Time Sensitive: Contact Legislators Before Tomorrow Morning’s Meeting


The Pennsylvania Judiciary committee will meet tomorrow morning. We MUST contact them to encourage them to vote yes to move the bills forward. Thank you.
Please vote to move HB 878 and HB 832 forward
Marsico – Chairman

Stephens – Secretary

(717) 260-6163

tstephen@pahousegop.com

Cutler – Subcommittee on Family Law

(717) 783-6424

bcutler@pahousegop.com

Grell – Subcommittee on Courts

(717) 783-2063

ggrell@pahousegop.com

Krieger – Subcommittee on Crime & Corrections

(717) 260-6146

Tkrieger@pahousegop.com

Creighton

(717) 772-5290

tcreight@pahousegop.com

Delozier

(717) 783-5282

sdelozie@pahousegop.com

Ellis

(717) 787-7686

bellis@pahousegop.com

Gillespie

(717) 705-7167

kgillesp@pahousegop.com

Keller, M

(717) 783-1593

mkeller@pahousegop.com

O’Neill

(717) 705-7170

boneill@pahousegop.com

Rock

(717) 783-5218

trock@pahousegop.com

Saccone

(717) 260-6122

rsaccone@pahousegop.com

Toepel

(717) 787-9501

mtoepel@pahousegop.com

Toohil

(717) 260-6136

ttoohil@pahousegop.com

Caltagirone – Chairman
(717) 787-3525

RepCaltagirone@pahouse.net

Kula – Secretary

(717) 772-1858

dkula@pahouse.net

White, J – Subcommittee on Family Law

(717) 783-6437

RepWhite@pahouse.net

Bradford – Subcommittee on Crime & Corrections

(717) 772-2572

mbradford@pahouse.net

Brennan

(717) 772-9902

jbrennan@pahouse.net

Costa, D

(717) 783-9114

dcosta@pahouse.net

DePasquale

(717) 787-7514

edepasqu@pahouse.net

Neuman

(717) 783-4834

RepNeuman@pahouse.net

Sabatina

(717) 772-4032

jsabatin@pahouse.net

Waters

(717) 772-9850

rwaters@pahouse.net

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75 Responses to “Time Sensitive: Contact Legislators Before Tomorrow Morning’s Meeting”

  1. Susan, should we just e-mail them all? Or are there ones we should focus on depending on where we live?

    • If one is your state rep then your email will carry more weight. But email them all. As members of the Judiciary Committee they have a broader responsibility to the state. Thank you so much.

      • Susan…thanks..Joan

      • Susan, your e mail list was vastly better than mine…didn’t have to go through that log in stuff…it took me eleven minutes to paste a prewritten message into the e mail addresses noted above…on the subject line I just put HB 832 and HB 878…,.

      • Joan that list was passed to me via Kathy through victim advocate Tammy Lerner. Thanks goes to them. I appreciate your efforts, too. I couldn’t do this site with everyone. I’ll post that to Resources when I return.

    • I am also including in my two sentence email that I am Catholic and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference does not speak for me..or my vote …when it comes to protecting children.

  2. Susan, Kathy and everyone at C4C I am so glad this got posted and please bombard them tomorrow with emails and phone calls………… kids are depending on us………..

  3. The representatives on the Judiciary Committee list plus a couple of local ones have been sent my email about moving the bills forward to a vote. If everyone else on C4C does the same, the reps’ email boxes and phones should be getting a real workout. The momentum is moving toward helping the victims. Thanks, Susan, for this important post.

  4. YES.. email them all….bombard them… We have been through this before…Your voice counts..tks Judy

  5. Here is a copy of what I’m sending to the Reps.

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    I am writing to encourage you to vote to move HB 878 and HB 832 forward for consideration by the legislature as a whole in the interest of better protecting Pennsylvania’s children from sexual abuse. I am a survivor of clergy abuse and recently had the opportunity to testify in the ongoing trial in Philadelphia. The ability to tell my story in court has had a profound effect on my healing and I think that this opportunity is the least we can offer to victims in a civilized society. Unfortunately when I was able to come forward about my abuse in 1992 I was outside of the existing statute of limitations and had no recourse. My abuser went on to rape a 10 year old boy in 1998, a crime for which he is now incarcerated and the management of his parish assignment after my coming forward is a focus in the current trial. It can easily take decades for an abuse victim to find the strength to come forward particularly in cases involving clergy and trusted family members. Unfortunately child predators’ careers are often measured in decades as well. Further extending the statute of limitation will serve to protect children and will provide victims the opportunity to seek justice and closure within the legal system. There has been much concern about the financial implications of adjustment to the statute. It must be kept in mind that the burden of proof in these cases falls to the accuser and not the accused. There has also been discussion that these efforts are harmful to the Catholic Church. Reflecting on this as a married father of five who despite my abuse remains a catholic Christian, I think that the values of protecting the innocent and helping those who hunger and thirst for justice are very Christian. Thank you for your careful consideration of this matter.

