More Reaction to the Pope’s Planned Visit

Pope Benedict announced Sunday that Philadelphia will host the World Family Meeting in 2015. This could be viewed as a positive sign of support to Philadelphia during troubled times. Despite often being characterized as relentlessly optimistic, I’m not ready to call this a positive.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning group Amnesty International cited the Vatican in its 2011 annual report for human rights violations because of the global clergy sex abuse crisis. Since then, the Vatican has done little to address this incredible failure in any part of the world. Instead, the news from Rome is “the butler did it” and that nuns are spending too much time on the poor.

While the papal visit in 1979 was an incredible spiritual event, this one will ring hollow if the recommendations of the 2011 Grand Jury report are still not met years later in 2015. If our children are still under-protected, there is nothing to celebrate.

Archdiocesan spokesperson Donna Farrell is quoted as saying archdiocesan officials will “hit the ground running” in regard to preparations for the visit. After years of working for the Archdiocese, I can promise you those plans include fundraising. What it won’t include is any accountability and repercussions for Cardinal Rigali and the Bishops who failed to remove abusive priests from ministry.

Click here to read: “Pope announces world event for Phila. in 2015,” by Darran Simon and David O’Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 4, 2012

138 thoughts on “More Reaction to the Pope’s Planned Visit

  1. “Hit the ground running,” Donna Farrell said.

    Unless they hire more people, the already employed worker bees will now have their attention on more pressing issues for Philadelphia…venue preparations, ticket sales, and proper protocol for Pope Benedict…move the children down the list even further.

    1. SW, whether or not Lynn gets off on a technical point of PA laws relating to conspiracy and/or endangerment, I believe C4C bloggers have already won the war big-time for now.

      Lynn has admitted his superiors covered up for decades and the trial showed the world in detail how that was done.

      C4C bloggers, especially Susan and Kathy, and many other C4C bloggers should be very proud of their contributions. The ballgame is surely not over, but the hierarchy is in retreat and limping badly.

      My supporting analysis is set out in my just posted brief piece, “Philadelpia Criminal Trial Has Now Fully Exposed Catholic Leadership Worldwide” .

      I hope you and many C4C bloggers read it.

      It is accessible by clicking on at:

      1. Jerry,

        That is one hell of a monumental piece!

        First time I’ve seen the international (ICC) court case connected to Vatileaks.

        Especially glad that you mentioned the despicable Carl Anderson and the Knights of Columbus (hammering away at gays and same-sex marriage).

        Don’t you consider Chaput among the favored and rewarded bishops? Or did you limit yourself to those wearing red caps?

        If the ICC, Seth Williams and Catholics don’t know where to go from here, you just made it clear.

        Monumental piece!

        Think I’ll read it again… Thank you.

      2. Thanks, Hadit. It ties together some things that have been on my mind for some time.

        I want to see Lynn convicted; he deserves it and the survivors need to know there is justice available. But if he walks, the survivors have already seen that the world now knows what really happened, Lynn admits it all; and we then know that the laws must be fixed now.

        Not perfect, but a hell of lot better than when Susan started this wonderful blog.

      3. Incredible piece Jerry. Many thanks.
        I am with you Hadit, I will read it again. So much to absorb.

      4. Another excellent write-up, Jerry! Just when I think you can’t top yourself… you prove me wrong 🙂

  2. “…Amnesty International cited the Vatican in its 2011 annual report for human rights violations because of the clergy sex abuse crisis in Ireland.”

    Hopefully the US will have broken diplomatic relations with the Holy see by 2015.

    1. Susan, my understanding of the 2011 Amnesty International citation of the Vatican for human rights violations was directed at the Vatican’s WORLDWIDE failings, see Catholic News Service info listed below.

      The points made about the Vatican’s human rights behaviour, “Such failures included not removing alleged perpetrators from their posts pending proper investigation, not cooperating with judicial authorities to bring them to justice and not ensuring proper reparation to victims”
      Read like the 2011 Grand Jury report and the Lynn trial.

      Amnesty International, in a separate effort investigated Ireland, produced a devastating report on Irish abuse, titled, In Plain Sight.

  3. The International Humanist and Ethical Union preceded even Amnesty International in September 2009 (still on site), they actually took the case to the UN, not forgetting QC Geoffery Robertson in 2010 ( The case of the Pope and Vatican Accountability).
    And to think the Holy See was a Permanent Observer at the United Nations and has been since 1967 it is recorded.
    How do they get away with it?
    Not by the Spirit that’s quite evident.

    1. Given the Philly AD’s declining income from disenchanted Catholics and escalating legal exposure from survivors’s claims, Chaput is only accelerating the AD’s decline into bankruptcy by this wasteful and counter-productive PR stunt–the “2015 Philly Papal Olympics”.

      C4C bloggers should stand up for defenseless kids, abuse survivors, and American Sisters, and voice their concerns at brief rallies beginning at noon this Friday, June 8, at one of the “counter” rallies being held in 133 US cities, including at Philly’s Independence Hall.

      For more info, including other locations, please click on at:

      1. I’ll be attending the Religious Freedom counter-rally in Syracuse on Friday. Looking for a slogan to paint on my sign, one that cuts to the heart of the matter. Open to any and all suggestions. Thanks.

      2. your sign could say ,
        when will the other half(women)be able to receive all of the sacraments.(holy orders,i see no reason to exclude a woman from being a deacon)

      3. Hadit, how about this?
        “The Institution fails,
        but We the church prevail.
        Catholics for Justice”

        As I use humor as a coping mechanism, I cannot resist suggesting as a smaller sign,
        “On the eighth day, God created C4C”
        This sign would need to held by someone wearing an old concert t-shirt. 🙂

  4. “It’s been tough for Catholics in Philadelphia. It’s just a really exciting announcement.”

