Click here to read: “Pa. priest released from prison after appeal,” by The Associated Press, Jan. 2, 2013
“Chaput has twice visited Lynn in prison and has said that no one person should become the scapegoat for the abuse crisis.”
According to Archbishop Chaput’s logic, if everyone involved in a crime isn’t caught – then no one is accountable.
Either way, Lynn is legally free. And, the Church is clearly not going to hold him morally accountable.
Kathy and I aren’t holier than thou Catholics into casting stones. This is unpleasant to say the least. We are average Catholic moms who mess up and even sin. That’s exactly why we need our faith leaders. That’s why we are so disappointed/furious. We counted on them to help us and our families aspire to better living. Who else should we look to for reminders on how to live as Jesus did?
Because they are human, the leadership will sometimes fail. It would be unreasonable to expect otherwise. But for God’s sake, this failure is epic and continuing.
For now, the victims and their suffering brings us closer to Jesus. Because of them, I’m a better person. Far from perfect, but better. That’s all I want from my Church, but I’ll have to wait. The leadership is unrecognizable. It is not the face of God.
84 thoughts on “Msgr. Lynn Leaves Prison”
I think of when we were outside the cathedral on Good Friday with the victims and their families and a mother of a clergy abuse victim lead the group in reciting the Hail Mary..her son still suffering..the abuse the cross her family bears. It took my breath away.
That Good Friday has stayed with me. I remember when the foreign nuns who were sightseeing at the Cathedral joined us in prayer. The sidewalk seemed like the holier place to be that day.
I agree with AB Chaput that nobody should be made a scapegoat for the scandal. However, those that enabled it to continue for decades and who are still alive should be put in prison for their part. That includes AB Rigali, Law, et.al.
That is a very sad scenario, Kathy. You can see it here quite often when I wrap my arms around my brother, and pray and pray that everything will be OK. (40 years ago, and then 15 years ago respectively.) With a comment like Chaput’s, I am very discouraged and now feel the despair that nothing will ever, ever be done. First , the abuse is denied, then a comment along the lines of there cannot be one scapecoat, and everyone involved in the abuse be caught. Look in the Mirror, Msgr. Chaput! How hard did ANYONE try to find offenders, even when there were so many clues, leads, etc., not to mention MORALS and horrible crimes to children committed. YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH! I cry in dispair, anger, pity for the victims, their families, frustration and for the times that Chaput talks, the nonsense that comes out of his mouth. Disgusted……………………………….
I am so sorry MC . It was very sad for what this mother and her son endure but it was beautiful because the moment was so true..just truth and prayer. It was stripped down of any pomp and circumstance,,worshiping men rather than God..it was just so true and a feeling I had not felt in years.
obviously I forgot to include the word ” not” worshipping men..
God, the victims,family members,the pain,the truth and prayer took the spotlight. And Vicky with us and her wonderful words and prayer also
I am so sorry MC for you and all of the victims. My heart is heavy and sad. They do not represent Our Lord, for sure……..
I knew it was going to happen but it does not lessen the shock.
Thank you Archdiocese of Philadelphia for abusing me again, again and again.
Is there ever going to be an end ?
You appear mocked by the Catholic Church? Does this emotional torment create self-consciousness? Do you practice pulling Presence into stillness to help create an opening for healing?
If these questions are not appropriate here we can just drop them. I will say thank you for your courage and is your support for all of us
Dennis, I honestly didn’t think it would happen. When I heard, I thought of you and the other survivors here and couldn’t breathe. I can’t imagine what you feel. Apparently this surprised a lot of people. I have never seen such outrage for victims across Facebook as I have today. The tide is turning. Support is growing.
We are in a very scary situation. What a ridiculous comment from an Archbishop.
I know of a young woman who is in prison for life because she was accused of conspiracy to murder. She did not kill the person and there are deep questions about whether she actually was involved in a conspiracy. Regardless, she is in prison.
All who participate in a crime are 100 % individually responsible for the crime.
We need more intelligent and caring catholic leaders in Philadelphia.
The Ukrainian Catholic Church does not have this problem. In Philadelphia, Ukrainians cherish the family, culture, language, music and actually celebrate their faith in community. They are Catholic and also under Pope Francis and their clergy marry and have children. It is doubtful that those married clergy would want their children around pedophiles and sexually violent men who rape children.
Your comment on the Ukrainian church is very interesting. The Roman church maintains it’s incidence of pedophilia is about the same as the general population. if it could be absolutely proven that the incidence of pedophilia in the Ukrainian church is less, maybe it would help end forced celibacy in the Roman church, which has always struck me as unnatural and psychologically unhealthy
Susan, your comments inspire me. Thank you. JHeary
Likewise, John. I always appreciate your correspondence and perspective.
