Shocker: Even National Catholic Reporter Now Admits That Philadelphia Accuser’s Varying Claims of Abuse Were ‘Utterly Different Versions of Reality’

Danny Gallagher : National Catholic Reporter : Ralph Cipriano

Kudos to Ralph Cipriano (r), who uncovered the wild tales of Philadelphia accuser
Dan Gallagher (aka 'Billy Doe') (l)

The claims of sex abuse made by Philadelphia accuser Dan Gallagher that led to the convictions of two Catholic priests and a school teacher are so wildly outlandish and inconsistent that even one of the most staunch critics of the Church, the National Catholic Reporter newspaper, is now acknowledging that the accuser's claims are "utterly different versions of reality."

Surprisingly, the Reporter has become the first national publication to reveal that the recent high-profile convictions in Philadelphia appear unjust and rooted in legal and ethical chicanery.

"Cunning deception by civil society"

The Reporter's shocking admission comes in a recent editorial that it published shortly after it ran a lengthy summary article about the Philadelphia trial narrative by veteran journalist Ralph Cipriano, who for the last year has doggedly investigated this disturbing story.

To recap: Philadelphia's Msgr. William J. Lynn, Fr. Charles Engelhardt, and former teacher Bernard Shero have all been criminally convicted in the past year for crimes related to claims of abuse by Gallagher. But as Cipriano has uncovered (and we suspected all along), there were serious legal, procedural, and ethical troubles with the charges against all of these men. (See our complete coverage.)

Indeed, this site's early analysis of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office 2011 grand jury report, which led to the criminal charges against the clergymen, found the report to be rife with falsehoods, misinformation, and hyperbole. And since the end of the trial, Cipriano himself has documented at least 20 clear factual errors in the report that have yet to be corrected by the D.A.'s Office.

Naturally, the mainstream media been indifferent to this glaring injustice and has merely parroted the talking points of the Philadelphia D.A.

However, even the Reporter cannot help but admit that there are "serious questions raised about the legal proceedings" that led to the false guilty plea by former priest Edward Avery and the high-profile convictions of Lynn, Engelhardt, and Shero. The paper suggests that "cunning deception by civil society" lurked behind the unjust prosecutions of Catholic clergy in Philadelphia.

As the Reporter has long been an ardent critic of the Church hierarchy, the Reporter's editorial was groundbreaking in that it resisited its usual witch hunt mentality.

Philadelphia: Just the tip of the iceberg

Dennis Coday

National Catholic Reporter's
Dennis Coday

Unfortunately, while the paper is to be commended for publicizing the glaring injustice in Philadelphia, the Reporter does not appear to realize how deep this "cunning deception by civil society" really is.

This site was the first to uncover a long and troubling collaboration between members of the Philadelphia D.A.'s Office and leaders of the anti-Catholic advocacy group SNAP (Part I and Part II of our Special Report have photos and video evidence), indicating that the two conspired to maliciously target Catholic clergy in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Assistant D.A. Mariana Sorensen – whom many have identified as the "architect" of the attack against the Church for the past decade – is a woman whose profound animus against the Catholic Church has been thoroughly chronicled. While aligning herself with SNAP, Sorensen has publicly championed legislative efforts specifically designed to financially cripple the Catholic Church. She has also deliberately cast Catholic clergy in the most mean-spirited and sinister light in order to advance her bigoted efforts.

And according to Cipriano, Sorensen most recently engaged in a sordid "whisper campaign" to try to prevent the Reporter from publishing his article, an ill-fated and pathetic episode which only underscores her lack of respect for the truth and her venom against the Church. Once again, however, Sorensen's malicious efforts have gone completely unchallenged by a complicit press.

Then there is Sorensen's close collaborator, SNAP lawyer Marci Hamilton, who co-wrote the 2005 grand jury report with Sorensen. Hamilton's prejudiced attacks against the Catholic Church, which she parades as "scholarship," have been roundly discredited as "disorganized," "riddled with errors," and "dreadful." So it was no surprise that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia issued a 73-page shredding of the pair's 2005 report and categorized it as "reckless rhetoric" and "irresponsible speculation," while rebutting its most inflammatory claims as "categorically false."

In addition, in recent years SNAP has feted members of the Philly D.A.'s Office at SNAP's annual conferences.

In its editorial, the Reporter copmpletely ignores these seedy alliances and the obvious agenda of the participants in Philadelphia. It claims the folks shedding light on these truths are "fantasists." But while the Reporter engages in playground name-calling, this site has dealt with the facts. So you be the judge.

Two cases built on sand

Since the dust has settled on the cases in Philadelphia, it is now clear that the Philly D.A.'s Office tossed aside all justice in its zeal to prosecute Catholic clergy. It is hard to imagine any clear-thinking Philly D.A. building cases on the two principle accusers here: Gallagher and Mark Bukowski.

Bukowski is the accuser of Fr. James J. Brennan, whom a jury voted to acquit 11-1 in a criminal trial last year. This site was the first to publicly broadcast Bukowski's lengthy criminal record, which included shocking crimes of fraud and filing false police reports that seriously undermined the guy's credibility.

We also relayed the extensive criminal background of triple-accuser Gallagher, a guy whom Cipriano has investigated extensively. Cipriano has most recently described Gallagher as a "a 24-year-old former daily marijuana smoker, magic mushroom eater, LSD tripper and heroin addict who was kicked out of two high schools, has been arrested a half-dozen times as an adult for drugs and retail theft, and has been in and out of 23 different drug rehabs."

If Gallagher were not making his claims against Catholic priests, no sensible prosecutor would build a prosecution based on his veracity.

"A shallow victory"?

In acknowledging the troubling aspects of the events in Philadelphia over the past two years, the Reporter says that the recent convictions now appear to be "a shallow victory."

In truth, the word "victory" should not be applied to this episode at all. The only "victory" would be an investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General into the foul actions of the Philly D.A.'s Office.

The Reporter also needs to look into the mirror. The paper should ask itself if it has helped to foster the hysterical climate that has led to this travesty of justice. Indeed, over the years the Reporter has always given glowing and uncritical exposure to the very same posse of individuals who made this disastrous chapter in Philadelphia an appalling reality.

And if the Reporter thinks that this Philadelphia episode is a lone anomaly when it comes to false accusations against Catholic priests, it is the one who is truly "fantasist."

Fr. Engelhardt and Bernard Shero are scheduled to be sentenced on June 12.


  1. Clare says:

    I hope this site brings some relief to the priests.  It is difficult to understand why an individual who is angry at the church for any reason, would want to isolate and be cruel to an individual in a group that had never done anything wrong.  The main advantage the papers had was a society of people that did not think for themselves. Most people do not spend time thinking–serioulsy thinking and questioning information being shoved at them.  Also astonishing is the lack of empathy and sensitivity in our society.  Parishoners could and should do more to encourage and support the priests in their parishes.

  2. dennis ecker says:

    This is nothing more then two reporters (Cipriano & Pierre) feeding off of each other. I now would not be suprised that Cipriano wrote the editorial also since he tried to mislead readers I spoke about in a earlier post. It is important to read the comments following the editorial because it does show what the public truly think about the case and the catholic church.

    First, these two writers attack a judge, then they attack DA Blessington Seth Williams and anyone else who they put in their sites. They have even attacked thejurors in the case wanting people to believe that the DA placed a rogue juror on the panel. Now they are going after DA Sorenson. Who will they go after next ?

    What a attack by someone who is not respected by the DA's in getting his questions answered. Could it be that biased reporting he is so well known about, present and past that has put him in this position ? Or could it be the fast decline of his own blog that is reflected by the amount of people on his site ? If you don't have enough readers and those who leave comments your SEO's disappear and your blog ceases to exist.

    In closing I wonder if any of the clergy members get released on bail, I truly wonder if Cipriano or Pierre would open their doors and allow them to move in with them ?

    Will we have an answer from either two ?

    • Billy says:

      You named everyone that should be questioned. Their motive for prosecuting these individuals was career related and nothing more. Where are the ADAs who prosecuted this case at now – one was given a promotion and the other is in DC now in the government sector. Would this have happened if they were not the DAs lapdogs? I think not. They would still be pretending to protect the city of Philadelphia to get Williams his accolades in his push for mayor. 

  3. dennis ecker says:

    ….If this article shows so much fact and mentions the reporter numerous times why is this article from the NCR not posted on his own blog site ? As of 4:50est.

  4. Christopher Browne says:

    Not surprised, of course, by these revelations, but I also don't think that they will change the majority's prejudice against the Church, which over the past 50 years has deliberately weakened itself and its defenses so that it is unable to withstand the pressure.  The nation's position – the world's position – is decidedly aginast the Church, but the Church has adopted the 'go along to get along' attitude, and  it hasn't served them well!  The Bishops 50 or 75 years ago would have met this challenge head on.  The Church has done just as much to itself as these prejudiced attackers.  Just my lament.

  5. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    The final outcome, guilty or not-guilty, has some value and importance. But what is more significant and relevant is the evidence, details, documents, etc. of the archdiocesan management that were produced and displayed. Such a total disregard for the safety, welfare, innocence and preciousness of our children – not only the victims but also the other children that were placed at risk for abuse.

    Look on the bright side. We have the pending archdiocesan civil suits to look forward to with Hamilton, Anderson, Monahan, and others leading the way. With all of those wonderful depositions and a much lower threshold for guilt/liability, things are definitely looking up for victims and their families here in the Delaware Valley. 

    Hopefully Ralph will keep us posted on the civil proceedings as they develop and unfold.

