Jim Gardner Questions Archbishop Chaput About Clergy Child Sex Abuse

Click here to see Jim Gardner’s full interview with Archbishop Chaput, which aired on 6ABC in segments. Gardner asks the Archbishop of Philadelphia about the clergy sex abuse coverup at the 22:35 mark.

Editor’s note:

Archbishop Chaput continues to emphasize that clergy sex abuse occurred in the past. He does not acknowledge that the Church covered up these crimes intentionally to wait out the statutes of limitations. Because they can’t be charged now, priest perpetrators are out on the streets TODAY. They were removed from ministry – but not society. Children are still at risk. Abusers don’t retire. It’s a compulsion they take to the grave. Because these crimes fell outside the current statute of limitations, no one can press charges. What does the Church do to make amends and to protect children? The Catholic Conference continues to this day to fight statute of limitations reform in Harrisburg. Why should we believe children are being put first?

15 thoughts on “Jim Gardner Questions Archbishop Chaput About Clergy Child Sex Abuse

  1. This is why I cannot be a member of the Catholic Church any longer and support this hierarchy. They simply refuse to protect familes and children and put finances first. What does it say about a church organization that does not protect the most cherished members of our community, our children??

    1. Spade, keep up the legal pressure. Catholic Church LEADERSHIP and management is never, ever to be trusted when dealing with the safety and protection of our children. They will always choose to protect their reputations, institution and, of course, their assets.

  2. Thanks, Susan. Chaput is irreformable as is clear beginning at the 23 minute mark at this mostly puff piece. He begins stuttering when priest abuse is mentioned. He claims no ambition to be Cardinal then claims that is what Philly Catholics really want. Right!!

    I hope you consider protesting to the pope when he arrives. C4C stalwarts and activists like Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish and Mike Ski might support a bold effort, which could be simple like the Chile protest was — signs, balloons, black clothes, etc. You also have one of the key Chile and protest leaders, Juan Carlos Cruz now residing in Philly.

    I hope you show the pope the wrath of an Irish woman — kids are still at risk despite Chaput’s seeming lock on candidates of both parties through his lawyers and even now of the Philly Inquirer and Ralph Cipriano, it seems to me.

    Shocking disclosures from Philly criminal proceedings, of Monsignor Lynn, the top priest personnel aide to former Philly Cardinals Rigali and Bevilacqua, have already earned Philly a fair claim to be the USA’s Pedophile Priest Paradise over many decades, despite Bevilacqua’s long video deposition still remaining hidden so far.

    These disclosures indicated that almost one-quarter of Philly priests at one point had reports of sexual abuse in their secret files, and that covered only those of Catholics who even chose to bother to report sex abuse claims to an unconcerned and duplicitous Archdiocesan leadership. The pope foolishly seems to think his media magic dust can cover over these disturbing facts.

    See my relevant “… the Philadelphia Inquirer: A Time of Truth About Child Abuse”, here, Bilgrimage , as well as my other extensive reports easily available at the Bilgrimage website.

    Please see also my new remarks entitled, ” Finn’s Law: Pope Rules Police Must Handle Child Crimes! Must Pope, Ex-Pope, Et Al. Now Go For Breaking Finn’s Law, President Obama?”.
    The link is:


    Good luck. I hope Philly Catholics do not fail to use this once in a lifetime opportunity to tell a pope directly to protect their children after decades of horrible abuse by non-sensitive priests and unaccountable bishops.

  3. Clergy abuse is not a Philly problem, it is a world wide problem, and anyone a train ride away can come and organize whatever it is they want to speak about or protest.

  4. Hello Everyone, I would not trust Chaput to throw a glass of water on me if I was on fire, because that glass of water would most likely be gasoline instead. I can remember when the priest investigations by the archdiocese were being held I contacted Chaput via his e-mail site and questioned him numerous times on certain topics and one of the topics was “how come it is taking so long for the investigations to be completed” ? Thinking the same thing as many other people are thinking, he was delaying on purpose because of the sol laws. Every time his answers to my questions was and I will quote ” I DON’T LIKE TO BE PRESSURED.” Knowing I could not do anything as one survivor I posted every e-mail on a different blog and sent them to Mr. Martin of the Daily News. Shortly thereafter the archdiocese announced the remaining findings.

    I look at this guy not as a priest or Archbishop but as a CEO of a company. We the survivors, family and friends of survivors are nothing more than a thorn in his side.

    My family and I are doing great guys and I hope everyone else here is doing the same.

    1. Glad you and your family are doing well Dennis. I think there is a lack of education as well. I got the chance to hear many stories about politicians and church leadership responses to survivors and I think they need education and sensitivity training especially since they have become so jaded. I couldn’t believe the things I heard but it’s explains why change has been so slow in PA. When we were lobbying in Harrisburg a bunch of us got to talk to the catholic conference lobbyists. I plan on writing about this but there is almost too much to say about that day. I felt like my insides were ripped out by the end of the day but I also felt oddly at peace.

      1. Beth, since I have never been privy to the thought of Catholic Conference lobbyists, I would greatly value and appreciate your insights. I hope you write about it. Thank you in advance.

          1. Despite spending a great deal of time and money on lobbying against SOL reform, you won’t find the subject via the search bar on the PA Catholic Conference web site. Why wouldn’t they want to inform the faithful about a key point in their agenda? While I certainly support their pro-life lobbying, I also think children deserve to be protected after they are born.

        1. When I arrived in Harrisburg the volunteer lobbyists and advocates gathered in Rep. Mark Rozzi’s office and we were introduced to each other and briefed on what floors and offices we would be assigned to for lobbying purposes. Among the volunteers and advocates were Matt Sandusky, a mother of a childhood friend of Mark Rozzi who had died on Good Friday and was found dead Easter Sunday. He had been molested by the same priest as Mark Rozzi. Also a woman that had been molested at a Baptist church in PA as a child flew up from FL with a letter in hand from her molester in which he stated he was and always would be a pedophile. This band of courageous people hit the floors handing out information and posters on child sexual abuse. Mostly we talked to secretaries of the Reps. because the Reps. were on the house floor. While we were walking from office each person slowly revealed their story and why they were there. When we were done we had lunch and tried to console the mother that had just lost her son. She had just broken both her wrists trying to clean out her sons belongings. I was thinking those broken bones are a visible sign of how grieved this mother was. It was amazing to me how courageous this woman was to come to Harrisburg after experiencing such a great loss.Also during lunch an unassuming, soft spoken, elderly tall priest joined us. His name was Fr. James Connell. I was later to learn he had driven all the way from Milwaukee to speak on behalf of our survivors. At the press conference so many brave people spoke. I have not seen any video of it online unfortunately. The first one to speak if I remember correctly was Fr. Connell. He said that Pope Benedict had changed the statue of limitations for cannon law for criminal and civil cases to age 38yrs and that he had documentation that the pope said that on a case by case basis in individual cases the age limit can be thrown out all together. He said this has sat on many desks and was not well publicized. To paraphrase him he basically said the USA bishops have no excuse for not supporting the elimination of statues of limitation concerning child sexual abuse. Matt Sandusky got up and spoke from his heart that its time to starting caring about people and because education and support for survivors is very limited he started a foundation to educate and support survivors. Mark Rozzi spoke in his eloquent and no nonsense manner and introduced the mother who had just lost her son and this was at least the second friend that had been abused by the same priest that had died in the past couple of years. A survivor and rape counselor also spoke and said how she had had a meeting with Marsico and he basically said all these women come to my office expecting me to do something about what happened to them in the past. She also said that he says its all about the money and she said for her is was about protecting children and she challenged Marsico that if she were ever able to sue her offender she would donate the money to the charity of his choice and not to her own charity. I know Katherine you had wanted me to talk about the lobbyists but I wanted to first write about the brave advocates for children. They need our prayers and I do believe it is prayers like Vickys that carry these advocates and survivors as their work can be crushing and heartbreaking at times but they still manage to get up again to fight another day. Vicky has said a few times she believes God hears our prayers especially the prayers of our survivors. I don’t know how better to explain the strength I see admist the suffering. When we were on the steps of the capital after all the speeches a man came up to me and asked me if I was a survivor and told me his story. He had read in the paper about the press conference and had decided to come and hear what we had to say. He was greatly encouraged and I introduced him to Mark Rozzi and later before I left I looked over and saw Fr. Connell and this survivor sitting on the wall by the Captial steps having a heart to heart conversation. I looked over and said to myself of course only this gentle priest would be unafraid and unintimidated by a survivor. I don’t know how to explain it but I caught a glimmer of something that should be happening in every AD all around the world and its not, because the priests and bishops are afraid, uncertain or plain coldhearted. I went to catholic school my whole life and was always taught that real love required sacrifice, sacrificial love like Christ had for us. I have not seen this kind of love in the Philly church but I have seen it in our survivors and their families and advocates.So I left Harrisburg with my insides ripped out but was oddly at peace because I had seen glimmers of Christ when I had least suspected it and my heart took pictures that I will always remember. Before I left I thanked Matt and said I realized that at times his last name has been both a curse and a blessing and to take care not to burn himself out and he responded that hearing everyones stories and how they had joined together to fight child sexual abuse actually gave him energy, hope and strength and it reminded me that the predators isolate their victims so they feel alone but when they speak their truth they are empowered. The last thing the predator I helped put in jail said to me was don’t tell anyone and I remember thinking hell yes I am and I told the police and he was jailed. We as catholics and our survivors need to do the same thing scream the truth from the house tops if we have to till the church leadership starts acting like Christ and our politicians change the laws to protect children.

    2. Dennis: I also see the Archbishop as Just another CEO in charge of the business of the Catholic Church here in the Philadelphia area. But I don’t see him as a very good or efficient CEO. Over the last twenty years, we have seen the CEO’s of every major car company both here in the United States and abroad come forward and take responsibility for defects in their automobiles that hurt many people and killed and maimed many more. Now these CEO’s didn’t design the cars, or manufacture the defective parts or build the cars but they took responsibility for the damage that their automobiles did to innocent people.That is what leaders are suppose to do. It is expected here in the United States that our business leaders, our political leaders and most especially our moral leaders take responsibility for their actions as well as the products that they try to sell us. So what about Archbishop Chaput? Has he taken any responsibility for the damage caused by his defective product? He claims at every opportunity that pedophilia is a problem in all of our society. And he is very right on this point. It has existed from early recorded History. This was a big problem throughout Church History. Councils of the Church from early on throughout history have tried to deal with this problem. Pedophile clergy throughout most of recorded Church history was dealt with very sternly.But somewhere along the line that changed. The policy of the Catholic Church with regard to pedophile priests became one of protecting the priest at all cost .Victims became a thorn in the side of the Church as Dennis aptly put it .Priests, in every diocese in the United States and abroad were deliberately moved to avoid detection. I believe that this policy came directly from the Vatican.The Catholic Church, instead of becoming a part of the solution, became part of the problem. So, if the Archbishop and the other Bishops of the Church want to effectively deal with the issue of Clergy abuse, they need to accept and admit their own responsibility. As a young Catholic kid, that is what I was taught.

  5. Let Philadelphia Catholics never ever forget that Archbishop Chaput, while the spiritual leader of Catholics in Denver, blocked the Catholic elementary school registration and admission of young children because their parents were lesbians. That is the Catholic faith of our spiritual leader. Seems to me that Our Lord would certainly not want anything or anybody blocking a young child’s path to His faith, teachings and love.

Leave a Reply