172 thoughts on “Waiting for the Verdict

  1. This must be so agonizing for the survivors, because I (who was not abused) am tormented. I am feeling as though, no matter what the outcome, our job is not over. We must keep shining the light on the atrocities of this Church. There is no end to their hypocrisy and I think that the internet is a great tool of exposure. Catholics4Change, BishopAccountability.org, 21stCenturyCatholic, Voices of the Faithful and others must keep up the pressure. We must not stop until the people in the pews are made painfully aware of what their leaders are doing. I write a personal blog. I have posted about the Church and my dealings with it, in the past. I have not posted another in quite some time. I struggle with my frustrations but blogging helps and I hope gets the point across to someone who would not have seen it that way before. I thank you for this site and I pray for the victims. I believe the victims.

    1. My heart is with the victims who are now waiting…This has got to be excruciating. But there are thousands of us who are waiting with you.. !! This jury has a very important job..

      So we wait..

    2. It was good to have so many attend the First Friday Vigil yesterday outside the archdiocesan offices in town. Good to see everyone. Barbara Blaine from SNAP joined us after attending Friday’s court session and we had TV coverage as you may have noticed on CBS Channel 3 last night.

      Barbara Blaine will have a press conference in front of the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul today, Saturday, at l p.m.

      Sister Maureen

  2. Regardless of the jury’s decision…and everyone on this site knows the verdict I’m wishing for.
    I want to thank the DA’s office, and all who testified on behalf of the victims/survivors. Special thanks to the brave “Billy and Mark”.
    Extra special thanks to James@15 (Bob)
    You guys are superstars.

  3. The law is difficult and we don’t know the instructions that. were given to the jury…so pray we must, that a president will be set; that we will not take this kind of laisse faire treatment of our most precious ones by the clergy we trust with the souls of the innocent

  4. I feel that Mgsr Lynn was a victim of circumstances .It was clear that in his position he could only recommend what needed to be done and her did do that.His Lawyer gave great closing argumentI.I praybthat both victims and others including Mgsr can move on when this is over..In addition it was clear before and during the trial that the guilt people in this situation and in others as well was and is theCatholic Church and those who madebthe decision to protect the iinstitution VS the victims of the sexual abuse.We need to remember that Mgsr Lynn record as a priest is excellent and believe that factor in all of this gets missed I realize that this view will not be a popular one.However feel Justice will be done.i welcome others reponses.to the above. Thanks Jlb8203@live.com

    1. Jim,
      “It was clear that in his position, he could only recommend…” Yes. But what about in his position as a human being…as a priest? He failed as both. Our jobs do not dictate what we do as people. That was the nazi defense.

    2. Jim,

      He could “only recommend what needed to be done” Really? Mr. Lynn could have notified the POLICE. He could have walked away from the job. Many of us have left jobs for much less reason than this. We are talking about the rape and abuse of children.

    3. Lynn held the position for 12 years and NEVER called 911…..”IF” you saw, heard and read what was going on in the AD JIM would you have notified the authorities?? Do you have a soul?? Lynn failed everyone including his own soul…The man (if you can call him a man) is evil…….

    4. Jim,
      The Catholic Catechism goes to great lengths in explaining sins of commission and sins of omission. When someone fails to act in a manner that could have prevented injustice, it would be the latter. In civil terms, it could be labeled: “The Good Samaritan Law.” In other words, (and I’m not judging anyone here), “What you did (or didn’t do) to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did (or didn’t do) to Me.”

      1. Jerry, Matthew 25, the Last Judgement, noted immediately before the Passion and Resurrection, lists the acts that will gain heaven, we all know the works of mercy, but I’d like to add one more act of mercy.

        ‘For I was an innocent child that was about to be raped, And you saved me from the predator”

        And the damned would say, but I never saw you at risk of rape….and the answer,…. whenever you neglected to save the least of these, or put any of these innocent children at risk…you neglected to save me”

    5. Hi, Jim,

      I have a sweet baby daughter who is seven months old today. I could not have imagined the depth and breadth of a parent’s love for their child – she is the center of my life 🙂
      I am scared, Jim. Really and truly in the interest of this important dialog, I ask this: is my daughter safe in the Catholic church? Would the police be called if she were harmed? Would I be called? Warned? These questions rock me to my very core, Jim. That I am unsure of the answers is devastating. What do you say to a young Catholic Mom who worries that serving the Lord and protecting her child may be in conflict in the church she loves?
      I am praying/working for justice today, tomorrow, and all of my daughter’s tomorrows. I am interested in your thoughts, Jim.
      Thank you all on this blog for sharing your experience, hope, strength, and practical guidance for making a change in the Church and society. You have taught me so much …
      I believe the victims, and your pain and your speaking up about it is effecting a (painfully) slow but sure change.

      1. Maureen J. E. said, “Really and truly in the interest of this important dialog, I ask this: is my daughter safe in the Catholic church?”

        Every parent comes to a different conclusion about that one. I think the RCC answers that question too flippantly and with not enough verbs. Given what the Catholic Church shows you about how they operate, can YOU keep your daughter safe in that system?

        Any system that holds children in high regard works with parents. We don’t have to look back 50 years or 20 years or even 5 years ago to see they don’t know what they are doing with your children. How can a church that claims to hold children in high regard, or with any forethought of what it means to children, announce at mass (essentially blindsiding parents and children) the removal of a priest that has influenced the lives of children? Why aren’t they thinking of your children when making such decisions? Aren’t Catholics big on getting other people out of their parenting role…and yet, they allow these hierarchs to behave so selfishly with their kids…AGAIN. Why wait until a child you know is raped…why not heed the warning signs. Children are still not a priority in the RCC.

        My opinion…based on my experiences.

      2. Maureen and SW,

        Is the Catholic Church “safe”?

        I think “safe” needs to include, along with physical safety, safe ideas, beliefs and values. Will the Catholic Church protect the physical well being of my child? Obviously, it has a history of failing in this area because protecting itself, and its own image, are more important than protecting children.

        While the safety of our children is important, raising children well entails a host of other, important facets. What about all of the ideas, beliefs and values promulgated by the Church that threaten the well being of our children? Maureen, are patriarchy and misogyny “safe and good for your daughter? Are power, authority and blind obedience? What about lack of accountability and transparency? Do you believe in the exclusion or the inclusion of human beings? Does the Church live, and do its clerics exemplify, the Gospel message? These deeply affect the health and well being of our children!

        I think of Susan and her decision to remove her children from Catholic schooling. Surely, she is not removing them because she fears their physical safety alone. Indeed, their physical safety may be the least of her concerns. I would venture to say that Susan’s greatest concerns center on the ideas, beliefs and values promulgated by the Church, and how they are, or are not, lived out. Presumably, the “life of the Church” is in stark contrast to the life Susan envisions influencing and affecting children . For many of us, the Church fails to be in sync with our consciences.

        So… when you talk about whether the Church is “safe,” safe can’t be limited to physical safety alone. It has to be measured and determined according to a multitude of factors Why? Because our children are more than physical bodies. They possess minds, emotions, hearts and souls. Ideally, the Church is to nourish them. If the Church cannot, it is not safe for our children.

      3. Thank you, SW and Hadit,
        Since early in my pregnancy I have felt that raising my children Catholic, and staying myself, would not be in my future. That we even have to ask “is my child safe” (physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.) tells me what I need to know as a parent to make the right decision for my family. I agree with you both, and have been “cutting the cord” so to speak. I know that is the right thing. That I grew up learning that this is “the one true church”, there is a lot of cutting to be done. They don’t have exclusive rights to Jesus, but boy is that ever ingrained in my mind.
        I am curious about how Jim Burke or anyone seeking Lynn’s acquittal would answer my question. I am sincerely interested in how they could expect us NOT to question, challenge, etc. given all that has been exposed. I grieve the loss of what I thought the church was, and what our leaders have done.

      4. Thank you for the link, Joan, very relevant indeed! It is interesting, one of the aspects of Catholicism that has kept me is the veneration of the Blessed Mother. Now I feel like that has been a card played against us Catholic women – “Where else will I find her honored?” has been a big question for me. When I read of the Sisters working with the poor or marginalized, I find my answer. They honor her through their actions. The hierarchy points to veneration of Mary as proof of respect of women, then uses that veneration to try to counterbalance the Sisters being secondary. SW, Hadit, and Joan, thank you for continuing to guide me to my ah-ha moments. You are doing God’s work in many ways. I don’t write often, but I have learned from all of you.
        Praying for the jurors that they get rested this weekend and have clear minds and pure hearts as they deliberate. I believe the victims.

      5. Joan,

        I think the sisters offered an excellent “first response” to the Vatican bullying. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the Vatican will be relentless with its original agenda to authoritatively corral the sisters into submission. At the same time, I have every bit of confidence that the sisters, their leaders, and the host of experts who have offered them their expertise, can defeat the fearful men who are drowning in an imploding institution. I think the sisters will be wise, insightful, creative and provocative in the battle. The cloak and daggers guys will be defeated by the sisters’ “modern weapons.”

      6. Hadit…great answer to Maureen’s question!… She can do better for her daughter elsewhere..
        We never trusted the AD of PHILA. with our kids. As a child in a parochial school in NE Phila., my husband was physically and psychologically brutalized by the nuns who taught him….We wanted better for our kids.

        We sent them to both public and private schools and have never regretted it. The AD can’t afford to provide the same quality of education as our school district does.

      7. Going back to the nuns response, it is interesting to note that they took their time, in responding, consulted with their folks, prayed and discerned and then concluded that they could not agree with the Vatican assessment.

        Their leadership will be addressing these issues in Rome in June, in the hopes of a ‘fruitful dialogue’.

        I agree with Hadit, that they will be eminently resourceful.

