Can We Believe the Archdiocese?


submitted By Sister Maureen Turlish

On October 15, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced its decision to restore Rev. Joseph DiGregorio to ministry, a priest credibly accused of the sexual exploitation of a minor.

It did so while releasing as little information as possible.

The Archdiocese’s poor record of accountability and transparency began to become known as early as 2002 when then-Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua was quoted on CNN as saying, “We all are agreed that no priest guilty of even one act of sexual abuse of a minor will function in any ecclesial ministry or any capacity in our diocese.”

Later, the 2005 and 2011 grand-jury reports highlighted in graphic detail the lack of accountability and transparency shown by Cardinals Krol, Bevilacqua and Rigali.

Is there really a reason why faith should be put in this latest decision by Archbishop Charles Chaput to return DiGregorio to ministry without more information being released to the public? Chaput admitted in his statement that DiGregorio was found to have violated the church’s behavioral standards for priests.

What exactly were the charges? What was the supporting evidence? Did that evidence include records, documents, correspondence and the like? And what about the second priest, the Rev. William Santry, who admitted to sexually abusing Barbara Dellavecchia at the same Our Lady of Loreto Parish in West Philadelphia and who was subsequently removed from the priesthood?

What information does Chaput have that makes him so confident that because there have been no accusations reported to the Archdiocese in 40 years, more victims don’t exist and that DiGregorio poses no current risk?

Should people put their faith in the archdiocesan review board?

Even after the release of the 2011 grand-jury report on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, its review board was not given access to all the information the Archdiocese had on clerics accused of sexually exploiting minors. In fact, at that time the review board was not being given all the names of the accused, let alone all the information on the few names they were given.

According to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the bishops, no one with even one credible accusation of the sexual exploitation of a child is to be returned to ministry in the Roman Catholic Church.

Has that changed?

Philadelphia Catholics realized in 2011 that their faith in Cardinal Rigali’s promises after the release of the 2005 grand jury report was misplaced.

Charles Chaput, who became Philadelphia’s archbishop in 2011, has yet to demonstrate the kind of accountability and transparency that would inspire one to trust his decisions without something more tangible then just his words to support them.

“I found him suitable for ministry,” is simply not enough.

Our church hierarchy lost that kind of faith and trust when it chose to ignore Jesus’ mandate to protect children in favor of enabling and protecting sexual predators. There is no margin for error where the safety of children is concerned.

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Advocate for Victim/Survivors
& Legislative Reform
New Castle, Delaware

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127 Responses to “Can We Believe the Archdiocese?”

  1. Absolutely not! Lynn’s trial disclosures proved beyond a reasonably doubt that the Philly Archdiocese is untrustworthy. Chaput’s performance to date just confirms little has changed.

    • Jerry, I read your piece on Bilgrimage “after Elections, Who Will Prosecute More Predatory priests?, IT IS BRILLIANT!I brought it in to my therapist office and Sharon loved it. We want to send it to Obama! Boy, do you nail it. As a survivor, it means so much to me have someone like yourself present the Truth. How very fortunate we are to have such an ally in the search for real truth. You are doing such a service to many, you have no idea. Thank you!

      • Thank you, Vicky. It means a lot to me that it is of some help to you and others. I send my pieces to various outlets, including some who have close ties to Obama. That said, if he is re-elected, I intend to press him as best I can. He will be subject to papal pressure like all political leaders are, but he won’t be running for office again!

      • Where can I find this “Bilgrimage,” Vicky. I wrote a letter to the president a few years back. I got a Christmas card that year from the White House and I thought maybe a reply to my letter might be coming too, but that was just wishful thinking. As it turns out, anyone who writes a letter to the White House gets a “Holiday” card in return that year.

        But I’d love to read Jerry’s piece, so where can I get it?

        Thanks!
        Rich

    • The pope and Rigali, Chaput, et al. were defeated badly by Obama yesterday.

      Now we all must demand that Obama and Congress fully protect children by (1) requiring prompt national reporting to police of all child abuse by any custodian of children, including priests, nuns and teachers, (2) removing all civil and criminal statute of limitations on child abuse, (3) including groups like bishops, teachers unions and Boy Scouts, etc., under the RICO civil and criminal laws, and (4) enforcing these laws vigorously without regard to papal and other group pressure.

      Also, the de facto victory yesterday for accessible and affordable contraception health insurance will greatly decrease potential abortions.

      Over time, this will decrease “unplanned” children that much too often become new victims and suffer needlessly.

      • RC BISHOPS BE ON NOTICE; President Barack Obama has been re-elected.

        Bad boys, bad boys (RC bishops),……….whata gona do when he come for you?

        Lawyer-up you prelates; you better get that 2nd collection in high gear. THIS IS GOING TO COST YOU, IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE!

        Hopefully Jeff Anderson, Esq. will also rock benny16’s world in the International Criminal Court.

      • Okay we have a winner. Hopefully the politics on this forum now stop..it divides and alienates. I personally do not think any president is gunning for the Bishops . I get to hear a lot about this forum off site and the number one reason people leave is because they feel that others make assumptions about many things..try to speak for the whole group. It is a forum..we are not a group that claims anything other than supporting victims and protection of children. There are many times the conversation has gone so far off that and I too am amazed at some of the assumptions made in regard to what commentors believe others would support ,believe etc..and have even seen comments at times that allude that anyone who comments on C4C would also have the same opinions. There are many places to post those type of comments,hopefully people find those sites. For the record I am a registered Independent who voted a split ticket so if anyone thinks my comments come from my own politics they are wrong…I just get to hear from people about things that happen on this site that upset them and I can’t say that I disagree. Do not make assumptions,do not force politics on anyone, do not think you speak for all C4C commentors because you comment on this site. Hopefully those who feel alienated and silenced will return to a less controlled,more welcoming environment, because one thing that children need is adults advocating for them.

        • “I just get to hear from people about things that happen on this site that upset them and I can’t say that I disagree. Do not make assumptions,do not force politics on anyone, do not think you speak for all C4C commentors because you comment on this site. Hopefully those who feel alienated and silenced will return to a less controlled,more welcoming environment, because one thing that children need is adults advocating for them.”

          ***********************************
          Amen! Gracefully and well-said IMO.

      • Jerry I do respect the work you are doing concerning child sexual abuse but I believe every child is “planned” by God and his plans are greater than ours we just fail to trust him many times.

      • Abortion is not just against the teaching of the church, it violates the Commandments and all of Scripture which shows how adamantly God is against murder, sexual selfishness and carelessness, promiscuity and the shedding of innocent blood. Roe vs Wade has seen a great increase in unplanned children, unwed mothers and a 600% increase in child abuse by parents and a huge increase in sexual abuse of children.

