Chester Co. Priest Removed for Sharing Child Porn


Click here to read –  “DA: Chester Co. Priest Posed As Girl, Shared Child Porn on Instagram,” 6abc.com, Oct. 24, 2014

Excerpt – “A priest from Chester County is behind bars, charged with posing as a young girl on Instagram to send and receive child pornography.

55-year-old Mark Haynes, a priest assigned to Saints Simon and Jude Parish in Westtown Township, is with multiple counts of sexual abuse of children for possessing and disseminating child porn.”

Editor’s Note: This parish already survived a scandal with the removal of Father Joseph Glatts.

Archdiocesan Statement

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has learned that Father Mark Haynes was arrested by Chester County Police. He was charged with two counts of dissemination of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of criminal use of a communications device.

These charges are serious and disturbing. The Archdiocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement regarding this matter and remains fervently committed to preventing child abuse as well as protecting the children and young people entrusted to its care. Child pornography is a scourge that must be eradicated.

There were no prior indications that Father Haynes was involved in activity of this nature. Additionally, no allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have ever been lodged against him.

Father Haynes was immediately placed on administrative leave following his arrest and is no longer residing at Saints Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester, where he was assigned. Priests on administrative leave are not permitted to exercise their public ministry, administer any of the Sacraments, or present themselves publicly as priests.

Biographical Information on Reverend Mark J. Haynes
Father Haynes is 55 years old. He was ordained in 1985. He served at the following parishes, schools and offices: Saint Ann, Phoenixville (1985-1989); Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Doylestown (1989-1991); Chaplain, Archbishop Wood High School, Warminster (1990-1991); Office for Youth and Young Adults (1990-1992); Saint John of the Cross, Roslyn (1991-1994); Office of the Metropolitan Tribunal (1992-2001); Our Lady of Good Counsel, Southampton (1994-2000); personal leave (2000-2001); Saint Pius X, Broomall (2001-2005); Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton (2005-2009); Annunciation, B.V.M., Havertown (2009-2013); personal leave (2013); Saints Simon and Jude, West Chester (2013-2014); arrested and placed on administrative leave (2014).

To Make a Report
If you would like to report a violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries, contact the Archdiocesan Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010. 

If you would like to report an allegation of sexual abuse, contact your local law enforcement agency and/or the Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010. 

We recognize that this public notice may be painful to victims of sexual violence and exploitation. If you need support or assistance, victim services are available to you through the Victim Assistance Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780 or philavac@archphila.org.

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44 Responses to “Chester Co. Priest Removed for Sharing Child Porn”

  1. Any listing of previous parishes? In the interest of transparency and being fervently committed to preventing abuse, I expect the archdiocese to list this priest’s prior parish assignments.

  2. So sad that each time a new electronic medium becomes popular with kids a new avenue for pedophiles is opened up. It just affirms the necessity for parents to watch and monitor and guide their young children in all media through which they are communicating. It would also be useful if the grammar schools and high schools would keep up with the trends and share examples with staff and then with students of how young children were being tricked into relationships that lead to abuse – sharing porn with children is sexual abuse. Parents and adults in general are just always behind the curve here. The police departments who deal with internet sex crimes would be a good resource perhaps for schools to utilize to educate the staff, and then training could be provided to counsellors or teachers to share the information appropriately with parents and students.

    The more ignorant we are as adults the more vulnerable our students, children and grandchildren are.

  3. “These charges are serious and disturbing. The Archdiocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement regarding this matter and REMAINS FERVENTLY COMMITTED TO PREVENTING CHILD ABUSE AS WELL AS PROTECTING THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ENTRUSTED TO ITS CARE.”

    Really?

    Words are cheap when the Philadelphia Archdiocese, its archbishop, Charles Chaput, who is Governor of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the CC itself, and the bishops of Pennsylvania REMAIN SO STRONGLY COMMITTED TO OPPOSING PROPOSED PA STATUTE OF LIMITATION REFORM AIMED AT PROTECTING THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ENTRUSTED TO ITS CARE.

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    New Castle, Delaware
    Advocate for Survivors & Legislative Reform
    CatholicWhistleblowers.com

  4. This is the priest that married my husband and I ten years ago this month.

    So disturbing and again madding to keep seeing these stories come up. How is the catholic church ever going to keep members and become better with stories like these continuing to come up?

    Do the two periods of absence suggest a possible cover up?