    Sincerely,
    Robert J. Fisher MD

    • Excellent letter Bob.

      • Bob, I would very much like to see your letter as an Op Ed piece in PA media and elsewhere!

        Also think Kathy’s point about the PA Catholic Conference NOT representing her catholic view of the bills is right on target and long overdue!

      • Yes Bob well done.

    • Bob I sent a two sentence email and my thoughts also included the term a “civilized society”. That is basically what it comes down to..protecting children in a civilized society. When I talk with the people who oppose the window legislation, which would identify previously non prosecuted child predators, I am sometimes met with those who disagree with SOL reform. I always ask them what their plan is..how are they planning to keep children safe from non prosecuted unidentified child predators? If there is another plan other than SOL reform and window legislation, I am all ears, but no one has ever offered an alternative and we are supposed to just accept that our children live in a society that allows child predators access to them because of outdated SOL’s.

    • The notion of putting a thumbs down on some of these posts…I think we are being invaded by gremlins.

      • Joan I don’t mind the thumbs down so much……. it means “they” want to know what people are thinking which is a good thing although they might not agree. I always hope if they stick around long enough they might change their minds and hearts. Sometimes regulars give each other thumbs down but this many means a different silent audience might be reading.

  6. Thanks, sent them out God Speed.

  7. Thanks, sent my emails and links to this page to others. God Speed

  8. sent the emails out and made the calls………………

  9. My letter:

    Dear Pennsylvania,

    Which legislators protect child sexual predators?

    Peace out!
    Rich Green
    (CSA Victim, Child Advocate, and Loud Mouth)

  10. Great news I just heard from Rep. office both the bills pushed forward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. http://www.pahousegop.com/NewsItem.aspx?NewsID=14654
    It will be interesting to see what the amendments are to the Bills.

  12. Marsico Passes Child Protection Legislation through House Judiciary Committee

    6/20/2012

    HARRISBURG –Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) issued the following statement in regard to the passage of legislation dealing with Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations through the House Judiciary Committee today:

    “Representative Bishop, Representative McGeehan and I have been discussing House Bills 878 and 832 for months. Together we met with several district attorneys and representatives of the state district attorneys association and discussed criminal investigations and prosecution of child sexual abuse, as well as victims’ civil remedies and the impact their bills might have on preventing abuse and bringing offenders to justice. I believe the meeting gave everyone an opportunity to better understand the issues. Any differences are surmountable because all of us are committed to protecting children from abuse.

    “Last December, following the horrific allegations made public in connection with the prosecution of Jerry Sandusky, I initiated legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and worked closely with the Senate and the governor to create a Task Force on Child Protection. The point of the task force was to avoid tackling the many issues related to child sex abuse in piecemeal fashion, and instead, to look in-depth, across the whole scope of the issues to reach a complete package of concrete suggestions for improvement. Since December, 10 members have been appointed and the governor has named Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler to serve as its chair. Each of the members of the task force is an expert in his or her particular field, and the group represents a wide range of backgrounds and experiences in child abuse issues. Each will contribute to the effort and provide insight to meet the task force’s mission to identify gaps and recommend specific statutory and administrative changes. The task force has been diligently working on its mission.

    “I would have preferred to let the task force do its job, by awaiting their full report in order to comprehensively address all of the many issues confronting those who are victims of childhood sexual abuse. However, a number of legislators have been insisting on our committee to act now – before the task force has completed its job. I was willing to accommodate that request, but insisted that we only move forward with a few discrete reasonable points, and await the task force’s upcoming expert suggestions on any other legislative action to take.