Thank you to everyone for your kind words. Dennis, I wholeheartedly agree. Everytime that one of those pompous members of the Archdiocese Hierarchy makes a stupid, smug, nonsensensical statement, they are dispespecting us and abusing us again, and again as you say. I am in dispair and just about giving up. Fool me once…etc. On an unrelated note, but realated because it shows you the value of of what our church thinks of our children: Did you know that the Archdocease of Phila only had FIVE Special Education schools on the elementary school level (only 2 in Phila.).They only have 4 now. About 2 years before all of the school closings, the wonderful school that my daughter attended, Archangels Academyfor Special Needs Children , in Levittown, was closed. Enrollment was down and it would have cost a whopping $3000 to relocate!!!!! Yet they can hand over $25,000., just like that to a pedophile enabler?? To make matters worse, they never announced this closing to the public. Think how cruel that would look and heartless, wouldn’t it? Up to 1 and 1/2 years later, my beautiful SN daughter was STILL on the Archdiocesan website video (as if that school still existed.) . This has been eating me up for quite a while, but it just shows you what they think of our our children. Those in the AD wouldn’t be even close in to kiss my extra special childs’s feet…Her worth and values outranks theirs a millionfold. Wow! Thanks for listening and letting me get that out!!
Maybe Downingtown will welcome him back with open arms at St. Joe’s. They told the kids at school when he was pastor, that he did nothing wrong, that he was a victim. Now there is a great big, new church and remodeled rectory there ready for him to return to, and many there would be happy to claim this a victory. I’m sick over it. Though I see the light it has shed, I still view his release as a huge step back for victims and kids.
that is what the rcc does they told the children he was a victim , you have just witnessed ‘grooming’ in process !
The Catholic Hierarchy does consider themselves to be victims. They believe that they are being picked on by anyone who questions their actions with regard to the sexual abuse of innocent children. They really believe that they have handled the abuse of children by the clergy in a very caring, appropriate way. When the Jerry Sandusky case broke a few years ago up at Penn State, the church offered their help to Penn State to deal with the crisis. When I read that, I thought to myself they really are delusional. The comments by Chief Chaput reconfirm the fact they are living in a fantasy world.This fight will continue. This is but one battle seemingly lost. The war is far from over. Our children and grandchildren are too precious to let them win.
I’m just feeling so sad that this man is walking free while I continue to suffer day after day because of the abuse I suffer. Hopefully justice will be done & he will not be free for very long!
“….But in an interview with the Associated Press the day before his Sept. 8 (2011) installation, Chaput said of the case against Lynn: “It’s really important to me, and I think to all of us, that he be treated fairly and that he not be a scapegoat….”
Just wanted to put it out there for readers so that there is an official record that our spiritual leader of Philadelphia Catholics did make this statement……..important to note, these pearls of wisdom were offered BEFORE he took the helm as Archbishop.
I’ve been doing some research over the holidays and new information has come to light that Charles Chaput and William Donohue are really identical twins, separted at birth. Statements from the two are beginning to sound very much alike……could be a genetic thing.
It’s 2014 and no doubt this will be another fine year for all PA citizens who are standing up to protect our children from sexual abuse and predation regardless of the environment, public or private, religious or secular, etc. Advocacy is very rarely about being successful, but rather, about being diligent, persistent and unpredictable.
Thanks for pulling that quote, Michael. Were the victims treated fairly? Were the faithful treated fairly? Is there any fairness now? Let’s be fair across the board!
Also, this writer has discovered that the article on http://www.catholicphilly.com which stated that the archdiocese was assisting in the funding of Lynn’s bail has mysteriously disappeared.
Please be on the lookout for this essay and return it to the SCAPEGOAT at 222 N. 17th St. as soon as possible. A $10,000 reward is being offered (funded) by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for its safe return.
Do you have it in your web history, would be interesting what the address was for that article? Occasionally the address gives a summary of the article and a copy of the result of entering the address. Also nice to document everything so that they can’t deny and any info about abuse for when we have that open window for our victims and the SOLs. Please keep records of yearbooks, parish histories and bulletins along as newspaper articles. Newspaper article links should be sent to Bishopaccountability.org – seems they have been continuing to update their database with current information.
I agree with Susan about Chaput. He is a poor excuse for a pastor. It is beyond sad to know that the “leaders” of our Church continue to hide, accommodate, and find excuses for all those involved with sexual misconduct. Perhaps it is time for us, the laity, to take back our Catholicism. We have no vote on who runs things, no input into how things are run – Apostles and the first group of believers lived in community and all had a say in how things were done – we need this again. Maybe a first step is to absolutely stop all contributions to the Church. I do not want any of my hard-earned money supporting anyone who had anything to do with child abuse.
