Msgr. Lynn Takes the Stand

Editor’s note:

Regardless of his defense, the most basic function of a priest is to represent Christ. In that regard, Msgr. Lynn has failed miserably – morally, ethically and, in my mind, criminally.

– Susan

Click here to read: “Lead defendant takes witness stand at Philadelphia cleric abuse trial,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 23, 2012

Excerpt: “Within minutes of settling in the witness chair, Lynn and his lawyer zeroed in on a critical pillar of their defense. Lynn said that during his 12 years as secretary for clergy under Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, he never had the power to assign, transfer or restrict priests in the archdiocese.”

138 thoughts on “Msgr. Lynn Takes the Stand

  1. Your comments in regard to Mgsr lynnn are wayoffbase.I believe you can’t be objective in yours views .It sounds to me like you have agenda perhaps you don’t like thevCatholic Church or priests.Do you know what kind of priest he has been .I believe younneedvto do somevreserch into this.You are much to judgmental for me. .In addition your comment in regard to Criminal Etc never should have been written it’s more than a little off base.In my view you should stick to the facts and take it as it comes I can’t began to tell younhowmuch dislike your commentary. Re Do Your Resume and find a different field of work . Good Luck

    1. Wake up please Rip van Winkle. We just had a two month trial while you were napping!


    2. Jim, In what way are my thoughts off base? Why do you think I can’t be objective? I am Catholic. There are many priests I admire. I worked for the Archdiocese while Lynn was Secretary for the Clergy. I’ve done my research. In addition to that research, I attended Catholic grade school and High School. I may not be a theologian, but I understand the most basic tenets of our faith. I’m not judgmental. I’m looking at the facts. They are awful and painful. This isn’t my work. I have a job. This is me being Catholic.

      1. Susan, JB, is defending Lynn by attacking you. On old and shameless ploy when you have no real defense. Pay him no heed, please. He obviously, but mistakenly, thought he could push you around. C4C bloggers all know better.

      2. Susan, I ditto what Jerry is saying…..stay cool, I get this all the time from posting comments to articles… just ignore..!

      3. “Regardless of his defense, the most basic function of a priest is to represent Christ. In that regard, Msgr. Lynn has failed miserably – morally, ethically and, in my mind, criminally.” – Ms. Matthews, you sound like judge and jury to me. I certainly hope that you measure up to the measuring stick you are using on Msgr. Lynn. If we are really Christian believers in the American judicial system maybe we should wait for the verdict before announcing to the world that he is a criminal. Furthermore I don’t see how attacking a priest currently on trial does anything in service of the faithful or the common good.

        1. I’m far from perfect. We all are. In fact, that’s why we need good moral leadership in our priesthood. Msgr. Lynn chose to represent Jesus. My opinion is based on the evidence and testimony. I sat in court today. I heard it and the jury heard it. Yes, let’s wait for the verdict. The faithful and the common good were put at risk and continue to be put at risk unless major reform takes place within the Catholic Church in regard to this issue. I am serving both by offering a forum for information.

    3. C’Mon Jim, you can’t be serious in your assessment. How does holding a man accountable and calling him out on his actions equate with not liking the Catholic Church or priests? Lynn is just a man who did not protect children, as was his job and vocation to do so. Because of his actions or lack there of, children were raped. You question agenda? What is YOUR agenda?

    4. Good words Jim… Happy that others are starting to see through the agenda on here and the lack of credibility for comments…

      And instead of sticking to the issue of child abuse (or alleged abuse) they get mixed up with all kinds of issues regarding Church teaching and discipline. They attack the Church… not the failures of men (if those failures are real or just projected).

      Perfect example below from “haditcatholic” …

      1. Interesting that Hadit’s comment got to you, JV. It just makes her assessment that much more persuasive.

        How long have you and Jim been working as team? Incidentally, does Chaput pay “secret bloggers” as well as he pays his lawyers? How about Lynn’s courtroom cheering section? Who organizes them?

        Looks like Chaput is worried Lynn may yet break? What are you so worried about?

        Seth Williams will deal with Rigali and Chaput in good time, sooner than they may think.

      2. As far as I am concerned in my opinion people like Lynn allowed pedophiles to “attack” kids.

      3. “Failures of men” is exactly what we are addressing here. The failure of any adult to report crimes against children and to fail to protect children needs to be “called on the carpet”, whether it’s Penn State employees, Church employees or others. There seems to be no compassion for children or victims from either of you, John or Jim. This is not about attacking any particular institution. It’s about the prevention of child abuse and respect/healing for those who have been victimized due to the “failures of men.” In our country and in our states, we have laws to protect the innocent among us and to provide justice to victims of abuse. Some states have better laws for this than others, but all these laws exist for a reason.
        The evidence presented thus far in this trial, in my opinion, has proven that there was negligence on the part of Msgr. Lynn regarding the protection of children. In the one day that I attended the trial, this was proven in my eyes. Had the first witness been listened to and the priest been removed from exposure to children or, better yet, reported to the authorities, the 2nd wouldn’t have been abused. It’s straightforward. Will the jury see it that way? I don’t know. But I do know this. I don’t know how these men were able to be privy to the horrors that were being done to children and not do everything in their power to stop it. That bothers me deeply. Unless, John, you feel the facts in the Grand Jury report are fictitious, then there have indeed been real “failures of men.” As Seth Williams (a Catholic) said, this is not an attack on the Catholic Church. It is an attack on bad men who have committed crimes. Please, let’s admit that.

      4. To Jerry regarding your response to the above about “Secret Bloggers!” It wouldn’t surprise me if there were “secret Bloggers” as well as Apologists for the Archdiocese, who come to this sight to down-rate comments and “Defend the Church from SCANDAL (like it’s not already too damn late for that!) By any chance did you see the recent press releases, which came out of Chaput’s office on the two priests, who are being removed from their duties? Only the names were changed. Everything else, word for word was identical. It was as if Chaput wanted to skimp on the hourly wage of the individual, who writes his press releases! I guess for Chaput, one “Legal Boiler Plate” is enough, since he’ll probably need to save the Archdiocese’s money in the event that it needs to Appeal the verdict in Monsignor Lynn’s trial!

    5. Isn’t it ironic when people criticize others for being judgmental only to be judgmental themselves? “Redo your resume and find a different field of work.” That’s a judgmental comment.

      The agenda? Yes, there is an agenda. We want to protect children from sexual predators, be they priests or a child’s own biological father. Are you with us or are you with the predators?

      I won’t respond to anymore of your post, Jim, because I’m not even sure it’s written in English and I don’t want to confuse myself with anything you may or may not have written.

      Peace out bean sprout!

    6. JIm,
      Even alot of priests agree with Susan they just can’t say so publicly. Are you a parsihoner or family member of Lynn?

      1. beth,

        Priests can’t be let off the hook with that tired old phrase, “they just can’t say so publicly.” The issue is the rape, sodomy and varieties of sexual exploitation of children. The issues are good vs. evil and right and wrong.

        If ordinary priests refuse to address the moral depravity of a culture, in this case the Roman Catholic Church’s clerical culture, that facilitated and enabled such heinous acts they should not presume to speak on the morality of anything else from the pulpit. If ordinary priests have become so emasculated that they are incapable of standing upright they should not be giving directions to the bathroom let alone on the spiritual lives of their parishioners.

        Saying “they just can’t say so publicly,” is akin to enabling an alcoholic or a spousal abuser.

        I do feel sorry for them because they have not yet recognized the power for good that they possess if only they would organize. The Association of Philadelphia Priests or whatever it’s called has failed to reach its potential mainly because it’s focused too much on its own self-preservation; a circling the wagons mentality much like what the bishops have been doing all along. It isn’t geared outward toward others and certainly not toward children, young women, men or vulnerable adults who have been sexually abused by priests or bishops.

        I have been out in Cincinnati for most of this week and missed attending the trial. I had been able to attend for at least one day a week since it began.

        Keep calling your PA legislators and flood the major and local newspapers with Letters to the Editor.

        Have a good Memorial Day. Remember all the men and women who have served out country in the military and Remember all victims of sexual abuse be they children, young or the many vulnerable adults – by anyone.

        Remember that First Friday is June 1st and the regular First Friday Prayer, Protest and Picketing will commence at twelve noon and continue until one p.m. in front of the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Offices at 222 N. 17th Street.

        Sister Maureen Paul Turlish

      2. Sr.Maureen,
        I agree . Thanks for pointing that out. I should have worded it “will not say so publicly”. I am very disappointed and upset that no priest or priest group has publicly spoken out against what has been going on in our AD . Some say things at church but the victims deserve more and this is why the abuse has continued as it has…….

    7. Judgemental???????????Jesus said we can judge men by their fruits……..seems like Lynn has driven away alot of people from the church…….just ask the victims……you could also ask the catholics that are joining other denominations…….if I were you I would pray and ask Lynn and the heirarchy to repent , step down whatever it takes to repair the church ..maybe then some would come back……I don’t think many though and can you blame them?