    Donna, you never cease to amaze this writer. Another gem from the archdiocesan spokesperson. I’m sure you were misquoted. I believe your original statement was:

    “It’s been tough for Catholic victims of archdiocesan clergy sexual abuse in Philadelphia. It’s just a really exciting announcement.”

    Another example of a Seinfeld maxim (George reassuring Jerry the night before a scheduled polygraph examination): “Don’t worry. Just remember, if you believe it, it’s not a lie.”

    1. Catholic News Service on Amnesty International citing the Vatican for child abuse:

      AMNESTY-VATICAN May-13-2011 (510 words) xxxi

      Human rights’ report lists Vatican for failure to protect children

      By Carol Glatz
      Catholic News Service

      VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Amnesty International named the Vatican in its annual report on human rights’ concerns for not sufficiently complying with international mandates on protecting children from abuse.

      It marked the first time the Vatican was named in the group’s Annual Report on the state of human rights around the world. The 2011 Annual Report covered human rights in 157 countries, looking particularly at rights abuses and restrictions and at failures to implement international rights’ agreements.

      The report, released May 13, said, “The Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children,” specifically regarding sex abuse.

      The Vatican is party to the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child.

      Article 19 of the convention says that states parties “shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.”

      The article also says measures should be implemented to aid in prevention, reporting and investigation of abuse as well as care for victims and, “as appropriate,” the involvement of the court system.

      The Amnesty International report said, “Increasing evidence of widespread child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy over the past decades, and of the enduring failure of the Catholic Church to address these crimes properly, continued to emerge in various countries.”

      “Such failure included not removing alleged perpetrators from their posts pending proper investigations, not cooperating with judicial authorities to bring them to justice and not ensuring proper reparation to victims,” the report said.

      1. Please note that Amnesty International when naming the Vatican said: addressed the Vatican’s child abuse behaviour worldwide.

        These are excerpts from the Catholic News Service piece, noted above

        “The Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children, specifically regarding sexual abuse.”


        “The Amnesty International report said, “Increasing evidence of widespread child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy over the past decades, and the enduring failure of the Catholic Church to address these crimes properly, continued to emerge in various countries”


        “Such failures included not removing alleged perpetrators from their posts pending proper investigations, not cooperating with judicial authorities to bring them to justice and not ensuring proper reparation to victims,” the report said.””

        Amnesty International also investigated Ireland big time and wrote a scathing report, In Plain Sight.

      2. It won’t be until the United Nations removes the Vatican’s Sovereign Nation Status, granted to it by the international criminal, Mussolini, that we’ll be able to jerk members of the Hierarchy into World Court to answer for their coverups. Otherwise, the Vatican will drag things out indefinitely, until age takes it toll on the worst of the culprits, like Cardinal Ratzinger, and they are buried with all of the glory and the honors that the Roman Catholic Church can bestow on them. Later, the Church will try make them all saints and expedite their sainthoods, like that of Pope John Paul II!

    2. Michael,
      I remember that episode of Seinfeld…I laugh just thinking of the ridiculousness of such thinking and George being so serious about it.

      As I type, I have bright red spray paint all over my hands…trying not to let the paint get on the laptop. Note: Must wear gloves the next time I use red paint…I suppose that’s where the phrase “caught red-handed” comes from. Rustoleum has a great color called “banner red.” You know…just in case you need spray paint anytime soon. 😉

  5. So my wife and I went to church on Saturday evening. The priest began his homily by stating how “busy” the hierarchy of the church has been in addressing the following issues: Implementation of Vatican II in the 60’s, (yet to be implemented, in my opinion), The sexual revolution in the 60’s and 70’s, Consumerism in the 80’s, and for the past 20 years or so, “This terrible issue of sexual abuse and scandal among the clergy.” He then went on to say that he believes that the reason we don’t see young people in the pews in church as often is because the bishops/priests have been so busy dealing with these “issues” that they haven’t been able to “teach the basic tenets of our faith.” This is the real reason why young people are being turned away from the church. They haven’t been able to “teach” us because they’ve been so busy addressing these “other issues.” He then went on to “teach” for another 20 or 25 minutes. I just folded my arms and closed my eyes and pressed the internal mute button to “on.”
    “Don’t worry. Just remember, if you believe it, it’s not a lie.” Michael posted this earlier. I truly believe that this is the mindset of the hierarchy and many too priests. I don’t know, it just seems like a “shell game response” to the abuse crisis: Let’s change some of the responses to the prayers at Mass, (that’ll keep them occupied for a while), let’s charge “persecution of religion and focus on politics, (that’ll take their eye off of the which shell the ball is under), let’s plan a class trip to Philly, because, traditionally, Philly is the most generous diocese to the Vatican in the world. (This is a statistical truth). We can’t afford to lose them.
    Sadly, I see know change, except for where and how the ball is shifted beneath the shells.

    1. Gerard: Your post reminds me of an old joke. A man with long hair, dressed in white and wearing sandals shows up at the Gate of the Vatican. Word passes from one cardinal to another, “Jesus is here! Jesus is here! Tell the Pope!” When the word finally reaches the Pope, a Cardinal asks him what they should do. The Pope replies, “Look Busy!”

  6. The Pope should be in Philly right now vowing that whatever the outcome of the trial, he will take personal responsibility to assure those in the pew that this will never happen again. Man up and admit that some of this happened on his watch – never again – never again.


