Guilty Verdict Is a Victory for Children and Catholics

by Susan Matthews

For the first time ever, a jury has found a Catholic Church official guilty of child endangerment. It certainly wasn’t the first time one was guilty, but it’s an important step toward making it the last time. This verdict will do more to protect children than any Bishops’ charter or archdiocesan initiative. Why? Because now there is real accountability.

Msgr. Lynn faces jail but that is nothing compared to the life sentence the victims of his crime face. Despite that, this verdict is a victory.

As Kathy Kane wrote in our comments: “Prior to the 2011GJ report there were 27 priests with abuse allegations/boundary issues in the Archdiocese. They were in our parishes, schools, CYO and Prep programs. Every single victim who has ever came forward, even if not involved in the trial, has kept our children protected, kept them safer than they ever would have been had the truth not been revealed. There is no amount of justice that could ever be served to the victims in the Philly AD for the years of horror that occurred, but your efforts have kept this generation of children safer from child predators. Each night when every victim closes their eyes, they can say that they protected children. Others have done just the opposite and some day will answer to a higher authority than any judge or jury. This trial produced a mixed bag of verdicts… a plea deal, an acquittal, hung jury and conviction. My verdict on what the victims have accomplished…Heroic.”

I couldn’t agree more. Children are safer.

Much like the Sandusky trial, this case brought national attention to child sex abuse. It’s time to turn that attention to action. I call upon my fellow 1 million plus Catholics to put children first. How? It’s time to get our state laws changed. The statute of limitations on child sex abuse must be lifted in PA. The arguments against it are self-serving to Church leadership and oppose all that we were taught as Catholics.

100 thoughts on “Guilty Verdict Is a Victory for Children and Catholics

  1. Clergy sex abuse victims finally have received a bit of justice. This is the first time ever that a catholic church official has been found guilty of child endangerment.

    It is imperative that Lynn serve his sentence in jail behind bars. Yes, he is a flight risk. In one diocese alone, Sacramento, 5 perpetrators have fled overseas., so the threat of Lynn to flee is real.
    Plus, there needs to be a strong message sent to all church officials around the world that they can no longer get away with covering up sex crimes against innocent kids.

    It is time to start protecting children instead of protecting predator clerics. Keep in mind that the Philly Archdiocese is not unique in how they handle child sex crimes, all other dioceses have secret archives and many bishops are still not removing accused predators from their parishes.

    Also, because the jury was hung on the Fr James Brennan case, it does not mean that he is innocent, so if anyone has knowledge or has been harmed by Brennan we urge you to contact police.
    Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests” and all clergy.

    1. This should also make it easier to indict and convict Bishop Cistone and Bishop Cullen, who both knew about the list of 35 known pedophile priests in 1994, and just like Lynn and the other Cowardly Catholic Conspirators In Charge, hid that information until it was discovered last year, and were instrumental in allowing those pedophile priests to roam free for 17 years.

      Presumably, the $11 million to defend Cistone will come from Michigan, and the $11 million to defend Cullen will come from Allentown, where they’re closing all the factories down….

      Hopefully, this is the beginning of prosecuting all of them under the same RICO act that they use for the mafia and other organized crime syndicates.

      The Pope may have to come here before 2015 to face charges.

      Other gangsters are allowed to wear do-rags in prison. I don’t know if bishops and popes are allowed to wear their hats.

      1. Patrick,

        By 2015 we should be able to find some reason to arrest the pope IF he sets foot in this country.

        Does he plan on visiting Lynn in prison? I don’t know why else he’d bother coming. His reception is going to be a bit cool. Someone please tell him that we’re on to the RCC’s worldwide crime spree (maybe he’s not aware of it?).

        Many of us believe that he’s no longer welcome. Maybe we could start working on breaking diplomatic relations. B16 is currently invoking sovereign nation status in an attempt to prevent Italian authorities from using his seized banking records from ever being used as evidence.

        It’s long past time for the Holy See’s status as a sovereign nation to be revoked; yea I know (very unlikely), but I can still dream.

      2. I love what you say about the Pope may have to come here BEFORE 2015 to face charge. Maybe by that time, lots more will have happened and his reception will be exactly what he deserves.

      1. I totally agree, the Pope must be charged and the sooner the better. He is the leader of the organized crime ring known as the Roman Catholic Church. Pa has lead the way, now it has to get to all the other states and on to the International Court at the Hague.

    1. After I got my wits together I googled the trial and saw the early reports. I wasn’t watching TV so didn’t know about it.

      1. WHen I think of today’s verdict…..child endangerment conviction of an ‘episcopal manager…ie ‘stand in for the bishop’ I reflect AGAIN on the comments made at the very recent National Bishops Conference…

        ……“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.”