    • Billy says:

      Continued repeated post….No knowledge or insight to the true facts of the case

    • Tom says:

      A FAIR reading of the documents (not the distorted spin of the DA) shows that archdiocesan officials made a good faith effort to address the problem in ways that at the time - which mostly were about thirty years ago -  were in line with the best practices of society in general.  Offenders generally were sent for psychological treatment and only returned to ministry when experts said they were not a danger.  Of course today we know that sexual offenders remain a danger but that was not the understanding of secular society in years past.  

      You are right, however, that some people could get rich from the DA's false prosecution.  It is not the victims.  The fake victim, Billy Doe, will likly get enough money to keep in in drugs for at least a few years.  Seth Williams will likely get some hefty campaign contributions from the tort lawyer his office recommended to Mr. Doe. The big winners will be the multi-millionaire tort lawyers who could make millions more.  Real victims and their families will get little if anything. 

      And the ones who would pay are not the people who committed the abuse 30 years ago – they are all gone now- but church institutions, such as schools and parishes, that had nothing to do with what happened in the past.

  6. Julie says:

    Michael, I am just curious. What abuse claims against protestant churches are you following?

    • Michael Skiendzielewski says:

      Julie, I follow child abuse cases in whatever forum………..public or private, religious or secular, etc.

      Boy Scouts, Citadel, Horace Mann, Syracuse University, public schools, and, yes, other religious institutions…..

      The issue is the protection of ALL children and recent efforts in state legislatures around the country are focused on the protection of ALL children, regardless of the environment.

  7. mary jane grimaldi says:

    I grew up a Catholic in the Bible Belt and thought I knew all about anti-Catholic bigotry —-then I spent a week at a Serra Convention in Philadelphia and learned all about anti-Catholic bigotry – unabashed, shameless bigotry—–completely without conscience. The hotel was even happy to cheat us out of what we had paid for had it not been for a good Irish red cap who tipped us off about their scams. I will never go back .

    • Michael Skiendzielewski says:

      Ah, yes, speaking of the Serra Club…..great story here.  Shortly after the release of the first GJR in Phila in late 2005, I began corresponding with Philadelphia archdiocesan in-house counsel about various facts, evidence and documents that were part of the GJR.  He also was the President of the local Serra Chapter and I subsequently asked to join that same Serra Club in writing.  This attorney refused to respond to my request and only after I spoke directly with the President of the International Serra Club, an Australian native, did I receive a formal reply (rejection) from the President of the Serra Club.  I am a life-long Phila. Catholic who treasures my faith each and every day and recognizes the value and importance of the Serra Club and this is how I am treated as a result of expressing my viewpoints about clergy sexual abuse here in Philadelphia.

      Well, this same in-house counsel was ousted when Archbishop Chaput took over the leadership.  Interestingly, the International President of Serra mentioned that US Catholics are not as accepting as other Catholics throughout the world regarding different points of view and perspectives on various religious concerns.

    • N.E.Snob says:

      Mary, cheer up… The 2013 Serra conference is being held in a 4 star hotel in Mallorca.

      I think it starts on June 20, 2013!

  8. Publion says:

    I followed DP’s hyperlink to the NCR editorial and also read the comments to that editorial.


    I want to say that I understand the situation NCR’s editors find themselves in. They have for long been – not to put too fine a point on it – rather SNAP-friendly indeed. In fact, when Mr. CEO Clohessy was busy trying to deflect direct questions put to him in the matter of his own Deposition a while back, NCR ran a rather long and involved editorial supporting him (although he was up to precisely the same stuff that NCR and many of its readers have long been accusing the Bishops and the hierarchy of doing).


    In a way, NCR’s situation reflects the position of the Bishops, I think. Having pursued a certain course for quite a while, they suddenly find themselves confronted (thank to Mr. Cipriano) with rather strong and clear indications that at the very least there is and always has been a lot more to it than they had previously allowed themselves to see (or at least discuss).


    NCR’s editorial staff (which may have a different membership at this point … I don’t know) is now trying to somehow perform what in old-school military operations was the very very difficult and dangerous task of “changing front”. Which means: you are in the heat of battle, you see that your troop dispositions no longer conform to the changed tactical situation, and in the face of the enemy you must now move those troops around and re-position your ‘front’ without simultaneously creating a lethal vulnerability to attack precisely at the moment when your troops are in the process of moving around.


    Doyle’s Report – even if it was only informally read by a few of the Bishops back in 1985 – was a shocking message to the effect that their ‘dispositions’ and their standard operating procedures for handling aberrant priests were no longer adequate to the realities that were developing out in the wider world of America beyond their daily bishop-y concerns.


    I imagine not a few judges, prosecutors and police officials felt the same when they realized in the mid-1980s that MADD had changed the situation in regard to how drunk-drivers were dealt with.


    For the Bishops this meant – I would say – that i) the genuinely aberrant individual priests had to be dealt with far more forcefully and acutely; ii) their workings and figurings would be far more open to some forms of extra-Church and extra-hierarchical scrutiny and wide publicity; and iii) their situation was already so difficult and complex that (recalling tort-attorney Mouton’s warnings in the Report) they were probably going to be the focus of major tort-focused lawsuits no matter what they chose to do.


    So they were vulnerable on two fronts: a) the Present and Future, which required clear and well-informed and forceful action to put a stop to any abuse whatsoever; this was addressed by the Dallas Charter (and its subsequent revisions and enhancements over the past 10 years).


    But also b) the Past: and this presented stunning difficulties. If in the Present you were now going to be held accountable for the way things were done decades in the Past, and if on top of that you were going to have to avoid what might turn out to be a fatal wrecking of the entire fiscal structure of whole Dioceses (if not the entire Church in the US), then you had to start thinking as a Defendant, and not simply as a Bishop. (Your attorneys and your Insurers would insist upon it.)


    And that presented an entirely fresh level of hellish complexities. Because, as Michael D’Antonio points out in his recent book, this was a point that was not lost upon the tort-attorneys, who – rightly, according to their own role and objectives – sought to do everything possible by any means necessary to somehow intensify that complexity and keep the Bishops off-balance. For a commander of the legions, this would be a hellish mess (if indeed a commander of the legions would ever have let himself get so boxed in); for a commander of the City Cohorts, used to presiding at parades and handling run-of-the-mill disturbances, the whole situation quickly unbalanced whatever resources could be mustered.


    And thus as laws changed and began to eradicate various legal principles and maxims, and as the definitions of ‘abuse’ began to expand like balloons, and as – to use my LA wildfire image from comments on the immediately previous TMR article – the fire began to behave not like a fire but rather like a self-feeding conflagration, literally ‘creating its own weather’ around itself … as all that began to happen, it simply exacerbated the challenges confronting the Bishops.


    And by that point, neatly, it had become outrageously Not-Correct to even wonder about the distinction between genuine victims and those otherwise classifiable.


    While the Bishops’ efforts to work on the Future have borne indisputable fruit, the problem with the conflagration seated in the Past remains more difficult. Like many wildfire-fighting strategies, they are currently being blessed with an actual (and Providential, it could seem) change in the weather itself: the general public sense of this Matter as it relates to the Past is slowly starting to cool down, and here and there questions are being asked and some rational analysis is starting to appear, tamping down the spiral mini-tornadoes of flame that had for so long been running free and wild.


    With that in mind, I would offer my support to the NCR editors as they try (thanks to Mr. Cipriano’s catalytic efforts) to re-position themselves on the Matter.


    But I would question the editorial’s reference to “years of elaborate deceptions by Catholic leaders”. Once we factor in the changes in the psychology of abusive persons that have taken place at a high-rate in the past few decades, and the deeply unbalancing effects of the tort-attorneys’ very effective strategic use of media and legislators to help acquire a more ‘fire-friendly’ environment for their efforts, then I think we can see the Bishops in somewhat less of a Mafia-like light.


    Still, it cannot be denied that had they and their predecessors somehow managed to maintain a firmer grasp on their own ‘quality control’, then surely the most egregious and repellent priest-offenders (whose cases, starting in Louisiana in the mid-80s) might have been prevented. But by the 1980s, that would have meant taking action in the 1960s and 1970s, and those opportunities were by then already gone.


    As it has played out, the current Bishops – and the Bishops of 1985 – were and still are Framed  (used in the Narrative, not the slang, sense here) for what may or may not have gone on in the 1950s and even the 1940s. (A bit of perspective here: we are as far removed today from 1940 as 1940 was removed from the America of 1867 and the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the Administration of Andrew Johnson, who was Lincoln’s successor.)


    Looking at the comments to the NCR editorial, I would also say:


    The assertion that American law today, however screwed up it may be, is still hell-and-gone better than canon-law which – it is claimed – can be “twisted to mean whatever its bosses want it to mean on a given day” … is to my mind a hugely exaggerated accusation and assertion, and one that is going to need a whole lot of examples and evidence. Once again, we see the internet-commentary tendency among far too many persons to just toss out something that sounds informed and substantive but is actually not anything of the sort.


    (I repeat what I have said before on this site about types of internet comments: you have to learn to listen to them the way you might listen to various conversations overheard in a bar after a few hours: for every one bit that makes some sense, there is a whole lot that is simply thumpy and brassy trumpeting that serves only to pass the time and get in some air-time among the congregants assembled.)


    The assertion that the Church “did everything in its power to derange the process of justice” also holds far less water than it appears. As we have seen in the LA documents, there was not any way that the Church in LA tried to derange the police or justicial processes because there were in so many instances no police or justicial processes underway then (or, in many cases, even later).


    And as I said in comments on the LA document cache that we saw, and more recently referred to in comments on the immediately previous TMR article here: the Question that nobody seems to have (yet) been moved to ask is why all the many other dogs in the ‘neighborhood’ (so to speak) didn’t bark. Persons could have gone to the police without fiddling around with the local hierarchy; persons could have gone to the media. Nor can the claim be entertained with a straight face that the police and the media were under the control of the Church.


