Two More Priests Removed Permanently – Four Returned to Ministry

I was not surprised by the content or timing of Archbishop Chaput’s announcement today. Any public relations expert knows you announce bad news on a Friday afternoon. If you’re lucky you can announce it on a Friday afternoon during a holiday week in the summer. There’s far less media coverage. And, Archbishop Chaput doesn’t have just any public relations expert. He has hired the late Cardinal Bevilacqua’s guy – Brian Tierney.

As for the content, I’d like to say I’m shocked and disappointed to see that my former boss at the now defunct Catholic Standard & Times has been permanently removed from ministry. I’m just deeply sad. Father David Givey celebrated my wedding, baptized our children and was considered a dear family friend. The Archbishop won’t announce the specifics, but Msgr. Lynn knew the issues. While it wasn’t introduced at trial, the evidence is there and will find its way to the surface..

Father Dave impacted many lives for the better. I count myself among those people. It was hard for me reconcile that against what I came to know. But I have. – Susan

Click here to read: “Philly archdiocese restores 4 accused priests, removes 2 others,” by David O’Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 6, 2012

151 thoughts on “Two More Priests Removed Permanently – Four Returned to Ministry

  1. quoted: “Monsignor Close was the only priest in the group who was accused of having sex with a minor.”

    Chaput has got to be kidding….! It’s outrageous that he would dare put these alleged abusers back into ministry, especially Msgr Close.
    He was accused by 2 victims, and there was even an article written in the Philly Inquirer, included interviews of at least one of the victims of Close. How many kids need to be sexually abused for Chaput to him consider him dangerous? I know one of his victims and he is going to need lots of support.

    The law enforcement needs to get involved again and investigate how this diocese is handling sex abuse allegations. They are still protecting the child predators instead of protecting the innocent kids.

    If anyone has knowledge or has been harmed by Leonard Peterson, Paul Castellani, John Close, or Steven Harris we urge you to contact the police, do not report your abuse to the church officials.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511.,
    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,)

      1. Susan….thanks…that link I put in had the same data…and there is discussion of some behaviours, but nothing identified as ‘boundary violations, grooming etc’….Think it is an incredibly gray and undefined area…hence my question for some ‘specifics’…for instance is ‘wrestling’ with kids, watching porn with kids, giving gifts to kids et al….a ‘ boundary violation’ or abuse?

        Is abuse defined only as ‘penetration’ or oral sex, etc?

        Am really confused…wonder if, perhaps therapists or child activists would have more specific data?

      2. I am still looking for specific definitions of sexual abuse of children vs boundary violations, but came upon this really good article …sort of on the subject and very definitely on the subject of abuse…

      3. Joan, I am convinced that the church officials make the rules, and they break the rules… what the heck makes the difference if they call it “boundary issues”..? If a child has been harmed, it is serious and causes lots of damage…. The DA had already considered these priests to be credibly accused.. but the church officials and the predators have the statute of limitations on their side… and they know it.!! The victims are crushed..! This news hurts so many ..!! I am trying to send good vibes to the victims of these priests..!…J

      4. Judy, the reason I keep asking the ‘boundary violation’ question is that, for the readers who are trying to sort all this out….the Church has an unfortunate pattern of saying ‘it wasn’t abuse, it was just a ‘boundary violation’ The USCCB just noted numbers of reports of such issues at their Atlanta mtg. And suggested that it was a cultural disconnect with foreign born priests.

        I get real tired of slimy excuses, and cryptic language that attempts to ‘soften’ the situation.

        I would like very much to hear from a reliable source a clear and very specific description of both abuse at its worst and abuse at the ‘boundary violation level’….

        I totally agree that any abuse gravely hurts kids and that the statutes of limitations desperately need to be strengthened.

      5. Joan I have talked to priests and they also said there seemed to be grey areas etc.Many of the “good priests” are alittle paranoid now. The pendulum is swinging the other way so to speak. What are they suppose to do if a kid runs up and gives them a spontaneous hug? Talking about younger grades. Do they stand there and let the kid hug them? Do they tell them they cant hug them? Will they be reported if some misinterpts the exchange. I think the victims, laity and even priests deserve to know what the boundary issues are to build trust and create awarness……secrecy is never a good idea and leads to everyone distrusting everyone.

      6. I have to add sexual abuse of children thrives in secrecy as Robert sadly points out. I believe the victims.

      7. Judy, your question about ‘boundary issues’ being against the law is exactly my point….Ia there any chance that a PA law enforcement type could define for us just your question, ie

        What is the official legal description of abuse? In all it’s many ramifications…

      8. I went to Wilkipedia to try to figure out what actually constitutes child sexual abuse…it would appear that ‘grooming’ is abuse.
        According to Wilkipedia Child Sexual abuse INCLUDES actual abuse, exploitation and grooming….How much of these descriptions ring true in the past trial data?

        1. Child sexual abuse includes a variety of sexual offenses, including:
        sexual assault – a term defining offenses in which an adult touches a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification; for example, rape (including sodomy), and sexual penetration with an object.[83] Most U.S. states include, in their definitions of sexual assault, any penetrative contact of a minor’s body, however slight, if the contact is performed for the purpose of sexual gratification.[84]

        Child sexual abuse (further defined)
        Main article: Child sexual abuse
        Sexual assaults on children are normally viewed far more seriously than those on an adult. This is because of the innocence of the child victim, and also because of the long-term psychological impact that such assaults have on the child.

        Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent abuses a child for sexual stimulation.[12][13] Forms of CSA include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities (regardless of the outcome), indecent exposure of the genitals to a child, displaying pornography to a child, actual sexual contact against a child, physical contact with the child’s genitals, viewing of the child’s genitalia without physical contact, or using a child to produce child pornography.[12][14][15]

        2.sexual exploitation – a term defining offenses in which an adult victimizes a minor for advancement, sexual gratification, or profit; for example, prostituting a child,[85] and creating or trafficking in child pornography.[86]

        3. sexual grooming – defines the social conduct of a potential child sex offender who seeks to make a minor more accepting of their advances, for example in an online chat room.[87]

        Sexual Grooming is defined thusly:

        Child grooming involves psychological manipulation in the form of positive reinforcement and foot-in-the-door tactics, using activities that are typically legal but later lead to illegal activities. This is done to gain the child’s trust as well as the trust of those responsible for the child’s well-being. Additionally, a trusting relationship with the family means the child’s parents are less likely to believe potential accusations.[5]
        In the case of sexual grooming, child pornography images are often shown to the child as part of the grooming process.[1][2][3]

        To establish a good relationship with the child and the child’s family, child groomers might do several things. For example, they might take an undue interest in someone else’s child, to be the child’s “special” friend to gain the child’s trust. They might give gifts or money to the child for no apparent reason (toys, dolls, etc.). They may show pornography—videos or pictures—to the child, hoping to make it easy for the child to accept such acts, thus normalizing the behavior. 

        They may simply talk about sexual topics. These are just some of the methods a child groomer might use to gain a child’s trust and affection to allow them to do what they want. Hugging and kissing or other physical contact, even when the child does not want it, can happen. To the groomer, this is a way to get close. They might talk about problems normally discussed between adults, or at least people of the same age. Topics might include marital problems and other conflicts. They may try to gain the child’s parents’ trust by befriending them, with the goal of easy access to the child. The child groomer might look for opportunities to have time alone with the child. This can be done by offering to babysit. The groomer may invite the child for sleepovers. This gives them the opportunity to sleep in the same room or even the same bed with the child.

    1. Chaput Locuta Est–Causa Finita Est!* By reinstating “Reverend” Close and three other priests, Chaput is testing the waters of his imagined Infallibility with the press and with members of his Archdiocese. These are the kind of deeds, which really impress the Vatican’s Curia, as well as the Hierarchy. It’s a bold, but rather stupid move. Hopefully, the DA’s Office will challenge whether or not this case is closed! Determining whether or not someone is safely competent to be in the ministry appears to be out of Archbishops Chaput’s realm of competence! This is a case to be determined by Law Enforcement Agencies and not the almost infallible Archbishop Chaput! This is definitely a case of “Creeping Infallibility!”
      *Chaput has spoken. It is Finished!

      1. It seems like the DA would press charges if the statues of limitations had not run out. This being said what criteria is Chaput using? Cannon law if so……..Archbishop Chaput tell us what the criteria is……….I am guessing the cannon laws are just as outdated as the civil laws……. so reading bwt the lines our kids are not safe because all the laws are outdated and no one has any common sense or sense of honesty its all about legality and not compassion for the victim or protection of children………this is my opinion and gut response.

  2. I happen to know a personal incident regarding Fr. Leonard Peterson (St. Maria Goretti church, Hatfield). Seems this person went to confession to Peterson and was upset with the priest sex abuse scandal taking place in Philly – this happened about 4 years ago. When finished the confession and thoughts about the pedophile priests, Peterson told the person their faith was “misguided” and how dare they to even discuss the scandal at all. Next thing we know, Peterson was on “the list.” So, I have my doubts that Peterson is innocent. I would rather support the parishoner whom I believe and find is very close to God. Makes you wonder who you can believe.

    1. If you recall, St. Maria Goretti was made a saint because she fought off a sexual attack, which was probably rape” but they wouldn’t tell us that in Catholic School now, would they!

      1. I could be wrong but I often wonder about the messages to catholic kids in the story of St Maria Goretti….there’s just something to it that doesn’t sit well with me…esp. in this rcc climate today.

        She was declared a martyr because she was stabbed to death at 11 yrs old rather than agree to “commit a sin” with a 19 yr old farmhand/rapist… Being raped is not a sin…..There had been multiple previous attempts about which she was afraid to tell her mother. Why is the church fixated on this pathetic innocent child being a virgin? A child on her deathbed is in no position to forgive her murderer as she is celebrated for having done….Forgive a rapist murderer who after his jail sentence proclaims her to be “My little saint”-?! Disgusting….and then he went onto be a Friar and attended her canonization…somethings just wrong with the whole picture…
        The RCC, of all institutions, ought not to capitalize–or celebrate a tragedy such as this, spinning a glorious ending for a tragic, unforgivable case of child sex abuse which ended in murder..