        AND it occurs to me that the bishops may not ‘look back at allegations of abuse in the past and holding church authorities responsible for ignoring the reports or transferring accused priests to other parishes…” BUT law enforcement JUST DID in PHILLY and God willing will do so elsewhere.

        Games over you guys.

      2. Right on Joan..!. “Bishop Daniel Conlon was the Steubenville bishop, my home territory… of course he does not want to look back.. but hopefully the law enforcement will… He is not innocent of moving credibly abusive priests, just recently….. and hopefully Msgr Kemo, who is now the head of Steubenville, because they have no bishop, is very nervous… He flat out lied to me… Many more dioceses and high ranking church officials need to be investigated and held accountable to the law of the land. Kids are still at risk…

      3. Snapjudy, I have cited that Conlin quote 6 times on C4C ( one is awaiting moderation on a companion thread, for reasons beyond understanding this quote got released, and the other didn’t).

        ANYWAY….when I read that genuinely disgusting and totally tone deaf comment as part of the coverage of the Atlanta Mtg…the thought that while we were awaiting the Lynn verdict that the Joliet bishop would PUBLICALLY state that the’bishops had no intention of ‘looking backward’ at allegations of abuse or predator passing on..frankly, blew my mind.

        I really couldn’t believe that they would say that in public RIGHT NOW!

        But bless their hearts they did.

        YOUR discussion of Conlin is fascinating…perhaps more shoes to drop…just about now ….nothing would surprise me.

      4. Joan,

        No criminal or criminal organization wants to look back on their crimes and do anything about them.

        The people who would look back on their crimes and do the right thing too save children that were harmed would be those who follow a higher calling, like the calling of God and Jesus. None of those people are Catholic priests.


      5. Regarding bishop Conlin’s statement, I cannot understand why he would not wish to “look back” at prior incidents. Child molestation is a crime, but it is also a sin. I cannot find any statement in my Bible where Christ seems to put a statute of limitations on sins. A Christian person or organization is obliged to wake every effort to assist those they have injured, either intentionally or unintentionally when they recognize their responsibility for that injury. The implication of the bishop is that the National Conference of Catholic Bishops is bound by the laws of man, but not the laws of God.

  2. The hard work of Susan and Kathy and many other C4C bloggers has paid off. Philly children are safer now.

    The jury believed the survivors.

    Step one is done. Now the men at the top must face justice. Are you listening, Seth Williams?

    Of course, Chaput will blame it all on the dead Cardinals as he tries on Rigali’s red hat for size. Don’t go rushing out to buy any new hats yet, Archbishop.

    We need to know what has happened to the two dozen other priests suspended now for over 16 months, and what Rigali knew about them and when he knew it.

    Also, who hid the list of 36 predators that showed up suddenly a few months ago?

    It is not over yet.

      1. Jerry,

        In your link you point out that “The trial revealed in detail a cover-up program that appears to be standard operating procedure in the Catholic Church worldwide.”

        Than you ask, “Will the pope now address this disgrace openly, honestly and effectively?”

        I believe that the pope will do nothing of the sort, until he and his cronies stand in front of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

        Legally, is it possible for any high ranking Church official to be mandated to appear in the ICC?

      2. Dr Who 13: Yes, the International Criminal Court (ICC) can assert criminal jurisdiction over the pope regardless of his sovereign immunity.

        The new ICC woman prosecutor is reviewing the evidence now.

        The former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, was just convicted in a similar court for “aiding and abetting” crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone that involved many fewer victims than abused Catholic children worldwide.

        There is hope for justice and Lynn’s verdict helps a lot.

  3. We really need to keep the pressure on Marsico. House Bills 832 & 878 are the ones that need to be discussed and brought to the entire house.

    As far as Marsico’s reference to the Task Force established by the governor, while would he want to wait? If I remember correctly, the Task Force was not charged with reviewing criminal or civil statutes regarding the sexual abuse of children but with reviewing and making recommendations on laws involving Mandated Reporters; who is and who should be included, and the penalty for those who do not report.

    I think the verdict on Lynn sends a powerful message on the cover-ups in that are and have been going on in a majority of religious denominations and public organizations like Penn State. Seth Williams has 120 days to decide whether or not to retry Brennan. Let’s encourage him to do that as we prepare for the next trial. Unfortunately other secretaries of priest personnel along with Cardinals Krol and Bevilaequa cannot be charged. Why Rigali has not been criminally charged escapes me.

    99 percent of those adults sexually abused by anyone will never be able to confront a perp or enabler in a criminal courtroom. Their only access to justice will be in a civil courtroom if a two year civil window is opened.

    This is not a Catholic Issue; this is a Child Abuse Issue and I am ashamed that Archbishop Charles Chaput, the bishops of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference continue to viciously oppose SOL reform including the two year civil window.