        Violating Scripture is not necessary to advocacy for victims of sexual abuse or to protesting Bishop cover-ups or even church political intrigues and manipulations…for all of these are also violations of Scripture.

        Though a victim of CSA, I remain a lover of Christ and His Word and His Church, which to me is not just Roman Catholic.

    • The United States Conference of Catholic Bishop meeting next week should push for Bishop Robert Finn’s resignation as Bishop of Kansas City – St. Joseph, MO. I urge people to sign this petition recommending that Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput bring up the matter of Finn’s resignation —

      Go to http://www.change.org

      Click on “Browse Petitions” which is in the middle of the black border across the top –

      and then, on the right hand side type OVER “search petitions…” with the words, Archbishop Charles Chaput – and CLICK

      That will take you to the petition directed at Archbishop Charles Chaput regarding criminally convicted Bishop Robert Finn. CLICK on it.

      Please consider circulating this to those contacts who may be interested.

      Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
      Advocate for Victim/Survivors & Legislative Reform
      New Castle, Delaware
      maturlishmdsnd@yahoo.com

      • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 10, 2012 at 2:33 am

        Today I signed a different petition calling for the USCCB, at its meeting in Baltimore next week, to emphatically and with resolve address the removal of Bishop Finn. Then I read a piece saying that no bishop, if he knows what’s good for him, will publicly, at the meeting, address the ongoing and despicable Finn drama. Oh sure, it will cross the lips of bishops in small groups, at cocktail time when the fine Scotch flows and they stroke each other’s backs (for having gained NOTHING in the 2012 election, NOTHING… thank God there is a God), and in dark, cloak and dagger corners but, to think that even a single bishop will bring it to the floor, make a move that it be added to the agenda, say it is their albatross, tell Finn he’s the elephant in the room, or do ANYTHING close to the right, responsible, and SMART thing, forget it. Great. Grown men, wearing costumes, and hermetically sealed in an Other reality.

        So, I was so infuriated (but NOT surprised) after reading that, that I emailed my bishop, Bishop Terry LaValley of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, NY. LaValley is fit, nice looking, likable, and “one of us,” having grown up in the area. Trust me, he’s one of THEM! There isn’t a day the guy gets out of bed and doesn’t breath a sigh of relief that Chaput is in Philadelphia and he’s in farmer wasteland where he’s blindly loved and gets to function confrontation-free.

        Nicely, of course, I informed Bishop LaValley that Finn is to be GONE, no ifs, ands, or buts, and that the USCCB was profoundly inept, immoral, dysfunctional, and irrelevant.

        C’mon, LaValley, c’mon, be the rural, rarely noticed, ineffectual, episcopate boy who all of a sudden comes to life in Baltimore, who gets filled with the Holy Spirit, who arrives upon an epiphany like no other, and who blows the minds and hearts of his episcopate brothers when he says, “I call for the resignation of Bishop Finn!”

        YES, POPE LAVALLEY, YES!!!

  2. Your last paragraph says it all, Sister Maureen. They have lost our faith and trust and have not done what is needed to earn it back.

  3. God bless you, Sr. Maureen, for the courage it must take for you to speak out as you do for the protection of children. It must make life more difficult for you as a nun. But I would vote for you in a minute for archbishop (or even Pope). YOU are the one doing God’s work.

  4. Sr. Maureen is absolutely right – we cannot trust the archdiocese. Once lost, trust is most difficult to regain and Chaput is doing nothing to even try re-establishing trust. Our faith remains with our Triune God, thankfullly, and not with the archdiocese.

  5. I realize there are reasons; but in my opinion, Chaput has power ONLY because Catholics are giving him power. I respectfully don’t understand how or why this is happening. Catholics can simply stop paying and take their children out of Catholic schools. Chaput would be rendered powerless. What arrogance he has but I assume he knows that he has the power.

    • Susan Sander,

      I agree! That’s why I disrespect RC prelates whenever and wherever I can. Stop deferring to these pigs (sorry, I’m a product of the 60’s) and they can be neutralized overnight. People of God, please stop kissing rings.

      • Bring it on “thumbs downer!” We’re all anxious to see you defend your position. Step-up and give it a try.

      • drwho..you have much more to share than name calling.

        • Kathy Kane,

          I qualified my use of the word “pigs” by noting that I’m a product of the 60’s. I used the word to emphasize the corruption that these bishops allow to continue within the Church.

          I could have used another word, however I’m angry, and still don’t know any bishops who put the People of God (victims) ahead of their own self-interest, as well as trying to protect the false image of the RCC.

          Bishops who unequivocally speak-up in favor of victims are dispatched by Rome. If someone can name bishops who have not taken the company line, and have not been suppressed by Benny 16, please let us know who they are.

          Pig – “somebody who is thought to behave in a coarse, discourteous, or brutal manner”
          Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation.

          • DW13, while I may concur in your usuage, and at times Kathy privately may as well, I suspect Kathy is concerned that we can undercut the effectiveness of our advocacy if we can be plausibly accused of name-calling,etc. That said, many of us are angry, and we have good reason to be.

          • Jerry,

            Point taken.

    • As Bill Maher often says, “We are a stupid country.”

    • ” I respectfully don’t understand how or why this is happening.”

      As Bill Maher often says, “We are a stupid country.”

  6. “Can We Believe the Archdiocese?”

    That’s a trick question, isn’t it?

  7. Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 5, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Chaput… just another papal con man. It goes with the territory.

  8. Deacon Bill McDonald Reply November 5, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    As usual Sister Maureen, You very correctly raise the very legitimate warning of why it is important to continue to be sceptical of anything the Cardinal Archbishop says regarding the protection and safety of children. Many people in the pews are ignorant of the worldwide extent of the hierarchy’s cover-up. Many in the pew are tired of hearing about the sodmizing of children and the hierarchy’s lack of transparency. Too many in the pew are supporters of the hierarchy no matter what crimes the “apostolic successors” commit. The truth is Every
    Bishop is completely free to cover up anything he wishes and our children and grandchildren are still at risk because no one is watching them except people like you. God bless you.

  9. IS IT UNREASONABLE TO DEMAND FULL ACCOUNTABLE OR NOT ANOTHER NICKLE?

    • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 6, 2012 at 12:18 am

      Jeanne,

      Unfortunately, it is unreasonable. Individually, folks have to take a position and act on it. If the corruption were secular, it would not be unreasonable, but it’s religious. People are indoctrinated, they rely on the Church for salvation, they perceive it as a moral compass, and they cannot fathom being set adrift.

      One has to have the strength to go it alone until the institution falls due to its own sins.

