Click here to read: “Report praises U.S. bishops’ work to stop child sex abuse,” by Stephanie Simon, Reuters, June 6, 2012
David Clohessy, director of the victims’ support group SNAP, said the bishops’ discussion “was sad, predictable and disappointing.” He pointed to several cases in recent years, and even recent weeks, where church authorities did not discipline or remove priests who have pleaded guilty to sexual abuse or had credible allegations made against them.
“As long as those who conceal child sex crimes get absolutely no punishment, nothing will change,” Clohessy said.
183 thoughts on “What Grade Would You Give the Bishops?”
For ignoring, hiding and denying the bishops get an A+. The main efforts have been to at least delay and or defer any formal accusations until the statute of limitations has passed. The primary goal is to avoid any financial responsibility!
“In the audience in Atlanta was Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, who will face criminal trial this fall for allegedly failing to report a priest involved with child pornography.”
For those that don’t know, a school teacher sent a 4 page memo about pedophile priest Fr Ratigan to Finn in May of 2010, and Finn didn’t report it to the police until May of 2011, a full year later. Finn did impose restrictions on Ratigan, but Ratigan broke them and was in the presence of children. We don’t know if he had sex with any of them, and of course, they won’t tell.
In December of 2010, Ratigan’s computer was found to be filled with child porn.
I almost “choked” when I read that in the article. Amazing the “effrontery” and lack of any remorse in these perpetrators.
“Truth” is a foreign word to the Bishops.
When my students fail to function to the degree that the bishops are failing to function, I strongly advise them to take a WF — a withdrawal/failure, and pronto. If they don’t, I fill out the forms for an AR — administrative removal, and I notify security. GONE!
Too bad the bishops don’t attend MY college.
I’d send them to the Student Affairs Committee, a referral for dismissal based on professional comportment concerns, specifically, a pattern of violations of professional codes of conduct and possibly illegal activity. They would be out of work based on the “secular” world standards of the APA. Yet, based on the standards they use (as opposed to those they espouse), they get high grades and big promotions if they follow them.
So, let’s hold hearing and dismiss them
The bishops, based on their behavior, would have flagged our Dispositions committee. They would have been written up, given a timeline (short) to change their ways, faced a Dispositions hearing committee and been given the opportunity to share their perspective. One more infraction and they would be permanently out of the program. No second chances. If the first incident was deemed serious enough to warrant removal, they wouldn’t even be written up. There’s the door. They could have a hearing, but ultimately it would be up to the Dispositions Committee to determine whether they could stay.
I initiated the Dispositions process and I serve on the Committee.
The college loved it because it lowered their risk of liability when placing students in the community sites for various programs.
However, I created it because child safety in the community site placements needed to be a top priority and the college did not have a process in place that would flag negative dispositions in candidates.
no question…The bishops would EARN an F in compassion, service, and Christ-like behavior. They wouldn’t have even been written up. They would have been instantly removed.
I think of Fr. Mark Kunigori (sp?). He would have been removed immediately. He would have faced the committee…but, his actions would have reflected a lack of regard for the scope of the problem and his inability to effectively minister to his parishioners. What bishop is going to come up with a program with real consequences for their priests, when they don’t have any for themselves?
I do the same Hadit.
Leave or you will be removed.
Bishops operate in a different world. One with no real logical consequences.
And again, the question arises: who is responsible for enabling the bishops to operate in “their world?”
This will be the third time I have cited this statement from the posted Reuters article, but I think it is really important as we await a verdict on Lynn who is in trial for child endangerment and particularly for his history of passing on predator priests to unknowing parishes…
The good bishops apparently do not ‘own’ this behaviour as an issue, may God forgive them….
“Bishop Daniel Conlon of Joliet, Illinois, said the bishops had no intention of looking back at allegations of abuse years in the past and holding church authorities responsible for ignoring the reports or transferring accused priests to other parishes.
“I’m not sure there’s any effective way… the Conference of Catholic Bishops is going to address that,” Conlon said.”
David Clohessy, said it well…”As long as those who conceal child sex crimes get absolutely no punishment, nothing will change,” Clohessy said.
The ‘totally naive’ will rejoice in the report and the ‘sensibly savvy’ will know that a system that depends on ‘self reporting’ and self paid ‘monitors’ is full of loopholes. It should be noted by Philly residents that the AD reported to the USCCB that the Archdioces was ‘in compliance’during years when the AD was in anything but compliance with the Dallas Norms.
We currently have a system of Church organized abuse control that STILL does not hold bishops/hierarchy accountable, that depends for its stats (recently promulgated) on self reporting….that has ‘Diocesan Review Boards’ that depend for their data on the local ordinary and what he wants to reveal. And whatever the Review Board recommendation is or might be…the bishop makes the decision.
IN addition to all that, the notion that dioceses will report abuse, to civil authorities…may well depend on what the diocese in its collective wisdom perceives as abuse.
AND we have the bishops lobby arms, the individual state Catholic Conferences and THEIR efforts, legislatively. Smart Catholics should require a history of their STATE CATHOLIC CONFERENCE’s lobbying efforts on behalf of sexual abuse issues for a minimum of the last 10 years…I suspect the local details may NOT be edifying….
Here’s a link the covers the same turf as the Reuters article and the slant is entirely different.
I would characterize the Reuters article as reporting that the Bishops are doing THINGS RIGHT. I would characterize the USA Today article as reporting that the Bishops are still not doing the RIGHT THING. In my mind, there’s a difference. This is why there’s a trust issue. It’s not just a PR problem.
That’s how I’ve always read the parable of the good Samaritan. No one really did anything wrong. Only the Samaritan did the right thing.
F as in fail. Zero for credibility, dependability and reliability.
Does anyone know if Thomas Harkins (priest who abused children in NJ) is still working at TSA. There was an article dated 5/25/12 stating that he was working at TSA but not in REGULAR contact with children. Can anything be done to get him fired???
I read, yesterday, that Harkins holds a “sensitive security” position with TSA. TSA is notorious for pursuing in-depth background checks on prospective employees. Whether no conviction caused nothing to be brought to TSA’s attention regarding his background, I’m uncertain of. If his background was brought to their attention via some means, but no conviction meant they could not use it to deny him employment, I don’t know.
Stephanie Simon reports that “Notzon III, chairman of a lay review board set up by the bishops (talk about Al Queda) to deal with child sexual abuse, praised the progress…”
The key phrase is “…set up by the bishops…,” so you can bet it’s a “set-up!”
I’d place Catholic bishops in the same category as radicalized Muslim Imams. I can’t grade them because their applications for admission have all been rejected; they’ll never enter my classroom.
There are many things that I find very disturbing in the review of the bishops program….
1. The bishops have ‘no intention of looking backward and holding Church authorities responsible for ignoring abuse allegations or transferring accused priests to other parishes’….in other words ….it would take law enforcement, prosecutors, grand Jury’s to hold these criminals responsible….as in the Lynn trial. One can only hope that prosecutors are ‘listening up’ and there is not massive document shredding in Chanceries throughout the US.
2.”But Notzon said there have been more allegations of late of priests engaging in “boundary violations,” such as inappropriate tickling or roughhousing or telling dirty jokes.
Notzon chalked up some of the “boundary violations” incidents to foreign-born priests who do not understand U.S. culture. ”
One needs to ask what the abuse history might be of these foreign born priests? Apparently getting a letter of ‘good standing’ has been known to be given to priests whom bishops want to get rid of…for all sorts of reasons, including allegations of abuse…
One also needs to take a good hard look at what the USCCB calls boundary issues…..as everyone here knows they may well be grooming for rape or sodomy.
3. Notzon has no real enforcement clout, so implored the bishops to stay with the program…Period.
A grade…..they wouldn’t be accepted for matriculation.
Victim “assistance” procedures. Page 6-8 …2011 Grand Jury report on Diocesan treatment of victim….a very very incomplete story….that does
NOT reassure one that the AD cares about victims, so much as itself. This is YOUR AD in action.
“Prompted by the pressure of the prior grand jury report, the Archdiocese has in recent years revamped its policies for handling
victims of clergy sexual abuse. Now, at least in some cases, the church reports abusers to law enforcement authorities, something that in the past never occurred. And the Archdiocese pays for counseling, and sometimes other expenses. Those are positive steps, if small ones.
We are very troubled, however, by what we learned about the church’s procedures… The Archdiocese’s “victim assistance coordinators,” for example, mislead victims into believing that their discussions with the coordinators are protected by confidentiality. That is not the case. In Pennsylvania, licensed rape counselors are indeed required by statute to maintain confidentiality, like lawyers. The church’s victim assistance coordinators, however, are not licensed counselors to whom the statutory mandate applies – and they do not keep victims’ statements confidential. They turn the statements over to the Archdiocese’s attorneys, who of course have an ethical obligation to protect their client from potential civil and criminal liability.
In a further breach of confidentiality, church employees press victims to sign releases as to records in the possession of third parties, such as outside therapists and the military. Victims are led to believe that these releases will assist the coordinators in helping them. In reality, the records secured through these releases are, once again, turned over to the attorneys.
The church’s position, it appears, is that coordinators must uncover every fact in order to make a determination about whether to refer the case to law enforcement. But that is not true. No detailed information is necessary for a referral. Public officials will conduct their own investigation, assuming they are ever told about the accusation.
The only rational explanation for such procedures is not to guarantee the victim’s recovery, but to guard the church against what its highest officials repeatedly refer to as “scandal.” We found notations on records in both Billy’s and Mark’s victim assistance files that discussed the statute of limitations – a legal defense that would be asserted by the church or its priests to block civil and criminal liability. Indeed the military records that Mark was asked to release had no relevance to his case except for that one purpose: to assist the church in calculating whether any potential legal claims against it were still within the limitations statute. And once they were done making those calculations, church employees handed Mark’s (previously) confidential records over to the last person in the world he would have given them to: his abuser, Father Brennan.
One additional practice during the victim assistance process is of particular concern. The manner in which the coordinators pursue statements can have no salutary purpose. The policy is not even to ask the abuser to speak, although he is obviously a crucial witness; the explanation we were given for this policy is that it might “put the priest in position of admitting” his guilt.
In contrast to this kid-glove treatment of the abuser, victims are virtually hounded to give statements. Victim coordinators (like Monsignor Lynn before them) make it their business to “get details – even unimportant” ones. The only possible reason for this tactic would be to use the statements as ammunition to impeach victims, in an effort to make them appear incredible. Thus Billy was practically chased out of his house in pursuit of a statement, after repeatedly declining to speak. Mark, meanwhile, was accosted by an “assistance” coordinator while he was still in the hospital, recovering from his suicide attempt.
Such procedures are, to state it softly, one-sided – and the side taken is not that of the victim. They are not worthy of a church that says it is committed to righting the wrong of clergy sex abuse.
AND you don’t have to go very far to find some proposed answers to the 2011 Grand Jury concerns listed above..
These are some of the Grand Jury recommendations to the Archdiocese, relative to treatment of abuse issues…would that they would be enacted….
• Fund a victim assistance program that is independent of the Archdiocese and its lawyers.
Our observations of two victims’ experiences with the Archdiocese’s victims assistance program are sufficient to convince us that the program needs to be completely overhauled and removed from the control of the Archdiocese. It is impossible for church assistance program, recognized, conflicts of interest are unavoidable. Victims of sexual abuse suffer today from the assistance coordinators’ split loyalties.
The Archdiocese should either refer victims to the already existing Pennsylvania Victims Compensation Assistance Program, and then reimburse the program for aid that it provides to people harmed by Archdiocese employees, or it should fund an independent nonprofit that would administer assistance to the victims.
The important element would be complete separation between the people who administer the fund and the Archdiocese and its lawyers. Decisions about assistance would be based solely on the needs of the victims. Information about the victims, their mental health, and their treatment would not be shared with the Archdiocese. The fund administrator would have to develop a process to determine eligibility.
Conduct the review process in a more open and transparent manner.
If the Archdiocese wants to change the public’s perception and regain the trust of
parishioners, it should be more honest and open with the public. We saw situations in which the Archdiocese told the public that it cannot conduct an investigation because it did not know the identity of a victim. Yet we saw in their documents that they did.
We believe the Archdiocese should make public its files on sexual abuse allegations, including any “secret archive files.” This should be done in a way to protect the privacy of the victim. At the very least, parishioners deserve to know whenever an allegation of abuse is made against their priest. If the priest is cleared following an investigation, the reasons, along with the evidence, should be shared with the parish.
• Use independent treatment facilities to evaluate and treat priests accused of sexually abusing minors.
