Saturday, June 23, 2012

Father Brennan Walks Out "In The Sunshine;" Msgr. Lynn Taken Into Custody

Moments after he had been convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, Msgr. William J. Lynn bowed his head at the defense table. The issue now was whether his bail would be revoked, and the speaker was Lynn's longtime antagonist, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington.

The monsignor had just been convicted of a third-degree felony that "calls for a lengthy jail sentence," Blessington roared. "Let's start it today. That's justice."

The monsignor had his back to courtroom spectators, but everybody could see the back of his neck and his ears turning bright red.

Moments later, family members wept silently as the monsignor was led away by sheriff's deputies. "Oh God," one young woman sobbed. His shame was now complete. Lynn would spend the night as the newest inmate at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, known as CFCF, at 7901 State Road in Northeast Philadelphia.

Outside the Criminal Justice Center, Father James J. Brennan walked out into the mid-afternoon heat and was immediately surrounded by reporters and TV cameras.

"I'm very tired, I'm very grateful, I'm very blessed," the priest said as he thanked his lawyers, William J. Brennan and Richard J. Fuschino, Jr., who basically represented the priest pro bono. 

"I think we're a little punchy," said attorney William J. Brennan. "We're just happy to to be out here in the sunshine with Father Brennan, and to be going home."

Instead of jail.

It was a vivid contrast between defendants Friday as the 13th week of the trial came to an end on the 13th day of jury deliberations. Those double 13s turned out to be lucky for Father Brennan and very unlucky for Msgr. Lynn.

Lynn now wears the mantle as the only Catholic administrator in the country to be found criminally liable for sex crimes against minors committed by priests, without touching anyone himself.

At 2 p.m. in Courtroom 304, the foreman in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case stood up to announce the verdict. Isa Logan is a statuesque 6-foot-6 church deacon, Army veteran and former high school basketball player in dreadlocks. He announced that the jury was hung on both charges against Father Brennan, that of attempted rape and endangering the welfare of children. It was a case that had credibility problems from the start, as pointed out on this blog.

The jury found Msgr. Lynn not guilty of conspiring with Father Edward V. Avery, or anyone else, to endanger the welfare of children, specifically a 10-year-old altar boy sexually assaulted by Avery, who had previously been accused of sex abuse. But the jury found the monsignor guilty of endangering the welfare of that same 10-year-old altar boy by allowing Avery to continue in ministry. 

The jury had asked the judge whether Msgr. Lynn had to knowingly act with criminal intent to be found guilty on the conspiracy charge. It was a question that not only confused jurors, but also the judge. On the night of June 14, Judge M. Teresa Sarmina instructed the jury that Msgr. Lynn did not have to act with criminal intent. The next morning, June 15, the judge reversed herself, saying that the monsignor did have to act with criminal intent in order to be found guilty on the conspiracy charge.

When he testified, Msgr. Lynn told the jury that this was the first time a priest under his supervision had  abused a child, and that he was sorry for what happened to the 10-year-old altar boy.

The jury also found Msgr. Lynn not guilty of endangering the welfare of the 14-year-old who was allegedly the victim of attempted rape by Father Brennan.

After the judge thanked jurors for the "great deal of time taken out of your lives," she dismissed them. A stampede of reporters was allowed to bolt the courtroom, and head for their cell phones, which for the past three months, have not been allowed in the courtroom of Judge Sarmina.

The court deputies locked the doors of the courtroom again. The next issue was bail. Jeff Lindy, one of Msgr. Lynn's defense lawyers, argued that his client was not a flight risk.

But Assistant District Attorney Blessington immediately ratcheted up the rhetoric to cross-examination level, where he called Lynn a liar every four minutes. The monsignor had just been convicted of "conduct which is beyond reprehensible," Blessington said. The prosecutor raged about the "despicable lies he [Lynn] told to the grand jury," and the lies he told to this jury."

Now that he was a convicted felon, the monsignor has "great incentive to flee," the prosecutor said. Especially since Blessington said he would seek the maximum prison term for the monsignor. Lynn had the wealth of the archdiocese behind him, Blessington said. The archdiocese was already footing the bill for Lynn's "incredibly well-funded defense team," the prosecutor noted.

"Treat him like the criminal he is," Blessington implored the judge. 

Jeff Lindy, one of Lynn's defense lawyers, argued that the monsignor had been under investigation for more than a decade, and had made eleven appearances before a grand jury investigating sex abuse. The monsignor has shown up every day in court for the past 13 weeks, and always acted the same, submissive, Lindy said. His client wasn't going anywhere.

"He's always had the specter of indictment hanging over him," Lindy said. "He knew this day could come."

But the judge, who favored the prosecution with just about every ruling before and during the trial, appeared anxious to see the monsignor in a jump suit.

"I am leaning to revoking bail," she said. Lindy suggested house arrest. 

Blessington was on his feet several more times. "I'm sick, sore and disgusted," he said at one point. The possibility of house arrest prompted the prosecutor to remind the judge of Lynn's "reprehensible and deplorable conduct over the past 12 years."

