Philadelphia Postscript: Media Needs To Examine Shocking Convictions of Philadelphia Catholic Priest and Former Teacher

Mark Cipolletti Philadelphia

Does this guy even believe accuser Danny Gallagher?
Philly Asst. D.A. Mark Cipolletti, addressing the media after the shocking verdicts

"I do believe that a Roman collar has become a bull's-eye, that the presumption of guilt has become overwhelming in our society …

"[I] believe that there is child abuse undoubtedly, and it's an insidious and tragic occurrence. However, also, when an innocent priest is convicted of something he didn't do, that's equally tragic."

– Philadelphia defense attorney Michael McGovern, after the verdicts

Are three innocent men, including two Catholic clerics, sitting in prison for crimes they did not commit? A lot of people think so, and there is disturbing and overwhelming evidence that this may indeed be the case.

Last week's conviction in Philadelphia of Fr. Charles Engelhardt and former teacher Bernard Shero on bizarre charges of sadistic abuse is an episode which cries out for someone in the media to investigate the accuser's wild tales.

Yet as it stands now, a jury actually believed the inconceivable claims of Daniel P. Gallagher, an admitted drug addict with an extensive arrest record, that during the 1998-1999 school year, when he was a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Jerome's Parish in Philadelphia, he was viciously abused by three separate men (Engelhardt, Shero, and former priest Edward Avery), all of whom barely even knew each other.

Stunned trial attendees

Persons who attended the trial have said that they were completely "stunned" at the guilty verdicts after they were announced. Indeed, as an indicator at how unlikely everyone thought guilty verdicts would be in this case, even the accuser himself was not in the courtroom when the verdicts were announced, as Gallagher reportedly slipped off to Florida for more drug rehabilitation.

Most notably, even Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams himself openly acknowledged that he "really didn't expect" the verdicts, which is an eye-opening admission for an elected prosecutor to make.

The accusers many different accounts

While some minor inconsistencies are to be expected in stories of abuse that took place years ago, Danny Gallagher's radical differences in his wild accounts of rape defy explanation. As veteran writer Ralph Cipriano dramatically reported at the must-read blog, trial watchers witnessed how Danny's tales of his abuse haphazardly changed over time.

[NOTE: The following sections contain graphic language.]

In the case against Fr. Engelhardt: In 2009, Danny first told an archdiocesan social worker that a decade earlier after a 6:30 a.m. Mass in the sacristy, Engelhardt took off all of his clothes and forced him to have oral sex. Then, Danny claimed, the priest turned him around and viciously sodomized him for five straight hours until noontime. It was a shocking claim, indeed.

However, in 2010, Danny told the D.A.'s office an entirely different story: that there were actually two episodes with Engelhardt, neither involving oral sex nor sodomy. It was masturbation, Danny claimed.

Finally, when the accuser took the stand in a Philadelphia courtroom a few weeks ago, Danny's ultimate story was that there was just a single attack from the priest, this time only involving oral sex.

Somehow, Gallagher's previous tales of masturbation and five straight hours of ferocious sodomy magically disappeared. What happened? Was the jury even listening?

In the case of Bernard Shero: In 2009, Danny told the archdiocesan social worker that Shero, a man with severe vision impairment since birth, had barbarically raped him in the back seat of a car after punching him in the face and strapping a seat belt around his neck.

Then, over time, Danny told others that the rape had actually occurred in a school classroom. Then Danny claimed it happened in the car again. And when Danny took the stand last month, he decided on the claim that Shero had attacked him in a place in Philly called Pennypack Park. Danny's previous story about being punched in the face and the seat belt being wrapped around his neck magically disappeared.

There is even a lot more to this. The number of wild inconsistencies in Danny's narrative are truly astonishing. And, again, these inconsistencies are not even close to being little details. They go to the very heart of Danny's accusations. Writer Cipriano summed everything up as best as anybody:

"There was no physical evidence in the case, and no corroborating witnesses. Just Billy [Danny's pseudonym] and his stories about how he had been brutally raped by three men in two years, while his mother, a nurse, and his father, a Philadelphia police officer, and his doctor, who testified in the case, never noticed a thing. Not even a pair of bloody underwear. Are you kidding me?"

How the jury in this case did not see "reasonable doubt" – at the very least – borders on inconceivable. Indeed, individuals on this jury may have been lying through their teeth when they said that they did not have a predisposed bias against Catholic priests.

Danny's troubling record

While media outlets touched on Gallagher's long history with drugs and skirmishes with the law, we suspect the full story has yet to be told.

While describing Gallagher as a "shipwreck," Cipriano has reported that Danny has been in-and-out of 23 drug re-habs, has been in-and-out of jail numerous times, and he was recently arrested with 56 bags of heroin. Meanwhile, Cipriano reports, the Philly D.A.'s Office has at least once offered Danny a "get-out-of-jail-free" card in exchange for his testimony to nab the Catholic Church.

Where is the justice here? Where is the media? has yet to obtain Danny's full criminal record, but we have obtained two recent court dockets from a 2011 drug possession arrest and a 2010 theft arrest at a retail outlet.
[UPDATE, 3/8/13: Here is a court summary of Dan's extensive arrest record.]

Stay tuned. For now, here is another quote following the verdicts from Fr. Engelhardt's defense attorney, Michael McGovern:

"I've been doing this 37 years, presenting trials to jurors, and this is the first time in my life I can tell you that I am extremely disappointed and actually shocked …

"There will not be a night that goes by for many, many nights when I don't ponder how I let him down."


  1. Publion says:

    First, let me re-state here what I just said in comments on the immediately prior article: Well, who could be surprised? The bar for credible allegations is so low, the definitions of actionable ‘acts’ so fluid, the probabilities of critical examination and the probabilities of punishment for false-allegations so miniscule, and the potential pay-off (psychologically if not also financially) so strong … what enterprising person wouldn’t want to try a game like this? If this were taking place in a Las Vegas casino, you’d probably have lines going out the door waiting to give it a try.


    To this I would add the always red-flaggy fact that a person with such an extensive criminal record (and quite possibly present or future criminal-prosecution liabilities) is a star/key witness for a prosecution case. It means that what you have to look for is this: such a criminally-liable individual is approached by a DA with a deal: we’ll make sure you don’t get into much trouble for all your criminal liabilities if you can help us on this case we’re trying to put together.


     And thus things proceed from there. If there is a ‘conspiracy’ in this whole thing, here would be a very good place to look.

  2. Delphin says:

    I wonder if we'll see these defendents attorneys making the rounds on media talk outlets (radio, TV) or drafting such assistance that might be found at Innocence Projects, civil rights organizations or possibly ethical (is this one of those oxymorons?) law universities.

    All you need is one honest, curious journalist or activist with some courage to get the unbiased (facts) side out there.

    It is outrageous and unbelievable that this injustice can happen in full view of all observers (it wasn't even hidden) and we still can have no confidence that it will be rectified.

