Breaking News: PA Grand Jury Report Reveals 1000 Child Victims

Adult men disguised as God force their penises into 1,000 defenseless children – ripping apart their skin, souls and minds. Then, other adult men, also disguised as God and in positions of authority, cover it up. This is in essence what the just-released Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report reveals.

Please God, let this report be a tipping point.

The report investigates clergy child sex abuse and its cover up in six Catholic dioceses has just been released. It covers Allentown; Erie; Greensburg; Harrisburg; Pittsburgh; Scranton. Philadelphia and Altoona were were the subject of earlier Grand Jury Reports.

Despite the horrifying details it revealed, too little has changed since the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report. Our post could be rewritten today. In 2002, Catholics were warned by Boston Globe headlines breaking the epic priest abuse scandal there. But back then everyone thought it was isolated. Now we know better. It’s global and deep.

Child sex abuse can and does happen anywhere. It will flourish where its sheltered by ignorance, denial and self-serving interests. The Catholic Church has become one of its best anywheres.

Some Catholics think the media is unfair. Others don’t know what to do. And then, there are those just counting the minutes until Mass is over.

Be smart. Be Catholic (clericalism-free and Christ-like). Be present. Read the report.

After you’ve thrown up dinner, call your state rep. Demand a civil window for victims whose abuse falls outside the statute of limitations. Delaware and other states got one. Don’t Pennsylvania citizens deserve the same? Information from those cases will shine a light on ALL child predators (not just priests), bring some justice for survivors and protect against present and future child abuse.

If you can’t stomach the report, please read “Catholic Church Covered Up Child Sex Abuse in Pennsylvania for Decades, Grand Jury Says,” by Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times, August 14, 2018

Kathy and I thank the survivors and witnesses who cooperated with The Grand Jury Report at great personal expense. You are heroes and child protectors. 

Catholics4Change supports a one-time, two-year window for survivors who were previously blocked by the civil statute of limitations.

If you agree, contact your state legislator.

 

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300+ PA Priests Implicated in Sex Abuse

The Grand Jury Report that investigated priest sex abuse and its cover up in six Pennsylvania dioceses could be released as early as tomorrow. Many survivors are hopeful the horrific details will provide the tipping point for legal reform.

Click here to read, “They murdered something in me:” Pennsylvania priest sex abuse survivors share stories,” CBS News, August 9, 2018.

St. Martin of Tours Pastor Under Investigation and Placed On Leave

BREAKING NEWS: Father Armand Garcia, pastor of Saint Martin of Tours Parish in Philadelphia, was placed on administrative leave and is the subject of a criminal investigation.

According to a statement shared with the parish community, the Philadelphia police department notified the Archdiocese on Friday, March 16th that they’d received a report regarding Father Garcia’s alleged misconduct with minors. A search warrant for the rectory was issued that same day.

Kenneth Gavin, chief communications officer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, stressed that no charges had been filed against Father Garcia as of Friday, March 23.

Father Garcia is no longer present at the parish (where do priests go while being investigated?) and his status is pending the outcome of the investigation, according to Gavin.

This comes on the heels of trouble for a former auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia…

Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag

Law enforcement would not disclose what they were searching for when police raided Bishop Joseph Cistone’s residence in Saginaw, Michigan on March 22. Perhaps it was his “old kit bag?

Bishop Cistone left the Philadelphia archdiocese for his promotion to bishop in the wake of the 2005 Grand Jury report. Is your blood pressure medicine handy? This Philly.com article, from that year, highlights Cistone’s complicity in covering up clergy abuse.

Seems not much has changed.

Saginaw County prosecutors have said that Cistone and the Diocese haven’t followed through on promises to support investigators looking into sexual abuse allegations against Father Robert DeLand and others there.

 

 

 

 

Photography Lesson: Developing from the Negative

By Anonymous

A few years back, a close family friend asked me to do some modeling. He’d signed up for a photography class at a local college. I was happy to help out and was flattered that someone would want me as a subject.

 We met to go over details. He brought along albums given to him to use as a guide. They were filled with photos of women in dresses. He referred to some of the dresses as nightwear – long, slip-like gowns. He offered to supply the clothes, if I didn’t own what was needed. We also went over how my makeup and hair should look. I would see the proofs prior to his handing in assignments and, after he was graded, the prints and negatives would be given to me.

Our first photo session was at my home. Sit this way. Turn that way. Smile. I’d change into a new outfit and repeat the poses. It was simple but exhausting. After three hours, I hoped this was the only and last session. But he needed more photos for class. The shoots continued on weekends.

He called to say a friend’s newly-painted house would be a great place to take photos. I was more comfortable in my own home and reluctant. He must have sensed my hesitation, because he began offering reasons for me to say yes. “I’ll bring sandwiches.” “Don’t worry I have the clothes and everything set up there.”

Everything went as promised. After eating our lunch, he showed me that the clothing I was to wear was neatly hung in the bedroom closet. We started taking pictures in the basement, then on the steps and ended up in the bedroom. Then, he handed me “nightwear” to put on. But this wasn’t a long slip dress like I’d seen in the albums. It was a green slip that barely reached mid-thigh.