        I also suspect that the Vatican in considerable disarray, the USCCB with a leader whose behaviour is making all the national news media, groups protesting nationwide for the nuns, the possible Lynn conviction in Philly, and 10 weeks of devastating media, a recent USA Today poll indicating that catholics are less than thrilled with the bishops legislative endeavors…cannot afford to have a huge, very public fight with the nuns.

        They can always ‘decanonize’ but my guess is that they will stand their ground, very very politely, and ‘dialogue’.

      8. Thank you for the link Joan. Timely article.

        Hadit, excellent response about the all-encompassing aspects of “safety” for children. You worded that so well.

        Maureen, I’m sorry you are in the position you are in right now. Give yourself permission to grieve what you thought you had in the RCC…remain open to what He wants for you and your family.

        When we were in the midst of making decisions about whether to leave the Catholic Church with our children…it was very painful…a lot of sadness…then came anger…but always a reliance on Him. He will lead your family Maureen. You speak of the love of your daughter in the ways I love my children…what we wouldn’t do for them! You know what struck me though…I ultimately left the RCC for my children’s sake. I often thought, “If it were just me, I could have probably stayed…because I’m an adult and I can distinguish the difference between real and false teachings…but my children are so impressionable…and these are their spiritual lives we’re talking about!”

        Funny how God works…in seeking Him for my children, (we always want what is best), and finding a “home” for them…He led me to what was right for me too. I trust He will lead you to exactly what is best for your children and for you.

      9. I ask this: is my daughter safe in the Catholic church?”
        All this has answered that question— for all to see and understand.
        It has been a matter of misplaced trust in an institution that is founded upon a lie, and continues to be a fountain of lies.

    6. Jim Burke, we are all victims of our circumstances. That’s why we have a brain and the ability to walk away. It’s also why God gave us a finger to dial 911. Lynn chose not to use these things in order to stay comfortable and respected at his AD job.

      I can’t imagine what your standards are for a priest…but in my opinion, Lynn’s record as a priest absolutely stinks.

    7. If my supervisors told me that I was responsible for HR functions for a staff of 600+ and then added that instances of child rape were not to be assessed, should in fact be lied about, even to police, I would quit that job. I would quit for personal and moral reasons and if those reasons were not enough I would quit rather than assume the legal liability of supervisors who were clearly asking me to violate the law on their behalf. It occurs to me that Msgr Lynn’s fine record as a priest is certainly diminished by twelve years of this activity. It is beyond my understanding that that is not self-evident. I recall a case years ago in Louisiana where the father of a little boy who had been raped shot and killed the.assailant in the airport, in front of sheriff’s deputies. He was tried and acquitted by a jury. While I dot condone that sort of vigilantism, I do understand how most people find the crimes we are embroiled in now to be among the very worst possible. I do NOT understand any mindset that can in any way minimize it, or can find any way to justify it or understate the horror of even one case. But here we have a systemic, decades long situation that just.compounds the horror. And still there are apologists. Would you be so forgiving had this happened to one of your children? Would Jesus Christ want us to just move on? Certainly not until we had addressed the problem and certainly not until the entire situation had been rectified. The reason we know about this now is because the victims speak and because Almighty God has allowed us enough information to now act, decisively. He has given us the witness and now we must act, in accord with our conscience.

      In my opinion too, Almighty God has tasked US with this. The sickness of legalism and man-made orthodoxy that pervades the Church is not acceptable and God has given us the insight to fix it. We have to rely on the spirit and.on our consciences to do so. We can no longer look to the rulemakers to think for us. Now we must rely on ourselves. And that is hard given the culture of rules promulgated by his Church. It is that follow-the-leader mindset that God also calls us to now rectify. It is a call for all of us to grow up, to mature spiritually to evolve into individuals guided by Love and not by rules.

      And I also believe that time grows very short for this work to be completed. THIS is the Warning and THIS is the Illumination of Conscience long foretold. See the forest and he trees, rely on what God has already written in our hearts. Or perish. Save the.little ones and we save our very future. Save he hierarchs, and what have we gained? Nothing that will be lasting or good.

    8. JIm, you sound like a good person and you have every right o express your opinion. The thing is, what I think gets “lost” from your perspective is the fact that many people who have done great things in their lives have also been guilty of crimes. Those 2 things are not exclusive. I don’t think that anyone argues that Msgr. Lynn did good things for many people as a priest, but he also did things that caused despicable things to happen to children…..that were crimes. Some sins are not crimes. His were. He covered them up and let the same crimes continue. He had the “personal” power to blow the whistle and walk away, but he stayed for 12 years and kept doing wrong. Thankfully, we have freedom in this wonderful country. No “boss” can make us do something unless we are willing to do it.

    9. Lynn’s lack of compassion and empathy for the powerless and his reverence and awe of the powerful are what this trial has shown, (if nothing else.) The difference of him standing up to his superiors and speaking out for the victims (either by going to the police/parishioners/press/screaming it from the rooftops!) and someone in the secular community doing so is that HE would not loose his job/livelihood. HE is a priest and guaranteed a job, a home, food, a pension, insurance and PROTECTION! So he stood to lose NOTHING by standing up for what was right. For standing up and saying I WILL NOT STAND BY AND ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN UNDER MY NOSE. Not to mention that he is a PREIST and supposed to do that ANYWAY, regardless! That is his CALLING! SO I can feel no compassion for his decisions. I can feel no compassion for his situation.

  5. In so many ways, the verdict is yet again a decision on behalf of victims or a defense of episcopal power.

    It’s the story of C4C, who has been for over a year a home for victims, telling their tragic stories, bemoaning laity ignorance and lack of compassion and identifying hierarchical intransigence.

    Kathy and Susan each in their own way have made this ‘conversation’….possible.

    And now it’s up to a jury of our peers….to decide if the church’s minion is ‘blameless’ , did every possible thing he could to protect innocent children, or not.

  6. As a former professor at St. Charles Seminary (dispensed from the clergy in 1970) I have literally cried every time I read the names of my former students and priest friends who abused or raped children.

    Over the past decade, both personally and through my work with Voice of the Faithful, my wife and I have met with victim/survivors. We especially grieve for Jim Kelly, who committee suicide. His memory alone continues to inspire us to do all we can.

    Since the present investigation focused primarily on the last 50 years or so, I repeatedly point out that for more than 50 years, our bishops failed to stop what any parent would have stopped in less than 50 seconds.

    No matter what the verdict, we must all continue to work to change the spiritually corrupt system that produced predator priests and required Msgr. Lynn to lie and thereby endanger our children. This system, obviously, of not of God. It pertains to the curse of Christ, who said that those who endanger children should have a millstone wrapped around their neck and be drowned. The stark clarity of this curse shows the darkness of the system that continues to disregard it.

    My blog focuses on helping us become clearer and more effective expressions of Christ. In it I will continue to focus on ways to help us see how we are spiritually empowered and responsible to do our part in changing the church’s corrupt system.

    1. Anthony,

      I have visited your blog. A while ago, I left a comment under the name of Katherine. I appreciated your thoughtful response. I also appreciate you honoring the life of Jim Kelly in your C4C post.

      Your “blog focuses on helping us become clearer and more effective expressions of Christ.” It focuses “on ways to help us see how we are spiritually empowered and responsible to do our part in changing the Church’s corrupt system.”

      At the risk of sounding immodest and lacking humility, in my opinion, the vast majority of C4C bloggers (and, presumably, readers) exemplify the purpose and intent of your blog. What you talk about and instruct on, we DO, and we ARE. We are living examples of what you hope to instill in all adult Catholics today. I don’t mean to sound pretentious, and I regret pointing fingers. But your blog needs to reach the clergy, the hierarchy, and the pew sheep. They are the spiritually disempowered and the irresponsible, failing to do their part in changing the Church’s corrupt system.

      I like what you hope to accomplish, Anthony. Your goal is in sync with C4C’s goals. But your blog and this blog are not accomplishing it in my opinion. The clergy, the hierarchy, and the pew sheep are lost souls, embedded in the quagmire of Tradition, obedience, neediness, fear, duty, dysfunction, power, authority… That Christ is absent seems irrelevant to them.

      What are your thoughts on how spiritually empowered and responsible Catholics can effectively reach the others?

      1. Hadit, I loved your response and have learned and grown so much from you. Thank you! Every moment of my life I have learned and grown most from the wisdom of exceptional people without exceptional “titles.” Thank God, I had to leave in order to discover this life-saving fact. I so believe the victims/survivors!

      2. Wow, Jerry. For a minute, I thought another bad troll had descended on C4C, this time, stealing YOUR blog name.

        Thank you. I’ve learned enormously from you (and many others) as well.

      3. Katherine,
        I fully appreciate and share your frustration. The way forward is difficult and long. (I have been at this for over 50 years.) Our job is to do all that we can and leave the results to God. In my blog I am developing, day by day, ways for the spiritually empowered and responsible to effectively reach others and flourish as the People of God, even on our own initiative. I trust that people like you and the C4C readers will share what I write with others. So I must ask you to please be patient and walk the way with me.

      4. Welcome as Gerard! Hadit, no troll! I also have learned enormously for you and others here as we.

      5. OMG! It was Jerry Chapman and not Jerry Slevin!

        And here I thought I had inspired Jerry Slevin to undergo some kind of conversion! Silly me.

        Thank you, Jerry Chapman. Thank you so much.

      6. Hadit, I wasn’t aware you thought I needed to be converted. I am at peace with who I am now, but always willing to listen and learn. Thanks for the interest in my “soul”!

      7. Jerry (Gerard),

        What did you “leave”? I know you were at St. Charles. Did you leave the seminary or the priesthood?

