Fighting Back: Newark Abp. Myers Blasts False and Malicious Reporting In NJ Media About Old Abuse Case, We Uncover the Facts [UPDATE: NJ Star-Ledger Issues Correction]

Archbishop Myers : Archbishop John J. Myers

Bravo: New Jersey Archbishop John J. Myers fights back against a dishonest media

In an open letter last week to all of the priests of his archdiocese, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers responded to "false" and "deceitful" reporting that has characterized the recent frenzied media coverage of a case involving Myers' supervision of a now-dead priest decades ago in the 1990s in the Diocese of Peoria (Illinois) when he was a bishop there.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger newspaper – which has relentlessly attacked Archbishop Myers this year – has claimed that Myers did nothing after he received first-hand knowledge that a priest under his watch in Peoria was accused of abuse.

In truth, after a thorough examination of the matter by, the facts are clear: Myers, while he was Bishop of Peoria, had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of any sex abuse committed by the particular priest in question, and the Star-Ledger has uncritically trumpeted the unfounded claims of Jeff Anderson, the high-profile contingency lawyer who has an extensive history of disseminating misinformation and malice against the Church, and who has been at the center of a money-seeking lawsuit in this case.

Moran's world of facts

A recent article by the Star-Ledger's Editorial Page Editor, Tom Moran, contains an eye-opening number of outright falsehoods that falsely attack Archbishop Myers regarding his relationship to the abuse case:

1. In trying to portray Myers as having a close personal relationship with an accused priest and thus connecting him to the abuse that has been alleged, Moran claims that Archbishop Myers "vacationed" with the priest in question.

Myers not only rebutted this claim in his letter last week, but Myers testified under oath during a four-hour deposition by Jeff Anderson in 2010 that he never vacationed with the accused priest:

(From page 22:)

Q. And did you ever vacation and travel with [the accused priest]?
A. No.

(From page 136:)

Q. And would [the accused priest] vacation with you?
A. No.

Moran's claim is thus patently false.

Tom Moran : Tom Moran NJ Star-Ledger

Vengeance journalism:
NJ Star-Ledger's Tom Moran

2. Again trying to portray Myers as closer to the accused priest than he actually was, Moran claims that the priest "showered [Myers] with gifts of silver, gold coins and even cash."

In fact, as Myers pointed out in the 2010 deposition and in his letter last week, the gifts from the priest in question were typical of the tokens that just about every bishop receives from priests around Christmastime and at times when bishops visit parishes for Confirmations and other events.

Spread out over the course of over a decade – the period of time that Myers was Bishop of Peoria overseeing the priest in question – the number of gifts and their value are hardly noteworthy at all.

Therefore, Moran's characterization that suggests something unethical about these token gifts is grossly misleading.

3. Most importantly, Moran egregiously smears Archbishop Myers claiming that there is "convincing evidence" that Myers heard "a credible complaint of sexual abuse" against the priest in question, "hid the fact," "allow[ed] the abuser to search for a fresh victim among the children of the faithful," and then "lied" about his knowledge of the complaint.

It cannot be overstated that this set of claims from Moran is manifestly bogus. In fact, there is not a single shred of evidence that at any time during his tenure in Peoria that Myers had any personal knowledge or suspicion whatsoever of sexual abuse by the accused priest in question. Here is Anderson again questioning Myers at the four-hour deposition:

(from page 88)

Q. What was the first indication you personally had that [the accused priest] had either been reported to have committed sexual abuse or there were suspicions of him having committed sexual abuse by diocesan officials from Peoria?

A. I think it would be at the time of this publication of this [2008 newspaper] article.

Again, there was nothing in Myers' deposition to even suggest that he was being anything other than truthful.

Myers left his position as Bishop of Peoria to become Archbishop of Newark in 2001. In 2002, the accused priest retired with health issues. The accuser filed his lawsuit in 2008, and the accused priest died after a lengthy illness in 2009 at the age of 73.

4. Moran also claims that a woman actually wrote personally to then-Bishop Myers and "complained that [the] priest had abused her as a child."