  10. The archdiocese of phila and chaput have shown me that it is possible TO LIE WITHOUT MOVING YOUR LIPS !

  11. I read through the 54 pages of newly enacted rules and regulations published by the Archdiocese last week and I need to know whether or not others have read this same item. Is is the case that when describing the makeup of the archdiocesan review board, the regulations state that one of the members of the board is to be a victim or a family member of a victim. Is this correct? If so, who is that member of the current board that represents this category?

    • Michael, The victim I knew who was on the review board was, very religious, even tried to get my therapist to rethink possibly coming back to the catholic faith. This is who the archdiocese choose to be on the review board, you can bet it would NEVER be Rich or I!

      • Vicky, thanks, you just gave me a big laugh visualizing you and Rich sitting in a room with Chaput. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

        • You will never find me in a room with any priest, bishop, or archbishop. It’s not because I’d probably have an uncontrollable urge to strangle the man and rip his head off. It’s because I am afraid of such men. I am literally scared to death of priests. They are the number one cause for my panic, depression, anxiety, and despair. They are my source of frustration, low self-esteem, minimum self-worth, and the middle-of-the-night roaming thoughts of suicide.

          The way they dress and the way they speak gives me reason to pause and reflect on one man who dressed and spoke just like the rest and ruined my life. They are not priests at all. They are “takers.”

          I do believe I would most certainly drop dead from a heart attack if I were ever alone in a room with a priest. That would be one panic attack scientists haven’t discovered the medication to control yet. My heart would pound so hard and my arms would feel so heavy, because I would sit there frozen in time; not the present time, but 20 years ago. Those men are all the same to me. The priest who showed up at my parents’ house in street clothes the night before my mother’s memorial service to explain to my father and I how the service would go and to ask if we had any special requests for prayers or hymns. He told my father that he was proactive in the Roman Catholic Church by exposing predator priests and making sue they were removed. He told me that he’d like to see me inside the church but would understand if I couldn’t do it, but if I did manage to come into the church, he would hope that I felt safe and comfortable. Then, knowing I was abused by a priest from the religious order the Oblates of Saint Francis De Sales, this priest chose to read a prayer of Saint Francis De Sales. Only myself and my father noticed his smirk at me when he finished speaking. Bob Hoatson and other survivors, who made the trip from North Jersey to support me and oay their respects to my mother, felt as if this priest was intentionally trying to trigger me several times throughout the service. I left before the service ended. I wasn’t angry. I was afraid. He made it very clear to me that he was exactly like my abuser and I wanted to be nowhere near him or that church.

          These priests will go to any length to silence victims and rumors. They seek to humiliate those of us who will not stay silent. I couldn’t even pay tribute to my dead mother without a priest antagonizing me or trying to trigger me into self-destruct mode.

          I’ll concede to the notion that the Catholic Church has been winning so far, but the match isn’t over, not by a longshot, and someday I’m not going to be afraid anymore, and I’m going to win. WE ALL WILL WIN!

    • Michael
      I just read through the 54 pages and found this Introduction to the Standards

      I. Introduction
      The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries (the “Standards of Ministerial Behavior”
      or “the Standards”) are applicable to all church personnel. These Standards are intended to
      provide clear standards of behavior and, in particular, a blueprint for the boundaries of
      appropriate behavior in all interactions with children and young people

      However the Introduction to the Standards on the AD website still has the other intro which we have discussed in the past..the one that seems to contain disclaimer language

      I. Introduction
      The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries (the
      “Standards of Ministerial Behavior” or “the Standards”) are
      applicable to all priests, deacons, religious, pastoral ministers,
      administrators, staff and volunteers in the Archdiocese
      of Philadelphia. They are intended to provide clear standards
      of behavior and, in particular, a blueprint for the boundaries
      of appropriate behavior in all interactions with children and
      young people. The Standards are not intended to create
      any rights in any person, to obligate the Archdiocese to
      act at any time or in any manner, or to establish any
      responsibility or liability of the Archdiocese

      A few key sentences seem to be missing in that recently released document ,or the AD has done away with that disclaimer language and has yet to update their website……

  12. 1103.7.1. Policy The Review Board shall be appointed by the Archbishop and consist of seven to twelve members of outstanding integrity and good judgment. At least five members shall be lay Catholics in full communion with the Church who are not employees of the Archdiocese. At least one member shall be a priest who is an experienced and respected pastor of the Archdiocese. Members shall include a licensed psychiatrist, a psychologist or social worker, an attorney, a parent, and a victim or parent of a victim of child sexual abuse. At least one of the members should have particular expertise in the treatment of sexual offenders. (Cf.USCCB Charter, art. 2, and USCCB Essential Norms, #5) (see USCCB Charter and Norms).

    Which member of the current Review Board is a victim or parent of a victim of child sexual abuse?

    • I’m surprised you even know who serves on your review board. That information is held tighter than the secret files in this diocese. No one knows who serves on the review board. We did some of our own investigating and found at one point the victim was a current priest that worked through his abuse years ago.

      Review boards are nothing but window dressing with the bishops as the decorators. “You stand here. And you stand here. And you wear this. And you wear that. When someone approaches you, say this.” Puppets. Nothing more. The moment one of them steps off center, they are gone. If they are appointed by the corrupt, how honest can they be? .All the degrees in the world do not make the members of the review board moral. The criteria of “outstanding integrity and good judgment” is determined by people who are corrupt!

      Rich, Vicky, and Beth could serve on that board, but they would upset the fake apple cart,

      • For those interested, the AD lists the members of the Review Board and their bios on the AD website: http://archphila.org/delegate/bio.htm#spinelli

        • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm

          Thank you, Michele!

          I read through the bios of the 12 Review Board members. Their credentials are significant, indeed, as a whole, overwhelming.

          However, far, far more significant and overwhelming is how people of such calibre are willing to act as puppets, and nothing more, for a corrupt institution. Catholicism… the opiate of the Review Board people.

          SW… you speak the absolute truth.

          • Kate,

            The credentials of the inner circle of the Third Reich were significant and overwhelming as well. The very gifted can also be morally void. Intellect and accomplishment does not immunize an individual from dancing to the tune of a cult leader. I hope these people are grounded in values, ethics, and morality that comes from within.

          • I’ve read the bios too re the Review Members. But according to the regulations posted just last week, one of the board members is supposed to be a victim or a family member of a sexual abuse victim. Which board member represents this category of membership?
            I’ve been trying over the past several days to obtain an answer to this question, but with no success.

          • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) November 7, 2012 at 11:29 pm

            Michael,

            I, too, want the answer to your question, and I appreciate your attempt to get to the bottom of it.

            Is it too much to ask Kathy or Susan, who have good working relationships with some of the AD folks, to place a call in pursuit of an answer? It’s a simple question. Let’s see of there’s a simple answer.