    8. Jim,
      You sound angry. I am angry as well. Your anger is directed at Susan instead of those who failed to protect our children. Mgsr Lynn put our children in serous danger when he allowed abusive priest to be placed in positions that allowed them to be near children. I am not anti Catholic, I just want our children to be safe. I wish you could show this much anger at those who endangered our children by abusing them,
      covering it up, or choosing to do nothing. I don’t dislike priest or the Catholic church. I just want them to be accountable. You have no idea what it is like to be a victim of such horrible crimes. I assume you know Mgsr. Lynn. It must be heard to believe that he would do such terrible things. If you haven’t done so already I suggest you read both grand jury reports. I think you need to do your own research on Msgr Lynn. He hasn’t spent the last few months in court because the DA doesn’t like priest or the Catholic Church. Susan does have an agenda. Her agenda is to protect our children and She wants accountability from the AD.

      1. Carmella, I agree that hopefully everyone will check out the RESOURCES link at the top of this page and READ both Grand Jury reports.

        But for folks who havent done that, I try to cite specific relevant parts of the reports as they ‘connect up’ with the trial, see Gana and Cudemo excerpts cited below, which according to the Inquirer article cited in the post are part of today’s trial discussion.

    9. Jim Burke,

      You stated, “It sounds to me like you have agenda perhaps you don’t like thevCatholic [sic] Church or priests.”

      This is for everyone, but especially for you Jim.

      “What was I (Gianluigi Nuzzi) going to do, sit here on all these documents?” he asks. “Don’t you think Catholics who give millions to the Church deserve to know the truth?” The same thing applies to Susan. What is she going to do, sit on the facts?

      “VatiLeaks Exposes Internal Memos of the Catholic Church”
      THE DAILY BEAST – Barbie Latza Naudeau
      May 24, 2012 12:25 PM EDT

      1. Please disregard the above this is clearer.

        Jim Burke,

        You stated, “It sounds to me like you have agenda perhaps you don’t like thevCatholic [sic] Church or priests.”

        This is for everyone, but especially for you Jim.

        “What was I (Gianluigi Nuzzi) going to do, sit here on all these documents?” he asks. “Don’t you think Catholics who give millions to the Church deserve to know the truth?” The same thing applies to Susan. What is she going to do, sit on the facts?

        “VatiLeaks Exposes Internal Memos of the Catholic Church”
        THE DAILY BEAST – Barbie Latza Naudeau
        May 24, 2012 12:25 PM EDT

    10. Msgr. Lynn might have been an extraordinary pastor in Downington, how does that change the actions he took as Vicar for Clergy and being held to account for those actions?

      Msgr. Lynn said seminary colleagues mocked him for believing that the bishop’s orders were the will of God. This comforts me; there are psychologically mature priests. His espoused view is naïve and frightening. Blind obedience will not save him on Judgment Day let alone in the courts. He has free will, no? He is certainly aware of history and bad popes and bishops. So, he had a belief and, based on that belief, he chose to follow orders. He could not have “not known” that children would be at risk. Under the MOST charitable of interpretations, he CHOSE obedience authority over protecting parishoners. Less charitable interpretations would bring in clerical culture, careerism, etc.

      Susan said: “This is me being Catholic.” I love that. Most of us here are just being Catholic.

      As to hating the Church, the Church (capital ‘c”) is the people of God. I love the church and our 2,000 year old tradition. On my worst, least Christian days, I hate the current institutional leaders. So, if hating the church means hating them, that describes me. I hate the small “c” church. Woytyla-Ratzinger and their bishop appointees have brought back from the dead a 1950’s church and are encouraging a culture that is intrinsically disordered.

      Often when autocrats are vulnerable or deposed, the people they ruled lash out at them. Think about Sadam Hussein or Mohamar Kaddafi. So, it is not surprising that the Irish priests or Austrian priests or American religious women are pushing back against the small “c” church leadership. It is not surprising that Irish churches are empty, They lived under the oppression of autocrats for centuries. For many, these church leaders controlled every aspect of their lives. In this country, bishops claim that their religious freedom is being restricted when it comes to contraception. This has nothing to do with contraception and everything to do with restoration of power and demands for compliance. It is too late. We have seen Paris.

      Ratzinger’s original words are in brackets, my replacements are in CAPS. This might explain the anger at the church.

      “But the proper reaction to [crimes committed against homosexual persons] CRIMES ROOTED IN CLERICAL CULTURE should not be to claim that the [homosexual condition] CULTURE is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when [homosexual activity] CLERICALISM is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.” Thus, the hatred of some of us.

  2. When is it ever right to not just ignore but to hide a felony? When is it OK to do this over and over again? Lynn would do much better to not only confess his sins to God but to plead guilty and end this disgrace.

    1. But then again if you go after someone too hard ,they can appear sympathetic to the jury. I think all the prosecutors I have seen are good, Blessington seems to be the most passionate ..wears his heart on his sleeve a little more than the others.

      1. Fair enough, Kathy, but given the really monstrous harm to so many defenseless children that resulted from Lynn’s clerical cowardice and and apathetic ambition, if Blessington does anything short of waterboarding Lynn before the jury, Lynn will get little symapathy from the poor jurors who had to watch the seemingly endless Philly predator parade with Lynn shamelessly in the lead.

        Lynn obviously didn’t count on the other Lynne ( DA Lynne Abraham ) showing up in 2003 and wondering why none of the Philly Catholic children were enjoying the parade. Now it’s time for Msgr. Lynn to take his lumps.

        Also, Seth Williams must now prove to Philly citizens, including voters, that he can do more than just run with the legal baton that Lynne Abraham passed to him with a substantial lead in 2010.

        Seth Williams must finish the marathon Lynne Abraham started and go after Msgr. Lynn’s bosses, whom Lynn has repeatedly said called the cover-up shots.

        New trial evidence implicates hierarchs Rigali, Cullen, Cistone and Fitzgerald in potentially criminal conduct.

        DA Seth Williams now needs to pursue each of them to the full extent of the law.

        For Lynne Abraham’s and Marci Hamilton’s recent views on the Lynn trial given on the CBS News with Scott Pelley, please click on at:

  3. Lynn’s defense is not a serious one legally, nor a credible one practically. It is Lynn’s last push for the Team–lay it all on the “dead Cardinals”, who undoubtedly were ALSO guilty.

    “My boss said ‘do it’ is no defense”. This is merely Chaput’s PR strategy to enable him to say that Lynn, Bevilacqua and Krol alone were the ringleaders, the Bevil Devils, and since they are dead or imprisoned (most likely for Lynn), Philly can move on and focus on avoiding bankruptcy.

    Not so fast! Seth Williams, what about all the new sworn testimony directly implicating in potentially credible and indictable crimes hierarchs Rigali, Cullen, Cistone, Fitzgerald, and possibly even Bransfield?

    And what about Chaput’s apparent 15 month stonewalling on the almost two dozen suspended, but yet unsupervised , suspected priests? As a DA, Seth just can’t give them all a free pass—that would be an indefensible travesty of justice.

    So don’t pay much attention to Lynn’s phony swan song. He is an admitted liar just trying to salvage something before he puts on his orange suit, without the red hat of course!

    1. I don’t know that Williams will give them a free pass,this as so often with previous cases often involves the statutes. I say this as no defender of anyone including the DA’s office, just the reality of the past limiting statutes in the state of Pa. that allows many perps to go unprosecuted. I have heard many complaints about Chaput and have my own,lack of transparency about the priests who were removed,in many cases we will never know the reasons,the fact that Campbells admin leave was not announced In December although his case was turned over to law enforcement. But I have yet to see or hear anything that alludes to anything criminal on the part of Chaput and the suspened priests. I have seen comments where people allude to Chaput should be investigated or orange jumpsuits etc…for what exactly?..I have not heard one thing that would implicate him criminally in anything having to do with the situation in Philly. Business as usual with releasing as little info as possible ,but criminal? Don’t see the connection since law enforcement is involved in these cases.

      1. Kathy, two items, but their are many others.

        As to Rigali, he was in charge until last year for eight years. The shredding memo was suppressed for all of those years, some of which are not time barred by any SOL. This suppression may have constituted a continuing crime of withholding material evidence that has endangered children.

        As to Chaput, he has failed after 15 months to come clean on suspected priests who are, in effect, unsupervised. Many of them likely are a danger to children even today. To me that seems to be child endangerment.

        Gina Smith’s firm has hundreds of lawyers. With more effort, most of these cases should have been finally dealt with in under six months.

        When people play the SOL and evidence destruction games that the Philly AD plays, prosecutors must go after whatever charges they can make stick.

        I have no specific animus against the DA’s office, but it has no convictions of hierarchs in over a half century. This indicates to me they have done too little for too long.

        You may not like my red hat and orange jump suit metaphor, but it makes my point so I use it.

        You may

      2. I don’t see the child endangerment since the legal process is what has actually held up the decisions in many cases..waiting for the clearance from law enforcement that they have signed off so the case can then be sent to the review board etc…through the AD process.
        I am waiting to see what happens in relation to Rigali who was in charge when these suspended priests were in ministry with access to children and now of course the info about the shredded memo being discovered in 2006 also on his watch.

      3. Kathy, Chaput and his lawyer designed the “review” process for the two dozen priests suspended under specific suspicions over 15 months ago. No matter what cosy arrangements were made by Gina and Seth or Seth and the ex-cops now on Chaput’s AD Review Board, if the “review” process creates a danger for children, it raises a child endangerment issue for me.

        Only a handful of cases have been resolved, as far as we know, after 15 months. The unresolved priests appear to be unsupervised.

