D.A. Says Diocesan Action Is Disgusting


Click here to read: “D.A. blasts archdiocese for helping Lynn make bail,” by Robert Moran, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 31, 2013

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62 Responses to “D.A. Says Diocesan Action Is Disgusting”

  1. Congratulations to DA Seth Williams. He speaks from the heart and is a person who seeks only justice for victims and punishment for perpetrators. Tragically justice is not served by the use of a technicality.

    • For those in Seth Williams’ voting district, don’t forget his good works. Get the vote out for him the next time he runs for anything, mayor perhaps!

  2. Katherine FitzGerald Reply January 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Where’s Francis when you need him? He places personal phone calls to all kinds of distraught human beings. Will he dial up Seth, Susan, Kathy, Vickie, Sr. Maureen??? Major atrocity going on in Philly! Earth to Francis!

    • Where’s Francis? He’s where the cardinals put him… In a tiny, powerful, celibate male only, golden kingdom in Europe …waving down at crowds…..being infallible.

      So when is this entire mess simply too ridiculous and disgusting for responsible people to pass down to the next generation?

    • Can’t say how Francis will respond, but here is a link to his contact info if you would like to ask him directly.

      http://www.victorclaveau.com/htm_html/Church%20Calendar/Church%20Contacts/vatican_mailing_addresses.htm

      It is a small comfort to know my money did not contribute to Lynn’s bail, because the sad truth remains “spin” and church money did set Lynn free. Money for lawyers, money for bail all originating from catholic contributions. How many philadelphia catholics if polled would agree to this use of their church contributions? How many hungry would that money feed? Yes, Seth, it is “disgusting” and so much more left unsaid. Bottom line it doesn’t matter what one says, actions are the true measure of a person’s character. WWJD? Jesus cautioned us to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing, “By their deeds, you will know them” Matthew 7:15-20.

  3. I know that I am not being realistic, but I wish the Diocese would at least us now which fund this money came from. I certainly think that we have a right to know, like a million other things, and they refuse to disclose info. Apparently, they didn’t even want to let us know how much money was given towards his bail. I’m sure that the Archdiocese knew the amount would be disclosed, so why not just come out and tell us and PRETEND to be transparent??? Good for Seth! Now let Pope Francis prove that he cares, at least a little. In my mind, the jury is still out on him. If childhood sexual abuse is NOT a number one priority everywhere, then please tell me what is??? Praying hard for the victims and families for the pain that this new information is causing. As a victim’s family member, it is a huge slap in the face.

  4. How Seth Williams is not in jail is beyond me. He fabricated 75% of the case against Lynn and then sent his star witness, who has been arrested for times. to the lawyers suing the archdiocese for a fee. Williams only want to Lynn in jail or probation until after the lawsuit lawsuit is over. Then he will be on to his next cone

    • Charlie: Read the Grand Jury Reports. These were done by common citizens, just like you and me. Some of them were Catholics. Maybe it is time for you and the rest of the apologists for the Catholic Church to get their collective heads out of the sand. Wake up!

    • mr. milan are you or can you deny the archdiocese of Phila enabled and protected abusers ? The rcc/ hierarchy/ chaput hold themselves out as moral when it suits their needs and then “LAWYERS UP” when it suits their needs , go figure ?

  5. It seems there is honor even among common thieves when it comes to protecting children..I am sure there is no law that requires a thief to hand over stolen tapes showing child abuse..so he did it anyway..imagine that ..no law to follow and a thief protects children

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/19/world/europe/spain-burglar-child-pornography/

    • Kathy: Thank you for the story. A petty thief knows that to molest innocent children is wrong, dead wrong. But the Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church by its actions, if not its words Has no such knowledge. For decades they have known that their clergy has been abusing innocent young children. And their reaction. To protect the priests who abused by moving them from parish to parish in order to protect them from justice.