Gina, so many were sharing your sentiment in regard to contributions today on Facebook. I think this was the final straw for some. There are so many good Catholic organizations not attached to the archdiocese that need money. Money is power. It should go to those who use that power for good.
I don’t think there is any hope for me ever getting trust back in the clergy. I am so distrusting that, sadly, even if there are “good” priests out there, I wouldn’t believe that they would protect a child above being “obedient” and keeping their mouths shut. Are there any priests strong enough and with enough integrity and true Christ Like grace that they would actually choose our children/victims over their fraternity that they refer to as “the Church?” I just don’t believe that there are. They want to be taken care of for life and if they speak up, they are afraid (probably for good reason) that they will be cut off. Can’t any of them see the good that they would do if they spoke up for the vulnerable? They would certainly find another path in life…..perhaps a truly Christian one.
It is early in the morning,about 3:30 am. I cannot sleep. This is the time of the day when my mind goes into overdrive. I am sure many other victims can relate. I have made the study of history one of my passions. I graduated from LaSalle College back in 1972, with a degree in history. I have never used that degree. I was too busy fighting my demons.There is a quote I often hear that to paraphrase goes something like this: ” Those who fail to study history, are bound to repeat it”.I reallydon’t think anything that man is going through today, they have not gone through before.I hesitate to use this example, because although I personally know the horrors of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest., The horrors that occurred in Europe before and during the Second world War really have no comparison. I will not get into the complicity on the part of the Catholic Church during that period. Suffice it to say that the Vatican State was created during this period by an agreement between the pope at the time and a representative of the Mussolini government. After the war, many of those responsible for the atrocities, fled Europe. Some ended up in the United States, often under various aliases. Many more fled to countries like Argentina and other countries in South America. With Hitler and many of his accomplices dead, who would be held accountable for what happened to hundreds of thousands of Jewish people, killed in the Concentration Camps? Trials were held in Nurhemberg . Many of those put on trial offered a very familiar refrain: I was simply following orders. I was not responsible.Not very many apologized or took responsibility for their individual actions. Sound familiar? I remember reading about a pedophile priest who wanted to apologize to his victims. This had Church leaders and their lawyers in a quandary. Confession may be good for the soul, but it certainly is not good for the pocketbook. They managed to keep this priests apologies in check. It has been said by many Church loyalists that Father Lynn had no choice. He had taken a vow of obedience. I guess in the long run it becomes about what takes precedence: obedience or your conscience? My own advice to Father Lynn is to come clean. Apologize for your actions and try to make some compensation to those you have harmed. With our Judeo Christian heritage, most Americans are anxious to forgive. But in order to be forgiven, one must first confess. That too sounds very familiar.
“It has been said by many Church loyalists that Father Lynn had no choice. He had taken a vow of obedience” (Jim T). There is never an obligation to follow the vow of obedience when it involves an immoral act.
I agree Lynn should apologize and come clean, but I don’t believe he has what it takes to do the right thing.
Having been in the courtroom when he described having the kids line up to go to confession “out in the open” to a predator priest..I honestly do not think he even realizes what to apologize for or come clean about.
Monsignor William Lynn is a man with two traumas in his life. First, his association with the cultish, riddled with dysfunction, and abnormally loyal priesthood. Second, his legal ordeal and imprisonment. Today, he is vulnerable man to say the least. He does not possess the personal wherewithal to turn his traumas into learning lessons, conscience-raising, or opportunities of enlightenment. The man would have to be de-programmed and re-programmed. Literally… and by force. He cannot arrive there on his own and clerics, who could positively affect and influence him, will not.
His sister could…
Succinct and powerful commentary.
Interestingly, I agree with Chaput. Lynn should not be a scapegoat for the entire clergy abuse scandal.
But, his words are a hollow gong…a slap in all victims’ faces…a betrayal of his calling to shepherd his flock, dismissive/ignorant to the pain of victims…cowardly, weak. I’m so sad for victims…not only because of the ruling, but because the response is a repeat of the abuse, which brings more pain to victims’ already heavy burdens.
My deepest apologies to all the victims of clergy abuse and their families…and to all the Catholics betrayed by their hierarchy.
Prayers of protection for victims, clarity for Catholics, and a cleansing of the hierarchy.
God help us all.
Interesting to see friends from other denominations posting the news about Lynn on FB. They don’t know my story so are not sending the posts for my benefit. They are just commenting on how it’s al so ludicrous. They bishops are so shortsighted they don’t realize they are a big pathetic joke which is making the church a joke.