        If I were DA, I would consider the process “prima facia” child endangerment. I believe even you were shocked by the priest that confessed almost six months ago. Did he have access to kids during the past six months?

        As best I can tell, the Chaput/Smith approach, which Seth unwisely may be accepting, is at this point unsafe for children. If there is more to it, Seth should tell us publicly so that mothers like you are not shocked when the next suspended priest case is resolved. The gag order does not apply here.

        It appears to me that once again the basis consideration is to protect the Philly AD and string out disclosure, perhaps to get SOL protection.

        With already suspected priests, the safety of the children must come first.

      4. I am not referring to the review board of the AD I am referring to the cases that have been turned over to law enforcement and had to be signed off on before the AD began their process. I am the last one to defend the AD and hope my comments to not read that way,I am just being clear that if law enforcement is doing their own work on these cases whether charges are brought or not brought..then they are already involved and aware of the length of time these decisions are ending up to be. In our work I have never heard one person with a claim Chaput has done anything criminal in relation to the current cases of suspended priest..not once. A lot of complaints about lack of transparency about the allegations etc…
        As for children being safe. Avery and Brennan were free for 14 months before their trial started..Brennan still free while on trial. And I don’t hold out a lot of hope for children being safer even once the decisions are announced. Priests in the prayer and repentance programs can sign in and out,and other will choose to be laicized..under no one’s supervision.To me the decisions are more of a formality..just an announcement that they are removed..I worry about children’s safety even after the decisions because we all know by now abusers don’t stop and because of statutes most will not be behind bars,which is the real tragedy.
        I have heard that some of the suspended priest have already been residing in these P&P programs while they await the decisions. So to me these decisions just mean they won’t be returning to parishes. I met a woman whose son was abused by a clergy member in Philadelphia who was thought to have abused so many,many children. He chose to be laicized rather than P&P and is now living in California somewhere.

      5. I don’t mean to sound harsh when I say it “just means they will not be returning to parishes” because obviously having them removed from the parish is keeping those children safe. I am just at the point I realize that predators in prison is what really keeps children protected and in most of these cases that will not be happening. It has been eye opening over this year in working with justice4pakids to find out that many child predators roam free in our state with access to children . The laws in our state have been terrible in relation to child sex abuse and because the laws of the year of the crime and not the current laws are enforced in relation to charging and leaves many children in vulnerable situations throughout our state.

      6. Also the AD encompasses a 5 county area of Chester Bucks,Montgomery,Philadelphia and Delaware counties. Seth William is not the only DA involved.If a crime or infraction occurred in any of the 5 counties the case is referred to that particular DA’s office. The DA does not have to wait for a decision by Chaput to arrest someone whose crimes fall within the statutes.It is a criminal investigation like any other that takes place. They need the witnesses,evidence and the crime to fall within statutes to make an arrest. In the press conference I believe Chaput said 9 cases had now just been handed back and he would be making decisions and 6 remained still under investigation by law enforcement. So I think the decisions about the 9 will be what starts to be announced soon…maybe even this Friday.

      7. Kathy, I never said Chaput was a criminal. I said some of his actions warrant the DA’s investigation. I stand by that. I wrote a long comment that got lost in cyberspace, it appears. I will let it go since time will tell.

      8. Susan will be on the local CBS 3 news in Philadelphia and the CBS National news at 6:30.
        I have a comment in cyber space also..will be redundant once it gets out of moderation because i posted simialr thoughts in the comments that went through

      9. Kathy..when the dust finally settles…I hope there will be a very extensive look at PA law, relative … certainly extending the SOLs windows for civil suits, BUT ALSO to cleaning up a whole range of other legislation that is, perhaps at this moment, making it difficult for law enforcement to effectively deal with sexual molestation of innocent children.

        I suspect that there are a whole lot of legislative changes that need to be made, some noted in the Grand jury reports, and some NOT noted there!

        Would love to hear from PA prosecutors…on this matter…when the dust settles…

    2. I wonder how much the Archdiocese needed to pay Monsignor Lynn to keep his mouth shut and to go along with the game of blaming the now deceased, Cardinal Bevilacqua as his (Lynn’s) defense. I found out something interesting about Cardinal Bevilacqua, when I did my blog on “The cost of looking like an Apostle or the Vicar of Christ on Earth!” I went to Gammarelli’s website. This is the plush Vatican’s boutique for almost priceless vestments. There, I discovered that Cardinal Bevilacqua has a special brocade named after him. It has two puffed-up Peacocks in the center of it. I wonder who the other peacock is?

  4. Lynn’s belief that bishops are exerting the will of God when they make priestly appointments acts to theologically support obedience. The belief, in my opinion, is incorrect and dangerous. Until these sorts of ideas that are indigenous to our faith are expelled, our Church will remain a dangerous place for human beings.

    1. Hadit,

      If we take Lynn at his word (and this is a stretch), he really did believe in slavish obedience to his bishop – the bishop speaks for God.. what more evidence do we need about the consequences of such a dangerous belief? I am with you, it needs to be eradicated.

    2. It’s not only a dangerous place for human beings, it’s a dangerous place for beasts as well. Crimen Sollicitationis was to cover ONLY the solicitation of sex in the confessional, in addition to cases of “Beastiality!” Now, when was the last time that you saw a beast lining up at the confessional. Apparently the Vatican thought that there were reports of “Beastiality” in the Church; otherwise, the Vatican, in Her wisdom, wouldn’t have included “Beastiality” in this 1982 Top Secret Directive, sent out to ALL of the bishops of the world!

  5. What was Lynn thinking when, for five minutes, he sat red-faced, fixated straight ahead, at the defense table, after testifying for the day?

    What, if anything, was the significance of reaching into the purple folder Lynn carried as he was leaving 304, removing the silver, religious medal, and handing it to his sister? Was it an act of “faith-abdication”? Was Lynn abdicating his faith/trust in God, the Church, the hierarchy, and/or the priesthood?

    1. The demeanor of Lynn at the defense table is NOT the demeanor of a person experiencing confidence in, or satisfaction with, his performance.

      Included in the list of things Lynn may have abdicated his faith and trust in is his defense team.

      1. Perhaps, Hadit, someone told Lynn about your encouraging him to be honest now.

        It is likely Lynn could still get a sweet plea bargain like Avery’s, but Lynn would first have to agree to testify against his bosses, including Rigali and the three bishops.

        Lynn must now be regretting he failed to follow the judge’s strong early warning that he not rely on potentially conflicted lawyers, who are paid by Chaput and may be disposed to follow the tune of the piper who pays them.

        Is he now realizing he may have been set up by the real ringleaders?

        It is not too late for him to sing his own tune.

    2. Hadit,
      That’s so hopeful of you.

      I was thinking he probably removed it while he was on the stand, so, in the world of fairies and unicorns, he could lie. LOL

      I like your version better though. 🙂

    3. haditcatholic, lynn was feeling SHAME! Red faced Shame! He knows in his heart of hearts what he did was wrong.

      1. Vicky, I think shame over his wrongdoing is part of it. But I think Lynn experiences a lot of shame, anger and especially frustration in terms of his “bumbling” nature. I think this nature has followed him all his life. His role as seminarian, his job as secretary to the clergy, and his role as defendant answering to a raging prosecutor, are among a host of life experiences where “bumbling” only got him by, and no more. I agree with Cipriano, in Lynn, too, is a nice, soft, regular guy bent. It is this, I believe, that his parishioners know and cling to. No worse person could have been matched with Cullen, Molloy, Cistone and Bevil. than Lynn.

      2. Hadit….no worse person could have been matched…etc….that may well go down as the most prescient remark on C4C, ever!

      3. Vicky: I don’t believe that Lynn thinks that what he did was wrong. I now believe that he thinks, “I’m going down for Cardinal Rigali and the rest of the bishops, involved in this Archdiocese-wide SCAM!” I believe that now, when he looks into the eyes of the jury he sees their disgust and knows that he will be found guilty!

    4. Dear “Had it Catholic:” When I heard about Lynn handing a medal to his sister, my first thought was that he was sending a message to Catholic jurors to let them know that the basic, fundamental beliefs, that they grew up with, were being attacked in the Court Room. I felt this “Act of faith” in a time of desperation, was totally inappropriate!

  6. There are four sets of secrets that the bishops guard fiercely for the purpose of retaining power. The first is the set of secrets that it keeps regarding the extensive international and centuries-long sexual crimes by clergy on little boys and girls. The second is the extensive heterosexual, and even more so homosexual, activity of bishops and priests. The third involves doctrinal dishonesty; that is, actual knowledge that church teaching is in error, such as teachings that women cannot be priests, priests are not free to marry, the pope is infallible, or the church is the Spotless Bride of Christ. It includes knowledge by bishops that apparitions are faked for the purpose of retaining power over a once illiterate and superstitious population. (See recent academic works on many on these, including Knock, Ireland, and the fake stigmata of Padre Pio.) The fourth set of secrets is its vast wealth and income. The Vatican is dripping in the wealth of the ages while most of the faithful live in the Catholic Poverty Pits. The Vatican profits from the world’s wealthiest heirs, businessmen, mafia bosses, and international drug dealers, from centuries of nationally imposed taxes in countries such as Germany and Italy, and from tax-free schemes in both wealthy and poor nations. To retain power, the bishops must prevent these four sets of secrets from becoming widely known. The testimony of Bill Lynn, and the in your face politics of Sean Brady and Joseph Ratzinger are exhibits one, two, and three.