While the monsignor had his head bowed at the defense table, Lindy stood with one hand on his client's back. "He has been under the sword of Damocles hanging over him for a decade," Lindy said.

The monsignor was 61 years old, had a clean record, and so many community ties "that it would take me 25 minutes to describe," Lindy said. The monsignor could be on house arrest at his sister's house in Reading, where he currently lives, or at his brother-in-law's house in Philadelphia, Lindy offered.

Any other defendant who was 61 and had a clean record would not be going to jail after a conviction on a third-degree felony, Lindy said. They would also not be subject to the "vitriol" of the prosecutor, Lindy added.

Blessington didn't deny the charge. "Vitriol, oh yes," the prosecutor admitted. "Every speck." Blessington mentioned again that Lynn's defense was "wholly funded by the archdiocese of Philadelphia," and that Lynn had been "pompous and condescending" on the witness stand.

"This man belongs in jail right now," Blessington yelled.

"He doesn't own a passport," Lindy told the judge. "He's not going anywhere."

"He's not a flight risk," Thomas Bergstrom, another defense lawyer, told the judge. "I don't know how you can make that argument," the judge replied. "You cannot speak for what he would do."

Bergstrom told the judge there was no evidence that Lynn was a flight risk. "Why would you think that he would now run?" Bergstrom asked.

"Because he doesn't want to go to jail?" the judge suggested.

"This is not a guy who's not gonna show up for his day of reckoning," Lindy replied in the double-negative.

Blessington got on his high horse again. The monsignor had "committed atrocities," the prosecutor said. "He went in front of the grand jury and lied. He came in here and lied."

Blessington also took a shot at Lindy, who had objected to Blessington's spiel about the archdiocese footing the bill for Lynn's defense team.

"Guess what counsel? You're being paid by the archdiocese! Don't try and hide from it," Blessington shouted.

As happened often during the trial, Blessington was not addressing the subject at hand, whether Lynn posed enough of a flight risk to have his bail revoked. Instead, Blessington was attacking the character of the defendant, and slamming the defense lawyers. Maybe save it for sentencing?

Any first-year law student could see Blessington had strayed far off the subject. But as she often did during the trial, Judge Sarmina made no effort to reign in Blessington. She objected to Lindy's tone as "huffy," but said nothing critical to Blessington.

The judge announced that she was revoking Lynn's bail. She said she would entertain a future motion to place Lynn on house arrest. But for now, the judge ordered sheriff's deputies to remove the dangerous monsignor from the courtroom.

The judge announced that the monsignor would have to turn in his passport. Apparently she didn't hear Lynn's lawyer when he told her the monsignor didn't own a passport. The monsignor did not appear to pose much of a flight risk. The overweight priest can barely walk two blocks without panting heavily. But the judge seemed determined to cap a show trial by tossing the monsignor in the slammer.

Lynn's sentencing was set for Aug. 13th. He faces a prison sentence of 3 1/2 to 7 years.

Lynn's lawyers were downcast when they met with the press.

"He's upset, he's crushed," Lindy said of Lynn. Asked if the monsignor was a fall guy, Lindy replied, "Of course he is. They had a body there, and that body was Msgr. Lynn."

Bergstrom said he wasn't second-guessing his decision to put Lynn on the witness stand. " It was the right decision. I think the jury needed to hear from him."

Outside the courthouse, Isa Logan, the 36-year-old jury foreman, faced the press. He agreed that it was helpful to hear from Lynn, but he noted that Lynn had also apologized from the witness stand for what happened to the 10-year-old altar boy.

Logan was asked why the jury needed 13 days to deliberate.

"We just needed more clarity on the elements of the charge," he said. "It's easy when you're on the outside looking in. On the inside, it's a little different."

Logan said jurors were open-minded, passionate, and "wanted true justice." The case, he said, opened his eyes.

"I never knew about the stuff happening in the church," he said. "My heart goes out to the victims."

"I'm a father" of two sons and a daughter, Logan said. "I wouldn't want my child to go through anything like this."

Logan was asked whether Lynn was a fall guy for the Catholic church. As a former Army officer stationed in Korea, he said he didn't buy into that argument. Logan had plenty of superiors giving him orders. If an order was inhumane, Logan said, he always had the option of not carrying it out. It was the same telling argument a nun had made from the witness stand the day she called out Monsignor Lynn.

"I'm a human being before I'm a soldier," Logan said. The jury foreman, a church deacon, said he prayed that "God would have his way" with the Catholic church.

On July 23, Father Brennan will return to the courthouse for a status hearing on his case. The district attorney must now decide whether the priest should be retried. It may be an uphill climb. Two female jurors told Fox 29 reporter Kristen Byrne that they didn't find Brennan's lone accuser, Mark Bukowski, credible, saying it seemed like he was making up his testimony on the witness stand.

Isa Logan, the jury foreman, went one step further, saying on Fox 29 Monday morning that the mother of the alleged victim "kind of made it a little cloudier for us because her herself said she would never know what happened that night."

