2005 Grand Jury Report Caused Embezzlement?

I’ve often wondered why the Grand Jury Reports didn’t result in massive archdiocesan employee resignations. However, it never dawned on me that the cover up of clergy child sex abuse might lead to embezzlement. With Guzzardi’s line of reasoning, Catholics should be mugging Bishops and raiding the collection baskets. What a load of …. Quit the institution. Give your money elsewhere. Don’t become what you purport to hate – a liar and a thief.

I am, however, struck by the fact her sentence is more harsh than many child abusers face. Our society values money more than children.

Click here to read: “Archdiocesan embezzler gets 2 to 7 years,” by Joseph A. Slobodzian, The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 24, 2012

165 thoughts on “2005 Grand Jury Report Caused Embezzlement?

  1. Interesting press statement from the AD:
    “While the damage was contained, the fact that Mrs. Guzzardi hurt the very people she spent her life serving is deeply troubling,” the statement said. “This is a difficult day for the many friends and co-workers who feel betrayed and confused by her actions. We trust the court to determine an appropriate sentence, balancing her genuine service against a serious crime that impacted so many people.”

    No mention of “fair minded people” questioning the severity of the sentencing..and no prayers for Guzzardi and her family like we saw with the statement after Lynn’s sentencing.

    1. There is something wrong when the AD is deeply troubled that Guzzardi hurt the very people she spent her life serving yet it denies and hides having done exactly the same. Name one Philly Catholic who feels utterly betrayed, deceived, tricked, victimized, taken for a ride, and/or soul-murdered by Guzzardi’s crime? Name one Philly Catholic who does not regarding the AD’s crimes and ongoing reign of terror? Does “Guzzardi” produce the same effect as “Bevilaqua, Krol, Ragali, Cullen, and Cistone?” Hardly.

      Why isn’t the AD deeply troubled that it, its leaders, and its crimes sicken me, pierce me to the core, challenge my faith, infuriate me, and have caused me to spend the last 42 years of my life intent on exposing the largest crime unit in the history of the world?

      I’m hurt. Are you listening AD? I’m hurt.

      Why doesn’t that trouble you?

    2. Kathy: there are obviously, two different sets of rules according to the archdiocese of philadelphia. One set of rules is for those who wear a roman collar.The other set of rules is for those who don’t. If you steal money ,you should be punished, make amends to the Church and feel sorry for your actions. If you steal a childs soul and wear a collar, none of the rules apply to you. If you cover up the abuse and wear the collar these rules also don’t apply. There is such hypocrosy in the leadership of the Catholic church. And yet not only do they not see it, They pretend it doesn’t exist. These men are truly evil.

      1. JIm as long as it doesnt affect “their lifestyle” and they can move along as they always have” to hell with the victims and laity”. Now they have to sell their beach house, parishes are in financial ruin, their are really no retirements funds for the priest…….now they will maybe start to come out of their cocoons and realize they never really lived in the real world and they were insulated from all the bad and evil decisions they have made. Guess what their evil decisions have consequences and they are reaping what they sow. As others have pointed out just because you are surrounded by immoral people doesnt make it right to become one but this lady defintely seems to have seen alot of suppossedly moral people acting like corrupt politicians rather than men of God. I guess she figured they get away with it why not me. All so sad..

    3. Like most stories out of the AD, this story just leaves me questioning… If the DA hadn’t been brought into this, I wonder whether the AD would have made this scandal public at his time? This can’t possibly inspire confidence in leadership or attract donations.
      Also, who hired this unfit person to serve as a CFO, and why?..How did this theft go on for 7 years? If American Express hadn’t noticed that she was paying her bills with AD checks, she’d probably still be gambling and buying Ferragamo shoes.
      Were there no checks and balances, no security measures, on the general fund from which she stole nearly 1 million dollars? –How many other hundreds of checks are missing at the AD? How much is in that fund anyway?!
      What kind of backward, sloppy organization is the Archdiocese of Phila?
      Shouldn’t the AD have to answer for blowing even more of the money which was entrusted to them, on their creepy employees’ vice and criminal behavior. How dumb do you have to be to donate to such a poorly run charity?

      1. All good questions Crystal….Jason Berry raises these questions in, Render Unto Rome, and there is a really good organization that evaluates just those questions for donors, called Charity Navigator….the link is http://www.charitynavigator.org/.

        I keep coming back to the ‘adult’ issue, ie what do rational adults do, feel, how to they behave?

        AND I keep coming back to the seemingly childish behaviour of the laity, who don’t require those who receive their donations to operate with transparency and credibility.

        I have ‘fiduciary responsibility’ for family trusts, and I wouldn’t think of investing in an exceedingly poorly run, non transparent organization that didn’t treat me like an adult and provide me with ‘due diligence’…..

        And that’s just investments, and not donations where I think an even higher standard is morally required!

        It is time for ‘the faithful’ to grow up and apply adult fiscal requirements to charitable donations. People work hard for this money and have every right to full disclosure!

      2. Here are some Charity Navigator criterion….they are using IRSForm 990 to determine compliance.

        How Do We Rate Charities’ Accountability and Transparency?
        What We’re Looking For

        We define accountability and transparency in assessing charities as follows: 

        Accountability is an obligation or willingness by a charity to explain its actions to its stakeholders. 

        Transparency is an obligation or willingness by a charity to publish and make available critical data about the organization.

        Audited financials: We check the charity’s website to see if it has published its audited financial statements for the fiscal year represented by the most recently filed IRS Form 990. 
        It is important for donors to have easy access to this financial report  to help determine if the organization is managing its financial resources well. We are rating charities on whether or not they publish their audit on their website. In the future, for those charities that do publish their audit online we will also report and rate whether or not the auditor’s opinion was qualified or unqualified.

        Independent Board: The presence of an independent governing body is strongly recommended by many industry professionals to allow for full deliberation and diversity of thinking on governance and other organizational matters. Our analysts check the Form 990 to determine if the independent Board members are a voting majority and also at least five in number.

        Material diversion of assets: A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization’s assets other than for the organization’s authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft, also can seriously call into question a charity’s financial integrity. We check the charity’s last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action.

      3. Joan, so true! It seems so suspicious and disgraceful. Others absolutely had to have known or suspected what she was doing as one million dollars casually disappeared. Who knows what amount “disappears” at the AD every year, while archbishops cry poor mouth and parochial schools close down or operate on shoe string budgets.
        One million dollars is what it cost parents and alumni to save St. Hubert’s HS from closing its doors on the girls of Northeast Phila. -My niece was one of these.

      4. AND Crystal under a 2011 IRS ruling: http://old.usccb.org/ogc/groupruling.pdf

        Those donations were tax exempt. If you check this ruling out, please note that political activity is mentioned.

        The thing of it is…. There are bad 501c3 organizations that do not get independent professionally certified independent audits. If memory serves, Jason Berry noted that Boston, LA and I think Milwaukee were the only Dioceses that complied fully.

        One of the questions that any donor should ask any recipient is does your organization have a fully independent annual audit, and I would like to see it!

        Typically dioceses do NOT have the type of audit that Charity Navigator is talking about….

      5. Oops…I think it was Boston, LA and Kalamazoo dioceses that Berry noted as fiscally compliant.

        But a quick thought on Render Unto Rome, Berry looks at church finance from many angles, and at many levels and often with a sexual abuse point of view. It is the third book in a trilogy that treats of these matters with a special focus on finance. It was Jason Berry who first broke the abuse story in a national paper, the NCR in the late 80s relative to a case in Louisiana.

      6. Joan: One of the first books I read after recovering the memories of my abuse was “Lead Us Not Into Temptation”. As you stated Berry chronicles the abuse scandal in rural Louisiana. For me it was total enlightment. It opened my eyes ,not to the fact that kids were abused by Catholic priests. That I knew all too well. It opened my eyes to the enormity of the problem. If this could happen in rural Louisiana, It could happen anywhere. It also opened my eyes to the way the Catholic Church dealt with the abuse allegations. In some ways, nothing has changed in that regard. They continue to deny,and minimize the number of kids abused and the lifetime effects that abuse has on children.For those not familiar with the Louisiana case, it broke in the mid eighties. Almost thirty years ago and the Catholic Church , although paying out some three billion dollars to victims and their attorneys, still refuses to accept responsibilty for the actions of their paedophile priests.

      7. Jim, I am such a fan of Jason Berry….and very glad that his work has helped you!

        I have heard him speak in a Survivors group about Render Unto Rome and the gentleness and concern he expressed for the survivors was beautiful.

        I think what he has done to uncover church corruption is in a class all by itself!

      8. Joan,
        Render Unto Rome should be required reading for every Catholic.

        Jason Berry did the work and research for every Catholic sitting in the pew.

        I’m on my second time through and I don’t know what appalls me most….the dysfunctional flow of money, the man-made rules of celibacy, appointment of bishops, or the fabrication of the infallibility of the pope.

        I think I may purchase a bunch of copies and place them in the vestibules of some local churches with a “FREE. TAKE ONE,” placed next to it.

      9. SW it’s in paperback now. And to my immediate knowledge, making the rounds in a very small mountain area!

        I totally agree about it’s being a ‘must read’…..although my husband got through about a third of it and said….too much detail.