 I felt like a deer in headlights. Robotically, I walked to the bathroom and put it on. With camera in hand, he met me in the bedroom. First, he had me stand by the bed post. Then, he had me pose on the bed. He must have realized he’d pushed me too far and said we’re done for the day. Still in shock, I went home.

Unsure of how to handle what happened and what I was feeling, I made an appointment with a therapist. That sick feeling in my stomach was validated when my therapist explained that the photo sessions were totally inappropriate. There was no photography class with homework like this. Any nagging feelings I’d pushed aside seemed obvious now. How could I have been so naive? I began questioning everything. Who else saw the photos? Why me? Who were those other women?

There’s something else you need to know about my family friend. He is a priest. He was the one I confessed my sins to, the one who married me and baptized my child.
He’d been “grooming” me for several years. This was a carefully calculated plan to build and take advantage of my faith and trust. By treating me to meals, giving me presents and always going beyond the expected, he’d paved the way for my cooperation in his abuse.

He knew exactly how to manipulate me. I’d always been a giver and felt I owed him my help. Wasn’t I obligated? People may read this and question my reactions instead of his actions. But they should know it can happen to anyone – at any age. In writing this, I hope to give a voice to others – especially those other unnamed women in the photo albums.

Note from the editors:

As the #MeToo movement emerges, people are learning that sexual abusers aren’t usually strangers threatening with guns or knives. They are friends, family or bosses who wield psychological weapons with just as much force. If it’s still difficult to understand how the story above could happen to an adult, consider the following:

  1. Many people have a driving desire to help others and meet obligations – even when it’s at one’s own expense. You’ve probably heard the term “people pleasers.” Have you ever pushed down your own discomfort because you didn’t want another person to feel uncomfortable? Have you ever felt guilty saying no to a request?
  2. Do you believe there are people who take advantage of others for their own personal gain or satisfaction. “The Sociopath Next Door,” a New York Times bestseller, reveals that 4% of people are conscienceless sociopaths. Have you watched an otherwise “smart person” fall for manipulation? Can this rise to a criminal level? Yes, of course.

Put one and two together and that equals an opportunity for abuse, at any age and in any situation. What can you do? Demand better laws and support for victims. One victim shared that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia only offers six months of counseling for victims who suffered clerical abuse as adults. Surely, they can and should do more.

Fatal Fallout of Clergy Child Sex Abuse Continues

I’ve been told, “Just let it go. It’s over.” The cover story from the The Philadelphia Inquirer linked below is an example of why Kathy and I won’t let “it” go. The clergy sex abuse scandal continues to claim and destroy the lives of victims and those who love them. “It” continues to put children at risk. Read James Brzyski’s timeline to see how. PA’s current statute of limitation laws allow these men to evade justice and live among us undetected.

We will shut down this site when the Catholic church makes real and lasting corrections, when the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference stops fighting child sex abuse legislative reform and when victims feel fully supported by society. In other words, we hope our nursing homes have good wifi.

Please read: “Stolen Childhoods,” by Maria Panaritis, The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 26, 2017.

We believe the victims. Please let us know how we can help.

 

Unsolved Murder: The Nun Who Knew Too Much

Click here to read: “Buried In Baltimore: The Mysterious Murder of a Nun Who Knew Too Much,” by Laura Bassett, Huffington Post, May 27, 2015

Excerpt:

The case remained cold for two decades. Then, in 1994, two women came forward with bombshell accusations against Maskell that tied him to the young nun’s murder. Identified in court documents at the time only as “Jane Doe” and “Jane Roe,” the women accused Maskell of raping them when they were students at Keough….The women were too afraid of Maskell and his old police friends to use their real names back then. But Maskell died in 2001, and Jane Doe and Jane Roe are finally ready to speak out publicly.

Editor’s Note:

This story has ties to Philadelphia. Father Joseph Maskell’s roommate was Father John Carney. His name is also on the list of accused priests and religious in the Baltimore Archdiocese. Carney had served as hospital chaplain at Misericordia Hospital in Philadelphia from 1982 to 1995. In 1991, he was accused of sexually abusing someone in the early 1970s. He denied the allegation. In 1995, he confirmed that his conduct was inappropriate. At that time, the Archdiocese of Baltimore removed his faculties to perform ministry.

Reporting Abuse to Another Abuser

Click here to read: “Lancaster Co. clergy abuse victim: My report wasn’t passed on,” by Brandie Kessler, York Daily Record, Dec. 9, 2016

Excerpt:

For 25 years, Sharon Tell didn’t know why she got no response after reporting she had been sexually abused by a priest.

As an adult, she told a priest at a Lancaster County church that a priest in the Allentown diocese had abused her for two decades, beginning when she was 12. Although Tell eventually notified the Allentown diocese herself, she said she never heard from anyone in the Harrisburg diocese, which oversees churches in Lancaster County.

Editor’s Note:

The Catholic Church and other institutions fail miserably at self policing. Always report abuse to:

ChidLine 1-800-932-0313;

The Attorney General’s hotline 1-888-538-8541;

Local law enforcement.