    • Sorry CM..always difficult when one of the abusive priests was involved in a sacrament and significant life event. I just found out that Haynes was the priest who banned a young relative of mine from being confirmed into the Church..oh the irony..the person keeping kids away from the Church is the one viewing kids online for sexual gratification.

  5. “I was very disturbed by what happened” at the synod, Chaput said. “I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was one of confusion.”

    “I was very disturbed by what happened” at Saints Simon and Jude Parish, Chaput said. “I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was one of confusion.”

    Where is there “more” confusion? In Rome or in Westtown Township?

    Can’t wait when the Pope arrives next September for the World Meeting of Families here in Philadelphia…………..wonder whether Archbishop Chaput will still be “confused” with the Pope’s message from the Synod. Chaput could always ask the Pope for help taking care of the archdiocesan “confusion” in Westtown Township.

    • Sure blame the ‘devil’ ! What childish and lame excuse ! No chaput you are the blame along with the rest of the enablers and abusers beginning in the vatican ! Until the laws are changed and Victims have an opportunity for Justice the enablers and perps will remain hidden ! You ‘chaput’ are NOT a representative of Jesus nor are your pals in Harrisburg ! You ‘ chapati ‘ represent everything that is evil and wrong with the catholic church !

  6. Despite the numerous reports and statements by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that they have “cleaned house” and rectified all the problems of the past, the sexual abuse and exploitation of children by Roman Catholic priests continues. This will not stop until the Archdiocese stands up and takes the moral and just position you would expect from a religious organization. Until then and when all the roadblocks to statute of limitations reform are eliminated, we can expect this kind of outrageous behavior to continue.

    Daniel F. Monahan, Esquire

    • We have witnessed the reality that neither the Archdiocese of Philadelphia nor the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church itself has taken the “moral and just position you would expect from a religious organization.” It has been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the light by public outrage beginning most recently in 2002 in the Archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts. It has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the United States alone to obstruct justice by hiding behind outdated Statutes of Limitation in individual states, protecting and not reporting known sexual predators, threatening victims of childhood sexual abuse along with their parents…and the list goes on.

      For many decades the hierarchy has not done the morally right thing. In good conscience I cannot put any faith in them now; nor should victim/survivors.

      No public or private institution, no religious denomination, sect, or cult can or should be trusted to or depended upon to police itself whether that institution is Penn State University, the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Jewish Community.

      It is society’s responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us, the children.

      To do this individual state laws have to be brought up to speed to address this reality. Pennsylvania laws are inadequate. All statutes of limitation, criminal and civil, covering the sexual abuse of minors, must be removed going forward. More than that, a civil window of two or three years has be opened so that previously time barred cases of childhood sexual abuse can be brought forward in civil court.

      Justice must be served; citizens should be able to access their right to access that Justice. Changes in PA law would allow victim/survivors of childhood sexual abuse, by anyone, to access justice. It does not guarantee success; it merely opens the door.

      The Roman Catholic Church with the Catholic Conference Lobby, the Insurance Lobby and other groups, large and small with something to hide and power to protect, are sparing no expense in opposing such legislation whenever it is proposed. Pennsylvania legislators are the objects of such expensive and persuasive lobbying tactics.

      It is up to individual citizens to contact their legislators often and by every means possible; phone (both numbers), email, letter and fax along with writing Letters to the Editor and Opinion Pieces.

      Read my two articles directed to Archbishop Charles Chaput. One was published in the Denver Post and the other in the National Catholic Reporter. They can be found at:

      http://www.awrsipe.com/turlish/8.%20Catholic%20leaders%20knew.pdf and

      http://www.awrsipe.com/turlish/25.%20Victims,%20justice%20and%20the%20new%20archbishop.pdf

      They are numbers 8 and 25 on Celibacy, Sex & the Catholic Church at

      http://www.awrsipe.com/turlish/index.html

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

      maturlishmdsnd@yahoo.com

      CatholicWhistleblowers.com

  7. The phone numbers to report boundary violations or abuse to the Archdiocese are listed above in the Archdiocesan statement. Please do not consider this as any type of encouragement by us to have people contact the Archdiocese. In the past we have done this and that has now changed..much more to come on this at a later date. Go to the police, Child Line..the local DA…to report abuse. If your situation is not one of abuse but boundary violations or other misconduct to report ,ask the Archdiocese exactly how your name will be used/disclosed during the archdiocesan internal investigation. Personally I will never give my name again in disclosing any type of information . As I said..much more to come on this.