The psychologists and therapists the Archdiocese have historically used to evaluate priests and victims have not performed independent assessments nor were the assessments properly documented in the priest’s file. We strongly recommend that the Archdiocese engage an independent organization – such as The Joseph J. Peters Institute (JJPI) – to perform psychological evaluations of persons desiring to enter the priesthood to screen out pedophiles; to provide annual evaluations for mental fitness to serve as a priests.
A footnote, given the topic of this posting….when I look at the Grand Jury recommendations, I like what I see…independent “assistance program”…based on the GJ point that “church assistance programs have unavoidable conflicts’
An open and transparent review process, where parishioners know what charges are filed against the accused and if the priest is cleared …that should be explained….the reverse as well would seem appropriate.
An independent organization to do mental evaluations of the accused.
You get the theme…independent, transparent, independent…..will it happen, probably not….instead a new Review Board will be just as dependent on th
My point was that the very concerns that were raised initially, will still operate. The hierarchy will control, data and process.
This op Ed piece in this mornings NYTimes deals with a LOT of issues C4C has discussed.
The Rottweiler’s Rottweiler
The New York Times
By BILL KELLER
Published: June 17, 2012
I CAN’T believe I’m saying this, but Bill Donohue is right. Donohue, the chronically peeved president of the Catholic League, and I rarely see eye to eye, but he is right about one very big thing: how to resolve the crisis in Catholicism. My endorsement may horrify him as much as it surprises me.
Donohue, for those of you without cable TV, is the Vatican’s most vociferous American apologist. Any time a critic — especially a Catholic critic — casts doubt on the wisdom of the Catholic hierarchy, Donohue fires off a press release attacking the attacker or otherwise changing the subject. Bring up pedophile priests and he’ll talk about pedophile public-school teachers or pedophile Orthodox Jews. That nun who is under a Vatican cloud lately for having written a book with decidedly liberal views on sexuality? Donohue’s response bypassed her arguments and focused on the fact that she sometimes cites Michel Foucault, the creepy French philosopher known as an acolyte of the Marquis de Sade and a darling of the radical left. (Guilt by footnote.)
Another ferocious defender of the faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, used to be known as “God’s Rottweiler.” Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI, and Bill Donohue is the Rottweiler’s Rottweiler.
In person, Donohue — a big, 64-year-old Long Island Irishman, divorced father of two grown daughters — has the genial manner of the parish priest he almost became. Instead he digressed to military school, the Air Force, and the sociology faculty of a Catholic college in Pennsylvania. He is more likable one-on-one than his notorious sound bites, which have an Ann Coulterish reductiveness: Hollywood is “controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity.” President Obama “supports selective infanticide.” Progressive Catholics are “termites.” The title of his 2009 book catches the snarly Donohue: “Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America.”
“………Much as I wish I could encourage the discontented, the Catholics of open minds and open hearts, to stay put and fight the good fight, this is a lost cause. Donohue is right. Summon your fortitude, and just go. If you are not getting the spiritual sustenance you need, if you are uneasy being part of an institution out of step with your conscience — then go…”
Good article, Joan…….. So many of us see no other choice but to leave.
There was some commentary in Commonweal on this article.
Scroll down to find the comments by James Martin SJ and Matthew Boudway.
From Fr Martin’s comment: “But chief among other wrongheaded comments (like the absurd implication that many Catholic sisters are sticking around for the wrong reasons: Does it make sense that sisters who took a vow of poverty would be afraid of poverty?) is the notion that there is out there, somewhere, a perfect church that will meet all of your needs. Yet the search for a perfect church, free of sinners and wrongdoing, and fully in accord with your own way of doing things, is one without end. It is also a fairly one-sided argument. Also, overlooked completely is the idea that the church may need you.”
Boudway’s comment resonated with me. This is extracted from his comment: “…it makes very little sense to declare that sensible, decent people can no longer have anything to do with this backwards institution and then go on talking about this institution’s inner life as if you had a stake in it.”
I’m not too hot on letting Donohue chase me away.
Fish, I’m not too hot on letting Donohue chase me away, either!
And I really liked Fr. Martin’s comment, too.
While I was reading your comment, my husband handed me today’s mail…and NETWORK’S ( nuns national social justice lobby that the Vatican included in their condemnation)..Simone Campbell had sent me a note that I hope she won’t mind my quoting…(recent donation) ‘I so treasure your support! What an opportunity this is presenting!’
I think Simone has it about right.
This is an incredibly complex time in ‘church history’ ….absolutely nothing about it is simple. We have Rome in disgrace with Vatican bank issues that may have mafia connections, to say nothing about other malfeasance, nuns dealing with huge challenges, abuse that is sickening..pervasive and horrifying, and fully revealing hierarchial complicity, and even the Girl Scouts are being investigated!
Count on the fact that I am NOT an institutional church apologist.
BUT, it is also a time of opportunity. And we have allies, we have women like Simone Campbell, Kathy and Susan, lots of terrific nuns, the LCRW, SNAP, and many many others whose behaviour is exemplary.
And we have C4C and God willing, more C4C’s….it’s a marathon, not a sprint, but I really believe Simone is right…”what an opportunity this is presenting”.
Sorry to say but “independent” is not a word that church leadership and hierarchy is comfortable with re priest evaluation and assessment. Now, if you’re looking for a word that they’re most comfortable with, try “control.”
I know Michael…but that guy asked what you could do to improve things!
Barbara Dorris commenting on recent papal abuse related remarks.
“Rome- Pope talks “platitudes” on abuse; SNAP responds
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Posted by Barbara Dorris on June 18, 2012
Again, the pope alludes only to pedophile priests, not corrupt bishops.
Again, he focuses on the harm to the church, not the innocent, wounded children.
Again, he speaks in vague platitudes, refusing to even accurately name the crisis.
Again, he refuses to even recommend, much less take, a single effective prevention step.
Pope Benedict claims ‘mystery’ surrounding why priests abuse. The pontiff’s wrong: there’s little mystery here. In 1887, Lord Acton explained it best: “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Priest have long had power, sometimes almost absolute power, over devout and defenseless kids. So they’ve abused that power and those kids.
And even now, bishops have nearly absolute power over their dioceses, staff and in some places, their flocks. So they abuse that power, and ignore, hide and enable heinous crimes against kids.
Almost 500 years ago Fr. Martin Luther also warned people about the RCC abusing Her power. Some people caught-on right; for others it has taken much longer.
I feel that I’m moving closer to Protestantism with ever passing day.
Drwho13…fully appreciate your point…which Bill Keller was espousing in that very good NYTimes article that I just cited.
And I repeat the highly irreverant story that was making the rounds in post conciliar days about the Fatima letter….the secret handed down from pope to pope…it was just three words…Luther was right.
But difficult as it is, unpleasant as it is….I think there is something to be said for staying and raising the issues that need to be raised.
It is, of course, an extremely personal decision…and I can appreciate just about any position that literally anyone, as a matter of conscience, chooses.
One need not “stay around” or remain associated with the Church to raise the issues that need to be raised. I have not been associated with the Catholic Church for 6 years, yet raising the issues and advocating for reform are integral to my daily activities. I don’t set myself up as the paradigm, I’m merely saying that there are many folks like me who did not abandon the issues (or the faith, for that matter) when they abandoned the Church.
Kate…you sure as heck don’t have to ‘stay around’ to raise issues, or advocate for reform!
Few do it better.
My comments were hugely personal. And indeed, somewhat provisional…and had more to do with Bill Kellers provacative piece.
I want what is best for everyone on this blog and clearly that’s a hugely personal decision. I especially want children protected and predators imprisoned!
Joan, of course, it is a personal decision. One must follow one’s heart & conscience-that is always the right decision.
My point to some is if you are feeling discouraged, just realize the papacy is imploding and changes are coming. Soon.
For more on the papal implosion, please read my NCR link above.
As to a hung jury, if it happens, we just try Lynn again. The more public exposure Lynn’s sins get, the more pressure on politicians and prosecutors to go after other Lynn’s and their bishop bosses. It is a slow but steady process. But it is finally moving.
It may at times be painful for some survivors, but they can take some solace that justice is finally being pursued and some children are being protected.
I am sorry if this causes some pain, but is there a better way that has any chance of success? I cannot think of any.
What do you know about this?
Naturally, my diocese doesn’t have enough priests to accomplish its duties and ministries. It’s that time a year when priests are reassigned, transferred and juggled around to “make things work.”
For the first time, we have a priest associated with the Society of St. Peter coming to pastor a parish church. The Society of St. Peter was an offshoot of the in-schism, traditionalist, neo-conservative Society of St. Pius the X. It abandoned the Society of St. Pius the X when the Society X said adios to the Vatican. While the Society of St. Peter is in favor with the Vatican, it’s values and beliefs are the same as the Society of St. Pius X.
I think we’re going to see more and more of these traditionalist priests placed in our diocese. First, because they attract seminarians, there will be more priests able to serve, and, second, because traditionalist is the agenda of Benedict. I can see this becoming a trend, where diocesan priests are infiltrated with traditionalists priests until there are enough traditionalist to take over and create the “smaller, more orthodox” Church that Benedict envisions.
Hi Kate: While I have seen stories on NCR of SSPX-styled priests, I do not see their groups attracting many young people or being what most Catholics are looking for. Neither foreign nor ‘retro’ priests can fill the escalating priest supply gap, so bishops will just be under more pressure to hold on to predators, which will be their downfall.
The solution is to really expand the supply by welcoming married and women priests, which I believe will happen sooner rather than later, either within the RCC or in major schismatic offshoots many currently disillusioned Catholics will welcome. It is already beginning to happen on an escalating scale .
Rome is so worried about maintaining its secrets and keeping bishops out of jail, it is afraid to bring “outsiders” like women and married priests into the secret club. Instead, it uses mystical smokescreens and bad history to keep the club small.
Soon the secrets will be out anyway, as just happened in Philly, so there will little left to hide.
At that point the supply problem will be even more acute. Of course, by then fewer women or married men will want to be involved with such a sordid organization, and it may be too late.
It should be interesting.
Kate and Jerry…in the USCCB report on the bishops current handling of abuse issues, there is a segment regarding ‘boundary violations’ by foreign priests that are being increasingly reported…to the USCCB.
Inappropriate tickling, rough housing, dirty jokes et al. The report suggests that these are merely ‘cultural’ differences.
If I were a bishop, I think a LOT of ‘due diligence’ regarding any priest engaged in such behaviour would clearly be in order.
Two of the 4 papers we receive covered Nuns on the Bus…this morning and the NCR did a really good article….
There is a line in the NCR article from a supporter of another faith when explaining her presence at the bus tour’s first stop….
that says it all…….
‘Its a Jesus thing’.
The Philadelphia Archdiocese has a SSPX chapel within its boundaries. If the personal prelature offered to the SSPX from the Vatican last week is accepted, there might be more of a traditionalist influence in Philly than most care to see.
Joan, I with you on staying.
The papacy is imploding in real time!
Please read my linked comment, “Follow The Money” in the NCR comment, “Bill Dohohue Is Wrong, Again” at:
You stated, “But difficult as it is, unpleasant as it is….I think there is something to be said for staying and raising the issues that need to be raised.”
I will never stop raising the issues that need to be raised.
But, as far as staying in the Church, I don’t know if I can. It’s analogous to being adrift at sea and loosing my grip on the raft. That raft (the RCC), and my beliefs were once strongly bound. Now thay are just floating away from each other.
Put another way, it’s like being betrayed by a lover, very painful at first, less painful with time, and finally indifferent to the separation.
Drwho13….I certainly am not saying that you should stay…I want you to do whatever is the very best thing, there is for you!!! !!!
And I agree the betrayal is huge. Joan
You know drwho13, many many months ago I was hiking with a friend who has been very involved in Churchy stuff and we were discussing the abuse debacle ….and I mentioned that I had many friends that are in that 10% of US folks, the second largest ‘denomination’ in the country who had definitely ‘moved on’….
And I was deliberating that matter, myself…but at least for now had decided I would stay and fight…also I would do a number of other things to help protect innocent kids.
My friend looked at me, rather bemusedly, and said ‘You know, Joan, there’s a third option….leave and fight’ …I felt like a dope, it was so obvious….
But to repeat myself ….I hope and pray that everyone will make whatever choice is best for themselves….
If you don’t clearly believe that it is wrong to believe what Catholicism says about Jesus Christ, you may as well stay, or do anything you wish. Those who find the truth KNOW IT.