In fact, no such letter at all was ever written to Myers in all his years in Peoria.

It must be reiterated that Moran's depiction that Myers in Peoria knew of sexual abuse by the particular priest in question is 100% false. Even lawyer Jeff Anderson has not been able to provide a single shred of evidence that Myers knew of the accused priest's alleged abuse at any point before newspaper accounts were published years after Myers left Peoria.

Moran's proud bigotry

Tom Moran : Tom Moran NJ Star-Ledger

NJ Star-Ledger's Tom Moran

It should be noted that Moran has openly admitted his bigotry and hostility against the Catholic Church in an opinion piece just last year, describing himself as a "spiritual refugee" who has proudly "fled a million miles from the church."

Naturally, Moran is also an avowed leftist who openly opposes many of the Church's teachings, like those on gay "marriage" and abortion. And he is still incensed, apparently, that when his sister wrote a letter decades ago to the Vatican when she was 10 years old asking why she could not be an altar girl, she did not receive a personal written response.

So now it appears that Moran's bigotry and bitterness has actually resulted in him ignoring his journalistic obligations to get his facts straight in order to engage in a vengeful jihad against Archbishop Myers over a decades-old matter.

Moran doggedly seeks to portray Archbishop Myers (and the whole Catholic hierarchy, for that matter) as insensitive to the protection of children, and, yet once again, nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, Myers removed several priests from ministry in Peoria for abuse when he was the bishop there. From Myers' letter:

"For any who set out to claim that I or the Church have had no effective part in the love and protection of children is evil, wrong, immoral, and seemingly focused on their own self-aggrandizement. God only knows their personal reasons and agenda. We are still called to love them. And God will surely address them in due time."

In light of the Star-Ledger's ongoing attacks on Archbishop Myers over the last several months, it is pretty obvious that the paper is gunning for the man's resignation. It will have little luck doing so, however, and will only likely embarrass itself further for its lack of journalistic integrity and standards in its grudge campaign against Myers.

And it is no secret at that those who harbor a deep animus against the Church, like members of the hate group SNAP, deliberately flood the email inboxes at newspapers – under the deceitful and bogus premise of being "concerned, lifelong Catholics" – to spur coverage unfavorable to the Church.

And, unfortunately, folks like Moran at the Star-Ledger are more than happy to oblige.

We urge Archbishop Myers to stand firm against this false attack from Tom Moran and the New Jersey Star-Ledger and ask that honest, clear-thinking citizens cancel their subscriptions to the paper.


**UPDATE**, 8/27/13: The Star-Ledger published the following correction in its print edition on Sunday, 8/25/13:


In a column on Aug. 14, Tom Moran incorrectly stated that Newark Archbishop John J. Myers vacationed with a priest who was later accused of child abuse. The bishop of Peoria, Ill., Myers invited the priest on two vacations, but did not actually vacation with him. In addition, the column misidentified the recipient of a letter Myers wrote in 2000 in which he falsely claimed the diocese had received no prior complaints about the priest.

We are pleased that the paper at least acknowledged some of its mistakes.


  1. Publion says:

    A couple of thoughts come to me.

    First, the media strategy seems to be this: create conflict-issues (even if it requires granting either the ‘pro’ or ‘con’ pole of the necessary axis with a credibility that its case does not demonstrably deserve) and then watch as readers from both sides keep buying issues of your paper or mag to keep up with ‘developments’. Then make sure that something is ‘developing’ on a regular basis. And since you may not employ too many competent reporters in the subject-area, and/or since you as editor may well have your own axe (or ‘philosophy’) to grind, then take your ‘developing news’ from whichever of the Parties to your conflict takes the trouble to send you regular faxes or emails with ‘fresh material’ to ‘report’.

    This then takes us back to Jeff Anderson (again, D’Antonio’s book proves useful here) and his strategy: make allies of as many influential media outlets as you can and feed them your stuff even before you actually bring a case or file a formal Complaint. That way, the public is already prepared (or ‘manipulated’) for your gambit (sort of like taking a mallet to a piece of veal to soften it up before you actually start cooking the cutlets).