A few blocks away from the courthouse, District Attorney Seth Williams held a press conference. Normally, when you have a trial and you only win on one of five counts, it's not something to crow about. Especially when the jury rejected the prosecution's main argument, that Lynn had conspired with Father Avery to endanger the welfare of children by keeping the priest in ministry.

But Williams acted like he had just won the Super Bowl.

"This is a monumental verdict for the named and unnamed victims of child assaults," the district attorney said. The prosecutors had taken on "for the first time the conspiracy of silence" that led to abuse of minors in the Catholic church that had "gone on for centuries," said the district attorney, himself a former altar boy.

Williams said he would have to review the evidence to decide whether to retry Father Brennan. But he was happy that Msgr. Lynn would now have to "face the consequences of his unspeakable crimes."

Was he talking about the My Lai massacre?

Williams ducked questions on whether he should have indicted Lynn's boss, Cardinal Bevilacqua. The late cardinal was one of many members of the Catholic hierarchy who "had dirty hands," Williams said. But the prosecutors decided to go with the case where they had the most evidence of child endangerment, and that was the case against Msgr. Lynn, Williams said.

Hmm. Let's review. Bevilacqua was the guy who, according to a 2005 grand jury report, along with the late Cardinal John Krol, orchestrated a systemic cover-up of sexual abuse of children over four decades that shielded 63 pervert priests from prosecution, after they had raped, sodomized and molested hundreds of innocent children.

The grand jury at first believed that Bevilacqua and other church officials were “tragically incompetent at rooting out sexually abusive priests and removing them from the ministry." But after the grand jurors reviewed thousands of pages of secret archive files that contained the same “incompetent investigation techniques ... it became apparent ... that Msgr. Lynn was handling the cases precisely as his boss wished.”

The grand jury said that under Bevilacqua, a code of secrecy existed that managed to keep both parishioners and police in the dark. “Cardinal Bevilacqua had a strict policy, according to his aides, that forbid informing parishioners,” the report said. “The cardinal, in fact, encouraged that parishioners be misinformed.”

When Lynn plowed through 323 secret archive files in 1994 to compile a list of 35 abuser priests in active ministry, it was Cardinal Bevilacqua who ordered that list shredded. Can you say cover up?

Edward P. Cullen, bishop emeritus of Allentown, sat in on a high-level meeting with the cardinal to decide what to do with that list of 35 priests, according to trial testimony. And Joseph R. Cistone, bishop of Saginaw, Mich., witnessed the shredding.

But Seth Williams ducked questions about whether he should have or would in the future indict either bishop. The district attorney said he has to weigh the evidence to see whether charges would be brought against any "additional defendants."

Williams returned to his talking points, saying this "monumental case will change the way business is done in many institutions."

The prosecutor recalled one incident where a priest named Sylwester Wiejata confessed to Lynn that he had just molested a 13-year-old girl. The monsignor admitted when he testified to the grand jury that he didn't call the police, or try to do anything to determine the identity of the girl, or her parents.

I have three daughters, the district attorney said, tearing up. He said he would be mortified if one of his daughters was raped, and authorities "didn't tell me."

Ok, so he upgraded the crime from molestation to rape. But the DA was on a roll. The message had gone out that sex abuse would no longer be tolerated in Philadelphia. And as he sits in his jail cell tonight, the monsignor got that message, the district attorney said.

Yes, tonight, all the citizens of Philadelphia can breathe easier knowing the monsignor is no longer at large, thanks to the bottom feeders at the district attorney's office, and their cheerleader on the bench in Courtroom 304. The message is out there, if you're a kingpin of a criminal organization, make sure you and your top associates have an underling at the bottom of the organizational chart ready to take the fall.

A monumental verdict indeed.

44 comments:

  1. I've been waiting all night for your comments, Ralph. Thank you for your stellar reporting over these three months.

    Yes, I guess we all should feel safe because Msgr. Lynn is behind bars tonight. (Shudder)

    I'd feel safer if Blessington and Sarmina were locked up, but that's just me. I think they are both blowhards and sinister...Glad I don't live in Philly.

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    1. Well written Ralph.

      Well stated reply Archie.

      IMO, District Attorney Seth Williams, Blessington and Sarmina will go down in history as egotistical "power hungry" glorifiers.

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    2. I do hope that they get some sort of reprimand...really! They certainly didn't show Msgr Lynn any respect, but, I believe they disrespected the Court, as well. Is this just a Philadelphia thing? The Court is pretty classy where I live in Chester County. Thank God!

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  2. I do wonder what may happen to Blessington and Sarmina in Appeals. That level of misconduct and impropriety is totally unprofessional, and I hope the Appelate Courts have something to say about that.

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  3. Love your references to winning the Super Bowl and the crimes of the My Lai massacre! This is why I read this blog! Great writing!

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  4. I have been following this blog daily since the beginning and I agree that something has certainly catalyzed Mr. Cipriano’s clearly substantial reportorial talents here. This post of his is a keeper for sure.

    How matters will work out on appeal (if pursued for the Msgr. Lynn) and re-trial (if pursued by the DA) remain to be seen. Now that the gag order is presumably off, there might be more interesting revelations from that direction as well.