    2. Anthony,
      Thank you for the gift of your insightful blog. I have been questing my whole adult life for a deeper and more authentic spiritual experience after my abuse created great mistrust of the institutional church and heirarchy (not necessarily an unhealthy phenomenon). This has led to considerable exploration over the years, trying to connect with that transcendent reality we all seek. I still consider catholicism my spiritual home but the opulence of the heirarchy and the abuse and the politics ie. the actions of the humans in charge seem so dissonant with the message and example of the simple carpenter from Galilee.

      I also echo the comments of hadit, I have found “church” many places outside of Church lately. One such place has been the community right here on C4C. This site has been a touchstone for me in so many ways that are hard to put into words.

      Bob Fisher

      1. Bob,
        Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I am deeply gratified to be of any help to you

        Truly, the present authority system is not of God, whereas you, just as truly, are of God. God is with you and within you, recognizing you as an image of his Son, and lovingly sending you his healing strength. I congratulate you on your strength of spirit and faith.

        And I am very happy that you found community in C4C. God bless Susan Matthews and all who are walking the way with her.

        All blessings to you,

  7. A jury cannot tell me what I already know. Lynn failed victims. He failed his parishioners. He may have been a well-intentioned man (in his mind and apparently the minds of his supporters), but he did not do the right thing. He lied. He betrayed. He covered up. A jury may or may not find Lynn guilty of the charges, but he failed as a priest, in his position and as a person. That’s all I need to know about him.

    As far as public record, I want a guilty verdict…because I see him as one among many with what is happening all across this country (and the world) in the Catholic Church. I think it needs to be a wake up call to every ineffective, passive priest in every parish (or employee in every business)…the “boss made me do it” argument doesn’t hold water. You will be held accountable for your actions.

    1. SW, two possible results. Guilty, but the ringleader, Rigali, remains unscathed. Not guilty on a technicality, but disgraced, and the ringleader still remains unscathed. The trial has already exposed three cardinals as protectors of predator priests.

      We must now push prosecutors, including Seth Williams, and politicians to do their job and go after the ringleaders and amend our inadequate laws. No true Catholic now believes the hierarchy.

      For convincing evidence the lying starts at the top with Rigali’s old colleague, the pope, please read today’s NCR article and comment under, “Papal Method Exposed”, accesible by clicking on at:


      1. Jerry,

        Yesterday, in Philly, a person I’ll leave unnamed told me he would not be surprised if the DA’s office announced on the day the verdicts are announced that they are charging Rigali, Cullen and Cistone. Just passing that comment along…

      2. Hadit, thanks for that. The evidence presented at Lynn’s trial seems to strongly support charging them. I will, however, only believe it when I see it.

      3. Hadit, should your info be correct…I think drwho13 might get some more of that media attention that he would appreciate!

      4. Joan,

        I have no idea what generated the comment from the person who said that the DA’s office would quickly go after Rigali, Cullen and Cistone. Personally, I don’t consider it “information,” but what do I know? All week long, I heard a lot of opinion and conjecture on what the verdicts would be, how fast or slow they would come down, who might be next on the chopping block, etc. I have no idea if the comment is informed or not. I simply shared it with Jerry because, the second I heard it, I thought of him. We’ll just have to wait and see…

        Maybe Jerry can comment on this idea I had, only an idea…

        If the prosecution anticipates mixed verdicts, meaning the jury goes with guilty on some charges and not guilty on others, or worse, immediately or quickly handing down charges to Rigali, Cullen and Cistone might act to soften the blow to the prosecution, soften people’s perception of its performance, and have the effect of salvaging, maintaining or even bolstering its image. After all, a mixed bag of verdicts, or worse, will have some or many people talking about the prosecution. Let me add, too, that I, and many observers, found the prosecution to be genuinely invested in their case, genuinely invested in justice for victims, and genuinely invested in bringing to light the corruption in the Church. I can’t see the DA’s office curtailing its interests once the verdicts, whatever they are, come down. I think and hope it is in it for the long run. Certainly, the long run should entail Ragali, Cullen and Cistone.

      5. Hadit, I understand that the comment about future prosecutions was ‘courtroom speculation’ …I do respect the fact that the District Attorneys have been committed to these issues for many years and think we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

        Without that commitment, the depths of the AD archival material would never have been plumbed, revealing the inner workings of the Church. No matter what the jury decides, the world has now seen the ugliness and manipulation. And it would not surprise me if other jurisdictions did a bit of ‘plumbing’ themselves.

        At a minimum, regardless of the verdicts, this trial serves notice to dioceses all over the country….who doubtless would prefer not to have this ‘spotlight’ shown on them.

        And it is my profound hope in the ‘lessons learned’ category that folks will be motivated to take a good hard look at the laws in their community that protect innocent children, or not….And my hope is those laws will be strengthened to protect ALL innocent children.

      6. Hadit & Joan : Some Ass’t DA’s worked very hard here, to be sure. But after over a half century of inaction, the DA’s office is not owed a debt of gratitude.

        If Seth prosecutes Rigali, that would change things.

        But Seth complimented Rigali last year long after the 2011 grand jury was issued and Rigali had suddenly suspended almost three dozen priests.

        If Seth doesn’t go after Rigali, some Ass’t DA’s should resign in protest like they said so strongly, and correctly, that Lynn should have resigned.

        It is that simple. They all had and have a duty to protect defenseless children from assault by obvious and known or readily knowable predator priests.

        Seth pursued the Lynn case because his predecessor, Lynne Abraham, in effect, left him no real option and, likely, some Asst DA’s pressured Seth. They must continue to pressure him and if Seth doesn’t go after the ringleaders, they should all resign. Like Gina Smith, they will all find another position, likely at higher salaries.

        For 50+ years, the DA’s office has failed to protect Philly kids adequately.

        I would have been ashamed to have worked there.

        Careers have been made while the Philly AD got continuous free passes–while Philly DA officials, including Ed Rendell, Teresa Sarmina, Gina Smith, Mary Achilles, Seth and many other “pillars’ of Philly’s legal community did not, it seems evident, do all they could and should have done to protect the unprotected.

        That was their duty. Not only hierarchs have failed Philly children.

      7. I have no doubt about politics and am as interested as many others to see what happens in regard to Rigali…very interested about that. The Phila. Archdiocese encompasses 5 counties. Phila. Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. Just in court on Tuesday,one of the cases discussed had been investigated by either law enforcement or child services of Montgomery County and no charges were ever brought. There are cases where local police were contacted..and nothing much happened..in the counties other than Phila. DA jurisdiction. I believe even some of the pretrial arguments involved Brennan being charged in Chester County rather than Phila because the alleged assault occurred in West Chester.
        I am sure many local cops,child service workers,investigators etc…in all 5 counties could have “winked” over the years rather than aggressively investigated or followed up on some instances because of the power and authority of the Archdiocese .The focus because of the trial is on the Phila. DA’s office but many,many children were abused in the other counties and obviously many systems failed these children. In some cases their own families,their schools,the priests who knew of abusive priests,other religous such as the nuns who taught at the schools,any law enforcement who did not follow through. Of course at the top of the chain, the AD who had the info that could have kept many of these predators away from the kids in the first place. So I share the interest in what happens after this and what the Phila. DA’s office next move will be in relation to further charges against others,but personally I do not lay the blame of 50 years of children being endangered or harmed at the feet of the Phila DA’s office.

      8. Kathy as you listed some of the ‘other players’ that had failed these molested children, I recall how underfunded and understaffed some of the ‘child protective services’ are and have been.

        And I am sure that problem is not unique….it’s another important factor in the abuse equation.

        And I too would like to see the DA pursue additional AD players. But I am still grateful to the DA’s, Grand Jury members et al that got us this far.

      9. Thanks, Kathy for that helpful information.

        Maybe other counties’ officials will also now get some “religion” as well. I revise my charge asserting 50 years of, mainly inexcusable, dereliction of duty, to include those other counties’ DA’s offices and criminal justice systems as well Philly’s DA’s office.

        Is a DA, judge, police officer or children’s social worker less at fault than a priest who looks the other way?

        Not in my book. Why should they be–because their boss said “let it pass” or “everyone is looking the other way” or “I could lose my position”?

        It is illogical, and I believe immoral as well, not to hold other professionals to the standards we justifiably and correctly hold priests.

        If Lynn is convicted, it will because he broke a criminal law, not because he sinned. That law applies to more than priests.

      10. AND while we are talking about those ‘other guys’ who are a part of the abuse paradigm, folks mandated to protect children…that need to be held accountable….we should probably include all voters, and that’s us.

        I have sat in state hearings where the funds for ‘oversight’ for child and adult protective services were decimated because there was no constituency to speak up for them….same goes for law enforcement and the whole range of other services that should be available to protect innocent kids.

        As a society, we talk a good game…we just don’t fund it. Part of it is ignorance….folks just don’t realize how short staffed, underfunded and overworked these ‘professionals’ are. Part of it is compassion fatigue….

        Its a tall order to be politically astute about these matters and proactive as well. But I am willing to hazard a guess that professional abuse activists would agree.

      11. Thanks, Joan, for that corrective.

        Yes, we as voters are surely guilty for failing to use our voting power to get laws that really protect children with statutes of limitations that fit the crime, and adequate funding to staff the enforcement of these laws.

        This is an election year. Let’s make our votes count.

        Our kids are depending on us to be informed and to vote accordingly.

    2. SW – you are too generous in stating that Lynn “may have been a well-intentioned man…”

      1. 4thechildren,
        Maybe so. I’ve been around quite a few “good” people that are well-respected and well-intentioned…but they still haven’t done what they need to do to protect children. I guess I don’t see any purpose in making Lynn out to be this evil person because I don’t believe he is. I think he’s probably a “nice” guy. He didn’t do what needed to be done for children…and even “nice guys following orders” are accountable for their action and inaction.