    Rather, I would say and have said, it is quite possible that before the era of revolutionary/victimist law ‘reforms’, police and media could not have done much with the stories presented to them. And – but of course – since the era of revolutionary/victimist law ‘reforms’, we have now encountered as a nation an entirely new and far more wide-reaching panoply of lethal difficulties. Someday, perhaps, we can draw up an accounting sheet with the benefits of revolutionary/victimist law on one side, and the costs and consequences of revolutionary/victimist law on the other. That should make for some sober reading indeed.


    Also the assertion that all of what has happened in the Abuse Matter has simply been the working out of “equal protection under law”: that “lawwas conceived to be Western law, and not revolutionary law (slyly and treacherously – if also somewhat witlessly – insinuated into Western and American law in the past few decades).


    And lastly – in a comment that appears both on the NCR editorial site and on this site – we have the idea that “the final outcome, guilty or not guilty, has some importance” but that, really, that isn’t the major point. In what sort of universe is the deployment of the Sovereign Coercive Authority of the government through the trial-process (especially the criminal trial-process) not the prime issue at stake? It is precisely on this issue that the integrity and legitimacy of the justice system rises or falls. And that the limits allowable to a limited-government be maintained.


    But, marvelously, the answer to the what-universe question comes quickly here: “the evidence, details, documents, etc. of the archdiocesan management that were produced and displayed”. If that is the primary universe informing this comment that I have quoted, then the trial in Philadelphia is thus demonstrated to have been a toxic combination of Stalinist show-trial and some sort of fishing expedition, for which the Charges were trumped up and in the service of which any amount of confounding whackery claimed by the various versions of the Billy-Doe victimization story were just so many bits and pieces to be stuffed into the barrel of the government blunderbuss for ‘other’ purposes and objectives. And – I would say – for a whole lot of such ‘other’ purposes and agendas.


    And then – the comment quickly goes on – the good news (as in “Look on the bright side”) is that there are a bunch of civil lawsuits still to come (perhaps with their progress lubricated by “all those wonderful depositions” and documents uncovered through the show-trial over the Bill-Doe stories). And – be ye encouraged, comrades! – those Stakhanovite heroes of the revolution’s justice – “Hamilton, Anderson, Monahan, and others” – will be “leading the way”. I presume that means Marci and Jeff as the first two glorious avatars of Justice whose names this comment unfurls like a banner.


    I think that – barring an overt confession by one of the Abusenik principals – you really would have to pay to get a clearer indication of what is, and – I have often said – always has been, driving so much of the Catholic Abuse Matter.


    I imagine that Mr. Cipriano will keep up on these lawsuits. And if things go the way we have usually seen in these things, the loud and lusty cheerleading section for the ‘revolution’ suddenly won’t want to talk about it anymore … when yet another glorious revelatory Event melts like ice cream in the sun. But – I have no doubt we will quickly be reassured  – yet another glorious revelatory Event will be coming up very soon and it will indubitably prove that the cadres of the revolution have been right all along.


    We shall see.

    • Michael Skiendzielewski says:

      Publion……………not sure that I understand all of the issues and concerns you offer here.  But what I would like to say is this:  Regardless of the organization, agency, foundation, etc., whether public or private, religious or secular, local or national, etc., in my estimation, there are two principles that should be bound together in any fair, competent and effective organization……they are LEADERSHIP and CONSEQUENCES (for that leadership).

      What we have experienced, continue to and will so in the future is the failure of both items to be present simultaneously in our universities, private organizations, religious institutions, sports organizations, etc.

      That is why, as imperfect as current legislative initiatives may be re SOL reform and child abuse in various states across the nation, I don't know of any other reasonable alternatives that address the inability and failure of organizations to "do the right thing" regarding the safety and protection of our children.  So, regardless of what any organization does or doesn't do in the future when allegations of child abuse come into management, it will be legally clear who are "mandated reporters" and the clear penalties for failure to report and that victims (children) will be able to come forward to make a report, regardless of the date and time, thanks to the extension and or elimination of the SOL's for criminal and/or civil litigation.

      If nothing else, with the elimination of the SOL's throughout the country, everyone will clearly understand the CONSEQUENCES joined with their LEADERSHIP in light of child protection.

    • Michael Skiendzielewski says:


      "….Once we factor in the changes in the psychology of abusive persons that have taken place at a high-rate in the past few decades, and the deeply unbalancing effects of the tort-attorneys’ very effective strategic use of media and legislators to help acquire a more ‘fire-friendly’ environment for their efforts, then I think we can see the Bishops in somewhat less of a Mafia-like light…."

      This is a beauty for sure.  Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry is nervous and anxious about his polygraph exam scheduled for the next day.  George advises and reassures him………"Don't worry, Jerry, if you believe it, it's not a lie."

  9. jim robertson says:

    I've got a revolution for your fake moral posturings. How about stepping off your self installed pedestle and quit making excuses like" the victims didn't go to the police" bull. A crime is a crime wether the police are informed or not. Time and time again vicims went to the police and as in Australia the police rolled them over. There Detective Fox was ordered by his superiors to  turn in evidence and let the matter alone. He didn't  thank goodness.

    Here, to me, is the crux: if the Church doesn't hold itself accountable for it's behavior how can it hold anyone else accountable for their"s?

    And the whole world knows the Church isn't taking responsability.

    Your own actions are bringing you down. Your own rigidity and hypocricy.

    The Church is self destructing and it's followers are enabling it to do so.

    If you'd done the right thing by the victims, even starting as late as 2002, the world would have been at your feet. Instead it's only getting worse for your credability. Your fault not the injured's. Quit deluding yourselves and wake up.

    If it's "revolutionary" to behave like Jesus and care for the injured; then get a red banner as fast as you can.


    • jim robertson says:

      and get to work.

    • Fran says:

      The police in Australia did not “roll them over”. Fox is a loose cannon whose blusterings could have prejudiced the work other cops were doing. He is an unashamed self publicist who constantly accuses others of undermining him. Other police have contradicted his assertions of obstruction by his superiors.

    • fran says:

      And BTW, given the victims we have here, the problem seems to be priests who were "closet homosexuals" rather than pedophiles.There are very few females among the victims. Indeed, it is striking that they are overwhelmingly male. Some of the perpetrators were accused of possessing male pornography – so it looks like they were gays who couldn't control their sexual urges.

  10. Publion says:

    Mr. Sken – am I rightly recalling that he at some prior point identified himself as a collegiate faculty member? – is welcome to peruse my prior comments for a fuller grasp of my points and thoughts; even a review of the immediately-previous two or three TMR articles/comments should help illuminate things in this regard.


    I am not sure in what ways the current leadership – the Bishops, in the US especially – have not exercised Leadership and dealt with Consequences, especially since the institution of the Dallas Reforms a dozen years ago.


    Additionally, I am not sure if Mr. Sken is or is not also referring to issues from decades long preceding the tenure of any current American Bishops. At any rate, 3 billion dollars in settlements, on top of the Dallas reforms, seem to me rather substantive instances of both Leadership and Accepting Consequences. What precisely does Mr. Sken further propose?


    In regard to the legislation and jurisprudential changes of the past decades: “Doing the right thing” is insufficiently clear. To do it that morally means restitution and demonstrated resolution to take steps to prevent further occurrences. And I think that both of those requirements have been demonstrated, as I mention in the preceding paragraph.


    In regard to “doing the right thing” in terms of legislation and jurisprudence, I would insist that achieving that seemingly laudable goal requires doing so within the framework of Western and American evidence-based justice, governed as well by the principle of any accused being presumed innocent until proven guilty. I would respectfully submit to Mr. Sken that – as I have said – the so-called victim-friendly or ‘victimist’ legal changes have actually served only to regress Western and American justice back to the Soviet and ‘revolutionary’ modus operandi, which I consider a hugely and fatally damaging course of action to pursue, in terms of the consequences for the accused and in terms of the consequences to the integrity and legitimacy of Western and American law and jurisprudence.


    In fact, I will also say that the far too many of the essential dynamics involved in this Catholic Abuse Matter are disturbingly similar to Soviet and ‘revolutionary’ jurisprudential praxis.


    And so too is the entire Stampede element in terms of manipulating and prejudicing public opinion generally: Bolshevik and Soviet propaganda praxis and philosophy created the category of ‘objective’ guilt – meaning that if a person were simply a member of a certain proscribed class, then his/her guilt as to betrayal of the ‘revolution’ could and must-be presumed. In the Catholic Abuse Matter, especially in light of such documentation as we have seen and examined on this site, it seems clear to me that the category/class of ‘priest’ or ‘Bishop’ now functions in American public opinion as a Bolshevik “proscribed class”, such that any member of that class is presumed guilty. At which point, in the Bolshevik/Soviet schema, the task of the government and its trials is simply to strike, rather than to impartially investigate and prosecute.


    This, I am saying, is where the adoption of the revolutionary/victimist template of law and jurisprudence in the past few decades has led the country, the legislators, the courts, and – alas – far too much of the media, as well as the general public.


    And thus it is my conclusion that the adoption of the revolutionary/victimist template of law (with its origin in a very dangerously totalitarian government schema) is not at all a “reasonable” course of action if we are to preserve the integrity and legitimacy of legislation and jurisprudence in the Western and certainly the American setting.


    Further, I would say that the revolutionary/victimist template also cannot be justified merely in terms of either a) the good-intentions of those who have espoused and enabled its adoption here nor b) the hoped-for good results in terms of “doing the right thing” for (genuine) victims.


    Because the disconnect between the revolutionary/victimist template and the basic template (and schema of government – i.e. limited) is so profoundly abyssal that it cannot rationally be expected that America might somehow ‘baptize’ the revolutionary/schema such that it would produce only the desired ‘good’ results and yet not also produce the ineluctable lethally dangerous jurisprudential and governmental consequences.