    1. S Reid Warren III, I’m with you. Far too little, Far too late. We must make the victims whole. Then we can rebuild the church. I believe the victims.

    2. How do you rebuild what the devil has taken over? I love you all but this is a simplistic way to try and make over, that which has become the most DIABOLICAL place for any one to Worship their CREATOR….. CHRIST LIVES WITHIN YOU.. ACT AS HE ACTS AND SEE THE DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE. READ HIS WORD ON A DAILY BASIS. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL GUIDE YOU. ” The LORD has not given you a spirit of fear but of Power, Love and a Sound Mind!”

    3. Haven’t you heard? The Pope is coming to the cash-strapped Archdiocese of Philly in 2015 to celebrate the Feast of the Family with your anointed Archbishop, soon to be Cardinal, Chaput! No expense will be spared for the visit and the priceless vestments, from Gammarelli’s of Rome, will be the envy of every Archdiocese. To catch a glimpse of what they might be wearing, Google “JeannieGuzman and Roma, a Vatican Fashion Show.” Here, you’ll find a 10 minute clip of a priceless Fellini film, made about 60 years ago. It is even more relevant today than when Fellini was alive, but because he made this insightful documentary, he’s probably burning in Hell, next to Dante, if the Vatican has had any say in the matter! Enjoy, but say a prayer for Fellini!

  7. Most people, especially those who know the facts of decades of conspiracy, cover ups and continual criminal activity by the church have lost respect for the leaders of the church, including the Pope. Just ask yourselves what has the “church” done to stop the wrongs and make things right? NOTHING. The Pope’s visit is nothing but a PR stunt. No one is interested in the “spin games” anymore. Too little … way too late!

  8. Why doesn’t he just stay in his palace in Rome and save us all the trouble and embarrassment….What does this celibate man think he knows about families?

    I was on the Parkway in 1979 too…It was like a rock concert ..”Viva il papa”…groan!… …How blind we were..How everything has changed.

  9. Wonder who will be pope in 2015? I think the butler should be the one to light the fire for the smoke signal. Catholics should apologize to Jesus daily for letting the hierarchy speak on our behalf. It’s way past time to wake up! They only matter because we enable them with our envelopes. Period.

  10. My concern is becoming the people in the pews. As long as they are blindly committed to following the hierarchy without question. and as long as they refuse to use their ability to think and choose for themselves, we will have a large number supporting and encouraging the hierarchy in their selfish, self serving decisions.

    I know my pastor is not in agreement with his bishop but would no longer be with us if he said so from the pulpit. As a lay person, who is a respected member of the community perhaps I need to use my “pulpit” to challenge those who are meekly sitting back and ignoring the reality of what is happening around them.

    This site is a gift. I am so inspired by the sharing of love and support. But if nothing else it is telling me that I need to do MORE. I need to put myself out on limb. There are still too many who will bow before the pope when he comes to Philly, too many who still refuse to see the pain and suffering of their brothers and sisters, too many who support the archdiocese with their hard earned money – perhaps it is time to start “afflicting the comfortable”.

    1. BostonNorene…
      it’s all the victims have ever asked for…to be believed and for the people surrounding children to make them (the children) a priority, so this never happens again.

      It means more than you know when a Catholic comes forward and says, “I didn’t realize, but now I do…and I want to do something.”

      There is a lot of anger coming from victims (and their supporters)…and it can be difficult to understand it. My hope is that every person visiting this site can sift through the anger to see the wounds that come from what they’ve (victims) endured.

      I’m glad you are here and I hope you can direct more Catholics in the pews to check out this site. They don’t have to agree with everything…but, we’re sharing a truth here that is rarely found elsewhere.

    2. Massive democratic resistance from the Church (People of God) is what is needed. Thanks for your post! Martin

    3. If we all did more abuse would be no more……………..thankyou in advance for your efforts and know others are doing the same…………in their circles of influence…….

  11. Well said, Susan. I’m with you, I could never get excited about this when I know the Holy See has done nothing to change internal policy to see to it that children are safe and their is full accountability. It always spend lots of money on PR stunts. My hope is the masses are awakening to the reality here. Recent documents prove Dolan spent more money on slipping predator priests back into society, than I was offered for counseling. My brother and I were orphaned by this insanity. Also, Bishop Galante of the Camden Diocese just spent more money on a ridiculous survey to try to figure out WHY catholics are not in the pews. (Again, more money than I was offered for counseling.) I have to tell you, this is certainly all disheartening. The Camden Diocese is well aware of why people are not in the pews, as is every other diocese. I told them my story 10 years ago. It’s just spend money on PR, to fool the masses. I have NO respect for any of them anymore. I couldn’t care less about the Pope’s impending visit. If he and his crew would have done right by the people (their flock), I would feel differently. At this point, it’s safe to say, that will never happen.

    Annette Nestler-SNAP Southern New Jersey

  12. The jury has asked for clarification on the components of a conspiracy. They have asked for the definition of rape. The lawyers are arguing over the answers that they are to be given. Impossible to know, but certainly no quick decisions so far.

    1. Jack is room 304 still open while the jury deliberates? I saw the article on,I didn’t realize the questions the jury asked would be made public

      1. I saw on the news Monday morning as they showed Lynn and his entourage heading into the court house. Evidently, they are spending their time there during the deliberations.

    2. So what was the jury told..did Lynn have to conspire with just Avery or other AD officials as well, in order to be charged with conspiracy ?

    3. Should we whom believe the victims be critiquing the prosecution of the case now, or wait until the verdict?Somehow, it seems not nice to only critique if the defense “walks.” Any ideas?

