Archdiocesan Priest Placed On Leave Presents Himself as Clergy In Public

According to sources, on Friday, June 26th, Father Louis J. Kolenkiewicz attended a funeral at the chapel of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. He was in full priestly attire. Why is that a problem? Earlier this year, Archbishop Chaput placed Kolenkiewicz on administrative leave. Parishioners at St. Bede the Venerable in Holland in Bucks County, (his most recent assignment) were told he had a pornography addiction. The diocese had disciplined him in both 2005 and 2011, but took further action when the Bucks County District Attorney’s office informed them that of the 12,000 images he downloaded in 2005, up to 12 could have depicted juveniles.  (Read Philadelphia Inquirer article here.) An archdiocesan statement issued this February stated, “While on administrative leave, he is not permitted to exercise public ministry, administer any of the Sacraments, or present himself publicly as a member of the clergy.” I’d say showing up in his black cassock and a white collar at a funeral qualifies as presenting himself publicly as a member of the clergy. Three other priests were in attendance. They may have contacted their superiors. But this brings to mind the subject of monitoring. Should the archdiocese be responsible for monitoring its priests who have been removed or placed on leave? Please note that they priests are still receiving financial assistance.

Here is an interesting passage from Opus Bono Sacerdotii. The group works on behalf of priests with “sensitive situations:”

Question: “This is the first time I hear of the ‘monitoring’. Is this happening in more than one diocese? Does this mean you can function in full ministry now? How often do you see this ‘monitor’? Can he just drop in on a surprise visit?

(Answer) First, there is no reason to simply “cave in” to monitoring, especially if there has been no canonical action taken against you. If you are not under a penalty, impediment or irregularity — which has been formally declared in a canonical action of some sort, you can challenge the bishop’s attempts to monitor you as a violation of your right to privacy under canon 220 (“No one is permitted to harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses nor to injure the right of any person to protect his or her own privacy.”) A canon lawyer should be more than happy to help anyone interested in preparing a letter to his bishop to begin such a challenge….

As for the procedures, many dioceses and religious orders utilize monitoring. Monitoring can be handled by a priest, or official of the Archdiocese, or a professional investigator of some sort. Typically the visits are weekly and yes, they are unannounced visits. The reason for this is to insure that your conduct is appropriate at any given moment, however, it also has value for the one being monitored since there is a quantifiable record against any suspicions of restrictions violation.

All that being said, monitoring should be reserved to those that are in most need of it because of grievous continued inappropriate behavior. These priests are usually very accepting of the restrictions that are placed on them having full knowledge of their personal need for supervision. Unfortunately, there is a gross abuse of the monitoring program by dioceses and religious orders. They are now implementing monitoring for just about any priest that has been accused even if nothing has been proven, or the behavior was so long ago the priest has proven himself over many years without ever re-offending.

We are aware of a monitoring case in which a priest who had never been formally placed under any sort of canonical penalty was subjected to a system of monitoring. The priest appealed the matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and the CDF responded that the bishop’s actions were inappropriate since no formal process had ever been undertaken in this priest’s case and such monitoring constituted a violation of the right to privacy expressed in canon 220. Again, a priest could address this matter by getting a canonist willing to present a petition to the Archbishop asking that his decision to initiate this monitoring be revoked.”

The Chicago Archdiocese has a monitoring program but its effectiveness has been called into question in recent years. The Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey also has one. (Read about it here). Accused priests are under no legal obligation to listen to the bishops’ terms. However, one would think their pensions and pay would provide some leverage.

97 thoughts on “Archdiocesan Priest Placed On Leave Presents Himself as Clergy In Public

  1. Good for you for following up with issues like this. It’s so discouraging to see the casual and cavalier manner in which these problems are handled by so many archdiocese–especially Philadelphia.

  2. In an institution” that cares,about “profits and doing their own thing”above children ,this is exactly the ” we don’t give a. damn”. message from the Catholic Church, world-wide.! It Took a long time for us “brain washed, dumb sheep ” to really realize what was truly going on.There is a saying we all know, that ends in ” shame on me”!

    1. Yes, Gloria we appear to have lost the forest for the trees with the catholic church. For some unknown reason I always felt this “ugly-duckling” and like a social “odd- ball” in the catholic church. It made me extremely self-conscious and in church I felt this need disguise my emotional vulnerabilities. What really got bad was I protected myself in this haze of mystery. It made me feel like my beliefs were working for me. It also made me isolate, lick my wounds, and I lived within my own denial. Because of this I have needed my space from the catholic church, as it got to complex and exhausting. On the other side of the coin I feel a sense of inner deficiency trying to let go of my beliefs and just move into faith.

      I feel the church has done a poor job teaching faith, as it appears more about beliefs. It was like I needed to be convinced certain beliefs were true. Now I am trying to move my faith into the actual support of Presence and I am doing this alone. In this my faith feels empty, which makes me feel nothing is true or valuable in which to believe in. From here my rage will just seethe inside. It seems my biggest mistake is being obsessed with defending myself from the catholic church. I am trying to move myself into a deeper space where I do not need to attach my identity to anything, especially the catholic church.

      I am no longer a spectator nor am I an actor, such as I was in the church. Yet my raw emotions will not let go, as I still get caught in my emotional reactions about the catholic church. My beliefs are shot which I have let go of to some degree. In other ways though, I am constructing an identity from the emotional reactions and even from my lack of beliefs. Because my beliefs no longer work for me the best I can tell faith is about letting go, maybe a transcendence, yet my clarity how faith acts in letting go is beyond me.

      I wish I could understand this richest part of faith, letting go as Christ did, even his ability to let go of life. Yet this area of faith is like a ghost which I cannot be summoned by my will. Sometimes this place, especially within the void, is unsettling and it is difficult to resolve. I have a certain courage to be honest, yet the mass of contradictions makes my emotions raw. My emotional stability is something terrible, no more rules to follow, my value can no longer be outside of me and then I am told to find real faith. If my faith could be a hammer I do not think my anger could stop pounding. And maybe leaving the catholic church is all about letting go, dropping my hammer, and maybe God is teaching me/us we are no longer bound by beliefs, doubts, and learned procedures.