    “No single piece of legislation will solve the problem of child sexual abuse. The events in State College are not unique, but demonstrate there is a need for a comprehensive study of our laws, policies and practices to determine what is lacking and what steps can be taken to better address these terrible crimes. With that said, this is an issue that I do not take lightly and feel as though, through my House Bill 2488, as well as the amended House Bills 878 and 832, we came up with a constitutional solution that will put the monsters that prey on our children behind bars. All of us are in agreement that our objective is to do whatever we can to protect children from child sex abuse and to prevent that harm from being visited on any more children.”

    State Representative Ron Marsico
    105th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
    Contact: Autumn Southard
    asouthar@pahousegop.com
    717.652.3721

  13. We can’t wait anymore, Ron Marsico. We have to act now. Children’s lives depend on it!

      • Bob I have posted Chris Gavagan’s brilliant shark analogy before..fits well with your post

        “Those who have suffered sexual abuse as children have become tragic experts in a field that the rest of the world wants to pretend does not exist. Yet survivors can be society’s lifeguards. While millions of children splash about in the surf right now, there are sharks circling. Survivors bear the scars of these sharks. We are the ones who can say “There. There is the predator that attacked me.”

        Give the people who know, the chance to say what they know.

        The statute of limitations have taken the whistles from the lifeguards. Victims are forced to watch; helpless, mute—as predators sink their teeth into the next victim, and the next victim. While we scream on the sand, child after child is snatched from the sunlight and dragged to the darkness below. Not every child will survive to see the surface again. None will emerge from this fully intact. “

      • Bob and Kathy,
        You are both so right……I witnessed this myself and it is scary but true. Known predators are walking around among us. I once naively thought all the “bad guys” were locked up in jail far far away…………

    • I agree, but unfortunately there are rules that must be followed before voting and the whole process can get bogged down. Keep fighting on. Cathy

  14. Please read and repost!

    Marsico Passes Child Protection Legislation through House Judiciary Committee
    6/20/2012
    HARRISBURG –Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) issued the following statement in regard to the passage of legislation dealing with Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations through the House Judiciary Committee today:

    “Representative Bishop, Representative McGeehan and I have been discussing House Bills 878 and 832 for months. Together we met with several district attorneys and representatives of the state district attorneys association and discussed criminal investigations and prosecution of child sexual abuse, as well as victims’ civil remedies and the impact their bills might have on preventing abuse and bringing offenders to justice. I believe the meeting gave everyone an opportunity to better understand the issues. Any differences are surmountable because all of us are committed to protecting children from abuse.

    “Last December, following the horrific allegations made public in connection with the prosecution of Jerry Sandusky, I initiated legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and worked closely with the Senate and the governor to create a Task Force on Child Protection. The point of the task force was to avoid tackling the many issues related to child sex abuse in piecemeal fashion, and instead, to look in-depth, across the whole scope of the issues to reach a complete package of concrete suggestions for improvement. Since December, 10 members have been appointed and the governor has named Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler to serve as its chair. Each of the members of the task force is an expert in his or her particular field, and the group represents a wide range of backgrounds and experiences in child abuse issues. Each will contribute to the effort and provide insight to meet the task force’s mission to identify gaps and recommend specific statutory and administrative changes. The task force has been diligently working on its mission.

    “I would have preferred to let the task force do its job, by awaiting their full report in order to comprehensively address all of the many issues confronting those who are victims of childhood sexual abuse. However, a number of legislators have been insisting on our committee to act now – before the task force has completed its job. I was willing to accommodate that request, but insisted that we only move forward with a few discrete reasonable points, and await the task force’s upcoming expert suggestions on any other legislative action to take.

    “No single piece of legislation will solve the problem of child sexual abuse. The events in State College are not unique, but demonstrate there is a need for a comprehensive study of our laws, policies and practices to determine what is lacking and what steps can be taken to better address these terrible crimes. With that said, this is an issue that I do not take lightly and feel as though, through my House Bill 2488, as well as the amended House Bills 878 and 832, we came up with a constitutional solution that will put the monsters that prey on our children behind bars. All of us are in agreement that our objective is to do whatever we can to protect children from child sex abuse and to prevent that harm from being visited on any more children.

  15. I’ve already contacted my legislators IN FAVOR of the Archdiocese.. your attempt to disceive me has failed… even though others have been led astray…..

