Billy Doe Case Doesn’t Define Scandal

Whether or not Billy Doe was telling the truth, the Church DID cover up decades of clergy child sex abuse. The internal archdiocesan documents that emerged from the trial revealed the depravity of the institution. We saw the memos that Msgr. Lynn received and sent. We were able to share the list Cardinal Bevilacqua kept of problem priests.

Justice should prevail. We hope it has in this particular case. If it hasn’t, we hope a light shines on the truth. As a journalist, I’ve found Ralph Cipriano to be unrelenting and fair in reporting facts. However, I err on the side of believing anyone who says they are a victim. Statistically, false claims are rare. No matter which side you take, pray for all involved and remember that the institutional Church is guilty of a cover up.

Click here to read: “Catholic Guilt? The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy Behind A Lurid Rape Case,” by Ralph Cipriano, Newsweek, January 20, 2016

91 thoughts on “Billy Doe Case Doesn’t Define Scandal

  1. We know what we know & the Catholic Church knows exactly what we know and so much more , that they intend to keep to themselves, as long as its humanly possibly to do so.
    We who are outraged, must count on our Lord to never cease praying always, to allow His Vengence to come forth as HE said said HE would !( that is), if we would put our trust in HIM. The prayers must be done in earnest and must not be forgotten. HE IS THE POWER & THE GLORY…FOREVER & FOREVER! AMEN ! Let it be Done, in JESUS NAME I pray!

  2. Regardless of the legitimacy of the verdict in this case, what about the hundreds of other victims of clergy sexual abuse across the RCC in the US who will never have “their day in court” where a criminal case will/can be heard as a result of alleged criminal acts by certain clergy?

    Ask the surviving, heartbroken and forever-grieving family members of such families as the Baselice and McIlmail who lost their sons to drug overdoses after being sexually abused by clergy members of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia how and when will they be able to seek justice?

    Michael Skiendzielewski
    Captain (Retired)
    Philadelphia Police Dept.

  3. There are a couple of Cardinals from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who belong behind bars. I have been an activist against clerical sex abuse of children, but I deplore the fact that Msgr. Lynn is in prison. Every priest and deacon at ordination vows obedience to the bishop. It is the bishop who calls the shots, and, in this case Lynn is the scapegoat. I am a practicing Catholic, by the way. Anne d’ Auray Tracy (wife of deceased deacon)

    1. Anne, thank you for joining the discussion. I understand how compelling the vow of obedience is for a priest. However, it should never outweigh one’s obligation to Jesus. Jesus was very clear about the treatment of children. I do agree Msgr Lynn took the fall for many but he was not innocent. I personally liked him and am devastated by the decisions he made. He was both a victim and perpetrator of clericalism.

    2. I spoke to a priest once about the excuse of Lynn only following orders and the vow of obedience. He compared it to a vow of obedience in the sacrament of matrimony…would a wife have to follow something that a husband wanted her to do that could harm others..of course would actually be grounds for an annulment. The vow of obedience does not outweigh common sense or criminal law. Lynn had 12 long years to do the right thing. If this case is overturned based on Billy Doe, or technicality of the law, or for whatever reason than so be it,but as many have said Lynn was put in that position and stayed in it for all those years because they KNEW he would. They saw him coming a mile away. There are priests who would not have followed such orders.
      Susan you sum it up perfect that he was victim and perpetrator of clericalism. I sat in the courtroom and listened to him explain that the children were lined up to go to confession to Avery out in the open..already a known abuser at that time.. and on the stand I still do not think he realized how bizarre this was that little children would be lined up to confess to a known abuser…he wanted to make sure we all understood it was out in the open..not in a confessional. I found him to be very genuine in expressing his thoughts. As a parent it sent a chill up my spine listening to him.

      1. Kathy,

        You hit the nail right on the head. It truly does come down to common sense and if Lynn used his when dealing with abusive priests. If I am to give him the benefit of doubt though maybe he did have an internal struggle of what is right or wrong but this vow stood in the way. The vow to obey. Sadly, over time we have seen so many people make the wrong decision because of their faith but Lynn never did take a vow of SILENCE.

        What concerns me about your comment is the part ” they saw him coming”. Ex catholic or not it scares me to think something like that can happen. But then I think it over and like every CEO likes to have their “yes” men around them I guess the catholic church is no different.

        1. Dennis yes it is like any business. There are hundreds of priests in the Archdiocese and although many can empathize with the position that Lynn found himself in ,it does not mean they would have behaved in the same manner.

          I think of the ananolgy of the get away driver. An important role because they need him to be loyal to pull off the crime,but he is no mastermind or part of the elite inner circle. He is the guy who gets small split of the money and then a slap on the head if he tries to hobnob with the upper level criminals and then will be called upon again..and again. He will show up again and again. And wow the get away driver is found holding the bag and the one who goes down for the who didn’t see that coming..well everyone did except that get away driver.

          Who do you pick to be the get away driver?..the loyal lapdog..the people pleaser..the one wanting to fit in. The yes man..whether it be a legitmate business or the mob, every organization has the yes men

  4. Very rare that I get mail from Catholics4Change and The Media Report, but that’s what happened today. As I have said before, I am confused and don’t know what to make of this scandal.

    I know that The Catholic Church has lost all credibility because of the cover ups, but I also know that you can’t believe everything in the media. I guess that the truth must be somewhere in between.

  5. This case is a monumental tragedy, because the bottom line is that Gallagher also told the truth. It’s a question of genuine understanding of the inner world of victims’ motivations. The research is there, but so few recognize its patterns.

    I attended a conference on abuse at Cardozo Law School in NYC in 2003 at which Kenneth Lanning, an FBI expert on abuse investigations, provided the necessary background on the counterintuitive responses of compliant child/ adolescent victims: they lie for a reason.

    Kenneth Lanning wrote: “In my experience, the primary reason compliant child victims furnish these false and misleading details about their victimization is their correct recognition that society does not understand or accept the reality of their victimization. This happens so often that distorted and varying details in such cases are almost corroboration for the validity of the victimization.” (Compliant Child Victims: Confronting an Uncomfortable Reality)

    Lanning’s extensive CV places him among the top experts on the subject. His startling paper deserves full quotes because it nails this case conclusively.

    Money quote: “In almost every case involving compliant child victims that I have evaluated, true victims have had to distort varying aspects of their victimization in statements to parents, investigators, therapists, physicians, attorneys, and the court. Each subsequent statement often requires increasing deceptions to defend the previous ones.

    What are the long-term emotional and psychological consequences for child victims who are exposed to prevention and awareness programs that seem to deny the reality of their (compliant) victimization or who must distort, misrepresent, and lie about what actually happened to them in order to have it accepted as “real” victimization?”

    Gallagher claims the abuse began at 10 and 11, and various other younger ages. More likely, it began when he was 14 or so, when his mother noted a behavioral change. Gallagher rightly assumed that his actual victimization would more readily be accepted if he indicates an earlier age. Can’t you hear people saying or inferring, “he was 14 and should have known better?”

    Note well this quote: “The typical adolescent, especially a boy, is easily sexually aroused, sexually curious, sexually inexperienced, and somewhat rebellious. All these traits com¬bine to make the adolescent one of the easiest victims of sexual seduction.

    It takes almost nothing to get an adolescent boy sexually aroused. An adolescent boy with emotional and sexual needs is simply no match for an experienced 50-year-old man with an organized plan… Yet, adult offenders who seduce them, and the society that judges them, continue to claim that these victims “consented.”

