Victims Who Have Kept the Faith Will Pay for It

Click here to read, “Archdiocese to end tuition aid to children of abuse victims,” by Jeremy Roebuck, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 11, 2014

Editor’s note: Let’s say you’re a victim. By some miracle, you’ve been able to separate your Catholic faith from the atrocity. You believe in the Catholic school system and want to share that gift to your children. Intellectually, you know that abuse can happen anywhere. You’re only hope is that the institutional Church will handle the responsibility better and that they are making amends for the past. Well that hope has just been shattered. The archdiocese has found another way to hurt you.

This is more than a ham-handed way to handle fiscal concerns. It is disgusting. I pray that those who left moronic comments on the Inquirer article post never endure victimization. They clearly could not intellectually or emotionally recover. If these parents wanted “free” stuff – our public schools are free. They wanted faith for their children, even after they’d paid dearly for theirs.

51 thoughts on “Victims Who Have Kept the Faith Will Pay for It

    1. In response to the AD’s decision to end tuition aid to children of abuse victims, we the People of God have decided to end all forms of financial aid to the AD.

      Please vote- Yes or No.

  1. Archbishop Chaput’s theme song for the archdiocese………….”TRUE COLORS” (shining through indeed).
    Money for next year’s soiree on the international stage………..but let’s take back the pennies we have set aside for services to the victims and their families.
    Whew, if these were the Denver policies re clergy sexual abuse, maybe they should have remained there.

  2. Wow! I am kind of stunned that even the AOP is stooping so low to what I see as a childish act of retaliation. This quote makes no sense to me. (once again.):

    “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will end its eight-year practice of providing parochial school tuition to children of clergy sex-abuse victims at the end of this school year, citing low participation and a desire to refocus its spending on efforts that directly aid the abused.”

    Low participation because it is a little known policy? And the last part of the above sentence makes absolutely no sense. Free Catholic education to victims’ children is not an effort that directly aids the abused??? Hmm…I would love to know why in their sick, mean minds this doesn’t aid the victims.

    Also, with things like this, all the AOP seems to want to do is antagonize people, make people madder at their actions, as well as draw even more bad publicity (on purpose it looks like). When I feel that I can’t get more disgusted, here it goes again. Shame on me! How many chances have they have to right a wrong???

  3. Sorry for a repeat post, but given the action of archdiocesan leadership described in today’s Inquirer, I feel it just may be important: The Capitalized Section in the definition below is quite significant in light of today’s decision to cut off education funds.

    H – U – B – R – I – S

    Hubris (/ˈhjuːbrɪs/, also hybris, from ancient Greek ὕβρις), means extreme pride or self-confidence. Hubris often indicates A LOSS OF CONTACT WITH REALITY AND AND OVERESTIMATION OF ONE’S OWN COMPETENCE, ACCOMPLISHMENTS, OR CAPABILITIES, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE PERSON EXHIBITING IT IS IN A POSITION OF POWER.

    H is for Hypocrisy
    U is for Unctuous
    B is for Belligerent
    R is for Reprehensible
    I is for Intractable
    S is for Salacious

    Michael Skiendzielewski
    Captain (Retired)
    Philadelphia Police Dept.

  4. Dear Mr.Skiendzielewski- Thank you for such a targeted response to this news. Shapoo ( sic) is in total disconnect with the people. I hope you do not mind, I posted your response on my FB page ( with your name as author). I found it a perfect commentary to such a tragic decision.
    I can remove it if you do not want it there.
    Thank you,
    Rosemary Patterson Costello

  5. Instead of resorting to gimmicks such as “Mass Mobs” to bring people back to the church – maybe the powers that be should try and fix things and stand up for its members. Issue a public apology to victims, push for an end to the Statute of Limitations, be transparent in all clergy abuse cases – unlike the “lets go back to the years of Krol and “Slick Tony” Bevilaqua with situations such as Fr. Paul’s.

  6. I think if each parish did a collection for this purpose and the public knew about this program it would be one of the biggest collections the AD saw in years. Why did the AD not think of this? For Catholic Charities they made us watch a video in church would be nice to know where all that money goes but even better do one collection just for survivors of clergy abuse……..its a no brainer for this catholic lay person…………..

    1. Beth, these are not hurricane victims or victims of unemployment,poverty etc..I think even the Archdiocese realizes that people would not be putting their hard earned cash into a basket to fix their mess. This is not meant against victims and I hope no ones takes my comment that way. To even have that collection would be drawing attention to the fact that there are victims.
      Victims must remain a nameless, faceless group. If people start thinking of victims as parents who have children…parents who have bills..tuition…if people realize that victims children even suffer…No Beth..that is too close to home that would make people actually start to think and question. If they are left as a nameless, faceless group then we can just pray for their healing.