      • Jim I love this quote from the article :”And yes, they’re still looking for the burglar, the one “with a conscience,” said a police officer in Jaen.”
        The one with the conscience indeed. I am amazed when I read comments from people that claim Lynn did the best he could or did nothing wrong..I am NOT talking about the technicality of the law applying..I am talking about people letting Lynn off the hook completely in their minds. He didn’t have a phone to call the police?..legs to walk to the nearest police station?..even to slip some files in an envelope and drop them somewhere anonymously..12 years of being a concierge to abusive clergy..12 years. As one priest said to me ..there was a reason Lynn was assigned the position and a reason he lastest so long in that position.

  6. We have to believe this: Seth Williams has much more information than any of us could ever imagine or that was ever presented in court. So he is angry from the heart, because of what has been revealed and what has never been revealed in court. He is so right in responding that nothing has changed in the AD of Philadelphia.

    Can you imagine being Seth Williams? Here is a Catholic man who would appear to be in a position to change things in the criminal justice system. Seth Williams has been listening to the voices of abuse victims for years. I couldn’t sleep after reading each Grand Jury Report several years apart and neither could many of us. Can you imagine how that man’s mind ever rests inside?

    Where does the money come from for Monsignor Lynn? Even if you have a parish that you want to support, the assessments charged from the diocese to parishes draws a percentage of our individual donations. So what can folks do in their parishes to show they don’t want their 2 cents going to those who are manipulating the cover up and abuse of children?

    Does anyone even notice that a parishioners donation is missing?

    In all this discussion about the law and the technicalities of how laws affect criminals, there is a law above all law. It is called Natural Law. It is taught by the Catholic church to be the law that God plants in our hearts. Natural Law tells us that each human life is sacred and each child is a divine gift of the creator made in the creators own image. That is elementary theology.

  7. Ladies and Gentlemen,

    A few questions catholics should think about.

    1. Once your money goes into that wicker basket do you truly know where it goes or what is it used for ?

    2. Every so often in the church bulletin you will see the operating costs to operate the church and rectory. You will see the funds received from Sundays collection and expenses such as utilities. Can those numbers be clearly accurate and now more then ever can they be trusted ?

    3. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia last reported a debt that exceeded 300 million dollars where did this $25,000 come from to post bail for Lynn ?

    4. The last and most important question is how many parishioners, those who are the catholic church had a voice in the latest decision made by the archdiocese ?

  8. we all wait for when it will end—it wont for the abused and after the AD posting bail it is clear no matter the leadership its still business as usual,God has done some great things for me and while i remain faithful to Him I now think its time for the phila AD parishes to end the abuse now,the abuse of power and people—do not,i repeat do not financially support any collection as we see the money is not there to educate,house,feed but to support Lynn,and others we probably dont know about, the AD HAS NO BUSINESS BAILING HIM OUT,did they bail out one of their own when she was stealing from tthe church,no, filed charges as they should.It is probably true,Seth Williams outrage probably comes from a greater knowledge than those outside law enforcement probably have about the case.So I urge all to send a message,verbal,financial to your local parish that we wont tolerate this,urge your pastors and priests,speak up NOW,DO YOU SUPPORT THIS OR ARE YOU AGAINST IT,no time for silence,make a mandatory statement in writing in your parish bulletin for all to see,not a short notice meeting,in writing now and people realize there are plenty of good priest out there but its time for them to stop being overshadowed by silence,fear and the criminals

  9. Sister Maureen,

    You are 100% correct on your earlier statement regarding who was paying for the defense for Lynn. I am including a article from rd Magazine to strengthen your claim.

    Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Archdiocese issued a short statement, but it will continue to pay for it for years to come. Right now, the legal fees defending Lynn and Brennan are at $11 million, with the bill expected to come in at around $14-15 million when all is tallied. In addition, there are more cases to be adjudicated and, as noted in this searing post by Rocco Palmo of Whispers in the Loggia, the case will haunt the archdiocese for sometime to come.

    • Dennis, I also remember the 11 million estimate. What magazine are you referencing..can you provide the link?