    “The result is a victim who feels responsible for what happened and embarrassed about his actions… Once a victim is seduced, each successive sexual incident becomes easier and quicker. … Eventually the child victim may even take the initiative in the seduction.”

    Embellishing the story became a way of assuaging the sense of guilt and embarrassment Gallagher wrongly took upon himself.

    Lanning stresses the minor CANNOT consent, period. His vulnerability was rightly sensed and manipulated by the grooming perpetrators. The internal dislocation was terrifying.

    Lanning again: “The idea that child victims could simply behave like human beings and respond to the attention and affection of offend¬ers by voluntarily and repeatedly returning to an offender’s home is a troubling one. For example, it confuses us to see the victims in child pornography giggling or laughing.”

    “…but children who are seduced and actively participate in their victimization, however, often feel guilty and blame themselves because they did not do what they were “supposed” to do. These seduced and, therefore, compliant victims may sometimes feel a need to describe their victimization in more socially acceptable but inaccurate ways that relieve them of this guilt.

    The reality of this problem must be recognized, understood, and addressed if these cases are to be effectively investigated, prosecuted, and prevented.”

    “Society’s lack of understanding and acceptance of the reality of compliant child victims often results in the following:…Incomplete, inaccurate, distorted, even contradictory victim disclosures when they do happen…(and a) lifetime of victim shame, embarrassment, and guilt.”

    Of course, the lies multiplied and the details changed repeatedly as an adolescent tried to cope, ending up predictably caught in drugs and alcohol. Addiction was the outcome of abuse, not the cause itself of dysfunction.

    I read it was the defense in a civil suit who paid for Mechanick’s psychological evaluation of Gallagher that was so negative.

    Here’s where the truth was admitted by Gallagher in the Newsweek accounts:

    “From the beginning, he told an incredible, lurid story, …But Gallagher told Mechanick (psychologist) a different story, the same one he told a grand jury and at the criminal trial—that he and the priest (Englehardt) had engaged in mutual masturbation and oral sex. Gone were the five hours of anal rape and Engelhardt’s threat to kill him.”

    And again:

    Gallagher told the two archdiocese social workers that in the second attack Avery “punched him in the back of the head, and he fell down.” And when he woke up, “he was completely naked… Instead, Gallagher said he’d engaged in mutual masturbation and oral sex with Avery and described a subsequent attack in which the priest forced Gallagher to perform a striptease.

    It is more than reasonable beyond a doubt that Engelhardt and Avery did sexually abuse Gallagher, as he correctly admitted here.

    The countless lies, so sloppily told 20 times for heaven’s sake, were signs of the perpetrators’ success in insidiously transferring guilt to a vulnerable kid caught in a traumatic bond he could not comprehend.

    Lanning, the FBI expert, is so right that investigators and psychologists desperately need training in the internal dynamics of compliant child/adolescent victims.

    Justice was indeed served after all. Gallagher’s psychologist, Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea’s analysis matches Lanning’s. She was the expert therapist bishops chose to speak at the Dallas conference in 2002 to explain the victim’s world.

    It is far too easy to get caught in myriad details that are simply beside the main point: a compliant victim projecting his pain the only way HE thinks possible to convey its impact.

    (APOLOGIZE FOR THE LENGTH OF MY COMMENT, but it seems vital to counter Cipriano’s seriously limited knowledge of the realities of this case that research confirms.)


  6. There are some serious defects in logic here on this blog. When somebody cries rape, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they are telling the truth. Human beings do not undergo a transfiguration when they make such an accusation. They’re still flawed human beings whose accusations must be examined. Liars can lie and that’s what happened in the Billy Doe case.

    What Carolyn Disco doesn’t get is the bottom line in this case. Gallager/Doe told a frankly unbelievable story about three guys who hardly knew each other passing around a helpless victim who is 10 and 11 years old. We know from the archdiocese’s secret archive files that these attacks are usually made after years of patient “grooming,” and often perpetrated on the children of broken homes.

    Billy Doe/Danny Gallagher has a dad who’s a police sergeant, a mother who’s a registered nurse, a grandmother who functioned as a second mother, and an older brother at the same church and school who was also an altar boy. The parents are such good parents that even though they live less than a mile from the church, the testimony in the case is that they drive their two sons to and from the church, when they are serving as altar boys.

    What are the odds that this kid is brutally raped three times, Mom and Dad drive him home, and nobody notices anything? There is also no pattern of grooming in the case. The family had no relationships with any of the alleged assailants. This case does not fit any of the patterns of established abuse and that’s why the DA’s office under Lynne Abraham refused for a full year to do nothing with the patently ridiculous allegations in this case.

    It was only until Seth Williams showed up and decided to exploit the Catholic tragedy in Philadelphia for political gain that Danny Gallagher’s ludicrous story with its endless flights of fancy and nonstop contradictions became useful. That’s because Gallagher’s story fell within the statute of limitations and gave Seth Williams the chance to make headlines by putting Msgr. Lynn in jail.

    A fraudulent “victim” demeans the suffering of real victims. Justice is not served by punishing low-level scapegoats for the crimes perpetrated by 63 abuser priests and covered up for four decades by two archbishops, as so clearly laid out in the secret archive files that I wrote about at great length for National Catholic Reporter.

    In the case of Billy Doe, nothing pans out. Nothing supports his story. Whether it’s Gallagher’s medical history, or psychiatric history, or all of the evidence gathered by the DA’s own detectives, all of which contradicts Gallagher’s story. That includes interviews with Gallagher’s teachers, priests, his own mother, father, and brother. His story is contradicted by church records, the school’s yearbooks, and his own mother’s records. All the known evidence in the case, and the witnesses, including the members of Gallagher’s own family, contradict his crazy stories. That leads any person with an open mind [and I once believed all of the defendants were guilty] to the inescapable conclusion that Danny Gallagher is lying about everything.

    That means four men went to jail based on lies. One of those men, a Catholic priest who took a vow of celibacy and poverty, died in jail after being disgraced for something he didn’t do. A man who passed a polygraph test, who could have cut a deal on the eve of trial for just community service, but wouldn’t do it because it would have been a lie. What about his suffering and the suffering of his family? Where does that fit on the scale of justice?

    This district attorney continues to stonewall because he is a con man who thinks he can get away with it. What about 20 factual errors in the grand jury report where the DA brazenly rewrote witness testimony to fit a crazy story line? If the DA can brazenly rewrite facts and get away with it, putting innocent men in jail, then our laws mean nothing and we are all in danger.

    And nobody on this blog has mentioned this disturbing fact: the Archdiocese of Philadelphia just paid Danny Gallagher $5 million for his lies. If the forensic psychiatrist who examined Gallagher for three hours and plowed through his medical records from 28 different doctors, drug counselors, rehabs, etc., is telling the truth, Gallagher stole that money from the Catholic Church. And what about the deposition of the retired detective who led the DA’s investigation into Gallagher’s claims, who said he confronted Gallagher about nine different factual discrepancies with his stories, and that Gallagher had no answers.

    All the facts in this case, and logic, points us to the disturbing but inescapable conclusion that Danny Gallagher lied about everything. Only because he was talking about Catholic priests did he get away with it. The DA is hoping this all blows over because he has no answers for any of the questions I have raised for the three years. That’s why he’s stonewalled my blog for three years, along with National Catholic Reporter, and Newsweek. And when every victims’ apologist speaks, they are helping Seth Williams cover up the truth.