    Maybe the good Father Pflegler in Chi-Town, also friend of the White House, can be convinced to look into the railroading of his brothers (not holding breath)-


    • Mark says:

      More shocking revelations over at Ralph Cipriano's

      See his new post, "O, Brother, Where Art Thou?"

      You'll recall that the defense wanted to call Billy's (DANIEL P. GALLAGHER'S) older brother as a witness. On Jan. 9, 2012, Daniel P. Gallagher's older brother gave a signed, 14-page statement to Detective Joseph Walsh of the District Attorney's office.The statement from the older brother, then a 26-year-old lawyer who had served as an altar boy and a sexton at St. Jerome's, contradicted Daniel P. Gallagher on several crucial elements of his fabricated story. In other words, his older brother's signed statement exposes Daniel P. Gallagher's accusations as a pack of lies.

      "Injustice anywhere in the world is a threat to justice everywhere."


  3. Clare says:

    Isnt there a provision for the judge to set aside a jury verdict if the outcome is not supported by the facts?   I grieve for the priests who are mercilessly pursued by lawyers and advocates who have nothing but evil in their hearts.    I will add these dear priests to my prayer list.

  4. Publion says:

    For those readers (like myself until a few hours ago) who thought there would be nothing more of relevance on the Philadelphia trial site in regard to the recently-concluded Second Philadelphia Abuse trial, I can recommend reading Ralph Cipriano’s post put up Tuesday afternoon. (link at the end of this comment)


    I won’t say more because perhaps DP/TMR will want to do a piece, but the Cipriano article is perfectly capable of provoking much thought all on its own.


  5. Sam says:

    Gotta love the "attack the victim" mentality.  If Shero is innocent, why did he try to commit suicide before he was arrested in 2011?  What does Shero's vision impairment have to do with anything?  Does that mean he is incapable of sexual activity?  I believe this man has a wife and numerous children.  Why don't you "research" these facts and get back to us with your findings?

  6. Delaware Catholic says:

    Sam, a suicide attempt is not a legal admission of guilt. Perhaps Shero (correctly) assumed he would not be able to win at trial no matter what evidence did or did not exist and that he did not want to put his parents through this (you know, as was actually stated in the letter).

    No one is attacking the victim. They are questioning the verdict based on the lack of evidence and the dramatic inconsistencies in Billy's stories. If I'm a juror, and I hear three different versions of Father Engelhardt's alleged attacks, right there I have my reasonable doubt. Billy said he was punched, but there was no testimomy about bruises to his face. He was sodomized for 5 hours, but no one in his house noticed any blood on an article of clothing. Objective observation is not victim-blaming.

  7. Delphin says:

    Hey! I know exactly how to get the Catholic-hating lefties thinking more lefty-like regarding the priests: let's color the priests brown or black, homosexualize them (oops, did that already), make them communists and socialists, make them welfare recipients, given them a criminal record, reduce the IQ, throw in a disability (let's make them alcoholics or druggies) and then let's see if the rule of law (silly things such as EVIDENCE, presumption of INNOCENCE, integrity of the VICTIMS) as applied to lefties can possibly be applied to these Americans.

    Taking away Constitutional rights of righties and Catholics (not always interchangeable) is always a good idea, so long as there is no blowback into the red faces of the lefties.

    Just think torture vs. drone-killing Americans HERE. Can lefties spell "H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E"?

    Priests that committed crimes did not do so as abiding Catholics or priests, they did so as deviant HOMOSEXUALS.

  8. Mark says:

    It’s tangential to the case in question, but worth noting anyway, that some media outlets are carrying a story about Oscar-nominated documentary “The Invisible War,” about sexual abuse and the rape epidemic in the military. Take a look at the article, “‘Betrayed’: Male rape victims slam Oscar-nominated filmmakers over focus on women.”

    A couple of things caught my attention. The first is a statement from a male military rape victim: “Nobody wants to talk about it.” So true – or the child sexual abuse problem in the scouts, or public schools, or sports clubs, or in families, and so on. But historical abuse cases in the Catholic Church? Oh, everybody seems to have an opinion on that. Double standards indeed.

    Secondly, and interestingly, the comments below the article surprised me. Rather than the usual moronic bigotry and Church-bashing that would weasel its way into any article about abuse, there are lots of intelligent comments about – and only about – military sexual abuse. Have the knuckle-draggers got bored with berating the Church for historical abuse? Have they lost interest? Or is it dawning on them that sexual abuse in all its forms is a huge society-wide scourge, and that scapegoating the Church is an act of hypocrisy? The contrast between a documentary on contemporary sexual abuse in the military and yet another instance of miscarriage of justice in a Church case speaks volumes about the outrageous Truth Abuse Scandal of the past decade.

    • anonymous says:


      I believe what we are all anxuiously awaiting is for Hollywood to make a film about this problem in Hollywood.!  The other simple truth is that some people are cruel bullies.They saw no consequence in being mean to priests, and, perhaps some enjoyed the past decade.  This is why we are all so thankful for this site.

      to TMR.

  9. Sam says: – Your "research" is totally unrelated to Mr. Shero, and therefore of no consequence to my question.  I am talking specifically about Mr. Shero and why YOU seem to have such a personal stake in his innocence.  Also still waiting to hear how Shero's vision impairment means that he could not have committed these hineous acts.  Guess you couldn't find any good articles about that???  While attempted suicide does NOT mean guilt, it indicates cowardice at the very least – and what does someone have to be afraid of, if they are not guilty?

    Delaware Catholic – Shero didn't want to put his parents through this, but a good Catholic would leave his parents to deal with the aftermath of his suicide?  That's rather contradictory isn't it, considering the Church's stance on suicide?  Maybe he should have thought fully of the consequenses of his disgusting actions before he committed the crimes he has been CONVICTED of.  Also if you want to be objective, you have to think, why would Billy throw Shero into the mix at all?  If this is all a consipracy theory against the church, why bring a lowly teacher into the situation when there were doubtless other clergy he could have singled out?

    Have ANY of you ever had the misfortune of living through something so traumatic as what Billy went through?  Do you know how any of you would have reacted if you had been subjected to the indignities that he was?  Do you know what you would remember, or how consistent your story would be?  Espcecially if you turned to drugs to cope with the horror of your situation?  

    FYI – I AM A CATHOLIC.  I recently found out that the priest who performed my wedding ceremony is now under investigation for pedophilia (Robert Brennan – Resurrection of Our Lord Church) – RESEARCH THAT.  I also have a young son.  He was recently baptized – in another church – as a Catholic.  Do you think I want any of these horrible crimes to be true?  Unfortunately, there are many sick predators out there who use the status that being a priest provides to gain access to their vicitms…..PRIESTS DO MOLEST PEOPLE!  OWN IT!  However, to be fair, it's not just the church.  Boy Scouts and youth sports coaches and numerous elementary shcool & high school teachers have also been singled out in recent years.  Are they all legitimate???  None but God knows that…….but Catholics need to stop playing the victim…..  