  3. Am I missing something — it is my belief, possible incorrectly, that the DA or some other law enforcement agency also investagated these men, is that correct? If that is correct we have public records of the investagation to refer to and not just the Archdioceses investagation — if I am incorrect – why were the only investagation done by the AD and not law enforcement? JOE

  4. Some of them are being investigated by the DA’s office Joe, from what I understand. The wheels of justice turn slowly I quess.

    1. The DA’s office concluded their investigations of these men. In some cases, evidence might not have fit within statute of limitations and/or they were unable to get victims to testify. After the DA’s office exhausted their resources/options, these cases were handed back to the Diocese’s review board and investigative team for recommendations. Archbishop Chaput then made the final determination.

  5. Susan,

    Your mounting disillusionment has been palpable over the last year. I was so hoping that you would not have to endure the removal of your friend, Fr. Dave. I’m very sorry for you and your family. Having so much of the Catholic life of your family invested in him must leave you questioning the authenticity of it all. It’s just such a profound place to be in, one in which sturdy and wise Susan will wind her way through and resolve.

    Peace to you and yours.

    1. Kate, Thank you. My questions regarding authenticity were answered when I sat in that trial and listened to Msgr. Lynn on the stand. The leadership of our Church is deeply misguided at best. At its worst – evil. My peace is found in a different but stronger faith in God. It’s still a daily struggle but made easier by you and others here. Thanks, again.

  6. great move ….They spend 11 million dollars defending 3 of them .. and next month they send 4 of them right back to us…

    1. Kate, I don’t know the exact date/month but it was prior to Archbishop Chaput’s press conference on the removals, returns and parish healing initiative. He was involved in that roll out.

      1. Can someone tell me how Chaput can speak healing and hope out of one corner of his mouth, and hire Brian Tierney out of the other? Tierney is the former mouthpiece for Deviliqua! Devilaqua was evil! It’s nothing short of a slap in the face to the faithful that Chaput would even engage with Tierney, much less rely on him to unfold the PR for the AD especially during this period of crisis.

        According to Cipriano, “Brian Tierney was the former mouthpiece for the late Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, back when his Eminence was running a criminal enterprise out of the archdiocese.”

        Clearly, folks, Chaput is not interested in healing and hope. He’s interested in a fix Tierney-style. How anyone can associate themselves with the AD of Philadelphia is beyond my comprehension. You, including the priests, are being totally manipulated and scammed!

        What a brazen, audacious, indecent and arrogant move to have Tierney on board.

        Please, everyone, leave this criminal organization, NOW.

      2. Kate – Christ’s words not mine. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7: 15-16 How many poor would Tierney’s salary feed? WWJD? Cathy

  7. Susan, Sorry about this development. I am wondering what you mean by what you came to know.

    1. Jack, I wish I could elaborate but I can’t. However, I will say a couple kind souls gave me verified information so that I wouldn’t feel bad about not being “loyal” to an old friend.

      1. When we’re you ever “loyal?” You immediately jumped to a conclusion without talking to your “old friend.” All of these priests files were handed over to the DA and they were the ones to make the decision to prosecute or not. Fr. Dave Givey’s release has been stated to not have anything to do with sexual behavior with a minor. Instead of going to some “kind souls” about the issue, you would think you would go straight to your “old friend” to try and find out the other side of the story…something a good reporter would actually do. I feel sorry for those who actually rely on your words as the truth since you only report the most dramatic scenario instead of finding out the facts.

        1. Truth Finder, I did speak with Father Dave when he was first removed. Although his removal is not related to “sexual assault” that doesn’t mean there wasn’t inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor (under age 18). There are many reasons a DA can not prosecute a given case that have nothing to do with innocence or guilt. Statutes and victim cooperation come into play. Clearly, Archbishop Chaput found enough reason to remove him and Father Bowe – while returning four others to ministry. Msgr. Lynn had the truth as far back as the early 90s. There’s lots of truth to find. Attacking me won’t hide it.

  8. This allowance of these 4 priests to return to ministry without any explanation to the people of this Archdiocese speaks loudly to the failure of Archbishop Chaput and his advisors to underestand the gravity of this decision. These persons were placed on suspension for over 17 months and not a word was said of why or what they had been accused. These persons have been under a cloud for this past year and a half. With such a priest shortage in this archdiocese, do not tell me that their removal did not place great stress on those who had to cover for them. Suddenly, out of no where, a verdict from the Archdiocese comes out stating they can return to their parishes and all is fine. “No Problem here. Just keep moving along please. You do not need to know what happened. Trust us. We are your bishops and leaders”. How long is it going to take the leadership of this Archdiocese and the bishops througout the country to realize that their power has dwindled to nothing? How can anyone trust anything they say?
    I have no idea why Leonard Peterson was on the list in the first place, but there must have been something disturbing to have him suspended for these many months. Now he returns as pastor to a parish that has many parishoners happy to see him return, but surely a lot of intelligent and sincere people who ask the question ” what really happened here”. If this was anyother organization, he would have found himself fired or seeking some other position within the institution. Maybe he should be Priest Personnel Director. That office does not seem to need any specific training. You can always declare “on Job training”. Today is the feast of St. Maria Goretti, the parish of Father Peterson. Even the person who murdered Maria Goretti begged forgiveness from the family and had a change of heart in such a horrible crime. Maybe the pastor here might learn something from this feastday.

    1. Rev. John, you’re so right…..The parents in those parishes not only have a right to know, they have a parental duty to know what happened there.

  9. Susan, I understand. I thought that KYW reported today that the DA was still investigating. I guess that I heard it wrong. So does that mean that the DA and the church are working together on these cases? Has the relationship between the two changed?

  10. Exactly Rev.

    Susan, I’m trying to understand in what manner the cases are handed back to the church. Are you saying that the DA sends them back and the church makes subseguent recommendations to the DA? Does this mean that we can expect no criminal charges against men who have known victims? I’m confused.

    1. Jack these cases were not handed back to the church…. the statute of limitations stops prosecutors from charging these guys… The child predator friendly laws need to be changed….

      UNLESS…there are other victims who have been abused more recently, they will not be charged. … we hope they come forward and contact police..!!

      1. Judy, was not one of the criticisms of the Dallas Charter, that Diocesan Review Boards made ‘recommendations’ to the bishop, but the ultimate decision was the bishops?

        AND if the statute of limitations had run out on the ‘allegation’ the law enforcement’s hands were tied?

        AND there was some canonical provision that if the priest denied guilt, that was enough for Rigali….until pressure was brought to bear and all of a sudden 27 priests were placed on suspension.

        AND in Philly did not the head of the Review Board under Rigali say that the Board had not even heard about a number of ‘allegations’ that the Grand Jury was identifying?

        Father W. and Chrystal make the point that parishioners have the right to know what the issues were with a ‘restored’ priest. Chrystal makes the very good point that parents have a responsibility to fully understand the situation.

        Actually, I think the ‘restored priest’ would personally profit from full disclosure as well.

      2. My thoughts exactly………..our laws are outdated and unfortunately in many cases time has run out on statues.

      3. Judy, when I was listing all the ‘challenges’ that had to be faced relatiive to the Brennan trial..I forgot to mention a quote from Sister Maureen in a May NCR article on the Church ‘self policing itself’….relative to allegations against priests:

        “I found out something significant about the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church as I sat inside Judge M. Teresa Sarmina’s criminal courtroom in Philadelphia April 30 and listened to Msgr. Kevin Michael Quirk, a church canon lawyer from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W. Va.

        Quirk, the presiding judge during the 2008 canonical trial of Rev. James J. Brennan – one of two defendants in the current Philadelphia priest abuse trial – for charges of child sex-abuse, was on the stand to authenticate the transcript of that trial, as well as provide insight into the procedures of a canonical trial.

        One revelation proved startling.

        While possible victims of childhood sexual abuse and other lay witnesses are asked to take an oath to “tell the truth, the whole truth etc.” during a canonical trial concerning the public good, an alleged priest-perpetrator is not. Canon 1728.2 says, “The accused is not bound to confess the delict [crime] nor can an oath be administered to the accused.”

        Why in God’s name would anyone believe that an individual like the criminally charged Brennan is necessarily telling the truth during a canonical trial when he is not even required to swear to the truth of his statements?

        It seems to me that Quirk was describing one religious denomination’s version of “I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate me.” In so many words, Brennan took the Fifth.

        Why would any credible victim of childhood sexual abuse, their families or other witnesses, participate in such a farce where only “alleged” victims and non-clerics are sworn to tell the truth?
        It’s not logical.”

    2. The DA may still be investigating some cases of the priests whose fates are yet to be determined. We should not expect criminal charges against those addressed today unless new evidence or victims come forward. The church does not make recommendations to the DA.

      1. Susan, I am sorry for the pain this has caused you, your family and others.

        I wouldn’t be so sure about the “church” is not making recommendations to the DA. The whole process is suspect with the flawed “Rent a DA” (Gina Smith) program that the Philly DA apparently tolerates if not completely supports.

        This is becoming a replay of the post- 2005 Grand Jury Report charade, where a flurry of “concern” and “cosmetics” is shown, but the Philly AD still secretly calls the shots. Meanwhile, Archbishop Chaput seems preoccupied with the pope’s phony election year anti-contraception “religious liberty” ploy. Apparently, religious liberty to him means enabling the hierarchy to endanger children with no legal consequences.

        At present, I wouldn’t vote for Seth Williams for Dogcatcher, let alone DA or Mayor. The Philly AD is spreading around a lot of money, but Philly children are still facing much the same risks. Maybe we will get lucky, and Lynn will flip before sentencing or Lynne Abraham will decide to come back as DA. Otherwise, it looks like business as usual with Rigali and the bishops continuing to get free passes.

        I hope C4C bloggers review my, “Will The Philly Abuse Cover-Up of Bishops and Priests Ever End?”, accessible by clicking on at:

      2. Jerry what a superb article. Thank you for your amazing work. The politics behind this mess make our hopes for justice seem like a hopeless prospect….. Catholics in this city are such suckers (for want of a better word)…and our non-cath. friends seem to have long given up on saving us from ourselves (or from our clergy).
        I wish Lynn Abraham would stand up and take issue with Bill Donohue’s cheap “blame the Jews” tactic. It’s really very vile.