          • Kate ,I am waiting to hear back concerning the missing sentences in the Intro to the Standards..I will be happy to ask that question about the review board victim/family member when I recieve a reply. Just a thought ..do you think a chance the victims/family member’s bio not published by their own choice? I will try to find out.

          • This ragtag review board is not very impressive. Their second rate credentials do not necessarily stand to favor children, or victims of the RCC. They’ve been assembled to do what Chaput needs them to do. (Google Fr Leva’s earlier career.)

  13. Well, of course, the primary concern is that of the victim or family member of a victim, if, in fact, there is such a person serving on the Review Board. You can almost guess at their response (archdiocesan leadership, that is), given their track record of integrity and honesty. It will be, yes, there is an individual, but he/she wishes to remain anonymous and certainly all of us would have no choice but to respect their privacy, in light of this information.

    On the other hand, they just may continue in their other, well-established style of leadership which is……………We’re not telling you anything in response to this inquiry.

    • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 8, 2012 at 2:03 am

      Kathy, thank you for your efforts.

      Yes, it did occur to me that the Board member who is a victim or the parent of a victim requested that his or her history with sexual abuse be omitted from his or her bio. I respect that, however, I believe he or she could do far more for victims and the protection of children were he or she to publicly identify himself or herself. Why not choose a representative who would be willing to do that and, in doing so, would advance the cause of victims?

      Maybe because…

      The AD was advised by expertise-laden Review Board members and/or other advisory people to include on the Board a victim or parent of a victim as a “best practice.” I can totally see the AD begrudgingly relinquishing to the “intellectual-leaning, 21st century” advice, while making every effort to shroud it in secrecy. In the minds of hierarchs, victims and parents of victims do not advance the image of Mother Church. Indeed, they are a threat to it. Yet, the Review Board policy says that one must occupy a seat on the Mother Church Review Board??? Trust me, the AD is manipulating and controlling it, and the victim or parent of a victim will not be permitted to advance the cause of victims but, rather, he or she will be used to advance the cause of Mother Church.

      • Kate, your comments about a survivor or a parent of a survivor sitting on the review board is totally correct. Hiding, that is what it is serves No purpose to anyone especially a survivor. All it does is encourage shame and secrecy, bellowing, in darkness!

        • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 9, 2012 at 12:29 am

          Thank God for you, Vicky. You and your work show the dignity inherent in survivors and the social importance of publicly sharing ones knowledge and experiences.

  14. Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Excuse me for momentarily going in another direction, but…

    Have any Philly-area C4C bloggers heard about Amelia and Allison Tucker, the conjoined twins who were separated at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital yesterday? The girls are from my neck of the northern NY woods. Folks in the area have followed their medical condition since their birth. Just want the team of 40 medical personnel who conducted the separation to know how thankful we are in the north country for their expert care of two of our own.

  15. Even tho’ I didn’t vote for him…God has HIS reasons why we have him and possibly he will be the one to bring down the hierarachy. I sure hope so!

    • Glorybe1929: Daniel 2:21″ And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” all the same, we freely elect our Presidents, without God’s interference; so I don’t blame God for what we get.Besides, I don’t believe we elect “Kings” but Presidents to serve the American people and honor our constitution.Innocent children will continue to suffer terribly as long as men’s hearts reject Christ’s free gift of reconciliation and justification. And, those will be separated from God for an endless eternity. Yes, ENDLESS!

    • Glorybe,

      Not that anyone of us can divine the will of God, considering Obama’s record, I sincerely doubt that God would employ a professed pro-choice president as a change agent within our Church.

      • Joe,

        I’m pro-life, however I’m not a one issue voter.

        The reality in this country is that a pro-life president can not win an election. Furthermore, with the addition of the US Supreme Court justices during the next four years, a future pro-life president will make no difference for decades to come. The pro-life issue is closed, at least for the duration of my lifetime.

      • Why wouldn’t He, Joe? He employed an ex-Nazi for a pope.

        • Crystal,

          FYI – Whatever his perceived shortcomings, B16 was not a Nazi.

          Excerpted from Wickipedia

          “…Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth—as membership was required by law for all 14 year old boys. He was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings. In 1941, one of Ratzinger’s cousins, a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome, was taken away by the Nazi regime and murdered….”

          In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer (air force child soldier). Ratzinger …… deserted….just as American troops established their headquarters in the Ratzinger household.

          As a German soldier, he was put in a POW camp but was released a few months later at the end of the war in the summer of 1945. He reentered the seminary, along with his brother Georg, in November of that year.”

          • You do realize that Wikipedia is not considered a credible source for facts because it’s information can be altered by anyone on the information superhighway? Anyone can edit anything on Wikipedia!

          • Joe,

            I don’t believe that Crystal meant B16 was literally a Nazi. However, he does govern a Church that claims to have having absolute and centralized control of all matters concerning faith and morals. When such a claim is made a very high standard is set. The RCC as failed to met the standards She Herself set, yet She continues to make the claim. That can give one the impression of a “jackboot” mentality, defined as “a person who uses bullying tactics, especially to force compliance” (The Free Dictionary).

            I understand Crystal’s thinking.

          • No drwho, I meant it literally. The fact that he is now a “pope” shows how ridiculous the position is.

          • Crystal,

            A scared 14 year old kid is a scared 14 year old kid. I don’t care if he is Joesph Ratzinger.Your comment is as scurrilous and insensitive as those by Richard Murdock and Todd Akin on rape.

            You have no business claiming that you have any interest in protecting children.

            Must be nice to have no idea what it’s like to be scared…existentially scared.

          • MackerelSnapper – Ya lost me…I’m not sure which of my 2 comments set you off …It seems as though you are reading more into them than you should. But there’s no need to be so nasty.

        • Crystal, I am very confident that God , in this age, doesn’t employ anyone to change or destroy institutions such as the RCC, but rather we have His Word that says He employs His ambassadors [believers] to make known His offer of reconciliation to the lost.Definition of “lost”= “All have ssinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

      • The fact of life that seems lost on many is that the enemies of the cross of Christ, and God’s righteousness are often manifold, that is, they often oppose one another though have much in common.If you don’t grasp this axiom, look at the wars in which evil fights against an opposing evil in many instances.

  16. Spoke with the Victim Assistance Coordinator at the Archdiocese today and was informed that they could neither confirm nor deny that a victim or a family member of a victim was on the Review Board. In a follow-up, I asked whether or not the archdiocese was abiding by the specifics of Board membership that was published last week on their website relative to the background and experience of various members, particularly the victim representative. I was then informed that the makeup of the board was that recommended by the USCCB and adopted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

    • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 9, 2012 at 12:34 am

      Michael, what do you think and feel about what was reported to you today?

