Reminder: First Friday Vigil outside the Archdiocesan Offices at 222 N. 17th Street on October 5, 2012 from 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Advocate Sister Maureen Paul Turlish sent the following to the Archdiocesan-administered PhillyCatholic.com in response to Archbishop Chaput’s recent comments regarding child sex abuse legislation.
by Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
What about our Church’s Sanctity of Life issues, its Pro-Life position and the fact that so many refuse to broaden their vision to include the comprehensive ethic of life about which Joseph Cardinal Bernardin speaks of in “A Consistent Ethic of Life: An American-Catholic Dialogue?”
How is it that Archbishop Chaput and the bishops of Pennsylvania can oppose PA House Bill 2488 so cavalierly? Do not all of Pennsylvania’s children have a right to the full protection of law? To access Justice?
Then why has Archbishop Chaput misrepresented this law and the previously introducted HB 832 & 878 saying that such laws would only apply to the Catholic Church? That was untrue.
The same thing was tried in Delaware when opponents, including the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, claimed that Delaware’s proposed law only applied to accusations of childhood sexual abuse against those representing the Catholic Church. That was never true.
After Senate Bill 29 became law in 2007 and included a two year civil window for previously time barred cases of childhood sexual abuse by anyone, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington twice contested the constitutionality of the new law while the religious community of men, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, contested its constitutionality once. They all failed.
Likewise the “Sovereign Immunity” claim also failed because the law was clear on that as I suspect is the case in PA.
Archbishop Chaput, you misrepresented proposed legislation to better protect all of Colorado’s children and you are now attempting to do the same thing in Pennsylvania.
Have you no shame?
The bishops have a responsibility to support the totality of the Church’s Pro-Life position from cradle to grave and this is not being done when bishops viciously oppose needed legislation to better protect children, hold all who would sexually exploit chidren accountable along with enabling individuals and institutions who are found to have covered up such horrific acts.
All Life is sacred.
265 thoughts on “Sister Maureen Counters Chaput’s Argument Against Child Sex Abuse Law & First Friday Vigil Reminder”
Let the scoundrel of a “bishop” – you heard me – scoundrel – have it Sister. Remind him of what the Lord, Jesus, said of those who harm children.
And ask the good people of Pennsylvania – Catholics AND non-Catholics alike – if they think their precious children are worthy of protecting against sexual predators currently in ministry – predators that the scoundrel “bishop” Chaput seeks to keep hidden.
Tell me, are bishops appointed to protect their flocks or the church’s assets?
Unfortunately, Chaput is like the shepherd who sees the wolf coming and runs for cover instead of protecting the sheep. This is because Chaput, like so many others in positons of power in the church…………..work for “pay”.
If Chaput were the head of Penn State he’d be fired in an instant for even suggesting that we keep sexual predators hidden.
Chaput, you should be ashamed…………and all others who want to keep adults who rape and sodomize children hidden.
How Jesus must weep…
Pete Saracino Ed.D.
Please read the recent GUARDIAN article, “Catholic theologian preaches revolution to end ‘authoritarian’ rule.” It is well worth reading. The theologian is Hans Kung.
Sister Maureen and others who might be interested,
I am participating in a national institute that is developing a political strategy for doing exactly what Father Kung proposes – creating a revolution from the bottom up. The goal is to change the governance structure within the Church from an oppressive authoritarian dictatorship to democracy by means of nonviolent action.
I restrain myself from commenting on Church matters here. Susan and Kathy have requested that this blog focus on protection of children and care for victims/survivors. I respect that; it makes sense.
Question: how/when/where might those of us in the Philadelphia area who are interested in changing the institutional culture connect? The culture that made it possible for priests to sexually abuse children, and subsequently for bishops to abuse the abused, has not changed.
Rather than have this conversation here, contact me at email@example.com
Somewhere in this thread, Kathy and others discuss why so many pew sheep remain blinded to the sexual abuse crisis. Fear is mentioned. I think the reasons are many. Among them are the name and nature of the sin… SEXUAL! Eee gads. Please, please, lay on us a sin by any other name, but not THAT one. Few of us know how to mentally or verbally tip-toe through IT without stumbling. When it is juxtaposed with children and priests, the image is so powerful and disturbing that it inclines a person to altogether avoid it. Indeed, some believe that in mentally permitting the image, they, too, sin. Whew! Avoidance renders a person spiritually safe. “Good Catholics” are blind ones.
A similar scenario is created when Hans Kung’s language includes the term “revolution.” Unless one is a product of, say, the ’60’s, the term can be extremist and radical. When “revolution” and Church are juxtaposed, “the feel” is sin again.
In reality, it is the corrupt and authoritarian Church-regime that is extremist and radical. IT is the sin. In reality, Kung’s revolution is a call for fundamental and complete change. When a regime is corrupt and authority is its weapon, any solution short of one resulting in fundamental and complete change is a sin. Indeed, a revolution becomes a moral imperative.
Kung’s revolution starts at “the bottom” with the laity and priests. Excuse me, Mr. Kung, but, in terms of the U.S. Church, you have your hierarchy screwed up. At the bottom, and alone, are the priests, fundamentally and completely silent. Their sin is eons greater than the sins of the men in the middle. At least the men in the middle don’t hide behind their sins. The world gets to stomach them in circus-format daily. At the top are the laity where halos abound.
The “new” hierarchy didn’t appear out of nowhere. It appeared because of a revolutionary change in the minds, hearts, and consciences of the laity. The force of the lay enlightenment catastrophically restructured the hierarchical layers of Church.
No need to incite a revolution when there already is one.
Kate your first paragraph hit it out of the park. I believe the combination of sexual acts violating children and the perpetrator being a man of God is something many people cannot handle. This is not offered as an excuse ,just an observation.
Dear Sister Maureen…you have done such a fine job over the years, telling it like it is, keep up the good work. I don’t, (sadly) think it will change anything in the Catholic church, as they are too engrained in “their special way of life” to ever change anything.Even if they could. It is up to us to show them our love of Christ and HIS HOLY WORD by finding a new way to show our love for the FATHER , SON AND HOLY SPIRIT! he will show the way
When an archbishop becomes a politician, a lobbyist and a man of the cloth all rolled up into one, watch out. Honor, ethics and the truth become the first casualties. And, others must bear the suffering brought on by mendacity.
We know Abp. Chaput’s position on legislative reform. He opposes it. In print he has misrepresented 832, 878 and now 2488 saying that they do not apply to all, NOT TRUE and he trying to push the Sovereign Immunity argument just as was done in Delaware by the institutional church and the insurance carriers, also NOT TRUE. Chaput has done this in Colorado and was successful in killing the legislation there. Probably one of the deciding factors in his being sent here after Rigali’s self destruction.
We know what he thinks about VOTF, he doesn’t trust us. He’s said so in response to Marita’s letter. Doesn’t seem to matter that he doesn’t know us. He’s not being all that good of a steward with the church’s holdings shown by the bargain price at the absolute auction of the beach front property done at the Jersey shore.
There were ten at First Friday’s Vigil. Discussion included the fact that support for transportation and therapy has been cut to individuals that the archdiocese previously reimbursed for treatment and the possibility of filing for Chapter 11 Reorganization Bankruptcy was brought us by some. Also a private security person, over six feet stood on the top of the steps of 222 for the entire time plus that we were there. Unlike the security at Detroit’s Cathedral who were armed when I demonstrated there the Philly security did not have side-arms. I sensed a definite change in the atmosphere around 222. Something is in the wind.
What we definitely know is that Abp. Chaput does not think victims of childhood sexual abuse by priests or anybody else for that matter have a right to access justice even in civil court. He’s said so in opposing any kind of legislative reform.
We witnessed the sentence Jerry Sandusky received this past Tuesday. Just think of the numbers of children who would have been spared being sexual exploited how many times if cardinal archbishops like Krol and Bevilaequa and individuals like Msgr. William Lynn had done the morally right thing when they first realized what was being done to the children? It’s up to us to keep the pressure on the hierarchy until they do the right thing, all the right things.
Yeah, just think about it, Maureen.
Me. I would’ve been spared. But I’m glad it was me instead of someone else. Yeah I really feel like I’ve been able to hack it so far even though it’s been really hard. Probably the hardest thing I could ever imagine having to deal with in life. It’s the only way of life I’ve ever known and some people feel like my vision is distorted.
There are others you know? There are others who couldn’t hack it. Maybe they wouldn’t have made it to 36 years-old, so in that aspect, I am grateful it was me and not them, even though I wish it wasn’t me at all.
Some people I know are just way more screwed up than I am. I have my moments and most I can control, but I don’t think they can control anything. I started out with rage and it lingers on, but most start out with guilt and sadness and they can barely hold a conversation at 3 in the morning on the phone without crying and choking just trying to breathe.
It doesn’t matter to me if people walk away from me. I spent so long pushing people away that if someone close chose to leave I’m not sure I would care, but these sad men I know do care about being left alone. They care about losing what they’ve got. Deep down they want to be loved and accepted, and me, well I don’t feel like I deserve to be loved.
The church treats my abuse like a game and it strategically moves us pawns into vulnerable positions, alienating us in front of a firing squad, so the truth will never be revealed. They want us addicted, depressed, and dead.
The abuse creates this big hole right through me. I’m not sure I know what the word “soulless” means, when I don’t remember what having a soul felt like from the beginning. Who was I then? Who am I supposed to be now?
I don’t believe in recovery. I am convinced that I will always be the way I am. I will always distrust new people and have little trust for those who claim to be my friend. Everybody leaves. Some of those people left me in the hands of wickedness, those hands that would take everything until whoever I was the or am supposed to be now has just vanished.
Having gone through what I have I don’t even know how I can prevent the next person from becoming a mirror of my life. I want to prove to them that heroes do exist and they will come save the day.
I am scared for the men and women I might meet 20 years from now who were abused yesterday and today, and tomorrow, and I will be sorry because I couldn’t figure out a way to protect them. I wish that I could take their places and then they could be spared.
Thanks, Maureen. If he was only 6′ tall, I am sure you could have handled him easily. If I am wrong, please call in the Dynamic Duo of Kathy and Susan. No minimum wage rent-a-cop would have the courage to stand up to them.
I hope the relevant Phil. Inquirer reporters are being apprised of these developments.
Chaput and Rigali are now defendants in Jeff Anderson’s and Marci Hamilton’s lawsuits on behalf of Philly survivors. The heat is building.
Bankruptcy might delay these suits, but also create an administrative nightmare even Chaput would barely manage. Jeff has already been there in Milwaukee and elsewhere.
The legal walls are closing in on the Philly Archdiocese.
Ben Franklin must be smiling.
NCR Editorial Staff | Oct. 10, 2012
“It was a telling coincidence (whether providential is open to question) that in the same week that Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., declared implicitly that Catholics who vote for President Barack Obama, a pro-choice politician, risked the loss of their souls, a Pew Research Center poll showed that Obama was experiencing a surge of support among Catholics.”
The bishops’ teaching authority is falling faster than the skydiver from 24 miles up. Sure the bishops want us to vote against President Obama, because he’s going to mop the floor with them on SOL, and priest/child sexual crimes in general.
The bishop’s’ main objection to another Obama presidential term is his vigorous and obstinate pro choice stance, e.g.
If you went to Saint Charles, do I know you?
From your previous postings I believe you are a man who looks for the best in people.
I have to agree with you (pro-life is part of their rational), except I also belief that each of these issues plays a major role in the bishops’ objections to Obama’s re-election.
“he” should be capitalized.to:” HE ” Pete I love your comment.
OF COURSE, NO SHAME! ….. Thank you, Sr. Maureen, for your indomitable spirit and iron will. Like his German Shepherd who locked up for months his own butler in a small cell with 24 hoiur lighting, Chaput will do what it takes to keep his fiefdom out of bankruptcy court and his predecessor and master, Rigali, out of jail.
Both hierarchs are now subject to lawsuits for their alleged roles in protecting Philly’s predatory priest paradise. The wheels of justice are slow, but they are turning, even if Seth Williams’ doesn’t push as hard as many think he should.
An election is upcoming. Hopefully, C4C readers will give many PA legislators what they have earned–the boot!
Were you or I to confess that we had lied in public about an important issue, we likely would be told by our confessor to go back to the public and rectify our mistake. When no statement is made by his brother bishops about one who has been convicted of a felony regarding his total disregard for their own “Charter”, what can we expect of reaction to a mere “lie”. When is the last you heard of Bishop Finn who, in the spirit of the Charter,
cannot even teach a confirmation class because of his conviction? Actually, when was the FIRST time you heard another bishop say anything about him? Hypocrits and cowards!
cannot even teach a Confirmation class in his own diocese because he is a convicted felon
Actually Bishop Finn was found guilty of a misdemeanor..I only wish that mandatory reporting would become a felony. You are correct though,he would not be able to volunteer in his own diocese if he were just a lay person.
The bishops try to make the faithful believe their lies. We are not uneducated faithful. Many lay folks have better credentials than some bishops. How many lay folks have higher degrees in theology, scripture and canon law. What another insult Charlie Chaput.
“Lying, evasiveness, feigned forgetfulness, vague and inconsistent answers… his goal is partially to confuse and manipulate but he also is indifferent to the truth. Even when cornered and confessing, he will offer flimsy excuses or insincere apologies and then go back to lying again.” (profile of a psychopath)
“They all lie, from the top man down to the bottom. If their lips are moving, a lie is unfolding.” (William Rivers Pitt)
The holy priesthood of Christ.
Wow, Sr. Maureen’s message is quite clear, definite and accurate (as to the details of the proposed legislation). Archbishop, you may just want to get some help with a “fact-checker” in administration so that the next time you claim and/or assert certain facts relative to the child abuse proposals, you may just be able to tell the TRUTH.
The comments that follow Sr. Maureen’s essay are just as loud and demonstrative in their anger and outrage at the leadership SPIN on the proposals. I think this is about the time for a break in the action and I propose a “word for the day” dedicated to Archbishop Chaput. Today’s word is “comeuppance.” All on this site might agree on the appropriateness of this selection as “word of the day” for our Archdiocesan leadership.