      3. Jerry,

        The glaring silence regarding the Lynn verdict on the part of the Vatican, Chaput, Dolan as head of the USCCB, and individual bishops, is nothing short of a conspiracy. The new PR guys in the form of Brian Tierney in the Philly AD and the FOX news guy in the Vatican were never intended to “improve” public relations. They were hired to promote, foster and sustain the hierarchy’s centuries old modus operandi of “pulling the wool over the eyes of the faithful.” The thinking is “if we’re silent long enough, and if we distract the faithful with other agendas (i.e. religious freedom), they will eventually move on to other matters.” You can’t get blood out of a rock. The degree to which this paralyzes the thinking and acting capacity of the faithful is an affront to human dignity. A crime against humanity.

    3. I’m sorry I was unclear in that sentence above. When there is nothing more that the DA can do (for various reasons such as SOLs). The Archdiocese then takes the same info through its review board for a recommendation to Archbishop Chaput.

  11. Road to Recovery Responds to the Case of Msgr. John Close of Philadelphia

    Since 2007, Road to Recovery, a non-profit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse, has been advocating for Peter Schellinger, an alleged victim of Msgr. John Close. We have visited him frequently in the prison in Smyrna, DE, and have helped him present his case of sexual abuse to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on numerous occasions. Mr. Schellinger’s story is compelling and credible.

    We at Road to Recovery find it outrageous that two men who have claimed to be abused by Monsignor Close have been dismissed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia without any explanation or reason. Shame on Archbishop Chaput who clearly has not learned a thing about treatment of victims or transparency. We know that Chaput met with Close to deliver the “good news,” but he didn’t meet with the victims face to face to tell them what he had decided. This is cowardice all over again.

    Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.
    Co-founder and President
    Road to Recovery, Inc.
    P.O. Box 279
    Livingston, NJ 07039

    1. Bob,

      Outrageous you say?

      Pete’s victim couldn’t be reached for comment either.

  12. Thanks Jerry.

    I feel badly for the victims who may never feel relief. Maybe it’s time to stop trying to affect change, and work to make this corporation irrelevant. They will do most of the work at this rate anyway.

    I guess even complaining all of the time is a function of needing something from them.
    Thanks for the platform to gripe, but I think I’m out.

    To all who do even the slightest to support this enterprise; You are now officially, part of the problem, in my opinion.

    If they were abusing puppies the people would be in the streets, but our friends and family?
    Ah C’mon That’s life. I’m not gonna give up my faith over a few hundred thousand raped kids, and suicides, and empty souls.

    To all the supposed faithful, I would like to leave you with the words of Norman Lear and his writers’ spoken by the immortal character Archie Bunker;

    “Faith Meathead. Faith.

    Faith is somethin’ ya believe…that someone…in their…right mind…wouldn’t believe”

  13. Well they said it did not involve sexual abuse of minors. Some dismissed last time involved consentual sexual contact with adults. Fr. Givey never harmed a child, they say…maybe its something optional celibacy would fix.

    1. Where did you ever see that some dismissed last time involved consensual sex with adults? My understanding is these suspensions had nothing to do with adults and only sexual abuse or boundary violations with MINORS. I believe this was also stated at the time of the suspensions..all having to do inappropriateness of some kind with minors..not adults.

  14. From an article this morning
    ” The Rev. David Givey, 68, a retired priest who served on staff at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Ridley Township, St. Katharine of Siena parish and Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, and Archbishop Prendergast High School in Upper Darby, was found to have engaged in inappropriate behavior with minors.”

    1. SNAP posted this article on July 6 indicating that two unnamed priests had been pulled….could Kathy, Susan, Judy or anyone help explain this…am extremely confused.

      PA – SNAP blasts Chaput as twice-accused predator priest put back on job
      How on earth can Archbishop Charles Chaput say that two of his priests are credibly accused child molesters but refuse to disclose their names on his website or in his news release (

      The two priests are supposedly being permanently kept off the job because the allegations against them have been deemed “credible.” Yet Chaput’s news release doesn’t tell anyone who they are.

      Apparently, his public relations staffers are giving the names only to journalists.

      The ten year old national church abuse policy mandates that bishops be “open and transparent” in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. But Chaput continues the reckless, selfish secrecy that bishops seem incapable of reversing.

      We’re shocked that Msgr. John Close is being put back on the job. He faces at least two allegations of having molested boys. And he’s been a chaplain at four institutions, a highly unusual work history for an archdiocesan priest (and the kind of assignment often given over the years to proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics).

      What are the odds that there are two mistaken allegations against the same cleric?

      Note what the independent research group says about “false allegations.”

      How many false allegations have been made?

      Fewer than 2 percent of sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic church appear to be false.

      “Patrick Schiltz, dean of the University of St. Thomas law school in Minnesota, said that over more than a decade he had defended Catholic dioceses against sexual-abuse lawsuits in more than 500 cases, and that he had concluded that ‘fewer than 10’ of those cases were based on false accusations.” See Doubt Is Cast on Accuser of 2 Priests, Judge Says, by Sam Dillon, New York Times, August 31, 2002. Schiltz was named a federal district court judge in 2006.

      The Schiltz estimate is corroborated by a 2004 report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and written by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The report analyzed surveys completed by the U.S. dioceses and many religious orders. The collated results of one of the surveys show that 5,681diocesan investigations of abuse allegations in 1950-2002 yielded definitive results:

      4,570 allegations were substantiated (80%)
      1,028 allegations were unsubstantiated (18%)
      83 allegations were deemed false (1.5%)

      Note that these definitively investigated allegations represent slightly more than half of the 10,667 allegations reported in the John Jay study. The other allegations were investigated without definitive result or were not investigated at all. Moreover, the church-funded research project did not collect any data on 298 priests who were considered by their bishops to be exonerated when the dioceses completed the surveys in 2003.

      Kathleen McChesney, who was the first executive director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has summarized the John Jay findings on false allegations: “False reporting of sexual abuse by children is very rare.”

  15. If Truth Finder had been a parishioner at Our Lady of Peace, he or she would not be defending Dave Givey.

  16. SO WHAT DO I DO?? Keep the kids in school or make a last stand???????

    The new head priest at Peter & Paul (West Chester) is being installed next Sunday and it is Father Vincent F. Welsh who was an assistant to Monsignor Lynn. Welsh knew what was going on, served as a character witness for Lynn at trial. He also has “blazed” at trail at his last placement pushing teachers and staff out…Take a look at the links or google him.

    Quite frankly, I swore off the church i.e. Catholic Church as I could no longer stomach the lies and games however the grade school is / was tremendous.,,, So do I pull my 3 kids out of grade school our play the Pew Sheep here……..

    1. This was the toughest decision and it’s still tugging at me. I’m pulling my son from St. Albert the Great. It’s a fantastic school and the teachers are wonderful, but it’s part of the Archdiocese. My trust has been shattered.

      1. Public School has won for my 3 kids. The WC system is quiet good and the fact is we are just repulsed by the fact a Lynn assistant is going head our parish & school…

      2. Susan, I am an abuse survivor. My children never went ot Cathoic school. With tears, I thank God for delivering us from that evil. If anything happened your life and your son’s would be shattered. I will pray you find peace. Cathy

    2. WR,
      That is a difficult situtation. If I had doubts about any of my kids priests or teachers I would pull my child out immediately. Ultimately you must be the one to keep your child safe and you are the one with the most information on your child ‘s situtation. I have learned over the years always trust your gut. I have talked to my priests many times.They know I blog here read the blog and know my concerns and have been responsive and open to discusion.If a priest is not open to discussion or doesnt really listen and take things to heart tthat should be a another good clue you need to leave and go somewhere else. Goodluck in all your decisions. I believe many parents maybe struggling with the same issues as sending your child to a public school presents its own issues and private school might be out of the budget.

    3. WR: what a tough decision You and Susan have to make. Recently my daughter was faced with a tough decision. My granddaughter applied to a charter school. If she didn’t get chosen[it was strickly a lottery] she was going to have to go to public school or a Catholic School. My daughter Knows how I feel about Catholic Schools, but she assured me that she knew many of the parents and they assured her, the schools’ teachers were all lay teachers{used to be that was a negative, now its a positive] Luckily my granddaughter got into the charter school, which pretty much guarantees my grandson admission. Good luck making your decision. By the way, what do the kids want?

    4. WR. I think it depends on your other school options and on your reasons for choosing parochial school in the first place. I wish you peace about this, no matter what you choose.
      While certainly many kids thrive in the AD schools…Personally, I would not feel OK choosing an AD school… mainly due to their unforgivable history of child abuse –sexual, physical and psychological. The RCC and AD have sufficiently proven to me, that children are not a priority. I’m I have absolutely no reason to trust them with my child’s welfare.

      I also have two other, lesser reasons…
      In our times, providing a superior education and state of the art academic experience, requires massive funding and unlimited support…This becomes an impossibility as the AD’s funds continue to dwindle and while covering up for and defending themselves against charges of child abuse/endangerment remains an ongoing mission.
      I also feel that the catholic school environment is often too suppressive to a child’s spirit and confidence -at least for my children.

      1. In my parish many of the most active parishioners have their children enrolled in schools in the Central Bucks school district. I think this is driven by the reasons you list.

        These folks are really active, not just going to Mass on Sunday. It’s a real option and from what I can tell a good one.

  17. Why would anyone be suprised to see Brian Tierney re-enter the arena again. After all, when he was at the Inky he had his famous “keep it local” campaign and this is exactly what the bishops have been doing all of these years, keeping it local… very local. Maybe he can resurrect his famous “flying pigs”. We will know the truth when pigs will fly.

  18. It would be nice to have written documentation of allegations against any priest for sexual abuse of children. It would be nice to have some undoubted proof that you can see with your own eyes that these men of God raped children.

    I don’t need secret letters or memos from a file cabinet from a discreet office in which only a handful of people have the key to open. I’ve got my own key. I’ve got my memories, which is more truth than I can handle on most days. I have been saying it since Day 1, the Catholic Church can keep its secrets and try to hide scandal and dismiss the validity of clergy abuse allegations, but one thing they will never be able to do is TELL THE TRUTH.

