A message from SNAPDFW’s facilitator, Lisa Kendzior
Acknowledge your courage
It takes courage to acknowledge that we’ve been abused and it is not easy to even admit it to ourselves. Just browsing this website is a big step.
Know that you are not alone!
If you’ve been victimized by clergy, please know that you are not alone. You can get better. You can reach out to others who’ve been hurt just like you have.
Together, we can heal one another.
After nearly 30 years of fighting for the names to be released, advocates finally convinced Ramsey County Judge John Van De North to order the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to reveal the name of the alleged abusers, according to WCCO.
"The era of secrecy around the identities of those offenders is now drawing to and nearing an end. Survivors who suffered alone in silence, thinking they are the only ones abused now know they may not be alone" -- Survivor's advocate, attorney Jeff Anderson
Yesterday the diocese released 30 of the names of the priests accused, including details of their service in various locations.
Here they are. A grateful nod to the Minnesota survivors:
Read: "List of priests with credible claims against them of sexual abuse of a minor" in the 5 Dec issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune …
Read the Reuters report "Minnesota Archdiocese Reveals Names Of 30 Priests Accused Of Abusing Minors" in the 5 Dec issue of the Huffington Post …
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/0 ... 93192.html
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At the same time the 10 square block "nation" ceremoniously announced a new internal Vatican panel to investigate sexual abuse by its priests -- the findings of which it also intends to keep secret unless results benefit its public relations efforts, which is virtually impossible.
Read: ABC and Reuters report Vatican refuses to share sex abuse allegations with UN panel, here:
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filip ... s-un-panel
Read: List of questions from UN Committee on the Rights of the Child here.
http://ccrjustice.org/files/Holy%20See_ ... es_CRC.pdf
Read: Vatican’s response:
http://ccrjustice.org/files/Holy%20See_ ... es_CRC.pdf
Read: SNAP-CCR report here:
http://www.ccrjustice.org/files/SNAP%20 ... %20CRC.pdf
Read: "Survivors group claim Pope's child sex committee 'toothless'" in 5 Dec issue of eNCA …
http://www.enca.com/world/survivors-gro ... -toothless
Read: "Vatican says not legally competent over abuses" in 5 Dec issue of NewStraitsTimes …
http://www.nst.com.my/latest/vatican-sa ... s-1.421985
Read: "Vatican- Pope disappoints victims and Catholics with new panel" on 5 Dec SNAP National posting …
http://www.snapnetwork.org/vatican_pope ... _new_panel
Read: "More Vatican talk on abuse; SNAP responds" on the 5 Dec posting on Snap National website …
http://www.snapnetwork.org/more_vatican ... p_responds
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"In its vague and delayed response to the committee, the Vatican has once again refused to accept responsibility for the policies and practices that allow, even facilitate and encourage, the proliferation of rape and sexual violence against children in the Catholic Church. "
"The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child put a wide-ranging questionnaire to the Holy See - the city state's diplomatic entity - last July, asking for detailed information about the particulars of all sexual abuse cases notified to the Vatican since 1995.
The questions included whether priests, nuns and monks guilty of sexual crime were allowed to remain in contact with children, what legal action had been taken against them, whether the Church required clergy to report abuse to secular authorities and whether complainants were silenced.
In its response, the Holy See insisted that it was "separate and distinct" from the Roman Catholic Church, and that it was not its practice to disclose information about the religious discipline of clergy unless specifically requested to by the authorities in the country where they were serving." --- BBC News
Read: "Vatican Snubs U..N. Probe On Sex Abuse Cases" in the 4 Dec issue of Time Magazine… http://world.time.com/2013/12/04/vatica ... use-cases/
Read: "Vatican rebuffs United Nations sex abuse inquiries" in BBC News …
Read: "Vatican refuses to give UN panel full details of clerical sex abuse cases" in the 4 Dec issue of The Guardian …
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/d ... buse-cases
Read full set of references and links: Read More...