  13. Yes. Everything is the same except the jury is not there. Whenever something needs to be discussed they all convene. When nothing is happening just the workers are there but the room is open. Presumably, one could simply sit and wait for the verdict although most of the folks are coming and going as needed.

    When the jury has a question or questions the judge has to call them all together to deal with it. it is actually just as interesting as the trial itself. Hope that helps.

    The tension is palpable by the way. Almost like waiting for a birth where there may be some question as to the health of the baby. No one knows, and there are lives on the line.

  14. Thanks Kate, but if you want a real reporter’s take on this morning google MaryClaire Dale and look at her report on She explains to me what I saw with my own eyes. John, Joe, and Ralph are working very hard as well.

    Good to see you here Annette!

  15. Why doesn’t he just stay in his palace in Rome and save us all the trouble and embarrassment….What does this celibate man think he knows about families?

    I was on the Parkway in 1979 too…It was like a rock concert ..”Viva il papa”…groan!… …How blind we were..How everything has changed
    Crystal gets it IMO! Make the signs now before He arrives and say: STAY HOME , IN ROME!

    1. I agree amazed…. The cost of coming to Philladelphia would be enormous., for the people in the pews. Who needs it? Diversion is what they need from the diabolical we all are experiencing. It ‘s so sickening!

  16. Does anyone know why the Bishops ( Cistone, Cullen ) were not called to testify and if they are being considered part of the conspiracy to endanger children? If Lynn is convicted does he go down alone? Can they be held accountable at all or is the “Cardinal Law pass ” in effect here?

    1. Rigali, Cullen, Cistone, Fitzgerald, et al. at a minimum appeared to play some role right up to last year relating to the “invisible” extra copy of Lynn’s list of 36 bad priests. That potential evidence suppression appears to be criminal and would not be barred by any SOL. If they all walk, the answer likely will be–“Philly politics as usual”. Sad but true!!

      1. Jerry, The timing of this announced visit coinciding with this trial feels tactical to me it could have been announced any time. It just seems to be a way to discourage further prosecution of figures further up the feeding chain.

      2. I agree completely, James. Please read my new major piece linked above near the first comment.

  17. How wonderful!! The Pew Sheep must be in nirvana…. How much will the AD spend on this little event?? To date the Holy See has done exactly “ZERO” in making changes other than to convey a meeting. This little announcement along with the closing of four church’s on Sunday is just the beginning… We should just Obey – Pray & Pay….

    1. As Susan pointed out, this will involve a lot of fundraising and is precisely why Abp Chaput and the PACC will continue to fight SOL reform. You can already hear the rumblings among local Catholics…”the Pope is coming.” This average Catholic in the Delaware Valley wants to see Msgr Lynn get hammered; they also just want this thing over. In this neck of the woods we may be Catholic, but in the depths of our hearts there’s a little bit of Quaker. We’re very very docile…have been for a couple of hundred years.

  18. I just don ‘t like all the references. to.the opposite of what we truly feel…It’s sarcastic and un fruitful. Words were spoken by GOD and the World was brought in to being. Let’ts make. Them COUNT! PRAY, DON’T PAY AND DON’T OBEY! AMEN????

  19. Ok! I don’-t mean anything derogatory. To WR. LOVE IS WHAT WE HAVE FOR. EACH OTHER.. TRUTH IN LOVE!

  20. Posted at, we have the archdiocesan announcement of the scheduled Papal visit in 2015. The following sentence from Bishop Chaput is of particular interest:

    Archbishop Chaput said the question of abuse “always has to be handled in a constructive way and we should never get tired of apologizing for sins and trying to do good.”

    I have a “constructive” idea, Bishop Chaput. Call Rep. Ron Marsico, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in Harrisburg and urge him to schedule hearings on the very important legislative proposals, HB 832 and 878, sponsored by Phila. Reps. Bishop and McGeehan which would help make the Commonwealth of PA a safer place for ALL children.

    Bishop Chaput, with all due respect, the “apology” approach is over and done with. The Philadelphia faithful need you and the leadership to get on with the “accountability” approach re clergy sexual abuse.

  21. Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia–and Susan and Kathy–and Hadit and the rest of you faithful women on C4C. For me, that sums it up.

    Have you seen this video? I just watched it. Be warned, it is deeply troubling. Something must be done to stop these men.

    Part of the film references this newspaper report: Where are they now?

  22. In 2012, he was named an at-large member of the Pastoral Council of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap.

    Please remember that Rocco Palmo is a member of the Pastoral Council and this disclosure is on his blog, Whispers in the Loggia. I communicated with, cajoled and coaxed Mr. Palmo ever since his appointment and finally this particular relationship with the archdiocese and Bishop Chaput has been disclosed on his blog. However, I have found at least on instance in local news reporting where the reporter quoted Mr. Palmo relative to the criminal trial and the responsibility of Msgr. Lynn WITHOUT disclosing his professional relationship with the archdiocese.

    This item is important since Mr. Palmo and his reporting is internationally recognized and quoted with respect to the activities of the Catholic Church around the world.

    1. Dear Hadit – I hope and pray you are right about the conspiracy charge. And that the child endangerment charge is a no-brainer and the jury has already decided “guilty” on that count!
      “It is right and just”!

      1. No one knows what the jury is thinking, and as John Martin points out, Judge Sarmina was careful not to read anything into the questions that came from the deliberation room.

        Steve put it well and is ok with sharing how he feels. Namely, that he is hoping for a just verdict, but bracing for disappointment. We just don’t know.

        It does seem though that this is a conscientious jury, but even that is pure conjecture.

