Defense Argues Against Prison Time For Lynn


Throw away the key or give him sympathy? I’m surprised by how many in the pews tell me they’d prefer the former. They also wish he had the company of all the others involved in the coverup.

When Msgr. Lynn put institutional interests before the safety of children, he sentenced several children to a life of cruel and unusual punishment. – Susan

Click here to read: “Lawyers: Prison for Msgr. Lynn would be ‘cruel’ and ‘unusual,’” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 19th, 2012.

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99 Responses to “Defense Argues Against Prison Time For Lynn”

  1. quoted: “A sentence of time-served, probation, work release or house arrest would ensure that Msgr. Lynn can still use his priestly gifts to improve the lives of those around him,” lawyers Thomas Bergstrom and Jeffrey Lindy said in their filing. ”

    Please, give us all a break…

    While he was a priest, Lynn’s actions created an atmosphere that enabled many innocent kids’ lives to be ruined forever… WHY on earth should Lynn be treated any better than any other criminal? That special privileged treatment is exactly why so many children have been harmed, because priests have been put on pedestals and have been treated to be above human beings and above the law. This is why this cover up of sex crimes has gone on for decades.
    This is why Lynn and any others who have enabled and covered up sex crimes against kids, need to be treated as the criminals they are.

    Treating Lynn any different, would be an insult to ALL victims of clergy sex crimes. These victims do not deserve to be re-traumatized again.

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

    • Lynn should be drummed out of the priesthood, WITH a lot of fanfare! But, he won’t be. Archbishop Chaput will make sure of that! If Lynn walks away without serving time, it’ll send a really bad message to those priests and bishops, who have covered up the crimes of Pedophile Priests for decades. I hope Judge Sarmina will not even consider letting Lynn walk! Let’s all pray!

    • Were he truly repentant would his response be, “No, I don’t deserve this punishment?” Is he in control of what his lawyers say and do?

      God’s word tells us four things about Him: Jealous (want’s no one before Him, even a church), Loving (He wants the best for us, but we are free to choose the worst) Merciful (True repentance* equals forgiveness) Just (If you do bad things, there are consequences)

      *True repentance is (1) Acknowledging that our thoughts, words, attitudes and actions were wrong. (2) Accepting our penance (in secular terms punishment which is: Commit the crime, do the time). (3) Restitution or as much as possible reversing the harm we’ve done to another.

      Is Lynn not an ordained priest, a descendant of the apostles and subject to God’s law as well as man’s regarding True Repentance? Or does God’s law not apply to the catholic clergy? What hypocrisy!!!

      • Saints Peter and Paul both taught the concept of “A Priesthood of ALL Believers,” both male and female! The “Sacrament” of the Priesthood is another so-called, Sacrament,” similar to the “Sacrament of Confession,” which was made for the sole purpose of promoting “Clericalism,” and “Authoritarianism by Force,” within the Roman Catholic Church.

      • Monsignor Lynn and “The Butterfly Effect!” For a long time I have known that “Prayer Changes Things.” Years ago, I became involved with a small “Prayer-Army,” of intercessors, which prayed to expose the Priest Pedophilia Scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. At the very beginning, few hoped that we’d be able to do so, because the All-powerful Roman Catholic Church, often controlled the media, press, etc., all for the purpose of “Avoiding Scandal to the Holy Roman Catholic Church.” Now, 20 years later, we are seeing the result of our prayers, letters to the editors, and belief in an Almighty God, who loves and protects children. Without knowing it, we were all butterflies! We were flapping our little wings, opening up our mouths, crying out to God, supporting each other, telling our stories, and little by little, day by day, our prayers and the prayers and actions of many, many others were responsible for causing a tsunami that has rocked the Church from the Vatican down to every country in the world! Yes, “The Butterfly Effect” and Prayer Work together to change the world. All is not finished yet. We are still flapping our wings until coverups are exposed at the highest level in the Vatican and in every Archdiocese in the World. Now, look at Monsignor Lynn and imagine him a little butterfly! He flapped his wings, furiously obeying every command of Cardinal Bevilacqua’s in covering up for Pedophile Priests. His little actions and wing flapping were very significant for the Archdiocese, because he enabled it to keep Pedophile Priests in the priesthood. Most significantly it endangered children and teens and exposed them to molestation, rape and sodomy! Monsignor Lynn’s little flapping wings destroyed the life of countless children and their families. For this he deserves a maximum prison sentence. Hopefully, he will get it!

    • Judy, you took the words right out of my mouth.. Give us a break!

      As far as Lynn’s sentence being “cruel and unusual punishment”… how about the cruel and unusual punishment all the victims and their families have been sentenced to? Lynn got off lucky with 7 years. The victims received a life sentence.

      • I don’t think that Lynn has been sentenced as of 12:48 Mountain time, as I have been watching the news flashes on the internet. If Lynn gets the full 7 years, he’ll probably be out in about 3 years with Good Behavior, unless of course the Judge sentences him without a possibility of parole. In any event, no matter what the sentence (unless he walks free), Archbishop Chaput will make sure that he spends hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, on Appeals!

      • Jeannie Guzman,

        I hope the AD spends millions on Lynn’s appeal. He’s not getting off, and spending money on him will hopefully further discourage contributions from the pew sheep.

  2. It is interesting how many people have done an about face since the trial and all the evidence that was exposed. Many thinking there should be a wing at the prison to house all whose “hands are dirty’ in this fiasco of crime and cover up. The other interesting thing that is happening is that when someone is expressing the old popular opinions of “victims are liars” or “Lynn did nothing wrong,just following orders”..that person is now in the minority..it has flip flopped completely.

    • I would like to hear from victims of abuse, whose sentences have been lifelong….regarding the defense’s plea for time served, probation house arrest et al for Lynn?