    • josie says:

      Sam, with all respect,TMR is very much up to date; not really in need of "research" as you say. On the other hand, you you just found out about a priest that presided at your wedding, when you did not say. Well, Rev. Robert L. Brennan has been without  assignment, faculties withdrawn for 7 1/2 years (Sept 2005). The canonical process has been pending in the Holy See. He is not being "investigated for pedaphelia" as you say. A credible accusation was reported many years ago. It is a little confusing about other seeemingly inappropriate behaviour with teens but I am not familiar with the case.

      Also, where do you get that Mr. Shero has a wife and children? I thought he has only his parents, a sister? and an "adopted" as in charitable giving by mail to a poor or orphaned child in need. I think that his suicide attempt was a sad gesture to save his parents the embarassment of the arrest and any trial that would follow.I don't think that he thought in his desparation about the attempt as being against his Catholic faith.

      I seriously mean no disrespect but you need to do some more reading before commenting. It has been suggested that is a very worthwhile way to follow the courtroom facts.You may gain more confident insight, ie Mr. Shero was made fun of and rocks were thrown at his house because he looked "weird"-who said that he couldn't be accused of abuse because he was blind in one eye? never heard that. I won't even discuss what "Billy" went through. One cannot believe all those stories and blame it on abuse or drugs. Sorry.  

      You are correct and sincere that abuse occurs in all walks of life and there are several web sites that also would help you with the facts of teachers accused etc. You might see a short report in a newspaper every day of the but hardly ever a follow up and certainly not front page news or an editorial (except for sanduskey case).  

  10. Publion says:

    ‘Mark’ makes some interesting comments in regard to the military sexual-abuse Matter.


    The military’s approach is in many ways an example of the types of problems that arise when one is trying to comprehend – and legislators are trying to legislate – in the newish legal category of sex offenses.


    First, the military legal system is especially interesting because it is in many ways considered a forum where traditional ‘civilian’ constitutional rights do not as strictly and widely apply as they do in the civilian legal forum.


    Thus you can often see in the military system praxis and in the laws especially passed by Congress for application to the military the type of ‘ideal’ demands that victim-friendly advocates would like to see passed but can’t get passed so easily in the civilian forum because of the constitutional disagreements and objections.


    And since Congress can “make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval forces” (Article 1, sec. 8, US Constitution) then the case can be made that Congress can pretty much do what it likes. (This theorizing of Congress’s powers is arguable; the fact that it can say what the pay and ranks will be and what color the uniforms will be doesn’t automatically mean that Congress can dispense with primary and fundamental Constitutional guarantees to citizens when they are wearing those uniforms.)


    So, for example, in 2006 – as a bit buried deep in the huge annual military budget document – Congress decreed that the traditional American and Western ‘presumption of innocence’ (hereinafter: the Presumption) would not apply in military sex-allegation cases; thus the accused is not to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the burden of proof lies with the defendant/accused rather than with the government/prosecution. This undermining of the vital Presumption could – theoretically – be done away with in the military system since the Constitutional guarantees don’t apply so strongly in the military setting. And it could be achieved simply by passing legislation (the aforesaid brief bit buried in the budget Bill) rather than having to go out – as has been the case in the civilian world – and somehow obliquely create a sufficient Stampede of public opinion so as to effectively (but not formally) undermine or reverse the Presumption.


    As of this date, sufficient objection to this reversal of the Presumption has resulted in Congress – under pressure from Federal courts – backing off this law and restoring the Presumption to the accused. But, presuming that Congress didn’t do this simply on an utterly whimsical urge, you can see where victim-friendly law would like to go if given half a chance.


    Also, in an effort to make it comprehensively easier for service-members to claim sexual abuse and avoid the painful secondary consequences, regulations are in place that require a unit commander to allow immediate transfer out of the allegant’s unit: this leads not only to morale problems (other members of the unit have to pick up the slack) and the obvious complications of conducting operations with a now under-strength unit, but also opens the door to all manner of abuse itself: a person who didn’t like their unit, or who didn’t want to go on operational missions (if the unit were up for assignment to an unpleasant or inconvenient location somewhere in the world), or who just ‘wants out’ of the military without any complications can simply activate the trip-wire requirements of victim-friendly regulations.


    All this on top of the fundamental problems with so much of sex-offense law: there is often little if any corroborating evidence and it comes down finally to an A-said/B-said sort of thing; and to whatever contortions are formally introduced to somehow work a satisfying conviction out of a Western, evidence-based justice system in cases where there is very little (if any) evidence beyond the statements made.


    And all of this takes place in the military setting, which by definition is a command-based, hierarchical system in which a) the basic vision of the Commanding Officer is what the rest of the ‘team’ is taught to instinctively achieve and b) the purpose of the entire ‘team’ is to Win, to achieve the Objective set forth by the Commanding Officer. And here the victim-friendly law or practice calls for a special independent authority with direct connection only to the Secretary of (that Service’s) Office or the Secretary of Defense’s Office; this special independent authority can come in to overrule Commanding Officers – which creates its own problems, and they are not small.


    So ‘Mark’ has certainly raised a very worthwhile issue here.


    Of course, I am waiting for somebody somewhere to insist that since the military has been treating allegations of sexual abuse with insufficient robustness and vigor since 1790 or so, then it has proven itself utterly and totally unworthy of public trust and should be abolished. That is, after all, the claim made so very often in regard to the Church.

  11. Publion says:

    In regard to the comment by ‘Sam’ at 3:02 PM on the 8th:


    What I see TMR doing here is basically providing a site where “heightened scrutiny” can be exercised in these various instances of Catholic Abuse and in the entire Catholic Abuse Matter generally.


    This form of “heightened scrutiny” seems to me to be very necessary. On this site we have seen and discussed numerous elements of distortion and manipulation at all levels of trials – from the laws applicable to the shaping and manipulating of public opinion (that ‘public’ from which jurors are drawn) to  the question-provoking strategies of prosecutors.


    “Heightened scrutiny” – as the principle was introduced quite a while ago by the Supreme Court – does not and is not intended to imply any decision as to the guilt or innocence of any accused. Rather, it simply recognizes that there is sufficient evidence of possible dynamics that might serve to deform the legal process, such that a more acute analysis is necessary to prevent the miscarriage of justice.


    Certainly – I would say – Catholics themselves should be particularly alert to the need for “heightened scrutiny” all around: both as to a) whatever inadequacies in Church and episcopal oversight there may have been (and I am convinced that there has been some failure in that regard, especially in earlier eras) and b) whatever inadequacies in public and official praxis have served (for whatever purposes) to derange the proper application of genuine examination of individual cases that are brought to trial and to the larger and more general public perceptions and presumptions in regard to the Church and sex-abuse.


