179 thoughts on “Breaking News: Father Andrew McCormick Arrested

    1. Are others also experiencing that the recording on the arrest cuts off shortly after the story begins? The wide media-coverage on the Sandusky trial is helping to protect children. I hope more victims step forward.

    2. Today’s Phil. Inquirer reports that McCormick is charged with sexualy assaulting an altar boy. Seth Williams says McC reportedly groomed others. The Philly AD says in the PI article this is a different charge than the one McC was suspended for by Rigali almost a year and a half ago.

      The parishes must have the names of former altar boys. Didn’t Gina Smith in her year and a half “investigation” interview them?

      What kind of inadequate investigation is Gina and Chaput conducting? Will Philly Catholics ever be told the full story?

      And what about Seth? Enough with the “photo ops”! Is this one also going to be blamed on Lynn alone or is Rigali finally going to be made to account?

      Rigali was still in charge for six months after he suspended McC in March 2011 and after Lynn had been criminally charged.Of course, His Eminence was busy flying to the Czech Republic to represent the pope at some “show event”. Too busy to be bothered to protect Philly Catholics’ children from more priest rapes, it appears!

      Is Rigali accountable for anything other than accepting donations.?

      And Seth, how about pursing His Eminence, Rigali, now? Or at least explain tp Philly Ccatholics why you appear so docile with Rigali.

      And Chaput, how many more of the suspended priests are still threats like McC is.? If you don’t know, why don’t you by now? Why doesn’t Chaput forego the nonsense of the election year “religious liberty” ploy and do the job he accepted to lead and protect Philly Catholics!

      Will Gina and Chaput finish the suspended priests’ investigation before the pope’s visit in 2015?

      What a farce and travesty! Will the cover-up ever end?

      1. Given the evidently flawed investigation by Rigali and Chaput of McCormick, it is worth revisiting Marcy Hamilton’s recent assessment of the Philly AD’s fundamentally compromised and inadequate approach to the 37 suspended priests for suspected misconduct with children, some of whom yet present risks for Philly children, accessible at:

        http://verdict.justia.com/2012/05/17/the-truth-about-the -philadelphia-archdiocese-child-sex-abuse-by-its-priests-and-its-latest-missteps

  1. This kind of news isn’t very shocking anymore, but I’m sorry to hear this. Years ago, he baptized my niece –to whom he’s distantly related.

  2. Question: At this point in time in the Phila AD, who is paying for legal defenses –an insurance company or the AD?

    1. I don’t know who is paying, Crystal. I image the AD just like with the other cases. Just wondering, isn’t the AD self insured? Don’t quote me on that, but I thought I heard that ages ago.

      A couple wks ago, there was a priest arrested in Brick, NJ. The article I read stated very clearly that he was not permitted back on the parish grounds and was responsible for his own expenses for his defense. That was a new twist!

      I’m not surprised with the recent arrest. Keep up the good work officials. Get the scum off the streets and make an example out of them all.

      Has anyone heard any follow up on the other Fr McCormick? Fr Patrick McCormick who was arrested this past March for soliciting a prostitute?

  3. I knew Andrew McCormick years ago and am very sorry to hear that he was named in the 2011 report (I confess I did not read the report – guess I didn’t want to know if anyone I knew was on it). If he is guilty, then he must pay the price. This is the fourth priest I know who has been accused and/or removed from office. Am past being surprised; only wonder how many more will be brought forward before the AD implodes and allows us (the Lord’s followers) to regain our Church, our Community, and live the Way.As far as the legal fees question Crystal posed – as far as I am aware, the AD is paying the legal fees, which means everyone of us who continues to contribute on Sundays is paying the fees. Since the AD is most interested in covering up, playing games, and giving our money to these guys, maybe we should stop the money flow.

    1. Kathy….could you sort out the numbers of suspended priests…. I think the 2011 Grand Jury indicated concerns about 37 priests…then we hear that 27 or later 21 are suspended. There were 35 on Bev’s shredded list?

      If I read Marci right, a number of order priests were removed from these numbers as the AD thought they were their order’s concern….yet they could not serve in the AD without the Bishop’s OK….

      Then a couple more were added to the list?

      I am truly confused…..could someone lay out this numbers timeline/issue?

      1. Joan the numbers could be clearer. Abuse Tracker’s data base of publicly accused Priests lists 126 priests.

      2. Joan, try link below (but I don’t know how successful it’ll be.)
        You can go to “Abuse Tracker”, and click on “Priest Data Base”. Next, when you see “View by Diocese- Select a Diocese”, put in “PA–Diocese of Phila.” and there you’ll see 128 names (two of which are Brothers) of accused priests from Phila…along with the accusations and each priests’ assignment history and media articles and other info about their alleged crimes.


      3. I stopped worrying about numbers and lists quite awhile ago. When the first grand jury issued its findings and the priest who abused was not mentioned I was devastated. I had been led to believe by Bevilaqua that this was a very small problem in Philadelphia. Since that time through much reading and listening, I have come to believe that the number of victims in the Archdiocese numbers in the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands. Most victims do not come forward. Many are caught in the throes of addiction and those memories are lost. maybe forever. I don’t need the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to tell me my memories are true.Because truth is something that they have a very difficult time with.

    2. I’m unclear. Was McCormick suspended after the 2011 report and then cleared and reinstated over the past year?

      1. No ,there are 12 priests who have not been returned pending final decisions, McCormick was one of those twelve.

      2. Kathy and Kate: If McCormick was one of the “Rigali suspended” priests that Chaput has been stalling on, his “sudden” and quiet arrest may be to minimize any link to the current calls for Seth Williams to pursue Rigali.

        If Rigali (and perhaps Chaput as well) sat on McCormick’s “file”, how is that any less endangerment of children than Lynn sitting on Avery’s case?

        Are there different legal rules for Cardinals and Archbishops? As all lawyers, including Seth know, the rules are the same.

        So what is Seth waiting for?

        The Philly mayoral election is still a few years away, so Seth has plently of time to “cultivate” the hierarchy’s political support!

      3. The local DA’s had the cases of the suspended priests (all 5 counties) and signed off on the cases before handing them back to the Archdiocese..that happened last year and has been widely reported. From what I understand the DA (any of the 5 counties) have not cleared 6 priests as of this time. I understand your question about Rigali but not Chaput as the cases had already been handed to law enforcement when he arrived. It is also confusing if this case is “new” because it references the victim coming forward after the Sandusky case. Obviously McCormick was suspended for something in March 2011 but that was before Sandusky.

      4. Kathy, My reference to Chaput is to his inexcusable delay of almost 18 months in dealing with many of the Rigali suspended priests, especially since they are not really supervised. It doesn’t take that long to investigate, even if you have to interface with the local prosecutor.

        Other factors must be in play, but in Chaput’s customary arrogance, Catholics are not informed and we likely will never know the real story.

        Philly Catholics’ children just have to remain at risk that one of these suspended and unsupervised priests will strike again.

        And Chaput yet spends much of his time on the pope’s US election year “religious liberty” ploy and raising money for the pope’s 2015 visit.

        This is surely shameful and, if Seth were on top of his job, may be criminal.

        We have little solid info and are supposed to just trust his “Near-Eminence”. We have seen his true colors in dealing with statute of limitations lobbying and in his lackey’s incredible comments about Lynn’s sentencing. FUHGEDDABOUTIT!

    3. They have not had a dime from our family in over a year. How can anyone who believes what we know is true support the AD?

      1. Lizlost: Yep your question is right on! Ive asked the same question…myself. It is a personal journey for us all… Don’t let the “catholic Guilt” get to you.. We were taught about alot of man-made rules. Mortal sin, venial sin, church evey Sunday…….the list is soooo long.
        In the quiet you can hear the Word of Jesus. Seek and you shall find, knock and the door will open. When I started reading the “Good News” of the bible, it was suggested to me read the gospel of John. That was in 1984. I am still reading. Hope this guides you abit. We, here, may be on different roads sometimes, but the main objective for me personally, and i feel for C4C is to support the victims/survivors of the terrible abuse they’ve endured, to stand behind them, hold them up when they can’t stand, and to be their voice, when it’s difficult to speak. I believe the victims/survivors, and pray for all…..Peace. Denise

      2. So this new victim who came forward went directly to the police. This in itself is progress. He was encouraged to do so by a family member. Not too long ago, he would have gone to the archdiocese and probably been convinced to keep quiet. It also seems that this young man was encouraged to come forward by the Sandusky and Lynn trials. The publicity surrounding the trials do encourage victims to come forward. While every story of abuse opens the wounds of those of us who have been abused in the past. It is necessary. Eventually maybe our wounds will heal enough that the scabs won’t come off with every new abuse story.