      • I am a survivor. Jail. Absolutely. He has enabled crimes against children and shows no remorse. Jail!

      • Kathy, I’m in NJ. From what I hear, people still have their heads in the sand. Philly is home for many of us here in So NJ and I can’t believe the rage hasn’t carried over the river.

        There was a priest arrested on Saturday from the Diocese of Trenton for sexual assault against a mother and her child. Interestingly, according to this article, he cannot minister, is not permitted on parish property and is responsible for all expenses.
        That’s a switch!

        http://www.app.com/article/20120719/NJNEWS/307190061/Brick-priest-facing-sex-assault-charges-out-bail?odyssey=nav|head

      • Mimzy, it has absolutely changed . I see and hear about it everday. My friend just commented to me how peaceful she feels that people are finally getting it. She said ‘they are now where we were a year ago” . People feel like they have been “had”. I don’t expect to see hundreds of people at vigils or storming the AD,actually more people are just leaving. They are the people the victims never know about,the ones who leave in their disgust at what happened to children.

      • Jail. I am a survivor and my sister is too. I say Jail because maybe next time, even if it is for the wrong reason (fear of jail) the Lynn’s of this world will do the right thing and protect children.

      • Kay4Justice: If Lynn showed any sign of remorse, that would be the same as admitting that he was GUILTY! He is not going to do that, because that would wreck any chance that he has of an Appeals! It would also embarrass Archbishop Chaput and the many of the parishioners of the Archdiocese of Philly, who are brain-washed and numbed to the truths revealed in this trial!

    • That’s the beauty of the truth……………..

  3. Judy,

    I wish you would come to Downingtown and remind his ‘former’ parishioners of what you stated above. Most appear to continue to be in a state of denial. I heard that in mass this past Sunday at his former parish, after offering (the obligatory) prayers for the victims, they continue to pray for Lynn by name. And apparently there was no mass exodus from the church. Possibly pray for him along with other convicted felons in a general sense, that they might come to find the truth within and accept responsibility for their wrong doing, but not by name. It sends a message that there is community support. But I think that’s the purpose.

    • These parishioners just participated in paying $11,000,000 for the defense of Lynn, Avery and the other priest! If that didn’t wake them up, absolutely nothing will!

  4. GIVE ME A BREAK! … and Yes, why not add to our 10 commandments by adding another, the 11th commandment of this latest trial of priest pedophiles > “Thou shalt NOT coverup and congratulate priest pedophiles.” And while we’re at it, how about the 12th commandment > “Thou shalt NOT encourage pedophiles to enter the priesthood of the Archdiocese of
    Philadelphia.”

  5. Cruel and unusual?

    Child rape is cruel.
    In the Catholic church, it’s not unusual.

    Throw the pedophile protecting punk in prison, and prosecute his peers.

    • The Archdiocese of Philly is already starting it’s “History Revisionism in the Archdiocese’s Priest Pedophilia Scandal!” And who is orchestrating it? The media artist and front for the Church in Philly, the photogenic Archbishop Chaput.

  6. I’m sorry, “cruel and unusual punishment”???. Please, what about all the poor victims who have suffered these many years in this Archdioces because of the history of the total failure and neglect of religious leaders to clean up this horrible crime against these children for how many years?? Not just in recent memory, but going back to the 40’s, 50’s and evben earlier.

    A crime is a crime, and a crime of not protecting children is an even greater crime. From 2004 until 2012, MJonsignor Lynn had many opportunites to go to the Police and the DA office and tell what really was going on here not just under his watch but previously and even afterwards.
    If he is ready to come forward and name names and name all the colluders in this crime, if he is ready to admit that he really had a role in allowing this to occur and that he is really pained that he had a part in these criminal acts, I can see the possiblity of leniency. Has the Monsignor apologized to any one about his negligence. We all wish we were flies on the wall when ye had his little “tet a tet” with Abp Cchaput (90 minutes- Did they just discuss the weather??)
    I know for a fact that he spoke with one victim and told him that he really believed him but he did nothing to really support or help this victim. The “Code of Silence” sealed him from being not just a good priest but a caring and responsible human person.
    Just because time has passed does not mean responsibility has passed. Many colluders in the holocaust are still being found and arrested and charged with crimes against humanity.
    Lynn may not have “killed” a living person, but he truly allowed these young victims to be scarred and stained for their lifetimes, even leading to suicide.
    “Cruel and Unusual”??, please, Lawyers of the Defense, can’t you really come up with an argument that is defensible?? you are not serving Msgr. Lynn nor the Archdiocese by these ludicrous statements.

    By the Way, thanks to John Martin who has been so faithful in reporting these events for us in the Phi. Inq. He is a grat writer and has kept all of us informed

  7. No prison time, WHAT?

    This would perpetuate the myth that clerics are somehow special. They are no different than anyone else. Regardless if one believes they have magic powers or not, we no longer defer to them. A child sex offender is a child sex offender, period!

    Deidre pointed out that that she “…heard that in mass this past Sunday at his former parish, after offering (the obligatory) prayers for the victims, they continue to pray for Lynn by name. And apparently there was no mass exodus from the church.”

    No mass exodus? But, no problem saying the Creed either, “We believe in one holy catholic…” What is it that we believe about it?

    • To answer your question: For one thing, I no longer believe that it is “Holy!” I now believe that She is “The Whore of Babylon” mentioned in the 17th-19th chapters of the Book of Revelation. Her sins and abominations have definitely reached the heavens. Like many others, I have heard the call of the Holy Spirit, “Come out of Her My People, lest you partake in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues (Revelation 18:4)!

  8. I agree with SNAP. Everyone involved should all be behind bars.

    “Behind bars, he can’t shred evidence, intimidate victims, discredit whistle-blowers, threaten witnesses, deceive parishioners, fabricate alibis or take any of the other steps Catholic officials take to keep clergy sex crimes hidden.”

