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Child sexual abuse. Cover-up.  The Catholic Church.  Penn State.  Families.  How many times are we going to look the other way while the most innocent among us are hurt?

Memos unearthed from long-secret archives show the complaints were not just under lock and key — but guarded by locks, keys, alarms, safes and computer security programs.

One 1994 list shown to jurors Wednesday lists three diagnosed pedophile priests and 13 more deemed "guilty" of abuse, often because they had admitted it. Yet most remained active priests until the "zero tolerance" policy adopted by U.S. bishops in 2002. And some remained priests years later.

These are men of the cloth who, when faced with the most heinous of crimes against children, decided not to protect the innocents, but to instead hide evidence and place more children at risk.  Locked up, alarmed, password protected - names of 35 priests who would abuse again.  The church was more concerned with protecting  the confessed pedophiles and the reputation of the Catholic Church than they were about protecting the lives of innocent little children.  

Oh, and in their notes were there any concern for the innocent lives?  No -

Other documents recovered from locked safes at the archdiocese contain handwritten notes about how to handle the mounting public relations crisis.
Perhaps they'll loan these to Penn State - to help deal with their PR crisis.

They did try to permanently cover their tracks

Bevilacqua ordered a top aide to shred Lynn's 1994 list of 35 problem priests, although a copy surfaced at the archdiocese this year, days after Bevilacqua died.
Perhaps someone in the archdiocese had a conscience...

Link to Story

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Originally posted to House of LIGHTS on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets and TreeClimbers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was not abused, except mentally by the (16+ / 0-)

    Penguins and white collar criminals, in my yute. But I did hate how they attacked the minds of the innocents.

    Then, as a lawyer, I was assigned some cases for an excess carrier for chicago's archdiocese, and then everything fell into place. This was nothing more than a criminal organization, intent on one thing - self preservation.

    They lie. They cheat. They hide evidence. They transfer witnesses out of state and country. They destroy documents.

    And, they claim the moral high ground.

    Fuck them. WIth a rusty screwdriver sideways.  I would be willing to listen to a believer, explaining to me why they think this organization offers something of value to society, other than fear, hate, ignorance, and self-doubt. I would listen, seriously. Bt I doubt that if that person looks deeply into the vatican's history, that they could believe what they parrot.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:31:51 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the blog. These men, and they are all (14+ / 0-)

    men need to be jailed.  The Bishop MUST be jailed not sent to spend the rest of his life at the ostentatiously fabulous Vatican, like Cardinal Law.  They covered up crimes.  They harmed children.

    I don't see how people can remain in the pews.  Your duty is to your children and yourself.  Why would you take your children anywhere near the Catholic Church in the Philadelphia archdiocese or anywhere else in America?  There is a cancer in the catholic church and it must be cut out.  the Catholic church is not the only way to GOD.

    As a former catholic who went to mass daily for most of my 69 years - i had enough and left 5 years ago.  i never looked back.  it seems every time i went to Mass I got angry about the abuse situation and right wing sermons and had to leave.

    You need to save yourself and your soul.

    •  we already know what happens when a Bishop (11+ / 0-)

      is threatened with prosecution. He is called to Rome where he remains for the rest of his life, immune from prosecution since the Vatican is a sovereign country and would not honor extradition requests.

    •  Where have you gone since leaving? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, wilderness voice, Bronx59

      The reason I ask is my parents, both 71. Over our lives they were very active and generous in our parishes, in raising money for our schools (K through college), their own alma maters (also Catholic institutions) , and in supporting a couple of the religious orders of nuns and priests.

      Neither my brother or myself identify as Catholic anymore, and my parents are sickened by this whole scandal... but kind of don't know what to do with themselves, where to go. Catholicism literally has been woven from birth, friendships, family and institutions into the fabric of their lives. They no longer give any money to the institutions of the catholic Church, but, not to put too fine a point on it, what do we do about their end of life plans?

      I found my path in the Friends. My brother is happily enjoying the Church of Sleep Late, Make a Huge Breakfast and Wear Pajamas All Morning. My parents need a  faith experience that's closer to what they are used to than the paths of their children.

      “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” ― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

      by Cinnamon on Thu May 17, 2012 at 08:00:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cinnamon - there are many paths. Fortunately my (0+ / 0-)

        husband became a united methodist pastor. When I married him he was an officer in the military and I worked on the military post.  After years in business he went into the ministry.  He was raised methodist.  i went to daily mass and sunday mass and then to his church.  He is considered the most liberal pastor in South Georgia.  He was a methodist pastor for 20 years and then retired.

        Presently he is the minister at NE Baptist Church here in Atlanta.  It is not southern baptist but cooperative and independent.

        A quick story.  My husband went with me to Medjugorje in 1988 and the message from the Blessed Mother allowed me to let him go into ministry.  I was a very strict catholic.  At Medjugorje the visionaries (children) asked the Blessed Mother to give them a model here on earth.  She gave them the name of a girl in their town.  the vistionaries complained that she was MUSLIN.  The Virgin Mary said:  "If you live the way she lives, you have a perfect example here in your city.  God did not divide has.  you all worship the same god."

        I still say all my daily prayers, rosary, etc.  I just don't go to the catholic church.

        I hope this helps your parents.

  •  Catholicism is a culture as well as a religion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, Bronx59

    That's why a lot of people are still staying.

    My best friend of 30 years still has her 3 kids in catholic school - her oldest attends our private catholic alma mater for HS, the two boys are still at the parish gradeschool.. which just found out that 2 other gradeschools are being folded into it, the classes are going to be crammed to overflowing, and their tuition rates are actually GOING UP for having to deal with this.

    She is horrified and sickened at the way these scandals have played out - the lies, the abuse itself, the coverup. She is completely disgusted at how the "news" of the church's position is fed to them... the school closings are due to enrollment being low, which is due to..... (ready for this? drumroll) ...fewer children being born from the EVIL BIRTH CONTROL! (NO mention of the droves who have left over the scandals and how the church has been exposed for it's true nature). When I asked her about how they were staying in, it's mostly because this is the faith they know, this is the familiar, and she sees the priests and the scandals as "removed" from her or her family.... her parish is down the street, the scandals are "at other places, not ours". She knows that the parish debt as they euphamistically term it is the money that the diocese is taking from the parishes to pay the debts of the previous settlements -- not a penny has come from Rome, the flow of money goes only one way there. The diocese has been sucking the neighborhood parishes, the schools, and the common faithful dry to cover the costs of previous lawsuits.

    She completely understands why I've left, but for her, her faith needs that framework, that familiar ritual and practice. She wants it to be like it was before these scandals happened, she wants them to not have happened at all.

    The other thing is, and this has been my own personal experience, in a Philadelphia parish.... they are "cooking the books" and reporting to  have more members than they actually have these days. I left my last parish more than 5 years ago, made sure that I informed the Parish office, even wrote a polite letter to Father Mike, explaining my decision was not made lightly or as a knee-jerk reaction, but that I had grown to it over years of prayer, soul-searching, and introspection. Lo and behold, a year or so ago I started getting this new Phaith magazine "because I was a registered Catholic" -- took multiple calls and e-mails and they've promised to remove me from their subscription list several times, the most recent of which was 2 weeks ago. Sigh.

    “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” ― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

    by Cinnamon on Thu May 17, 2012 at 08:28:06 AM PDT

    •  I would say that it is mostly a culture (0+ / 0-) Catholicism is practiced at the parish level in the U.S.  

      The number of people I met who practiced the religion outside of going to church on Sunday was pretty small.

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