Removal from ministry is not a real punishment or a true safeguard. It’s only part of a solution. Archbishop Chaput’s decisive action is appreciated, but he does not back the removal of the statute of limitations for child sex abuse in PA. Victims, such as this one, would be able to see the same justice afforded to victims in other states. If the allegations are true, Collins should be in jail. Criminal prosecution helps protects all children.
Click here to read: “Phila. priest accused of abuse placed on leave,” by Carolyn Davis and Sarah Smith, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 26, 2013
Excerpt: Collins served at numerous parishes, schools, and offices in Philadelphia after being ordained in 1964, including at Roman Catholic School for Boys, Our Lady of Pompeii, and Cardinal Dougherty High School, said a statement released Sunday by the archdiocese announcing Chaput’s decision.
42 thoughts on “Archbishop Chaput Places Another Priest on Leave”
This is a perfect example as to why the statute of limitation for child sex crimes should be removed in every state.
Child predators are very cunning and manipulative. They know every trick on how to groom, threaten, lie, and put the fear of god into their victims, yet they can also be charming and generous, While they are grooming the child, they devote lots of time and energy building trust with them by giving them money and gifts. They tend to make the child feel that they are special and loved.
They appear to do a lot of goods things, they can be very charismatic and you may think they would never harm a child. They have to be this way, in order to not get caught and to continue to abuse
Sexual predators are often powerful and well-loved. It would be comforting if those who preyed on the vulnerable were obvious social misfits whose appearance would somehow set off alarm bells and give us ‘the willies’ or ‘the creeps.’ They rarely do. Usually, predators are among the last people we would suspect of sexually violating others. At a party, the predator isn’t some oddball sitting alone in a corner because others feel uncomfortable with him. Most often, the predator is the guy throwing the party.
Also, we must stop thinking that because a man is old, that somehow he’s automatically “safe.” It’s just irresponsible to endanger kids by assuming an adult is “harmless” simply because he or she may be losing hair, wearing glasses, using hearing aids or walking with a cane. These can be signs of advancing age, but they are not signs that an individual is safe around kids.
It is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many. Child predators need to be kept far away from kids forever.
So let’s hope that every person who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by James Collins, will find the courage and strength to speak up and contact police, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.
Silence is not an options anymore, it only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.
Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. email@example.com,
“SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
Minnesota Child Victims Act accomplishes the following:
1.) ‘eliminated’ any and all civil statutes of limitations for sexual abuse of minors
2.) ‘established’ open courthouse doors for adults sexually exploited by clergy and etc.
3.) ‘eliminated’ institutional protections for enabling sexual abuse of minors
4.) ‘established’ holding institutions, organizations, company’s & etc. accountable for
sexual abuse of a child
I will help others understand our civil law, just ask. Bob Schwidrski
“Archbishop Chaput’s decisive action is appreciated, but he does not back the removal of the statute of limitations for child sex abuse in PA.”
Why should he support SOL? There’s nothing in for him, and it’s all about him and the Image of the RCC. Victims are nothing but collateral damage. As far as the prelates are concerned, if the victims would just go away, life would be good again!
Come on thumbs downer, speak up! You clearly have an opposing position, and I’m interested in the rational that you believe supports it.
drwho13, You were reading my mind, I thought the same thing, thumbs downer tell us why you put a thumbs down, as a survivor of 3 catholic priests who raped me I would love to hear what you have to say. Show some courage guit hiding behind this post.
As for what Judy shared, I couldn’t have said it better her explanation. All three of my priest perps had a collage of victims before me and after me. Very few actually came forward How do I know about them? These priests would brag about how they were getting away with doing what they were doing to children. It actually became a club where they would meet almost honorary. Their is an awful lot I know because I started with all this back in 1994! I was one of the firsts to have an interview with Msgr. Lynn, who in the coming years I wsould meet with 4 more times. Priests who violate children like to talk with each other with the same lein. They knew the church would protect them at any cost and as a result we their victims suffered the cost in many different horrible ways.
Sorry Vicky, but 7 thumbs downs? Are people sick? There are so many articles that confirm what you are saying, especially victim sharing. Wonder if any of those people that put thumbs down read those? Sorry Dr Who13 and Vicky for responding but this victim bashing get me sick and when I discuss this with friends it will makes us more determined in our commitments.
I would really like to know what the statues of limitations are. Maybe this site (if you have time) could post the various crimes and what the limits are – and which ones you think should be removed.
Maybe if there is evidence of a coverup, then the statue could be reopened.
Jorge ,statutes differ from state to state. Maybe this link will be helpful to you
Father Collins was my French teacher about 40 years ago at Roman. This allegation is a shocker. I liked and respected him as a teacher and a priest. Someone from SNAP recently said that sexual predators don’t offend once. There is at present only one claim against Father Collins. It clearly merits serious investigation and the precautions being taken. And, I trust my gut.