    He rightly – I would say – characterizes the behavior of the prosecution and – even more impressively – of the judge (to “cap a show trial” she refused bail for the moment, providing the almost cinematic Moment of Lynn being led away in cuffs for a ‘convict walk’, duly arranged).

    The DA reveals a bit of what drove this case: a desire to ‘send a message’ (as the saying goes). The fact that the facts of the case that was cobbled-together for that purpose were somewhat less than clear and the witness less-than-sterling in his credibility now receives a bit of light: this was indeed a show-trial for the purpose of sending a message. Whether the whole thing shades over into that second type of show-trial I mentioned in comments a while ago is a question that invites further thought.

    There were facts raised by comments made somewhere recently on another site, which I think go to my own earlier discussion of “extraneous hydraulic influences” hovering around this trial: The current head of the Democratic National Committee is a former Philly mayor and former governor of Pennsylvania; and Pennsylvania is now considered no longer reliably in the Democratic column but is rather a ‘swing state’.

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  5. Ralph, it sounds like the prosecution theatrics and delay in waiting for the jury has gotten to you. Lynn is now a convicted felon for a crime involving a child. Of course, no elected judge is ever going to grant him bail. How do you revoke bail for the dealer that sells $500 worth of pot; and not revoke bail for a felon convicted of child endangerment? In Philadelphia County, every day, poor slobs get held for lengthy pretrial and presentencing detention without bail for relatively minor crimes. If Lynn was some sad sacked grandfather that left his grandson in the car for 1/2 hour to gamble at Parkx, he wouldn't get bail. Is this crime different because it was based upon indifference and loyalty to his boss; rather than being based upon compulsive behavior? I don't know, but the more dangerous criminals lately have been old white guys who commit their crimes with bureaucratic and clerical neglect; rather than punks with guns. Sub-prime mortgage debacle, financial fraud? Crimes committed with the touch of a keystroke or institutional neglect, but with catastrophic effect. Is Lynn the Patsy or fall guy for the Cardinals and Bishops? Sure, but the red hats can't do what they want to do without clerical toadies like Lynn.

    But the kangaroo nature of the proceedings are what poor accused slobs deal with in Philly every day. It doesn't affect us because we can somehow separate ourselves from these people. When it happens to a white guy who we have some frame of reference, it seems different. And I am not indicting or blaming you, but go over there every day and watch hundreds moved through the system without 1/1000 of the safeguards shown to Lynn and his high priced lawyers.

    And as an aside, the jurors in this case seemed to have gotten it right. They had doubts about the Brennan part of the case; so they hung and acquitted on those counts. The Avery part of the child endangerment was supported by evidence directly linking Lynn with the decision making process to move him. I do agree that the DA and judge used the definition of child endangerment very broadly; and we will see whether it is sustainable on appeal. Her confusion over the instructions were inexcusable. You have to get it right when the jurors are deliberating and have questions. But I will shed no tears for Lynn today. He was a coward who never stood up to that POS crap Bevilacqua and said: "This isn't why I became a priest, move me back to the parishes where I can help some kid who has been harmed by the nutty priests we are moving around. " He dropped the hammer on Picard, the one "man" among all the scared little girls that made up the AOP clerics. Should you be convicted for being a coward? No. But he wasn't. He was convicted because he knew Avery was a priest who in all likelihood was going to abuse another kid, and he moved him to somewhere else he could abuse, and another kid's life was ruined.

    None of this would have been exposed if Seth didn't make the brave decision to try this case. Show trial? Compared to OJ, John Edwards or Casey Anthony, this case was very low profile by all participants. On the other hand, the Centre County prosecutors office showed every office in the Commonwealth how to get it done. That's how you put on a high profile prosecution. Edit your witnesses and evidence carefully and make every minute in the courtroom count.

    Thanks again for great reports. But your buyer's remorse and indignation seems a bit misplaced. Lynn will be out in a few days on house arrest and the Superior Court will surely reverse the conviction. When the case gets remanded back, Lynn will take a misdemeanor deal with time served as his sentence.

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  6. I think now as I did earlier that this case was cobbled-together in great part as a political strategy to ‘play to the bases’. This is, of course, not to deny the reality of the insufficiency of prior Church handling of abuse-matters in the pre-2002 era.

    But I still couldn’t understand why a major city’s DA would go to such lengths as this case and this trial. But if major political purposes – on not only the State but the national level – might be served, then it becomes more clear why anyone sharp enough to make it to District Attorney of a major city would initiate this thing.

    It might also help explain what Mr. Cipriano has noted all along: the remarkable behavior of the judge and some members of the prosecutorial team. If there is as much political clout hovering around (and behind) this trial as the above facts suggest, then not only was there a great deal of pressure on them, but they also knew that they may well not be held accountable – might indeed be somehow rewarded – for such behavior. And, on top of it all, such behavior went some way to provide more noise to compensate for the lack of light and clarity in the facts of the case themselves.