      Give me your thoughts and maybe be spontaneous to whatever emerges in the moment because this seems to be God’s way. What do you experience? I ask this because your faith appears to be like the sun.

      1. “Yet my raw emotions will not let go, as I still get caught in my emotional reactions about the catholic church.” Thank you for sharing Syd, you said it much more eloquently than I could have. You expressed alot of what I feel, and yet provided some clarify I think I need.. That meant for a few minutes, I didn’t feel all alone. Thanks, my friend. Peace

    2. glorybe1929, you are to tough on yourself. There is no shame when one’s intent was pure. We followed in faith the teachings of the catholic church until we came to realise much of what they taught us was not faith at all, it was their interpretation to keep us under control and not to ever think for ourselves. Spiritual belief in our God is found “inside” of us where he resides, not outside of us. Break free of the shackles of another’s belief and embrace what is yours and yours alone. Your only desire is to know an intimacy with God however way that might be for you. One size does NOT fit all! Do what feels right for you, that is where true empowerment and love resides. Please be self-caring. Some of us took awhile to “get it” the good news, we GOT it! We, are blessed!

  3. MONITORING………are you kidding me? From a group, RCC leadership and management, that preaches accountability, transparency, integrity, etc. and delivers on none of these principles, we now have their monitoring “dog and pony” show. Another slap in the face, insult to one’s intelligence and simply another ploy/ruse up the sleeves of the clowns at 222 N. 17th St. The best word to describe this crew and their conduct —— chameleon.

  4. Control and power. What other reason could this individual have to appear as a priest in good standing except respect ? Respect he does not deserve and feels he may obtain by wearing a cassock and white collar. The key being that white collar. The badge for a priest. Something that should be removed from any priest who is under any type of investigation and told they are not to present himself publicly as a member of the clergy. One thing I have learned is priests, archbishops and even the pope are no different then you and I. They breath the same air, they bleed the color red, and God gave them free will the same as you and me. What only makes us different is what each of us do with that gift of free will and sadly priests over decades have failed to respect that gift but still wish they are respected.

    Lord, continue to protect all those here at C4C in your name I pray.

  5. This is ridiculous, a funeral is not a public event. You are wrong in your monitoring. The facts that you mention about the nature of his issue are also incorrect. His case was closed and the Archbishop brought him back to service because there was NO issue at hand. Everyone commenting should be monitored and reminded, “he who has no sin…”

    1. Marie, You’ve been misinformed. His case was not closed nor have his full faculties been restored. Please contact the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, if you doubt me. Also, feel free to consult this list provided by the Archdiocese. It lists priests who have full faculties as of today. He is not on it. I agree that it is not for me to judge his alleged illness. That is up to God. It is, however, up to all of us to protect children.

    2. What is ridiculous, Marie K., is saying a funeral is not a public event. Unless it is specifically noted as a “private” funeral, it most certainly is public. As far as “he who has no sin…..”, are you proposing we open our prisons and let the molesters, murderers, rapists, etc., back into society because no one among us is without sin?!? There is such a thing as being responsible for one’s actions, or having others see that you take responsibility if you don’t–and in cases such as this, there is such a thing as protecting our children. Aside from that, you are misinformed about his case being closed and his being brought back into service. The energy you spend spreading misinformation and defending this man might be better spent on attention to victims.

      1. Fr.K is a great priest. The overwhelming majority of people at St. Bede parish would welcome him back in a heartbeat. At our parish ‘s recent 50th anniversary celebration Fr. K attended and was warmly and enthusiasticly greeted. He committed no crime and no one accused him of any misconduct with anyone…minor or adult. He obviously had an addiction problem. Priests are not immune. He has been publicly humiliated for no good reason beyond the vindictiveness of one who knew Fr.’s past history and threatened to expose it.

        Again there was no crime for if there were the police would have charged him. All you merciless people who post on this site need to remember that everyone has in his or her past embarasing sins which they would not want exposed. God sees all: he sees Fr K’s deeply penitent heart as well as the hardened hearts of those at this site who should simply leave this poor man alone.

        1. Fred, Some might debate your definition of “great priest.” Especially other priests. You are absolutely right. Based on the facts of the case, his addiction is severe. The District Attorney’s office found possible photos of juveniles in the mix of his pornography. Experts in sex crimes agree that pornography leads to abuse. Even if he didn’t intentionally download child pornography and he was just looking for adults, is he really suited to minister? He should focus on his wellness and follow the guidelines the Archbishop has set forth.

          1. There were 9 pics that could have been out of 12000. You clearly do not know serious addiction. Thank you Fred for voicing your positive feedback. Susan, his case was closed until a mean-hearted, vindictive, man strong-armed the DA into a witch hunt. Fr. K sat out of priestly ministry for years waiting to be cleared. He was cleared. You need to get your facts straight. Eileen, as for you, this man has committed no crime and there was no victim. I really hope God has the mercy for you that you are not giving this kind, pious, devout, wonderful priest and man.

          2. So downloading over 12,000 images of pornography in just one year alone is not a serious addiction? This doesn’t include the other years he was doing it. The DA did not clear him. They are still trying to determine the ages of those depicted. Illegal human trafficking is just one of the many evils associated with pornography. It is not a victimless crime. Adults or not. As owlfan points out there is is the issue of suitability for ministry. To set the bar so low is an insult to all other priests in our diocese.

    3. Right on , Marie. There was nothing new in this case which is why he was restored. Once the church full of people heard the details of Fr K’s past problem and that no minors were involved they wanted him back. They still want him back. Many spoke lovingly of the great help he had been to them over the years. A great man’s life has been ruined by scandal mongers who rejoice in destroying people’s lives.

      1. Be careful Fred and Marie; at times we so want to believe in someone, or something, that we become prey for master manipulators (silver tongued Devils). Two decades ago I was of the same mind as you. Never give up your God given gift of critical thinking.

        “manipulated, manipulating. manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner:
        to manipulate people’s feelings.”

    4. BRAVO MARIE! Those who are quickest to condemn are often the most deserving of contempt. They twist facts to support their obvious hatred. All we can do is pray that all lost souls turn their attention to Him…

      1. Jim I do have hatred of people being used for sexual gratification and’re right about that hatred. I guess the hatred you accuse people of also extends to the Archdiocese when they suspend priests ? If this were a soccer coach you would be up in arms but then again maybe each their own. No need to pray for my lost soul but thanks for the offer. I don’t want anyone who has downloaded thousands of images of porn near my kids whether they be clergy or laity.

      2. Jim, Remember the movie “A Few Good Men?” “You can’t handle the truth!” That goes for all those that I refer to as “true believers.”

  6. Reading Fred and Marie’s comments – I am having flashbacks to the TV interviews with Our Lady of Calvary parishioners after John Paul (feels good no longer to put Father in front) was suspended and ultimately removed from the ministry. There were lots of “he seemed like a good guy” or “my sons were altar boys and he didn’t touch them.” As someone that has gone thru the process with the Office of Investigations, they are VERY thorough. My understanding, although it never got there with the Paul case, was that the “accused” has the ability to challenge the charges and have a hearing. And then it ultimately goes before the review board.

    And, just because no crime is charged – notice I did not say committed – does not mean that one does not exist. The statute of limitations muddies those waters.

    Finally, there is a difference between being charged with a crime and being “suitable for ministry.” These men are supposed to be our spiritual leaders – provide us guidance. Should they not be held to a higher standard?

  7. When you go to confession are your sins aired for all to hear? Maybe once they should be and then you all will sing a different song. I am just appalled by the viciousness in your voices. Susan you are missing my point. He was reinstated in February 2014, until, as I stated before a mean-hearted man strong-armed the DA into relooking at the case. By doing this, that man broke the law by divulging information of a case to the public. As an officer of the law this is grounds for dismissal. Isn’t it bad enough that Fr. K’s name and reputation be ruined, and he’s being hung out to dry by the diocese. This is a travesty. You can continue your hate campaign, but I know the truth.

    1. If only victims of priest rape had the same support from the “people in the pews” you, Marie K give this man. I then ask where is your voice for those of us who continue to suffer and whose crimes committed against us have been validated by the review board? All we hear is your silence!

  8. Father Edward M. DePaoli, ordained in 1970, was convicted in 1986 of receiving
    child pornography through the mail. A 1985 search by U.S. Postal Inspectors of his
    rectory room at Holy Martyrs Church in Oreland turned up an estimated $15,000 worth of
    pornography. Child pornography – including 111 magazines, 14 8mm films, and 11
    videotapes – was seized from under Fr. DePaoli’s bed. At the time he was teaching morals
    and ethics at an Archdiocese high school.

    This guy taught me “Faith and Morals” in my Junior year in High School As Susan correctly points out – pornography is not a victimless crime. Put yourself in my shoes – listening to this guy teach me the morals of the Catholic Church and then I read this. Sorry Marie – you are way off base. When it comes to the protection of children – the Archdiocese and law enforcement need to be vigilant. Sorry about Fr. K’s precious reputation – perhaps he should have thought of that before he downloaded over 12,000 images – not 1 – not 15 – 12,000!!!!

  9. And one other thing – in reading the AOP statement, it stated that after the file was reviewed, additional information was received that resulted in the matter being re-opened and him being placed on administrative leave. This happens all the time. It happened in the Paul case where, after he was cleared of the initial complaint, multiple new complaints were filed – causing his removal from the ministry. Mine was one of them. And, if law enforcement is still involved, it must seem credible and serious. They don’t conduct “witch hunts” on Catholic priests – despite what many and The Catholic League think.

    1. Owlfan, the additional information was, in fact, the vindictive man that strong-armed the DA. That was it. If nothing was found in an extensive 4 year search, now it does become a witch hunt. I’m sorry nothing you can say will change my mind.

  10. How does the downloading of 12,000 pornographic images equal nothing was found in a 4 year search? I’m sorry but there is no way in hell I would listen to this guy give a homily on a Sunday. Again – its suitable for ministry – not necessarily a crime. I am SHOCKED that the Archdiocese reinstated him in the first place.

  11. Aside from this particular priest, it amazes me when people mention that everyone has sins and such. Sure I have sins, but nothing even remotely close to some of the things that have gone on in this diocese. If a marriage counselor has a string of affairs are you seeking help from that person..of course not. So I personally would not be seeking spiritual direction from anyone who has downloaded 12,000 images of adult each their own but I would take a pass. I also would not have my kid on a team with a coach who had a porn addiction. I am thinking if the local soccer coach was found to have downloaded 12,000 images of adult porn. the parents would take a pass on that coach. Addictions are very sad/tragic and people have right to not have it effect them or their family. That is not throwing stones,that is making choices based on a person’s history..something people do every day.

    1. The number is irrelevant, how would you know? This was a great experiment, I love to stir the pot. Sheep all of you. Continue!

      1. Marie I have no idea what you are talking about. I have higher expectations and as a mother would not let any porn addict near my kid which is my choice. I get the feeling Marie that if the local soccer league that your child or grandchild was enrolled, sent out an email that a coach had downloaded thousands of images of adult porn and and is now being investigated for a few of the images being possible underage..regardless of the outcome of the would not be happy about the coach. That is just a hunch. Substitute the word priest for coach and it all changes.
        Pornography is not just the Kim Kardashians of the world making a million dollars for a sex is runaways,immigrants..women sold into sex trafficking..I expect that when I ring the doorbell of the rectory that the person on the other end is not in a state of sexual arousal from viewing sexual acts involving adult age but vulnerable people or even Kim Kardashians on the internet. But that’s me.

        1. Thank you kathy for your comment above. I was hoping someone would bring out what you just did. As long as you engage in porn you are supporting and devaluing the human being that GOD created in HIS image!