    • This landmark case will have absolutely no impact on other clerics, bishops, archbishops and cardinals in the United States, who are involved in the coverups of acts of Priest Pedophilia, UNLESS Lynn is made to serve prison time! They’ll laugh their asses off if Lynn walks away a free man!

      • “They’ll laugh their asses off” all the way to Judgment Day at which time I doubt they’ll be laughing.

  9. How many bishops must be wondering how they were so fortunate as to avoid an investigation into their responsibilities within their own respective dioceses regarding the concealment, pretense and dishonesty of the sexual abuse scandals which occurred under their watch……their consciences should be heavy with guilt, that is if they even accept some level of responsibility……they have no problem mandating an oath of fidelity in some of their dioceses but someone should mandate they take an oath of honesty and transparency…..what unmitigated gall that some of them possess. The level of clericalism that exists within the RCC is repugnant.

  10. Mr./Ms./Fr. Thumbs Down,

    Come out, come out, whomever you are! Tell us something about your line of reasoning. I want to try to understand you.

  11. I am so disgusted with these priests. They protect each other like the good ole boy network. Throw Lynn in jail for the maximum sentence. Lynn did NOTHING to protect children. He could have left the Archdiocese position at any time, no one forced him to stay if he disliked taking orders from Bevilacqua. What stopped him from picking up the phone and calling the police? Man of God he was supposed to be? My a##. Lynn enjoyed the powerful position he held at the AOP. Shame on him and everyone else at the AOP who knew about it, from the clerical workers on up the ladder. I hope he gets what’s coming to him in jail. Didn’t believe the abuse victims – maybe he will get “abused” in prison and see what it’s like.

    • There is probably not a priest alive, who hasn’t heard the confessions of other, brother priests, who just happen to fall under the category of “Pedophile Priests!” Right now, in Australia, they are trying to pass legislation stating that a priest is duty-bound to turn in a fellow priest, if he hears a confession of Pedophilia! The Church is yelling and screaming about this one. I believe that similar legislation was passed in Ireland, over the last year. Now, we need to get something similar passed, at the Federal Level in the United States. Let’s give the USCCB something to scream about when it comes to “Religious Freedom!”

  12. I have writtian 2 letters. One to Judge Sarmina and the other to letters to the Editor, Inquirer. I will write them both here.
    Dear Judge Sarmina,
    I am a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. I am sure that you are being unindated by letters supporting Msgr. Lynn. However, those people who support Msgr. Lynn did not live in the reality I did. When I asked him for help, for over a year he ignored my pleas for help, letting me struggle daily with deep depression and the constant desire to commit suicide. This too is part of Msgr. Lynn’s piece of “endangerment” and neglect.
    Please, sentence him to the full extent of the law.

    My second letter is as follows; When I compare the scandal in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to that of Pednn state University, there is only one striking difference: the leaders of PSU are about to face legal action. To date, the leaders in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who hid the crimes of priests and endangered many more children are not facing similiar justice. When will District Attorney Seth Williams balance the score card?

    • Yes, Vicky, it drives me crazy that all of those in the Church who are guilty of covering up, just as the PSU officials did, are not held accountable. Many are protected by past statutes which is exasperating, but I can’t believe some of them are not susceptible to legal action. It’s so frustrating!

    • Wow Vicky. Powerful words.

    • Vicky: Thanks for your courage. My prayers are with you! I hope that you see Lynn sentenced to the max!

  13. Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply July 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Not to worry. Sarmina is rolling her eyes. She didn’t sit through 11 weeks for nothing. ONE guilty verdict from it all. She’ll use it to take Lynn, the Philly AD, Catholic clerics, and the entire Catholic Church to the cleaners. Go for it, Sarmina! Miraculously, you are one of us.

    • Catholics would also argue that Sandusky’s public humiliation was enough.

      For perspective, Lynn knew about 35 Sanduskys in 1994, and hid that information from the police and the victims until it was ripped out of the Catholic church last year.

      Among other things, he also blamed a 10 year old boy for seducing a 40 year old child rapist. I hope the general prison population is reminded of this fact every day at recess.

      • I’ll second that.

      • Patrick: Thank you for your observant post! When I heard that Lynn blamed, or inferred, that an Altar Boy seduced one of his fellow priest, it made me feel nauseous. It’s too bad that the Judge didn’t allow this case to be televised. I think that it would have received more media attention than the OJ Simpson trial!

    • Unbelievable! At the time that I voted in the poll, it was nearly 50/50. HELLO??

  14. Lynn can go join his buddy Avevry out in the middle of the state. The real question is when will the DA go after Rigali, Senior, and the rest of the care bears????

    • Please explain this to me…

      Some St. Maria Goretti parishioners encourage ‘benefit of the doubt’ for cleared priest

      Published: Thursday, July 19, 2012

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      By Bradley Schlegel
      bschlegel@journalregister.com

      The decision to declare the Rev. Leonard Peterson suitable for ministry was made through the lens of protecting the children of parishioners.

      That’s according to a member of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for Child and Youth Protection, who spoke Tuesday night to parishioners of the St. Maria Goretti Parish.

      During an open forum on the standards of ministerial behavior, Leslie Gomez told the audience that the investigation into 37 priests accused of various abuse charges of children was not disclosed to protect the privacy of the priests and the alleged victims.

      The process was not treated like a legal matter, according to Gomez, an investigator working on behalf of the archdiocese and a former child abuse prosecutor for the Philadelphia District Attorney.

      She said the charges ranged from misconduct of minors to some “really serious accusations.”

      Gomez said she would not talk about the specifics of the investigation of Peterson, who was placed on administrative leave in February 2011 after a grand jury report alleged that several priests remained in active ministry despite being accused of sexual abuse and/or boundary issues.