    In a curious symmetry, the State’s Attorney General, commenting on the Sandusky trial’s verdict, deployed – as if out of the dim past – an old mantra: it proves that “we believe a kid”. This is a rephrase of the early 1980s mantra in the old Satanic Ritual Day School Child Abuse trials of that era (now 30 years ago): don’t trust the evidence or your rationality – rather, “believe the children”.

    To which end, authorities dug up school-grounds looking for vast underground tunnel complexes of ‘sex rooms’ (and perhaps for the dragons and other mythical creatures the children were induced to report as well).

    But the Sandusky case was not about ‘believing children’. These were not day-schoolers, there was documentary evidence and witness evidence in corroboration, and thus that jury was not presented with the confounding complications and weaknesses of the material in this case in Philly.

    But the AG’s use of that old mantra played to a ‘base’, I think, and was intended to do so.

    Somebody commented several times on this site that the ‘victims’ were still being used, even by the organized advocacies that claimed to represent them and speak for them. Even more so, I would say, such persons have also been pawns in a much larger political Game. More food for thought.

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  7. Clergy sex abuse victims finally have received a bit of justice. This is the first time ever that a catholic church official has been found guilty of child endangerment.

    It is imperative that Lynn serve his sentence in jail behind bars. Yes, he is a flight risk. In one diocese alone, Sacramento, 5 perpetrators have fled overseas., so the threat of Lynn to flee is real.
    Plus, there needs to be a strong message sent to all church officials around the world that they can no longer get away with covering up sex crimes against innocent kids. Also keep in mind the Cardinal Bevilacqua was the bishop of the Pittsburgh diocese before he went to Philadelphia.

    It is time to start protecting children instead of protecting predator clerics. Keep in mind that the Philly Archdiocese is not unique in how they handle child sex crimes, all other dioceses have secret archives and many bishops are still not removing accused predators from their parishes.

    Also, because the jury was hung on the Fr James Brennan case, it does not mean that he is innocent, so if anyone has knowledge or has been harmed by Brennan we urge you to contact police.
    Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
    snapjudy@gmail.com
    "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy.

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    1. I have no problem with accountability as long as Monsignor is not a scapegoat. If Msgr is NOT merely a stooge, and the Church a target, we will presume consistency. May we expect to see the same vigor to jail public school administrators and principals? Teachers, according to government studies, have 100 times more chances of abusing. Strangely I don’t recall your same vigor to expose and hold this group culpable. The same standard should apply to family members-- the number one abuser of children. Advocate putting those spouses and siblings in prison!

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    2. As Ralph reported: "[D]espite a massive search by law enforcement authorities and the archdiocese [that] included articles in area newspapers, television ads, and 10,000 letters mailed to former parishioners and children formerly supervised by Father Brennan," no one except Mark has come forward to say Tr. Brennan did anything inappropriate to them.

      Your mean attack on Fr. Brennan is unwarranted and speaks to the nasty, anti-Catholic purpose of your group.

      D. Pierre
      TheMediaReport.com

      -

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    3. "Your mean attack on Fr. Brennan is unwarranted and speaks to the nasty, anti-Catholic purpose of your group."


      Attack? Brennan was reported by another nun for living with a teenaged boy at a nearby convent. He was basically dismissed by a local high school for inappropriate conduct with the same teenager. This teenager never came forward. The jury was hung. It was not an acquittal. Brennan was spared conviction by the climate of the AOP at the time which valued the clerics and the reputation of the church far more than addressing fairly open and notorious behavior. And this particular accuser, Mark, had a great deal of baggage, and an enabling mother that facilitated the inappropriate relationship in the first place.

      Yes, the jury system worked inasmuch as the jurors were not overcome with the disgusting evidence of coverup to convict Brennan on fragile evidence. But let's not canonize Brennan or act like he was the victim of "meanness." Brennan was the one who shared porn and his bed with a teen--not exactly priestly behavior. If there was an involved father in Mark's life, the incident would have resulted in a brutal beat down of the good padre; and a call to the cops to do a timely investigation. Instead, the sad sacked Mom valued her special position with a priest, and her drinking buddy, more than the welfare of her son.

      Really, DPierre. . . you still don't get it. It's not anti catholic to be disgusted by adults who prey on children. It's not anti-catholic to be disgusted by adults who cover for predators. It's not anti catholic to be disgusted by the AOP who disciplined the lone priest who said, "keep this creep out of my parish and away from my parishoners." That's the legacy of this trial--Institutional coverup and enabling of child predators. Not, "Poor Fr. Brennan."

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    4. Judy, I'm really praying that Lynn get actual jail time and not just a slap on the wrists and a lecture from the judge. If he isn't made to serve time, no bishop in the United States will "get the message," that they can't orchestrate similar coverups or silently follow the directions of their cardinals, when it comes to the sexual abuse of children or teens. It's going to be a long, hot summer, and hopefully, Lynn will be spending it behind bars!

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    5. Judy Snap--as stated below so far noone has come forth to accuse fr. brennen after 10,000 letters were sent in addition to other ads, etc. -only the 1 accuser that had bad credibility problems and many other issues including criminal record and parents that have been having financial problems for years-some very timely to this accusation.

