I would argue that victims of molestation, a crime committed and perpetuated by the church should be a number one priority, even before the poor who are surely a matter of concern, but have not been criminally assaulted by the Church. I think it’s a matter of primary justice.
Well thought out and well said, Joan. Excellent advice, thanks. Will it be followed?
Joan; I agree…. Very well said… I Believe the Vicims!!!
WOW! THANK YOU!As a survivor of clergy abuse, your words are truly healing for me. I am so happy you post here Joan. You are so wise and I admire you very much.
Vicky, it’s I who admire you! And all our victims!
I post, because I care a LOT about you all, and all victims and very much want justice for you….and compassion …and healing!
I don’t say it as often as I should, but I ALWAYS believe the victims!
The last line of the above post is lifted their spirit and brought comfort. I am in the stone age concerning computers and some of you may think in other ways too! The first person I ever emailed was the Archbishop Chaput.
To haditCatholic: “It’s a cult, beth. Clerics are indoctrinated, brainwashed and trained to follow the clerical culture, modus operandi and groupthink. The idea of disassociating oneself, and enduring the consequences, amount to total and utter personal, spiritual and professional devastation or “kill.” The “kill” scenario acts to disempower clerics, keeping them in line and paralyzing independent thought and action. The effect is wholly intended because it nourishes, maintains and sustains the clerical culture, modus operandi and groupthink. It keeps the cult alive and “well.”
Thank You for your above comment with its clarity and insight. WOW!