    As far as whatever ‘Billy’ went through, we don’t really know what Billy went through and the jury could not come to a conclusion about that either. Until that is somehow established, then characterizations about the Church based on ‘what Billy went through’ are left hanging in the air, as a matter not of fact but of this or that individual observer’s presumptions about the credibility of Billy’s allegations – which brings us right back to square-one.


    Nor has it been established which came first: Billy’s allegations about abuse or his drug-use. The latter possibility is every bit as robust as the former and I did not see anything in the very informative and informed and extensive trial-reporting by Mr. Cipriano that would resolve that issue.


    I haven’t come to any strong personal decision about Mr. Shero, one way or the other. I do think that any person who was forced to confront the reality of a sex-trial nowadays would hardly need to be guilty in order to have a substantial and hardly exaggerated fear of what can happen in these trials. And it is hardly out of the realm of probability to imagine that a less-courageous soul may be overwhelmed by those prospects.


    None of that is to claim with any certainty or pretense to having utterly dispositive proof whether Shero is or is not guilty. But I point out again that we are here facing a derangement: so very many persons – at least in internet commentary on various sites – are apparently perfectly capable of ignoring the potential for derangement, presuming all sorts of things, and then proceeding from there.


    I have lived through the bomber-gap, the missile-gap, the world-wide threat of Communist takeover, the agonizing suspicion that the State Department and the country itself was deeply infiltrated by numerous Red spies and agents, the certainty that ‘the Communists’ were at the heart of the problem in Vietnam, and right on up to the certainty that Saddam Hussein was in possession of WMD and the means of delivering them anywhere he chose whenever he felt like it. To paraphrase a character in Monty Python’s Life of Brian: when it comes to false-messiahs I should know because I’ve followed a few. Meaning: I’ve lived through too many Stampedes and I am always alert to that type of thing starting up again.


    So thus I strongly support TMR’s “heightened scrutiny”. This may seem too much thinking for some people who have simplified matters by merely presuming-away the difficulties and complications, or who are so taken up (and hardly improperly) with concern for victimization that they are willing to imagine that every claim of victimization is genuine and/or is in such a good cause that it should be credited regardless of whether there is any evidence or not. I cannot support that.


    Lastly, given the numerous elements and dynamics that ground the need for “heightened scrutiny”, then I cannot support any presumption that by examining these elements and dynamics Catholics are doing nothing more than “playing the victim”. The temptation to “play the victim” is a highly seductive one for humans generally, and for some persons it can exercise a tremendously powerful influence.


    All the more reason, I say, for extended “heightened scrutiny” all around.

  12. Delphin says:

    It looks to me as though the Catholic Church is the only entity/institution willing to "Own It"; the problem is with the droves of others, including the corrupt media, that won't. Deviant homosexuals molest from wherever they are: the Churches, the mosques, the synagogues, the temples, your pediatricians office, athletics, your schools, the "arts", Boy Scouts. Have they "Owned It", yet?

    Being "raised a catholic" and partaking of the Sacraments does not resolve one of practicing Truth. Yours has been hijacked/infiltrated by leftist ideaology. Piling on your own Church is a cowardly act- Own That. When your beloved home is in need of maintenance, repair or upgrades, you fix it, you don't bulldoze over it.

    And, you exacerbate the whole sordid disgrace of bias practiced against priests by yourself publishing the name of one that, required by law, is innocent until proving guilty (what is the name of his accusors,  and your son?) as a result of an "investigation"; one that requires no proof, evidence, principled or at least reasonably believeable victim, and defending against allegations that are decades old. You are part of the problem, not a "good" Catholic- Own That.

    Perhaps one day, 30 years from now, some misfit will make allegations against one of your family, maybe even you, within the same hostile atmosphere in which our priests attempt to survive. I will presume your posts would be of a different hue, then. Perhaps, the pendulum will have swung so that children are accusing and imprisoning their own parents (where the majority of abuses occur, especially as pertains to females). What would/could your defense be in light of the current evidenciary standards (non-existent)?

    Hypocrites, all.

  13. sam says:

    Publion -

    You make some very valid points (finally someone!) when you bring up issues in the past in terms of how fiction became "fact" with the WMD issue, the Red Spies (I was not alive for that, but learned much through my parents about it), etc.  And I am by NO means saying that every allegation of sexual abuse against the Church is true.  Given the millions upon millions of dollars the Church has paid out in damages regading cases of this nature, there are surely numerous false accusations made by greedy, disgusting vermin who would think nothing of besmirching the character of an innocent person.

    However, my take on the vehemence with which some Catholics tend to "highly scrutinize" accusers of priests is as follows:  Many Catholics - especially from previous generations (for reference, I am 34) –  were raised to essentially idolize priests, to obey them unquestioningly – that priests are the closet thing on Earth to God.  My hustband is 53, a lifelong Catholic who attended parochial school through 8th grade - and I talked about this with him thoroughly – and he confirmed this assertion.

    So, when any accusation is made against a priest, these Catholics automatically discount it – a priest could not possibly do such a thing!  How dare someone even IMPLY that a priest would be capable of such acts!  And right away, they start "highly scrutinizing" (aka picking apart) the victim, because in these Catholic's minds, it can't possibly be that the priest is guilty – SO THE ACCUSER IS A LIAR!

    Also, I believe many Catholics feel an element of shame/denial that the Church they are associated with has come under such scrutiny.  They take every accusation against a clergy member almost as a personal attack on themselves because their personal identities are so strongly tied to being Catholic.

    As far as manipulation and distortion, the Church itself is just as guilty of that as any media intitution or governmental agency.  I am not sure where you are located geographically, but in Philadelphia there has been a huge scandal with proven documentation showing that not only was our former Cardinal (Anthonly Bevilaqua) aware of rampant sexual abuse in the Philadelphia Archdioces, but covered it up REPEATEDLY.

    Regarding "Billy" specifically, the jury found both defendants guilty on most counts.  What is left "hanging in the air", except the sentencing and appeals?

    Am I thinking with my heart a little too much?  Possibly.  My toddler son is the most innocent, wholesome, genuinely good being I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  Reading the accusation Billy made against Shero brought tears to my eyes – to think for one minute that someone would even think about doing something so henious to a child is incomprehensible to me.  You are better off murdering someone than sexually molesting them….at least in death, the pain stops.

  14. Publion says:

    ‘Sam’ responds to me at 1048 AM with some good points. Those points prompt the following thoughts.


    There is – in my opinion – a strong probability that some Catholics may respond and have responded to the Clerical Abuse Matter defensively and simplistically; e.g. ‘You can’t talk about my/our priests like that and get away with it – nor for any reason in the world!’ It’s an understandable reaction and it is based largely – I think – in a laudable sense of loyalty to the Church and to the priesthood.