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Society in general, and state laws in particular, have long understood that it is a serious violation and always hurtful when a doctor has intimacies or sexual relations of any kind with a patient, or a psychologist sexually abuses a client. Gradually, more people are finally understanding that the same holds true of a cleric and his or her congregant.
'St. Paul priest's criminal-sex conviction upheld in high court' in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press ...
'Catholic priest loses at MN Supreme Court; SNAP responds' on the SNAP national website...
'Resources for Survivors of Abuse Who Were Victimized as Adults' on the SNAPDFW website...
'Psychological Effects of Abuse - Why It Is Not an Affair' on the SNAP national website ...
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"The dichotomy between the Church’s stated goals and values and its operational methods and practices produces and encourages clerical hypocrisy.
Sociopaths (psychopaths) are not men who fail to know right from wrong; they are men who know what is right, but don’t care (Cima, Tonnaer & Hauser, 2010).
The advertised altruistic agenda of clerical life makes it an exquisite cover for sociopaths and men vulnerable to narcissism.
Work with clerical abusers reveals a profusion of “altruism in the service of narcissism.” Every clinician who has treated large numbers of priest abusers gives witness to the conclusion that narcissism is a significant personality component of priest predators.
More broadly, clerical culture produces in many men an acquired situational narcissism, characterized by a sense of entitlement, superiority, lack of empathy, impaired moral judgment and self-centeredness. Identification with and incorporation into a powerful and godly institution can confer a sense of grandiosity and moral justification for one’s personal behavior. These qualities favor a man’s promotion within the clerical system."
From: Mother Church and the Rape of Her Children
"The clerical culture favors sociopaths."
From: Catholic Seminaries: The Inside Story
"Roman Catholic Clerical Culture by the operation of its structure and authority absolves a bishop or priest from guilt and personal responsibility—avoidance of scandal and the preservation of image, not truth are preeminent. This is one manifestation of clergy psychosexual immaturity.
Also the clerical culture fosters a sense of superiority and entitlement. This is based on the idea and teaching that an ordained priest is ontologically transformed to a higher level of existence than the ordinary human ... He is next to God and "above the angels." ...These cultural elements are also generally conducive to the development of sociopathic personalities."
Celibacy -- Sex and Research
A.W. RICHARD SIPE is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor who earlier spent 18 years as a Benedictine monk and priest. He was trained specifically to deal with the mental health problems of Roman Catholic Priests. In the process of training and therapy, he conducted a 25-year ethnographic study of the celibate/sexual behavior of that population. His study, published in 1990, is now considered a classic. Sipe is known internationally and has participated in 12 documentaries on celibacy and priest sexual abuse aired by HBO, BBC, and other networks in the United States, United Kingdom, and France. He has been widely interviewed by media including CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, People magazine, Newsweek and USA Today. Sipe lives with his wife in La Jolla, CA.
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BishopAccountability.org provides a valuable service by providing facts about clergy sex abuse. They do this without being partisan and without skewing information. They are archivists of information, not any sort of propaganda organization. It is one thing for Vatican officials to turn a blind eye to these facts, as they have done for years, but it is quite another to attempt to prevent others from seeing them as well, particularly by lying about its content.
The very name of this organization (BISHOPS ACCOUNTABILITY) shows exactly what church officials are afraid of; being held accountable for their decades of inaction on clergy sex abuse. Today, they finally took action, but once again, it was the wrong one. By refusing to allow themselves to be held accountable, they prove ever more how it is true that it is people, not polices that are the problem.
This is a cowardly move, and it should be known as such. We applaud BishopAccountability.org in their work, and the fact that they are trying to be silenced today proves just how much of an impact they have made, and despite this setback, will continue to make.
(Note: The report says It is still possible to access the website from non-Vatican controlled servers. Only Vatican servers are blocking the site).
Read 'Access to clergy sex abuse site limited at Vatican' in the National Catholic Reporter ...
