More questions for the archdiocese

There has been one name that has remained largely unspoken in the current turmoil roiling the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Not anymore.

The victims advocacy group SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by
Priests) held a press conference outside the archdiocese offices in Center City and produced letters they claim show an eerily similar pattern when it comes the way former Archbishop Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua deal with allegations of abuse by priests.

This time the group says the letters show that while an adviser to the bishop in Brooklyn, N.Y., long before coming to Philadelphia, Bevilacqua helped an accused priest move out of state. That priest then went on to abuse more kids at a parish in New Jersey.

“These documents raise the question of whether this was Bevilacqua’s way of dealing with priests,” said Barbara Blaine, national president of SNAP, during a press conference.

The archdiocese isn’t talking about this latest allegation.

Last week they placed Monsignor William Lynn on administrative leave in the wake of charges of child endangerment filed against him by a grand jury in Philadelphia in connection with his work as secretary of the clergy under Bevilacqua.

Lynn thus becomes one of the highest-ranking church officials to be criminally charged in the sexual abuse problem.

But there’s a part of me that continues to wonder about the policies Lynn was carrying out, and Bevilacqua’s role in developing them.

The grand jury basically alleges Lynn was working to protect priests and the church, not for the victims.

That sounds an awful lot like what SNAP accused Bevilacqua of doing during previous stops.

There is nothing I would like more than for all of this to be resolved and the church to get out of the headlines. I don’t that’s going to happen anytime soon.


Anonymous said…
Church officials can not be trusted that they will ever take full responsibility for their sexual crimes and cover-ups, as long as they can continue get away with it.

The only way this abuse and cover up will ever stop within this systemic secret organization is for all who committed sex crimes against innocent children and for ALL those who enabled and covered up these crimes, to be held accountable.
They need to be prosecuted for their crimes just like any other person, company, organization, corporation, etc.

The catholic hierarchy have gotten away with being above the law for way too long.
Thousands of children did NOT have to get sexually abused within this system.

Last week's "Philadelphia Grand Jury Report" and the arrests of 5 men, plus the Philadelphia Archdiocese being sued (which includes 2 Cardinals and several other church workers for endangering the welfare of children) is a glimmer of hope for victims and for kids.

The church officials can not police themselves, law enforcement need to get involved and investigate the crimes and cover ups in every diocese across the nation.

If anyone has information or has been sexually abused within this diocese, please contact the police or Prosecutor Seth Williams.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests"