61 thoughts on “What Do Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Want?

  1. I would really like the Church to be honest and straight about the coverups et al. No more spin doctoring, no more public ‘acts of contrition’ from the high hats, just straight up plain honesty.

    1. Paul I am not a victim but I observe that all the lies are “crazy making”( make you question and doubt yourself and reality) I experienced a little of this with my husbands offender and I would not wish it on anyone. It seems to me that is partly why the truth is so important to our victims. I admire our survivors so much for telling their truth……..I think it is powerful……I am sorry and I believe the victims…….

  2. Personally, for the safety of kids and the healing of victims, I want to see every current and former church employee (from custodian to Cardinal) who committed or concealed child sex crimes to face consequences for his/her wrongdoing. That’s the best way to prevent future child sex crimes and cover ups in all kinds of institutional settings.
    And I want to see genuine, practical repeal or reforms of archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations. Those laws give child predators and their enablers incentive to destroy evidence, fabricate alibis, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistleblowers and “run out the clock” on their crimes so that other kids end up getting hurt.

    David Clohessy, SNAP

      1. Truly, wonder about what?…David has been following stories/crimes, of the sexual abusive nature & of all religious denominations for over 20 years, (roughly). I do know this as fact.
        My only own personal curiousity is why David chose to write as he did and based on his knowledge, not write, “from custodian to Papalism”.
        That said, your self stated wonderment leads ME to wonder. Please don’t attempt (PLEASE) to discredit this man…he is knowledgable and full of facts OF RELIGIOUS SEXUAL MISDEEDS FROM AROUND, YES, AROUND THE WORLD. All inclusive of priests, nuns, religious denomination of all natures and religious misdeeds of the sexual kind…missionaries included.

      2. I’m not going to get into it anymore here, FossilMan. I have talked about Clohessy in other threads. If you do a little bit of research, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

        I will not stay silent about the Catholic Church and their many misdeeds.

        I will also not stay silent about SNAP and its many misdeeds.

        SNAP is an extension of the Catholic Church. Did you know that?

    1. Don’t you think if lawmakers – Congress – really cared about the children, they would change the laws, especially the statue of limitations. Don’t you think that the laws as they exist make it difficult to convict? Maybe the wording has to be changed – like what is the jury needing to question these laws – Lynn (and others) caused more children to be abused because of they DID NOT TAKE ACTION to report the incidents to the police.

  3. I will respond to this question tomorrow as I need to gather my many thoughts together! Kathy, thank you for asking this question. For me it isn’t cut and dry as I will give you my personal answer.

    1. Thanks Vicky, It’s actually me who asked. The answers will help us to keep the blog posts as productive as possible. I appreciate you taking the time to think about this. Thank you.

  4. This is really a stupid question. Don’t you know that we all want money, Susan? At least that’s what the defendants claim. Granted, I never asked anyone for a penny. Furthermore, when I contacted the Oblates of Saint Francis De Sales in early 2009 about the abuse I had endured at the hands of Rev. John M. McDevitt, I told them I was unwilling to seek any lawsuits, but I wanted to make certain that my abuser didn’t have any other victims. Of course top officials of the Oblates lied to me when they said, “there are no other victims.” The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office claims otherwise, as McDevitt was well known for abusing young boys within the Philadelphia Archdiocese and the Wilmington Diocese.

    The only thing I could think about before I came forward was, “Is McDevitt out there doing the same thing to some other kid?” I couldn’t sleep in the nights before I would make the trip to the DA in Philly to report the abuse. I was scared to death, because I had tried desperately throughout my entire life to keep this secret hidden from everyone and anyone, especially those closest to me. It didn’t help being the nephew of Cardinal John O’Connor and knowing that I would certainly be bombarded with harsh words from relatives. I spent several years traveling the country, always believing that if I could just get away from Philly, or Jersey, or the entire eastern seaboard, then my memories would just fade behind me. I lived in California, Arizona, Washington State, Canada, and many other places I have forgotten or care not to remember. I spent so many years of my life running until three years ago when I decided I was through running and living like a ghost. I was lonely in life. I didn’t have many friends or people I could ever confide in because I didn’t trust anybody. I thought about all of this before I went to the DA and I wondered if McDevitt was out there creating other dead souls just like me. I hated the thought and that’s why I felt compelled to open my mouth and speak the truth. I have always said, “The world doesn’t need more people like me!”

    But… I want my own justice too. I think those responsible for transferring John McDevitt, knowing well for decades of complaints about abuse of young boys, should be held accountable as well. I think some things are just common sense that prove to be the right thing to do. For instance, if you believe a grown man is raping a little boy in a shower, it is NOT okay to turn around and walk away and report it to someone the next day. If you’re gathering a list of suspected or known child abusing clergy, that information should be forwarded to police, and if it’s not, whoever made the list should be held accountable with covering up crime(s). Is there no honor in people anymore? Even to protect a child?

    Joe Amendola, who is Jerry Sandusky’s attorney, stated in opening arguments in that trial today that, “there are no victims in this case, but there are people looking to make money.” I won’t hurt your bank account if you promise to stand up in front of your congregation and on national television and admit to having allowed child predators, under your watch, to have groomed, molested, and raped children, and that goes for you too, Mrs. Sandusky! Deal?