    • Michael Ski,

      I don’t believe there are very many good men left in the world. Men of God can be evil. Our lawmaking men can be ignorant and guilty of inaction. Many fathers abuse. Presidents spend far too much money on campaigns and promises and both are usually nothing but a waste. Lance Armstrong is a coward, a theif, and a phony. Barry Bonds’ 762 career home runs will always be regarded as “questionable.” Baseball men lie to congress. Men In Black gathered secretly and discussed their intention to rape alter boys. Pedophiles passed around us children like we were popcorn at a movie theater. They treated us like objects.

      I see very few good men, Michael, but I feel compelled to write, I think you are a very good man. I come here when I want to read comments from good men. Thank you for helping me and so many other victims get justice. I like men who don’t have to do something, but do it anyway.

      Peace out!
      Rich Green

      • Rich, I have a special place in my heart for Michael Ski..He was on his crusade for years within the Philly AD..connecting all the dots and advocating for victims and children. A more genuine person is hard to find.

  17. Thank you all very much for your kind words. I know that many on this site work very, very hard and are genuinely committed to do whatever it takes to provide better protection for all of our children. I guess I am mellowing in my old age since, given the nature of the organizational response I received today from the archdiocese re the victim member of the Review Board, I ordinarily would have gone on a real tear. You could ask Timothy Coyne about such in-your-face advocacy, but, alas, the Chaput leadership showed him to the door. So much for the many years of faithful and blind allegiance of the in-house counsel to those at the top.
    Once again, if the archdiocese is asserting a certain issue or fact (in this instance, that one of the review board members is a victim or a family member of a victim) and it cannot be verified or confirmed independently and objectively, then we can feel relatively certain that such an assertion is not factual and probably does not exist. Based on their track record and history, to believe otherwise would be foolish.
    Maybe we should begin to reach out to other members of the Archdiocesan Review Board in order to see whether or not they know if a victim or family member is a member of the review board. I’m sure they’ll be very glad to hear from those of us at catholics4change.

    • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 9, 2012 at 3:29 am

      Thank you, Michael, and thank you for your long career of advocating for victims and the protection of children.

      I go back to the voluminous expertise evidenced by the Board members’ bios, and I go back to the Board’s policy to include a victim or parent of a victim as a member. Seems inconceivable that the “impressive” Board members would permit a policy failure if, indeed, there is one. They come from secular work worlds where attention to policies is the norm.

  18. Awards for Outstanding Catholic Leadership Institute
    Friday, November 9, 2012

    The Drexelbrook – Drexel Hill, PA

    One of the night’s award winners and honorees:

    William Donohue – President & CEO, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

    Things are surely looking up !

  19. The one thing I will truly never be able to understand is the total disregard and lack of emotion from parents who walk by me on the sidewalk, children in tow, as I am protesting in front of a church about a priest who is currently inside the church and has several allegations of sex abuse on children lodged against him. Yes, the news is only “allegations” (for the time being), but shouldn’t one allegation be enough to sanction your children from participating within such close proximity to a suspected child predator? Still, they ignore my warnings and proceed passed me into the church. I can’t help myself by remembering the faces of some of the children I’ve seen and how unknowing and innocent they are and I hope they never have to feel the pain of abuse and neglect. The only tears I shed these days are for kids I see and for many different reasons, when I’m alone, inside my car after an event. Maybe I’d like to be in their shoes with a do-over, but mostly I just want them to retain the spirit that I know I lack and the pride that was taken away from from me.

    Actually, sometimes there is emotion from those parents, but it’s often not the concern from them I expect. Instead it’s rather immediate hatred toward me and others whom I stand with, because we are advertising a subject I think they believe their children should be blind to, but contrary to their belief I think children should be taught lessons of how abusers operate, how to recognize “patterns of grooming,” and they need to be taught how to avoid and report such behavior even if it is standing alone against authority. Children need to be taught that they have authority over themselves and no man or woman has the right to compromise their spirit and well-being. Instead, we teach children “to be seen and not heard.” We tell them to respect authority by doing what they are told or they’ll be punished, usually by taking away something the child values, like a game, or playing with friends, or a hobby; most things that I used as refuge from the abuse. So it’s now sending the message that if they don’t eat their peas and carrots or perform oral sex on Father Q, then the only pleasure they have in life will be taken away. It’s hard for a child to argue and protect their bodies and their innocence when he/she has no right to speak for and defend him or her self. Children should be taught, “My body is mine and no person has the right to touch me in any way that feels inappropriate and uncomfortable, and I have the right to defend myself and even fight back, if necessary. No person has the right to compromise my spirit and my pursuit of happiness. I have the right to speak for myself and to be heard.” That is what children should be taught. Unfortunately, parents also find my presence in front of their churches as some sort of witchhunt against religion or God, when truly the fact is I couldn’t possibly care less about neither.

    I’m afraid that we can no longer expect our elected or religious leaders to protect children for us. I think it is our responsibility to initiate knowledge and understanding within children so they can defend themselves and find the courage to speak up, to scream as loud as they can for help, even if they are being threatened. It should be obvious knowledge to a child and it should be taught before math or reading (in my opinion). I have believed, since the first day I came forward and reported my own abuse, that it is my responsibility to protect other children from what I have experienced in my life. I didn’t come forward to seek justice for me. I came forward because I realized one day that Father McDevitt might still be out there abusing other children, and if that was the case, I had to make the abuse known. I felt I had a responsibility to protect other children. I also learned through a lot of therapy, reading, and talking with other victims that I could also seek justice for the kid I was and the inaction of “many” people who knew about my abuser and his crimes and did nothing. The many people who knew about my abuser are still out there today, probably shuffling around other priests from parish-to-parish keeping secrets and telling lies. If Penn State’s hierachy can be indicted, why can’t the Catholic Church’s Cardinals be made to stand trial?

    My mind is filled with darkness. There isn’t one day that passes when I don’t think about my own abuse and it causes depression, stress, and anger. My memories consume me and the only ambitions I have today is to recount those memories and stand in front of a church and trust in myself that I am doing what I can to protect children today.

    I think many of you, who have not been abused, have more opportunity to protect children and change the laws better than I’ll ever be able to. You still have the ability to imagine and change a flawed system. You have the ability to dream with optimism of a better future. You can be creative. You can be the change you wish “we” wish to see in the world. It seems so magical to me and even possible. If only I weren’t blinded by my own memories, I could dream too.

    Peace out!
    Rich Green

    • The RCC may not be a cult, but the mindset of believers can be cult like in nature. When I was new to life in a religious order, I stubbornly believed that all the talk about pedophilia within the CC was hateful anti-Catholic propaganda.