    4. “..DA Williams believes there may be more alleged victims because of his involvement with altar boys, and he reportedly took trips to Poland with them….”

      This is so sad and disgusting. I certainly hope this is being thoroughly investigated. If this is true, there have to be dozens of victims of this pedophile. Fr Mc Cormick’s mother came from Poland and he was fluent in Polish, so he served in the AD’s Polish parishes. If these allegations prove true, I hope the Polish community understands how they were betrayed by the AD.

      What about the priests who lived with Fr McC at the Polish parishes of St, Adelbert, Cantuis and Sacred Heart where he served??? I don’t for one second believe they were in the dark about his proclivity. They had to have fielded phone calls from upset and suspicious parents of these tight communities…What did these priests know, and do or say nothing about? –and STILL do and say nothing about?

      1. Crystal, I just want to say I think your posts are outstanding and usually right on! Good- on- yer. 😉

      2. And, but for the victim who went to the police, we so far would have been uninformed about McC’s dangerous proclivities. So much for Rigali’s and Chaput’s self-serving investigations of suspended priests. Just more of the same cover-up! When in God’s name is Seth Williams going to pursue Rigali, the “teflon Cardinal”?

  4. To the victim that came forward I don’t know if you read this blog or not but thankyou for protecting children.

  5. WAKE THE FLOCK UP. Even if they were to arrest every priest in the Phillie AD on sex charges–Jozef Ratzinger and his successors still would never, never, never allow priests the free choice to marry, to have the natural law human comfort of a life partner, the way God intended it to be as a part of each man and woman’s natural rights. It’s all part of a secret cult designed to keep all this crap flowing from one generation to the next. THE CLEVER ONES HAVE NOT BEEN CAUGHT. It’s crucial to them to keep the fake story of celibacy (it is well known that many priests already have all but open sexual relationships) going in order to keep the sheeple fooled by a phony facade of sacrifice and holiness. VOTE WITH YOUR FEET.

    1. Mark, I am convinced a major Vatican fear about married (and women) priests is that the Vatican is afraid that married priests, as parents, with supportive and independent wives, would want to expose and prevent the sexual predator priests.

      Keeping women out of the priesthood is one more clerical defense to prevent the truth from being exposed. It will fail and already is failing.

      More and more Catholics, like Susan and Kathy, will say “Enough!!”, and push relentessly for accountability and change.

      Sadly, most hierarchs’ only close female experience was with their devoted mothers. So the hierarchs will have to learn the hard way, what married fathers learn automatically, that you don’t mess with determined mothers out to protect their children!!

      Jesus, who may have been both married and a father (the New Testament is silent) and surely knew the apostles’ wives and children, must be smiling now as he looks down at the tenacious mothers busy on the C4C blog.

      Chaput will have to work hard to get a red hat, rather than an orange jumpsuit!

      I just love it!

      1. Jerry, we have just lost another life, ‘The Australian Sex abuse and sinister serious’.
        This clergyman was known to church authorities, and had at least 39 recorded vulnerable children, now adults at his mercy and the church did nothing.
        The heirarchy, are like a huge machination, steamrolling over lives destroying anyone at will to appease their appetite whatever it may be, so long as it keeps on going.
        Watch now, they will all have their say on the tragedy etc. etc. then it will soon be another statistic and business as usual.
        HIstory has proven that.
        Still no royal commission warranted, to date, but maybe this will now change, I only hope people too overwhelmed don’t give up, that’s just what they would want, taking advantage of their emotional paralysis, history has proven that too.

      2. Thanks for the info, LN. The Spirit is on the move in Australia and has Pell in His sights. As you know, three of your bishops already have left/been pushed out early. More will follow.

        US bishops so far lack the fortitude to follow the Aussie lead. That’s OK, since there is plently of space available in Lynn’s prison!

  6. At this point, I am happy whenever I see another arrest of a priest, sad as that may sound.There are no more surprises for me. After all, we know there are so many of them out there who are guilty of abuse or of covering it up. That is no longer a question to most of us here. So, the more that can get “caught” the better for our entire society and certainly for Catholics. Referring to Gina’s comments, the question is, how many more have to be publicly uncovered (we know they are there and so does the Church) before they feel they’ve been backed into a corner and have to come clean and make some real change?

  7. And the PA Legislators continue to stall on legislation that will eliminate the SOL and open a Window for VICTIMS! How much longer will the public tolerate those in the legislator that pander to Ins co and the catholic conference of bishops

  8. A pedophile is a pedophile. It has NOTHING to do with not being allowed to marry. My brother was molested by a lay teacher who was married. To suggest that having and acting out sexual thoughts about children is related to priests remaining celebate (or supposed to be) is rediculous.

    1. momof6, Does the lay teacher belong to a school system that: 1) shuffled known pedophile teachers around from school to school, to different school districts across state lines, and to different nations; 2) keeps lists of known pedophile teachers under lock and key away from the public; 3) paid $11,000,000.00 to provide for criminal defense attorneys to defend the perpetrator?

      Yes, it is a fact that some pedophiles are married. Yes, it is a fact that every other religion has problems with pedophile clergy.

      NO, there is no other religion that has anywhere near the same degree of priestly pedophilia as the Roman Catholic Church. NO, not all of the priests are celibate anyway, many are in full sexual relationships, so please be honest about this.

      YES, it is much more difficult for a married man to be a serial pedophile with other people’s kids because his wife and children will have something to say about his behavior. YES, there are SOME wives who would put up with anything, but, thank God, not many would do so.

      The more that people remain in denial that there is a link between the loneliness of the priesthood and pedophilia the longer this problem will go unchecked.


      1. Mark which came first the chicken or the egg? I think many predators were attracted the the priesthood to be near kids. If the priest got lonely after the priesthood they could have had affairs with the men and woman they counseled etc. Attraction to children is a whole different issue. I think priests should have the option to marry though because it might attract more healthy indivduals in some cases.

      2. Mark, my concerns are for the children of those who were refused resripts of their vows, not many.. but a few …well one that I’m aware of anyway.
        I hope the mothers stand up and against any lumping them all together as molesters.

    2. My feelings are that we are all sexual beings.It is a gift and not a curse. The more one tries to repress your sexuality, the more power it will have over you. I think if the Church allowed its priests to marry, it would attract a whole new segment, perhaps more healthy individuals. I am currently reading a book titled”Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes”, written by Thomas P. Doyle, A.W.R. Sipe and Patrick J. Wall.In this book .the authors talk about, the general lack of development in many psychological areas by priests. I don’t think its hard to understand why priests are sexually attracted to children when one realizes that in many ways they are still children themselves.

      1. JIm,
        You make an interesting point. It was only a few years ago I realized that some priests started in the seminary at very young ages.

      2. Oh Jim, any book written by Doyle, Sipe and Wall is by definition a ‘must read’.

        And I will find it!

        But to your point about clerical lack of psychological development..sexually, and I’d guess in other ways,….I keep thinking about Lizlosts’s questions.

        The current Church, in my view, does not promote psychological maturity. Far from it…rather, there appears to be a preference for childlike ‘obedience’, and a suspension of critical thinking. And as you point out, clergy are not stellar examples of human development. And I would argue its to the Church’s advantage to keep the faithful pious and childlike.

        The Philly disaster is a case in point. To say nothing of the crackdown on the nuns who had the temerity to prayerfully ‘discern’ their MO.

        So when Lizlost and her friends are feeling very challenged by the experience of living in 4 parishes where clergy have been removed…it’s totally understandable that, as adults they would be shocked, disheartened and clearly questioning…..that’s an adult reaction to horrifying data that has upset the apple art of their trust and faith.

