Archdiocese Issues Absurd and Enraging Response to Lynn Sentence

The Archdiocesan official response to Msgr. Lynn’s sentencing shocked me in its blatant and utter disregard for justice, truth, victims and Church healing. I’m not shocked this is their take on it. I’m floored that they put it out there for the press. I thought the arrogance would have been left at the court room doors after the evidence and testimony were presented. No. The last sentences of the press release prove that arrogance is alive and well at 222.

I beg people to read this statement and compare/contrast to the Penn State response. Two institutions are faced with the same horrible issue. One handled it with compassion – the other with continued callousness.

At the very least, I would have thought Archbishop Chaput would clean house. What about all those names copied on the memos? All the others who knew but can’t be prosecuted? They are still in positions of authority. There is no real contrition or sanction unless the civil courts demand it.

The last sentence proves to me beyond the shadow of any doubt that the Catholic Church is under attack from within. The leadership is destroying the living body of Christ. They can’t even repent properly in words – let alone in action.

July 24, 2012


From the challenges the Church has faced both nationally and locally over the past decade, we understand the full gravity of sexual abuse. This year and even this week, Pennsylvania has been the epicenter of this issue, and we know there is legitimate anger in the broad community toward any incident or enabling of sexual abuse. The trial of the past several months has been especially difficult for victims, and we profoundly regret their pain.

The public humiliation of the Church has emphasized the vital lesson that we must be constantly vigilant in our charge to protect the children in our parishes and schools. Since the events some ten years ago that were at the center of this trial, the Archdiocese has changed. We have taken dramatic steps to ensure that all young people in our care are safe, and these efforts will continue even more forcefully now and in the years ahead.

We remain committed to protecting children and caring for victims. Fair-minded people will question the severity of the heavy, three to six year sentence imposed on Msgr. Lynn today. We hope that when this punishment is objectively reviewed, it will be adjusted.

We pray for Msgr. Lynn and his family at this difficult time.

156 thoughts on “Archdiocese Issues Absurd and Enraging Response to Lynn Sentence

  1. How heartless and cold is the archdiocese’s statement. Are their hearts made of stone that they don’t show any compassion for the victims as well as for Msgr. Lynn? They should all be quaking in their boots along with the former leaders of Penn State and Governor Corbett who was attorney general and a trustee of the university. Msgr. Lynn is the first shoe to drop in this whole sordid mess in the USA church and Penn State. The victims will see justice served with these trials, and there probably will be many.

      1. For the “hierarchy” to have grown to this size and “effect”, someone must have fed them.

        Just a “gut” reaction.

      2. OK, Patrick! I hope that you didn’t give Archbishop Chaput the idea that maybe he should have a football team, to raise money to pay for the Defense of criminals “in clerical garb!” Great observation, though!

    1. Susan,,,the scary thing is that the AD probably thinks their statement is a sensitive and caring ….

  2. Chaput could learn a lot from the way Penn State has handled the sex abuse scandal there. Of course that is assuming that Chaput is able to learn! That is not a safe assumption. Lynn is going to prison. Rigalli ought to follow. He has been caught bypassing the commission set up to stop priest abuse. He needs to answer for that. His predecessor should be in prison also but he died before they could charge him. Chaput better wake up or he may end up providing company to Msgr. Lynn. Would not surprise me. All these guys totally lack the humility displayed by Jesus. Provide a good example for their congregations? My God they fail so miserably.

    1. I have mixed emotions about the AD ‘s response.I am shocked. How can they be so thoughtless to the victims? Then again we are talking about The AD . When have they goten it right. I find it harder and harder to be part of the Catholic Church. ,..Lynn’s sentencing couldn’t have been more fair!!. I PRA Y FOR THE VICTIMS!!!!

  3. I can’t help but to laugh. Ha ha ha ha! Oh ha ha ha!

    Poor Msgr. Lynn. I’m sure the church will make you a saint. Say hello to my friend, Bubba!

    (I’m really not laughing. I’m steaming inside, but sometimes it comes out in all different types of emotions.)

  4. I don’t know why I am surprised, nor do I understand how so many in the pews will accept this. I am glad to be free of these men and their callous disregard for the powerless.


    [Penn State President] Rodney Erickson Responds to NCAA Sanctions:

    “The tragedy of child sexual abuse that occurred at our University altered the lives of innocent children. Today, as every day, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse…

    “It is important to know we are entering a new chapter at Penn State and making necessary changes. We must create a culture in which people are not afraid to speak up, management is not compartmentalized, all are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards, and the operating philosophy is open, collegial, and collaborative…”

    The blueprint for a responsible and humble response is right there. I am so disappointed in the response of our hierarchy. It is a struggle to stay in this Church.

  6. Chaput obviously cares little for survivors, for most Philly Catholics (unless they are large donors) or even for Msgr. Lynn, who is just an afterthought by now to Chaput.

    So the Philly AD press release, in my mind, is to be expected, however outrageous it is.

    It seems clear Chaput was brought in solely to save Rigali’s scalp and to avoid bankruptcy.

    For now, Chaput is leading, but the game isn’t over yet! Lynn’s conviction has altered the odds against Chaput.

    The ball is now in Seth Williams’ hand. Then it goes to the survivors’ lawyers in the civil lawsuits.

    We are heading for extra innings.

  7. The line that struck me was “Since the events some ten years ago that were at the center of this trial, the Archdiocese has changed.”

    They are obviously trying to make this a decades old and forgettable issue.

    – How about last year, when Cardinal Rigali said there were “no accused priests in ministry”, then had to address the fact that there were 37 of them less than 2 weeks later?
    – How about the fact that Lynn, Cullen, Cistone, and the ever-satanic Bevilacqua hid those 37 priests from 1994 until last year, and would have lied right until they died if Molloy didn’t keep a copy of Lynn’s memo in a safe
    – How about the fact that they paid $11 million to defend Lynn this year, even though he was completely guilty of crimes against humanity, even if PA law could only throw him in jail for 3-6 years

    And you’ve only seen Philly, where the Catholic church is at least 35 TIMES as bad as Penn State, but fights much harder to protect their child rapists and pedophile protectors. If they open up the “secret archives” elsewhere, it would be much worse.

    Here’s the better way to think of it – this isn’t God’s church. It stopped being a church of Christ long before our lifetimes, and God is proving it to you every day. You can support it or fight it, and then defend your excuses before God.

    If you still contribute to and defend the Catholic church, let’s hope you spend eternity with Bevilacqua and Lynn.

    1. I was abused in 1990-91, Patrick. That was more than 10 years ago. Other victims of my abuser reported being abused in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The 2005 Grand Jury Report on child sexual abuse within the Philadelphia Archdiocese cited some “credible” abuse allegations going back to the 1940s and 50s, and I’m sure some could’ve gone back longer than that if the victim hadn’t died of old age.

      A student a Penn State that was guarding the statue of Joe Paterno said after the statue was removed and he knew he lost his battle, that he thinks Penn State administrators should melt down the statue and use it to make a memorial for all the children who were abused by Scumdusky. Even in defeat, this guy has the maturity and grace to suggest something really powerful be done with something he loved so much. I’ve got mad respect for that dude, even though I think Paterno was a huge pile of sh!t.

  8. They have no remorse, only self-pity. They are most likely incapable of such an emotion, being, very likely, Axis II mentally disordered narcissists or psychopaths. Your expectations for their humanity will not be rewarded. Eve

    1. I really like your ‘self pity’ comment! The official AD statement speaks of the Church humiliation, the ‘severity’ of the Lynn sentence…it does NOT speak of Archdiocesan responsibility for wretched crimes against children, complicity and cover up, dribbling out decisions about suspended priests, use of the lobbying arm to block civil ‘relief ‘ for victims, OR their implementation of the 2011 Grand Jury recommendations specifically aimed at the Archdiocese.

      They would be better off being silent.

    2. Eve, I so agree! Can u say “highly functional lunatics”? The more they say publicly on this, the easier it is to see what these men are inside. To make a prickly statement like this one at a time when regret and humility is in order …They’re too arrogant and detached to realize that listeners so easily pick up on clues to their underlying mental pathologies.
      What I don’t get are the lay assistants who stand out in front of this mess and sign their names to statements like this one. Is the job market really this bad?! How can so many “normal” people, who surely know better, still cover for them?

  9. Anyone else hear the whooshing sound of parishioners leaving the church? They are so arrogantly near-sighted. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot. The victims already know this is how they operate. There is something laughable and sad that Catholics and the media are getting all of this first hand. Finally!

  10. I read this as they ( old AD leadership) are shocked there are consequences for doing what they have been doing for years……. they might be next so they are like please at least lessen the sentence for Lynn because they could not possibly deserve that long in jail also….and we are just being too emotional over all this……they were just trying to run a business here………give me a break

  11. The AD statement is so grossly insensitive, irresponsible and out of touch with reality that it acts as a warning to all of us that the institutional Church is not fit for humanity. In an NCR article today, in response to the Lynn verdict, the National Survivor Advocates Coalition is quoted as saying: “… the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church have failed their people… and have created and sustained a culture that fails their people.” The AD statement is testimony to the utter failure and disconnect between clerics and the people. We can expect this arrogant, from-another-planet, insulated, self-protecting, inane rubbish for the next several decades. WARNING: The hierarchy is toxic, disengaged from reality, and poisonous to our Catholic systems. The bizarre and shocking AD statement is glaring proof of it.

  12. I didn’t write any letters to the judge or the prosecutor. I’m sorry if I let my fellow victims down in that regard. I’m usually on the ball with writing letters and getting them out to a vast network of politicans, religious leaders, advocate organizations, and even the President of the United States. I’ve been going through some really severe depression this summer. I’m just trying to get through each day right now without my entire life falling apart again. Today, I wrote a letter to Msgr. Lynn hoping it would help me clear my head a bit. At least it gave me 30 minutes of being able to confess my thoughts to my word processor. I normally wouldn’t post this style of my writing here or anywhere else online, but for some reason I feel compelled to post this one.