      Most people psychologically can’t deal with the fact that the Church that promised them eternal life is in fact corrupt right to the highest levels. As Catholics we were indoctrinated to believe that salvation comes only through the clerics. They held the keys to the kingdom. I no longer believe that tenet. I now believe salvation comes through Jesus, WITHOUT the need for middleman.
      .
      I do however (from experience) understand the inability of others to accept my position. It’s hard to let go of what one believes is a “safety net,” scary!

  20. Jerry’s article says it all. Awsome!

    “..The defeat shows the 20th century papal geo-political strategy no longer works in the 21st century Internet Age when Catholics worldwide are able to follow closely the Vatican’s worldwide cover-up of priest child abuse and the increasingly recurring stories of Vatican bureaucratic financial corruption…”

    Jerry touches on the idea in his article…How electrifying it would be to this cause, if Michelle Obama chose “Stamping out Child Abuse” as her special project for her husband’s 2nd term.

    • Crystal,

      It would be really awesome if Mrs. Obama would lobby for stamping out ALL forms of child abuse, including the outrages that occur within the sanctity of the womb.

      Now that would be a real milestone.

      • Typical, Joe. Deny women affordable contraception in order to stop abortions! Amazing.

        God gaves us brains to think, as well as to memorize and repeat papally approved slogans.

        You were more affected by your time at the infamous St. Charles Seminary than you appear to realize.

        • God be praised that He alone knows the inward thoughts of man, and whether they really give a damn about what happens to little children who only trust in “grown ups” for their safety and well being.One thing believers can salvage when the “god of this world” wins an apparent victory, is the work of rebuking and exposing the evil works of God’s enemy.

      • Joe, the central topic of discussion here is “The horrendous, global problem of sexual abuse of minors by catholic clergy.” Rather than putting forth distractions to it, it might be beneficial to the discussion for you to get on, and stay on task.

        Your comments frequently show you to be disdainful of, and aloof from this topic. You run from it in a very visible way here on C4C. I hope you find the guts to stop running and face it.

        • Perhaps it is fair to conjecture that Joe Burch is thinking broadly about “child abuse”, that it occurs in many places, including in families, and other unsuspeced quarters, and that he is conscious of the need to protect children in the broadest sense.

      • Joe I was a member of the Respect Life at my high school. The radio silence on the issue of the sexual violation of children from the pro life groups in this Archdiocese has been deafening. Respect of life is supposed to be from womb to grave.

        • Amen, Kathy and Crystal. The radio silence was also the pulpit silence, the TV silence, the classroom silence, etc., and in most Catholic institutions it still sadly is.

          But recently Catholics are increasingly saying loudly and clearly, “ENOUGH”!! and are standing up to the papal apologists as is increasingly evident on C4C.

          • The wickedly inspired drive to incriminate pro-life advocates for “ignorning” CSA and majoring in protecting the child in the womb is unsupportable. I personally was involved in Operation Rescue in the 80’s and spent 7 days in jail in Atlanta for blocking access to abortion clinics, as well as other involvment in Florida where i had to pay $5oo in fines for defending innocent life. In those days, we ,like almighty God, never contemplated the evil that man could bring to bear against children. It was just never thought of. I suggest that some with a form of tunnel vision realize that CSA is happening everywhere. That it occurs in the setting of religion is a matter of extra concern.

          • nichols, not quite sure what you are saying here. My point is that when I was a member of the Respect Life club we focused on abortion but also included the elderly,disabled,needy children..it was not a one issue program although abortion was the main focus.

        • Kathy I agree and everything is connected but they seem to prefer disconnection…..and that is going to get them no where……I recently had a conversation of how the birth of a child can be a trigger for a survivor.I know for my husband it was……discussions of this sort need to be brought up in prolife talks…..if anything is ever going to change.

    • @Crystal: “…How electrifying it would be to this cause, if Michelle Obama chose “Stamping out Child Abuse” as her special project for her husband’s 2nd term.” Hee-hee. I’m not holding MY breath.

  21. Jerry Slevin, Your article states: “..There may now be a unique opportunity for bold and creative bishops to craft an overall resolution of this mess that would be acceptable to Obama and Boehner….. A resolution could possibly include some amnesty, while compensating all abuse survivors fairly and fully..”

    I would like to know more about the who, what and how of the “amnesty” you mentioned here. I don’t know that I’ve read much about it.

    • Crystal, you read closely. You heard amnesty first from me. You know I would be the last person to give any cleric a pass, but I want to try to get into the mix some new approaches. Incidentally, I also stipulated full compensation for survivors and new laws to make future abuse easier to prosecute.

      Just suing the Church for decades, what I call the current “slow demolition” approach, has helped some survivors, but not enough and has often taken too long and been too expensive a process. And in the meantime, more kids are being abused everyday and Catholics’ money is being wasted on Church lawyers who have no financial incentives to think outside of the box.

      If anyone “bites” on my suggestion, I will refine my idea. If some bishops try to pull a fast one, I will oppose it as best I can. The present approach has given most culpable clerics a perpetual “de facto” amnesty, while survivors suffer and wait and more kids are sexually abused.

      Obviously, limited amnesty is a tricky subject that has worked before, e.g., in South Africa, and may get some constructive dialogue by Obama going here.

      I am not pushing amnesty.I just want to see some new approaches discussed that can get survivors more money more quickly and stop tomorrow’s next priest rape.

      Lawyers on all sides have a good business going now and can hardly be expected to advocate new approaches. I am no longer practicing and have nothing to gain or lose here. I

      I have to run and hope you can get others to weigh in.

  22. Jerry, with all of your experience in the legal matters of corporations, organizations, etc.., you would know quite clearly what an impossible task it is to expect legal counsel, particularly archdiocesan legal counsel and general counsel at USCCB to think “outside the box.”
    I’ve hoped for a novel approach to this debacle ever since the release of the first GJR in Sept. 2005 in Phila. And, guess what, if Phila and other dioceses throughout the country had sat down early on with the victims in a sincere, genuine and compassionate approach to settle any potential legal action, then maybe by this date in 2012, many of the dioceses could have been moving forward in many aspects of their message and mission.

    Sad to say, I believe that we are beyond any hope of genuine cooperation, mediation, arbitration, etc. or whatever else you may call it……..certainly, it CAN be done but with the current outlook of inflated egos, arrogance, hubris and duplicity at the highest levels of Catholic Church administration across the United States, it really would take an act of God.

    • MS, I have to agree with you. The days of old white men running the show is over in the US political system. But, the RC prelates are going to fight change right down to the last man standing. There’s a parallel between Karl Rove, Mitt Romney, and the bishops; they just couldn’t accept that they were finished went everyone around them understood it was inevitable. The bishops will never be able to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but they’ll die trying. The winds of change are blowing, thank God!