  12. I am not shocked there are those who wish to defend this man. Hitler had friends and people who defended his actions too. But for those who defend him as it was mentioned before what will this sick individual do once the pornography no longer satisfies him ? There has been a drastic increase in catholic clergy being caught with child porn, while although not eradicated new cases of clergy sexual abuse has dropped. Is this a warning sign that we all must pay attention to ? The calm before the storm when history repeats it self because we have forgotten the pain already of children and other individual coming forward years later telling the stories of their abuse by catholic clergy. I do not wish to upset anyone but 12,000 images of pornography ! Am I the only one who is concerned about what this priest may have been doing prior to receiving communion from him or shaking his hand or patting my child on her head ? Monitoring is important but that is done after a suspected wrongdoing, but prevention has to come first. Make it harder for priests like this to obtain these images. Blocking these web sites, doing away with wifi hookups, random psychological testing. You may offend a priest by doing this testing but you have to look at the positive side you will be protecting a innocent child. I wish I had the answers so what happened to me and others on this site never happens to anyone else and I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I only ask people don’t ever forget what happened to us, because if you do without any doubt in my mind history will repeat itself. This independence day is going to be very special for me and I wish to thank my family and Susan and all others at C4C for allowing me to achieve true freedom.

    1. Dennis, Thank you for being who you are! I am so respectful of you and your values. I understand fully about your freedom, embrace it, celebrate it, treasure it, my friend, you earned it, my God, how you have earned it. Stand tall and proud. I will think of you this independence day and celebrate with you.

    1. So in your pretend world is it simply priests whose civil rights are violated or do you extend such indignities to the multitude of other professionals in whose ranks dwell far greater numbers of molesters? Your position is pathetic and offensive to the American way of life.

      1. I believe that C&C ‘s point is better to investigate than take a chance. She does not say wrongly arrest, she says investigate. For example maybe Fr K will be cleared of having any underage images of pornography but he is the one who chose to download the adult porn images in the first place. I don’t think that is the pretend world…I think the pretend world is thinking that any priest or religious who watches graphic images of sex and is sexually aroused from that is pious. What an insult to the priests who struggle with issues of sexual urges and manage to remain chaste and pure. These men may have taken a vow of celibacy but they are not robots and many priests don’t download thousands of images of porn and are not investigated.. reap what you sow.
        Fr K may very well be cleared but if there is even a question it needs to be investigated. Fred my question to you is the same to “Marie” who really isn’t “Marie”..if this was the local soccer coach you would be running towards the forgiveness and no investigation point of view? Doubt it

      2. In the real world, an accuser has an expectation that there will be an investigation The alleged perpetrator has a right to a fair investigation. This is how it is in most workplaces and in most areas of society. Since we were talking about priests, I said priests.I think a reasonable person understands that I extend that to any person.

        In addition, we are not talking about “sins” spoken in private in confession. Not all sins are crimes. We are talking about crimes against the most vulnerable members of society, children. It also makes no difference who reports the alleged crime- the victim or another person with knowledge that a crime might have been committed. It seems that the procedure is being followed according to the rules set out on the AoP website. If you have an issue with them, you should address the person making the decisions. His contact information is also on that website.

        If my boss tells me that I am suspended and cannot represent myself to the public as an employee in good standing, I know what that means. The priest you defend obviously has very little respect for his boss.

        1. Hey c and c, you said 100 priests…you did not qualify your statement and appeared to be piggy backing off of Dennis who called for searches of priests’ personal property without cause….as a “precaution. ” This is still the USA and searches with out probable cause are an affront to every citizen’s constitutionally protected freedom.

          This priest was thoroughly vetted and returned to ministry last year with no further issues. He was placed on leave, as Marie rightly maintains, because of the unethical behavior of an officer of the law. Thus, this priest’s rights were violated by the very people entrusted with safeguarding his rights.

          Fr. K commited no crime. He harmed no one and paid dearly for his offenses. How much punishment is to much? Why was his situation even reported on this site which identifies itself as protecting children? No children are involved in this case. The people of St. Bede know this and this why we want Fr. K returned to us.

          1. So far an officer of the law is blamed..we are blamed..but no blame for the person who downloaded thousands of images of is an interesting thought process.

          2. Fred , I wanted to ask “Marie” who is really not “Marie” a question but she seems to have stirred her/his own pot and took off. Why has this angry law enforcement officer decided to have a personal vendetta against Fr K…or is it someone doing a through job? is there some personal connection.. a grudge? Or a law enforcement officer picked up an old file and suddenly became engulfed in anger and here we are? I think Fr K could be cleared in the end but am interested as to why this law enforcement office is angry rather than thorough?

          3. Wow – I don’t even know where to start.

            [1] New evidence comes to light in criminal investigations all the time. How often do you read of cases being reopened? His rights were not violated – there is no double jeopardy.

            [2] He committed no crimes – that might be the case. It is not a crime to download porn. If it is child pornography, that is another issue. But, if it was 12,000 images of male or female adults, no crime.

            [3] That being said – I think all of “K’s” defenders need to look at suitable for ministry. A priest with a porn addiction – is that who you want hearing your confession, baptizing your children? This is not Joe Shmoe, the attendant at the local convenience store. This is a Catholic priest – held to a higher standard and God’s representative on earth. I would say the same thing if it was a Lutheran Minister or a Jewish Rabbi. Aside from pornography being a sin against two commandments, it is also degrading to both men and women who are viewed as objects for pleasure and nothing else. So, is this person suitable to be a leader in the Catholic Church? What if Fr. Joe from Our Lady of the Blessed Most Holy was found to have a girlfriend and a child out of wedlock? Is he suitable for ministry? Certainly not a crime – but a breaking of Fr. Joe’s vows and a sin in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

            [4] Finally – to C&C’s point – “K” has been told not to represent himself as a priest while the investigation is ongoing. Yet he does. Forget how much does he respect his boss. How much does he respect his vocation? How much does he respect his fellow priests? How much does he respect the Catholic faithful – representing himself to be something he has not? Judging from his defenders on this site – he does a pretty good job working at the spin factory. My judgment – a self centered ego maniac who only cares about himself.

          4. owlfan, it will be interesting to see how it is addressed and I hope we receive a follow up email from Ken Gavin. Was Fr K. allowed to be out in his clerical attire? Fr McCormick was in his clerical attire in court during his first trial..who is not allowed/not allowed to wear the clerical attire while suspended? To say it is confusing is an understatement. We will post any update from the Archdiocese .