      But I wonder as you ask incessantly "if anyone has knowledge", again and again-in your search for the"truth" if you asked the same questions in Louisiana when the SNAP child porn psychiatrist, Dr. Steve Taylor, was charged with 107 counts of porn/pled and convicted of 23 i believe. there is not enough space to list his investigation in 2008 and conviction in 2011. in addition to not having read about any outreach for accusers to come forward (porn leads sometimes to abuse SNAP says)i read where letters were written on the child porn doctor's behalf. there is plenty of coverages by the Times Picayune and i found it interesting in www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2011/08/st.tammany_doctor_convicted_in.html that some of his supporters were child abuse victims..what is that??? and the head of snap, barbara blaine does not want his licenese revoked. Is that something that SNAP does for their own?? kinda weird and needs explaining in light of your search for victims of fr. brennan!

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    6. Psssst - Josie, you know what's kinda wierd?

      People who defend a cult of child rapists, even after they prove in court that they conspired to hide at least 35 known pedophile priests from 1994 until they were caught last year. There was a Cardinal, two bishops, and multiple priests, all the "best of the best" of the cult, and they were hiding known child rapists, yet you still defend them.

      That's kinda wierd. Defending the child rapists and those that protected them instead of defending the victims. That's a child rape cult, raping children in God's name, and hiding child rapists in God's name, and then fighting the victims of child rape in God's name. What do you think God thinks about that.

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  8. Thanks, Ralph, for all your work. In today's media circus, Watergate would have been written about in a blog and Nixon would have stayed in office...

    The real conspiracy was between bishops and other bishops all over the country, not between Lynn and one priest. Somehow I don't feel this one conviction of one monsignor on one count is all that monumental, as the DA is quoted describing it.

    This comment by the jury foreman says so much: "I never knew about the stuff happening in the church."

    Why don't people all over the world know by now about this "stuff," the aiding and abetting of thousands of pedophile priests by Catholic bishops worldwide?

    A federal prosecution of the bishops would be monumental, yes. Trials like this one of Bishops, not monsignors and priests but BISHOPS, would be real justice.

    So I feel a sense of "justice interruptus" here, as one of the pedo-priest victims whose case is so far past the SOL I'll probably never see any closure.

    The church must have a powerful PR machine working behind the scenes, to keep as little of this story from coming out as possible, even between the victims. Otherwise all the jurors would have known about this "stuff" before the trial. Otherwise, this trial would be all over national news. But instead, today, all over the national news is the Sandusky verdict, about one pedophile coach a few hours drive away...

    To me, the real criminals are the bishops, and they are all drinking coffee out of golden cups in very comfortable places this morning.

    So we just have to keep on keeping on, and somehow get past the church's monumental PR machine to get the story of these crimes out, one blog at a time...

    http://cityofangels12.blogspot.com is my one blog by one damaged victim who was once a journalist...

    One blog at a time

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  9. Ralph, you are right on with your blogs. Judge Sarmina and DA Blessington did what all bullies do. They went after the weakest person. They should have gone after Cardinal Bevilacqua when they had the chance but that would have taken real courage. I wish Msgr. Lynn and his attorneys nothing but the best.

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    1. Your point is not well taken. Judge Sarmina and DA Blessington had nothing whatsoever to do with filing charges in this case. Blessington works in the DA's office. He's not the DA. And Judge Sarmina is a judge. Judges don't file criminal charges. I guess you mean the DA is the bully. We can only wish that all bullies would go after child molesters and their enablers. Except that wouldn't be called bullying. It would be called enforcement of the law which is what the DA was elected to do.

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    2. Interesting comment, since Catholic pedophile priests really do what all bullies do. They go after children, the most innocent, most vulnerable members of society, and they have anal sex with them. Then they lie about it, then they bully the children, and get all of their other bully friends to help.

      In fact, Msgr Lynn blamed a 10 year old boy for trying to "seduce" a despicable 40 year old pedophile priest.

      I wish Msgr Lynn the worst, and wish the bullies in prison remind him that a 10 year old boy can't seduce a grown man, and remind Lynn that protecting 35 known child rapists should be dealt with harshly. Lynn will learn a lot in prison. Hopefully, he will be joined by his bully friends Bishop Cistone & Cullen.

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  10. One conviction will not compensate the life long damage to an innocent child nor will the catholic church ever remove the historical proven facts that it has earned on it's own.a medieval cult of masters at deceit.

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  12. Mrita, public schools don't have two thousand years of history or anywhere near the power of the Catholic Church.

    There is no massive international structure of bishops and cardinals covering up the crimes in public schools.

    Public school administrators also don't claim to be representatives of God who hold influence over your eternal damnation if you question them.

    That's comparing apples and oranges and it's a knee-jerk response by Catholic apologists trying to explain away this crime spree in the church.

    Not a legitimate comparison at all.

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    1. We are speaking about a specific CRIME! to bring other issues is an excuse to justify persecution

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    2. Huh?