    You know… when you’re young, in twenty years seems like a long, long way. When you’re getting older, twenty years seems like yesterday. That’s the way my life has always been. When the abuse was happening, I often thought about where I would be in 20 years, and at least I knew I would be away from these evil creatures. But, I’ve lived with these memories everyday of my life, and so much of the time, even though here we are – more than 20 years later, and the abuse still feels like it wasn’t very long ago. I think when you finally take a long look at what happened way back when and start to deal with it, somehow you start to realize just how screwed up life has been. I don’t want that for another innocent child. I’d stand in front of a speeding bus if it could somehow prevent another child from experiencing what I have.

    I want to prevent other children from being abused. I want justice for the kid I was. I want a do-over. Everytime somebody like James, and Billy, and Mark speak up… I get a little more comfort because they’re justice is mine too.

    1. I know this might be alittle off the topic but Rich or any other survivor…..if you have a loved one or you meet a survivor who is “running” what can I or we do to help them? is there anything a family member or friend can do or not do to help build trust etc? what would have helped you stop runnning sooner or is this something the survivors needs to be aware of on there own? Basically how do you think supporters can support better as I feel sometimes I have no clue because I don’t……..but I am trying………..I like when Vicky corrects me because of her honesty she helps me understand better.

      1. I guess what I am asking is what would be your 5 main points or so of what we can do to show support? Even simple things………

      2. That might be an impossible question to answer, Beth. If another victim of my abuser had come forward before me and knew I had been abused as well and confronted me about it, I would’ve probably denied it and told that victim to take a hike.

        I think it’s something like addicts. They don’t know they have a problem until they reach rock bottom. Well I didn’t realize just how much this has affected my life, and I also didn’t want to talk about it before I came forward. I was too busy trying to forget, I just never wanted to deal with it.

        If I had to guess what may have made me more comfortable speaking up is if I was surrounded by people who supported me, but like I already said, I didn’t surround myself with many people at all because I trusted just about no one. Catholicism has been etched into my psyche through my entire childhood by my parents, teachers, priests and nuns, and other relatives. I lived in a predominantly Catholic community. I worked for Catholics. Everyone I knew who died had a Catholic service. Anyone whose wedding I was invited to was in a Catholic church. For most of my life, I was never around any other different religions or their people. Just Catholics. I didn’t want anyone to know because of just how deep I was entrenched in this freak show. Who would’ve believed me anyway? My word over a priests? Yeah right! Not in my family, even though I live everyday by my own standards and principles that are primarily based upon honesty and integrity. My Mom always told me, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.” I didn’t think there’d be any chance in the world anyone, especially my family, would believe me, but I guess that’s just part of being a victim and the grooming process.

        I think we only speak up when the time is right for us. Some do it for whatever reason. I did it because I couldn’t take the secrecy of it anymore, and I felt like John McDevitt was still abusing me, even at 20, and 25, and 30 years-old. And, I probably couldn’t live with myself if I found out he was still out there abusing more kids.

        I wish your question had a simple answer, Beth, but it doesn’t for me. Maybe Vicky or James or others can be more specific than I can.

      3. Thanks RIch I know the answer is not simple…..I appreciate your honesty….I just think sometimes people like me might try to be supportive and sometimes it turns out we are doing the opposite of what is needed.So I like to get your insight on things but I understand survivors are all unique.

      4. beth, You are such a sweetheart. Your heart is so open and honest, I respect you for that, your openess. Every survivor reacts to abuse very differently. We can’t be pushed into telling what happened to us. It is all about timing, when we are ready to tell and then there are survivors who will go to their grave never letting anyone know what happened to them. Shame is so toxic. It envelopes your entire being. For me, i thought I brought it on myself and I also knew no one would believe me that back in the 60’s a catholic priest actually 3 of them would rape me. It wasn’t until I was 42 years old that while in group therapy one of my friends mentioned that I had just told her about being raped by priests. My therapist in her big black chair wheeled herself right in front of me and said “if you don’t get that priest out of your house right now he will start on your daughter.” Well, that’s all I needed to get him out that very day and thus began my very painful journey. I was motivated by telling about what had happened to me because I needed to stop the cycle of abuse in my family and i wanted it to begin with my daughter. For 23 years I have been in therapy and today I am a strong, powerful women who can FINALLY put the SHAME where it belongs, on the perpatraitors. I stand in my truth and no one, no one, can take that from me. Beth, just be a good listner, DO NOT JUDGE and support his/her decision to just talk. Hope this helped.