    1. Unfortunately Mark it takes God-given wisdom and discernment for most Catholics to understand and to realize that what you are saying is true. Most Catholics have been brain-washed to believe that only members of the priesthood and the Hierarchy have the discernment necessary to understand complicated issues of faith, which most “Thinking Catholics” call SCAMS! Long ago, I became convinced that most Catholics go to a 35 to 39.6 minute Mass on Sunday because they’ve been told that it’ll fulfill their “religious obligation” for the week! Plain and simply: They DON’T want to know the Truth, because the “Truth would set them free” from centuries of hoaxes and Vatican superstitions!

  7. Beth, though the names are not familiar to me, I would bet that John and Jim are parishoners, if not related somehow. It’s the attitude I’ve been dealing with at least from many of that parish.

    Susan, your commnets reflect my own, basic overall feelings. And whether or not how you feel is shared by all on this site, you are entitled to your opinion. John and Jim are entitled to theirs as well, though one would wonder, based on their comments, what they are doing on a site called ‘Catholics for Change’. Though if any kind of abuse were to happen to their children (if they have any), I’m quite sure their opinions would be quite different. It seems to be the way of many ignorant people, they can only feel if it directly effects them. Maybe they would like to start their own site and group discussions, for those who are happy to put the blinders on and go along status quo. Strictly my opinion, yet I’m entitled to it.

    1. Deidre,
      If that is the case it seems it is easier to attack Susan than deal with the fact that the priest they thought was a “good guy” and did “good things” also was an enabler and lacked the inner strength to do the right thing because it would cost him personally. To follow Christ sometimes costs………he told us to take up our cross not that it would be easy……..I find it ironic Lynn told Vicky she was an”empty well” he probably was looking at his own reflection. Shallow faith ……..placed in men not God.

    2. Deidre, I agree. Sadly, some may only be capable of feeling compassion if it hits close to home. I know none of us here wish anything like that on anyone. Dear God, just the opposite…..we want it to stop. I just wish everyone could feel empathy without it having to happen in their own backyard.

  8. Beth,

    You’re right. But, attacking others and bullying are what these kind of people do best. It’s an attempt to take the focus off the issues at hand.

    And the comment that was made to Vicky by Lynn repulses me beyond belief. It shows no apathy and absolutely no common decency.

    1. But Lynn thought he “was helping people… helping victims as much as I could”. !!!

      “Every time, you put the victims first?” the prosecutor said, incredulously.

      “I believe in my heart I was, yes,” Lynn said. !!!!

      Whatever the oucome of this trial, I hope all victims find some consolation knowing so many BELIEVE and SUPPORT them, and that those involved – either directly or indirectly – will be judged on their last day… and by a higher power than the Phila. judicial system.

    2. Good comment Mark!
      Deidre, Beth…the trolling…It’s understandable. It’s all about fear…It’s a scary time in the AD of Phila.. People are putting up mental defenses against what they are learning about their church.

      Faithful, lifelong Catholics are frightened right now…frightened of seeing a beloved institution “attacked”…of feeling alone, unsure or overwhelmed….of having to think for themselves about God……of feeling foolish for following….of the unknown.

  9. There are at least seven sets of secrets that the bishops guard in order to retain power. The fifth set of secrets is extensive involvement in international criminal activity. A few examples: the 1990 burial of 38 year old mafia boss and murderer Enrico de Pedis inside the Vatican by Blessed Pope John Paul the Great; the 1998 triple homicide that took place in the room directly beneath the bedroom of Blessed Pope John Paul the Great (see, John Follain’s book, City of Secrets); the 1983 disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi from the Vatican (at age 15, hint, hint); the 1978 suspicious death of JPI (covered over by Blessed Pope John Paul the Great, see, David Yallop’s book, In God’s Name); and the Vatican Bank’s laundering of money ( ) describe the tip of the iceberg. The evidence is vastly more extensive. The sixth set is the church’s improper involvement in international politics; cooperation with wars (by failing to speak against them or by doing so superficially) for motives including profit; and in the internal politics of every nation. The seventh set is that, although they use the language of the gospel on the surface, often the bishops are on the side of the powerful, the wealthy, and the privileged, and are part of the inner elite, and act and speak for them. They respond to gross injustices and perpetual poverty by promising happiness in the next world, and by admonishing the poor to accept their lot without complaint. Yet bishops’ residences in the most impoverished nations have gold embossed ceilings above priceless tapestries, artifacts, and artworks (that properly belong in museums owned by the people), and servants for all work. As Napoleon Bonaparte said, “I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom is not of this world, and yet they lay their hands on everything they can get.”

    1. Mark,
      Do you know anything about the Italian bishop just removed in Italy for basically money missing? The bishop said he is being removed because he spoke out about the mob and the masons and did not take any money. Drwho13 I read a blog you wrote that I believe stated you were a mason. If this is correct can you add anything to this discussion ? As far as are catholic heirarchy members of the masons? Didn’t John Paul 11 open the door to that? I am alittle confused about that. Wondering why the bishop was speaking about mafia and masons together.

      1. I guess my point in the above blog is that the pope removed the bishop for “stealing money” but has not removed any bishops for covering up abuse presently.

      2. Beth,

        Good memory. I did state that I was a Mason. I have been inactive for many years. At least at my level (3rd degree) it was nothing more than a social club. The only secrets I know are the ‘password’ and the ‘handshake.’ To the best of my knowledge when the Church forbade membership, that prohibition was based upon the fact that it was a ‘secret society.’

        I have to laugh; if one is not permitted to be a member of a ‘secret society’ how could one be a Catholic? But, I guess the secret parts of the Church are reserved for ordained members, as it appears they can do anything they want. They make the rules, so they can break the rules. Isn’t that how it works?

        As for the Masons, there are lodge members who are also members of the Catholic hierarchy. I have no knowledge of how extensive this co-membership is.

        As far as I know, the Church no longer forbids a Catholic from becoming a member of the Masons, nor does She endorse membership. I believe that change came during the reign of JPII, but I’m not certain, and I’m open to correction.

      3. Thanks Drwho13,
        I will see if I can look up this bishop and see what exactly he had been saying that he states was the “real reason” for the pope removing him.

      4. The mob had infiltrated the Church before the death of John Paul I through the Lodge “Propaganda Due” or “P2”. Many in the Vatican belonged to it. Their names are in the following book: According to David Yallop’s book, “In God’s Name,” John Paul I was killed after only 33 days in office, because he was about to fire every Cardinal and Archbishop involved in the upcoming Vatican Bank Scandal and the Banco Ambrosiano Scandal. He was changing all of the men around him, particularly those at the top like Cardinal Villot, his Secretary of State. Cardinals don’t like loosing their cushy jobs and their out-a-sight benefits and drag-like brocades, capes and velvet trains as they just wouldn’t look and feel like true Apostles without them! (For more details, please see my blog, “The Cost of looking like an Apostle or the Vicar of Christ on Earth!”

  10. When Blessington asked Lynn if he had lied to the grand jury about how he handled anonymous complaints, the defendant smiled and said: “I’m sure you’re going to point out that I did, but I don’t recall that I did.”

    “Do you think this is funny?” Blessington said.

    “No,” Lynn said. “I don’t know how you want me to answer questions, the way you ask them.”

    “How about the truth?” Blessington said.

    THE TRUTH………….. What a joke……The ship is sinking and the rats are running for dry land… The DA need to go after Rigali and his bishops to finish the job…

  11. WR, I was just going to paste that part of the above cited article:

    Methodically, the prosecutor walked Lynn through the cases of accused priests and victims testimony that jurors have heard during the landmark conspiracy and child-endangerment trial. He said Lynn lied when he told one victim of the Rev. Stanley Gana — a priest Lynn conceded “did horrible things” — that there were no other complaints about Gana. He said Lynn lied when he failed to tell a Philadelphia police officer he knew of multiple abuse complaints against the Rev. Nicholas Cudemo.

    When Blessington asked Lynn if he had lied to the grand jury about how he handled anonymous complaints, the defendant smiled and said: “I’m sure you’re going to point out that I did, but I don’t recall that I did.”

    “Do you think this is funny?” Blessington said.

    “No,” Lynn said. “I don’t know how you want me to answer questions, the way you ask them.”

    “How about the truth?” Blessington said.

    Lynn is charged with endangering children by recommending two priests live or work in parishes despite signs they might abuse children. One, his codefendant, the Rev. James J. Brennan, has denied the charges he tried to rape a 14-year-old boy in 1996. The second, Edward Avery, pleaded guilty before the trial to charges that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999.

    Lynn knew about a previous allegation against Avery, and had included him on a 1994 list of archdiocesan priests he described as guilty osexual misconduct. Still, he recommended that Avery be allowed to live at the rectory of St. Jerome Church, the parish where he molested the altar boy.

    1. AND I am including 2011 Grand Jury reports on Lynn and Cudemo, apparently als a topic of this morning’s trial:

      Rev. Nicholas V. Cudemo pp47 48
      Rev. Nicholas V. Cudemo, ordained in 1963, was described as “one of the sickest people I ever knew” by Msgr. Molloy, Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Vicar for Administration. Father Cudemo raped an 11-year-old girl, molested a fifth grader in the confessional, invoked God to seduce and shame his victims, and maintained sexually abusive relationships simultaneously with several girls from the Catholic school where he was a teacher. His own family sued him for molesting a cousin.