On the other hand, I always love this particular word and kudos to Reid Warren for inserting this item in his comment…….MENDACITY. One thing for sure, this debacle sure can expand the vocabulary, don’t you think, Archbishop Chaput?
I think that Chaput just goofed…!!! oops
Sister Maureen you certainly have the facts! Thank you for putting it out there for ALL to see. Chaput should be ashamed, but unfortunately he is not. He is like the rest of them – total spin doctor! They say one thing and do another. Very typical of the hierarchy of the Catholic church. The money Chaput spent when in Denver to oppose this type of legislation would blow your mind!!!! Many of his “legal team” have been brought here to help in PA. When will the people WAKE UP and realize it is out of control. We need to get OUR church back and protect the children – from the moment of conception AND THROUGHOUT THEIR CHILDHOOD !!!!
Oh, and are we suppose to feel sorry for the Philadephia Archdiocese because they are “selling” their assests? It is about time. It is because of them and their cover ups that we are in this situation. More needs to be sold. The hierarchy now needs to sell their own lavish, personal assests to “walk the walk”. If I recall correctly, Jesus lead a simple life – no lavish home, no fancy clothing, shoes, hats,jewerly, cars, art, personal attendants or vacation “hideaways”. Jesus shepherd and cared for his people, especially the children. Archbishop Chaput it is long overdue that you and the rest of the Catholic hierarchy start living the true meaning of your vocation and live the life that Our Lord intended!
Regarding the selling of assets, did anyone get the appeal letter for St. Charles Borromeo Seminary? The letter from Chaput that came with it stated that many have wondered what the future is for the seminary and he went on to state that they have no plans to sell it, but in fact plan to revitalize it because after all if there are no priests, there is no Euchariast, etc etc. I threw it out but was curious if other received the request for donations too. I can’t image enrollment is very high….
I think it was sent to everyone. Archbishop Chaput lives there now. Archbishop Senior is new rector. There was talk of keeping buildings and selling some of the property.
I visited St. Bart’s Mass on Sunday and the priest “screamed” the gospel at us, about putting a millstone about their neck, cutting off their evil hand, or foot or plucking their eye out if it harms a child.
Why doesn’t Chaput believe that for those priests who harmed children – either by abuse or “cover up”??
It’s not often that I ask anyone for help, let alone people I have never actually met face-to-face, but I personally need your help now. I have been ignored by Archbishop Chaput and Leslie Davila, Director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection. In an email, dated 8/20/12, Ms. Davila promised me that action would be taken as soon as the right people were in place to make the decision. I haven’t heard from anyone. No telephone calls, no email responses, nothing. When I call their office and ask if she’s available, she is…. that is until I give my name and magic she just vanishes.
I know some of you call the archdiocese once for me and it worked. Even though I didn’t get the result I was hoping for, finally someone called me. I was hoping that some of you could take 5 minutes from your day to do this. I’m really in a corner right now and it’s extremely important that I given the psychiatric services that are promised to me on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website. My only other play is to contact some media outlets, who I know have been wanting my story since I came forward 3 & 1/2 years ago, but I’d rather not take that route if possible. I’d also prefer not to hire an attorney.
I hope this doesn’t become a burden for anyone. I just don’t know what else to do.
Leslie Davila, M.S., C.V.A.
Director, Office for Child and Youth Protection
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Rich Green (Victim)
Rich, Kathy and I will reach out on your behalf.
Rich done. Just got off the phone!
Rich, after sharing your story with my husband, he will type up a letter and fax it to the AD. You will be given a copy or he will post it here. He won’t be able to get to it for a day or two, so let us know if you hear something before.
Thanks you all. I don’t normally ask anyone for anything, but I’m finding myself stuck in a tiny room and I think my breaking point is close. I feel like a burden for even asking, someone strangers, but if you truly want to help and you wouldn’t mind helping a stranger such as myself, that’s the only help I need right now.
Rich, I will write and call. Martin
Rich, I have not been on this site in a while and have just been catching up. I will gladly make a phone call first thing tomorrow morning on your behalf.
Change.org|The Proven Petition Site
Ignore the above link.
Petitioning President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
This petition will be delivered to:
His Eminence Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz Vice President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Rebecca Summers Dir. of Communications – Diocese KCSJ
Bishop Robert Finn
Bishop R. Daniel Conlon Chairman, USCCB Committee on Child Protection
Bishop Robert Finn: Resign as Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, MO.
What happened to my post right after Petes? Thank you!
From the St. Charles Seminary appeal letter sent out by Archbishop Chaput:
“St. Charles Borromeo Seminary is the bedrock upon which the Church of Philadelphia stands. Without it we have no priests. Without priests, we have no Eucharist and without the Eucharist, we have no Church. Your support is therefore – quite literally—vital.”
I would be interested in any thoughts, reflections, comments, etc. regarding the Archbishop’s statement above that was part of the seminary financial appeal.
It’s a matter of time before the doors of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary are closed in terms of it being a seminary. The educations of seminarians in the future will unfold on college and university campuses. The mix of students and seminarians will provide balance to the insular seminary experience and culture. Indoctrination will be tested against reality and the secular world.
Kate at mass one week a women talked about attending st charles seems there is a push for lay people numbers to increase there.Also it was noted many permanent deacons attend there.
“The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the bedrock upon which the Church of Philadelphia stands. Without the Trinity, we have no guidance. Without guidance, we have no morals. Without morals, we have no Church. Your reliance on the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is therefore—quite literally—vital.”
The money will come when people know they can trust.
He needs to give up his day job. He’s lacking necessary skills. Cranking out the guilt does NOT keep people in the pews or handing over their money.
The seminary is dying. It’s a matter of time.
I was thinking along the same lines…….”The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the bedrock upon which the Church of Philadelphia stands” well said. If the AD did and does the right thing and trusts in God and puts him and saving souls above all thngs….. there would be no money problems.
This video reminded me of something Vicky told me the other day. “where there is truth…..there is God”
Mike, Chaput predictably falls back on hierarchical scoundrels’ ultimate trump card–the hierarchy’s purported monopoly on the Eucharist.
This position is unsupported by scripture and church history and will collapse with all his other mythical positions.
The Spirit is afoot and will not be stopped by Chaput’s bad theology, fabricated history, Denver lawyers or insensitive staff. It is only a matter of time.
Philly’s “wonderwomen”, Susan and Kathy and their C4C supporters are on the march and Chaput’s empire is beginning to crumble.
Jerry can you clarify that statement? Are you saying you dont think we need priests for the Eucharist? or are you saying the Eucharist should not be used as a tool to control people?
If I ever get my book written, I will explain fully, but I think books written by reliable scholars have already shown this.
For example, after the Apostle Paul left some Greek cities, lay people, including some women, presided over the Eucharist ritual according to reliable evidence.
The hierarchy tries to hide, deflect or deny this for reasons mainly of power, it seems to me. It made sense over time, of course, to have dedicated persons handle Eucharist rituals, but that was not dictated definitively as the exclusive method by either Jesus or his first disciples.
“Tradition” is too often just shorthand used by hierarchs to support a position that has been developed to favor the hierarchy’s power and control.
While it may be good to do things “traditionally” in many cases, the “tradition” can be changed when it is being used wrongly to prop up power obsessed bishops to protect their unaccountable control and wealth, and now even to protect predatory priests.
This is especially true when there is precedent in earlier Christian history for modifying the current abusive tradition.
Jesus was no fool and He didn’t die to let a group of selfish men corner the market on Jesus’ message and rituals.
Thanks for clarifying Jerry.
What is your take on the book of Revelations and the priestly imagery? Many say it is refering to the the mass. I am getting off topic but you seem to have researched the topic. I would be interested in what you think.
Probably going off to much on a tangent. So maybe we can discus this another time. I dont want to distract from the important issues at hand. You just go me thinking which this site does often.
I agree, Beth. C4C is not intended to be a theology or political blog. I raised my point since Chaput pushed the “Eucharist monopoly” and you asked me to explain my comment about Chaput’s statement. Enough said on that for now. Thanks for the interest.
Now hold on, Kate. Is our Archbishop aware of these radical ideas and concepts? He must be serious about the seminary program, he did put a Bishop in charge. Of course, we have had bishops, cardinals, etc. within our archdiocesan leadership for many years in charge of child protection from sexual abuse and predation and we all know how successful and effective that effort was. Who knows, this one might work out, the archbishop is collecting money (AGAIN) for such a project?
I’m waiting for the appeal from his office wherein he solicits contributions for the fund supporting the archdiocesan victims of clergy sexual abuse and money to support his efforts in Harrisburg for the necessary legislative changes to protect all PA children from sexual abuse.
Is anyone really listening to the parishioners down there at 222 N. 17th St.? I know, I know, this is 2012 and it still is the same……..give us YOUR money and WE WILL decide how to spend it and use it.
Interestingly, your last line is exactly why the rcc fights the government. And they behave similarly.
Ignore this video. Something happen unexpectedly and it won’t play. The working video is below this comment. 🙂
Hey Rich I have been thinking about you and how upset you were at the OMC meeting…….I promised myself if my parish ever did anything it would not be like that………I really am sorry for how crappy we have treated our survivors…….I want you to know………I would not understand and be were I am at with everything if it was not for you, Vicky, Jim, James, SW and so many of our survivors and family members that blog here. I will never be the same after witnessing what I have seen in our survivors. Not many people can say they changed people for the better but you have.
Thank you, Beth.
Truthfully, I can only hope that I have changed people’s minds enough that they put more emphasis on the safety of present and future children from sexual predators.
What happened to me is well into the past. Certainly it will always affect my future and I’ve got my scars, but let’s do everything we can to make sure that defenseless, scared, and innocent children will never know the wounds of sexual abuse.
I thank you for your kind words, Beth, and I don’t care about the OMC meeting. It’s typical and I walked right into it even though I knew it would be a fun-filled dramatic evening. That kind of thing isn’t important to me. I’ve been through it more than once and I’m sure I’ll get sucked into that vacuum of hope again and again. I’m a glutten for punishment.
At least I know that the cause I am fighting for is worth every ounce of energy I exert trying to make an impact.
Yes Rich it is.
Archbishop Chaput and Leslie Davila,
Because of Rev. John McDevitt, victim Rich Green is afraid. Rich won’t let himself trust, love, take risks, smile, or feel pride.
Last August, Rich contacted the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, inquiring into psychological services. Not only has Rich’s inquiry failed to be resolved, but Rich has heard nothing regarding the status or state of his inquiry. The silence and inattention is inefficient and cruel.
I, too, am afraid. I am afraid of the Office of Child and Youth Protection and its director, Ms. Davila The insensitivity to Rich’s plight, and the distance between the director and Rich, are appalling. Indeed, it is so egregious, it verges on inhumane.
In my opinion, the Office and the Ms. Davila have acquired, or have been forced to assume, the modus operandi of Archbishop Chaput who relies on silence, double-speak, meaningless words, empty promises, ethereal jargon, legal dream teams, and lies to avoid, ignore, hurt, and re-victimize victims.
Please. Please help Rich Green.
That is a super fantastic letter, Kate. Thanks so much!
Rich, I contacted Leslie again last week to ask that someone give you an update. I have no info other than that.
Did your settled suit in Delaware contain any language about no other services(counseling etc) other than the settlement received? My hunch is this is becoming more of a case that will land in the lap of the legal dept. rather than OCYP because of your previous settled suit. OCYP will not discuss any cases with me because of confidentiality, and as a social worker I do understand that limitation. I have had success in helping connect people with the services presently offered through OCYP..with no difficulty at all. I think the legal matter may be interfering here..but I do not know that or anything else for sure. If that is the case or any other reason..you deserve an update or an answer.
My lawsuit that was settled in DE against the Wilmington Diocese and the Oblates of Saint Francis De Sales siezed all psychiatric services to me provided by those entities in DE, regardless of an email I have from Oblate Provincial Supervisor James Greenfield promising me psychiatric services “indefinitely.”
Having said that, I am not pursuing anything in DE having to do with psychiatric services. I was not abused in DE. I was abused at Father Judge High School for Boys, which just happens to be within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. My hometown, my high school, and my church – all in Philadelphia have done nothing to assist me in healing and recovery. I can only accredit them with causing me further grief.
Furthermore, I signed nothing stating I could not seek services from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Even my attorneys who handled the case in DE advised me to keep calling and emailing the Archdiocese of Philadelphia until they respond.
DE was responsible because they transferred a know predator priest to Philadelphia, where he was accepted by the Archdiocese to teach in a school, and consequently John McDevitt abused me. Philadelphia and everyone who knew about Rev. John M. McDevitt and did nothing is completely, absolutely, 100% responsible for the abuse I endured. If you believe otherwise, keep drinking the Kool-Aide.
Bedtime. Peace out!
Rich , I simply was explaining to you that I called again on your behalf and have no more info. My hunch is that a legal matter is holding this up. That is an opinion based on some interactions I have had that went smoother than what you are currently experiencing. How you turned that into me drinking kool aide is beyond me, and frankly I do not deserve that comment.
Take a chill pill. The “Kool-Aide” comment wasn’t directed at you. It was directed at anyone who believes that just because a priest is from another state or a religious order doesn’t mean he can not be held responsible for abusing me in Philadelphia.
Well Rich when people start off a comment using my name..common sense would say that I believed the comment was directed at me. I have never seen anyone on this site make a comment that said if a priest was an order priest or from another state that he should not be held responsible.
Do me a favor, just forget I asked. Skip over my comment about me asking people here to help me out. Obviously this travelled down a path I had no intention in going to. I don’t like to argue.
No grudges. Just peace out!
We asked what you needed and you told us. Thankyou. I ordered a sofa in august it is back ordered they call me once a week to tell me what the status is……they know people dont like to be left hanging….hello AD we are not talking about furniture here we are talking about peoples lives our survivors deserve better.
