Archbishop Chaput Speaks with Parents of Clergy Abuse Victim on Sidelines of Harrisburg Trip

Click here to read: “Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput talks to parents of victim of clergy abuse during trip to Harrisburg,” by Ivey DeJesus, The Patriot-News on, September 25, 2012

Excerpt: “Chaput said he agreed to meet legislators with no one specific topic on the agenda. He said they discussed education and the upcoming election, but not the pending bill to reform penalties for child sex offenders.”


69 thoughts on “Archbishop Chaput Speaks with Parents of Clergy Abuse Victim on Sidelines of Harrisburg Trip

  1. One of the victim’s parents stated, “The Catholic Church in opposing (HB)2488 is not only protecting and enabling the perps they keep hidden but also perps from other walks of life. They are protecting all pedophiles.”

    “That two-year window tool is hands down the strongest tool to protect children to us, however it’s also a tool that has attracted the most opposition from Chaput…” (John Salveson).

    Nothing has changed; all apologies ring hollow in light of the position taken by the Church.

    Chaput, we will not forget who our enemy is. As they do in Germany, you better start charging a ‘church tax,’ as voluntary donations will continue to decline.

    1. Huh? Chaput, while lobbying in Harrisburg to protect the church’s money and its collection of pedophile priests, tells the parents of a boy who died because he was sexually abused and tortured for years by the perverted, embezzling, junkie, principal of Archbishop Ryan, the largest catholic high school in Phila., that he wants things to change in the church, and asks them to return to mass now…??

      There is no apology or condolence sufficient for the hell these leaders created. They and their spokespersons are just making meaningless, obnoxious noise.They shouldn’t even be allowed near our state Capitol.

  2. The article above tells the story of Art Basaslice and his wife meeting with the legislatots of Harrisburgh and the Archbishop. We saw Art many times while the trial for Msgr. Lynn was taking place. A friend of mine sat with him on the day of the sentence and when when the jury pronounced guilty of Child Endangerment and that Lynn was now going to prison for his collusion in this whole affair, my frriend and Art were holding hands and when the verdict was announced, Art opened his hand and there was the picture of his son, which he held so lovingly. At least some semblance of Justice was found through this trial.
    Art and his wife must be wonderful parents because they are truly witnesses to Justice for all those who have been victimized not just by individual priests but by a systemj ( the institution of the Church) which has allowed this horror to continue in the lives of these victims and their families.
    Archbishop Chaput needs to meet with as many victims and parents as he can and not just apologize but truly open the door for Justice to take place. All he has to do is say to the legislators “let justice be the goal of any legislation”.
    Art and your dear wife, we support you and keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

    1. Reverend John S. Wintermyer (ret),

      I agree with you; “Archbishop Chaput needs to meet with as many victims and parents as he can and not just apologize but truly open the door for Justice to take place. All he has to do is say to the legislators “”let justice be the goal of any legislation.””

      Chaput will NEVER say that to any legislator. That’s why I consider him to be a worthless Church bureaucrat. For those fighting for victim’s rights, Chaput our enemy, not our advocate.

      If anyone can point out something tangible that Chaput has done for a victim, or a family, please let us know.

  3. You can read more about the Baselice’s and their beloved son in this Philadelphia magazine article.
    I read this article just a few weeks before the 2011 report and knew that I had to get involved somehow,not knowing yet another report would be going public in just a short time.
    The Baselice’s continue to show their love for their son by working to protect our children and seeking justice for victims. No one can destroy that love.

    1. Kathy: I just finished reading the philly mag story. I was unfamiliar with the story of Arthur Baselice and his parents work for victims of clergy sex abuse. It is truly a tragedy. As I continue to gain more information about the issue of clergy abuse, I am struck by how much horror and tragedy the continuing saga of the demise of the Catholic Church entails. And the good Archbishop ,continuing the great tradition shown by his predecesors tells the Baseclice’s they should return to the Church. I think Tom Doyles remarks: ” Your’e asking people to go back to Auschwitz for dinner” says it all. The Hierarchy of the Church just doesn’t get it. The sad thing is, I don’t think they ever will.