    But I would also say that in the face of as large a groundswell ‘event’ as the Catholic Clerical Abuse Matter, all Catholics – lay and clerical and episcopal – must ask themselves: What is the Holy Spirit trying to accomplish in bringing this experience (of the Abuse Matter) to the Church and to the People of God? And this is precisely where I would say that a genuine loyalty – to the Holy Spirit and to the Church both as institution and as the People of God – requires a careful analysis and – to use a more theological term – discernment. In that sense, “heightened scrutiny” requires not simply a legal and historical analysis but a prayerful and spiritually-informed analysis as well.


    That being said, I also think that we also run into here the fact that the nature of the Abuse Crisis as it became organized has also created a counter-reaction among many Catholics that is both predictable and understandable.


    Because in a democracy such as ours in this country, the only way to get a significant public groundswell going is to deploy (in a good cause) methods that are in essence propagandistic: i.e., that they are carefully crafted in order to guide (manipulate, some would say) public opinion to a certain attitude toward the Cause and also toward the designated ‘evildoers’ necessary to the Script that must ‘frame’ and thus ‘sell’ the Cause to the public.


    There are strong resemblances to advertising here – selling a Product to the public – and also to the type of tactics and strategies necessary to ‘sell’ a ‘Program’ to the government and to the legislators who must support the Cause either with funding or with new legislation. There is also a strong connection to Scripting here – as in Hollywood – where you need a gripping Story: thus a hero, a victim or many victims in need of ‘rescue’ or ‘recognition’, and a designated villain or villains who are in the current argot of the day  characterizable as ‘victimizers’ or ‘oppressors’ or some such.


    There is also – especially since 2002 – the natural need of tort-attorneys to limn the situation in a way most vividly useful to highlighting the ‘damages’ caused to the Plaintiffs whom they represent in lawsuits. And to a lesser but still significant extent, prosecutors who must seek to make the most vividly useful case against those against whom the prosecutors have chosen to bring formal Charges.


    And there is a media that eagerly seeks such gripping ‘stories’ for their ‘consumers’ – readers, viewers, and listeners. And this is amplified by a contemporary internet and webverse where commentary of all sorts can be put up, with greater or lesser degrees of thought, with greater or lesser degrees of vehemence and emotional involvement.


    And both inside and outside the Church, there are also ‘special interests’ who are both desirous of reducing the public credibility of the Church and in a position to quietly exert influence toward that end. Thus, for example, inside the Church there are interests that seek to discredit the concept of a male priesthood or the role of the Vatican in overall Church life. And outside the Church there are those interests who want to reduce the Church’s credibility as an oppositional  representative of a certain moral approach that is neither ‘secular’ nor completely onboard with various bits of the postmodern or liberal or secular political agendas.


    While they may not be able to so clearly tick-off so comprehensive a list as the one above, many Catholics can – I believe – sense that there is something more at stake in the Abuse Matter; something along the lines of a generalized effort to reduce the influence and credibility of the Church. They respond with such efforts as they can make.


    Nor can I simply dismiss all of their efforts as being nothing more than ‘backlash’ (that decades-old blithe dismissal of and ‘solution’ to any objections, doubts, hesitations, or skepticism in regard to a particular agenda).


    So there is much emotionality on all sides, and I do not seek to dismiss it on any side, nor do I seek to object to the emotional involvement. My own approach here is to introduce an element of “heightened scrutiny” as a way of tempering the emotions by tethering them to facts. In that way, I hope to reduce the tendency for emotions – untethered to facts – to race along in the imagination and create all sorts of comfortable Cartoons (whether those Cartoons are pro-Church or pro-Victim, pro-Church or anti-Church).


    This is vital, I believe, because the Catholic Abuse Matter is a hugely significant event, fraught with consequences, for both the life and integrity of the nation and the life and integrity of the Church.


    In regard to Catholics “idolizing” priests, I don’t think that has been significant for the past half-century or so since Vatican 2, although such ‘idolization’ of priests certainly played a larger role in the pre-Conciliar era, among the immigrant ethnic enclaves (and even then, perhaps more among the women than the men – although I certainly wouldn’t say that immigrants from, say, Southern Italy, were particularly idolatrous of their clergy). So I am very cautious when considering this ‘idolization’ as a working element in explaining why so much alleged abuse purportedly went un-reported for the past half-century or so. In my estimation, ‘idolization’ of priests is a characteristic of an era that was well on the way to ending before almost all of the clergy-abuse allegations were alleged to have taken place.


    But there may have been instances where Catholic parents simply didn’t want to ‘embarrass’ their Church or their clergy by ‘going public’. Recall that before John F. Kennedy became President in 1960 and thus ‘mainstreamed’ Catholicism, the general American public tenor was still palpably anti-Catholic (and pro-Protestant) in a way that is not at all in existence today and survives only at the more extreme ends of the Protestant fundamentalist and evangelical spectrum. (Today’s animus against Catholicism – as it exists – is based not in a preference for Protestantism over Catholicism but rather is based in a secularist and non-religious or anti-religious animus that also has no conceptual use for Protestantism or any form of religious belief (certainly not in public discourse), and certainly has no use for any religious organization that can muster substantial opposition on the basis of its public status and credibility as a source of moral guidance.)


    So in the period before 1960 – although as with all historical trends, it did not easily ‘end’ right there in 1960 – much of what is called ‘idolization’ today might well have been, rather, a general Catholic lay desire to avoid ‘drawing blood’ that would attract the ‘sharks’ of anti-Catholic, pro-Protestant animus such as it had existed in this country from the earliest days of a large Catholic immigration.


    Thus I certainly do not support as a general explanation the quite possible scenario of some Catholics refusing to accept the moral failures that may have involved their clergy; an explanation which also then seeks to cover allegant-credibility by claiming that ‘victims’ were by definition cast as ‘liars’ simply because to do otherwise would have required Catholics to accept the moral failure of this or that individual priest.


    I think that there are many rational and prudent grounds to look carefully at victim-allegations, but I do not at all support a presumption that all or most victims are ‘liars’ simply because they have to be because I don’t want to imagine the alternative, i.e. that individual priests have morally failed.


    I can refer any new reader so inclined to review my comments on this site to get a sense of those many rational and prudent grounds for applying “heightened scrutiny” to all aspects of the Catholic Abuse Matter and also to the intractable and unavoidable problems of determining credibility in the internet modality (where there is literally no way for any internet reader to determine if a story related by a commenter is true or otherwise).


    So at this point, the responses of Catholics to individual victim-stories and the responses of Catholics to the overall strategic reality of those groups that have been keeping these issues before the public eye while also discouraging or avoiding careful analysis of them and the response of Catholics to a general sense that there is something ‘behind’ and ‘beneath’ the decades-long focus on the Church (to the exclusion of most other organizational entities, public and/or private) … all these responses have been melded into a sort of fireball of emotion – although to some extent a fireball ignited precisely by the strategic efforts of assorted groups and special-interests to get their groundswell rolling in the first place.