    In that sense, then, I would submit that the revolutionary/victimist changes are not merely “imperfect” but rather are – and clearly must be by their very nature – lethally dangerous.


    I trust that these thoughts will also cover what I would – with respect – call the soft-pedaling of the consequences of SOL changes. I don’t believe that there is sufficient general awareness of the fundamental nature of the challenge and threat to the integrity of Western and American justice ethos and praxis. There is, instead, a gauzy though well-intentioned desire to somehow make it easier for pursuit/prosecution of claims for which evidence and accurate memory no longer exist in any rationally demonstrable form.


    I would also propose again: imagine in 1940 trying to pursue/prosecute an allegation of sexual abuse that took place in 1867 or the 1870s or the 1880s. It is surely not the only – or even the most rational – possibility that the Bishops (or any organizational leaders) would merely be obstructive if they resisted such a gambit.


    And I would conclude my thoughts on Mr. Sken’s most recent comment with a reiteration of the point that we cannot enact bad laws or legal ‘changes’ – guaranteed by their very nature to have fundamentally noxious and toxic consequences – merely on the pretext (however well-intentioned) that some desirable secondary results might also be produced. ‘Sex’ is for humanity a rather stubborn reality; laws in the past have had only modest success – or less – in ‘controlling’ its improper applications. (Indeed, and confounding-ly, we live in an era when many insist that nobody may judge the propriety or impropriety of other persons’ sexual desires and choices.) Clearly not even Church law – which has prohibited priestly sexual activity for centuries if not also millennia – can work such complete magicks.


    Moving on to the JR comment of 1101, and bearing in mind my previous thoughts on the various types of  internet commentary:


    If simply trying to put forward rational arguments opens me to the epithet that I am putting myself above (some) others with my “moral posturings”, then I will suggest that a perfectly rational alternative explanation is that rational-arguments and analysis are simply above certain mentalities – a fact about which I can and will do nothing.


    An act may be criminal whether it is reported or not, but in Western justice an act cannot induce the deployment of the Sovereign Coercive Authority of the State against an accused unless it can be determined to be rationally proven to have happened. Absent the clear evidence, there is nothing that a limited Western government can do – leaving, as I have been saying, only the ‘revolutionary’ template and schema. And I continue to insist that in adopting such a schema in a Western democracy of limited-government is a cure far more certainly and widely fatal than the disease.


    And after three billion dollars and the Dallas Reforms, just what further “accountability” does JR have in mind here? (Hint: this is not a rhetorical question and I – for one – would be very interested in the response to it.)


    As for “the whole world knows that the Church isn’t taking responsibility” … I would require some evidence for that assertion. Enough said on that.


    Examples of my “rigidity” and “hypocrisy” will be required here; and quotations from any of my material here as well. And enough said on that.


    We shall see just how much the Church is “self-destructing”; personally, I credit this prediction or assertion about as much as I credit claims of sure-fire proof coming in the form of this or that upcoming Event that would demonstrate that JR has been right all along. And enough said on that.


    And we are now presented with a shift that is so very neatly and slyly inserted here: JR thinks that things would have been fine – even as late as 2002 – if the Church had … and so forth. D’Antonio’s book recites the record of legal cases going back to 1985 wherein tort-attorneys had started to get the idea that lawsuits against such a wondrously deep-pockets Defendant might well be so constructed as to succeed. And then came Jeff Andersons’s 1990s refinements of that strategy. The historical record of legal cases itself refutes the 2002 date, so brassily trumpeted here. As does, of course, the record of Lawyer Mouton’s predictions in the 1985 Doyle Report.


    And lastly – and again and again – three billion dollars is quite a bit of “behaving like Jesus”,  I should think. Especially since in JR’s own world-schema, there is nothing else the Church can do.


    And to conclude this comment, I point out to both commenters whose work I have discussed here that there remains the fundamental difficulty of distinguishing genuine victims from those otherwise-classifiable. Unless we can do that we not only cannot urge the Church to further specific programs, but we also cannot actually be sure just how extensive this Catholic Abuse Matter has been – or ever was – in the first place.

  11. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    (I repeat what I have said before on this site about types of internet comments: you have to learn to listen to them the way you might listen to various conversations overheard in a bar after a few hours: for every one bit that makes some sense, there is a whole lot that is simply thumpy and brassy trumpeting that serves only to pass the time and get in some air-time among the congregants assembled.)

    Are you, Publion, part of the above-described group of commentators?


    • Julie says:

      Michael, given the substantive nature of Publion's posts, I would say a definite no.

  12. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Accepting Consequences = $3 Billion  (LOGIC 101)

    Oops, should have stated INDIVIDUAL CONSEQUENCES for our Church leaders.  Are you suggesting that the $3 Billion was theirs (bishops, cardinals, etc)  to lose and/or forfeit?

    Hey, part of that $3 Billion was money this family has put in the Sunday collections.  Publion, is any of your money in that $3 Billion worth of CONSEQUENCES?

  13. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

     I would respectfully submit to Mr. Sken that – as I have said – the so-called victim-friendly or ‘victimist’ legal changes have actually served only to regress Western and American justice back to the Soviet and ‘revolutionary’ modus operandi, which I consider a hugely and fatally damaging course of action to pursue, in terms of the consequences for the accused and in terms of the consequences to the integrity and legitimacy of Western and American law and jurisprudence.

    Wow………….victim-friendly or victimist legal challenges??  Revolutionary?

    I'm speechless……..and if that occurs, your statement must indeed be overwhelming (underwhelming?).

  14. Dennis Ecker says:

    Why should anyone feel sorry for the churches, the schools or anything else the catholic church is involved in ? The catholic church took a gamble in trying to sweep the abuse of children underneath the rug so those institutions are nothing more then collateral damage

    I would have thought different if the churches and schools were run by the members of the church who actually make it up, the ones who dig deep in their pockets who make the church they attend exist.

    Its not the church who will be paying out those suits most likely in the millions of dollars, but the average church goer, and then the church will have the audacity to ask you to dig even more deeper for that weekly tighe and then push even farther by raising school tuition, only because your spiritual leaders could not tell the truth. and come forward when they first knew of some major problems.


    However, that is not happening and since there are no plans in any archdiocese in this country for its members to be involved and continue to accept the behind door meetings, the faithful themselves are to for what is happening to their church

  15. Publion says:

    Aw gee and shucks … I thought the Professor would be willing to engage in some serious analytical exchange that would be illuminating for the readership, especially on such a serious subject. But apparently, for whatever his reasons, he is going to put the ball-cap on sideways and go that route.


    So then I would ask the Professor to declare for the readership: in his opinion, reading my material here, and then considering the general run of conversations that over the years he may have overheard in bars, does my material strike him as typical bar-fly conversation? Is it irrational and not well-reasoned? Does it make undemonstrated and ungrounded assertions? Does it display a lack of familiarity with rational and analytic thought-processes? Does it display the working of a mind that is unused to establishing clear rationally-established paths of thought? Does it display an inability to work within the framework of established facts?


    I think the Professor’s own opinion in this matter would be helpful for the readership to get a clearer picture here. And – frankly – it would give me a better picture of what sort of a mentality I might be dealing with as well.


    I trust that asking the Professor for an answer to his own question does not create too much of a conceptual imposition. And I thank him in advance for whatever answer he chooses to make.

  16. Publion says:

    I would, also, consider it premature to infer that out of all of the material of mine that the Professor might have read – including my query as to what further proposals he would make – he found nothing to engage his conceptual interest, in an area that he reports has been of interest to him. Hoping for further conceptual exchange, I remain, etc.

  17. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Pubby, you did not respond to the consequences of the $3 Billion shouldered by US Catholic Leadership.

    Let's move on to the Dallas Charter and Reforms.

    Spearheaded and led by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.  In light of the consequences (both positive and negative, since I am a part-time Math teacher, not Professor), whatever happened to the application and adherence of these Dallas principles when Cardinal George was handling the horrific sexual abuse allegations of Father Daniel McCormack in Chicago several years AFTER the Dallas Charter was approved by the USCCB?

    After the criminal prosecution and conviction of this child abuser for several assaults, it appears that those suffering the CONSEQUENCES are the victims and their families.  

    Next chapter…….Bishop Finn and the Dallas Charter…………..stay tuned

  18. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Yo, Pubby, in response to your little item:

    "….. And – frankly – it would give me a better picture of what sort of a mentality I might be dealing with as well….."

    You could try GOOGLE and just might find that I too have authored cogent, rational and thoughtful presentations on these topics.

    But, the phrase………."sort of mentality"……………pejorative?     jejune?

  19. jim robertson says:

    That's right Michael you and I can be googled by name. We stick ourselves on the line here. As does Dennis Ecker and Kay Ebling.

    But Pubic and others?  Nothing. What's to hide?

  20. jim robertson says:

    That 3 billion dollars wasn't  "given" in a Jesus like sense of repentance and concern. There was no love involved or even duty.

    The corporate Church had to be forced.

    You injured minors and put other minors in the path of monsters, consciously and in large numbers.

    Being forced to compensate people is not a charitable choice on the Church's part..

    Don't pretend the Church has done so "much" out of the goodness of a heart it doesn't have.

    Children were harmed and your corporation will continue to pay for those injuries.

  21. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Pubby, while you were away, I ordered this item special for your review, consideration and dissertation:,0,2302938,full.story

    From today's LA Times……….you just can't keep a good Cardinal (Mahony) down!  He's BACK.

    From the Truth or CONSEQUENCES file, Pubby………..if you recall, we were considering the US Catholic Church leadership's consequences for their actions/inactions in response to clergy sexual abuse.  You mentioned that feckless, specious Charter developed in Dallas in 2002.

    Roger seems to slip-sliding under the Dallas Charter rules once again.  He's the Teflon Cardinal.