    Dear William Lynn,

    You cannot place children in danger anymore, or at least for the next 3-6 years. I hope you’ll learn in prison what it is like to be afraid, completely defenseless, and unable to control who decides to place their hands on you and how. I hope you can someday, soon, fall asleep while your body tremors as you try to stay awake long enough so you can find a place to hide when evil comes calling in the middle of the night. I wish for you maddening fear from the time you wake up in the morning until you fall asleep each night. I wish you dream of people who are not really there in your cell with you, but the dreams make it all too real. I hope you develop a panic disorder from any kind of fear and trauma you might suffer while being incarcerated. I hope you get to feel what I have, 50-80 panic attacks each week, and the overwhelming feeling of losing control and dying. I hope you understand through those panic attacks what it’s like to live in fear all over again, the imminent feeling of abuse from perpetrators who are invisible to the eye, but very real in the mind. I hope you learn what it is like to tightly roll yourself up in a blanket to make it more difficult for your intruders to penetrate that thin layer of woven cotton and wool, or as I call it “the last line of defense.” I desire you, Msgr. Lynn, to never believe in the word “trust” again. I want everything taken from you so that you will never be close enough to anyone ever again to possibly put them in harm’s way. I hope you can feel what it is like to be unhappy in life, depressed, used, hopeless, unconfident, dirty, lost, scared, and completely lonely. I hope you are hated by your family and friends and your priestly peers because you tried to explain to them what has made you this way. I hope nobody listens to your voice ever again. I want you to suffer mentally, emotionally, and psychologically. Then, when you’re finally released from prison, you’ll have PTSD to look forward to. Maybe you’ll be called a liar for speaking your truth, and it’s possible someone with throw stones at you and spit in your face.

    I hope you will be getting some company soon. With any luck at all, and another judge with finally some integrity, your friends should be joining you real soon. Your buddy Brennan may have convinced a few that he wasn’t guilty, but I witnessed his behavior in court on a few occassions and I’m sure that if you were being honest with yourself, as I have with myself, we could both agree that he’s a guilty man.

    Surely the blocks will start to crumble and you’ll be welcoming other guests such as Charles Englehardt and Bernard Shero. I hate you. I hate every single one of you!

    I am nearly 36-years-old and I’ve spent the better part of 3 & 1/2 years crying. I’ve gone through some really horrible depression, anxiety, and pain. That’s what you and your associates contributed to. Father McDevitt could’ve helped me, but instead he raped me and he took away what little confidence, self-esteem, and pride I had left. I told some people recently that I prayed to your God for him to stop, and I prayed to Superman to come save the day. I was willing to try anything. I just wanted him to STOP! “Please STOP!” I begged him to stop, and when I pulled away, he intentionally physically hurt me. He shouted, “HOW DARE YOU?” The way his eyes gazed at me, and the grasp he had on my genitals and my wrist, I knew he meant business. As I write this letter to you, at this very moment, I feel that same fear all over again. Father McDevitt was a very cold, bullying, and a sadistic creep. Even now, my body spasms in disgust as I can still feel his cold hands on my skin, his hot smelly breath on my neck, his hand around the back of my head pulling me nearer to him. I can feel this deep sadness and desire to be somewhere else, just very far away from this man and this place.

    Did you know, Msgr. Lynn, that Father McDevitt was under your watch when you took over the office of clergy in 1992? That’s right. McDevitt did this to me in 1990-91, and maybe that was before your time, but McDevitt taught at Father Judge until 1994. That means you knew! You knew about the numerous allegations of abuse lodged against McDevitt in four different states, from the mid-70s until the early 90s, and you did nothing. Even if you had no way of controlling his behavior before you took your supervisory position, you could’ve exposed McDevitt after he abused me, and perhaps you could’ve saved other children from this seriously evil and disturbed man. Maybe you could’ve looked for his victims and maybe you would’ve found me, and just maybe I could’ve gotten help before I wasted a good majority of the last 20 years searching for a reason to live.

    I believed God and Superman ignored my pleas for help. But, if only you had acted with courage and responsibility, YOU could’ve been the hero to answer all of our prayers.

    You are a coward, Msgr. Lynn, and I can only anticipate that you are treated with even half of the amount of disrespect and disregard you showed countless numbers of children by failing to come save the day.

    No peace for you. Just a sincere ending to a heartfelt letter,
    Rich Green (Victim)

    1. V4J,
      Did the trial start this severe depression? I know it has been horrible for our victims. Did you get any response about counseling? I have been meaning to ask you.I hope you don’t mind.

    2. victims4justice, you are not alone with your feelings…. I have heard from many survivors who are going through the same thing……Stay as cool as you are… it will get better…

      Finally victims are being heard…and your voice is so important, Children will be much safer because the truth is being exposed… BUT I know it is hard for you right now………………………ok? Judy

    3. Thank you for posting your letter to Lynn, V4J. Bravo! Print it and mail it to him, with copies to Chaput, that female who wrote the AD statement, the prosecuting attornies and every newspaper in the state of Philadelphia. I am a survivor too, but you said it better than I could.

  13. Philly Archdiocese statement:

    As long as the Philly church officials are conducting secret biased investigations, like Rigali did by keeping accused predators on the job, then there has been no change. That is what church officials have done in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and the 2000’s.

    Even now Bransfield is still on the job, while he is being investigated by Montgomery county DA for child sex crimes.

    It is time to start protecting children instead of protecting child predators.

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

  14. I think not being able to work in over 13 months is what really started the depression, combined with Scumdusky and Lynn, and having to deal with my own abuse history is most of the problem. I thought I would be going back to work by the middle of August, but I just found out I have a fracture in my pelvis, which I’ve been complaining about since my surgery but the doctor thought it was just pulled muscles, and it looks like I’m going to be out of work for even longer. When i don’t work, it gives me 10-12 more hours everyday to sit around and dwell.

    The Arch. of Philly denied me therapy. They told me since my abuser was an Oblate from Delaware that I’d have to contact them. Funny thing is, when I first called the Oblates back when I first came forward in Feb ’09, they told me it was the responsibility of the Arch. of Philly to provide me with therapy. Judy Ransom did call me back, I guess after Kathy and whomever else from here called trying to get them to call me back, but she told me that she could help me locate community services that are available for free. Are you kidding? First, if that’s what I wanted, why the hell would I need her help to find it?! Second, I have a therapist and she knows me, and I’m comfortable with her, and she’s the only one I’m willing to talk with because I am not going to explain the last 20 years all over again with somebody new. Furthermore, the Philly Arch. website VAC program states they will provide therapy to victims for up to one year. I have never gotten therapy from them for 1 day. They’re just keep playing games, and I’m too miserable to put up much of a fight right now.

    I’ve thought about making contact with a few different reporters who have been practically begging me for my story for the past 3+ years and seeing if we can expose the Philly Archdiocese as a bunch of liars with the way they treat victims and their so-called “we provide therapy program,” when in fact they deny therapy to more victims than they approve. I know 7 other victims who have been trying for years to get therapy from them. They won’t budge. They are just liars!

    Maybe I should tell the Philly Inquirer about the priest who drugged my drink in a nightclub back in 2002 and took me back to the rectory that night, where I woke up the next morning in nothing but my underwear and a t-shirt, having no idea where I was, and looked up at the wall at a crucifix, and next to me on a night table was a statue of Mary with rosary beeds around it, and a bible next to it. My memory of that night is sketchy, because whatever he put in my drink really screwed me up, but I KNOW what he probably did to me. I’ll tell the church that 2 weeks later when I saw him in the same gay nightclub, I went over to him and asked him what happened that night, and he said, “don’t worry about it.” He didn’t say, “oh nothing happened. I was just taking you back to my place at the rectory to make sure you were safe because you were out of it, or because you passed out because somebody might have laced your drink with a drug.” Instead he just left me wondering when he said, “don’t worry about it.” F#cking scumbag priests. I don’t know why this shit always happened to me.

    Maybe if I tell the Philly Archdiocese that then they might listen to me.

    1. Rich,
      You are going thru so much…………I understand about not switching counselors you feel like you are starting all over again……as for the priest if he put something in your drink its illegal and he will do it to someone else most likely…… judy is right…..

    2. I am so sorry for your pain. I hope sharing some of your story gave you even a little bit of relief. You’re very brave. Remember that all of us here support you. You are loved and worthy of love. I know exactly what you mean by not wanting to start with a new therapist and have to go through all that telling again. What has been done to you is not only horrible, but the lack of empathy after the fact, is astounding. You are in my prayers. I believe the victims!!!!

    3. Rich,
      Your situation uncovers for others the thing I have been trying to get folks to see for years now…….the AD claims no responsibility for the behavior of priests who are members of religious orders; yet there are whole parishes and schools run by religious orders wherein the religious order members are pastors, teachers, school administrators of various titles, chaplains, principals, school presidents, priests-in-residence, etc. The AD claims that the AD has no jurisdiction over these men; they are the responsibility of their religious order. It is absolutely absurd! The least the AD can do is to make that a publicly stated fact so that all can discern and understand just where the boundaries lie for “the safe environments” the AD claims to exist.

      Thanks for speaking out.

      1. Michele,

        I have been warning people about “religious order priests” on this site and during my public protests for over 3 years. Oblate priests in Philadelphia spend more time with children, and they are placed around many more children than diocesean priests, and that’s because most Oblates teach in schools. By the way, never trust a chaplin in a hospital. Many religious order priests have been removed from their assignments for abusing children and placed in hospitals around the globe. When my mother was in Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point, NJ last winter, I walked into an elevator and didn’t realize a Catholic priest was already in that elevator. While my mother spent a couple of weeks in the hospital, I kept running into this priest or some of his associates, because my mother’s room was just down the hall from the chapel. I told the priest in the elevator, “How many kids did you abuse to get this assignment?” Then I walked out and walked down to ride the elevators in another wing.

        I was taught by nuns in grade school, at St. Martin of Tours in NE Philly, and I believe I only had one non-clergy teacher. The nuns there were absolutely crazy and they thought they had some kind of right to put their hands on kids to discipline them. This wasn’t a school of the 50s or 60s. I went to St. Martin’s in the 80s. We were scared to death of the nuns. Should a little kid actually live in fear of a teacher? I don’t think so.

