St. John Vianney: Sins of Omission or Downright Deception?


Many people believe that the legislative battle in Pennsylvania right now is a matter of money. The belief that victims want civil suits for financial compensation and that the Church wants to protect its finances. What many do not realize is that victims/survivors often seek to bring civil suits for the truth that is revealed in the documents and records that are ordered to be disclosed. Along with the finances, the Church also wants to protect the evidence, but it makes for a more complicated sound bite.

The March 2016 Grand Jury report of clergy abuse in the Altoona Johnstown Diocese disclosed much previously unknown information. One thing I found in reading the document was a patient who was at the St John Vianney Treatment center in Sept /October 2012. The write up of this child predator priest, who actually was profiled by the FBI, was the complete opposite of my conversations with the Vianney staff in 2012 when I was making attempts to improve child safety after discovering one of their patients in a school parking lot. A C4C reader recently alerted me to the following video published in June 2013 which is an interview with Fr James Flavin who was the President of the facility at that time. This interview is pretty much verbatim to my conversations with Fr Flavin and other Vianney staff at the time. A total downplay of the fact that child predators stay at the facility. I heard instead about depressed nuns and overweight priests.

In the video Fr Flavin says pedophiles cannot be treated but instead it is a matter of containment and protection. Protection of whom exactly, the children or the predator? He also makes this startling claim about the facility ” we don’t really deal with the sexual issues, the serious sexual issues” . Well the internet, newspaper articles and GJ reports tell a different story and in the past we have highlighted some of the depraved men who have passed through those doors. What exactly is classified as serious or sexual if watching child pornography of 2 and 3 year old’s is not? Or molestation of childrens’ bodies..or child rape?

Please take some time to view the video. It will probably “disappear” from the internet soon. Take note of the conversation shortly after the 3 minute and 19 minute marks

Then compare to pages 12,66,67 and “C” section of pages 137, 138 of the GJ report.

Click to access GJ%20Diocese%20Report.pdf

One other interesting thing to note is that staff from Vianney have attended the annual Anglophone Conference on the Safeguarding of Children,Young People and Vulnerable Adults in past years. Supposedly some Vianney administrators are actually in Rome right now for the 2016 event. A bit confusing to say the least. You can read about the conference from the 2015 press release here: I don’t know what Vianney would have to offer in conversations about child protection …and if the facility doesn’t deal with sexual issues…..or do they? Maybe they do or don’t depending on the audience.To a concerned mother one story…to a gathering of Bishops and reps from other Diocese wondering where to send their troubled priests..maybe another.

Research shows that there are currently an estimated 37,000 Catholic priests,45,000 religious nuns and 4,00 religious brothers in the U.S. Where do they all go for help with addictions,mental health and sexual disorders? They can’t possibly all go to the very few remaining Catholic treatment centers. Instead they practice good stewardship and use their health care coverage which their parishioners are already paying for and they seek help at the same inpatient facilities and hospitals that are available to the general public. In the video, Fr. Flavin addresses the fact that the center is private pay, instead it should be called parishioner pay.

It is time to keep the child predators in their own Dioceses and assist the other clergy in need of addiction and mental health treatment through the same networks we all would use in a time of need. There is big money and big salaries in private pay facilities, and the internet like always is a treasure trove of information. More on that later. For now please take some time to watch the video which we were alerted to by a concerned C4C reader. Like always,most of our information comes from the pews and the people who value children above all. Thank You.

44 thoughts on “St. John Vianney: Sins of Omission or Downright Deception?

  1. Thank you, Kathy, for this insightful article. I started to watch the video, but I just want to point out that beneath it, the comments are “disabled” already, so I better finish it now

    1. I just read in Sundays Inquirer that Senator Stewart Greenleaf has recused himself from voting on House Bill 1947. He did this Yesterday. I am truly surprised to hear this but also very happy. I believe the pressure put on Greenleaf was the major reason this happened. Special thanks to Steve Neuberger, the victims lawyer from Delaware who discovered this conflict three or four weeks ago.

      1. Jim, all my respect, but yhe Greenleaf conflict is well over 3 months old. I met with him, discussion ensued about his firms representing the Diocese of Wilmington and his long relationship with Bruce Castor in Montgomery County. It was well known that the first hearing was a set up from the start. Trust me, a torch has been passed within the judiciary committee along with marching orders.

        1. Mike: No offense taken. You are obviously much more in the know than I am about the inner workings of the State legislature. Please keep us informed.