      1. Along the lines of what you said, Kathy, “we can just pray for their healing”… I think the Archdiocese wants to move toward addressing victims’ needs in more intangible ways, in ways that are “mercy-based,” Gospel-based, doctrine-based, and theology-based. As a religious institution, they want to define their “healing role and means” in a strictly religious context. It’s actually very Francis!

        1. Furthermore, this is part of the crackdown on the faith. Hierarchs are saying they are tired of the informed, educated, and rational, critics who slam their every move and judgment. Thus, they are returning to what they know and do best. The faith, Catholicism. They know they are not fit to deal with the secular world, its renditions of justice, the 21st century, or reason/logic. Progressives and advocates can bash them all they want but they have survived for 2000 years. Hierarchs will tighten their medieval grip on the faith. Myopically, they will re-commit to it as the one, true, means for dealing with their problems and crises.

    2. Beth,
      Your heart is in the right place…but, most of the Catholics I know would never give a nickle to clean up the messes made by the hierarchy. They’d see it as a “bail-out.” The rest I know view victims as out to “get” the Church.

      I’m with Kate on this…the RCC is closing ranks. Talk about predictable. Btw, you know who said the RCC would do this? Victims. At least 5 years ago…

      I believe the victims.

  7. I purposely kept both of my children away from Catholic Churches and schools. My son played an occasional basketball game at St. Stans in Lansdale, but I was there whenever he was there. I didn’t trust the Church back when they were in school and I still don’t trust them. Because of the policies of the Church that kept moving priests from one end of the diocese to the other to avoid prosecution, one could never be sure that there was not a predator nearby. As we have seen in the John Paul case, The Archdiocese wasn’t too concerned with accused predators that had access to children. The sad part of all of this is that all priests get painted with the same brush. As a child victim and as a parent, one couldn’t tell the good guys from the bad guys .I suspect that there are still predators in the schools .And the fact that priests are painted with the same brush is due to the fact that the Church has never been honest and forthcoming when dealing with the predators among them.

  8. Dear Skiadvocat,

    I like your term. It combines “Sociopath and A Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. How can we combine all three words? It will spell out exactly what they are!!

    1. Look out……if we pull out the DSM V (or whatever number they’re up to) we are going to have a field day with the “Leadership” down there at 222 N. 17th.

  9. This shouldn’t have happened. And it has nothing to do with the money.

    I don’t have time right now, but will post later.

  10. They are saving where ever they can for the popes visit next year. They have also cut back the miliage they were paying per mile to see your therapist. The priests in prayer and pennance are enjoying no cut backs!

  11. Susan mentioned the comments on media sites referencing victims wanting a free ride for their tuition. I wonder if these rocket scientists commenters realize that some Catholic schools have up to 80% non Catholic student enrollment and that you do not have to be Catholic to be eligible for various tuition assistance programs . Some of the voucher programs that the Catholic faithful were asked to storm Harrisburg with support would have turned the Catholic school system into something similar to a charter school system.
    But take 6 children receiving assistance due to the fact that their parents were sexually violated and all hell breaks loose that these people are looking for a free ride.

  12. Can’t think of a reason for this. Wouldn’t a letter to the parents suffice or is this an attempt to stir the pot of those – hate the word- pew Catholics. Don’t like the decision to stop the free tuition and I remember one way a person could get “tuition aid” was to work at the faculty house. Yes identify the poorest of the school and put them in harm’s way with the likes of the abusers named on this site. Now, will someone allow the names of the kids of the survivors to become public like the rape victim named in an email – I pray they don’t. RCC . There is no end to the pain inflicted on your survivors.

  13. One would think I was already over it when hearing of those who wanting faith for their children even though paying dearly for theirs.
    We as parents do have a specific duty to see our children are spiritually fed which can be a minefield taking into acount of what has been inherited and fitting it in with what isn’t, but not impossible.
    It’s ususally at our knee that it has to be done.

  14. One of the biggest complaints by people like Dave Pierre of TMR or Bill Donahue of the catholic league and their cult followers is the catholic church is treated unfairly in the media. You then read stories like this.

    What kind of stunt is Chaput pulling ?

    This so-called Healing Mass benefits him only. I do not plan to attend, but if I do I will be the guy with the rubber knife taped to my back, and the words “slap here” written on the both of my cheeks.

    1. The “stunt” Chaput is pulling is called “back to the basics”… Catholicism, in this case. The Healing Mass is how he is going to announce and initiate his new faith-based response to the sexual abuse crisis.