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish

  4. My feelings are mixed. I see justice being done and I am grateful for that. Yet, my heart aches for Mark. I witnessed his courageous testimony and I can’t imagine what he is feeling. I hope he knows what a gift he has given to numerous victims who could not tell their story. I hope to join you again, all that I have been blessed to know on this blog, knowing that the fight will continue.

  5. Susan, your words meant so much to me, I wept. Protection of children has always been my primary intent. I believe I was lead to this site, I was given an opportunity to express my heart and pain, for this I as a survivor am most grateful to you and Kathy. I often found peace reading all the positive blogs from people who truly cared about me. I felt for so long a lonliness that was so, so painful.This site took that pain away, thank you so much.
    Concerning the verdict of Lynn, I am a bit disappointed he was convicted of all three, however, it sends a sobering message of the 1 conviction that no longer are Bishops getting a free pass. The blue wall of silence is slowly crumbling. Enabling predator priests to commit heinous CRIMES against children will no longer be tolerated. Remember, these were men of God. Also remember, if it had not been for Boston, it will would be still going on, raping children. I want ot reach out to every survivor/victim who blogged on this site, wrote letters, went to catholic parish meetings to help educate the people in the pews, who handed out leaflets all around philadelphia and Sea Islew City all to let people know that their children were in danger, I extend my hand to every one of you. I am proud to be apart of what was our mission, to safeguard children. I admire your courage, and your strength. We, together saved children and we have every right to be proud this day. I honor you all. In solidarity, Vicky

  6. I meant to say above, disappointed he was NOT convicted of all three, however I agree with Susan, The one conviction sends a powerful message.

    1. You know Vicky, as we are thanking folks today….I want to thank you and all the other survivors on C4C.

      I have learned so much from you guys….

      I knew ten years ago that I really didn’t like abuse and was very unhappy that the bishops were passing on predators under the guise of Zero Tolerance. I did some stuff to help SNAP and other groups but it was not until I READ on C4C what really happened…what ‘abuse’ REALLY meant, what was the long term pain, abuse visited on victims that I finally ‘got it’…..

      PLease know how grateful I am to you, today….and how very very glad I am that Lynn was convicted….and how I hope that victims EVERYWHERE are safer!!!!!!!!

  7. Why would they try Brennen again? They had all of the evidence and he was not found guilty. The only reason – in my thinking – is to make the AD spend more of their money. I happy the Lynn was found guilty on one charge but it’s still a disappointment.

    1. Susan, it was a hung jury for Brennan. He was not found “not guilty.” The jury could not come to a unanimous decision, so in essence it was a mistrial. I do hope there is another trial and that the jury is able to come to a final verdict.

      1. In interest of fairness, I think you are miss reading what Susan wrote. She did not write he was found not guilty, she wrote “he was not found guilty”, which is an accurate statement. Maybe semantics buy what susan wrote was accurate.

  8. As I sat in the courtroom today waiting for the verdict to be read I thought about the many VIctims a of abuse who need to have their day in court. When the jury returned a “guilty” verdict for EWOC against lynn , his family and supporters began to sob, it brought to mind the sobbing and despair the VICTIMS and their FAMILIES do each day searching for some relief and what about the VICTIMS who are no longer here what do you think the families go through each day. I am outraged at marsico attempting to make it appear as though he is a child protector when in fact his language gave him away as he is the protector of pedophile’s and insurance companies. One day lynn may get out however for the VICTIMS who died and their families the ‘sobbing ‘ never stops !

    1. Exactly..maybe they will now know a fraction of how the victims and family members sitting just a few feet across the aisle have felt for years before this trial and will feel for years after this trial. I still cannot get over the arrogance and lack of compassion I witnessed in that is like the victims and their families did not exist. Can you tell us a little more about court/reading of the verdict?

      1. You are truly an advocate for the victims. God Bless you. Now is a very critical time for the victims, and it is important that everyone encourages them to seek counselling so they can start to move past the trauma. For those with PTSD the sooner they get help the better. The longer the PTSD continues the more brain cells are destroyed and there will be permanent damage if they don’t get help. There is help, there is hope, and there is healing, but each victim has to take that first step to ask for help. They deserve as much peace as is possible from this tradgedy. I have been truly inspired by the courage of the victims and compassion of their supporters. Cathy

      2. To me personally it was agonizing waiting to hear the words guilty as was the case for lynn re: EWOC, as far as brennan I don’t think he understands that he can be tried again as I hope the DA SW will do. I firmly believe that lynn would have been found guilty on all counts had the jury known about avery pleading out. Let us not forget that engelhart and sherro are to be tried in September if they don t plead out . With sandusky and lynn both being found guilty the PA Legislature should definitely eliminate the SOL and notwithstanding the remarks marsico made about the WINDOW , the VICTIMS should be given an opportunity to be heard as unknowing to the general public there are ‘perps’ out there who have not been identified and at this very second may be grooming another VICTIM !