      According to the Archdiocese’s files, it received formal complaints against Father Cudemo from 12 different victims over a period of nearly four decades. Church officials had good reason – including statements from Father Cudemo himself – to believe that even that figure significantly understated the true number of children he abused.

      Msgr. Lynn personally interviewed Father Cudemo about the allegations of sexual abuse, and obtained from him a rambling mixture of admissions and denials. The priest told him that he “possibly” lay nude on top of an undressed girl; that he had been confronted by a girl about touching her and performing sexual acts on her, but didn’t remember doing those things and “I remember everything”; that he had “known lots of women and that it always takes two to do these things;” that if sexual activities did occur, they must have happened 20 years ago; that all the girls were willing, and that “nothing close to sexual happened with these girls.” When told that some of his accusers were from his own family, he immediately said their names and acknowledged having “incidents” with them.

      In 1996, a panel of pastors recommended Father Cudemo’s removal as pastor due to “several grave causes.” By that point, Msgr. Lynn was aware of at least 10 formal allegations against the priest involving sexual abuse of girls. Yet one year later, in 1997, the Secretary forClergy presented Father Cudemo with a certificate declaring him a retired priest “in good standing” in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and asking that he be permitted to function as a priest in any other diocese in the country. In March 2003, Father Cudemo told one of his former victims that the certificate was allowing him to minister in Orlando, Florida, where he now lives part-time.

      1. Joan- I am the “former victim” that Cudemo told in 2003 that he had been given the letter from the AD to allow him to minister in Orlando. When he phoned me I had no idea the extent of his abuse to the other women and girls. He was very proud of himself and was looking for me to tell him that he never hurt me. I knew that he had groomed me when I was 17 years old and a Senior at Cardinal Dougherty and at that time he was setting me up to become another conquest. With that phone conversation many years later I was given the rare chance to tell him what I really thought about him –but, I felt like I was having a conversation with the devil!! Shortly after that phone call there was an article in the Inquirer about him and the other victims and that was when I went to the district attorney Last week at the trial the Sister of IHM (another victim) who told Lynn he could have done something to stop Cudemo described Cudemo as “evil”. Surely he was evil and still is – living out his life in Orlando FL. God help us.

      2. Oh Jane, I am so very very sorry, that that very evil man factored in your life. I AM glad that you had a chance to tell him what you thought of him!

        And of course, you had the sense that you were dealing with evil…clearly, you were.

        The notion that Cudemo is in Orlando with a certificate from Lynn declaring him a ‘priest in good standing’ is also profoundly evil….and a huge indictment of Lynn and the AD he serves!!!

        I hope you are OK….I worry about the impact of this trial on folks who have had a serious ‘connection’ with these incredibly evil ugly horrific men.

        And I hope my citing the Grand Jury data on Cudemo has not hurt you.

        I thank you very much for your comments….and God love you and care for you!

      3. Actually, Jane, thank god, Cudemo is no longer a priest in good standing….but the notion with all the data that the AD had on him, that Lynn would issue such a document is horrifying. That you ‘spoke up’ to the DA was the only good news in this very ugly story.

      4. Joan thank you for your caring words. While it is painful to see his name all over this blog and also in the papers it is also so wonderful to know that the truth about him and ALL the others has come to light. It has been a great experience for me to be on this blog and get to know some very special victims and people who support the victims. No matter how the trial ends we have just begun to make a difference in the Philly RCC we are still at the beginning of a long road. Everyone please have a safe and relaxing Memorial day weekend. We will all need alot of energy (and maybe tums and advil) next week as this whole thing winds down.

  12. From the 2011 Grand Jury report…the Grand Jury’s Stanley Gana data:

    “Fr.  Gana pp45, 46, 47

    Rev. Stanley Gana, ordained in 1970, sexually abused countless boys in a succession of Philadelphia parishes. He was known to kiss, fondle, anally sodomize, andimpose oral sex on his victims. He took advantage of altar boys, their trusting families, and vulnerable teenagers with emotional problems. He took groups of adolescent male parishioners on overnight trips, and would rotate them through his bed. He collected nude pornographic photos of his victims. He molested boys on a farm, in vacation houses, in the church rectory. Some minors he abused for years.

    During and even before Msgr. Lynn’s tenure as Secretary of Clergy, he was aware of much of the sexual abuse committed by Father Gana. Yet Msgr. Lynn thwarted efforts to have him removed from active ministry. Two victims came forward in the 1990s to describe specifics of their abuse and provide the names of other victims. They begged Msgr. Lynn and his colleagues in the Archdiocese to take away Father Gana’s cover as a priest in good standing, to stop facilitating his exploitation of minors.

    Soon after the second victim came forward, Msgr. Lynn even learned that Father Gana had admitted the sexual abuse during therapy sessions. Moreover, both victims provided Msgr. Lynn with corroborating witnesses, and at least one of them was deemed credible by Msgr. Lynn even before Father Gana’s admission.

     In addition, Msgr. Lynn knew that Father Gana was still living with students at the time the abuse reports were coming in. 

    Despite this overwhelming evidence that Father Gana was a dangerous sexual predator, Msgr. Lynn took no steps to have him removed from active ministry, or even to protect the students who were living with him at the time of the reports. Quite the opposite, as documented by the previous grand jury, Msgr. Lynn spent a decade improperly investigating Father Gana’s victims rather than Father Gana; misleading the priest’s treatment team so its members would not know the full extent of his criminal misconduct; and explicitly supporting Father Gana’s successful effort to remain in active ministry, where he continued to perform Mass with altar boys.

    When asked by one of the victims to explain this unconscionable breach of duty, which endangered countless minors while perpetuating Father Gana’s crime spree, Msgr. Lynn could offer only the non sequitur that the priest’s misconduct had not been limited to having sex with children and teenage minors. Father Gana had also slept with adults, abused alcohol, and stolen money from parish churches. “You see,” said Msgr. Lynn, “he’s not a pure pedophile.”

  13. I don’t understand the demeanor exhibited by some clergy I have seen in the courtroom and now by Monsignor lynn on the stand. These are the most horrific crimes against children,even if Lynn or his fellow priests think he is innocent,no one is denying the abuse happened. Laughing,chatting, smiling on the stand…such a disconnect from the horror of what happened to children. As someone on the site said they forget what it is to be a child..didn’t they have parents at one time who loved them? What DNA do they seem to be lacking?

    1. “What DNA do they seem to be lacking?”

      “When Father Birmingham blasted through the door to Sister Martha’s eighth-grade classroom at St. James’ School, all the children stood and sang in concert chorus: ‘Good morning, Father B.!’ The way Birmingham loomed in that doorway, enormously tall, zestful, and handsome, sent electricity through the room. (from Our Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal by David France)

      Inflicting some priests is the early, often in childhood, realization that, on their own, they are powerless to command the respect and create the electricity exemplified by a figure like Fr. Birmingham. They neither possess the personal attributes, social skills, brains nor body (in their eyes or according to their experiences) to carve out a “distinguished” place in the world. It’s a cruel epiphany for a child to endure. Most children would eventually resign themselves to living simple, adult lives marked by a modicum of success, even lives as functioning social outcasts. But some of these children have a narcissistic edge or a “pleasing” edge, believing they are entitled to distinction, or believing they need to please someone with a place of distinction (often a mother, and often as an act of love). Since they perceive themselves as unable to materialize distinction on their own, they are attracted to institutions like the priesthood where, by mere association, they are bestowed with distinction The automatic distinction positions them to electrify the world in which, at one time, they were powerless.

      In priests fitting this profile, what “DNA” might be lacking?

    2. Kathy,
      Today I heard someone speak and they said “cowards end up in hell” and many” people that appear good are just passive”………it really made me think……….

    3. Kathy, IMO, it’s not DNA that is lacking there. It’s the effects of clericalism on weak, underdeveloped character. Those men have been insulated from the roughness of the real world their entire lives…We should all take a good look…That’s what over-grown, spoiled brats look like at 60-something!…. No concern for how much damage and pain they’ve caused to countless people.. No idea how important a child is…No fear of real consequences. And why not?… Nobody’s ever held them accountable for much of anything.. They’ve had an archdiocesan safety net under them forever…limitless power and wealth to get them out of trouble.

      So, with no chance ever of being, demoted, defeated, fired, unemployed, sued, outed, humiliated, harassed, abandoned, rejected, impoverished or homeless, ….Wouldn’t you be breezy and happy-go-lucky too?!
      (–only one thing though, YOU wouldn’t be clueless enough to let it show in front of a jury holding the power to send you to jail.)

      1. Crystal ,
        I have to add and discplined when they tried to do the right thing like Fr. Pichard I do feel that was a warning to other priests. Groupthink or no think……..

    4. Kathy, I meant to comment on your remarks about ‘inappropriate’ defendant behaviour..

      Several thought occurred to me…

      A defense strategy to indicate that this was a ‘trivial’ matter that no one was concerned about.

      A nervous reaction to trial ‘stress’.

      A total inability to relate to the horrors of raping and sodomizing innocent children…

      Take your pick.