Don’t “settle” for Protestantism! There is a much , much better choice:
Get into the bible. Use a good bible teacher to help,along with the Holy
Spirit. Les Feldick on TV is a fine place to start.
I consider the AD to be a nefarious enemy. A defeat for our side in the courtroom this week will be devastating for me. I will have no choice but to start drinking heavely. I’m just kidding, but it will be one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had in a very long time.
Please pray for the conviction of these creeps.
dw13, in my view, a hung jury, would be disappointing, but in the big picture, minor. Lynn would be tried again as the other trials proceed.
Significantly, the world now knows, thanks to Lynn’s trying to push the buck up to the top, that over several decades more than a dozen bishops, including three key cardinals, either ran or supported by their knowing inaction, a massive ring of pedophile priests.
That alone is a major victory for Philly Catholics.
A hung jury will also highlight the need for the PA legislators to completely revise the laws relating to endangering children and conspiracies to cover up such crimes.
No small achievement.
Coming from you I find that reassuring. Thanks!
Pp 18 and 19 of 2011 Grand Jury report relating to the raping of Billy by Englehardt, Spero, and Avery…two of these trials are forthcoming and Lynn’s role is noted in this report…Jerry is right, we will be hearing more about Lynn.
The Philadelphia Archdiocese had assigned Father Avery to St. Jerome even though Msgr. William Lynn, Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, and other high-ranking officials knew he had abused another boy and could not be trusted around adolescents.
In at least one instance, the blame for the abuse Billy suffered did not lie with the perpetrators alone. The Secretary for Clergy, Monsignor William Lynn,1 who is now the pastor at St. Joseph Church in Downingtown, had recommended Father Avery for assignment to a parish with a school.
He then failed to supervise or restrict his contact with adolescents in any way. Msgr. Lynn did this even though he knew that Father Avery had sexually abused another boy and could not be trusted around children.
While we cannot know Msgr. Lynn’s motivation for this abhorrent decision to allow a known child molester unfettered access to children whose parents had entrusted them to the Archdiocese’s care, we know that it gravely endangered the welfare of the parish children – a danger that was tragically realized in Billy’s case.
Seven years before Father Avery abused Billy, the Archdiocese learned he had abused someone else.
Seven years before Father Avery abused Billy, Msgr. Lynn, Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, and other Archdiocese officials learned that the priest had molested another altar boy. “James” was a 29-year-old medical student, with a wife and child, when he wrote to the Archdiocese in the spring of 1992 to report that Father Avery had abused him in the 1970s and 1980s. He enclosed a copy of a letter that he had just sent to Father Avery, in which he told the abusive priest:
I’ve been carrying a burden for all these years that is not justly mine to bear. . . . It all began when I was a young boy and you came to my church. I thought you were funny and you let me help you at dances and other functions. You made me feel valued, included, and special. I trusted, respected, and loved you, and you taught me many things about construction, driving, and gave me my first beer. I truly believed you had my best interest at heart, that you cared about me in a fatherly way.
Then one night after I had helped you at a dance and had quite a lot to drink I awoke to find your hand on my crotch. I was terrified. . . .
I’ve never told you until now because I’ve been afraid and I’ve always blamed myself for what happened. I always thought there was something I did or said or a way I acted that made you think it was alright to do what you did. I would think that you’ve been such a good friend to me that maybe these activities were alright.
I knew one thing, I didn’t want you to touch me that way and I didn’t want sex with you or any other man. I was determined after that night that I would never be hurt by you again. I would always be safe from that kind of intrusion. I became distant and depressed, my ability to trust men shattered. I am only now undergoing the long recovery process from wounds I suffered at your hands. I have let too much of my life be controlled by this terrible wrong you committed.
YOU HAD NO RIGHT TO HURT ME THE WAY YOU DID.
YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO HURT ANYONE ELSE THIS WAY.
I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU DID TO ME.
ALL THE RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS MATTER IS YOURS.
I WILL NO LONGER CARRY THIS BURDEN FOR YOU.
MY ONLY RESPONSIBILITY IS TO GOD, MYSELF, AND FAMILY.
I WISH I WERE AS STRONG AS YOU, BOB.
I WISH I COULD SAY THOSE WORDS AND FEEL THE POWER IN THEM.
I WISH I WAS NO LONGER DEPRESSED, AFRAID, ALIENATED, BURDENED.
I WISH I NO LONGER HAD THIS INVISIBLE CRUD COVERED FILM ALL OVER MY BODY.
SOMETIMES I WISH I WAS NEVER BORN.
SOMETIMES I WISH “THEIR MOTHERS” HAD MISCARRIAGES.
This is what I know best:
ALONE. DESPERATE. OVERWHELMED. SAD. DISTANT. ANGRY. VENGEFUL. ASHAMED. COLD. BROKEN. DESPAIR. FEAR. HUMILIATED. CONFUSED. DEPRESSED. TERROR. UNSAFE. PARANOID. HYPERVIGILANT. DISTRUSTING. TRAUMATIC. DARKNESS. INVISIBLE. UNLOVING. EMOTIONLESS. ABANDONED. MISTREATED. UNABLE TO MOVE FORWARD. HAUNTED BY THE PAST. SLEEPLESSNESS. DREAMS. GUILT. STRESSED. AGGRAVATED. ASSAULTED. ABUSED. ATTEMPTED SUICIDE. LIFE LASTS TOO LONG. NON-SUICIDAL DEATH IS MY SURVIVAL. IMPRISONED. EXHAUSTED. BITTER. SOULLESS. SORROW. GROSS. UNWORTHY. REGRET. DISPIRITING. DISPOSABLE. DISRESPECTED. MISERY. HELP. AGONY. POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.
That’s just to name a few of the things that usually go racing through my mind on an everyday basis. The only thing that keep me determined to keep going is my responsibility to protect kids. Though I always wonder why I feel responsible to protect kids when no one ever protected me when I was a kid. It just seems to be one of the few things remaining that I live for, and I would definitely die for its cause. I guess that’s just what makes a person.
V4J …I am really sorry if my recent quote added to your pain…it sure wasn’t my intention.
I think you have been great and I have learned an awful lot from you, and Vicky and some other folks and you all are the reason I try to deal with this garbage. Joan
Rich, You sir remain one of my heroes. I absolutely admire the way that you have spoken your truth to power in your continuing efforts to protect children. I have and do experience most everything you listed in your above post. I just haven’t shared it all here. This has been a difficult journey but my burden has been made lighter knowing you and I’m sure there are many others who feel the same way. I truly wish for you perfect healing and peace on your journey.
Are you trying to make me cry? Son of a b…. LOL
… wouldn’t it be fun if these new child endangerment/conspiracy laws or revisions were named for the AD.? —– “Cardinal Rigali’s law”… “Philly pedophile priests’ law”
I think I know what you originally meant…but, no, I wouldn’t want the AD’s names on anything to do with the laws.
I would much rather see, “Billy’s Law” or “Jame’s Law,” in honor of those who had the courage to come forward.
In my mind, we already have “Rigali’s Law,” and “Bevilacqua’s Law,”…it’s called “Enabling Rapists and Disregarding Children 101.”
About the bishops : “Never underestimate the power of stupid (manipulated) people in large groups”, George Carlin.
how can you tell when a bishop is lying?oh,wait.that was a joke about lawyers!!
The bishops deserve an “A+” (LOL)! They’re simply misunderstood.
“We need more help and sophistication in our messaging,” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston…”
“Perhaps we need some help with PR, say Catholic bishops in U.S.” (LA Times)
The bishops solution to their “PR problem” is MORE PHONEY PR LIES!
This is true! The Pew Potatoes continue to supply the money needed to keep the PR Spinmisters prospering. These guys are certainly not being hurt by the recession. Business is good!
PhilaCathpriest & Pew Sheep,
It’s Sunday (Father’s Day!). Dig deep during the 2nd collection! PhilaCathpriest needs your money (love offering). Be sure that you don’t forget him. You know how much we love “Father.” Remember, it is Father’s Day, so Pew Sheep this is not the time to be stingy.
Father has always been there for you, serving as a loving and protective father, always insuring that your children’s safety came first.
Pew Potatoes, thank you your misguided support. We also want to send out our special thanks to The Most Reverend Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., D.D., Archbishop of Philadelphia.
We appreciate your extensive use of our services during the past year, and look forward to serving you again in the near future.
Very truly yours,
XYZ Public Relations Inc.
More PR. More image building.
Let’s pretend a spouse cheats on their partner. They have betrayed the partner, the sacredness of the marriage, the possible children involved, and others who have been affected by the infidelity. At some point, in order to pull off the betrayal, they lied about what was going on. When confronted, they denied and lied. Years later, the partner finds “evidence” of the affair…and the guilty spouse finally comes clean.
The guilty spouse says they want to restore the marriage and will do whatever it takes. They have done some work, but the betrayed spouse says, “I need honesty at all times, even when it may hurt me. I need trust built back by steps A, B, and C being fulfilled immediately.”
In order for the marriage to be restored, the guilty spouse has to earn back the trust they’ve betrayed. They don’t spin anything. They don’t convince the betrayed that what they are already doing is enough. They don’t present an IMAGE to anyone. They LIVE honestly. They become TRANSPARENT. They desire to not hurt their marriage partner again. Like any choice, they have to accept the consequences that come with the betrayal. When a guilty spouse shows any resistance to openness and transparency, it leads the betrayed to wonder, “Are you still cheating?” or “What else are you hiding?”
How messed up to think that trust will be earned back by more PR. What self-absorption and isn’t that what got them to betray their spouse in the first place?
If the hierarchy wants people in the pews to trust again…they need to become transparent. Not only about what happened but what is going on now. If they are really serious about changing their image, they will make their presence and ACTIONS so evident to victims and their families that their intentions would not be questioned.
Victims’ groups and the laity do not need more PR…they need honesty transparency…two qualities the hierarchy seems unable to achieve.
SW….terrific analogy! Thanks
I agree. This is sooo apt, it could be a parable. It’s the church that advances the view of the priest as bridegroom…yet in the bishops’ minds the focus is public relations vice relationSHIP.
SW, your comment gave me focus. Thanks.
Your analogy demonstrates, well, the point I frequently make on C4C which is “justice must precede mercy, otherwise mercy is cruel.”
When a spouse betrays his or her partner, healing cannot begin until justice is transferred. In the case of marital betrayal, justice is transferred in the form of the offending spouse agreeing to complete openness and transparency, it might also entail changes in behaviors or habits. These restore an “equal footing” between the partners. The betrayed spouse is lifted of the burden of wondering whether secret activities and hidden behaviors are continuing. He or she can feel confident that the offending spouse genuinely intends to repair the marriage, and he or she can trust his or her perceptions of the marriage to be the truth of it. Once justice restores an “equal footing,” mercy can address the spousal hurt, regret, sadness, damage to the family, et al. But mercy is ineffectual, indeed cruel, without, first, transferring justice. Justice approves, validates, authenticates, and enables mercy.
Considering the interplay between justice and mercy, it infuriates me that the Church thinks it can mercifully accomplish healing with regards to the sex abuse crisis without, first, transferring justice. It is saying that, because of its religious nature, the justice and mercy interplay does not apply to it. It has a “special dispensation” from it. It has “special powers” that can miraculously repair the damage it has inflicted.
In reality, the Church is not sincere about repairing the damage. It is only sincere about protecting its clerics and its assets.
I give them an F! After 62 years as a catholic I have faced reality. The pope and the bishops don’t care about me, they don’t care about you and they sure don’t care about our children and what was done to them. They want the money to keep pouring in and to be allowed to continue their lifestyles as they desire. Until they see jail facing them nothing will change.
“What Grade Would You Give the Bishops?”
My husband’s response in one word, “Incomplete.”
Off the top of my head…
Enabling – A+
Ethics – F
Morals – F
Compassion – F
Empathy – F
A report card like that deserves a spanking.
Choose me! Choose me! … to administer it.
“Bottoms up, bad-boys.”
LOL ! That would be a sight to behold!
Oh, and add an “F” for “credibility”, too.
Those guys couldn’t exist were it not for the “pew potatoes.”
I’m getting more disgusted with “those people” every day.
BTW: Happy “Father’s Day” all you Fathers. We’ll never make it to the level “Mother’s Day” enjoys, but we may as well accept the fact and enjoy what we can. Poor us!
I give the bishops an “A+.”