    Ralph Cipriano

    1. I never said that I specifically believe Billy Doe. Just that false accusations are rare. That means there are false accusations and his could be among them. But if someone approaches this blog as a victim, I believe them. It’s a statistical probability. Your article was beyond well reported and needed. We have to look at all facts not just the ones that support an advocacy. Why is the Church paying the 5 million?

      1. When this case began I had a open mind for both sides. What changed that was what was learned in court regarding the three defendants. Each and everyone of them had questionable behavior around children including Fr. Engelhardt and prior to the court proceedings you have one of those priests admit guilt. Now Cipriano can spin it anyway he would like but to admit to child molestation is just as dangerous as someone jumping out of a plane without a parachute. But one of the major issue is how was this child capable of naming not just one but three defendants who all have questionable behavior around children unless something sinfully happened to this child or his police officer father knew of inappropriate behavior of the three.

        Like I said on another blog I take what ever Ralph says with a grain of salt. One of Ralph’s biggest complaints he has about Billy Doe is he was a drug addict. Now this maybe true but he had no clue it is only just one sign or symptom that sadly goes along with being sexually abused. I say one because there are so many others and each person handles the abuse they suffered in different ways.
        I have even offered to sit down with Ralph and have him ask me any question he would like. He declined the offer I think because what he would learn would conflict with things he has already written.

        Ralph clearly stereotypes ALL victims as liars even before a court case begins as everyone can clearly read on his blog regarding Mark in the retrial of Fr. Brennan.
        He also has a tendency to ignore facts if it does not support his agenda.

        I warn those who think his very civil and well chosen words on this blog today are from a man who is searching for the truth you are highly mistaken. If you go to his blog to check it out be prepared to have broad shoulders and name calling from commentors that he condones.

        A reporter who is proud to announce his bias.

        1. Dennis, a very good point you bring up about comments on a blog. There are comments that sometimes appear on this site that I would never,ever,ever write or even agree with, and I cringe to think that anyone would link those comments with me because my name appears on this site with Susan. People express their opinions, and yes, sometimes comments on the internet, social media and blogs are awful, but I disagree about attributing comments to the writer or blog coordinator.

          There are a few times i wanted to throw in the towel on C4C because some comments (from either side) that have been so off base or inflammatory and so not what Susan and I are about in any manner.

    2. Regardless of the legitimacy of the verdict in this case, what about the hundreds of other victims of clergy sexual abuse across the RCC in the US who will never have “their day in court” where a criminal case will/can be heard as a result of alleged criminal acts by certain clergy?

      Ask the surviving, heartbroken and forever-grieving family
      members of such families as the Baselice and McIlmail who lost their sons to drug overdoses after being sexually abused by clergy members of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia how and when will they be able to seek justice?

      Michael Skiendzielewski
      Captain (Retired)
      Philadelphia Police Dept.

    3. Ralph Cipriano offers no rebuttal to the solid research on the behavioral dynamics of the sexual victimization of children. The research and patterns of response still stand.

      Factual discrepancies are numerous (20 at least) and sloppy, for heaven’s sake, but not the crux of the matter. Yes, Doe/Gallagher made up inconceivable stories that do not reconcile with observations of those near him. He acknowledges he lied, as Cipriano reported.

      Enumerating them avoids the key point: he also included the truth. “Gallagher said he’d engaged in mutual masturbation and oral sex with Avery…he told a grand jury and at the criminal trial—that he and the priest (Englehardt) had engaged in mutual masturbation and oral sex.”
      The “lurid” details were gone.

      The research on COMPLIANT child/adolescent victims is clear:

      ““In almost every case involving compliant child victims that I have evaluated, true victims have had to distort varying aspects of their victimization in statements to parents, investigators, therapists, physicians, attorneys, and the court. Each subsequent statement often requires increasing deceptions to defend the previous ones.

      What are the long-term emotional and psychological consequences for child victims who… must distort, misrepresent, and lie about what actually happened to them in order to have it accepted as “real” victimization?”

      “The available evidence suggests that children rarely lie about sexual victimization, if a lie is defined as a statement deliberately and maliciously intended to deceive.

      “If children in these cases do lie, it may be because factors such as shame or embarrassment over the nature of the victimization increase the likelihood that they misrepresent the sexual activity…

      As has been stated, sympathy for victims is inversely proportional to their age and sexual development.”

      A minor CANNOT consent to sex under the law, even if the minor begged for sex. The maipulative skills of abusers traps victims in a trauma bond the victims do not understand.

      I believe Doe/Gallagher was a compliant minor victim who did just what the research finds. More later…

      1. Under your theory of victimology any adult can come forward decades later and make an accusation of rape, and you’d believe them. Have you ever heard Gallagher testify? Have you ever examined any of the trial or grand jury transcripts, or witness statements or any of the evidence in this case? You are a blind ideologue spouting theories that have no practical application when dealing with fraud.

        1. So Ralph – using your distorted logic – because myself, and DOZENS of other victims, came forth 20+ years later against our abuser – we are lying?

          And, along those lines, how do you know that people did not come forward and complaints were buried, shredded, or dismissed?

          I would relish the opportunity to get you one-on-one and describe to you the process – the shame – the pain. Many understand it – including Archdiocese officials that I have talked to. Throw out the lawyers and they admit – this was a major coverup! Five million dollar settlements don’t lie. They will pay for my medical care and therapy for the rest of my life – probably in the neighborhood of a half of a million dollars on my case alone. But keep “blindly” putting those envelopes in the collection basket!

          1. It’s been about 30 years since I put a dollar in that collection basket. You are confusing my criticism of a fraud with the experiences of real victims. Your argument has no application to a fraud like Danny Gallagher/Billy Doe.

        2. Your name-calling and overwrought ad hominem attacks do not advance your credibility.

          The lies you recount are facts I have acknowledged. They indeed happened. Their interpretation however is not settled matter in either psychology or the legal issues around sexual abuse of minors.

          Otherwise, there would be no value in Mr. Lanning’s 40-year career being consulted on the behavioral responses of child and adolescent victims, both inside and outside the FBI; his expert testimony affirmed in a dozen major court cases in the US and abroad, his numerous national awards, and invitations from 38 organizations —

          like The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, universities, hospitals, bar associations, judges’ associations, district attorney associations, etc.

          I regret Cipriano characterizes my extensive quotes from such an expert as “spouting theories.”

          Lanning’s evidence of repeated victim behavioral patterns around lying is apparently rejected outright, simply null and void – despite the “thousands of specific cases” he examined.

          So much the worse for the genuine pursuit of justice, where the guilty are punished and the innocent exonerated.

          1. Your position is ludicrous. You’re basically saying a guy who lies about everything got it right on Lie No. 8.

            Before Gallagher ever got around to telling two archdiocese social workers he was raped at 10 and 11 by two priests and a school teacher, he told his doctors and drug counselors he was 1, never sexually abused as a child, 2, molested at 6 by a friend, 3, sexually abused at 6 by a neighbor, 4, sexually assaulted at 7 by a teacher, 5, molested at 8 or 9 by a friend, and 6, sexually assaulted at 9 by a 14 year-old.

            Lie No. 7, according to my count, is the violence-filled story he told the social workers about being violently raped by two priests and a schoolteacher, a story you and he now admit was a lie.

            So under your crackpot analysis, Gallagher eventually got it right when he told the grand jury and the cops his oral sex and mutual masturbation fantasies. Those stories came complete with the strip teases and the getting-me-drunk on sacramental wine story that had Billy the altar boy putting away the sacramental wine after Mass when he was accosted by the priest/rapist.