  16. I just read at http://blogs.mcall.com/bill_white/2012/06/critical-child-sex-abuse-legislation.html that House Bill 878 had been amended before being moved along to the Rules committee, and the section about a two year window was eliminated. The blog mentioned that the window could be put back when the bill is reviewed in the fall. I have mixed emotions . . . joy that some action has occured, and fear that the window legislation may never happen. But this is a start. I am forever grateful to Rep. Bishop and Rep. Mc Geehan for their tireless advocacy.

  17. Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply June 21, 2012 at 12:48 am

    I think that the only way the bill could be moved forward was to remove the two year window. I’m not happy about that at all, nor am I willing to accept it for the sake of the bill moving forward. The removal of the two year window says to me that the Catholic Church was integral to its removal. The Church is THE most concerned party regarding the two year window. I perceive its removal as a Church “win.” I’m infuriated! The Church continues to grossly influence law makers.

    • Kate, in my ‘salad days’ I lobbied in the CA legislature. I would my heart, soul and much younger organizing skills into some issue, and we would lose it on the first round…(or the compromise would be unsatisfactory), and I would be very distressed, but the second time around, same issue, but different ‘variables’ we would get part if not all of our agenda.

      It was a painful lesson, but I am having a bit of a déjà vu moment, on 878.

      Any number of things could and perhaps will occur, relative to the SOLs window…a compromise might occur with a shorter window…some local or national event may change the playing field….

      We really don’t know at this moment anything but that the bills did get out of committee in a way we don’t like….

      I have always said this is a marathon, not a sprint….

      • Joan,
        You are right……….I have learned you never ever give up………my dad taught me that he had cancer for 10 yrs…….one time I remember him saying what am I suppose to do just “lay down and die?” That was a powerful moment despite all his pain he chose to live….and all his extra years he lived as a gift……..he even lobbied in Harrisburg for cancer groups……perseverance is key

      • Beth….bless your father’s heart for lobbying for cancer groups, and thanks, as always, for you comments. Joan

      • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply June 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm

        I understand your point entirely, Kathy. My point is that the Catholic Church has, from the start, and continues to, aggressively obstructed SOL reform and justice for victims/survivors. It is entirely the wrong moral position to hold. The position is totally centered on the protection of church assets and the protection of offending clerics. If Catholics don’t “get” what a huge moral failure that is, then… That “variables” down the road may “correct” the moral failure is good and important in terms of our private lives and lives as citizens, but the fact that the hierarchy failed to pursue the correct moral path from the start, and the fact that society had to “correct” it, is something no Catholic should ever, ever forget or recover from.

  18. Joan, that is encouraging information. The trend is shifting toward justice for survivors, so as long as there is energy, I have reason to hope.

  19. Why would Beth’s commenting on her father lobbying in Harrisburg for cancer groups get 14 thumbs down? Because the people clicking on the thums down are not reading the comments.

  20. Trolls. Ignore them.

    • survivors wife, you are too kind. I get that some people give the Catholic related abuse thumbs down because they still have not informed themselves ,but when people give thumbs down to comments about protecting children in general, I don’t think troll, I think pedophile. And giving Beth’s comment about her dying father lobbying for cancer patients thumbs down..just shows how the internet is an outlet for angry,disturbed people. I just shake my head that people think whether they visit a site to comment or thumbs down that they actually think they are anonymous.

  21. Kathy,
    It’s all relative. Perhaps when I consider what my husband has survived at the hands of the clergy and what I have survived…a thumbs up or down is not a big deal to me.

    There will always be people who are out to hurt others. I don’t attach any meaning to the thumbs down.

    On a sidenote though…I am not anonymous to you or Susan. But, if there ever was a reason not to share identifying information, this is it. The internet offers the best and the worst of humanity.

    I know too much about the underbelly of the Catholic Church to place my children at risk…inside their walls or through the internet.

    • I just meant that for people to think they are really anonymous on the internet is misleading..not that people can’t post things under a screen name or anything like that. Even when someone posts on an online newspaper using a screen name, the newspaper has their email and IP on the back end..same with a blog…nothing is truly anonymous.

    • Hey SW, I’m been meaning to ask about something you mentioned in a post a while ago. (at least I think it was you who mentioned it -?)