        When I got to Father Judge, I realized I would be going from being taught by all nuns to all priests. My second day at Judge, the priests gathered all the boys and placed them in the auditorium, and on a big screen on the stage, they showed men naked and how they checked themselves for testicular cancer. I remember McDevitt wanting to “check me for testicular cancer,” when he first started abusing me. Shouldn’t a child’s pediatrician be responsible for teaching a child about personal hygeine? Who shows a bunch of 13 and 14-year-olds men on a television screen with their junk all hanging out?

        I believe this entire school was filled with sick creeps. Just last year, Father Gerald Dunne, who taught at Judge when I went to Judge and was teaching there up until last year, was removed for allegations of abusing young boys. There have been 4 recently publicized priests/teachers removed after having taught at Judge and alleged to have abused children. I can only assume there to be many more, since I’m always more worried about the preddators we don’t know about.

        The Oblates of Saint Francis De Sales is known as one of the sickest and most corrupt religious orders in the world. Don’t take my word for it, just do some research. 30+ priests identified in the last 20 years as having innapropriate contact with children. I believe these men are the sickest of the sick because they behave like they are the most powerful in the church, because usually they have more education and apparently there’s more prestige in being an Oblate. They are sick f#cking lunitics!

        You’d have to be absolutely out of your mind to known what I know about Oblate priests and continue to send your children to Philadelphia-area parocial schools. You’d be offering up your child’s innocence on a silver platter.

    1. victims4justice, please don;t wish to erase your comment…. your voice is so important to protecting kids today…. thank you for sharing..! you are amazing;;;

  15. You got so much on your plate and sometimes I know I need to focus on one thing at a time.

  16. Dear AD of Philadelphia,
    This is in response to your statement referring to the “heavy” punishment Msgr. Lynn received today. I’d like to share with you something I found on this topic by a man named Jesus who lived 2000 years ago. (His sayings were recorded in something called the Bible which I heartily encourage you to read.)
    “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
    Matthew 18:6 (NRSV)
    Now, I’m no scripture scholar, but if Jesus had been in Lynn’s position and knew of a substantiated allegation of abuse against a minor, he would have acted VERY differently.

    A Once Contributing Philadelphia Catholic

  17. They still just don’t get it! Do they really think a few apologies and being forced to pay for the sins of the pedophile priest makes everything okay. Until they have the integrity to fire some of their fellow bishops who are as responsible for covering up for the predators, they will not be taken seriously, have any credibility or trust. Here’s an essay by Bishop Spong entitled “The Penn State Tragedy Highlights the Catholic Church’s Failure”. that hits the proverbial nail on the head.

  18. “Enraging” is not the proper adjective to use. How about P___O___!!!!!!! This just confirms our decision to pull our three out of Catholic school.. As noted before, the final straw was the appointment of Vincent Welsh, one of Lynn’s three assistants over 12 years…Yesterdays sentence just closed the door for our family….The entire Phila AD needs to be cleaned out, from TOP TO BOTTOM…Come on Seth Williams, go after the rest of the crew including Rigali……Make some noise man!!!!!!!!!!1

  19. I relate to the comment that the Archdiocese thinks it was a sensitive statement – scary but probably true. Do spokespeople for an American diocese really not understand why we use words like enraging in reaction to it’s continuing pit bull defense of someone who commits a crime against defenseless children? How did Canada handle the case of the high ranking cleric caught importing a computer full of kiddie porn? He is a criminal. He is in jail. An objective review of the Lynn case and sentence leads in the same direction. Any society or segment of that society whose adults do not protect its children by law and by the example of ethical behavior should provoke an “enraged” reaction until culture and conduct conform to something that belongs in the kingdom of God.

  20. These are desperate old men living in another century. They are intent on self-destruction, and are making it a lot easier for a person to leave the RC Church. Who wants to be associated with such stupidity? Chaput has dropped the ball, no red hat for him!

    Those still financially supporting this organization may want to reconsider.

  21. Chaput,

    How much are you paying your PR firm, and how much longer will they being working for you?

    Get someone to rephrase The Archdiocesan’s official response, TODAY!!!

  22. Earth to Chaput…

    Here we go again. There was no public statement from Chaput on the Lynn verdict. There was no public statement from Chaput on the Lynn sentencing. The scenario is incomprehensible. As shepherd to his Philadelphia flock, he has been utterly derelict in his duties. The significance of the Lynn verdict and sentencing to Catholics around the world and Catholicism, in general, and the fact that its epicenter is Philadelphia, makes Chaput the “elected” spokesperson. Instead, he choses to be silent and invisible in order to minimize the damage and “make it go away” sooner rather than later. This outdated and ineffectual PR tactic is killing the faithfuls’ view of Church leadership, it’s killing our Church.

    Chaput… just another bishop obediently intent on leaving one more rotten legacy.

    1. They are not leaders. They are not shepherds. They are managers, hired hands, and wolves in sheep’s clothing.

      Kate, I don’t believe Chaput is silent or invisible. He’s placing his stamp of approval on every public statement. Read the statement and know that is Chaput. He hires and fires. He approves and rejects.

      No. He cannot hide behind a PR team. What you see is what you get.

      He’ll have the same pathetic response Lynn had. “I did my best.”

      What happens when your best is ineffective? In the real world, people get fired. In the RCC, you get promoted or transferred.

      How can Spanier and Curley and Shultz all be on the chopping block and Rigali sits in a hide-out? Upon Rigali’s retirement, he stated, “”If I have offended anyone in any way, I am deeply sorry,” he said. “I apologize for any weaknesses on my part in representing Christ and the church, worthily and effectively.”

      They all seem to have the same generic, vanilla response to people’s pain.

      At one point in my life, I sat across the table from my perpetrator at a public place. He, of course, denied what he’d done. He said, “If I did anything that would hurt anyone, I apologize.” I slammed my fist on the table and said, “NOT IF!…IT HAPPENED! THERE IS NO “IF!” He sat there stunned, red-faced, and stammered out an apology. I say the same to Rigali…”There is no IF!” To Lynn, there is no, “I did my best.” To Chaput, there is no “we profoundly regret their pain.” There isn’t accontability in any of those comments.

      It’s time for Lynn’s former superiors to face the music.

      1. Sw………I agree if you are truly sorry follow it by action confess and make amends they are missing that part that is why they will go to jail in the end…… no true remorse.

  23. Life is a pit stop to eternal life. why God allows this to happen. Don’t know. Why the extermination of 6 million Jews, chosen people, I don’t know. The AD can deny, are morally bankrupt, pretend it never happened………. but God does know our inner most thoughts and knows all… We all stand before God on judgement day We Christians (Christ-like) will stand up for what is morally right!! No more cover-ups. Lynn’s “boss” Bev. told him what to do. Jumping off a bridge, you would do?
    What about Rigali. the pope, Law, Bransfield, and the list goes on. Its the beginning, and long over-due. I believe the victims/survivors. this is my opinion. Peace

  24. Denise, did you ever suspect, maybe, did it ever occur to you, cross your mind–oh what the heck, reach for it–that some of your basic premises are not correct?

    1. Mark

      No Mark… It is my opinion is not right or wrong. I do believe the victims/survivors…I try to live by the 10 commandments, the beatitudes. I believe Jesus died and rose again for each and everyone, and He will bring us to eternal life…..He gave us his Holy Spirit to guide us…..As written in the bible we are given the gifts of the Spirit….They are ours for the choosing…I pray for all the victims of child abuse….and I can’t even begin to try to imagine the hell of it all….Peace

      1. No, Denise. Some opinions are right. And some opinions are wrong.

        You are preaching The Ten Commandments. May I ask you about that? You believe that God gave Moses The Ten Commandments, right? And what happened to the 2 tablets? They broke, remember? Is that what you believe? Something God made, broke?

        So, God had a return policy, and He gave Moses a replacement set. You believe that right? So, where are they? The first set broke, the second set was lost, of the most important document of all time? Is that your opinion?

        And you believe that a Loving God actually said, “These are my Chosen People. Those people in the next village over, beh, I don’t care much for them, they’re just Goy (cattle).” Is that what you believe?

      2. Mark so I take it you don’t believe in the BIble? Just wondering what do you actually believe? Denise doesn’t seem to have said anything negative about our victims which is the point of this blog.

  25. It would appear from the AD’s statement that they still need to be convinced of the seriousness of the matter. More prosecutions and civil actions would seem to be needed.

  26. I’m actually glad to see the outrage here, as I have been feeling it from the same sentiments toward Lynn, from his parish and community. It’s mind boggling. I don’t recall the exact words used, but I was glad to read that the judge said to Lynn that he is not a victim or a scapegoat, he is being held accountable for his own actions. Several from the misguided Downingtown/St. Joe’s parish showed up (former principal/parents of school kids, etc.) to testify to Lynn’s character. I’ll ask this question for about the millionth time….would these people be singing his praises if it was THEIR child whom he covered up rape and sodomy? I will NEVER be able to make sense of this kind of reaction. Not ever. I think the AD is just smarting from the fact that their typical arrogamoxgnce and denial of all things obvious to everyone else, just didn’t work this time.

    Question: What happens to Lynn when he is released from jail? Will the AD/RCC foot the bill for him the rest of his life? Where does he go, and who will pay?

  27. Thank you so much, all you Philadelphians, for this generous website which has served to inform so many about the trial, the verdict, and the regrettable statement of the archdiocese. My ancestor Colmans hail from Philly and those that remain must be giving you folks a standing ovation for your courage, intelligence and outrage. Monsignor Lynn has his counerparts everywhere, in each diocese all over the United States. The seminary training of these men, along with the sickening corruption of their leaders, guaranteed the destruction of conscience, so all that is left is the pleaser cleric, the one who obeys at any cost, even when the cost is the lives and souls of children.
    May Lynn’s sentencing serve to remind all of his ilk how close they are to spending their retirements in his current diggs.

  28. If you want this nonsense to stop, draft your letters and get them to Seth Williams. Thank him for pursuing Lynn, but let him know his job is not done and we expect Rigali to be charged for his crimes of endangerment to children as well. It’s an election year. Write, write, write. Call to follow up your letters.