  10. I found this also..it looks like the payment for the Lynn defense is part of the overall cost including the costs of legal defense in the civil suits..the investigations into the now suspended clergy (consultants that made up that team)…so much money spent on something that was covered up in order to not bring the Church scandal..wow

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2012/06/catholic-church-philadelphia-abuse-trial-costs/1#.UsT2sSg5vzI

  11. Chaput has shown his true colors after acting otherwise,boycott collections or until we find out who is supporting this and why,please again mandatory commitment letters in the bulletins by months end from pastors and priest,stop the hiding

  12. Joe – , Remember when there were flyers put on cars while folks were in church?
    They still do it for CYO events, March for Life, elections, etc. It may be very difficult to get something into a parish bulletin that is financed through local business advertising.

  13. Sounds to me like the DA is letting his feelings get ahead of his duty to uphold the law for the citizens of Philadelphia. We know some skeletons in his closet have recently been aired.

    • How did this interfere with his duty?

      • Let’s start with prosecuted a person for a crime that did not apply to him. All for the good of Seth and his career. that’s all this is and will be about

        • His duty is to protect citizens via the law. He won the first time. Lost on appeal. No failure of duty. Through the prosecution and trial, Catholics learned what was going on behind archdiocesan closed doors. That helps protect us.

    • BL if you want to have a competition about the amount of skeletons in a closet being aired, I would say the Archdiocese of Philadelphia wins hands down.
      Of course law must rule rather than emotion but the lack of emotion many people show in relation to the sexual violation of a child’s body is also alarming.

      • i’ll agree that RCC is guilty of “skeletons in the closet.” If you or anyone can provide proof and legitimate facts that Avery’s accuser, Dan Gallagher, was indeed violated and Lynn was judged by a jury of his peers as a citizen of the US and not a priest then let’s start there. When did the investigation by the DAs office begin again?

        • BL I am glad you would agree that there were skeletons in the closet in the Archdiocese but I am ashamed I even used that term to apply to children who were violated.
          It is all in the hands of the courts where any case should be and whatever decision the Pa Supreme Court renders then that is the decision. I have no idea why you are asking us to prove a crime but if you would like to go that route then there are countless cases where the evidence is overwhelming that children were harmed..however I would not ask you to address those crimes/evidence .
          If you want to make the DA the target of your anger so be it .everyone has a right to whatever they want to feel. As a parent my anger is for those who harmed children and covered it up..just as a parent..someone who loves kids and thank God if my kids no one thing it is that I will never defend the behavior of those who harmed children.put kids at risk or covered it up. Maybe it can’t be prosecuted or held accountable but I certainly will not enable it..as a parent.

          I do just have to ask this question..not to BL..but to anyone reading..is it just me or does it creep people out that so much of the evidence at the trial showed that perps got of completely free because of the poor laws in the past..those perps are still out there..however all these adult men come to this site upset about Msgr Lynn? There is a perp living across the street from a park in Sea Isle..there are perps living in Orlando near Disney..they are all out there and it wasn’t even disputed at the trial that the abuse occurred..Lynn’s involvement/culpability was disputed but not the abuse. So they are all out there with access to kids and grown men are here about Msgr Lynn?I am just not used to the men that I know acting that way. I guess I am fortunate and a bit naive .

          • Msgr Lynn has attorneys, family,priest support,hierarchy support…etc..these kids in the path of predators who are “out there” have nothing. My father is no longer alive but if he was I can guarantee you he would be all over this situation for the sake of his grandchildren.

          • Survivor's wife January 3, 2014 at 2:58 am

            Kathy…

            It concerns me that grown men are defending inexcusable behaviors of perps and/or enablers. Grown men should be protecting their children, wives, nieces and nephews, not make excuses for sexually perverse and repressed men. Makes me wonder about their roles as fathers and husbands. The men I know guard their children with their lives, not use legalese to make excuses for other men who should know better.

          • survivors wife I have met some wonderful men over the past few years who have hit the ground running in their work for the protection of children.. Although the GJ report was a catalyst for their involvement..I don’t know that I have ever even heard Msgr Lynn’s name discussed by them. It is all about productive work on behalf of their children and grandchildren…working for better laws..for education and awareness..opening their wallets..donating their time and resources. Just fabulous people.
            My 85 year old uncle called me on the phone 2 years ago asking me to take him to one of the vigils to stand for victims and children .
            I am with you, I cannot comprehend it, it is foreign to me.