        2. Please Call Sen. Rafferty ((717) 787-1398 ), as to move HB1947 out of committee AS IS

          Mariya Alexandra Khandros Jackson
          Philadelphia, PA
          JUN 27, 2016 — Hello all, some breaking news – this weekend Sen. Greenleaf recused himself from the HB1947 proceedings, because it came out that his law firm was still on retainer with the Philadelphia Archdiocese. As a result Sen. Rafferty will be taking over the proceedings. Please take a minute to call his office and ask him to move the bill out of committee AS IS. Here is his office number: ((717) 787-1398.

          Is this true? Rafferty seemed to be positive and faikr durring the hearings.

  2. Kathy: I started to watch this video but got so disgusted and angry that I decided to stop. This argument that most of the abuse was not pedophilia is another attempt by the Church to minimize the abuse and the pure evil that happened to children. I was twelve when I was molested. The argument that if I was thirteen, the priest was some how less guilty or I would have suffered less damage is absurd. This is but another attempt to try to make what happened to innocent children less horrible than it was. But I am not surprised. The Catholic Establishment continues to downplay the serious nature of child abuse. When these two priests talk about all the Catholic Church has done to alleviate this scourge, I want to throw up.

    1. Jim – I am right there with you. My abuse started when I was 16. Does that make it any less horrible? Oh – a being a female – I also get upset when I hear arguments that this was a homosexual problem. Abuse is abuse – no means no. These are not difficult concepts.

      Interestingly, the Catholic Church says no exceptions when it comes to abortion in terms of rape or incest? So why are abuse cases labeled with asterisks?

  3. The video is nauseating clerical bs. Repeatedly, the interviewer-priest points out Flavin’s stature and expertise, he’s truly humbled by it, meaning we are to be. Two clerics with a common, pre-orchestrated, pull-the-wool-over-the-sheeps’-eyes clerical agenda. “I’ll stoke you through it. You stoke me through it. Let’s do it to the sappy, ignoramus sheep. They’ll fall for it.”

    Excuse me while I vomit.

    Reform the priesthood. It sucks.

    1. I could watch it 100 times and something new jumps out each time. When he says the investment in the treatment is worth it because you could then get another 25-30-40 years from a priest. Wow that is how my mechanic talks about fixing my car. You do not treat people to save the priesthood .
      Also if encouraging donations ,shouldn’t people be given the truth as to ALL the patients/diagnosis who are treated at the facility? Maybe some people actually have an ethical issue with funding child predators.
      When I mention that the child predators should all stay in their own Diocese I certainly don’t mean that it is ideal to have child predators anywhere, but stop the practice of sending them to the very few Catholic treatment centers when the same services are available in their own Dioceses. This is ain’t 1946 when the facility first opened

      1. Kathy – why aren’t priests and religious just sent to a facility that laypeople can attend as well? What is the difference if an abuser is a priest, rabbi, Boy Scout leader, or Little League coach? Why should the therapy be tailored to Catholic clergy? To me, this is akin to having the Bacardi Rum Treatment Center for Alcoholics.

        1. owlfan,some clergy do receive treatment at the same places you or I would..Jim has mentioned being in a group setting that a priest was a fellow participant. The few remaining Catholic treatment centers have nowhere near the amount of beds vs.number of clergy in the U.S. who might need treatment at some point. A Philly Archdiocesan priest I spoke to said these places are one of the last places he would go if he needed help. He would rather go where you or I would and be treated as a normal person. He also felt the extended stays at some of these Catholic treatment centers are not beneficial. So yes there are clergy who have been treated successfully for addictions and MH issues at secular facilities..using their health care coverage rather than having the Diocese pay pricey private pay amounts.
          So why do these places still exist?..many don’t. Which makes the argument that they are needed even that more ridiculous.

          As for abusive priests, when you read the newspaper articles their Dioceses are usually quick to point out that the priest is removed and “away” from the Diocese. When you send them to a Catholic center and are footing the bill rather rather than insurance paying, you can get them a ticket out of town and a place to stay real quick. That usually settles down the flock..that they are gone.

        2. owlfan and also of course the short answer is the is all a business after all. The nursing homes have been sold..Don Guenella for kids with Down Syndrome sold for the land…now even the seminary ..but a treatment center on prime real estate survives.. $$$$ yearly revenue while also encouraging donations. I can see a nice little old lady watching this video and opening her checkbook to donate having no idea a pervert who gets off looking at toddlers spread eagle could benefit.