Arrogant, Avaricious, Acrimimonious, Astronomically evil, exploiting Accessibility by continuing to place children in the presence of in-Appropriate, Amoral Animals. The bishops facilitated an Ardent campaign, using your Almighty dollar, to destroy the credibility of victims. They are our Adversaries. They Adamantly claim they are doing more to protect children, but we know that isn’t Abolsutely true. The bishops have been Apprehensive to Apologize for their present and Ancient and Appalling crimes against children. They are not Angels. They are the Antichrist. They Allowed for the Apathetic obliteration of many known and Anonymous children with their Audaciousness, while continuing to Anger us even now as Adults, while we’re Awake and worse, when we’re Asleep.
I am Apprehensive to Accept the Apologies of an Authoritarian, Anarchic, Animated, and at best – Average human being – pouring Antiseptic in my wounds anymore. I wonder what St. Augustine might add to the subject of children being sexually Abused in schools and churches. The bishops can just kiss my Ass!
Sorry about the double post. Something’s fishy on my end. My posts aren’t showing up as being posted until a few minutes after I write it.
St. Augustine, prior to his conversion at the age of 33, was a sex-holic. He’d have little to add to the subject of children being sexually Abused in schools and churches, except, possibly, to condone it.
I hear ya, hadit. There was a reason I didn’t use St. Jude.
Pursuant to the mess “St.” Augustine helped to make of “Churchianity” or otherwise known as “Christendumb” he would be right in there among that crowd of liars and frauds.
I agree. And as I see it……..they say the enablers are just as guilty as the abusers and that’s absolutly true, but I say….no normal straight man would stand by and allow children to be sexually abused so I feel all the bishops and all higher ups must they themseves be abusers that just haven’t been caught yet……otherwise THEY WOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHNG ABOUT IT!
No normal “straight” man, J.Lento? I’m a homo, semi-normal man,
( well, maybe not even that normal 😉 ) and I still wouldn’t stand by while a child is being sexually abused.
(Again, more children, both girls and boys, are abused by heterosexual married men, or most commonly their own biological fathers, than any other particular group of people.)
I hate reading this kind of shit. Do a little research, get your facts right, and come back and comment when you’ve finally gotten your head out of your a$$.
Oh and by the way, have a nice day!
You are more of a man than most. When I think “man”, I think safe father protector – that is you. Thank you for being that kind of man – the clergy could learn a lot from you.
I don’t think like you do. I just think that protecting kids is just the right thing to do. It’s so basic and I don’t think you need to be a parent or an MIT graduate or an abuse victim to figure out that it is EVERY adult’s responsibility to protect kids, whether you’re related to them or not. As Larry the Cable Guy would say, “It’s not rocket surgery.”
You get two choices. Either we start educating children about “grooming” and “sexual abuse,” or the predators will do it for you.
A lot of experts have called me “hyper-vigilant.” Is that a bad thing? Maybe I’d have sheltered kids and I’d probably be paranoid about any adult (male or female) spending any time with my kids, but I wouldn’t regret it, because unlike myself, my kids would probably have nothing to regret in the future, because I talked to them, I educated them, and I protected them.
It’s time to start putting the predators on notice. We’re on to you and you are not going to destroy anymore lives… definitely not on my watch!
How do you sleep at night Mike McQueary, Graham Spanier, Gary Shultz, Pope Rat, Msgr. Lynn? You guys had the opportunity to be heroes, but instead you’ll be forever known as cowards.
I read j.lento as saying “straight” as not a pervert. I didn’t necessarily read a “slam” at “Gay” men. Lighten up on j. Lento is my advice.
I am sick and tired of hearing powerful people say “I wish I would’ve done more.” From Mike McQueary to Msgr. Lynn to the guys down the street who talk tough but put up little resistence. What would you have done if you had knowledge a child was being raped by an adult? What if you witnessed it?
My mind would certainly be able to rationalize an irrational situation, and I hope I’m not saying this because it happened to me. I can comprehend an adult abusing a child, because I was that child. I saw my best friend abused as well. I often fantasize of a revenge where I’ll be able to discover a scumbag child rapist on my own and I would go to prison happily with my vengeful intentions.
No matter how dumbfounded you may find yourself in the situation of seeing a child being abused, what it is that exists inside of you to turn around and leave the room? You don’t feel compelled to intervene and to make sure the child is safe and the predator is eating from a plastic tube for the rest of his life? But that’s tough talk. Right?
People just don’t want to get involved. Even worse, they convince themselves that what they saw wasn’t what actually happened in front of them, because afterall, these are well known, highly respected, powerful people we’re dealing with. The power and prestige of a priest and his ability to seal your fate in heaven or hell plays a similar roll to a child influenced by a popular football coach who preaches affection for and gives attention to “at-risk” children and in turn those children are rewarded with dreams come true of football games and father figures. Shopping sprees and luxurious hotel accomodations. It’s just that… when you’re a kid, you don’t realize those dreams come true will spawn into a nightmare that will shape the rest of your life. For me, those nightmares have become my life. Jerry Scumdusky took “at-risk” children and created “soulless beings.”
When I was a kid I didn’t even know what sexual abuse meant. I never heard the term “pedophile,” and I can’t say I knew much about rape or if anything at all was wrong with the men doing some horrible things to me. I just knew that I didn’t talk back to adults and I certainly didn’t defy men of God. I thought for a very long time that there was something wrong with me, and I can’t begin to count how many times I have asked myself, “What did I do to them? What was it about me that these guys wanted to do stuff like that to my body? Was I irresistible? Was I attractive? Did I seduce them? I can’t ever tell anyone, because he’ll kill me, right? He said he would. Am I going to hell because I seduced him?” All I know is that I lived with so much misinformation throughout so many years of my life. It was all part of the grooming process so I couldn’t think for myself, but rather just believed everything he said. I didn’t have a grasp on reality and honestly I didn’t believe that my abusers were more complicit than myself. I look back on the kid I was and I wish I could reach out and grab ahold of him and tell him the way things really should be. I wish my school, my parents, coaches, and the policemen who visited our school talked less about “stranger danger” and more about “trust busters.”
There was NO information when I was a kid about childhood sexual abuse. I had no way of knowing if I fit the bill as a victim, or even that what was happening to me was wrong. My abusers were not strangers. There was no internet back then, and I doubt the school library offered much information on the subject. Today, there’s a ton of information out there, but it’s still not enough. We need to teach kids about the “grooming process” first, because it’s that process that leads into sexual assault. And trust me when I say that “grooming can be just as devastating as abuse itself.” That’s when our abusers break us off from doing what we would normally and instinctively do – tell someone.
STOP complaining that the priest abuse trial in Philly is taking a back seat right now to the Scumdusky trial. There’s a gag order in Philly and the jury is deliberating, so there’s really not much for the media to cover. It doesn’t matter who is getting the most attention. It only matters that for the first time in my life this issue is finally getting the national and international attention it deserves. I don’t care if the focus is on a priest, a coach, a parent or the neighbor up the street. The fact is it’s all coming out now. Kids will be better prepared if they ever find themselves in an inappropriate situation in the future, because no matter what channel you watch, or what paper you read, the issue of child sexual abuse has become up close and personal and parents will have no choice but to explain to their children why this issue is so important.
All this brings up memories…
My husband passed away when our only son was 14 months old. When our son turned 6 or 7 yrs. a professional suggested getting him into a “big brother” program may be a good idea. (I had not remarried.) “And with my luck his big brother would turn out to be a pedophile. I won’t take that chance”. “Oh”, he replied, “they do background checks on everyone”. “Well”, I said, “background checks are great IF the person has a criminal history. Otherwise, they are useless”. I’m sure the therapist thought I was overly apprehensive, and probably had some trust issues! But, even 16 years ago, this was a concern of mine. What better prey…a somewhat vulnerable, adorable young boy, having no father.
When my son was a little older, I talked to him about inappropriate touching by anyone… including friends, teachers, etc…. to never, ever, let someone say or do something that he did not feel comfortable with, and to never, ever feel he could not come to me about anything.
When I hear about Scumdusky (thank you, Rich) and other predator pedophiles, my stomach turns, and I thank God that I did not take a chance with my son. If he had been abused in any way, I never would have been able to forgive myself for placing him in a potentially precarious situation. I grieve for Scumdusky’s victims, what they endured, and continue to struggle with every day of their lives.
I believe the victims….
“If he had been abused in any way, I never would have been able to forgive myself for placing him in a potentially precarious situation. ”
Maybe now, after what we’ve seen, putting one’s child in a Catholic setting is equal to “a potentially precarious situation.”
If I had it to do over, I would do differently that’s for sure.
McQueary slammed the locker door shut, “stopping” the horrendous act he was witnessing, and then walked out and phoned his father. I don’t know about anyone else, but I (at 5’3″ and 95 lbs.) would have charged over to Sandusky, kicking, hitting, punching, clawing him with my nails, with every ounce of energy I could muster. I would have wrapped a towel around the boy, and taken him into my arms, while dialing 911. A mother bear defending her cub. People may say that placed in McQueary’s situtation, witnessing what he did, they may not have known how to react. Doesn’t something automatically “kick-in” when one sees a child being harmed? What is wrong with this world??!!
“What is wrong with this world?”
This world is “sin cursed.”
I am always ready to put forth the bible to people when they ask questions.
Trust in the bible for answers. Study it.
I hear you.
I’m grateful there is more information available for children today. And yet, it’s still happening. Our children can have all the information in the world, but until the ADULTS in their lives educate themselves about this, children will never be safe.
For those of us who have been beating this drum for years, when we come across a McQueary, it’s incomprehensible. I, too, am sickened by the “we just didn’t know what to do.” Yes, people know what to do. They just didn’t want to believe it or do the hard thing by reporting a beloved Coach or priest.
We treat sexual crimes against children so differently. If an armed robbery had taken place, Mike McQueary probably would have been a hero and intervened…or at the very least, dialed 911 immediately to get the police involved. But, a grown man can RAPE a young boy…and he’s somehow rendered paralyzed…and needed to think things through. Everyone thinks they would have protected that boy…but the reality…most would not. Many would have done exactly what McQueary did…not enough.
You are probably right, SW. Sad and shameful, really, to “need time to think things through”, isn’t it? McQueary and many others probably wouldn’t hesitate to step in and stop an adult from hitting a child, or kicking a dog, but when seeing a child sexually abused, it’s too much to process at the time.
I said “I fantasize about it.” If I had come across one of my abusers at any given time in my life, I probably would’ve run faster than I ever have. I don’t want to be near them.
However, if I somehow had the chance to save a kid from a situation of abuse, I would make sure the kid is safe before I go for the knockout. But, I’ll probably never be in that position because scumbag child rapists abuse kids in secret. They teach us how to keep it secret.
I’ve heard experts say that abusers don’t know what they’re doing is wrong. Well if that’s true why aren’t they raping kids out in public? Why would they have a need to threaten us to keep the abuse quiet?
There are so many things I’d like to do in fantasy, but in reality, unless it was to protect a child at that very moment, I probably would run. Place me in a room with one of my abusers and it probably wouldn’t turn out very good for me. I’m still scared. My fear only turns to rage when I know scumbags like Scumdusky are out there creating more victims while I exhaust myself trying to stop them.
VFJ, You have made many VERY GOOD POINTS. Focusing on the rats who abused children is only good if it sparks 1) convictions in CIVIL COURT; 2) Leads to laws that DEMAND that priests, teachers, and all who work with children report suspicions of child abuse and endangerment to CIVIL AUTHORITIES; 3) parents open dialogue with thier children that deals with stranger danger and trust busters.
Cipriano’s blog from today .Hadit, the Lynn testimony from the day we were present is mentioned..the fact that Avery heard children’s confessions after the AD already knew he had molested a child..the point where I “lost it” because as Lynn explained it on the stand..it still seemed to make perfect sense to him.
Still can’t get over that day in court, Kathy. While Lynn testified how it all made perfect sense to him, his clerical brothers, seated in the spectator area, were pastoring to his family and pew sheep parishioners. On the opposite side of the spectator area, were numerous victims, survivors, and family members. Not one, single priest in the courtroom, nor one of the 400 priests in the Philadelphia archdiocese approached them, reached a hand out to them, or were there for them.
It was THE most abominable clerical, moral failure I have EVER witness in my entire life. And, to be honest with you, I shared it with many friends.
Sorry to say, I witnessed it in Philadelphia.
Multiple that moral failure by every cleric in every diocese that has remained silent.
Compound that moral failure when the priests actually know the victims and their families.
Months ago I shared a personal experience of how priests treated my family.
I think one of the things that hurt the most was the priests weren’t nameless people in our lives. They had been friends to us and our families.