          5. Yes, Fred, I did say 100 priests, but you missed the part about the ONE child. The topic at hand is child pornography. It is a crime to distribute it, and it is a crime to possess it. From the information that has been made public, we know that is what is under investigation. When a priest is living in a parish and not in a home that he owns, using a computer that is likely owned by the parish, civil rights violations are not up for discussion. If you are keen to continue arguing things that are not valid points in a respectful dialogue, I will not respond. My points are clear and based on fact rather than emotion or opinion.

  13. Kenneth Gavin, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, confirms that Father Kolenkiewicz remains on administrative leave and all conditions of his leave are still effect. He stated that the archdiocese has received another report of his wearing clerical attire and the matter is currently being addressed.

  14. Fr. Kolenkiewicz is an OUTSTANDING priest and human being; his faults are of human nature; are you faultless? This was obviously a hate crime towards another person~ he was vindicated by the authorities and now has to live a life of hiding for fear of people like you who only points the finger at others; let me remind you of one thing: those who point should remember whose hand it is attached to; in other words, you are just as guilty for making accusations as much as Father was guilty of his “sins”… in your pretended world, I suppose that any man (including your family members and friends) who look at pornography are also potential child molesters…is that accurate?

    1. It boggles my mind how people are defending someone who was found with 12,000 pornographic images on a computer. 12,000! If you downloaded that many images over a TWO year period, its 17 images a day! When did he have time to say Mass, to hear confessions, to minister to the sick, to say his Daily Office, to go on retreat?

        1. Susan, you and others have patiently and respectfully tried to answer Marie K., Fred Thompson, and Assunta. They are clearly not responsive to truth and logic. They deny the facts and draw unreasonable conclusions from what they do acknowledge. They refuse/are unable to respond to your pointed questions to them. As Dennis Ecker noted, even Hitler had his defenders. It’s either a case of that, or it’s Fr. Kolenkiewicz himself, and close associates or relatives, who are masquerading as parishoners. I realize this is an open forum for discussion, but they’re not discussing or responding to relevant points that are brought up. I think you’re wasting your breath on these people who obviously have an agenda and are using this as a forum to spew their ludicrous propaganda on the situation.

          1. I totally agree with you Eileen. I will repeat what I said on another post but applies here. “Most people don’t really want the truth. They just want constant reassurance that what they believe is the truth.”

  15. Eileen, I will call it the santa claus syndrome. If you can remember when you or your children or grandchildren first learned santa claus the easter bunny or tooth fairy were not real, how it broke their hearts but overtime they accepted it. Here we are seeing the same thing with regards to Fr. K. A few people here who believe in Fr. K (and there is nothing wrong with that) but cannot accept the fact Fr. K may not be as pious and devout as they portray him to be.

  16. Kathy Kane, this is marie. I left the debate, because after looking at the rest of this website and reading the hate from you and your cohorts, I am sickened. This is not a forum to protect children, it is a venue to tear down character and forget that we are all human.

    1. Marie I am divorced. I am trying to live a chaste lifestyle its not easy in this society. I go to confession often. I once heard a priest say that for every evil the person is really looking for a good in a twisted way. May times a person has a lack of intimacy or woundedness from a parent and they get involved with cheating in marriage later in life or porn etc. We are all wounded. We go to a doctor when we are sick to be healed. In the spiritual sense we go to Jesus for spiritual healing. Priests are suppose to help heal us spiritually thru grace and if they are not in a state of grace and lead by example I don’t believe they are as successful with leading souls to heaven. Saints are sinners though that kept trying. I fail daily but then I try again. A priest also told me there is such a thing as “holy anger”. Jesus did not speak well of those that hurt children. Many times a porn addiction can open the door to child porn also. A slippery slope so to speak. As you said no one is perfect but with all the horrible sex abuse that has gone on in the catholic church it is good to make sure this priest has not crossed that line from adult to child porn. Porn hurts everyone involved many of the adults in porn were abused as children. I read an article once that a very fameous porn actress was gang raped in high school. It maybe our fallen human nature to be curious of porn etc but most of these woman and men are very wounded people and so their dignity is not being respected.So maybe he didn’t commit a crime but with human trafficking maybe crimes were committed so those adult pictures could be made. kinda like people getting killed over drugs in mexico so people here can smoke pot people don’t realize the bloodshed they may have occurred just so they can get a hit. I struggle daily to be catholic. Some days I give up just to return another day. Many priests have given me much needed encouragement. I have even attended St. Bede’s adoration chapel. I feel though that the pendulum swang in the direction of corrupt priests for so long that it is now going the opposite direction. Lifes not easy or fair but we have to make sure kids are protected because for many years they weren’t. Please pray for me and I wil pray for healing for the church but most of all for our survivors because they were innocent and they were children and Jesus said we should be like children to enter heaven,,,,,,,,,

    2. I have higher expectations of people who are the persona of Christ and role models to kids and get slammed. I am actually treating priests as human beings and not people who deserve blind enabling. When I screw up the people in my life get annoyed, mad,angry upset. It keeps me human and grounded..the way we treat priests has only fed into the many problems that exist.

      If you go for a medical appointment and see you doctor smoking cigarettes in the parking lot..if your financial advisor files for bankruptcy…if your child’s teacher is illiterate.. that would all be a cause for concern but not priests downloading thousand of images of porn who are the spiritual and moral advisor. No problem there. People are held accountable for their behavior everyday of their life. One of the biggest obstacles in addiction is enabling.
      I actually think if Fr. K is found to have downloaded underage images it was probably mistake mixed in with the other adult images and the best way to avoiding this is by not living that type of lifestyle . Of all the people who have been blamed …from this blog to angry law enforcement..maybe point the finger where it belongs.
      I actually had a clergy member express surprise at how people are defending the porn viewing in these comments. It does the rest of the clergy no favors.

    3. There is no character left to tear down Marie – Fr. K did a pretty good job of doing that himself!

    1. Your pitiful attempt to link Fr. K’s situation to this Jesuit ‘s crime is dishonest and demonstrates your inability to make distinctions. Apples and oranges here.

        1. It is not an example which is pertinent to the Fr. Kolenkiwicz case. Therefore, contrary to your 11:51 a.m. statement, you have linked both of these cases which are dissimilar. The case which you cite is an old one and well known by those who follow church news. A thoughtful and charitable person, even one who identifies himself/herself as “unabletotrust” should have enough human decency not to pile on someone who has had troubles.