            That’s a story that’s been refuted by priests, and an altar boy/sexton at St. Jerome’s who happens to be Billy’s older brother. The priest and the sexton told the same story; it was the sexton who put away the sacramental wine after Mass, not altar boy Billy.

            Billy’s Lie No. 8 also does not square with several other facts gathered by the DA’s own detectives: the meticulous calendars kept by Billy’s own mother that said he never worked an early morning Mass during the year he claimed he was raped; the funeral register at at the church that said Father Avery did not officiate at a church funeral the same year Billy claimed he was raped after a funeral Mass; and the school yearbooks and testimony from two of Billy’s teachers that he was not a member of the bell choir maintenance crew as a fifth grader. Only eight-graders were members of the crew because they were strong enough to lift 30 and 40 pound bells and tables, not scrawny little Billy the 5th grader who according to medical records weighed only 63 pounds.

            Your theories have no application when dealing with a fraud who tells one lie after another like Danny Gallagher. The guy who claimed to be a paramedic and a professional surfer; the guy who claimed one injury after another that his own medical records disprove.

            You are making a fool of yourself playing intellectual parlor games to justify your religion of victimology, about a junkie criminal you’ve never met or seen testify. On the facts, you are spouting nonsense.

          2. Let’s stipulate, as I have before, that your listing of lies is accurate. The abundance of your research is clear: contradictory and disproven statements are legion. One would have a hard time keeping track of all the ages he claimed abuse occurred, or did not occur. Detail after detail is shown to be impossible by those with knowledge of the circumstances.

            Billy’s repeated lies appear so inept, he could not have done a poorer job of concocting them. Refutations come from his parents, especially his mother’s meticulous calendars; priest assignment schedules, school yearbooks, testimony from multiple teachers, fellow altar boys, the sexton, his older brother, doctors, counselors, and on and on and on. Billy’s claims of being a paramedic, professional surfer; of injuries disproved by medical records — have you found even one aspect of his life not marked by “fraud?”

            So, what is going on here? Around 14, a good kid from a good family goes very bad. Happens all the time; just another “junkie criminal” bent on lying his way to a fortune. Is there a civil way to disagree on what was behind Billy’s about-face? Those of us involved with child/adolescent sexual abuse issues see repeatedly a pattern of response like Billy’s.

            You dismiss outright the expertise of the FBI, but I encourage readers to scroll down at to read “Compliant Child Victims: Confronting an Uncomfortable Reality.”

            “They may minimize their compliance and maximize the offender’s involvement by claiming he drugged them, threatened them, had a weapon, or had even abducted them.

            The intervener must communicate to the victim that he or she is not at fault even though the victim did not say “no,” did not fight, did not tell, initiated the sex, or even enjoyed it…such (compliant) victims might claim they were confused, tricked, asleep, drugged, drunk, or tied up when they were not. Adolescents, who pose special challenges for the interviewer, use these face-saving devices most often.”

            There are certainly other analyses beyond Cipriano’s that can apply here. Perhaps he has not met many other survivors or studied their cases, much less thousands of them as the basis for research and application, like the FBI’s Mr. Lanning.

            I have presented other professional studies and leave it to readers to make their own decisions.

      1. Oh, I forgot Lie No. 9; Billy claimed he was a paramedic but he admitted he lied.

        Lie No. 10, Billy claimed he was a professional surfer but he admitted he lied.

        Lie No. 11, Billy claimed he suffered a herniated disc but his medical records show he’s lying.

        Lie No. 12, Billy claimed he got sick after the alleged attacks and missed a lot of school, but school records say otherwise.

        Lie No. 13, Billy claimed he lost weight after the alleged attacks but his medical records say otherwise.

        Lie No. 14, Billy claimed he suffered testicular pain after the alleged attacks but his medical records said otherwise.

        Lie No. 15, Billy claimed he couldn’t stop vomiting and coughing after the alleged attacks but his medical records say otherwise.

        Lie No. 16, Billy and his lawyers claimed all kinds of psychological suffering and loss of self esteem after the alleged attacks but his doctors, counselors and own testimony say otherwise.

        On your side you’ve got FBI expert Lanning, who to my knowledge never even met Billy Doe or looked at his case. But he does have 40 years of experience.

        On my side, I’ve been a reporter for nearly 40 years. Let me offer an alternate theory: a lying, scheming junkie criminal with no conscience who lies at least 16 times that we know of from the record was probably lying when he gave you Lie 8, about the oral sex and mutual masturbation with the three alleged assailants.

        It makes a helluva lot more sense than your crackpot theory that out of 16 lies, he somehow got it right on Lie No. 8.

        1. Wait a second folks. Ralph states “On his side he has 40 years experience as a reporter. He has years of experience writing obituary’s too does that make him a expert on how people die also ? This from a guy who has NO in depth knowledge about abuse victims and what they go through. Oh wait I have to correct myself. He did contact a abuse survivor at the early stages of the Billy Doe case on how he thought the trial was going. Conversation did not last that long because the survivor hung up on him. Mr. Cipriano there is many survivors and survivor family members who post on this blog with decades and decades on the behavior of a family member who was abused by clergy. A combined number of years that would make your 40 years of so called experience seem so minimal.

          1. You don’t need a PhD in victimology to figure out a fraud. He makes all kinds of statements that turn out to be not true. Somebody, for example, like yourself.

        2. My reply to this post was mistakenly placed somewhere else around here. Interested readers, please search for it.

          I also stipulate to #10-16, where Billy was certainly an incompetent liar.

        3. Reply to Cipriano:

          Lanning: “It is extremely important to recognize, however, that because children might lie about part of their victimization does not mean that the entire allegation is necessarily a lie and they are not victims.”

          “In my experience (of 40 years in practice evaluating sexual abuse), the primary reason compliant child victims furnish these false and misleading details about their victimization is their correct recognition that society does not understand or accept the reality of their victimization. This happens so often that distorted and varying details in such cases are almost corroboration for the validity of the victimization.”

          Also Mary Gail Frawley O’Dea, a highly regarded therapist chosen to address US bishops on the responses of abuse victims; and speaker on the same subject at Boston College; author of four books and editorial board member of five professional publications.

          She does know the Billy Doe case thoroughly, and is well-positioned to evaluate his responses — as his therapist.

  7. Ralph, no matter how much of the parishioners’ funds Chaput has spent and continues to spend in order to block and forestall his civil deposition in the McIlmail civil case, it appears our spiritual leader will have no choice but to face the questioning (and music) from the professionals Marci Hamilton and Thomas Kline.

    After such an event, we just might have more information or get a clearer picture of why the archdiocese spent $5 million to settle with Billy Doe.

    Michael Skiendzielewski

    1. Why the archdiocese came up with $5 million is indeed pertinent. That’s an unusually high sum for an individual settlement.

      Marci Hamilton is a very skilled lawyer and law professor. If she does a deposition, it will be well done.

      Why did Chaput feel such an investment was needed to protect the church’s interest? I believe dioceses often know a very great deal more that is not public. I believe further that such sums are carefully calibrated. Transparency would help clarify the matter.

      Why Chaput is fighting so hard to avoid being deposed is understandable in light of all that other episcopal depositions revealed. Read them by scrolling down at

      Mahony (see article on perjury accusation), George and Goedert are interesting, in addition to Law, McCormack, etc.

  8. “Whether or not Billy Doe was telling the truth,” is the issue; this man exploited the church for money; it hurts the cause and credibility of the real victims of abuse; this man should be vilified not defended

  9. As a victim and survivor – perhaps I can shed some light on the recounting of stories and inconsistencies that may be perceived as lying.