No doubt this is why the Catholic Church will not turn over child predators to law enforcement.
Sister Maureen, thanks for your continued leadership.
From a talk by Father Tom Doyle.
“Efforts to change state laws to ensure justice and healing to all victims and to put more perpetrators out of commission are vigorously and sometimes viciously opposed by the bishops in every State where such legislation has been introduced, and this opposition comes at the cost of millions of dollars donated by the remaining faithful. The excuses given for this organized sabotage are so self-serving they are not worth mentioning. The true reason is the fear of even more exposure and the appearance of more victims….
[V]ictims who have the courage to go to court are most often subjected to embarrassing, humiliating, brutalizing and revictimizing treatment not only by the lawyers hired by the bishops but often by their public relations firms and by clerics themselves.
The victims will not be told by the institution that enabled their abusers what efforts they may use in their attempts to heal. They go to court, contrary to the libelous remarks of some, especially the apparent unofficial mouthpiece of at least the archbishop of New York, Bill Donohue, not because they and their lawyers want to bleed the Church of its money but because the civil courts have been theonly venue that has consistently provided justice and validation of the terror suffered by these men and women. In reality a massive drain is the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on defense lawyers to fight victims and the equally exorbitant amounts spent on public relations firms hired to create the illusion that
the Church is doing what it was founded to do.”
Martin my two questions are would Jesus be doing this? Blocking survivors from getting Justice? Does this lead souls towards God or away from God? We all know what the answers are.Suppose we told the Pope hey you cant press charges against your butler or Archbishop Chaput your out of lucky cant press charges against that embezzler just forgive them and move on that would not go over too well.When will they understand this is destruction of souls we are talking about,…….they forget they cant take their church documents and money with them.All they will be left with is their soul thats all that really matters in the end.
Your two questions direct light on what bishops want to keep hidden.
Bishops, like Charles Chaput, forfeit any claims to legitimate authority when they act in the name of the Church (the people of God – you and me) in ways that oppose the teachings of Jesus Christ. They remove themselves from communion with the Church. There is no doubt in my mind about how Jesus would have us act or who the Church should be following. While there are lots of divergent opinions on various church teachings, the way of life that Jesus demonstrated is one thing no one questions: love one another. Are those outside the Church looking at how we have treated victims and saying: “see how they love one another?”
I love the Tom Doyle talk I linked above. The Church is the People of God. We need to support victims, e.g., standing with Rich in his request for health care. The bishops take swift action whenever their power or authority is challenged even more so as the Church increasingly ignores their directives and questions their authority. The Church needs to support the victims. The Church needs to stop enabling bishops from perpetrating more harm on victims/survivors, e.g., by funding their legal efforts. No more pay and obey and lots more pray.
Give him hell Sister as many still continue to give him money….It’s all about MONEY…The Catholic church is not only about money it’s about control and it’s about obeying.. I continue to run into the Pew Sheep here in Chester County who will not even acknowledge let alone talk about the troubles within the AD of Phila.. You know exactly who / what I am talking about here… Catholic grade and high school possible followed by four years at a Catholic university… That “Catholic Guilt” you try so hard to suppress however bleeds through as you do not want to believe that perfect little world you have been raised to believe in is filled with evil monsters…What makes its even tougher is now you are “pushing” your children down the same path and you are so afraid to second guess yourself.. Anyone who continues to financial support the AD of Phila is nothing more than an enabler. You are guilty of supporting Chaput and everything thing he supports / stands for which personally, I find absolutely sickening not as a Catholic but as decent human being….OBEY – PRAY – PAY… Come On Man, the church does not belong to a bunch of old men it belongs to EVERYONE…As for your Catholic guilt, get over it and not only open your hearts but also your minds….
“Give him hell sister”….good thoughts in your post. And fear underlies this guilt. Fear of a vengeful catholic God.. Fear that God will punish me if I take a stand against the “holy” men and of an institution responsible for such crimes. I am surrounded by many such catholics.
It’s a very defensive, self-centered fear. It showcases a lack of a working, trusting, personal relationship with God (which is to be expected when one is distracted from forming one by among other things, being forced to find deep meaning in mysterious, scripted, mandatory ceremonies starring a chanting priest. )
Crystal, I could not agree more. I have seen people who would normally under regular circumstances be very strong advocates for children..go completely mute when speaking of the abuse within the Church. Educated adults who are parents..completely mute..as if speaking against abusive priests is speaking against God. It is so bizarre to me..I can’t even wrap my head around it at times because I was at that same point at one time and now on the other side..cannot believe that I acted that way. It is fear as you speak of,and how sad is that. I do think it is becoming less though. I tend to run into more Catholics who have found their voice and because it was silent for so long..they actually can’t stop talking 🙂
Crystal, I love your reply to ghhs. I would connect “dots” with the prior discussion between Jerry Slevin and Beth here. Perhaps many more would have “the veil lifted” in their perception of Christ’s dealings with all of us if they could allow God to open their understanding to what I am attempting to show: That is,
it is no small matter that is separating the millions from the TRUTH, but rather a “paradigm shift” — a Big difference between what has been traditionally believed/accepted by most who call themselves “the church.” Things have really been “upside down” for centuries. One way I might explain what “upside down” means is that salvation and eternal life ,with Jesus Christ, in heaven is a fully FREE Gift to anyone who simply believes in what the bible says. Example—
1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;1 Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
But , sadly that is not what is usually happening. Instead, some want to take “their church” , which has it all upside down, and make a few changes here and there, tweak this and that, and disregard the Word of God which is the only authentic guide Christ gives us. Trying to correct tradition by our own fiddling with tradition will get us nowhere.
yup kathy, i am one of those late-comers to the truth of this issue. The church was incredibly successful when it came to indoctrinating its children with ideas rooted not in truth, but in fear. And like you said, I am completely ashamed of how I ignored this topic, in favor of staying in good with the church… For me it wasn’t fear that kept me in the dark. It was more shameful than fear; it was apathy.
I’ve discovered a lot about my own apathy, and am better understanding this dangerous characteristic in others now.
I think there is no substitute for a lot of online reading when it comes to understanding the RCC. An indoctrinated catholic has really got to stop and take the time to surf and read the vast amount that has been reported …It is too upsetting for some… it calls for too much courage and humility.The lack of computer access/skill is why we still see so many elderly catholics paying and obeying and denying.
Yes, Internet accessibility may be a factor.
But, I think you hit the nail on the head…apathy. All the Internet access in the world is not going to change the hearts of Catholics who choose to remain ignorant of what is going on around them. It isn’t because they lack skills or access…they CHOOSE their ignorance. For this, the victims have suffered, and they allowed their hierarchy to re-abuse.
“I just didn’t know” is not going to cut it when they meet their Maker. Whether they are 80 or 60 or 30, turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the suffering is sinful and shameful. They will answer for placing more weight to what an errant Archbishop spouts than what their Lord commands.
Change my heart, O God.
Nichols1, I think i get what you’re saying. I guess the phrase “take back our church” is a catholic yearning for humble leadership and simple worship, as in early Christianity, before the vast spread of the religion and all that came along with it.
I think most catholics cling to “their” church because of the
relationships formed around church activities and traditions. There IS a loving, supportive spirit at the heart of the rcc… a strong force which pulls us together. It’s hard walk away from those relationships. It truly hurts to leave it all behind.
—I am not even sure what I thought was “my” church, ever existed. So I have little interest in taking back my church… but I do want to take back all the money I’ve given it!(jk)
Fear! Back in 2004, while I was getting a newspaper at a local convenience store, two elderly women were talking about the upcoming election. One woman said to the other I’m going to vote for canidate X because “he is a God fearin man”. I was extremely annoyed but I bit my tongue. What in the hell does fearing God have to do with running our countrty?I would rather see a God loving man than a God fearin man. This idea that fear is a desireable quality I find quite disturbing. As a catholic grade school kid, I feared everyone: God, my father, the nuns , the priests, the bully that lived a couple doors up the street.The fear that was fostered at home, became a big part of my identity. I lived in a constant state of fear. The only thing fear ever did for me was foster anger and eventually hatred for those of whom I was afraid. The fact that myself and others were taught in Catholic school that our God was one we should fear and for that reason we should be good. I was never very close to my father. I certainly feared him but to this day, I don’t actually think I loved him. At my fathers viewing, after he passed away, I think I was the only one of my brothers and sisters who actually broke down and cried. People thought that I was grieving because I would miss him. Actually I was grieving because I never really got to know him and now that was not possible.I’m not afraid of anything at this point of my life. I am not a God fearin man. I used to be afraid of dying but even that fear I put behind me. I think one of the big problems that the hierarchy has with dealing with victims is that many of us no longer fear them.We have seen them at their worst and we fear them no more.
Geez …so true Jim. Fear is the enemy. When I feel unusually angry, hurt, impatient, jealous or even sad, I try to remember to stop and ask myself, “What is it I’m FEARFUL of at this moment? How can I more directly address this fear, instead of running from it, and allowing it to disguise itself, and control other areas of my life?”
I am sorry about your dad. Kids shouldn’t fear their parents. Such a waste of love.
Jim, I am 45 years old and was a post Vatican II product of Catholic school.. We were taught of a loving God and Jesus loved me so much he died for me. A pretty intense message but no longer based on fear but love…however that message was delivered by people who grew up as fear being the culture..so an odd ,interesting mix of what we were taught and what we actually experienced. To me,the priests did not reflect the Jesus I was taught..the Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar ,man in a simple robe and sandals whose love for me was so strong he died for me Jesus .Instead for the most part I saw stern faced older men dressed in black who seemed quite bothered by children. A few exceptions here and there but for the most part some pretty miserable examples of being Christ representatives here on Earth, and of course now finding out how many of them were sexually violating the bodies of children. I don’t fear then at all Jim, I am with you.
One final thought that Chaupt, and rest of the church “elders” have forgotten about –What would Jesus say?
“When we feed our fears about money, power and influence they become our gods and demand a great deal of worship.” Just think if Archbishop Chaput spent as much time as possible with helping to heal our church instead of away lobbying what kind of church it would be. Like many have voiced on this site if that time were spent productively in Philly on healing and reaching out there would be no need to lobby in the first place its a matter of priorities money or people. Take care of the people the money will follow not the other way around.
Kathy: One thing I really appreciate about this site is the knowledge that is passed along. Because, after I was abused and got through high school, my contact with the Church was non existent.I didn’t realize that the God of my childhood had changed.When I was about ten or eleven years old and the nuns would teach us that there was no salvation outside the Church, I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe that the Jewish people next door or the ones across the street were bound for hell. To me these were the nicest people in my neighborhood.I guess at this early age I started to question my faith.So the Catholic Church has been teaching about a loving God for all these years and I missed it.I too wonder how people who grew up with a God that we should fear ended up teaching about a loving God. What would have caused this change? Out here in Central Pa. I believe most of the people are still living in the fifties. When I first moved out here I suffered from culture shock. Hopefully,when I retire I can move back to civilization.
In the ’50’s, the sisters at Saint David School in Willow Grove also taught the ‘outside the church – no salvation’ lesson. Like yourself, I was troubled that many of the good folks that I knew and loved (including my grandfather) would not enjoy eternal peace.
But the good sisters were mistaken.
This topic was amply clarified at the seminary, and an outline of the church’s position is shown below should you care to read it.
Will someone please tell Archbishop Chaput that he is not in Denver anymore? Here in Philadelphia and its environs, we like to “take our gloves off” for those things we hold closest to our hearts, minds and souls.
Yes, the victims, their families and all of the children of the Commonwealth of PA.
Interesting article about failure to report. I don’t know the specifics in this case but I remember reading an article that contained a survey and many of the respondents who legally were mandatory reporters, were not even aware of the role they played..legally. Obviously if a child tells you of a sexual assault you should report regardless of the law, but I do wonder about inadequate training when it comes to many adults knowing of their legal responsibility. The moral responsibility of course is always there, but we have all seen how poorly that has played out in many situations.
Thank You Gov. Corbett for signing into law “PA Act 126 of 2012” on July 5, 2012!!
For those who are not aware, it is now law in PA that schools must provide training in Mandatory Reporting responsibilities for those identified as mandatory reporters per PA law.
Hopefully, as this law comes into effect, we will see the level of ignorance about teachers’ and school personnel Mandatory Reporting responsibilities decrease in PA. One more step forward in protecting the children in PA schools!
I wish someone could tell me what it means, “to get our church back?
When we know Scripture, we know that the RCC is not our church. WE ARE THE CHURCH!We can go anywhere in the world and carry our LORD with us. We are the Temple of the HOLY Spirit. HE is always with us, unless we reject HIM…We do not need these men who do evil deeds, to sit in for our Christ..They are not and they are not who we Follow. Please some one explain to me. Thanks so much for all of you.””The Body of Christ”
I agree with you whole heartedly. The thing is, priest are integral to much of the practicing of our faith. For example, our pastor lied to and betrayed the parents of my parish’s (now former) school children. Archbishop Chaput & Bishop McIntyre both know this and will not acknowledge this, they may have even told him to play it this way! Archbishop Chaput told parishioners vie email to move on with this lying betrayer as our pastor. It becomes difficult, and particularly ludicrous to see and hear this priest. Many have left the parish. The pastor will be giving First Holy Communion to our children. And, while I know nothing could tarnish Christ’s beautiful presence in the Host, it just should not be this way. This culture that appears to have established itself in much of the clergy worldwide, a disregard for the 10 commandments and a lack of concern for every soul, needs to be dispensed with and never allowed to be acceptable again. That is what I believe is meant when catholics talk of the need to ‘get our church back.’
Roseanne, maybe we need to have a vigil at your parish church. Martin
Good post Roseanne Margis. What is becoming obvious, if one is inclined to look, is a clearer understanding [by more involved ]of “what is church?”
Thank you Sister Maureen for telling the truth about the actions of Bishop Chaput and his fellow PA bishops. The truth will always eventually make it clear that the hierarchy and the Vatican are not interested in protecting our children. I pray the the Holy Spirit will continue to
enlighten you and protect you from the current leadership.