      The archdiocese did not release any other details about the accusation against Peterson, only that it was deemed “unsubstantiated,” according to a news release.

      There’s more, but you get the idea..

      • Can someone explain how the AD says they will not release info to protect the alleged victim but then call the charges unsubstantiated …so then no victims correct?

      • Exactly my point, Kathy…..also have trouble with a former child abuse prosecutor using the phrase, ‘The process was not treated as a legal matter’……

        And what charges was she alluding to that “range from misconduct (?) of minors, to some “”really serious accusations””?

        To whom did these charges apply?

      • And parents accept this? They go to a meeting and have people tell them that they are not allowed to even know the allegations and then are supposed to send their kids to church/school and tell their kids that they are not allowed to know…This is insanity and what a dangerous message to children..”don’t ask ,don’t tell” . I said before that I would not send my dog to a veterinarian who was accused of ‘something” and I was not allowed to know specifics of what he was accused.
        My comments are not directed at this priest or this parish, just the entire system..it is mind boggling.Let me pack up my kids and send them off to a campus where an adult was accused of “something” but we are not “allowed” to know . It goes against EVERYTHING we teach our kids about safety.

      • Anyone who defends him should be forced to have him to babysit their children for the next 10 years.

        99% of Catholics truly don’t care about priests raping other people’s children.

      • Patrick,
        I know you didn’t mean it that way but please don’t wish that on innocent children. Some catholic parents don’t care about someone raping their own children. They’re ostriches and care more about keeping an image then dealing with the problem. I know I am one of those children. I can’t begin to explain the conflict in trying to resolve it. Please understand the problem so if you think a child is in trouble please, please check it out.

      • Kathy Kane
        Perspective mothers should have to go to you for classes before they can have children because they do irreversible damage by failing to accept their responsibiity to protect their children, and it should be a crime for a parent or anyone to fail to protect a child from a rapist and/or report the rape of a child. Children’s safety comes first, always.

      • Joan,
        Since the answer to your question about “parent reactions” has been a lifelong search for me, I will try to answer it as best I can. It is called the “survival instinct” in which the parent reconciles their actions and reactions based on how they view the world and how they think others will perceive them as they react to the information. They justify silence to maintain the status quo. For catholic parents, especially mothers, it gets mixed in with the admonishment to “forgive” and not “harm” others, so they sacrifice their children for what they perceive as “the common or greater good of all”. The parent’s survival instinct is stronger than their maternal or paternal instinct. It is about them and not their children. It is very common in alcoholic families where denial is the way people survive and so they learn to justify (excuse) or ignore bad behavior. It is the concept that if I don’t acknowledge it, it never happened. You add to the survival instinct “mobbing” or group think along with catholic programming and you might get the reaction you are citing from people who have low self-esteem and go along with the crowd or fail to challenge authority.
        To explain it from a different angle, two weeks before my mother died we were having a conversation in which she relayed a disagreement she had with my abuser and his wife, she ended by saying, “I should have told on him back when he did that to “you and your siste”r (names are omitted to protect the innocent).” At that moment it was like she stuck a knife in my heart and twisted it as hard as she could. The child in me screamed, “why couldn’t you have done that to protect me instead of because “they hurt your feelings”. There is no comparison between the two offenses, but for my mom the rape offense never factored in because she decided long ago that was not in her best interest. To the day she died my mother never apologized for not protecting me, the closest she ever came was to look off in the distance and say, “I guess I’ll just have to ask God for forgiveness.” And the child in me silently cried, “what about asking mine?” What a healing moment that might have been for us. No one will ever be able to explain away the hurt of what happened to me and why my mother turned and went out to dinner with the man she had just learned raped her daughter, and worse yet warned her daughter she better keep quiet to protect the adults in the situation. It was always about her best interests, not mine. Logically I understand, but sometimes that almost makes it harder to deal with.
        The truth hurts beyond belief but it needs to be understood if it is going to stop. I have to wrestle with “would I want my mother to go to jail” vs “should there be a law against such behavior”. I have to say there should be a law, because I would not do that. I did not react that way when my daughter told me because my children come first, all children come first. It is just wrong not to protect children. Unbelievable to some but this parental behavior is more common than you think, I have friends who lived my truth too. If there were a law maybe my mother’s perceptions might have factored in the fact she might just go to jail. Maybe another child’s mom might act differently if jail were a possibility. Maybe it would be for the wrong reason, but they would do the right thing and protect children.
        Peace and Love

      • Be the Change, thank you for sharing your really ugly story about your Mom.How you have survived such a horrifying situation strikes me as just a bit short of miraculous,

        My ‘take’ on your mom is perhaps not as understanding as yours is.

        She sounds to me like an incredibly shallow and infinitely selfish human being, with no sensitivity, moral values or parental love. Actually, she was evil. And as a child you had nowhere else to go!

        I really can’t fathom a parent who does not immediately stop abuse, if God forbid its happening and to go out and dine with the abuser after she learns he has raped you and your sister and instruct you to be silent about it, to protect the adults is evil, criminal and incredibly horrible.

        On her deathbed to bemoan a disagreement with the abuser….rather than her horrifying betrayal of you and your sister is ugly beyond belief.

        I think the betrayal you feel is that rather than having a loving, supporting and protecting mom, which is what you needed….you had the enemy for an ersatz ‘parent’. An enemy willing to permit grave evil to occur to you, and impose silence on you and your sister to protect the evil woman’s status quo.

        Should her behaviour be classified criminal, absolutely and Child Protective Services would have plenty of appropriate laws to apply.

        I don’t wonder for a moment that you are still dealing with it!…that kind of parental abuse, to say nothing of sexual abuse, rape, is an incredible burden to bear.

        I am so bloody sorry that you have had to live through this. I want the child in you to know that you are lovable, very worthwhile and smart as hell.