          1. Fred you are new to the site..people post links all the time in the comment section. Sometimes we even make those links into a new post..other times the new article is simply read by people and has happened countless times over the past 4 years. For someone who is quick to point the finger at us you might want to control your own trigger finger.

          2. It’s interesting Fred that you assume and attack the motives of a commentor while preaching about what it is to be a thoughtful and charitable person..I haven’t seen that from you yet. God forbid we question a priest having a trove of porn but a person posting a link draws your might want to start listening to your own sermons. As for your thoughts of everyone being so okay with Fr K..did you ever realize that it is the people in the pews who have raised the concerns about him being in public presenting himself as a priest? We contacted the Diocese to pass along those questions/concerns which were reported to us and there was already another contact to the Archdiocese about this concern. Now you can add the people in the pews to your list of people who are in the wrong

  17. I have drawn two rebukes from Kathy Kane within three hours. It seems I struck a nerve. While I may be new to this site I have reviewed many of the old posts and have found that there are a handful of people, including Kathy, who habitually post unflattering comments which presuppose that they are in possession of all the facts and presuppose that there have been no real changes in the Church concerning child safety and accountability. In particular I have in mind Glorybe1929 and others like her.

    As a parishioner of St. Bede, as someone who was present for the meeting with hundreds of parishioners in the gym when the news about Fr. K was broken and witnessed the great concern and compassion of my fellow parishioners for this priest, as someone who was present for the parish’s 50th anniversary which Fr. K attended and was warmly greeted, I can speak to his situation unlike anyone else who has posted here.

    I am not happy with the fact that Fr. K HAD an addiction problem but I am happy that he got needed treatment and has tried to put his life back together. Even Kathy Kane in an earlier post admits that if there were any images of minors it was done accidentally. The sheer number of adult images demonstrates that he was not interested in kids. Additionally, his problem was many years ago and people change.

    Kathy says that she treats priests like human beings. If her behavior on this site is any indication of how she treats her fellow man, I would not want to be on the receiving end of her self righteous treatment.

    This priest has paid dearly for his sins. He was sent away for treatment, denied ministry for several years, reinstated for 7 months and then removed again for no just cause. Additionally, his name has been besmirched on this blog as well as in the press. Again, I ask: how much punishment is too much?

    Finally, I believe firmly in a gospel principle which I have not seen articulated on this site: the forgiveness of sins, transformation in Christ and newness of life which occurs from a penitent heart. Having gone to confession to Fr. K, I personally can attest to his great wisdom, humility and compassion. After the news came out about him, I came to understand that he was all those wonderful things because he himself had experienced God ‘s saving grace.

    I return to a point I made in a post a few weeks ago: the Fr. K situation does not fit the mission statement of this particular group. Therefore, I do not believe any information about him should have been posted here.

    Finally, as to him wearing his collar: he is permitted to do so because he has not been laicized or removed from the clerical state. The restriction of not presenting himself as a priest in public means that he can not publicly exercise his ministry. It does not mean that he can’t dress as a priest. No bishop can forbid a priest from appearing in public dressed in clerical garb. He can only prohibit the priest from celebrating the sacraments. I found this out by consulting with a Canon lawyer from the St. Joseph Foundation. Fr. K attended the funeral and sat in the pew with his collar on and no liturgical garments.

    So, in the final analysis, this is a private concern between Fr. K and the diocese.

    1. Fred, I did not state my opinions as a fact about Fr K . I believe that if anyone downloads 12,000 porn pictures and that less than a a dozen were found to be underage then that could be a mistake ..I am being fair, something you seem to think that I am not. However he is currently on admin leave while the possibility of some of the pictures being minors is being investigated by the proper authorities and anything child/minor relevant is relevant to the site. The authorities are doing their job for the protection of any child is their job and God bless them for doing their job and God Bless any child exploited in pictures or film.
      None of us would be here discussing Fr K if not for his own behavior. You accuse me of thinking I am knowledgable of all the facts and then agree and state as fact, an opinion, I made about the situation Talk about working it both ways.
      Also if you want to split hairs about the time that shows up as corresponding with the comments, I will let you know that the times that correspond to the comments have never matched up.I have no idea why that is. You seem very focused on the time that someone posted or the number of comments within a certain hour period..maybe the investigators are being as thorough as you in their current investigation.

      if you find my past comments on the site that you have perused as self righteous you are certainly entitled to your opinion as I have spoken my opinion of your own self righteous comments in your short time here. No problem there.

      I don’t let religion cloud my eyes in the name of children..and I never will. I treat any religious person who has harmed or may have harmed children the same as any teacher,coach, babysitter etc. To do otherwise is enabling and it is how we have ended up in this situation within the Church.

      If the Diocese thought this was a private concern between them and Fr K they would never have answered our email or told us that another concern had been already been registered. So now please add the Diocese to your list of people in the wrong.
      You think you struck a nerve which could not be further from the truth, I am just pointing out the hypocrisy in your comments . We can go around and around about this issue all day long but it is in the news because of his past behavior and the need to make sure that no images were underage. As a parent I understand the need to keep children safe..any child …even one in an internet picture appearing nude or being forced into a sex act. The Diocese did the correct thing in this situation while the investigation proceeds.

      1. KK: It appears that you have a need to get the last word in . You don’t challenge the substance of my arguments but instead attack periphery issues as well as accuse me of hypocrisy.

        Given the fact that the questionable images go back 10 years and the authorities cleared him the first time around it is likely that he will once more be cleared. Police are not after a person who has a few questionable images among 1000s because they recognize that such a person is not a threat to anyone.

        Unless I see some other outrageous comments in this blog which I think warrant a challenge, for the present I won’t respond any further to anyone here because it is pointless to try to argue with people who view themselves as fair minded when in fact they are not.

        1. Fred, if he is cleared Susan will be happy to post it. We will post any developments related to this case no matter what they may be and no matter how Fred feels about it. There is one thing to defend someone ,there is another to be so condescending in your approach…everything you have stated about others is something that you might want to look in the mirror. And regardless of any outcome you have a right to have spiritual bond or friendship /relationship with someone with a porn past and I as a mother have a right to take a pass. To each their own. Peace.