  8. So on social media and online articles a topic is should people pray for this priest? My answer would be that if you regularly pray for people who sexually violate or enjoy watching the sexual violation of children ,then by all means add him to your prayer list. People hear child porn and is does not register that it is the sexual violation of children..sometimes infants and children or pre adolescent or teens, who are violated against their will and then that image is shared for the sexual gratification of others. Remember the priest who was sent to St John Vianney Center a few years ago for possessing child porn that showed 2 year olds being raped. I was both horrified and proud that the newspaper described the images because people need a wake up call. Child porn is too sanitized a word to describe the disgusting sexual violation of children or even nude images, that provides gratification for some sick individuals. I will be praying for the exploited kids in the images ,everyone of course forgets about the victims in these situations. Children.

  9. So Father Haynes was on personal leave twice. Once in 2000-2001 and once in 2013. What exactly does personal leave entail? Was he taking care of a sick relative? Was he sick himself? Or perhaps he was in some kind of treatment facility. It would be interesting to find the answer to that question

  10. OMG. Is there no vetting at all in the Catholic Church?! How could someone like this be a priest for 30 years and be under the radar all that time?? So sick. Such incompetent, apathetic overseers.

  11. Eileen, a parishioner was just interviewed and she said that the Church needs to do better with psychologically evaluating their priests..I could not agree more. I am not saying that the Church had any idea that this man was a child pornographer but rather how many mentally fragile priests are out there.Cardinal Bevilaqua used to tell his priests “don’t be weird” because he would hear from parishioners about the oddities of the priests in their parishes. It has amazed me in the past few years to watch a priest get bounced from parish to parish..even though there is obviously an issue..not child abuse.
    They need to close down the clergy treatment centers and have no internal clinicians provide diagnosis or treatment..just shut it all off. Have priests seek treatment like everyone else in society.

    • I pray for the children victimized. I also pray for the priest who is this sick to exploit children.

      What a horrible priesthood they have created. They can’t even “see” how sick they are…or identify how disturbing this truly is for The Body…insulated and arrogant.

      Their words are cheap. Post why this priest was on leave! Protect the flock! Build trust by telling people the truth!

  12. I know that this item doesn’t belong here, but since Cardinal Bevilacqua’s name was brought up in the previous post, I have just discovered that our archdiocese has another priest in training at a law school. I just feel that a priest, bishop, etc. who has a civil law degree is in a very difficult situation in terms of ethics, integrity and conflict of interest………. When faced with allegations of sexual abuse by a Church employee in his parish, .is the priest supposed to serve the best interests of the parishioners or the best interests of the organization (archdiocese) that pays his salary?
    We already have a couple of dual-degreed (civil and canon law) leaders at 222 N. 17th St. Do we need another?

  13. Viewing, possessing, distributing, and/or creating child porn is a serious crime, and for good reason. The children in the photos are being sexually used and abused. This causes lifelong pain and suffering for those innocent children. Also, it is not uncommon for those who do possess child porn to sexually abuse children too. So let’s hope that if anyone has knowledge or may have been harmed by Fr Mark Haynes, will please contact law enforcement no matter how long ago it happened.

    Sex abuse thrives in secrecy and secret systems that allow it to continue to this day
    Silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
    SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

    • Judy, I agree. I’ve had experts tell me that the majority of those who view child porn will go on to abuse a child. It’s the gateway. That’s why federal laws for porn are fairly strict. Our PA state laws are catching up. And the children in the porn have already been harmed. I hope any victims find the strength to come forward.

  14. At least the priest got removed anyway. So that’s something.

  15. Yes, Mark, that IS definitely something. With all our horror and negativity, we shouldn’t overlook that. Thank goodness for the police sting. It’s brought this to our attention and made us angry all over again, but at least they caught him.

    • Yes ,removed and arrested. All the other ones who have been removed are still out there, a danger to kids outside of the parishes.

  16. There is something in the catholic clergymen that appears to gradually persuade themselves that rules and human limitations do not apply to them. It is like a delusional idea about themselves and the extent of their power. There are many clergymen who appear to think of themselves as superman, are beyond morality, and can do as they please. So to me the clergymen are out of touch with life and the reality of their power.