Ask Thomas Doyle what he thinks and says about the Euchrist. It will amaze you, As a man(priest)
who has been enlightened…he tells you his truth, as he has seen it by his affiliation. with the clergy in the Roman Catholic church.
Is anybody really surprised that a cardinal/archbishop lied?
Not surprised. I expect it.
Not surprised. Formed, trained, earn respect, enjoy clerical camaraderie, rewarded, got-where-they-are for pulling the wool over the sheep’s eyes, protecting the image of Mother Church at all costs, and maintaining patriarchal power.
Surprised. At the number of folks who are finally getting it.
It was a beautiful day for the vigil. I was there is spirit. I had followup from surgery and I am fully recovered. God is good.
Nichols1, I think i get what you’re saying. I guess the phrase “take back our church” is a catholic yearning for humble leadership and simple worship, as in early Christianity, before the vast spread of the religion and all that came along with it.
I think most catholics cling to “their” church because of the
relationships formed around church activities and traditions. There IS a loving, supportive spirit at the heart of the rcc… a strong force which pulls us together. It’s hard walk away from those relationships. It truly hurts to leave it all behind.
—I am not even sure what I thought was “my” church, ever existed. So I have little interest in taking back my church… but I do want to take back all the money I’ve given it!(jk)
Oh my, I can really hear your heart in that post Crystal!
You are so sharply focused— there IS a certain loving spirit, and I see it up close and personal when I meet my Catholic mate’s friends when I transport her to meetings, retreats, etc. I can feel it! I know it’s there— people, despite our nature, thirst for the water of life, and those whom believe Christ loved them and died for their sins will enjoy the company of each other. However, we must go a little deeper into what the Word of God has to say to us; compare scripture with scripture and line by line with the help of the Holy Spirit. Long ago, men turned away from the way Christ revealed we should go. It was expected and warned about by the man Christ chose to teach us the way of the cross— Paul. In Acts 20 you can find his words to the Ephesian elders, warning them that even from among themselves “wolves” would arise whom would distort the gospel Paul had preached to them.
We need to look and see what Paul said when he preached his gospel, and read what he taught the believers to help them grow in grace. It’s all there. God rewards those who search the scriptures!
From Acts 20:Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God,[a] which he bought with his own blood.[b] 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears
God Bless you nichols1 I wish all catholics read the Bible and took it to heart like you do. I love Jesus…..I love the Bible and I love the Eucharist. Jesus has shown me his face in the Eucharist its not just a belief , intellectual agreement or feeling…..it is a knowing deep in my soul he is truly there.
Thank you Beth! Wherever your faith journey takes you, I pray you have “travel mercies.” 🙂
That is the New International Version (NIV). I meant to post the KJV, which I prefer. Here is the complete passage:
King James Version (KJV)
17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,
21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,
38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
Nichols 1: Did you see the act Clint Eastwood did at the Republican Convention? He got off talking to an empty chair. You remind me of him.
Jim …why did you say this? Nichols 1 is only quoting scripture. Did you mean that no one reading these posts would understand “The Word of GOD..? Possibly true, because their word comes from the Vatican? Ours comes from the Living God! Or whatever, who knows not me.Just a question…
“Did you see the act Clint Eastwood did at the Republican Convention? He got off talking to an empty chair. You remind me of him.”
O.K., I have tried Jim but I don’t get it. In what way do I remind you of him?
Nichols 1: It would do me no good trying to explain it to you. The problem with having our heads in books all the time[and I am an avid reader] is that we fail to see the reality of what is happening in the real world. Go back to your book and I will try not to wake you again.
Nichols, you mean well. However, in certain settings, there is a fine line between “boosting up with God’s word”, and making people feel condescended to or “preached at” with it.
Maybe what Jim means is that many here were battered and bruised by religion. Many are angry, hurt or worried. They have not come to C4C expecting to be “tuned up” with even more religion in the form of Bible verses.
Well Crystal, there are many things that could be said in reply, but I will just let God’s Word speak for itself.
I agree with you, Crystal. Some people use the Bible like a bat. Gerald Nichols has a history of it on C4C.
Glory, Gerald is not Catholic and I’m not sure how his posts fit with the mission of the site. I’m sure he sees this as prime recruitment ground. However, he reminds me of the importance of defending the my faith. So, I guess that’s a good thing.
I’m not Catholic either, Susan. (Well it will be official whenever the Archdiocese sends me the application I asked for to remove my membership from the Catholic religion.) Is my presence still welcome on this site? Can I read comments? Can I reply to comments?
I beg your pardon, but I thought this was a website dedicated to enlisting “everyone” of all faiths to protect children? Sure, it might be called “Catholics4Change,” but shouldn’t Lutheran’s be welcome to comment here just as long as they stay on topic, or if they’re willing to protect children instead of the predators?
I’m not defending Nichols or anyone. Truthfully, the last time I held a bible in my hand I threw it in a bonfire behind my house. I just believe that even though the word “Catholics” is attached to this site, all opinions regarding the contents and context of this site should be welcomed if its purpose is to protect children from sexual abuse. Otherwise, what the hell are we trying to do here? Why do I even bother telling my story? Catholic children are not the only ones abused, and people shouldn’t be fixated on protecting only Catholic children, but all children.
Catholic priests are responsible for less than 6% of all child sexual abuse. Should we ignore the predatory parent, aunt, coach, neighbor because they are not Catholic, even though their names and addresses are printed on a Sex Offender Registry?
Apparently, many of you don’t really get what’s going on in this world. It’s not about who’s Catholic and who’s an athiest. It’s about doing my very best so that no child will ever know my experiences and live my life. It’s about adults standing up for and protecting the most innocent and silent in society. It’s about protecting that innocence, but giving children a voice. Frankly, I don’t care what god you pray to or if you worship five-needle pine trees. The only thing I care about is preventing children from being abused, exposing our perpetrators, and finding justice for myself and anyone else who had to go through that hell.
Religion is for people who believe in Heaven. Spirituality is for those of us who have been to Hell.
I think that what Susan means is that Gerald used to try to recruit people over to his web page which had nothing to do with children being abused. Also some of the relentless posting of scripture is not necessary. Everyone is welcome to share their thoughts on how to better protect kids both inside and outside the Church. Susan and I have joined with those in the larger community in our work with Justice4pakids and have worked with victims of abuse on various projects..some that we will announce shortly on C4C .
Kathy and Susan, “
One more thing… Nichols? I don’t get you. Could you explain your life in 300 words?
Kathy and Susan: “Everyone is welcome to share their thoughts on how to better protect kids both inside and outside the Church.” There is a diverse group responding on your site, and no one should expect their views will be universally accepted or “liked.” If you would look at my posts here, you will notice that most are replies to subjects or questions brought up by others, not by me. The current handful of comments about my posts is stemming from my replies to posts concerning various approaches to “reform or change” to the Catholic Church. The name of your site is “Catholics4change.” There are several differing opinions on what can or should be “changed.” I have addressed this question when I see it raised here. I don’t expect everyone to like what I write; it is tough to take when one has much invested in the Catholic “status quo.” My point boils down to this: It is the disconnect between what the scriptures say and what traditional church beliefs say that should be addressed by anyone interested in “change.”I don’t believe you mean to imply that saving children has nothing to do with change in be liefs.
My husband was abused by a Bible believing Christian not a catholic priest. I know abusers come from all faiths and all walks of life. He used the Bible againse my husband said anger is a sin and he should forgive and move on ……sound familiar?
Thank God our God got angry too……look at Jesus in the temple driving out the moneychangers and what he said of people that lead children to sin(which is another way of saying leading someone away from God look at all our survivors that no longer believe in God or trust God). Thank God our God is a God of restitution and amends and justice…….see in the Bible where Jesus had the tax collector pay back three times what he stole and how he let the criminal stay on the cross to fullfill his sentence. He could have ordered angels to remove him but he didnt…..why because besides being a God of forgiveness and repentance he is a God of justice. I know this because amazing things happened and the truth came out and my husbands offender went to jail and many interventions happened by God so this came about. God works thru people just as Satan does and now my husband is no longer afraid.All thru the BIble no term is mentioned more in the old or new testament then the words “fear not” or” be not afraid”………what is Jesus telling us ? He does want us to be afraid anymore he wants us to trust him and when you trust him amazing things happen.
should read “does not want us to be afraid”
nichols, I understand some may find our focus to be too narrow but you see what happens when people start discussing all of the other issues within the Church. Issues divide people..the issue of child sex abuse is important because children need to be protected and all agree on that. I realize that people have many issues with the church..fine..no problem..just don’t want to get off target when our mission is clearly stated on this page. It may seem crazy to think we can affect change by just focusing on this issue but this issue is the only reason I am involved as a mother in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Nuns on a bus,fortnight of freedom,women being priests..none of it keeps me up at night..children being harmed does. I realize many things are interconnected but I have no desire to take on a 2,000 year old institution. To be honest some issues that people have with the Church will never change ,children needing to be protected must change.
Understood here Kathy. In spite of your efforts though; these other issues keep coming up, because the Church is resisting and opposing itself to efforts to eradicate clergy child abuse. I expect you will continue to have a whole range of topics addressed by your respondents. I think you will admit there are several posters here who are strong critics of just about everything “Catholic.” I believe there is a right way and a wrong way to express that, and I have said so here. I will maintain however; that there will always be some who will “knee jerk” be offended by scriptural entreaties. That is very sad but a fact of life. I will sit back and see where things go here on out. Thanks for all you do.
I’m sure your intentions are good!
However, when I was living in Texas I had the feeling that some people down there were trying to jam two things down my throat, The Bible, and football! When they came to my door I was always considerate, politely informing them (within the first minute) that any further conversation on either of these topics would be a waste time for each of us. I view this method of spreading the Gospel as paternalist, and I’m offended by it.
I feel the same way when a RC prelate treats me in the same manner. I don’t appreciate their verbiage when they try to defend the Church’s actions in the area of child sexual abuse.
In addition, I find RC prelates particularly repugnant went they attempt to influence my vote! Bishops, GET OUT OF MY VOTING BOOTH!!!
To “propose,” rather than attempting to “impose,” is more effective when one is trying to be persuasive.
As I said before…check in with Tom Doyle re: the Eucharist..We are. the only one who consecrates., not the priest. Beth, Jesus has come to me also. We consecrate through our belief. This is a lie of the rcc, that only the priest can consecrate. No one can transfer this belief to another. It is impossinble!
The brainwashing is so deep and powerful, the repetitions over so many decades, that even if Jesus himself were to appear out of the heavens and reveal the full truth, that the brainwashed sheep would not believe him. The incense, the Latin incantations, the music, the sayings, over and over and over, Spotless Bride of Christ, One True Church, Holy Mother Church, Gates of Hell shall not prevail. The pope is nothing more than the Wizard of Oz, hiding behind a simple cloth vail that any dog named Toto could pull aside and reveal the full fakery.
Woe Mark …that’s so true..what a bunch of crap we have been suckered into. This is why they stay after all these evils have been revealed. The more that is seen and heard. will be the end of such a belief system. We must keep on revealing the TRUTH OF JESUS CHRIST!
As per the C4C homepage:
“This site is a forum for Catholics who wish to respectfully share their concerns, questions and desire for real reform within their religion in regard to child sex abuse.”
Why do I have to keep reading posts from people who seem to have a “destroy Catholicism” agenda? These posts do not even reflect the mission of C4C.
Sorry Again. I’ m off. subject! I retreat!
Michele: Sometimes you need to tear everything down in order to build something worthwhile. This is true of buildings that are in disrepair and crumbling. It is also true of institutions that are in disrepair and crumbling. The Catholic Church doesn’t need a fresh coat of paint. It needs a complete remodel.From what I have seen on this site, contributors come from many different persuasions. Some like myself want nothing to do with the Church in its current state. If it were to change in a radical way.which I don’t expect will happen, I would reconsider. Many who post here have left the Catholic Church for other Christian religions. They did so because they feel they were driven out, and did so with great reticence. And still others have continued to remain members, trying to change the Church from within. I have a great deal of respect for all of these people and their positions. They are trying to effect change in the way the Catholic Church deals with victims of childhood sexual abuse by members of the clergy. It doesn’t matter to me as a victim how they go about doing that ,I am simple gtateful for their efforts.
The confidence we have in our beliefs needs to relate to the evidence that exists in their support. So many established religious beliefs about the Church and the faith are supported by little more than the authority of the Church that they begin to collapse when subjected to rational inquiry and experience. Many C4C bloggers are demonstrating, through their posts, the rigor and spirit of “the Enlightenment,” viewing and re-viewing everything in light of reason and experience. Their intention is not to “destroy Catholicism,” rather, it is to arrive upon the Truth. The Truth cannot be viewed as anti-Catholic or a vehicle of destruction simply because it threatens our unsupported beliefs and illusions and/or sets us adrift. For centuries, it was this anti-intellectual stance that was instrumental in creating the “best-climate” for child sexual abuse and cover up in our Church.
Michele, I understand what you are saying .It appears to me that many on this site have been hurt, betrayed etc directly or indirectly by the catholic church and each has a different response to that experience. But one thing we have in common is the desire to protect children from abuse by clergy in the future and to support our survivors.
Oct 15, 16, 17 we are having 40 hrs and I am going 10 to 11am each day to ask Jesus for justice and healing for our survivors and protection of all children you and anyone else is more than welcome.Peace
Kate…..This Sunday our priest was saying “Jesus accepts us where we are but loves us too much to leave us there” It reminded me of this site and of all the people that blog here and in doing so challenge us to be better and to examine our beliefs. I think of all the intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth I have seen on this site despite our differences and realize it has strengthened my faith and the determination to reach out to others.
glorybe1929 I dont have a problem with what the catholic church teaches I have a problem with the fact they dont live what they teach………especially about children
These posts do not even reflect the mission of C4C.”
An observation of all the posts here will show that is a matter of personal opinion, IMO.