      1. Jim, these leaders are very focused, intelligent men.. They get it. They choose to ignore “it” in the hopes that their loyal followers will take no notice of “it.”— (The “it” being that the RCC has strayed too far from truth and goodness, hurting too many people along the way, to be considered a holy institution.)

      2. People who ‘return to the church’ are once again conditioned not to speak-up. So asking them to ‘return to the church’ would also be a strategy to prevent law-suits. The RCC’s cunningness and intrigue never ceases to amaze me while ‘their subjects’ were being kept ignorant of all the goings-on. Till Now!!!

      3. Crystal: They may be focused, intelligent men but they are not very wise men. A wise man would look at the abuse crisis in the Church and see that the only way to deal with the victims and those who support them would be head on with Christ like caring and support Instead Archbishop Chaput and the rest of the Hierarchy come across like they are the victims. Everyone is out to get the Church. He says he doesn’t want the church to be the focus of any SOL legislation. He wants it to apply to all organizations. He and many other leaders in the Church act like this is all simply a vendetta against the Church. The victims and their lawyers are simply out to bankrupt the Catholic Church. As has been stated on this site many times, The Church has, in the past received special treatment from legislatures, law inforcement and the courts. With the Lynn verdict ,things have started to change.The archbishop doesn’t like that.Living in central Pa. right now one can see the same response to the Penn State penalties. Many people are saying the penalties are too harsh, that Joe Paterno did nothing wrong and that Penn State is being made the scapegoat for sexual abuse that goes on throughout society. What the wise men at Penn State did ,Including Rodney Ericson and many of the trustees is take responsibility, for what went wrong. They didn’t claim that the abuse occured a long time ago and that Sandusky was in jail and the victims should just forget about it. No , they accepted their punishment ,like men, wise men. Its too bad the Church has no wise men.

      4. The prelates place themselves and their positions of power ahead of everything else. Many of them are evil men, unworthy of being spiritual leaders. They don’t care about you or your children. Don’t forget who the ememy is. If it weren’t for the actions of the bishops we wouldn’t need this blog.

      1. Beth,
        I have been praying for you and was wondering if you could share how the meeting at your parish went on Wednesday evening? Were you able to speak to the gathering about what you have learned from the survivor community?

      2. Thankyou Michele and everyone that prayed. Yes I got to speak about our survivors and so did Vicky and many others also spoke. Something beautiful happened…….. Jesus was there at that meeting. I need to process and reflect and then maybe I can say more…….

      3. Thanks so much, Beth and Vicky. Beth, you have already said much that is important, so please don’t feel you need to add to it. Of course, we all welcome your heartfelt contributions at any time.