        I think the more he’s characterized like an evil monster, the more pew Catholics defend him…because its not how they know him. They know him as a “nice” guy…and he very well may be…

        BUT, it doesn’t change the fact that he endangered children and acted like a powerless puppet and victim when he really had all the tools at his disposal to behave otherwise. I want everyone to identify with Lynn…he’s the perfect example…poor, pathetic, nice-guy Lynn on trial for just following orders. Just like Catholics in the pews…nice people, well-intentioned…just showing up to mass and throwing their money in the till, baptizing their children…and yet…they are both accountable for behaving like powerless puppets and thereby endangering children.

        What’s the phrase? “The path to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    1. Michelle, thanks for the Cipriano link. I was encouraged with the description of the jury composition….doubt very much after 10 weeks of Church horror if there any potential converts in that group.

      Also glad to read that Blessington calmed the seething waters of his three day ‘cross’….

  8. JimBurke – Mgsr Lynn’s lack of compassion and empathy for the powerless and his reverence and awe of the powerful are what this trial has shown, (if nothing else.) The difference of him standing up to his superiors and speaking out for the victims (either by going to the police/parishioners/press/screaming it from the rooftops!) and someone in the secular community doing so is that HE would not loose his job/livelihood. HE is a priest and guaranteed a job, a home, food, a pension, insurance and PROTECTION! So he stood to lose NOTHING by standing up for what was right. For standing up and saying I WILL NOT STAND BY AND ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN UNDER MY NOSE. Not to mention that he is a PREIST and supposed to do that ANYWAY, regardless! That is his CALLING! SO I can feel no compassion for his decisions. I can feel no compassion for his situation.

  9. Jim,

    Your/William Lynn’s argument has merit – in a canonical trial. Ironically, the argument actually reveals the disease that gave rise to leadership mishandling of sex/power abuse cases. Prosecutors could have used his own argument to hang him. Priests and bishops live in a closed world, the world of the institutional church. They have their own system of law, their own culture, lords and princes and even their own “nation.” They mistake the world they live in – an organizational and psychological surround — for the real world.

    Lynn acted based on his role and responsibilities as defined by his organization. So, while that might get him a good performance appraisal, it does not excuse him from willful blindness and failing to act in cases where it was clear that inaction would put children in harm’s way. Acting might have cost him his job and social ostracism but this did not stop whistleblowers elsewhere from doing the right thing.


    1. Doctor,
      I was thinking, (I think), along the same lines. If he claimed “obedience” to his superiors as his defense, does his defense position contradict his present position. In other words, isn’t he still supposed to be obedient to his superiors? If so, why are his superiors, who are paying for his defense, so willing to throw his deceased superior under the bus?

      1. Very interesting, Jerry. Have they had an “a ha” that Bev was not really speaking for God? Martin

    2. Martin,
      I think you might be giving them too much credit. I really think that legal counsel told them that the Bev route was the only way they could possibly win.
      In the future, I’m using my full name to avoid any “Jerry confusions!”

      1. I think a thorough-going autopsy on Bev’s mouldering bones is in order, to see if that prostate cancer and the dementia really climaxed and brought death to the cardinal archbishop that night. I would not be in the least surprised if they found a few fibers of a big fluffy pillow lodged up his nose. Check the records and see if any seminarians departed for a sudden, long term stay in Rome the next morning…. Seriously, the embalmed his corpse at Donohue Funeral home between 2 am and 6 am that night. Quite a hurry eh?

      2. Jerry C. – Ahh, good ole Devilacqua. Of course they will throw a dead man under the bus… can’t get much better than that. And mwest, I had a chuckle over your post about the big fluffy pillow. I still believe Bev’s death was too coincidental. However, we will never know due to the rush, rush, rush to embalm. Unsolved mysteries.
        Other random thoughts…
        I don’t know about anyone else, but if I read one more article quoting Lynn’s attorney about how Lynn “put a spotlight on the shame”, I’m going to vomit. Lynn didn’t shine the spotlight… the Grand Jury did that!! What the hell?! Is anyone buying this bulls**t?
        Re: Rigali, Cistone, Cullen… all need/must to be held accountable. No time to waste, either…. before Rigali suddenly develops dementia.
        I’m still furious about Avery’s light sentence for his horrendous acts. Unbelievable.
        I believe the victims.

  10. Even though I was not physically abused by a priest I am emotionally abused by the Phila AD priests. I expected more from them so its a double wound. They do not practice what they preach:(

    I believe our victims and pray for them! God Bless them and help them heal.

  11. Is there a mandatory reporting law in Philadelphia? In louisiana we lobbied the inclusion of priests and religious leaders of all religions. Of course the Church paid for lawyers to lobby against it but they passed it with the exclusion of confessional statements. The canon lawyer tried to say that every conversation with a priest had the understanding of a confessional relationship…the panel didn’t buy it. So, in Louisiana priests who now know of admitted pedophiles or accused pedophiles and dont report it to tjhe police would be open to being criminally prosecuted. Of course no one is rushing to expose a priest to prosecution in New Orleans – Catholic city that it is.

  12. Ozzie Myers, disgraced and convicted Philadelphia Congressman in the ABSCAM trial in 1981:

    “Money talks and bullshit walks.”

    Leadership in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the period from the first Grand Jury Report in September 2005 to the criminal trial vs. Monsignor Lynn and Father Brennan in 2012:

    “Money talks and pedophiles walk.”

    I believe the victims.

  13. Regardless of the outcome, this trial has exposed a cancer in the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church. I hope we can work towards a real renewal where the hats, robes and monarchical trappings are discarded … Where a clerical culture of secrecy and cover-ups is replaced by the gospel message of caring for the least of those among us .. Where woman are given their rightful place in what has been a male dominated institution.. Where crimes committed against children can be prosecuted, not restricted because of the statute of limitations, and finally as members of this Church,always have the courage to follow our conscience and do the right thing in the face of evil. Thank you to all who have a shed a light in this dark time ; as others have said you have provided an invaluable contribution .

    1. Maureen H,

      I agree; “Regardless of the outcome, this trial has exposed a cancer in the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church.”

      However, I am also disappointed. I believe that this case deserved national coverage, and that coverage was very limited.

      1. drwho13, right now the nuns and Dolan are getting more ‘play’…but the fact that diocesan archives have been pierced and revealed such ugliness is a big deal….from the Cipriano citation:

        “The monsignor’s trial is being monitored throughout the world, including at the Vatican. While reform-minded Catholics are hoping for a historic conviction, the church’s defenders are worried that if Lynn goes down, Catholic administrators around the U.S. will become a target for more criminal charges and civil lawsuits.

        “This trial is being watched much more closely in church circles around the country and in the world  than in the Philadelphia market,” said Rocco Palmo, author of Whispers in the Loggia, an internationally-acclaimed website on church news and politics based in Philadelphia.

        Palmo said the Philadelphia trial is both historic and unique.

        “This is the first time in the English speaking world that a church official has been prosecuted not for sexual abuse, but for handling of cases,” Palmo said. “This trial has arguably been the most in-depth look outside of Ireland into institutional patterns of sex abuse and the response to allegations. And this is the first time to my knowledge that the secret archive files have been used in an American court.”

  14. It’s been over six years since I read the below item in the Northeast Times and I keep thinking that this position, recommendation and advice from legal counsel of the archdiocese had a great deal to do with the leadership’s denial and refusal to accept responsibility and/or report the horrific child abuse, destruction and torment to the civil authorities and police.

    The following statement from the Northeast Times in Philadelphia shortly after the release of the first GJR in September 2005 may be helpful in understanding certain issues in the trial:

    According to an attorney for the archdiocese, C. Clark Hodgson of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, church officials were not obligated by state law to report sex-abuse cases to civil authorities unless the actual child victim notified the church personally. If the child’s parent filed the complaint with the archdiocese, however, church officials did not have to notify police.

    I do not know what if anything has changed in the law that would affect the archdiocese’s responsibility as described by Mr. Hodgson in 2005. One thing is for certain, though: the goals and mission of an organization (Archdiocese of Philadelphia) are separate and distinct from the goals of the individuals (the Philadelphia-area Catholic laity) they profess to serve and minister to.

  15. You should know, there are a “whole-bunch-a people” watching and listening…very closely. (Even down here in Texas…) Anyway, you have our support and our prayers.

    All of you have done good. At the end of the day, “You have won!” You took the basket off of the rock that was hiding the latern. And now, the light is shining, for all to see.

  16. I was at the vigil today the news was there and interviewed Sr, Maureen and Bishop Senior walked by and she talked to him. Maybe she can comment on the interesting conversation later. People like Sr. Maureen and Steve and so many others are amazing they just don’t give up.

  17. AP just out: PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A Philadelphia jury wasted no time Friday in homing in on the alleged “smoking gun” as it started deliberations in a groundbreaking clergy-abuse case.

    Jurors broke for the weekend after deliberating in the afternoon in the trial of a former Roman Catholic church official. Monsignor William Lynn is charged with conspiracy and child endangerment for allegedly keeping predator-priests in ministry.

    Jurors quickly asked for a half-dozen exhibits, including a gray folder found in a locked safe at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The folder contains a list of 35 suspected predator-priests- and was compiled by Lynn in 1994. At least one priest on the list was a parish pastor until this year.

    Lynn, the former secretary for clergy, testified that he created the list from secret church files containing hundreds of child sex-abuse complaints. He said he hoped Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and other superiors would address the growing crisis.

    Another secret memo shows Bevilacqua had the list shredded. Jurors asked to review the “shred memo” as well.

  18. I took Jim up on writing to him on his e mail. I gave him the story of my rcc life. And why we left the rcc in 2001. He’ll probably. tear it up. It was long with with names of priests you can find on abuse tracker. I hope he reads it with an open MIND to the LORD. and how he HE loves the little ones. . I. gave him an RSVP. Hope he knows what that means.!