    I can tell you in exact detail the layout of the school minister’s office where I was abused, the model of the car he drove, the outfit he was wearing the night of the most serious (and final) instance of abuse. But, that particular incident, there are blocks of time that are wiped from my mind – it is like playing a highlight reel back of a football game and there are huge gaps. My therapist has told me this is my brain protecting me. I have now come to believe that I may have been drugged.

    I did not tell my parents because I was ashamed – felt I was responsible. Even after I made my complaint to the Archdiocese, some 20 years later, it took me a month to tell a close friend. More than 6 months to share with another friend. To this day, not one of my family members knows.

    One of my peeves is the constant attack that victims come under. As someone noted above, addiction, mental illness and other negative behaviors are a direct result of abuse. As I sit in 12-step program meetings, I am overwhelmed with the number of people who are victims of sexual abuse.

    Msgr. Lynn could have taken the easy way out – an anonymous phone call to a reporter, an unsigned letter – and protected thousands of people such as me.

    1. I am deeply moved by your account, owlfan, and thank you for having the courage to share grievously painful experiences. You may not hear from Catholics regarding the debt we owe you, who came forward. But without your willingness and that of all survivors to risk disclosure, we would know absolutely nothing. Decades of heinous sex crimes against the innocence of the young would still be hidden.

      You are right about the number of abuse victims; the most reliable figure I have found is that only an estimated 20% of assaults are ever reported. The shame is a toxic burden that in no way attaches to the victim, despite attempts by perpetrators or others to infer the contrary. I appreciate your sense of feeling under attack.

      I worked with a victim who could not report he was raped to his therapist, wife, lawyer, diocese, or indeed anyone. He took a much smaller settlement because he was too ashamed to admit he was raped. He was not gay, held enormous anger against that 15-year old who let himself be abused, and re-abused. An unremitting guilt persisted decades later, and he could not allow compassion for himself that it was not his fault.

      Those who speak of someone just out for the money rely on a glib understanding of what is involved in bringing an allegation.

      False reports are extremely rare. Tom Doyle, the Dominican advocate who has worked on thousands of cases over 30 years, spoke for example to every lawyer involved in 850 CA victim lawsuits, and found three that were false – and all were weeded out by the lawyers at the outset.

      Again, owlfan, thank you, thank you for reporting abuse. And please always provide first for your own safety in any situation. Bless you.

      1. 2015 – “Spotlight” – REQUIRED VIEWING

        2016 – Archbishop Chaput’s deposition (no confidentiality) in the McIlmail civil case re clergy sexual abuse – REQUIRED READING

    2. Owlfan: I want to thank you for your testimony on behalf of victims. Victims of childhood sexual abuse react to the abuse in many ways. Some withdraw and have years of problems with people, even those closest to them. Some victims turn to drugs and alcohol. Some become perfectionists ,who cannot see their own worth and look outside for a sense of worth. They may become workaholics who try to prove they are good enough by devoting their lives to their work .It is truly sad that many people who are non victims cannot accept the fact that victims are damaged people.I grew up in an alcoholic family. One thing I learned early in my life is that alcoholics and drug addicts lie. My father lied all the time. But he also told the truth sometimes. The difficulty was telling one from the other.When the memories of the abuse came back to me, I started talking about it in AA meetings.I was amazed at the number of people who came up to me after meetings and told me the same thing had happened to them.When I recalled the memories, I thought a visiting priest had molested me, but as the memories of the abuse became clearer, I came to realize that it was a parish priest who had molested me. Today, I have total complete recall of that day back in 1961. I remember what was said to me and the other altar boy. I remember what the two priests said to each other.I will never forget those memories. That is both a blessing and a curse .The other point I would like to make is that alcoholics and drug addicts tend to embellish their stories. They stretch the truth. It is what they do.I believe the victim in this case.People lie. Priests lie. Bishops lie. Popes lie.And one should expect anything different from a troubled young man who was sexually molested.

  10. Ralph,

    Considering all of the points you make– including all of the lies, medical records, school records, expert testimony, parent profile, testimony and records of family members, etc.– you provide a compelling argument. Compelling in so far as a logical person would conclude that it is probable, likely, reasonable, ten to one, and odds-on that Danny G. lied about everything. Yet, all of the points lead you to the “inescapable conclusion that Danny Gallagher lied about everything” (C4C). A logician would be cautious about making a conclusion based on the likelihood of something. A meticulous logician would not make a conclusion based on the likelihood of something. Explain the “leap” you take from the likelihood that Danny G. lied about everything to the “inescapable conclusion” that he lied about everything. I “get” your compelling argument, and I think it’s likely Danny G. lied about everything. That is where it ends for me. You, however, have concluded that Danny G. lied about everything and committed fraud. Without yelling at me, tell me how you got there.

  11. Everyone take a breath for a minute. Recently Rolling Stone published an article featuring a young woman who claimed to be a victim of sexual assault on campus. No one disputes that sexual assaults happen on campuses.The problem is that nothing matched up with this young woman’s story..the dates..the people,the party she claims she attended..nothing panned out upon closer examination. So many people suffered as a result. The university,the fraternity, various individuals who in the beginning had tried to help her, and of course real victims, as it cast a shadow on the whole problem of assaults on campus.

    So on the one hand you have the issues of the real trauma that is involved with sexual assault and many legitimate reasons why recall of event,.or blocked memories,etc can happen and on the other hand there is the reality that like with any issue or cause,a broken person can exploit an individual or an institution. One thing I learned is to never say never..that is what happened in the beginning of the issue of clergy abuse,,everyone said a priest would never do that, and we have all learned different.

    The reality is that the most solid cases in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, pages and pages of horrid abuse with multiple victims and “witnesses” to odd behaviors and children being taken away on trips or taken alone into rectories etc..will never make it into the courtroom. Because of that the Lynn case meant too much to everyone..if he was found guilty then it meant the Church was guilty of all these crimes. the reality is that it is one case, not a case that will decide the guilt of the past..nothing unfortunately will ever do that.

    1. Billy Doe told a fantastic and incredible story about being passed around like a piñata among three rapists at ten and eleven years old without anybody noticing anything. Even though his father is a police sergeant, mom is a registered nurse, he has an older brother at the school who is also an altar boy. The parents live less than a mile away from the school, and their testimony is they drive him and his brother to and from church. And nobody sees a thing. We only have Billy’s stories to go on told ten years after the fact.

      Billy’s tales contradict the known patterns of abuse in the archdiocese as detailed in 40 years of secret archive files. His story has endless contradictions and changed every time he told it. All the witnesses in the case interviewed by the DA’s own detectives contradict Billy’s stories, including teachers and priests at the school, and Billy’s own mother, father and older brother.

      There is no evidence, and no witness, to corroborate any of his stories. What evidence there is that can be gathered from his own mother’s records, school records, church records, the school’s yearbooks, Billy’s own medical records, his psychiatric records, etc., all of that contradicts Billy’s stories.

      On top of that, Billy claimed to his doctors to be a paramedic, a professional surfer, both lies. He’s claimed numerous injuries, physical and psychic, that have been disproven by a forensic psychiatrist who plowed through all of Billy’s medical records from 28 different institutions.

      It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to conclude that Billy is a chronic liar who makes up stories. Also, I have my own gut check to go on. In the Msgr. Lynn trial, and you were there I believe, I heard one real victim after another tell their tragic stories. A nun, a police officer and a doctor immediately come to mind. When you heard those stories, you felt like crying yourself.