      2. I was surprised that the questions of the jury were made public. Personally I would rather not have this info,I would rather just wait for the verdict. The ups and downs,the analyzing the questions in the media..really must be taking a toll on people. I prefer the ‘ripping off of the band aid” … just the verdict. I hope many people realize what Steve has expressed. This is a jury trial like any other. No one knows which way it will go and everyone should prepare themselves as best possible for whatever the verdict brings.

      3. Kathy, I agree about the uncertainty of trials, even non-jury ones. I hope C4C bloggers read my new piece near the top of this thread. It shows convincingly C4C bloggers have already won–regardless of the Lynn verdict!

      4. Just to reiterate what I wrote in a post yesterday…

        The verdicts, regardless of what they are, will not define victims and their horrendous experiences, nor will they define C4C bloggers and their efforts. What defines us is the truth, that it was told, and that we continue telling it. Jerry’s bilgrimage piece does not linger on the verdicts, rather it meticulously unfolds the truths brought to light by the trial, the courageous testimony of the victims, the efforts of advocates and advocate groups, the stories penned by writers and reporters, the labors of scholars and theologians, etc. The weight, value, significance and validity of the truths do not depend on the verdicts. They stand alone and apart from them. Nothing supersedes the truth which is why all of us must focus on it, invest ourselves in it, measure ourselves against it, and draw our strength from it.

      5. hadit ,Last year when Susan and I were jest getting started, we were invited to a meeting of various people who have long been involved in this issue of clergy abuse in the Phila.AD . The focus of the meeting was not the trial,which at that time was a full year away, but of course some conversation was brought up about what would happen at the trial. I was very clear in my thoughts about verdicts,what needs to happen etc.. After the meeting someone who I now know personally and have the upmost respect for,pulled me aside and told me to not get wrapped up in the verdicts but to recognize the importance of the trial itself..a victory in some ways that it was happening and the truth would be coming out.

      6. Hadit: I have already received personal e-mails from leaders of abuse survivor and church reform efforts in Ireland and Austria responding to my piece on the present worldwide importance of the Philly trial. C4C bloggers are being heard worldwide.

  23. 4thechildren,

    I have no idea how Lynn’s conspiracy charge will go. It’s not a slam dunk. It’s more complex.

    If I were a juror, I’d get clarity on the conspiracy law. Then, I’d consider every way, shape and form I could fit Lynn into it.

    It’s a wait and see…

    1. Complicating things of course is the fact that the jury does not have access to the fact that ed avery is an admitted child rapist and conspirator in this case. They do not have all the facts so there will be an asterisk beside this in the annals of case law if there is an acquittal.

      1. I have wondered why the Avery info got ‘silenced’….surely the jury when looking at Lynn ‘endangering kids’ should be weighing Lynn’s assignments of Avery?…

      2. James,

        Do you think the jurors have asked themselves where the heck Avery went? Were they not privy to the fact that, originally, up until the day before the trial began, Avery was a defendant? Or were they not?

        1. In addition to what John Martin reported before 2pm – the jury has just asked regarding a conspiracy; Does the person have to know that the other is involved?
          The Judge said the answer is no

          Bergstrom wanted to give them more information but agreed that the answer should be no

          After the judge sent the answer back
          Bergstrom objected for the record

          I have been trying to get info on the Avery questions with none forthcoming so far

      3. I can’t really answer, not a lawyer. Obviously if avery had been separately tried and had confessed that information I think would have been fair game. But since he was originally attached to this trial this info was successfully quashed.

      4. Although the jury was not allowed to know of Avery’s guilty plea, I think it was evident during Lynn’s testimony that all agreed that the abuse of Billy happened. No use of the word alleged and Blessington got Lynn to admit that he was “sorry’ that it happened. Certainly not as concrete as the jury knowing of the guilty plea..but at least something.

    1. Good job Kathy on the Cipriani blog…interesting that the jury wanted to see the Brennan record…that Quirk read….and was not ‘available’….was that because Brennan is involved in some sort of canonical trial that is STILL going on?

      Think the jury is impressive.

      Loved the Judge’s response to a compliment on her handwriting….’catholic school’…she deadpanned

      How tired they all must be!

      1. Joan,

        They are tired. Of course, they are all tired. BUT…

        During the time I spent in 304, I was extremely impressed with Sarmina’s attention to breaks, lunch breaks, and the time-length of each day. On a daily basis, she was as attentive as possible to everyone’s comfort and stamina levels. Nothing was excessive or even approached excessive on the days I attended. I just wanted you to know that so you could get the feel of things on a daily basis.

        However, we are talking 11 weeks. You are correct. They are tired!

      2. Joan I can just picture that deadpan comment of “catholic school” hadit,can’t you?

      3. Thanks Hadit…would have been there, but there some serious health issues in my family….Your reporting has been great! Joan

      4. Joan… my post was only to say Sarmina is nice– a perceptive, thoughtful and attentive person in terms of people and their needs. She made it as comfortable as possible in 304. You and SW didn’t need to be there! You both were with me every step of the way!

        Kathy, you can just see Sarmina uttering the ‘catholic school’ comment, deadpan style!

      5. I think Sarmina did a very good job with the jury when I was there,always aware of them in many ways. This is not a pro prosecution statement at all. Just an observation that someone needed to control that courtroom and Sarmina absolutely did that. I laughed when I saw her “catholic school’ comment because that is how I felt in her courtroom,like I was back in catholic school and she was the teacher/nun.

  24. I agree that Judge Sarmina has been stellar.
    Her decision to allow the twenty or so other cases gave the Commonwealth their best chance to prove the pattern that we all know has been established.