While my violation occurred in a different diocese it’s all the same. My nerves are raw as this just triggers more pain and confusion. Sending thoughts to all those in this survivors club – the club no one would ever want to join
“They bishops are so shortsighted they don’t realize they are a big pathetic joke which is making the church a joke” (suzpt).
Many bishops don’t care; life for them is good. They have the best of everything, including lawyers, and they don’t pay for any of it.
THEY’RE CONCERNED ONLY WITH MONEY, AND MONEY ALWAYS GETS THEIR ATTENTION.
“St. Patrick’s Cathedral trustee Ken Langone told CNBC that some wealthy Catholics were balking at giving their financial support to the New York church’s restoration project in the wake of the pontiff’s teachings.”
“Pope Francis’ recent critical comments about the wealthy are potentially scaring off millionaire donors for the $180 million restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.”
“That’s the message that billionaire Ken Langone, founder of Home Depot, passed along to Timothy Cardinal Dolan during a recent breakfast meeting.”
Susan, which FB page did you mean? i loooked at the Catholics for Change page and I didn’t see much about this current topic. Is there another page that I should be looking at? Thanks!
I provide social media services to others and I manage several pages, so I get to see conversations going on across Facebook.
O.K. I had that little pity party for myself in a comment I left the other day, but I am by the strength of my wife and equally the strength of those who post here back up 100%.
The question now is what and where do we go from here ? I believe Kathy and Susan may have great examples of what anyone here may do to fight the fight.
Do we step as low as other sites (BigTrial &TMR) have allowed to be posted. Comments that requested to know the addresses of Billy Gallagher and his family both in Florida and here in Philadelphia. Clearly information that would have been used by these sick minded individuals only to harass.
Does those actions now make it O.K. for us to search for the address where Lynn will reside or the day he will meet his parole officer.
I say no. Why ? Because one thing I have seen over the years is clergy abuse victims/survivors are a better class of people, and one example I can give is look at all the thousands of victims of clergy abuse, how many victims sought out revenge by their own hands ? There might be more but I know of only TWO. This is one thing we can gain strength and pride from.
My father had this saying ” if you feed someone enough rope they will hang themselves.” I think the move to pay for Lynn bail by the archdiocese of Philadelphia is only an example of them taking more of that rope.
Thank you to those who gave me that kick in the butt to get back up.
Thank you Dennis, as we need your strength and courage!
Classifying people once again. these “sick minded people.” same could be said of the people on this site who feel that lynn is reason there is child abuse in the catholic church. it has and does exist, however the law did not apply to him during his time in office. He should never have been prosecuted for those charges. And at the end of the day we will probably all see your precious Danny Gallagher’s story thrown out too. But i ask you where are the charges against the new regime in the Archdiocese? Surely the great and wise Seth Williams has something he could use.
BL, I don’t think that Lynn is the reason there is child abuse in the Catholic Church. He is, however, one of many reasons why it continued unchecked here in Philly. Child abuse exists everywhere. We just expect representatives of Jesus to handle it a bit better than the average Joe. No one is debating the law. Whether or not Lynn should have been prosecuted is a matter of court opinion/ruling. We can leave that to them. What we can discuss here as Catholics are simple matters of right and wrong. Even if Danny Gallagher was lying…even if Seth Williams has an agenda… – does that change what Lynn choose to do when faced with the sexual abuse of children? No. It does not. He is just one of many who made that choice, but I’m not sure how that makes you feel better.
I absolutely do not think Msgr Lynn is the reason for abuse in the Catholic Church..For all I know Msgr Lynn has never even stepped foot in LA or Milwaukee..St Paul..Boston..Newark..Ireland..Australia or any of the other places which have been in the news for clergy abuse..and I certainly do not think he is the sole reason for the abuse in this Archdiocese.
BL I left you a comment on another thread that pertained to former PSU President Graham Spanier..he is being charged with some similar offenses in the Sandusky case which may get messy now also in terms to the law applying/not applying because of the year/statutes.
I guess that prosecutor is also out for blood against priests..oh wait Spanier is not a priest..that’s right. I guess that is the “anti college president group” forcing that prosecutor in the Spanier case?
BL:Who’s law does not apply to the Monsignor. Man’s law? God’s Law? The Church has always maintained that it answers to a higher law. So your argument is that the Monsignor was not guilty under man’s law. Was he guilty under God’s law? Or does he get a pass there too? He knowingly moved pedophile priests from parish to parish to avoid scandal for the church. As a result of his actions countless children were abused sexually.Was he the only one accountable for this? Hell no. His bosses were just as guilty. You know who else is guilty. People like yourself who support the degenerate hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
Dennis, I remember being told that I need to protect the child molesters and rapists under my care. Once, one did rape. I needed to protect the child molester because I needed to keep him in a controlled
environment. Even though I did mention “street justice” the result of that is never good and is far from our message. Also, it may allow the offender to receive special protections to protect him/her.