    What does the enterprising tortie send to his/her new media ally? Here there enter the professional legal concepts of a) ‘law office history’ and b) ‘theory of the case’.

    In (a) an attorney will get the office team together and tell them that s/he has decided to go with a case. Thus the team is now to fan out and find any – any – information or factoids or tidbits that will support (b) the attorney’s theoretical framing of the case matter (e.g. the defendant will be presented as having been mad at the neighbor because of a fence/boundary dispute some years ago, kept that simmering in the back of her mind, and on the day in question ran over the neighbor’s dog in the shared driveway with deliberation and malice aforethought and all to the great detriment of the dog-owning neighbor as well as to the marvelous Fido, now so outrageously deceased).

    The attorney’s team will now put together a ‘history’ that is not actually ever intended to be the full and accurate history of all aspects of the case, but rather is intentionally designed to be only (or ‘merely’, if you wish) the ‘history’ that will support the law office’s theory of the case.

    Then the attorney takes the file with the ‘law office history’ and feeds it to the eager media ally, who then publishes the stuff as if it were a ‘report’ covering all aspects of the case. But what the media ally is actually publishing is not the whole story – perhaps not even the accurate if partial story – but simply all the stuff that the law-office team has put together to make its case (and to make its case look believable).

    And The Ball Starts Rolling and the Game goes on from there.

  2. Mark says:

    Excellent post exposing the bigot and liar that Moran is.

    Here's his e-mail address: TMORAN@STARLEDGER.COM

    I would encourage you to contact him; as well as sharing TMR's post far and wide on blogs/websites dealing with false accusations, anti-Catholic bigotry and advocacy journalism.

  3. Julie says:

    I know first-hand that the hate group SNAP sends vicious emails about the Catholic Church to newspapers. And they send NOTHING when a story comes out about a protestant pastor being accused, arrested or any other development regarding sex abuse of children.

  4. Christopher Browne says:

    I am always amazed at how much press the Church haters can get out of just a single incident (or accusation) of abuse.  For example, the Davenport, Iowa Quad City Times has repeated the same stories over and over again as if they were new accusations.  Nothing when a protestant minister or rabbi or (gasp!) public school teacher is accused.  NOTHING.

  5. Delphin says:

    I've contacted Moran in the past regarding his obsession with Archbishop Myers. He does respond, but, be prepared for a typical lefty nastigram and then the overdramatized exit, he doesn't take criticism very well.

    His newspaper is on the brink of folding, the unions have, once again, eaten them all out of work- he'll be needing a new job soon enough.


  6. I am one of the two men upon whom John Myers has called the wrath of God for telling the truth about Myers' inept handling of clergy abuse cases in Peoria, IL and Newark, NJ.  Good for the Star Ledger and its writers for helping tell the truth about Myers.  I am proud to be a Catholic Whistle Blower along with Fr. Pat Collins of the Diocese of Peoria.

    • says:

      Editor’s note:

      We have cited ex-priest Hoatson before:


    • Mark says:

      Heaven forbid! One of the "Catholic Whistle Blowers" has meandered over here. You know, from that traveling fair with the SNAPpite ethical midgets, repressed memory contortionists, and I-swear-I-am-a-Catholic-hall of mirrors. Hoaty, my old fruit bat, any luck with surfacing those repressed calumnies? How's farcey-Marci? Written any good books lately? You know, of the "reckless disregard for truth" and "sloppy piece of work" variety. Perhaps she should write one on the Philadelphia DA's office. How was it she described it again, "by far, the best D.A.'s Office in the country"? Oh dear, not very prescient. With judgment like that, she should be running that lack-of-accountability slanderfest you muckrakers wallow around in like pigs in the proverbial. Still, gives dopey Doyley something to do with her time. Which is something you guys seem to have in abundance. See y'all at the next SNAP coven. Do let me know which museum you'll be having it in.