    If I know I’m telling the truth and they call me a liar, what does that say about them?

    I dreamt about Siberia last night and what it might be like living in a desolate part of the world where bad things never happen, because there’s not many people who live there. I could live quite well in fact. My desolate soul would match the landscape.

    Unfortunately and fortunately, I’m too committed to this place in the hopes of ripping that spirit out of the soul of the Catholic Church.

    Catholic Church, you’ve been livin’ hell to me
    You’ve hosted me since nineteen eighty three
    I’ve seen ’em come and go and I’ve seen them die
    And long ago I stopped askin’ why

    Catholic Church, I hate every inch of you.
    You’ve cut me and have scarred me thru an’ thru.
    And I walked out a wiser weaker man;
    Mister Ratzinger, why can’t you understand?

    Catholic Church, what good do you think you do?
    Do you think I’ll be different when you’re through?
    You broke my heart and mind and you warped my soul,
    And your stone walls turn my blood a little cold.

    Catholic Church, may you rot and burn in hell.
    May your walls fall and may I live to tell.
    May all the world forget you ever stood.
    And may all the world regret you did no good.

    Catholic Church, you’ve been livin’ hell to me.

  19. Susan, right decision in removing your son from any hint of the scandal that has rocked us all. Your son comes first, and you as his Mother must make the appropriate and safe placement for him.

  20. How does a bishop control his priests through celibacy?

    I apologize that this is somewhat off topic, but this question was raised earlier and deserves a more thorough examination because of what is involved. Here is how I think it is done.

    Today, the main target of the priest recruitment strategy is catholic high school and college boys and men, ages 14 through 21. A fair amount of suggestion of “vocation” starts at grade school ages 7 and over, for those who are susceptible to this sort of suggestion. As recently as just a few decades ago, many priests entered pre-seminary starting at ages 8 through 13.

    At those ages, the young men are struggling with questions of sexual morality and how they should live their lives. They have not even had a chance to figure out how their bodies work. The good bishops tell them that if they simply give their lives over to God in the form of a vow, He will give them all the strength they need to avoid any more temptation. It’s pure fiction. Farmers and workingmen use a more pungent word to describe it. It’s nothing more than a 3 shell game.

    By the time the man wakes up, it’s 3 am and he feels so alone in an empty bed in a lonely rectory with a bunch of other men pretty who are much in the same boat. There are aspects of the priesthood that he likes. He likes the prestige and the power, and that everyone tells him their secrets. He lives right next to work, so there is no morning commute; he never has to look for housing, and it’s already furnished with some really cool stuff; the food is free, someone else often cooks for him and does the dishes, and washes his clothes. He never has to look for a job. He can never fail, no matter how much he messes up. He is guaranteed 100 per cent job security, not matter how he performs. In short, he has no authentic responsibility because he can never fail.

    He does however, have one major problem that the bishop knew 100 per cent for certain all along, even when they were sending him cute brochures at age 19, and promising him that he would get all the help he needs from God. And that problem is that he wants to be with a woman sexually; or, because of the way the entire operation has been run for centuries, even more likely he wants to be with a man, sexually.

    Only the problem is that he has taken this silly little vow. Well, by now he has looked at the landscape and has heard enough confessions from fellow priests and he knows the score. Very nearly ALL of his fellow priests are involved in sexual activity of one sort or another, and that’s a fact.

    So, he does what everyone else has done for centuries, and he lets MOTHER NATURE take over. He meets a women, or man, having problems at home and gives counseling. One thing leads to the next, and you know the rest of the story. This story seldom makes headlines because it involves consenting adults. In a smaller percentage of cases, priests involve themselves with children as a form of sexual expression.

    Now, the bishop KNEW this was going to happen. And once the bishop learns the facts of the situation as it applies to Father John, well, as they say in politics: That’s power. It is straight out of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI play book. The bishop not only knows the details of many of these men’s sex lives, but it gives the bishop a great deal of direct control over those men. He can have them jump through any kind of hoop he wants just by the threat of releasing information or disciplining the priest. These priests will do ANYTHING the bishop asks. ANYTHING.

    That’s how control works on a pragmatic level. At 19, a young man walks into a spider’s web of deception, and by 40 or 50 he is trapped in a matrix from which he cannot escape. And the bishop can pull the strings on any one of these priests that he chooses. This is one prayer formula that has never been known to fail.

    1. Mark,
      You make some very interesting points. I think in anything marriage, priesthood etc. you need to be mature and possess yourself in all areas emotionallly, mentally, spiritutally, sexually etc. I believe people use to die younger so they matured early and had more responsibilty at a younger age. In this modern day culture many dont reach maturity and responsiblity til their mid 20′ s to 30’s. I don’t think they should even consider someone as a priest til these ages. Alot of protestant minsters that are married have similar problems with counseling sessions turning into infidelity but I beileve in the catholic church these types of relationships contrbuted to a sick culture developing.

      1. Back in the mid sixties I was a student at Bishop Mcdevitt High School in Wyncote.Many of who I thought were thr best priests left the priesthood . After Vatican2 I believe somewhere in the neighborhood of 25000 priests left the priesthood in the United States.Why did so many leave? I believe most left to get married. There was obviously a problem. What did the Hierarchy do? Absolutely nothing. One priest who left was Peter Quinn who just recently passed away. Father Quinn was a good person. He founded or helped to found “The bridge” , A drug treatment center for young people in Northeast Philly. Father Quinn wanted to devote all of his time to the Bridge but he was refused by the higher ups in Philly. Consequently he left ‘ got married and had a daughter. He went on to do some marvelous work but not as a priest. Who lost out there?

      2. Jim, I was a young married woman, taking some summer M Div classes during that period and, trust me, it was a dating milieu. Many young priests and nuns both left religious life and got married…

        I think Vatican 2 was a part of it…definitely a game changer.

        These guys went on to pick up additional grad degrees, have done a lot of great things and I count them as friends and in one case as a boss.

        Your question, Who lost out?….is hard to answer.

      3. Jim Tucker,

        I also went to McDevitt and knew Father Quinn. He was a ‘stand-up’ guy.

  21. I read an article which broke down the “stats” on the removals. So far seven priests have been removed,and seven have been reinstated. One priest died and the decisions remain on eleven priests. The two priests who were removed in May were not part of the “GJ suspended priests” .

  22. Hiring of PR people, Re-instating priests,other priests on the list, SOL, doesn’t sound like the RCC that I thought I knew…. Seems like its all about the AD trying to save face, hoping it will at some point all go away. It won’t.It’s just the beginning I believe the victims/survivors, and always will.
    My heart is so sad, yet my faith in God is strong.. and I pray for all…..Peace

    1. Denise; Somtimes I get the feeling I’m watching a gangster movie. The godfather or Tony soprano comes to mind. There is so much double talk, miss speak and just plain lies from people we were taught as children to look up to. I don’t believe a word any of them say any more. Every word that comes out of a higherup in the Catholic Church ,I immediately consider to be a lie. The Catholic Church has gone so far down in my book. It istruly a sad state.

      1. Jim.
        I know exactly what you are talking about. I keep hoping someone in the AD leadership will do the right thing……..but at this point it not going to happen they are in too deep and they know it. At this point nothing less than being struck by lightening and thrown off a horse like St. Paul is going to work.

    2. I took a quote out of the AB’s July 2012 statement relative to recent abuse issues and a program for the diocese…..

      “With the decisions announced today, the Archdiocese will continue the initiative entitled Honesty, Healing and Hope in Christ: Confronting Sexual Violence in Our Archdiocese, which was introduced in May 2012.

      This program takes place at the parish level and consists of four phases over six months. Its purpose is to address the wide variety of reactions, thoughts and feelings experienced at the time of the announcements and in the days and weeks moving forward.

      It identifies three primary stakeholders: the victims of the allegation or violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behaviors and Boundaries, the parishioners, who include school and Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) families, and the priests on administrative leave. Through the implementation of this initiative, the Archdiocese continues a journey of honesty, healing and hope toward the restoration of trust. ”

      I am reminded that in the late 1980’s the National Council of Catholic Bishops initiated a program relative to sexual abuse of minors…called ‘Restoring Trust’….

      THAT was OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO….perhaps C4C commenters might have some suggestions…for THIS AD program.

      1. See National Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Restoring Trust” history:

        > Communications Secretariat > Protecting God’s Children
        Restoring Trust – A Chronology

        A CHRONOLOGY 1982-2004
        Claims of clergy sexual abuse against minors have fixed the attention of the U.S. Bishops for approximately 15 years. The problem has challenged the bishops simultaneously to provide justice and healing for victims, vision and solace for the Catholic community, pastoral leadership to priests, compassion to the accused, and cooperation with civil authorities. Presented here is a chronological account of the assistance offered dioceses through the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference (NCCB/USCC) whose organizational structure was revised during these years and which has been known since 2001 as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
        NCCB/USCC staff assist personnel from two dioceses in appreciating the civil liability risks involved in child molestation cases.
        NCCB Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry begins to work with vicars for priests to help develop training programs. Dioceses develop more definitive personnel policies to respond to claims and training programs for policy implementation.

        1990 – 1999
        Ecumenical and nonsectarian nature of problem strongly is emphasized and is subject of ongoing discussion with representatives of other denominations in the United States.
        2000 – 2002
        Meetings with victims and victim advisory groups; meeting with English speaking bishops’ conferences in Rome; reconstitution of the AHCSA with focus on education, prevention, review of diocesan policies for child-safe environments.

        “Safe environment” guidelines sent to bishops; Charter requires dioceses to have “safe environment”-type programs.
        Report on the Implementation of the `Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People’  released on January 6, 2004.

      2. My National Conference of Catholic Bishops Chronology, regarding ‘Restoring Trust”‘ is awaiting moderation but I cannot resist the impulse to suggest that the very first time slot identified 1982-1985 was concerned about…

        “NCCB/USCC staff assist personnel from two dioceses in appreciating the civil liability risks involved in child molestation cases.”

        I’d say not much has changed.

      3. Joan I called and put my 2 cents in a few weeks ago. They should spent more money giving Leslie and victims assistance resources to pass on to the victims emergency assistance for bills etc than hiring PR people. At this point word of mouth that the AD is actually helping victims is the only thing I will believe not PR people . We have a church leader in jail not much else left to say.