The bishop in our diocese, after asking my husband to lie, came out with a statement after my husband decided to go public…no lawsuit. He was “disappointed that (named my husband) would make such outrageous and groundless comments.”
So, first they shut you out. Then they defend. Then, they attack.
The behavior of the priests in Philly in room 304 is a mini display of what is happening in dioceses’ all over the country.
The only comfort I can extract from your family’s horrible experience with clerics is in knowing you, knowing your ability to see things as they are, and knowing that you possess the solidness to survive how clerics failed you and your family.
In 304, clerics failed victims, survivors, and their families. They also failed Brennan. In the two weeks I spent in the courtroom, clerics, and of course Brennan, were present every day. The clerics, literally, went out of their way to ignore Brennan. Their tactics were obvious. Clerics are to bestow compassion on all human beings, regardless of their sins or crimes, indeed, for those who have committed sins or crimes, compassion is due because of them. The habit of clerics to toss aside and ostracize their brothers when “the club” deems them “out,” is appalling and cruel. My friend Doug spent 4 years in seminary. Once he told me, “when I left there, I was completely broken.” I thought he was “broken” due to his personal and spiritual failure to realize his “calling,” but he was “broken” because of how his brothers abandoned him when he could not realize it. I can’t convey how common this abandonment is in the name of loyalty, or how deep the hurt goes in the person abandoned. I’ll bet Jerry Chapman knows well what I am speaking of.
The Catholic church is a Haven for people who have. an exaggerated sense… of self….Sadly we have had this type person giving us ways to live for centuries, when they have not even established. a normal standard for themselves., other than. ,.narrsasistic god. complexes..What grade you give. for that..only God knows.
One serendipitous factor in all this tragedy remains:
A tremendously important truth is laid bare for all who will have their eyes open to see.
In the book of Acts, chap. 16 verses , say about 12 and following:
We learn of an occasion during apostle Paul’s missionary journey-
when “…Acts 16:12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.Acts 16:13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.Acts 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.”
Apparently there was no synagogue in the city Paul visited so he went out to the riverside where he had heard some went to have a prayer meeting. And in verse 14 we read that God opened the heart [spirit] of Lydia, a Jewess and she believed the strange words Paul preached, which had never been preached before to those gathered there.
The point is that if God opens the hearts of people through all this , so that they may see the truth, the truth that has been hidden from them by religious frauds for centuries, some eternal good may come. So what did Paul preach to those ladies of the prayer group? His gospel: I Cor. 15:1-4. Everything must start with faith. The faith to believe what God’s Word says, and that nothing else can be added to what God has said and done. I pray some will have the “Lydia experience.”
When you write a letter of complaint, it is recommended that you first acknowledge what the person or institution is doing right and then state your complaint. A complaint that includes name-calling and attacking the person is never as affective as a complaint which stays focuse on the behavior. I say this because I was wondering what is the goal of this group called Catholcs4Change. It has provided great witness to me. It has called me out in a prophetic way. The Archbishop knows who I am, my parishiuioners know that I write on this site. What keeps me from revealing myself on this site, it that it sems like it is just a forum for for very hositle venting and attacking in a way that I believe will not achieve the goal of calling the church to take responsilbity and ensure that it never happens again. Calling the Catholics who go to church “pew sheep’ may m a ke you feell good, but it is not going to educate them on what needs to be done to purify the church. Not acknowledginf facts like it was the Archdiocese who reprted Avery and Lynn or that lay teachers and workers are told to call child-line directly if the person they suspect of abuse is their pastor, will hurt the cause that laws need to be changed and justice must be sought for victims.
Philacathpriest, while I appreciate your comments and am glad that C4C has provided you with ‘great witness’ ….I really don’t think a lesson in manners is appropriate.
This is a site where many of our members have been horribly hurt by priest abusers…this is ‘their’ living room. In my view they can say anything they want as often as they want.
No one is obligated to read C4C.
You aren’t doing right. In this specific legal case, you are paying $11 million to save a positively proven pedophile protector. For perspective, that money could have saved 44,000 children from dying of hunger for a year. This is not What Jesus Would Do, but it is what your gang does.
If God isn’t stupid, you’ll have some serious explaining to do.
You’re also lying, but you are doing it in the clever Catholic way. The Archdiocese did not report Avery or Lynn initially. The victims of Avery came forward, put legal and public pressure on the archdiocese. A grand jury investigation exposed Lynn. And it wasn’t until last year that the public learned about the hidden document from 1994.
However, I am willing to be proven wrong. Please show me proven documentation from 1994 where the Archdiocese reported Lynn. It was in 1994 that the Archdiocese learned that Lynn, Cardinal Bevilacqua, 2 bishops, Molloy, and others conspired to shred the documents showing they knew about 35 of your pedophile brothers.
The Archdiocese reported it after it was exposed by victims, some of the public, and a grand jury investigation. It was exposed after we ripped the truth out of the Catholic church, despite their efforts to hide it.
You are lying by implying that they were the initial ones to report it, but that is how Catholic leaders teach their followers about the truth.
Just curious – do you think God is going to fall for your trickery in His name?
In the days I went up to the trial, I couldn’t help but get so angry with the jovial attitude of Brennan, who seemed to joke around and carry on laughting in the courtroom while a 23 year-old victim testified about Avery abusing him in St. Jerome’s Church in NE Philly. These are the men who are applauded by other priests in the courtroom. A victim testifies to some of the most graphic, horrible, f#cked up shit he had to go through at 10 years-old and Brennan sits on the other side of the courtroom laughing. If that isn’t attacking someone I’m not sure what is.
What keeps you from revealing yourself on this site priest is power, prestige, and wealth. You’re not kidding anybody. If you cared about kids, you wouldn’t care about exposing your name to protect kids.
(Clergy childhood sexual abuse victim & Advocate)
Personally I do not considered Catholics who go to church to be “pew sheep,” or “pew potatoes” as I like to refer to them. When I think of these folks (by whatever term), I’m referring to individuals who blindly accept whatever come out of the mouth of a cleric while they are sitting in those pews.
Pew sheep are Catholics who uncritically buy the “company line.” They accept whatever comes down from the prelates as being truthful. I try to verify everything a prelate says before accepting it as truthful; pew sheep do not require verification.
Do you remember when Justin Rigali told us that there were no credibly accused priests in the AD? Anthony Bevilacqua was another person of unquestionable veracity, right?
You also stated “Not acknowledginf [sic] facts like it was the Archdiocese who reprted [sic] Avery and Lynn…” BUT, then the AD spent how much of the pew sheep’s money to defend these creeps?
You would have to believe that we are all pretty stupid to unquestionably accept this nonsense.
On this blog we consider those who accept pronouncements from RCC officials (without verification) to fall within the realm of “pew sheep.”
Catholic. priest…Did you really think that anyone on this site would. respect your reprimand. of the blessed people who write their innermost thoughts. here.?
Would they care a “rats a–” what your. thoughts are on the subject? You are the subject! Get real.
You love all your buddies, well stick with them and see how far it gets you with GOD & THE PEOPLE OF GOD! We are expected to use the minds God has given us and we do…..Big Time.!
Mr. priest I recommend you some responsiblity for yourself and stop living off of mother. You might get a job that would be a help to pay off all those legal bills for you brothers. You obviously have to much time on your hands.
PhilaCathpriest is not a priest.
You may be right about that. He/she is probably one of the henchmen a/k/a diocesan spokesperson… who is deliberately testing to see what kind of response there will be.
I’m sure you’re right; but whomever the person is, the positions posted certainly are representative of the mind set of many priests.
I don’t want the RCC purified. I want children safe.
Ah, you are wrong about educating the people in the pews. You underestimate the laity’s ability to see through the hypocrisy. You missed the mark about this site. So much has been shared, taught, and referenced. The reader has to bring something to the table in order to understand what is being shared.
My best suggestion to any Catholic is to listen, reflect, and then act based on what they’ve learned.
First, thanks for being here and continuing to engage this issue, it’s not going to go away no matter the desire of those who would like to see it “gotten over with” based on that desire. It will require true change on the part of clerics the faithful and in particular the hierarchy. It will require clerics to become vocal advocates for the protection of children as well as for those abused even if this means calling ones fellow clerics and hierarchs to account.
Second, this is a site with people with disparate life experiences united by the goal of child protection. Many are abuse victim/survivors in different stages of healing. All have something to contribute to this discourse even righteous indignation. It can be painful to read what is written but these stories need to be heard. I don’t see the primary goal of this site as the purification of the church. But the goals of child protection and justice for survivors are aligned with that purification.
Statements such as that from Bishop Conlon re past allegations “I’m not sure there’s any effective way… the Conference of Catholic Bishops is going to address that,” is not particularly encouraging. There is of course a way to address this and that is tell the truth and take responsibility for actions taken/ not taken in this matter.
Lastly, re. ed avery the Archdiocese and Bill Lynn didn’t report him until essentially compelled to do so. I related my concerns about his abuse of me and his potential to harm others in the most direct way I could back in 92′ and the rest as they say is history. Which brings us to where we are today, waiting for 12 people to sort through the facts of this case, which are compelling. They are in my thoughts and prayers this weekend.
Bob Fisher – james@15
To: Philadelphia Catholic Priest,
Father, I know where you’re ‘coming from’ and I share many of your sentiments. I spent 5 years at Saint Charles and would have been in the 1970 ordination class, had I remained. I love the church and her priests.
I would like very much to converse with you. Perhaps Susan or Kathy would be so good as to share my e-mail address with you. If this is not possible, then I’ll post it.
Thanks and ‘..pro invicem…’.
Sounds to me like it will be a very blank conversation. “The blind leading the blind.”
Joe B…. st charles seminary, class of 1970??!
“…the witness said he suspected Gana was abusing at least two other boys. Gana also had a photograph of about eight friends from the Class of 1970 at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Gana called them “the Mafia,” the man said..The group includes defrocked priest Edward Avery — who agreed days before trial to serve 2 1/2 to five years in prison for sexually assaulting an altar boy at church in 1999 — and several others named as suspected abusers in two grand jury reports. ”
Joe, apparently your childish love for the church and her priests, blinded you the signs that you were in mighty strange company at that seminary. lol!
The Church you love exists only within your own mind. Do you do any reading regarding the behavior of those who run the Church you believe you love?
Crystal – yes, I studied with those guys, but I don’t remember Ed Avery being in that particular picture.
drwho13 – and yes, I have read all the Grand Jury reports – several times as a matter of fact.
Didn’t Jesus exhort all of us to hate the sin but to love the sinner and to pray for his / her conversion and healing??
Joe..the man who shot Pope John Paul II was jailed Pope JPII later met with the man and I believe forgave him, however that man did suffer the consequences of his action..he was imprisoned. The former CFO of the Archdiocese is also facing trial for the embezzlement of close to 1 million dollars..she has been criminally charged and will likely face jail time.
Joe, you have said you are a father and grandfather. If your grandchild’s soccer coach was found to be a pedophile,would you be praying for that coach or would you be demanding the coach was locked up and away from children? What if someone hurt your family member and was still free with access to other children because of the statute of limitations? I highly doubt that if you were personally involved in these situations as either a parent/grandparent you would be spending time praying for the conversion of the sinner..you use the word sinner, I use the word criminal. If all of these abusive priests were put in prison..and I mean all… from the first and second GJ report ..then great..let the prison chaplains minister to them just like they do to the other prisoners. Put them behind bars and then maybe talk to me about praying for their conversion/healing.
“…Crystal – yes, I studied with those guys, but I don’t remember Ed Avery being in that particular picture….”
–Wow.. and this 5 year association doesn’t embarrass you or make you want to reach out to the multitudes of children your classmates violated during their ministries???!! It ought to!!—.You studied at a tiny college, right alongside of Fr. Gana, Avery, Bransfield and the other infamous St Charles pedophiles of that era… YOU KNEW THESE MEN…You lived and worked and played in the same buildings for 5 years.. and yet the revelations about their conduct do not really seem to horrify you or shame you by association.
Instead you come here, all dumbfounded at our anger, professing your love for priests and preaching about forgiveness. –Forget it, Joe –nobody here can forgive or forget the sexual abuse of children by the clergy of the RCC.
You must have an exceptional ability to disregard the truth… and an incredible tolerance for child abuse. Shame on you.
ps- ( Better wake up and get a firm grip on something real…because the RCC as you know it, is going down.)
You have no right to presume that I was not affected by the allegations made in the Grand Jury reports.