  14. I believe the victims…. Morally, Lynn, didnt know right from wrong? What??? Really?? Or it wasn’t his “job”….. or i had to listen to the cardinal……. Canon Law……or whatever else they want to call it…. What about the innocence of our children, and what was taken from them??the innocent children………… Jesus knows all, our deepest thoughts, actions, our whole being…i will always stand up for the innocent… To all of the victims my prayer is for you to know Jesus and as always He holds us all in the Palm of His hand. Peace be in you hearts, body, mind and spirit, and give you all a free spirit….to be survivors not victims anymore..I am catholic, and we are the church……

    1. Beautifully spoken, Denise. You have expressed what is in my heart. Why do our church leaders have such a hard time admitting their mistakes? Why do they have such a hard time taking responsibility for their sins…crimes? Why do they have such difficulty ministering to God’s people? WHY do they ignore the cries of our innocent children? We, the rest of us, the true church MUST compensate for their terrible neglect of the innocent and the ignorant. We, the true church, have such a tall order to take responsibility for alleviating the pain of the victims/survivors. This is Jesus’ mission for His church. This is Jesus mission for us. I have only one voice. I give my voice to defend and protect our victims, and all our children. I lend my voice to give witness to their courage in the face of evil. God be with us!

      1. Yes it is the face of evil, and we have to stand up against what and who are evil. Jesus by His dying and Rising gave us His Holy Spirit, to dwell in us, to know right from wrong, and to stand on it….God help us and protect us all…

    2. These are excuses not reasons. Bottom line, Lynn was responsible to protect the innocent and vulnerable children. He did not. Whatever excuses he may give he remains responsible for enabling and facilitating the sexual abuse of additional children once he was made aware of the probability of such abuse.

      I would have expected the prosecution to call Rigali to the stand. I really don’t understand why they did not.

      Sister Maureen

      1. Rigali? Money is still King.

        I agree 110% with your typically wise comments about Lynn.

        We just have to continue to press to make sure Rigali gets his day in court.

        He will, if you, Susan, Kathy and Marci keep up your great work.

  15. To bad Monsignor Lynn could not remember this number: 911

    Maybe he will remember his Jail Number as he will have to give it to Rigali, Chaput, Cullen, Senior, Cistone and others before they come to visit him.. Better yet maybe they will all get a Jail Number to remember…

  16. Some great comments by the people responding to the testimony of Lynn in the dock. I believe I have heard this kind of defense by many evil men after World War II at Nuremberg. Many war criminals have used this defense after many wars. “I was only following orders.” I also remember that very funny comic once said, “The devil made me do it.” I pray that the jury will see through this defense and give a clear verdict.

  17. Kathy:

    I don’t understand the demeanor exhibited by some clergy I have seen in the courtroom and now by Monsignor lynn on the stand.

    Kathy, I feel the same way each time there is a video in the news media of the smiling, jovial, happy-go-lucky, not-a-care-in-the world grin of Jerry Sandusky as he exits the vehicle for another of his court appearances. Oblivious, detached, sinister……add whatever words you wish. Satan is certainly present in Room 304 at the CJC.

    1. And Michael you know the way the AD works with the tight PR behind most things… the late in the day Friday afternoon announcements…I will wager a bet that this coming Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend brings some more announcements on the decisions of the suspended priests. Word on the street is that most are not returning,being removed..I predict a slow trickle of announcements made over the next few weeks starting with this Friday.

    1. Catholic Church priorities???
      You fail to protect the billions in Vatican assets and monies and you’ll be kicked to the curb in an instant.

      On the other hand, here in Philadelphia, PA, facts, evidence, statements and documents are on display in the criminal trial of Msgr. Lynn which clearly documents the sexual abuse of many, many innocent archdiocesan young children and young adults, and not a single official, leader, monsignor, auxiliary bishop or bishop is fired or relieved of his duties. In Philadelphia too, cash trumps the rights, hearts, minds, spirits and souls of our most innocent members of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

      With new leadership here, nothing at all has changed. Everyone knows that BIshop Chaput (cha-pew) is only here for the red chapeau.

  18. Beth,
    If the Pope removed any bishop due to the mishandling of sex abuse, it would be an obvious admission of wrong-doing. Can you imagine the implications if the Pope did that?

    The message is clear…you can mess with our children, just not our money. They want anyone connected to the mishandling of money to be prosecuted.

    1. Yes SW…………….I know…………..God help them on judgement day………..they are going to hell if they continue this way remember Jesus saying better they have a millstone wrapped around their neck and they drop to the borrom of the sea…….. if they prevent children from coming to God…….Jesus was not kidding……

  19. I suspect that one or two of the daily court visitors are high priced jury consultants whose job is to watch every move that every juror makes, and to come up with a strategy to sway jurors and a prediction on which way each juror is leaning. These consultants are expensive, and experience indicates they can be quite effective. Certainly the AD has the money and would spare no cost in an effort to win, so I suspect there is a reasonably good chance they are using jury consultants. Does anyone know? In addition, the AD has extensive records on the people who not only are in the AD properly, but others as well. Anyone who has ever been married in the AD, or applied for an annulment, or participated in a church event or school or gone for counseling, likely has a record of some sort that might be available for the AD. Jury consultants might investigate each member of the jury, I think they would, and would develop a profile on each member to try to predict which way she or he would vote, and what are the best ways to win votes. Soon, the vote will come. It will take only a single vote to yield a hung jury, which would be a victory for the AD. I think that all along this is what the AD has hung its hat on. They may already know who sits on the jury, and if there is one among them who will give all for the AD, the AD may already know that. Lynn is guilty, in my opinion, as are his superiors. But I suspect the AD has a good chance of having one person on the jury who will not yield to reason.

    1. The last few sentences of today’s AP article say it all:

      But he conceded that he “forgot” to tell a police officer investigating abuse claims against a notorious priest in the early 1990s that the archdiocese knew of at least eight other victims. Lynn said he did volunteer to the officer that three relatives had once accused the priest of fondling them.

      “I did my best for the people that were injured by priests,” Lynn said.
      “Your best is nothing,” Blessington fired back.

      Read more:

      1. The last few trial days have discussed the ‘shredded list’ the defense state it’s an expression of Lynn’s concern for children

        When I first read it I wondered why there were all those 5 year notations…. We’re they perhaps a ‘heads up’ on AD liability?

        See what you think.

        This “list of priests who have been guilty or accused of sexual
        misconduct with a minor according to the file material” was
        attached to the memo from Msgr. William J. Lynn to Msgr. James
        Molloy dated February 18, 1994. This is the list that Cardinal
        Bevilacqua ordered to be shredded.

        The leadership involved certainly put the secret in secretariat and endangered countless children over decades. Our children. Mine and yours. Please don’t let this go unchallenged. It’s up to the courts and lay Catholics now. No more empty promises of accountability. Insist that the archdiocese acts on all the recommendations of the 2011 Grand Jury report.



        Diagnosed Pedophile

        Reverend James J. Bryski (1977) Exit in 1985 – Activity occurred more than five years ago.
        Reverend Nicholas V. Cudemo (1963) Restricted faculties/living with relatives.
        Reverend Peter J. Dunne (1954) No official assignment. – Activity occurred more than five years ago. Encouraged to seek laicization. No response to the request for laicization at this time. Living on his own in his private residence.
        (Editor’s note: Peter Dunne was finally exposed in the 2005 Grand Jury Report. Good thing, too. My family had no idea there was an issue.)

         Guilty of Sexual Misconduct with Minors

        Reverend Edward V. Avery (1970), Chaplain, Nazareth Hospital/ Resident St. Jerome. Sexual relationship with same minor three times. Action occurred more than five years ago. (Editor’s note: as if it might clear up over time – like a rash).
        Reverend Pasquale R. Catullo (1963), Pastor Annunciation B.V.M. Sexual relationship with highs school junior (1968-69). Self reported. No complaint issued. Requested transfer.
        Reverend James M. Dux (1948) Associate Pastor, Saint John the Baptist. Diagnosed in 1965 as sexually deviated and this problem is deep-rooted and of chronic duration. Sexual advances (kissing) teenage boys reported. Pornography. Action occurred more than five years ago.
        Reverend Francis J. Gallagher (1973) Associate Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Jenkintown. Alcoholism and solicitation of adult males. In psychological evaluation. Self-disclosure of mutual masturbation with two adolescent boys with whose family Father had a personal friendship. No complaints ever filed.
        Reverend Joseph Gausch (1945) Retired. Living in Cape May, NJ. Sexual activity with young men. Actions occurred more than five years ago.
        Reverend Richard Jones (1963) Inactive. Encouraged to seek laicization. Living in Florida. Files indicate actions with one minor (17 years of age) and adult males. Actions occurred more than five years ago.
        Reverend Raymond O. Leneweaver (1962) Exit in 1980. In 1968 admitted sexual acts with high school boys. Actions occurred more than five years ago.
        Reverend John J. Murray (1947) Retired. In 1992, fondled a teenage girl while under the influence of alcohol.
        Msgr. Richard T. Powers (1963) Pastor, Incarnation of Our Lord. Had a sexual relationship with a 17 year old girl in Caracas, Venezuela while with the Society of St. James. Action occurred more than five years ago. (Editor’s note: just removed from ministry).
        Reverend Martin J. Satchell (1963) Health leave, Villa St. John Vianney, Downingtown. Self-reported sexual contact with teenage boys.
        Reverend Charles Siegle (1953) Deceased. Sexual contact with boys. Actions occurred more than five years ago.
        Reverend Aloysius H. Vath (1940) Deceased. Sexual acts with young boys over a period of 18 years. Actions occurred more than five years ago.
        Reverend Thomas J. Wisniewski (1974) Staff, Tribunal, Resident, St. Justin, Narberth. Sexual contact with a teenage boy over the period of three years (1984-1987)
        Allegations of Sexual Misconduct with Minors with no Conclusive Evidence