    Exercising power is not a thing, but the ability to get things done, the ability to shape events and to make the environment conform to their vision. It has to be used to be maintained. Power is like a chess master sees the broad, as everything is a pawn to be used to further their ends. Those in power can also take of advantage of a weakness of others. Therefore, the catholic enterprise is to build a “power base” and the effectiveness is in proportion to the amount of control it allows them to exert over others.

    In short, what is missing with the whole catholic clergymen is the ability to identify with people. This really comes out when the clergymen use abstract thought that always offers the right answer. This power is based on delusional ideas about themselves and the extent of their power. The extent of their power is astounding and is pathetic. So when are all the clergyman going to realize this power is like a cancer destroying them from within?

    On a positive note, I also believe something truly new will emerge, everyone extending themselves to each other and love itself will be the most powerful force.

  17. Syd you wrote, “This power is based on delusional ideas about themselves and the extent of their power. The extent of their power is astounding and is pathetic. So when are all the clergyman going to realize this power is like a cancer destroying them from within?”

    I wrote in a comment above that this child pornographer priest is the same priest who barred a young relative of mine from being confirmed..because he had the power to do so and used that power in a harmful way. The most controlling, power yielding priests I have met are the most immature..almost child like. They use control and power because they obviously lack control in other areas of their personal life . The more emotionally healthy and mature priests do not yield their power in the same manner.

    Also there are priest who use their power in decisions against children which always astounds me..because ‘who does that?” The priest who does that does not even see himself as an adult who is using his power against a child because I honestly believe they do not even see themselves as an adult. in this case Haynes was the persona of Christ on the altar and masquerading as a 14 year old girl named Katie on the internet..if that does not show the fractured personality, I don’t know what would.

  18. “dissemination of child pornography” “Additionally, no allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have ever been lodged against him” ???? Disconnect? Whose kid is in the picture – could be anyone’s kid taken by a so called “trust friend or relative” Sorry this priest is participating in abuse. Where is the anger and don’t give me the BS that anger is a sin.

  19. Who owned the computers and paid for the ISP service being used for these alleged criminal activities? What safeguards are in place (or NOT in place) by the owner of the computer and the payor of the ISP service used by this computer (and others in the residence, facilities, etc.) at the church, rectory and/or school buildings? What type(s) of review and monitoring are in place on a weekly, monthly, etc. basis to scrutinize the computer access and work for just such criminal activity?

    Seems like a lot of “confusion”, using our Archbishop’s word for the week, referring to the Vatican Synod. Is this confusion in Westtown Township “of the devil” also ?

  20. It is sad when it has to be pointed out that the Archdiocese is cooperating with the law. In almost all other organizations, that would be a given. We will never know the truth, but as others have pointed out, 2 leaves of absences, made me jump to a certain conclusion. I hope that I am wrong, but it seems too coincidental.

    Also, the article states that Father Haynes forwarded about 50 pictures of child pornography. Forwarded to whom? I sure hope that can be traced. I can’t help but thinking that he may have passed them on to other priests, but I also realize that is not a fair assumption.

    And to CM – I sympathize with you. The priest who married my husband and me and baptized our daughter in sitting in jail right now. He also gave my mother last rites AFTER the 2011 Grand Jury report came out. Thank God, she is still alive, but that really upsets me that he did that. It still haunts me today. Thanks for listening!

    • MC there is the bigger picture. Is this girl a sex slave? Why would a girl do that for a stranger. I personally was sick by the number of sick religious that actually believed that kids under 14 were willing to submit to them (I am an ex-religious and personally know quite a few abusive religious). Of course a few judges and other state official have exchanged porn – yes some adults are also forced into the sex trade. In the 70’s we thought one priest was in jail – surprise he was hidden at an all girls school. I live near a person accused of porn including him and a toddler in a sexual position while a few blocks in the other direction is a sexual violent predator who walks by my house each day in the direction of the playground.

      As someone posted, these monsters know each other and these priests do compare notes – bishop accountability does have a few examples of shared victims. Examples of priests asked for the “same thing” as the other priest demanded

  21. Ed, Hats off to the woman from the non profit who went to great lengths to report these crimes. A bright light in the midst of the depravity of a clergy member taking advantage of already vulnerable children.