    None of which is meant to excuse the genuine moral failures of certain individual priests, nor to support a blanket presumption that all allegants are ‘liars’ and none are genuinely victims. My concern is to separate the allegants from the genuine victims so that we can get a better sense of how large (or not) this Problem is and can then work both to a) reform Church policy and practice and b) address as best can be done the needs of the genuinely-established victims.


    Beyond the material that came out about the first (Msgr. Lynn et al.) and second (Englehardt and Shero) Philadelphia trials, I am not familiar with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I have – as you may already have read – made extended comments in analysis of the Los Angeles documents in recent articles on this site and in the threads of this very article here. On the basis of what I discovered and shared in analyzing those LA documents, I can only urge care and careful attention to detail in drawing conclusions and making assertions – since the LA documents I examined and discussed on this site do not support any of the claims (similar to the ones you make about the Archdiocese of Philadelphia) made about the crimes of ‘obstruction’ and ‘conspiracy’ that have been made about the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. It would be necessary to know precisely what you mean by “manipulation and distortion” and to see the documents that support that accusation or assertion, in order for me to comment further about Cardinal Bevilacqua.


    The first Philadelphia trial resulted in conviction on only one of seven Charges (and that single conviction is in the process of being appealed to higher courts). The second Philadelphia trial – which revolved so crucially around the ‘story’ that the allegant (‘Billy Doe’) made against the accused priest – did not result in the jury accepting the story ‘Billy’ told. In that sense  – wherein  the core Charge and the story of abuse that grounded it were not accepted by the jury – then, as I said in my prior comment, pointing-to “what Billy went through” is indeed “left hanging in the air” because whatever Billy claimed to have experienced was precisely not accepted by the jury. In assessing the results of a trial, one cannot simply approach it like the ‘score’ of a baseball game; in the framework of the trial as determined by the Charges brought and the case the prosecution made, the core of the case against the priest was not sustained by the jury. (In fact, if you read the reporting and comments on the Philadelphia trial on the BigTrial site, one of the most outspoken pro-prosecution commenters, who also claims to be an attorney, admitted in a comment on the most recent article that he cannot justify in his own mind and experience the Guilty findings that were made, and that he had fully expected that on the basis of the material presented at trial the jury had little basis for the Guilty findings that it ultimately did make.)


    As for the concluding point – that being murdered is better than being sexually abused – I can only say that it strikes me as an assertion that not many murder victims would – if they could be surveyed – agree with. I also point out that if there is and always has been as much ‘sexual abuse’ in the human species as victim-advocates assert, and if ‘the pain’ of that abuse experience “never stops” and deranges the entirety of any human life into which it enters, then it is impossible to explain how and why the human species still exists and has achieved what it has achieved since the beginning of recorded history. That’s the trouble with consoling emotionalities: they tend to dissolve like snowflakes as soon as one thinks about them for a moment.

  15. Publion says:

    Just a short bit here, in regard to the LA documents. In last weekend’s (2-3 February) edition of The Wall Street Journal, on page A3 of the print edition (subscription required to access it online), there is a short bit in which one Joelle Castix of SNAP is quoted as saying “we are woefully disappointed in the documents”.


    Since I don’t believe that she meant ‘we are woefully disappointed in the Church’, I believe that we are seeing here an indication that SNAP itself has come to realize that the LA documents – at least such as have been released – have not had the effect SNAP had been hoping-for.

  16. Publion says:

    If I may add a point here in regard to the role of the Church in American culture (as it is shaping – or deforming and deranging – itself nowadays), I could propose a look at this article by author Morris Berman (link at the end of this comment).


    Berman, a cultural historian, traces back through several major thinkers the idea that at the heart of modern consumer-capitalist culture and society there is nothing but an emptiness, devoid of meaning or Meaning in its highest sense. He quotes one thinker who states that “if you make money your value system, then eventually you will have no value system”. (And when I say ‘capitalist’ here I am not at all implying that any form of Marxist or Marxist-derived analysis and philosophy is any sort of useful alternative as a fundamental and ultimate source of Meaning for human beings.)


    If Berman’s ideas are accurate, then I think it becomes clear A) that the Church clearly poses a threat to much ‘elite’ thinking in this country and in the West generally these days. And B) that the role of the Church as she emerges from the crucible of the Abuse Matter is surely to continue to address the fundamental lack of Meaning at the heart of postmodern American culture.


    That fundamental lack of Meaning is precisely the result of a Flattening focus on the purely this-worldly (what I would call the Mono-planar) as opposed to a focus on the integral unity of the this-worldly and the spiritual dimension (what I would call the Multi-planar). This integral unity of the dimensions is demonstrated in both the Creation and the Redemption and the on-going process of redeeming the world.


    In this way I am not suggesting what I take to be the mistaken path of the late-19th and early-20th century Liberal Protestant approach called the Social Gospel movement, wherein those religious polities sought to de-emphasize the Multi-planar and simply tried to embrace (and inevitably conform themselves to) the Mono-planar. I am, rather, suggesting that the message which the Church has always stood for is precisely the Message needed now, if American and Western culture are ever to recover their fundamental capacity to meet the Meaning-needs of human beings.


    Yes, the easy and Cartoon response to my thought is that since the Church has (presumably and allegedly) so vividly proven herself ‘immoral’ through the Abuse Matter, then she is utterly non-credible and does not deserve to be listened-to. (A neat way of trying to pre-emptively shut down a rival, especially if the rival may have not only the news that the current system of culture has failed, but also the key to the recovery from the damage that the current system of culture has caused.)


    But I believe that the Abuse Matter has been Providential precisely for this reason: to reform the Church in order to prepare her for the huge task to come. And if the lack of Meaning that for so long has been somewhat masked by the appearance of economic abundance is now exposed to full view as the illusion of economic abundance is burned away, then folks are going to be far more acutely pre-disposed to consider the Message that the Church  – whatever her failings (and we are still not sure just how much failure there has or hasn’t been) – has always sought to present human beings.


    I don’t mean to raise abstract or irrelevant issues here on this site. But I think it is a vital element for all Catholics and others concerned for the genuine life of human beings to consider some of the Providential aspects of the Abuse Matter and to look beyond to where Providence will further lead.


    This is not at all to ignore the Abuse Matter. Catholics – lay, clergy, and bishops – must incorporate what the Church has learned in the Abuse Matter so as to more robustly embody their Catholic integrity and take on all of the responsibilities (including those now incumbent upon all as a result of the Dallas Reforms) incumbent upon the People of God, to serve as a leaven and even a life-raft to an American and Western culture that has reached an ever-intensifying loss of genuine Meaning.


    Genuine victims must be helped and the Church must continue her ancient mission, reformed and strengthened.