        I wish I could ‘fix it’….Love, Joan

      • Joan
        Thank you for your strong defense of me. No one has ever put it quite that way. It made me cry that you would care that much.
        Miracles do happen. I’m living proof.
        Anyway I was trying to respond to your:
        “Please explain this to me…Some St. Maria Goretti parishioners encourage ‘benefit of the doubt’ for cleared priest”

        In my response, I was attempting to explain how people can justify almost anything just as my mother justified her behavior. Sometimes I wondered if she just completely forgot it until that last conversation we had, which incidentally was not on her deathbed, although she did die two weeks later.

        In trying to answer my question “why did she do this? Why didn’t she defend me?” I was given the following information which might explain the St Maria Goretti parishioner’s response: The way my mother behaved is defined as the “survival instinct” which I’m sure you are aware of. My mother had a hyper-survival instinct (HSI) which trumped her maternal instinct, as it was explained to me. In many instances (HSI) behave quite normally but faced with something they feel threatens their survival, their instinct is to save themselves. So if the house is burning they might exit and leave their child to figure a way out on their own. Whereas a healthy mom would save their child before they ran out of the house. When my mom was faced with my rape her (HIS) trumped her maternal instinct to defend her child. It’s not an excuse; it’s just a “clinical” answer to why she did it.

        Applying that to these parishioners, they are trying to survive in a very controlled environment where going against the “church” would have a negative consequences so they follow the pack and profess to “encourage benefit of the doubt.” Their child’s best interest is not something they even consider in their decision. Their goal is to be accepted or liked. You would not do that; I would not do that; but they would do that. Again it is an explanation for their behavior not an excuse.
        The Catholic hierarchy have told Catholics how to vote, think, pray, educate their kids, etc., and parishioners have been programmed not to question. Many of our parents reinforced the dogma of obedience to the church. The Catholic church has a very strong community influence and they require obedience. Recently, they have been demanding it. Kathy Kane spoke of her getting the point across that kids come first. She has a hierarchy with kids at the top which met with resistance at her parish. Not her exact words but the general message.
        The oath is a response to what the church perceives as a threat which is Catholics who follow their conscience rather than the church. Many parents either (1 )leave or (2) shut up and follow orders. They don’t consider the effect on their children and later many will justify it relative to the decision they made.
        Hope that helps you understand it a little better.

      • Be the Change, I take your point on the Hyper Survival instinct.

        It occurs to me that it is a defense for evil behavior….the Nazis running those camps, genocide worldwide, at al.

        In every case, it is evil if it hurts the innocent.

        No defense, just plain evil. Joan

      • Yes Joan. The Nazis would be a good example, and it is pure evil perpetuated by silence and fear.

    • My question exactly. Where is Rigali’s name in all this?

      • It has been conveniently kept out of the press and media. My guess is that Archbishop Chaput’s PR Team is responsible for this, but I have no proof. It is ONLY a guess! I hope that the DA finds some reason to charge Rigali’s with something, over his supervision, or lack their of, of Peodphile Priests.

      • They should remove his body from the cathedral and bury it elsewhere.

      • Oops… I was referring to Tony B

  15. Urgent, you can help…………….

    Friends,
    As you know Monsignor Lynn was convicted and is awaiting sentencing. You have a chance to have your voice heard if you are a survivor, a family member of a survivor, or a concerned citizen. Please write a brief letter to the judge explaining how the clergy sex abuse scandal has affected your life. You are not expected to be an expert, you are expected to write how you feel and how the abuse crisis has hurt you. Specifically you should tell the judge the impact that Lynn’s offenses have had on you. You will want to focus on Lynn’s actions with regard to your abuser and the policies he implemented. If you think a lengthy jail sentence is appropriate please say so, but avoid mentioning a specific number of years.

    It is likely many former parishioners and church officials will be writing to ask the judge for leniency for Monsignor Lynn and tell what a good man he is.

    So many of us have never had the chance to have our voices heard, help people understand just how dangerous sex abuse can be, and how it can cause lifelong pain. Please don’t let this chance pass you by.

    Please address your letters to the Honorable M. Teresa Sarmina. They should be sent by the end of the day tomorrow to:

    Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen
    mariana.sorensen@phila.gov, 215-686-8754

    If you have questions or concerns you can contact us at SNAP (Barbara Blaine: 312-399-4747, bblaine@snapnetwork.org or Barbara Dorris: 314-862-7688, snapdorris@gmail.com) or Contact Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen.

    Thanks!

    -Barbara Dorris

    • Dear Mariana Sorenson:

      I am a survivor of priest abuse. I am now 76 years old, I was abused when I was 14. Please know that as a victim/survivor my life has been hell on earth. Every possible thing that could happen to me has, but with time and age my most prized possession is being alive to watch the start of justice in action as in courts of law all over the US along with the rest of the world. Child abuse is epidemic amd endemic in society today, but none is worse than abuse perpetrated in God’s name by those who assure us they are the epitome of holiness. Somewhere along the way, the “holiness” becomes the worst of all evil. Pedarists are sociopaths who have no conscience and no sense of guilt or remorse. They destroy their victims and throw them away, like broken toys who cannot be mended.

      The “leaders” of the corporate Roman Catholic Church have long experience in brainwashing the flock, manipulating them (us) with fear “if we tell” or promises of “I will love you always” or “No one will believe you..” The list is quite long. Each diocese has it’s own way of (mis)handling abuse cases but always there are similarities in style. All are carefully orchestrated. It is time for those who enable the predators to stand up and face the music. No more excuses and no more smoke and mirrors.

      I am writing to request that ‘Monsignor’ Lynn be sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed by law, with no early parole and no time off for days already spent in prison. He personally allowed hundreds of children to be molested, he has been found guilty and no special favors should be granted just because he plays the role of being a man of “God.”