        It took Berry 4 years to do the research (he said he used Abuse Tracker very extensively).

        I have been loaning out my copies, like mad.

      10. Catholic lapses, moral and fiscal
        Philadelphia Inquirer

        Render Unto Rome
        The Secret Life of Money
        in the Catholic Church

        By Jason Berry
        Broadway Paperback. 420 pp. $16

        Reviewed by Kenneth A. Briggs

        While some Catholic bishops and lay people have been waging a campaign to convince the public that their religious freedom is being threatened, Jason Berry’s book stands as a formidable reminder of how much the church needs to learn from the “secular” realm that it often scorns.

        Like common-law justice for sex abusers.

        And certified public accounting of obscure church finances.

        Combining superior investigative skills and adroit analysis, Berry links clergy sexual abuse of children – a subject he helped push onto a national stage in an earlier book – with the tactics designed to cover legal and psychiatric damages resulting from it in a crisis that has cost the church more than $3 billion in settlements, according to the advocacy group BishopAccountability. The chief cause he identifies is appalling moral failure by top church officials, including Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

        Abuse and its cover-up, widespread and hidden, became a nightmare when Berry in Louisiana and a blockbuster series later in the Boston Globe exposed the scope and horror of the scandal. Expenditures on legal fees and suits quickly became astronomical. Strapped for funds, bishops resorted to various schemes.

        The reflexive response in settings like Boston, Cleveland, and Los Angeles, was to sell off church property. That often meant killing a parish that was the cherished spiritual home to neighborhood Catholics. Asking them, in effect, to pay for clergy abuse sparked protest.
        Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

      11. AND this quote from the PI review is exactly what WE have been talking about on this site:

        “As Berry illustrates in exhaustive detail, the misuse of money and the host of deceptive practices are rooted in a system of clerical privilege that gives the pope, bishops, and pastors virtually unlimited authority over funds that fall into their jurisdictions. It’s all top down with few if any internal checks, resting on a monarchical model that expects lay passivity and unquestioned trust in the ordained men who run the church. In such a blurry climate, the larceny and license can be hard to separate. A check for charity may or may not be used for personal purposes.

        The shocking scandals have shown how misplaced such blind trust can be. Ignoring modern criminal and fiscal standards has wrought catastrophic ruin and shame, underscoring the huge cost of refusing to report abusers or filing complete financial audits for parishioners to inspect for themselves.”

    4. Those points and also the strange excuse about the 2005 Grand Jury
      show the big timedysfunctionn in the Philly Catholic Church as a whole IMO. Preposterous beyond words.

  2. avery who plead guilty to EWOC / Sexual abuse of a Minor only got 2 1/2 to 5 , so it is about the money ?

    1. If ever there was a time to strengthen laws that protect innocent children from predators and those who ‘pass them on’ it is now….

      At a minimum, those laws should punish those criminals with a severity that exceeds ‘financial crime’.

  3. Why should children be treated with more dignity?

    You treat us like we should be silent. “Children should be seen and not heard.” Don’t even suggest for one second, as a parent, you have never used those words when your child has spoken in a crowded room. If we’re constantly told not to speak up, why do you think we wait 20+ years to spill the beans? It’s because finally we’ve found the courage to break free from our parents’ way of thinking and we do realize that we have a voice. I blame my parents for teaching me that “they” were more important and it was more important that I follow “their” rules. That, among other reasons, opened the door to abuse and to my silence of over 20 years.

    I would assume it’s quite easy to steal a million dollars from the Catholic Church. It is an institution where nobody wants to talk about anything that could expose corruption, criminal behavior, and indecency by their own staff for fear of scandal and negative publicity. The lives of children being destroyed was and is less important than seeing the words “scandal,” and “conviction,” next to anything in the morning newspaper that is a reflection of the Catholic Church or anyone affiliated with it.

    Personally I hate liars, thieves, and child molesters. You’ll never know what they’re capable of, until sadly, it’s much too late. If you can identify a certain liar, I’d say “steer clear,” because if someone lies to you he/she has absolutely no respect for you or anyone who is unfortunate enough to get in their way. Liars will do anything to cheat the system. I’m sure Guzzardi started out as a liar before she took that money. My abusers started out as liars, grooming me into believing things that weren’t true. However, as much as I despise liars, it’s nice to see someone get over on the Catholic Church for once. They’ve been bashing down the doors of victims for years. It’s a feeling of revenge that one of their own was caught with her hand in the cookie jar… and I like revenge. I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubble gum.

    2-7 years for embezzlement? I would’ve given her a Caribbean cruise. Although I do wonder, why wasn’t Guzzardi’s case kept quiet, and why wasn’t she reassigned to another parish where nobody knew her crime? I guess you have to be ordained for that to work.

    I had an amazing moment of Wednesday night. Well it was amazing then it was followed by absolute regret and sadness. I was at a bit of a family get-together with my partner’s family, when my father-in-law was walking around the house with his baby granddaughter in his arms. He asked if I wanted to hold her, and before I could say “No,” he laid her across my chest. I wrapped my arms around her as I felt her sliding downward. She was so little. I couldn’t imagine that someday her fingers would be as big as an adult’s. She’s 10 months-old and has the world right before her and I thought to myself, “by the time she’s 4 years-old, I’ll be 40. Uhg. By the time she starts high school, I’ll be 50. Bigger Uhg.” I whispered in her ear, “Don’t ever be afraid to speak up and ask for help. If anyone ever hurts you in any way, tell someone, come get me, I’ll be there and I’ll save the day.” After I whispered that, I handed the baby back to my father-in-law and I left the room, into the garage, and I cried my eyes out.

    It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I never wanted kids. How could I bring a child into this world of liars, thieves, and child molesters? At the moment of holding this little baby, I wanted to always be close to her, and walk through the world with her, and protect her until she was old enough and capable enough of protecting herself. I wanted to make certain that she’d never grow up like I did. That’s what brought the tears on. I hope that she never has reason to call out for help, but if she does, I hope I’m close by.

    I can’t wait until Father Patrick McCormick goes to trial or takes a plea deal. I wonder what his sentence will be for soliciting an undercover police officer posing as an “adult” prostitute.

    Rogue priests. And we’re just one city.

    1. You know, Rich, what you just said about that beautiful baby is how compassionate people feel.

      I don’t think most clergy feel that way, or act that way.

      1. And going a bit further on clergy ability to ‘feel’ compassion, I am reminded of that recent NPR piece on seminary screening.

        The ability to feel ’empathy’ by a clerical candidate was rated 20 to 30 points less valuable than the candidate’s ability to remain celibate, by seminary rectors and vocation directors.

        Admittedly this is a real stretch, but I am reminded of some grad school experiments with rats. You can breed for aggressive rats…is it it possible that you can screen for folks low on the ‘compassion scale’….and then you reinforce that with a large dose of clericalism, and a vow of ‘obedience’ that does not operationally reflect an adult understanding of moral or, as we saw with Lynn, criminal law?

        Just asking.

      2. When the priesthood acts to dehumanize its members, it becomes an institutional crime against humanity.

        Imagine Christ putting that in his pipe and smoking it.

      3. Joan I was going to say the same thing any parent with a heart feels exactly the same way……..you can expand that to include friends and family……..

    2. Rich: i understand what you are talking about. Every time I see my grandkids or any kids, I think the same thing you do. Who will protect these kids as they grow into adulthood.? There are so many predators out there and so many people who have their heads buried in the sand. It is a parents job to protect their kids. But parents ,often times, are the least qualified. You and I know that from experience. Parenting is probably the most difficult job we will ever face in our lifetimes. And yet we offer almost no education for it. My daughter, who is a school teacher , majored in childhood development and Family issues at the University of Delaware. She taught this subject along with the old home economics until two years ago when the school district eliminated her department. They did this for economic reasons. Much of what she used to teach, was about childhood development. The problems with raising children and raising healthy, happy kids. She taught this to middle school kids and high school kids. It was what she loved doing. Now she teaches english and math. These subjects are also very important. But I feel maybe the kids, who no longer get the classes she used to teach, will be a little less prepared to parent because she can no longer teach what she went to school for.

      1. JIm
        I think it is good to teach finances and life skills to children as well as safety issues we really need to prepare kids in a more rounded way besides just academics. Many townsips now offer personal safety classes parenting classes and baby sitting classes for teens which is better than when I was a kids.

    3. It sounds to me that your little niece will grow up protected and surrounded by love, in a better, more enlightened world than we did.

  4. When Rich speaks about clerics who lack the human compulsion to protect children and respect their dignity, and Mark talks about clerics who are not permitted to love, marry, and have children, their male voices penetrate me. Their words trigger in me an awakening in terms of who and what men, in this case, clerics, should and can be but are not and can’t become simply because of their participation in the priesthood. Since when should a sacrament, Holy Orders, have the effect of a curse, arresting and preventing the emotional development and capacity of a man to fulfill himself, and experience compassion and love? Rich’s and Mark’s male voices are saying that when men are unable to feel compassion for other human beings, and when they are not permitted to love, it is detrimental to men. They know this to be so because they are men who love and experience compassion, deeply understanding how each enriches and fulfills them. They are able to imagine who they would be or, more accurately, who they would not be, without the experience of them. If only the hierarchy would listen to the voices of men who are compassionate and who love…

    1. Oh what a tangled web we weave,
      When first we practise to deceive!
      Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.
      Scottish author & novelist (1771 – 1832)

    2. Narcissists do not show empathy.

      Here is Richard Sipe on clerical culture taken from: “Mother Church and the Rape of Her Children.”