    Pubby, have a great weekend and we'll continue this dialogue at your convenience.

  22. Publion says:

    When I put up my last comment the last comment up by another commenter was Mr/Prof Sken’s query as to whether I consider myself to be a bar-fly.


    I note that in his subsequent comments he has not responded either to that query or to my question as to what further proposals he would make.


    Now to the recent crop:


    At 255PM he now admits that his prior assertions were incomplete and that he meant “personal consequences” (omitting here the caps). Well, precision of concept and expression is a good thing, even if it’s late. I would ask again: just what does he propose as demonstration of “accepting personal consequences”? And according to what criteria would a current or still-living Bishop fall under such (yet to be proposed) strictures?


    I cannot see the relevance of the “(Logic 101)” bit (caps omitted). It sort of does give a kind of university flavor to the thing, though.


    I also note that rather than dealing with proposals or answering my query as to his own question, he simply raises a different point and question. We have seen this type of ‘distracting’ tactic before on this site and I leave it to the readership.


    I would also note another characteristic we have seen before: a presumed educated professional suddenly starts with the ball-cap sideways lingo: “Hey”. But perhaps Mr./Prof. Sken is either a) playing to a different audience and/or b) reverting to true form. But the mature sober concerned professional Catholic has suddenly disappeared here.


    And then at 3PM, he simply descends to something from the high-school cafeteria: either genuinely ignorant of the material I had recommended so that he could get up to speed on what’s been going on in the material on this site, or else simply seeking the cafeteria-barfly level, he simply repeats some of my material and then makes fun of the terms which he somehow hasn’t read or doesn’t want to deal with. He does not join the thread or the conversation but rather makes fun of it. (So perhaps I wouldn’t have been premature by inferring that we were going to encounter yet another would-be mature and sober and concerned professional revealing himself to be something far less.)


    Which is his right, of course.


    The fact, thus and then, that my material has rendered him “speechless” does not assume the substantive proportions one might have otherwise feared. Although I suspect that the claim of ‘speechlessness’ is merely another ploy to distract from the fact that he has made no response to any of the material or to any of my rather simply phrased questions as to his own proposals. He doesn’t have to, you see, because it’s all so numbingly something that it leaves a mind of his stature speechless.


    Neat, but we’ve seen all this before.


    And indeed, he is a part-time Math teacher and not a Professor. OK, so that simply leaves the mature concerned sober Catholic layperson … also missing in action here.


    The Dallas Reforms were put in place in 2002. In the matter of George-McCormack, the first accusation – which finally led to an arrest in 2005 then led to a release for lack of evidence. Whether George himself realized that as well in the beginning is a good question. But in still trying to keep the matter in-house that Cardinal put himself on a path certain to end badly, especially when he disregarded the advice of his own Review Board in the Fall of 2005, not acting on their recommendation until January of 2006 – a matter (depending on when in the Fall of 2005) of three or four months. How many children – asked a noted local tort-attorney for abuse cases, were abused between the Fall of 2005 and January of 2006? A fair question.


    But I note that this case is a far-cry from the pre-Dallas claims of Ordinaries concocting all sorts of skullduggery. The key time-lapse here is on the order of September 1st to January 31st or September 30th to January 1st (I haven’t been able to nail down the dates any more specifically; others may be able to do so).


    Mr. Sken will then tell us about Bishop Finn, in Kansas City, whose case is more recent and has been discussed at length on this site.


    Compared to the ‘culture of cover-up’ claims presuming cover-ups of grossly illegal proportions, in the pre-Dallas era, I would say there are grounds to be more than somewhat encouraged by the post-Dallas paucity of such situations. And the second Jay Report certainly indicates a fall-off of notable proportions in the allegations.


    Well, we shall all “stay tuned” – although I now wonder if we aren’t simply going to get more of the same daytime TV fare.


    Playing to whatever audience, Mr. Sken may note that he has certainly attracted the plaudits of one fan on record here. And that says something too.


    Well, the adventure – and alas the disappointments – continue.

    • jim robertson says:

      I always feel dirty after reading one of P's posts. Maybe it's the consistant use of redundent phraseology. "School Cafeteria" etc. "Types"," Levels of mentality" etc.

      P. You say there's a fall off in accusations. And that proves what about argueably the biggest issue to face the corporate Church since the Reformation?( I skip the Holocoust of the Jews about which the Church failed to do anything). If there wasn't a fall off in accusations after 20+ years of revelations. Now that would be a surprise.

      You act like the corporate Church has done the "right" thing ON IT'S OWN. Au Contrare, Every victim who's come forward has forced the corporate Church to finally behave itself.

      And it's p'd and moaned all the way to the U.S. Supreme court several times attempting to hide it's actions.

      The Church gets no credit at all . It deserves none.

       SomePeople like what you write. Do I mock them? Sarcasm is deadly. God knows I never saw sarcasm in a school cafeteria. (irony)

  23. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    David Pierre:

    Are you following this topic?  What's your take on the Ever-ready Bunny aka Cardinal Mahony?

    It isn't a matter of "why are they always picking on me", is it?  If you or I had that history of verifiable, documented, legitimate evidence and facts of an inability or unwillingness or disregard for the safety, welfare and protection of children, wouldn't you or I just be happy to stay in the background and ride off into the sunset quietly and without notice?

    Sometimes the arrogance, ignorance and hubris knows no bounds…………….

  24. Publion says:

    While I was composing my prior comment, another one by Mr. Sken appeared, apparently very eager to formulate the impression that I am dodging him (and that I will take the weekend off … such an otiose academic schedule is not mine).


    Mr. Sken may not be familiar with the extended treatment on this site of some of the LA Times’ primary offerings from the LA documents cache. On the basis of what documents we have seen, there remains some question as to what Mahony did and did not do.


    I myself do not know what, if any, ecclesiastical dynamics are at work in this LA matter. I would be interested to see what effect the role of Rome has or will have in it. It’s somewhat like trying to figure out Washington’s role in this or that foreign matter – thus not easy for the individual to figure from a distance.


    But I note the tone of the foregoing (726PM) comment by Mr. Sken. Our mature and sober and concerned adult layman has all but disappeared. If this keeps up, we shall find ourselves with yet another barfly-type element here. As we can already see.


    As a matter of fact, however, I note that the fall-off in allegations as indicated in the second Jay Report do not at all support the characterization of the Dallas reforms as “that feckless, specious Charter developed in Dallas in 2002”.

    • Michael Skiendzielewski says:

      Pubby……… is indeed wonderful to hear from you again, even if replying to select issues and comments offered by this writer.
      Finally, the second John Jay Report comes to the fore.  Are you aware of the fact that during the time the 2nd JJR was investigated, developed and produced, a journalist with the Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of New York was working on her Masters Degree at John Jay under the supervision of the primary investigator (Dr. Karen Terry) for the John Jay Report commissioned by the USBBC?  


      Posted by Michael Skiendzielewski
      Sunday, June 26, 2011 02:10

      My comments relate to the issue of academic integrity and conflict of interests. Specifically, investigation has discovered that Dr. Terry was the academic supervisor for a master’s level candidate at John Jay and this individual is a long-time news reporter with Catholic New York, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of New York. 
      Claudia McDonnell
      Topic: Child sexual abuse by Catholic Priests
      Expected completion date: December 2008
      As a matter of fact, this reporter covered the news conference in Washington, DC in May 2011 where theUSCCB presented Dr. Terry’s study. Did the Archdiocese of New York pay for the masters program and courses attended by this news reporter?
      Is such involvement and interaction between researcher, journalist and funding source (Archbishop Dolan, New York, is President of the USCCB which funded the study) acceptable according to the rules, regulations and protocol that is standard practice in such research and study work? Is such involvement by a journalist (with the study and work being covered and reported on) acceptable and approved conduct according to the rules of professional conduct in the journalism field?

  25. jim robertson says:

    It's Mr Skiendizielewski, Cardinal Spell-man.

    • jim robertson says:

      What Michael corruption; manipulation, fraud perpetrated by the hierarchy? Shocked! Shocked! Dolan in particular , laughing boy himself?

      Barbra Blaine recieved her degree's from Catholic universities as well. Blaine the foundress of SNAP. Oh no the corporate Church would never try to rig a report on it's actions. Never!

      Or control by fraudulence, no they wouldn't.


    • jim robertson says:

      There has always been a reporter very connected from the earlier days of this scandal. And that's Jason Berry, an odd character out of New Orleans very Catholic who just happened to have broken the Louisianna coverups in the "80s and still you see him every where. Even reporting in the Missouri based NCR, so you know he's on the side of victims.(irony)

      I remember Jason and Tommy Doyle, excuse me Fr. Tommy Doyle did a workshop in 2008 at the SNAP conference in Chicago.

      I remember Doyle and Berry sniggering soto voce as they looked at all us suckers in the audience. I clearly remember their arrogance. I couldn't comprehend why I was getting that vibe? They couldn't posibly be sniggering at us. Boy was I wrong.

  26. Clare says:

    Thank you, again, to Dorothy Rabinowitz for her WSJ opinion piece.  Dorothy is a talented

    and respected journalist, and, we should be thankful her column appeared this weekend…

    especially this weekend.

  27. jim robertson says:

    Drink up everybody P's buying My ball cap isn't on sideways. I've gratefully never worn one. (As an aside in Europe, ball caps are how you spot Americans).

    But for a person who pretends to be logical, P is always throwing illogical and completely unnecessary insults at anyone who disagrees with him. Why?

    I'm 66 years old. How old are you P? I ask because you're more high school cafeteria than any one else here.

    P only appears logical and only if you accept the unproven and illogical premise upon which he bases his arguments.