  18. KK : Trying to rationalize with ‘fred’ would be as effective as administering medicine to a corpse.

  19. Agree with unabletotrust. Once the kool-aide is in the system, nothing matters but the “poor” priest. By the way, I bet my house he has not read one of the three Grand jury Reports!

  20. I googled the 50th anniversary to which Fred spoke of and that was just in May ,while Fr K was already a few months into his admin leave. If what Fred is saying is true, he returned to the parish while on admin leave for a celebration at which Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Fitzgerald were in attendance that day. I forwarded Fred’s comment to the Diocese for some clarification concerning the policies for priests on admin leave. This topic will probably end up generating a new post because it is all so confusing. I know the Philadelphia Priests Assoc. was trying to gain clarity on these type of issues a few years back and it looks like it is as murky as ever. Amazing what this one post has revealed.

    1. From the official Archdiocese statement – “While on administrative leave, he is not permitted to exercise public ministry, administer any of the Sacraments, or present himself publicly as a member of the clergy”

      Present him publicly as a member of the clergy? Sitting in a pew in clerical garb I would define as presenting himself as a member of the clergy.

      If we saw someone attired in a police officer’s uniform, would we assume that he was a police officer?

      If someone was walking thru a hospital in medical scrubs, would we think they were medical personnel?

      If someone is wearing the blue dress uniform of a United States Marine, do we assume they are in the military?

      How is this any different?

      Fred seems to have conveniently left out this portion of the Archdiocese’ statement.

    1. You beat me to the punch Beth. I was just going to post this link. Hoping Susan and Kathy will start a new blog post for a discussion of this.

      Victims want very little. I know I have spoken to many people about how a petition, during the Mass, for the victims of sexual abuse would go a long way towards my healing. We pray for victims of human trafficking, victims of ISIS and terrorism – why can’t we pray for the victims that have been hurt by the very church we sit in every Sunday.

  21. Owlfan, This weekend I went on a coed camping trip with the Kingsmen. Their motto is leader, protector, provider. They are prolife and fight porn industry among other things. Among the attendees was even a seminarian. The whole weekend was such a blessing. I wish the whole church was as kind, respectful and genuine in their faith as I witnessed this weekend. Its a very long story how I ended up on this trip. There is such a lack of compassion and a failure to take action in the general catholic membership. I hope this starts to change. I am going to call the AD tomorrow and request they prayer for our survivors and do the other two things John asked.

  22. To Fred Thompson and Marie, I wonder if you have read any of the Grand Jury reports. May I suggest you read at least 3 of these reports in full. It will take some time for sure. Then, come back here and you may see this site in a different light. You may come to an understanding why some of us are very concerned. You may come to see why some of us are no longer practicing Catholics. For me, it is not so much what the individual sicko priests did, as to HOW THE AD RESPONDED. I can’t remain in a community where those “in charge” chose over and over and over and over again, to look the other way and not protect CHILDREN.

    1. For 25 years I remained a Catholic as I struggled to forgive the sicko priest that violated me as a child. I was a Euchastic minister and often daily commuicant . HOWEVER everything changed when I discovered he was a serial pedophile protected by my AD moved every year so he could have a new crop of little girls to rape. I no longer trust the Catholic Church and cannot be a Catholic. He stole my innocence. The church officials stole my faith

  23. suzpt, As a fellow “girl” raped by these priests, I to once was very involved with the Catholic Church. I was in such denial about my horrific sexual abuse until I got myself into therapy, then everything began to change. I left this evil institution when I found out that Lynn lied to me about my 3 perps. He told me I was the “only” one that they had abused. My therapist wound not give up telling me on a daily basis that no way was I the only one, come to find out, she was right. My 3 perps were all listed on the famous “list” that lynn was suppose to destroy, came as quite a shock at the time. I agree that they “raped” my innocence but my faith through years of therapy transformed into a very personal spirituality much more real and intimate and full of wholeness than I thought could ever be possible.
    As the movie comes out in November about the Boston scandal, I hope that we as young girls at the time of our abuse will be acknowledged because we to have suffered.

    1. Vicky I have been trying to discover what my new and better faith is. What has hurt is the loss of community or tribe that was so important. So ironic that they want you to go to confession and then blatantly lie themselves.
      Glad you have found your place!
      (I am anxious to see the movie too. One of the priests my parents admired was on the Boston list)

  24. Hi Suzpt, I will never talk anyone into leaving their faith that is a personnel decision one must make to find his/her salvation. I did though and I never doubted that decision. I knew I wanted God in my life and I wanted my little girl to believe in God no matter what happened to me. I hurt some feelings along the way by making the decision I did from a very devout mother who still to this day believes priests can do no wrong to brothers and sisters who questioned my move. I have been called a lot of things from church hater to bigot and although that maybe true, people believe I hate the church only because I no longer trust the church and those who run it I never have or will attack someone’s faith or belief in God and I think in my case that is because there is still a little bit of Roman catholic still inside but not enough for it to ever grow and make me return to the catholic church. I know I have questioned myself why I even concern myself with the Catholic church and its people ? I’m gone, close the keyboard, put the pen down, put it behind you and then I remind myself there are people like you and others who write on this blog who are trying to correct the wrongs of the Catholic Church and for that I commend you. Its to late for me though. I wish you the best of luck and will be praying for you that God takes you down the path you need to be on if it is finding a new church or remaining where you are.

    1. Dennis your reply to Suzpt was kind, respectful and honest. My only regret for you is that so many people in your life were either unwilling or unable to support your decision of what was your decision and your truth. I totally support you and I totally get where you are coming from and I respect you for you taking care of yourself.

  25. Well it turns out that suspended priests showing up in clerical attire to parish events is not allowed and is something that is to be reported to the Office of Investigations…so Fred letting us know how wonderful it was that Fr K. turned up to the celebration ended up being relayed to the necessary Archdiocese officials and you can file that under one of the strangest things that has happened on the C4C site.

  26. I don’t share this with a hardened heart, but for those who have been abused who look each and every day for strength. I can only describe it as those of you who are sports fans who feel like you won when your team wins a game. We don’t use the word they won, we use the word we won. These are my words.