      Should you need additional information from me personally, my contact information is below. Thank you for your consideration.

      Kay Goodnow
      13850 West 91st Terrace, 408D
      Lenexa, KS 66215
      (913) 851-1702
      (913) 645-1089

      • It’s important you and other survivors write your letters. They do carry weight I have witnessed it with my own two eyes. Unfortunately the judge during my husbands case read quotes from those supporting the offender that he was not all that bad and had done good things also. My husband did not have much time to speak in court and had not written a letter……..letters can be reread and reconsidered ………there is strength in numbers……..send your letters they have impact more than you may think ……

      • Dear Judge Sarmina,

        I am an activist who has been following closely the Lynn trial. And I think you have been incredibly patient and thorough. I am really glad you allowed in those ‘bad acts’ testimony to establish the Archdiocese’s pattern of behavior to be known.

        Msgr Lynn deserves a lengthly prison term. What he allowed to happen to innocent children deserves serious punishment. I realize that Child Endangerment was the only crime that ‘stuck’ but it was surely enough for a 7 year stay in prison.

        I found his defense to be without merit….just following orders, helping where he could setting up a program to monitor Avery…(a program that was never implemented)…there were several times in the trial where Lynn encouraged predators in treatment to NOT define themselves as pedophiles, but rather alcoholics or some other unpleasant mix.

        The ‘shredded docs’ had notations regarding statute of limitations limits…clearly that list was NOT provided to help victims, but rather to alert Bev of risk. ( As I recall there was a doc entered into evidence from the PA Catholic Conference about the same time as the ‘shredded doc’ was created warning local PA dioceses to avoid litigative exposure.)

        This has been a very significant trial….landmark is the term of art….I think a maximum prison term is the totally appropriate finale.

        Thank you,

      • Sorry, I did not indicate that this letter was e-mailed to Ms. Sorenson per Barbara Dorris’ request. klg

      • Kay
        Thank you for sharing. You are a truly brave woman, and I am so sorry you’ve had such difficulties to overcome. You deserved so much better. God Bless. Peace and Love

    • Here is my letter
      Honorable M. Teresa Sarmina:

      You probably have many responses to read so I will be brief. As a Philadelphia native and victim of rape at 13 years old, my strict catholic mother covered it up, thus leading to the rape of my little sister which my mom also covered up. Who knows how many more children he raped? She did this because her ‘self- interest trumped protecting children” I am now 67 and still struggling with that truth. I cried uncontrollably as I read victims statements from this trial because I know what they went thru and what they will go through for the rest of their lives. To write this I had to wrestle with “would I want my mother to go to jail” vs. “should there be a punishment for such behavior”. I have to say there should be a punishment because in my case, with the prospect of jail my mother would have reported my rapist and saved my younger sister and more than likely other children.

      These crimes against children will not stop until people stop protecting the abusers by their silence; and unfortunately, that will not happen without the consequence of real jail time. Archbishop Lynn decided “his self- interest trumped protecting children.” Please Judge Sarmina deliver to Archbishop Lynn the strongest message you can under the law that

      My contact info followed which is not posted here for privacy reasons

      • Sorry this was left off my earlier post re response to Judge

        the Philadelphia Judicial system will protect children, and jail will be the punishment for those who endanger children. The reality of a real consequence is the only protection children have from adults with this mindset. God bless you.

  16. And if I was a “cleared priest” I would demand a press conference rather than privacy. I would want everything disclosed and how it was found to be unsubstantiated.

    • None of the priests were “cleared” by anyone other than the Catholic church, who not only “cleared” Lynn, Cistone, Bevilacqua, and Cullen for hiding and moving 35 known child rapists for 17 years, but they took $11 million of your money to keep Lynn out of prison.

      The priests that were returned are as dangerous as the Catholic church allows them to be, and the ones that weren’t returned were completely, positively guilty beyond any doubt whatsoever.

    • Kathy,

      I wholeheartedly agree with you. Everything should be put out in the ‘open’ including the name of the person or persons who made the accusations.

      • So how do you explain the silence Joe? Not of this priest mentioned in the article,but of any of them. Is it because the AD is calling the allegations “unsubstantiated” and not “false”? There is a huge difference between unsubstantiated and false. Here is an analogy. If my neighbor’s house is robbed and another neighbor reports that they saw me on that neighbors property at the time of the robbery. The cops search my house but do not find any stolen items. Maybe my neighbors are now going to lock their doors when they see me,maybe I won’t be invited to their houses anymore because the matter of me possibly being the robber was left ‘unsubstantiated”.

      • Wrong.

        You don’t put the victim’s name unless its time to go to court. It is the standard Catholic ploy to try to humiliate and intimidate the victims, and the rest of the world is now imitating the Catholic church.

        Jerry Sandusky’s first courageous victim was called victim #1, but when the locals found out who he was, they threatened him until he had to leave his high school, much like Bill Donahue and Cardinal Dolan intimidated the victim of Fr Duenas in New York last year.

        Those Penn State locals probably learned from the leadership of the Catholic church, who are the world experts in pedophile protection. Penn State followers worship football and football coaches, and the Catholic church followers worship priests and bishops.

        The big difference is that the Catholic church knows the truth internally, but they hide what they hear in confessions about child rape, and they hide documentation about it in their “secret archives”, making them about as anti-Christian as you can get.

        Or can you please cite the biblical passage where Christ said, “When someone protects 37 known child rapists, bring forth $11 million to try to get him off the hook through a loophole in thy local laws”.

      • THANK YOU – Short & simple answer to a serious question…We took a stand on Tuesday, pulled our three kids out of Catholic school and withdrew our pledge… NO MORE $$$ to the Catholic church.