Prior to their being accused and sent off to prayer and penance or laicization, I accurately predicted which priests at Roman would come under suspicion. I contacted the lawyer of a classmate who had been raped by one, now living at the Darby penitentiary, and offered to testify against that priest whose chronic “boundary violations” were known to virtually every student in the school. At 14, I personally experienced his unwanted interrogation about my sexual interests and behaviors while literally backed into a corner, his face just inches from mine. Told the lawyer he could easily line up 50 former students who would tell the same story. I have known a lot of Philadelphia priests and so quite a few of those who have turned out to be abusers. None surprised me.
Father Collins is a surprise. This is one of those times where I hope people don’t jump to conclusions before the facts are known. Justice and Christian charity demand that he be treated fairly.
Martin, last year a priest I knew was removed and I was shocked. The difference being that he came forward and admitted the abuse so there was obviously no question. Even with that admission some people I know had a hard time believing it….it was that shocking. I understand where you are coming from and have read a few online comments about Fr Collins that reflect your own thoughts.
You were a year behind me at Roman. As Collins’ victim, I can unfortunately guarantee you that the incident happened. I obviously cannot get into the specifics in this forum, and I can understand your surprise. Collins was much more sophisticated in his preying technique than most of the other abusers that frequented the halls at Roman in the late 60’s. He was into the long seduction method, rather than the more sadistic methods employed by most of the others. I just felt it was time that he publicly atoned for his sins.
Anon, Thank you for coming forward . Peace.
Ah. Anon, thank you for your post. Your reply comes across to me as honest and authentic. You have my prayers (if you still go that way); there is little else that I can offer. If there is any way I can be of help, don’t hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The halls of Roman over the years were littered with priest perps. I often wonder if those who seemed like good priests were blind to actions that had to have raised suspicions.
I too wish you peace.
Thank you for your kind responses. I am going through the process (very early stages now), so the outcome is uncertain. No longer Catholic…refer to myself as a “non-sectarian Christian”. But prayers are appreciated.
One general statement for the forum (nothing to do with my situation). James Bryzski has become the poster child for abusive priests in Philadelphia. As someone who went to grade school and high school with him, I can state now with a high level of confidence that he was made into a monster during his years at Roman. There was even a specific priest (now deceased) that almost certainly molded James to behave in the manner that he did, much in the way that an abusive parent tends to mold their children into becoming abusive parents in the next generation. Yet the priest does not appear to have ever been identified as an abuser, despite being renown for his sadistic behavior by both the faculty and the student body. If the church is serious about learning about their institutional problems with abuse, a detailed analysis of how Bryzski was groomed by this priest would be highly instructional.
I also thankyou for coming forward and you do sound genuine.Recently I had a very interesting conversation that I cant unfortunately share on this forum but that chance encounter and a few others events lead me to believe God is really on the move and again he works thru people. I pray frequently at adoration for our survivors and that the church clean up its act and that Christ use me and so many times my prayers are answered or very interesting events follow. I recently was praying and I was scared scared of the pain of another surgery my doctor recommends after having gone thru two others in the past 3 yrs and as soon as I told God I was scared I heard a very loud immediate “Be not afraid” so I want to extend that prayer and thought to you Anon and everyone out there who might be scared or struggling “Be no afraid”. Be not afraid and Fear not are some of the most frequent quotes in the old and new testament and that is because Jesus wants us to know he is truly “with us” and in many cases it is the people who he works thru that makes him truly present to us. Anon we are with you.Peace.
So courageous of you. Know that I am praying for you.
In whatever way I could support you, let me know.
I believe you.
It is past time for a cleansing of the priesthood. You deserve healing in whatever way it needs to come.
“Be not afraid”
Anon, I once met a family member of a victim of Bryzski and as you describe he is a poster child of sorts in this local crisis. The conversation was heartbreaking hearing about his victims and the continue struggles affecting all involved, the victims,family members . From what you describe,a generational,institutional tragedy.
I know one priest Bryzski was very close to and he was sadistic. Allegations about that priest (JK) came after his death but it has all been kept low key . He is not listed on the AD website but his name is out there on the net.
Thank you for courageously coming forward, and I wish you healing. I am deeply sorry for what happened to you.
“……… If the church is serious about learning about their institutional problems with abuse, a detailed analysis of how Bryzski was groomed by this priest would be highly instructional…..”
Anon, very, very important indeed and that would be the recommended, progressive course of action for any legitimate leadership who are serious about this horrific evil. Of course, I would just love to see the reaction on Archbishop Chaput’s face after he had the chance to read the sentence above!