    • I_M_Forman says:

      Hoatson, I read your Civil Complaint in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York under docket No.: 05-CV-10467 in which you accused Archbishop Myers, Archbishop Egan of New York and Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany of sexually acting out and asking the court to invoke the RICO law in his AFFIDAVIT IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION OF NEWARK ARCHDIOCESE in which he wanted to sue all three for five million dollars. Your case went nowhere and your claims seemed greatly exaggerated in your accusations against Myers, Egan & Hubbard. It was no wonder why it went nowhere.

  7. Rory Connor says:

    From the article linked to above

    "[Robert Hoatson] recently claimed just weeks ago that he is "dealing at the present moment with 'repressed memory' of abuse that is just coming to mind again in my Catholic grammar school."

    So how is the Repressed Memory going? In Ireland the case of Nora Wall (formerly Sister Dominic of the Sisters of Mercy), is probably the worst miscarriage of justice in the history of the State. When the Court of Criminal Appeal issued her Certificate of Miscarriage of Justice in December 2005, they specifically noted that Repressed Memory evidence was used to convict her and that there was no scientific evidence to support the credibility of such "evidence".

    Quote from the Court's findings:

    "the applicant was further prejudiced during the course of her trial by evidence of which the defence had no prior notification, namely, that Regina Walsh recalled the alleged episodes of rape by reference to "flashbacks and/or retrieved memory", while there was "no scientific evidence of any sort adduced to explain the phenomenon of flashbacks and/or retrieved memory"

    Actually that was not the MAIN thing that led to the collapse of her conviction for supposedly raping a child. After the conviction, her two accusers gave an interview to the Irish Daily Star which published their names for the first time. It soon emerged that BOTH had made previous false allegations of child abuse - all against lay people - and one of their previous victims read the newspaper and recognised the name of his own accuser! Still the whole obscene farrago ties in well with the concept of "Repressed Memory"

    This is the Wikipedia article on Nora Wall

    • Fr Jim Smith says:

      This shows the importance of a public trial. I would argue that a trial in which the accuser can hide behind anonymity is not public. The accused has their name and picture displayed (ad nauseam) for the entire world to see, and for any drug addict to use, while the accuser is safely protected. Events in court are called trials because they are supposed to "try" (i.e., put to the proof) allegations. If only one party's name is mentioned, this constitutes a seriously unfair burden. If an accuser wishes for a gentler forum, the system rovides for mediation which is less formal than a trial.

  8. Delphin says:

    Show me your friends and I'll tell you what you are.

    From Road to Recovery; our BFFs are Doyle and SNAP. Nuff said there. Road to Recovery of Someone Else's Money.

    I think my repressed memory is reminding me of being abused by a seminarian in Newark, think I'll go see a shyster…I mean lawyer, the bling funds are running low.

    How does a Christian Brother and Seminarian allow himself to be "abused"? Isn't he a rather "big boy" by then?

    Time for a defrocking party-



  9. Karen says:

    I just wrote Moran and everyone else should as well and call him out on his bigotry.



  10. Publion says:

    In regard to the 'repressed memory' trope deployed by Hoatson, I am reproducing here the relevant bits from a comment I made on the immediately previous article:

    ‘Repressed memory’ has now been voted off the island in the just-published 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (called DSM 5 in the trade).  There is also a warning in the first few pages of the new edition warning against too-easily using any of its categories in a “forensic” forum: they are, the Manual advises, categories that have been developed for the purpose of helping clinicians categorize various issues with some degree of uniformity but they are not designed to be ‘evidence grade’ material to be tossed around in the forensic forum as if they were as solidly established as – I would say – any of Newton’s Laws.

  11. I am truly heartened to know that the Archbishop had the courage to publicly challenge such a false and scurrilous report. May I refer readers to a book that I have written on HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL IN THE PRIESTLY BREAST – Procedural Justice for Priests – Diocesan and Religious. It has been publised by iUniverse, Bloomington, IN and is available in soft and hard covers. My principal aim is to expose the malice of scheming individuals, whose sole aim is monetary gain at the expense of the reputation of innocent priests and the Catholic Church. I have even outlined a procedure that will ensure justice for one and all, in the event of such baseless allegations. May truth and justice prevail! Fr. James Valladares

    • Mark says:

      Father James, congratulations on the important book, which I was unaware of. It is great to have one more title in the growing body of work dealing with the despicable miscarriage of justice that so many priests have suffered – and continue to do so. 