      3. They are Jim, especially the one I know wanted his vows rescripted. He entered junior seminary at 13yrs old, a time when most boys close to their mothers were separated as deemed by the church.
        L, was seeking to re- “nest”, seeing the beautiful family and devoted mother, who was free to marry him.
        On his deathbed, he reiterated his now dying wish, and was assured by his Provincial at the time, it would be granted. They waited until he had died (3 weeks in fac), then notified the Provincial through the Apostoloc Nuncio is was denied.
        His child of whom he was so taken up with inheriting, so many of the beautiful qualities he posessed, , never knew all the circumstances, not thought necessary due to what he had been requesting for some time, when the situation would have been regularized.
        His child now has a lock of his hair, that always seemed to fall down over his forhead, I cut off in the hospital mortuary where he died, as a momento, but no rightful legacy.

  9. The predators miniumize the affects of their actions on the victims that is how they can do what they do………..the AD also minuimizes the affects on the victims that is why abuse in the church continues (outside the church also) that is why they cover it up………..when victims come forward they send a strong message I matter ……. other victims matter……… children matter…….

  10. I am relatively new to this website. I have been reading for awhile but finally have the courage to post. Question? Do you all still go to church? I really need an answer to this question and, if yes, why? I need help in understanding.

    1. Liz, thanks for following the site and posting. I think you will find a mixed bag of people on this site, practicing catholics ,those who have left, others on the fence.

      1. Liz,
        Some here, like Kathy Kane and Susan Matthews, try to stay on target with stopping the abuse; and they don’t get involved with questions such as yours. Others want to expose the hierarchy of the Church and then make changes to what the Church requires, so that they can see their own designs becaome accepted as “Catholic .” Still others want to help “lost ” folk find the gospel of Christ as an answer to their questions.

      2. Nichols, Actually both Susan and I have posed this very question on the site in the past so it is not an issue that we shy away from at all. Our focus is victims and children however we realize the emotions of many in the pews. With that we don’t try to convert people to stay or leave or force any ideas about religion on anyone…not the place for that.

    2. Lizlost, this blog has covered a lot of ground in the last year and one of my favorite pieces is the discussion of the primacy of personal conscience….ie your conscience is the ultimate decision maker, over Church dogma et al.

      And folks on this site, just as Kathy pointed out are all over the map as to Church membership.

      For some, it is just plain wrong to stay. For others staying and ‘speaking up’ is the game plan. It’s such an incredibly personal decision.

      But in any event, welcome!

      1. Thanks! I am happy to b part of this. Glad I took the step to post.. Just so sick about all of this. Would love to b able to trust the church again – cannot! Still have my faith but no faith in the church from Pope on down. Been in 4 parishes where priests have been removed. How do u trust? Will listen to all.

    3. I no longer participate. The sort answer to why is that all of this proves to me that this is not God’s church. If it ever was..

      1. Lizlost, I have been with this site almost from the beginning. It has been therapeutic for me during a very difficult time in my spiritual life. Here is where I am now. I do go to Church, but my guilt is gone. The way I look at Mass is this……it is my (and my family’s) time to spend focused on Christ. It is our opportunity to receive Holy Eucharist. I am using the Church for my needs. I am there for Jesus and answer only to him. If I am upset with a sermon, I either walk out or block it out.We give our money elsewhere. Sometimes, instead of Mass, we do a service as a family like making meals for shut-ins.Sometimes, instead of Mass, we’ll pray together or read from the Bible. We are focusing more now on service for others than we ever did. I am open with my children about our Church leaders, about abuse, about the cover-up……just about all of it. My hope is that they will grow to have a strong faith in the Lord and also the abiltiy to spot holiness where it really exists and phoniness in those who pretend to be holy. They are used to seeing me walk out on sermons and always know why. They see me keeping my belief in God while refusing to listen to nonsense from priests. They know how deeply upset I am about the child abuse epidemic, the cover-up in our Church and the suffering of victims of abuse. Some may categorize me as a pew sitter and that’s okay if, in their eyes that’s what I am, though I do not see myself that way. The Church has always been a place that brought me closeness to the Lord and I am fighting not to let them take that from me. I get what I want from Mass, not what they think they are giving me. God knows that and that’s all I really care about. When I am upset by something I hear at Mass, I share that with the Lord. It has strengthened my relationship with Him. I feel great confidence in my own moral compass….more than I ever did…. I believe that is what I gained from this whole mess. They will not preach morality to me anymore (well, if they do, I’m not listening). I pray often that they will find morality and do the right things. At some point, maybe we will switch Churches. I’m not quite there yet, for a multitude of reasons which would take another page or more to explain! Don’t know if this helps, Liz, but it’s pretty much where I am.

    4. Lizlost,
      I focus on Christ and trust in Christ instead of men. I have missed my share of Sundays this year. I only stay at my church as the priests have been open to discussion, responsive and heartbroken. When I went for help a few years ago they helped me greatly . One particular priest helped me help my husband which contributed to my husbands offender going to jail. There was alot of divine intervention in my life in the past few years and Jesus worked thru all types of people including ministers and priests. One of the priests is a vatican 2 priest and the other two were relatively new priests that were in the seminary when the first grand jury report came out and they did alot of soul searching to continue with their vocations. Are they perfect no………could they disappoint me in the future yes that is why I put my trust in Jesus so far he has lead me were he wants me to go. Do I make contributions the AD would get no. I was thinking the other day are there really any good people left in the world? and I thought to myself if I want goodness in the world I have to culivate that in myself………I can’t expect it in others if I dont have it myself………also I have prayed that God give me a discerning spirit………there is real evil in the church right now but the good must fight it……..that’s why I believe in lobbying, letting people know what you think about what is going on in the church etc……none of it is easy…….I try to pray and then act………Jesus spent much time in prayer but then he acted and he spoke up against the Pharisees……I get great comfort from the fact much of what we go thru in life Jesus has already lived thru………the Bible is powerful especially spoken out loud and so is the Eucahrist……..I have seen miracles and amazing stuff happen thru painful situations…….I just have to keep reminding myself to turn back to Christ when I start to despair or get off track..

      1. lizlost,
        I learned a few years ago the goal is to go to heaven and take as many people with you as you can……..just like a child trying to reach his mom across a field looks in her direction……..keeping looking at Jesus and we will get there.

  11. I, and so many of my friends who I am encouraging to follow this site, are lost. I really, and I mean this, do not understand how one can be a “practicing catholic” today. I think
    the term I have read is “pew sheep”. That is what I see and that is what I feel like when I attempt to go
    back. I am filled with “catholic guilt”. After 12 years of being taught by the good nuns and priests, I am strugging but find myself so lost. If u r a “practicing catholic” I would like to hear from u as to why? I am more than willing to hear all sides.

      1. Lizlost, …”Be still and know that I am.” (Psalm 46:10)
        Do do anything..Give yourself a break by just allowing yourself to be “lost”. It’s OK to be wandering and you’re in some good company these days. You’ll know what to do in good time.
        Know that you’re doing your best to learn about, and to come to terms with these realizations about your religion. Go to church if you want..or don’t go if you don’t want.
        Put guilt aside… You didn’t cause this mess …you have nothing to be guilty about. Don’t worry about labels like “practicing catholic”… Being a “righteous person” is what is important during this crisis.

      2. I understand your struggles and share them. I also write a blog and one of my first posts is about those very same struggles. If it helps for you to hear about someone with the same feelings please feel free to check it out. The thing I have found is that the more we question, the more we fight for the innocent, the more we struggle for the truth, the closer we get to God. Jesus did these things too. Hang in there and know that you are not alone.


    1. Lizlost, I am going to give this heartfelt question of yours another shot. I do think it is possible to be a practicing catholic in today’s world. BUT, if that is a choice one makes and assuming that you agree with the concerns shared on C4C, I think it is imperative that you find a parish with probably Vatican 2 clergy and laity that you are comfortable with, that share your values. Voice of the Faithful might be an idea.

      I think there is an obligation to be proactive in areas where you disagree with institutional Church… That’s the ‘speaking up part’…

      I think the sacraments are important. I also think a considerable confidence in the Holy Spirit and prayer is key. I personally am a fan of Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr….you might want to check these guys out.

      I also think it is personally understandable to move on. And for many folks, the right choice.