I do know that the info I knew as an Oblate allowed me to contact lawyers when the window was opened in Delaware. I also know when I was commenting about CSA and the church at a fast food restaurant – I tend to do that along with the Penn State/Sandusky scandal- It seems that I get reaction, either victims of CSA or tier 3 offenders that react – follow me. Usually when I get a certain reaction I find that person on the sex offender’s list. ALCU tends to protect their rights also. I only google with info that I learned from my life experiences – no one on this web site know – to protect those victims I know and why CSA is so important to me. I found little justice for sexual assault/abuse victims I know. The Oblates I watched – except for the one case that did result in some action, I didn’t have any knowledge of their abuse until I read it in the Bishopaccountability.org website – still can’t believe sexually abusing a 7/8 year old for years and I had to receive communion from that guy and others..
So I find it important to document anything important to any CSA case and continue to review laws to make sure the language does protect our children, not to harass, but to protect & inform.
Dennis a commenter once posted the address of a former Phila Archdiocesan abusive priest who now resides in a private residence in Florida…one of the most notorious off all the abusers and laicized by the Church. We deleted that comment as soon as we saw it. I agree with you.
Dennis, My parents taught me the same. Leave them to their rope. I say we focus our efforts on the two places where they will be most constructive – our communities and Harrisburg. We have the truth on our side. Truth = light. Let’s help everyone see the light. People will hear and eventually respond to a consistent, respectful and informative message. Anger and bitterness (though well deserved) falls on deaf ears. Also, in asking the bishops “what would Jesus do?” I’ve begun to ask myself the same before taking any action. Not only does this simplify my life, but I’ve found it to be super effective. How would Jesus handle this mess? He’d take it to the streets with love. My husband are forming a political action committee, “Protect PA Kids.” We’d been debating the best use of his left-over campaign funds. Now we know. Kathy Kane is on board. With her smarts, dedication and sense of humor (so needed in this mess), I’m 100 percent certain of the PAC’s success. We’ve got a lawyer lined up, a treasurer and the paperwork is being filed. We’ll need everyone’s help and I’ll keep you posted.
Msgr. Lynn leaves prison and is vainglory. Another word for vainglory is pride. Pride is the ability to endure whatever happens by getting through problems by tuning it out. Pride is the unwillingness to acknowledge suffering and responsibility. The Archdiocese underestimate the seriousness of all their energy going toward their defense and their pride is protecting them from guilt. My impression is the Archdioceses are taking special satisfaction in seeing themselves as well-intentioned. Yet their defense is fundamental denial and they will not look at this horror.
Pride is the root of all evil, as we all know.. The denial it creates is astounding, look at the Archdiocese. It seems to me taking away the church’s money will be cutting off a limb, an arm or a leg, but they will deny they caused this to happen. Pride as denial is a pathetic state, as it is a flight from suffering and anxiety. We are fighting against pride, like multiple personalities, traumatized that it is all a dream without a dreamer. And God cries!
Ok Archbishop Chaput if the AD embezzler took 900,000 and Fr. Lynn took only100,000 would u still consider that stealing? Would you still press charges? The only reason Msgr Lynn is not in jail is because poor laws existed in Pa at the time the crimes occurred. People aren’t perfect and they make mistakes but when patterns of behaviors are repeated and covered up that is not a mistake that is intentional coverup. I am catholic I sit in the pews. I love my faith and the teachings of the church. I am also am donating to groups like FACSA. Does that make me a bad catholic in your eyes AB Chaput? I look around the church especially at the leadership and all I see are cowards. Christ was not a coward.
MC. What I was referring to on FB is the newsfeed shared among my friends and family throughout the country. They have shared the news clip we have all seen telling of his release and the bail.
This has disgusted people everywhere and made for only negative comments about the church. Pushes more and more people away. More loss, more sorrow!
Want to see change happen VERY quickly? Take away all money management duties from clergy and make lay people accountable for the finances of the Church at every level. There is no reason that could stand the test of argument for priests having fiscal responsibility. There is precedent in Philadelphia church history for lay people being accountable to manage non-sacramental parish activities. If this were the case, how many parishes and schools might still be open?
Here is an interesting model for us to consider…
The priests of that parish work for a layperson! The leadership we need is not from bishops and priests. Stop looking to them to change; they won’t. How much more evidence do we need? We, the baptized, need to step up and lead.