  19. Kathy,

    When I was speaking with Ralph Cipriano this week, I told him how much you and I and many others have thrived on Kopride’s regular comments on his work. Ralph is as appreciative of Kopride’s insights as we are, having said so to me and, of course, in his own comments on his blog.

    Has anyone read the comment Ralph posted on his most recent blog? In it, he discusses with Kopride his “read” on the jury. Basically, he says the jury is unreadable, except for the fact that they have been an extremely attentive jury. I agree. Anyway, I am fascinated by this portion of Ralph’s comment: “A couple of people who are cradle Catholics mentioned to me that hearing their faith described in the courtroom was like hearing about voodoo. What will the non-Catholics (jurors) make of all of it?”

    “Voodoo” is an interesting word to attach to our faith. By “faith,” I think the cradle Catholics mean Church as well. I see where the cradle Catholics are coming from. Every time you and I say, “you can’t make this stuff up,” I think we are expressing what the cradle Catholics meant to express when they used the term “voodoo.”

    Do you think the non-Catholic jurors, especially, have found our faith and/or Church to verge on, or enter the domain of, “voodoo”? In comparison to other faiths and Churches/bodies of worship, are we utterly outlandish and from another planet?

    1. Hadit….I did note the Cipriano comments about those young jurors. I have seen several different media versions….5 and 7, 6 and 6, catholic but can be fair, not catholic…..young, and mixed ethnic…

      My guess is they are exhausted… To have to listen for ten weeks to unremitting, horrifying data, to be blasted visually with those endless files, to hear victims weep, to see Lynn supporters laugh and applaud.

      To get a handle on an institution that essentially protected itself and never alerted civil authorities, that took the word of the accused priests, that essentially used the Nuremberg defense , …..that made lists of known abusers, shredded them and then many years later ‘found’ them…well

      If there were practicing Catholics on the panel, I would imagine their faith has been tested beyond belief. For non Catholics on the panel, I rather doubt we have any future ‘converts’….

      AND yet, this is such an important case, certainly not just for Philly. How amazing it is that these young jurors in a country of ‘laws’ hold these critical decisions in their hands. Prayer is surely in order.

    2. hadit..I read on online comment in a local newspaper concerning the trial. The commentor said something to the effect of “if you are not catholic,this all must seem really crazy” and then went on to explain away some things..not an absolute apologist..but close. I sat there in shock,,he was saying he could see how this appears crazy to the outside world ,but would make more “sense” to catholics. Luckily the follow up comments from others were similar to what I would have written ‘I am Catholic and this is all insane to me”

      When I was a freshman in college I wrote a paper for an English Comp.course about “televangelists”. This was at a time when their popularity peaked and then some scandals began to emerge concerning affairs,financial mismanagement..the era of Jim and Tammy Fae Baker. I remember thinking how “crazy’ their followers were for not being able to see they were being used and that many of these TV preachers were the ultimate hypocrites. And now in our religion these crimes against children exposed, standing ovations for accomplices,denial and blind loyalty by many laity. To think that 20 some years ago, I was smug in my thoughts about others and their loyalty to their “leaders” in the midst of corruption and immoral behavior within their faiths.

      1. A key insight, Kathy.

        We smug Catholics have often been puzzled by blind zealots of other faiths, and now realize many Catholics are little different–some show up a trial of a priest who admits to endangering thousands of defenseless children and what do they do ?

        They cheer in front of the suffering survivors thirsting for justice often after decades!

        There is still much work to be done to restore the Gospel message to our Church.

      2. Kathy,
        What a great reflection…the televangelists back in the day…and now the clergy abuse in the RCC…something to think about. I remember my thinking at that time too…”how could people not see through all the make-up and skits and ‘Jeeezus loves you’ and ‘Satan be gone!!!’ as they are crying into the camera?” Then when their worlds started to buckle, they’d ramp up the “this is the work of Satan,” and “the evil forces are trying to bring us down.”

        I’d wonder, “who believes this?” And yet,there I sat…in a Catholic Church going along with whatever the priest said…like he had some sick hold over the parishioners. We couldn’t possibly believe that Fr. So and So would abuse a child because he was so holy and kind and a delivered a great homily. And if we allowed ourselves even a hint of the possibility that a priest had harmed a child, then we absolutely couldn’t believe that their superiors would have known and lied about it and moved them around.

        I’m sure many on the outside of the RCC are now saying, “Who believes this?”

    3. The word voodoo is a strong one…

      but what do you call a practice that sacrifices the bodies and souls of children for its own “greater” purposes and image?

      Catholic and non-Catholic jurors had to be rocked to the core by the testimonies of the victims. No one with a heart can listen to their suffering and not be changed. That will affect decision-making…I pray.

      1. As to the comparisons being made here between “TV Evangelists” and the Roman clergy: Religious charlatans are no different because they wear a different “label.” The underlying [emphasize lying] doctrines in each are false in one respect or another.

        This is not to say that there is any denomination or group in the world of believers in Christ that can claim its membership never sin. The bible says that ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Who can deny God’s Word.
        Some apparently dismiss the bible or the gospel message preached because they find the preachers are also capable of sin. Will God excuse them at judgment time for that? Go figure.
        What I mean to say is that we have a personal responsibility before our maker to seek the truth and believe it, regardless of others actions/inactions.

      2. SW- in reply to an earlier post re: Lynn being well-intentioned.
        It certainly was not my intention to be critical or sarcastic. I believe you are a generous individual, and seek to find some good in everyone. You are a bigger person than me… I can’t bring myself to think of Lynn in that light. Perhaps many years ago he had good intentions, but I believe they got lost along the way. At least when it came to his role as Secretary of the Clergy.

        P.S. – Your posts always receive a thumbs up from me!

      3. 4thechildren,
        I didn’t take your comment as critical or sarcastic. I was just further explaining my point. Don’t count me as a bigger person, I have moments of wanting to see Lynn fry for what’s he’s failed to do and what he purposely did to endanger children.

        No matter how we see Lynn then or now…it’s clear he lost his way.

        I love your screen name. 🙂

      4. I so hope that this trial will opens up more secrets that have been swept under the rug in Philly… Does anyone on this site know about the tunnels at St Charles Borromeo Seminary…? There needs to be a whole lot more investigating into this diocese.

      5. 4thechildren, youi are wise to follow SW’s lead here. Among the many perceptive and generous bloggers at C4C, none are more incisive and focused on how the hierarchy really operates than SW. She has had a painful education and doesn’t miss much. She has taught many of us much, for which we are grateful.

      6. Snap Judy,
        I read they were to get around when rained etc. I believe my old parish had one also. From school to church. I have hear all types of rumors and blogs. Anything you suggest we can read about?

      7. I know about the tunnels! There is one, and it leads from the old building, under the lawn up into the basement of the newer / upperclassman’s building. It is actually a brightly lit, ceramic tiled corridor. Useful for moving furniture, or trolleys of kitchen supplies between buildings. Lets people cross the campus without having to cross ice and snow, ie. Not very mysterious, in fact.

      8. MWest,
        A blog I read said there are other tunnels there. I have no idea if it is true……..and something about black masses……..again something I read online Judi is that what you are refering to?

      9. I am asking if anyone else knows about the tunnels…. ? I have knowledge of terrible abuse happening in the tunnels… but I don’t want to hurt the victim …. I just hope this seminary and this diocese gets investigated a whole lot more… tks for validating the tunnels… I just don’t know how these guys sleep at night..!!!

        Sometimes.. after hearing so many horror stories, I feel like I am living in a science fiction movie… but the sad part it is REAL….

        tks, Judy

      10. Judy,
        I understand and I am sorry for what this victim has gone thru. Malachi Martin wrote fiction but when asked questions he said most of it was true.

      11. Beth, no I have not…but is sounds very interesting… and I have learned the hard way…. rumors are not usually rumors…they turn out to be true, but folks are afraid to say them..

      12. mwest,

        I don’t doubt of the existence of tunnels that are “Useful for moving furniture, or trolleys of kitchen supplies between buildings. Lets people cross the campus without having to cross ice and snow, ie. Not very mysterious, in fact.”

        It’s the dark metaphorical tunnels that may exist (or have existed) that spark my concern.

      13. SNAPJUDY & Hadit –

        The tunnel to which you refer is just a lighted ceramic tile lined passageway from the ‘Upper Side’ of Saint Charles Seminary to the ‘Lower Side’. If you look at a satellite picture of Saint Charles, you should be able to just discern its underground imprint in the grass. It must have been built after the Lower Side was constructed in the 1920’s.

        The tunnel is used by the seminarians during inclement weather. For example, on Sundays many of the seminarians from the Upper Side would use it to attend the communal morning Mass and afternoon Vespers in Saint Martin’s Chapel. I used it many times myself when I was there. It’s not at all spooky and one can clearly see end-to-end while in it.

        The ‘catacombs’ is the informal name that the seminarians gave to the area under the Lower Side building where the plumbing is located. It was also the area where the seminarians stored their trunks when the semester started in September and retrieved them in June before going on summer vacation. This area is well lighted and was also designated as a civil defense shelter during the Cold War.

        To satisfy your apparently insatiable curiosity, why not call the seminary to make an appointment to see them both.

        Now, if you’re interested in knowing more about sexual abuse in a tunnel, you might want to check the Broad Street Subway!

      14. Joe and others thanks for your description of the tunnel..I had never heard about it. Joe I spent many years working in Center City and often made the scary walk through the underground of the Broad St subway..scary .Imagine then finding out later that my classmates were abused in the sacristy of my church..and I was afraid of the underground subway stations..you just never know where you are safe..do you?