      4. Beth…I think the problem is that institutional church doesn’t really respect the fact that the Holy Spirit works from the ‘bottom up’ as well as the ‘top down’. It does not value it’s members and their God given insights.

        Institutional church, certainly in a ‘reform of the reform’ post conciliar church is busy trying to undo John the twenty third’s collaborative efforts and is going to ‘teach’ you what you should KNOW rather than listen, learn, dialogue and act as a ‘servant’ of the ‘servants’.

        It’s a crummy situation in which the exodus and diaspora of Catholics is an ongoing phenomena. C4C bears daily testimony to this reality.

      5. Actually, the quote from the timeline of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding THEIR response to child abuse is initially dated 1982-1985 and their initial concern during the 1982-1985 period is stated as helping several parishes in ‘appreciating the civil liability risks involved in child molestation’….and I was wrong that wasn’t twenty years ago, that WAS THIRTY YEARS AGO!!!!!

      6. I am amazed at the title “Confronting sexual violence in the Archdiocese. “Confronting” is a strong word especially when no info about allegations is being released

    3. Denise, you make some good points, but are you saying no priest should ever be reinstated? The AD has made some unbelievable mistakes and is arrogant as hell, but it’s hard to fathom, especially with a former prosecutor on the staff and the incredible public hit they took in the Lynn trial, that it would put priests back into ministry just so it can thumb its nose at the world.

      “I believe the victims/survivors, and always will.”

      Does that include the convicted murderer mentioned earlier, Peter Schellinger, who denies stabbing the teenager who testified against him and whose mom he killed? I know false reports are rare, but hey happen.

      I think one thing we can agree on is that the statute of limitations in Pa. is unconscionably short and needs reform in both the criminal and civil arenas.

      1. Mike ,I dont want to answer for Denise and nor am I referring to the Msgr Close case..but yesterday I read that so far the reinstated priest cases number seven and the removed priests also number seven, which is a 50/50 split. I know within the Church the number given for false accusations is 2-3% and stats for false allegations in the general pubic runs about 4%. And the Archdiocese is saying these reinstated priests have unsubstantiated allegations..they do not use the word false. I am just wondering how the parents/children at the parishes are supposed to deal with this news. A priest they knew was pulled from ministry and now is being reinstated and they don’t even know what the totally disrespectful to the parents of these affected parishes.

      2. “…but are you saying no priest should ever be reinstated? ..”

        Mike, in my opinion, unfortunately, that’s probably the way it needs to be…It’s not safe or wise to reinstate them. The seeming unfairness of this is part of the fallout of the RCC clergy abuse scandal.

      3. Mike:
        the 5th Commandment is “thou shalt not kill”. I will pray for Peter Schellinger.i do not codone killing, who knows why it happened. The victims/survivors, I believe, have had their souls murdered by the priests/pedophiles, who I feel are “amoral”…..And now the higher ups are pulling all shots to protect, deny, that this has happened….Hiding lists denying lists. Or whatever reason they use. Everytime I read another “list”, its a priest from GoodShepard, St Barnabas, OLf Cardinal Ohara, St Phils, Our Lady of Peace, St Mads…….. and it goes on…..11million dollars ,$11,000,000 dollars on 1 trial and our schools are closing.People are hungry, homeless.I don’t recall at Mass the praying for victims/survivors. I do pray that peace come into their hearts, and take away the memory of the most horrific crimes committed on them,as innocent children and replace it with the light of Jesus. Light can overpower the darkness in this world. Jesus is our Light. This is my belief. My children went to some of the schools above mentioned.They were exposed to these men…. I would want to know. My faith in God gets stronger, and the Holy Spirit leads my life. Peace, Mike…….. I believe the survivors/ victims.

  23. Susan and all here, does anyone remember that Brian Tierney (recently hired by Archbishop Chaput as the AOD’s PR guy) was also involved in Bevilacqua’s cover-up to rehab the City Line Avenue residence of Bevilacqua to the tune of over $1 million years ago? This just stinks and it gets worse by the day.

  24. Greed is sin and a form of idolatry which leads to other sins like arrogance, lying, stealing, sexual sin, immorality etc. Sin is the absence of God in our lives. So, church leaders (CL) in sin reject the wisdom and protection of God. Without the Holy Spirit to guide them CL decisions are humanly flawed. In desperation CL stumble in the dark grasping at anything that will save them. The intent of the CL may not be to “thumb their nose” and they may well think in their arrogance, greed, and dishonesty that they are making sound decisions. I don’t think you can fully “fathom” the cause and effect from a secular perspective. The disconnect is that CL are trying to apply secular solutions to a spiritual problem two of the biggest solutions being a “PR person” and a “former prosecutor”, a truly biblical move on the part of CL (sarcasm). If children’s safety were not at stake, I’m sure God would have enjoyed a grand chuckle at that one. God has been calling CL to repent for quite a while and the further they travel from His grace, the more ludicrous their decisions and subsequent action or inaction in the face of crisis. Thus Denise’s conclusion “doesn’t sound like the RCC that I thought I knew.” The RCC is being run like a corporation; On C4C there is constant reference to God’s law. He wants His church to operate under that law. The victims have called for justice; God has answered their cry. Recall Jesus Cleansing the Temple? The RCC is being bankrupted and Heaven is rejoicing. Keep up the good work C4C. Christ’s church will prevail; immoral CL will fail.

    1. So true………..if they acted like Christians instead of a corporation………..they would not be in this bind…………power and money corrupts if you are not rooted in Christ…..

  25. This reply was for Mike re Denise’s comments. Sorry the beginning of my post got cut off.

  26. Hi Susan,

    I, too, am deeply saddened by the news regarding Father Givey… But I’m also confused and frustrated by the vagueness of the description of whatever wrong-doing he did… The newspaper said it was not in the sexual assault category but rather a ‘boundaries’ issue that may have involved improper language &/or being around alcohol & minors… Can you clarify the allegations that Fr. Givey faced or point me to where in the report the charges against him are stated? I have to go and deliver this news to my 88 year old mother today & could really use some straight forward clarifications before I start that conversation with her… Can you assist me in any way?


    1. Hi SH,
      The vagueness is frustrating and completely unfair. While the boundary issue violations can pertain to improper language, giving alcohol to a minor, etc. It was explained that in the cases of priests being removed from ministry, these behaviors pertain to specific and very serious sexual inappropriateness with minors – touching, pornography, grooming, sexual contact (excluding assault). Remember that a minor can be anyone under 18. For example, a relationship with a 17 who consents would not be considered assault.

      Archbishop Chaput returned four other priests to ministry. It takes an incredible amount of evidence for the Church to remove a priest. Father Dave isn’t being removed for sliding someone a gin and tonic. The archdiocese will not divulge the specifics in any case. However, Father Givey is mentioned in testimony in 2005 (public record) and I think the testimony the DA collected on Fr. Dave for the Msgr. Lynn trial will find its way out to public record. The truth always finds its way out.

      Father Dave can appeal the decision to the Vatican. When that is denied, he will have two options – a life of supervised prayer and penance or laicization.

      I remember the kind, generous priest who helped so many, and yes, knew how to have a good time. I’ve reconciled that with the man who made really bad decisions and whose superiors should have intervened. Instead, Bevilacqua and crew enabled him to live a lie.

      I don’t envy your conversation with your mother. I wish there was more I could share to help you. Maybe just let her remember the priest we knew.

      1. I am sorry, but the Dave Givey my family encountered at Our Lady of Peace was nothing like the description you give of a kind, generous priest. My children attended the school and my son worked in the rectory. I am sickened by this man.

        1. RCS, I think that’s what makes this so hard for everyone. If all you had with someone was good experiences, it’s hard to envision the bad. But I believe the victims. And I believe you.

      2. rcs, I was at Prendie when Givey was the chaplain and did not know him well enough to form an opinion, but some interesting comments on FB from friends and their recollection of him, similar to your own. And then of course others who are shocked and remember him as a good priest when they were in high school.

      3. I met Father Dave Givey at the Newman Center in West Chester in the late eighties. Both my mother and I were very impressed with what a great priest he was! My mother, who had fallen away, pledged more money than she could afford for the Newman Center, under Givey’s direction. We loved him. And I thought he would bring my mother back to the Faith. So sad today. I saw so much GOOD in him, and so did my mother. He was a true Evangelist. I feel for you, Susan, too.

        For me, the news about Msgr. Campbell was like a Mack Truck running over me…he was so influential to my Catholic Faith and development. With Father Givey, it’s just sadness and numbness…

      4. Archie, I hear you. It’s all so disappointing..and at times feels unreal to have to reassess and dismiss what we thought we knew to be truthful and good.
        You mention the Neuman Center at West Chester Univ. I wish the non-religious universities would shut these down.
        I have two boys on college campuses. Given the statistics on clergy abuse, I’m sorry to say that I don’t trust priests who feel compelled to staff these centers — Free of any parental input or supervision, they minister to kids who are at a difficult (and possibly vulnerable) time of life… They seem unnecessary and risky to me.

      5. I hope priests who are reading this blog are gaining a sense of how deeply the faithful are affected by the removal of offending priests. The enormity of it and the far-reaching effects are staggering . Priests who think that the task of healing and recovery are confined to a parish level or pertain to congregations of people, alone, are short-sighted. It is impossible to wrap one’s heads around the innumerable, individual stories of people whose lives, relatives and families were touched and influenced by offending priests. The tragic poignancy of each story is heart and soul-breaking. There is no healing from these things. There is only healthy coping. Parish priests cannot assist in accomplishing this as long as the hierarchy obstructs justice, communicates either silently or unintelligibly, lacks transparency, and lies. When the hierarchy acts in a manner that chokes the pastoral duties of priests, and priests remain silent, they act as another layer to the deception and betrayal. The profundity of the deception and betrayal and its pervasiveness, whether it is willful or not, renders the entire priesthood meaningless. Ultimately, it is this defilement of the priesthood of Christ that has catastrophically confounded and mystified the faithful, more so than any offending priest. To permit such a scenario to continue due to misplaced loyalty, fear, or in order to protect one’s professional objectives, is unconscionable.