      Do P&P priests sometimes reside NOT at designated, AD-run P&P facilities, but rather at Catholic retreat centers – supposedly under the watch of the administrator of the center?
      I’m thinking specifically of Malvern Retreat House in Malvern, PA…which is now open to families and people of all ages and both sexes…Its web site advertises Kairos retreats for HS aged kids….Kairos is the senior two-night retreat for LaSalle High, St.Joe’s Prep and many other Cath. schools.
      I’m wonder whether there are any P&P’ers currently living at this Retreat Facility –or any other one where unsuspecting teenagers are showering and sleeping. etc…

      • Crystal, you should call the AD and ask them that question.

      • Crystal,
        Your question was, “Do P&P priests sometimes reside NOT at designated, AD-run P&P facilities, but rather at Catholic retreat centers – supposedly under the watch of the administrator of the center?”

        Yes, they do reside in other locations. There has to be some agreement for the site to take in an accused priest. More often than not, it was all done in a hush-hush way.

        This “prayer and penance” wording is deceiving. It makes it sound like all the accused pedophiles are housed together like they are in jail. They are not. They are sprinkled in various locations. The supervision is not preventative, but rather observation and documentation. It would be like trying to prevent an alcoholic’s behavior. By observing and documenting, can you prevent the person from drinking? Imagine the log book, “John Doe walked into the bar. He walked out of the bar 3 hours later. He stumbled 4 times on clear pavement. I don’t know if he was drinking.” And who do you report that to? A bishop that will tell them it’s not a good idea to go into the bar? Then the next intervention would be, “Don’t let the alcoholic go into the bar.” Do you think the alcoholic will stop drinking because they didn’t go into a bar? No. Their system is failing everyone. It’s all so illogical to me.

        The following is the link to a calendar of events at the retreat center where they “monitor” the priest who abused my husband. The retreat center is not “known” for prayer and penance” priests. It’s a retreat center. Anything on that calendar make your skin crawl? How about the preschool play and pray? Or the youth meetings?

        http://www.calendarwiz.com/calendars/calendar.php?crd=olhscevents&op=cal&month=4&year=2012

        I promise you…the laity will never know where they hide these accused men.

        One word: RECKLESS.

      • Kathy,
        I would suggest the same thing…except I wouldn’t trust their answer.

        They will say they are open and honest about where these men are…but they aren’t.

        My suggestion would be to ask victims where their perps are now. Go to bishopaccountability and find out for yourself.

        TRUST the people who tell the truth.

        I believe the victims.

      • survivors wife, I understand,,it is just the more people that ask the questions,the more they know people are watching.

  22. This website has made a few people very angry, and the thumbs down is just one indication of their discomfort. The site has rocked their world, as well as the world of the AD, and I’m glad that I played some role in pi$$ing them off!

    I would be disturbed if they were indifferent to the revelations this site has brought to light. Now the general public is aware of just how sleazy the AD behaves.

    The story below: “Deadlocked or not, the priest sex-abuse jury did its job” supports what Jerry Slevin has pointed out (regardless of the outcome, the trail has served the people), as well as the fact that now everyone is aware of what has been going on within that AD for many years.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/ronnie_polaneczky/20120621_Deadlocked_or_not__the_priest_sex_abuse_jury_did_its_job.html

    • Drwho, So well put, in that article!! (geez.. Fr Brennan appears quite unstable in that photo..somebody please put him back in his straight jacket.)

    • DrWho13,
      I was thinking the same thing. Things are changing……….they don’t like that………..

  23. God bless this Mom whoever she is..

    http://www.philly.com/philly/video/BC1699405591001.html

    My point about commenting anonymously is that some people have shared personal info and they should remain private. But for the rest of us ,just the average catholic who is trying to protect children…. anyone can say anything anonymously. I think it was the survivor named Michael who shared that if people think they are changing a situation by venting,putting their opinion on a blog..it really is not changing anything, More people need to be like Maria Cepatola and the woman in this video. We can all throw stones at the McCreary’s and the Lynn’s of the world…but in the meantime what limb have you gone out on to protect kids?

  24. Kathy…….you are absolutely correct. A more aggressive, unpredictable and unconventional advocacy will be needed more and more as these efforts carry on year after year. The kind of peaceful protest and advocacy, within the limits of the law, that will make it necessary for those in positions of power and authority to address the actions, conduct and efforts that will be in the public eye.

    Advocacy is not always about being successful, as I’m sure we all know and understand. Advocacy, however, always is persistent, relentless and, of course, unpredictable (my favorite).