      15. SNAPJUDY said she “had knowledge of terrible abuse happening in the tunnel.”

        While in Philly last week, I was told of abuse happening in the “catacombs.”

      16. question..!

        Has anyone ever heard of ritual abuse going on in the Seminary tunnels..? And has anyone ever heard of aborted babies buried on the grounds of St Charles seminary..?. I have good reason for asking this question.. even though it is hard to even imagine..!

        I would love to see this place investigated more by law enforcement…

        tks, Judy

    4. BAM! Hear that hammer hit the nail right on the head! Ouch! Can Catholics take that one in stride? It could/should be a “wake-up call.”
      Certainly there is an analogy with “voodoo.”
      To be as uncomplicated as I can— we’re talking about the imposition of a fear-based religion , that uses the “veneer” of belief, not in Christ and His gospel, but “another gospel”, one that denies the very nature of Christ’s gospel [gospel= good news]. Test question: What is the good news?

  20. I believe the victims and pray for their healing everyday! I have not stepped foot in a catholic church since I read both Grand Jury reports.

  21. All of these comments are very interesting BUT thinking about it, it seems like the world needs these “cults”. Without knowing much about the cults, how could people be made to drink “JUICE”? We can go on and on. How about that man (I don’t know much about it) but he had a number of young wives who he was raping – I think he is now in jail. Seems like an awful lot of people need this. Does anyone know why? I went to Catholic school for 12 years and was OBEDIENT but always knew something was wrong. All of my life I kept thinking, WHAT AM I MISSING? At least, for me, I now know my instincts were correct. Another question, why did God allow this to go on for so long? I have been absolutely tormented by all of this. I somehow doubt that Lynn will be found guilty. One other thing – I think that African American people may be much more attuned to seeing through people – their heritage has been slavery so having more African Americans on the jury is probably a positive. I certainly hope so.

    By the way, I just read a book about Pope Joan – has anyone ever heard of her?

    1. Susan Sander, as Hadit can probably explain better than I, the pains of life and certainty of death, as well as ceaseless speculation on why anything exists, has led humans for over 40,000 years to seek God as an explanation and solace.

      Once you are indoctrinated with the Catholic hierarchy’s effective “story”, it becomes part of you and a source of comfort and even joy. It is easier just to “consume” the story, than question it. Painful events, like the inexplicable existence of evils, such as child abuse, illness and death, can sometimes require questioning.

      Given the power of the Catholic story, some will always try to manipulate the story for their own advantage, as the Catholic hierarchy has too often done and continues to do.

      I, for one, believe the heart of the story, the Gospel message is “true”, but we must continually strip away the self-serving “doctrines” often created to serve selfish interests. The need to defend the defenseless, children, makes questioning and an effective response an imperative.

      In an important way, C4C is helping strip away the chaff from the wheat. It is a tough task, but Susan, Kathy and many other sincere C4C bloggers are up to the task.

      Perplexingly, the C4C journey is part of the reward many sincere Christians are seeking, I believe.

    2. “Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology… It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned. Kierkegaard believed that the freedom given to people leaves the human in a constant fear of failing his/her responsibilities to God” (Wikipedia).

      Susan Sanders stated; “Seems like an awful lot of people need this.” Yes I agree, and believe that it’s built into the human psyche. It can involves magic hats, snakes, holy water, tarot cards, voodoo dolls, etc., all depending on the religion, cult, or sect, one is involved with. I suspect that it comes down to our human need to try to deal with existential angst. I’m not sure, but it certainly can lead to some irrational thinking and behavior.

      Martin J. Leahy, PhD, any thoughts on the psychology behind this fairly universal human need?

      1. Drwho,

        Your answer concerning the appeal of cults resonates strongly with me. Existential Angst. You have provoked me to think back to the time when I was a Catholic fundamentalist. Thank God, that was only up until age 16. Ironically, my seminary experience had me let go of the certainty I had acquired in the previous 10 years of Catholic education.

        Thinking out loud… existential angst, the need for meaning, and the need for human connections all reinforce one another. You, Hadit, Jerry, and Joan have pointed to these. Uncertainty and not knowing feels frightening, someone has the answers for me, and I get to hang around with others who share my beliefs. Ultimately, all of this is not so much about what I believe as who I am.

        The Catholic story, as Jerry says, is powerful. I must admit I cannot imagine joining another Christian denomination. I feel embarrassed to admit this but it is the truth. I might consider the Episcopal church but the English connection stops this Irish heart. It would feel like a betrayal and the truth is it is not my ‘home” or tradition. I often think about how I don’t have the Catholic story, it has me. I am very curious about those who have left the Roman church. How could they have done that and I can’t? Mind you, I have not been to Sunday mass in a decade. I cannot bring myself to enable the oppressors. And my sense of loss is painful. I love celebrating the Eucharist in community. I have thought about starting an intentional Eucharistic community and finding a married priest to preside. I found myself quickly wondering how a small community could have a May procession. Have to have that May procession! Bring flowers of the fairest…


    3. Jerry and drwho,

      Thanks for the informative responses to Susan Sander’s question.

      I would add that religions, cults and sects provide answers to the compelling questions that naturally erupt in the minds of human beings. They provide answers to questions like: Where did I come from (or who is my creator)? Why am I here? What ought I do (morally)? And, where am I going (afterlife theories)? I agree with drwho when he basically says that humans are attracted to answers as a means of avoiding the existential angst and dread that can befall us when we don’t know. The answers also preclude the possibility of nihilism, Latin for “nothing”; the belief that the universe (including us and our lives) lacks meaning and purpose.

      Also, religions, cults and sects provide community. The human psyche is disturbed by the idea of being and existing alone.

      1. Hadit, what about Becker’s Denial of Death or my favorite, Mans Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl…both in their own way argue for meaning and purpose in life….like, perhaps participating in a cause…ie C4C…

        Years ago I taught high school juniors CCD and made them read Mans Search for Meaning. Frankl maintained that even in life’s darkest moments one could define oneself, ones attitude toward life, ones meaning and purpose.

        Frankl, founder of Logotherapy, was a nazi camp survivor.

      2. Joan,

        Yes, I do know Frankl’s logotherapy, perhaps the most philosophical and Stoic psychology today. Based on his personal experience during WWII and subsequent clinical experiences with suffering, Frankl developed it. Logotherapy’s objective is to find meaning in suffering. What matters above all is the attitude we take toward suffering, the attitude in which we take our suffering upon ourselves. At the moment suffering finds meaning, it ceases to be suffering. One of the main tenets of logotherapy is that man’s concern is not to gain pleasure or avoid pain, but rather to see a meaning in his life. That is why man is ready to suffer, on the condition that his suffering has meaning.

        I wonder if logotherapy would be useful in alleviating the suffering of the victims of sexual abuse and their families? I wonder if it would be useful in alleviating the suffering of Catholics who are hurt, saddened and disillusioned by their Church? What about Lynn, Brennan and their families? What if the defendants get time? Would logotherapy alleviate their suffering and the suffering of their family members?

        Which is more reasonable: to endure suffering and suffer mental torment or to endure suffering but acquire an attitude that imposes meaning on the suffering?

      3. Hadit, this whole C4C situation is weird in the extreme. I never ever put Man’s Search for Meaning into the paradigm of abuse survivors…and never ever thought I would be blogging about it.

        And yet your point about it being perhaps helpful for folks who have experienced abuse, (one way or another), is very special.

        I was taught a lot by a Frankl proponent, have been to the camps, have heard Frankl, in person, and was so impressed that I forced a very large number of kids to read the book.

        Wilkipedia, not my favorite source…says of the book…According to a survey ….Library of Congress, Man’s Search For Meaning belongs to a list of “the ten most influential books in the United States.”[2] At the time of the author’s death in 1997, the book had sold over 10 million copies and had been translated into 24 languages.[3][4]

        SO, your question about the usefulness of Frankl’s work helping folks to acquire ‘meaning in their suffering’ is terrific.

        It’s a short, very tough book, perhaps victims, survivors, therapists and just about everyone else, might want to order it from Amazon or some other source.

        I often quote Susan who said that C4C was no accident…I agree.

        And it would give me a lot of pleasure if this wonderful Vienna born psychiatrist could help to lighten a very heavy load of pain, for ‘our’ survivors and all survivors.

      4. AND Martin if you are up for it…would really like your ‘take’ on this Frankl or some other approach…to the issue of suffering….thanks, hopefully in advance, Joan

      5. Joan,

        There is a guy (Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi) who has done a lot of research on the “flow” experience — people who are having peak experiences, like athletes being in the zone. He claims that we humans are not really seeking happiness; we want to be fully engaged with life. We will put up with suffering, imagine Lance Armstrong on a bicycle marathon, as long as feel fully alive.

        I hesitate to compare concentration camp inmates with bicyclists in the Tour de France but this whole business of engagement, meaning, purpose seems so important.

        PS When you referenced Matthew 25, 31-46 I became absolutely certain that we are soul friends. It is my favorite scripture passage. It is also the most threatening passage for organized religion.

      6. This is just an aside, relative to Frankl’s work but I think Sloan Kettering is using Mans Search for Meaning in its Hospice program.

      7. I’d be interested in hearing any victim’s perspective on Viktor Frankl’s, Man’s Search for Meaning, and founder of logotherapy…

        I’ll have to place it on my summer reading list.

      8. Many thanks Martin, and I will check out the ‘flow” issue.

        When I was 8 years old on a Sunday morning at mass, I was trying to memorize the corporeal works of mercy for an after Church religious Ed class.

        I can still see the church, where I was…and thinking, but of course you would feed the hungry, clothe the naked etc….that’s just reasonable….I still think so…it’s been a 65 year ‘touchstone’ for me…and yes, we are soul friends!!!!!!