Great thought Martin! Several of the good priests I have known have said the part of their work they disliked the most was the fiscal part. They went into the priesthood for a vocation to help people.
Also living in a rectory with basic necessities paid makes you so out of touch with the laity who struggle with juggling rent and trying to put food on the table and unable to afford health insurance. Having people who have had to learn how to manage their own finances might help bring the church finances into a place of reality as far as priorities.
How many VICTIMS has chaput visited ? I know he has been in Harrisburg meeting with politicians, I wonder if it is to prevent SOL / Window Legislation from being moved into committee, I wonder what EVIL lurks in the SECRET FILES ?
If what I have read is truthful and factual ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT HAS REMOVED FR. LYNN FROM MINISTRY.
Chaput wrote, “he may not function publicly as a priest.”
I do not know if this is only a temporary move by Chaput to make happy the public who are shocked by Fr. Lynn’s release and the archdiocese payment for his bail, so I will not turn my back on Chaput knowing that he cannot be trusted. He may turn around once the media coverage disappears from this case only to reinstate him at a later date.
For now though if this information is true (Kathy or Susan can you please confirm) it brings peace of mind knowing that Fr. Lynn will not be around or involved in the protection of children.
In my mind call me crazy or not, this is where a panel or board of parishioners would have a say in the operation of THEIR CHURCH.
The letter on the AD webpage today does not increase my trust in the leadership. I find the letter to clergy and the faithful “unbelievable”.
If you scan down the topics on this webpage, it doesn’t look to me like the AD have made so many changes.
Dennis, The lead in sentence to your quote is that he is on administrative leave. What does that actually mean?
Dennis he has been on administrative leave since the GJ report and arrest from back when Rigali was still in charge.
Victims sister admin leave means he cannot say Mass in public
Administrative leave means he isn’t assigned an official role as a priest in the AD (yet.)
He is still a priest in good standing, able to function as a priest and administer sacraments.
In the secular world, it would be a leave of absence.
Oops…meant to add that Lynn might not be allowed to function as a priest publicly, but he is still as priest in good standing.
Here’s the link from the AD webpage:
They really need to fire their PR person.
“As a result, I believe that assisting Msgr. Lynn’s family and attorney with resources for his bail is both reasonable and just. We have acted accordingly.”
And one other question – how much do priests get paid a year and, was Msgr. Lynn’s salary higher due to his position within the Archdiocese. I look at it this way –
 Doesn’t have to pay for housing
 Doesn’t have to pay for health insurance
 Most likely gets a car at a discount
 Food and meals paid for
So, even if they get paid $36,000/year – how much are they spending a year – $10,000? A nice vacation or two (you know they happen unless they get them free for taking a parish group to Rome or Greece), clothing and gifts, gas, etc? They have to have a nice $$$ in savings. How many priests have we heard that have shore houses? When the pastor of the parish I grew up in was appointed, he paid off the parish’s debt with his own money – it had to be approaching $100,000. So this guy and his family couldn’t scrape together $25,000. We know he didn’t pay for his legal defense.
I would be interested in hearing from some people with knowledge of priestly personal finance!
I would imagine it differs from priest to priest. Some priests inherit money which they are allowed to keep..some have families in better financial situation than others to help a priest financially.
I think the conviction being overturned and the AD paying the bail is going to turn into very large headache for the AD..someone had said that they were probably high fiving when they heard the conviction was overturned..I disagree..I think it is a PR fiasco and they had written Lynn off as doing his time and then returning to society quietly one day and his having conviction having placated people.
This January 3rd letter from Archbishop Chaput is one for the history books. I would like to offer some insight into its content and message.
“……At MY direction, the Archdiocese has provided 10 percent of Msgr. Lynn’s bail – $25,000 – to assist his release from prison……”
“……As a result, I believe that assisting Msgr. Lynn’s family and attorney with resources for his bail is both reasonable and just. WE have acted accordingly……”
Now, which is it, YOU made the decision, Archbishop or did WE make the decision? If it is WE, who are the members of the group? On the other hand, the second sentence of your letter to the Faithful states that “at MY direction”, the bail money was provided.
A little clarification would be helpful for the Philadelphia parishioners to more fully understand WHO made the decision?
……more to follow……
Michael: I am not all that familiar with how much money someone actually needs to come up with to get a bail bondsman to cover the bail. But I have always been under the impression that you only needed 10 percent of the actual bail amount to make bail. Let me go back to the math I learned in grade school. Ten percent of two hundred fifty thousand is twenty five thousand. So the Archdiocese put up twenty five thousand.If I am correct, then they put up all the money that was needed, not a portion of it.