      “Clerical culture is psycopathogenic. That means that the elements that constitute the operation of the celibate culture favor, select, produce, and promote men who tend to be what were formerly termed sociopaths. Nothing has exposed this core of the culture more clearly than the abuse of minors and the involvement of the most exalted members of the hierarchy who cover up for crimes….

      [C]lerical culture produces in many men an acquired situational narcissism, characterized by a sense of entitlement, superiority, lack of empathy, impaired moral judgment and self-centeredness. Identification with and incorporation into a powerful and godly institution can confer a sense of grandiosity and moral justification for one’s personal behavior. These qualities favor a man’s promotion within the clerical system.”


      1. Martin; So then it is not just those who molest little children that are sociopaths. The entire hierarchy tends to be that way, since that fits the requirements for promotion to higher office. No wonder it is impossible for them to look in the mirror and see who they truly are. Instead they see themselves as all knowing gods who can do no wrong. It is time for all the bishops and the pope to step aside, so that the people of the Church can form a church in Christs’ image.

      2. Martin,
        I read the article. My questions are why did they get into the priesthood in the first place if they lack compassion? Just for the power and prestige? Do most priests go into the priesthood expecting to remain celibate? Or did did they expect to be sexualy active?

      3. Beth,

        They had compassion going in; the culture changed that for many. The one exception concerning compassion would be the pedophiles. The many priests who lost compassion were what Sipe called situational narcissists. The pedophiles had a narcissistic personality disorder and likely were never capable of being empathic. From early childhood they had to focus all of their attention on self in order to survive.

      4. Jim,

        I am doing research on clerical culture. BTW, I also teach graduate students about organizational culture. Culture might be described as “how we do things around here.” I believe Sipe is correct when he says that those who masterfully follow the rules become bishops. His statement about their being sociopaths strokes me as exaggeration.

      5. Martin, first of all many thanks for your posts, especially the very personal one.

        I have a question for you, relating to your response to Beth….if these guys were compassionate in the beginning but the ‘culture’ knocked it out of them….it was the pedophiles that were incapable of empathy….

        Is it fair to say that if you ‘screen’ for low empathy types, you are in a sense, screening to bring in more pedophiles?

        I am really confused! Joan

      6. Joan,

        Thanks. I think they are screening for compliant types rather than screening out empathic types. That screening criterion will bring in authoritarian personalities like Joseph Ratzinger and Karol Wojtyla and the bishops they have chosen.

        I test coaching clients for empathy. A surprising number of successful business executives have low empathy scores. In fact, many are pretty narcissistic but I think I have only worked with one person whose narcissism could be categorized as narcissistic personality disorder. Many with low empathy scores also have very low scores for self-awareness and oddly enough can be extremely sensitive to criticism since they have no awareness of their own areas for growth, just don’t think about that. Low empathy and low self-awareness are a potentially dangerous combination.


      7. Thank You Martin for this scholarly and in-depth article by Richard Sipe. My convictions are further strengthened through works of this sort. Once again, Thank You.

      8. Martin, as always thanks for your input. I was hung up on the ’empathy’ issue and missed the ‘compliant’ (authoritarian) part of it.

        I read up a bit on ‘compliant’ folks and suspect you are absolutely right.

        The piece of it that really got my attention was the the absence of ‘self awareness’…..

        I guess you have to be pretty ‘numb’ to the effects of your agenda….the only way to promote such ‘non pastoral’ stuff….

        It is ever so sad.

  5. Sipe just makes it sound like this culture has been around so long you would think by the end of seminary they knew what the real story was………….but then there are all the secrets………..

  6. I do think some priests had good intentions and still do but some may have entered the priesthood knowing about some of the underlying dysfunction and entered exactly for that reason.

    1. Beth: I remember as a kid, when I was chosen to be an altar boy, how my mother was so happy. I think it was somewhat of an old Irish tradition that the second oldest son was usually the priest. She had me in a roman collar from the time I was ten years old. Well into high school. she continued to pitch this idea. For awhile I even considered it. After this temporary lapse in sanity, I told my mother that this wouldn’t happen. There went her ticket to heaven. Really, I wonder how many sons not wanting to disapoint mom end up in the seminary. I don’t really think many men at that age are ready to make that kind of commitment. I would think maybe ten or twenty years later, men have a more reasonable chance of making it work. But i guess it is just like the military. At eighteen or nineteen, you can mold them into what you want them to be.

      1. JIm I hear you . You make good points.I think middle age married men with a raised family would make the best priests………..they know themseleves and survived raising a family.

      2. Why does the seminary and the priesthood attract a statistically inordinate number of gay men? While I welcome gays in the priesthood, I feel compelled to question the unusual statistic, to question the health of the gay culture of the priesthood, to question whether the statistic causes straight men to fail to consider the priesthood, and to question the integrity of a largely gay hierarchy’s “disordered” position on gays.

        What’s the deal with gays and the priesthood? I’d like to better understand it.

      3. Hadit,
        Husband will tell you seminary was filled with closet gay men.

        Most seminarians come from a dysfunctional family system…either completely enamored with the rcc rituals, or craving the structure of the system. The young boys pick up on the fact that they don’t have to take care of themselves for LIFE.

        If I were to guess, repressed gay young men who were never allowed to admit it somehow seek out the place they “fit.”. The priesthood “fits” because it’s all male…filled with other sexually repressed men who take these immature, infantilized young men under their wing. How much more at “home” could a closet gay young man feel? Then to “preach” about the evil of homosexuality…what better “front” is there than the rcc?

        Sexually repressed, über catholic background, immature, and they never have to upset the family apple cart either…in fact, it’s a feather in the family cap.

        I think I shared about an acquaintance of mine whose son is going into the seminary…she’s so proud. I wanted to cry. The family is all about the church on a pedestal, the Dad’s an irritable alcoholic, and the mother babies this boy from before the time I met himat age 3. He’s extremely effeminate and has a flare for fashion. I’m not saying he’s gay because of the stereotypical qualities associated. But, I cannot discount that this young man is searching and struggling in a number of ways…and the priesthood is happy to take him in. What parish will he be serving in 3 years from now?

      4. Kate: I don’t think its an inordinate amount of gay men. I think alot of it is about immature men who have no sexual identity. They simply don’t have the experience to make the determination. I think that is why so many abuse children. They are immature sexually, emotionally, and are attracted to those who are closer to their own developmental stage.Once they are in the seminary, they are around only males who literally compete for their attention. Much of that attention is sexual in nature. Men in prison have sex with other males even though they claim to be heterosexual. As Kinsey pointed out most men are not exclusively heterosexual or homosexual. Most fall somewhere in the middle.

      5. There once was a priest from LA
        Who was into fashion and gay
        His bishop denied it
        If the gay priest would hide it
        And none of his boyfriends would say

      6. Awhile back, Jerry cited this Richard Sipe, ‘Celibacy, Sex, and the Catholic Church’, et al source, and I have it on my home page…..it’s full of relevant data and I both thank Jerry for it, and pass it on:


      7. Joan; Thank you for the connection to “Celibacy sex and the Catholic Church”. From what I read we all have a part of the answer to why Homosexual young men are attracted to the priesthood. But Richard Sype puts it all together. You always have such great info. Thank you.

      8. While C4C bloggers are able to put forth insights on gays and the priesthood, and Sipe has accumulated a vast body of knowledge on the subject, why is it not surprising that, according to Sipe, the hierarchy’s position on gays and gay priest practices utterly defy all knowledge, are counter-productive in terms to human health and well being, act to alienate and hurt human beings, and unfold in a climate of closetedness and secrecy. I am so damn sick of the hierarchy acting anti-intellectual, anti-knowledge, anti-enlightenment, and anti-human.

      9. The intellectual strength of the hierarchy lies in its ability to contrive forms of deception.

      10. This site has discussed church accountability, Jason Berry, and Richard Sipe, the embezzlement issues of the AD etc.

        Just now on Abuse Tracker, there is a plea by Bishop Accountability to sign a petition requiring a Mass Diocese to be forthcoming in its financial statements…..you might want to take a look at this as it is a practical application of points we have been discussing!


      11. Why are gay men attracted to the priesthood? I can describe my own experience.

        I wanted to be a priest before I knew I was gay. Looking back I realize I was attracted to boys in the first grade and neighborhood blaggards starting call me faggot shortly thereafter.

        I still believe that the desire and the call were authentic. This is important to keep in mind. I did want to be a priest. And I thank God I did not stay.

        My Irish mother told me that after my baptism the pastor put me on the side altar table, Mary’s altar, and prayed that I would become a priest. My cousin recently asked me if I really wanted to be a priest or if my mother pushed that.

        I lived in a very dysfunctional household and couldn’t wait to get out, would have left at 13 had I known of a high school seminary. I remember feeling incredibly sad during one block collection when the priest told my mother St. Charles did not accept students until after high school. I also thank God I never went to St. Charles.