      9. sw, joan, hadit, martin..I well remember “Man’s Search for Meaning” from high school religion class… This discussion has me realizing I really need to read it again. I get so much here!!

    1. Mark,

      I enjoyed meeting you at the trial. You are a brilliant and well-read Catholic myth-legend-conspiracy-buster. Just a wealth of information…

  22. Barbara Blaine and others will be leafletting Sunday June 3rd at 12:30pm outside of St. Patrick’s Church 242 20th Street Philadelphia. Please join us in raising awareness for victims/survivors among us, those whom we have lost, and those who may be suffering in silence.

    1. Jack, good luck on Sunday.

      Please encourage Barbara Blaine and SNAP, as well as C4C bloggers, to support the “counter-rallies” to support abused children, and others, in 133 US cities, including at Philly’s Independence Hall, at noon on next Friday, June 8.

      For more info, please read, “Nationwide Catholic “Counter” Rallies…”, accessible by clicking on at:

      http://www.bilgrimage.blogspot.com/ 2012/06/nationwide-catholic-counter-rallies.html

      1. I encourage everyone to click on the link in Jerry’s above post, and learn about the Religious Freedom counter-rallies taking place across the country next Friday at noon. All of the information you need to know can be accessed there.

        I’ll be attending the rally in Syracuse, NY.

        Thanks, Jerry, for posting the info on bilgrimage.

  23. Barbara Blaine and others will be leafletting Sunday June 3rd at 12:30 pm outside of St. Patrick’s Church 242 S. 20th Street (20th and Locust) Philadelphia Pa. 19103.

    Please join us in raising awareness and supporting victims/survivors among us, those whom we have lost, and those who may be suffering in silence.

  24. I think the Vaticans repremand of the nuns, is just a huge DIVERSION. to keep your eyes off all the ” goings on” with this trial. and all the trials going on allover the Catholic world! And the Pope putting his long time butler in a Vatican prison and the Popes firing the head of the Vatican Bank. This isn’t the first time the head of the Vatican Bank hes been fired. After JP I was bumped off, Mons. Marsinkus was going to be indicted and he was shipped off to Sun City, Az. About 1978 I think. He ‘s dead now but no one in Sun City wanted any thing to do with him.
    This institution is in deep do do! Read David Gallup ‘s. book …In God’s Name….

    1. Cheer up,glorybe1929. Catholics are learning slowly, but surely, that we can control the money and the rule of law. We can and are moving the Church from 1512 A.D. to 2012 A.D. The pope and bishops know this, which is why they are behaving so desperately.

  25. Dolan. The head of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops but, in reality, just another episcopal creep.

      1. “…He has an easy manner and a well-developed sense of public relations…”

        Yes, and he has an ego the size of his hometown, New York City.

        Along with his buddy, William Donohue, President of the Catholic League, he is considering opening up their own boutique law firm, Dolan and Donohue.

        U.S. Catholic Leadership…….Money talks and pedophiles walk.

        1. Please Mike, don’t blame Dolan on NY. He is from Rigali’s St. Louis Archdiocese. Bevilacqua, OK, Brooklyn. Donahue, Long Island–OK. You win.

          New Yorkers have a lot of work to do as well. I concede! FUGETABOUTIT !

          1. I cited an article about why the pope hates nuns, up the site a ways.

            It’s 5 pages long and looks at Rome vs US nuns and laity….the premise being that what Rome really hates are independent educated nuns and laity that is a product of our constitutional system.

            You really see the interface with this trial…..canon vs civil/criminal law, uppity folks who think Lynn had human obligations beyond Bev’s direction….

            I am putting in a long quote:

            The irony here is that a good part of the problem the Vatican and the bishops are having with their American nuns and parishioners is, in fact, their very Americanness. For the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Rome, its American flock, as it assimilated into the greater American culture, became increasingly troublesome. American Catholics, often enthusiastic in their patriotism, are, in reality, subject to two different and contradictory faiths: the American civic religion of liberty, individualism and participatory democracy, and the Roman tradition of collective submission to ecclesiastical authority. As time has passed, the American religion in many ways came to surpass the faith tradition of their ancestors in terms of forming a primary set of values. Roman Catholicism, for many, is more a subcultural identity than a daily practice of the rules and rituals mandated by the magisterium.

            American Catholics have long flouted the popes’ prohibition on the use of birth control, and are not inclined, as a bloc, to be moved by the bishops’ complaint of liberty infringed — especially when the liberty the bishops claim for themselves is the right to deprive a class of people, who represent half of world’s population, of a fundmental aspect of health care particular to that class — a class that is deemed unworthy by the bishops for admission into their ranks, by dint of the shape their bodies take at birth. Although sexism still thrives in the United States, the average American, even the average American sexist, does not generally classify it as one of the precious religious freedoms for which Americans should lay down their lives.

            In the years leading up to the sex-abuse scandal that has gripped the church for more than a decade, many American Catholics viewed the bishops and the popes as simply out of touch with the modern world in matters of sexuality, especially on the reproductive front. But since the scandal, the bishops find themselves widely discredited as it became known that so many were aware of the sexually predatory behavior of some priests toward minors, and acted to cover up the crimes of those clerics. One such bishop was William Levada, who served as archbishop of San Francisco and Portland, Ore., and is now the Vatican prefect in charge of the nuns’ persecution.

            The nuns, on the other hand, have only grown in moral stature since Vatican II in the eyes of many Catholics, as they seriously implemented the council’s mandate to go out into the world and do good works.

            Today, the most visible Catholic advocates for social and economic justice are often nuns, who work with the poor and minister to the sick. They are, by and large, better educated than the bishops who would rule them, and are consequently often more articulate in expressing their work in the context of their religious values, which they commonly frame in terms of the Gospel’s calls to work for justice and healing, rather than as demands for obedience to a power structure whose princes preach adherence to a set of rules that is, at once, cruel and absurd.

      2. Martin,

        The link’s not working for me, either. I have no idea how Michael, Michelle and Jerry S. accessed that article.

        Not only did Dolan devise the pay-offs-to-pedophile-priests plan, he paid off at least two pedophile priests, then, when he was asked about paying off pedophile priests, he lied about ever paying them off. We’ve got Finn, Rigali, Cullen, Cistone, Chaput and, of course, a host of other bishops who are seemingly unmoved by their troubles, using arrogance and legal dream teams to mask them, clueless in terms of PR (not to mention the lack of knowledge and expertise in a host of other disciplines), and wholly unwilling to bury, once and for all, their toxic culture. The only level on which I can accept any of it is that all of it points to OVER.

    1. Michele,great point you made in your blog about Lynn pointing the finger at Bevilaqua while in Kansas City Finn is claiming it was Murphy’s responsibility.

  26. From Abuse Tracker:

    Victims of abuse to gather at St. Patrick’s Church today
    June 3, 2012
    By Marilyn S. D’Angelo
    As the congregation of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church leaves today’s service around 12:45 p.m., they will be met by some of the victims of child sex abuse and their supporters.

    The group will be handing out fliers to churchgoers at the Center City church located at 242 South 20th Street. The leaflets urge parishioners to help the victims and their supporters to find others who were molested by Msgr. Phillip J. Dowling, a Catholic priest who admits molesting one girl and is accused of molesting three others.
    According to SNAP, a support group for those abused by clergy, it was “only after the fourth allegation did church officials put Dowling on “permanently restricted ministry.” He remains a priest at this point and is still on the archdiocesan payroll.”

  27. Survivor’s Wife, 4theChildren, and others interested…the tunnel at St. Charles is one of the longest underground walkways in the country. It’s actually a trivia question on Trivial Pursuit. It was built during WWI to protect against potential air raids. From what I remember, a lot must have changed since I was there. It was a very creepy, dimly-lit, passage, with no tile that I can recall. As far as any abuse happening there, I, personally, never heard of any. However, it would have been as good a place as any. There were many secluded places that could have easily been used for illicit activities.

    1. Gerald,

      Most victims I know were abused right under the noses of people who looked the other way.

    2. Jerry (Gerard),

      Regarding St. Charles… I have heard there is a catacomb (subterranean cemetery) on the premises. Is that so?

  28. Dolan…good PR man…

    slippery little sucker, isn’t he?

    Speaking of televangelists…he’s the RCC version.

    The first rule of thumb…fake ignorance and outrage at such preposterous assumptions. Then when the documents surface, start spinning the tale so you don’t look so bad…thereby distracting from the FACT that you LIED to everyone about doing such things. Nevermind how immoral and corrupt it is to pay pedophiles to make a quick exit from the priesthood while at the same time ignoring the needs of the victims and endangering future children.

    The RCC has a way of propelling the most slippery and corrupt to positions of influence. Pay attention, Catholics.

    1. SW, this citation if even 5% true is a horrifying look at the Vatican…makes Dolan look like a saint…

      I liked your point about ‘spin’…Dolans payoffs were the businesslike thing to do, speeded up the departure of those “troublesome priests”, was cheaper than a prolonged Vatican process…was ‘charitable’…I think the example given about paying for health care did not apply to the individual mentioned as he was Medicare eligible….

      CNN did a piece on it yesterday….back to back with a Lynn piece.

      Here’s the Vatican piece: http://endthelie.com/2012/06/03/what-a-holy-mess-the-vatican-sinks-into-civil-war/#axzz1wc3b3Om6

  29. Hi, long-term lurker here. I’m sure everyone has probably seen the documentary “Deliver Us From Evil” – I’m late to the game. But if you haven’t seen it, I’d recommend watching it. (it’s on Netflix streaming) I just watched it, based on someone’s (forget who) comment, and it is both powerful and maddening. There should be an uproar from all laity. I’m just sorry I hadn’t paid much attention to the abuse until recently.

    Mahoney acts so sleazy here. Has he been sued by anyone? I know he’s testified (and in my opinion he lied), but I didn’t know if he’s ever been the one on trial.