    2. I’ve heard of “Healing Masses” and prayer meetings and I’m darned if I know why when praying in ‘tongues” and words of knowledge or prophesy, no one gives an interpretation where sins been committed by any clergy against children, even with Medjugorje who Francis quietly supports.
      The fact he shared similar with Evangelicals, being publicly prayed over on his knees with the laying of hands etc. with all that was going down under his duristriction at the time as ecclesiastical authority makes one wonder how authentic is really is.
      It would certainly give confidence in what they could get away with…..
      Franciscan Cantalemessa who accomanied him on one occassion, under Popes John Paul and Benedict, was Preacher to the Papal Household and that speaks for it’s self as far as I’m concerned.

  15. It is all about keeping the laity who care and the survivors angry. So angry that we cannot think straight. I think its a power thing. As long as they keep us in anger they have power over our emotions. If you want to hurt a set of parents, deny their children.

  16. Can this Archbishop stoop any lower? I suggest not. He is the most egotistical and uncaring creature I have ever encountered within the Catholic hierarchy! Philadelphia would be well served if he would go back to where he came from. I can only imagine they don’t want him back. I have had several encounters with this man and each time my opinion sinks lower and lower.

  17. citing low participation and a desire to refocus its spending on efforts that directly aid the abused.

    But at least a half-dozen victims and advocates said in interviews that they had never been told of the program.


    With that aid cut off, he faced the prospect of uprooting his teenagers in the midst of their high school years.

    But after The Inquirer began asking questions about the tuition-relief program – and Woodruff’s case in particular – church officials told him they would continue to cover his children’s costs through graduation.

    Ken Gavin, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said Chaput had been considering “for some time” the decision to grandfather Woodruff’s children and those of other participating victims through the tuition relief program’s closure.


    Who do you trust? Chaput has been considering? Taught in the public schools and remember the effect on children who could not continue their Catholic education and had to go to public schools. Can’t imagine with the pain expressed by the survivors and the effect of the Roman Catholic Church’s continued cover up of the sexual abuse on their children what the effect of changing schools would be. Yes, not the individual priests that needed help to stop sexually abusing kids, but the system that allowed it to continue and still gives tacit permission to its members to continue to abuse the survivors.

    “I never got a nickel or an apology for what happened to me as a kid.”

  18. I don’t have a problem with the RCC deciding to end tuition assistance to children of victims going forward. (What a flimsy bone to throw victims anyway…but that’s another story).

    BUT, what I think is overlooked, ONCE AGAIN, is the way in which the church has handled this. They decide to change things moving forward…ok. Before they make this public, the first calls made would be to victims, letting them know their children will not be affected by this decision whatsoever. Reassuring them they can be trusted with the agreements that have been made. Instead, victims find out through announcements and go into scramble/panic mode about what it will mean for their children. Will we need to switch schools? How will I cover this expense with little notice? What does this mean for our children? The conversations/conflict in marriages dealing with it? I can only imagine the tape running in victims’ heads and all the triggers this hits all over again. They call the church…and oh, they won’t return a call or respond to an email. A victim in a vulnerable situation again, and what does the church do? IGNORE them until the media gets involved. When did this happen before? See the pattern?

    Where is the common decency to treat other humans with some respect, let alone, THEIR victims! They are so careless, insulated, arrogant, and so untrustworthy.

    Is this the way you treat people you have hurt?

    1. Survivors wife: I agree with you. I never contacted anyone in the Church when I went public with my abuse. I had written letters to the Archdiocese on several occasions but never mailed them. I believe that many of us were hurt so badly that we really didn’t want to have anything to do with the Catholic Church ever again. It all comes down to trust. I will never trust them enough to put myself in a position where they could hurt me again. I believe that those who accepted the payment of tuition have put themselves in that very position. And they have been hurt once again. It amazes me how completely clumsy and ignorant they act when dealing with victims. It does appear that either they are doing it on purpose or they lack the grace to deal with human beings who are hurting.

      1. Jim,
        I read every word and nodded through your entire post. I get it.

        “They lack the grace to deal with human beings who are hurting.” So perfectly stated.

      2. I think they are out of touch with human beings in general… particularly women, children, the family, the working, multi-tasking family, and single parents. I think nuns have a grip on these things which is why they are adept at living out the Gospel message. The clerics are clueless. Their entire culture, education, living experiences, and psycho-sexual dysfunctions preclude them from coming to know and understand the people they are ordained to minister to.

        1. When I read your comment I immediately thought about a priest, who with a straight face, told a group of parents that we had no idea about the financial pressures he faced and how there was “always something”..a bill that needed to be unexpected expense. No, we parents sitting there in the midst of a terrible economy with college tuitions looming had no idea about financial obligations.

    2. Survivors Wife, What you wrote above “Is this the way you treat people you have hurt”? As a survivor I totally agree with every word you said. When it was offered that they would pay for me to see a therapist by Lynn, this is how he put it to me, “out of charity from the church, we will pay for your therapy”. You said it so clearly, they will pull the rug from underneath you when you least expect it. They have NO regard or care for the victim, please God, when are people going to get this?

  19. I am not going to say anything negative about those who took advantage of the archdiocese offer. First, there is nothing negative I can say, and second I maybe a little jealous they were able to forgive and give the church a second chance.

    The one step forward Chaput made is now Chaput taking two steps backwards.

    Since 2006, 13 children of abuse victims have taken advantage of the offer, accepting $272,000 in tuition payments, church officials said.

    Folks this comes out to be $34,000 a year. A very small price to pay back to a abuse victim, Hell, I think the $272,000 is a small price.

    How much money is the archdiocese planning on dropping for the Pope’s visit ? I will bet its more then $34,000.

    How much money does the church spend on cable t.v., ? how much money do they spend on landscaping ? How much money do they spend on help making their meals ? First, let them make their own meals, here’s a little secret Chaput, IF THEY CAN READ THEY CAN COOK, I will buy them a lawn mower so they can cut the grass. Lastly if they have time to watch cable t.v. that is time to study the catholic faith.

    1. Dennis, everyone’s journey through this is different. I wouldn’t automatically assume the victims who accepted tuition assistance for their children have forgiven the church.

      I may be the only one not in favor of this kind of assistance. The intention of the church at the time of the offer may have been good (may)..but think about it…is it really in the best interest of the victim when the church controls the purse strings? I don’t think so. If the Catholic Church was really serious about victims and their children, they would calculate the cost of attendance and cut the check to the victim to send their children to the school of their choice.

      As far as the victims are concerned…imagine being in a situation where the Catholic Church is paying for your child to attend a Catholic school because they sexually abused you? In a way…paying off a victim, by moving the money from one line item to another…but they still retain and control it. The money never leaves the pot.

      To victims (and others) who want to believe the best about the RCC, this looks like a generous offer to victims. And now, this retraction of assistance seems selfish to many. The truth? It was selfish all along!

      “How can we help you heal, Victim?” is very different than, “If you want, we can pay for your child’s tuition if they attend a parochial school in our archdiocese?” Imagine the answers victims would give to those 2 questions. The first allows the victim to have a voice, explore their needs and determine what is in their best interest. The second places the victim in a sheepish position of “acceptance,” …like this benevolence has been bestowed upon them….oh how grateful they must feel. How nice of the AD to offer. It’s sick.

      Who are these people?

      1. I don’t know about you, but when I first read about the actions of Chaput. Sadly a young man and his father comes to mind. A young man who could no longer live with the pain he had to endure, and a father who was requested by Chaput to return to church. His response was I will find myself salvation elsewhere.

        Chaput is sending that message loud and clear to go elsewhere.

        1. Yes, Dennis. That is exactly the message that has been sent to victims. No room for you here…not for your truth, not for your pain, not for your healing.

          So we go elsewhere. And when Christians hear how we have been treated…their mouths gape, they comfort us, they extend their hands, they say, “Come, sit next to me. There’s room here. What do you need?”

          There isn’t any doubt why there is an exodus from the RCC.

          The first time I asked what we paid for a “service” (mass) in memory of a loved one, the pastor gave me a puzzled look. “Pay? There are no fees for prayers to God. Call the office and they’ll make sure your intentions are listed.”

          I’ll be at a funeral mass tomorrow for my Aunt who passed away on Monday. As sure as I’m sitting here, there will be a collection, and a little box to check if people would like their memorials to be allocated for masses. Thankfully, my dad asked for all memorials to be sent to a specific charity my Aunt supported and not to the church!

      2. I have to agree with you on this.
        Everybody’s journey is different I know, but there’s a spark in me that says shove it.
        I know a woman who would’ve “had all all her needs met if she did what she was told”, in fact she returned to sender money no doubt made up from donations by those involved in Medjugorje.
        See how ther vulnerable are duped?
        You sqeeze yourself to give to charity and you would never know where it goes, including to blackmail.