    2. I was thinking the same thing where are and where were the tears for the victims? I hope thru their suffering and grief they understand and are more compassionate to our survivors…….I find grief and suffering either makes you more compassionate or makes you bitter and hard hearted…….which will they choose?

      1. I find grief and suffering either makes you more compassionate or makes you bitter and hard hearted…….which will they choose?
        You ask a pertinent question Beth. How about it, victims/survivors?

  9. What a victory in the fight to safeguard children. I admire your courage and tenacity.

  10. unabletotrust…….very powerful and insightful sentiments and thoughts. The sobbing is forever for the victims and their families.

    Marsico taking the credit……he only took these steps because he was being singled out in advertisements and adverse publicity. He’d make a fine leader in our Catholic leadership….taking care of number one and taking credit for all the successes and accomplishments. I suspect there are a great deal of mirrors in the Marsico household.

    The best part of the Marsico hypocrisy is the numerous photos on his website with the Judiciary Chairman posing with various elementary grade classes from schools in the region who come to visit and tour the Capitol. If Marsico sincerely, genuinely, and compassionately cared for these children he poses with, then he would wholeheartedly support the “windows” legislation so that heretofore unknown sexual perpetrators may be identified and known through civil action filed on behalf of the victims and today’s youngest school children may be warned and protected from these violators.

  11. For the past two weeks we have spent days at the courthouse or across the street at the marriott Courtyard supporting the victims of this terrible atrocity. we have met some wonderful persons there: a father whos son committed suicide, a grandmother who came everyday of the trial because her grandson, 16, committed suicide, abused victims who attended the trail each day and now allowed us to wait with them through this process of reaching a verdict. How greatly relieved each person there was as the specific verdict was read, Guilty on charge of endangerment to children.
    For the past 13 weeks of this trial, we were told that Monsignor Lynn has been living in a suite at the Marriot next door with family members. Not sure who paid the tab for that suite,, but I am sure that it was pricey, and maybe that was part of the 11 Million dollars that the Archbishop said has been paid for legal fees.
    But, tonight, Monsignor Lynn no longer wears a collar and black suit. He is in a jail cell and wearing jail attire. Even though one realizes the responsibility he had in recommending the transfer of Father Avery, and how many others on that “list”, there is a part of me that feels sorry for him now in this isolated prison cell. He has taken the brunt of this charge and yet there are others who are just as responsible. Somehow, they need to be brought to justice.
    Tonight, Monsignor Lynn has no real friends to be with him. He has lost the security of a suite in the marriott. He tries to sleep in a place where there is little peace. But maybe now he will be able to truly and honesty reflect on what these 15 weeks of trial have meant to the many victims of abuse. Maybe he can grow from this experience and realize that he had colluded with a system that attempted to discredit victims and hide predators, a system of corruption that used canon law to protect itself rather than really help poor victims.
    Monsignor, you may not sleep well tonight, but we hope that you are able to comprehend what has happened and how you facilitated a real disaster for the faithful Catholic people of Philadelphia during your tenure as “Priest Personnel Director.
    In a way, we can only think how low the mighty have fallen.

    1. Rev. Wintermyer traveled from the DC/MD area to Philly to support and be with the victims because none of the 400 clerics in Philly would be with them. We all owe him a great deal of gratitude. He is the only priest who came to support the survivors and families in 304 who we have come to know and care so much about. The ONLY priest… no other priest would come to them. Thank you, Rev. Wintermyer.

      Considering how I feel about clerics today, you are the miracle I needed.

      1. Kate..I was just about to email you to tell you that Fr Jack showed up for the victims..the clerical failure we witnessed..I will never forget it.

    2. Fr Jack, thank you for being the one priest to stand with the victims and their families. I am sorry our paths did not cross at the trial. I was disgusted, absolutely disgusted by the priests who showed up to support Lynn and chatted and laughed in the courtroom, ignoring the victims and family members.

    3. Thank you Fr Wintermyer for all of your support for the victims and their families. Your last sentence brought to mind the words from the Magnificat:

      “He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.”

      I am praying tonight that the victims and their families feel God lifting them up. I am also praying that these verdicts today in both the clergy abuse case as well as the Sandusky case remove the blinders from those who have remained in denial.