      Mrita, a few comments up you wrote: "May we expect to see the same vigor to jail public school administrators and principals?"

      Exposing similar crimes in public schools IS bringing other issues in, Mrita. That's my point.

      Anyway, maybe we are misreading each other's comments here. 'nuff said.

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  13. Thank-you Ralph for your wonderful reporting on this sordid trial. I agree with you Carlos Abreu 100%. Paedophiles will continue to become priests and small children will continue to be abused by them. With a Pope in the Vatican who thinks child abuse is OK where do we go from here ?

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  14. Are the Catholics being persecuted again? Oh dear! Someone is always after them. First it was the Romans with their lions and now it is so obviously the people they have raped. That's just terrible!
    Enough irony.
    If the administrators, nothing to do with their religious titles, had done their job appropriately "Catholics" would not be having to deal with any of this. But no. The administrators counted on the shame of the victims to keep this shit quiet. Those days are gone. All shame belongs to the oppressors. None to the injured.
    But we will have Davey Pierre and the persecuted Catholics rap.
    Let's remember the Nazis always played the victim game. They saw themselves as the victim always. And millions of innocent people died.

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    1. You decide...I have an entire file with stories like this.
      Sex Abuse by Teachers Said Worse Than Catholic Church http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/4/5/01552.shtml

      In a stunning ten-page declaration recently submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, veteran attorney Donald H. Steier ONE-HALF of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse" (capital letters are his).http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2011/01/if-true-this-is-indeed-a-bombshell.html

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    2. Donald Steier is the attorney in charge of defending all the perp priests in Los Angeles, Mrita. He's PAID by the L.A. Archdiocese, a LOT OF MONEY to produce documents like you have in your archive and, as a result, deflect attention away from the church, pointing at guilt in other places.

      He's a lawyer doing PR for the Catholic Church. Not a credible source of accurate information at all. Read City of Angels blog from 2007 and 2008 to find out about Donald Steier.

      I KNOW the man. He's a nice guy, a likable person, but he works for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. It's his job to make the priests look not guilty.

      Man.

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    3. Those are Defense Motions Steier is filing. And he files tons of them. Total truth is not one of his traits.

      In that "recent" motion you mention, which was filed about 2 years ago, he claims half the accusations in L.A. were false, but provides No Proof, just a lot of verbosity making the claim, paragraphs and paragraphs of beautifully crafted sentences that provide no attribution at all.

      I've read it. That's how Steier writes. And writes and writes and writes.

      Then he goes off on vacation to tropical islands on the money the Archbishop of L.A. pays him for his work.

      Please Mrita, who are you? Does the MR in your name stand for Media Report?

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    4. Yay K!
      I remember meeting Steier in line at the criminal courts . I was on trial for my demonstration. I went over to him and said quietly:" Tell the Cardinal to go fuck himself." I don't know if my message was delivered but it felt great to say it.

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  15. http://vatileaks.blogspot.com.es/2012/06/greg-burke-fox-news-reporter-hired-as.html
    Murdoch keeping it in the family : FOX Greg Burke now PR to the Vatican.

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  16. I posted last night. I was so upset about Msgr. Lynn being incarcerated.

    Full disclosure: I am a volunteer for the Catholic Church. I teach children how to pray, and, I've been told, I'm very good at it.

    I am also female and unmarried. I love children.

    I tried to re-read the Grand Jury reports today, and I almost threw up. There is so much sickness out there...Lives have been ruined. I continue to pray for all of our good Priests, who inspire us. Lord have Mercy, Christ have Mercy, Lord have Mercy.

    That is my prayer. I am so sad today. And bewildered. And, though I pray for Msgr. Lynn daily, am so horrified by these past abuses.

    I really do believe (please don't tell me I'm crazy!) that this won't happen again.

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    1. If you were presented with a Rapist and asked to make a recommendation as to what to do and you did not call 911 but instead sent him to be around more children where he raped again and then came back a third time and was put in therapy while a campaign was launched against the victims, I would pray for you as well!

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  17. Archie it is happening right now and will continue to happen until they get caught BUT they are all so careful not to get caught aren't they.

    A blog from a survivor of sexual child abuse by the clergy.

    http://annfreespirit.over-blog.com/article-church-assisting-paedophile-priests-106973083.html

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  18. http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/18857113/jury-reaches-decision-in-priest-abuse-case?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7429283

    Video after the verdict.

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  19. Medieval occult of masters at deceit.defence weeping over the verdict in addition to paying millions for a defence why perpetrating a false vow of poverty and purity. The true light of justice will be for the despondent victims and their families who suffered horrendous and vile attacks by grown men and women through the centuries.

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  20. What a strange writeup. It seems to be making a mockery of the outcome of this trial. In fact, it seems to be making a mockery of the crimes committed against children. How confusing. If you add up all the children harmed by pedophiles and enablers in the Catholic Church, it does bear comparison with the My Lai massacre which as I recall killed around 500 people. And when a man stands up for the innocence and dignity of children, to the point of being shouting mad about it, that's not a high horse. That's what people are supposed to do.