P.S. I did not register a “thumb down” on Michelle’s post.
One thing I hate is when ideas fail to evolve. Take for example, humor. Catholic humor.
Why did the priest giggle?
A little boy was listening to a long and boring sermon in Church. Suddenly the red sanctuary light caught his eye. Tugging his father’s sleeve, he said, “Daddy, when the light turns green can we go?”
Ugh! Would someone please modernize and reinvent Catholic humor? Preferably a prelate so (1) I am assured it is Vatican-condoned, and (2) I can count on the pew sheep to blindly laugh along with me. Make it relevant for God’s sake!
Enter prelate Salvatore Cordileone who, amid the splendor of his installation to the thrown in San Francisco last week, joked about his DUI charge, noting how God has put a lot of things on his plate over the years, but his DUI charge took the cake! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!! Don’t you hate it when God forces booze down your gullet and is responsible for your elevated blood-alcohol level? Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! I know I do (some of the time), which is why I intend to use the sacred occasion of my installation to the she-episcopate to joke about it too!
Ha ha ha ha ha!!!
(Sorry to my 6th grade math teacher, Sr. Elizabeth, who got to teach me math for only 12 days thanks to the drunk driver who took her out.)
Kate, For a brand new cardinal of a major U.S. City, light hearted, drunk driving arrest humor is just the right thing to break the ice …. Jerry Seinfeld, move over… His Excellence, Most Revered, Sal Cordileone’s in the house.
I always love his perspective.
He had an inside view of the operations of the rcc.
Speaking of humor… One of the traditions of Rome is “the time it takes to change a lightbulb.” Acting or implementing change necessarily takes decades or centuries which helps to hyper-inflate the weight, complexity, and significance of them, lend sacrosanctity to them, and bestow great importance on the actors and changers themselves. The entire operation in Rome gets to appear “out of this world,” which is a model that works for an organization in the business of religion.
However, the model fails for an organization inflicted with crime and evil. When Finn ignored his obligation to the Dallas Charter and was charged with failing to report Ratigan, it merited his swift removal. After all, the swiftness of his removal “speaks to” how Rome perceives the egregiousness of his actions (or inactions). Apparently, since Finn has faced no repercussions whatsoever, it would seem that his crime is perceived as no big deal in Rome, leaving us to wonder if the organization is inflicted with crime and evil or synonymous with it.
In your article, Wall notes some of the possible ways Rome could respond (in time) to Finn’s predicament. Basically, he says we have to wait and see. But Rome IS responding in the form of not responding or not responding swiftly.
If Rome fails to respond, then the organization is fundamentally evil and corrupt. If it eventually responds to Finn, the lack of swiftness will forever be the measure of how seriously Rome takes the Dallas Charter, U.S. state laws, the well being of children, and convicted clerics. What Rome takes seriously and not seriously, clerics take seriously and not seriously.
The Finn saga pales in comparison to the organization’s saga. Seriously.
I know how the organization is run. And so do some people in the pews. Most just can’t admit it yet.
It’s why the Pope is behaving in such a cowardly way. In one sentence that man could strike down any bishop that covered for a pedophile, lied to a victim, or failed to reach out to help a victim heal. One fell swoop and the message would be sent to every bishop that ineffective ministry would not be tolerated. Instead…Nothing. Measure the Pope’s character as he stands before God and answers for how he treated the most vulnerable. He doesn’t follow the Charter his bishops created. How about Chaput? He doesn’t follow the Charter either. His office doesn’t even respond to a victim reaching out to him. That says a lot about how an organization is run.
The Charter…only as good as the people implementing it and enforcing it. What was Finn’s consequence for not following it? Nothing. What was our bishop’s consequence for lying to my husband and his review board? Nothing. What’s the consequence for Chaput not responding to the hurt/wounded victim seeking his help? Nothing. What’s the consequence for raping a child in the Catholic Church? Nothing. What was the consequence for Lynn not handling pedophiles correctly? Nothing…well, except for that evil secular world finding him guilty. What was the consequence for Rigali? Nothing. Bevilacqua? Nothing.
The people in the pews? Nothing. Their biggest consequences have come in the form of closed schools and parishes, travel time to mass, length of sermons, likeable qualities of their priest, their money…and listen to them complain. But, whatever you do don’t challenge them about what they’ve done for and to the victims. When was the last time they “outted” a bishop? Challenged their priest? Marched with a victim? They have every piece of the puzzle to put it together. Many behave as if they won’t be held accountable for their complacency and silence. I guess they will roll the dice when it’s time to stand before Jesus and He asks them, “What did you do for the least of Mine?” Most can answer like their hierarchy, “Nothing.”
I’m very familiar with the corruption of the organization.
Believe me, I know you know the organization. If I sounded like I was instructing you, I didn’t mean to and I’m sorry. I was just venting.
The number of “Nothing’s” in your post points to the failure of too many Catholic clerics and lay people to have as their fundamental dispositions Catholic principles. When they are a person’s disposition, the person cannot act in any other way. Needs, agendas, power trips, law suits, traditions, being set adrift, et al., do not skew or taint the disposition or its’ resulting actions. Today, when a cleric or lay person says, “I AM Catholic,” my response is, “Really?”
Rich, any word from the AD?
We’d like to send a copy of the letter my husband wrote on your behalf to you. Which way is best?
As with all clergy abuse issues, I wait until my husband goes public before I “out” him in any way. He has absolutely no problem with how you choose to use his letter, privately or publicly. I reminded him of the public forum that is C4C, and he said he’s fine with anything. The letter is long and I’m not sure this forum would be the place for it either, but that’s between the moderators and you.
SW, I hope you can post it somehow here at least. It belongs here.
I tried responding to this post before but it didn’t show up for whatever reason. I thank you and your husband for helping me with your letter, but I’m not really sure it’s mine to read. Something just tells me that maybe it’s none of my business to know what your husband wrote. I don’t know if you feel the same way or not, but if your intent on wanting me to read it, you can send it to Victims4JusticeNow@yahoo.com
Thank your husband for me and thank you!
I can tell you how I felt after reading what my husband wrote on your behalf. 1. It has a lot of Jesus in it and Rich may not like that. (To which my husband responded…This is a call to the hierarchy to do as Jesus would do…the One they claim to follow) and 2. Rich may want to know that another victim(and their family) is fighting for him.
You have to beat them at their own game, back them in a corner and force them to decide…so they can be held accountable publicly. I have my own ideas why they came to a resolution with you. I think there’s something to be said for public accountability. How many victims do not or cannot reach out…and because of that…they are brushed aside. Count yourself a survivor Rich. You were never meant to walk this alone.
There are no “shoulds” with victims. I have no burning intent on making sure you read it either, but, it might feel pretty good to know we care. I’m sending it to you and you can decide whether you want to open it or not.
I read the letter, SW. I was speechless afterwards. I thought it was one of the most amazing and powerful letters I have ever read. In fact, I don’t even consider it a letter, but rather a piece of art. Thank you to you and your husband.
Thank you Catholic4Change people. Maybe it is possible to make some changes after all.
Leslie Davila called me at 1pm to approve psychiatric services for me provided by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Whomever called, thank you! Thank you!
That is great news.
Thanks for the good news, Rich.
Thanks for everyone’s help and the great letter you wrote, Kate. I’m not sure exactly what caused the Archdiocese to reconsider and approve my request, because I went through a number of channels to pressure someone from the church to return my phone calls and make good on promises they purport on their own website.
I do know one thing though, you’re calls and emails didn’t hurt and I am very grateful to everyone who did that. Thank you! It’s been a long time since I asked another human being for help and I was hesitant to ask for that help here, but it looks like “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow…” 🙂
Happy to hear, Rich. Perhaps we should defer more postings about your being denied care, until you ask us to reume. Your call, obviously.
I’m not sure what you mean, Jerry.
Rich, I meant that now that you are to get some assistance from the Philly AD, it may be best if C4C backs off on pressing the AD specifically on your behalf, unless and until you tell us again they are reneging. If they now finally do assist you, it could be adverse to your interest if C4C continues to beat the drums on your behalf. I just didn’t want you to lose what you are expecting because someone at C4C, however well intentioned, blasted the AD again. Obviously, there are many here who will help again when and if you ask for it. Your call, obviously.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect anything. I understand what you are talking about and yes, I think C4C should back off from contacting the Archdiocese of my behalf.
Having said that, if you were all willing to call and write for me, are you willing to seek the same for other people who I know can’t get what they deserve? I’m not suggesting you speak up for anyone specifically, but generally ALL victims. I know others who cannot get services from the Archdiocese like they were promised, or some who have had their services abuptly cut-off.
Maybe a letter to the Archdiocese stressing how important it is that EVERY victim gets a fair shot with healing would impact those who continue to beg for help every day.
Thanks, Rich. I am already spending over 50 hours a week now fighting Chaput and his corrupt and insensitive band of brothers, but will do what I can in light of your request. Given my background, I am trying to improve things on a lot of fronts, both helping survivors as I can, but also working to curtail future abuse. Good luck with your therapy, and let C4C know, if you can, if you get shortchanged again.
Wonderful news, Rich! I couldn’t be happier for you.
Rich I am crying right now you deserve it.
Happy tears 🙂 So glad for you.
Rich: Soooo happy you received your response from the AD of Phila. When I pray for victims and survivors of abuse, I say “Rich” and all of our victims, survivors. You, I believe, have helped so many, out of their darkness. I hope the services bring peace and light into your life. I believe the victims/survivors!! Peace
Yes! Wishing you the best, Rich. Martin
There is a new movie out that might be of interest to some of the people who read this blog. It’s called The Master. It’s about cults; it’s supposed to be good. Here is a link to a clip from it and to a press conference about the film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSjcDcpSOG4
There is another good older movie about religion that was little noticed in the mainstream press and by churches,”Jesus of Montreal.” Recommended.
“I’m responding to the worst loss of my life,” Sandusky said in the interview, which was confirmed as authentic via the Twitter account of one of Sandusky’s attorneys, Karl Rominger.
“First, I looked at myself,” Sandusky continued. “Over and over, I asked, why? Why didn’t we have a fair opportunity to prepare for trial? Why have so many people suffered as a result of false allegations? What’s the purpose? Maybe it will help others; some vulnerable children who could be abused, might not be because of all the publicity.
“That would be nice, but I’m not sure about it. I would cherish the opportunity to become a candle for others, as they have been a light for me. They could take away my life, they could make me out as a monster, they could treat me as a monster, but they can’t take away my heart. In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.”
If Jerry Scumdusky didn’t rape little boys, why does he refer to the acts as “alleged?” If I was accused of something I didn’t do, I would just say, “Hey, I didn’t do that.” I find it odd that he says “alleged,” like he’s still trying to play some kind of game with the public.
By the way Scumdusky, because of the publicity of your case more victims of scumbags like yourself have come forward. You single-handedly managed to educate more parents and child protectors of just how cunning and minipulative child rapists are. Thank you for that! If anything good can come out of the “disgusting acts I know you did to scared and defenseless children,” it’s that people will learn better how to protect kids.
Have a fun 400 years, scumbag!
Rich, I once had a long conversation with a therapist who has treated many priest perps. He told me they are liars and will never tell the truth. Martin
The question is whether all perps lie or just priest perps?
I seriously doubt I could ever see or speak to a therapist who I knew had patients who were predator priests. That just wouldn’t be an ideal situation for me.
I know they’re liars. I’ve witnessed them lie. I know now that Fr. McDevitt wasn’t protecting me from the school’s bullies because he cared about me, but he did it so he could abuse me. I din’t understand it for most of my life and I used to believe that what he did to me was my repaying him for protection. It’s all very confusing and it causes so many strange head games for years. I do know now that if he truly cared about my present back then, he would’ve better prepared me for the future. Instead he took everything.
I don’t respect liars at all. I recently walked away from a friend of over 3 years because I caught him lying to me.
I had a little gathering of friends (victims) at my house last weekend for porterhouse steak, a bushel of crabs, 12-doz. clams, potato salad and good conversation. A newer friend asked me, while others at the table listened, “Are you for real? You will stop being friends with someone if they lie to you?” Everybody at the table simultaniously, including my partner and his sister said, “YES.” My answer was, “Anyone who would lie to me, especially over something meaningless or so that can person can just talk for attention, has no respect for me at all. I will hold you to your word and if you break it, you don’t get another chance.”
I am where I am today because of liars.
Any one who thinks they can tame the DEVIL into submission, is whistling dixie! If Jesus Christ didn’t END the devil, and his reign, ( then and there, when HE was tempted on the mountain top, ) to give it all up (by the devil).. then you,or no one will be able to get rid of him but GOD ALMIGHTY. The RCC is” playing the devils game” that no one will win at…except them!
This book helps to explain why all the true believers out there cling to fantasies. http://www.amazon.com/True-Believer-Thoughts-Movements-Perennial/dp/0060505915/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349891239&sr=1-1&keywords=the+true+believer
From the book, “All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth or certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ.”
Mark, an interesting book –and author!
Crystal, and Martin, you’ve been such rocks of reliability for the readers of this blog. Thank you for all your work.
Here is another book for your consideration,
I won’t say what I really want to say about Bernays’ book relative to the Roman Catholic Church.
In July there were priests who were cleared and ” suitable” for ministry and the others either confessed or they were found guilty.The priest who abused me walked that day and it has taken me until October to come back from the impact of shock. There is one other victim who has come forward but due to legal issues on his part, the AOP deems him not credible. When I came forward that made number two and still that was not enough apparently. I have been in therapy and receiving treatment and working on getting myself together. Still it’s a battle to even comprehend the word function to my own life. The AOP sent a letter saying they are in support of my healing BUT he was found “suitable”. This priest knew exactly what he was doing, he knew there was family problems and I wouldn’t speak up for myself…
These predators know exactly what they are doing and cannot stop, it is sociopathic and they cannot feel remorse…fact. All I can say is, if you know someone who was abused, please don’t leave them alone and reach out often even if they pull back and isolate. Let them know that you are with them and show it beyond telling them you pray for them. Prayer is great and it gets me through dark spells but without a community we are alone. It takes a village, and until the village decides to speak up and take a stand causing change with the statute of limitations ESPECIALLY, then we are watching these predators walk away with an entire institution protecting them. Think of your children’s their children’s children, your sister,brother and best friends…what of this happened to them?