    Regardless of the outcome, it is my hope that the victims/survivors will find some solace in the effort given by the prosecution, the support given by all of us, and the notion that despite its flaws we are operating in the best system of jurisprudence in the world.

    I don’t want to sound glib, but it never occurred to me not to believe the victims!

  25. If I may add; the Judge has been working with thousands of documents with a very small staff, and she is aware of every word. She has corrected both sides when they have made mistakes on words that they have read, down to the prepositions!

    1. Jack, during one afternoon session that was just mind numbing with a seemingly irrelevant document being analyzed sentence by sentence,I swear that Sarmina was the only person in the courtroom fully awake at that point. Jumping in and correcting mistakes..even down to the the prepositions.

  26. I am encouraged by the inquiries the jury has made. One thing that hit me regarding their question about the definitions of attempted rape and rape was that there does not seem to be any issue about believing the victims’ testimonies….it’s just a question of where the actions fall. I think that is so important because, even though we here are long past the “believing” stage, some people are not. It seems to me that the jury sees Brennan’s victim and his story as credible. They just want to figure out if it warrants a sentence. I could be wrong…..that’s just my take on it, but I am, admittedly, hopeful.

    As far as their questions about conspiracy, I am also hopeful. It seems that if they see any proof of clergy interaction that shows conspiracy that they are allowed to use, they may do it. I’m more optimistic about the endangerment charge, but if they find Lynn guilty on both charges….WOW. It really could go in any direction,though, so I need to put the brakes on my hopeful thoughts!

    1. While the jury is deliberating, thought C4C folks might like to know about an effort to get those bills out of Marsico’s dead pile, and perhaps get a hearing!

      Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse Pushes for Action on Statute of Limitation Laws

      Ads Target Judiciary Committee Chairman Ronald Marsico, Urging Him to ‘Unfreeze’ Two Bills He Has Stalled in Committee

      Current Law Prevents Sex Abuse Victims from Seeking Justice and Shields Sex Abusers Who May Continue to Harm Pa. Children, Says FACSA

      June 04, 2012

      PHILADELPHIA–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–On the eve of the Jerry Sandusky trial and the imminent conclusion of the clergy sex abuse trial in Philadelphia, a child advocacy group is renewing calls for a change in Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations laws. In a series of newspaper and online ads, the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse (FACSA) is calling for State Representative Ronald S. Marsico (R-105th District), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to act on two bills he is refusing to bring to his Committee.

      “Many victims need years to come to terms with their abuse. With our current restrictive statute of limitations, victims are denied the opportunity to seek justice. The system also protects the sexual abuser, who may be abusing other children.”

      Stating “Pennsylvania’s children can’t wait for task forces,” the ads implore Marsico to let the Judiciary Committee vote on two bills: one that would create a one-time window when sex abuse victims who are beyond the statute of limitations can come forward and file a suit against an abuser and another that would extend the age limit for filing civil cases against abusers to age 50.

      1. Thanks, Joan. The legislature is the next priority for C4C bloggers, in addition to pressing Seth Williams and other prosecutors with jurisdiction to apply the full weight of the law on the Philly AD ringleaders, Cardinal Rigali, and Bishops Cullen, Cistone, Fitzgerald and Bransfield.

    2. Can’t thank you enough, Jack. Keep it coming!

      Any indication of who the foreman or forewoman is for the jury?

      1. No. Just that the foreman was chosen very quickly. A juror was delayed this morning by the Amtrak situation at Holmesburg.

  27. Joan, thanks for posting the FACSA info. The Sandusky trial is now starting to make headlines locally with the jury selection. These trials are so necessary and in many ways have brought the issue of child sex abuse to the table in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania but even with painful to pick up the newspaper with all of these crimes against children in the news…but necessary.

    1. Kathy…thought it was great that FACSA was running those ads right now….”PA children can’t wait for task forces” is a very good..approach…..task forces being the ‘ultimate dumping grounds or delaying mechanisms! Sort of on the order of ‘forming a committee to study the issue’.

      The fact that so many of the victims at the trial were termed out by SOLs….that the AD was very attentive to those ‘5 year’ notations on the shredded list….5 years having ‘elapsed’ so the AD had no legal liability….THAT’S got to change and has to some degree but would be greatly enhanced by those bills in Marsico’s clutches.

      One of the very best things that could come out of this whole harrowing process, would be some much tougher legislation to protect PA kids…ALL PA kids. God willing, it will happen!

  28. so sad, my heart is heavy and anxious today waiting for a verdict. If I was in that jury room I would think, ” if we let this man go, it will be business as usual. This jury and our justice system has to STAND UP FOr WHAT”S RIGHT, so every priest, minister, teacher, Dr, parent who covers up, minimizes or distances themselves from a sexual crime on a minor child will be held accountable.

    Tragically, the only one distancing themselves from crimes against children is our pathetic pope who wants to talk about a visit 3 years in the future. The pope believes himself to be invin charge of everyone but takes little responsibility for his charges. If lynn is found guilty, shame on the vatican for allowing these sick policies in our churches. Lynn will be the one” who fowas just following orders”

    1. Hadit, he was Director of the Offices of Legal Services for the AD….on page 38 of the Motion to Dismiss…that C4C posted on May 15, 2012. on the second page of Exhibit 3….,there is a Confidential letter on PA Catholic Conference stationary.dated March 8, 2002…And I am going to abbreviate the second paragraph…

      It basically said that in 1994….at Bev’s direction, and the other PA Bishops….an ad hoc committee was formed to”examine how the dioceses of PA could better protect their secret archives from civil discovery….Then Father Fitzgerald, now Bishop…was appt Chair”.