    • Michael..I am on the phone or emailing the AD all the time. Anyone from AB Chaput to one of the offices. Frankly I think they are amazed more parents are not speaking up and asking questions. Talk about making a job easy for them. A priest told me that he is amazed at the parents in the AD, just filing into Church , mute, not speaking or asking questions in the midst of all this horror being revealed. His comment helped me put something into perspective..most of us on here have shared opinions about the priests not taking a stand,going public,speaking out for victims and protection of children…well let’s look in the mirror…we are the parents …my God the silence from the parents is more embarrassing than the silence from the priests. The whole reason I became involved in this was for my children..it didn’t start out for the victims. I just pictured my kids as adults looking back at this time and asking me “what did you do when all these abusive priests had access to kids and were suspended, what did you do when the priest were on trial and all the crimes in the AD were exposed/” What would I tell them?
      I will never let the priests off the hook for not speaking up but turn the situation around, if I was a priest I would think the parents in the AD were nothing more than the same submissive,scared people they are…but it is worse because we actually gave birth and raised these kids,it should be in our DNA.

      • Kathy about the incredible silence of the AD parents……I’ll bet many parents still don’t know the true story behind the abuse crisis… One thing’s for sure….For a parent, there’s no such thing as reading those GJ reports, and remaining unconcerned about clergy sex abuse. But here’s another reason I hear from family and friends who are AD school parents..
        So many area catholic parents are scared off by the negative reputation of the Philly Public Schools. They choose the AD schools for their kids primarily to avoid the only other option—(this is also true of many of the suburban public school districts.)
        Many AD parents are angry and disgusted about clergy abuse and the AD’s handling of it… but… Parochial school communities can be as repressive as they are welcoming. There is a fine line to be walked in times of trouble. Parents understand that they cannot loudly and openly protest the AD’s dealings on sex abuse of minors, and still be accepted by the centralized “powers that be” in a school or parish community– or worse, the child could pay a price for his or her parents’ efforts.
        So even enlightened parents give the the AD a huge pass for the sex abuse crisis and say or do little… It’s a sad trade-off necessary to keep their kids in parochial school….and the folks at the AD understand this and capitalize on it.
        I resent the AD for keeping people in a position where they are choosing between attending a school and standing up against a grave injustice.

      • Crystal…that is one of the most horrifying sets of comments that I have seen on C4C ….’be quiet about abuse and our role in it and we’ll keep your kid in our school…..’

        Talk about blackmail.

        Very very sad and very very ugly.

      • Joan, it’s a subtle mentality which I’m sure, varies from parish to parish but it’s the same old reason the clergy abuse was so pervasive in Phila., where the expansion of Catholic education was so rapid and successful in the past century—It’s got its roots in clericalism…”The AD runs the entire show and parents have very limited power and few rights… … In order to succeed and fit in, don’t make waves about certain “insurmountable” problems you may see…”

      • Crystal…how does this work with the enlightened but very quiet parents and their kids, who probably know what’s going on?

        Seems like there would be a ‘disconnect’ for the kids.

        A grandchild of mine in a very progressive private school that encouraged questioning and challenging authority proceeded to get up a petition campaign, signed by lots of students and some teachers and managed to reverse out a major decision made by the Head of School.

      • Crystal having lived in the AD for 44 years I understand exactly what you are talking about ,but..and there is a but… Power works two ways..someone doesn’t have power unless we give it to them and we have for a very long time in the Philly AD. It is interesting though because look what happened when the teachers went on strike this past September and then the announcements from the BRC in January. People went crazy..absolutely crazy. I don’t know if you had the chance to read the comments left on Chaput and the Archdiocese FB pages..comments with people’s full names and facebook profiles with their comments. People were leaving comments like “you suck “go back to Denver” and they were some of the more mild comments…it was shocking to read. So people do find their voice even in this very clerical Archdiocese..when it affects them/their children.
        As for the parish life..yes I get that too and there has to come a point when people simply don’t care what people think of them, I used to, I could care less now. I just went to an event at my parish concerning the “crisis” in the AD..I handed out a flyer of comments from the victims on C4C…..I simply don’t care what people thought of me,of the flyer…who cares.
        So I absolutely understand the mentality and atmosphere you describe in the AD and there has to come a point where people break free,break through that…took me two years..so I do get it..it is retraining a way of thinking and finding self respect.