      When I heard Billy speak, I felt nothing. I only saw a third-rate conman making stuff up as he went along. His lawyer asked me what I thought of Billy immediately after he testified. I didn’t know anything at the time; I believed all the allegations. And I instinctively said,” I don’t believe an f– word he said.”

      1. There was a local story recently about a young girl who was raped by her pastor (not catholic clergy). She told the police 3 different versions of what happened and claimed she was abducted by a stranger before telling the actual story. She was traumatized and afraid of the pastor..the difference is that she also had a physical exam which proved she was sexually assaulted,no DNA because a few days had passed, and an eye witness who saw her with the pastor at the motel she claimed he brought her to that day. So some stories that were not true but also an examination that proved she was sexually assaulted and the eyewitness. I think that what you are saying and correct me if I am wrong, is that not only did Billy give various accounts but there was not evidence to back up any of the various versions.

        I was there when Billy testified,he wasn’t cross examined because I believe the defense ran the risk of the prosecution being allowed to call Avery to the stand if they cross examined Billy ? I was not there for his testimony against Shero and Engelhardt at the later trial. From following that trial on blogs and newspaper accounts I was always waiting for more on Engelhardt and that never seemed to happen. Engelhardtt always seemed to be the “which one doesn’t belong’ in the case.

      2. The established patterns of abuse in the archdiocese involved patient predator taking years to build up trusting relationships with victims and their families, what’s known to everybody on this blog as groom behavior.

        In the Billy Doe case, there is no grooming behavior, no relationships between the accused and the parents.

        Of the three alleged abusers, Avery, Engelhardt and Shero, only Avery had a prior record of abuse. But his pattern was years of grooming that led to fondling. Not the violence that Billy Doe accused him of.

        Avery and Engelhardt passed a polygraph test. Engelhardt could have taken a deal for community service but wouldn’t lie; instead he got 6 to 12 years.

        Gallagher’s lawyer claimed in a newspaper interview that Gallagher passed a polygraph with “flying colors.” But when Gallagher was deposed, he was asked whether he ever took a polygraph and his answer was no.

        In addition, members of the DA’s own staff didn’t believe Gallagher, as laid out in this story:

        1. The priest at my parish went after one kid( from an intact family) like a dog humping his leg..came of of nowhere…same priest took a fatherless kid out to many events..never laid a hand on him… you would think the fatherless kid he groomed would have been the victim. Same priest also abused kids in the presence of other kids at a camp..not common. It’s not all as cookie cutter as it seems although of course there are patterns many times.

          So where do you go from here with all your findings on the Billy Doe case?

      3. Mr. Cipriano –

        In the recent NCR story by Mr. Roewe concerning your Newsweek article, you are quoted as saying, in part “[Gallagher] has everything to gain legally and financially by telling his varying versions of his story.” This seems to be a strange statement, in that if he told a consistent story (true or not) he would more likely be believed. Ms. Disco has offered what appears to be the insightful opinion of Mr. Lanning as to why many survivors of criminal sexual abuse as minors frequently say things about that abuse which are not factual. Do you have any opinion why Mr. Gallagher told so many untruths?

        1. Sure. Before he told the D.A. story of improbable sex abuse, Billy/Danny Gallagher was an inmate at Graterford Prison, in jail on a probation violation. He was also a drug/addict dealer with multiple arrests.

          After he told his story, he got out of jail, his criminal record vanished. He went from junkie criminal to victim survivor. His family rallied behind him. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia paid him $5 million for his pain and suffering.

          In the case of Billy Doe, lying paid off big time.

          1. Ralph ,I think what LP Mulligan meant was if Doe was going to create a story/lie to rip off the Archdiocese etc wouldn’t it make sense that he would have told one consistent story/lie rather than all the varying stories which put him under the microscope. LP I think that’s what you meant..don’t know that I expressed it correctly

          2. Mr. Cipriano – since you have not responded to either my post of 01-31-16, or that of Ms. Kane the same day, is it fair to assume you have no explanation why Billy Doe/Danny Gallagher would not have been consistent in his story if his motivation was as you propose, that being to get himself out of jail & benefit himself financially?

          3. My only explanation is that Billy is a junkie/criminal/habitual liar who tells one story after another to get himself out of trouble. The stories, which are lies, vary on his audience and whichever way the wind is blowing. Like most liars, Billy often can’t keep his lies straight or even remember the last one he told. He is not a strategist or chess player; he is just a goofball kid who tells lies to get himself out of trouble. That’s exactly the way an alternate juror in this case who was horrified by the verdict described him to me. She happened to be an elementary school teacher. That’s the only explanation that makes sense. For Billy, lying is a way of life.

          4. I believe Cipriano’s “only explanation” is narrow and incomplete, though he claims the truth resides fully and solely in his interpretation of the “facts.”

            I believe further the archdiocese knows much more than it acknowledges publicly about its decision to pay $5 million, and do all it can to keep Chaput from being deposed. Otherwise one might expect the archdiocese to do all it could to support someone claiming innocence for the defendants.

            My genuine hope is that somehow, someday all the answers will be available publicly, most likely long after I am gone. I do rely on the Scripture that what is done in darkness will be revealed in the light.

            Meanwhile I wish justice for Billy Doe and his family, and for the defendants. The truth really does set one free. I believe justice is being served here no matter how circuitous its path may seem.

          5. Ralph my question after reading your answer is not about guilt/innocence … I am thrown by your answer because the Newsweek cover even includes the word “scheming” ..not a goofball but a schemer.. I thought the opinion for the past few years was this was a intended plan by Doe to defraud the archdiocese?

  12. Though this link/issue does not belong in the middle of this discussion, the facts and details contained in the article are much too important and need to be shared with those concerned with the protection of our children under the “watchful eye” of USA RCC leadership.

    2016 – Is this how USA RCC leadership responds to and manages allegations of inappropriate sexually-related conduct reported by a priest about another priest?

    1. My favorite line was that they were going to send the church whistle blower to a facility in Pa.? Hmmm…. Vianney?

    2. I have no idea what’s in the boy’s head. I also didn’t write that Newsweek headline. I was asked on this blog to come up with a plausible explanation for Billy’s behavior. I took a crack at that. I think the facts show the kid’s a habitual liar. Whether he is a long range planner or not I don’t know, but it retrospect, nobody could have cooked up a better scheme. Get yourself out of jail, make your criminal record disappear, and say hello to $5 million. Of course, Billy needed his enablers in the legal system, beginning with Seth Williams and ending with Slade McLaughlin.

  13. Hello Friends,

    On January 23rd I posted the following comment.

    I warn those who think his very civil and well chosen words on this blog today are from a man who is searching for the truth you are highly mistaken. If you go to his blog to check it out be prepared to have broad shoulders and name calling from commentors that he condones.

    As we can clearly see Ralph Cipriano has brought his unprofessional behavior to catholics4change. His name calling and yelling is typical Ralph Cipriano. I ask everyone not to let him touch your heart no matter how little of that ” Christian Spirit” shines from him.

    I could only give you my personal feelings regarding Ralph but that would not be fair to him. I will say it would be interesting to see the results of a MMPI test of Ralph Cipriano.

    I also want to give my apology to Kathy and Susan if my recommendation of this site on a different blog has brought about hopefully this brief mayhem.

    1. Dennis – your like majority of bloggers. when presented with a question or reply you do not agree with – you hide and ignore the topic. Be a man and give an answer to someone’s response to irrelevant ranting and comments.

  14. Dennis no apologies needed,both Susan and I have followed Ralph’s work in the past and have linked to his blog on this site. I think there is value in what he brings to the table…of course hoping the conversation from all sides can be civil and productive.