          • survivors wife..they also give the thumbs down when they hear that other men actually work for the protection of children.
            Rich asked me one time who I thought these people were who give thumbs down on comments about protecting kids…scary people.

          • Survivor's wife January 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm

            Kathy,
            The thumbs down people are a compliment to me. Love it! It’s confirmation that people who normally wouldn’t read this are doing so.

        • BL the trial lasted about 9 weeks and the jury deliberated for 12 days and Acquitted Lynn of most charges and found him guilty of only one EWOC charge. Your rational makes no sense, if the jury was out to persecute him because he was a priest they would have deliberated for a few hours and he would have been found guilty of all counts across the board but they rejected the conspiracy charge which really would have been a historic verdict. So a jury that acquits on most counts is also not fair in your book? So far it is the DA’s fault..the jury’s fault…all you need to do is throw in the words witch hunt and liberal press and there you go..everyone’s fault but the people who harmed children and covered it up.

          • you got it in your last sentence – but the people who harmed children and covered it up.

            The law did not apply to Lynn at the time he was convicted. Your all blasting him on a moral issue and not a legal one.

          • BL the courts will have the final say and so be it..not sure how confusing that is to understand. If you want to spend your time defending a man who maybe be legally cleared of endangering children but morally guilty then knock your sock off.. good for you? Whatever floats your boat. I just don’t know men like that.. it takes me awhile to get used to adult men not protecting children and defending those who don’t..color me naive..and damn lucky.

          • BL now that Lynn is free and not much will happen for awhile you might want to turn your attention to having some charges dropped against former PSU president Graham Spanier because some of the same charges were being applied to his case and now that is getting messy. I am sure that you are all about justice for college presidents also ?

  14. You’re right BL – this is a moral issue. And kudos to Kathy for blasting Msgr. Lynn for not taking the moral high ground. Aren’t we supposed to respect the clergy – to hold them to a higher moral ground? How could you even watch him say Mass, to hear your confession?

    Being the coward he was, all it would have taken would have been a photocopier and an anonymous mailing to a newspaper, a TV station, the DA. But he chose to be the lapdog for the AOP.

    So forgive some of us if we are offended that he got off on a legal technicality – on a law that was so antiquated that they immediately amended it. I would expect more from a clergy member. After all – isn’t that what they teach us about abortion – while it might be LEGAL, its MORALLY wrong!

    Can’t have it both ways!

  15. Excellent example owlfan..even in the horrific Kermit Gosnell case some charges were thrown out ..Were these Lynn defenders there making sure that the charges were thrown out and Gosnell was being treated as a fair citizen?..Don’t think so and I get why they were not..because it was wrong..horrendous and disgusting..but man what a double standard.

    • And a priest who was present expressed disappointment that some charges were dismissed..exactly..disappointment that the law may not have covered what was obviously an immoral act by Gosnell. So we would think people/clergy were crazy who would be commenting on article about how great it was that Gosnell had some charges dismissed or the technicalities of why a certain charge did not apply..yes we have to go by the law..doesn’t mean we have to agree or like it.

  16. victims sister,i was saying that the priest and pastor of every parish should state their point of view on the subject in writing so maybe we are on the same page but different ideas—im sure –part of my thoughts were the businesses would see and bail out of the money tree,either way i want to see their views in writing instead of the usual doublespeak—BL read the first word of this letter-victims–oh yea, in your effort think you forgot that to be a victim there has to be perp,so we have both, technicalities may change legal standings but not moral,that the AD would even concider giving bail money is mind boggleing.Kathy hate to correct you but you said”you dont know men like that” these are not men–male maybe but definitly not men not a man in the bunch, victims sis,Kathy,seth williams and all keep up the great work,but I still think cutting off the money input is all these cowards understand,BL,there is one in every crowd–thank God that there wasnt one in yours,nor fortunatly for me and my children, mine

  17. Joe,
    I get what you are saying: to have pastors write a statement in their parish bulletin. I will ask a few pastors if they would be willing to make a public statement in their parish bulletins.