      5. Beth, 1.) Don’t discredit us or worse, belittle our “situation”, whether repressive, oppressive, acts of aggressivness, or even suppressive actions. For each of us had our own “moments” or worse cases, repeated moments in which someone of the cloth took advantage and prbbly took advantage through a weakness they saw in us.
        2.) Give us time…every one of us is or has acted upon this misdeed from men/women of the cloth (never saw it coming at 95 mphour), so it will take our time or our lifetime to open up and discuss or even be able to talk to or much less even help a fellow victim, in our lifetime.
        3.) Please don’t ask us or make us or expect us to attend church. If God dwells somewhere within our hearts, we, each, will find that God didn’t do this to us, a man or woman chosen by church leaders did this to us. Give us a few to realize and LIVE that concept.
        4.) Please impress upon OUR LEADERS, as we are all followers of
        HIS flock, that we cannot change statutes, laws or even change the ability of church leaders to “be allowed” to have commoners within the “one on one” space, especially with small children, those under 18. At that age adolescence, much less puberty has prbbly begun and already had made changes to our physical and mental “stuff” that makes us human and in Jesus’ likeness. However, that said, so importantly is the fact that Gov’t statutes and laws must be enacted to protect/allow/direct those molested or victimized the gumption to “come forward”.
        5.) You…fill in number 5 with whatever tools you feel may be necessary, or whatever thoughts or actions you may feel necessary to help those molested. _______________________________. So often we too are left speechless, full of the lack of life that we can or do see others having outside of our home windows. Remember too, as you fill in the space of #5, that so often that timid, unusually quiet or even “oddly quiet” child or adult is quiet, unwilling to play with the others or afraid to ask…”may I play too?”…FOR A REASON ! If it appears or seems so unusual to you as an adult then you probably are not far off from being right on target as, something is wrong or that child, HAS GONE THROUGH SOMETHING … that is not the norm. Hence, the unusual behavior.

        Something to ponder…I was sexually molested by a priest at age 12. I was mentally molested by the said priest and “groomed” at ages 10,11,12,13,14. People noticed something wrong with me, I heard them talk as well…………..I TOLD MY PARISH PRIEST AND HE WALKED OUT OF THE ROOM, IN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, I TOLD MY SCHOOL COUNSELOR AND HE TOLD ME IT WAS IN MY BEST INTEREST TO KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT AND NOT TALK ABOUT IT……………………………………………W R O N G…… !

  5. If one more person calls me a victim, I swear I will blow a head gasket! You want the stock answer to your question, go with Mr. Clohessy’s. It is pretty well rehearsed.

    Personally I don’t care about the Church or Penn State or Mega Church’s in the south that rally behind the perps and say that people bringing charges are only after money. Anyone who lives in a fantasy land that says that huge organizations will get past a risk management strategy to isolate and demonize those who come forward and do the right thing is in need of a cold dose of reality. You are never going to get those organizations to change unless they are forced to pay a huge price for the damage they have done. I am not talking money. I am talking prestige, following and consideration from elected officials that enabled these organizations to conceal all the crimes, damage and devastation. I am talking locking up the bishops and the Cardinals and throwing away the keys if it can be proved that they knew and did nothing. I am talking congregations getting up out of the pews and Sunday mornings and walking out, en masse (no pun intended). I am talking about cutting off the flow of cash at the lowest level and starving these organizations.

    I want society to stop supporting the wrong side of this ongoing crisis. This is bigger than football and princely living for the hierarchy of the Church. This is about fairness, justice and doing the right thing. Funny how that is lost on a church that preaches love but turns on the most devote who have been preyed upon by predators. Think about it. A priest can only successfully groom a target from the most devote of the flock. The people that believe that a priest is god’s (lowercase intended) representative on earth are the target pool for these monsters. The targets have to be so frightened to go against this belief to tell. They have to completely believe. Funny, the target pool is the same community of the faithful that will rally behind a predator priest despite overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing. Tell me, which one of you is willing to give up a child to this kind of sexual predation?

    I want to stop feeling responsible for every target that came after me. Intellectually, I know it is not my fault, but that does not make it easier. I had a chance to tell someone. I actually had the means and opportunity to kill him while he slept in a drunken stupor after telling me that he would go after my younger brother if I told anyone, not that they would believe me. I was 13 at the time. I was terrified, I believed him when he told me that my mother had approved of all of it. I believed that the threats against my siblings were true.

    I want his voice out of my head, almost 40 years later. I want to be able to trust, I want to be able to have normal relationships.

    I want people to stop telling me that they will pray for me. Prayer without action is hollow. I don\\’t want it, I don\\’t need it. I want people to stop telling me that I should come back to god, to church, that I should forgive. That makes you feel better, not me. I want people to stop telling me that, because of what happened to me, I am more likely to abuse children myself. That is a page from the Catholic playbook – make me the new monster and they get off. I find no comfort in your church or your faith. I have neither. Stop telling me that there is good in these people if you are not willing to see the horrible reality of the bad. Stop telling me that someone will intercede with me with god over what has happened to me. Stop giving me dead nuns as patron saints to help me. How about a live body to actually investigate the crimes and take action in our legal system. If you leave this to the church to deal with, they won\’t.

    I want the lies to stop. Abuse can only exist in an environment of deceit, fear and secrecy. I want you all to stop paying lip service to this on line if you are not willing to do something about it in your churches, universities and ballot boxes. If all you do is opine on the injustice of it all, you are not doing anything.

    I know what I want. I am not going to get any of it.

    1. MICHEAL, HEAR HEAR!!! Honest, thoughtful and so on target. I AM A SURVIVOR! I have made it this far and will laugh in their faces as I continue to fight for every single child to be safe! Thank you Michael your post is REAl!