    This case won’t be solved here that is for sure and those who have set things up for all of us to be arguing with each other are either deceased, promoted,transferred, or shaking hands and kissing babies at a local parish. They aren’t giving it a of a moment of their time.

  15. Hi Susan,

    I agree totally with your assessment of this situation and this particular case. Ralph was truly unrelenting in his search to uncover the truth. My only problem with Ralph’s investigation is that it focused entirely on Billy Doe and while his testimony was hard to believe and ever changing, Ralph did not investigate the other aspects of this case that left me wondering what could we believe about what was said by the others involved in this case?

    For example, there is Father Avery who first confesses and then recants his testimony saying that he only confessed to get a better deal from the DA. Here is a man with a documented history of sexual issues with young boys and we are just supposed to believe everything he says. I’d like Ralph to dig into his past for a few months.

    Then there is Engelhardt & Shero who never took the witness stand in their defense. Doesn’t it make you wonder when someone refuses to testify in their own defense? I wonder what did they have to hide? If Ralph had thoroughly investigated their sexual pasts, I would feel that he was taking a more balanced approach to uncovering the whole truth.

    If Billy was such a liar and there was no truth to anything he says, why did Archbishop Chaput settle with him for a reported $5 Million? Just to avoid more bad publicity? That deserves further investigating too.

    Finally, Ralph has ripped to shreds Billy’s testimony, showing dozens of contradictions over time and many inconsistencies but when Billy was on the stand for more than a day, the defense lawyers did not make him out to look like the total liar that Ralph’s investigation has shown him to be. In fact, the jury appears to have believed most or all of what he said. Possibly because they recognized that an abused boy who turns to drugs to ease his pain will definitely have issues. Maybe some of the blame in this case should be pointed in the direction of the defense lawyers who didn’t seem to do their homework very well.

    It looks like this debate could go on forever and so will the legal actions but Susan I thank you for keeping the dialogue going and your focus on courtesy & good will to one another.


  16. Here is the bottom line –

    Victims can be – then and now –

    Gay or straight
    Black, white, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, etc.
    Male or female
    Poor or rich
    Stable home environments or broken homes
    Clean or addicts
    Employed or unemployed
    Church goers or fallen away
    Criminals or non-criminals

    Does that cast a wide net? Absolutely! In short, victims can be anyone. They can be sitting next to you on Sunday at 10:30 Mass. They can be standing at the bus stop with his/her kids every morning. Sitting in the cubicle next to you – coaching alongside you in Little League. They could be your doctor – lawyer – car mechanic – therapist or parish priest!

    Realizing all of this scares the XXXX out of people! So it is much more convenient to paint victims as addicts, gay, church bashing, money hungry people. The net becomes smaller – and many are not under it.

    1. Owlfan’s comments are consistently insightful IMO.
      A thought: Whether or not “Billy” [or is it John Doe/G.] is a lying opportunist;
      the entire CA situation was initiated by willful denial by almost everyone, and a “religious reaction” by a Christian denomination. [Read “religious” as a pejorative.]


    Here is a more unbiased review from Philly Magazine.

    Some other points to take notice : Ralph has shut down the comment section on his Newsweek posting.

    The most biggest error is Ralph leaving out the lie detector testing. He claims that Billy Doe denied being lie detector tested at his deposition, which was TRUTHFUL testimony when given. The lie detector test occurred AFTER his deposition which he PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS.

    The MMPI-2 test that Billy Doe took is being questioned today amongst mental health professionals to its accuracy.

    Newsweek’s Bob Roe defended Ralph’s story quoting ” he has consistently demonstrated his loyalty to the truth.” I am sure Mr Roe is unaware of of some of the reasons why Mr. Cipriano was terminated by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

  18. Inquirer editor Rosenthal’s assessment of Ralph Cipriano’s integrity. Rosenthal described Cipriano as a reporter with “a very strong personal point of view and an agenda. … There were things we didn’t publish that Ralph wrote that we didn’t think were truthful. He could never prove them.”

  19. A bit of a different perspective here:
    How does Newsweek NOT mention that the victim passed a lie detector test (it was taken and passed AFTER his deposition, so Ralph’s contention that Billy Doe testified at deposition that he never took a lie detector test is true, as was the victim’s testimony, but irrelevant since the polygraph test was taken AFTER the deposition). And Newsweek now uses victims’ real names in print. Nice way to scare away victims of rape and abuse from reporting. It’s sad when the victims are victimized a second time by apologists for the Catholic Church’s longstanding history of accepting and covering up child rape.

  20. Here, Ecker demonstrates malice along with his usual pattern of lying. This is a well-established story by now, the ending of which Ecker deliberately leaves out.

    After Rosenthal made those statements, his newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, printed a public apology to me and also paid me a confidential sum. “I regret having made my comments to the Post,” Rosenthal said. “They were intemperate, and I apologize for them.”

    Shortly after he made that public apology, Rosenthal was fired as editor of the Inquirer.

    1. What you say is true Ralph but the fact is here is an editor years ago perceiving you have an agenda. He believed what you wrote not to be truthful and you could not prove your facts. The same claims you are being accused of today. I believe Rosenthal today would have the right to say I told you so. You are a reporter who does not hide the fact you are biased regarding Billy Doe, you have written on your blog you failed to mention certain information because you wanted to cover it up and you have even publicly defined or tagged Mark in the Brennan case as a liar. As you know I am a abuse survivor and I have not even tossed a guilty verdict around Brennan’s neck. But you seem to know all the facts without being at the place of attacks or hearing further testimony. Why you have bias towards victims of abuse I can only guess. Sadly its not only Billy, Mark, ME, but other abuse victims on other blogs. You do not discriminate. I have my opinions why you are this way but that’s all they are my opinions.

      You have a good day today but I have something more important today and that is wait for a phone call from my family as the funeral for my mother goes onto today out of St. Dominics.

      1. What a good son you are. Not attending the funeral of your mother. Shows who matters most to you in the this world and that would be yourself. You are all knowing and your opinion is the truth.

        1. Dennis I am sorry to hear about your mother’s death. BL,oh dear BL..what to do with you. People engage on this blog and sometimes things get heated..even angry.. but you have been in a class by yourself since you surfaced here. I understand passion,I understand anger when someone has a strong feeling on a subject,no matter that their opinion..but you are always so nasty,such a nasty person who lurks and then chimes in with a cutting remark ,usually when someone is at their lowest. I can’t remember a thing you have contributed in your comments that had any value or insight other than just being one nasty dude.

          1. I am not familiar with the leaders in charge of this blog. Perhaps I am incorrect to infer you are involved at that level.

            But to whoever moderates or watches postings (does that happen?), let me suggest that BL’s post should be deleted and he/she should be barred from the blog. I believe this should be well beyond the level of an observation re: “oh my, what a nasty response.”

            One gets inured generally to the rough and tumble of cyberspace, but my question remains: Is there a standard of decency worth honoring here? I read above: “This site is a forum for Catholics who wish to respectfully share their concerns..” It should not be an aggregator of insults.

            Running a blog is no easy task. Thank you for the effort over many years, but please consider further action here.

            Dennis, may you find peace in your heart today. God bless.

          2. Carolyn that comment was my goodbye to BL. His comment of course already went through and was posted but will not be in the future. Comments are not moderated
            Before posting. We try to allow much freedom on the blog to hear from everyone but his comments are just nasty and after a few years I was happy to call him on it today. He had walked
            the line in the past but this last comment crossed it completely

          3. Thank you, indeed. There is no specific indication in your comment that he is barred from posting, but I welcome your forthright response in reply.