        As a kid everyone knew I was going to be a priest. One of the major benefits for me was that I did not need to talk about sex, dating, etc. I felt terrified at the prospect of talking about sex. I have written here about how Father John Schmeer pinned me up against a wall and forced me to talk about sex when I was a student at Roman. They call it a boundary violation, scared the sh-t out of me. I am convinced that the priest perps often chose gay kids because these kids could not talk to anybody. Safe prey.

        Ultimately, I did find a high school seminary with a religious order. During my senior year a friend/fellow seminarian and I spent the weekend at St. Charles, guests of Dave Givey’s, a deacon at the time. We arrived on a Friday night in the dark so no one was around. I will never forget going out of the room on Saturday morning. They had sinks in a common area with lots of seminarians swishing about; my breath was taken away by how effeminate everyone seemed to be.

        In small college seminary house ( 1970’s), we were 13 students. Looking back, I now know 8 were gay. Also now know that all of the priests who staffed that house were gay. Not one of us ever discussed this. In my freshman year of college I spoke with my spiritual director about being attracted to other guys. He was compassionate and ended by saying it did not matter, I would be celebate.

        In my freshman year (we took classes at a local Catholic college), the ethics professor brought in a gay man to talk about homosexuality. 1972. I remember arguing with the guy about how homosexuality was condemned in the Bible. I went searching for the Bible passage but good Catholic kid that I was I knew nothing about the Bible and could not find them. Condemning homosexuality was a way to protect myself.

        Much as I tried, by 23, I could no longer keep sexuality repressed. I knew I could not be celebate so I left. One fellow seminarian, now a priest, has had a male partner for 30 years. Another priest friend, now a bishop, has always been more conservative than Ratzinger. But, he did not hold back from stuffing dollars into a male stripper’s g string when we were at a gay bar one night.

        I am sharing this in response to Kate’s question. I am old enough that I no longer care a lot about what others think so I tend to be much more transparent in the hope that some part of my experience might help others. All of the above is not intended to be about me but rather to share the experience of one gay kid who entered the seminary. It is a N of one but I suspect there are patterns that would fit some others.

      12. Martin; Thank you for sharing your story. As someone who started telling my story in AA meetings some twenty five years ago, I appreciate it. I think one of the best things about twelve step programs is they teach you to be honest with yourself. If you can be honest with yourself, you can be honest with others. Until I started going to AA meetings I lied about almost everything. Mostly the lies I told were to myself. I think you and I are about the same age. I definitely relate , when you say you are old enough now, that most things float off your back. I have arrived there just recently. I also can relate to the irish mother and the extremely disfunctional family. Most of my siblings fled as soon as they possible could. My one brother went in the navy. Two of my sisters got married very young. I hung around much too long, which only created more problems.

      13. Thank you, Jim. BTW, Irish son #2 went to the priesthood because son #1 inherited the land. Remaining sons had precious few opportunities to make a life of their own.

  7. I was crying today about victims in and out of our church……….and I was thinking as I have before how many times can ones heartbreak? But then I was thinking if it stopped breaking then I would be one of them……….does Lynn did Lynn ever cry after meeting a victim and hearing their story? Was it always business as usual? I have not been to church for weeks because of my surgery………today I went and the priest was talking about a bride who at the wedding reception the groom surprised her and washed her feet instead of taking off the garter as a symbol of his love for her…………my question is when will the church start washing the feet of our survivors? If its not going to start at the top……….the laity should start it at the ground level……we can influnece those arounds us and reach out to those next to us……it all so simple and you never know where the chain reaction of good acts ends…….

  8. The CFO embezzles $906,000 from the Philadelphia AD and receives a 2 to 7 year sentence. A priest tries to force a child to perform oral sex and the felony charges are thrown out. Absolutely priceless…..

  9. Susan, we, in society and church, DO value money more than children.

    Any strategy to protect children in the Church needs to involve putting their money at risk. Institutional leaders will then pay attention.

    1. Thanks, Rich. 1,000 words…

      Hope you can avoid the surgery and, if not, that you heal quickly.


    2. Rich,

      While I think that the first video piece that you did was very well done (although I didn’t agree with some of the content), this one is – in my opinion – borderline blasphemous.

      To achieve the spiritual and physical healing for which you yearn, why not turn back to Jesus as He’ll certainly help.

      1. Joe, when a person is dealing with the effects of a trauma, the last thing to do is offer advice.I know that you have great respect for the Archdiocese. You may want to call their victims assistance office and tell them that you are offering advice to victims that they turn to Jesus. I would be interested the response that you recieve. I think the one single solitary thing that I have found a common ground with the AD is that no one determines the path that someone recovering from a trauma will take. It is simply none of my business,and it should not be any of yours either. We can support people, listen to them, make sure they are safe etc… but recovering from a trauma is not something that you throw advice at and walk away.

      2. Kathy,

        I think that this particular video clip is nothing but a cheap shot at the Church and at the Lord Himself.

        Jesus is often referred to as the Divine Physician and He does heal those who invoke His help and honor His Holy Name.

        I think that’s sound advice.

      3. Joe,

        You have all the traits of being a good man. But, your position as a RCC apologist is tiring. One can’t defend the indefensible. Please give it up; it’s not going to move anyone on this site.

      4. Joe,

        I assume you want the best for Rich and yet what you propose should never be suggested to anyone who has been sexually assaulted by a priest . Consider the following about those who have been abused. I have no idea if any of this applies to Rich; he can speak for himself.

        The Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland) has discussed how the abused should not be expected to show up for Mass on Sunday and, in fact, might be better to completely separate themselves from the Church to avoid reliving the trauma. That awareness demonstrates that these priests put the health of the abused first – the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of a particular human being. Picture the Good Shepherd. These priests are concerned more about the 1 than the 99 who are in the pews. Actually it is only 20% who attend Sunday Mass. Honestly, your reply to Kathy demonstrates you are more concerned with rescuing the Church of the emptying pews than those who have suffered harm that most of us dread hearing about. Go to court in Philly next month when the once 10 year old testifies about what two priests and teacher did to him. I suspect you will feel as uneasy as I did when I heard young men tell the stories in the Lynn trial. I wanted them to tell their stories and I did not want to listen.

        If when raping a child, the criminal whispers “God loves you” into the child’s ear, he teaches the child about God. The God whom the child once loved becomes the god of his abuser. Some, refusing to accept this can be true about God, go to other priests, nuns, or the AD. Those in authority, maybe the child’s last hope of holding on to God and avoiding permanent health damage, side with the criminal rather than the innocent child. At the moment when the child needed spiritual and emotional care, he or she was abandoned. In some cases, the child is asked to sworn to secrecy and thus suffering in silence, alone. The child makes a healthy choice when he or she rejects them and their god. Yet, the child goes away with his or her faith destroyed even faith in self: “maybe I brought this on myself?”

        If you want to do something useful for people like Rich and the Church, write to Chaput and ask him why the AD does not provide therapy funds for those raped by religious order faculty in the AD schools. When parents send their children to AD schools, they expect the school managers to oversee the staff work as would any organization. The fact that these priests are like temps who get their paychecks from another legal entity does not matter and is not known to the parent or the child. Tell Chaput to put this disclaimer on report cards: “The Archdiocese cannot be held responsible for the actions of priests or nuns who are not employees of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia, a corporation sole.”

      5. Joe, you missed my entire point.It is not your place to be giving any type of advice to a person who has been sexually violated….period.

      6. Joe a year ago i might have said the same thing,…….yes i had a similar gut response but do you realize it is our fault? We have not shown Rich the face of christ and thus he doest think he exists……….rich i am sorry about your back pain stinks. I cant help you with revenge but if you truly want counseling i would be happy to send you the amount i usually contribute to the yearly collection to go to counseling. No strings attached,,….just
        praying you find your soul because i know without a doubt everyone has one

      7. Joe,
        What the pedophile priests did was blasphemous…….we are reaping what they sowed…….disbelief and unbelief in God and Christ ……I wish more catholics would understand the damage these priests have done to innocent souls……if you heard the stories i heard you would understand so much . It hurts me so much and cuts me to the core that our surviors get no peace and consolation from adoration, mass , certain prayers, the Eucharist etc.I can not imagine having all that taken away from me because it is my rock and my comfort. I go to Jesus when I have no where else to go…….where do you suggest they go when they were raped in church around religious items a, altars etc,? ” Going to Jesus” is tramatic for them……….if you get anything from this site please understand and get that .It’s not all survivors but many and they have to struggle to rebuild any trust in God and men for that matter.Joe they dont think like yuou and I because we are adults and never abused by priests as children. Again some manage to believe but they might have gotten more support from family or other varaiables. .

      8. Beth,

        Thank you for your offer. It’s very kind and I’m blown away that somebody would want to do something like that for me. This isn’t all about money though.

        The Archdiocese of Philadelphia website clearly states that if you have been abused by a Catholic priest within the Arch of Philly, they will grant up to one year theraputic and psychological expenses. I told the Philly DA in 2009 I was abused at Father Judge by a Catholic priest, which is within the Arch of Philly. I signed a police report as a detective was listening to me tell my story to Charlie Gallagher, then Deputy DA.

        Unless they’ve changed their website in the last week, it read nothing about “not giving the same services to victims abused by religious order priests.” This is about what is right and fair. Your word is your bond, and right now the Arch of Philly won’t stick to their word with me. They will not return my emails or phone calls. Director of Victims Assistance Leslie Davila said she would be in touch “soon.” That was more than a onth ago.