    That’s where I think matters are headed now, and the direction that all Catholics need to take.



  17. Ken W. says:

    Did Billy's accusation against Shero bring tears to your eyes because it struck you as honest, sincere, and factual? Or……was it because Billy's accusation was carefully groomed and refined specifically to elicit that response from you? Don't mock me for raising that possibility, it is not only realistic, it is everyday common practice for prosecuting attornies and contigency lawyers. 

    The latter is a crime every bit as grievous and disgusting as any molestation that may (or may not) have happened. And before you automatically assume that a jury of his peers is always right, remember this: a jury of THOUSANDS of His peers had the world's only perfect man nailed to a cross.

  18. Delphin says:

    The Catholic Church has been thoroughly, mercilessly, and disproportionately punished for her mistakes. Her faithful are finally demanding justice -and, you're outraged?  Catholics, real (catechized, mature) Catholics of any generation, don't idolize priests, they idolize God. Since the inception of our Church, when necessary, she has been "made right" by her faithful. She has also been intentionally undermined and attacked from both without and within.

    We're still waiting for any justice to be visited upon all the other offenders on this issue, including the culpable media.

    Your emotions are consuming any logic (newsflash Lois Lane: "Billy", and too many more just like him, are frauds). This is the Church-haters stategy – they disfigure facts and logic by purposefully employing emotional ploys, which are built upon lies upon lies.

    Why are some of you so prone to such tactics? Are you the kind of Catholics (cradle, cafeteria, lapsed, which is it?) who feel you must apologize for your religion? "Et tu, Brute" also pile-on with the Church-haters about the 2000 year history of crimes tripe?

    If you prefer to use emotion instead of reason, here's a exercise for you; look at your husband and try imagining him falsely accused of viciously abusing one of your sons friends (remember to apply the same rules of [non] evidence used for our priests), followed by intense public villification of not only him but your whole family, and then incarceration for the rest of his life. Any emotions welling up there? Are they for the fraudulent victim or for your innocent husband and your family? Our prisons, and graveyards, are full of these innocent victims, our priests (who also have loved-ones).

    Where will the Catholic-haters go for their sacrifices after the priests are gone- maybe to your House?


  19. Sam says:

    Ken – are you seriously comparing Shero to Jesus?  "Billy's" accustion brought tears to my eyes simply because I am a parent of a very young son, and to think of my son being in that situation was horriffic to me.  I am not mocking you for raising any possibilities.  I believe I acknowledged in my previous post that there have been numerous false allegations made, and that I find the issue of false allegations against innocent people to be reprehensible.

    Delphin – I can see you are one of those Catholics that is blindly consumed by the "poor church", your self righteous indignation, and that you specifically enjoy playing the victim.  Here's an excercise for you and that single minded brain of yours:  If anyone actually decided to procreate with you, imagine if one of your children came to you and told you that they  had been molested by your priest?  Would you ruthlessly attack your own child and call them a fraud?  You either are not a parent or are a hypocrite of the highest order, just like so many other "real Catholics".  Go pray your rosary now, and do make sure that you attend mass on Sunday, because you are so much more Catholic than anyone else.  It's the Catholics like you that have caused such a dramatic decline in church attendance – no one wants to be around your phony holiness.  Save your BS for the other "good" Catholics, because I don't have time for it.  If I was a "Catholic hater" I would not have had my son Baptized as a Catholic.  I guess I am also a "College Football Hater" because I was outraged by Jerry Sansusky's crimes.  Or was Jerry Sandusky falsely accused as well?  Are you going to rush to his defense too?  Or do you save all your rediculousness for the Catholic Church?



  20. Publion says:

    Not to be trendy here, but last night’s episode of ‘Downton Abbey’ actually has a relevant sub-plot line that is of some relevance to matters considered on this site.


    I am going to do a comment on it. (Please note: just so it’s easier for non-viewers to follow the bouncing ball, I am going to use the script-writing protocol of putting the character’s name in all-caps; this is not ‘shouting’ as we understand all-cap words to be in web-commenting, but rather it is merely an accepted way of keeping the unfolding of the development clear.)


    THOMAS, a male servant at the mansion, is a closeted gay man (the plot takes place in 1920s England). He had developed an attraction for JIMMY, a new and somewhat younger (say mid-20s) male servant. One night, egged on by O’BRIEN, an older female servant trying to ruin THOMAS for her own purposes, he is led to believe that JIMMY also finds him attractive.


    One night he sneaks into JIMMY’s room in the servants quarters where JIMMY is asleep. THOMAS sits on JIMMY’s bed and kisses the sleeping form. At that point JIMMY leaps up in shock and anger. ALFRED, a third male servant, hears the noise and quickly enters the room to see JIMMY yelling at THOMAS.


    At the insistence of O’BRIEN the next morning, JIMMY goes to the chief butler and servant, CARSON, and complains that he is going to go to the police if THOMAS is not dismissed forthwith. Further, JIMMY wants THOMAS to be fired without a ‘reference letter’, that vital piece of documentation that allows somebody seeking employment to prove that he has served well in prior employment sites, because, JIMMY says, he doesn’t want THOMAS to be able to work for other families and put them or their servants through this.


    CARSON is repelled but not so much surprised by what JIMMY tells him. He assures JIMMY that the matter can be handled without “scandal” to the House and Family (of the EARL of Grantham).


    CARSON interviews THOMAS and THOMAS admits he did it, and that ‘nothing happened’ and nothing will happen. CARSON nevertheless informs THOMAS that he will have to leave.


    MRS. HUGHES, the second-ranking of the servants, confers with CARSON and eventually opines that neither she nor CARSON should be surprised since they had “known” THOMAS to be different all along. But, she acknowledges, now CARSON knows it “officially” and he cannot ignore it.


    Meanwhile, BATES – an older male servant who has just returned from prison where he served some time on a false murder charge that has finally been proven to be false – reflects that he would not wish prison on anybody. Further, he observes, it’s a terrible thing to see one’s life slipping away to destruction and not be able to do anything about it.


    BATES goes to the EARL (BATES is his private valet) and reports the whole development. The EARL notes off-handedly that if he – the EARL – had yelled every time somebody had tried to kiss him at Eton, he would have been hoarse within a week.


    While BATES is conferring with CARSON, JIMMY comes in to see how the dismissal is coming along. BATES confronts JIMMY: you’re in one piece and why would you want to destroy a man’s entire life over this? JIMMY – egged on by O’BRIEN behind everybody’s back – insists that if he doesn’t take these steps then everybody will think he too is ‘that way’.


    The EARL comes up with a solution: he will promote JIMMY to a higher rank among the servants (JIMMY is not incompetent or incapable of the new responsibilities) and sort of presumes out loud that JIMMY will let the whole matter drop. JIMMY happily agrees.