      That’s what I meant when I said its such an incredibly personal issue.

      What I don’t like is good old catholic guilt….I think it’s a lousy motivator, that has caused an incredible amount of pain and misery.

      Hope this helps a bit…we have a lot of very fine folks on this site…who may well have far better insights, than mine!

    2. To the advice you have already received, I would add “Take it to the Lord in Prayer.”

  12. Wow another priest……………NOT a surprise… Rigali and Chaput sat on this one…Not a surprise… The Pew Sheep will be there on Sunday…..bbbbbbbbbbbbbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbaaaaaaaaaaa

  13. I do not know why people thing that marriage would solve this problem. Are all married men pedophiles???? I don’t think so! Marriage would only solve a problem for men who are normal and want a relationship with a woman NOT A CHILD!

    1. Joan S,
      I don’t believe it is the total solution but I know some very holy men that left the priesthood to marry that are at mass everyday and the kindness people I have ever met.

    2. The celibacy rule and the culture of the priesthood create a safe, respectable “cover” for pedophiles.

  14. This is just going to go on and on and on. Until the AD comes clean with the truth and the faithful stop supporting them financially nothing will ever change. And we all know that is never going to happen. I just can’t be positive anymore about change in the Catholic church. To lizlost, I have felt exactly the same way. I have gone to an Episcopal church and loved the service, but I admit I felt guily afterward. I am a practicing Catholic in that I believe in Christ, I try to be a good mother, wife, daughter, friend etc. I say my prayers, continue with my devotion to the rosary, but I cannot sit in the pews anymore!

  15. Lizlost; You are lost but hopefully you will find something here. I know I have. I was molested by my parrish priest in 1961. I continued to sporadically go to church through high school. When I turned 21 The local bar became my Church. The bartenders were my “priests”. The confessional was always open. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been in church, since high school. Any Church. My granddaughter was baptized in a Lutheran church about four years ago. Their baptismal service was held in the very front of the church. In the middle of the service I suffered a flashback. The first and only one I ever had. Because I was molested in the sacristy and had not been that close to the front of a church since I was an altar boy. I didn’t make a scene. But my feelings were that the lutheran minister was going to hurt my granddaughter. I was in panic mode. My wife and I left the church quietly. As far as whether one is a practicing catholic or not it doesn’t really matter to me. My youngest sister left the church because of the abuse crisis. My oldest sister continues to practice the Catholic religion. I think we need both to actually change anything. I suspect the Church will never listen to those of us on the outside. Perhaps just maybe those still connected will be able to affect changes. At least that is my hope. I welcome you. The people at this site have helped me better understand what this issue is all about. you are in for an education.

  16. To Lizlost: I am a survivor. I can empathize with your struggle. Please go to c4c older posts, April 9-12. The title is A letter from a survivor. I wrote it and I believe it gave some people understanding and peace. Only you will stand before God in judgement, follow your conscience, not the church, your conscience. You do that and you will know peace.

  17. Liz Lost… I have been where you are. It was a big decision to leave the church but the right one for my husband and I. The abuse scandal caused me great upset for many years but once it came out in Philly, I somehow knew it was time for me to leave. My husband agreed to go with me to our local Episcopal Church. We both immediately liked it. The more we go, the more it feels like home. The people there have been wonderful to us and many are former Catholics, even a young man who was a Catholic priest and is studying to become an Episcopalian priest. You know that song “All are welcome…all are welcome…all are welcome in this place.” When we sing that, I truly feel it. There are people from all walks of life trying to follow Jesus. It’s a very small congregation. Our parish prides itself on diversity which I love. Our priest is a woman. Gays are welcomed. After 8 years of Catholic education and 12 for my husband and son, it was a long and difficult decision. I lost much sleep over it but I finally realized I was so angry, I couldn’t stay any longer. I admire those who can stay and fight, and wonder about those who stay and don’t see any reason for change… But it is a decision each of us must make for ourselves. We were lucky to find such a welcoming Church that now, after three months, feels like home. They have the sacraments, the Nicene Creed and the service is similar to a Mass. There’s no pressure to believe one thing or another. I asked our priest if we should meet with her or take classes and she said…”just come, and all will be revealed.” At first I thought that was weird, but now I know exactly what she means. Episcopalians believe Jesus had siblings, but if you don’t believe it, fine. If you believe in transubstantiation, fine. If you don’t, fine. I am finally allowed to think on my own. It’s so freeing!!! Pray for discernment. Seek the truth as it speaks to you. You will know what you need to do…leave or stay. The right decision isn’t the same for everyone.. God Bless.

  18. I still go to church, mainly because I can’t imagine not receiving communion. I contribute to parish-specific collections and send nothing “downtown”. My righteous anger keeps me going back – I guess I refuse to let the mess that they’ve made of things also rob me of MY faith. I need my weekly fix with God, even if I have to deal with his loony caretakers. I decided that I will never change their thinking so I just avoid them. Why they act crazy, I treat them accordingly and it really unnerves them. They are not relevant enough to engage in a debate. Take the good and ignore the bad. The most arrogant offenders are mostly about the money anyway, so if you only contribute to those causes that really matter to you, you probably won’t even register on their radar anyway. The days of “cradle-to-grave” Catholics are over. Soon all those big contributors who are nearing the grave will be gone and along with them will go all the business managers who are called Father. I guess I’m just holding tight waiting for the coming revival. Invoke the holy spirit and you will end up doing what’s best FOR YOU.

  19. There are creative options for weekly Mass that don’t necessarily involve the diocese. Look to local universities, hospitals and convents – even nursing homes.

      1. Exacly, why should we leave.
        I could have bent the knee and lived a life of subterfuge where they wanted to lead me.
        Now I’m constant reminder of the lower ground they offered, by taking the higher ground by choice and live in peace.

    1. Susan, I meant to mention University Newman Centers to Lizlost…in CA have attended both UCLA and Berkeley Centers and they have a much more adult and theologically better educated personnel.

      1. I had a bad experience with that Joan…bumped into a priest from a local Neuman Center at the trial..he was there to support Lynn.

      2. Kathy I remember that and if I recall correctly there were two or so priests on the bishopaccountablity site that has been at university newman centers and hospitals…….

      3. Msgr Campbell who was removed last month spent most of his career at Newman centers. Another removed priest also was assigned to a Newman center.

      4. The Newman Centers I know, are run by the Paulists (who doubtless have had some abusers…although I would guess fewer than most orders) .

        I have had good experiences with them, hence my rec. The quality that I like about them, and perhaps it’s because the congregation is essentially faculty, students, grad students etc, is that they treat their folks respectfully…Actually request a lot of congregational input…treat the ‘faithful’ like mature adults.

        All churches should, many don’t.

      5. I was taking my family to the Newman Center and, honestly, did experience that more inclusive, homey feeling that Joan speaks of and it was really quite good for awhile. I loved how the students were so involved in the Mass. However, when I learned of the priest’s strong support of Msgr. Lynn, it ruined it for me. I had to stop going. It was such a disappointment. I had really thought differently of this priest. You just never know.

  20. I wish we could just send in Vicky and Rich they would clean up the AD in 2 days. One day to scope it out the next day to throw them out…….I am sick at heart for all the suffering they (AD) have caused…..

    1. I just read Bishop Spong’s article…….he is not a catholic bishop I didnt realize that at first put his article was spot on about the crisis in the catholic church. Rich and Vicky I did not mean to be insentive in the above blog…….you both just have the intergrity and courage to face and see the truth…….I admire that.

  21. This brave victim is to be commended for speaking up, contacting police, and getting this priest arrested. This is not an easy thing to do,
    so let’s hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes Andrew McCormick, will find the courage and strength to speak up, call police.

    Keep in mind that child predators rarely have only one victim. And your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

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

  22. David Givey is another priest who served at a Newman Center……who are these priests accountable to? These centers are more like a haven…….

    1. Is it a Philly thing to have diocesan clergy at Newman Centers?

      Definitely has not been my west coast experience!