      6. Crystal, I would write the Univ Admin and express your concerns. If the Catholic Church hierarchy did not want us to think or say bad things about them they should have behaved better.

  27. Praise the Lord! The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that prosecutors are looking into Bishop Bransfield of W. Virginia due to the disconcerting testimony involving him that came to light during the trial, in addition to a 1970’s claim of abuse by him. Hopefully Cullen and Cistone are next on the prosecutors’ list.

  28. rcs,
    It is how these priests operate when they don’t thinking anyone is watching that shows their true colors and sadly many times it can be children that witness this.

  29. Since my own Catholicism has deeply eroded over the past 3 decades to the point now I seriously question the existence of a god it is perhaps unfair I comment on your former boss, confessor, friend. I do not know the man or for that matter any priest accused of pedophilia. I do know priests who have/are doing important and valuable work for society. Fortunately it is not my job to judge or forgive priests who have raped children, but I am deeply critical of a church and its leadership for not addressing each instance immediately and aggressively. I grieve for individuals so deeply harmed and the hurt you must feel regarding your friend.

  30. Susan, I was at Prendie when Fr. Givey was there and remember how the girls admired him. It is sad to hear what has happened, and I can understand how you feel when it involves someone who had been a close part of your life. The whole situation of the church is disheartening, to say the least.

    Thank you for posting this info. I happened to miss this “late-Friday-afternoon-on-a-holiday-weekend” announcement. So much for transparency, accountability and healing.

  31. Susan, I know how hard it must be for you to hear bad things about a person who was so good to you and your family. This whole scandal has been devastating.

  32. I think most of the time it is hard for we victims to be believed because when these priests weren’t abusing us they portrayed themselves as moral, loving, law-abiding good men of God. Most people were fortunate enough not to have encountered many of these “men” behind closed doors or in secret places. You believed in your pastor as a good priest, who counseled through family problems, and was willing to take the kids for ice cream. Child predators do not abuse every child they come in contact with, but they pick and choose those of us who were vulnerable at the time. Some of us came from broken families, single-parent upbringing, other tensions within the household, or in my own case, a young openly gay 14 year-old with an alcoholic father and a very Irish conservative Catholic mother who somehow had the ability to always feel good about herself when she made me miserable. Being openly gay in 1990 was not popular by any means, and I know that my abuser used the knowledge of my open sexuality and the absence of my father to get close to me, groom me, and ultimately molest and rape me.

    I had to see the darker side of humans from the time I was a very small child to the age of about 15, when the sexual abuse finally ended. My first abuser was well liked in the neighborhood, always willing to play basketball with the kids in the alley, or throw a baseball, and often hosted barbeques at his house. On the outside I think he was considered a good dad by neighbors and friends. On the inside it was pure hell! Abusers do everything to manipulate not only their child victims, but also the parents and other adults around, who, if these allegations ever came out, would never in a million years believe that their priest or their well liked and respected neighbor could be perpetrating such horrific acts upon children. I NEVER imagined that anyone would believe me before I came forward in ’09. I was sure my parents would be the first to dismiss the abuse and then Catholic people and anyone who knew me. Everybody else saw these guys as really good men. Who would take my word over theirs? Who was going to believe me over the word of a Catholic priest?

    I have always said that I love seeing non-victims post on here “I believe the victims.” You have no idea how much those four little words can change my day, my outlook on the future, and anyone who might be reading this blog today and is considering to end his/her silence. When the former Deputy DA Charlie Gallagher in Philadelphia looked me in the eye in early ’09 in his office, after I had just told him about the abuse I went through and he said, “I believe you,” man that felt so good. I was relieved that someone believed me and it just happened to be the first person, other than my partner, who I told about the abuse.

    When idiots, who don’t know a damn thing about the reality for children back then and today, they now get to comment on online newspaper articles, where any doughnut with a computer can spout off with the most insenstive, uneducated, purely foolish comments about how we victims “want money and attention.” People who believe a$$holes like Bill Donahue are the reason so many victims continue to suffer in silence, or worse – kill themselves.

    When we victims are forced to alert the community of a known or suspected pedophile priest living in their area, because nobody else will help us protect kids from ever going through what we have, it’s the good Catholics who spit in our faces and call us “liars.” They throw stones at us and drive by in their cars yelling at us “get a life. Go f#ck yourself,” and I’m sure you can imagine some of the more creative language on your own. But many of us continue to alert parishioners and communities about these guys in their mist. We’re treated like we’re the ones who he raped. Again, why do we have to go through all of this shit to protect YOUR kid?

    I promise you that if you just gave my friends and I a few minutes of your time to explain just a little of what happened to us, and to see with your own eyes the information that most common sense people would view as absolutely incriminating evidence, you’ll be better adapted to protecting your own kids and you won’t have to worry about seeing us in front of your churches or schools or in your neighborhoods with signs and flyers. I think if most people listened to us a little more and were just willing to believe 1% of what we say, they’d be standing on the same side of the street with us, protesting in front of their churches and demanding accountability. Just give us that chance. We won’t make you look like fools.

    1. Just very sad for you and Jim Tucker and all victims, but I pray even if you can’t.

    2. Rich, some Catholics act that way because to quote Jack Nicholson, “they can’t handle the truth.” Denial is the first stage of grief, anger the second and some Catholics get stuck not knowing how to proceed to the next stage. I feel your pain also had an alcoholic dad, RCC very strict Irish mom who turned her back on her 13 yr old daughter when she asked for help when a family sexual predator molested and raped her. At 18 I shook the dust of Philadelphia off my shoes, and (mentally) took my inner child by the hand and told her no one else would ever hurt her because I was her mommy now. Then, I struggled to take back everything they took from me, including my faith. I’ve loved deeply and lost love. I’ve had a great career, a college education with several specialties, and a wonderful precious loving son and daughter any mom would be proud to claim, two fantastic granddaughters, and a charmingly funny great grandson. I have met three presidents, three governors, five senators, heads of state, foreign dignitaries, singers, writers, actresses, actors, Robert Mitchum and Michael Douglas being two of my favorites because they are such gracious men. When eye to eye in that deep resonant voice Robert Mitchum says to you, “yes ma’am”, it is truly noteworthy. I’ve been to dinner in the home of the wealthiest man in the world and also some of the poorest. I have had to tell parents of their children’s sexual abuse and watch their shock and tears or denial and anger. I can cry very easily and get very angry when I hear stories like yours which parallel mine. But, have found it true that “laughter is the best medicine.” At 13 I thought my life was over, sometimes I wished it was. At 18 I thought well at least I’m escaping the insanity. Looking back at the faces of the children who crossed my path during the ensuing years, I’m glad I was there for them as well as the adults I was able to help. My mother/family doesn’t really know the person I am, the wonders I’ve seen and done or the loving daughter/sister she/they rejected because it doesn’t fit her/their opinion of me. We are here for a reason. You are making a difference. You have a talent; you have experience and knowledge to share. The world is ready for your message. Save you notes and when you’re ready write your book, and as readers write to thank you for helping them, you’ll know the effort was worth it. Never let another person define your reality, determine your worth, or limit your capacity to love, and always laugh more than you cry. By the way, your partner must be pretty special for you to trust him with your truth. Peace and Love. Cathy

  33. Victims for Justice; So much truth and so much I can relate to in your post. The priest who molested me knew that my father was an alcoholic. HE knew that my father physically and emotionally abused all his children. How did he know? My father went to confession. Who heard his confession? the priest who abused me. He used this information to pick and choose his victims. Is that what the sacrement of confession was suppose to be used for? THe priest was also very generous. He took all of us altar boys on trips. We went to Washington and Gettysburg one year. The next year we went to West Point and a Monastery in upstate New York. When my father got laid off from his work, Father gave my mother money. There were times when my mother didn’t have money to buy food for her seven children and my molestor helped. For years I have had extreme difficulty reconciling these two men. The one who molested me and the one who gave money to help feed me. The man who molested me and tthe man who took me to places I would never have seen otherwise. What it did to me was make me believe that I was somehow responsible for the abuse. I know that is not true now but it took a very long time.

    1. Jim, thanks for helping us to understand the way child abuse works…You have overcome so much. I can only imagine how hard it all was to reconcile. I believe you. {{hugs}}

    2. That sucks, Jim. It sucks that you had to go through the same kind of shit I went through. NOBODY should ever have to live our lives!

      The priest who abused me, Rev. John M. McDevitt, also was very aware that I was NY Cardinal John O’Connor’s nephew and he also found a way to use that to his advantage and abused me. I think from my own experience, I can say without a shred of doubt, that child predators are probably the most psychologically intelligent people on the planet. Maybe it only seems that way because it’s mostly kids they’re using their whits with, but like I said, the parents are also manipulated and groomed in my opinion too. I begged my Mom not to send me back there. I never told her what was really going on, but I think she should’ve known what was up. I guess she trusted these guys as much as I did.

      I think one of the worst parts, or the most psychological damaging aspects of the abuse, even more so than the actual sexual contact, was during the first episodes of abuse, when my “trust” for these men became very confusing, and like we were always told by our parents and teachers not to talk to strangers or get in anyone’s car, these guys were NOT strangers. How does a little kid figure that out when he knows that bad things happen to kids when they get grabbed by a stranger, but bad things are also happening to me by people my parents knew and trusted? There was a time when I wanted to be like these men, because they inspired me and protected me and cared about me, until I realized of course it was all manipulation so they could do exactly what they did. Consciously I know the abuse wasn’t my fault, but I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for trusting these men. I think child predators take away the very basic of a child’s defensive instinct – to tell someone. Both combined to abuse me probably thousands of times, and I kept going back. I haven’t forgiven myself for that either. I didn’t tell anyone until I was 32 years-old.

      Since I’ve been doing the therapy thing since early 2009, I have learned to be a little bit easier on that kid inside of me. I can’t say that there isn’t days that I’m not still blaming him for constantly going back to the abuse, or somehow feeling responsible for the abuse, but I’m trying to get him through it and I’m trying to teach “Little Me” how “real men” treat innocent, defenseless, trusting children.