When I looked into the eyes of my abuser, there was two of him. There was his facade,that seemed caring and who was in control and could guide me and then there was the monster who would take what he wanted and my insides that can never be returned. He is still out there working for the AOP and when the statute changes we will press until he is behind bars where he belongs. If the AOP wants to dig a deeper hole, there will only be more to expose from all that is being hidden. There must be some kind of leverage and secretive information to keep an accused priest in ministry. So many priests carry known secrets of their fellow priests through confession and personal lives,as does the bishop. I want to know what is really going on that keeps him protected…
When the SOL change all I can say is run cockroaches…run!
Praying that you find good health and justice, Michael.
And praying for the person who gave you a thumbs down.
I am sorry Michael, I simply cannot imagine.
Michael, I am so sorry. I will just continue trying to put as many of these criminals behind bars as I can.
Micharl: No validation, no peace of mind, but know C4C is here for you, to listen and stand up for you and be your voice.
I hope to make 1ST Friday vigil in November at 222.
Peace. I believe the victims/survivors!!!
When I realized the lies and manipulations of my husbands offender(not a priest but went to jail)…..I saw and felt horror for the first time in my life……it is what the absence of God must feel like….I defintely felt evil was present ……I had a glimmer of what you are saying and it was enough to greatly impact me……I cant imagine not being able to stop someone so evil and unremorseful…..it was hard for me to believe that there are people that are so twisted and distorted in their thinking that are walking among us…..once you accept the fact that there are we need to take courage and stop this evil from continuing..Thanks for reaching out…..Speaking your truth dissolves the lies……and makes others feel less alone.
My heart breaks for you…and for all victims. I’m working in my corner of the world to effect change for the safety and protection of children.
Please keep sharing your truth.
You are in my prayers. Many of us are standing beside you even if only in spirit.
On to action…. What can we do to build momentum and support those working to change the statute of limitations? This is what you want.
Who would have bet on the AD responding to Rich? I was shocked when they responded positively. Did C4C folks make that happen? Who knows? Who cares? Rich got something he needed and deserved.
Someone once told me a story about a famous football game. Arkansas was to play Oklahoma and had 0 chance of winning. The Arkansas coach said something like: “I know we have almost no chance of winning. But what if we did win? Let’s assume for a moment that we won and are looking back, what happened that resulted in our victory? “ Of course, the team members one after another created a list of things that happened that led to their win. In fact, they went out on the field and won that day.
Let’s assume we are celebrating the change in the PA statute of limitations. As we look back, what happened that led to that success? What did we at C4C do that made this win for victims/survivors a reality?
I would start by saying…
We convinced the Church (the people of God) in PA that lifting the statute of limitations was right, just, and our responsibility. We acknowledged that we committed sins of omission by not acting sooner. An amazing number of Catholics appealed to politicians to change this law.
Anyone else have any thoughts on what led to success?
Martin I started calling the Victims assistance a few months ago to give feedback and suggestions. A comment I got back in return is that she wished more parishners would be involved and concerned about our victims. There is an atmosphere of fear, shame and anger bwt our survivors and the leadership which trickles down to the priests and then the laity many of whom have not met a survivor in person and only go by hearsay and what they read in the news that needs to change if we are ever going to heal as a church( I am in no way saying the anger of our survivors is not justified).I just see this a big hurtle that needs to be jumped by priests and laity if we are to help our survivors. But I know it is possible if we create relationships built on trust and understanding. It was amazing to have Vicky at our church and have her meet concerned catholics and our priests…..its only a start…….the result was people moving towards our survivors and that can only lead to healing and accountablity.I think parishes are where we can and need to focus because the impact can go both upwards and downwards on the totem pole so to speak. My only motivation is healing of our survivors and protection of children…….I have no intention of trying to change church teaching as many on this site…..I know the enemy is Satan and he works thru those that allow him to use them just as God can work thru us…….
Beth, thanks. I am determined to focus my efforts on educating the people in the pews on, among other things, reform of the statute of limitations. Having read what you said, one of the things I would like to do is to create opportunities for people to meet and hear people like Vicky who are willing to speak about their experiences.
Martin I tell Jesus I love him and to use me on a regular basis
…then I get out of the way:)
Thank you for your honesty. The laws in Pennsylvania are currently protecting the predators instead of the perps. Even though the priest who abused me is dead (I hope he suffered greatly in his last days), opening up a window so that myself, you and others like us could file civil suits would expose our abusers. Who knows? Another victim of my abuser might very well be staring down the barrel of a handgun thinking about taking his own life, because he thinks he’s the only person who was abused by Rev. John McDevitt. Maybe he didn’t see my publicity as it was spread all across the world, probably for the same reasons that I didn’t take much, if any, insterest in the abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in Boston in 2001-2002. I want to reach out to him and tell him that McDevitt abused me too. You are NOT alone. McDevitt abused a lot of boys. We have the proof.
In cases where the perps are still alive and are still working in a capacity within the Catholic Church where they have access to children, or those predator priests who have been removed from ministry and are now living in isolation or next door to unsuspecting parents with children, or across the street from playgrounds and schoolyards, a window would allow us victims to publicly identify those individuals who might harm other children, becase one thing you and I know probably all too well – these guys won’t stop!
Furthermore, those who knew about it, harbored it, hid it, and transferred it to other areas where it could happen again and again and again should also be held accountable. Make no mistake about it, I look at the abuser and those who knew about him and did nothing just as complicit as the abuser himself. Maybe those who know and do nothing are even more guilty.
I’m a stronger man today because of therapy. I’ve gone through over 3 years of good therapy, sometimes twice per week, but the demons still exist in my darkness. I am no longer convinced that they will ever go away for good. I do, however, feel better that I took a stand and made “myself” responsible for my future and for healing. It gets really hard sometimes even then, but I know I can’t quit today, because if I do, I quit present and future children who might be on the same path I have led in life and that I just can’t live with. I was validated when I decided to take my abuse public and it travelled all over the world, through cities, states, and countries on almost every continent. When other victims of Rev. John McDevitt saw me take a stand, they came forward soon after. If I’m going to live in fear and shame for the rest of my life, then I’m going to pronounce where that fear and shame comes from.
I wish we all could get to stare down our abusers, look in their eyes and say, “I’m not f#cking little kid anymore. I’m not your toy that you can play with. I’m 7’1″ tall, 250+lbs., and I’ve learned how to handle myself quite well since I broke away from you.” All I can hope is that someone is held responsible for what happened to me and others, on their watches, because they are all takers.
If you ever need to talk Michael, shoot me an email Victims4JusticeNow@yahoo.com We can exhange phone numbers, or just write back and forth. Your call.
You are my brother.
Rich Green (Victim)
Posted by Michele, ReplyOctober 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm
Why do I have to keep reading posts from people who seem to have a “destroy Catholicism” agenda? These posts do not even reflect the mission of C4C.
Ultimately, it is the owners of the site who make the determination on which “posts do not even reflect the mission of C4C.”
It may be that “the wisdom of Solomon ” is required to be fair in that determination.
What if there was a similar effort being pursued by two or more other men or women to “change” the Family Unit [father, mother, children] so that sexual abuse would be prevented by family members [rather than by clergy as in the case of catholics4change?]
What kind of posts would be considered to be “reflecting the mission ” of that hypothetical site? Would questioning of the legitimacy, purpose, origin, validity, etc. etc. of the “family unit” be found acceptable?
I ask this because on examination of some of the posts on this and some other topic threads,
the difficaulties of the determination seem apparent; the results somewhat uneven.
Are we still using the “destroy Catholicism” claim to criticize legitimate, honest, sincere, mature, deserved and constructive input and criticism being offered on this very important website? I think it is reasonable to say that given the disarray, deceit, and general turmoil within our Catholic Church organization and leadership, this site will be touching on a variety of important Catholic topics and subjects at times that may, directly or indirectly, impact on the main concern here at catholics4change, i.e., the protection and safety of our children.
First, it was “the victims are in it for the money” and then “why are they focusing only on the Catholic Church” and finally “we’ll support legislative changes for better child sexual abuse protection if they apply to all organizations and institutions” ! How about the very popular (and inane) “statute of limitations exist for a reason”?
You said: “How about the very popular (and inane) ‘statute of limitations exist for a reason’?”
When I heard Chaput say that, I thought: this dude is not very bright.
But I recently read this from Tom Doyle in a document on Vatican psychology: “The Vatican is one of the few places remaining where the argument ‘we’ve always done it this way’ is vigorously defended from a philosophical point of view. Leadership in the Church, from the Vatican’s point of view, is accountable primarily to tradition, and ultimately to God.” I want to understand how they think so that I can be effective in taking actions that will change how they act.
I think “we’ve always done it this way” is more vigorously defended from a theological point of view which, in making “the way” God’s way, makes it the one, holy, infallible, and immutable way. It’s theological nature makes it invulnerable to argument and it need not be evidenced. (It is not philosophical because it is based on faith/belief and not reason/logic.)
Their theological “way” is practically implemented, sustained, and maintained by the cultish nature of the priesthood. Its indoctrination, history and epic drama, brainwashing, vows, hierarchical system, fraternity, exclusiveness, and punitive tactics INFIX in clerics consummate faithfulness and loyalty to the theological “way.”
There’s no changing “the way” without first annihilating the cultish nature of the priesthood. Cultish minds have to be deprogrammed before they can be reprogrammed, making them suitable and free to contemplate and conceptualize new ways.
This discussion is extremely relevant to the efforts of C4C as it advocates for justice for victims and the protection of children. When “the way,”– “God’s way”– gets in the way, the way is the way of the courts and legislative bodies. Decent human beings do not permit victims and children to suffer or be jeopardized by an institution representing an abomination of God’s way. For folks angered or set adrift by the statement that “the way” is an abomination of God’s way, the truth of it is being manifested in courts and legislative bodies around the U.S. and abroad. It can be heard in the words of courageous bishops around the world and clerics attending the recent Synod in Rome, in the voices of thousands of priests around the world who have organized for Church reform, in the homilies of brave parish priests, in the articles of formidable theologians, Catholic writers, Catholic publications and newspapers, in the media, in the statements made by religious sisters, in the blog posts of advocates, reformers, and victims, and in the hushed words of people in the pews. To be hurt, sad, angry, or disillusioned is human, but to ignore or deflect the truth is neither God’s way nor the Catholic way.
As you correctly pointed out, “There’s no changing “the way” without first annihilating the cultish nature of the priesthood. Cultish minds have to be deprogrammed before they can be reprogrammed, making them suitable and free to contemplate and conceptualize new ways.”
Sun Myung Moon’s recent death reminded me of the loyalty and cultist nature of the “Moonies.” Cultist beliefs are not easily changed, regardless of the belief system they are connected with.
This is going to be a long war (decades) as the People of God engage the prelates.
WE are the insurgences!
Can any of the “thumbs downers” give us some examples of prelates in this country who place victims ahead of protecting the image of the RCC, and their own self interests?
If they can give examples of such prelates, please list them. Support your reasoning for your thumbs down, I seldom see these bloggers presenting their rational.
Thumbs Downers come out of the closet.
Brilliantly stated, Kate!
Thanks for those pertinent and honest comments, Mike.
As per Kathy Kane: “Everyone is welcome to share their thoughts…”
As per Susan Matthews, C4C home page: “This site is a forum for Catholics …”
As per C4C About page: “Catholics4Change.com was created to serve as a forum for Catholics…”
Kathy & Susan, would you please cIarify: is C4C a forum for Catholics or for everyone?
I wil let Susan answer for herself but imagine when she developed this site her words were more of a description of what she hoped would happen,rather than rules for what could only happen on the site. This site came to be in the wake of the February GJ report 2011 ,much has happened since then and the site continues to evolve. There are many who comment who may have never been Catholic or are no longer Catholic..whoever wants to support victims and protect kids is welcome in my book. I could do without the scripture posting and others who talk of hatred against the Church and rarely mention a victim or child..but it is what it is.
I could do without the scripture posting [unquote]
Kathy, I am almost speechless!
So, it appears you don’t really mind what people post [within limits of course] but would rather “do without the scripture posting?”
As for me, if someone has a REASON to post a scripture to help make some point, and can explain WHY they use a particular scripture, I am good with it.
nichols sometimes a certain verse is interesting to add to a post but if I want to read the Bible or be preached to, I know where to find that also..not looking for it here.
Michele: Maybe, Susan and Cathie could issue Catholic Photo ID’s. You would have to show your ID before you could post on this blog.By the way, who is it that you think, should not be allowed on this site? Is it myself or Rich, who were abused by the clergy of your Church. We no longer consider ourselves Catholic, and honestly myself wouldn”t want your ID card.I understand you wanting to defend your Church. My sister , who is still very much a practicing Catholic, and I have had some very insightfull discussions about this issue.She is like many of those who post here and remain in the Church. She really questions where her Church is headed. The fact that her brother was molested many years ago and still carries many of the scars, also has her very disheartened by her Church. Myself, I am disenchanted by a few of those who post here,but I still believe they have a right to do so. When we try to eliminate certain voices because we disagree with what they are saying, we are certainly headed in the wrong direction.
Sorry Kathy, my wifes name is Cathie. I guess my old age is showing.
Jim. “Age.” I have been thinking “age” a lot lately; hit 80 last month. I know Glory29 is in her 80’s [she said so]. Anyone game to see who is “eldest on the blog?”