      Dbtex, I’d love to know the name – and any other details – of that female attorney in Dallas. 

      Sarah Kleman: “You are practically promoting sexual violence against children by trying to get people to pretend it’s not happening.” You are becoming deranged in your accusations (quite apposite, given the context of this site). TMR is replete with references to the very real issue of child sexual abuse which is endemic in US and other societies – today. Unfortunately for anti-Catholic bigots like you, that abuse is occurring – and being ignored – all around you, but not within the Catholic Church, which has long since put its house in order and addressed the relatively small number of historic cases. The Church has moved on. Sadly, you and your SNAP co-conspirators are unable to, mired as you are in your collective obsession. 

    • josie says:

      Thank you, Mark, for addressing Sarah Kleman's insane remarks about anyone here or in the Church promoting sexual violence - adding that there is a pretense that it is not happening-huh.?) (No pretense, Sarah, it is NOT happening. Why not look elsewhere. Oh, but you have to READ before you make dopey comments )  This is a typical response when there is clear, truthful information presented that Sarah cannot and will not address. So she pulls out the SNAPPy tools to avoid having to deal with the subject at hand.  Is the sexual violence happening now in her head?? The woman is all mixed up in a witch-like sort of way (don't know what her skin in the game is except that I think I remember that a "cousin" committed suicide-I think that is in my memory of a former comment of hers ).The word "collective obsession" applies to to the SNAPy group, but Sarah gets a single description of obsessive, as well. She insists that the unjustly convicted and imprisoned teacher Bernard Shero in Philadelphia is guilty because he wrote a note to his elderly parents apologizing for all the heartache he feels the whole ordeal has caused them-then he took some pills and passed out. Well, Sarah is obsessed with the "suicide" note.

      Thanks again for addressing her well-most times it is a pure waste of good time. I am going for a swim. 


  12. SarahTX2 says:

    Talk about misleading, the 1990's is not "decades ago."  Your unending attempts to minimize sexual abuse of children by priests is becoming suspicious.  You are practically promoting sexual violence against children by trying to get people to pretend it's not happening.  You are currying the favor of pedophiles and people who defend the pedophiles in their family or in their parishes.  Your supporters are vicious, just like the pedophiles.

    • KenW says:

      Sarah, my high school communications teacher, and later my college freshman english teacher taught me to watch for words ending in "ly" when reading an argument. So, when I apply your sentences back to you, I will omit the word "practically":

      You are promoting sexual violence against children by diverting attention away from where sexual violence against children is happening. You are currying the favor of pedophiles and people who defend the pedophiles in their schools or in their protestant churches.  Your supporters are vicious, just like the pedophiles.

  13. dbtex says:

    Fr. Jim Smith's argument for a public trial is right on point.  It is totally unfair that an accuser can hide behind the "John/Jane Doe" label and the accused is on trial immediately in the court of public opinion.  Regarding one priest I knew personally, no accusations were brought against him until after his death when of course he himself could offer no rebuttal.  Large sums of money have been paid to "settle" the claims against him.

    And lawyer Anderson is not the only Church-chasing attorney who makes a living by badgering the Catholic Church.   There is one female attorney in Dallas who is happy to take any case, no matter how flimsy, against the Church.

    Archbishop Myers is to be commended for not caving to the rantings of Anderson, Moran, et al.


  14. dennis ecker says:

    It seems Publion has a doubt to the group of people him and his friends fall under if either the majority or minority.

    I direct him to click on the link from NCR and read the comments listed.

    I don't believe he is blind to facts, only scared to open his eyes to see them.

  15. Eliane says:

    I think we can all rest assured that the Star-Ledger's overplaying of its hand on this story discredits its unhinged attacks on Myers well into the forseeable future. While trying to paint him as archvillian, the paper's wild overt lies make him heroric  instead. While trying to drive him out of Newark, they have only made him more secure.