And no, I’m not at all embarrassed about the 5 years I spent at Saint Charles and the good friends I made while there. I can truthfully say that I know and respect many priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, some of whom have been a great help to me and to my family.
In terms of ‘reaching out to the (so called) multitudes of children violated during their ministries’, I do try to remember them in my evening prayers along with all of my other intentions. I am truly sorry for any child who suffered abuse from anyone – sibling, parent, clergyman or whomever.
To my knowledge, no one in my family has ever been molested. The only ‘close call’ was actually directed at me by a ‘character’ who lived in our home town back in the late 50’s. All I had to do was to tell my mother who called the police and ‘that was that’. Looking back, it was really quite simple.
Perhaps one tangible and lasting benefit of the current trial (no matter what the verdict) will be a heightened awareness of the need to involve the police just as soon as suspected abuse is discerned.
I can’t honestly tell you how I’d react were the ‘unthinkable (to me) to happen. My wife and I have done our best to vigilantly protect our children. If one of my grand children were on a soccer team coached by a suspected pedophile, his parents would certainly take him off the team. Responses in hypothetical situations where actual harm was done would be purely speculative.
You seem to be completley out of touch with the events taking place. I’m not saying that you are, but I am unable to comprehend your think process.
Please help me to understand.
Joe you said “All I had to do was to tell my mother who called the police and ‘that was that’. Looking back, it was really quite simple.”
You have said some things over the past few months that have been very hurtful to the victims..I called you on it awhile back, I can only think this comment was a more subtle dig. I think many people had something odd happen to them in childhood..I can recall a few situations where someone said or acted towards me in a way that was not right now that I look back as an adult. You told your mother and she called the police..good for you..good for her. If only life was wrapped up in such a tidy package for everyone. I have really tried to put myself into the place of the victims and I suggested to you that you do the same. To remember what is was like to be a child and have someone with such authority as a priest abuse you..it would be something I could not even wrap my brain around and I get it..I get where victims thought no one would believe them or were to traumatized,scared or embarrassed to come forward as a child. We even see this in the Sandusky trial..the young men saying that Sandusky was so well know and respected .So if this “character” in your hometown had been a priest.would that have given you pause or maybe even given your mother pause..we can’t answer that. But we can try to empathize with those who were put in that situation.
Even in your response to Crystal you use the term “so called” and then go on to say you pray for them. Sorry Joe but you have lost me..your fascination with the priests and your lack of empathy with the victims continues to be puzzling. I asked a priest about what you said that even a laicized priest could hear a confession in an emergency situation..even an abusive laicized priest. The priest explained to me that you were correct..I can’t remember the technicalities of his explanation but I remember what he said and that was “I wouldn’t go to confession to one of those guys regardless of the situation,I would choose a good private act of contrition” I am sure there have been priests that have been good to you as you stated, I can say the same..doesn’t change a thing for me..because this is not about how I have been treated..try to think outside of your own experience.
Joe can’t take the psycho-emotional leap you and others want him to take. His experiences in seminary, with his mother, and in the Church were such that he came to completely trust them. It is inconceivable to him that his trusted people and things would behave or act in ways that would foster distrust in a person. Therefore, if a person distrusts Joe’s trusted people and things, it is the fault of the person in his eyes.
Joe is protecting himself. Say it was proven to Joe that his trusted people and things hurt and betrayed people, causing their distrust, Joe’s psycho-emotional crutches would crumble.
Hadit, I think you are right and for Joe to make that ‘leap’ is perhaps not possible and I take Kathy’s point seriously, to make comments that are hurtful to victims is simply not acceptable on C4C.
But Joe did make a comment that I agree with…That perhaps one of the results of this trial is the heightened awareness that the police need to be immediately alerted when abuse is suspected.
And it’s my hope that, not only in Philly, but nationwide that laws will be enhanced to make that level of notification mandatory.
hadit I understand and personally do not expect Joe to make the same leap that our friend Bob the former seminarian who attended the trial each day so he could learn the truth. I just don’t want any more of the comments that are hurtful to victims. It is interesting to compare Joe’s comments to another woman I know. She was groomed by one of the most notorious abusive priests in the AD..he made his move on her when she was 17..a little older than most of his victims and she was able to stop it and get away. But her compassion for the victims of this priest is so touching and heartfelt..no comments like I was able to stop it..they should have been able to. Her “close call” opened her eyes and her heart to what happened to others.
Yes, I know you understand, Kathy.
Because Joe can’t take the leap, I’m not letting him off the hook. Joe wants to cling to false illusions of the things and people that have nurtured and fortified him. He won’t permit himself to see how they have failed to nurture and fortify others. What matters is that Joe is nurtured and fortified by them. That others are not, does not move him or cause him to inquire into why. He protects himself from having to honestly explore the things that nurture and fortify him by blaming people who are not nurtured and fortified by them. When he blames people for not being nurtured and fortified by his false illusions, he hurts them. It is not permissible for Joe to hurt people in the name of false illusions.
You can’t imagine how much I hope your grandchildren never have to go through anything I went through regarding sexual abuse. It would be hell for them, as it is for all of us. But worse, and so saddening, it’s obvious to me that if they did suffer this kind of contact, they’d certainly have no one to tell. Grandad is too caught up in “tryin” to remember the victims in his prayers, because obviously the perp priests take up the majority of his sermons.
I’m not sorry when I say that your close-minded, bigoted attitude, and ignorance of even the simple suggestion that children are raped by priests and other adults, and even when substantial evidence against those abusers is proven to exist, children are not safe in your presence. They need to take cover!
People like you are the reason I didn’t tell anyone for over 20 years. You helped me keep my secret and I self destructed because of it.
Very decent point Hadit…and one I missed…Joan
…”In terms of ‘reaching out to the (so called) multitudes of children violated during their ministries’, I do try to remember them in my evening prayers along with all of my other intentions…”
Why, how generous of you to try to remember the casualties of your religion in your evening prayers. I’d imagine God demands more than just prayers from a proud member of the class of ’70 at St.Charles Seminary,… Anybody can pray…In matters this serious, He demands the REAL STUFF –the difficult stuff of our minds, our hands, and our hearts.
It was by grace alone that you were loved and protected by your mother, and lifted up by your circumstances. This background should have humbled and empowered you to understand and reach out to the thousands of catholic kids who were not as blessed… the kids who had no one to listen to them or notice the warning signs —the kids who were tricked into and then unable to escape the web of sex abuse.
Joe..better yet, don’t bother with any of it. Stay aloof and say your prayers. Don’t involve yourself in these matters. You’re not suited for it…You are a brainwashed victim of a very unkind era in our church’s history. An institution has damaged your ability to think critically about this. You cannot help, and can only cause further suffering.
Hey Folks –
I can assure you that I have no ‘illusions’ about the allegations that were recorded in the Grand Jury reports. Were it not for a medical situation that presently keeps me close to home, I would have attended one or two days of the trial just to see ‘first hand’.
The ‘best’ that I can currently offer are my nightime prayers for healing for all concerned. Whenever that situation improves, I would like very much to have a frank ‘one-on-one’, face-to-face discussion with an abuse victim.
V4J, I can also assure you that my children and grand children are as safe from any form of sexual trauma as we can make them. And yes, ‘Grandpop’ does listen…………
Joe..you missed my point about the soccer coach. Of course your grandchild would be removed from danger. My point was would your reaction be to pray for the conversion of the sinner (the soccer coach) or would you be more focused on protecting children and seeing the perp locked up? I think with you ,when a priest is the perp it becomes love the sinner, hate the sin..forgiveness above all else etc…. I imagine people who may have “crossed’ you at some point in your own life have not received this same forgiving attitude that you preach however you are willing to expound on this theme to people who have been sexually violated. Joe it really is too much. I am sure there have been people in your life who you have not treated in this loving,forgiving manner when you were the one wronged. When and if a victim can come to a place of forgiveness…well good for them..but Joe,not on your terms or mine..on theirs.
Hadit I know you are shaking your head saying “why Kathy” . There is nothing that gets me more than “devout” Catholic people actually being hurtful to those who were harmed as children .
Since you have no illusions about the things you read about in the Grand Jury reports, the next step would entail you having the insight and integrity to superimpose the things you read about on the offending people and the institution. Someone and something “owns” or is responsible for the things you read about. Regardless of how painful it is, you must connect the dots.
This proves that a lot of the dissenting voices that you will hear will masquerade as normal people in the Philly community, when in fact they may easily be Gana or Cudemo or any of the other 35 known pedophile priests, or their friends, or their family, or Msgr Lynn, or Chaput.
Even though they are disingenuous and dishonest by using different names, you can’t say it’s “lying”, and that is the barometer that the Catholic church uses. Of course, its not God’s barometer. but practicing dishonesty is a hallmark of the Catholic church, as taught by Cardinal Rigali when he said “no accused priests in ministry”, and Cardinal Bevilacqua when he said under oath that child protection was a top priority.
Catholic leaders lie blatantly, intentionally and purposefully, and their followers have learned that lying is ok, just like they’ve learned that sex with children should be hidden, especially if it costs money to help those victims.
Lots of Catholic “mafia”, pedophiles, and pedophile protecting priests will comment on this site under misleading names. Its not lying – its practicing Catholicism.
So, “Father”. When are you going to see that you are in a “fix?”
You are planted in the offending side and you are not comfortable there. It shows.
PhilaCathpriest – you stated, “When you write a letter of complaint, it is recommended that you first acknowledge what the person or institution is doing right and then state your complaint.”
We are all still waiting for the RCC to do something right!!!
Philacathpriest and Joe B. thanks for blogging. I used to be offended by the term “pew sheep” now I try everyday not to be one of them. I believe it is good that this site is not one sided. I also think that it is important that all are educated on all points of view for the protection of our children so this abuse and coverup does not continue. Bascially to change we must understand what the victims have been thru and understand the attitudes of the laity and leadership that lead to these abuses. We can’t tell our victims and their families in what time frame they must heal so I believe they have every right to vent especially til they get some kinda of justice and or closure. Joe B. Christ prayed and then he acted. What are you actively doing to show support for our victims besides prayer? My feeling is the closer we are to Jesus the more we see the injustice and want to reach out to the victims……….action is the root of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. I believe when we die Jesus will not ask how much did you pray? But how often did you reach out to to your brothers and sisters in love and faith.Phillycatholic priest you are coming from a place that all your basic needs are meet you have a roof over your head and food on the table and insurance. You would be considered wealthy by many people in third world countires some of our victims aren’t even having their basic needs met let alone therapy paided for. And they don’t have shores houses or mountains houses to relax or retreat to either.Maybe instead of being fixated on the language of the victims we should look at where they are coming from . Maybe the question for our priests and laity should be why are we treating victims less than we treat priests and not even meeting their basic material and spiritaul needs. A good father or mother sacrifices for their children. I dont see our church doing that for the victims.Shouldn’t the priests be servants for all the people including the victims? Arent the laity suppose to love thier neighbor? Yes honey draws more bees but sometimes Jesus said things that seemed harsh but were true and the people didn’t want to hear it so they left.
On a priority of need, Beth we and THE church should be treating victims the best of anyone….Thanks for your comments, yet again!!!!!
Beth…I also don’t think that when we die Jesus is going to ask us how much we prayed. I think he is going to ask us how we treated those who are made in his image. Prayer is fine but certainly not the solution. As I said to one priest “can you imagine how boring the Gospels would be if all it entailed was Jesus and his disciples sitting around praying?” We can pray for many things but we also take action. We don’t just pray that that the starving children are fed …food does not just magically appear from heaven. But in the case of victims of clergy abuse..prayer is the often given as the solution and the only thing the clergy is doing…
The kindest grade that can be given to the bishops of the RCC–and by that I mean ALL bishops, from the pope on down–is INCOMPLETE. That grade is one that leaves room to get it right.
RCC people have to keep complaining, keep making public noise, keep writing to authorities, keep blogging, carrying protest signs, ignoring requests for money, walking out of Mass, working toward getting tax exempt status revoked in all countries. The RCC hierarchy have been around since the birth of Christ and they believe that they can wait us out. Let them wait us out in JAIL.
“What’s Hanging the Jury?” posted today (Sat.) by Ralph Cipriano.
In Ralph’s article– “What’s Hanging the Jury?”– he begins by asking two Philly attorneys to give their “take” on why the jury is taking so long. Then, he enumerates several factors that may be influencing the long deliberations. This post addresses the input from the two attorneys, Dennis Cogan and Fred Tecce. It’s important to remember that the “takes” of both attorneys are just that. No one knows for certain why it’s taking the jury so long, including me.