Your catholic ID reference made me laugh:) That was in a good way. I am really interested in what everyone has to say and I always try to understand why they say what they say not that I always agree but it gives me a window into their world and why they see things the way they do. If for instance I had just met Rich and he told me the last Bible he held he thru in a fire i would be shocked but now whether I agree with it or not I understand why he did it and maybe if I was in his shoes I might have wanted to do the same thing especially if no one tried to reach out to me from my school, parish or high school I think I would be pretty angry also. Then we can take that information and try to change things like reach out to those in our schools, parishes and high schools. My only thing is that yes there are people in the parishes that now know what is going on and dont know exactly how to connect with our survivors to help them or that there are vigils they can go to etc. I believe there are many things at a parish level we could be doing that we are not doing. This needs to change and should be a focus for us all.I think parish meetings if done well can be a first step and a source of connection……I am all for buidling relationships and reaching out to others like Jesus…..also I have to be honest that I was nervous going to my first few vigils. I didnt know what to expect. I think some people who read this blog might feel intimidated or that they would be attacked for still staying in the church if they showed up . But I know that has not been the case. All the survivors I have met in person have been very considerate and patient with me if it was reversed I dont know if I could be as kind..I realize under some of the comments on this site is a tremendulous amount of suffering and a need and desire for the truth justice and accountability……I also want our survivors to know there are those seeking change that are inside the church so that surviors are helped and children are protected. I believe many are upset with the leadership and that includes priests, laity and survivors and I just think that in many cases it is fear and anger that stops us from forming bridges that can ultimately change things for the better. So ask your parish to hold vigils, invite survivors to come speak and also have open forums to express their feelings and concerns and continue to ask our survivors how can we help you heal.
Beth: you remind me of my dear sister. She just emailed me to try to explain why she remains in the Church. In my return email I explained to her that there was no need for her to explain. Her experinces with the Church have been very different than my own. She graduated from St. Joes with a degree in theology about the age of fifty. I don’t remember exactly when she started, but it was many years before. She works in a job where she helps kids and their families. I don’t hold it against anyone who chooses to stay and fight from within. The Catholic Social services do many good things.Unfortunately, the Church has handled the sex abuse crisis in such a horrible way, it is difficult to see the good that they accomplish, elsewhere. I am glad Rich says he burned the Bible, and not the Koran. He could have started an international incident right here on C4C .
JIm I hear you and agree. All the good works in the world mean nothing if you dont have love……and that is what disturbs me the most………the lack of compassion…..
Beth, I admire your heart and your optimism, and I must try to see things more like you do…. Maybe fatigue is setting in for me,..but I want to try to share my thoughts about this bridge-building you often mention, between clergy, laity and survivors — all being done with the goal of “healing” from within the church.
I’m weary of watching the laity beg for help and attention, accountability and transparency and justice from priests and bishops and popes. I’m sick of leaders buying time in this crisis by parsing out stingy, empty gestures and words of hope and condolence.Who cares if they’re sorry? We shouldn’t have to ask them if we can hold talks or vigils on AD property. We’re Americans. We don’t humiliate ourselves by bowing, scraping and begging for scraps of truth, justice or mercy from clergymen. If church leaders can’t do the right thing on their own, we work to strip them of their assets, and put their criminal butts in jail.
For survivors I wish everything they need and want in order to live stable, comfortable, peaceful lives… but I don’t look for “healing” exactly—not for victims, the church, nor myself. I see no indications that this is an appropriate time for “healing.” The right conditions do not exist anywhere in the church to facilitate true healing. The assault is still not over, the wound is not closed, the infection prevails….
As for working to maintain lines of communication between priests, victims and laity…Priests do not deserve this courtesy from the laity. It’s time to stop giving them things they do not earn.
I’m not even sure what “healing” actually means to any of us. There is no satisfactory ending for this story. People who heal, risk forgetting. An atrocity like this one needs to be remembered. It should be preserved, visible, ugly, unholy. Maybe the RCC should remain “unhealed”, as a fitting memorial to its countless young victims.
Crystal I agree with most of what you say except about healing……..there are always scars there are always reminders. Some things take a very long time to change but the alternative is to give up and do nothing …..Jesus never gave up on any of us. You make it sound like healing has nothing to do with justice. I think for many it has everything to do with justice…..but I am not a survivor and every survivors story and needs are different.
NOW is always the appropriate time to heal because to delay the healing of people who are hurt or suffering is cruel and immoral.
But Crystal is correct. “The assault is not over, the wound is not closed, the infection prevails…” Hierarchical denial and its protection of its own interests hardly provide a suitable landscape for healing. Additionally, the hierarchy has the effect of disempowering and paralyzing parish priests. Clerics as a whole are simply not fit or free to enter into productive healing endeavors… even when they say they are, even when they say they want to.
Shocking how our shepherds have abandoned us. Darn right shocking.
Beth: It seems perfectly clear that change in the Catholic Church is not going to occur from the top down. Those in the Hierarchy are too busy protecting their ass-ets. Perhaps you are closer to the truth. It needs to work from the bottom up. From what I have heard, priests in Ireland are starting to affect change there.If concerned members of the laity really got involved with concerned clergy, change could occur. I know it seems a long shot, but we can always hope.
Crystal, I endorse wholeheartedly your entire remarkeable comment. The hierarchy, their predatoty priests and their passive collaborators still don’t get it, are still dangeous and ruthless and cannot be trusted. We must press on without them and lock up these evildoers.
Jim and everyone we continue to get back incredible feedback from our meeting and you know what they are saying having Vicky there was the most powerful thing…..I am greatly encouraged…..Jerry we are all the Body of Christ and everyone has different talents and jobs to do.
If there is one thing I have learned in the past two years it is that the victim decides their path and no one else. I know victims who remain in the Church and victims who cannot set foot in a church.. no one’s business but their own. Vicky went to the meeting and felt that the parishioners and priest “heard ” her. She has always said that to be heard and believed is a huge part of her journey. Justice, as always is of course a priority but if speaking to parishioners and priests is part of her healing than that is her decision and no one else’s.
Kathy you are right. It’s her decision.Vicky has told me she has a desire to educate and alot of that is needed as there is so much misunderstanding. So many times on this site she told me I just wasnt getting it and I appreciate her saying so.Vicky reached people not even at that meeting and some were families of survivors……how do I know? People have come up and told me so.
You shared some things my husband has shared over the past few years. He will tell you he had a choice…stay in the church and suffer or leave and heal. In order to stay, he would have had to be at the mercy of the very people who abused and re-abused him…not to mention navigating all of the various needs of the laity. His words, “There is no room for a victim in the Catholic Church to heal. They won’t allow for it.”
I do disagree with you about this not being the right time for healing. It is always a good time to heal. The Catholic Church may not allow for it, but victims deserve the opportunity to heal. Is the Catholic Church capable of it? The way they are doing things now…no.
Very powerful words…”the assault is not over, the wound is not closed, the infection prevails.”
Crystal, you said, ” If church leaders can’t do the right thing on their own, we work to strip them of their assets, and put their criminal butts in jail.”
Well, this is what we are witnessing today.
Beth, Kathy, The word to “heal” ordinarily has a precise meaning for me. It means to “make free from ailment.” To whatever degree this goal is attainable from person to person, I do want this for every single survivor.
Taking into account all that has happened, and all that we know, I just can’t see the sense of reaching out and trusting the clergy to help with this healing …but if others can, and they get results.. awesome!
Jerry, thanks. I was reading a great comment of yours today under a John Allen article. I can often recognize a Jerry Slevin comment even before I read the name. Besides information, clarity, wisdom and energy, they always pack a certain delightful punch!
Thanks, Crystal. Having read many of your, Beth’s, Kathy’s and SW’s earlier comments, I think we share a basic consensus about “healing’ even if some quick comments may at times obscure that.
You only read one of my great NCR comments recently? What about the 200+ other “great ones” I added in the last two weeks since NCR adopted a new instant posting approach LOL
You, Beth, SW, Kathy, Susan, Kate, Mike, Jim, Martin, et al. have things well covered here so I am hanging around NCR more, at least until the elections in three weeks. Kathy and Susan do not permit me to electioneer here.
I do miss Joan and hope all is well with her and her husband.
SW, Your husband made the ONLY choice. I truly hope there is healing going on here. In a strange, backward culture where an archbishop boldly sees fit to spend millions of catholic dollars defending his child rapists, and a pedophile the likes of Father Avery is sentence to only 2 1/2 -5 yrs, and a criminal Msgr. is officially prayed for in honor of his sacrifice, Philadelphia has got to be a lousy place for a victim to try to heal emotionally.
(I hope this doesn’t push the rules of this site too far but….) I must say as a late-comer to this issue, I can’t fully describe the shock, the betrayal and the resentment I feel toward this church. I am coping these days with much shame and bewilderment as I process the reasons that I ever could have been loyal to it. What a shameful time and place is Philadelphia 2012, to call oneself a catholic.
Thanks again, Crystal. To better understand how we all got here, after often well intentionally but naively supporting an evil hierarchy, I encourage you to read “Theology of Fear”, by Fr. Emmett Coyne, available on Amazon.com.
Emmett is a remarkable, brave and prophetic priest who has also commented wisely on C4C on occasion.
Please take care of yourself. You are surely on the right track and add much to C4C.
Jerry, i appreciate that book suggestion. Ordering it today.
In my past life before kids I was a physical rehab nurse. I guess that is the persepctive I approach the current issues in our church. I share many of the same feelings and thoughts as you do.Do I think the laws need to change the church needs to be cleaned out and people go to jail yes. Do I question if the church was ever really what it proclaimed to be yes.There are many people hurting both survivors and non survivors. I am use to being hands on in the thick of things and navigating medical hierarchies to get what my patients need to heal. I know with some wounds you need to be agressive and some you need to let the body heal its self in its own time.The healing I am use to usually has some residue elements but that may be determined by the severity of the injury and type of care one recieves. I know if I dont ask or my patient does not tell me what they need I will never know what they need to heal. Some people you expect to thrive dont and some people you lose hope in recover.I know the mind body and soul are connected and sometimes to heal the body you need to address the soul and the mind. I have seen miracles in the strength of the human spirit and God. I know my greatest teachers have been my patients and many were beautiful people that had powerful stories that taught me so much about how to approach life and overcome obstacles. Even during great suffering..I know I dont know everything and that when I learn to trust in God. Maybe my life experiences made me a realist …..despite how I feel and think I do what i can where I can and I know I cant fix everything but I can do something and that something has the potential to have a ripple affect on others..
I dont see it as reaching out for the clergy to help healing although that was the point I was at awhile back. If Vicky speaking opened one person’s eyes whether that be a clergy member or parishioner, that is progress. Once someone can relate or better understand they forward that onto to others in their own life. That is what I have seen happening on this site and in my on life. People sharing info I have given them and people sharing their thoughts with others..a gradual awakening..too long in coming but maybe some glimpses of hope. I attended a prayer vigil at a parish and handed out victims statements..most people probably threw the paper away but I ended up in a long conversation with a senior citizen who is an active parishioner. The amount of info he already knew astounded me and to find out he donates to victims groups and fights for legislation was awesome and had I never gone,I never would have known that people like him were fighting the fight in their own way.
I have a little saying that works wonders in many situations…
“Let go or get dragged.”
It applies to my family and the Catholic Church.
Your saying made me smile because their is alot of wisdom in it.
I’ve written several times about why I write and it has to do with the innocents that have been SPIRITUALLY MURDERED and you didn’t post it. So we still don’t have a definitive answer. whether we are allowed to write or not! ..They say” once. a Catholic, always a Catholic…” I was one good one., for over 60 yrs and was a convert. I guess I’ts your call re: experience, dedication., plus stupidity allegence to man and not God, that sadly I found out. these men were out. for themselves and. not. for us, or God.
I. Do not consider myself a Catholic,!!!!!! , The ball’s in your court’ …… JUST LET ME KNOW., BECAUSE I REALLY CARE FOR OUR INNOCENTS that the. Rcc is responsibil for.. I want them held accountable!!!!!!!
We, my husband and I,(married 61 yrs,) left the church in 2001. I am now 83 and have been blogging for over ten yrs,. re the evils of the RCC.. We all have been duped by the evil one. .God Bless you all!
In John Allen’s NCR article “At Synod of Bishops, ‘Ecumenism lives!'” he writes how the Catholic Church is perceived by other Christian faiths as the bully on the world-block when it comes to evangelization.
sorry… can’t finish that right now.
Re John Allen’s article…
By “bully on the world-block when it comes to evangelization,” I mean that other Christian faiths perceive the Catholic Church as aggressive if not combative in terms of its efforts to convert non-Christians to Catholicism, win unaffiliated Christians, and lure members from other Christian persuasions. In the worldwide, Christian evangelization arena, the Catholic Church’s focus is myopic (itself!), “menacing,” and greedy. This modus operandi is one among many factors that has led to the Church’s utterly abysmal record on ecumenism over, say, the last 30 years. Basically, other Christian and, indeed, non-Christian faith persuasions have hadit with us!
Perceived as a breakthrough of sorts in ecumenism are Benedict’s words uttered at the recent Synod in Rome. He said, “the more we keep apart from each other as Christians of different confessions, the less convincing the Church’s message will seem.” He meant that when parallels and similarities can be made among the beliefs of different Christian persuasions, they act to support the validity of the beliefs themselves. Efforts at ecumenism promote and foster a doctrinal win-win situation for ALL Christian faiths. Unity is the way to go.
I’m all for ecumenism for faith reasons. The quicker Catholicism gets off its polarizing, infallible, and immutable theological high-horse the closer we’ll get to the truth of Christianity. But serious Catholic efforts at ecumenism have the potential to have another greatly needed and significant effect.
I wish Benedict had said this, too, at the recent Synod in Rome: “the more we keep apart from each other as Christians of different confessions, the less convincing the Church’s LEADERS will seem.”
For the last 30 years, in terms of ecumenism, Church leaders have been bullies and isolationists, arrogantly keeping their distance from the more “lowly” faiths. The leadership style has been distasteful, uncooperative, divisive, inflammatory, and ineffective. The style, also, has had the effect of safeguarding Catholic leaders from seriously looking at themselves in the light of other Christian leaders who are women, out of the closet gays and lesbians, and married, and it has safeguarded them from critically evaluating their monarchical system and style against democratic ones.
