The Vast Difference Between Official and Personal

Click here to read: “Guilty!” by Anthony Massimini, The 21st Century American Catholic, June 22, 2012

Excerpt: “I know many Philadelphia priests.  I count them among the finest men I have had the privilege to know.  And I know they are personally grieving for the children.  They are also grieving for their perpetrator brothers and for the church.  I don’t know Archbishop Chaput, so I don’t know how he feels personally.  In any case, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t officially matter…”

18 thoughts on “The Vast Difference Between Official and Personal

  1. I am participating in project designed to create strategies and action plans for structural change in the institutional church. I would like to identify some specific change we want to see happen in Philadelphia as the problem for which strategies and action plans are created and implemented. Any ideas? Once a project is identified, I would welcome working with anyone who might be interested in collaborating. Maybe there is a link here with Kathy’s proposed change effort.

    “The Institute on Nonviolent Action & Reform of the Institutional Catholic Church, hereafter referred to as the NVA Institute, is a pilot program sponsored by the American Catholic Council. It will engage a limited number of qualified applicants in study and dialogue around theories of nonviolent action, strategic planning and action steps to employ these strategies in changing the institutional Catholic Church…. The focus is not theological but rather practical, political and strategic.

    “[E]ach participant will be asked to choose a situation in her/his parish, diocese, or another hierarchical church-related instance that s/he feels strongly needs to change. The “homework” will be to indicate how the insights and ideas from the readings of each of the sessions could be applied to bring about the desired change…. Through prayer, reflection, discussion and deliberation, we will use the knowledge gained over the prior fourteen weeks to formulate an action plan (Grand Strategy) for the future. Our study of nonviolent action theory and practice will be combined with other strategic analyses to generate templates for actions to change the church in order to make it more just, inclusive, collegial and compassionate. “

  2. There has been “no” official change at St, Joseph Church in DTown. You would hope / pray they would have cleaned up their site over the weekend however look under the “Clergy” drop down and we get the smiling face of William Lynn, convicted felon…. Obey, Pray, Pay.

  3. I’d like to clear up a misconception.

    I am the person who reported that Lynn supporters “applauded” Lynn on a particular day during the 10th week of the trial. When I reported it, I put quotations around applauded for this reason:

    On the particular day in court, several character witnesses had been called to the stand to testify as to the character of Lynn. All of the character witnesses testified as to his exemplar character. After Lynn’s lawyer questioned each of the character witnesses, his lawyer turned to the spectator area in 304, asking that anyone seated in the area who could attest to Lynn’s exemplar character to stand. The spectator area, on this particular day, was filled with Lynn supporters. (It is my belief that they knew his lawyer would be calling on them to attest to his exemplar character “en masse.”) Naturally, a sea of Lynn supporters stood, attesting to the exemplar character of Lynn. In my post reporting this incident, I described it as I have, here, then I said it was another incident of people “applauding” Lynn. I put applaud in quotation marks because people did not literally applaud Lynn, rather they “applauded” him by standing when they were asked to attest to his exemplar character.

    Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Kate. Applauding according to a script is worse than doing so spontaneously.

      Chaput just last week publicly praised Rigali for suspending priests last year. Nice job, Rigali. After two devasting Grand Jury Reports, you finally listened to your lawyers last year.

      DA Seth Williams was still calling Rigali “Your Eminence” last year. When is Seth going to address him instead as “Your Indicted”? Has Chaput’s politically powerful lawyer gotten to Seth?

      Why isn’t Seth pursuing Lynn’s boss, Rigali, for child endangerment as well. Why Seth? Why? You cannot duck your responsiblity here.

      Too many know the truth and, like Bevilacqua’s shredded list, it will all come out sooner or later.

      C4C bloggers are watching closely, Seth, and reporters are no longer under any gag order.

  4. When a Catholic priest becomes a convicted felon, does he automatically lose his title? Is a convicted felon permitted to officially retain his priestly title? I know in theory “once a priest always a priest.” But in reality, is Monsignor Lynn, Monsignor Lynn today? Or is he Mr. Lynn?

    1. Hadit Kate,

      If at the next consistory we hear Ratzinger had named a cardinal in pectore I will assume it is Lynn.


  5. “… In any case, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t officially matter…” Nothing “officially” matters to the hierarchs unless they WANT it to matter. What happens to the victims doesn’t matter. What happens to the victims’ supporters doesn’t matter. They will lie to all. They don’t seem to care who walks away as a result of their lack of moral character, they just want us all to go away. This time we didn’t. So it does matter, but as indicated in Chaput’s (lack of) response, we still don’t matter.

  6. Why are some of you still buying their lies about trying to change? Why would you want an institution to pray in, rather than CHRIST who lives within you, to always be there for you no matter where you are?THE CHURCH IS A PEOPLE WHO TRUST IN “HIM” not a corporation of man made rules and made up magic sacraments! NO OTHER CHRISTIAN church has this UNBIBLICAL IDEA OF CHRIST! READ THE WORD! Don’t listen to liars…Your very soul depends on HIM!!!!! NOT them!

  7. Checked out your link. I actually know what a SWOT analysis is!

    Didn’t see a link with Kathy’s proposed change effort.

  8. There is a vast difference between personal and official. The Abp personally opposes SOL reform. Because of his position, it becomes official.

    How to make the point that the Abp doesn’t speak for me?

  9. Thank You MackerelSnapper. Fascinating read on obedience via your link:

    As a survivor of abuse by a religious-order, I was told to OBEY my superiors when I brought-up genuine grievances about their criminal behaviors. I am still within the criminal and civil SOL but I see no purpose of beginning a litigation process after witnessing the power and wealth of the AD and its legal-team during the recent priest-trials. My own list of grievances must have been mocked at by the superiors of the order, looked-over by their canon-lawyers, and then thrown into the dust-bin. Or perhaps a copy was kept as leverage against the wrong-doers, a trade-off for their silence and loyalty. The corruption continues to spread downwards, as lava, from the mother-house in Rome through the provincial-houses in various countries to the lay-communities of the order; all are part of the clerical culture. As the clergy decrease in number, the clergy-recruited laity increase, bringing with them their time, talent, and treasure. With a laity divided between clergy-loyalists and people of conscience, how will this house stand?

    1. MackerelSnapper, I am sorry that you were abused. Actually, I am sorry that any of us were abused, but we were, and we must go forward. Please think about filing a police report in the city or county were you live. It then becomes a matter of public record You certainly don’t have to file suit and go through all that that involves, but if you were under 18 at the time of your abuse, the Abuse Tracker will add your perp’s name to the list.

  10. To kay4justice: Just to clarify, the blog was written by Speaking-Up, not MackerelSnapper. I am a survivor of a different kind of abuse, not sexual abuse and I do not know where to report this. The last time I discussed this matter with the police, they said that after I make the report, they would then proceed with their investigation with or without my consent. So without legal representation, I do not want to go this route as yet. Thanks for the advice.

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