I completely disagree with Cogan’s “take.” He says that he wouldn’t be surprised if the jury is down on Blessington for the way he treated Lynn during three days of cross-examination. Then he says how uncool Blessington was to tell Lynn’s attorney, Bergstrom (sp.), to “shut up” this past week. While Cogan may not like Blessington’s style, I would ask him if he sat in on the trial at all? In my opinion, the jury liked Blessington. Might they think he’s a little theatrical and out of control at times? For sure. But do they like the passionate person who is trying to convict a child abuse perpetrator and an enabler? Damn right they do! There was no doubt in my mind during closing arguments that the jury liked Blessington, identified with him, wanted to put away two creeps like him, and respected his fiery style, considering it to represent a passion for justice.
I agree with Tecce’s “take.” He says the jury is probably appalled at what happened to children. They are. They are sickened with the two defendants and the institution of the Catholic Church. The problem (Tecce and I agree) is that jurors are having a hard time wrapping PA laws around the crimes of Lynn (and I would add Brennan) to convict him (and Brennan). There is no doubt in my mind that the jurors want both defendants doing time, but PA law is not cooperating.
Hadit, there were both Child Endangerment AND Conspiracy charges against Lynn….I would have appreciated a distinction between those charges by Cipriano as the burdens of proof, I suspect, differ.
I thought the same thing about fitting Lynn and Brennan into Pennsylvania law. I hope Pennsylvania law will be changed to fit these crimes.
I feel impressed to pray for a “guilty ” verdict in the trial. I can’t see anything but more pain if these accused are set free.
In the simplest words – Too little to late
I gave some thought recently to the question of how the hierarchy of the church, and the clergy would react to the recent exposure of dysfunction in the Roman Catholic Church. This news gives me an answer. They intend to use propaganda and tell another BIG LIE. The old saw is still true in this sin cursed world: “Tell a big enough lie and many will believe it.”
I’m pretty much with ya Rich. How much more can anyone take! They are good candidates for THE SCUM OF THE EARTH in my book.
B TW- lol, I heard you real good the first time. LOL.
About a week ago, I received an email from FutureChurch. It centered on the nuns vs. the Vatican debacle. In it, recipients were informed about the various ways they could help the nuns. One of the suggestions was to write opinion pieces in a person’s local newspaper. Ok. I’ll think about that. The minute I closed my mailbox, I opened a hardcopy of my local newspaper.
In the section in my local newspaper called “Letters From the People,” a woman (Phyllis Kurch) had her letter published. Her letter argued that the media had fabricated the dispute between LCRS nuns and the Vatican. She argued that only 3 percent of nuns belong to LCRS, therefore, she concluded that 97 percent of nuns follow Catholic doctrine. Where’s the dispute, she asked? Clearly, the media had fabricated it in her opinion. Kurch said that all of her statistics had come from Bill Donahue’s website.
If you think Kurch is a misinformed anomaly in my neck of the woods, think again. Naturally, I followed FutureChurch’s advice and wrote a letter. Mind you, I had to keep it simple. First, let’s start with getting the facts straight…
This is my letter:
Communication is always a two way street. So if some heard what i wrote as a repermand, I apoligize. It was not what i was trying to say. I know well that i don’t have to read this site, but I choose too. I am just trying to understand your goal. Venting can be very helpful, but is not the goal to change what is wrong in the church that caused the harm to be done? I both love the Church and believe that grave evil was done and the wrong must be righted. The DA,Seth Williams acknowledged that the Archdiocese reproted Avery and I meant to say Brennan. This was reported in the Inquirer when the story first broke. In no way does this fact right the wrong done nor does the new policy that lay employees must call childline directly if an allegation is made to them about the pastor. But does denying these facts help bring about the change needed to protect children. by the way my goal of posting was to try and show i care, If I am not hel ping, I will stop posting. If giving my name would help, I will do that as well.
I think posting your name would help. Actually I would like many people to use their real name but that is an individual choice. So if you are willing, Phila catholic priest, please let us know who you are. Like some others have expressed, I am not even sure if you are a priest, so that would clear up any confusion.
As for people venting. Personally I try to walk away from the computer and take a break if I feel I am too upset or that what I write will be too inflammatory or drive people away. But on the other hand one of the hardest things this past year has been to keep my emotions in check and calmly talk about child rape…actually crazy when you think about..maintain appropriateness when talking about children being at risk or harmed.
As for the AD being more cooperative than in the past..My God how could they be worse than in the past..anything is an improvement. I can’t get excited by the fact that the AD reported Avery..I can’t give them a pat on the back for doing something they SHOULD do and also what the law requires.
“let’s hear it for the boy…” Okay, give us your name!
I have a few simple goals:
– make you Do What Jesus Would Do, regardless of how much you and your fellow priests and lawyers resist
– make your criminal counterparts go to jail for their child rape or their conspiracy, and that includes Lynn, Rigali, Cistone, Cullen, and all of the “Philly 35” along with anyone who knew about them
– get unlimited therapy for the victims, and I don’t care if it means you have to sell those big churches that you think God loves more than children
You think its enough that your priests don’t rape as many children as they used to since you got caught. All criminals think like that. They want to be able to get away with their crimes, and often promise not to do it again.
God is working against you, and you don’t care. If God doesn’t accept your Catholic confessions, and God doesn’t allow you to have $11 million to spend on lawyers for your judgment day, you are going to have a terrifying judgment day, as will every other priest.
Of course, you could go to your judgment day and not give your real name……
The notion that the corporation willingly offered the documents pertaining to Avery and Lynn is ludicrous. Laughable, were not the collateral damage so tragic.
One of the first revelations of the trial was made on the stand under oath by Detective Joseph Walsh who stated that certain documents pertaining to Avery had been requested in 2002, and were turned over the week of the trial.
In addition, Detective Walsh testified that thousands of pages of documents were presented not in an orderly, professional and respectable manner, but shuffled like a deck of so many cards.
These men have no respect for the justice system, or the victims, or even their own customers. They glare at the jury, they glare at the spectators; they seem unable to comprehend that their own are on trial for heinous criminal acts against of all people; our former children.
They foist these corporate/political talking points into the public conversation touting their benevolence, but the facts refute these positions.
We await the inevitable, additional, erroneous assertions and we will counter those as well, with the facts.
Yes, I heard also the requested papers were in disorder and took awhile to be put back in order. Just like someone threw them in the air and picked them up randomly.
And, they probably did that or something similar like dump the box on the floor, scramble the contents and hand it over.
In today’s New York Times, Maureen Dowd explores the seemingly pervasive moral dystopia (disease, sickness, or malaise) inflicting our culture, today, as evidenced by the Lynn and Sandusky trials. Interesting read. A look at ourselves and our society. Informative for parents concerned about raising moral children.
Sorry! This link should work for the NY Times article by Maureen Dowd:
That didn’t work either, but this link should work for the down article http://tinyurl.com/7sow6a3
Check out the site http://tinyurl.com
Its free, and it allows you to shorten long, cumbersome URLs
Iam impressed byh some of the reader comments after her article.
I am on my way back to Missouri, after attending my high school class reunion in southeastern Ohio… it was great seeing people who had babysat us kids.. ( I am the oldest of 11 kids)…and to see kids I had baby sat… plus I learned something very disturbing..
It appears that the priest who sexually abused my brother and several of my relatives.. and he started abusing kids in the early 1940’s.. and he lived in that town until he died in 1991…really brazenly had control of the whole small town.. I learned that he went out of the realm of abusing Catholic boys… and manage to harm some of the non catholic boys…………
I am sick to think of how many kids this serial child predator sexually abused……………..and he was never removed or punished… He manage to dupe the adults in that whole town………………But also many adults never spoke up.. they kept the dirty secret..
How much ruin can one person do to a whole town of innocent kids..?? my heart is sick..
So I will dig in and keep on keeping on………………..never being silent..and hoping to find all of the survivors of Fr Robert A Brown… http://www.steubenvilletruth.org/Brown_Robert_pg1.html
Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, email@example.com
Today, it was reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Vatican blames (again) a scandal-hungry media, and its tendency to over-sensationalize matters, for the reportage centered on in-house fighting, power positioning, and the leakage of sensitive and private documents (Vatileaks). John Allen, in writing for the National Catholic Reporter, and a “safe” reporter, has stayed on top of the story since its inception. Allen portrays the state of the Vatican as being in a virtual meltdown.
Sometimes it is difficult to understand clerical “ups and downs.” On the one hand, clerics can be die-hard loyal and unified, on the other, they have a long history of incidences where they have stabbed each other in the back. It would seem that they function according to extremes, either lying, denying, and being die-hard loyal, or colluding and conspiring to stab each other in the back. Both extremes are unacceptable. Neither extreme is productive or wise, making both extremes risky and dangerous. Meanwhile, millions of powerless Catholics in the world are forced to stand by and endure the fallout.
Where are the brains of the hierarchy? We speak often of the moral failure, but what about the brain-failure?
Part of the problem is that many of the brains are theology laden, and not economics, or political science, or psychology, or sociology, or business, et al, laden. Theology serves to validate the modus operandi of the hierarchy. Many of the tenets and doctrines of our faith, along with canon law, validate and support the extreme-prone modus operandi of the hierarchy, while all of the other disciplines inform human beings as to the reality of the human condition, and the proper ways to function in it and maneuver through it. In a global and civilized world, theology, alone, does not “cut it.” Indeed, theology, alone, separates one from the world, impedes a realistic understanding of the world, and fails to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully operate an organization that is in sync with the values and methods deemed “good” by the world.
So true Kate. Although the hierarchy’s “act” impressed and sustained previous generations of RC’s…. the catholic mind has evolved and the church has not. We demand the very best of our leaders….and we plainly see that ours are in over their “theology laden heads” on all fronts.
To accept leadership from men in costumes, who have no mastery of any of the sciences you mention, and who have neither embraced, nor lived in our world, defies all common sense.
Another interesting analysis Hadit!
I have had some things come to mind also:
God is “sovereign”; that is, He can and does do what He wills to do, e.g.Romans 9:15 “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”My thought is that God , in this age of Grace, has not previously moved against the Roman Religious powers but now He is allowing their sins, their wickedness to be exposed— at least to an extent. However, there must be a religious “Harlot” on earth to fulfill the prophecy of RevelationRevelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:Revelation 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.Revelation 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:Revelation 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration….”
You stated, “But difficult as it is, unpleasant as it is….I think there is something to be said for staying and raising the issues that need to be raised.”
I will never stop raising the issues that need to be raised.
But, as far as staying in the Church, I don’t know if I can. It’s analogous to being adrift at sea and loosing my grip on the raft. That raft (the RCC), and my beliefs were once strongly bound. Now thay are just floating away from each other.
Put another way, it’s like being betrayed by a lover, very painful at first, less painful with time, and finally indifferent to the separation.
I feel the same way, on a float, floating away. My strong beliefs in the RCC are sliding pretty quickly… Its not a good feeling when you see the people likes robots in the pews, and I can’t say the Creed, haven’t for a time. I try to live a Christian life, and my faith in Jesus is strong.
I believe the victims/survivors and always will…. Peace
It is not heart-rending to give-up the catholic-sacraments; the cults of the saints and their performance-ratings after death; the money-makers (the sacramentals); the pilgrimages, retreats, other fund-raising events; the vatican-leadership; the catechism; the carefully-worded prayers; the church-hierarchy etc. The Truth is outside of all of this and it will set us free … it will eliminate the middle-man which stands between us and God. I do not see any semblance between Jesus and the present-day roman catholic church.
Beautiful post IMO.
Wow, Speaking-Up, that’s well written.
You should create your own blog, even if its just to post just that entry.
It succinctly reminds people that most of the things that you listed are Catholic inventions, created after they split off from Christ’s church, and decided that power, money, and easy forgiveness were easier than What Jesus Would Do. Of course, a billion people followed them, finding an easier road to heaven, and not realizing that it was no longer God’s church.
“It succinctly reminds people that most of the things that you listed are Catholic inventions, created after they split off from Christ’s church, and decided that power, money, and easy forgiveness were easier than What Jesus Would Do. Of course, a billion people followed them ,,,”
But did “they” split off? History and scripture indicate to me that the true nature of the “wolves”[Paul called them “grievous wolves” Acts 20:29] is that of unbelievers who used coercive power to persecute and limit the influence of the true believers in the gospel of grace. In taking power over the people they made themselves religious rulers rather than “bishops/overseers’ as sanctioned by Paul. To know what “Jesus would do”, we must read what He passed to Paul— that which was hidden: Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
Note well: in verse 26- “BUT NOW.” It had not been revealed previously to anyone.