Read 'ITALY - Victims praise abuse archive; question Vatican censorship' on the SNAP national website
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O'Brien previously denied the allegations through his spokesman. On Saturday, he released a statement acknowledging the abuse and asking forgiveness.
As a Roman Catholic cardinal, appointed by Benedict XVI, O'Brien was entitled to take part in the secret vote to determine the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church
However, he recused himself from the conclave following news reports of allegations of abusive and unwanted sexual contact with three priests and one former priest. The incidents are reported to have occurred over the past 30 years.
Read the full account in 'Scottish cardinal admits improper sexual conduct' on the National Catholic Reporter website ...
Read 'Don't call it an affair. Call it what it is - the illegal and dehumanizing abuse of professional religious power ' here on the SNAPDFW website ...
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Like all UN member states signing the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Vatican is required by international law to submit regular reports on its efforts to safeguard child rights, well-being and dignity.
But the Vatican has ignored these repeated UN requests to file their report for over 15 years.
The UN committee has summoned the Vatican to answer questions about its record of ensuring children are protected from sexual violence. This is the first time the Holy See will have been called to account for its actions on these issues before an international body with authority. The first meeting will take place in Geneva in June.
SNAP FILES ALTERNATE REPORT
On 28 February 2013 the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed an alternate report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child documenting the ongoing worldwide sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.
“When the Committee on the Rights of the Child meets in June and demands answers from the Vatican on its handling of the epidemic of sexual violence in the church, it will be a historic day for survivors. The church has put itself and its reputation above the welfare of children at every step, in many cases knowingly moving a pedophile priest from one congregation to the next to keep things quiet, allowing the priest to continue to operate and have contact with children. This UN body has authority to determine whether the Holy See has violated the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It’s a long overdue calling to account.” -- Pam Spees, Senior Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
According to the UNICEF website Unite for Children, filing the report is a legally binding, international responsibility:
""The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too." Unite for Children, UNICEF
- NSAC Editorial: Yet Another Deadline Passes, Still No Report
- Vatican 13 years delinquent in submitting legally required UN report on 'Rights of the Child'
- SNAP petitions international court to investigate the pope and top Vatican officials for possible crimes against humanity
- Amnesty International human rights report lists Vatican for failure to protect children
- Vatican 2010 priorities: protect assets; ignore 'Rights of the Child'
- Moral bankruptcy of Roman hierarchy read into record of United Nations Human Rights Council
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So writes one of only two (the other being Benedict XVI) still living Vatican II Roman Catholic theologians, Hans Küng.
Writing in the New York Times this week, Küng speculates on the future of the Roman church. He also reflects on the broken papacy of his one time colleague, Joseph Ratzinger:
"The major scandals during his papacy are known: there was Benedict’s recognition of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s arch-conservative Society of St. Pius X, which is bitterly opposed to the Second Vatican Council, as well as of a Holocaust denier, Bishop Richard Williamson.
There was the widespread sexual abuse of children and youths by clergymen, which the pope was largely responsible for covering up when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. And there was the “Vatileaks” affair, which revealed a horrendous amount of intrigue, power struggles, corruption and sexual lapses in the Curia, and which seems to be a main reason Benedict has decided to resign."
If the next conclave were to elect a pope who goes down the same old road, the church will never experience a new spring, but fall into a new ice age and run the danger of shrinking into an increasingly irrelevant sect.-- Vatican II theologian Hans Küng in the New York Times
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When persons in positions of power — counselors, pastors, physicians — attempt to engage in sexual relationships with those over whom they have authority, the relationship is not consensual ... the act is legally defined as abuse because of the authority the professional holds.
-- Diana Garland, Dean of Baylor University School of Social Work
SNAPDFW not only supports and advocates for survivors of clergy abuse occurring in childhood, but for adults abused by clergy as well.