    • Yes she and to the org that allowed her voice to be heard. Many have paved the way and seen the light including the women who started this site – thank you for your forum. Far cry from the reception I had in the 80’s when discussing sexual abuse by religious. According to you and others on this site the justice system has improved.
      Did not trust it in the 60s and don’t now. As written above, Harrisburg still needs to reform SOLs so we can at least identify these monsters who have been targeting our kids.Lost faith when I saw Hermley in Wilmington and the other priest wasn’t charge there also yet was arrested. Because of the victims I know personally and confidentiality issues, I won’t discuss the “kicks in the stomach” I receive that fuel my passion for this issue from the justice system.

      How many years did this woman have to fight before she was heard? Guess Dallas went out the window. Guess those three nuns and social worker that gave their lives in Central America are crying out from their graves.

  22. The concern isn’t really with the personal leaves. Those are the equivalent of sabbaticals for college professors. The Red Flag to me would be the 3-4 years in one parish then moving on, especially in the last 10 years. Unless a priest is holding an unusual position (such as full time hospital chaplain, or serving as an instructor at a seminary or in a diocese position) most priests are made pastors after their second or third posting. There just are not enough priests to have someone floating around as an associate for 20 years. While it is true that not every priest has the gifts to be a pastor, most bishops will say suck it up unless there is another position that fits AND serves the diocese. So yeah, those last couple of parishes REALLY need to ask questions and find out what has been going on.

    • Sue B.: You may very well be right about the personal leaves, although the Church in the past has used this term to cover for a priest in treatment. Father Haynes served in the office of Metropolitan Tribunal. What exactly does that entail?

    • Katherine FitzGerald Reply November 1, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Sue B,

      “There are just not enough priests to have someone floating around as an associate for 20 years.” I agree. And, for the same reason, the two personal leaves are suspect. There are just not enough priests to grant someone two personal leaves, much less someone who hasn’t made the associate grade. Haynes’ two personal leaves, coupled with his failure to reach associate status within 20 years, are glaring suspect. Were the two personal leaves of the up-and-up, “sabbatical” nature, they would have likely propelled him into associate status. Instead, the nature of them, likely impeded him being promoted.

  23. Sue , Haynes was the pastor at Annunciation before being assigned to Simon and Jude. There was a leave in between assingments and he was no longer a pastor ,but was just a parish priest at Simon and Jude.

  24. The leadership in the catholic church is like they have one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake. What is even more frustrating is no one in the church leadership is taking responsibility for their decisions. Now they need to prove they cannot be pushed around. I say then, if the church leadership needs to be guarded and evasive then they cannot lead others when they are called upon. The leadership appears tense and tired.

    A few questions I ask is: When things are going wrong why is the leadership not looking at itself first and asking what are we doing wrong? Is their armor of the tough authoritarian more to their being frightened and insecure? If realistic faith is felt and experienced like rays from the sun why is the church leadership not teaching this? Is realistic faith its own value without reference to anyone, mature, and becomes their own person? Where is the leadership in this?

  25. The more that comes out about the way the leadership has managed these scandals, the further and further away I find myself.
    20 years in a secular order and I can no longer step inside a Catholiic church. It’s a perpetual nightmare from which we will never wake up

    • Wow, suzpt, it is shocking how you express it is a “…nightmare from which we will never wake up” and yet there is truth in your words also. It appears you have filtered all this raw church material into a new center of gravity for you. I am rather new at letting go of the catholic church, three years, and it feels I like I am to find my faith within nothingness or the cup I use to drink from is now upside down with no content. God in nothingness what a joke and maybe this is the place of letting go of my sorrow Yet I do not understand this because how can nothingness let go or how can an empty cup that is upside down let go? I literally do not understand my own value of faith without reference to anyone or anything?

      Oh but I can thank you for your ability to let go of the catholic church and maybe this is now your statement of faith. I also thank you for planting seeds of your own interiority and your presence is significant!

  26. I performed at a comedy show at Sts.Simon and Jude on Oct.17th, just a few days before the arrest. As is customary before a church show, I make it a practice to find and speak with any members of clergy in attendance. I met with Fr.Haynes, and congratulated him on a wonderful turnout for the event, and commented on how lovely the parish was. I could never have imagined that this man, whose hand I shook, and who I had such a lovely conversation with, could be capable of such a horrific thing. I was devastated to receive a phone call from one of my fellow comics, who told me about the news. I am shocked and saddened. It tarnishes my whole view of the clergy. As I meet priests, I will always be wondering — are you one of “them?” I wish I could go back to my naive assumption that all members of the clergy were people of God, could be trusted, and were deserving of the utmost respect. It’s a sad world.

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