    2. Hadit, I found data on Fitzgerald with appropriate citations…he chaired the ad hoc committee convened by the PA Catholic Conference to ‘better protect diocesan archival files from discovery’

  29. I have a post awaiting moderation…

    Check out Cipriano’s two pieces posted today (Tuesday). Also, can anyone clarify Fitzgerald’s role in all of this? Unclear, here. Thank you.

  30. Maryclaire Dale is reporting that the Philly AD has spent $11.6 million in legal fees over the past two years on priest sex-abuse cases, not including most of this Lynn trial.

    1. Cipiani on those AD expenses.


      1. There are two Ciprani articles in that link…one deals with money, the other, the jury

    2. I suspect that this is not all of the legal expenses, some of which may be in other categories or were paid by affiliates.

      The rule of thumb is that 1/3rd of legal fees are a few partners’ profit, which should give some idea as to why politically connected partners are eager to please Chaput and get more Philly AD legal work.

      These fees, if not thrown at lawyers to do whatever it takes without regard to cost to protect the hierarchy, would pay for a lot of survivors’ therapy and also keep a lot of schools open.

      The fees can’t fairly be blamed on “greedy victims’ lawyers”. The trial has made clear the duplicitous and cowardly hierarchy have created their own legal woes.

    3. Channel 10 just reported that Lynn plans on appealing a guilty verdict “The cash register keeps ringing”. I cannot post what my thoughts are on that.

      1. Good Sue, keep the cash register ringing.

        I want to see the lawyers take all the money RCC has. It’s Jim Burke’s money anyway, not mine. Keep digging deep Jim! Keep those love offerings coming in.

        In addition it good PR for our side.

      2. Didn’t a woman judge, not Judge Sarmina, caution Lynn that he should be represented by his own counsel…not AD counsel?

  31. Yes Joan,

    Renee Caldwell Hughes asked Lynn repeatedly and in several different ways if he understood that his interests, and the interests of the AD posed a potential conflict in the then upcoming trial.

    She could not believe it and rephrased the question a number of times, looking around the room incredulously as she searched for a particular phrasing which would elicit the response that any person in their right mind would give.

    Lynn repeatedly said that he was comfortable with the representation. If I remember correctly he may even have said, “I trust these guys.”

    1. Thanks Jack…I forgot how often the judge repeated the question to Lynn…and how hard she tried to make the point that Lynn should choose alternative counsel.

      Hadit made a very astute point a few blogs ago…that the AD had picked the perfect person for the job, on selecting Lynn. The ‘I trust these guys’ is going to be one of those parts of this harrowing mess…that I am not apt to forget.

      Your coverage has been very welcome and helpful.

      1. If Lynn had not gone with the AD representing him, who would have represented him? Certainly not a legal dream team. Who? A generous parishioner, or somebody the Lynn dollars could secure? Legal dream teams are attractive when you’re in trouble.

        Don’t you think, too, that the AD frantically scrambled to represent Lynn, putting forth all kinds of attractive incentives, offers and rounds of applause? How could the AD protect itself and further its interests if Lynn were out on his own? Lynn would have been free to divulge all kinds of AD bombshells. In providing Lynn’s representation, the AD got to manipulate it to some extent, probably, to a very large extent.

        Lynn spent 12 years as secretary to the clergy, and numerous other years as a parish priest. He is a loyal doughboy. The colluding and conspiring he witnessed and participated in didn’t freak him out or turn him off to the AD. It just went with the territory, and miraculously remained of the radar for decades. Why not trust the AD to provide your legal representation? It had a long history of getting away with murder.

      2. Lynn’s a clerical crook through and through. Had he gone with his own legal representation, he could have argued that, while he didn’t extracate himself from Bev. and the gangsters during his 12 years as secretary, he was NOW. He was ready to tell on them, explain being under their control, and that, finally, he was ready to show he possessed the integrity and decency to blow them off, once and for all.

        What a pathetic, clerical crook. And damn stupid.

    1. Very interesting that polite, passive, and humble Lynn plans to appeal. Again he has established the persona that has always worked for him. This polite, passive, humble monsignor would not have lied to the victims and he would not be wishing to appeal and to go through all of this again; let alone, spend so much more of the RCC’s money. Seems like his true nature does come through. On another note, I’m very impressed with the judge and jury. If Lynn and Brennan are found not guilty, we can be certain that the jury tried its best.

  32. I thought Cardinal Doyle wanted to put a limit on how much money a victim could expect if he/she sued. Why is the RCC not putting a limit on what the legal fees are for the accused priests, monsignors and cardinals. I assume that the money will be running out at some time. Of course, they can always close every catholic school.

  33. So, what in the world does the murder of President John F. Kennedy have to with the Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial? Would you have to be nutty to link the two? Or perhaps devious, or a liar? Well, that’s precisely what William Brennan did as part of his closing argument in defense of accused pedophile priest James Brennan. At some point during his argument, Brennan made the assertion that jurors could be as certain of the point that Brennan was trying to make as they could be of the sound of shots fired from the infamous Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. For those of you for whom that name has no meaning, that’s the name of the Italian rifle that was planted in the so called sniper’s perch at the Texas School Book Depository Building in November 1963. Brennan meant the analogy as one that would lead to a favorable conclusion for his client, charged with conspiracy; that is, that there was no conspiracy in Dallas, and there was no conspiracy in Philadelphia.