As the 21st century unfolds, our Church leaders are becoming glaringly less convincing. Serious efforts at ecumenism could shed light on the effective, inclusive, and just forms of leadership that are imperative if our Church is to remain relevant and existent.
The more our Church leaders are humanized by other forms of leadership, the greater capacity they will have to genuinely “get” the plight of victims, the vulnerability of children, and the need to protect
” Perceived as a breakthrough of sorts in ecumenism are Benedict’s words uttered at the recent Synod in Rome. He said, “the more we keep apart from each other as Christians of different confessions, the less convincing the Church’s message will seem.” ” Please pardon the double quotes- I didn’t know how to set it up. But anyway—I must say I dropped my jaw when I read the quote of B16 above. According to historians it is virtually word-for-word the description of Constantine’s reason for wanting to unite everyone in one religion and so doing to unite the Roman empire.What happened is history: As a stand alone believer, you were forced to “sign up” to what was handed down from the men on top and had to hide /suppress your belief if it differed. Those believing the gospel message [surviving in scripture] were the “heretics” and those inventing false doctrines were “orthodox and possessors of the “one true faith.”
I just read part of Mr. Allen’s article and it was
It was Rowan Williams who made the quoted comment, not Benedict 16 as hadid reported.
With all the recent thoughts about the comments on C4c..I think anyone reading the exchanges between Beth and Jim show what Susan hoped for with this site. Realistic,compassionate exchanges about what can be done in a small corner of the world/Church where children have been harmed and victims still suffer.
Kathy this past week a tragedy rocked my brothers community……a 10yr old girl named Jessica was abducted by a predator……and it reminded me how true Fathers act…..my brother and many other volunteers dropped everything and searched the fields and woods looking for this child ……why? because he is a dad and fatherhood changed him and all he could think of is the two little girls he has at home ……and he knew he couldnt sit at home and twittle his fingers and hope someone else goes finds and helps her. Tragedically they recently found her little body discarded on the side of the road and I texted my brother who had asked for prayers to find her how sad it is and he replied he is not sad but angery at who ever dare harm a child. This is how a real dad is…..his love for his own children overflows to others……it causes them to act and they are angry when any child is harmed….May little Jessicas soul rest in peace and may her parents find peace comfort and justice for their little girl.
It’s strange in life how things collide, merge together and connect. I briefly met Archbishop Chaput at St. Andrew’s and the first thing I mentioned was that my brother was from Denver Colorado (now lives in suburbs) . I wonder in the back of my mind by not passing certain laws in Denver for survivors of sexual abuse did they fail Jessica? Would this law have made her safer? I know from experience when predators are named new victims come forward. I believe that any law that would do so protects our children today.
Kathy: thank you for your comments. I don’t think myself or others will ever completely heal from the effects of sexual abuse as a child. It will remain with me until I die. I am convinced of that. But there are many things that help. Each survivor needs to find what will help them. Vicky, going to a Church to talk about her abuse , I find absolutely mind boggling. The courage she displays, I could only wish I had. And as a bonus , she says it helps her too. Rich, who I am happy to say is finally getting the financial help from the Church, talks about how much that has helped him.For myself, I find that reading books on the subject and reading posts here and posting my thoughts have been a big help. I have thought about going back into therapy but out here in Central Pa.it is difficult to find therapists who have the background and knowledge to treat adult male victims. Therapy, for me has been both a good experience and a bad one.Part of that is me and part of it, is finding the right therapist.I left the Church a very long time ago. For me, it was essential. Talking about therapists,I had one who was very good who taught at U of Pa., who told me ,half in jest and all in earnest, that if it were not for the Catholic Church, he wouldn”t have a job.
Jim and SW I understand about needing to leave to heal and not being revictimized. Actually the pastor at my husbands offenders church invited us to come there and I was thinking in my mind is this guy for real. But looking back I do see that he was trying to reach out in a genuine way unlike what you describe with the RCC.I have to say this pastor went out of his way to help. I also was on a committee for a moms group at a presbytrian Church and I think both experiences taught my how to love and act like Christ more.
Kathy, I have learned a lot from Jim and appreciate the risks he takes here. I hope we can continue to be a supportive community for him. To give back some of what he has given to us. I stand in awe of Beth’s willingness to put herself out there and the humility she regularly demonstrates in being willing to learn.
If we, who post and read here on c4c,do not agree with what the RCC hierarchy and many others, laity , nuns, priests and brothers are doing to put a stop to this hienous sexual abuse of our innocents, why is it that some are afraid to leave it? The people who perpetuate these Crimes Against Humanity, are not sorry for these acts of the devll and who defend themselves at all cost, rather than care for those abused…. why cannot people see that as something to “abhor” rather than to try to change it?I know it is bhored but to change the devil tracks is impossible.
I have in fact left, but I still attend Mass because of my wife. I consider myself a “Christian Catholic” (I believe Jerry coined that one), as opposed to a Roman Catholic. I despise RC prelates. I asked for the names of some decent US prelates on c4c in the past, but no one posted any names.
So drwho, if you’re presently a CC, that makes me a CXRCC!
(a christian ex-roman cafeteria catholic)
I like it!
glorybe1929 I do abhor it thats why I am trying to fight it. I am not afraid I asked Jesus and he said he doesnt want me to leave.
I respect your decision, however in the link below there is an article by a “Fox News” priest that clearly make one aware of the stench that is coming from the body of a badly decaying RCC.
I might of read the Bible wrong but I dont recall anywhere that Jesus was a politician:)
Glory, most catholics pay no attention at all to the hierarchy. (These men are not all that interesting until we hear what they do behind closed doors!) Many catholics wouldn’t know the name of the current Archbishop. These catholics do not consider the opinions and actions of their leaders to be important in the daily practice of their faith.
Many people don’t leave the RCC because they like being part of the community of the church. Only a life-long Catholic could really understand this sense of fellowship and belonging. They find people they relate to and spiritual things they need there.
Crystal you are so right. Before I got involved in this I could not tell you one name of a Bishop in Philly..not one. Cardinals and Archbishops ..yes. I have lived in the Philly AD my entire life and had no idea the reputation of being full of clericalism,the elitism etc… none of it. I have had a crash couse in the Church in Philly over the past 18 months..before that I had no idea what went on past the parish I lived , or parishes I once lived . As far as feeling connected to the Archdiocese..my only connection to that was as a kid waiting to hear KYW announce on snowy mornings that Archdiocesan schools were closed 🙂 Someone often tstated on here that Catholics were fighting shoulder to shoulder with their Bishops..I think most Philly Catholics would not even recognize the bishops walking down the street or even know their names.
geez, somebody’s right in there with the thumbs down, hatin’ on me…lol!
As always, I admire Crystal’s wisdom and clarity in her posts. Thumb up.
Re: Crystal and Glorybe– This brings to my mind that for many “Catholics”, they have never made a serious, conscious choice to BE CATHOLIC; but it almost comes down to an accident of birth. Going back farther, it can be an accident of geographic/demographic chance that they are “Catholic.” I know that in my case, when I returned to the Church at around age 25, I went deeper into study of the Church teachings than almost any other Catholics I knew personally. I suppose that drive for more knowledge ultimately led to my journey through Charismatic Renewal, to Pentecostalism, and finally to Pauline Dispensationalism. Not everyone with the label “Catholic” is all that interested in investigatinn why they are where they are , I would say. So I am agreeing with Crystal’s take.
nichols, thanks. It’s interesting to learn about your background and journey!
I think it’s only fair to say that catholics are not the only people who sometimes fail to become highly knowledgeable about their religion. Catholics are no different than any other group. We stand out in this regard because the RCC is such a large, global, assertive, know-it-all religion, from which “better” is expected or presumed —-especially by its detractors.
IMHO, Most ordinary people in the world have little drive to become well-versed in the dogma and history of the religion they claim to be affiliated with. They have only time and energy enough to live by the Golden Rule — caring for their neighbor and doing their best. (and these are fast becoming “my people”!)
Catholics usually have also been thoroughly brainwashed by effective propaganda at an impressionable age, leaving them to grow up overly confident they have all the answers about religion.
Kate has several times wisely commented on this cult-like experience that many of us grew up with, not realizing we were being programmed so thoroughly.
Listening to and exchanging honest insights on C4C has been a helpful antidote for many who had been brainwashed earlier.
Jerry I completely agree about the propaganda and brainwashing. How sad. I clearly see the grip it still has on a few of my peers and certainly on my parents. It makes them afraid to be honest about their perception of reality…and does it ever distort their view of the abuse scandal!
About this brainwashing/indoctrination … I wonder which decades of the 20th century saw the worst of it? I assume catholic school kids were most affected. My parents unsuccessfully did their best to pass it on….but we public school kids of the 60’s to 70’s were not very receptive…They could recite the Baltimore Catechism (those Cliff Notes to salvation) backwards in their sleep. They knew it faster and better than their times tables!
Archbishop Chaput said that in making his decision, “I relied on the counsel of the Archdiocesan Review Board and the Multi-Disciplinary Team. The experience of these experts who have devoted their lives to addressing the societal evil of sexual abuse is critical to the work we do. All cases are unique and contain various factors that require careful consideration. This one was no exception.
But these professionals are in the employ of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and not the parishioners of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. How do such individuals balance their responsibility and/or commitment to the institution that pays for their services with the responsibility and/or commitment to the safety and security of the children and young adults within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, its churches, schools and other social activities? Their first commitment, responsibility is to which entity……the Archdiocese? or the children?
Finally, who really is paying for the professional services being rendered by the members of the Archdiocesan Review Board as well as members of the Multi-Disciplinary Team?
Posted at http://www.catholicphilly.com re Father DiGregorio’s return to ministry.
It appears that the Rigali/Chaput duo has learned little from the Lynn conviction, while Seth Williams seems to continue to give them and the other bishops a pass, as he still “sub-contracts” his duties to Rigali/Chaput’s lawyer, Gina Smith (Ed Rendell’s partner!).
A year and a half after Rigali suspended them, seven priests’ abuse cases appear still unresolved, while the suspects remain at large unsupervised. This is dangerous and disgraceful!
Jeff Anderson and Marcy Hamilton have now on behalf of survivors sued both Rigali and Chaput for alleged cover-up actions, which is important, although Rigali and Chaput can, and probably will, buy their way out ot those lawsuits, as many other bishops have done before when Jeff got too close for comfort.
The sad thing for Philly seems to be it has a District Attorney who is a politician more than he is a prosecutor, as we saw so often in the Lynn prosecution.Hopefully, a challenger will remind Philly voters of Seth’s serious shortcomings, when and if he runs for Philly mayor or for re-election as DA.
Michael, I share your disgust. These “experts”, are their names published anywhere?
On Monday, Chaput’s group of “experts” found this Fr. DiGregorio fit for ministry!!?? Somethings WAY wrong here…
Fr. DiGregorio was accused of molesting a 16 yr old girl in S. Phila. He failed a lie detector test. When not serving in the military, he shared rectories with two, now-defrocked priests, Fr. William Santry and Fr. Nicholas Cudemo. Fr. Santry admitted to molesting the S. Phila. girl, and also reported that DiGregorio did too. Fr Cudemo’s record is notorious.
Between the insular, in-house, AD investigations, the hand-picked investigators, the return of DeGregorio to ministry, the return of Michael’s perp to ministry (see Michael’s above post), and the 7 remaining priests removed by Ragali a year and a half ago yet still unresolved, the process is nothing short of corrupt. The primary concern and main effort are to salvage priesthoods. They are asking, “How can we get around the accusations of victims and save this man’s priesthood?” Loyalty to the cult rules.
Micheal, I am still moved and stunned by your post saying that your perp was returned to ministry recently. I believe you, and I’m working on your behalf.
Thank you for this..I found myself singing along with it and my arms up, in Praise to God!!!!!!
I just want you to all know I prayed intensely to Mary before Jesus the past 3 days and it was powerful …..I know Jesus and Mary heard my prayers for all of you…………Peace
by “it” I mean the experience
Most of Chaput’s appointees to the “child protection” board have been involved for a long time in Philly criminal justice system.
We all know how effective they have been over the last decades. Lynn found over 300 Philly suspected priests in his initial review for Bevil the Devil. Only a very small percentage of them were ever pursued by the criminal justice system.
If Chaput were serious, previous involvement in the Philly criminal justice system should be an automatic disqualifier to be on his board, Mike excluded.
Oh, what is the matter with me? I keep forgetting. Chaput isn’t interested in finding and curtailing predatory priests in the first place. He just wants “cover” like Gina Smith is shamelessly providing him, for big bucks I am sure.
Thanks, Jerry for the compliment. So often I have been “excluded”, but in this instance, such a label is indeed a measure of praise.
I certainly would welcome the opportunity to serve in such a capacity on the Archdiocesan Review Board. I’ll be standing waiting at the mailbox for the letter of invitation.
Sorry to say, I’m awaiting a much more important appointment, of course, in my dreams………..to have one of the two non-lawyer positions on the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Now that would be priceless.
I hope you get the appointment, Mike. You deserve it and the citizens of PA would surely reap the benefits of having an experienced, honest and dedicated person like you protecting the public’s interest.
chart form of abusive priests and desposition.
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” 1 John 4:12
“Statutes of limitations had run out for eight of the 10 victims, Sandusky’s attorneys argued. Prosecutors failed to show enough evidence to convict Sandusky and the charges were not specific enough, they said.”
Check out HR 520 – SOLs are not only important for our cause, but also for child abuse issues in this state. Those of us outside of SEPA keep hearing of liberal judges( ie felony charges dropped – Philly) or Bensalem police dept dropping the ball – (tattoo palor case) in stating the laws are sufficient, just not enforced properly when contacting our lawmakers. Sorry, under the Federal Hatch Act so can’t get into partisan politics – only just causes to free some of the burden of all child abuse victims and identify those who have hurt them and may hurt others.