        (Editor’s Note: Conclusive evidence eventually surfaced regarding many of the below)

        Reverend Michael C. Bolesta (1989) Associate Pastor, St. Agatha/St. James
        Reverend Robert L. Brennan (1964) Associate Pastor, Resurrection of Our Lord
        Reverend Raymond Cahill (1947) Deceased
        Reverend John A. Cannon (1948) Chaplain, St. Joseph Home, Holland
        Reverend Richard D. Dolan (1962) Exit
        Reverend John C. Dougherty (1945) Associate Pastor, St. Bartholomew
        Reverend Stanley M. Gana (1970) Pastor, Our Mother of Sorrows, Bridgeport
        Msgr. John E. Gillespie (1953) Pastor, Our Lady of Calvary
        Reverend James T. Henry (1964) Associate Pastor, St. Patrick, Norristown
        Reverend Dexter A. Lanctot (1976) Faculties Restricted, resident, St. Catherine of Siena, Horsham
        Reverend Joseph F. McCafferty (1961) Chaplain, St. Mary’s Manor, Lansdale
        Reverend James J. McGinnia (1978) Associate Pastor, St. Joseph, Collingdale
        Reverend James E. McGuire (1970) Associate Pastor, St. Ignatius, Yardley
        Reverend Richard J. McLoughlin (1969) Associate Pastor, St. Bede Parish, Holland
        Reverend Joseph M. McKenzi (1951) Deceased
        Reverend John H. Mulholland (1965) Associate Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi, Norristown
        Reverend John D. Reardon (1973) Resident, Presentation B.V.M., Wynnewood
        Msgr. Charles J. Schaeflein (1949) Chaplain, Mount Nazareth
        Reverend David C. Sicoli (1975) Pastor, Our Lady of Hope
        Reverend Joseph W. Thomas (1955) Resident, Archdiocese of San Francisco
        Reverend Francis X. Trauger (1972) Associate Pastor, St. Michael the Archangel, Levittown.
        Share this:

      2. Lynn: “I didn’t want the job.”


        On the one hand, Lynn believes he was Chosen for the job (God told his bishop to choose him), on the other hand, he didn’t want it.

        Hmm. Wow.

        How does a cleric reconcile the two???

      3. A bit of a ‘heads up’ here…in the category of “Guilty of Sexual Abuse with Minors” on the ‘shredded list’ …Lynn noted the following priests with abuse occurring ‘MORE THAN FIVE YEARS AGO’….They are, Avery, Dux, Gausch. jones, Leneweaver, Powers, Siegle, Vath and Narbeth with a three year tme limit.

        Now maybe this was just a huge expression of Lynn’s concern for innocent children.

        However I would encourage anyone wh suspects this may be a ‘heads up’ to the AD relative to liability to go back to the 2005 Grand Jury report…and/or prevailing law both in 1994 and at the time of these abuses and, perhaps, draw another set of conclusions.

    2. Mark,

      I have no idea if there are jury consultants in 304, but…

      When I attended the trial for three days, I was aware of who each of the persons in the courtroom were. There were so few spectators/reporters, that I was able to speak with all of them on two days, and the four or so people I did not speak with on one day, were identified by the people I did speak with. Then, of course, there are the daily regulars: judge, defense team, prosecution team, jury, witnesses, court personnel, Lynn’s family, priests, etc. You know who these people are. There just were not any extraneous or anonymous people in 304 when I was there.

      Maybe others who have attended the trial have a different take.

  20. Cipriano’s rendition of the trial, today, is concerning. Blessington is being distastefully too aggressive, and his questions tend to demean Lynn rather than reiterate and substantiate previous testimony. “Kopride” comments on Cipriano’s piece. He’s a lawyer, having consistently provided excellent comments on Cipriano’s work over the weeks.

    1. Hadit I have followed Kopride’s comments..aways excellent and on target. It is a concern,like I said Blessington seems to be the most passionate of the prosecutors..I understand the passion and also the danger of going so hard on Lynn.

      1. Kathy,

        Hopefully the weight of the case against Lynn will drive the jury’s verdicts. The jurors may get to the point where they’ve hadit with Blessington, don’t like his style, and wish he’d take a permanent hike. But, in the end, the weight of the case against Lynn will prevail. Hopefully.

        Kopride has been exceptional!

      2. I think the weight of the case will previal and hopefully Blessington can keep things in check when he finsihes the cross on Tuesday I am assuming he will finish that day. He is very good,definitely grabs your attention and is very sharp..just hope emotion is not getting the best of him..which would be perfectly understandable.
        Hadit, happy to hear you are a “Kopride groupie” I look forward to his comments/insights as much as I look forward to Ralph’s posts.

      3. had it, Kopride just followed up with another comment that I think is exactly the strategy by the defense and the reason they put Lynn on the stand.I was talking with Susan about this earlier today when she was on her way to the trial.

      4. Kopride is scary/savvy…Blessington needs a 4 day break, as do the jury….et al.

        And I would really like Blessington on Tuesday….to ask Lynn why all the 5 year notations on the ‘shredded list’….after all if you are just researching possible predators to protect innocent children…….criminal liability wouldn’t be an issue?

        By 1994 the abuse problem was bubbling under the radar screen nationwide in the catholic church…the USCCB had begun, i think, its (I kid you not ) program called Restoring Trust….

        The bishops at national mtgs, had related topics on their agenda….and the Philly archival search for offenders in the AD was very very possibly NOT the only such archival search in the nation about then!

      5. Kathy,

        Yes, another insightful post from Kopride! Even Ralph is floored by Kopride’s comments. Over the weeks, as far as I can remember, the only comment posted by Ralph was to Kopride which basically said, wow, thanks for your insights, and maybe YOU should be writing this blog.

        When you say you think the prosecution will finish up on Tuesday, do you mean closing arguments will be made then as well? That the jury will begin deliberating on Tuesday?

        Still looking for any information from anyone on how spectators await the jury’s verdicts. Do they wait it out, daily, in 304, or what? Will Sarmina articulate how this works? Thanks for any info in the days to come.

      6. Brennan’s defense goes on after Lynn’s. I meant maybe Blessington will finish the cross exam on Tuesday. No court on Monday or Friday of next week..a short 3 day session..I think the entire trial may wrap up in the early part of the following week.
        I did see that where Ralph had commented to KOpride about having written the blog, their work compliments each other very nicely. Kopride has 3 things going for him,,his legal background,his knowledge of the workings of the AD and then also having been a “local” ,growing up in the conservative, clerical atmosphere of the Philadelphia archdiocese. If Ralph writes a book..Kopride should get a few chapters!

      7. had it, you had referenced a comment made by Kopride a few weeks ago when he called out the hierarchy for trampling on the blood, sweat and money of our ancestors who built this Archdiocese.That comment hit me like a ton of bricks…so true. He also referenced being from “Delco” which is the nickname of Delaware County where I also grew up…at one time a mostly Irish Catholic population that had moved out from West Philly once they could afford the suburbs and single homes. Many kids in Delaware County growing up with parents who all knew each other from the old neighborhood. One of the parishes in West Philly at one time in the 1950’s had the largest Catholic elementary school in the United closed a few years ago.

      8. One day in 304, during week 7, Ralph said to me something like, “If you were to write a book, what would be the story?” My remark back was “we don’t know yet,” to which he said, “you’re right.”

        Seems he’s thinking book.

    2. Hadit and Joan: I lean with Blessington who has lived with this case for at least many months, including two months with these jurors.

      Lynn seems to have a “Poor Soul” mask on so its seems necessary to show the jury Lynn is a bad guy.

      Blessington seems to be trying to ignite some indignation in the jurors, as they ponder Lynn over their four day weekend.

      Obviously, it is a judgment call.

      1. Jerry,

        I tend to agree with you. If I were Blessington I would be furious. I take real joy from seeing Lynn getting slammed!

        It’s Lynn’s time to experience his fair share of abuse. He dished it out; now it’s his time to receive.

        Mr. Blessington, I hope you continue to ‘body-slam’ that dirt bag.

        As victims4justice might say, give him Justice Under God (JUG), and may that God be the God of the Old Testament (Jewish Scripture), vengeful.

      2. drwho. If I were Blessington I would have a very difficult time keeping emotion in check and 100% understand his passion…but..what will work with the jury is the question. I have been there where one of the defense attorneys gets loud,the judge gets annoyed,the witness gets annoyed,the jury seems like they want to stand up and walk out.
        Like Kopride says in his comments..we all hate rats but most people would feel compassion for a rat if they had to sit and watch it tortured for hours. I get that..this is a very young jury..people who Kopride states have probably not always done the right things all the time themselves. Keep it to the facts and evidence, the more personal emotion comes into play with jurors now maybe feeling that Lynn is being crucified or maybe they would have done the same thing in a situation..I have been in the courtroom and watched that jury.I would stick to the facts.They have been there for 8 weeks listening to horrendous testimony,we can get up and walk out ..they can’t..make it as comfortable for them as possible and you will score points. To me when Ralph said some started to look away from the sparring between Blessington and Lynn…not a good sign. I don’t think Blessington lost the case over this…but I would tone it down for the rest of the trial which is only a few days.