    4. I loved your post Mr. J.S.W.
      I only wish to say that I also pray that no mercy will be shown Lynn in his sentence [no “house arrest etc.”] and that he will seek ‘mercy” from The Lord for his sins, just as any of we believers have done. After all—
      it is a free gift.ROM5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the
      offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by
      grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
      ROM5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the
      judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences
      unto justification.
      ROM5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they
      which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign
      in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

  12. Do we all remember how we felt when we first learned that at the priest meeting to introduce Chaput that they applauded Lynn? How about when we heard another applause at the end of the trial? It was a terrible feeling of disrespect to victims ererywhere.

    Well I ask you – who is clapping now?

    I hear the applause in my head…

    Applause for the victims who had the courage to stand up to evil. Applause for the DA beginning with Lynne Abraham who had the tenacity to begin this arduous process that began with the first Grand Jury. And all those in that office who have worked tiredlessly to get to today. Applause to Thomas Blessington who must have had many sleepless nights over the past 11 weeks.

    I hear the applause for all of us who have stood together – maybe at a meeting or a first friday vigil at 222 or the Good Friday vigil in front of the Cathedral …or giving out leaflets in Sea Isle City – we are living history people. Our grandchildren will read about this in their history books. (maybe in Catholic school but maybe not).

    Our prayers have been answered – not exactly how we would have planned -Mark deserved better I am very sorry Mark -but we know that God s plan is in action and we need to trust in Him.


    1. beautifully said, janierob…been thinking about that Chaput initiated standing ovation for Lynn….much prefer to give it to victims, prosecutors, supporters, those great DAs and their Jury panels….and the Holy Spirit!

    2. Janierob, As a survivor, i so very much appreciate when I read all the positives people like yourself post. Sometimes it becomes so difficult for me to see the glass half full. I tend to have a narrow vision sometimes because I am so close to this mess. Thank God for therapy, Sharon helps me balance, and stay centered. I loved what you had to say, I sincerely hope that the survivors are allowing themselves to feel some sense of accomplishment and be proud. We will never know how many children we might have saved by how we all stood brave and strong and faced this evil and stared it in the face. What I hope for Lynn is that he will take this time to reflect on his misdeeds and his conscience. I don’t believe that he or his family will ever come to understand the agony we survivors have suffered and are still suffering. One has to want to understand, I don’t think they will ever find that place in their hearts, and neither will all the priests who supported Lynn!

      1. Vicky, you were the first person who came to mind when I heard about the Lynn conviction. Not arrogant right now.

  13. “If people are scandalized at the truth it is better to allow the birth of scandal than to abandon the truth” St. Gregory……… guy……….

  14. I believe the victims. I continue to pray for peace and healing in their lives. May God Bless you!!!

  15. “”The university said it would seek to “fairly … compensate” the victims and invited them to participate in a program to “facilitate the resolution of claims against the University arising out of Mr. Sandusky’s conduct.””

    “It said it intended to get in contact with lawyers for the victims “in the near future.””


    1. drwho13,

      I would like to know what Chaput thinks about Bevilacqua’s clearly criminal behavior. Should Tony B’s body be removed from under the altar at the cathedral?

  16. As an observer at the courthouse these past 2 weeks, I was deeply touched by the father of one victim who sat with us, and whose son had committed suicide as a result of his sexual abuse by a priest. Also, there was an Aunt of another victim who had also committed suicide. Another victim noted that he receives $20.40 monthly from the archdiocese for expenses while Lynn and his family stayed for the past 3 months at a suite of rooms on the top floor of the Marriott hotel … you can’t make this stuff up! Yes, like Father Wintermyer, I want to know who footed Lynn’s bill … anyone dare to guess? So, while Chaput asks for donations for the Pope’s visit to Philly in 2013, my suggestion to the Pope is to stay in opulence in Rome, and clean up his own house, apologize not just in words but in actions to all the victims of priest sexual predators throughout the world, and focus on the real tragedy of the families of the abused victims. And, let us also remember that Bernard Law still presides as arch-priest of St. Mary Major in Rome, a symbol of the line and the collusion of the hierarchy who hid and moved predator priests in the American church.

  17. One can only speculate as to what the outcome would have been had the jurors been aware of the Avery confession.

  18. Jerry Slevin,

    Can you articulate the concrete ways we can make it clear to the DA’s office that we want it to go after Cullen, Cistone, Rigali and the like?

    1. Kate we are going to post something on Monday with info on ways to contact the DA to encourage further investigation/charges

      1. Way to go, Kathy. Thank you.

        Jerry, get your piece into the hands of the DA’s office. Or ask C4C to accomplish that.

        There needs to be immediate, pronto pressure placed on the DA’s office.

        Thanks, everyone.

      2. Let’s not forget Bishop Bransfield of Wheeling, W. Virginia. The trial certainly created some glaring red-flags pertaining to his “history.”

    2. Thanks, Kate and Kathy. Please read my NCR comment cited in my link above where I set out what I think Seth and the pope need to do asap. C4C bloggers by now know better than me how to pressure Seth to take action he has a sworn duty to take.