      2. Kathy: Instead of trying to get 25-30-40 years out of a lemon of a priest, why not change the design? When I attended Bishop McDevitt back in the mid sixties, probably three quarters of the faculty were priests. Many of these priests, I believe, were good men trying to do what was right. Sadly many of the priests I admired most left the priesthood. Why? They fell in love with women and decided to get married. I believe that many would not have left if the option to marry and remain a priest were open to them. Many of those who stayed were lemons. I believe the answer to this grave problem is right in front of their eyes. Married priests, both male and female would create a much healthier, happier clergy. But that would mean eliminating the male patriarchal system that has been in effect for two thousand years. I just can’t see Archbishop Chaput giving up his power.

      3. Yes Kathy they are not legally child predators are they. As the “academy ” closes in Coal Township, those kids will be shipped back to Philly and thanks for the child sex predators in their special wing at SCI Coal Township. Still remember the number of “half way houses in Frankford and how they calculated the entrance to the house to the schools. Except for the prison, escapes were common in Coal Township and at least now there is a better response to child luring. Yes, I taught sexual perverts in Philly and it was hell trying to keep the kids in the complex with the many rules we had to follow. That isn’t counting the constant chatter of what they wish to do to young kids.

        Should I mention Pennhurst, the paperwork involved with restraining former patients was unbelievable. Because of the treatment of those patients safeguards are in place – safeguards that were needed but opened the door to allow freedom to those perverts you mentioned at St John’s.

        1. Ed interesting tidbit. Fox 29 did a report on Vianney a few years ago..interviewed a Mother from the school and also filmed us at a council meeting discussing concerns about child safety. I am trying to locate the clip. If memory serves there was a statement from the archdiocese that said something about there not being sexually violent predators or violent sexually predators at the facility. The wording was a bit shocking at the time because we were not even using that language/description . I thought it was a major mistake from the spin doctors to even include that language in the statement but then came to find out that it is actually a legal term concerning someone in the state who has been convicted and is a registered sex offender but to the general public that statement says no danger/problem here..move along. Of course they have had patients who the statutes have run out..they have patients out on bail awaiting is all smoke and mirrors and it makes me furious because the truth is what is most important in child sfatey.

      4. Thanks, Kathy, for your continuing and tenacious efforts. Your no-nonsense insights from your deep professional experience are invaluable.

        Priests generate donations for bishops. The priest pool is contracting and potential candidates, i.e, married men and all women, are excluded.

        Hence, the focus of the bishops has always been to “save the ‘sinful’ priests”, mainly to keep the donations flowing.

        Thank you and Susan for keeping up the fight so nobly!

  4. Jim ,Yes it was hard for me to watch as a non victim so I cannot begin to imagine in your shoes. I did however go back to watch repeatedly because of all the contradictions that jump from the screen. At one point we are told that clergy are just like us with the same issues..just like us…human..imagine that. And then at the end of the video we are told that the alcoholic nun can’t seek treatment locally because people would know her…well guess what ? People have to seek treatment where people might know them all the time! Welcome to the human race.
    Since I was told all about the depressed nuns,the chubby priests etc then why could I also not be told of the digitally penetrating perverts and the fondlers and molesters? Really hmmmm….Some diagnosis are talked about and others are not..interesting.

  5. “Court records from the 1990s state that police surveillance performed during the mid-1980s had identified several diocesan priests who frequented “pick-up joints” for prostitutes and homosexuals seeking young boys. Following a threat from a Blair County judge to “throw the book” at the identified clerics, Bp. Hogan ordered the priests to “lay low, say nothing” while police surveillance was conducted. Hogan also told the clerics a homosexual orientation was not an excuse for “intrinsically evil activity” and their actions were “threatening the good name of the Church.” ”

    Seeking young boys? are we reading about the sex trade/ sex slaves, similar to the sex trade of young children that follow events such as the superbowl . The same trade that goes through central Pa. The sex trade that kidnaps young children or possibly in Feastervillve buys young children as property to be used as rape objects. .

    So the church complains about the sex trade yet priests are contributing to it. Remember that when understanding why HB 1947 is important. We need to protect all children.