    They need to know that Catholics are sick of this just as much as everyone else. They need to know that Catholics (and former Catholics) are determining the fate of their job. Seth Williams’ job is NOT done. If he drops the ball on this, people had better come out swinging.

    Let him know we influence the vote.

    Keep the conversations going EVERYWHERE. Pretty much everyone knows about and will discuss Penn State. I take that opportunity to say, “If you think Penn State is bad, you haven’t been following what’s happening in the Catholic Church.” Then I have a brief sentence or two to give them the nuts and bolts about it.

    I strongly encourage everyone reading to write a letter. It doesn’t have to be lengthy.

    1. Follow up your letter to Seth Williams with a letter to the AD. Let them know their statement was insulting to our victims, hurtful to the parishioners still in the pews, and confirmation to every Catholic who has left the walls of the RCC. Demand they take it down because it does not REFLECT a Christ-like response to any party involved.

  29. I called the AD and spoke with a young man in communications office- I told him I’m a survivor and we think Msr. Lynn got off pretty easy. I told him I know victims who are penniless, victims who suffer extreme physical as well as emotional disablities from the abuse, and mothers of suicide victims. I asked if he reads this blog and he said he’s aware of it. I said I left the church long ago and have no hope for it- except maybe from people like you ladies who are getting involved and speaking the truth.

    1. LOL! I am sure the communications office is not only aware but constantly vigilant in reading this blog. I regret their pain

  30. A little compare and contrast for anyone who is interested.

    Facing sanctions, firing of administrators, death of a beloved coach, and impending litigation, this is part of the statement put out by the current Penn State president:

    “The tragedy of child sexual abuse that occurred at our University altered the lives of innocent children. Today, as every day, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse.

    Against this backdrop, Penn State accepts the penalties and corrective actions announced today by the NCAA. With today’s announcement and the action it requires of us, the University takes a significant step forward.

    The NCAA ruling holds the University accountable for the failure of those in power to protect children and insists that all areas of the University community are held to the same high standards of honesty and integrity.
    …It is important to know we are entering a new chapter at Penn State and making necessary changes. We must create a culture in which people are not afraid to speak up, management is not compartmentalized, all are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards, and the operating philosophy is open, collegial, and collaborative.”

    In full here:

    On Tuesday, Monsignor William Lynn, was sentenced to 3-6 years in prison for endangering the welfare of children. His superiors have either been promoted or shifted to other archdioceses’ and have yet to face any consequences, internally or externally. Lynn looked the other way with at least 37 “Sanduskys.”

    Here’s their leadership’s public statement upon hearing the sentence handed down:

    “July 24, 2012
    From the challenges the Church has faced both nationally and locally over the past decade, we understand the full gravity of sexual abuse. This year and even this week, Pennsylvania has been the epicenter of this issue, and we know there is legitimate anger in the broad community toward any incident or enabling of sexual abuse. The trial of the past several months has been especially difficult for victims, and we profoundly regret their pain.

    The public humiliation of the Church has emphasized the vital lesson that we must be constantly vigilant in our charge to protect the children in our parishes and schools. Since the events some ten years ago that were at the center of this trial, the Archdiocese has changed. We have taken dramatic steps to ensure that all young people in our care are safe, and these efforts will continue even more forcefully now and in the years ahead.

    We remain committed to protecting children and caring for victims. Fair-minded people will question the severity of the heavy, three to six year sentence imposed on Msgr. Lynn today. We hope that when this punishment is objectively reviewed, it will be adjusted.

    We pray for Msgr. Lynn and his family at this difficult time.”

    In full here:

    What is wrong with this picture?

    I sent this out to some people in my neck of the woods who wanted to know more about how the RCC has treated their victims. Their responses have been compassion for the victims of the RCC, embarrassment (some of them are Catholic), and disgust at the hierarchy.

    I said this weeks ago…whoever is in charge of their PR must be fired immediately and yet, Chaput had to put his stamp of approval on it. Telling, isn’t it?

  31. The biggest difference between the Church and Penn State is: Penn State “gets it.” In an interview on CBS News, Mark Emmert, NCAA President, explained the “why” of the penalties levied on Penn State. He said the culture of football at any cost, football as the be all and end all of colleges and universities…these are the things that must change. In the responses from the University, it was apparrent that they know where they failed and are working to correct the culture. The Archdiocese shows no signs of recognizing or addressing the culture of power and superiority and they are ignoring to basis for our church: the life and teachings of Jesus. The only word to describe THIS CHURCH is HUBRIS. My daily struggle with “why do I stay?” is more difficult today than before.

  32. I am a victim of priest rape and torture. There is no other way to describe what this priest did to me at St Thomas Moore parish in Durham NH did to me but describe it as torture. I had run away from a foster home because of religious abuse in that home and the only place I could be put for the night was at the parish. As soon as the police officer dropped me off my night of horror began. It is well documented in my blog so I will not go into details. What I do want to talk about is the nightmares I have been suffering and other horrors from that night ever since.

    I would not wish these nightmares upon anyone. I am burning in hell, being raped by this priest, then gang raped by priests, bishops and popes.I have been raped in these nightmares even by the very demons of hell itself. It is horrifying let me tell you and it is oh so real to me. In these nightmares I feel everything and upon wakening I still feel the pain and horror.

    This priest told me over and over again, while he was raping me to “save me from eternal damnation for breaking the commandment of disobeying my father and mother” that if I told anyone I would burn in hell for eternity. He forced me to say the Our Father and the Hail Mary while he was raping me. To this day I cannot even utter these prayers. To this day I cannot even walk into a RCC without suffering severe panic attacks.

    My fathers funeral was held at St Charles parish in Dover and I had to literally disassociate myself just so I could stay for the funeral services and it was all I could do to not run screaming from the church.

    I have tried everything I could think of to put an end to these nightmares. Heavy drug use, alcohol, you name it, even suicide. Once I dissolved a large quantity of Valiums in a glass of vodka, drank it down but somehow managed to survive this.

    The pain continues and people like Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and William Leveda and their statements and attacks against us victims and their attacks against SNAP does not help either. To be denigrated and called liars and gold diggers by these people, to hear Leveda call a victim insane, to listen to Dolan in a speech he gave when NY passed the same sex marriage law, saying he felt betrayed about the passing of the law, then to say what he said in relation to us victims, well it is like I am being raped and tortured all over again. Bill Donohue’s slams against us victims is evil and purely motivated not in protecting and helping us victims, but for protection of the church and it’s leaders.

    I have been through therapy now for a year. I reported this crime one year ago. Yet it seems that the Manchester Diocese does not even care really. My lawyer and I have not heard one peep from them since I reported this evil done to me.

    Because of this priest and his actions, I feel cursed. I feel looking back on my life, my whole life has been cursed by this man. It is something right now I cannot get over. I am trying but it is so difficult. I hate God and Jesus Christ too. That night I begged and pleaded with them to make this priest stop what he was doing to me, they did not answer me. To me this makes them just as evil and degenerate as the priest is. I have no thought about them except to insult them and make hate filled derogatory statements against them.

    This is my life, this is the way it has been now for 33 years. A living nightmare of pain, suffering, horror. No one can understand this unless they were too a victim of this evil.

    What gets me the most though, is the Parishioners who stand up for people like Dolan, Leveda and Benedict and dare call them holy and worthy of going to heaven. No they are not. The pope covered things up when he was a Cardinal and the insults and derogatory statements against us victims by Dolan and Leveda only goes to prove they do not care one bit about us victims, they only care about protecting their church.

    Last week I almost killed myself again to put an end to these horrible nightmares. If it was not for my best friend, I would not be here today writing this. She saved my life. I do not know why I am still here. Maybe it is to be a speaker to people who do not understand or have no knowledge what we victims have gone through. Matter of fact I have been finally pushed into writing a book about all of this and the title will be Our Father Who Art in Hell: A Priest Rape Victim Story.

    All I know is, these nightmares must end. Those responsible for these horrors must pay through our justice system. We victims must be recompensed for our shattered lives. Nothing less would be true justice for us.

    1. victimsofrapebythercc,
      I’m sorry. I’m glad you are here.

      I believe you. Every word.

      Keep posting.

    2. Dear Victiimsofrapebythrcc,
      I am so glad that you are here and that you shared your story with us. Thank goodness for your good friend who helped you the other night. Please come here often and be with us, let us help you and be there for you. You are important and loved. Be strong, Don’t let those evil ones win.
      I believe you.

    3. You are so not alone… and you are still here because you can make a difference…. by speaking up and telling your story, you are helping to protect kids today………………so that no other child will have to endure the life sentence you have endured…

      Stay as cool as you are, I admire you so much for sharing your story. Rest well tonight…!

      Judy Jones.

      1. I’ve fought this all of my life alone. When I came out from the priest abuse closet, especially to one person who actually knew something about the incident, they turned their backs on me. A lot of people have in fact turned their backs on me, calling me a liar and just looking for money from the church. Very painful thing to endure, but then I look at it this way, if they are going to act this way towards me, they were never friends or family in the first place. I do have some amazing friends and family members who do support me and help me. SNAP has helped too. I have talked to Tim Lennon and Barbara Blaine a few times via email. You all run an incredible organization and this is why I am going after Bill Donohue tooth and nail. I figure if he wants to get down and dirty, then I am going to do the same to him. My lawyer and I have actually issued a challenge to him. He pays for a poly for me and when I pass it, he pays for the ads and my lawyer Peter Hutchins wants him to come to NH to debate him. Of course we all know Pedophile Priest Defender and overall Pig Face Bill would never have the guts to face me nor my lawyer because we would tear him apart. I occasionally leave messages for him on his phone, telling him exactly where he is going when he dies. He doesn’t like my insults via email, phone or my blog, but again, if he wants to be a degenerate towards u victims and SNAP, then I have no problem getting down in the dirt and mud and giving him back much better than he hands out. It also helps to relieve some of this incredible anger I still have inside of me. Kind of my way of insulting the pedophile priest who destroyed me.