      • joan, I don’t have any answers, just hunches…. The AD cath school parents i talk with ALL know what’s going on…. They’re smart. They get it… and yet I can’t interest any of them in this site, the contents of which pertain directly to them and their kids… but I keep trying.

        The thing is that they REALLY want or need these AD catholic school for their kids….There is an enormous draw to these schools here. A huge percentage of Phila area Catholics use AD-run schools, and this system has succeeded SO well for a century…except for its terrible history of child abuse.(sarcasm) Philadelphia catholics are just programmed this way (I guess due to demographics and unfortunate racial divides and other social and economic issues of the area and its history)
        Many of these schools are very good and cost only a 1/4 to 1/2 of what a private school costs…..but there is a code of behavior in the parish and school communities, both for students and parents…a need to get along and fit in and to be nice…. an expectation of this.. ….and imo, this is what stifles dissent and constructive criticism…and fosters “the silence”. (btw- these are not characteristics of the parents at my child’s extremely diverse public school–but that’s OK with me! )
        What catholic parent wants to risk alienation for themselves and his or her child at a beloved school, by raising a stink about clergy abuse and AD child endangerment etc., when nobody with any power is listening anyway –particularly when they’re contented with the education and the social scene at the school? What struggling parent has the luxury of time or energy these days?..or the courage?
        The pastor of each parish is in charge of the parish school…So what can parents effectively say or do in protest of the AD, when the director of their kids’ school is an AD priest?!–and he is only accountable to his bishop. (and this disconnect is how notorious pedophile priest Fr Scioli ‘s photo ends up in a school’s memorial album…..at least until, a parent decided to get the last word in on the subject to The Daily News.)

        A couple of our friends feel that the new regulations have taken care of the pedophile problem completely…so they give it no attention… After all, none of their kids were harmed. (sarcasm)
        In the 1960’s, there were 8000 kids enrolled in my Phila. AD High School (also Michael Ski’s)…..but things changed in Philly, demographics changed, some good things and some bad things happened and it is now closed ..
        I could be wrong…but I think times are changing fast now and the power structures and running of these schools had better change to survive… and if they don’t survive… that’ll have to be OK too.

      • kathy, i hear you and totally agree. I thank you for all your efforts. You will not working so hard forever….A tipping point is coming… I believe in the next generation…We criticize them for being an “entitled bunch”… but I think this will serve them well …They play by a different set of rules….tolerate less…demand better …expect the best…. They will break free of the constraints of the RCC and AD clericalism and find their way through all of this…I just hope we live to see it all renewed.

      • Crystal ,I agree the change will come with the next generation. And here is some progress,I logged on to facebook tonight and there was chatter amongst friends about the Grand jury reports…and I was not involved or leading the conversation 🙂

      • OH Kathy and Crystal..I wish I could pick you up and move you, to CA.

        It’s such a different scene. Parochial schools are OK, but no big deal…yes they are cheaper but our public school system is good, mostly…tougher in the low income areas, but Charter schools are helping to sort this out. The state has taken over some areas and mandated Charter schools.

        The private schools are excellent, more expensive but that varies…some are reasonably priced.

        No one I know ever worried about some mindless fidelity to the Chancery office, relative to their kid’s education, probably why I was so horrified at Crystal’s description.

        We don’t have your ‘ancient history’ either politically or practically.
        We are a ‘Blue State’ politically, had a one year SOL window that was effective in terms of getting the attention of the hierarchy….abuse wise…and our laws are much better abuse-wise…not perfect, but better.

        I have been on C4C for about ten months and found myself trying to assimilate what I heard from you ‘east coast guys’….and every now and then I would try to say that it (whatever it was) did seem to be a ‘regional’ issue.

        And boy, your comments, today, sure fit the bill.

        I am so sorry that your school choices are not broader. And I wish your public school system was vastly better, for you and for all PA folks.

        Were this the case, your parents would have so many more choices and the hierarchy would have so much less power, to impose its agenda. the subtleties of ‘going along to get along’ would not be operative.

        And I live in Oregon, too…and it’s the same. Blue state, folks have a lot more control of their lives, decision-making etc.

        I wish I had some easy answers…I hope with all my heart that Kathy is right and the times ‘are a changing’….