In an article published in the Waco, Texas Tribune on January 24, 2010, guest columnist Diana Garland, Dean of Baylor University School of Social Work, addresses the highly misunderstood issue of abuse perpetrated upon adults who trust in the care of their clergy.
"Clergy sexual misconduct with adults is a more nuanced issue than the sexual abuse of children. Sexual involvement of an adult with a child is always wrong because we know that children are not developmentally able to give consent. Because adults always have authority over children, children cannot “just say no” to adults.
When the sexual offense occurs between adults, however, we assume that if there is no physical coercion, the relationship is consensual. In fact, however, when persons in positions of power — counselors, pastors, physicians — attempt to engage in sexual relationships with those over whom they have authority, the relationship is not consensual. The feelings or willingness of the victim are irrelevant; the act is legally defined as abuse because of the authority the professional holds."
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According to a report by an independent council of Zen teachers assembled to hear the stories of those affected, these sexual encounters were often initiated "in the formal setting, privacy, and 'face-to-face' encounters of the sanzen room."
I have decided to come forward now because to allow this kind of abuse to go unacknowledged, when so many of us know it has been happening is, in my opinion, inexcusable. I will not be silent any more. -- Eshu Martin, former Zen Student of Sasaki
Sanzen is a ritualized private meeting between a Zen student and Zen teacher. Their report also stated that there were reports of coercion and that Sasaki would at times frame the sexual contact as being a form of Zen teaching, or otherwise beneficial to the student.
SNAP PROVIDES INDEPENDENT SUPPORT CONTACT FOR SURVIVORS OF ZEN ABUSE
Barbara Dorris of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) has graciously offered to serve as an independent contact person for women who experienced the behavior of Joshu Sasaki currently under discussion.
An item on the Sweeping Zen website says, "Barbara (Dorris of SNAP) has been dealing with people who have been involved with clergy for many many years and is completely trustworthy. She also is not a Buddhist cleric or affiliated with any Buddhist institution that might have vested interest in whatever reports might be received."
Barbara can be reached at: (314) 862-7688.
Read the Sweeping Zen Article 'Everybody Knows' by former Sasaki student Eshu Martin
Read the report by independent council of Zen Teachers
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“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. "The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children."- Jose Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, January 31, 2013
After 5 years of legal stonewalling, engineered by the then Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahoney and designed to prevent public release of documents incriminating the diocese, the Roman church, and Mahoney himself in the cover up of years of power and sexual abuse by priests, the diocese was finally ordered by the court to release the 12,000 pages of files.
The long secret files and other priest personnel records showed how Mahoney worked with top aides to protect the Roman Catholic Church from accepting responsibility in the abuse crisis.
"I find these files to be brutal and painful reading," said Jose Gomez, Mahoney's successor appointed to rule over the enormous California archdiocese by the Roman pontiff.
Gomez said Mahony, now retired, would no longer have administrative or public duties in the diocese. The unprecedented move by Gomez came less than two weeks after the long-awaited court order.
The timing of Gomez's action is suspect, suggests Terence McKiernan, president of Bishops Accountability.
"Gómez has had these documents for months and known about Mahony's wrongdoing long before now. And yet Mahony has continued to be an honored prelate and prince of the church. The difference is that now the people have access to evidence of Mahony's misdeeds. Sadly, we see the church acting ethically in these matters only when its actions become known,"- Terence McKeirnan, president Bishops Accountability
Furthermore, it remained unclear early Friday exactly what it means to limit Mahony's duties. He has not been removed from ministry -- the Church's now required policy for abusers.
And an archdiocese spokesman, Tod Tamberg, told the Los Angeles Times that Mahoney will remain a "priest in good standing."