        My lawyer, my best friend and others have told me, that if I did check out, the world would be a sadder and much more boring world and they would all miss my photography. Plus I am not truly done fighting them yet. My friends have told me if I kill myself, then that will be the final insult and the churches victory. Sometimes it is wicked hard not to want to kill myself, but with the friends I do have and my lawyer Peter, I think I will be staying around to finish out this life.

    4. vcitimsofrape,
      Thankyou for posting and I am so sad for all you have been thru. please continue to get all the support you need here and from those close to you. Some meds can make nightmares worse…..I am sure you have already talked to your doctor about your distressing and horrible nightmares but did you ever consider getting a sleep test done? At the very least it could rule out other conditions or interactions… is very normal to have nightmares after such horror but the sleep doctor might have some suggestions to try to lessen them…..again I am so sorry….

      1. I’ve been on all kinds of prescription medications for nightmares, depression etc and they only made matters worse. There is one thing I have used that does help but currently its use in NH as a medicinal is illegal. We are hoping right after our current Gov leaves this will change. My therapists and dr all have told me this medicinal has proven to work wonders with people with severe PTSD with accompanying nightmares and for depression. I know it does. So we are keeping our fingers crossed it will soon be made legal to use for medicinal purposes.

    5. Victimsofrapebtthercc
      I believe everything you’ve stated. I am soooo sorry that you endured so much. Brought tears to my eyes. Speak up, don’t be afraid. We are here to listen, and support you and all of the victims….

      Denise McC

    6. Whoever gave victimsofrapebythercc a “thumbs down” my email address is

      Send me an email and choose any day, any time, and any place and I’ll be in your face! Look in the mirror and decide what kind of a rat bastard scumbag gives a thumbs down to someone who just had the courage to write all of the worst shit they ever experienced. Are you the kind of man/women who “wants to sleep downstairs with the children?”

      Go ahead. Send me an email, f#cking scumbag degenerate!

      Go play in traffic!

      1. victimsofrapebythercc…. Good news.. The victims are pulling WAY ahead in the fight these days!–and this leaves Bill looking and sounding mighty foolish! Be careful not to go scaring anyone and getting yourself in trouble, thereby letting Donohue get the last laugh on the victims.
        His career must be nearly over now. His style is hard for most people to watch, and his message is shrill. No thinking person takes him seriously…Let him fade away and become insignificant.

    1. Thanks SW

      Here is my letter to Seth Williams:

      Dear District Attorney Williams,

      I wanted to thank you, Lynne Abraham, Judge Theresa Sarmina and all the grand jury members AND jury members for your collective work that ended with the Lynn conviction.

      I followed the trial closely and have read the Grand Jury reports and genuinely believe justice was done…indeed the hard way…10 years of investigation, 13 plus weeks of trial, and very very long jury deliberation.

      If there are more convictions that should occur, I ask you to pursue the matter vigorously.

      I am a mother and grandmother who finds the victims stories very painful. For far too long, predators have been passed on, cover up has been the order of the day and innocent children have been at grave risk.  The Church, in my view, has been both complicit and deeply wounded by these behaviours. Your efforts have been a beginning, hopefully, of a solution.

      I particularly wanted to thank you for the 2011 Grand Jury recommendations directed to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the PA legislature, relative to transparency, independent victim assistance, the extension of the Statute of Limitation ‘window’ et al.

      I am struck by the fact that these recommendations were made by independent citizens selected from a Jury Pool, who spent months considering the cumulative horror of Archdiocesan behaviour relative to sexual abuse.

      It seems to me that these independent recommendations are hugely powerful statements made by an informed and independent set of folks who merely want the abuse to be stopped, perpetrators to be punished, victims able to seek ‘relief’, and innocent children to be protected.

      A local paper said that this was a ‘good week for children’, including both the Sandusky and Lynn trial data. I think it was and you all are to be very seriously thanked!

  33. Dear victimsofrapebyrcc:
    I am so sorry for all you have been through. I’m glad you are still here. For me, the biggest component of healing is to know where to place the blame and shame: with the abusers and the RCC for enabling them. To expect anything good from them is to set yourself up for more pain. I’m glad you ‘re in therapy, hopefully with a therapist who’s skilled in working with abuse survivors. Please know there are better days ahead.

  34. Patrick Blessington, from the DA’s office was and continues to be passionate all during the trial and in his closing arguments at the sentencing on July 24th. He is humble and never in front of the TV cameras. He rates a perfect score from all of us who witnessed his passion and fury. He is THE BEST of the best from the DA’s office.

    1. Theresa, thank you for the info on Patrick. It fits my impression of him. The Philly Assistant DAs appear to have done a very good job. My problem is with Patrick’s boss, Seth Williams, who unfortunately calls the main shots.

      Seth appears too politically ambitious to pursue the main culprit, “His Eminence”, Cardinal Rigali. Seth seems willing to pursue the small fish only, which must please Rigali and Chaput. I hope Philly voters never forget that.

  35. Like all of you, I was appalled with the response from the AD. Arrogant, oblivious, callus, ignorant. Christ’s representatives on Earth? Far from it. I have been ashamed at the abuse at the hands of the clergy and the horrendous extent of the conspiracy to cover up this abuse and let it continue.

    I am grateful to all the survivors who have spoken out, to all who have testified, written letters. Proud of everyone who has spoken out here on the blog, written letters and called the DA. So grateful to the DA’s office for pursuing this case over so many years.

    Judge Sarmina, thank you for wisdom. Yes, Lynn did exactly what you said “he protected “monsters in clerical garb who molested children.” He is where he belongs, and I hope he stays there for a long time.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of others from the AD who need to account for their actions. Philly is just one piece of the puzzle, too. Let’s hope this is a launching point for other cities, worldwide.

  36. Yesterday was a major victory for those of us who were victimized by Catholic Priests and The propnderful people who support us at this site. How come I am sitting here crying like a baby?It may have a lot to do with what Rich and victimsofrapebyrcc have just shared with us. It seems that no matter what happens in our lives, be it good,bad or indifferent , the abuse is always with us.It never goes away. Why can’t these supposed men of God not understand that? The statement from the archdiocese was simply more of the same. The archbishop claims that the abuse is now over. How can he possibly say that? Some child could be being molested at this very moment by one of his priests.The problem is he doesn’t care.

    1. Jim, please take some comfort in the fact that we really care about the abuse you experienced and how the effects keep on hurting. I deeply wish that you were not suffering! and that goes for all our victims.

      I wish I could say that I thought ‘these men of God’ would really ‘get it’ and I think a few do…but very very sadly many don’t, won’t, can’t.

      You are in my thoughts and prayers….

    2. Chaput,

      Jim’s hurt never goes away. Does it hurt when you breathe too?

    3. Jim I might be wrong but you seem to be crying because you have a heart of gold and compassion for your fellow human beings and in the current catholic church leadership atmosphere that is really saying alot. about your character……….you possess what they don’t have… for your neighbor.

    4. Jim,

      I think we’re crying now because the truth is finally being revealed. It has taken so much to get that truth out there and for people to listen to what we have to say and believe us. Hell… it was that way just on this website alone. You should’ve been here a year ago, when many of my posts were censored and regular Catholics would ignore my warnings to protect their children. Now I read about parents here, who are removing their children from parochial schools because of everything we went through. That is victory. I am doing exactly what I’ve set out to do over three years ago; I am protecting children.

      Hopefully it won’t take another trial 20 years from now for people to wake up and smell the suffering. Chaput is wrong. Abuse is still occurring. It doesn’t just stop because one man was found guilty and sent to prison. There “is” a child being abused right now, by a Catholic priest, somewhere, and if you think otherwise, you haven’t learned anything in the past year. Unfortunately and very likely, we won’t know about the little boy or little girl suffering in silence until 20 years from now when he/she works up the courage to tell the world what happened, back in 2012, when he/she was just a child.

      I wish I had psychic powers and I could reach out to these kids and remove them from their current situation to protect them. I wish child sexual abuse would seize to exist completely inside and outside the walls of the Catholic Church. All I can do is hope that children are educated better by parents and they find the courage I never had; to tell someone.

      I can’t imagine a world where children are not abused. That’s sad.

      Hang in there Jim Tucker. Our voices can and will make the difference.

      Peace out, brotha.

  37. Susan,

    In copying the AD statement onto C4C, I wish you had included the final words on the original statement posted on the AD website: Contact Donna Farrell, Director of Communications. When will Farrell consider the ramifications of having her name associated with this and other callous and out of touch AD communications? Interesting how Chaput permits her name on these abominable statements, while his own is altogether absent. How can Farrell find this acceptable?

  38. Kate,
    Chaput’s stamp of approval is on everything going to the media. Farrell is either a puppet, willing to commit professional suicide, or she’s completely incompetent and needs to be fired.

    I believe it’s the former.

    1. Survivor’s wife,

      “Chaput’s stamp of approval is on everything…”

      No one working for him (clergy or lay-member) makes any public statement without his approval. He has absolute control. This is true of any bishop in charge of a diocese; they are responsible ONLY to the pope. Have you seen B16 contradict Chaput’s actions at any time? These men are dictators. We have only one choice; we can choose to live under their rule, or we can leave.

      It is often said that “The Church” is made up of ALL Catholics, the Body of Christ. True, but, more than 99% of us have absolutely no say in the decision making process. We have no vote; no input into how our money is spent (would you have chosen to pay 11 million in legal defense fees?), or even access to an audit of how a bishop decided to spend our money.

      This is the RCC, a dictatorship (actually a monarchy), but it does not have the authority to confiscate your “passport.” You are free to leave, but you do not, and will not, have any authority to make
      policy. If you stay, you do so under Chaput’s authority. Complain all you want; but at the end of the day, Chaput rules. This is clear from the AD’s official response to Msgr. Lynn’s sentencing.

      1. Really liked Marci Hamilton’s article in today’s Verdict…am noting a couple parts of it…but think you would find the entire article great!

        And it is not over.  Trials await against the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s lay teacher Bernard Shero and Fr. Charles Englehardt, as well as against Penn State’s former Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley.  Meanwhile, grand juries are likely busy in both central Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.  There is reasonable certainty that former Penn State President Graham Spanier will face criminal charges, and that Sandusky will face more charges.  And it is possible that past officials of the Philadelphia Archdiocese may face additional charges as well.

        Private Sanctions:  The Philadelphia Archdiocese’s Internal Investigation and the NCAA

        Private justice is often incomplete.  Private parties lack the subpoena powers of the prosecutors, and are not responsible to the people in the way that prosecutors are.  Self-interest has a way of turning private investigations into self-serving public relations projects, rather than paths to authentic justice.

        This is definitely true with respect to the private investigations by the Philadelphia Archdiocese.  As I discussed in another column for Justia’s Verdict, the investigation of the Philadelphia Archdiocese by Gina Maisto Smith has fallen far short of transparency, which is critical to full justice.  Smith has been charged with determining not guilt or innocence, but rather “suitability,” yet another weasel-word in the lexicon of religious organizations that are substituting private investigation for the civil justice system.  Many in Philadelphia are still shaking their heads over the return to ministry of Msgr. Close, who was credibly accused by two different men.  It is inexplicable.  And that means it is not justice.

      2. drwho,
        I couldn’t agree more.

        “This is the RCC, a dictatorship (actually a monarchy),…”

        “Complain all you want; but at the end of the day, Chaput rules.”

      3. Marci linked the following data from another one of her articles dated May, 2012.

        It seals with victims treatment by the AD and ‘boundary issues’:

        The Archdiocese’s Handling of Its Private Investigation and How It Has Re-Victimized the Victims

        Meanwhile, the Archdiocese’s intransigent insensitivity has been further apparent in its handling of its own, separate investigation, which it initiated.  After the 2011 Grand Jury Investigation Report documented the fact that the Philadelphia Archdiocese had not changed its ways following the 2005 Report, the bishops (first Cardinal Justin Rigali, and now Archbishop Charles Chaput) suspended 27 priests in February 2011, and then hired an outside consultant to investigate the claims.  The consultant they hired was an ex-prosecutor, Gina Maisto Smith, who is now in private practice at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia.  The comparison of her investigation to that of the real prosecutors is telling.

        ….There were actually more priests suspended before the investigation was underway, but the Archdiocese washed its hands of any priests who were with religious orders, on the theory that those priests were not their problem (even though no priest ever operates in a diocese without permission of the diocese). Just to be sure that the victims were kept in their place, Chaput also put the priests into categories: Four of the five were removed for what the Archdiocese deemed “boundary” or “behavioral” problems, and only one—Rev. John Reardon—for sexual abuse of a minor.  Chaput declined to go into more specifics.

        The Archdiocese’s wondrous investigation apparently concluded that Msgr. Francis Feret, Rev. George Cadwallader, Rev. Robert Povish, and the Rev. Thomas Rooney were only guilty of “boundary or behavioral violations.”

        So Chaput only specified the fates of a fraction of the priests, and then turned the announcement into a farce, when he distinguished between real abuse and “boundary violations.”  Exactly where is the term “boundary violation” in the criminal code?  Such a concept doesn’t exist.

        But some things here are very real:  There are real sexual assault victims, alleging real rapes, behind the removal of the priests whom Chaput deemed to have merely violated “boundaries.”

        Here is the truth Chaput held back: One of Feret’s victims reported to the District Attorney’s Office, long before last Friday, that he was orally and anally raped by Feret.  The Smith team then had a cursory phone conversation with that victim.  This survivor received a call last week, letting him know that Feret would be discussed on Friday the 11th. So he waited, along with his family—and all the other survivors and their families—to learn whether the investigation had found him credible and whether the Archdiocese would do the right thing, and get rid of Feret.

        On Friday the 11th, this person, a victim of rape, couldn’t believe his ears: He heard Chaput tell the press and the public that Feret was only guilty (in their kangaroo court) of “boundary violations.”  Rape is one heck of a boundary violation, and this victim was rightfully distraught when it appeared that his claims had been treated as not credible, and as trivial.  No one in the Archdiocese prepared him for this public betrayal of his experiences.

        The pain inflicted by the idiocy of using the phrase “boundary violation” for child rape is impossible to quantify, and for the survivor, it is devastating.  This survivor gnawed away at this fresh insult all weekend and then, on Tuesday morning, the Archdiocese finally called him.  In his own words, here is what he was told and how he felt:

        “Friday’s announcement regarding Feret was specific to another victim. [The Archdiocesan representative] said that law enforcement hasn’t made a finding regarding my case, that when they do, only then will the archdiocese do their own investigation regarding my case.  I am now more confused and distraught than ever. I have no idea what the heck this means?  It’s like I’m in limbo, like I am being victimized all over again.”

        Let’s recap:  The victim was told that there would be an announcement, which surely means that they knew full well about his report.  Even with that knowledge, Chaput announced on Friday the 11th, amidst much self-congratulation, that Feret was being removed from ministry permanently for “boundary violations,” even as Chaput remained mute about the fact that Feret was also accused of far more serious crimes, crimes of rape.  This victim—this survivor—was then told that there would be an announcement, but not that his report would be publicly ignored this time around.

      4. I have been struggling for months to understand the phrase ‘boundary issue’ utilized recently by the USCCB at their Atlanta meeting, utilized by the Archdiocese to describe the behaviour of priests removed from ministry and until today…I just didn’t get it.

        When, Marci Hamillton,who clerked for Sandra Day O Connor, and has won a case in the Supreme Court, and is probably the most expert person in the country on constitutional law and abuse says,
        that ‘boundary issues’ concepts don’t exist in the criminal code, I believe her. Big time.

        And thank her for that data and strongly suggest the hierarchy correct their language.

      5. I hope that victim comes here and reads this…

        I BELIEVE YOU. Feret should have been removed immediately and prior to the announcement, the AD needed to call you personally to tell you, “We wanted you to be the first to know because we know you want this person out of ministry. Feret will be permanantly removed from ministry because we believe every word you told us and we don’t want what happend to you to ever happen to anyone again. We are sorry for your pain and thank you for your courage to speak the truth. Please know that the public announcement will be coming in the next few days. If there is any way we can help ease this time for you, let us know.” THAT should have been the bare minimum.

        When the victim initially contacted the AD, the AD needed to apologize, acknowledge their pain, and offer assistance in whatever way possible. Unlimited counseling (at the choosing of the victim) should be a given for any victim.

        Joan, this news is just so saddening. The lengths a victim has to go to in order to get a person out of ministry…and all while they are living with their OWN pain, being lied to and dismissed and overlooked. The AD acting like what they are doing is so much more important. The ONLY reason they are dealing with Feret’s removal is because a courageous person told them! How callous can people be? I don’t think I will ever understand. How hard is it to acknowledge a person’s pain? To want to help them heal?

        What a lie to tell a victim…that the decisions made about boundary violations by Feret were not about him. Really? I don’t believe them. I think they had everything to do with the victim…but, they don’t want to admit it. How would it look to state publicly that they allowed this priest in ministry when he had been accused of RAPING children. “Boundary violations” is more sanitary.

        Victim who told the truth…WE BELIEVE YOU.

      6. Thanks SW and thanks to Marci as well..

        We are so dependent for ‘credible’ info on sources outside the institutional Church.

        I do hope that victim comes here, soon..

        I don’t think Kathy and Susan quite realized just how important C4C was going to be in …God willing, REALLY supporting survivors.

    2. SW,

      Susan works in communications and has been employed by the AD. I wonder if she has any insights into the position the AD places Farrell in terms of her name, alone, being on its communications, and the degree to which Farrell is free to assert her feelings about being placed in the line of fire? Is she a thoughtful person who is inclined to act on any feelings of dissatisfaction? Do the statements represent her conscience? Is she a puppet, myopically focused on retaining her position of employment? Is she content working for a patriarchy? Her apparent standards would boggle the mind of most professional woman today.

      1. Farrell is the official spokesperson for the Archdiocese. It’s a position that has always been held by a woman as far back as I can remember. This has spawned the saying, “the skirts hide behind the skirt.”

        A spokesperson’s job is to deliver an institution’s message. There is no room for personal slant. As a matter of conscience, I couldn’t be a spokesperson for an organization whose ethics were not aligned with my own. I assume that Donna Farrell is comfortable with the message she is delivering.

        From what I understand, Brian Tierney is the driving force behind the current Diocesan public relations spin. He also worked for Bevilacqua as a consultant. One has to wonder why he would approve a statement that would enrage so many? The cynic in me thinks that it might have intended to be a pr pep rally for Lynn as he enters prison life. He could still bring down many, many others. Perhaps I’m wrong and they are just that arrogant.

      2. Susan I think you are right alot of people worked with Lynn………therefore alot of them must be nervous…………..and they don’t want him turning on them……..its all so sad……..they arent willing to make the sacrifices to make things right………they just want to stay out of jail….

      3. On another note can you think about how the church would be if people like St. Paul were afraid of going to jail? He freely did what would further the kingdom of God……..he did not care what price he paid…..and St. Paul was doing the right thing………living the gospel………many are too afraid to live that gospel in the Philly AD.

      4. Kate,
        Those are all great questions that only Donna can answer.

        Our actions, whether professional or personal, speak of who we are.

        Even if Farrell doesn’t agree with what she’s putting out there, at the very least, she is saying she’s willing to lower her ethical standards to people who are hurting the most vulnerable. Who wants their name connected to that?

  39. Dear Victimsofrape,

    I am so very very sorry for your pain. You are safe here among people who care, and can handle the truth. That evil man who called himself a priest lied to you about everything.

    You were saved by your friend for a reason. You came here for a reason. You are loved.

    You deserve justice. All victims deserve justice. Here people work for that justice. There are victims here who do understand, and they could use your help to fight this evil.

    Try to eat regular meals, drink plenty of water, and sit in the sunshine.

    When you are ready, please come back and let us know how you are doing.

  40. Jerry, in regard to DA Seth Williams, rumor has it that he is interested in running for MAYOR of Philly!!! Plenty of people I know think he did not do enough during the trial for the victims.

    1. Teresa, it is more than a rumor. Seth and Chaput’s lawyer, Gina Smith’s law partner, Ed Rendell, who is a former PA governor, Philly DA and mayor, and also the top leader in Seth’s PA Democratic party, have both expressly alluded to Seth’s favorable prospects in running for Philly mayor. Ed’s (and Rigali’s) possible influence over Seth may be a point for serious concern by some! It is for me.