      4. Michele,
        There was so much said at that meeting and so much truth I dont even know where to start. We had the meeting in the church as the gym was setup for confirmation retreat and we have no church hall. I arrived to find Vicky talking to one of the ladies that helped setup this meeting .. We had 25 to 35 people there they were spread out in front of the church so it was hard to tell exactly how many were there.Our pastor opened the meeting with a prayer to Mary and spoke of Mary holding Jesus in the Pieta. He spoke of the trust children have and cant imagine how someone could take advantage of that trust.To paraphrase he said the problems in the church will not be solved in his lifetime. He talked about his embarassment and bewilderment…….how could this all happened……and how the clergy put themselves on a pedestal but that the parishnors have also. He told stories of people saying Father oh you should not be taking out the trash etc.He told them he was just doing what he always did. He said both him and the other priest at our parish are well aware of their sins when they are up at the altar. He was very honest and humble.He also talked of some disconnect with the abuse because he himself was not a father with his own children. Our other priest got up and said that it cant be business as usual and things need to change. Then the microphone was open for everyone to speak and alot of the voices echoed themes I have heard on this website.We had two counselors from our parish that volunteered their time to talk to anyone one on one thru out the meeting. We had victims family members present at the meeting that talked also. Many many people talked……some were angry , some were weeping. It was part of the agenda at the meeting that I would talk about our survivors, the affects of the abuse on them and their families and the need for change and to reach out to them.I spoke of the survivors I have met at the vigils, meetings and Lynn trial. I spoke of the heart broken mothers I met at the vigils of the ravages of abuse on their chidlren and their families. I spoke of attending the Lynn trial and of the lunch I spent with Kathy, Hadit, the retired school teacher, and one of our survivors Steve. I concluded with saying that all our survivors need different things but some common themes I saw among our survivors was to be heard, to be believed, to not be alone or rejected or abandoned, the need to protect other children(that many end up seeking justice after a long and painful journey) and that many are looking for their soul and trust in God to be restored, that many survivors refer to abuse by clergy as soul murder.. I ended by quoting SW about the need to take responsiblity for our victims as they are our victims and everyone applauded at the end . I cut it short because I wanted to give Vicky time to talk as she had not and had decided to speak right before I went up to do my speech and we were already running 30 min over time.and she made an impression on everyone there. I am so glad she spoke.Even the Pastor commented on a few things she said after and he went on to say always believe people when they come forward later as he had experience with knowing people that had family members come forward years later. He said many other things but maybe Vicky will comment on her impression of the meeting also.We had people come up to Vicky and many came up to me later and said they wanted to reach out to our survivors but they were not sure how to before. Many many good things came out of that meeting. Jesus was truly there. It was kinda surreal never in a million years would I have thought I would see a survivor of clergy abuse sitting next to me in the second row of my church interacting with my pastor in the heartfelt way they did. I hope every parish has a meeting like that and it leads people to move towards our survivors. I encourage everyone to speak to their pastors and ask for meetings like this one. I told Vicky sometimes I feel like the lady banging at the gate til they let me in like the woman in the Bible but i wouldn’t give up. Vicky thankyou for coming its something I will not forget. Everything came together for good. People’s faith is shaken and people are hurting at the parish level but I think alot of good will come out of the sharing that went on there.I would be happy to talk to anyone that is thinking of doing something silmiar at their parish. I strongly encourage this type of open honest discussion it can be the start of healing for many people and the start of action and movement toward our survivors. and that is the direction Jesus would move.

      5. Beth,
        Thank you for sharing this. But thank you for so much more. For all you’ve done and continue to do for our victims and survivors.

        I’m not in PA, but I have gone to every local church to ask if we could have a prayer service for victims and survivors. The response has been the same from every parish, “I’ll have to get back to you on that.” And then, “we believe prayer is happening at mass. I encourage all to attend.” Our priests are puppets for the bishop.

        Has your priest taken heat from fellow priests or the AD for being so vocal about this? How refreshing to see a priest ministering.

        Btw, where is Fr. Christopher Walsh?

      6. Beth. my husband has been sick and I have missed C4C posts, but last night, I checked in and am so glad I did, as your report of that meeting was great!

        Can’t help but think that your own gentle efforts had a lot to do with it. And very very glad it happened. Joan

      7. Hi Beth,

        I would just like to compliment you on your reporting of last week’s meeting at Our Lady of Grace – good job!

        Is this the parish / school in Penndel?

      8. Sw,
        I have learned much from the exchanges on this site and many of the most powerful things I have learned have been from you. As for “heat” I don’t know the answer to that question. I just know when I went to mass today the priest I saw was hurting.

      9. Joan I have been praying for you and your husband. Joan when I listened to the reading today at mass tears came to my eyes when I heard ” Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea” it reminded me so poignantly of all our survivors and their families I have met. I must have had tears in my eyes still when I was going to communion because after I recieved communion while still in line the eucharistic minister (who I know and had attended the meeting wed.) asked me if I was ok. I said yes I am ok but in my heart i was saying i will never be the same after experiencing some much suffering from our survivors and their families.

      10. Joe,
        All the credit goes to Jesus he can do some pretty amazing things and this is just one of them. Yes you are correct on the location of our parish.

      11. Beth,
        The gospel today was powerful as our youth mission group presented. Our pastor followed up their sharing by thanking God for everyone who brought their children to a place of service, and he prayed for all the children who have turned away from God by our sinfulness and neglect.

        Beth, you are so right…and I believe anyone who hears the victims stories or has been a witness to their pain will never be the same either. So important for victims to keep telling their story.

      12. Hi Beth,

        Nice Parish!

        I used to stop there for Mass occasionally back in the late 60’s, and had a chance to meet Msgr. Corrigan, and knew his nephew, the late Father Tom Corrigan – from my seminary days.