    The official story that was sold to the public of the murder of President Kennedy, who had his brains blown out on a public street shortly after high noon, is that he was killed by a Lone Nut with a three-part name. And the specific point that Brennan was making was that his client was not guilty of conspiracy just as there was, in the official version, no conspiracy in the JFK slaughter. When Brennan, in his closing, stated the words “Mannlicher-Carcano”, he intended to lead the jury openly, or subconsciously, to conclude that the pedophile scandal was nothing but another Lone Nut Event, which, gosh darnit, just seems to be about everywhere these days, and that there was no conspiracy, and that his client is innocent. Brennan was so certain he would prevail with that argument that he then said, quote, “I swear to God, if you convict on that I will shave my head.” Let’s hope that we can hold Brennan to that promise. Brennan pulled off the analogy devilishly, and few listeners even seemed to take it in, partly because the slippery lawyer talks so fast.

    Professional liars like Brennan would have us believe that there are no conspiracies in public life. It’s ironic that in the last days of the priest abuse trial that a famous native Philadelphian died, Nicholas Katzenbach.

    He was a guy who knew how to manipulate the press; you can read about it. He played a major role in shaping the JFK story for a naïve and unsuspecting public. Here’s a link to the Spartacus web page, created in England; it offers much historical information.

    For Brennan, 50 years later, to throw that same garbage into the faces of fellow Philadelphians should earn him a metaphorical spit in his eye by everyone who knows better. Brennan’s scummy effort to use the Lone Nut Defense against victims of Priestly Pedophilia is particularly ugly given the church’s full knowledge of the actual events that it has helped to cover up across the centuries and around the globe. This video, by John Perkins, offers insight into behind the scenes aspects of some fights over power and money.

    1. Mark,

      I was beside you when we listened to William Brennan’s closing argument. He talked so fast I never caught the “Mannlicher-Carcano” reference, had I, though, it would have meant nothing to me. I did catch the analogy he made between James Brennan’s situation and JFK’s assassination, making the point that both are/were absent of conspiracy.

      Among the things William Brennan divulged about himself are: he’s a Catholic, having 7 children, and he doesn’t like to give his money to the Catholic Church because, well, he, too, finds it odious (he said something to that effect). The single, most pungent “aroma” that pervaded 304 for the last 10 weeks was clerical conspiracy (which is why Lynn should have left his clerical collar at home since, wearing it, acted as his lease to the clerical culture).

      No doubt about it, William Brennan knows his conspiratorial hierarchy. Did he spit in the eyes of Catholics when he threw out the Lone Nut Defense in his closing argument? Did he add to the misery of victims? Is it moral for a Catholic attorney to deny hierarchical colluding in order to defend his pedophile client? The questions are lofty. William Brennan will have to answer them, and live with the answers.

      We can call people slimy. What I like is when they arrive at it on their own.

      1. Mark: My guess is that the jury is loaded with Catholics, and I am praying that they, along with all of the other members of the jury are able to see the truth through the thicket of bombastic rhetoric. In the 12 years that I’ve been following the Priest Pedophilia Scandal, I don’t recall ever being caught up in a trial like this one, which will prove to be a turning point, one way or another, in the way in which Survivors can go after Members of the Hierarchy in every English-speaking country, if Lynn is found guilty! Canada is watching this trial and I would like to hope that Ireland and Australia are, as well. Hopefully, we’ll see a conclusion this week and put an end to much anxiety!

    2. “Brennan meant the analogy as one that would lead to a favorable conclusion for his client, charged with conspiracy; that is, that there was no conspiracy in Dallas, and there was no conspiracy in Philadelphia.”

      Oh, now I get what he was trying to do. As one, who didn’t attend the trial, I was confused!

  34. Joan, thanks for the link for Marcie Hamilton.

    . Reading that report reminded me of Lynn’s testimony. as Marcie states, he really did not come across as likeable. As Kathy said there is a distinct disconnect with these guys. At one point when Blessington was hammering away, Lynn was squirming in his seat, he said something like, “I can’t sit here and remember what I did ten years ago. I believe that I did talk to the victim about that it’s just not in the notes.” He then looked over at the jury like, “You believe this guy?”

    No dude we don’t believe YOU!

    1. Thanks, again, Jack.

      I have a lot of respect for Marci ….first found her in some FindLaw articles in 2001 when I was looking for coherence around the abuse issues and she was dynamite! Still is.

      To NCR’s credit, they had her comment on this debacle….

  35. I agree. Makes you proud that she is from the area, and an author of one of the Grand Jury Reports.

    1. I meet Marci once she said that her child was baptized by a predator priest she was later to find out……..

      1. Baptized, Penance, First Communion, Holy Matrimony, Last Rites…heck, it’s like a roulette wheel…you just never know. But, it’s comforting to know the hierarchy does.

      2. Sw,
        You are so right. Just illustrating the point Marci is not “antiCatholic” she is “antipredator”.

      3. Deliberation began around 10 a juror was late
        Heard a sickening story today that I would rather not recount These stories are the ones that make grown men cry

  36. I am so excited! Not that the Pope is going to visit Philly, but because I accidentally found a short, 10 minute clip from a Fellini Film that is appropriate to see, before the occasion! It is called, “Roma, A Vatican Fashion Show.” You know if the Pope comes to Philly, EVERYONE in the party is going to need to have new vestments from Gammarelli’s in Rome! That price-tag will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and who will need to pay for it, but the cash-strapped Archdiocese of Philly, which is already struggling under an $$$$$$$11 million debt from the Lynn trial and the Priest Pedophilia Scandal! If you’re up for a little world culture or a priceless video experience, come visit. Bring the popcorn! I have the clip’s link, with commentary on my website:

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