      1. Vicky ..you are the best! You are real also and I’m sure your fortitude, through all of this, has been a great help to all the survivors. It always hasn’t been that way but time is a healer, when you have true, loving support, as you all have here on c4c…God bless you, each and every one…. I love you!

    2. Michael: Thank You for your insightful extract: “Stop telling me that there is good in these people if you are not willing to see the horrible reality of the bad… happened to me. ”

      I continue with: Stop intruding upon my primacy of conscience, my will, my mind, and my memory by telling me to be a passive recipient of clergy-abuse … that I should pray these evil people have a change of heart… that action against them belongs to God alone… that redemptive suffering is better than emotional healing … that forgiveness is sweeter than accountability and social justice… that saintly-intercessions will guide me along the narrow path…. that my one-way ticket to heaven is through praying, paying, obeying … that salvation is through the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church … that the culture of silence and lack of transparency is needed to protect mother-church… that the needs of the many (mob) outweigh the needs of the few (victims). I feel duped but thankful that I can now see through this system of deception, darkness, and denial.

  6. I love your post, Michael. I actually read quite a bit on your website.

    I identify as a victim, mainly because I haven’t survived anything yet. I guess I’ll know whether or not I survived on my deathbed.

    Just one thing though, and I’m not trying to offend you, but when you responded to this topic you made yourself the victim. Nobody called you a victim, so I think your head will be just fine. If you don’t identify as being a victim, maybe you would’ve never felt compelled to respond to the topic at all. Just an observation.

    Peace out!
    Rich Green (Victim & Advocate)

      1. I don’t need therapy, thank you. My falls are very calm and stress free when it comes to baseball. No pesky playoffs or World Series concerns…

  7. I was molested by a priest some fifty two yars ago this week. what i want is justice. iwant justice for myself and all the other victims. but i will never get it. the priest who molested me died in 1988 or 1989, the year the memories of the abuse came back to me. I was two years sober. there are days I wish I had never stopped drinking.i relive the abuse almost daily.what i want is for people to stop defending an institution that is indefensible. I want the pennsylvania legislature to stop doing the will of the Catholic church, and start doing the will of the people. I want a window of oppurtunity so myself and others abused by catholic priests can get the justice they deserve.

    1. Jim,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. It’s a hard road, brother. I know it and it sure sounds like you know it too. The priest who abused me, Rev. John M. McDevitt, also is deceased. He died in 1999. I didn’t know he was dead until I reported the abuse to the Philly DA in 2009. (I hope he suffered.)

      However, I know for a fact that the Oblates, the Wilmington Diocese, the Archdiocese of Philly, and Father Judge High School, where McDevitt abused me as a freshman, all were aware of past allegations of sexual abuse of young boys by John McDevitt.

      The justice I seek is to hold these church officials, who knew well before I ever came in contact with this evil thing, accountable for putting me and other boys in danger. I deserve justice and so do you and every single one of us who was abused, and I will get my justice in this life or the next. Until then – I AM SILENT NO LONGER! I WILL SCREAM FROM THE ROOFTOPS IF I HAVE TOO, and I will not go away.

      The justice I also seek is to do my level best to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen to any other child. What could be better revenge than protecting the next child from scumbags?

  8. What the victims and the survivors are saying is they want justice.

    What we’re saying is, ok, we’re working on that, but what other things do you want?

    They want justice! There are no “other things” until there is justice.

    Justice must precede mercy, otherwise mercy is cruel.

  9. Victims4justice……..your mention of the Oblates struck a nerve with me. Current counsel to the Oblates is Mark Chopko, Chair of the Nonprofit Group at Stradley and Ronon, former primary counsel to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (William Sasso, Chairman).

    For over twenty years, Chopko was the general counsel to the USCCB and he is in Stradley’s Washington, DC office. He is a strident supporter of the Catholic Church hierarchy and his writings make it very clear that parishioners have NO rights or standing with respect to the operation and management of the church institution.

    I find it disgusting that for twenty years he was the point man advising the US Bishops on the clergy abuse matters and, in a sense, helped shape this current model of deceit, treachery and hypocrisy that the victims and their families must struggle against. Recently, he was in court down in Delaware trying to have the “windows” legislation enacted in that state struck down, but fortunately he failed and the civil action proceeded.

    In summary, he along with the US Catholic BIshops helped create this evil, horrific and life-destroying tragedy and he continues to make a living, albeit now through individual religious orders like the Oblates, on the backs of victims and their families. Don’t count on Chopko showing up for the pending criminal trial in Phila for an Oblate accused of sexual abuse. He’s strictly a behind-the-scenes man who certainly appreciates this writer’s shining the light on some of his fine and very expensive work on behalf of Catholic institutions nationwide.

    1. Michael,

      The Oblates of Saint Francis De Sales, based in Wilmington, DE, is probably one of the sickest and most evil institutions with the Great Evil Institution of the Catholic Church. 30+ Oblates identified in the passed 10 years of having abused children.