        I was one of Father Bill Dooner’s classmates (for 5 years), so would you please say ‘hello’ to him for me whenever you get the chance.

        He’s truly an exceptional priest!

        God Bless – Joe

      13. Joe,
        The former seminarian and retired school teacher that had lunch with us that day after the Lynn trial also went to St. Charles with Fr. Dooner he also only had good things to say about him. I felt his heart was in the right place at this meeting and Vicky seemed to agree with me.He really put the effort out to be honest and to really listen to what everyone had to say.

      14. SW,
        As far as them not doing prayer services that is so so sad especially considering that it is a survivors family asking for this. Our survivors need every support necessary to heal and prayer is part of that . I know many people did not want prayer servicces in this area around the Lynn trial because it would look too calculated and inauthentic. I think our priests and lay people also need to meet our survivors and their families then our prayers can be more heartfelt and urgent. Fr. Dooner made a point of saying Vicky is the first survivor he ever met although he has met with families of survivors. I mentioned to our priest that they will not come to you we must go to them like Jesus as Vicky said also that is what Jesus would do.

  4. Amy Hill’s comments really made me mad (spokeswoman for Pa Cath Conf). She said they oppose the 2 year window for suits because over time memories fade, accused perps are old or have died, etc. But what about the victims? I’m sure their memories have not faded one bit, in fact they remember every awful detail. Their pain and suffering does not fade away, it get worse with every slap in the face. Who does Chaput think he is? Why does justice have be done on his terms? The arrogance never ceases to amaze me. Anyone can say they are sorry, but as I always tell my kids, you have to show you are sorry, not just say it. The proof is in the doing, words are just words. Also, can someone please explain what “sovereign immunity” means as it pertains to abusers in the public school
    system? It was mentioned in the artice but I never heard that term before. Are they using it as a loophole to avoid the 2 year window as it would prevent “everyone” from being treated the same?

    1. I wish I could get my memories to fade, CatholicMom. If someone had some magic pill they could give me to erase all the memories of abuse, I’d sell everything I own to get a hold of that pill.

    2. Catholicmom,

      This is from wikipedia: Sovereign immunity in the United States is the legal privilege by which the American federal, state, and tribal governments cannot be sued. Local governments in most jurisdictions enjoy immunity from some forms of suit, particularly in tort. Foreign governments enjoy immunity fchap it’s , as provided in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

      I do not know precisely how this is applied in PA. Here is a link that explains how Chaput used it to his advantage in Colorado to fight SOL reform:

      The interesting stuff is on pages 3 & 4. Here is an excerpt from page 4:

      “But church lobbyists pushed. And by May 2006, they had persuaded Colorado lawmakers to alter the bill to subject government groups to the same $700,000 damages limit that private institutions would now face.

      In so doing, the bill’s backers unwittingly opened the door to its demise.

      Teachers’ unions, lobbyists for local governments, and insurance companies soon joined the fight. And with mounting opposition from the capital’s most powerful interest groups, the bill that had sailed through committee months earlier suddenly was resoundingly voted down.”

      That last paragraph is chilling. I think Chaput’s efforts to organize folks in the pews had minimal impact. When public school teachers and local governments joined him the center of gravity really shifted in his favor.

      Know you opponent .

      1. MackarelSnapper,
        Thanks so much for info and link to the article. How disheartening. Especially since window legislation was passed in other states before he was successful in keeping it from getting passed in Co. Interesting that the church always wants to follow their own rules (cannon law, secret archives, etc) except when it suits them to be treated like everyone else. Then suddently they are all about fair treatment. Something they know nothing about. Sickening. Thanks again for the info.

    3. Amy Hill is offering her opinion and her claim that memories fade and perps are old and have died, to me that statement by her just reinforces the fact that the rcc knows who the perps and VICTIMS are !
      And just want to keep their evil deeds a secret ! Must be nice to have politicians on the rcc payroll ?

  5. I’ve known Art and Elaine Baselice for over three years and they are very good people. If there’s one person who is not a victim (directly) of sexual abuse, who I trust to speak for me, as a victim of clergy sexual abuse, it’s Art. (I believe Art and Elaine are victims also in this entire rotten mess.)