    2. I am sorry but its so true I found myself laughing its ridulous after awhile. Most do have cooks and landscapers. Where you spend your money shows what you value and milllions for the upcoming conference is crazy we need a few more Mother Teresas that are willing to spend banquet money on those that really need it. It probably will not make a difference but tomorrow I will call the AD and ask them to have a collection and I will ask my pastor to do the same thing for the tuition program I would rather give my money there then to the AD.

  20. Let us all here in Philadelphia not ever forget what this fine leader stated exactly four years ago this week. Once again, the question is this:

    What will Archbishop Chaput do? Will the Archbishop act in the best interests of the children?

    You decide. There is no finer example to illustrate the heart and soul of the leader of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput. Well, unless you’re talking about this week’s decision by our spiritual leader to stop the tuition subsidies for children of those clergy abuse victims and their families. Charles, WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
    Archdiocese defends decision to deny children because of lesbian parents
    March 10, 2010

    The archdiocese of Denver, Colorado, is defending its decision not to re-enroll two children in a Catholic school in Boulder next year because their parents are lesbians.
    “The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are ‘bad,’ or that their children are less loved by God,” wrote Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in an article to be published in Thursday’s edition of the Denver Catholic Register.
    “Quite the opposite. But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society. The Church cannot change these teachings because, in the faith of Catholics, they are the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
    He added people with a different understanding of marriage and family life “have other, excellent options for education and should see in them the better course for their children.”

  21. This decision is appalling!! As a recently recognized victim of abuse, I cannot fathom the complete failure to apply logic to a decision. While my daughter is a grown woman (raised mostly Jewish…non-religious now but highly moral), I have apologized to her for being something less than a complete parent to her through her childhood. Much of my insufficiencies can be traced, at least in part, to the abuse I suffered in my late teens. While I have personally sought no recompense from the AOP, I completely agree that, for those victims that choose to send their children for a roman catholic education, they should be allowed to attend tuition-free, as recompense for the damage done to THEM. Moreover, I would suggest that, logically, it should extend to a free ride to any catholic university they might attend. The fact that only thirteen children were given subsidies only reflects upon the poor job that was done to publicize the existence of this form of victim compensation.

  22. Bomb Shells have bee dropped.

    The retrial of McCormick is already scheduled for April 28th.

    I want to stress this that it is only rumors that the jury vote was 11-1 for conviction. Again I stress this is rumor only.

    In addition Attorney Brennan has informed the Judge he will no longer represent Fr. McCormick leaving the defense trying to pick up their lower jaws from the floor.

    If I get anymore information or anymore information that would update this post I will do so.

  23. Bomb Shell – Part 2 –

    Kemp’s announcement was immediately followed by defense attorney William J. Brennan Jr.’s request to be removed as McCormick’s lawyer.

    “At this point, I’m done,” the normally gregarious Brennan said in a whisper.

    Several times during trial, which began Feb. 27, Brennan said he felt conflicted representing McCormick because he discovered only recently he knew the extended family of the 26-year-old victim. By then, it was too close to trial for Brennan to withdraw and McCormick affirmed that he still wanted Brennan to defend him.


    1. The sad thing is these priests were moved around so much if we talk enough among ourselves we all know families of families that are affected. Everyone would like to believe its something that happened somewhere else and not to anyone they know or know their family. Its sad but shows what a small world we live in and how what happened really affects all of us.

      1. That’s today, once there was an element in the church, that no matter what they did the response would be “poor father”.
        Not only is injurious to the those who have suffered at their hands, but to themselves.
        A former Queensland priest confessed 1500 times to 30 priests over 25 years…….and told to go home and pray..Victorian Parliamentry Inquiry Sept. 12 2012.

      2. Beth, priests were accused and were put on trial. Rape victims know the high bar the laws had to prove rape in the 60, 70 and 80’s and still is in PA. Priests were found guilty of lesser charges like pornography – easier to prove or the charges dropped – who would convict a priest? Also, these priests know to go to confession whenever a survivor would tell another priest and lend enough gossip about people who would question their motives. They made enough friends, but targeted one. Though in some cases they abused many

        Thank God for google (search engines) and those brave souls who have alerted us.

        Also, isn’t it great that the survivors are telling their accounts and juries believe. Need to pinch myself people believe the survivors over the priests – the glass ceiling is beginning to crack and the cries of the survivors, victims and their families are being heard. We just need to continue to be the watchdogs protecting our children from abusive priests.

      3. Beth: People are so connected to one another, especially in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I think with the number of large Catholic families that are interspersed throughout the region and as more and more victims come forward, I think it is hard not to know someone who was abused or someone who had a family member that was abused. I believe the Church has one finger in the hole, trying to stop the leaks but more holes keep popping up .Their task is impossible to accomplish..

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