    Why would a man convicted of a third degree felony against a child not go to jail? His lawyers' protestations that he's never fled before are senseless. If there was ever a time to flee, it is now. And we've all seen the Vatican provide a refuge for the notorious Bernard Law.

    Not sure if the citizens of Philadelphia are breathing easier, but certainly scores of victim survivors in Philadelphia are. And that's what a trial like this is for. To deliver justice. And when justice is delivered, the people in the D.A.'s office become bottomfeeders? Totally don't get that. Maybe a rereading of the Grand Jury Report is in order.

    I agree with the D.A. It is a monumental verdict. It will give pause to institutions that cover up pedophilia in their ranks regardless of the fact that the dead Cardinal was never charged. And putting the bumbling monsignor in jail is better than any Super Bowl I've ever seen.

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  21. Sarah, No, not a strange take on matters and not a mockery of the abuses against children. There isn't a person among us who is reading and commenting on this blog who isn't deeply disturbed by the crimes against children.

    Ralph is commenting on the Trial itself, and the conduct of all parties engaged in the Trial. Those of us who could not attend the Trial have relied on his excellent and candid reporting of each day of the Trial and jury deliberations to get a clear understanding of what was really going on.

    This is an extremely complicated case...multiple defendants, a very long timeline, convoluted charges that even the Judge had trouble explaining to the jury, too many witnesses, testimony that dragged on forever....You get it. This was not the Sandusky trial. It was very complicated and very political. The person who probably should have been on trial died before it started.

    I'm sorry to hear that you enjoyed seeing Monsignor Lynn hauled off to jail more than you've ever enjoyed a Super Bowl victory. While I'm not a football fan, I've enjoyed many Super Bowls more than that spectacle that Blessington and Sarmina created.

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    1. There have been so many outrageous, false and cruel things said here that it is not surprising what sarah, who is from texas and not philadelphia would say. i wonder when i read these comments how people can work every day, go about their business, family life, spiritual-all there is is to life with so much hate causing interference, reeking havoc with their thinking/their logic-taking over their lives. If they are retired, as i am finding a lot of 70/80 people comment as they have time-or people who are collecting, not working, they are bitter about other things as well.. as the child abuse that has taken place in Brooklyn now is being brought to light.(still waiting for the public school account of 285 accusations in ny this year so far ---anderson cooper is going to cover that next-here in philadelphia..we are waiting many years for a grand jury report (not the best way but a start)on the sexual abuse in the public schools--it is huge but kept very quiet-you just find out fom tachers who know about the accusations directed at their peers..In the meantime, ask the children to pray hard for mean misguided people.

      Ralph C. provided a clear, complete concise account with outstanding intuitive reporting on the points and players with a great syle .. it was great to be able to follow as well on the mediareport.com.... they complimented each other (actually mediareport did compliment Ralph formally. the Inquirer itself just said the same thing every day and noone read those awful comments from the angry misinformed there..

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    2. Yes mam, that logic just crept right between by ears and it's been plumb wrecking my life ever since. But I'm working on it. I go to SNAP meetings and they are helping me to stop my thinking. Soon I shall be living full time in my happy place.

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    3. opps! their happy place. I think,sorry, I may have just defined Nazism.

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  22. Case Closed - Why is everyone so uptight?

    I believe a lot of folks on this Blog choose to live in misery. I see comments comparing schools to the church and other far reaching assumptions. Let me spell it out so you can all get some sleep. The Catholic Church as it existed prior is no longer going to function "as is". The cost to the Church in future contributions is tens of billions and the can of worms has been opened for every D.A. to prosecute every instance.

    Like any large business, the red tape and layers and layers of "management" in the Church have to be removed to save costs. In Philly, they just announced cuts and closed schools and charity offices.

    For the comparison to the public school person - shame on you!

    Anyone with a brain and a computer can see that there is no epidemic in the schools as there are very few isolated occasions and in virtually all cases, the perp is caught with the first victim.

    As a Catholic, it is time to pray for change. It is time to ask the Church to publicly come clean and beg the parishioners to forgive by demonstrating to us that things are different.

    We are the police today as if a priest is suspect at all or says anything inappropriate, we call 911.

    In closing, those who always bashed the Church will continue. Those who believe in God and the forgiveness of God will pray for the Church.

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    1. What kind of God let's the Church He founded rape children for centuries?

      Please excuse Neil Allen's arrogance. He's a provacatuer. He tells the truth about the rapes and coverup. And then insults the believers, (Both of the Faith and of the victims).

      If there was a Riechstag handy his Bic lighter would be busy.

      You want to solve this crisis? Help victims find each other that we may organize. Instead of spending all this time insulting people.

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  23. Why is everyone so uptight?

    Because we're tallking about child rape here. We're talking about a cult that hid 35 known child rapists from 1994 until last year, and we're talking about a cult that paid $11 million to try to save the guy who knew more about those child rapists than anyone else.

    Child rape makes people uptight, although Catholics are so accepting of it that they say, "why so uptight?"

    Now you're caught up with the rest of the class.

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