    1. Yes, if the MA criminal statute of limitation doesn’t bar it. I will raise it with a Boston Globe reporter who follows abuse cases. SW, they finally believed some survivors, Amen. I am putting my spray paint aside for now.

  19. My prayers are always with the victims. My admiration goes to those victims courageous enough to speak out and seek justice. For so many, it’s just too much to handle and I don’t blame them at all, given the continued abuse they get when called “liars” and worse. And due to the statue of limitations and priests that have long since died, many will never receive justice. But today my heart also goes to those many good priests I have known who are subjected to the “second glance” and scorn they don’t deserve. They are victims in a way, too.

    I only wished the sentence was longer for Monsignor Lynn. The good news is that this may lead to prosecution of others who aided and abetted those child molesters. All Lynn had to do was “do the right thing,” call the police and/or the governor and he wouldn’t be in jail today, instead he would be a hero to many. To say he “cared” about the children is insulting. I can only hope that other members of the heirarchy will get their justice in due time.

    To all the victims: I BELIEVE YOU!! Remember that so many of us stand behind you, lift you up, and pray for your healing.

    1. Patricia,

      The many “good” priests who are subjected to “second glances” and “scorn” do, as members of the priesthood, participate in its culture of clericalism which is THE cause of the sex abuse crisis. The crisis does not stem from pedophile priests. There are pedophiles in every conceivable organization and element of society. Rather, the crisis stems from the evils of clericalism which resulted in clerics protecting and enabling pedophile priests, passing them from one assignment to another, lying and misinforming the laity as to the truth, covering it up, conspiring to protect themselves, shredding evidence, permitting pedophile priests to exist in society unnamed, unnoticed, and unreported where they can further hurt children, and patent silence. “Good” priests are not victims in this scenario. They are parties to it in that they associate themselves with an institution based on clericalism, and function according to it. They neither disassociate themselves, nor do they speak publicly to acknowledge and eradicate it. It IS their culture, regardless of what “good” things they do for you and me. For what reason, then, should they not provoke “second glances”? For what reason, then, should they not provoke “scorn”? Because we are enamored to them in some personal or spiritual way should not blind us to THEIR way, the clericalism way. Clericalism threatens the well being of human beings, including clerics, and the Church. Its evils and dangers demand our “second glances” and “scorn.” When we revert to bestowing pity upon grown men associated with and participating in an evil, we are responsible for fostering it.

      1. Well said, Kate. Where was the outrage from all the good priests after two Grand Jury reports? Where is the outrage now? Will it all be swept under the rug again? My heart goes out to all the people victimized by the sick men when much of it could have been prevented if a few “good” men had stepped in.

      2.  0 0 Rate This
        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

      3. Yes, Joan, it’s an amazing piece of work! And thanks to you for always giving us a place to go for the facts when it is so easy to get caught up in the emotional side of this.

      4. Joan, the Bishop-Accountability compilation is truly outstanding.

        They, I believe, provided much of the data back-up for SNAP’S criminal complaint alleging crimes against humanity filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Ratzinger, Levada, Bertone & Sodano.

        Hopefully, SNAP’S lawyers at NY’s Center For Constitutional Rights (CCR) will supplement their earlier ICC filings with the recent Philly case evidence, etc., which provides significant new evidence of the Vatican’s worldwide cover-up.

        This has already been suggested to the CCR lawyers.

        Another important reason why the Lynn verdict was so significant.

      5. Jerry ….I agree.

        Jason Berry said when giving a talk on, Render Unto Rome….that he used Abuse Tracker a lot…I think he intimated he lived in it….the archives are terrific….and this is yet another example….Personally think the Spirit of Truth is a Player.

      6. Wow. That is one, incredible resource compiled by BishopsAccountability. Thanks, Joan.

      7. I feel the “birthing” of another insight in my pitiful little brain. I sometimes call them “lightbulb moments.” Here it is:
        Catholic clergymen differ from lay Catholics in this way–
        Lay folk are trained up to “believe” the stories and “drink the kool-aid.”
        But the clergy are very, very familiar with the facts of what is REALLY going on, they don’t swallow what they are putting out for us lay folk. That helps to explain how and why so many either commit crimes against children/adults or why so many “look the other way.” In other words: they really are a dangerous and wicked outfit, after all.

      8. Kate – thank you for the feedback and your point is well taken. My husband and I left the RC church several months ago and have found a new church home. You’re absolutely right. Truly “good” priests should be speaking up. I’ll remember that… I have so much anger about this issue and the trial brought so much to the surface for me. At this point, I’m barely holding on to a belief in God at all.

      9. Kate … Such a great set of comments..says it all.
        To understand the concept of “clericalism” is to understand this crisis— and too many other sad truths about the religion.