    The RCC has much to hide and these predators are blackmailing the church as well as the church hiding these facts to keep their power. Too bad the priests who knew of the young prostitutes on that wilmington bridge(Delaware) did not live or suffered breakdowns to tell of that problem. Yes,did not read of that priest that was arrested nor did the facts about Camp Brisson come out in Delaware sex abuse case. The lawyers were well aware of those facts.I also remember the exact bar in the 80’s where these perverts gathered in DC – names on that list the Oblates are supposed to have on their home page.

    Remember Dallas, that ex priest thought all gays wanted sex with children. What was the response to the craigslist 15 year old boy who was caught by the police with a priest? Blame the victim.Any question whether there were/are groups of gay priests in Philly that prey on minors? Maybe their meeting place is at St John’s (opinion but child sex offenders are keet together in jail for their protection.) Finally, we are understanding that prostitutes may have been forced into that trade either by force or victims of abuse.

    1. Kathy: I understand that there are these treatment centers, which are a temporary fix to a long time problem. But there are also retirement houses for priests who have reached the age of seventy five and decided to retire. Unfortunately many of these places are full of priests who have accepted a life of prayer and penance because of past indiscretions with children. I know of at least one priest who simply does not want to reside in a house where these ” perverts”, also reside.So he lives in a rectory with a priest friend. The entire way that the Church has handled the sex abuse crisis has caused a great deal of pain and suffering, not just for the victims but for almost every group in the Church.

      1. Yes Jim and I would do the same as the priest you mentioned. I came across an article recently from a few years ago and in the article it mentioned that young people..minors.. had worked at the Villa in Darby had no idea there were sex offenders priest there and when something ‘odd” would happen like someone grabbing at them,they thought the patient was senile. Yep they had kids working there. And then of course the article goes on to say that that has now changed and no minors work there. Seriously can you make this stuff up
        It is a problem indeed what to do with all these abusive priests. My problem with the treatment center is they get shipped in from all over the country..just what we need here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia…right?

          1. It’s ok now ,though Kathy. Bishop Senior reassured us that no teenagers are working there now[like they should have ever been]. And these priests are being monitored. We all know what a good job they have done in the past monitoring priests.

  6. Pick up places for young children are frequented by pedophiles.
    Pedophiles may be straight or gay. Just want to clarify that being homosexual does not make someone a a pedophile any more than being heterosexual does. I don’t think a previous post suggested otherwise but may have been misunderstood the way it was written.
    This is sensitive for me as I have a lot of wonderful gay friends and they have had people assume that gay people are more promiscuous or a danger to their kids Thanks for the opportunity to share this

    1. You are completely on target, suzpt. Thank you for picking up on the point. It’s always worth making.

    2. Thank you for the clarification, sure the gays would have called me out on that in the early 80’s when I was ministering them as a Catholic religious. They were upset about being grouped by so many as being child molesters plus so many other issues. I don’t get into it here and I can’t, but boy friends, husbands and relatives use their marriage and other status including their own children to lure young children – boys and girls.Very upsetting when one finally breaks their silence and both nothing is done and they are ostracized from their family. Sandusky victims could not attend school – the g word just like the girls and the s word

      Actually my point is the attitude that these priests, the bishop and the judge did not look at the young boys as victims so he gave a warning big crap. The inaction of so many while in different cities we were trying to get these priests exposed is disgusting. When I read the same about St John’s I am reminded of how much the language we use is so important.

  7. There is no perfect solution and I see where security issues need attention. Maybe the Archdiocese should relocate Vianney to the grounds of ST CHARLES Seminary, there is plenty of room. While I was recently prepped for the witnesd stand on an unrelated case, I pointef out the difference between pedophilia pre pubescent 10 and under and phebophilia 10 and over is the exclusive adult sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents. I also learned of a severe case, call it a cult, of many ordination classes in the early 70s. One class had over 5 defrocked. Straight outta St. Charles. Also confirmed, many who were removed from ministry to a life of prayer and penance have been moved from Darby to St Joe’s in Flourtown.

    1. Mike why the move and where are they at St Joe’s, an old rectory? I think Avery was in the gang of 5 you reference.

      1. Kathy: in a much earlier thread I pointed out that I once worked with someone who had attended St. Charles. This had to be in the late seventies or early eighties. One night, he got to talking about his experiences at St. Charles. He described what went on as like a Sodom and Gomorah. At night time , seminarians were sexually attacked by priests who were teaching at St. Charles. The scene he described was pure debauchery. He said that this was one reason he left the Seminary.

