Posts Tagged Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Catholic Church priests raped children in Philadelphia, but the wrong people went to jail / Newsweek
“… by doing some old-fashioned detective work, (retired Philadelphia police detective Joe Walsh) came to believe that the altar boy was lying. And that two of the men a judge and jury had sent to jail were innocent.” (Newsweek)
Ask (retired Philadelphia police detective Joe) Walsh about his stellar career, and he’ll tell you he was just doing his job. But there is something he’s especially proud of—in his 35 years on the force, Walsh believes he never locked up an innocent man or woman. Until, that is, his last case, when he was asked to investigate the alleged multiple rapes of a former altar boy a grand jury dubbed ‘Billy Doe’ to protect his identity.
“The testimony of that former altar boy landed three men in jail—two priests and a Catholic schoolteacher—for rape. In addition, for the first time in the nation, the altar boy’s testimony also locked up a top Catholic official in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Monsignor William Lynn was sent to jail not for touching a child, but for endangering the welfare of a child, by failing to stop a known abusive priest from raping a child.
“But Walsh, by doing some old-fashioned detective work, came to believe that the altar boy was lying. And that two of the men a judge and jury had sent to jail were innocent.”
By Ralph Cipriano, Newsweeek — Read more …
Monsignor William Lynn freed from jail
The city’s (Philadelphia) top prosecutor vowed on Tuesday (Aug. 2) to retry a former church official imprisoned for nearly three years over his handling of abuse complaints, even though the monsignor’s conviction has twice been overturned.
“Monsignor William Lynn was the first U.S. Roman Catholic Church official ever charged or convicted of helping to shield child molesters within its ranks.
“A judge on Tuesday agreed to release Lynn from prison days after the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction, concluding the 2012 trial judge allowed too many priest-abuse victims not directly tied to the case to testify. Prosecutors had called the witnesses to show a pattern of behavior at the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
“Lynn was charged with endangering a boy by transferring a suspected predator-priest to his parish in the late 1990s.”
By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story. And this is from Brian Roewe at National Catholic Reporter, “Msgr. Lynn free on bail, Philadelphia DA pledges a retrial.”
I have said it before and I will say it again:
“Accountability and transparency for the crimes of childhood sexual abuse today and in the future absolves no one from the accountability and transparency for the sexual crimes committed against children in the past.
“Deep pockets denied the rights of all those who were sexually abused as children.
“Their right to access justice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was denied them by groups that had much to lose; the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese along with the other Pennsylvania dioceses as well as the insurance industry and several business lobby groups.”
By Sister Maureen Paul Turlish on PennLive.com — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.
“Church accused of using ‘mob boss approach’ to pressure lawmakers who support bill that would give victims of sexual abuse more time to sue abusers.”
The Catholic church in Pennsylvania has been accused of employing ‘mafia-like’ tactics in a campaign to put pressure on individual Catholic lawmakers who support state legislation that would give victims of sexual abuse more time to sue their abusers.
“The lobbying campaign against the legislation is being led by Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput, a staunch conservative who recently created a stir after inadvertently sending an email to a state representative Jamie Santora, in which he accused the lawmaker of ‘betraying’ the church and said Santora would suffer “consequences” for his support of the legislation. The email was also sent to a senior staff member in Chaput’s office, who was apparently the only intended recipient.
“The email has infuriated some Catholic lawmakers, who say they voted their conscience in support of the legislation on behalf of sexual abuse victims. One Republican legislator, Mike Vareb, accused the archbishop of using mafia-style tactics.”
By Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Priests, nuns and canon lawyers who advocate for clergy sex abuse victims urged Pope Francis, on the eve of his U.S. visit, to investigate the child protection records of Cardinal Justin Rigali, the former archbishop of Philadelphia, and Cardinal Raymond Burke, who led dioceses in Wisconsin and Missouri.
“The group, which calls itself the Catholic Whistleblowers, wants an inquiry of Rigali, who was Philadelphia archbishop from 2003 to 2011 and retired amid an uproar over grand jury allegations that he was keeping about three dozen suspected abusers in ministry. His successor, Archbishop Charles Chaput, has removed several priests from church work since he took over.
“The advocates are also calling for an investigation of Burke, who led the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis before leaving for Rome to lead the Vatican’s highest court. The advocates have accused him of insensitive treatment of victims and their families.”
By Michael R. Sisak and Rachel Zoll, Associated Press, on ABCNews.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
A Roman Catholic church official who won an appeal of his landmark conviction in the priest-abuse scandal left state prison on Thursday after 18 months behind bars.
“Monsignor William Lynn left the prison in Waymart in northeastern Pennsylvania, prison spokeswoman Terri Fazio said, and was being taking by the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office to a city jail, where he would be fitted with an electronic monitoring device.
“After that, he’ll be released, probably to the custody of a family member, one of his lawyers said.”
By Associated Press in the Philadelphia Inquirer — Click here to read the rest of the article. See also — “DA Blasts Archdiocese for Helping Lynn Make Bail,” “Monsignor Lynn Case Could Affect Penn State Trial.”
Advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse said Thursday (Dec. 26) that the dismissal of Msgr. William Lynn’s conviction on child-endangerment charges was nothing short of a travesty of justice.
“‘What a disgrace,’ Marita Green, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Voice of the Faithful, a group of activist Catholics, said in a statement. ‘I don’t care whose ‘orders’ Lynn followed, whether [Cardinals] Bevilaqua’s, Krol’s, or even O’Hara’s. It is appalling that the laws in the state of Pennsylvania have been so ineffective that none of these enablers, facilitators, and cover-uppers have gone to jail.'” By Aubrey Whelan, Philadelphia Inquirer
Click here to read the rest of this article.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said he will most likely appeal the Superior Court’s reversal Thursday (Dec. 26) of the conviction of Monsignor William Lynn. ‘I am disappointed and strongly disagree with the court’s decision,’ Williams said in a statement. ‘While we are deciding what our next course of action will be, we most likely will be appealing this decision.'” By Alex Wigglesworth, Philadelphia Inquirer — Click here to read the rest of this article.
Statement from Voice of the Faithful® national office:
BOSTON, Mass., Dec. 16, 2013 – As Christians look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus, recent events underscore again the sad story of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church:
- The Minnesota Diocese of Winona today released the names of 14 priests credibly accused of child abuse. The priests had been known to the diocese for a decade.
- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia yesterday placed Fr. John Paul on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse. The archdiocese had uncovered additional evidence of abuse since last month, when Fr. Paul resigned after police had investigated him for allegedly abusing minors when he was a seminarian.
- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia also permanently removed five priests from ministry yesterday who had been among 26 priests suspended following the February 2011 grand jury report of its investigation into clergy sexual abuse.
- Archbishop John Nienstedt of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., apologized yesterday for failing to respond promptly to allegations of clergy sexual abuse in his archdiocese, saying in part that he was told seven years ago this whole issue of clerical sex abuse had been “taken care of.”
Like Archbishop Nienstedt, many believe that clergy sex abuse is “in the past.” Vigilance should never be slackened where children are concerned. Nor should bishops and parishioners assume that revelations today all refer to past offenses. They do not. Checks against the actions of pedophiles and ongoing priority for child protection remain essential in the Church as elsewhere.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia put into words the anxiety many right-wing Catholics must be feeling at the extraordinary popularity Pope Francis has been enjoying. In an interview with John L. Allen Jr., Chaput, speaking on behalf of his conservative followers, said that members of the right wing of the Catholic church ‘generally have not been really happy about his election.’ The pope, Chaput stated, will ‘have to care for them, too.'” Commentary by Charles Reid in National Catholic Reporter