        I appreciate good people like you, Beth, but instad, save that money and buy somthing nice for your kids. Thanks again!

        Peace out!

        If you really want to help in other ways, emailing and calling Leslie Davila might be an option.

        Leslie J. Davila, M.S., C.V.A.
        Director, Office for Child and Youth Protection
        Archdiocese of Philadelphia
        222 N. 17th Street
        Philadelphia, PA 19103
        215-965-1743 phone
        215-587-3711 fax

        My initial email was sent 7-31-2012
        Leslie Davila replied the next day as she stated Archbishop Chaput wanted her to contact me. On 8-1-2012, Leslie Davila said she is working on it and will get back to me “soon.”

      9. Hi Rich,

        Nope, no one ever raped me. But I did have one close call as a youngster – – which I had described earlier.

      10. I think there are many people who have had close calls and to me those people would probably tend to exhibit even more compassion to the children who were abused..but then again,not everyone thinks that way.
        Beth you make a great point about the abuse being blasphemous..so many people who will bring others to task for any single thing that may be percieved as being out of line with the Church’s teachings are suddenly mute when it comes to the abuse or worse yet..actually are insensitive victims.

      11. Rich,
        I hear you. I have and will continue to call and email for you and others. I even emailed Chaput. Everyone talks about healing but it seems there are more concrete ways they can help our survivors then just talk. I am still hoping that once they sell the properties and figure out their finaces they put money into a fund for survivors such as yourself and others. I am using my resources to help change laws because my kids and all kids deserve to be safe from predators.

      12. Joe B….about your narrow escape from a child molester.. You’d sure be whistling a different tune here on this site if you had not gotten so lucky. So, maybe it’s time to “give back” by doing what you can to help remove the vast, clerical pedophile ring from your beloved church.— Instead of subtly antagonizing those who come here because they were victimized by these pedophiles, or those of us who truly care about these people, and this issue.

      13. Rich,
        I finally realized there is a difference between being nice and being good………I have spent too many years being nice and not enough years doing whats good……..good requires courage many times ……..nice is safe and usually much easier…..

  10. Kate writes, The intellectual strength of the hierarchy lies in its ability to contrive forms of deception. The unasked question is, Cui Bono from these masterful deceptions? An entity only can have one primary purpose; the primary purpose of the hierarchy is to serve as deceivers for their masters, the money powers and the political powers. Neil Armstrong said, “There are great ideas undiscovered, breakthroughs available to those who can remove one of the truth’s protective layers.” She who fails to learn from the past is condemned to repeat it.

    1. Rich: Enjoyed the show. I hope everything goes well with your impending back surgery. I haven’t had surgery yet but the last MRI wasn’t too good . The surgeon I talked to said there are too many discs involved to do surgery now. He said I should wait til it gets so bad that I can’t stand it any more. It sounds like you are there already. When you have to carry the burdens you have been carrying its understandable why you have back problems.

  11. Martin, Jim, SW, Rich and others… I haven’t the words to say how much and how deeply your comments and personal stories affect and inform me. There are cold and calculated advocates. Then there are advocates whose styles are augmented, enhanced, and endowed by the true and living stories of the people they represent. Thank you for generously sharing yourselves and your experiences. Its effect on me is enormous.

    1. I’m not here to bash anyone, at least those who don’t deserve it.

      If you want truth, come sit in my living room for a couple of hours. I’ll invite a few friends (victims) and we’ll give you more truth than you can handle. If I can barely handle another victim’s story, how is a non-victim supposed to do it?

      I do not conform to any particular group or sanction any organization. I am here, there, and everywhere for a reason. I write my letters about being raped to senators and congressman, church leaders and state leaders, to the President of the United States, and to our prosecutors; not because I want fame or fortune, but because I want to protect kids. That’s it. I beg your pardon, but none of you, nor I, is more important than the innocence and safety of a child today.

      I speak up and out because children aren’t allowed to.

    2. Kate, thanks for raising the questions. As they say in AA, we are as sick as our secrets. Notice how Rome uses silencing. Lots of things they don’t want us to talk about.

  12. So the arrested SF bishop appointee “Cordileone was in the car with his elderly mother and a young male foreign exchange student, whom McCullogh said only spoke little English.” Really? And they were headed where, and were about to drop off whom, first? Details, please. What a joke.

    1. Be patient, Mark, it takes time to contrive and manufacture the deception that will cover it up.

      1. Kate, I am out here on the West Coast and know a bit about this guy. He’s extremely conservative, very involved in Prop 8….chairs the USCCB Committee that deals with same sex marriage issues, has just been appointed to the most ‘gay friendly’ city in the country, has, I believe been involved with promoting Opus Dei in the Oakland diocese, and is not my favorite person.

        However, the early reports suggest that he has violated CA’s tough .08 alcohol limit, but it is very unclear by how much. And he has both admitted that and apologized. And I know folks who have worked for him, and never heard a suggestion of alcoholism.

        I think he is to be installed as AB in SF 4 or 5 days before a court appearance in San Diego.

        There was a part of me, when I heard the DUI report, that made me think,…..in a weird way this will be ‘useful’.

        Putting this bishop in SF was and is in my view, a very heavy handed act. The Vatican position on ‘same sex marriage’ does not reflect the ‘sense of the faithful’ in the US…..And Cordileone’s rep…is definitely ‘my way or the highway’.

        I think this situation is profoundly embarrassing and yet ‘useful’ as the good bishop will have to deal with the ‘justice system’ as an offender….Everyone knows it….he went to jail for the night, his mother who had to establish both her sobriety and her valid driver’s license, drove the car home…..

      2. I’m not trying to change anyone’s position on this. This is only my “opinion.”

        I don’t care if they call it “gay marriage” or “civil unions.” I’m queer. I just want the same rights as my hetero-breeder counterparts. I realized I was unable to give blood after 9/11 because I’m gay. My partner of almost 9 years is excluded from my billing, health records, and every f#cking time I have to fill out an aplication for something, I have to write “single,” because most applications don’t recognize “life partners.” That’s unequal. Besides what’s the divorce rate in this country? You have a better chance of opening a outside bar in Greenland than one man – one woman staying married for more than 6 months. Then if there’s kids involved, oh brother, that’s where your tax money is going.

        But the homos who argue that it should be marriage instead of unions are just stupid, including but not excluded to Rosie O’Donnell and Cher, who do more to hurt the cause of equal rights than good. It’s like consumers arguing that a pickup truck should be classified as a car. It’s ridiculous!

        I just want what is right and fair. I’ve never asked for more than that. Unfortunately, I’ve got a bigger fight on my hands with protecting kids, and my sexuality, which really shouldn’t matter to anyone, has to stay on the back burner for now.

        Being a fag is just a part of me. Protecting kids – that’s everything!

      3. Today’s Vatican Insider, published an article on the DUI issue….

        Five days before he appears in court, he is scheduled to be installed as archbishop of San Francisco during a solemn mass in the city’s Cathedral. But many now wonder whether the ceremony will now take place on October 4. Some in the US Bishops Conference say privately that they think the bishop’s ministry has been badly compromised as a result of the drunken driving charge and that he may have to resign, particularly if convicted, as a result of what has happened.   
        I am thinking of Martin’s helpful comments on ‘screening’ for authoritarian, clergy….

      4. Putting this guy, Cordileone, in San Francisco was exactly like putting Chaput in Philadelphia. It smacks of “In your face”. We don’t care what you people think. There were other more suitable candidates in Philadelphia, just as , I am sure there there were other more compatible candidates in San Francisco. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church walks around with a chip on their shoulder, daring anyone to knock it off. Hopefully, district attorneys around the country will follow the lead of Lynn Abraham and Seth Williams and do just that.

      5. Jim and Joan,

        The hierarchy nurtures “experts” who are placed in spaces and places where their job is act as “sense of the faithful-busters.” Chaput is counted on to defeat SOL reform and impede justice for victims in an archdiocese and state riddled with child sexual abuse, and Cordileone is counted on to defeat gay marriage and gay rights in one of the gayest cities on earth. In the end, the Church will implode, crumble, and turn to ashes due to horrifically poor leadership that is based on “values” that defy human reason, knowledge, experience, and the Gospel message.

      6. Kate…I agree with your ‘sense of the faithful’ busters. And have a comment ‘being held for moderation’ that relates to both our good DUI bishop and Martin’s very helpful remarks about ‘compliant’ (read ‘authoritarian’), clergy.

        In it I quote a Vatican Insider piece that suggests that the ultimate authoritarian center, Rome, may pull the SF appointment because the drunk driving issue impedes Cordileone’s effectiveness.

        We’ll see.

        Somehow, I don’t think you are going to ultimately impede either the Holy Spirit OR the faithful.

        But it will take time….a marathon, not a sprint!

      7. Joan: maybe the Vatican will be more concerned about who the other young priest was and what was his relationship with the bishop. Just asking

  13. Seems to me Guzzardi and Msgr. Lynn have invented a new excuse:
    “The Devilacqua made me do it!”

  14. I know this doesn’t quite fit in this thread but it is about the Archdiocese and money.

    A very good friend of mine teaches at 1st Philadelphia Prep Charter School. 1st Philadelphia was supposed to expand into Our Lady of Consulation school. They can’t do that because it was never zoned as a school. How did that happen? I would think that the AD owes at least 55 years of back taxes.