      1. We have clergy at Newman Centers in NY, Joan. The cleric serving at the Newman Center closest to me is the pastor at two, small parish churches and runs things at the Newman Center. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he runs out of steam like the rest of the priests in my area who are serving at three, sometimes four, parish churches. Have fun boys! Suffer. At some point woman priests will look attractive to them because, unlike Philly, shore homes, farms, exceptional Scotch, and cigars are not priestly perks in my area. Again, SUFFER you cultish, fraternal creeps. You made your bed. Now, sleep in it.

      2. Kate,

        I would hope that you have a priest available for you or for a family member when you really need one. At one time in our lives or another, we all will, and that’s a lead pipe cinch.

      3. Joe, I can’t wrap my head around one word you’ve said. The last time I needed a priest, I was in 304. I was sitting in front of the father of a young victim who took his life. I was sitting behind a victim and a victim’s brother. I was sitting next to Vicky and her counselor. No priests came to any of us. They were stroking the backs of the Lynn family.

      4. Kate,

        I’m sorry you had that experience. While I could not attend the trial, I’m told that it was a polarizing experience with priests on one side and the victims / accusers on the other. But isn’t that the way ‘high profile’ trials normally play out?

        Perhaps…just perhaps…one of the priests present at the trial would have come over to offer help had you asked.

      5. Joe, they are victims not accusers and why would Kate have to ask a priest to help. I agree that most trials have prosecution and defense supporters on opposite sides of the courtroom but then again most trials do not have men claiming to act in Christ’s name ignoring the very people who were harmed. I was there, I saw it, it was a disgrace.

      6. The priests I saw did not even show the proper demeanor..it was a trial concerning crimes against children…they may as well have been at a church picnic, laughing and talking. I am glad I saw it with my own eyes because I would not have believed it if someone told me. And the priests who did not show up to support Lynn…well they did not show up to support the victims either. I am so past needing a priest Joe..so far past that.

      7. Kathy, thank you for your comments….I think they were very appropriate, heartfelt, professionally totally correct, and they needed to be made! Joan

      8. Thanks Kate, about the Newman stuff. I was having trouble understanding why so many diocesan abusers in Philly were AT Newman Centers!

        More than once on C4C I have been struck by the ‘regional differences’ east vs west coast….This is yet another example. I had never heard of Newman Centers under diocesan direction! Never…and judging from the input it doesn’t sound like a very good idea, either.

      9. Hi Kate,

        Thank you for taking the time to reply. All I said was that I hoped you and your loved ones would have the services and comfort of a priest when you needed one.

        This was simply in response to your expressed hope that the priests who are serving several parishes ‘run out of steam’ and some of the other comments you made.

        C’mon, now!

  23. “….with priests on one side and the victims / accusers on the other. But isn’t that the way ‘high profile’ trials normally play out?”

    Joe Burch, really?……That $11 million dollar trial was a “polarizing experience”-?!… “Priests on one side, victims on the other”? “…all high profile trials “normally play out” that way??!!

    I don’t know what “traffic hearing” you’re talking about, but we’re talking about a trial dealing with multiple sex crimes perpetrated for decades on countless archdiocesan children.There’s nothing “normal” about any of this… It’s madness…It’s a stand-off between good and evil, which has been a long time coming….The culture of clericalism has brought us all here….and fueling that, is the idea that priests are special and can break the rules, because the laity desperately “need” them.

    ps- any priest who was there at the trial to clap for Msgr Lynn, probably owes him– big time.

    1. Not only that, Crystal, but we are talking about a trial that FINALLY, and I do mean FINALLY, for the first time in the US held a diocesan official ACCOUNTABLE for the completely horrendous behaviour of passing on predators, making innocent little kids vulnerable in ways so hideous that it turns my stomach to describe these acts.

      It was a standoff between good and evil….and thank God for the jury’s decision….

      1. AND, on a much happier note…

        Sheboygan priest honored by sex abuse survivors
        By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel July 28, 2012 7:56 p.m.
        A Sheboygan priest and former vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, who has become a vocal advocate for victims of clergy sex abuse, is being honored in Chicago on Sunday at a national gathering of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

        Father James Connell who has criticized bishops and the church at large for their handling of the sex abuse crisis, will receive the Millstone Award for his courage in speaking on behalf of survivors.

        “I’m very honored, but I don’t feel as though I deserve an award,” Connell said by telephone from the three-day event, which has drawn about 200 survivors from around the country. “The whole tone of this conference is about hope,” he said, “and if accepting this helps that hope to grow, then I’m happy to do that/”

        Over the last two years, Connell has worked with fellow priests in what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind effort to pastor victims and help parishes heal the wounds and divisions caused by the abuse scandal. He began speaking out on behalf of survivors in 2010 after an epiphany prompted, he sayas, by SNAP’s criticism of his handling of an abuse case while serving as vice chancellor.

    2. Joe,
      when I confronted my husbands offender I literally felt Satan’s presence in the room and it scared the hell out of me. He even said he wrestled with Satan constantly………. I believe Jesus and Satan work thru people……..either we allow Jesus or Satan to use us……even priests………either we bring people to Christ or we drive them away. I firmly believe that many of these priests have allowed Satan in and Satan is working thru them to drive people away from Jesus and the church. The things I have heard from victims are diabolical and works of Satan…..Joe we are fighting Satan here……whether people want to admit it or not.

      1. Hi Beth – trust you’ve been well.

        All of us have to be vigilant against the subtle attacks of the devil, and that’s one of the reasons we ask Saint Michael – the Archangel – for help in a very beautiful prayer that’s ordinarily said after Mass.

        The devil and his minions have been around long before the human race, and are very skilled at deception.

        That’s why a strong and consistent prayer life is so important for all Christians.

      2. Joe,
        Thanks . I agree and I love that prayer. We don’t say it at our parish maybe I should ask them to add it …….it is much needed that’s for sure. Joe my husband converted to being catholic(he was never baptized before) and for a few days before Satan followed me around and it was that prayer and adoration that made the devil leave…….a few years ago I would have never told that story for fear people think I am nuts but so many things have happened to me I have no doubt Jesus and Satan exist. Joe was wondering what are you trying to accomplish on this blog? Are you concerned with what is going on in the church? Do you care about the victims? Do you feel like you need to defend the church? It’s teachings? I believe in everything the church teaches. As for married priests we had them before. Have you met with victims? Have you heard the stories first hand? Have you been to the Lynn trial? I remember you saying you were in the seminary…..is that correct? Do you feel that the church needs to be cleaned up and this is not a systemic problem? Many victims will never set foot in a catholic church because of lack of trust and flashbacks…….. its not oh “just get over it and forgive” it is a lifelong process recovering and regaining their life back. Many people don’t seem to understand the damage done especially the spiritaul damage. Just because Satan always exists does not mean we are to tolerate the destruction of souls….

      3. I have to add our victims are justified in their lack of trust………I have seen no real remorse from the leadership in the church only window dressing…….

      4. Beth,

        I can answer your questions ‘off-line’, if you would like my e-mail address.

        Perhaps Susan or Kathy would be good enough to pass it along to you.

        I can also give you my cell number.

      5. Joe Burch,
        I can do better than that. This fri aug 3 at 12 is the vigil at the 222 building. It’s also my birthday and there is no other place I would rather be than a vigil for our victims creating better understanding by discussing what your thoughts are as well as you seeing for yourself what is going on.I learn so much by talking to our victims I am sure you will also.

      6. Hi Beth,

        I’d love to come, but I can’t be away from home right now for any extended period – that’s why I couldn’t make the trial. It would take me at least 90 minutes just to drive to Center City from where my wife and I live.

        So, either we’ll have to do it over the phone or wait for a mutually convenient time.

        By the way – Happy Birthday in advance 🙂

  24. Joe,

    Your distorted view of priests is a premise upon which you make some really irrational conclusions. In clinging to your distorted view, you compromise your ability to rationalize and moralize well. What you don’t get, Joe, is that priests don’t want you to possess or promulgate your view of them and the priesthood. They cringe when you suggest that they should be invited to extend compassion in a place where pain abounds. They cringe when you suggest that there are times in our lives when our “safe” passage through them depends on priests alone. In defending priests when they betray us, you permit them to be lesser human beings than they are capable of being and are called to be. In attributing to them “powers” that they do not possess, you create expectations that priests can never meet. You create an imaginary climate and landscape where priests are not held accountable and are bound to fail. Priests are looking to the faithful to develop a mature and realistic view of them, one having breadth and depth, one where we give up our needy and immature beliefs and perceptions of them, freeing them to define and exert their own, independent rather than institutional identities, freeing them to acknowledge their own human limitations, and one where priests and the faithful, together, develop mutual respect and collaboration in order to bring about the “kingdom” Christ envisioned. I know you mean well, Joe. I know you are good. But please reflect on how your views impede what is good and right, suffocate the fulfillment of clerics and the faithful, and hinder the full realization of our faith. Have the courage and insight to journey and grow in mind and spirit. There exists no other more useful, or authentic, or supportive, or transformative means for expressing your love and respect for priests and the priesthood.