    A two year window to abolish the Statute of Limitations would not be just about civil damages. It would enable victims like myself to expose our abusers, who may have many other unknown victims who might come forward about their own abuse once they see the names of their abusers publicized and they can get a sense that they are not alone. It would also expose those predators in hiding, who might be around children today, and their crimes not known to anyone around them. A two year window to suspend the SOL would make children safer today. It would also give me and other victims a sense of justice, since they will not hold themselves accountable, we will hold them accountable in a court of law.

    I think the church and any other institution that provides safe harbor to child predators should be held accountable. I will level the playing field too. Penn State officials who knew Jerry Sandusky was abusing children and did nothing should be held criminally and civilly responsible as well. I think these organizations don’t change until you take the change out of their pockets.

    Chaput said two weeks ago in an interview that civil lawsuits were not appropriate toward healing and recovery for childhood sexual abuse victims. Who the hell is he to decide what is appropriate or not for victims? In fact, civil lawsuits are very appropriate to help with my own healing because the Archdiocese of Philadelphia refuses to provide me with psychiatric services. They refuse to even return my phone calls or respond to my emails. A civil lawsuit would provide me with the costly funds to pursue therapy that would allow me to heal, and maybe one day recover from what child predators, and those who enabled them, did to me and so many others out there.

    Because of clergy sexual abusers within the Philadelphia Catholic Church, many of us are damaged for life. Arthur Baselice III knew that all too well and now his mother and father will live out the rest of their lives missing their only son, and a child will grow up without his father. The Catholic Church has hundreds, in not thousands of Jerry Sandusky’s roaming inside its walls, protected from exposure and prosecution. I don’t even see how it’s possible to level the playing field if comparing the Catholic Church with any other organization on the planet.

    I feel that myself and thousands of other victims are playing the game on the field, while Chaput and the rest of the Catholics are hiding in the dugout, doing everything possible to not be called up to the plate.

  6. Art and Elaine:

    I admire your courage, strength and determination in honor of your beautiful son, Arthur. I am so very proud to know you and your family, albeit at a distance. I want you to realize that your son is very, very proud of the steps you are taking on behalf of all children in the Commonwealth of PA and elsewhere around the country. Your voices and your spirits will never be silent. Yours is a truly blessed and honorable mission to support other victims and their families as well as make our state a safer and more secure place for our children from those who would use sexual exploitation to violate their person, spirit, soul and heart.

    Michael Skiendzielewski

  7. I support and agree with the Baselice’s. The only closure they can receiv eis when the sols are removed.

    1. Why and how does a pastor from Reading, PA take “lavish trips to his timeshare in Mexico”?

      Doesn’t it seem to ridiculously easy to steal money from the rcc?

      1. My own little tangeant…I would say it’s ridiculously easy to steal parishioner money and waste it. “Hand it over or you’re going to hell.”

  8. This website has done remarkable work. That work has taken real dedication and steadfast bravery in the face of treachery by wolves in sheep’s clothing. Events have passed by the time of mere complaining and commenting on the open sewer of daily news. The time is now to move forward with discussion of tangible, achievable change. The whole world is watching. Courage.

    1. Mark, by moving forward with discussion of tangible, achievable change, do you mean in the form of the world-wide symposium of Catholic voices that was put forth at the recent, annual meeting of Voice of the Faithful in Boston?


    Okay, here’s one solution for the faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as highlighted in today’s article in the Philadelphia Inquirer (above). Let’s petition Archbishop Chaput to consider similar regulations so that the archdiocese can recoup the legal fees spent by US (Read “the parishioners”) to defend clergy who are convicted of criminal offenses.

    A good use for the recovered monies would be to provide scholarships for worthy students, financially and/or academically, to attend our Catholic elementary schools or archdiocesan high schools.

    1. A brilliant idea, Mike. Even corporate defendants are prohibited from having their legal expenses covered by their corporation if they are convicted of a crime.

      Felon Lynn should have to reimburse Philly Catholics for the hundreds of thousands of dollars of contributions that went to pay Lynn’s numerous high-priced lawyers.

      It is only just.