    Also, the former St. Bartholomew’s and Our Lady of Ransom are being leased to Charter Schools. I know this because I drive by them. If the building are still being used as schools but not “Catholic” schools would they be taxable? Lets see the AD lawyers spin on this one.

    The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is still owns all the High School properties, but they will be run by the new foundation, who will still use the Diocese Guidelines to teach. So in the 5 year experimental stage of the new High School plan, how many grade schools will close, and leased to Charter schools?

  15. When will it dawn on the AD that if only a couple of grade schools are left in five years, who will feed the high schools. It sure as hell wouldn’t be the children of unhappy parents who had thier beloved parish school closed. So I guess in the long run, the AD thinks they have a full proof plan. The School District of Phila is talking about closing many schools. If vouchers are approved, more people will go to catholic schools. If the people don’t send their kids but to Charter school in former parish school buildings, it is still a win-win for the AD. I don’t think making money was Jesus’ concern when he chased the money lenders out of the Temple.

    1. All I can say is wow what an article. Take their (really our money)money they throw the book at you and no mercy……. rape a child you get a free pass and they ask for leniency………………….if things have truly changed i would like the AD to cooperate like Guzzardi……..in the upcoming trial………I dont see that happening……….

    2. When the story of an embezzler acts to define and illuminate the sins of the hierarchy, experiencing the juxtaposition of the two just floors a person. Wow. Wow. Wow. Leaves one cerebrally breathless…

    3. Kathy…any chance we will learn more about these two points listed in the post?

      ‘Not only did his client confess her guilt, and help the district attorney’s office in its investigation, Busico said, but on two occasions, Guzzardi “came forward at her own peril” to tell investigators about the inner workings of the archdiocese.

      Guzzardi told investigators the how, when and why priests were transferred, her lawyer said. She also told investigators the true financial picture of the archdiocese over the last several years, Busico told the judge. He referred to the archdiocese’s money, and “who knew where it went.”

      1. With all Guzzardi purportedly told the DA’s office, why wasn’t she forced to testify at the Lynn trial? In her incarcerated state, will she provide more info on the “inner workings” of the AD? If she does, she’ll be doing what Lynn ought to be doing. Once again, she’ll trump the clerics in character.

      2. Lynn was charged with very specific charges of conspiracy and child endangerment. If the evidence she gave had nothing to do with those specific charges or the evidence was against others rather than Lynn, then the trial was not the place for it. My guess is that the investigation of the AD is far from over.

  16. With all the suffering people have been thru and are continuing to go thru……..I am amazed and encouraged by some really courageous people I have talked to recently both survivors and non survivors………it’s good for the soul to know their are people trying to reach out and help and create change just like so many that blog here………it’s medicine for the heart and food for the soul…….thankyou

    1. Kathy, that’s a beautiful article and the guy is approaching sainthood.

      Why in hell, the hierarchy doesn’t loosen up and provide married clergy, women etc to help him is something they are very clearly going to have to answer to God for.

      1. It is nice to hear of a priest who is actually doing Gods’ work. I know there are some out there. It must be really difficult for those who are trying. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they question authority at all, they are placed in the worst assignments. The parishoners may end up losing him. Unfortunately that is the way it seems to work. If you do a good job, get close to your parishoners, they will find another place for you.All of those young men who entered the seminary at the same time. There are hardly any left. Maybe ,just maybe the Church is doing something wrong.

      2. Joan, neither married priests’ wives nor women priests would tolerate for long the dysfunction and secrets that the pope, Rigali, Chaput, et al. are struggling selfishly to preserve. So these clerical frauds propagate preposterously mystical myths about why women must be excluded from the priesthood.

        Notwithstanding these hapless hierarchs’ all-out efforts to subjugate women, including most recently nuns and female theologians, the dam has burst and the hierarchs will soon drown in a sea of pink!

        Some evidence of this is the impatient boldness expressed daily by so many strong women on this blog alone. Some of their daughters and granddaughters will likely be even bolder, as many of these women have expressed themselves so forcefully in ways some of their own mothers and grandmothers would not have dreamed of doing.

        And these women are just representative of the coming pink tidal wave. Forget red hats. Future Cardinals will be pretty in pink! Alleluia!

      3. Jerry, you are clearly ‘on a roll’….I have one grand daughter…she is an interesting young woman. At a very progressive K through 8, 4 years ago, and this is a school that encouraged kids to speak up and challenge authority, she very quietly, unbeknown to her parents questioned a school decision that was going to screen the Obama innaugeration but skip the invocation, given by Rick Warren.

        My grand daughter asked why not…was told it was a board decision, didn’t buy it, circulated a petition that was signed by a huge number of students and teachers and the invocation was included.

        Her argument was, you have taught us to think for ourselves, we can’t make decisions unless we get content, and you are limiting the content.

        Actually, I have a lot of respect for my three grandsons, as well….they may not affect the Church, but they will certainly affect the larger world.

      4. Joan, I didn’t intend to be totally sexist. But the focal point of much of the angst against the hierarchy is its callous indifference to protecting children.

        While many non-clerical men certainly care greatly about protecting children as many C4C male bloggers demonstrate, in my experience (with a mother, wife, five sisters, three daughters, etc. ), there seems to be a special protectiveness for children innate in women.

        This seems so obvious, yet the male hierarchy still doesn’t seem to get it that the sexual abuse of children is fundamentally repulsive to and unbearable for women in deeper ways than for some men.

        Having miscalculated this so badly, the hierarchy has unleashed a force that they will be unable to control. Amen.

        Your granddaughter sounds like a chip off her Grandma. You must be very proud of her as she must be of you.

      5. Jerry,

        As has been reiterated many times in the RCC’s history, the ordination of women to the priesthood is a theological ‘non-starter’ and will never, ever happen.

      6. Theology is a scholarly discipline. There is wide disagreement among Roman Catholic theologians concerning the historical and theological basis for a male only priesthood. Thus, they are silenced. At risk of losing the scholarly argument, two popes tell the theologians not to talk about this anymore. So, your argument is weak. Why are they afraid of people, especially scholars, talking about this

        This is a management decision, a matter of disciplne, based in part on
        the beliefs of SOME theologians; that is the basis for your claim. Two popes said it is never gonna happen. Why, Daddy? “Because I said so..”

      7. Hey Joe Burch you’re back again …But I’m afraid you’ve come back to some bad news, friend… A new day has dawned in the story of humankind. Men and women are now considered to be intellectual and spiritual equals…. It’s now imprudent for an institution to alienate either sex.
        The all-male, celibate priesthood is rotting the church at its core. The “theology” behind your “nonstarter” is man-made and disordered, and was aimed at the ignorant faithful of the Dark Ages. It was a means of suppression. In present times, this, and all of the ugly problems this has spawned, are impossible stumbling blocks to thinking, catholic women (and men) who find themselves wanting to worship and serve God as a member of the RCC.

        Nonsensical RCC laws like the “Never, Ever ordain Women” law, have ruined any hope for our religion in modern times. Our pews and seminaries are empty and the priesthood has been diminished to a tattered group of silent, frightened, passive men, who cover up for the “celibate” perverts and criminals in their ranks.

        This “nonstarter” is pushing the RCC out of the developed world and into the “developing” third world where it might manage to thrive for a while, until they reject its nonsense there as well.

      8. Hello Crystal.

        I don’t know if you ever saw the ‘LIfe Is Worth Living’ telecasts of Bishop Fulton Sheen – They were run in the 50’s and are still available on Youtube today.

        Bishop Sheen eloquently discusses the topic of women priests in his treatise on the Blessed Mother, shown here (around 21:50):


        Hope this helps.

      9. Joe, I watched 21:50. Sheen makes no sense. This isn’t an explanation; it’s fantasy. Don’t you hear how unintelligent and just plain creepy this all sounds? “..Man gives the seed…women receives the seed ..and the seed is God’s word..” It’s a series of weird fantasies ..It isn’t rational thought. This kind of nonsense is tailored to an unsophisticated, brainwashed audience.

        Sheen’s explanation of why women absolutely cannot serve as priests in the catholic church, is a disjointed, fantastical mix of mysticism, 1950’s biology, and gospel references. This is RCC dogma which is “unfit for human consumption” (to use Kate/Hadit’s words.) I could never present this to my kids as spiritual wisdom. I respect their intelligence. I want them to be able to use their brains to be able to test reality and recognize the truth.

        Jesus did not call for a “differentiation of function” when it came to how we should serve Him. He never told us to worship his mother or fixate on her virginity … And he sure didn’t go prancing around in a red silk robe and hat, and lacy sleeves, like this fancy preacher.

      10. Hi Crystal,

        Have you seen this: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/women-and-the-priesthood

        I know that Bishop Sheen can be a bit abstract at times, but he was a very gifted theologian and public speaker. Here’s how I look at it:

        I worked in Philadelphia for 20 years, very close to ‘222’ and the Cathedral. On my way into the Church one Holy Thursday (1976, I think), I passed a group of nuns dressed in black.