  28. mike says:

    Most tragic is the professional who has been targeted by the media, to then

    vent their anger, and/or take delight at the downfall of other professionals.  In other words,

    instead of confronting the bullies who inflicted pain on them;  some individuals take delight

    in watching others go down.  Not me.  Thank you, God, for giving me the strength and

    sensitvity since I was 8 years old…to have more courage and dignity than to take cheap

    shots, and kick others when they are down.

  29. Michael Skiendzielewski says:


    "….I myself do not know what, if any, ecclesiastical dynamics are at work in this LA matter…"

    "ecclesiastical dynamics"……hmm, E.D…………oops, I was thinking of something else

  30. Publion says:

    Mr. Sken is pleased as punch “to hear from me again”. Was he under the impression that I am only occasionally and unpredictably present on this site? If so, then he is grossly uninformed. If not, then what is the relevance of his opening statement?


    But I am not pleased, insofar as none of the questions posed to him have received a response. But I’ll have to work with what I’m given here. And I’m pleased to see that he has broken with his apparently usual practice and is working on the weekend.


    In regard to the Terry matter: I don’t know – does Mr. Sken here claim that a) the Archdiocese of New York paid for the master’s program of a Catholic newspaper’s reporter under the supervision of Dr. Terry of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (JJCCJ)? Or b) Does Mr. Sken here impugn the credibility of the JJCCJ? If so, let him say so. If he is not, then perhaps professional intellectual responsibility would require him to further investigate and develop whatever evidence supports or does not support the questions which he sort of ‘quotes’ but then leaves hanging in mid-air.


    And if he wishes – along the lines, perhaps, of certain bar-fly exemplars on this site – that it’s not his responsibility to do anybody else’s homework for them, then I would remind Mr. Sken – professionally – that a proper intellectual’s task here would be to do his own homework. Otherwise, this entire 3:11PM comment rises no higher than to the level of the usual distractions so characteristics of Abuseniks when they are trying to avoid stuff. (And at this point, after so much material with so many such commenters, it surely seems to me that very few Abuseniks wish to – perhaps because they cannot – effectively address the issues that I and others have raised in regard to the Catholic Abuse Matter.


    Was the journalist involved in the formulation of the Report? Is Mr. Sken here suggesting that the Jay Reports are somehow compromised and unreliable?


    (If the answer to that last question is in the affirmative, then have we seen corroborating evidence in the form of increased or sustained high-levels of allegations of priestly abuse?)


    How impressive of Mr. Sken to demonstrate such a tender and acute concern for professional conduct. I would be happy to see more that concern translated into palpable actuality here. Enough said.


    Lastly, I note yet again that I have received no answers to any questions I have put to Mr. Sken about his own material, nor has he addressed any of the major points I have made.


    Instead, we get what we got at 3:11PM today




  31. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Whew, brevity is not your strong suit………….

    Is it appropriate for a journalist to disclose a professional, educational relationship that she has with the author of a study that she is writing about and reporting on?

    Palpable actuality??…….sounds like conduct that is prohibited by the Crimes Code

  32. Publion says:

    Mr. Sken seems to think that my comment of 738PM yesterday is daunting for its lack of brevity. Apparently he hasn’t read some of my other comments. If he has read them, none of the substantive issues raised have engaged him, despite his self-proclaimed interest in the Abuse Matter. Or – perhaps more accurately – his interest in his own spin and nothing else.


    And I’m still waiting for any sustained engagement with the questions I posed to him.


    But snarky jokes are something we’ve seen before on this site: it is a way of trying to discredit ideas that Abuseniks cannot or don’t want to deal with. Which, I am beginning to think, is a very very long list of ideas indeed.


    Why ask anybody if it is appropriate? Answer the question with your considered opinion like a useful intellectual and give people something to consider. Instead, we get this sustained effort at innuendo and insinuation. Sly and sleazy but nothing more.


    And I’m still not sure what this reporter did that might be considered wrong. And what is the relevance to the validity of the Report and the JJCCJ? We still haven’t gotten Mr. Sken’s considered discussion of those matters.


    There is – the best of my knowledge – no such entity or document or law as “the Crimes Code”. Or is this just an adolescent effort at snark?


    But overall so far, I’d say that we have all been treated to yet another indication of this reality: the Abusenik position is based on no seriously defensible conceptual grounds at all.


    Rather, it is an Oz-like illusion built upon unchallenged spin and stories. Abuseniks are not used to having to explain their position – such as it is – nor answer questions about it. Nor have they ever had to do so since very little mainstream media treatment required it of them.


    On their own ‘friendly’ and congenial sites, they can thus occupy themselves happily enough with the type of material we have by this point so often seen. But when they come to a site that isn’t so partial to their modus operandi, they are confounded, and quickly resort to the menu of distractions and epithetical characterizations and so forth that we have seen so often deployed by such types. All the while, dodging any sustained engagement on issues and dodging any questions that they cannot deal with (which appears to be most of the questions that are posed to them).


    Thus – and Mr. Sken is not the first exemplar here recently  – the posturing as a sort of sober, mature, concerned and competent thinker quickly melts away, and we are suddenly confronted with a far more molten and undeveloped mentality.


    This has happened often enough now for me, as I said, to submit that what we are seeing is characteristic of the Abusenik position and its proponents to a much greater extent than many people might previously have imagined.


    In that regard, it will be interesting to see what further revelatory material appears.


    Do go on, Abusenik persons. And on. And on. And on.

  33. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Is it appropriate for a journalist to disclose a professional, educational relationship that she has with the author of a study that she is writing about and reporting on?

    Is such involvement and interaction between researcher, journalist and funding source (Archbishop Dolan, New York, is President of the USCCB which funded the study) acceptable according to the rules, regulations and protocol that is standard practice in such research and study work? Is such involvement by a journalist (with the study and work being covered and reported on) acceptable and approved conduct according to the rules of professional conduct in the journalism field?



  34. jim robertson says:

    I don't think Michael's brevity remarks had anything to do with what you wrote being daunting as much as it's being boring .

  35. fran says:

    Just out of curiosity: Has the US – or any other slave-trading nations for that matter - offered anything by why of compensation or reparations to the families of former slaves? I don't think the US would be able to adequately compensate them in any case – it would probably bankrupt the American economy.

    The Catholic church has, as far as I can see, compensated proven cases of abuse, (and even some unproven ones) - often without the complainant having to go through any court proceedings. OK – I accept that in some cases compensation would never suffice for the damage caused to the individual. But what else can the Church do apart from awarding compensation,providing counselling, accepting blame and offering apologies? After all, many of the cases occurred decades ago and often those answering for these crimes were not around at the time. They are just trying to pick up the pieces for what others have done. I would like to hear some real examples of what victims would like the church to do.  Or is it that people just want to completely cripple the church by demanding compensation to the point where they are no longer able to pay? If that is the case, it is no longer about reparation, but rather about revenge and destruction.

    • dennis ecker says:

      The catholic church will never be able to do enough for the victims. Unless they are able to give back to the victims their childhood it will never be enough. With all their so-called power we all know not even the catholic church can turn the hands of time back.

      The small compensations that any victim has received will never ever be enough.

    • jim robertson says:

      If you are an athiest. (Which I don't believe. sorry I just don't) Why do you care about the Catholic Church's money? What's it to you.

      If any busness harms people to the point compensation is necessary they pay up even if it closes that busness and assets are sold off.

      But we are talking about the corporate Roman Catholic Church here.

      No one knows the extent of that organization's assets but one can have a guess.

      Let's see,  2000 years of wealth accumilation. And we need to figure in wealth accumulated by and then taken from, the old pagan religions that the Catholic Church "took" "liberated" was "heir" too, from the Roman Empire. Quite a  bit of gelt.

      Then there were Empires. Catholic Empires:

      Rome, then the Holy Roman Empire, then the Austro Hungarian Empire, The German Empire, Polish Kingdom. French Empire, The British Empire in toto till Henry the 8th, after him in part. The Spanish Empire, The Portugese Empire all of Northern Europe till the Reformation. The Jesuit trade Empire with China Japan and India. The American Empire The Mexican Empire And though some of those Empires maybe gone the accumulated wealth was never returned to the indigenous peoples who created that wealth a major chunk went to the Vatican. And the Vatican still has it.  Remember the Vatican owned the entire center of Italy at one point  less then 200 yrs. ago. And think of all the superstitious  who left money and land in their wills, coerced by priests and nuns. The dying hoping to buy their way into at least Purgatory.( Didn't Purgatory exit long with St. Christopher?) But the money stayed and grew.

      How much does an organization accumulate, wealth wise, over 2000 yrs?

      That wealth should be quite the pile of moola by now. Let's see compound interest over 2000 yrs? It do add up. And they paid no taxes and still don't.

      As a matter of fact the injured have been left at the state's door to deal with the consequences of the corporate Church's lack of care. So Protestants; Budhists; Athiests and Janes have had to pick up the  Catholic Church's tab. While the Church cries poor mouth. (Poor mouth the lit motif of Catholicism)

      And while the priests drove Cadillacs and played golf most of the week.

      Name another religion with it's own country?

      You can't.

      Untill the Church's account books, the real books, can be seen. No one knows how much the Church has.

      So when the cry comes from the same people who lied their way through this crisis and commited crimes and who still blame the injured as the problem.

      When those same people say that this will bankrupt the Church. I say, let it and prove it.

  36. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Steps forward for the protection, safety and legal redress for all children in the future:


    HB 1063 eliminates the criminal statute of limitations for sex crimes committed against children, giving prosecutors an unlimited amount of time to try these cases.  This bill reflects the reality of childhood sexual abuse, and the fact that many survivors of childhood sexual abuse are not able to come forward until later in life.

    The bill is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, May 15 in subcommittee at 8:55 a.m. and in the Senate Criminal Law Committee at 9:00 a.m. ICASA staff and a fabulous survivor will be providing testimony in support of the bill.