    1. Kate…eons ago I worked with 100 catholic parishes in an attempt to provide help for their elderly poor. In many parishes I encountered the ‘dear Father’ phenomena. There were often a cadre of folks whose apparent religious commitment was to please Father. If father needed a new TV set, he got it, if father needed a car, he got it, if father was tired and needed a vacation, it was arranged, often with large contributions.

      Clergy were not seen as the ‘servant’ of the ‘servants’ to the poorest and neediest amongst us, but rather as a mini Gods whose needs, wishes et al should be immediately honored.

      I found myself thinking this sycophantic behaviour was childish and based on lousy priorities. I would find myself saying things like…hey you guys, shouldn’t we be taking care of the very fragile and vulnerable people as our FIRST agenda, like Jesus said? Shouldn’t Father and the laity respond vigorously to these needs? Shouldn’t we all be very adult about this matter?

      And I think that’s the key. Being grown ups with a decent adult understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Making hard decisions, that can be costly, caring for the most needy because that’s the decent, compassionate thing to do when we encounter these issues. Most social science learning, and maturity assessment scales would suggest that the you can define maturity (at least in part) by an individual’s ability to move way beyond self interest and operate collaboratively for the common good. That the most mature amongst us are incredibly generous and prioritize the vulnerable, first.

      It’s a tall order to be a responsible adult, but God knows we need them….in the Church and in the world.

      There’s a comment, awaiting moderation…regarding Jim Connell…a very good example of a mature and holy man, that has taken risks, done good and is truly a servant of the servants.

      1. Joan: Isn’t this the crux of the problem? By making your parish priest a “minigod” nothing they do can be questioned. Instead of molesting kids, they suffered a “boudary violation”. Those in power in the Church feel they are far superior to the rest of us. They answer to no one, except the pope. They no longer answer to God,, because they have become God.

      2. Exactly my point Jim…

        And I think the the laity is complicit, in that they don’t qustion their clergy, when it’s appropriate. I fear that the ‘maturity level’ of the laity may not have reached ‘adult’ status in many cases. And I keep going back to this adult/grown up thing.

        It’s tough to be a responsible adult. It means you takes risks, do the unpopular thing, on occasion challenge authority, it means you take personal responsibility for your decision making and actions…

        It does NOT mean you follow the crowd because Father said so…it means you join the crowd when you genuinely, after mature consideration, believe that the issues require you to do so. Or NOT.

      3. JIm you are so right. They become God in their mind. Kinda like Satan was full of pride…….we all know the end of that story………..he got thrown out of heaven…….

      4. Joan, you want to read “fr” Keven Lee’s –Given Gain.
        He only has to allude that he needs anything and he has those willing to respond.
        This fellow was secretly married for 12 months, carrying out all priestly duties, confessions the lot, and did it all to whistleblow on his brother priests.
        No wonder they make the best betrayers, Judas deserved the make over by Benedict compared to this.
        He doesn’t compare his deception to the faithful or his wife, who is co-joined- being one.
        When a friar was told, preparing for Holy Week going to confession “all things in moderation”, he was told to find another priest.
        To think of the vulnerability of the failthful you wonder why The Spirit hasn’t hasn’t quickened them.

    2. If the special “powers” Catholicism [and Joe and the laity] claims for priests were denied by all— there is no remaining need, excuse or justification to have a Roman priesthood. For “Father” to just tell stories on Sunday about Jesus and the Jews will soon grow old, and it is not the gospel of Christ which a loving God has provided us.

      1. nichols1,

        If the special “powers” Catholicism claims for priests were denied by Catholics, still there would remain a need, reason, and justification for priests and the priesthood.

        Clerical-led rituals are reenactments of the stories, myths, and legends generated by human wisdom over the centuries. Because the themes and motifs of the stories, myths, and legends are consistent with the mythological themes and motifs of all cultures, it is believed that they portray truths. Clearly, then, they are important and integral to our lives and societies, which is why religions “ordain” people to reenact them via rituals. In participating in the rituals, we affirm and reaffirm the values, beliefs and truths that lend meaning, purpose, stability, and goodness to our lives and societies.

        Much is written, today, about the growing irrelevance of religions. We have to ask, then, whether the ancient stories, myths, and legends reenacted via rituals have lost meaning and relevance? Is there a need for human wisdom to generate modern mythologies? Since the themes and motifs of all mythologies overlap, can human wisdom generate a global mythology?

        When we attribute “powers” to clerics, we are relying on ancient stories, myths, and legends. When people reject the notion of clerical “powers,” they are saying that the stories, myths, and legends are no longer relevant because they fail to portray truths. This does not mean we should get rid of clerics. We need them to reenact via rituals the stories, myths, and legends that portray the truths that are integral to our lives and societies. It does mean, however, that human wisdom must trigger the emergence of new mythologies having themes, motifs, and truths that are in sync with reality and the human condition. If we fail to accomplish this, priests, the priesthood, and the deliverers of rituals will eventually become obsolete.

  25. Joe; your comments really dissapoint me. If the victims and their supporters asked, you are sure one of them would be willing to talk to them?you have got to be kidding me. The trial did play out as us versus them. But who”s fault is that? is that the fault of the victims? I think not. For years victims have been going to their priests about what happened to them. As is the case with the most recent victim, Catholics have learned the last place you want to go is to the Catholic Church. Victims, in most cases have been met with denial, more abuse and coverup. More children have been abused because of their actions and inactions. I can remember back in High School , there were a couple of priests who reached out to me. I think they sensed I had some serious problems. I rejected their offers. Why? Because I trusted no one. How could I be sure that they wouldn’t hurt me too.?

    1. Jim Tucker – “By making your parish priest a “minigod” nothing they do can be questioned.”

      “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” -1 Corinthians 13:11 (New International Version)

      Us cradle Catholics have been brained washed to believe this priest/minigod nonsense. Scripture clearly tells us that as adults it’s time to put that crap behind us.

      But, try deprogramming someone. There are people who are not able to make the change.

      I believe that Joe is one of those people, good man, but incapable of making the required transition. There come a time when we have no choice but to leave these people behind and move on. Last call Joe!

    2. @Jim and drwho13

      If Joe “really needs” a priest or the church, where does that leave God in his equation?

      We can only hope and pray Joe will answer that question before Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed or the doors close and the Ark sails away or any number of other ways God dealt with His people when they put false idols before Him. First Commandment “Thou shalt not put false Gods before Me.”

      @ Joe
      Stay or go Joe but “need” God not priests or the church. Psalm 23 “that’s a lead pipe cinch.” Everything else is window dressing. If you die in the middle of the ocean with no priest around do you really believe you won’t go to heaven?

      1. Hello Be the Change, nichols1

        Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Eternal High Priest. Jesus is our Redeemer and the Mediator between us and God the Father. An ordained priest acts in the Person of Jesus Christ.

        Catholic priests / bishops are the authorized ministers of the seven Sacraments which are the ‘outward signs instituted by Christ to give Grace’ – a simple but powerful Catechism definition we all learned in grade school. Each of the Sacraments has a well established New Testament basis in Our Lord’s life, as shown here:


        Simply put: No Priest = No Sacraments

        To answer your ‘middle of the ocean’ question, were I to take a lengthy ocean voyage, I would just make a good Confession to a priest before I left the dock and not worry about hitting an iceberg.

        Why conjecture and why take a needless chance on your eternal happiness? Unlike SEPTA, the ‘train’ to heaven is one that no one can afford to miss.