  16. Publion says:

    Commenter ‘SarahTX2’ wants the 1990s not to be “decades ago”. 1999 was – yes – only 14 years ago; 1990 on the other hand was 23 years ago. Readers are welcome to do with that what they will. The more relevant point, I would say, is that the Dallas Reforms were enacted a decade ago and since then there has been a substantial decline in the number of abuse allegations.

    Perhaps she could a) give examples (accurate quotations required) of where attempts are being made here to “minimize sexual abuse of children by priests”. It would also be helpful if b) she could define her concept of “minimize” so as to minimize confusion. Presuming that she would like to see more clarity in the discussion, of course.

    Ditto in the matter of “trying to get people to pretend it’s not happening” – and I would like to think that with this phrase she is not trying to conflate an examination of claims with some fancied effort to manipulate anybody into ‘pretending’ anything.

    Or we can just let her unsupported characterizations sit up there on the screen as she put them.

    However, her accusation that “you” (who might that be?) “are currying the favor of pedophiles and people who defend the pedophiles” really does need to be grounded in some clear presentation of her thoughts underlying that accusation. Define “pedophiles”; define what you mean by “defend” them; and then show (with accurate quotes) what material you see as “currying the favor of pedophiles”.

    But the characterization of “your supporters” (whose supporters, exactly?) as “vicious” is definitely going to need some back-up or it is going to hang out there as something very close to a rant.

    Now, readers may be a bit confused by the Ecker comment of 1145 this morning. This may well be because he is responding to a comment on another thread – the immediately previous one – rather than to material on this thread. What Ecker is going for here is to demonstrate that persons who are not Abuseniks are in the minority and the Abuseniks (the leadership of whom Ecker fancies himself to command and hold) are in the majority.

    In support whereof Ecker does not go to the trouble of providing his thoughts (which, when he expresses them, may well get him into trouble yet again) but rather the Maximum Leader does “direct” me (and the readership, perhaps) to a National Catholic Reporter article and the comments (50 when I looked at it) about it.

    The NCRep (to distinguish the National Catholic Reporter from the National Catholic Register) link is to an article about the new Catholic Whistleblowers organization that was recently erected, and perhaps erected specifically in order to put some daylight between the forces behind the Abusenik Stampede and the faltering SNAP organization which for decades now has been their primary front organization.

    While it is not possible to definitively divine Ecker’s intentions here, the best sense I can make of his gambit here is that he wants the 50 commenters to demonstrate his assertion that the Abuseniks are a “majority” of people in the country or the Webverse or whatever. Although it would seem that it will take more than fifty commenters, two of whom are Judy Jones of SNAP and the nun – Maureen Turlish – involved in the Whistleblower leadership.

    Equipped as many of them now are with their Notebook on the Playbook, readers are welcome to examine the comments; they will recognize many familiar gambits.

    If Ecker would care to list just what “facts” he has found in the NCRep article and comments, he could put them up here.

  17. Delphin says:

    Me suspects that a certain recently [temporarily] "departed" (again…) regular TMR "commenter" (very loose meaning of the word in application here) has set his "other mistress" cronies upon the TMR commenters during his vacation, err, I mean door-slamming hiatus from TMR. The unfounded hysterics of the "pummel-it-into-the-ground fanatics are absolutely unworthy of response, although still well-managed by a couple of patient TMR commenters.

    Notice how you never learn a thing from the hysterical 'itches, yet, there is always gold to mine in the sane ones responses?

    Josie is right, a good cold dunking is the best medicine to ameliorate the head-haze of the hysterical – and, to douse evil green witches.

    Ruby slippers and little dogs do come to mind. The people of the rainbow are having trouble with reality-


  18. Delphin says:

    My, Sarah appears to be an expert on everything Catholic, even NFP. Here she advises married couples about the likelihood of infidelity if they practice NFP. Tsk, tsk, ye of such little faith in men- did we get a boo-boo from a bad boy (maybe a Catholic boy?) way back when?