    However at that moment, a pair of police detectives show up. ALFRED, repelled by “evil”, has called the police on his own. As the pair of detectives explain to CARSON and the EARL that they have received a call from ALFRED, the EARL quickly says to them that he will go find ALFRED and sort the matter out. The detectives say they’ll go along with him, but CARSON moves in front of them and declares that the EARL is perfectly capable of seeing what’s going on himself.


    The EARL finds ALFRED, and in response to ALFRED’s query – should I let evil go unpunished then, my lord? – the EARL replies that one must temper concern for eradicating evil with a certain humane-ness in regard to exacting retribution. ALFRED eventually agrees and the police are assured that it was all a mistake – and off they go.


    The EARL also decides that THOMAS doesn’t deserve to have his life ruined (to be dismissed after ten years’ service, and without a ‘reference’ letter, would virtually guarantee never being employed again) and that THOMAS will be kept on.


    Thus the sub-plot.


    I do not present it here in any way as dispositive of anything or to make any particular point in regard to the Abuse Matter. Rather, I present it here merely as an occasion for thought.


    Is concern for ‘scandal’ a sufficient concern? Was there a cover-up? If so, when did it begin? Was the EARL insufficiently sensitive to JIMMY’s issues? Was the EARL insufficiently sensitive to sexual assault generally? Was JIMMY insufficiently sensitive to his own victimization? Was ALFRED being fussy about his concern for eradicating evil? Was CARSON trying to ‘cover-up’? Did the EARL and CARSON act improperly in arranging for the matter to be kept from the police? Did ALFRED betray his responsibilities as a private citizen by backing off his report? Was ALFRED pressured by the EARL into doing so? Was JIMMY pressured into doing so and did JIMMY betray his responsibilities as a victim? Were MRS. HUGHES and BATES complicit in the whole thing? Whose priorities were proper and whose were otherwise? Where does humane-ness end and insufficient sensitivity begin? Where does cover-up begin?


    I fully expect that commenters will have – and hardly improperly – differing opinions on all of these questions. As I said, I don’t propose this bit from the show as any sort of ‘trump’ – merely as food for thought about how things were done. Nor do I submit to the readership that every aspect of the Abuse Matter is included in this episode of the show here.


    And I suppose I have now put TMR into the list of websites that have a comment on “Downton Abbey”.

  21. Delphin says:

    S[p]am-  The strawman you constructed to represent me is as phony as your feined concern for the Church, and, any real abuse victims (you seem to focus on the frauds). We all care about real victims, so, off your high-horsey, princess. You came here all hormonal about a fraudulent victim, and when you got some resistence, you became indignant (another misapplied emotion).

    No one here, aside from SNAP peons and other Catholic-hating frauds portraying themselves as something else, is defending guilty priests (say it real loud forty times, in CAPS, in your head).

    Your attempts at personal insults are infantile, but they actually reveal your true intent. Your intent is not honest dialogue or debate about the bias against the Church (name-calling is not dialogue or debate; but, beware, we can give as good as we get if you like it that way). Your intent is to continue to pile on to the Catholic Church. You just don't have the cajones to "own" it. Your lack of sophistication regarding your real position reveals your contempt for the Church, and her faithful, in almost every word you have contributed thus far.

    Incidentally, you should look the the Catholic Church for exactly how to own up. No other institution or entity has followed their lead; a devastating fact for all those [current] victims for which you claim to shed all those tears. You are disproportionately only concerned about priests victims, oddly.

    Suggestion: when it's time to register your child for public school, pray that they have "owned" their dirty little secret as publicly and effectively as the Catholic Church. Same goes for any athletics, Boy Scouts, day care, summer camp, and any other places where children interact with adults, particularly deviant homosexuals. You might actually want to consider a Catholic school- they are the safest institutions for children, after all.

    Now, less about me and you, and more about why you tend to believe discredited phony victims but not clearly innocent priests. See if you can put "that" within any other context but antiCatholic bias and still pass the laugh test-


  22. KenW says:

    Sam, I am simply raisng the LIKELIHOOD that your emotions were preyed upon. This is common practice for DA's and contingency lawyers, especially in the absence of facts and corroboration. The reference to Jesus was to illustrate how it is possible for an entire group of people to convict an innocent.  

  23. Delphin says:

    According to CNN, the Pope's resignation is just another, or a continuation of, a Catholic sex abuse scandal coverup.

    Here we go, again- (but, no, there is no media bias against the Church, no way, no how…)-


  24. Sam says:

    Delphin – You were the one who started the name calling – refer to your "Lois Lane" and "not a "good Catholic"" comments in your first post directed at me.  But since you are a "good Catholic" and I am not, it is "infantile" when I return the favor, but perfectly fine when you partake in the activity yourself.  Your hypocricy shines as bright as the Northern Star.  

    In fact everything have directed at me is irrelevant (except for the part about me being a "princess" – I will "own that" ha ha).  I am dead on about you which is what makes you spew your nonsensical vitriol at me.  And on top of all that you are obviously a homophobe, having mentioned "deviant homosexuals" numerous times in your posts.  As if homosexuals are the only ones in the Church guilty of pedophilia?  Perhaps you have fallen prey to some of the media bias you speak of here?  The vast majority of the cases we hear about are of priests molesting young boys, perhaps because it is more sensational than a male molesting a female.  But you cannot possibly believe that homosexual priests are the only guilty ones, or that young boys are the only victims.

    I do not believe in these particular priests because drug addict or not, I simply believe "Billy's" story.  I would believe his story whether he accused a Boy Scout leader, a youth team coach, etc.  If it turns out later that he is proven to be a fraud – which to date has not been the case by any credible evidence-I will be the first one to come back to this site and issue a full apology to those wrongly convicted for his false accusations. Would that be "owning it" enough for you?

    Also, I am not only concerned about the victims of priests.  When the whole Jerry Sandusky scandal was breaking, I wrote a letter to Penn State regarding the lack of action that Mike McQuery took during the shower episode he witnessed.  So we both seem to be mis-characterizing eachother, don't we?  You got defensive, I snapped back, and it is counter productive.

    Ken – Yes, it is a possibility – I am willing to "own" that. :-)


  25. Delphin says:

    Blah, blah, blah; yada, yada, yada. Typical misquotes, mischaracterizations, extrapolations, and most of all, bias. AntiCatholicism has a distinct odor, and it is smeared all over your posts.

    When a "Billy" is believed, it is because it is in the believers interest to do so.

    I wonder if the "credible evidence" standard for convicting "Billy" of false witness will be as shallow (if even detectable/measurable) as it is for convicting innocent priests?

    Do I smell a double-standard?

  26. Sam says:

    And you are not biased at all…..because you are a "good Catholic."

  27. Delphin says:

    Yawn, go away.

    Coy and dumb works at SNAP, your former haunt.

    Shoo, shoo.


  28. says:

    Thank you for the comments, everyone!

    We are closing this thread for now.