    • Thanks, Mike. You may be right. But when you start locking up bishops and cardinals, which will happen in the near term, their co-conspirators may be more amenable to deals, etc. There is little harm in thinking and trying.

      It’s been over 25 years since Tom Doyle first tried to get the bishops to take abuse serious. With Lynn in jail, Finn convicted and who knows whonis next , possibilities open up. If there arises a better and quicker way to help survivors and protect kids, it could be worth it.

      I never expected the AD’s or USCBB’s lawyers to raise alternatives, which is why I did. Sooner rather than later the heat will rise and some hierarchs will start being realistic to avoid jail.

      • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 12, 2012 at 1:39 am

        Jerry,

        I’m all for entertaining “out of the box” ideas, including amnesty, mainly because I think that new ideas and alternatives could inspire the “dead” and ingrained thinking of hierarchs.

        I have a problem, however, with the idea that hierarchs might become more realistic when the heat rises in order to avoid jail. It certainly would be the case for most normal human beings. I may be wrong, but I just don’t see it in the case of clerics. They are loyal, loyal, loyal… to an extent beyond our wildest imaginations. It’s something we have to wrap our heads around, think “out of the box” on, and, ultimately, come to affect. We have to be able to penetrate the loyalty.

        • Kate, I share your concerns. My point in raising “out of the box” thinking is that none of the active participants appear willing to consider different approaches–either out of fear or appearing weak, or self interest, or whatever.

          Meanwhile years become decades, survivors struggle, more kids get abused, etc.

          I think the maximum pressure must always be kept on the bishops. Hopefully, like the Mafia that hung together for decades, one thug will finally break, then another, etc.

          As much as I disagree with my high school chum, Rudy Giuliani, about politics, he showed how to break a group of thugs. It has been done and might be “doable” again. I hope Seth Williams considers seeking his advice, although I doubt that will ever happen.

          Oddly, I knew well through a family relationship an old mob wiseguy, a bookmaker I suspected, now deceased. He used to eat in the early 1980’s at the same Brooklyn restaurant as Bevilacqua and his bishop pals . The wiseguy surprised me one day in a social conversation by observing he thought wiseguys were better than bishops because, while they both grabbed other people’s money and played the sexual field, wiseguys were not hypocrites like the bishops. Wiseguys also didn’t usually tolerate pedophiles.

          Maybe he had an insight. Bishops at times seem so brainwashed as to their purported “holiness”, they appear not to be able to acknowledge their bad behavior even when it is proven convincingly. Take Rigali, for example. How can he even socialize with decent people. No shame whatsoever.

          Kate, I surely don’t have all the answers, but I think I have some. I just want to be sure we are always trying to explore alternative, perhaps better, approaches, so long as we stay fixed on the more immediate objective of maximizing the legal and financial pressure on bishops until this epidemic is curtailed.

  23. Kathy I agree and everything is connected but they seem to prefer disconnection…..and that is going to get them no where……I recently had a conversation of how the birth of a child can be a trigger for a survivor.I know for my husband it was……discussions of this sort need to be brought up in prolife talks…..if anything is ever going to change.

    • I agree, Beth, but please try to forget “…they seem…” We don’t need “them” to talk about making love, pregnancy, raising kids, reporting sexual abuse, etc. “They”, that is priests and bishops, use these topics to try to control us.

      To hell with “them”! We can best decide these matters individually for ourselves. Humans did it for tens of thousands of years without “them”. Jesus didn’t say much on these issues and what he said you can read in a hour.

  24. “Furthermore, the church leaders have purposely disguised the problems of priests. Ironically, the church officials knew full well that child sex abuse constitutes a major offense (which only heightens the fact that, not only does religion not produce good morals but that church dogma, in fact, creates moral problems). The crimes of priests appeared so offensive to them that they decided that the problem should remain a secret at all costs. At all costs. Add to this that so many priests practice “shameful” sex, that this further prevents them from taking action against other priests. ”

    from

    http://nobeliefs.com/Doyle.htm

  25. Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Meet James Conley, the newly installed bishop in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska., and weep. Notice his history with Chaput. Notice he leads the only diocese in the U.S. that does not participate in annual sex abuse audits. (How is that possible???) Notice his diocese has a long history of forbidding females to serve at Mass. Notice in one of the comments under the story how a woman, attending Mass in a parish church yesterday, endured her pastor preaching about the Church being subjected to “a dictatorship” (under the leadership of Obama). Yes, Jerry, it will certainly take some thinking “outside of the box” to deal with the likes of Conley and the rest of the bishops installed under the reigns of John Paul II and Benedict… not to mention the “I’m orthodox, entitled, and owed your respect” seminarians coming to a church near you.

    http://journalstar.com/lifestyles/meet-the-new-bishop-of-lincoln-s-catholic-diocese-james/article_3550c311-8da8-5f41-96fa-cf4631e86e53.html

    • Kate, about these new entitled, orthodox priests. ..These will be poorly received at most thriving parishes…and will certainly fail to bring in the $$$ necessary to sustain these parishes.

      I am surprised to learn that it is permissible and tolerated anywhere to forbid girls from serving at mass. Not sure about other parts of the US, but that’d be a deal-breaker for most catholic parents of girls (at least the ones I know). In so many disgusting ways, it’s as if the clergy is going out of its way to expedite the RCC’s eventual extinction.

      • Crystal my impression is that the new priests know that trust has been broken and they will need to work to gain that respect back if that is even possible during our lifetime. My pastor even said in a homliy in his day respect for a priest was a given but he tells the new priests now they will have to work for it .

        • There are so very few new US priests, I sometimes wonder if they even matter much to the future…From what I’ve read on the subject, I fear that Kate’s information is correct…Due to the climate in the Vatican for the past 3 decades, the new model of seminary formation does not appear likely to produce the kind of priests WE, the laity need or want.

          Beth, I’d agree with your pastor….New and old, they all know the jig is up on the laity’s automatic trust and respect.

          But what I REALLY wonder (and doubt) is …Do new priests know that to earn real trust and respect in 2012, they need to demonstrate their ability to think, speak and act ethically—Freely and independently of the hierarchy?
          Do they understand that the thinking catholic of the modern age is not looking for religious direction from a blind, deaf and dumb, asexual, marionette puppet in a collar, who was turned out of the puppet factory with zero life experience, and is accountable only to his bishop?

          Somehow in the VERY NEAR future, these men are going to have to defy the monastic leadership of the church and refuse to go along with the cover-up of the abuse crisis, and the other rcc evils. Unless they figure out a way to “man up” and do this without causing too much chaos, they will not manage to sell Catholicism to even the most clueless sheep of this modern era.

