Philadelphia D.A. Will Retry Brennan

Click here to read: “Prosecutors to retry priest in abuse case,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 23, 2012


“Philadelphia prosecutors will retry James J. Brennan, the former parish priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who was accused of trying to rape a 14-year-old boy in 1996, they said Monday.

The case against Brennan, 48, ended in a mistrial last month when a Common Pleas Court jury deliberated for 13 days but deadlocked on attempted rape and child endangerment charges against him.”

22 thoughts on “Philadelphia D.A. Will Retry Brennan

  1. What about the bigger fish like Rigali, Cullen, Cistone, Rigali’s in-house lawyers, et al.?

    It is almost two decades since Lynn indentified over 300 priests, nearly a quarter of all Philly priests, as problems.

    Does Seth Williams expect to receive a signed confession from ringleaders who orchestrated this deceitful operation?

    What is he waiting for?

    Time to expand his net and pull in some of the big fish–the real ringleaders who profited most from this unprecedented cover-up!

    1. You’re absolutely right, Jerry. What is Williams waiting for? Stalling doesn’t enhance his future political plans if that is his hope. Just makes him look weak and timid. Philadelphia law enforcement needs to follow the example of those responsible for resolving the Penn State/ Sandusky crimes and prosecute all those who have engaged in criminal activity in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. All of them.

      1. There’s a big difference. Penn State leaders could only give you free tickets to football games. Catholic priests can give you free tickets to heaven. All you have to do is confess your sins to them in Catholic confession.

        Of course, Catholics invented confession, in one of their significant departures from Christ’s church. They did it based on John 20:23, where, in Catholic tradition, they

        – took a half truth (the first half of the verse)
        – ignored the second half (“Those sins you don’t forgive aren’t forgiven”)
        – make money, since they used to charge money for confession

        Of course, if God believes in both parts of John 20:23, and the Catholic church isn’t God’s church at all, then those free tickets to heaven are forgeries, like the ones you get from bad scalpers.

        Its going to be awkward for Cahtolics to present them to God with the littany of Catholic excuses on judgment day.

    2. I wonder if the prosecution will fail this time. Politics are everything in this… I agree Jerry, this DA doesn’t want to do anything as aggressive as pursuing Rigali et al… Fr. Bennan is a nobody in the AD, a nobody who spent almost no time in ministry…Seth wants to look like he’s taking a tough stand on prosecuting child abusers, while staying in good with the Archdiocese and the clergy abuse “deniers” who vote.
      I wonder also about Montco’s DA, Risa Ferman … however,.wiki has about her:

      “Beginning in 1993, Ferman worked as a prosecutor in the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. She quickly rose through the ranks to become Captain of the Sex Crimes Team…..Since her election, Ferman established the Elder Abuse Unit to target criminals who prey upon senior citizens. She founded Mission Kids, Montgomery County’s first child advocacy program aimed at easing the criminal justice process for victims of child abuse. She is also the co-founder of Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project which provides pro-bono legal services to abused children.[6]”

  2. This is a tragedy that seems like it will never end. We are reminded constantly of the horror of priests violating children, then you add the cover up, yet from my last reading, no one in leadership has accepted any blame for the specific instances of cover up. This added to the crimes by placing suspected and guilty priests near children, and it prevented convictions due to the expiration of the statute of limitations in many cases. We need to see, accountability by and changes in, leadership.

  3. The paralells between the trials of Penn State and the Archdioiocese are so interestingly intertwined. A significant leader who is regared almost as a “divine” presence in Peace Valley is suddenly taken down as his “Golden” bronze statue is taken away. His untimely death before one of the greatest scandal trials in this University’s history, almost makes this appear as some type of mystery novel. Reems and reems of evidence fill file cabinets of coverup and deliberate collusion to protect an institution so sacred to thousands and thousands of students and alumni (ae). Not just a guilty verdict against a coach but then the ramifications of all those accused of coverup and, how to protect the institution, the lies and deceit and failure to respond against evil, allowed this abuse to continue over a series of years. At least 12 – 14 known victims were assaulted while the University continued on its merry way here in Peace Valley.
    But doesn’t this seem to be the same story for The Archdiocese of Philadelphia? All accusations seem to point directly to Cardinal Bevilaqua as the “masterminded” tactition who orchestrated one of the worst coverups of Sexual Scandal in this State of Pennsylvania, actually calling for the shredding of evidence-documents (the list of 35 identified pedophiles). We are not talking about 12-14 young people. We are talking hundreds, possibly thousands of young innocent victims over many years before, during and after his “reign of terror” as Archbishop of Philadelphia. Did Pittsburgh fare any better while he was there as Bishop?