    Words used by a reporter to describe the settlement and ending of a nightmare for Billy Doe after he was raped and abused by two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests and a Archdiocese of Philadelphia school teacher and another priest who facilitated the abuse to happen. All who are still serving prison sentences after being convicted in a court of law except for one of the abusers Charles Engelhardt who died in prison.

    May Billy Doe and his family be able to put closure to the horrific events this young man had to endure at such a young age.

    …..and may this bring peace as we forget those convicted and pray for those who will fill their shoes will learn from their mistakes and have better moral character

    1. Events that had no evidence except of the imagination of a drug addict and comment from an individual whose only purpose in life was to get his own payout from the archdiocese and now considers the youth of philadelphia as the following from a comment he made on

      The archdiocese and the city have gone to far. From closing of roads that will restrict people from getting into their own homes, closing of the Ben Franklin Bridge, and now the Philadelphia Schools requesting to close additional days have pissed off alot of people. Removal of school days to the already dumb kids of Philadelphia does not sound like a smart move, and the little hoodlums would be most likely be the ones who cause any trouble. I see some lawsuits after the pope is long gone because of all the lost revenue.

  27. Am I just to sensitive or is the catholic church just that uncaring ? I would like to share this with other abuse survivors and their families.

    Today the archdiocese of Philadelphia came out with their slogan ahead of the papal visit. I’LL BE THERE. If some of you are my age you would know that is a very famous title to a song Michael Jackson sung in his early years. The same Michael Jackson who was accused of numerous counts of child abuse, and although acquitted in a court of law Michael Jackson paid millions of dollars to other potential victims and there families to settle out of court.

    To me and my wife it once again shows the lack of concern the catholic church has towards clergy abuse victims and their families and still just want us to go away.

    I have no doubt no matter how good the slogan maybe you would most likely see no wording from Elton John, George Michael, Freddie Mercury or other famous homosexual song writers, poets or authors. They offend them by not choosing their words.

    1. You know Dennis, by now it’s just laughable. It’s my sense of humor that got me through some of the worst abuses in my life, so I just laugh and shake my head. They will never get what we suffer and the worst part of it is that they really don’t care. I hope you are doing ok. All this media attention about the pope is so hard on survivors. Please take very good care of yourself.

    2. Dennis if it helps at all ” I will not be there”. Sounds too much like a subliminal message anyway. I will be down the shore most likely. My heart is just not into the Pope’s visit. Before Pope Benedict stepped down my mom took a note from me and mailed it in Rome and then met the Pope. Everyone that mailed their letter from the group she was traveling with got a response but me. I just asked that the priests, bishops etc be Christ to our Survivors and meet them where they are at… the street and on the sidewalks just like Christ would. I never got a response. Just as no priests ever joined us in the streets or meet with survivors outside the AD building. My heart is broken for our survivors and I have no joy in it that the pope is coming. How can you celebrate the visitation of our so called “Father” when we have lost so many brothers and sisters????????

  28. I have been thinking about Mary a lot lately. She was the only one that was with Jesus in the beginning and the end. She was one of the few that took “Be not afraid” and “Fear not ” to heart and mostly I believe that it was her humbleness that made her fearless. Her humbleness is what allowed her to follow the Will of the Father even to the foot of the cross.

  29. Hello Vicky, Hello Beth, Hello everyone.

    Yes Beth I too will be far away from Philadelphia as possible, and after seeing Chaput’s mug plastered all over the national news these past two days I wish I had enough savings to be out of the country. I truly believe the event will not be welcomed as many perceive. He takes on Trumps idea of citizenship when less then a month away he should be worried about the popes visit, and if he feels he does not have enough on his plate then its time to refresh his memory about Clergy abuse victims, or the Margie Winters story. A gay school teacher who was fired because who she loves. Chaput has been in the media a lot lately and not only for the popes visit or religion ITS LIKE HE IS RUNNING FOR SOME OFFICE or maybe he is trying to impress the pope before his visit to be elevated to cardinal.

    Hi Vicky, I have read your words and I hope no one has taken your words as disrespect to any survivor or family member.I know 100% in my heart you do not mean what has happened to us as laughable. Fact is I am working so hard to get to that exact point. A Hawkeye from MASH. A character who no matter how bad it got he was able to joke about it. I think doing so would lessen any triggers. So if you have any secrets to get to that point please share them.

    I hope everyone had a safe summer

  30. Hello Dennis, Thank you for your post and the opportunity to clarify what I wrote earlier. The trauma we have suffered from sexual abuse is unconscionable. No one knows this more than I. My comment about laughable was directed toward the Catholic Church. For me, its so totally unbelievable that they STILL refuse to acknowledge the horrific harm they themselves created. Every so called positive move they have instituted has been because of us, the survivors and to “look good ” to the media. Some of their actions are so incredibly stupid that I have to laugh. One of the gifts that I have been able to hold on to is my sense of humor. Its about either pounding my fist at the TV or shredding the newspaper article I have just read deciding to sit back and trying to see the humor in it all. I have long ago realized that this institution of men will never change, they have put up the golden idol called money and they worship its power. I have been on the front lines battling this institution and supporting survivors since 1992. Trust me, they have no intentions of implementing any changes that would soothe the soul of the survivor. All one needs to do is look at history, history of the ages and history now in the present. Smoke and mirrors! When I arrived at this sad fact about this church, I decided I was going to take personal responsibility for my own soul and began a journey towards wholeness and peace. While this pope is here, I will meditate, I will ground myself through books and walking or riding my bike through the wonderful parks we have in NJ, I will meet with friends for lunch and keep my therapist busy with my need to scream as to why people still don’t get it, I will immediately switch channels when anything is about the pope is said, and as a final last tool I will use is that I will be self-caring by telling myself what a true warrior I am because I didn’t just survive, I am thriving!
    Dennis, You and every survivor will be in my thoughts. Please take very good care of yourself especially during this very painful time, know you are not alone. Think gentle of yourself. I am here if you reach out, my friend.

  31. If you ever have any doubt if your words have helped someone, even if it is only one person. Please put my name on the helped side and for that I say thank you.

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