          And speaking of “manning up”… These young priests were raised and educated in the US in the 1990’s and 2000’s. How does a prospective priest—a supposedly sensitive, intelligent, energetic, emotionally balanced, rational, young person of 2012, find himself attracted to, and comfortable in a career from which 50% of all catholic people are flatly excluded, because of their gender? Why would he join a culture where one in ten men are alleged sex offenders? I’ll say how….A courageous, righteous, ethical, person in 2012 does not find himself drawn to such a career.

          • (…defy the “monarchical” leadership..)

          • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) November 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm

            Amen, Crystal!

            A priest who “man’s up” stands to gain nothing but grief, punitive consequences, and/or expulsion in the present climate of the Church.

            Once I had a dream. Benedict and Dolan took turns descending from their thrones to address a sea of priests. Then, the sea of priests, in unison, stood, elevating their middle fingers in the direction of Benedict and Dolan. Every time I teach my students about Freud’s theory that dreams are wish-fulfillment, I laugh to myself because, clearly, my dream was my “manning up” wish.

            Notice I said “wish,” because “manning up” will never become a reality.

          • Kate,

            You’re right on the mark as usual. “Manning-up” for me involved using the legal system to go through a corrupt religious order like a bulldozer goes through a garbage dump. But, the only thing left to do once the job was done was to “get out of Dodge!” I did some serious legal and financial damage to that outfit.

            Following my trail of destruction and departure from religious life, I couldn’t even become a married deacon in the RCC today (and I certainly don’t want to). This is not because I did anything wrong; it’s because they would fear what would happen to them if I uncovered corruption in their diocese.

            It’s like trying to remain in the Mob after snitching on them. The “witness protection program” is one’s only option.

      • I have not met these new entitled priests that folks seem to describe on this site. Actually, the new priests seem very different–humbled and aware that they are under a microscope.

        • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm

          Michele,

          There is a plethora of information attesting to the fact that priestly formation, today and for the last 30 years or so, centers on tradition, orthodoxy, authority, and obedience. These are the very factors responsible for propelling the Catholic Church into its present crisis. Again, there is a plethora of information attesting to that. Essentially, we are training seminarians to proceed in ministry in the very manner that has brought down the Church.

          When Beth’s pastor says that new priests will have to work hard to earn respect, he is correct. What thinking Catholic would bestow respect upon a cleric who proceeds in ministry in the very manner that brought down the Church?

          When you say that new priests seem humbled and aware that they are under a microscope, what you are seeing are priests who are fundamentally poorly prepared to intellectually and spiritually lead in the 21st century. Reason defies much of their message, and their “best practices” have led to the incarceration of their brothers. Yes, it’s all quite humbling.

          But not so humbling that new priests will not obey, authoritatively expecting us to follow.

          • Amen!

          • Kate,
            Amen!

            What I’ve witnessed in regard to priestly ministry in the past week through a wake and funeral of a relative was pathetic. Young priest…well, young compared to the 75+ aged priests that can’t retire because of the shortage.

            Devout Catholic family filled the funeral home…could he lead the rosary? “I’m sure you can find a family member to do it.” He never did show up for the wake…sat in rectory.

            Our pastor showed up to our very Catholic gathering in street clothes and prayed over our family. Glaring deficiencies in the priesthood.

          • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) November 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm

            SW,

            One thing Catholics don’t do is report inattentive and unreliable priests to their bishops. We’ve been trained to endure whatever “Father” dishes out. Priests feel protected from and immune to complaints resulting from their inefficiency because, well, “good,” Catholic complainers don’t register their complaints.

            I’m sorry that your wake and funeral were marred by an insensitive priest, and I’m thankful that your Lutheran minister brought sensitivity to you and yours.

          • “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.” Luke 3:9

            I wonder what Jesus would say about priests. Are priests dispensers of the sacraments or are they more. Remember when I went for my units for clinical pastoral education in the early 80’s, They wanted me to teach at some university while I looked at priesthood as ministry.

            In the RCC “new priest” is relative. How many ordinations have we had in the past five years in Philly? Ministry in the RCC? Ask my wife and kids the reaction at a RCC related therapy center when they arrived at the center in time for their appointment immediately after the incident(gun at their head by a gang a block from the center). Grade school kids with a gun at their head and were refused therapy when they had an appointment and told the police officer no one called when my wife did. Sorry, hiding behind the sacraments is not an excuse when real ministry is needed. People need real ministry, prayers are good, but more is needed.

          • Ed your family’s story is awful. Support should have been available. I do hope everyone is OK now.

            I seen and heard of some very lacking ministry too, but then the following happened, and gave me a glimmer of hope.
            A few months ago, my sister’s little son fell unconscious and was rushed to a hospital. His school principal (a nun) heard this news and she and the parish pastor arrived at the ER just minutes after the ambulance. They sat with my sister, holding her together, encouraging her to stay in control during the agonizing time it took the staff to bring him back. They said little, but their presence and support meant more to my sister than words could express. Now THAT was real ministry. Those two were pros…It CAN be done!

          • This summer when i had surgery the regular eucharistic ministers were on vacation andour priests were spread thin so there was no one available to bring me communion. I decided then and there to bring communion to the sick as soon as i got better and that is what i am currently doing. Sw that was a very distressing situation you described.

          • Thank you for your concern Crystal, They were able to find a better therapist though now it is amost impossible to find therapist where we moved after that incident.Two of my children are i working towards their degrees in social work and the other psychology with concentrations in children and youth so I hope they will be there for other victims in their time of need.

            More concerned with the survivors on this site and the need for them to receive ministry. How may are willing to touch the hurt and anger caused by the betrayal? What are they(priest) afraid of – don’t they trust in God. Couldn’t they help those in need at Our Mother of Consolation?How many lay people are ministering to priests? How many priests are making fun of those pious catholics that give their last penny to the church or trying in their own little ways to serve God and its only by their faith in God not a priest’s actions that they are healed. I heard the stories – I was in that fraternity.

            Beth,you understand that receiving Jesus is so important to people’s lives. That, along with your with your ability to minister will bring new experience of God’s love to all you meet

            . .

    • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply November 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks for a working link to Bishop James Conley, ed!

      • Hey, Kate, don’t lay Conley and his ilk on me because of my “out of the box” comment. lol

        Too bad the bishops at their meeting today didn’t have a video link to Lynn in his cell. That might have caught their attention!

  26. Maybe if we teach babies to do amazing stuff like this baby, when they enter elementary school and high highschool, priests, teachers, football coaches will think again about touching them.

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