      These Oblate priests teach in schools mainly in Wilmington and Philadelphia. Many work in hospitals and orphanges. I spoke to a former Oblate seminarian soon after I first came forward to the DA in Philly, and he told me that while he was studying to become an Oblate he would often attend parties where Oblate priests dressed in drag and abused young boys. I know many other victims who were abused by Oblate priests and I’ve heard some of the most insane stories of abuse, and some of the strangest stories of just how indecent these men were/are. That’s not even scratching the surface. What I know about the Oblates might induce utter sickness on this forum, so I’ll save the harsh realities for myself and those I know who were abused by Oblates. I have enough stories about the Oblates that if they were all written on paper you could just about squeeze them in the Grand freakin’ Canyon.

      The Oblates lawyers spent a lot of man hours trying to bury some key information. Fortunately, my attorneys and other victim’s attorneys were able to dig up that information. Our lawyers may very well be compensated a lot of money for their time, but I believe without their help we would’ve never been able to uncover so many of these crimes. They are able to network very well.

      The Oblates and the Church’s lawyers can do little to protect themselves, because if you ain’t got the truth… well you ain’t got shit!

  10. I cannot add to this, as I, personally, have not been abused. But whoever can give a thumbs down, to any of these people who have the courage to express themselves and try and put into words, what must be the most confusing mix of emotions ever….shame on you. It isn’t Christian, It isn’t decent, it’s just plain ignorant. I hope to read more honest reponses to this question without fear of censor.

    1. If someone’s only response to something I said is a thumbs down, I don’t have a problem with that. Some of it is personality driven. I have annoyed some people out there with my comments. There are conflicts in the survivor community, we don’t all agree on everything. If someone disagreed with me, I would prefer they left a comment and engaged in a converstation. I would say the abuse of children and vulnerable adults isn’t “Christian”. Disagreeing with a point of view or just playing with the thumbs down button is something entirely different.

      Shockingly, there are those out there that believe we have been waiting 30-40 years for our big cash payoff!

      1. I read the article through once and I can see things in it that apply to me, personnally. I don’t think you can say that every survivor goes through the same things. We all deal with the great terrible secret differently. Some of us do better than others, some don’t survive the struggle that goes on within.

  11. Over the past 12 years I have met with numbers of persons who were abused. They expressed various needs and wants. I offer the following in the hope that it helps us help them better.

    The items on the list below apply sometimes to just one person, sometimes to several or all:

    –to be believed
    Church officials are doing a better job believing those who were abused than they did in the past. But the church authority system creates a gap between the world the bishops live in and the world we live in. There are still ways that the bishops just “don’t get it.” The Philadelphia court system right now is helping close that gap.
    And as we know, many Catholics don’t want to hear about the sins and crimes of the priests and bishops. These Catholics must be repeatedly told that we are ONE People of God. ALL OF US have the spiritual obligation, not only to know about these sins and crimes, but to let the impact of them hit us in our mind, heart and soul, and then to do all that we can to make sure they never happen again.

    –to be able to trust the people they tell about their abuse

    –someone in authority to apologize to them
    In one diocese, the chancellor told the person who was abused that since the abusing priest had died, “Just get over it.”

    –not to be blamed for being abused, especially by church appointed lawyers.
    ln one diocese, the church-appointed lawyers blamed the children and their parents for permitting the priest to abuse the children. The bishops should never permit this to happen again.

    –not to believe that they themselves are guilty for being abused
    If you know anyone who is is blaming him/herself, or if they are confessing that they were to blame for being abused, tell them it is not the truth! They are not to blame! If it helps the person, get a priest to tell them they were not to blame.
    Note: If any priest is giving absolution to someone who confesses that they were to blame for being abused, please stop! Tell them it’s not true!

    –to receive justice, and/or see justice done.

    –to be able to believe in God despite what the priests and bishops did to them.

    –to be able to stop being afraid or angry even to go near a church

  12. OK, Here goes. Please keep in mind this is MY take and My experience as is the case of every survivor here because though we ALL suffered at the hands of a catholic priest, how that impacted on us can be very different.

    As a survivor this is what I want:

    1. I NEVER want another child any where to be sexually abused-or abused in any way: not mentally, not sexually, not emotionally, or spiritually and not physically. (I know this is idealistic-but my heart desires this goal.)
    2. I WANT JUSTICE-HEALING JUSTICE or justice for my continued healing. When I committed a “sin” I went to confession and then did penance. This was the justice I had to face.So far, there has been no “confession” no deep-felt admission of wrong doing, no true taking of full responsibility for crimes against us as children by anyone in the church hierarchy. There has been no “confession” and there has been no personally motivated desire to accept responsibility and do the “penance” that fits the crimes. {As a child, when I went to confession, I knew I’d have to do penance and I went forth fully accepting what I need to do in order to right my wrongs. This is what I was taught; yet those who preach this have not done it themselves. This, to me, is sheer hypocrisy.}
    3. Yes, it is about money. However, money is the 3rd thing I want, and if I could get the 1st two things, the money would be immaterial (no pun intended).
    The sexual abuse so many of us suffered has left many of us disabled in so many ways that we cannot work a typical 9-5jobs and the idea of establishing an actual career is yet another thing we lost through the abuse. I exist on less than $1,800.00 a month. I have maxed out credit cards trying to keep a roof over my head, an old car on the road, and food on my table. The newspaper this morning cited the drop from $49,000.00 a year to $45,000.00 a year for the typical family income. Clearly, I am far below those figues and prices on everything continues to rise. It’s about money for purposes of surviving and living with some amount of dignity-dignity that was stripped of me..
    Money sends a message. In this case, supporting victims with their financial needs would mean they admit their crimes and the money is part of their restitution (penance).