    New SOL reform bill will be introduced Monday May 13!!  Please Contact your NJ Senators and ask them to support SB 2281 with amendments (If you know other people in NJ, please ask for their support, too!)

  37. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Thus – and Mr. Sken is not the first exemplar here recently  –

    the posturing as a sort of sober, mature, concerned and competent thinker quickly melts away, and we are suddenly confronted with a far more molten and undeveloped mentality.


  38. Publion says:

    In regard to the comment of May 12, at 922AM: we get no answer, just a repetition of the same questioned-material .


    And can Mr. Sken point out from any text exactly what material might have somehow tainted that reporter’s work? And perhaps make his case clearly and forthrightly?


    And – in the final analysis – of what significance is the whole issue here, relative to the larger Issue. Did she – allegedly and by inference – taint her report on the site for which she works?


    Once again, inference and innuendo but – curiously – no forthright expression of his own considered position on the issue. Perhaps readers are simply supposed to go with the innuendo and inference, by-passing any textual evidence, and just nod their heads approvingly like so many bobble-toys on a car dashboard. Why not? It has – I have been saying – worked for so long and so well among certain types.


    But perhaps the deeper message here is that Mr. Sken don’t gotta do no stinkin’ thinkin’ or provin’ because … well, let the readership fill in the rest of it, should they wish to do so.


    And at 1017 today it is proposed that Mr. Sken said “brevity” when he actually meant “boring”. But those are two different words and – is this news? – two different concepts.


    Of course, as I have often said, certain mentalities will always find words and concepts and rational analysis “boring”. Nothing we haven’t seen before here. Pass the ketchup and fries – everything else around here is just sooooo boring! … That sort of thing.

  39. jim robertson says:

    Again the pot calling the kettle black. You prove nothing, ever.

  40. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Publion in high dudgeon on a Sunday night.  For sure, this is no way to start a new week

    Adios (otiose?)…..see you soon.

  41. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    I refer those still following this topic to the above link where Publion reviews the conspiracy against the catholic church.  If anyone who reads the document at Publion's "chez odysseus" blog wishes to comment on the issues and ideas presented there, I would be interested in their feedback.

    • jim robertson says:

      Thanks Mike,( are you not talking to me?)

      What a treasure trove. P's "synergetic conspiracy" against the Church.

      "And it's [the Church's sic] enemies (and their names, it has to be admitted  are Legion)"

      Early into it we are at the "Devll is making them attack the Church" a rational that isn't rational.

      This maybe the first time I'm interested in reading what P has to say. I'm joking. I read what he says and read and read and read and read and read and read….(.I used to love reading)

  42. jim robertson says:

    I am grateful for a mentality that tells me, the John Jay Report says over 80% of victims claims are true and that's coming from your side.  Not ours, yours.

    Since I've met so few victims thanks to SNAP I can not tell you anything stat wise re victims. I do however know one when i see one. The damage unless treated tells all.  Just as the damage of certain posters here, tells quite a tale. But that's a different story.

    There is someone , who according to himself is the only person here, with a real grasp on logic, reason,and  truth and he's obsessing on 19% of the claiments and demanding that his truth is more reasonable than ours. Show me where he validates such a claim? I haven't seen it and I've looked.

    Just words like "cartoon thinking" etc. which mean exactly nothing with out empirisstic evidence to back it up. Does a bubble appear over my head and my thoughts appear in it?

    Which cartoon am I thinking like? Snoopy? Sluggo? Nancy? Mutts? Little Annie Fanny? What?

    Again just proclamations, commands, assertions from the self asserted, Notes  from on high. Except it ain't very high. And believe me if his thinking was superior. I'd be the first to say it was. (I swear I would, I'm a groupie for smart people.); but it's not, He's not stupid but he's not as smart as he thinks he is. No one is.

    Anyhow….. That's how I see it. Just one man's opinion.

    [edited by moderator]

  43. dennis ecker says:

    Jim, why do you continue to bother with such an individual who is only out to prove his worth to himself ? You can see by the length of his comments, the continued quoting of texts and feable research he has been able to get you to bite on the bait.

    Don't bother my friend.

    • jim robertson says:

      Interesting take Dennis. Your right.

      Maybe I bite the bait because I'm Mr Limpet, (an old Don Knotts film where he becomes a cartoon fish). :)

  44. Publion says:

    Nothing requiring substantial discussion in the most recent crop, but a few revealing bits.


    Rather than engage my thoughts on the SOLs, Mr. Sken simply puts up internet notices of some States that will be considering SOL changes. This is the type of approach that works well enough on a certain level of website: just keep the cadres encouraged with unexamined bits rather than examine anything.


    A (very uncharacteristically coherent and well-spelled) discourse on empires that a) would have any business or empire that ever harmed anybody to the point where compensation was necessary to be closed down. That theory would close down just about all of human activity over the course of recorded history. Not that it or its many implications seem to have occurred to the commenter.


    And b) goes on about the “wealth” of the Church. Which is not relevant to the Abuse Matter but rather goes to the anti-religion and surely the anti-Catholic streams feeding into the Abuse Matter.


    And a Mr-Sken snarky about my being “in high dudgeon on a Sunday night”: note again that this is back to the cafeteria-level. But his epithet (inaccurate; I am capable of dudgeon but it hasn’t been demonstrated on this site) is again a nice example of somehow name-calling rather than addressing any of the issues (or any of the questions as to his own material).


    But then this interesting bit about my blog essays (which anyone is welcome to peruse; I apologize again for not having put any essays up since last Fall). Note that rather than examining my essay that he has selected and coming up with his own analysis and thoughts (supported by quotations from the material) – which would certainly be a fair gambit and I would be happy to respond – Mr. Sken simply asks everybody else what they might want to say. Is Mr. Sken not capable of pointing out just what in that essay he found of interest in some way? But this is – again – a useful example of the type of gambit deployed by persons who don’t really want to or don’t dare to analyze anything too closely.


    But how could they? The entire Abusenik gambit has – in my again-repeated assessment – been based on and continues to be based on precisely not analyzing anything. And in this type of gambit, certain mentalities will thrive. As we are seeing unfold before our eyes here.


    And a quickie to the effect of ‘No I’m not  / you are’ – which takes us back to the mental level of tykes squabbling at the breakfast table or play-ground.


    And we conclude this run of revelation with another (again uncharacteristically coherent) bit of non-content which simply digs itself in deeper: JR would need to demonstrate by quotations from my material on this site just where I have ever issued “proclamations, commands” and (sliding back into incoherence) “assertions from the self-asserted”.


    And this bit is included in a comment which repeats the “80 percent” bit that I have addressed as to its substantial dubiousness in prior comments above (and which examined dubiousness JR has never bothered to rebut or refute) . As for the implicit claim that the John Jay College of Criminal Justice was or is nothing more than a tool of the Church … let’s just leave that to flap in the wind out on the limb where it was hung.


    There is also a comment to the effect that “the church will never be able to do enough for the victims” for stealing their childhood. This classic Abusenik trope might be asserted about genuine victims of the higher end of the Abuse scale, but i) we have never actually determined how many persons fit into that category (and this failure is, as I have often submitted, no accident). And ii) what practical policies could possibly flow from this observation? (This is not intended as a rhetorical question.)


    So as the loose electrons become more agitated, we see more and more demonstrations of all the gambits in the playbook designed to somehow avoid serious and careful consideration. And as they get increasingly agitated they will simply intensify the deployment of all the playbook bits, including – we have to add – efforts to mimic the tones of serious discourse and analysis by taking notes over the phone or other such masquerading.


    I for one am grateful. I could talk about the “playbook” and the existence of various dodges and distractions conceptually, but it might seem beyond-believable that so much in the Catholic Abuse Matter has been fueled by so little rational and sustained analysis. So here we get vivid demonstrations, on the hoof and running in the wild, as it were. We couldn’t pay for such a useful pastiche of demonstrations.

  45. jim robertson says:

    Michael?  Who's the "fabulous survivor" who will testify in N.J.?

  46. Publion says:

    And from 858AM today we can add another dodge to the playbook: We don’t have to talk to anybody “who is only out to prove his worth to himself”. Myah-myah, we aren’t gonna talk to you anymore.


    This again takes us back even beyond the high-school cafeteria to the grammar-school yard at recess.


    Readers familiar with psychology (abnormal and dysfunctional, especially) might also recognize the old dodge of “projection”, whereby the patient projects his own difficulties onto others, simultaneously i) relieving himself of unpleasant thoughts about his own condition and ii) creating some other object upon which to vent the negative (and perhaps irrational)feelings.


    If I were merely out to prove my worth to myself, I could do it in front of a mirror as many times a day as I thought necessary. Why go to the trouble of all this commenting?


    And, but of course, this projection gambit also creates iii) the excuse for not engaging any ideas to which one does not or cannot make a coherent and rationally-derived response.


    Thus also bringing us back, neatly, to Mr-Sken: having demonstrated here either an incapacity-for or aversion-to making any sustained analysis himself, he seeks to invite others to make such comments about other bits (the reporter and JJCCJ, my blog essay).


    But I envision how this gambit would play out in the Abusenik online universe: having provided a pinata-object for the rest of the bunch, one then sits back to watch all the one-liner comments roll in from other (mis-tuned) tuning-forks that one has now set-off. Before long, there are scads of equally insubstantial comments blossoming on the site, and then everybody can knock off secure in the ‘knowledge’ that they are right, very clever, and clearly numerous.


    Once again, then, I would say that we see here how this Abuse Matter has sustained itself on the Web.

  47. jim robertson says:

    I never said I wanted the Church closed down nor would it ever be. As long as people believe in it.