        As I was about to say ‘hello’ to one of the nuns, I noticed that she was wearing a roman collar, so I politely asked if she was wearing a new ‘habit’. She informed me that she and her fellow sisters wanted to be priests. I saw some of the other sisters carrying signs of protest, for the benefit of the Cardinal (Krol), and the secular press. I wanted to ask her ‘why’, but didn’t have the opportunity.

        Thinking back, I then remembered that the ordination of women priests was discussed once when I was at Saint Charles. The professor stated that any attempt to ordain a woman to the priesthood was an act of instant excommunication and that the attempted ordination act itself was fruitless. Canon Law is rather explicit – ‘nihil fecit’ – nothing happens!

        In 1994 Pope John Paul II formally declared that the Roman Catholic Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.

        At the last Supper, Our Lord instituted the Eucharist (This is My Body…) and then Holy Orders (Do This in Remembrance of Me) by ordaining the first priests. If Jesus had desired to confer ordination on women, one could reason that His Mother Mary would have been a logical candidate. But she wasn’t, nor was Mary Magdeline. Simply put, that’s the way that God wanted it.

        Male and female alike are given gifts to help build up the Kingdom of God. Some are called to the sacramental priesthood to emulate Our Lord in His Humanity, others (like ourselves) are called to the married state to nurture the next generation in this ‘baton pass’ of life, while still others remain single. Perhaps this is the functional differentiation to which Bishop Sheen is referring.

        I don’t believe that any of us should feel somehow ‘diminished’ or ‘unfulfilled’ if we cannot become priests. After all, there’s plenty of good work to be done for a Loving God Who will reward us abundantly based upon how well we used His gifts in living out our own particular vocations (and we each have one).

      11. Joe, I am not even going to get into the issue of woman ordination for two reasons. One ,that is not what this site is about. 2. I could care less. However it is interesting that a person even attempting ordaining a woman would be instantly excommunicated while a person violating an innocent child’s body was protected and given a spin on the old parish shuffle wheel…go figure.

    1. Mark, I like the part where it says authoritative abuse is evidenced by the way an authoritative entity treats its dissidents. Certainly, the way the Church punitively “manages” the dissenting voices of priests, nuns, women, gays and lesbians, theologians, and scholars is clear to us. But what “common,” dissenting Catholics are regularly exposed to include punitive accusations and feedback, ostracizing, ill-treatment, and “the party line,” at the parish level. Who among us has not experienced it? “It” is abuse.

      1. Kate and Mark thanks for the ‘authority’ data…and thanks to Martin for raising the issue!

        Think that it is interesting that at the democratic convention (Not a church setting) an articulate gentle and increasingly famous nun will be giving a major address on the needs of the poor.

        The marketplace for a ‘respectful hearing’ from the nuns, appears to be on bus tours and at conventions.

      2. Mark, Kate, and Joan,

        Texas GOP Party Platform takes a stand against teaching children critical thinking skills. This would be funny if it were not so dangeous – for children. I was blessed to have nun teach us that even parents, priests, and nuns could “lead people into sin” and that we would stand alone at Judgment Day and have to answer for our own decisions. Thus, we should think carefully about our decisions.


      3. Martin…loved your article…think a good deal of ‘critical thinking’ goes on on C4C: especially the following:

        First Willingham defines critical thinking this way: Critical thinking consists of seeing both sides of an issue, being open to new evidence that disconfirms your ideas, reasoning dispassionately, demanding that claims be backed by evidence, deducing and inferring conclusions from available facts, solving problems, and so forth. Then too, there are specific types of critical thinking that are characteristic of different subject matter: That’s what we mean when we refer to “thinking like a scientist” or “thinking like a historian.”

      4. Martin, (from your link) LOL at Stephen Colbert’s “report” on the dangers of critical thinking:

        “..The minds of our young people are being poisoned by knowledge… ..And you know who I blame? I blame Galileo…. For centuries we had a perfectly good explanation for the order of the universe. Bible says the sun goes around the Earth, making us the center of the universe. And you know what? Everyone was happy. And then numnuts over here gets a telescope for Christmas, uses his precious critical thinking skills and suddenly the Earth goes around the sun, blah blah blah and now we have lesbians….”

    1. ed, when you write “bottom of the page” are you referring to the part of the article that concludes the remedy for pedophile priests is isolation?

      1. Kate,

        there are several articles ie 10 myths and supporting abusers with tax dollars.

        #6 on the myths seems to be one that Sipe would like to hear or read a dialogue.
        Would comment on Rev Harvey OSFS, the group called Courage and what is being defined as “gay” in the RCC church ( and other religions), but that would be too long. Harvey did not seem to understand that mcdevilitt , behan and killion(same congregation – Oblates) were predators while others did want relationships with other adult males( should add mature, not inexperienced religious)- gay.No doubt Dr. Harvey’s experiences influenced his writing – he used the “Gay Report” as a source stating claims about gays wanting boys and young men and the congregation he belonged to had too many men who abused. I know that several advocates believe that Dr. Harvey was an enabler – Dr. Harvey would never violate the sacrament of confession so he like other priests, can’t reveal abuse confessed. Still he could have changed his premise about gays and define the difference between a predator and being gay.

      2. Kate, I did respond, IE 9( two versions) has the comment as under moderation while chrome does not register it. Won’t restate it in case the comment is not appropriate most likely a problem with internet explorer and this site or a word I used – certain words can bring red flags.

        There were several issues Patrick Wall posted on that site: one is pedophile priests that have bearing on this discussion the other Your Tax Dollars May Be Supporting Abusers: The Problem of Government Support of Catholic Charities.

    1. Rich sorry about that we share something in common aug bdays. know how you feel was in the worse pain ever ….was not fun. I am going to celebrate when i fully recover.

  17. Last week, the Vatican assigned Archbishop Lazzarotto to become the Papal Nuncio to Israel. Formerly, Lazzarotto was the disgraced Vatican ambassador to Ireland, serving during its recent sexual abuse scandal and national meltdown. He was yanked out of Ireland by the Vatican, mainly because his fellow clerics and the Irish people expelled him due to his crimes, conspiratorial antics, and obstructionist ways. Lazzarotto was notorious for shielding pedophile priests in Ireland.

    This week, Israel’s biggest-circulation, daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, wrote a piece blasting the Vatican for sending Lazzarotto its way, calling it “a slap in the face.” The piece promises that Israel will derail Lazzarotto’s appointment should its investigation into his crimes in Ireland prove credible.

    Kudos to Israel for standing up for children and against the Vatican. The Vatican’s nepotistic habit of “rearranging the deck” is gaining global scrutiny.

    1. Good one… The Vatican re-markets this washed-up ambassador…and packs him off to Israel -?
      I guess the vatican mistakes Israel for a nation of fools.

  18. Yes, Israel, and the Jewish people, the Chosen People,of God……….Wow. I believe the victims/survivors, and pray for you…Denise

  19. Let us continue to blog and to speak out in whatever forum is available to us about the corruption that is STILL ALIVE AND THRIVING IN THE RCC. The only thing that will save us and protect children is the assurance that NO CATHOLIC PRIEST SHOULD BE TRUSTED.

    Please read the recent remarks and apology of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR after his interview with the National Catholic Register. Our church is filled with many who have a twisted idea of human growth and development. Those of us who want real change in the RCC have a long fight ahead of us. Keep blogging, Keep the bad deeds and rotten ideas of those in power in the RCC in the public eye.

    The troubles of the AD of Philadelphia are only PART of the serious problems of the RCC. It is an organization that probably does not deserve to remain in existence, I am sorry to say.

  20. Well, finally I come to the unmistakable realization that C4C is a forum that has a “certified leftward tendency.” It manifests in repeated inclusion of remarks that , like the liberal media, demean, not necessarily in order of importance: The bible (and bible believers), “right wing”, “conservative”, Republican (why this can be justified and not condemned as inappropriate I don’t know), and whomever might be the latest targets of the “theologians” of comedy, e.g., Colbert or Maher. A little news for you: The bible , being the Word of God, doesn’t say the sun revolves around the earth, and it (contrary to “popular” opinion) states that the earth is round centuries before mankind realized it. One particular sign of the futility of leftward thinking that I am frequently reminded of while reading here , or at NCR , is the notion that the incorporation of women priests is just the number that will not only solve the current intractable problems of the Roman Church, but is only “right” all things considered. The fallacy being that the job of “priest” was permanently, even eternally, taken over by Christ and made unnecessary until Israel re-institutes their priesthood after the Body of Christ church leaves the earth. So, the question of “women priests in the Christian Church” is biblically null and void.

    1. Nichols, while the comments may seem at times to be left or right or whatever,that is NOT the intent of this forum . There are many forums available for people to vent,discuss,disagree about issues within the church but it is the last thing we want to happen here. That being said this forum is also not for trying to push personal religious beliefs on others.. Protecting children and assisting victims is hopefully something that we can all find a common ground.

    2. Nichols, I don’t attach too much meaning to some of the writings in the Bible…and I feel it’s never wise to get stuck in a rut of “left” or “right” thinking when searching for the truth.
      I’m trying to understand your last few thoughts…Do you mean you don’t think the inclusion of women in the RCC priesthood would have meant lower clergy sex abuse and cover up statistics? I think it would (and still could) have lowered the statistics greatly.