  13. I am a cradle Catholic who no longer goes to Mass. I still identify as a Catholic. Personally, I HATE and despise the hierarchy because they believe they have the right to determine my eternal life. I HATE them, too, because they REALLY DO BELIEVE THEY HAVE DONE NO WRONG…
    We all may rail and tear our hair, but the hierarchy of the RCC think we are nothing but bothersome and maybe even unbalanced. They really truly believe they have nothing to atone for. Yes, some of their members may be bent, but that is not the norm, and protecting the RCC is more important. They believe that sexual predators are everywhere and they believe that they have done their job in trying to get this issue under control.
    The RCC is VERY rich. And, the money they have doled out to the victims is NOTHING compared to the amount of money they still have. To me, the money only adds to the insult. When we think of how we can get through to make the RCC understand and accept that the people of the RCC are the real power of the RCC, we will have to take their money AWAY.
    Consider working toward true separation of church and state. The RCC needs to have its tax exempt status revoked; that is what I am working toward. And, don’t give up on letting your legislators know that you want pedophiles prosecuted in the CIVIL courts. Keep blogging on sites like Catholics4Change and any other sites that support real reform in the RCC. Keep this issue in the public eye. And, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of those who have shared their pain and their grace.

  14. Reform is not what I want! It’s total shutdown of an institution of the devil. that has harmed more than it has saved. Any resemblance of a Christian Church ….left when Christ rose from the dead! No person would or could act as these selfish pharasees and call themselves Christians. That’s why they put Their man made church before their savior. The children be dammed. I say they should be dammed! No doubt they will be.

    1. Alas, Glory Be, as much as we would like, none of us has seen God! Don’t fall into the RCC way of thinking.
      Many of us would like to worship our God in a Catholic Church. Many of us would like that church to respond to us as partners. As of now, the RCC is not that place. Let’s keep blogging, keep our wants before the public, and pray for that great day…

  15. This is a difficult question to answer, but I’ll try. I want to never have another nightmare about being sexually abused by a Catholic priest. I want to never shed another tear about this issue. I want to never have another moment of panic or terror because of traumatic memories or associations. I want never to have to fear that another child will be abused by a priest. I want window legislation so that I can seek justice for the crimes committed against me. I want to be heard! I want Monsignor Lynn to go to jail and I want the entire guilty heirarchy of the RCC to follow him there. Sometimes I just want revenge against the predator who stole my innocence. I want I want to wake up tomorrow and feel hope that these things are all possible, instead of fearing that what I want and deserve may never happen.

  16. This just in, from Cipriano: “Tuesday, the jury asked Judge M. Teresa Sarmina for permission to read the entire document, and the judge granted that request over the strenuous objections of Father Brennan’s defense attorney, William J. Brennan.”

    So, the judge is allowing the jury to hear evidence that was not introduced during the trial? Really? Maybe the State could file an Emergency Joint Motion with the Defendant to stop this from happening? Otherwise, doesn’t that pretty much spell Automatic Reversal, letting a jury deliberate on evidence not introduced during trial, isn’t that certain reversible error?

    1. Mark,

      Sarmina let the jurors read evidence that was not officially introduced into evidence at the trial, although parts of the evidence were alluded to and/or used by both the defense and the prosecution during the trial. Isn’t that what Ralph said? Because both sides alluded to or used the evidence, does it mean the jury has a right to read it?

    2. From another article, it looks as though the evidence already was submitted:

      “The complete testimony wasn’t read aloud to the jurors during the 11-week criminal trial, but prosecutors had submitted the canonical trial transcript with other pieces of evidence.”

      1. And a bit more of the Blessington quote:

        “The complete testimony wasn’t read aloud to the jurors during the 11-week criminal trial, but prosecutors had submitted the canonical trial transcript with other pieces of evidence.

        Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington said jurors had a right to hear that testimony, just as they would any piece of evidence. “It’s an admitted exhibit,” he told the judge.

  17. I hurt myself today
    to see if I still feel
    I focus on the pain
    the only thing that’s real
    the needle tears a hole
    the old familiar sting
    try to kill it all away
    but I remember everything
    what have I become?
    my sweetest friend
    everyone I know
    goes away in the end
    and you could have it all
    my empire of dirt

    I will let you down
    I will make you hurt

    I wear this crown of thorns
    upon my liar’s chair
    full of broken thoughts
    I cannot repair
    beneath the stains of time
    the feelings disappear
    you are someone else
    I am still right here

    what have I become?
    my sweetest friend
    everyone I know
    goes away in the end
    and you could have it all
    my empire of dirt

    I will let you down
    I will make you hurt

    if I could start again
    a million miles away
    I would keep myself
    I would find a way

    – Johnny Cash

  18. I haven’t responded individually to any victims’ posts…but wanted to let each of you know that I’ve read every word. Every single word you wrote.