          4. We do have the disclaimer on the site that it is a place to engage respectfully but that is broken by many at some point and all who come here know that C4C is unique in some ways in that their comments are posted in real time rather than sitting in moderation and posted hours later . Also many who comment here feel that they have been limited or banned from commenting other places and we never want to be that type of blog. So everyone proceeds accordingly knowing that they may see some things they don’t like at times . Like everything in life it might not work for all, but after 5 years it has worked for most. BL was completely inappropriate and that has no place here.

        2. BL, That was inhumane. You show a complete lack of empathy with that comment directed at Dennis. His experience as a victim is his truth. His mother, God rest her soul, knows it now, too. I can not allow people who come here in all vulnerability to be subjected to that kind of venom. Kathy Kane and I have decided to block your participation on this blog – just as we would if this were our home. You’ve been beyond rude to another guest.

  21. Ladies thank you for your thoughts and prayers But please don’t be surprised. I did leave the comment on purpose to prove a point to everyone that this is what victims/survivors face from those who believe we are not the victims and BL fell right into the trap that I thought either him or Cipriano would fall into.

    Without BL knowing anything about me he judged how good of a son I must be not to attend my own mothers funeral. Not knowing if I was home ill, in a hospital bed or unable to get a flight or someone who could not walk into a catholic church without puking because of my abuse even if it was for the funeral for my own mother.

    We have witnessed over the past few days one person label another a liar and drug addict and although it maybe true the question is was it out of choice or necessity. He has been judged in the court of Ralph Cipriano who believes because he may have lied or may have taken drugs there is no possible way he was abused.

    Although Ralph has posted facts he believes proves Billy was not abused there is those facts he fails to report about the three men convicted of abusing him. He continually fails to mention Billy passing a lie detector test, fails to mention that out of a large church and school like St. Jeromes with a rectory and convent on site a young child was able to pick out the three individuals who all have questionable behavior around children. Including Engelhardt. What colorful testimony was said about him. The only person who Billy did not pick out within the perimeter of St. Jeromes was another priest who had abuse accusations against him who worked at St. Mary’s Nursing Home less then 100 yards from the school playground.

    I understand the anger you feel towards BL at this time, but if there is anger towards him there must be anger directed towards all the Ralph Cipriano’s and BL out there and I have come to face reality there will always be people out there like them, and the anger I or anyone may feel is just a wasted emotion.

    In closing there is one thing I did with my comment I am not proud of and having been working in therapy with, is I still for some reason I feel I have to prove myself at every turn. I have done it time and time again and my therapist bless her heart gets angry when I do it. But the only reason why I posted St. Dominicks was if anyone wanted to verify my comment they could.

    Each one of you are in my heart and prayers

  22. Dennis, I have to catch my breath after reading your post.

    The effort to prove how devastating abuse was and is, and the hurt when that abuse is denied, comes across vividly. The sense of urgency to be believed is intense, as you well know. (Your mention of details not included in Cipriano’s otherwise exhaustively detailed writings certainly raises questions.)

    I sense urgency and desperation fueling Billy’s lies, no matter how counterproductive they in fact were. Lurching from one lie to another to try to deflect the unwarranted shame, embarrassment and guilt was an impossible task. The obvious futility of those lies for that purpose is clear to anyone reading Cipriano.

    I believe the florid lying is itself a clue to a disoriented mind coping with sexual assault. An intentional un-traumatized liar/deceiver bent on fraud would do a much slicker job than that.

    Dominican Tom Doyle notes: “A victim’s reaction to abuse does not follow a logical, cognitively predictable pattern. The abuse causes trauma and trauma is irrational.”… “The sexual experience may have been accompanied by some physically pleasurable feelings which only intensifies the shame and self-blame.”

    AW Richard Sipe, a former priest and therapist for victims and perpetrators for 30 plus years, comments on how victims defeat and humiliate themselves: “Persons whose unconscious guilt over their sexual involvement … makes them feel that they are the ones who deserve punishment… unwittingly devise ways to defeat and humiliate themselves. They do not deserve success.”

    Again, FBI expert Lanning: “In my experience, the primary reason compliant child victims furnish these false and misleading details about their victimization is their correct recognition that society does not understand or accept the reality of their victimization.

    “This happens so often that distorted and varying details in such cases are almost corroboration for the validity of the victimization….I have analyzed thousands of cases and provided investigative, prosecutive and sentencing guidance; expert opinions, advice, direction; and behavioral analysis.”

    Dennis, not wanting to intrude, but please do not give ANYONE the power to think you have something to prove. Shake the dust from your sandals. God bless.

    (Maybe immediate posting is withdrawn on C4C now; this is my second effort to post. Possibly a prudent move…)

  23. Dennis I caution any victim or family member when they are putting themselves out there online. Just a few things. This case will not be decided here. Billy Doe’s fate is not in our hands. I don’t know if the story will gather national attention for the case, but locally people have pretty much forgotten about it..not only forgotten about it but never even understood it in the first place. You can read online comments from people who think that Msgr Lynn is a pedophile charged with a crime ,to those who think he was not even involved in any aspect of the cover up. There is not much of a middle ground in the court of public opinion and probably will never be.
    One of the best classes I took when I was at Penn was an organizational psych class . I was too young at the time with not much life experience to appreciate the course but a few things stuck with me. The most important being that the dysfunction at the top trickles down and out into the rest of the organization/society and that conflict plays out among others while the key players at the top remain unscathed. Sometimes I feel like we continue to be pawns in the crisis the Archdiocese has created because they certainly aren’t getting all worked up and arguing on the fact they are not even answering people’s questions. That is a common thread whether it is you as a victim or Ralph as a reporter . There is a certain amount of energy to place, without running the risk of it becoming unhealthy and affecting your life.

    1. Kathy, Carolyn thank you so much for those kind words you have no idea how much strength I gain from them.

      Kathy, 100% I understand your concerns. Yesterday was a tuff day for me. I will admit I second guessed myself after BL comment. But I reminded myself what is important. That is my family. I will not allow anything to be a trigger that would allow me to slip back into that hell I was in almost two years ago. That is why I have put in two fail safes when it comes to me writing a comment. One is my wife proofreads almost all of my comments and second and you deserve credit for this MY therapist follows along with what I write and if either one says pull the plug step back and away for a few days I will. This site has been so beneficial in helping me please do not be upset if you do not see any comments from it is only me stepping back and taking that breath.

  24. Dennis,

    Wow, thank you for your depth of courage in what you write and do. Your courage is truly the absence of fear, as you are appearing to me. Your courage communicates this inner strength, naturally there and arising as you need it. Even when I read what you wrote I could feel myself drawing on your qualities of strength and courage. It felt like touching your courage is my touching the strength of your faith, the actual support of God’s presence within you. Your faith within Presence, I feel, is solid, real and appears to be allowing the will of the Divine unfold for you.

    This needing to prove yourself, “at every turn” seems like this need to unlock this dilemma of being judged, being divided into judged and judging parts. This judgement alone, to me, is deeply tormenting. Maybe proving yourself is just your attempt to restore proper order within yourself. Also, to me, this proving yourself is an expression of your courage and is your way of grounding yourself apart from this judgment. Proving yourself at every turn, I do not feel is merely incidental to who you are, but is reflecting the Essential within you, your qualities of courage and strength.

    I just want you to know I deeply appreciate your realistic faith. Truly you are an example of offering us the support of your faith. And may unshakable inner peace be you during this time.

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