      2. Joe,which is why the behavior of the priests continues to puzzle me..some priests abused,some covered it up and other priests abandoned/ignored the victims…I guess they think they have a prepaid ticket on that train and can act in whatever way they want.

      3. Joe, Clergymen –not Jesus, wrote that catechism that you memorized as a little child. They naturally gave themselves an essential, starring role, right smack in the center of it. It might be a good idea to rethink it now that you’re a grown up.

      4. Crystal,

        At almost 68 now, there’s nothing for me to rethink about the Catholic ‘Deposit of Faith’., viz:


        Those truths are immutable. I’ve tried to live by them and I’ll die with them when my time comes.

        The church is under the protection of God and will endure to the end times. Christ promised Peter that the Church will survive – and it will. The Church has made mistakes in the past, she has suffered and caused suffering, but she will correct and make amends.


        If you’re puzzled, why not ask those priests yourself. I can’t speak for them.

        But just don’t paint all AD priests with the same brush.

      5. Hello Joe,

        You have no reason to go “off line” with Beth or anyone else. Speak your truth out in the open or stand silent and make enabling excuses for the rapists and those who cover it up.

        Threaten and bully me with the loss of the sacraments? If you’d walked where I’ve walked you would know better. You have no clue about my state of grace or relationship with God. I know who God is Joe. He’s the one that stood beside me as satan trashed my life. When I was raped, He healed me. When my mother turned her back, He sent help. When my husband betrayed me, He held me up. When the lawyers attacked, He protected me. When they stole my home, He made sure I had shelter. When my husband hooked my son on drugs, He answered my prayer. When my daughter was raped, He healed her. When Satan went against my son’s marriage, He healed it. When my granddaughter lost her way, He found her and brought her back. He even made a convert out of my husband which I thought was impossible. When my birth family betrayed me, He stood with me. No priests were there, just me and Jesus.

        He held me up and raised me to the top of my career path. Today, I have a very large home with acres of land on a private lake, not that I want or need it, He wanted me to have it. My children and oldest grandchild are successful University graduates and respected professional business people. This is the shortened version; He has done so much more. No drugs, no violence, just peace and prosperity. When He calls Joe I know His voice and I listen because I truly know the power of God. He has whispered in my ear, “Trust Me.” I do. Someday God will explain why, I don’t need to know right now. But absolutely no one comes between me and God.

        I’ve had 5 of the 7 sacraments, one I will never receive and the last one is not on my calendar. God can use anything sacraments, priests, even satan much to his dismay. Right now I am where He wants me to be. By the way, all you need in that situation is a good act of contrition—no priest needed if you believe the catechism. Also, there is no “train” to heaven just read Revelations and start weeping. You’re not my conscience Joe, but I do appreciate your offer to step in, and I graciously decline. You may not recognize His voice, I know I will.

        I try never to speak for God or say what He might do; He always surprises me. But, I learned my catechism well from the nuns and I have a secret to tell you: Only you know what He wants you to do. It’s Judgment Day, you get off your “special train” and stand before God Almighty and He asks what did you do Joe? You tell Him I threatened Your sheep with the sacraments. How’s that working for you?

        Peace and Love.

      6. Cathy, I don’t even know where to start, what a powerful post. I understand exactly where you are coming from. This past year for me has been eye opening in so many ways and while feeling estranged from practicing my faith I have never felt closer to my spiritual side. In a newspaper article I was quoted as saying something to the effect of “the men of the Archdiocese may not be happy with me,but I believe the man upstairs is, and that is all that matters”.
        In the hardest times of your life that you describe, there was no man in a clerical collar..just you and your faith. It reminds me of the “Footprints’ poem.
        I love your reference of being bullied with the sacraments..what kind of religion is that? Who knows that when our time comes on Judgement Day we will be asked how many we included rather than excluded.
        I don’t know how you found us but am so grateful that you are here, your comments are better than any sermon I have ever heard.

      7. Thanks you, Cathy. Your courage and wisdom are inspirational. You understand what Jesus said better than any priest I ever met!

      8. Joe Burch,

        You stated; “At almost 68 now, there’s nothing for me to rethink about the Catholic ‘Deposit of Faith’…”

        I believe that not being open to new information is scary regardless of one’s age.

        “Dogmatism rather than openness. In academic circles as well as those that are church-oriented, it is pretty well established that the more dogmatic an individual is, the less able he is to learn. Being “unteachable” usually is a demonstration of relatively heavy dogmatism in one’s life. A definition of dogmatism would help. Let’s describe it in this way. “I am dogmatic to the extent that I am unable to process information that is contradictory to my own perceptions without distorting it by my own set of beliefs.” This means that I will not openly look at other points of view without calling up my own beliefs and contaminate the nature of what I may be investigating. The more dogmatic an individual is, the more he will seek to protect himself from contradictory constructs that intrude into his own belief system. In many respects, we are all somewhat dogmatic. But one who is heavily dogmatic will be unteachable. By the same token, one who is unteachable usually possesses a high degree of dogmatism.”


    3. Hi Jim,

      I would have attended a portion of the trial to meet with some of you folks, but I just can’t be that far away from home these days.

      I think you said that you went to McDevitt as did I for 2 years. Had you felt secure in approaching them, I’m sure that either Father Quinn, Father Steffi, Father Skelly, Father McDevitt or Father Horner would have gladly and successfully interceded on your behalf.

      1. Joe: you obviously don’t understand. I TRUSTED NO ONE. There was not a person on this earth that I trusted. Not One. Why? Because my trust in human beings was taken away by Father Daniel Doyle-the priest who molested me.I sat in the back of the classroom, hoping that no one would notice me. If no one noticed me no one could hurt me.

      2. Thank you Jim, I was going to reply to Joe’s comment but did not think it was my place. I am not a victim but have learned so much over the past 18 months that I know that reaching out can be the hardest thing and to be a teen in high school and go to a priest to disclose what happened to you, would be unimaginable in so many ways. I am sorry that you spent time hoping that no one would notice you, but again it makes so much sense. I think many of us non victims on the site at one time or another have made a comment that has been hurtful or ignorant,others just continue to do so even after things have been pointed out to them repeatedly.

      3. Joe, It all just sounds so easy and everything falls in line perfectly in some of the scenarios you have mentioned on C4C…if only that were true in the real world. I know victims who went to Lynn expecting the scenario you describe and we all know how that worked out, and Lynn was no rogue priest functioning on his own.

      4. Kathy…Jim is so right…why would you trust anyone?

        I am so sorry he had to reexplain it…but for folks reading this, it’s a very clear message!

      5. Jim,

        I do understand your complete lack of trust.

        What I said was ‘…had you felt secure in approaching them…’, etc – a pure hypothetical – there were some ‘no nonsense’ priests at McDevitt who could have helped you.

        Whatever happened to Father Doyle? Was this incident ever reported?

      6. Jim Tucker, I understand your yearning as a child, to protect yourself by “turning invisible.” As a mother, it hurts me badly to hear this, and yet I think it was a smart defense mechanism, given the circumstances. I’m sure you did the very best you could at the time, and you survived it all… I wish we could go back in time and whisk you out of that school, and send you to some other place where there were no priests, and you wouldn’t be reminded daily of your attacker. I wish we could erase the memories of a situation that should never have been.

        May I apologize to you for the above posted suggestion and list of Bishop McDevitt priests? Please ignore the clueless, insensitivity behind it. I can only imagine that it was kindly meant. You participate here, and bravely speak from the heart, in an intelligent, low-keyed, gentlemanly manner, about a burden too heavy for any normal human to bear. You have my deepest respect.{{hugs}}

      7. Kathy

        All I know is we cannot possibly know God’s plan. The nuns taught, “God will call you, and it won’t be easy.”
        All we can do is follow Him as He calls each of us and that is faith. You have done that and He is using this website. Isn’t that amazing?

        Peace and Love

      8. I was abused by Father McDevitt at Father Judge High School. Study the facts before you speak baseless words.

        You’re either with them or against them. There’s no grey area here. You seem to be very much for them.

      9. Rich,

        The Father McDevitt to whom I referred was a Philadelphia AD priest who was our disciplinarian when I attended BIshop McDevitt, and was very effective in that capacity.

        His first name was Charles and I believe that he is deceased. I mentioned him only because he was a ‘no nonsense’ kind of guy.