I am very sorry for your pain and suffering and I will pray for you in your struggles.
Martin, Bingo. He was the worst example of a priest that it was my displeasure to have ever known. He was far worse than my abuser.
Hey Anon, I’m sorry about your abuse. Who were you abused by? I was abused by the sickest most evil priest I ever knew, a scumbag named Rev. John M. McDevitt at Father Judge in Philly in 1990-91.
Need somebody to talk with, let me know. You can email me as Victims4JusticeNow@yahoo.com We could exchange phone numbers if you want to talk about anything, or if you need someone just to listen I’ve got good ears, and I understand if you can’t get into details. I was there too with all the legal BS.
Anyway, my offer stands. Drop me a line.
Anon: I will pray for you, and I believe you and all the victims/survivors. Be Not Afraid! Peace!
Thanks to everyone for their prayers and offers of assistance. I will be giving my taped testimony to the archdiocese next Friday, so I need to stay focused on that and stop obsessing over this for now. I think once I have all of this on tape and out in the open, I should feel much better, regardless of the church’s response. I will know, Collins will know and God will know. That will be enough for me, I think. May all of you be well in life and spirit.
I know Father Collins, and once again I don’t know what to think. What is the truth? Only a few know the truth first hand. As a child from the 1950’s and growing up Catholic, the Church was the ultimate authority. I was taught life long values that I passed on to my children. My parents, my grandparents, aunts and uncle all worshiped the Church, the priest and the nuns. My aunt was a St. Joe nun.
Now, I am faced with the truth that some of the priest in my parish were sexually abusing young people. I learned that the hierarchy of my Church allowed this to happen over and over to our young people. What hypocrites!
God must cry when he sees what some people have done to the Catholic Church.
And my feeling for Father Collins? I don’t know. I just don’t know.
FUCK GOD! Instead wonder about the sheer hell these scumbags are doing to kids. It had nothing to do with god, so get that off your plate. It’s about evil men and women raping little kids! I just don’t understand how God enters into the equation! STOP using God and hiding behind him and instead show your own face. If you God believers claim it’s man who is responsible for this epidemic, then be the men (and woman) and expose your own kind, and when God’s politicians interrupt a conversation that doesn’t involve them, screw ’em, and watch the cowards call the police. Funny, criminals call the police for defense. Who is defending the innocent kids who will be raped because parents are so consumed and hotwired by God and how great He is. Well when one of these scumbags gets a hold of your kid and does something truly awful, I won’t say “I told you so,” but you can blame yourself for not listening to me and so many others and then tell me how great your God is!
Fishtown please accept my apology. Rich there is a unwritten rule that exists in life, not just on this site. As a parent I can tell you that it is never appropriate to use something awful happening to a person’s child as an example..never okay in any way ,shape or form. if you take a minute and read Fishtown’s comment he/she is clearly not using God as an excuse or reason but is stating what man has done.
Your anger is more than justified but sometimes misdirected. Your end goal is to protect children. Alienating well meaning adults with your anger will get in the way of that goal. I believe in God and I also believe the victims. It’s not mutually exclusive for me and many others. Just a thought.
Rich, I agree we need to get our heads out of the clouds and deal with the reality priests have been raping kids.People need to be educated that predators take advantage of good people and kids and many times they are in churches which is the last place society expects to find twisted predators.That there has also been in the catholic church a massive coverup of moving around known offenders. I understand your frustration because people are sometimes thick or in denial and your impatience is because you want all kids protected and kept safe.I just think people would take your insights as a survivor more to heart if they don’t feel attacked.You are a very gifted, intelligent and compassionate person you put your heart into helping other survivors and keeping kids safe. As for God I hope that one day he makes himself known to you.
Abuse or no abuse…you don’t have a right to spew your rage at innocent people.
I’m disgusted by what people have done/denied/claimed in the name of God. I am also offended by comment.
I trust the God of my understanding can handle your view of Him, your rage, your pain, and your hurt.
Here’s something for you to consider when you step into sensitive areas for the rest of us. When you scream “ugly” so you can be heard…you must know there are real people on the other end of your words. Real people that believe in God and who understand why you don’t. Real people who struggle with their beliefs, doctrine, faith, family, and their own abuses. People who don’t use God to hide, evade, or excuse.
Your right t Rich! it had nothing to do with god so I understand what you mean when you say fuck thieir god! lol I’m listenting
Kathy and I would like to clarify that while we’ve left the profanity and comments in place, we don’t agree with them. We recognize people have different perspectives based on experience. However, obscenities linked with God are offensive to the majority of people who visit this site and to us. It’s the goal of this site to defend children and our spirituality in unison. Some people use God to perpetrate crimes against children – using the child’s faith and trust in abusing them. But that does not put God at fault. It just makes that abuser all the more evil.