"The church files are filled with outrage, pain and confusion. There are handwritten notes from distraught mothers, accounts of furious phone calls from brothers and perplexed inquiries from the police following up on allegations of priests sexually abusing children."- NYTimes, February 1, 2013
Read 'Diocese Papers in Los Angeles Detail Decades of Abuse' in the NYTimes, Feb 1, 2013
Read 'Priest files reveal disturbing stories of child molestation, coverup' in the Los Angeles Times
Read 'Leading U.S. cardinal punished for role in abuse scandal' in USA Today February 1, 2013
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Her story talks about a church here in Dallas, Prestonwood Baptist Church. She has paid a high price for speaking out, but she is one of the few who “walks the walk” and we are proud to call her friend. Amy is an unrelenting fighter and someone you want on your side.
This is my story
This is my story of how I came to be an advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse and the personal price I would pay as a result. But I would do it again.
I loved my church, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas. I spent my years in high school as a dedicated member of the youth ministry, and while attending Baylor University, I spent my summers as an intern on the youth staff at Prestonwood. It was there I met my then youth music minister, John Langworthy. John soon became a close friend of our family, even living in our home for a while in the mid 1980s while on staff at Prestonwood and attending seminary. I was in his wedding in Mississippi. He was a friend and mentor.
Read the full story ...
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Hundreds of Roman Catholic priests have been credibly accused or convicted of sexual abuse of thousands of both children and adults in recent years. Yet only 2 Roman hierarchs have been convicted of abetting this horror, and only one of those has been sentenced to prison.
The only top ranking Roman official to be convicted of leaving a pedophile priest on the job, the bishop of St. Louis, was given a walk – a suspended sentence, no jail time, and he will walk away with no criminal record.
- Read the story in The Guardian …
- Read the NYTimes editorial …
- Read SNAP’s ignored letter to the pope …
- Read the facts agreed to by both sides …
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A well-known Catholic priest who hosts a weekly religious television show said in an interview this week that child sex abusers are often seduced by teenage boys and should not go to jail on a first offense.
The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, 79, who hosts a weekly show on Catholic television network EWTN, made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register. He also referred to convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky as a "poor guy."
"People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to - a psychopath. But that's not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him.
"(In) a lot of the cases, the youngster ... is the seducer," Groeschel is quoted as saying in the interview, which is no longer available on the paper's website.
The interview, billed as a reflection on the 25 years since Groeschel founded the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal order, covered many topics, but has gained attention for Groeschel's comments on child sex abuse.
Read this unconscionable story at ABC news ...
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View the discussion on the Huff Post website ...
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Since 1984, when he became involved with the issue of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy while serving at the Embassy, he has become an expert in the canonical and pastoral dimensions of this problem—working directly with victims, their families, accused priests, bishops, and other high-ranking Church officials.
In this lively interview by Allison Hope Weiner on the Media Mayhem website, Doyle pulls no punches in discussing the continued gravity of the Roman Catholic priest sexual abuse crisis, poses such provocative questions as why is it that Penn State would take down those who covered up the hideous crimes of a revered football coach, while the Roman Catholic hierarchy continues legalistically defending itself and its established vested interests from any and all accusations of wrong doing?
Watch this insightful and provocative discussion by one of the world's leading experts in the clergy abuse crisis.
Watch this video, and see many others, on the Media Mayhem pages on thelip.tv website ...
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Senior Penn State administration leaders, including the President and the head football coach, had “repeatedly concealed facts,” from authorities about the crimes of convicted child rapist, coach Jerry Sandusky. One of the main reasons given was ‘reverence for football.’
So said Louis J. Freech, the former FBI director commissioned by the university to investigate how the convicted pedophile could have gone on raping vulnerable children in his charge for so long.
In a televised news conference in Philadelphia, Freeh said that the most powerful leaders in the university and the program in which Sandusky worked had “repeatedly concealed facts” for years about the sexual nature of accusations against Sandusky and kept them concealed.
Parallels between the university and the Roman Catholic Church, or any religious denomination whose leadership conceals sexual abuse by its people “to protect its corporate brand, image, and market value.” should be obvious.