      1. Crystal, That wasn’t the point of what I said,no.
        I get it that the objective here is to save kids from abuse. I am suggesting that the priesthood is dysfunctional in part because it is not called for in the bible. If women became Catholic priests, it still would be dysfunctional before God. Frankly, I believe it is the Church that has made you and others (and myself at one time) distrust the bible.

    3. Nichols1; In my view everyone who contributes to this forum has an agenda. For many that agenda is eliminating the sexual abuse of children by members of the Catholic clergy. Others have the same agenda but want to reform the catholic church in addition to stopping child abuse. Some want nothing to do with reforming the church. They believe that the Church is too far gone, and reform is simply impossible. I believe that you also have an agenda. Your agenda has to do with pushing the bible on people, many of whom want nothing to do with it. Like everyone else you are entitled to your opinion.Myself, I want nothing to do with bibles or buildings. I was molested in the sacristy of a Catholic Church. Churches for me are places to avoid. Since I graduated high school, I can count on one hand the number of times I have been in a church. I have also seen people use various excerpts from the bible to justify hatred and intolerance of others. I have a sister who lives in Texas who has arrived at that place. I feel sorry for her. I don’t see god in bibles or buildings. I see god in the faces of my two grandchildren. I see god in beautiful sunrises and astonishing sunsets. I see god in the birds and the butterflies outside my window. I see god in the voices of many of the people who blog on this site. I see god in the moon and the stars. In many ways I am more conservative than you, because I believe alot of what the ancients believed. Labels are put on people all the time. Nothing will truly change until we throw away all the labels.

  21. A new church will have to rise from the ashes of the RCC … I don’t see any other way … no change is forthcoming … they are hoping that the scandals will fade away. It’s all about power and money. What a shame!

  22. Everybody lies. Tell that to your children and grandchildren and they will have no reason to trust anyone, and maybe that will save them from abuse. Leslie Davila, the Director for the Victims Coordination Program said she would get back with me “shortly.” That was a month ago. It’s a good thing I didn’t only have three weeks to live. When I called the Archdiocese today, Leslie Davila was available. When I gave my name, she had suddenly vanished from the office and wasn’t immediately available. The Archdiocese contention is and always has been that I was abused by a religious order priest from another state and they are not responsible for that religious order priest even though he was accepted into and taught within the Philadelphia Archdiocese where I was abused. The Oblates of Saint Francis De Sales, or the religious order from which the priest who abused me belonged to, has denied that they hold any responsibility for what Rev. John M. McDevitt did to me at Father Judge High School for Boys in Philadelphia. The Oblates have always claimed it was an Archdiocese of Philadelphia matter. Rev. John M. McDevitt also taught at Northeast Catholic High School, within the Philadelphia Archdiocese, and from what I know from my lawyers and a post that was printed here a couple of weeks ago, McDevitt abused other boys in Philadelphia. Still, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia places the blame on an organization from another state. I place the blame on all states, and all churches, and all schools, and all priests who knew McDevitt was a child abuser and did nothing. I hate liars. And people like Joe Burch still believe in this sham.

    In the last 14 months I have been told that I have 1 herniated disc in my back and one damaged (torn) disc in my back from a fall backwards on commercial tile floor while working with my Dad. I decided to get a second opinion last week and pay $800 out of my own pocket for that “independent” second review. As it turns out, I have 4 herniated discs in my back, along with a 5th disc that is torn so severely that the jelly-like substance that is inside a human’s disc no longer exists in mine at L1-L2. It has completely seeped out and now there is nothing to absorb the shock when my vertebrae come together at L1-L2. Pre-operation, in which I had the disc removed at L3-L4, I have been complaining of severe lower back pain, thigh and leg pain, groin and hip pain, and intense left buttock pain. My left leg, for whatever reason goes numb and I’ve almost fallen over several times. I awake in the middle of the night, not from nightmares, panic attacks, or night terrors, but because I have horrible pins and needles down my lower leg and into my foot, which usually lasts over 1 hour. The Workers Compensation spinal specialist has always maintained that I have just one herniated disc, and the operation he performed should have relieved me of pain and any pain I have now is a result of “post-operative syndrome,” which is similar to fantom pains. It’s thought that if a patient had pain for so long that the mind would believe it is still in pain. What a disaster! I guess nobody took into consideration that the three other herniated discs and the one damaged disc in my back could be causing this pain.

    I sent my MRIs, EMG, radiologist’s reports, and physician reports all to Hersey Spine Institute, which is considered #1 in the country when it comes to diagnosing and performing procedures to alleviate back pain. Four doctors, one ER doctor, all concur that the one disc in my back has become ruptured and torn and lacks the jelly-like substance inside, and the other 4 herniations are so severe that I shouldn’t walk unless absolutely necessary.

    What is the point of lying to someone, especially when you can really give that “someone” a bad day, a bad year, and a bad life? Why doesn’t anyone want to help? Were my doctor’s hands tied behind his back because the Workers Comp wouldn’t allow him to do certain procedures that would completely eliminate my pain? If that was the case, why would my doctor keep it secret that I still had quite a bit of damage to my spinal cord? To top matters off, the doctors will not prescribe me any pain medication because the spinal specialist (who happens to be collegues with my Pain Management Specialist) contends that I am “healed,” even though he still has kept me out of work and tells me to lift nothing heavier than a gallon of milk. I tell him I am in extraordinary pain, but he tells me to relax and stay in the laying position whenever possible. If I’m completely “healed,” why should I not be able to lift more than a gallon of milk or walk?

    Did the pope, the bishops and archbishops ignore that I, along with many, were being raped by grown men as children? Didn’t they care about our screams and our cries for help? Even if they didn’t care back then, I guess they certainly don’t care now about my screams for help. If someone asks me for help, my natural instinct is to run to their aid. Does this not exists in that Catholic Church?

    To top it off, they act like they’re going to help you only to leaving you hanging… waiting, and waiting, and waiting. I’m through waiting. Why is it so easy for people to lie?

    Nobody understands how important the truth is, but they will. This is where the lying stops and I start!

    1. Rich: I am so sorry to read about the extensive problems you are having with your back. From my wifes experiences with back problems caused by a patient at work[she was working at a nursing home when a patient on a lift fell and she went to catch her] I would reccomend a lawyer. Insurance companies are notorious for wanting to pay for as little treatment as possible. We ended up getting a workmens comp lawyer and had some success there. My wife had two disc surguries followed by a spinal fusion in which the surgeon put a pin in her spine too far which caused permanent nerve damage. She receives social security disability and can stand for only a few minutes at a time.Whatever you decide, make sure you get a second opinion. Wishing you the best.

      1. Jim,

        I’ve had a lawyer pretty much from Day 1. I know nothing about Workers Comp so I had to get a lawyer to make sure the insurance cmpany wasn’t screwing around with me. Currently, the doctors are screwing around with me. I have a spinal specialist who did the surgery on my back and removed one herniated disc. He has claimed since Day 1 that I only have one herniated disc. The pain managment doctor, a close colleague of my spinal specialist also said I have one herniate disc.

        My lawyer sends me to get an independent 2nd opinion from another spinal specialist who says it’s clear to him and any other spinal doctor that I have 4 herniated discs and a displaced fracture in my coscyx. In the past I was told I had 2 non-displaced fractures in my coscyx.

        I am in absolute horrible horrible horrible physical pain. My legs goes numb whenever it feels like it. Since I am currently not under the care of any doctors right now, I have no pain medication to help dull the pain. My lawyer is waiting for a report from the 2nd opinion doctor to file a motion for immediate treatment. Nobody seems to sare much that I have ben in pain for weeks and nothing to help alleviate it.

        Trust me, my back situation is like dealing with the church all over again. I wish I never went to work that day.

        My back pain is causing severe depression. My life just sucks right now and I’m not looking for pity. Just making a statement.

  23. Joe Burch, you are protecting an archaic, medieval, rotting institution. Come! Cross over and see it for what it is. Research demonstrates that a perpetrator is best recognized from afar, after the victim has left the abusive situation. May God open your eyes to a personal relationship with Him and not to a man-made institution.

  24. Finn’s trial has been fast-tracked. His jury trial was to begin on Sept. 24. Instead, he will come before a judge tomorrow (Friday), minus a jury. Testimony will be presented and the presiding judge will declare Finn’s fate as early as tomorrow. SNAP argues that the trial on Friday will limit the amount of victim-testimony, will keep hidden the full extent of Finn’s crimes, and most likely entails some sort of plea deal. Finn is the first bishop in the U.S. to be tried for his crimes. Clearly, the Church has made every effort to ensure his soft landing. Whatever the landing, Finn needs to be removed from his position of bishop in Kansas City. Indeed, he should have been removed the moment his crimes came to light. I’ve hadit with the hierarchical habit of keeping criminal clerics in our faces, or transporting them to places and positions that are off the radar but that often exceed in “desirable” the one they left. Let’s blast away at Finn once his verdict comes down. Let’s make sure he’s GONE, OUT, FINISHED. No more Cardinal Law treatment for criminal bishops!

  25. A female Italian employee of the Church is convicted of stealing a million dollars over many years….and the comments are all about pedophile priests? Did anyone read the article that was referenced?

    Did the Devil make her do it?

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