        It’s so tempting to want give the “nice” priests a pass for their part in this crisis….But these “nice ones” were on the very front lines of the sex abuse, right as it happened…These men are no more decent than Lynn…maybe even worse, because they personally assumed the job of “caring” about the children of their parishes. These men performed the everyday evil practicalities of carrying out the cover-up…They witnessed the carnage first hand, ..right in the same buildings and rooms where the abuse occurred daily.
        They heard the sounds, saw kids in places they clearly didn’t belong…collected reports from nuns, teachers, janitors, receptionists and secretaries… they saw evidence left behind in the form of troubled confused victims, clothing, booze, pornography….They fielded the phone calls from mothers…They even stood up in front of congregations and lied about “sick leaves” for offending priests, when they knew perfectly well these men had molested children in the parish.They knew what was going on in all the rectories of their priest friends too.
        The “nice priests’ ” continued silence becomes more inexcusable every single day. I don’t know how they think they can avoid being pulled into the prosecution of these crimes as the momentum builds in this crisis.

      10. Patricia,

        My heart goes out to you. I know all too well your anger and disillusionment. One of the ways I dug myself out of that dark place was to counter its debilitating emotive effect with trusting and having confidence in myself to reach informed and rational conclusions on the issues. The conclusions fuel and become the bedrock of advocacy. In my experience, reason, knowledge, and advocacy are powerful anecdotes to anger, disillusionment, and betrayal.

    2. Patricia,
      I whole-heartedly agree with Kate.

      Lynn sits in a jail cell not because expectations were so high but because the bar was set so low. The only hurdle he chose to jump was the one his superior expected him to. His entire defense was the posture of a victim just following orders.

      I notice the laity sets up the same dynamic with priests. Priests will get the “second-glance” because they remained silent. They clung to the group think mentality. When one(or many) in the group are found to be pedophiles or enablers, then they too will be painted with that brush. Do not feel sorry for them. They actively choose it. The laity has got to quit placing their clergy in the role of victim…it makes grown men weak and unable to be effective priests intended to serve their flock.

    3. As far as the good priests being scorned, Ihave some difficulties in this area. There are some priests now and in the past who have stood up for the victims. but I believe there were far too many priests who knew or suspected what their fellow priests were doing and looked the other way. I also believe that many if not most of Sanduskys fellow coaches knew or suspected what he was doing and looked away. Until people who suspect child abuse report it, it will never go away. And most importantly , adults must listen to children. They may not be able to tell you right away , but observe them and they will let you know.

  20. I hope our victims are ok after Prisoner Lynn’s verdict was announced and didn’t get too upset by the AD “heartfelt” statement – it made me sick and brought out anger in me.

      1. Rocco Palmo referenced it being an unsigned statement


      2. sw ,here is the text of the AD message yesterday, I posted a link and it is held up in moderation. Do you remember a week ago I posted the personal, heartfelt essay written by the Penn State football player who did absolutely nothing wrong but still apologized and reached out to one of Sandusky’s victims? Well this was a press release from the AD yesterday afternoon..unsigned and not delivered personally on camera from anyone in the AD. One local news station had a reporter reading the statement outside AD headquarters… a reporter reading an apology from the AD…not her fault..guess no one was available to deliver the message in person?

        ” This has been a difficult time for all Catholics, especially victims of sexual abuse. The lessons of the last year have made our Church a more vigilant guardian of our people’s safety. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is on a journey of reform and renewal that requires honesty and hope. We are committed to providing support and assistance to parishioners as they and the Church seek to more deeply understand sexual violence, and to create an environment that is safe and welcoming to all, including past victims.
        The Archdiocese of Philadelphia offers a heartfelt apology to all victims of clergy sexual abuse. Now and in the future, the Church will continue to take vigorous steps to ensure safe church environments for all the faithful in Philadelphia. “

      3. Kathy…that AD statement could be improved.

        ‘lessons from the last year’ ….have made them more vigilant re folks safety…what about ‘lessons from the last 10 years, actually three Grand Jury’s worth of ‘lessons’ with several hundred priests noted in the reports….SHOULD HAVE BEEN WAY MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR US TO PUT AN END TO ABUSE MANY MANY YEARS AGO! IF WE HAD REALLY CARED?

        AND ‘ the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is on a journey of reform and renewal’…..THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED 10 years ago.

        AND ‘ as we seek more deeply to understand sexual violence, and to create a …safe environment’…AS IF WE DIDN’T KNOW HOW BEFORE….but .NOW THAT WE HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY CAUGHT AND OUR GUY IS A ‘CONVICTED FELON’….