That is correct.
I learned this from watching Dog – the Bounty Hunter not from actual knowledge of dealing with a bail bondsman!
“The funding for his bail has been taken from no parish, school or ministry resources, impacts no ongoing work of the Church and will be returned when the terms of bail are completed.” – must have come from that $11+ million that is designated for legal fees. Gosh, wouldn’t it be nice if we could eliminate that P&L account and reallocate to upgrade our schools, pay teachers more or pay for their professional development, stop closing parishes.
My chosen field is accounting and, you can manipulate numbers any way you want. Next parish or school that is closed or asset that is sold – look at the price tag and think about this.
Not in Philly, but all the victims who had counseling paid in our diocese had checks cut from different places…banquet halls, places we hadn’t heard of….and it wasn’t until the victims started talking about it.
Why would a diocese cut checks from church “businesses” and from all different places? You don’t suppose it was so they could manipulate the numbers and not truly “account” to the parishoners where the money was going?
Probably some shady accounting – not wanting payouts to show on the AOP books. If insurance auditors came in to audit liability policies, they could see these amounts and possibly increase premiums. Although at this point, AOP may be self insuring itself.
Also, possibly don’t want to disclose where AOP operating accounts are held and bank account numbers.
Who knows – I’m sure we could come up with a zillion reasons. Anyone remember reading the memo in the Grand Jury report from an accounting staff member about issuing 1099’s to priests on leave or under investigation instead of W-2’s. That way, the AOP could claim they were not on payroll!
. I was surprised a few years ago to find out that all the priests in the Archdiocese get 1099’s due to the fact that they are termed “independent contractors” Not sure when that changed but I know since 2011 it has been that way.
Oh – no wonder I remembered – it was in my favorite Faith and Morals teacher’s case study – Fr. Edward DePaoli – with guidance from Msgr. Lynn.
Msgr. Lynn went so far as to alter the way in which
the Archdiocese accounted for the salary of Fr. DePaoli and other priests accused of sexual misconduct. Monsignor Lynn’s assistant, Mary Ann Sullivan, reminded the Secretary for
Clergy about the strategy in a July 14, 1995, memo:
When you were making judgments concerning which of the
“Clerical fund recipients” should receive salary vs. stipend,
taxable vs. non-taxable, one of the considerations you were
dealing with was the following: if a cleric had been involved
in misconduct and there was concern over his publicly
ministering as a priest, you did not want the books to show
that the Archdiocese was paying him a salary for services
rendered. I was under the impression that such thinking
guided your identification of Frs. DePaoli, [Richard]
McLoughlin, [Martin] Satchell,and McCarthy as priests who
specifically should not receive W-2 forms.
Since Congress declared priests self-employed for Social Security tax purposes, priests presumed they were self-employed for income tax purposes as well. Consequently, priests reported both their income and expenses on Schedule C of Form 1040. The IRS, however, disagreed. While the IRS does not debate a priest’s self-employed status for Social Security tax purposes, the IRS takes issue with a self-employment status for income tax purposes. Reporting income and expenses on a self-employed basis—i.e., on Schedule C—has tax advantages for a priest. This is because the expenses are deductible whether or not the priest itemizes his deductions. The itemized deduction method also eliminates deductions equal to 2% of adjusted gross income, so that only deductions exceeding this 2% floor produce a tax benefit. The IRS reasoned, however, that priests had the characteristics of employees in most, if not all, other aspects. Priests are paid salaries; they receive employee benefits such as health insurance and pensions; and they have a boss, i.e., their bishops.
To make its point, the IRS has taken several steps. First, in 1978 it issued Publication 517, entitled Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers, in which the IRS first differentiated between the filing status for clergy as self-employed for Social Security tax purposes, and as employees for income tax purposes. This publication explained the dual status of clergy””
I am very interested to learn more about your comment since my therapy, my wife’s and if my daughter should ever need any in the future is paid for by who I thought was the archdiocese.
Not that I care who pays for it as long as it is paid I am very curious to learn more.
The hell road we walked with the diocese left us feeling the same way…”not that we care where they cut their checks…”
But, when talking with other survivors, we started to connect the dots. It’s the diocese that pays…it’s just that the money was being drawn from various banquet hall accounts from around the diocese. Why? There could very well be a legitimate reason. My experience with them tells me otherwise.