        Shown below is a copy of the 1965 McDevitt yearbook, and he is pictured there with the rest of the faculty:


        Sorry, but It wasn’t my intention to cause Rich any grief.

      10. V4J
        I am so very sorry. The world is full of uneducated ostriches who “smack others in the face” with thoughtless harmful and hurtful positions and statements, then turn and walk away. Some people refuse to move beyond their reality to explore any other reality, or understand the suffering of another human being.

        Rich, you are a better person with compassion for the helpless. I hope you can see that. Thank you for all you do to protect innocent helpless children. Please, never stop.

      11. Joe, my apologies if your reference was to a different McDevitt…but you need to understand that THAT name conjures up horrors that C4C folks are very painfully aware of.

        Rich suffered horribly and endlessly and we all know it.

        Giving advice to victims is a dreadful idea, sympathy, yes….advice an emphatic, NO.

  26. We all know that adherents to any faith persuasion invariably pick and choose which dictates they will follow and which ones they won’t. That’s the nature of most human beings – to choose what they really believe and will follow.

    Given that over 96% of Catholics disobey the rule against contraception (at the risk of
    sinning?), what makes us believe that other devout Catholcs will not obey the dictate of celibacy? Either nuns or priests? Gay or straight?


    1. S. Reid Warren, III – I strongly suspect as do you, that “…other devout Catholics will not obey the dictate of celibacy? Either nuns or priests? Gay or straight?”

      I also suspect, that while 96% of Catholics disobey the rule against contraception an even greater percentage of Catholics and others find pedophilia so repugnant as to view it a not only as sinful, but always criminal as well. A line into the taboo is crossed for almost everyone when sexual transgressions involve the abuse of children.

      1. drwho13, the church ‘rule’ against contraception was never validated by the faithful….the senses fidelium did NOT ‘receive this wisdom’….could be argued that there is no meaningful ‘rule’.

  27. Get these priest-pervert-pedophiles to jail, off the streets, out of the rectories and confessionals or beach homes they inhabit. Keep our children safe. Seems the jail inmates have more moral character than they.

    1. Dear Jesus

      Please answer Theresa Coleman, also please remove anyone who aided and supported this evil wherever they are hiding. Our hope is in You. If there is something more we need to do, please enlighten us.

      Thank you Lord

  28. crystal July 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm
    2 0 i
    Rate This

    Nichols1, how nice of you to say. I return the compliment!
    Thank you, and you are welcome.

    1. I have had this article on Jim Connell awaiting moderation for almost three days…am hoping it might get through…think it’s a lovely sign of a very mature guy…who took the risks, did the right thing and was just honored for it!

      Sheboygan priest honored by sex abuse survivors
      By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel July 28, 2012 7:56 p.m.
      A Sheboygan priest and former vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, who has become a vocal advocate for victims of clergy sex abuse, is being honored in Chicago on Sunday at a national gathering of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

      Father James Connell who has criticized bishops and the church at large for their handling of the sex abuse crisis, will receive the Millstone Award for his courage in speaking on behalf of survivors.

      “I’m very honored, but I don’t feel as though I deserve an award,” Connell said by telephone from the three-day event, which has drawn about 200 survivors from around the country. “The whole tone of this conference is about hope,” he said, “and if accepting this helps that hope to grow, then I’m happy to do that/”

      Over the last two years, Connell has worked with fellow priests in what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind effort to pastor victims and help parishes heal the wounds and divisions caused by the abuse scandal. He began speaking out on behalf of survivors in 2010 after an epiphany prompted, he sayas, by SNAP’s criticism of his handling of an abuse case while serving as vice chancellor.

      1. Joan,
        I read about him prior to this honor and from what I read he is an honorable priest.
        This article confirms it. Thanks much.

      2. Be the change….Jim Connell is my idea of what we all should be and do..His victim/priest efforts are, I think the first in the nation…I asked Peter Isely (who is also a player in this scene) and he said yes, first in the nation.

        I have posted a number of articles about Connell on the Philly priests website….probably should put this one in too!

        Your remarks were very special….

        I couldn’t agree more that no one knows another persons relationship with God….

        I certainly don’t want to trivialize this important discussion AND your major contribution….that has been going on today….but the old joke about “whispering when you get to heaven, because the Catholics think they are the only ones there”…….did occur to me!

      3. Joan,

        I think the same nuns that taught me, taught you too. Jim Connell is a pioneer and a man of God.

        I had to laugh at your whispering joke. I forget how it goes, but there is one about the Catholic who got to heaven and was shocked to find out the Good Thief was not Catholic.

        You’re right it is an interesting discussion with many viewpoints which proves the power of God as He reveals Himself to each of us. I have learned never to put boundaries or limitations on God because He always proves me wrong.

        Peace and Love

      4. AND, you know Cathy not putting limits and boundaries on God is in many ways what this website is all about.

        Folks on C4C have suffered mightily, with totally gross clergy abuse and then been ‘revictimized’ by a Church much more interested in protecting its ‘reputation’ using every legal trick in the book, rather than deeply and practically caring for its victims. (Father Connell being a notable exception.)

        And yet these very same victims are doing everything they can to prevent more abuse. I think of those who testified in the Lynn trial….an excruciatingly painful experience……and why….so that hierarchical church would stop passing on predators, so that innocent little kids would be safe.

        If that is not the hand of God, I don’t know what is.

        Susan has mentioned that this website was meant to be…no accident….

        She’s right, you’re right and God knows, the victims are right!

  29. “…. The Church has made mistakes in the past, she has suffered and caused suffering, but she will correct and make amends…” (-Joe Burch)

    Should a church cause suffering? Should a church be allowed to enable and cover up “her” crimes –crimes such as rape and torture?
    Joe, you certainly are persistent in demonstrating that you take the suffering of the abuse victims here very casually. It’s hard to tell from your postings whether your insensitivity stems from your having been sheltered from hardship your whole life, or if you’re a sociopath…and can’t feel other people’s pain. –Or perhaps Rich’s idea is the correct one.


    1. Crystal,

      As I had mentioned, I referenced that particular priest (whose first name was Charles) only because I knew from personal experience (ouch!) that he was an effective disciplinarian who would not tolerate any form of bullying or abuse.

      There was no slur or disrespect intended on my part.

      1. Joe, I think Joan’s advice is the best. I realize your example is hypothetical,but what I have come to learn over the past two years is that victims already replay the abuse over and over and the various situations and outcomes had they(victims) done something different. They were children who were harmed it was not up to them to do anything different. Thinking of various outcomes is sheer hell because there is no going back..it is salt on the wound. When I read Jim’s post ,I thought of a teenage boy trying to be invisible..that is heartbreaking. It reminded me of another victim who was a tremendous athlete and gave up his favorite sport because the coach was a pedohile who abused him. The abuse changes everything. No child or teen should have to sit in a classroom wanting to not be seen for fear of being harmed. It is absolutely heartbreaking to me as a mother.
        Just honor what Jim told us,what he felt safe enough to share.

      2. Don’t kid yourself Joe. Your priest-disciplinarian at Bishop McDevitt high, would have tolerated and covered up for sex abuse if he had known or suspected it. It was AD and RCC policy. They all knew there were pedophiles among their ranks and they did nothing.

        I graduated from Cardinal Dougherty High in 1978. Eight out of the thirty-six priests who taught there are now listed on Bishops Accountability.org as credibly accused sex offenders. One of them was an administrator –Fr. Francis Feret.

    2. “…but she (the Church) will correct and make amends…” (-Joe Burch)

      When, and where, has this happened Joe? Any changes that have been made were the result of force applied from outside the institution.

    1. Way, WAY over the top, Rich! So many important thoughts and ideas presented. The faces of clerical perpetrators, enablers, conspirers and felons is something that will never cease to shock me. Went from breaking my heart to infuriating me. Exceptional! I hope your work has a healing effect on you, Rich. Thank you.

  30. Rich; As I wipe the tears away ,I’m trying to type a message. Extremely Powerful. Right on target. Your creativity absolutely astounds me. Thank you.

  31. Rich -I know your soul is in pain but you know in your heart how much you continue to help others on their own path to healing. You are so very special to all of us. Thank you friend!

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