    1. Infophile,
      Thanks for posting. Welcome! Glad you are here. Since you said you are late to the game…don’t hesitate to ask questions or comment. There is a flow that has evolved here at C4C…and sometimes I forget that newcomers want basic information. No one on the board is an authority on the subject, each of us brings our own speciality to the table.

      I have watched “Deliver Us From Evil.”

      The LA Archdiocese (Mahoney) settled out of court for over $600 million several years back. That was a case I wanted to see go to trial. How many skeletons do you suppose were hiding in those files to warrant a $600+ settlement? Mahoney, for all of his shenanigans was promoted to Cardinal.

      I want “Deliver Us From Evil” to be required viewing for every Catholic parent.

      The man whose daughter was raped pretty much summed up the entire documentary…his pain was palpable.

      1. SW & Infophile: Bishop Blaire of Stockton CA just settled with a single victim for $3.25 million mainly, it appears, to remove the imminent need for Mahony to testify under oath. At that rate per abuse victim , which lawyers may now use as a settlement target, Chaput may be out of business before the 2015 Philly “Papal Olympics”!

  30. Praying that victims receive justice and healing … that money doesn’t talk and pedophiles don’t walk.’ I believe the victims.

  31. As I finish reading this blog as I have every day for the last two months, I feel such a sense of finding “community”. The bravery of the survivors, their honesty and courage are beyond comment. Being in the courtroom on the second day of Mark’s testimony on Holy Thursday and with those at the Cathedral on Good Friday, gave me such a sense of what Holy Week really meant. I saw the suffering Christ surrounded by all the Innocent Children on little crosses on Calvary. I could not bring myself to go to church on Easter. I cannot sing Alleluia until I hear the guilty verdict.

    The past three days, my second time in Philly, I heard the closing arguments and again, very briefly, was able to share a bit of time with people I had met earlier, and some new that seemed like old friends who had inspired me and given me hope. Susan and Kathy have done more than they can imagine with this sacred space. It was great to see Steve and Maureen, to put faces on Hadit and Beth, and Barbara Blaine. Real people with real hearts, true people of faith, all of you are doing on this site what we only hope our leaders will see as their call.

    I haven’t had your (victim’s) courage to speak out, but I am learning forgiveness. But most of all I want to see justice. I want the Church, collectively and individually, to be responsible for its actions and to receive a just sentence for all the pain it has inflicted. I pray we can soon celebrate, even knowing this is only the beginning with a long road ahead.

    1. Early on Thursday morning, closing arguments day, I secured a seat in room 304. Two women were sitting in front of me. They both turned around to greet me. The first to speak was SNAP’s Barbara Blaine, the second to speak was Norene from Boston. Norene didn’t have to speak. You just know her when you see her. She just exudes warmth, care, concern and faith. They are written all over her. Her concern for victims and the Church originate at the core of her. At one point, I mentioned that I blog on C4C. Immediately, Norene and I were connected because she reads the posts here regularly. Who are you? What is your name on C4C, she asked? For the umpteenth time in Philly, I introduced myself as haditCatholic because Kate FitzGerald is rock-bottom meaningless there!

      Norene, it was wonderful meeting you, and I’m just so happy to read your C4C post. Thank you for everything you are doing for victims and the Church. Please stay with us. You have so much to offer this community of people.

    2. I am so glad you are here BostonNorene.

      I hope you keep posting…ideas, thoughts, feelings…to put a voice to what so many Catholics are experiencing.

  32. I have read all of the comments today as I have throughout the past fourteen months. C4C has been my shelter throughout this ongoing storm. And now we await the verdict. I am hopefully optimistic that justice will be served, and the world’s eyes will be focused on Philadelphia and the Archdiocese. Perhaps other enablers (and predators) who allowed these horrific crimes to go on will also see the inside of a courtroom, and Pandora’s Box will officially be open.

    I believe now, and always have believed, that this issue is black and white. There is no grey area. It is simply good against evil. Right over wrong. The strong preying on the small and weak must be stopped. What else is there to know? Aren’t we first and foremost obligated to protect those who cannot protect themselves? Lynn is an empty shell of a man. He was probably hand picked for his job because he is weak and obeying. Whoever selected him knew exactly what they were doing! Talk about brainwashed! No resisting authority for him! After all, isn’t the Pope God’s representative on earth? At least that’s what I was taught. The Cardinals are the power players; smart, strong, manipulative. Any man with an ounce of backbone would not be able to deny victims and hide predators year after year. Lynn should have called the police; but he simply would not be the whistle blower. The bishops and cardinals knew that when they hired him. He was the perfect man for the job. I honestly believe that when Lynn entered the priesthood he did so with pure intentions to serve God. He obviously chose the wrong path. I’m sure that the loving family supporting him in the courtroom would have taken him in, and may have even been proud of him for his courage. Of course, there would have been no standing ovations, but children would have been protected.

    This entire sordid mess makes me sick to my stomach, and deeply sad. What a disgrace! I have now, and always will, believe and support the victims no matter what the outcome of this trial. God bless!

  33. Today, I read a letter written my one of the seminarians from my local diocese in northern NY who is attending St. Charles B. Seminary. Our (inane) diocesan newspaper published the letter. A photograph was part of the spread. In the photograph was the seminarian, two other seminarians from St. Charles, and CHAPUT!

    The letter was an exhaustive description of the seminarian’s activities over the last 4 years. It included his extensive national and international travels, the clerical and non-clerical “dignitaries” he had met, the events, retreats and conferences he had attended, the fine restaurants, foods, meals, and dinners he had been exposed to. The letter went on and on…

    Prior to attending St. Charles, the young man was from a rural area, from a very modest and very Catholic family, a relative introvert… just a sweet, young, protected kid. Typically, his local peers have spent the last four years attending NY state colleges, working 24/7 to afford state tuition, traveling nowhere, obsessed with the price of gas and food, and, generally, living the life of average college students, lives that may be relatively grueling on the one hand, but filled with important life skills on the other.

    The “feel” of the seminarian’s letter was “prince (a lot and big) and parasite (free).” His experiences, and the experiences of his peers, are in sharp contrast. Indeed, the life the seminarian described over the last 4 years glared of “grooming.” The parasitic prince is being groomed for a life of clericalism.

    It just breaks my heart.

    1. Thanks for that incisive and informative report, Hadit. Your incessant efforts may help to avoid more of these parasites. And don’t be heart-broken! We all love you!!

    1. I participated in the polls. Could not believe the polls’ results so far! As much as they are encouraging, they are irrelevant since they reflect the opinions of people, not the opinions of the jurors. But… wait a minute. Is there, could there be, any statistical correlation between pollers opinions and the opinions of the jurors? If so, how? How does that come to be?

  34. Martin, phd. posted in part: “I am very curious about those who have left the Roman church. How could they have done that and I can’t? Mind you, I have not been to Sunday mass in a decade”

    I think one needs a place to go when one leaves RCism. But not necessarily another denomination, sect or cult—but something to believe.
    I found that something in God’s Word, in the bible. Going all the way back to “Cain and Abel” might help: Abel simply believed what God had said, and brought the sacrifice God prescribed. Cain didn’t have the faith in
    God’s Word, and brought his own idea of sacrifice. Once God reveals something , we need to believe it.

  35. A couple days ago, a handful of the “regulars” here tossed around some comments on philosophies of life, death, etc. etc.I know each of us has to make his/her own way on life’s journey; however, i think we can agree that we can also learn from other’s learning experience, and certainly we can learn from what God Himself has revealed to us in the bible. Some may not see it this way, but the bible has miraculously survived , intact, through centuries of man’s failures and foibles. There has got to be a “message” there for us.
    Maybe this interval ,waiting for the verdict , has nudged some here to do some thinking about the absolute verities, life , death etc.

    Myself, I found that for much of my life I didn’t trust the bible, and I attribute that to Catholic “bias.” I feel the attitude of not trusting in the Word was a result of being a fully committed catholic, i.e., trusting in tradition above the scriptures.
    In short, after many years journey, I now find the RCC has never know much about the scriptures and has made really big errors, that they cannot ‘back out of” or rectify. It is staggering when one begins to learn these things. In this limited space, I have to shorten my explanation of this claim I am making:
    The Roman church (eklesia or assembly) departs from the scriptures by
    failing to see/believe that scripture is divided between PROPHECY and MYSTERY. Prophecy involves Israel and Israel’s destiny, on earth; and the mystery is the revelation hidden in God about the church (eklesia or assembly) called by ONLY Paul in his letters- the body of christ. Unlike Israel, the BOC has a heavenly destiny, not an earthly kingdom. When the scriptures are approached this way (Paul calls it “rightly dividing”) one may begin to understand and the bible really comes alive with new meaning.

    1. You know amazed, this is a very complex group of folks with very very different biblical learning histories. I took Old and New Testament courses in college, had the huge pleasure of several courses on John’s gospel, by Raymond Brown, traveled in the Holy Land for a month with three biblical scholars who did their doctorates at Echole Biblioque (sp?) and my ‘take’ on scripture is going to reflect my life experience.

      I am not saying that your points are right or wrong…I think they are right for you….but thing of it is….it’s such a personal thing.

      Earlier in the blog I found myself saying to Anna, that she had a perfect right to her point of view ….and she surely does, but that each and everyone of us, bloggers, readers et al have the same right.

      1. Joan,
        “I am not saying that your points are right or wrong…I think they are right for you….but thing of it is….it’s such a personal thing”
        Few apparently study the scriptures, but rather follow a supposed “authority”. What I have found is the scripture has the answers and the “authorities” had it all wrong. (I am only one of a long list of those making this discovery.) Reform should include correcting the “skewed” views of what the scriptures really say.

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