      Most people know that I have done hundreds of protests in front of churches, schools, other Catholic owned buildings, and in neighborhood where pedophile priests are now living without the knowledge of their neighbors why they are no longer priests. I’ve done this type of activism in four different states. I’ve done interviews with local and national media outlets and I’ve been quoted in a lot of newspapers. My own story, after I went public, was in just about every newspaper in the world on June 18, 2009. People know this about me because I decided when I came forward I was going to use my real name and I was going to tell the world that if a Cardinal’s nephew could be abused, so can any kid.

      What most people do not know about me and I’ve never once written about it here or have shown it in the company of others, is that after I spend the day doing all of these things to speak out and protect kids, I usually spend the rest of the day afterwards crying. I’m usually in panic mode and severe depression, and I don’t think I have slept one hour of one night after I did a protest or gave some kind of interview. (I hate doing the interview thing, because usually the media shoves a camera two inches from your face, and the reporter asks really loaded questions like “how did the abuse affect you?” I try to respond but I have so much to say that my words do not come out and I have a very difficult time trying to figure out where to start. I have only done interviews because people watching or reading NEED to know what we went through, and why changing the laws is not just to allow past victims to expose their perpetrators, or seek criminal/civil charges, but it’s also to desperately protect another kid from having to experience the type of life we’ve had.)

      Maybe the worst part about the abuse is that while I was being abused I didn’t know life was supposed to be an other kind of way.

      If you ever want to communicate, Jim,

      You are my brother. Peace out!
      Rich Green

    3. Jim,

      You stated, “My father went to confession. Who heard his confession? the priest who abused me. He used this information to pick and choose his victims. Is that what the sacrament of confession was suppose to be used for?”

      Through education, and widespread dissemination of information via the internet, many of us are now aware how these creeps operate.

      The people in First World countries are quickly becoming aware of how these perverts betray the trust of the people, and are leaving the RCC. People in Europe severed their connection to the RC Church (Catholic in name alone) decades ago. Now Catholics in the US and Ireland are doing the same.

      The RCC is becoming a Church of the Third World. These people are poor, and the RCC gives them hope, (false hope!). Third World countries are the only counties that still produce vocations, and the abuse goes on and on, e.g., African priests raping nuns.


      Poverty and under education makes the populace ripe for exploitation, and the RCC will be right there to take advantage of them.

    4. Jim I am so sorry you’ve had to live with this hellish incongruity. As both you and Rich said these child predators are very astute at zeroing in on the vulnerable which makes their crime that much more horrific. Often these monsters groom the families as well as the victim possibly to separate the victim with the added advantage of destroying more lives when their crime is revealed. They stalk and work the situation to their advantage before they make their move. They don’t just want our bodies; they want our minds and souls and those of our families too. I think we are like prey to them and they are the vilest of demons. I’m glad you found your truth and know you’re not responsible for the actions of another. May the Holy Spirit fill your life with peace, love, joy and many victories for victims by your witness. Cathy

  34. Rich, Did you ever think about writing a book about all of this? Maybe something like monologues??? A page or 5 pages about just one aspect or just part of an incident and repeat again?? It is very powerful to share with us that after you protest, you spend the rest of the day crying. In writing monologues, you won’t get you thoughts jumbled up. Thank you.

  35. Susan,

    I write a lot. That’s no joke. I have written over 75,000 pages of words since I came forward 3 & 1/2 years ago. I write a lot about myself and during nights when I can’t sleep or days I’m in panic mode, I’m usually at my computer, with a keyboard and a blank word processor and my fingers never stop moving. My computer won’t judge me for the words I share with it, and I don’t have to worry about negative comments from people who don’t understand, because 95% of what I write has never been read by anyone, including myself. I never re-read what I write, but I have saved all of my words.

    Yes, I’ve thought about writing a book. Many people have suggested that I do write a book, and I know a few people who like the idea that I write about some of the raw emotional details that most men don’t talk about, but have claimed that I put into words exactly how they feel. I’ve never had the problem with exposing just how emotionally screwed up the abuse left me, but I don’t give everything away, and other than “anal and oral rape” you’ll never hear anything more specific than that. There’s some things in my brain that you and nobody else will ever be able to get to. Those memories and thoughts are just for me.

    People have told me for a few years now that I should write a book, but I don’t think I’m ready for a book about me, or what happened to me, to be available to just anyone, even though I know that my comments here and on other internet forums are read by “just anyone.” Something about writing a book still seems scary to me. I do write in an email storyteller’s program, in which my stories are at least emailed to about 28,000 people every Wednesday. I keep myself anonymous, but also leave an available email for someone who I’ve been able to impact enough to talk about their own abuse. I’ve also won the story of the week more than 20 times. I never understand how I could win such a thing with the absolutely horrible shit I write about, but apparently a lot of people think it’s good enough to vote for as their favorite story of the week. Still… no major book offers, or Lifetime TV movie deals, and not even a free Shammy or a 6″ tall plastic trophy. I’m not sure what I’ve won, but if other victims are inspired enough by my words so it can help them find their own… well it makes me feeling very good about me.

    I haven’t given up on the idea of writing a book. I just have a lot of things to figure out about myself before I find the courage to do it.

    1. Rich: You are really courageous to share your feelings with all of us. I think you could write a best seller. I believe that because you speak from your heart. I too have real problems when it comes to speaking of things that are in my mind. I do much better writing than speaking, especially in groups. I think this goes back to how I coped {maybe didn’t cope] after being abused. I was a shy kid beforehand, but afterwards I completely isolated. Before I was involved in little league baseball and midget football. After I got involved in absolutely nothing. As I look back at those times I did what I needed to survive. There was absolutely no one I could trust. My father was a raging alcoholic and my mother went around all day saying”I wish I were dead”.After the abuse I couldn”t go to the Church. I’m sure there were priests I could trust. But how do you differentiate between those who you could trust and those you couldn’t. I decided to trust no one. Our coping skills as victims aren’t very developed. At some level they get us to adulthood. As a so called adult I coped in a different but equally destructive way. I became best friends with Mr, Bud Weiser. In the beginning Bud and I got along fine. I was able to tallk to people. I actually had some friends{more like drinking buddies]. But soon I began to wake up in the morning and not remeber how I got home,. I continued to cope this way for some seventeen years. I met my wife in the bar. We Butgot married and had two wonderful kids. Today we are still married with two grandkids who are a delight. But I still have trouble coping . I still tend to isolate. My two favorite songs growing up were “the great Pretender” by the Platters and Simon and Garfunkles song with the words “I am a rock, I am an island”This rock still feels the pain.

      1. I hear ya, brotha! I had a very long love affair with John Jameson & Son. We got along great! I always paid and he provided the medicine that would help me sleep at night. He was some kind of friend.

        You know what I’ve been thinking a lot about, Jim? I’m as much entitled to be happy just as any person on the planet has that right. I do a lot of things that make me happy, but they also bring up rage, depression, and sadness. Speaking up and out is what I’m talking about. It makes me feel good and I really feel like I have an opportunity to make a serious impact with my story. After I went public in ’09, being the only victim to have ever accused my perp priest, 14 other victims came forward to validate my abuse, but if it wasn’t for my going public, those guys might still be suffering in silence today. When my abusers told me I would never tell our little secret to anyone, I listened when I was that little kid, because I was afraid and embarrassed. I’m not afraid anymore, at least while I’m conscious and in non-panic mode. They tried to destroy me but they couldn’t do it. I’m still strong.

        “Be the change” is a username of someone who comments here. I’m not sure if her intention was to follow the quote I know all too well that has helped me throughout my journey, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I read that quote at least once everyday, because it’s hanging above my desk in my office.

        Others wall quotes in my office; “Be true to who you are. Find a passion and pursue it. Trust in yourself. Be nice to everyone. Embrace change. Make every moment count.”

        “Love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like no one’s listening. And dance like no one’s watching.” (Trust me too, when I sing or dance, you definitely don’t want to be around me. 😉 )

        Do you believe in fate, Jim? I’ve been thinking about it a lot. What if our abuse was just meant to be? What if the abuse was meant to be so that the world today would have knowledgable and experienced, but traumatized men and women who could expose the entire world to the horrors that exist for children? What if our abuse was meant to be so that men like us could grow up to be protectors of children? What if any of that is true? I still wish I could have a do-over in life, but I know I have a purpose and I feel like someday I will be free. Ironically, our abuse has and will continue to protect other children from abuse.

        Peace out!

      2. Jim and Rich You are both very brave. Have you ever tried EMDR? (Eye movement desensitization reprocessing) It’s just one of many trauma therapies. You can google it for info. I was skeptical, but it really does help. A therapist can teach you to do EMDR yourself. It’s a painless and simple process using REM sleep eye movements, but you’re awake while you watch a video as an icon moves around the screen or you watch hand movements they can even include stereo sound effects. It takes about 20 minutes. Another therapy is hypnosis where they plant a positive memory to replace the negative one which works for many traumas, and to a lesser degree of success there’s also acupuncture and acupressure.
        Rich, when you say, “you had so much to say, but the words won’t come out.” For me, I don’t think there is a shortened version that feels legitimate because the essence of the message is the abuse and how we dealt with it at “all” the moments of our life. Summarizing leaves you feeling like you’re not telling the whole truth, yet certain truths are ours alone. My username comes from your wall plaque, and I like your other wall plaques too; especially, the last Mark Twain quote. Congratulations on your writing success. People want to know about the “horrible” because child sexual abuse is an international crisis and people are trying to understand it in order to protect children. Each time we speak out, each time we cry, each time we get back up again and try is a victory for every abused child, and a positive step in our own healing process.
        Yes Jim it hits me too when I see a teenager and realize I never emotionally experienced that transition period, or when a trauma (death, divorce, loss, a forgotten memory) touches your life and you have to deal with the abuse all over again as PTSD encircles you. Both good song choices, and just remember “rock” if you’re feeling pain, you share the human experience and for that alone I salute you. My favorite song from the 60’s is The Impossible Dream. Grandkids are the best medicine; they keep you in touch with the child you were.
        For all abuse survivors, I think even the happy moments are woven together with the abuse. Like when my daughter was born I had an overpowering need to get her home where I could keep her safe, and so within hours of her birth I had convinced the doctor to release us after he reassured himself I was not suffering postpartum depression. Fortunately I have a photo of myself taken shortly before the abuse and two photos within a year; those photos help me stay firmly planted in reality. I was taught when the thoughts come to let the demons do their crazy dance for a little while and then to tell them they’ve had their fun and it’s time to get lost. I mentally watch those dancing little red devils with pointed ears hang their heads and shuffle off in disappointment. I accept the truth, and have learned I am in control of when, how, and how long it affects me. I could very easily let my abuse take me to the depths of hell, but I choose not to go there. I acknowledge it happened and it hurts immeasurably, but it is not who I am; I am so much more. Controlling my demons is a conscious decision because it is what is best for me and those I love. Peace and love. Cathy

  36. Rich: What a wonderful testimonial to help others!! JIm you, too…And Be the Change. Three people with different stories, but basically all the same…. You will help people thru your walk in life, just by sharing your stories, and know that you are helping yourselves, too. Very Powerful. I believe the victims/survivors, and pray for you..Peace. Denise

  37. Let us hope and pray that the victims of Bransfield and Gana will be courageous and come forward so that this can be brought before DA Risa Vitri Ferman of Montgomery County where both pedophiles were assigned: Bransfied to Lansdale Catholic and Gana to St. Stanislaus which is a feeder school for Lansdale Catholic.