      • There is also an assumption being made that some “accusers’ are victims. If the press conference that Joe wanted took place, he may be shocked when they call for the “accusers’ to take the stage. He would find priests ,nuns,and people who were ushers,lectors and volunteers at Churches. All who may have witnessed odd behavior and reported to the AD. So ‘accusers” are often good people who have been exposed to a priest either by working or living arrangements and reported troubling behavior. If this behavior was dubbed “unsubstantiated” because no victim was located or came forward…how does Joe now feel about the “accusers”?

      • Patrick
        Well said. What they did is called “mobbing”. It happens in corporate america every day. It is group bullying to maintain conformity. You can look “mobbing” up on the internet for more info on the subject. It is not illegal.

      • Joe,
        While it should be out in the “open”, the church just wants it to go away so they seem to have taken the “low profile” approach or the “less said the better.”
        Parishioners are told “most priests are innocent” “many priests are good priests”, etc. Sort of like that song “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” They believe it because they want to believe it. I have heard the rhetoric repeated back to me.
        The danger is that without accountability, it will never stop. Your goal is protecting children. The churches goal is minimizing their exposure. The catholic laity want to believe that priest pedophilia has been exagerrated, so they do (denial). The catholic laity do not realize that the problem really is an institutional approach that perpetuates abuse of children and that within their midst is a ticking time bomb that when it goes off will ruin children’s lives.

    • Why do you suppose that ‘cleared priests’ aren’t asking for just that Kathy?

  17. Friends of mine were at the meeting at Mary Goretti Parish. It is my understandingt no one really asked any serious questions about what any of these accusations meant. And it was a time for many persons to stand up and defend the “honor” of Monsignor Peterson and to state regrets that his name had been besmearched. 18 months of “suspension” and yet nothing of substance could be presented to “clear” his name of any accusation. There is no real logic to these meetings and, even in July, we are receiving a “snow” job from this Archdiocese. Please, dear parishoners, trust us, we represent you loving bishops. God bless you.

    • Father, were the people given the opportunity to ask questions? In dealing with my diocese, they often refuse to address questions. I’ve been to my share of dog and pony shows.

      • Perhaps the next time you are invited to one you should bring a guest from the press. It they want a story, they have the experience and can be pretty persistent or they can write they were stonewalled and the press know how to deal with those who won’t cooperate with them.

  18. Father Wintermyer,
    I agree with much of what you said in regarding to Lynn deserving punishment. One point, however: victims might be scarred from our experience, but we are not stained. The dirt, the stain, the shame belongs to the abuser, not the one abused. Learning this fact is a core aspect of healing for those of us who were abused. Thank you for being open to learning about this horrific experience.

  19. If anyone uses the excuse, “Oh, but Msgr Lynn did so much good”, remind them that Jerry Sandusky probably did more good than Lynn, Bevilacqua, or any of the other priests in Philadelphia.

    Sandusky was a great football coach, probably better than Paterno, and created a legendary defense that was the backbone of the Penn State championships, and gave the football team the reputation of being “Linebacker U”. He helped develop the lives of many young men.

    Sandusky went on to create Second Mile charity, raising huge amounts of money, and improving the lives of many, many children, and probably improved the lives of more children than any individual Catholic priest in Philadelphia.

    None of that matter if he commits even one child rape. One individual crime like that destroys the good.

    No one talks about what a great citizen OJ Simpson is, but if he was Fr Simpson, thousands would be defending him. They are all fools, and they all better hope God is a fool, too.

  20. Janet, thank you for correcting my poor use of a term. I stand humbly corrected and understand what you state. Truly the stain is on the perpetrators and the collusionists, that whole gang who are such a disgrace to our faith community

  21. Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply July 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Today is the final day, folks. Please, please email Mariana Sorensen with your stories, experiences and/or reasons why Sarmina should sentence Lynn to the full extent of the law. Whether we are victims, advocates, parents, or Catholics, we all have compelling words that will be listened to by the DA’s office and Sarmina. They need us and they want to hear from us! Please, do not ignore this concrete opportunity to secure justice for victims and send the message to the hierarchy that its crimes and sins will not be tolerated. Thank you.

    mariana.sorensen@phila.gov

  22. Theresa M. Coleman Reply July 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Dear Judge Sarmina,
    First off thank you for your professional manner all throughout the trial. I was there for the last 3 weeks and was astounded at the “good ‘ole boys team of Bergstrom and Lyndy”, Lynn’s defense team. How disrespectful they were of you at times, and I had all that I could do just watching them, not to mention the worst of them, Brennan’s lawyer who acted like a 5th grade boy in his courtroom antics. When there you were, all professional and most prudent in your handling of these immature representatives of the law. I learned a lot from how you responded to them. Now please Judge Sarmina please make your judgment on the evidence that has been brought forth that Msgr. Lynn has colluded in a coverup which harmed my brother, my nephew and so many many young victims in the AD. Thank you, Judge Sarmina for all that you have done on behalf of the abused victims here in Philadelphia.
    Sincerely,
    Theresa M. Coleman
    North Wales, Pa

  23. Sent mine:
    Dear Judge Sarmina,
    I would like to thank you for your professionalism and dedication to justice during the recent clergy trial. I’m a disgusted Montgomery Co. Catholic, an RN, and a horrified mother of four. It is now clear to me that Msgr. Lynn and most of the leadership of our church, are thoroughly dishonest, dangerous, corrupt men, to whom the safety and welfare of children evidently mean nothing. These men hold positions of power over, and have access to SO many unsuspecting, vulnerable families. They operate secretively, are accountable to nobody, and they pay no heed to the laws of the land. The public needs to be protected from them. Lynn’s Roman collar was not a “get out of jail free card.” I am writing to you today to urge you consider sentencing him to serve the maximum jail term. He deserves it. We all know it. Wisdom and justice demand it. Thank you (signed…)

  24. Sent mine yesterday….

    To the Honorable M. Teresa Sarmina,

    While he was a priest, Lynn’s actions created an atmosphere that enabled many innocent kids’ lives to be ruined forever… WHY on earth should Lynn be treated any better than any other criminal? That special privileged treatment within the clerical system is exactly why so many children have been harmed. Priests have been put on pedestals and have been treated to be above human beings and above the law. This is why this cover up of sex crimes has gone on for decades.
    Lynn and any others who have enabled and covered up sex crimes against kids, need to be treated as the criminals they are.