    2. Theresa, I too am aware of the rumors about Seth Williams… be perfectly honest, I was never aware of his presence during the trial proceedings. Once that sentencing was announced, he was all over the place giving interviews.

    1. You know, as I reread the entire blog,it’s like there are parallel universes.

      One universe, very very painfully recounts the horror of abuse, the desperation and agony victims experience, possible suicide, the care of loving therapists, family, friends and yes, C4C fellow bloggers. This universe desperately wants the Church to understand their often lifelong pain, to acknowledge its guilt and to deal very seriously with victims needs.

      AND then there is the institutional universe, just now dealing with the incarceration of one of their own, who ‘endangered children’. A church system that, in fact, not only endangered children, but allowed our victims to be sodomized, and raped, often repeatedly as very young and at one point, innocent children. That passed on known predators to unsuspecting parishes, that in effect, failed to protect innocent children, at the direction of Church hierarchy.

      This Church ‘universe’ just issued a statement that clearly did not comfort victims. Vague terminology about learning from the past (noted as ten years ago, when last year a large number of priests were suspended).

      Promises to be more vigilant, and a plea that ‘fair minded people’ will want the severe sentence of Lynn, modified.( the length of Lynn’s sentence appears to be very very important to the Archdiocese).

      A universe that did NOT specifically detail it’s egregious sins and crimes, but glossed them over with verbiage and a ‘concern’ for victims pain. An universe that is NOT implementing the 2011 Grand Jury recommendations both to the Archdiocese and the Legislature, which would be a very effective way of taking responsibility and making restitution.

      Parallel universes, on clearly different tracks that cannot meet…

  41. Its simple.

    The people on this blog are Christians, who put the safety of God’s most innocent children as a top priority. Like Jesus Would Do.

    Catholics are not Christians. Their top priority is money, protection of property, and protection of child rapists and those that protect the child rapists. This isn’t debatable. These are facts, not opinions. Catholics will try to twist the facts as non-Christians would be expected to do.

    Catholics do What The Anti-Christ Would Do.

    1. Neil /Patrick whoever..if you think you are going to inform people by attacking them..I just ask how many people you have been able to bring to this issue,when you look behind you, is any following you? I saw on another blog it may have been Cipriano’s, a victim called you to task for always attacking. He said something to the fact that you are not serving the victims well..just his opinion which he is entitled, but I understand his point.

      1. You use whatever methods you want. There are a bunch of us that don’t negotiate with this organized crime syndicate of child rape terrorists, and will attack them in any way we can, using the truth as our weapon. Brainwashed Catholics will defend their child rapists because they are taught to do so, and may never look for the truth, but that isn’t going to stop me from doing it my way. You get your opinion, which is to slowly try to get the Catholic gangsters to start practicing some Christianity. It may eventually work, but it certainly is taking a long time.

        The best of the best Catholics in Philadelphia for years was Bevilacqua, a proven pedophile protector. He was a criminal, but managed to make his sheep wait long enough to help him get away with his crimes. The next best Catholic was Rigali, who lied to his sheep last year about this same issue. The best Catholic is now Chaput, who invested $11 million of your money in trying to save Lynn, a proven pedophile protector, and just wrote a memo to everyone saying how bad it is that Lynn is going to jail.

        Where was the Catholic uprising about this $11 million legal expenditure, which could have been used to allow 44,000 children who will starve to death to live another full year? There was no uprising, because Catholics do what they are told by their evil leaders. They don’t need to be nudged. They need to be attacked. My opinion.

        I certainly won’t be lectured by any Catholic telling me what to do, and I’m not worried about whether I’m impressing you, either. I’m trying to start an uprising against the church of 4,392 Jerry Sanduskys and thousands of Joe Paternos, followed by millions of adoring fans who think Catholic priests have the only free tickets to heaven just because they say they do.

        Guess what – Catholic priests lie about the most important things. They split off from Christ’s church long before our lifetime, and I will use my methods to educate anyone I can about it. You don’t like it, you can eliminate it from your blog. Cipriano could, too, but he didn’t, because he wasn’t beholden to the ways of the Catholic church.

        You use your methods, and I’ll use mine, but no one is currently very successful at teaching Catholics basic Christianity.

      2. Neil,you may think whatever you want of my efforts but I have never seen any one convert someone to their way of thinking by comparing them to the anti christ. I am trying to protect kids and seek justice for victims. I am not trying to see Christianity in catholic leaders…gave that up about 6 months ago. You rant anywhere and everywhere but what do you really do?

    2. Neil/Patrick, I wish you all the luck in the world by taking on a 2,000 year old institution and thinking that you will be successful by attacking the people that you need for your cause.

  42. As horrific as the particulars of William Lynn’s case may be, still I think victims of Vatican sexual abuse may find some relief: At last there has been a crack in the plausible-deniability front the church has used as protection; at last, those who covered up or obscured heinous acts are no longer safe.

    Much as President Richard Nixon once went on television to declare “I am not a crook” before he was forced out of office, it is no longer enough for the church to claim “I didn’t know” or “I was just following orders.” And if civil authority can call a monsignor to account, who knows where the final reckoning might ultimately end up? Plausible deniability — the refuge of powerful scoundrels everywhere — can no longer be counted on to defend the ‘one true faith’ and its heinous underpinnings. For that, I think we can thank the William Lynn case.

    The church response to the Lynn case is as contrived and miching as could be expected from any institution that seeks to evade responsibility and redirect blame. But the outcome of the case paints the Vatican into an increasingly narrow corner.

    By hiring former FBI Director Louis Freeh, Penn State took the high road towards clearing the university air fouled by the Gerald Sandusky case. Perhaps it’s time for the Vatican to give Mr. Freeh some work.

  43. Neil,
    Thru my weakness Christ makes me strong……..I would not be doing half of what I am doing now if my path thru life had been easy and without suffering……….suffering teaches how to love deeper if we join it to the love of Christ.Two years ago we put my husbands offender in jail I had a serious surgery as my dad was dying of cancer. All within 3 weeks as well as other issues going on. My surgery ended up being switched to Jan 22 and I even asked God is this some kind of joke……what the heck are you doing God.I offered up my sacrifices and pain for the innocents that day and I have surgery this coming July 31 and I will offer it up for all our victims and for the protection of children……. in the end it is all about love of neighbor and love of God.

    1. Neil,
      I am not saying you dont fight a good fight just that you remember who and what you fight for……

      1. Yesterday’s PI editorial:

        Outside their own circles, they’re mostly unknown — and certainly not referred to as Victim No. … But other child sex-abuse victims across Pennsylvania are just as entitled to justice as those whose accusations were heard inM the sensational trials of a former college football coach and a high-ranking Catholic Church official.

        Many of the other victims have also suffered in silence for decades, often unable to admit to themselves the horror of being abused as a child or teen. And if they did decide to come forward, it would likely be too late under the state’s criminal and civil statutes.

        These other victims waited even as separate juries wrestled with the charges against former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, whose alleged victims now include an adopted son, and Archdiocese of Philadelphia Msgr. William Lynn — who on Friday became the first U.S. church official convicted in a child sex-abuse case.

        Sandusky was found guilty late Friday on 45 counts of child sex abuse. Lynn was found guilty earlier on one count of child endangerment and acquitted on two other charges. The jury deadlocked on two child-abuse counts against the Rev. James J. Brennan.

        For victims in yet unknown cases to get their day in court, Harrisburg lawmakers and Gov. Corbett must push aside special interests, including the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the insurance lobby, and carve a path to the courthouse.

        A proposal from State Rep. Michael McGeehan (D., Phila.) would do just that, by opening a two-year window for long-ago victims to file civil suits that would allow victims to expose both the accused and those who shielded them.

        For more than a year, McGeehan’s bill — and a related proposal to remove abuse-case statutes of limitation, sponsored by State Rep. Louise Williams Bishop (D., Phila.), who was also a childhood abuse victim — went nowhere in the face of determined church opposition.

        Wednesday, however, in a sign that lawmakers finally felt the weight of publicity from the two trials, the House Judiciary Committee approved a modified measure crafted by the panel’s chairman, State Rep. Ron Marsico (R., Dauphin). That bill would eliminate statutes of limitation on future criminal prosecutions in child-sexual-assault cases and give victims until age 50 to lodge civil claims.

        But Marsico’s measure still does nothing to help long-ago victims.

        Apart from the verdicts, the Lynn and Sandusky cases amply demonstrated the need to loosen the statutes, to tighten reporting of abuse claims, and, most important, to provide justice to victims whose predators were shielded by institutional cover-ups.

        In pursuit of Lynn’s conviction for child endangerment, prosecutors offered compelling proof that, as the city’s former top prosecutor, Lynne M. Abraham, said, “the cover-up went all the way to the top,” including then-Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

        At Penn State, two top officials face criminal charges that they helped cover up child-molestation allegations about Sandusky. Appallingly, even former university president Graham B. Spanier failed to alert authorities.

        Now, more than ever, it’s time to stand with all abuse victims.

      2. Joan, I think it is fair to say that your efforts, and Susan’s, Kathy’s and many other C4C bloggers’, helped considerably to get this strong Philladelphia Inquirer editorial support for the “window” SOL legislation.

        It is a major endorsement and and a clear indication that the Philadelphia Inquirer is going to stay on this story and not be fooled by PA legislators’ half-hearted efforts..

        Bill Donohue even criticized the editorial today, which is one sign the editorial is causing Chaput pain.

        Maybe now Bill will learn not to try to bully Susan again.

      3. Joan and Jerry,

        The PI editorial is major to our efforts! I agree that it’s one sign that the PI will stay on this story. Martin’s continued work is another. So is Yant’s. Hopefully it all will help in getting the message to Seth Williams that the AD story is not over and cannot be replaced by a mayoral bid. Indeed, the fight has only begun. Let’s see the DA’s office gear up and go after the rest of the criminal clerics. Let this become the standard for whether Williams if fit for higher office.

      4. Jerry, thanks.

        I am very grateful to the PI for their coverage of the trial and certainly for this very welcome editorial!