  38. I’m probably posting this in the wrong area, but I just had to vent/comment about my parish. There was no mention of the removed or returned priests at mass, instead our pastor decided to lecture us about money instead of giving a homily. Not in addition to the homily – instead of. Said it was parishes like ours (in debt to the AD for about $300k) that are causing the financial problems in the AD. No mention of the 11mil spent on the trials, the pr people and oh yeah the 1mil embezzeled. People less informed probably believed him and opened their wallets wider. My husband took our three children and left. He has never done that before. Oh, and our priest also mentioned that we should encourage others to come back to church. Is that not laughable? It is suddenly my job to convince others to come to church when I am just hanging on by a thread? If that is my job, what is his job? Bring them to church so they can get shaken down too? Honestly, the priest seemed more concerned about his auto insurance not being paid than he is about his parishioners. Here’s an idea father, start paying your own health insurance and auto insurance from your salary like the rest of us do. That way you will do your part in easing our parish’s burden on the great AD of Phila. You really can’t make this stuff up.

    1. catholicmom,

      Your priest is unfit for ministry and a real ass. Please don’t fail the rest of us by not telling him so.

      1. Kate – I laughed out loud at your response. Believe me, he knows how I feel! I think he is going to block my phone # and doesn’t respond to my emails anymore. I am begining to think I should not waste my energy on him. He is a typical passive, obedient priest blind to all except his bishop. I don’t think he has had an original thought in his life. He has talked to us many times about the structure of obedience in the priesthood. Clearly he was set on fire with the fervor from Chaput encouraging him to get the parish finances in order. He recently met with him. Chaput just installed him as pastor (after being our temp priest) as our previous pastor was removed, then reinstated to ministry and then he retired. So now he is officially ours, lucky us. I’m just struck by how dumb he must think we are. Does he really think we can’t see his puppet strings? We have so many issues he should/could talk about, the trial obviously and the victims/survivors, but also local issues like our schools merging. Instead we got the money lecture disguised as a homily. I kid you not, his letter in the bulletin this week states that there is NO MONEY left in savings – his caps. He also mentions he will begin publishing weekly contributions in the bulletin. I’m not saying he meant that as a threat, but in my humble opinion that is how I took it.

        I feel so ineffective.I’ve tried to get him to talk about the elephant in the room, I really have tried so hard. I’ve sent him links to this site, called him and emailed him. I’ve begged him to speak from his heart and not follow the script from the AD. I just can’t make him see things from another point of view. Yet he wants us to “invite others to come and try us once more”.

      2. catholicmom,

        You have to be especially careful with the new priests. They are particularly indoctrinated in the neo-conservative ways. Chaput represents everything they have been taught to believe and become. Seminary education, today, is nothing short of training for Chaput clones. Even older, Vatican II priests detest having to deal with this lot. Tell your priest you’ll invite people to “come home” when all the bishops have gone away.

        You’re doing a fabulous job. You make us all proud. What a Catholic mom!

      3. Kate your brutal honesty gave me a good laugh……..sounds like this priest might be in denial that his parish maybe merged soon among other things.

    2. catholic mom, I was in a meeting a few years ago with a young priest and he mentioned how costly it is to run a parish and we (group of parents) would not believe how something always comes up that ends up being an unexpected expense…seriously. A group of parents paying tuition,saving for college, orthodontics, sports,music lessons,health insurance, car insurance,mortgages,clothing, food prescriptions etc……would have no idea how difficult it was.

      1. One time a young priest used the homily-time at my church to convey to the congregation how stressed and busy priests were due to the dwindling priesthood, the need for individual priests to serve two, three, sometimes more parish churches, etc. But he made a huge mistake when he moved from speaking about priestly stresses and strains in general to describing a typical day in his, individual “busy” life. When he finished, the entire congregation burst out laughing. Seriously.

    3. You REALLY can’t make this stuff up…what about standing up in Church, interrupt that idiot sermon, and say just what you said here…Chances are good you are not returning to THAT parish, anyway.

      I am sure there are better ones around…

      1. Carholicmom….I don’t really expect you to stand up in Church…but I thought that leaving with the kids was a STATEMENT….can’t speak for Philly..but in my world people literally ‘shop’ for parishes, and ‘move on’ if the good clergy does..

  39. Wow. I’ve been disappointed that my parish priests haven’t mentioned what’s going on in Philadelphia, but I’ve cut them some slack, because there’s so much turbulennce in our Parish right now…but it’s wrong. It’s the Elephant in the Room….and it’s not being discussed. Just swept under the rug. Business as usual.

    Each week, I’m more disappointed than the last, that the Elephant in the Room is never discussed.

    I know it takes courage to speak out….I’m just so disappointed that all of my Parish priests are so timid.

    1. Your parish priests are not timid, Archie Francis. They are cowards!

      The victims are always left with the responsibility of talking about it and speaking up. Many of us, myself included, thought we would take our secrets to our graves. We didn’t want anyone to know what happened. We felt guilty about it. We thought it was our fault. We felt responsible. We felt ashamed. Hell, those are mostly the only times I ever “felt” anything at all.

      Then I felt that I couldn’t imagine the idea that my abusers were still out there in the world abusing other children. I had to find a way to talk about it. It was my responsibility to speak up and protect other kids.

      Also be aware, I do not only consider the men who physically sexually abused me to be my “abusers.” Anyone who knew about, ignored it, promoted it, and harbored it are as much responsible for what happened to me. The cowards who turned a blind eye to a child suffering are our abusers too. So everytime your parish priest changes the topic of conversation or refuses to address the elephant in the room, he’s just as guilty of child abuse as the abusers themselves. There are thousands of Jerry Scumdusky’s in the Catholic Church, and probably millions in other areas of society. There are also plenty of Graham Spanier’s, Gary Shultz’s, Tim Curley’s, and Mike McQueary’s that occupy your precious institution. Think about that when you’re getting your kids ready for school in the morning. Think about how many James Brennan’s and Charles Englehardt’s, Jim Avery’s and Bernard Shero’s are awaiting for your children to show up for school.

      I think victims in general have been through enough in their lives. It is so hard for me to work on myself and my own issues because I am too busy advocating for other victims and children. Don’t get me wrong, but I probably wouldn’t want it any other way, and I believe my activism and alliance with my fellow victims gets me through the day, but why is it always up to us to talk about it? Why is it constantly our job to expose it? Why is protecting your children my responsibility? I never thought this journey was going to be easy. It’s very, very hard. It’s hard everyday, but I can hack it. I just wish it was a little bit easier. I think if we victims had unwavering support from non-victims, who can promise us they will never retreat in battle, we could all do something amazing. We could all be heroes.

      When are you going to stand up and be your own person and demand accountability, honesty, and transparency from the people you respect as your god on earth? Isn’t god supposed to be all loving and almighty? Why aren’t his hustlers and politicans, living in his house, using his good name, being held to a higher standard than us mere mortals?

      Yes, your parish priests are cowards. Cowards right to the end. If they were real men of god, or “men” at all, they wouldn’t stand by in silence and ignorance. Real men protect children!

      1. Thank you for your response to my post, V4J. I pray for the victims daily…they are never far from my conciousness. I hope that my Priests do, too. But, again, today – no talk of it, nothing included even in the Prayer of the Faithful. I don’t get it. And, am profoundly disappointed.

        Please know that People of Faith do pray for you….always. I am disappointed in the hierachy of the Church, but the Church is the People. That really is the true definition of the Church. And, I think most People are inherently good.

        God bless you and have mercy upon you….and bless you especially for your candor and activism. Keep the faith, V4J!

  40. V4J spot on! Wondering how many parishes even prayed for the victims at the prayers of the faithful … it is really a shame that parish priests in Philly were mute, their silence deafening all during the trial, and even as the verdict was announced on June 22. Shame on priests and pew hugging catholics who continue to drink the kool aid and belong to the cult named the catholic church.

  41. Catholic Mom — Good for your husband for making a statement by leaving with the kids! Years ago, we had belonged to a parish 7 years and our son had gone to elementary school there. The priest got up and DEFENDED his fellow priest who had been accused (and later found guilty) of abusing three boys. He said it couldn’t be true and the victims were lying!! He never even prayed for the victims. I looked at my son and husband and said “we’re out of here.”… Next week, SAME THING!. We left mid-sermon and never went back. Went to other Catholic churches for the last 11 years… We live in MD but with what happened in Philly and the good nuns at the LCWR, we joined an Episcopal church this past April. A very diverse congregation. Our priest is a woman. Imagine, there’s actually gay couples there. People of different ethnicities. It’s a very small church. There’s probably 50 people at the 10 am service. The only other service is at 8. The priest knows our name and so many people have come up to welcome us. Turns out, about 1/2 the people there left the RC. Don’t be afraid to leave. You may end up in a better place. I was just too damned angry to stay. Our most recent RC parish we really liked and we liked our pastor…we had been there 5 years. But it was time to leave the RC religion. They will never do anything about the abuse situation at least until Benedict is gone. He wants a smaller, more orthodox church and he can have it as far as we’re concerned. I wish you well.

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