    (As an aside, The Church is a little like Tinkerbell in Peter Pan if you believe in it it lives. If you don't it dies . So clap your hands if you believe kids) I'm joking

    Did it's founder have the wealth the corporate Church holds?

    Did he need it to spread his truth?

    It seems to me the poor early Church did a better job at Christianity, if that's your real goal, than it has since it was connected up to empire.

    Has that wealth done more to benefit the people who gave it or had it stolen from them? Or has it been used to controll; abuse and hinder them? Not from a self invented Evil as definend by that Church; but from their own possibilities of well being. (and the planet's) well being too?

    You want to know how many abuse cases are real? Ask the people who know and that certainly should start at the corporate Church's door. They have all the info and just like SNAP they refuse to reveal what they know.

    I'm sick to deat of your use of the word "Abusenik".

    Dennis Ecker and I and other victims who post here arn't posing as victims; we are the victims.

    Any fool knows what "practical policies" are necessary:

    First, Aid the injured

    Second, tell the whole truth, though the heavens fall.

    Third, remove the abusers and their enablers, the hierarchs who did the enabling.

    All can occur similtaneously.

    Problem solved.

    P.S. I'm so glad Michael came along. Not because we agree. I don't know that we do allways but because he brought out the same insults from P that I got. The exact same insults (but notice only after P found out Michael was not a "professor") and Mike's a very different person.

    You get insulted enough and, speaking for myself here, you buy it. a bit. Not that "what I say isn't true" buy it; but that I'm basicly not very valuable. It feeds into the PTSD very neatly to use a P word.

  48. Clare says:


    I was thinking about your writing, and, what it is I admire about it.   It is interesting that another person referred to Jerry Seinfeld (also, someone I adore).  One time I described exactly what I appreciated about his script (i.e. translated to sitcom), and, when I thought of your writing the same observation sprouted up:  Both you and Jerry Seinfeld are set apart from most because you manage to write/make your case (or Joke!) without dissolving into cruelty or passive aggressiveness. Jerry Seinfeld, in addition to being brilliant, was able to rely on his wit versus sarcasm–many people do not appreciate the difference.  I believe this reveals the nature of the writer in both cases.

    Also, I appreciate the link on Liberal Facism on the other site

  49. dennis ecker says:

    Publion – Don't let it enter your head I would fall for the bait. I am only writing this because I know what your agenda seems to be, you wish to add color to a subject that is so black and white.

    The rcc took a gamble by hiding their crimes and everyone knows they lost that gamble and it is now time to pay up, and if it comes down to closing of schools, churches or anything else they are involved in so be it.

    Not one victim/survivor has to say not one negative thing about the rcc they are doing a good job by themselves by taking that rope that is being fed to them and hanging themselves. It is the fastest declining faith in this country, and since you are so good at doing your research why don't you see how the rcc gets there false  numbers of followers.


  50. Publion says:

    In response to Clare: thank you, and I’m sorry that I stopped posting on my site in the middle of my essays on Goldberg’s book. If I can make some time, I will continue that mini-series.


    In regard to Dennis Ecker: I am not trying to “bait” anybody. Comment material appears on the screen as chosen by those who comment, and I simply go with whatever material is put up. Perhaps if you were to list in short points what you “know” my “agenda” to be, then I could respond. At the very least, you would thus be giving everybody an idea of what your idea of my “agenda” is (although, yes, you would also be revealing something of your own position and self … but – alas – that’s sort of the idea behind the rational exchange of ideas).


    In this regard, I would point out a historical difference in the definition of ‘thinking’. In Bolshevik/Soviet usage, ‘thinking’ actually meant (and allowed) only one thing: thinking-with-the-Party. That works and worked-out to be nothing more than a) making sure that you memorized the Party’s position on this and that and also b) that you merely memorized the applicable Party-line mantras so that you could then c) spew them out like adding-machine tape whenever the opportunity arose.


    In this approach to ‘thinking’ what you most certainly did not want to do and were most certainly not expected to do was/is: trying to think about various issues independently of the Party-line and its mantras.


    We see the same thing in Abusenik exchanges: we don’t get sustained engagement with ideas. Instead we a) get the usual ‘points’ – made as assertions, unsupported by any rational thought or concepts or demonstrable evidence – and we b) get absolutely no effort to engage alternative ideas, doubts, objections, counter-thoughts, or anything else of that sort.


    What is interesting is that many of those who do this don’t even seem to be aware of what they’re doing in all of this; they apparently think that they actually are ‘thinking’ and can’t think why others could be so stupendously stupid or evil as to not-see how right they are.


    Historically, this dynamic resulted in the static stultification of any actual Soviet ‘thinking’ at all. As time went on, they just kept throwing the same mantras around, hoping that the rest of the world would see how very right and clever those mantras were.


    In regard to JR’s various bits from his 1222PM comment:


    It certainly seems to me that the Abusenik program is also then a fairy-tale sort of thing: if people believe all the assertions then it continues; once people begin to question it is melts like ice cream in the sun.  (Will the Church melt like a fairy-tale once people stop believing or start questioning? Historically, that has not happened. But perhaps the Abuseniks console themselves with the idea that – like the old Bolshevik cadres – they are on the cutting-edge of a brand new history and all the rest is doo-doo.)


    Jesus didn’t have much wealth, but then in His own life He actually reached very few people. And who is to say that the larger resources of the later Church were not part of His and God’s Plan? And I again note this fascination (picked up, alas, by certain post-Vatican 2 American Catholic elements from American Protestant streams of thought – see Harold Bloom’s 1992 book The American Religion) to the effect that once upon a time there was a perfect ‘primitive Christian community’ and then – this narrative goes – the Catholic Church came along and made a mess of it all. (Such – I suppose – that Jesus on the Cross could sing with the Songstress: “Look what they done to my song, pa”.)


    As far as the Church being connected to Empires – there really wasn’t much alternative, starting with Constantine’s unilateral legalization of Christianity in 313AD and then the equally unilateral Imperial declaration that Christianity would be the official religion of the Empire later in the century. The world of those centuries and subsequently up until the modern era was a world of empires – and, contrary to what many seem to think – the army of the Papal States was never very big or effective. And even as late as World War 2, Stalin sly smiled and asked: “And how many divisions does the Pope have” when he was told that the Pope had some reservations about Soviet Communism.


    As to how the Church put its wealth to use, many can have different opinions. I have more than a few myself. But no organization is perfect and the Church has been making – if I may – much better mistakes as time has gone on. As for the rest of his excogitations about the Church, JR is welcome to them.


    I would very much like to know how many abuse cases were genuine. Are there people who actually “know” the answer to this? Or is this simply some presumption that any self-proclaimed victim knows how many there are?


    And how would that come about? Some sort of magical communication by which any individual victim is – by virtue of (claimed) victimhood – somehow brain-injected with such clear and complete ‘knowledge’? Even an individual victim has only his/her own experience; how would s/he “know” about the genuineness of any other person’s or persons’ (claimed) experience? The dynamics that would have to justify this remark of JR’s would have to border on the ‘fairy-tale’. Although – oddly – we again see curious echoes of a certain type of American Protestant thought of the 19th century: once you walk-alone with Jesus, He will give you all the knowledge you ever need to have. (Thus, you don’t need to ‘think’ and you don’t need no stinkin’ Church to tell you how to think and so on and so forth).


    “Funny how the night moves, as the Songster singeth.


    As for my use of “Abusenik” – I like it because I think it covers the necessary ground rather nicely.


    Assertions as to who is and who isn’t a victim is not a game to be played, and I don’t play it. I simply point out that it’s impossible to know on the internet and it’s not much easier in any other modality either.


    As to this suddenly-produced Program of “practical policies” that “any fool knows”:


    First, JR – or some other JR – has already insisted that there is nothing the Church can do except for writing checks.


    Second, I think that the Bishops have done at least as well as any other large organization in regard to ‘telling the truth’ – even if that truth isn’t what the Abuseniks want to hear. I myself think – as I have said before on this site – that the Abuseniks are basically following a Maoist Cultural Revolution template here: they really won’t be happy until their targets are paraded down the street in dunce-caps wearing placards around their neck telling how they have failed the revolution and the masses.


    Perhaps we can come to an accord here: for every Bishop that is so paraded, we take a tort-attorney who knew or should have known that s/he was representing an ‘otherwise classifiable victim’ and still collected settlement and fees for that scam, and put on the dunce-cap and placard and make them parade down Main Street too.


    That also covers the third point too; although I would add that i) the abusers have been largely removed (by any extant evidence of allegations) and ii) among “the hierarchs who did the enabling” I would first have to know a) what do we do with the dead ones and b) what do we define as “enabling” (itself a mantra word)?


    Otherwise this whole gambit can rationally be imagined as a sandbox for sempiternal and implacable complaint that will just keep rolling along for the amusement of its practitioners.


    So it’s rarely easy to actually achieve a genuine “Problem Solved” status. Unless one cuts corners or dwells in a Cartoon.


    As to “insults”, I will only note that one shouldn’t shoot the messenger here. If one puts up material that doesn’t seem to work right, that point is going to be noted. If one then claims to be “insulted” thereby, then – really – the problem is with the material, is it not?


    Lastly, “PTSD” is not “a P word” – it is the acknowledged clinical shorthand for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and is in the manuals as such.


    But I do note a tendency to suddenly claim syndromal victimization so easily here. That seems to me to speak to a characteristic of so many Abuseniks: just about anything can suddenly trip the V-wire (if I may).


    Or, in the undying words of the late great Opus the Penguin: “Offensensibility!”


    Beyond all this, to use the words of one visiting foreign priest who used to give annual retreats at my childhood parish: “We can only hop and pray”. (I always wondered, even as a child, if he weren’t going to get into some doctrinal hot water for that exhortation.)


    So let us continue to hop and pray.


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