Since they lied about the abuse and retracted counseling to my husband midway through therapy, (but most importantly, my husband had documented proof of everything they said and did), they didnt go through their insurance company. Again…I’m not sure why, unless they didnt want that claim against them. They didnt know how to proceed with y husband because he wouldn’t sue them. He told them, “we’re going to handle this with truth and transparency, no lawyers.” They needed him to lie about his abuse…that was their plan. “This is how we understand it…(lie about the abuse, claim that the then chancellor misunderstood, and then we’ll finish paying your counseling.). When my husband wouldn’t lie, they started screaming at him, name-calling.
What exactly were these men supposed to do with a well-connected, respected victim who wouldn’t lie, they couldnt bully, and wouldn’t sue them? They couldn’t claim he was the enemy out for money.
Can you see why I think their accounting practices are unethical?
The archdiocese truly must have a playbook they use. I am so happy that when they pushed you pushed back harder.
You are so much like my wife.
I get so very concerned for her though because although I suffered the abuse she fights as much as I do like she was also abused.
This is the damage the catholic church does not see or wants to ignore.
I know I don’t tell her enough that I love her but I do so very much and I bet your husband feels the same way.
You guys ARE the better half.
Dennis and survivors wife – I can’t tell you how much I agree with your statements. I appreciate my spouse so much. I don’t know anyone else who would have put up with my issues all these years. These issues are all the PTSD problems that I never understood all these years until I was able to connect the dots. It really messed with so many areas of our relationship. He’s a saint to have hung in there. The monster robbed stole my faith, confidence, serenity etc, but robbed my spouse of so much too. Bless our spouses that stick with us.
suzpt: You guys are are so very right on target. The abuse affects not only the victims but anyone connected to the victim. Parents, spouses, brothers, sisters, children. Relationships have been destroyed because of the clergy abuse. I was always very close to my mother. I could even forgive her when I came home from the Church after I was abused and she told me to forget what had happened. Back then, there were few options. Many years later when I could no longer forget, I went to talk to her.She remembered nothing about the abuse.I found out later that she had talked to the pastor at her church who convinced her that I had a vendetta against the Church and was making the abuse up. I think she believed him. That was the end of our close relationship. So sad.
I will take the following words from Seth Williams speech as hope that the pressure will not end when it comes to protecting children in Philadelphia.
“Over the next four years, I promise to continue to champion the victims of child sexual abuse. We will fervently protect the defenseless in the dawn of life. We will hold accountable the offenders, and the institutions that protect them.”
Singling out the RCC again. That’s all seth does. Besides priests, what other offenders of sexual abuse has Seth brought to justice. Do you realize it’s all part of his desire to run for mayor. No one on this site sees that. The protection of victims means nothing to him. It’s only about what gets his name and face on the cover of the local newspapers and magazines.
BL, regardless of Seth’s motives, there was a sex abuse scandal and coverup. What you don’t seem to see, is that no one on this site cares about his political agenda. We care about the victims and how our Church handles it.
BL, I am going to go way out on a limb here..just a stab in the dark and venture a guess that there have been perpetrators of child sex abuse prosecuted in the city of Philadelphia since Williams has been DA.. I know that might be hard for you to believe..maybe read the daily newspaper? And like i suggested former PSU Graham Spanier needs your help from that blood thirsty prosecutor that is after him.
Here you go BL..a one second google search and this article pops up http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Youth-Football-Coach-Raped-Boys-DA-232007461.html
Between thinking that the jury did not treat Lynn fairly because he was a priest even when they acquitted him on all charges but one..and thinking that Williams does not prosecute anyone unless they are a priest..you are actually entertaining at this point.
BL: you obviously know nothing about politics. Seth Williams gains nothing by targeting Catholic Priests. First of all, he is a practicing Catholic. Secondly, the Catholic vote in Philadelphia is substantial. If actual card carrying Catholics thought he was targeting Catholic Priests, he would not get their vote.The last thing any politician wants to do is to alienate any group. That is politics 101.While I believe strongly in what Susan and Kathy are trying to accomplish here, you won’t win any elections with those who post here.
Jim I think politically Williams played it safe in some ways such as not indicting Bevilaqua..I think he wasn’t willing to go that far in fear of alienating the Catholic vote. I will never understand why he allowed Bevi’s doctors to claim the dementia/illness rather than just indict him and have the courts determine his competence. Bevilaqua should have been indicted
Kathy: I agree one hundred percent. I believe there was more evidence to charge Bevilaqua with crimes than there was with Lynn. Simply the attempt to destroy evidence appears to be something he could have been charged with, without a statute of limitation protecting him. I believe you are right. Charging a dying man , especially an archbishop would have made Seth Williams appear heartless. Another thing a politician needs to avoid.
Thank you Susan and Kathy for your informative website. And thank you for protecting the rights of the many victims of this horrible abuse by our clergy.