Fishtown stated, “As a child from the 1950’s and growing up Catholic, the Church was the ultimate authority.”
I grew-up during that same time period, received the same instruction, and I once believed it.
I also posted a paragraph a couple of months ago, and it was not received well on this site (50-50 I believe). I will cite it one more time because I believe that it is relevant here, and is at the root of the problem. Namely, we were indoctrinated to believe that a RC priest = God, (and we believed it).
“I’m of the opinion that whenever one places any given individual (often one claiming to have mystical powers) between themselves and God they are set up to be scammed. This can be seen with the Rev Jim Jones, David Koresh, a Houngan (male vodou priest), or a Catholic cleric. When one blindly accepts these people as intermediaries they forfeit a certain degree of their God given ability to reason. As we all know this forfeiture has resulted in many disasters.”
drwho13, for centuries the “ontological change” embedded in Holy Orders, an infallible doctrine, has helped to promulgate the idea that priests (men only, of course, NOT women) are Other. Positioned as Other, they are positioned to act and pontificate authoritatively. Rev. Wintermyer once referred to the “ontological change” as theological jargon. You and I have a right to dismiss the validity of the idea in our own minds but until a pope removes it from the doctrinal history of Catholicism, its dangers will persist. And what is the likelihood of reversing an infallible doctrine? Historically, zero. Infallibility, too, another doctrinal danger, has got to go. It is just daunting how Catholic doctrine defies reality and imperils human beings, including clerics. More daunting, however, is the Catholic inclination to cling to the “sacred mystery” of it all. “God forbid you take away the fantasies that imperil me. After all, salvation depends on them.”
This ontological change business is the taproot of the sex/power abuse crisis. It must be changed and you are right, will never be changed by institutional leadership. Change efforts need to be addressed to the Church, the people of God – those of us in the pews and those of us who would like to be in the pews but cannot be at the present time.
My MO is to pray and let Francis worry about changing the top of the house; my efforts would be futile there. I am involved with a group (American Catholic Council) that is designing learning sessions/change efforts to support critical thinking among the laity. We want to change the Church. The power of leadership is contingent upon consent of the governed. That is one of the topics I want to address in these learning sessions and workshops. Catholics need to know more about power
Sent from my iPad
Thank you for posting. The realizations, the questions, the confusion…it helps survivors heal when people are interested in what really happened, instead of taking the clergy at their word.
Fishtown, I can appreciate your position. Collins has been extremely cautious in his approach…it was far more of an extended grooming process, which I suspect he only selected one victim at a time. He also may have learned after the experience with me to raise his age selection to early college students, which would have alleviated some of the legal aspects. He also may have availed himself of the homosexual community, which, over time, became more open and accessible over the years. So I can understand how he has been able to fly under the radar for all of these years.
And, Rich, it is obvious to me that your experience was far more traumatic and severe than my experience, for which I feel fortunate. I hope that you can find a path that will allow you to become the person you were meant to be before you were abused. You are in my thoughts daily, and I wish you well.
Do you admit the guilt of the following:
Grant: Accused in a suit filed in 4/09 of repeated sexual abuse of a high school boy in 1982-84, starting at age 16. The principal of the school, James W. O’Neill (accused by another student), apparently knew about Grant’s abuse of the boy.
McDevitt:Accused in 4/09 civil suit of abusing one student at Salesianum School in Wilmington during student’s junior yr. 1985-1986. Same plaintiff also alleged abuse by Dennis Killion. Worked in DE, PA and NJ.(Rich’s abuser)
What happened to those Oblates my father admired so much as well as my mother? Do you realize you are putting down a human soul in your statement? Were the other victims given the same treatment when they accused? Maybe we need to meditate on why a priest doesn’t have the same status as before- why we need to take the victims seriously.
Getting tough when I get the question is so and so a good priest.
grant/mcdevitt statements from Bishopaccountability.org
Anon, I am amazed at your kindness and grace, despite the sexual abuse you suffered. It renews my faith that one may raise above true horror and continue to love life and people.
Survivor’s Wife, I am interested in what really happened to the children who were abused by our priest. I have read both Philadelphia Grand Jury Reports, I have donated funds to SNAP and I follow up on the priests noted on Bishop Accountability. And I am horrified…
With that being said…
You have to understand, my family and I know Father Collins. He was one of the “Good Priest” in our life. I first leaned about Father Collins from my neighbor. My neighbor is 88 years old and loved Father Collins. I now feel ashamed that I admired Father Collins. I am not sure if I will be able to ever walk into a Catholic Church, again.