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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

Three Franciscan Leaders Face Felony Charges in PA

Click here to read: “Kane: Three clergy leaders enabled predator friar,” by Maria Panaritis, The Philadelphia Inquirer, updated March 15, 2016.

Excerpt:

“These men knew there was a child predator in their organization. Yet they continued to put him in positions where he had countless opportunities to prey upon children,” Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in announcing the charges. “Their silence resulted in immeasurable pain and suffering for so many victims. These men turned a blind eye to the innocent children they were trusted to protect.”

Each of the three is retired and lives out of state but will come to Pennsylvania for court appearances in the coming days, Kane said. They face a maximum of seven years in prison. Their attorneys did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

Editor’s Note:

Does anyone think a maximum of seven years is appropriate for allowing children to be sexually abused?

 

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20160316_Kane_to_announce_charges_involving_religious_order.html#ra03SsH2Es2q3uvJ.99

Chester Co. Priest Removed for Sharing Child Porn

Click here to read –  “DA: Chester Co. Priest Posed As Girl, Shared Child Porn on Instagram,” 6abc.com, Oct. 24, 2014

Excerpt – “A priest from Chester County is behind bars, charged with posing as a young girl on Instagram to send and receive child pornography.

55-year-old Mark Haynes, a priest assigned to Saints Simon and Jude Parish in Westtown Township, is with multiple counts of sexual abuse of children for possessing and disseminating child porn.”

Editor’s Note: This parish already survived a scandal with the removal of Father Joseph Glatts.

Archdiocesan Statement

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has learned that Father Mark Haynes was arrested by Chester County Police. He was charged with two counts of dissemination of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of criminal use of a communications device.

These charges are serious and disturbing. The Archdiocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement regarding this matter and remains fervently committed to preventing child abuse as well as protecting the children and young people entrusted to its care. Child pornography is a scourge that must be eradicated.

There were no prior indications that Father Haynes was involved in activity of this nature. Additionally, no allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have ever been lodged against him.

Father Haynes was immediately placed on administrative leave following his arrest and is no longer residing at Saints Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester, where he was assigned. Priests on administrative leave are not permitted to exercise their public ministry, administer any of the Sacraments, or present themselves publicly as priests.

Biographical Information on Reverend Mark J. Haynes
Father Haynes is 55 years old. He was ordained in 1985. He served at the following parishes, schools and offices: Saint Ann, Phoenixville (1985-1989); Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Doylestown (1989-1991); Chaplain, Archbishop Wood High School, Warminster (1990-1991); Office for Youth and Young Adults (1990-1992); Saint John of the Cross, Roslyn (1991-1994); Office of the Metropolitan Tribunal (1992-2001); Our Lady of Good Counsel, Southampton (1994-2000); personal leave (2000-2001); Saint Pius X, Broomall (2001-2005); Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton (2005-2009); Annunciation, B.V.M., Havertown (2009-2013); personal leave (2013); Saints Simon and Jude, West Chester (2013-2014); arrested and placed on administrative leave (2014).

To Make a Report
If you would like to report a violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries, contact the Archdiocesan Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010. 

If you would like to report an allegation of sexual abuse, contact your local law enforcement agency and/or the Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010. 

We recognize that this public notice may be painful to victims of sexual violence and exploitation. If you need support or assistance, victim services are available to you through the Victim Assistance Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780 or philavac@archphila.org.