      The reimbursement might more fittingly go the fund assistance programs for abuse survivors, who now often get only crumbs from the hierarchy’s table.

      1. Beth has asked me to write about how I felt at the meeting held at her church last Wednesday.
        It’s easy to get caught up in my own anger and hurt, but in my healing I am able to hold the real culprits accountable and at the same time discern those people, clergy, as well as lay people, who are themselves angry and in pain over what happened and the lack of honest admission of guilt for the sexual abuse issues that continue to face this Church.
        Two priests at this meeting, one older, one younger. I was encouraged by the older priest, his depth of humility and desire to understand, even admitting that because he had no children of his own, their are aspects of the abuse he wouldn’t understand. As a survivor who is hypervigilant, I know this man’s remorse and humility were genuine.
        He also responded to me when I said a survivor has no God when a representative of God rapes a child, the older priest responded ‘I never looked at it that way”. After the meeting was over, many of the parishioners approached me, thanking me for being there, expressing their sorrow for what I’d been through. But, the compelling issue on their minds was “How can we reach out to victims?” “How can we help?” One parishioner’s response had great meaning for me, I welled up in tears, she touched my heart when she said”Before this, i was just reading about this in the newspaper (she acknowledged her detachment to the issue) but now I have been able to put a face to this scandal.” Obviously, meeting with a survivor and hearing my story first hand is a very important step that needs to happen in every parish.
        Beth, thank you for putting this meeting together, thank you most of all for inviting me to come to the table.

      2. Vicky,
        What a very different experience from the meeting at OMC!
        Sounds like the folks at your parish are striving to “get it” in a genuine way.

      3. Michele,
        I witnessed one of OMC meetings if anything it taught me what not to do. I was there when Vicky spoke and Rich was also present. It was very cold and it was a question answer format were you could ask one question of the panel and you could not make statements or freely express yourself…….it came across as a very controlled meeting. I believe respectful. honest and open discussions are where healing starts. If you dont understand where are survivors are and where they have been how will we know what they need to heal. All we need to do is to listen but many of us are not good listeners……..some only want to hear what they want to hear…..
        the truth hurts but once we accept the truth we have the courage to reach out and make the changes necessary to protect children and help our surviors.

      4. I was there at OMC Beth. I remember vividly the cold, callous interaction I had with Mr. Grogan when I posed a question to Dr. Nines, let alone the treatment of every other survivor there.

      5. I am sorry Michele didnt realize you were the same Michele from the meeting. Yes what you say is true. I think I might have met you when you were outside talking to Rich.

  10. Hadit!

    Chaput’s weekly message posted on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website once again blames the media for the Catholic Church’s epic crisis. There is no other archdiocese/diocese in the U.S. more riddled with controversy and crime than his. The media has reported it. What Chaput does not like is that the reports are not Catholic spin, and that media outlets are OVER protecting a Church and hierarchy that collude, conspire, and threaten the well being of human beings. In blaming the media, he conveniently relieves himself, hierarchs, and the Church of accountability. There is nothing more integral to a solution to the crisis than accountability. As long as Chaput remains loyal to the Vatican’s refusal to accept accountability, he obstructs justice and fuels the corruption that is destroying our Church. Chaput was to be a formidable leader in Philadelphia. He neither has the intellect, nor the conscience, nor the guts to pull it off.

    1. Right again Hadit! The only actions that Chaput will take to aid the victims and their families are the actions that the civil and criminal courts force him to take.

      He is a ranking member of the “Vatican Family.” His loyalty is to the Vatican syndicate (Mob?), namely the “boss of all bosses” or the capo di tutti capi,” B16.

      Apart from their money, Chaput has little interest in the declining numbers of Catholics families remaining in the pews.

      He’s a company man; he’s our adversary!

    2. I don’t know how chaput can blame the media as they only report on the crimes the rcc committed by enabling and protecting the abusers !

      1. Desperation is the only reason; they have nothing else left. They tried to blame it on seduction by the victims, and that didn’t work. You have to remember that we are dealing with criminals, and those who defend them. Few criminal say, “you caught me; I did it.” These clerics can get vicious. The ones we deal with on this site are not “nice guys.”