    My brother and several of my relatives were sexually abused by our long time parish priest where I grew up, in southeastern Ohio. My parents honored that priest so much, they could not allow themselves to believe their own son. That priest sexually abused children in the early 1940’s ’til the late 1980’s. He managed to ruin so many lives in that small town. This Philly trial affected me so much, that I was waiting on pins and needles for at least one guilty verdict against Lynn.

    The Lynn guilty verdict sends a strong message to every high ranking official in all dioceses around the world, they can no longer protect the predators, they need to protect the innocent children first.

    Treating Lynn as if serving prison time is cruel and unusual punishment, would be an insult to ALL victims of clergy sex crimes and to their extended family members who do not ever want to see another child’s life ruined. Plus, victims do not deserve to be let down and re-traumatized again.

    Please make Lynn serve the full sentence allowed.

    Thank you,
    Judy Jones, a sister to a victim of clergy sex abuse.

    17170 Deer Mountain Rd
    Marthasville, Mo.
    ph# 636-433-2511

  25. As a Deacon in 1970 I was raped by one of the priests in the parish I was assigned to serve. In the 9 months that followed I needed to revisit all the doubts and questions of the previous 7 years of seminary life and training. I reported to my deacon supervisor (a priest in the parish) but nothing developed from it. I called every rape crisis center I could find in the city – no one would talk to me because in 1970 only men were rapists and women were the victims. I decided that I was a bigger and better person than my clerical rapist and followed through with ordination in May 1971.
    In the fall of 2001 I had a flashback to the experience and began counseling. I told my family for the first time in December 2001 — and in January 2002 contacted the Archdiocese of Boston. It took FIVE MONTHS to get an appointment with Cardinal Law. In the months and years to follow I was DEEPLY saddened with discoveries of how the church had been covering up hundreds (or thousands) or other cases of rape. I also learned that my deacon supervisor, in 1957, had been diagnosed with a psycho-pathological personality and had played around with mentally ill teen aged girls. Unfortunately he was STILL ABUSING THEM IN 1970 – THIRTEEN YEARS LATER. Too many children have been hurt and marred for life by people like Lynn and the bishops and cardinals over them. They ALL need to be made to stand responsible before a court of law for the crimes they committed in “covering up” so the church would not be tarnished. Thousands of souls have been tarnished by their inaction of removing evil men from ministry and in not reporting to civil authorities.

    • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply July 21, 2012 at 3:19 am

      clergyvictim,

      I encourage you to share your compelling story with Mariana Sorensen or Judge Sarmina. Thank you.

    • I am so sorry for what happened to you and that you had difficulty finding support. I find that is a very common experience with child sexual abuse survivors also they don’t get the compassion or support they need many times even in their own families……it is all so heart breaking …..thankyou for speaking out……..

  26. Jim, thank you for revealing your horrible experience, and also for fighting for justice for all the victims all these years. Be assured that you have all of us on the blog supporting you in thoughts and prayers.

  27. Here is part of the statement I have forwarded to Judge Sarmina

    I first broke my silence regarding what Edward Avery did to me in 1992. I had been struggling with the pain and shame for over 10 years and I wanted to make a break with the past. I had also become concerned that Avery might do the same to someone else. I approached the Archdiocese through the office of Secretary for Clergy as I was advised to do. Msgr Lynn represented the church and resolution of this matter to me. I put my faith in and trusted that the right thing would be done; approaching Msgr Lynn with the expectation that his actions would be consistent with the values I had learned through my faith. I stressed in my communications with Msgr Lynn that I felt that Edward Avery might offend again. I conveyed the great difficulties that the abuse was causing me in my life. I never received the acknowledgment or validation from him confirming what I had experienced. I never knew that he had concluded as early as 1994 that Avery was guilty of abusing me. I was left to wonder whether he and the Archdiocese even believed me. I later had to pursue the truth of whether Edward Avery was in a safe assignment after I began to hear that he was DJ-ING and was around young people. I was assured by Msgr Lynn that Edward Avery was in a safe assignment.
    When I was contacted by the DA’s office in the fall of 2010 my worst fears were confirmed and I learned that at least one more child had been abused by Edward Avery. I felt that despite everything I had done in exposing this that I had failed this young man. However this was not my responsibility and I learned about the utterly negligent way in which my allegation and the subsequent decisions regarding Edward Avery’s treatment and supervision were handled. Msgr Lynn had all the information he needed to conclude that Edward Avery was a sex offender in 1994 and did so. Edward Avery was laicized in 2006 based on the investigation Msgr Lynn launched in 2003 into my original allegation. Nothing had changed in that 10 year period with regard to the allegation. However for one little boy at St Jerome’s everything changed. Msgr Lynn had all the information he needed to save this young man from a lifetime of pain, instead he made a series of choices to maintain an evil status quo. At the end of the day that is what this all boils down to a young boy was raped and those who could have prevented it had other priorities. Nothing would make me happier than to see Msgr Lynn accept responsibility for his role in the unjust system he influenced for many years and become an outspoken advocate for the rights of the abused. That would truly be a sign of his rehabilitation. I hope to live to see that day. I thank you for your careful consideration of this matter.
    Sincerely,
    Robert Fisher MD

    New Bern, NC

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