        I think it was BOTH Grand Jury’s that recommended the statute of limitations ‘window’ be opened in PA as part of their recommendations to the Legislature and the Archdiocese.

        I keep coming back to the fact that the Grand Jurors, and they said it themselves were not anti church in fact many were church goers, but the serious and horrible testimony they had had to deal with was the reason that they recommended the SOLs windows for abuse victims

        I particularly appreciated the editorial pointing out that there were so many ‘other’ abuse victims in PA who ALSO deserved an opportunity for civil ‘relief.’

        We get caught up in the clergy abuse and it’s important to care for ALL victims of abuse. As the PI points out, editorially.

        And, I do not think it is a good thing for the Church to use its money, power and lobbying arm, the PA Catholic Conference to attempt to limit ALL PA abuse victims seeking that relief.

      5. Kate, I have been concerned for some time with the new power structure of the Philadelphia Inquirer (PI), not with the PI reporters, who have done good work to date. I have expressed my concern to PI reporters.

        My concern is more with the stories not being covered, such as Rigali’s role and Seth Williams’ docile approach to Rigali.

        The PI was recently taken over by a group reportedly spearheaded by former Gov. Ed Rendell, who is a law partner to Chaput’s key lawyer, Gina Smith.

        Also, Susan has just reported that she has heard that Chaput is currently relying on Brian Tierney, a recent former PI top executive and an influential communications and advertising pro in Philly. Brian was reportedly involved in Bevilacqua’s “beach house vendetta” against Ralph Cipriano. The latest news is that Bevilacqua was even worse than Ralph alluded, but Ralph nevertheless was in effect pushed out of the PI.

        The new SOL editorial from the PI is encouraging, but it is still necessary to pay close attention to any evidence of undue influence from Chaput’s potential clout with the PI.

        I for one will be monitoring it.

      6. And here are the 2011 Grand Jury SOLs window recommendations:

        We recommend that the Legislature:

        • Enact a two-year window to allow child sexual abuse victims to have their cases heard.
        We recommend that the Pennsylvania legislature suspend for two years the civil statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims. Such a “window of opportunity,” appropriately limited to two years, would allow adults who were victims of sexual crimes as children to have their cases heard in a court of law. The statute of limitations in force when many of these victims were abused required that any civil litigation begin within two years of the time of the abuse. Thus, a 10-year-old rape victim had until he was 12 years old to file suit against his abuser.

        It is well established that most victims of childhood sexual abuse do not come forward with allegations for many years, or even decades, after they were molested or raped. For this reason, the civil statute of limitations in recent years has been extended. However, as a result of the law’s past inadequacy, sexual predators who prey on children continue to be shielded from exposure.
        The vast majority of complaints received by the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s victim assistance program, in fact, have fallen beyond the statute of limitations. Without a window in which their cases can be heard, victims must depend on the Archdiocese hierarchy’s willingness to validate their allegations, acknowledge their suffering, and
        compensate them for expenses incurred, such as for psychological counseling or drug treatment.

        A two-year window in the statute of limitations might offer the best hope these victims have of finding justice. More than that, the possibility of civil liability would increase church officials’ incentive to make meaningful reforms and institutionalize intolerance of child abuse.
        • Abolish the statute of limitation for sexual offenses against minors.

        We were able to recommend charges against Avery, Brennan, Engelhardt, Shero,
        and Lynn only because the Pennsylvania Legislature extended the criminal statute of limitations in 2002, and again in 2006. However, we reviewed the files of several other priests accused of sexual assaults on minors who still cannot be charged because their victims were unable to come forward until the statute had expired. We see no reason that sexual predators should benefit because they choose vulnerable young victims who are unable to come forward for many years.

        • Amend reporting law so that mandated reporters are required to report sexual abuse of a child even though the victim is over 18 at the time of the report.
        The Archdiocese, we learned, already reports to law enforcement any sexual offense committed on a child – even if the victim is an adult at the time of the report. We believe that all mandated reporters should be required to do the same thing.

      7. AND the 2005 Grand Jury recommendation on the extension of statutes of limitation for civil suits:

        Enlarge or eliminate statutes of limitation on civil suits.
        As a grand jury, our function is of course limited to examination and application of criminal offenses. We recognize the reality, however, that civil liability may also provide a disincentive to the kind of systemic sexual abuse that occurred here. Indeed, Archdiocese officials never seemed to believe that clergymen could ever go to jail for abusing, or allowing the abuse of, children; but they did display an obvious fear that they would be sued for such conduct.

        For many victims of sexual abuse by priests, civil liability may be the only available means to seek recognition of their injuries and a measure of repose. Moreover, unlike statutes of limitation for criminal offenses, the time for bringing a civil suit can be lawfully extended or revived even after the original limitations period has expired.

        Accordingly, we ask the legislature to consider lengthening or suspending civil statutes of limitation in cases of child sex abuse.

      8. Jerry,

        We need a PI insider like Martin to push for a Ragali assignment. Let’s see if the PI pushes back. A push back would be telling.

        If Seth would move on Ragali, the PI would be on it in a second I think.

        The PI seems to want to report the news, but not make it.

    2. Beth,

      I will pray that your surgery is successful. Thank you for being such a strong advocate of justice for victims and protection for children. God Bless.

      1. Thanks Be the change………….your blogs are lifegiving and life affirming……..and you are having a very positive impact on others……..

  44. Dr. Anthony Massimino wrote an excellent letter to Chaput re: the Lynn sentence and the archdiocese’s response. It’s on-line for anyone to read. The archdiocese continues to act as though we lived in the 12th century and people lived in fear of the clergy. A young woman told me recently that the Catholic Church was not a welcoming place to worship. Unfortunately, not only is she correct in that, the Catholic Church is not a welcoming place to anyone unless you are clergy. I never thought that I would feel like this about the Church I grew up in but, looking back, the abuse of children has always been present – from the priests to the nuns that taught us in elementary/high school – and thought nothing of belittling children, calling them names, threatening eternal damnation for minor offenses, and preaching how only the Roman church was right. Maybe all people who still consider themselves Catholic should take out our Bibles, read the New Testament and Acts, and find out what is truly “right” and Who is truly “right”, we will be able to change the culture of the Roman church for the better. Until that happens, we will continue to have pedophiles, laity-hating, unChristians running Roman Catholicism.

  45. Gina: I agree with you. We are children of the NewTestament, and it is all in the Bible….I believe the victims/survivors!! !Peace

  46. Lynn should have received seven years. Catholic prelates still don’t get it. They still want to protect criminal pedophile priests. Chaput and his obedient servants still hold on to the idea all priests are holy. Chaput, an alias for SHUT-OUT,is made into the image and likeness of man-made images of Jesus Christ. If Jesus returned to earth, he most likely would place a millstone around necks of all pedophile priests and those who covered-up their crimes and throw them into the sea. How do I know? Read The Gospels.

    1. Joe,

      You’re right; “Catholic prelates still don’t get it.”

      They’ll get it as soon as the pew sheep stop deferring to them, but currently there are still too many of them kissing bishop’s rings.

      My question involves Seth Williams. Is he kissing prelates’ rings, and/or pew sheep’s a$$, in his effort to become mayor? I hope he’s doing neither, and that would be demonstrated if he were to investigate Rigali.

      1. Drwho, Fighting crime and seeking justice are not the priorities here…getting elected mayor is. If Seth Williams were to embark on a clergy abuse “reign of terror” and start prosecuting those who really deserved it, he’d alienate pew huggers and the AD. His game plan is to do just enough to appear tough on AD sex abuse, while still managing to stay in good with the AD kingmakers (the guys Lynn took the fall for.) These leaders have enough clout in Phila. to make a difference to Seth’s run for mayor.

        Seth Williams will continue to straddle this fence, and he will never, ever, ever, ever, go after a bishop, much less a former cardinal. It’s not in the game plan.

  47. Seems like, from those reporting on this blog, that Seth Williams is kissing the rings and ***** (rhymes with glasses) of the AD prelates and clerics. SHAME ON YOU, SETH WILLIAMS! You are being linked with the kool aid, pew hugging catholics of this AD.

    1. Just a few thoughts. When law enforcement is conducting a criminal investigation it is not announced..for many reasons. When the 2011 GJ report was released and Lynn was indicted it was like a bomb dropped on Philly,the investigation was not announced. The DA has new evidence from this trial including the shredded memo, that they did not have before. I would not be surprised to wake up one day 8 months from now to hear new charges are filed against others involved. I may be absolutely completely wrong and if a year from now no one else is charged than obviously that is a failure,but until then I am reserving judgement because I certainly don’t expect the DA to announce to the public the details of a possible ongoing criminal investigation.

      1. Kathy,

        Wise words.

        I think many people feel that the two, former Grand Jury reports and the testimony from the trial are enough to indite more clerics. Therefore, they are waiting on Seth to make a move NOW. All in all, people want certainty that the DA’s office remains fully engaged in bringing to justice offending clerical pedophiles and enablers… that the office does not perceive itself as “finished.” I agree that the DA’s office would keep from the public any criminal investigation it is involved in. Still, I don’t think it’s wrong for bloggers to keep the pressure on Seth since we are not privy to what he’s doing or not doing. Our voices are natural responses to not knowing.

      2. I agree that we need to voice our hopes of more charges . I have learned so much over the past two years about laws, name it..I would rather the DA have an airtight case that will stick. And let’s not forget the abysmal laws in the state of Pa. and the fact that all crimes are prosecuted by the laws of the year the crime occurred, not the current laws. At the completion of the 2005 report not one person was indicted because of the statutes, how that will play into further indictments remains to be seen.

  48. “Fair-minded people will question the severity of the heavy, three to six year sentence imposed on Msgr. Lynn today.”

    Oh no, he got a whole six years. Six years that he brought upon himself by endangering children; six years that are nowhere near as long as he could have gotten had he committed other crimes; six years after which he will probably be able to resume his job in the Catholic clergy, unlike so many other ex-cons who can’t get jobs anywhere because of their status as former criminals.

    Forgive me if I fail to mourn the “injustice” of this.

  49. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this excellent blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my
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