    I want healing for you in whatever way you need it. Through justice, legal systems, family and friend support, therapy, financial relief, advocacy groups, restful sleep, venting, grieving, raging, protesting, listening, psychological burdens lifted, accountability from the abusers and enablers, reform, safety and protection for current and future children…

    I’m actively working on safety and protection of children in my area. I’m actively working through advocacy groups to raise awareness about what has happened to you. I’m vocal about changing the climate that created, allowed and perpetuated the abuse.

    I care about each of you and want whatever brings healing. I am listening. I think others are too.

  19. I am the sister of a clergy abuse victim. This is what I want….
    For several years my vision and goal was to find all the victims who were sexually abused by our long time parish priest,.. Many, many of them were abused in the rectory next to St Sylvester’s church. I wanted to find all of the victims, including many of my relatives who were also sexually abused by him. My vision was that we would meet at the church grounds, and we would hold hands, circle all around that rectory house…Then we would set it on fire and have a great bond fire, laugh, cry, hug each other, and roast marshmellows… We would all connect and not feel alone.

    Then in August 2006, the diocese released the news that Fr Brown had sexually abused a boy in the late 1970’s.. of course this was now a second generation of kids abused by this priest. So I went to Woodsfield, OH… to do a press event in front of St Sylvester’s church to reach out to other victims… and to my huge surprise I saw that the ‘rectory house had been just torn down’, and new grass had just been planted in it’s place…

    I was stunned… my vision was gone… BUT..now I am headed to Woodsfield this weekend for my class reunion, and my goal is still to find every boy who was sexually abused by this priest… he was a serial abuser and he pretty much ruined many kids lives in that little town where I grew up..

    Wasn’t it strange that the diocese decided to tear down that rectory… right before they made public the abuse by Fr Brown…?

    Tks, for listening.. Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, snapjudy@gmail.com

  20. Pennsylvania expanded the limits, and for crimes from 2007 on, charges will be possible up to the time that victims reach age 50. Advocates are now pushing to abolish the statute of limitations for child sex abuse and open a window for civil suits over long-past abuses. But the legislation appears stalled in the face of church opposition.

    The new archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles J. Chaput, who led the successful campaign to defeat such a bill in Colorado, says that current restrictions exist for “sound legal reasons.”

    SOUND LEGAL REASONS – What happen to “Moral Reasons”???????? Chaput – A wolf in sheep’s clothing…

  21. Chaput was chosen for Philadelphia because of the good work? he did in Colorodo. AT Chaputs welcoming mass , as he was leaving he stopped to greet Rick Santorum, our former senator. Santorum was obviously an invited guest. This was all I needed to know about Chaput. One can tell the character of a person by those people with whom he associates. Of course , Santorum is well known for blaming the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church on liberals [who else?]. its funny the priest who abused me was no liberal. And the Bishops who covered up the abuse were most certainly not liberals. The history of sexual abuse goes back over one hundred years. But what the hell, Rick is a politician ,not a historian.

    1. Jim, I was abused by 3 catholic priests beginning in 1963, so we both go back a ways. I totally agree with what you wrote. Please continue to blog as I like how you think. We are, you and me and so many other survivors in solidarity!!

      1. vicky I was also molested by a priest in june of 1961. It happened at St. john of the Cross in Roslyn Pa. Myself and another boy had just finished serving 8 o’clock mass the saturday after school got out for the summer. A father daniel Doyle, who was associate pastor and in charge of the altar boys showed up and told Father Kostelnick[the same father kostelnick named in the infamous grand jury reports] that he needed to talk to me and the other boy. I remember fr. Kostelnicks response “not again’ . The two priests argued for a few minutes and kostelnick finally left the sacristy. Doyle then proceeded to accuse me and the other boy of stealing altar wine. of course this was his MO.he then told us that we could either be expelled from school and thrown off the altar boys or he would punish us himself and all would be forgotten. We both chose the former but he decided on the latter. He took us back to a storage area and had us undress. He locked us in and went around and locked all the doors of the church.It was decided that I would go first. Doyle had me lay across his lap and he proceeded to spank me. I had spankings before from my dad{this was the era of spare the rod and spoil the child] but no spanking felt like this one. It was more touching and feeling between my legs. I remember crying throughout this ordeal.I dont think he got much out of this and had me dress and let me out a side entrance to the church. He told me not to tell anyone or else. Being the disobedient child ,I immediately ran to the Church convent located about 100 yards from the front of the church. When the nun came to the door after I had rung the bell,I asked for Sister Honore Marie. Sister taught me in 6th grade and I knew she wold make things right. My only concern was getting help for the other boy. Unfortunately she went home for the weekend and the other sister , I didn’t know. I next ran home, which was about four blocks away. In a state of shock, I tried to get my mother to help me rescue the otheer boy.I was the second oldest of 7 children . My youngest sister was only about 6 months old. Finally after bugging her for awhile, she called the rectory. Whoever answered the phone at the rectory convinced that it was my childhoon imagination run to extremes. I talked about this for two days. Finally my mother had enough and told me to forget what had happened. weing the obedient child that I was I did forget.After several suicide attempts, yaers of depression, followed by years of alcolholic drinking, the memories came back. But the damage had been done

      2. Jim,

        My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry.