    2. I once did an analysis on this site of several of the classes of the 70’s at St. Charles. I will have to find it. It was startling. If a “normal” institute of higher learning had such a large number of deviants, they would be shut down, or at least investigated.

      1. Yes Owlfan, I was wondering if there were any follow ups from the Lynn trial where the priest said there had been an attempted gang rape on him at St. Charles seminary.

    3. Mike, I was reading an article about the Lynn trial and a priest saying there was an attempted gang rape on him that occurred in 1973. Google gang rape Saint Charles Seminary and many articles appear. Are the priests you mention involved in the incident?

  8. ALERT: Please see the posting by the leading constitutional expert on SOL legislation, Prof. Marci Hamilton, on the Monday, June 27 legislative hearing where word about possible deceptive moves by the Church and insurance companies are dissected in detail.

    Chaput and his minions have honed PR messages against window legislation that are more spin than anything resembling the facts of the matter. Titled, The Devil is in the Details, read about the possible chicanery here. OK, so it takes learning some details, but it’s worht it.


    Bishops whine about reviving expired time limits, terming them unconstitutional.

    But as Hamilton notes: “In every state to consider revival legislation, the bishops have also trotted out lawyers with little knowledge of constitutional law to argue that a window or revival legislation is “unconstitutional.” Then when the bill passed, they challenged its constitutionality and LOST IN COURT—in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.” (caps added)

    So, how come the Church lost in five states where bishops challenged the constitutionality of window legislation? Somehow that vital detail is omitted in Chaput’s vicious campaign against justice for survivors. BISHOPS LOST EVERY (damn) TIME, but Chaput —with the biased help of Sen. Greenleaf and company — continues his deceptive spin. Yes, I’m angry!

    I hope it is not too late tomorrow to speak very loudly about Chaput and Greenleaf’s ignorance of constituional law. Voters need to make sure Greenleaf et al lose their next elections by significant margins. It’s a long battle for sure; please keep hope alive.

    1. We hold out hope always. But even with Greenleaf now bowing out, the fix is in. From the start of Marsico intrducing HB1947 to SENATE judiciary hearings. It has all been done for show, to get the monkey off the back and allow the circus to stay in town.

  9. I found my original post from February 2014 regarding the Seminary’s “excellent” track record – totally astounding –

    “Look at this 4 year seminary track record and ask yourself – WHAT WERE THEY DOING? Listed by ordination year –

    1970 – Avery, DePaoli, Gana, Gilberti, Taraborelli, McGuire (6)
    1971 – Bransfield, Givey (2)
    1972 – Trauger, Logrip, Paul (3)
    1973 – Bowe, Brugger, F. Gallagher, J. Gallagher, Hoffman, Kornacki, Perzan, Reardon, T. Smith, Steingraber (10)

    21 priests in 4 years. Ask yourself this question – if Temple University, St. Joes, Penn, Villanova, Swarthmore, etc. graduated 21 sex abusers in 4 years – would not a thorough investigation be done?”

    1. Owlfan: One wonders why a federal investigation has never been done on the Catholic Church and its vast production of pedophile priests. My educated guess is that no politician has ever wanted to get into a fight with the Bishops in this country. The Catholic vote is a sizable voting bloc and politicians usually do not want to alienate a large group of people As we have seen here in Pennsylvania, the Church has tremendous power among the political class[neither party is exempt.

  10. My post on Facebook. Please pass the word! Copy and Paste

    Please share! Call Sen. Rafferty ((717) 787-1398 ), as to move HB1947 out of committee AS IS

    Jun 27, 2016 — Hello all, some breaking news – this weekend Sen. Greenleaf recused himself from the HB1947 proceedings, because it came out that his law firm was still on retainer with the Philadelphia Archdiocese. As a result Sen. Rafferty will be taking over the proceedings. Please take a minute to call his office and ask him to move the bill out of committee AS IS. Get an estimated 100 perpetrators identified and save 10,000 PA children from sexual violation

    1. Pray and act, pray and act…it never ceases to amaze me how when we pray to know God’s will and then we follow it how things unfold.

  11. HB 1947 just got amended, sans retroactivity, and passed.

    From Mark Rozzi’s FB Page –

    Senator Scarnati killed the retroactive part of the bill. Definitely the hired hit man for the Catholic Church. Wow he thought it was more important to protect pedophiles and institutions that protect them.
    Call him: 1-717-787-7084 and let him know how you feel. When I say call him, I mean non stop!!!!

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