    • GOOD LUCK!

      When I was in seminary we were told; “as a priest you are a
      mouthpiece for the bishop, and if you don’t like it, go to another seminary. There are five of them in this city; they’re Protestant, and you can say anything you want.”

      I’d love to see a public statement from a priest on this matter, but that would be like telling your boss to go to Hell! Remember, the bishop just posted Lynn’s bond.

    • vistims sis good for you,thank you and go for it–celtic,you are right and there are plenty of charities that will welcome contributions and have the guts to show who gets it,a mission statement

  18. “VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has warned that priests can become “little monsters” if they aren’t trained properly while studying as seminarians.”

    http://www.chron.com/news/article/Pope-warns-of-fallout-from-poorly-trained-priests-5110977.php

    And, then the worst of these “little monsters” become bishops.

    • drwh013,,,isn’t this exactly what we are living in Philadelphia right now?? Little monsters is an understatement. I have two opinions on this: 1. Chaput hasn’t done enough housecleaning with his bishops, but then again- where can he possible send them? No one else wants them! 2. All of these posts on the bail provided for Lynn has further convinced me to never put a cent into a collection basket again. I have other charities that I support that do great work for people, and are very transparent with their assets.

      • Not only will I never put a cent in a collection basket, I may enclose a note with my church envelope, Catholic Charities appeal, Seminary collection stating WHERE I did send my money. Hey AOP – I’m not some person who doesn’t donate to charity – I do – here’s proof and an accounting of some of the $$$ you could have had if you had done the right thing.

  19. does anyone know where Lynn is staying,not for any other reason than who is paying for that……hello ritz-carlton bill lynns room please

  20. http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Rowan-Bishop-Mansion-238442351.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_PHBrand All the more reason to not support the church financially! Save your money and invest it- and maybe if you are lucky enough, you could live in a home like this. Please join me in printing this article and sending it to our new Pope Francis.

    • In the article “Feuerherd told NBC10 that “a $500,000 residence/work center/meeting place cannot be considered lavish.”

      “The 1908 home has an in-ground pool, three fireplaces, a library and a five-car garage.”

      This poor chap is one step away from living on the street (LOL).

      • The people who live in the poorer areas of Camden would give anything to live in such a humble environment, much less have one fireplace to help them heat their homes. hashtag #sodisgusted

  21. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/02/monsignor-william-lynn-released_n_4531974.html
    Chaput has twice visited Lynn in prison and has said that no one person should become the scapegoat for the abuse crisis. Bergstrom, his attorney, said Lynn has become just that.

    (the above is a quote from the article i have pasted),by saying this then why doesnt Chaput ,Lynn and any other clergy with knowledge of the abuse come forward, obviously it is not the actions of one person,never was but is this their defense,excuse,reasoning??So you should let him go because you didnt catch or convict them all,well it wasnt for lack of trying by the DA but it is for lack of cooperation by the AD im sure that the AD has someone monitoring this site and those like it,I know im just an everyday ”joe”to them but here is something to think about,your inaction will never let the church heal,never let victims heal(if thats possible at all)never let rebuilding begin,confidece restored and im not a scholar by any means but i will bet you this,when the time comes for all of us to go before the ”HIGHEST JUDGE” we wont get a high priced lawyer,character witnesses,or excuses,wont be able to hide facts,claim ignorance nor get the protection of our earthly bosses and for sure wont get our punisment overtuned—as i have stated before I love my God but as you are his representitves here on earth the AD and clergy have got to step up

    • http://www.bishop-accountability.org/pa_philadelphia/Philly_GJ_patterns.htm#Martins

      “Daniel, who had an unhappy home life and an abusive stepfather, went down to the church and cried. A young priest he considered a friend, Fr. Peter Welsh, saw him and asked what happened. After Daniel finished telling him, Fr. Martins entered and approached the two. Father Welsh then left the boy, took Fr. Martins’ confession, and never returned to talk to the boy.