        I think if I could afford it I would have my kids in a private school…where everyone was respected…perhaps some of your public schools are doable as well. I really don’t like your descriptions of the parochial school phenomena in PA…because for the reasons you have stated it appears to extend a very dependent, relatively non adult ‘obedience’ to a very flawed system.

        Maybe parents can counteract it at home?

        Finally, I didn’t mention the issue that my grand daughter was ‘correcting’….her school was running the entire Obama inauguration, but was omitting the religious opening. My grand daughter (7th grade) decided she wanted to hear it and she would draw her own conclusions. She did.

      • There are some really good public school districts but many who have been educated in the Catholic school system look down on public schools.My friend who lives in a great school district had to deal with the negative comments when she pulled her child from Catholic school to register at public school..from the other parents and even the teachers. But also like Crystal described, for others the only alternative to a failing public school system where they live.

  25. Chat about Scumdusky trial and protecting children with hundreds of other people on facebook.com/InSession

  26. Kathy: “……about the priests not taking a stand,going public,speaking out for victims and protection of children…well let’s look in the mirror…we are the parents …my God the silence from the parents is more embarrassing than the silence from the priests…..”

    You certainly are right about the silence on both sides of the fence here……..in the numbers and volume of protest, there is but a whisper from the parishioners (namely, the parents). It is indeed sad that any leaders, regardless of the organization, public, private, secular or religious, should be allowed to be unaccountable for such horrific conduct and decision-making (and that includes, omission or commission).

    Our top leadership is a cold and callous group who use their power, influence and money to further enhance, solidify and enrich themselves and their power, influence and money. The Pope last week referred to clergy abuse as a “mystery” and yes, I am singling out just that word from the rest of his comments. No mystery in the evil, criminal, Satan-inspired conduct of child sexual abuse and the concomitant “turning away” from the suffering and devastation of the children by our religious leaders.

    The “mystery” lies in the fact that Catholic parents and parishioners in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have not acted out, acted up, spoken up or spoken out at each and every parish and archdiocesan function they attend, whether individually or collectively. In the years that followed the first GJR when Timothy Coyne, archdiocesan in-house counsel, and I were at each other on a regular basis re the leadership’s role in protecting our children, I knew that there was always more to be done, in a different way, in a way that would unsettle their secure existence and establishment down at 222 N. 17th St.

    There is/was no doubt in my mind that things would have been different (exciting, problematic, disturbing) if I ever would have been able to take the message to the leadership, both lay and clergy, in a more direct and personal way……………on many occasion, I researched and explored the possibility of residential protest and picketing rather than at archdiocesan headquarters downtown. As always, I viewed these decisions to look away, to allow child abuse, to protect the abusing priests, etc as INDIVIDUAL decisions made by INDIVIDUALS who should be held personally accountable. If a person is comfortable with his/her decisions made in private, then he/she should be comfortable with those decisions (and the consequences of these decisions) made public.

    • Michael..the passive response from the parents in the AD is shocking. Mess with our sports teams and we will take you down..abuse our kids…eh..we’ll get back to you on that. As one person said to me when the abuse of children became public she stood up and said “let’s go’, when she turned around there was no one behind her.
      Rigali went public and said there were no priests in ministry with credible allegations and a few weeks later 27 priests identified who could have been a risk to children…silence from the parents…silence.

      • Rigali used very crafted language about those priests…a canonical issue where if the accused priest denied it….he was not guilty.

        Your average parent probably doesn’t have a clue about canonical gamesmanship, the gross limitations of the Dallas Charter, and probably buys what the hierarchy says, as truth.

        There’s an old political adage about ‘we get the government we deserve’ Which could certainly could be applied to the Church.

  27. Were these programs closed to balance the budget or to prevent future law-suits against the way they were run? Why were the people let-go so quickly, something akin to the sudden change of accountants prior to the recent Philadelphia trials? I do think that Roman Catholics would make ‘fine detectives’ with all the intrigue that they have been exposed to.

  28. Abuse Tracker just posted the whole nine yards on Philly abuse, Grand Jury reports, civil suits, trials, media coverage et al…and I did not realize that the diocese apparently had 6 civil suits in 2011…..or that the 2005 Grand Jury report which identified 63 priests, actually noted vastly more…169…. I think….there is a huge amount of data on this link

    http://bishopaccountability.org/Philadelphia_Trial_Timeline.htm#narrative

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