    In great glory, he was “laid to rest” in the crypt of the Cathedral after his sudden death just a day before his “agent”. Msgr. Lynn was brought to trial. How many times did Msgr Lynn refer to him as his “boss” and that he was doing his duty in following the leadership and desires of the Cardinal.
    How come, Msgr Lynn is in jail and ready to be sentenced tomorrow while so many others in collusion are still “hiding” under the protection of the “Church”? At Penn State, many have been fired and they now may be brought up on charges of failure to protect the children.

    Maybe in this Archdiocese, all the places of honor and glory dedicated to the former Cardinal should be in question. As this investigation continues, His name may become similar to “Paterno” at Penn State. The statue has gone. Next might be the name off the Library, and what else?

    Am I condemning the Cardinal without a trial? Absolutely not. Monsignor Lynn did a rather good job of that at his own trial. The sad part of that was the fact that he went to jail and the cardinal got out the easy way, he died.

    1. Father,
      I agree with everything you said but “the cardinal got out the easy way, he died.” maybe he got out of jail but he still has to face his final judge and it might not turn out to be quite so easy after all. He can’t lie to God…….God is the Truth himself.

      1. The Cardinal stood before God the Supreme Judge and the Catholics of Philadelphia saved at least $22 million in atty fees (I’m sure a Cardinal knows at least twice as much as a Msgr). Add to that what the City saved in trial costs, and I think that is a good outcome.

    2. John, I concur as far as it goes, but Lynn and Rigali overlapped. Surely, everyting important that Lynn knew, he told Rigali.

      How in God’s name could Rigali cover-up for over three dozen suspected priests, as recently as January of last year, by slickly attempting to deny he had any pedophiles on board?

      The trial strategy of Lynn’s lawyers, all picked and paid for by Rigali, was to blame only Bevilacqua and Krol. Seth Williams seems to be willing to play by Rigali’s rules, while Chaput continues to play games with his “rent a DA (Gina Smith)” strategy.

      Are all the DAs that naieve?

  4. Thank you for your needed commentary Reverend. Hopefully, more Catholics will realize that clergy (just like a judge or police officer) should be held to a higher accountability, especially in sentencing. Police and judges are experts in law enforcement, a priest is responsible to save my immortal soul. What higher accountability can their be?

    1. “a priest is responsible to save my immortal soul. What higher accountability can their be?”
      That responsibility [to save your immortal soul] exists only in your own mind. No just court would assign that responsibility to a priest.

        1. Well, if you believe a priest gives absolution for your sins, as I do, then he can save my soul (Whose sins you shall forgive…………………).

  5. I am thrilled to see that they are retrying Brennan. He seemed to seem he was off the hook and now he will be quaking in his boots again, as he should. Perhaps the evidence and testimony will be stronger this time and the jury will feel comfortable with a guilty verdict. The prosecution knows what they need to do.

    On another note, I am frustrated by the fact that while Penn State and its officials are being punished (as they should be) for their failure to protect children, the many powerful men in the Catholic Church who actively covered up child abuse and enabled it to continue are left untouched and are still expected to be revered and respected. It’s disgusting. When is it their time to be held accountable? When will the Church institution be made to have the right culture and values as Penn State is being made to do? They, too, chose the preservation of power over the safety of children, but are not having to pay the penalty.

  6. One thing that has really ticked me off in the past while is when Brennan walked out of that courtroom after the declared his case hung, Brennan acted like he was found not guilty or even innocent. I saw him give two TV interviews and talking about the case. I can’t remember, but there was something he said in each interview that I felt like the DA could use against him when he’s retried. Brennan is a pile of garbage and I am so thankful that the DA is not backing down and is going to retry this case, because he should be in prison. End of story!

    1. V4J
      Please sit quietly then go back and replay that scene in your head. What Brennan said will come to you and when it does email that to the DA.

      Peace and Love

  7. Seems so obvious. Two incidents happened – except one involved 100’s or 1000’s of children. The other involved a much smaller amount. Neither group took responsibility but the people with power took charge and validated the victims and the world in showing just how serious a crime was committed. Lynn is still hoping to get out of jail. He should be so happy that he is not going to jail for life. The arrogance of the Catholic Church is overwhelming. I don’t know how there will be more evidence against Brennan this time but the AD will need to close another school in order to pay more legal fees.

  8. The ‘postman always rings twice”, evidently brennan never seen this movie but how true the words !

  9. At Lynn’s sentencing on July 24, it was excruciating to listen to the Defense team’s staged witnesses speak about their “buddy boy Billy.” They were boo-hooing and acting all kinds of friends with their “Pastor”and “Uncle.” NONE OF THEM HAD A CLUE. None had a brother nephew, niece, or neighbor who had been anally raped or sodomized. These so called witnesses for Lynn’s character continue to drink the Kool aid and hug the pews.

Leave a Reply