      A few days later, Daniel confided in his lay math teacher at the parish grade school. The teacher was horrified and immediately informed the pastor, Fr. John Shelley. The teacher also encouraged Daniel to tell his parents. Frightened that he might be beaten if he told his mother and stepfather, Daniel asked Fr. Welsh to go with him to tell them. Father Welsh said he was busy. The pastor, who should have reported the boy’s rape to police, or at least to his parents, also refused to accompany the boy to his house. Daniel finally got up the nerve to tell his mother. At her urging, he called the police.”

      ***************

      Victims and advocates have come forward. Keep reading about places and priests that affected the kids I worked with. Do you think this was an appropriate use of confession? – We had a Sandusky victim leave school because of the teasing not far from me. also had the famous “Kids for Cash” scheme where judges took bribes and gave good kids a record and sent then to a detention center. 16years old victims forced to attend classes with her rapists and the superior court overturning a rape conviction because there wasn’t enough serios bodily injury when force by 3 men in a local university.This state also had the famous Pennhurst institution – remember hold a client up to a urinal because he lost his muscle coordination – part of a six eek grant trying to help client to eat properly so they wouldn’t choke on their food.

      You would be surprised to find how much is ignored – how many times I was reminded about my vow of obedience and the argument of how I overstepped the boundaries in handling an abuse case – both by the institution and by the religious congregation(not sexual abuse).

      Mr. Williams does understand that Lynn is only part of the problem and hen the evidence dictates he will prosecute.

  22. January 3, 2014

    LETTER FROM ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT TO THE CLERGY AND
    FAITHFUL OF THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA

    SECOND

    “….The Superior Court ruling does not vindicate Msgr. Lynn’s past decisions. Nor does it absolve the Archdiocese from deeply flawed thinking and actions in the past that resulted in bitter suffering for victims of sexual abuse and their families…..”

    “DEEPLY FLAWED THINKING AND ACTIONS”………..euphemism for CRIMINAL CONDUCT (see PA Crimes Code and Statutes)

    “BITTER SUFFERING”…………………euphemism for the DESTRUCTION OF THE EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND MORAL LIVES AND SPIRITS OF INNOCENT CHILDREN WHICH DESTRUCTION LASTS A LIFETIME.

    Michael Skiendzielewski
    Captain (retired)
    Philadelphia Police Dept.

    • Michael S i also read this and like all the talk is again doublespeak and for a lack of a better phrase BS.Chaput says AD will continue to give their support to the abused—and then post bail for Lynn–there is a ton of reassurance with that move,and the wheel keeps spinning.This would be the equinalant of a DAs office posting bail for a employee charged with a crime–wouldnt happen!And how come at mass they always read letters from the Archbisops that pertain to the parishoners but skip the ones that will have the uninformed asking what that was about-close the closet door slowly,dont wake anyone else up

  23. oh BTW in Chaputs letter the opening paragraph he writes ”AT MY DIRECTION THE AD HAS PROVIDED BAIL” the closing pararaph says WE have acted accordingly—at least try to get the story straight once—and what did you guys talk about at the prison,a trip im sure we provided for

  24. “…..For the past three years the Archdiocese has worked vigorously to reform the way it protects the children and families it serves….”

    Another “gem” from the Chaput letter………….exactly what was the WAY (they were protecting the children and families) PRIOR to the last three years?

    Another item which I tried to nail down some time ago…….is there a victim or family member of the victim serving on any of the review boards down there as specified in the procedures on the archdiocesan website?

    When a document such as this is produced for public viewing, doesn’t anyone pass it around to reasonable adults OUTSIDE the 222 Castle in order to critique, review and analyze the phrases, wording, etc. PRIOR to publication? Do all those in leadership down there still wear those high-strength prescription rose-colored glasses?

    • Supposedly the victim representative seat at the table of the Review Board is currently being looked at for occupancy..but we will not be told when it is filled.

  25. …..and here is where the bail money didnt come from” — the funding of which, Chaput points out, “has been taken from no parish, school, or ministry resources, and will be returned when the terms of bail are completed.” MUCH easier to say where it DID come from –why start straight talk now?

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