      3. Kathy,

        You’re correct; obtaining a conviction is of ultimate importance, so it may be best to suppress one’s emotion. Time will tell.

        However, I’m having difficulty quelling my emotions under these circumstances. I see the courtroom action as part of the punishment phase for Lynn. I simply have no sympathy for the man. I maybe a vulture descending prematurity, but I’m having difficulty waiting to take a big bite out of this corrupt organization. In this case I hope “haste doesn’t make waste.” Sure would hate to lose this one.

        Once this case is disposed of (hopefully with a conviction, and stiff sentence) DA Williams should start investigating other major players in the AD. If children are to be protected this pursuit must be relentless.

  21. Joan – you are correct about the USCCB’s issuance of a many documents concerning this issue. Restoring Trust sounds familair. Many can be found on the bishopaccountability site. Click on church documents.

    From the NCCB document dated 1992:

    Respond promptly to all allegations of abuse where there is
    reasonable belief that the incident has occurred.

    If such an allegation is supported by sufficient e,vidence, relieve the
    alleged offender promptly of his ministerial duties and refer him {or
    appropriate medical evaluation and intervention.

    Comply with the obligations of civil law as regards reporting of the
    incident and cooperating ‘vith the investigation.

    Reach out to the victims and their families and communicate our
    sincere commitment to their spiritual and emotional well-being.

    Within the confines of respect [or the privacy of the individuals
    involved, deal as openly as possible ‘with members of the
    cornmunity about this incident.

    Another from the USCCB dated 2002: Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
    Another from the USCCB dated 2005: Promise to Protect… Pledge to Heal

    Unfortunately, I don’t believe many of the RCC religious have read them. Certianly not Lynn. Just words on a page.

    1. Every diocese could quote the Charter…

      ours does…

      They just don’t follow it…and then tell everyone they do. The National Review Board implemented the self-reporting audit to make sure the dioceses’ were following it.

      As a victim and their family, all we had to do was document, in writing to the National Review board, that our diocese was not following the Charter on several points. Then the National review board asked our diocese to self-disclose any info about our findings…they disclose they did do what they were supposed to do (they didn’t)…and so all was well. See how well that works?

      The Charter is only as good as the people implementing it. There are no consequences for errant bishops. If you are an honest hierarch in your diocese, the Charter is a nice guide. But, if you are an untrustworthy hierarch in your diocese, then the Charter might as well be smoked.

      The danger to the Catholic laity was the impression that this Charter was the “answer” to safeguarding children. It truly gave parents a false sense of security.

      1. Thanks SW…agree that the Charter is only as good as the folks who honestly observe it.

        I have no comfort in a document that essentially depends on ‘self reporting’ …..

  22. And here is a lengthly quote from the Cafardi article…remember Lynn arrived on the scene in1992…

    The sexual abuse of a child by a priest is a canonical crime, and has been for centuries, yet canon lawyers did not advise the bishops to treat these matters as canonical crimes. There
    was no investigation of these crimes, no citation for them, if the charges were found to be

    credible, no canonical criminal process in which the victims could tell their stories and priests could offer a defense, and no penalty for those priests who were proved to have committed
    these crimes, all as the Code of Canon Law required. There was, in fact, an almost total breakdown of the canonical system.

    Rather than face a canonical process for their crimes, priest perpetrators were coddled, sent off to some of the most expensive treatment centers in the nation, many of them Church-run, in an extravagant reading of the Church’s canon law, which many canonists claimed, favored “pastoral solicitude” for these priests over pastoral firmness.

    In the middle of this crisis, the national body of bishops, then known as the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) was in almost complete paralysis. Every year beginning with 1985 and continuing thereafter, in the executive sessions of their semi-annual meetings, the bishops discussed the problem of priests who had sexually abused children. They had educational sessions on how to prosecute these canonical crimes. They had advice from their national staff on the legal, pastoral and public relations issues involved. However, all of this came to naught in adopting a national policy to deal with priest child abusers because a small number of bishops managed to stymie the national body every time it tried to take uniform national action on the matter. In this, they were aided by the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which ignoring the promise of Vatican II on the role of the college of bishops, had vastly limited both the teaching and the legislative role of national bishops conferences. Unless Rome either asked for or approved of national legislation on priest child abusers, the U.S. Bishops Conference was powerless to do anything. And Rome chose not to act.

    Only in 1992, after yet another major national scandal, when the many dozens of sexual abuse victims of the former Father James Porter of the diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, came forward, were the bishops spurred to something like group action. That year in their November meeting, the bishops adopted a five-step program to address the crisis. The program was still only advisory, because the bishops had no ability to legislate on this issue, but the program included:

    1) report all allegations promptly

    2) where sufficient evidence exists, remove the priest from ministry and have him psychiatrically evaluated

    3) meet all civil law reporting requirements

    4) reach out to victims and their families

    5) deal as openly as possible with the members of the community about the incident

    This was the best that the bishops could manage in late 1992, a full eight years after the crisis of the clergy’s sexual abuse of children had seized the national attention. Nothing in the five steps referred to treating child sexual abuse as the canonical or civil crime that it clearly was. Nothing referred to prosecuting the priest for this crime. The priest offender, rather, was to be medically evaluated and treated. Nonetheless, this program finally did give the impression that the bishops had seized hold of the problem and were at least trying to deal with it effectively as a body. Aided by a piece of good luck that occurred at the start of 1993, namely the foolish prominence that the national media gave to flimsy charges of sexual abuse against Cardinal Bernardin, only to look extremely foolish when the charges were withdrawn, the bishops were no longer on the defensive.

    So why then did this crisis explode one more time, with an even greater vengeance, almost ten years later? It was well understood by the end of 1992 that the Catholic Church in the United States had an extremely serious problem with sexually abusive priests in ministry. The fact that abusive priests had been sent back to parishes after “treatment” and had abused more youngsters was in the national knowledge bank. Yet, in the court of public opinion, the Church, with the actions that the bishops took in 1992, was seen as having learned its lesson. With the false accusations against Cardinal Bernardin in 1993, the public spotlight was finally off, it was almost as if the American public was saying, “Okay, bishops, you have made some serious mistakes, but you have also promised to change. You are on probation. Don’t let it happen again.”

    However, it did happen again. Some bishops did keep sexually abusive priests in ministry long after 1992-1993. When this became public knowledge with the revelations of the Boston Globe in 2002, the terms of the Church?s public probation were off, and the entire Church was penalized for its infractions as far back as memory ran. It was the failure of only a handful of bishops to follow the 1992 NCCB recommendations and to understand that sexually abusive priests, even after treatment, could not be re-assigned to parishes that allowed the clergy child sexual abuse crisis to fester in the United States after 1992-1993 and then to erupt with such violence in 2002.

    1. Joan, Cafardi was Bevilacqua’s general counsel in Pittsburgh during the ’80’s, BEFORE Philly. I put little trust in what he says. For example, at the end of your quoted piece, he says only “a handful of bishops”. He can’t know that, yet says it anyways. The charter is and was a farce designed to give PR and legal cover to the bishops. On that Tom Doyle and others knowledgeable about the chater agree.

      1. Jerry…I agree that ‘a handful of bishops’ ….is not fact, but speculation, but the quote I thought was significant, relative to Philly, was. “Some bishops did keep sexually abusive priests in ministry long after 1992-1993″…..

  23. Joan,
    This is also a great writing by Tom Doyle about the handling of clergy abuse.

    What I find most interesting is 3 men had created a healthy response, “The Manual,” to what was occurring in the church…Doyle, Mouton, and Peterson collaborated to create it. This is a great read.

    When Catholics act like their hierarchy “just didn’t know” what to do…that’s simply not true. They knew and turned the other way.

    If anyone gets the chance, please read it…it’s worth it!

  24. I have a comment awaiting moderation…

    What I find most interesting is 3 men had created a healthy response, “The Manual,” to what was occurring in the church years ago…Doyle, Mouton, and Peterson collaborated to create it.

    When Catholics act like their hierarchy “just didn’t know” what to do…that’s simply not true. They knew and turned the other way.

    If anyone gets the chance, please read it…it’s worth it!

    This comes from page 8…
    “Later in June Doyle went to Pittsburgh to meet with Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua (now
    retired Cardinal-Archbishop of Philadelphia) who had been one of the major advisors and
    supporters of the plan. He learned from him that there was actually no committee and that no
    action was planned. It was merely a PR move with no plans for a follow-up. Doyle later learned
    that the standing Committee on Priestly life and Ministry was supposed to consider the issue. If
    it actually did, nothing ever came of the consideration.”

      1. My point in all of this was that way back when…they had a plan. No one can claim this is new information and they didn’t really know how to handle all of this until after 2002. They KNEW and chose otherwise.

      2. SW, no argument that a plan was proposed.

        But when you have somewhere around 194 individual dioceses in the US, where the local hierarchy has control and the USCCB is essentially ‘advisory’….well…..

Leave a Reply to Kathy KaneCancel reply