But as long as its leadership has a reputation for showing a “total and consistent disregard” for the welfare of children, the university will continue to face fallout, saida crisis-communications expert.
But as long as university leadership has a reputation for showing a “total and consistent disregard” for the welfare of children, the university will continue to face fallout, said a crisis-communications expert at TVP Communications.
Church, synagogue, mosque, sangha and other institutional religion cultures would do well to take this report to heart. Will they?
Read ‘Penn State’s Culture of Reverence Led to 'Total Disregard’ for Children’s Safety' in The Chronicle of Higher Education of 12 July 2012.
A Friday editorial in The New York Times says the Freeh Report “shows how slavish devotion to some institutional imperative can trump everything, including the law, basic human decency and the bedrock obligation we all have to protect defenseless children from harm.”
Read the full Freeh report on the NY Times website …
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In 1973, Americans trusted organized religion highest among American institutions – higher than the military or even the Supreme Court. But not today.
Only 44 percent of Americans today have a lot of confidence in organized religion, compared to 66 percent in 1973 when organized religion or church was the highest rated institution in Gallup’s “confidence in institutions measure.”
Religion, once seen to ‘witness’ excellence and the most revered examples of human moral fiber, is now increasingly seen to witness nothing short of moral bankruptcy.
- The hideous parade of pedophile priests through the courtrooms and prisons of the world, testifies to the church’s moral bankruptcy.
- The vicious and self-righteous cover-ups and counterattacks by bishops on victims who are seeking peace for their brutally disrupted lives testifies to the church's moral bankruptcy.
- The cowardly sheltering under 'diplomatic immunity' in the Vatican of America’s most notorious pedophile-protecting bishop, Bernard Law, testifies to the church’s moral bankruptcy.
- The spectacle of the Catholic church’s oligarchical elite, the Roman pope and his all-male administration, feigning remorse for scapegoated individuals, but claiming eternal innocence for its own corporate self, testifies to the church’s moral bankruptcy.
- The 15 consecutive years of ignoring the United Nations Committee on Rights of the Child for a report on how it deals with child abuse, but the immediate executive order to respond to the world banking community which had frozen millions in Vatican funds during a money laundering investigation testifies to the church’s moral bankruptcy.
- And today, the evidence that trust in church has plummeted to an all time low in the American psyche testifies to the church’s moral bankruptcy.
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"a devastating verdict against the Catholic Church," an editorial in the Dallas Morning News says that the case "involved sex abuse of minors by (a man} whose horrific crimes, to a great degree, were facilitated by an institutional failure to protect vulnerable children."
The case in Philadelphia "represents the first time that a senior official of the Catholic Church was held responsible for the abuse carried out by priests under his supervision."
"... Lynn was like many church administrators in that he knew the histories of abusive priests and yet did nothing to prevent them from preying on children."
"The significance of the verdict in Philadelphia, however, does not end with Lynn’s conviction. Evidence produced in the case offers indisputable proof that Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, an ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church and the head of the Philadelphia Archdiocese from 1988 to 2003, was equally guilty of endangering children. ..."
The significance of this cannot be overstated, says the News.
"While Lynn was the only church administrator on trial, the evidence on which he was convicted left no doubt that the hierarchy, beginning with Bevilacqua, was greatly to blame for what happened.
"Lynn’s conviction sent a clear message: Church administrators now know they will be held accountable for their actions. Bevilacqua himself may have been spared the ultimate judgment, but his legacy as an American prelate is forever tainted by his monumental failure."-- Editorial, Dallas Morning News 27 June 2012
Read the full editorial in the Dallas Morning News ...
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"Lynn was a smart, able manager who at any time could have called the police, warned parishes, or threatened to blow the whistle," McKiernan said. "He was not a helpless good guy. The only helpless people in this ongoing catastrophe were the children, the many hundreds of boys and girls who were sodomized and terrorized by the men Lynn managed."
Terence McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability.org.
Read the story in ABC News ...
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