  11. Last week, I contacted Bill at bilgrimage because his work is exceptional, he’s a brilliant theologian, and he exudes every attribute of an extraordinary and remarkable human being. I thanked him. He responded to me with a missive so thought provoking and personal that I have repeatedly returned to it. His knowledge, wisdom, hurt, and courage have nourished and informed me.

    In one of the posts on Bill’s website, Tom Moran writes about the Catholic “exodus,” noting “no other church has shed so many followers.” Moran refers to himself as a “spiritual refugee on a road crowded with others.” The only choice left to him was to follow his informed conscience, a conscience informed by the Church he is a refugee from.

    In another post on Bill’s website, the writer looks at his fellow refugees on the crowded road. Wow. The company is extraordinary, talented, courageous, endowed, and shining.

    I prefer to interpret the “exodus” to include Catholics who remain in church for faith reasons, but who reject the modus operandi of the institutional Church. Exited or not, we are all refugees from the same elephant in the room.

    Refugees are downtrodden, afflicted, helpless, needy, subjugated, destitute… But when I look around at the company I am in on C4C, on Bill’s website, on victims’ and victims’ advocates websites, on the NCR website, on the Voice of the Faithful website, and the innumerable other refugee websites, and when I read the works of Sr. Maureen, John Martin, Ralph Cipriano, Jerry Slevin, Rich, Vicky, and the innumerable other refugee-writers, it is impossible to not notice that the company is extraordinary, talented, courageous, endowed, and shining.

    Hidden behind every refugee is a person who has become his or her own hero. When the “heroes” of institutions and entities fail them, they do not fail themselves. Refugees exemplify the message infused in all Catholics in the form of the indelible mantra to “do the right thing.”

    Because the refugee road is crowded with others “doing the right thing,” the company is phenomenal.

    The entire scenario exemplifies, illuminates, defines, and IS Church.

    1. To Kate, I have never read in all these years such perfect wording as Tom Moran expressed about the exodus. I have expressed some of these same thoughts in therapy. I am truly touched with my very soul how accurate his expression is. For some reason, what is writtian means so very much to me. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It always been for me so simple, just do the right thing, was that asking so much of a Church?

    2. Thanks, Kate, and AMEN! Bill Lindsey is all you say he is and more. He has patiently, wisely and carefully helped me in many ways, including with circulating my Philly articles as I struggled to overcome my computer ignorance.

      I strongly recommend C4C bloggers regularly check out Bill’s website.

      I never thought of myself as a refugee, but your insight is compelling.

  12. I first heard this song when I was traveling across the country. I thought it was a fitting song, since my purpose was indeed to escape Philly, New Jersey, and the entire eastern seaboard hoping to find a better place for myself so I could somehow be “normal.” I stayed in or drove through all 48 continental states, drove up into Canada and down into Mexico and I still couldn’t find my place in this world, even though Tucson, AZ, was, is, and probably always will be my favorite destination. A few years back someone said to me, fittingly, “Wherever you go and whatever you do you still have to take “you” with you.” It sounded so simple, yet I couldn’t comprehend the simplicity of that statement throughout over 8 years on the road.

  13. If we cannot trust the archdiocese with our children, then we certainly cannot trust the archdiocese (leadership??) with our money. Archbishop Chaput, you have forfeited the luxury of being secretive relative to archdiocesan finances and the investigations of allegations of clergy sexual abuse. If you and the hierarchy want donations and trust, the leadership must now earn both.

    1. Michael absolutely……..and trust is incredibilty difficult to regain. Also to regain trust they need to ask what the laity and especially our survivors need and then follow thru.

    1. As of this morning it’s at 98,000 signatures. I think we can break the 100,000 mark easily. I was encouraged to see the signatures are coming from so many different states. People are tuned in!

      1. When I first saw this, my reaction was to roll my eyes that people think a petition will have any affect on the Church. It won’t. The people who sign this petition will have an affect on each other. That’s progress.

    2. Kate, Kathy and SW: The petition has so far provoked Bill Donohue, NY Cardinal Dolan’s media alter ego, to attack the National Catholic Reporter as “anti-Catholic” for supporting the petition. Somebody is worried about it for the “top gun” to weigh in against it.

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