      4. Joan, in a way, except for Lynn’s conviction ( an important exception), the Philly AD seems to be trying to replay the post-2005 Grand Jury Report script. A lot of PR and cosmetic changes, but business as usual. Seth’s remarks sound like he may playing along. He had plenty of time while the jury was deliberating to assess his future options. Stall until things calm down.

        C4C will have a full plate of mystical baloney and a politically driven prosecutor for some time.

        I wonder if any reporter would dare ask Seth (no more gag order) if during the last 2 years he ever discussed this case directly or indirectly with Gina Smith’s law partner, Ed Reindell.

        Ed’s support would likely be necessary for Seth to advance his political career. If Seth answers yes, the reporter should then ask for details. Since Ed gratuitously on MSNBC last year spoke positively about Seth’s political prospects, it is a fair and relevant question.

        The Philly DA almost blew this case at the start by letting Avery plead out and then lost on everything but the endangerment charge against a lower level manager and almost lost on that charge as well, it appears from some juror’s comments.

        Lynn is a small fish. Ralph Cipriano referred today to the Philly DA’s efforts so far as “bottom fishing”, and Ralph is right.

        It is time for Seth to use the Lynn trial revelations and now go after the big fish, the cardinal and the bishops so that Lynn can have someone to talk to in his cell!

      5. Kathy,

        Honesty, huh?

        So, Archbishop Chaput, given what came out in the trial and William Lynn’s conviction, what does this imply about Anthony Bevilacqua’s behavior? And, should his body be relocated, moved out of the cathedral?

      6. You know Jerry, Lynn may be bottom fishing from the perspective of potential AD complicity…and I would be delighted to have that issue aggressively pursued….

        BUT…Msgr Lynn is NOW a convicted felon, he resides in jail, in jail attire. Sentencing is soon.

        Nationwide, and for that matter worldwide, a hugely important message went out to ‘Churchy’ and other institutional leadership…..’pass on predators and go to jail’.

        I am just absolutely delighted that Lynn was convicted. With the exception of very important family events..this the best news I have heard, ever. I care about the Church, just as I know you do….and the horror and disgrace of this abuse debacle…the evil it has caused victims….the unbelievable ugliness that the hierarchy would knowingly pass on predators….

        He may be a small fish but he’s the first fish!!! And thank God for that conviction.

      7. Not til the AD and the Vatican allow themselves to be humble and vulnerable will there be real truth , justice ,compassion and healing……….. this would be in a sense “being like this child” that Jesus talks about in the BIble. Woe to those that seek to maintain their power they will lose everything including their soul in the end……

    1. REGINA, TO LITTLE AND WAY, WAY, TOO LATE! The Ad statement is nothing more than Pr crap. They mean none of it. Their actions speak volumns!

  21. Can that be linked in the Resources section?

    That is impressive documentation and resource to have all in one place.

  22. Ok. We’ve witness the abominable failure of two institutions, the Catholic Church and Penn State. Why isn’t Syracuse University among them? Why are we still waiting on the results of the federal investigation into how loyalty turned a blind eye to its sins and crimes?

  23. I think that a major validation for all clergy abuse victims, is knowing that Lynn had to finally take that “collar” off, and now he wears jail garb..!!! His power has been reduced to nothing..

    It is the abuse of power, that causes so much harm..

  24. I just read on BishopAccountability that Rev. Paul Worsczak was removed from ministry in 2002 for sexual abuse. He was the “young, fun, handsome” priest that my mother begged me to have preside at my wedding. “Ok,” I said, and he did.

    Then, I read a press release from SNAP chastizing Rev. Terry LaValley, who was head of the diocesan priest sex abuse claims committee in 2002, for failing to let the public know why Worsczak took a hike. Wouldn’t you know… LaValley moved up the ranks and is presently the bishop of my diocese.

    There are millions of similar scenarios going on in every diocese in the U.S.

  25. “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is on a journey of reform and renewal that requires honesty and hope.”……statement of Archdiocese in response to the outcome of the criminal trial re Msgr. Lynn and Father Brennan

    Bishop, I submit that there are many, many Philadelphia-area Catholics, including this writer, who are eager, faithful and full of “hope” (i.e., belief in Jesus Christ). It is up to the leadership of the archdiocese, both lay and clergy, to provide the sincere and genuine “honesty” that has been sorely lacking ever since the release of the first Grand Jury Report by the District Attorney’s Office of Philadelphia in September 2005.

  26. If chaput is truly interested in putting the abuse behind him and the archdiocese that he heads, I would urge him to go to the state legislature to suppoert the changes to child abuse laws in Pennsylvania, including a two year window for trhose who were abused by the clergy of his Church. Anything less would support the charges that all of his statements are pue BS. Of course, he will not do that. That would take some moral courage, something that has been lacking in the Catholic Curch for years.

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