Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sexual Abuse, Lies, Money and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

When trying to figure out what to write about, it had crossed my mind to expand further on the Rush Limbaugh thing.  I just don’t want to give him my time or energy.  Other than him having a radio show and reaching thousands, he is just another opinion with an asshole.  He deserves no more or no less.  I don’t like him so I don’t listen to him.  The only person who should and can have a beef with him is Sandra Fluke.  He attacked her personally so that is that.  Let them hash it out.  I really have no say in it, other than my little blog.  
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has me pissed off again.  But that is nothing new.  I was sincerely happy to hear that there were many Catholic schools who won their appeals to the Archdiocese and will remain open. (Msgr. Bonner being a family favorite! GO GREEN!)  It is wonderful news for these hard working families who’s fears and concerns for their children’s futures weighed in the balance for the past month.  It is good that their anxieties and worries ended in relief.  At least for now.  
The question that has many of us jaded and suspicious wondering is: Did the Archdiocese pull a fast one on us?  Was this a huge cash pulling cow?  I mean the Archdiocese has some hefty expenses coming up  The many political fights like lobbying for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC or school vouchers).  The continued lobbying AGAINST Statute of Limitation Reform for victims of childhood sexual abuse. (Don’t believe me?  You can read about it here http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/cover-story/138884039.html )  The continued lobbying against CIVIL same sex marriage.   How this affects them or us as Catholics I will never know.  The lobbying for ANY company to deny birth control health care coverage for woman.  Again, this is for anyone, not just Catholics.  And let us not forget the 100s of thousands they are paying the four criminal defense lawyers for Msgr Lynn in the upcoming sex abuse trial.  
By-the-way, if any of you doubt the credibility of the claims against Msgr Lynn, Rev. Brennan, or Edward Avery, please read the 2010 Grand Jury Report. http://www.phila.gov/districtattorney/PDFs/clergyAbuse2-finalReport.pdf  It is disturbing to say the least.  Please be warned that it is not for the faint of heart or anyone who may have been groomed and abused as a child.  

       The fact that has now come forward that further corroborates the Grand Jury’s findings seems almost out of a Dan Brown novel and the plot thickens.  On January 30, 2012, Philadelphia Judge Sarmina declared that Cardinal Anthony Bevilaqua was competent and could be called to testify at the child sex-abuse and endangerment trial of Msgr Lynn.  The next day Cardinal Bevilacqua died.    Within 2 weeks of his death new evidence is produced by the Archdiocese.  A 1994 memo written by Bevilacqua ordered a list that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children be shredded and destroyed.  On this list were Lynn’s fellow defendants names.  Lynn who prepared this evidence in 1994, continued to assign these pedophile priests into and out of unsuspecting parishes.   The affected average in the thousands. This memo stating that the list be shredded along with the list itself, was hidden in a secret lock box by Msgr. James Molloy, former assistant vicar for administration.  Molloy was troubled by the lack of action by Lynn and Bevilacqua and hid this evidence.
Molloy is documented as saying, "I couldn't be sure that I could trust my superiors to do the right thing." 
So, he said, he became diligent about documenting his actions. "I wanted my memos to be there if the archdiocese's decisions were eventually put on the judicial scales.  This way, anyone could come along in the future and say, this was right or this wrong. But they could never say it wasn't all written down."  
Molloy died in 2006 and this lock box was opened and the evidence discovered.  It took the Archdiocese six years to turn over this evidence.  And they did so only in an attempt to get the case against Lynn dropped, siting that Lynn was only doing what he was told to do by a man (Cardinal Bevilacqua)... who is now dead.  
       Incidentally an otherwise healthy 60 year old Molloy was found dead, sitting up in his bed when he was late for 5:15 Mass on March 7, 2006.  This was shortly after he was interviewed and testified for the first Grand Jury report on the Philadelphia Archdiocese.  Here is that despicable report. http://media.philly.com/documents/grand_jury_report.pdf Again, this is a difficult read.   
One thing that I have heard many say in the wake of all this is to the effect of, ‘victims are lining up to get paid.’  There is no truth in this.  There are a lot of victims coming forward but they are coming forward for justice, and to make sure that these monsters can not hurt more children, not for money.  If they seek any money, it is to cover the years of extensive therapy that were and are needed.  They are coming forward to shine a bright light on the predators and co-conspirators who ruined their lives and murdered their souls.  

It pains me that the hierarchy is so deceitful and secretive.  It seems so archaic and medieval!  When you look at how they have mishandled the sexual abuse crisis, even AFTER they were called out on the carpet in 2006 and promised to make changes.  They continue to lie, hide and protect child rapists.  I can not comprehend it.  I know there are good priests out there.  I know they are as disgusted by this as the rest of us are.  If they would just start standing together and fighting the hierarchy they would have so much support.  They can help Catholics take back their Church.  
All of this begs the question:  If they can not stand up and fight for basic decency, if they can not be honest and transparent when dealing with men who rape children, how can we trust them with all this money that was raised for the Catholic Schools?   How can we trust that the millions of dollars that the parishioners raised from their already bruised and battered wallets will actually go to the schools that they were raised for?  How can we trust that the fate of the Catholic schools in Philadelphia was as bad as they stated?  How can we trust anything they say?