        The things you’ve endured because of your abuse are the same things that inflicted my brother. What are your thoughts on undoing the damage? What has or might undo if for you?

      3. Jim,

        Thanks for letting us be your witness. I’m certainly glad that your suicide attempts were unsuccessful. I also appreciate your story and I want you to know that by telling it YOU ARE protecting children today and tomorrow. You are raising awareness by sharing your own terrible experiences.

        You, me, Vicky, James and so many others went through some really horrible shit and we surely didn’t ask for the abuse then or the life it has led us to live. It’s what we do right now that makes a difference. We can continue our silence and hope nothing similar happens to another child, or we can be heard in the hopes of protecting another child.

        One thing I’ve learned here is that ordinary, even Catholic, people listen to our stories and some I have read are willing to protect their children by keeping them away from the persons and institutions responsible for our childhood/adulthood demise. YOU ARE protecting kids every time you speak up about what happened to you. Your first instinct as a child was to “protect that other boy.” That says a lot about the kind of kid you were back then and the man you are now.

        You also give me hope that my words are not alone on this site. With you, Vicky, and James, and Martin as well, I find myself in a family I didn’t seek out, but I’m comfortable in your presence, and I’m glad we are together.

        I don’t think non-abuse victims will ever truly understand how we feel, what we think, and exactly how we came to be this way, but I see people putting their best efforts forward to hear our stories, to support our cause for justice and action, and most importantly to become vigilant of those “scum” who would destroy the innocence of a child.

        Thank you for being here, Jim Tucker! You are my brother.

        Rich Green

        (Please contact me Jim. Victims4JusticeNow@yahoo.com)
        Peace out!

  22. Because of all those, for centuries on end, who watched their families decimated by men in roman collars, the victims themselves, their Moms their Dads, their Grandmothers, all those whose faith and lives were severely damaged by these perverted men, for all of these, the innocent, this is what I want:

    That the religious rituals of Roman Catholicsm are no longer written by men who rape or enable the raping of children. That the bishops themselves are no longer allowed on altars, eliminating the spiritual
    harm their presence causes around the sacred. That the misogynist system which is Roman Catholic Tradition be uprooted in order to preserve the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus which protects and cares for the least among


  23. Personally…I want 

    To be able to love my husband in all the ways I want to without tears, flashbacks, disociation

    To bring my Malcolm back and take away all the worries about me that added to his burdens

    To forgive my parents for refusing to believe that their priest-abusers could be abusing their own children now, too.

  24. What I want for the church:
    A church of people by the people for the people.
    No medieval princes no clericalism.
    A church led by prayerful discernment among laity and religious and clergy together.
    A church I can rediscover Jesus in without fear.

  25. Mark, during the trial, I could not believe ex-priest Brennan’s lawyer, Wm. J.Brennan’s disrespect to Judge Sarmina. He (lawyer) got all the negative attention he was seeking. It was disgusting. His demeanor was likened to the adage: “Hail fellow, well met.” However, Judge Sarmina was having not of it. She held her ground, and dismissed Brennan’s (lawyer) immature courtroom antics.

  26. *Ever wonder what happened to clergy that were let go quietly without prosecution? They didn’t stop and the victims of these ‘defrocked’ clergy live in silence…..without a lage organization sounding the alarm that they exist.

    Memoir Details Sexual Assault by Defrocked Clergy Member

    (CHICAGO) – In a newly released memoir, Betrayed By The State: A Ward of the State Speaks Out, Illinois-based author John Bernadyn describes his struggle growing up as a youth ward of the state. “My goal is to get the word out that youth are experiencing struggles that even grown-ups are unable to cope with,” Bernadyn said.

    After detailing, often graphically, a troubled childhood experience with a dysfunctional home, Bernadyn spends time discussing his experience being sexually assaulted in a state facility. He alleges that the perpetrator was John Woulfe, a former religious brother as part of the Marianists.

    Bernadyn doesn’t stop there, though. In Chapter 8 of his book, what can only be described as heart-wrenching and graphically depicted, he lays a visual and emotional scene for the reader as to his experiences.

    After being removed from the Marianist order because of allegations of sexual assaults by numerous young men at a school overseen by Woulfe he relocated to the small town of Onarga, Illinois. As the Catholic Church historically did not publicize or pursue justice for victims of clergymen, Woulfe was never formally charged with a crime. He was able to secure employment working with troubled teenagers after passing the state-required criminal background check. This is where Bernadyn would come in to contact with the man he would later refer to as a ‘monster’.

    Although Bernadyn left the facility prior to Woulfe’s departure, he would later learn that Woulfe was given the opportunity to be a school counselor in the Kankakee, Illinois area where he would once again victimize another youth. It would be no small consolation to learn of Woulfe’s failing health and residence in a nursing home.

    Woulfe had already died and Bernadyn felt robbed of the chance to say, “I forgive you but I will never forget.”

    John Bernadyn is the managing partner for United Advocacy Group, Inc., lectures widely throughout the country, and manages training and strategic planning for healthcare organizations.



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