I agree that a hung jury is certainly not the worst news .As you point out, it would trigger a re-trial, and place the defense in a very untenable position.
However, and unfortunately, our friends and family who comprise the victim/survivor community will bear the brunt of the more circuitous route to justice.
It’s been said that a general rule of thumb is that each week of a trial may correlate to one day of deliberations. I’m curious if you agree Jerry, as tomorrow is the eleventh day of an eleven week trial.
Conversely, today is the first day in which the jury asked no questions, and spent the day deliberating in relative silence.
I wonder if the clock started ten days ago or today?
To the v/s community, I know that it easy for me to say, but hang in there.
The repercussions of this trial are already being felt in the Finn case, and in every church personnel office. Regardless of the verdict the message is clear; neglect to protect at your own peril.
As Jerry has been saying all along. We have already won.
Thanks, Joan. My post sat in moderation for awhile, probably due to my name change. In between, I read how your friend told you a person can leave the Church and still fight it. Sorry for making the point you had already made.
Ralph’s 20 second take on the activities in 304 today. Even Ralph has been rendered speechless by the long deliberations.
Kathy, where is Kopride on Ralph’s blog???
Kate, the reason I was making the distinction about folks who had moved on …was I have friends who are so totally turned off the Church that an e mail about Jason Berry evokes a ‘thanks anyway Joan…we simply don’t care anymore and are not interested in any church data’…
I never did doubt that you could leave and fight, I like that story, because it illustrates the point….but what surprised me was the almost animosity…that I encountered, from these other folks.
As a survivor of child sexual abuse, and a Catholic, this debacle is a double edged sword. I have gone to Catholic websites seeking answers. There are: Clergy behaving badly; Laity behaving badly, Catholics seeking conspiracies; Catholics for tradition; Catholics for freedom. On websites there are Catholics calling Jews, “Killers of Christ” and long hate diatribes between Catholic, Jewish and Protestant bloggers. Catholics are literally fighting on websites and some of it goes on for weeks; sometimes the other side start, sometimes Catholics do, it doesn’t matter we look bad. Catholics are attacking the girls scout, the boy scouts and each other. We have people calling themselves Catholic womenpriest. What can we expect when our spiritual leaders betrayed us, bailed, sold out, or went belly up? We’re in big trouble. The problem is internal. We let the devil in; let’s kick him out. I don’t live in Philadelphia, but spent 12 years in Catholic schools there, so I can only advise. Let’s take the hate out of Catholic the world is watching us and Christ is too.
What can you do? What would Jesus do? Have you hugged a victim today? Make a responsible plan to stop child sexual abuse. Burn this in your heart: as long as the wounded sexually abused Catholic children and families are not at peace, Christ is not at peace and Catholics will not be at peace. These evildoers are being punished some have been murdered in prison, one was attacked in a retirement home and his attacker, the victim, would up in jail. So, I don’t advocate that course of action.
Here’s what you can do. Don’t wait for the church to be the change you want to see. You be the change. The church has no power over you that you do not give it by abdicating your power to that power; this is not a scandalous or heretical idea. Christ told us there would be false prophets. As our catholic nuns would say write it 100 times. “No one is perfect whether clergy or laity.” The wolf got in because we were not guarding the door. Here is some positive action you can take if you really want change. You can do it inside or outside the church: large scale or small. One on one or in a group.
Start up a victim support group, to welcome victims/survivors back into your church/community
Hold breakfast, lunches, dinners —
Establish a symbol.
Pink ribbons (breast cancer) Yellow ribbons (returning troops) Red ribbon or heart as a witness for the Sacred Heart or whatever your group decides. Victim/Survivor Wear it, Put it in your newsletter, a good way to spread the word and start the healing
Name your group. You can call it:
From Victim to Survivor
We love you
We believe You
We’re Support You
Christ Can Heal Us
Start a parent support group with a charter and bylaws to:
Define the group purpose, action plan, or ideal outcome
Give the group a name like (I’m sure the group think of some)
WE LOVE OUR CATHOLIC KIDS
NOT ON OUR WATCH
Determine when to meet
Determine ways to protect and educate children and parents in the Catholic community
Invite input from victims.
You’ll help victims heal and gain valuable insight into the problem and it’s causes
Develop a checklist of goals and measureable mileposts and timelines to meet the goals
Define the reporting process for suspected abuse in case it happens
Educate parents on the reporting process (No secrecy)
Invite victim/survivor input
Be sure the parish (laity and clergy) know about your group
Posters, flyers, church bulletin, announcements, potlucks
Develop an education checklist for your group and the parish
Reach out to law enforcement to learn their process
Develop a reading list
Invite guest speakers from professional groups for child advocacy
Develop an action list for suspected cases
Hound your legislators to enact legislation, get signatures and change what you don’t like
Assign advocates for children and parents
To pray for and with victims and their families
To ensure they have a support person a neutral party if it ever happens again
To ensure there is no intimidation, feet dragging or coverup
To help with reporting process
To follow the established civilian and procedures
To raise the comfort level for everyone
Add Whatever you would want to see in place
Be the Change………….just wondering are you an angel dropped from heaven:) You have alot of good ideas. I am very interested in them.Have you done any of these in the state that you live in?
I feel your pain. I too am a child sexual abuse survivor, 53 years and still learning. My abuser was not a clergy member but a relative. My family was catholic and much of what happened to me was due to that fact. No one came and helped me; they refused At 13 I had to become my own parent and walk out the door. Your feeling of responsibility for kids is admirable. You are a wonderful and brave person. . I guarantee you are not soulless, and I guarantee you are not unworthy. Christ loves you and I do too. Christ loves you so much he died to save your soul. So, I know you are not soulless. Christ is pure love and pure justice and He will deal with these evil people who hurt you, for they hurt Him when they did their evil deeds. I too thought my soul was lost. Christ found me and showed me His pure love. It is not man’s love. He also showed me I was not unworthy or worthless. You have done a brave and wonderful thing. You have saved many children by telling your truth. Christ has some special gifts for you. He will be your strength as you heal; your protection from evildoers. Be still my friend and know that He is God. All powerful and All knowing. You are safe for He will dry your tears and lift you up. When you feel angry, ge angry rant against them. Hate what they did but try not to hate them because that will hurt you. You are a good person I can see Christ in you. They betrayed Him and hurt Him too, Don’t let them win. Yes, you have PTSD, I do too, but they are doing amazing things in helping survivors to heal themselves. ]Make sure you are eating and drinking. It is very important. Sometimes we survivors forget to eat and drink. Not eating makes you weary and your thoughts atart racing and you get confused. Remember you are not abandonedl you are not alone. Christ is here for you and I am too. You have many supporters. Everyone hear believes you/ we are on your side. When your thoughts race and you notice the tears try to breathe deeply and think of a quiet place; a sunset, an ocean breeze, a gentle rain. If you have the strength step outside and breath in. Feel the sunshine on your face. Quiet music helps because as you listen to the music, it replaces the racing thoughts. The kids need you to advocate for them and that is the best way to win by protecting other kids. We need you to tell us. You have so much to give the world. When you’ve rested will you write back and tell me how you’re doing?
No Beth I am no angel. A sinner like everyone else, but my life has taken me down many roads and Christ has seen me through many traumas. I have not implemented these practices because my church is very small and nurturing and this destructive force has passed it by without a mark. Perhaps Our Lord knew I could not deal with another trauma in my life; especially one involving the sexual abuse of children. I have spent many years in management in the public sector and know how Christ calls Christians to lead with our hearts and His love. I have been to many churches and know none are perfect. I have seen God’s power when all looked hopeless. In the end, He will triumph. Christ directed me into this battle when I was caught in crisis dealing with the pending death of two of my family members; crisis brings on the PTSD even after many years. I went in search of solutions, and found some new therapies; inadvertently I stumbled on Bill Donohue and was appalled. The more I searched the more disheartened I became until I found this website and know the angels you refer to our present here, I felt them too. Our church is in crisis, our children are suffering. Because I live so far away, all I can offer is my heart, my experience, and a message there is hope and you are on the right path for “when good men do nothing, evil triumphs.”
Be the change……I am sorry for all you have been thru and I really appreciate your positive input. You have alot of thoughtful insights and your faith and love in palable…..peace
Thank you for the kind words. You truly have a gentle spirit which comes across in your words.
I am a couple beers short of a six pack, but I’m chugging along okay right now. I don’t believe in a particular god and I also don’t believe Jesus Christ was the Messiah. Christ may love me but the feeling isn’t mutual. I am not a believer.
Anyway, thanks for asking about me. I have good days and bad days. It just so happens the bad usually outnumber the good.
I am angry. I hate what they do/did and I hate them. Nothing will change that so don’t even try feeding me some scripture.
They will never win. They can’t. I’ve got the truth. They ain’t got shit!
No offense, but maybe all that shit you just said works for you, but iot’s not my way and it will never be my way. My goal is to expose the perpetrators that exists within the Catholic Church and in every area of society, along with their supporters. I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum!
By the way, it’s “Victims4Justice.”
Peace out! Catch ya later pickle. Stay kosher.
Sorry I spelled it wrong Victims4Justice. You kick ass, expose all the crap, take em down so they never can get up again. By the way I’d lend you some bubble gum, but it’s much more fun watching you kick ass.
The USCCB does not get it! They continued to congratulated themselves for a good job of protecting our Catholic children at their meeting in Atlanta. They seem to be in some dream world where they and the Vatican have done a wonderful job of protecting children from sexual predators. My grade for the USCCB and the Vatican is a “F-“. They have continued to hide and delay and stall in obstructing justice and need to be brought to a court of law. I am praying that the jury in Philadelphia case will have the courage to find both defendants guilty.
On moral dystopia: Each person who saw or knew about the abuse enabled the act to occur and reoccur if they did not ACT to stop it. My abuser was a relative, the enabler was my mother, who when I went to her for help admonished me to remain silent because I would hurt others (adults in the family whom she proceeded to name). Not only did she enable the abuser to continue to hurt me, but she tried to make me responsible for my abuser ‘s actions, adult’s silence, and the protection of adults who should have protected me. And, she tried to pass that thought process on to me. Other adults in the family knew about the abuse and continued the silence. I went outside the family and got help from another adult and got out of the situation but had to remain in the family. I was 13, the year was 1959, and we were Irish Roman Catholic. Looking back there were clear signs I was in trouble, no one reached out to help me. The molester did the same thing to my younger sister which added to my guilt and sense of being responsible for the actions of my abuser. Forty four years later I told the family members who did not know about the abuse, the general reaction was why tell us now or don’t burden us with this which is a very kind way to describe the reactions of some of my family. Some have changed their attitude, others still blame me in various ways. I don’t think any of them realize or want to deal with the fact that the abuser had access to many other children in the family. Child abuse, cover ups, and silence are not new and they are not done by institutions. They are done by people who fail to do the right thing and justify that behavior. It is never okay to hurt a child and it is never okay to cover it up because by doing so you allow the abuser to continue to hurt that child and other children. Do people understand abuse is not about sex? It is about power, control and corrupting the spirit of another human being, because the spirit is the essence of our humanity; they “attempt” to make us inhuman; not just the abused but anyone who fails to act against it. If you failed to do the right thing, there is always the opportunity to act differently until we take our last breath. Will there be consequences? Yes, and there should be. If you abuse you become them and if you remain silent you help them. It is not what we think that counts it is what we do. You may think you want to beat up the abuser, that’s okay, but if you actually do it, that’s not. You may think you want to stop it, that’s okay, but if you do not act to stop it, that’s not. Stop the silence, stop the abuse. Until there is justice for victims, there will be no peace for anyone. Cathy
Survivor’s wife: You are way too kind. Usually I am fairly level headed but being overwhelmed by the reality of Sandusky, Lynn, the young man in San Jose, the father in Texas, and over 400,000 children in the U.S. who are abused and neglected, I was verbalizing my anger and frustration at the magnitude of the problems children face. I remembered your husband’s word, “Incomplete” which has been such a witness to me, and along came an email from my sister with a beautiful slideshow of Moma Mary. I will be meditating and saying the rosary for the next couple of days to refresh my spirit and perspective. Thank you again for your kindness; it helped.
A prayer for the jury to have discernment. Psalm 13:3
“But now prayer lifteth up her voice, like the watchman who proclaims the daybreak. Now will the tide turn, and the weeper shall dry his eyes.”
Thank you Lord for your many tender mercies.