    We wouldn't just happen to be carrying one of those nasty old bigoted grudges, now, would we, Sha-sha?

    Just another know-nothing know-it-all.

  19. malcolm harris says:

    As a general observation I personally believe that each of us are the end product, not just of our genes, but also our individual past experiences. My own past experience, when working as an auditor, prompts me to comment on the attack upon Archbishop Myers, by the New Jersey newspaper. As you might imagine there were many times when I struggled to separate the facts from fiction. The human mind weighs the risk, and some minds become very adept at this thought process, it might even be linked to our survival instinct. Eventually I came to the conclusion that if the wrongdoer concluded that there was minimal risk of adverse consequences, then he/she would be more likely to take the risk… by cheating or stealing. They actually do a cost/benefit analysis… but would never describe it in those terms. The more attactive the desired benefit….  then the more they take the risk.   Now this may sound cynical and I quickly acknowledge that some people do have ethics and principles…thank God.  But sadly we have to face the reality that many are just looking out for the main chance.

     Now ask yourself what possible benefit could motivate the journalist Tom Moran to write his hatchet fiction about the Archbishop?? Well he wants his editor to think that he is a good journalist, and that he produces stories that will grab the readers.  And the more controversial the better. Controversy and sensationalism sells newspapers. Now weigh the risk? Virtually none at all, most Catholics will still buy the paper, out of habit, or because they want to read other things, like sporting reports. The confident expectation, of the newspaper, is that the Catholics Church will never sue for libel, because they must forgive their enemies. Therefore the media sees a soft target that will not hit back. The risk is so minimal that unscrupulous journalists will just accept what SNAP tells them… and just go ahead and print it. Some journnalists, who still hold courageously to their professional standards, would not do this, but the hacks only pay lip service to ethics.

    So Tom Moran is just a hack journalist working for the gutter press. But if current trends continue this particular newspaper may follow other publications into bankruptcy. Because they are all built on the shifting sands of technology. Meanwhile the Catholic Church will continue, because it is founded on a rock.



  20. Julie says:

    I've seen newsroom bigots actually keep positive Catholic news items out of the paper, manipulate story placement and length, pull parts out of AP stories, focus on positive stories about liberal protestant churches etc. Associated Press is also no friend of the Catholic Church, putting the same anti-Catholic stories several times on the wire so they won't be missed, focusing on the Catholic Church scandals and not putting out on the wire local stories about protestant clergy being accused of sex abuse, quoting anti-Catholics in stories who lie about Pius XII, eg., and then not refute those lies with any other source, letting the lie stand, etc. The Catholics need to become very vocal in their local newspapers, etc. It is so easy to propagandize the news, just keep a story or fact out, twist a quote, etc. The Associated Press for one is a VERY anti-Catholic organization, as is the New York Times, and countless local newspaper editors — "Gee, I don't have room for that. Sorry." (Even though out of the area stuff is taking up space.) And SNAP uses this bigotry to their advantage and for their lawyer friends' pockets. SNAP says it goes after protestant offenders also. Bullcrap. They only send out their vicious missives to editors when the Catholic Church is involved. Some of us are in the news trenches and really see what goes on.

  21. Publion says:

    A further few thoughts on my first comment on this thread – about how ‘law office history’ is fed to willing media types as if it were the actual history of a case and then the media types print or otherwise ‘report’ that ‘law office history’ as if it were the actual history of the matter in question.

    What then happens is that a) the public thinks it’s getting the full and real and actual history of the matter. But b) formal investigation agencies – to the extent that they abide by the rules of evidence and of legally-required assessment – assess the case by those standards, thus c) uncovering the actual and real state of affairs in the matter which leads them d) to decide that in real and actual terms the matter does not qualify – for one reason or another – qualify for further investigation or prosecution.

    But the Abusenik solution to this problem is to e) hide the fundamental weakness of their presentations by claiming that the Church is squelching the investigation or prosecution.

    Since the public is not in on the scam, the public agencies are hesitant to look like they are ‘doing nothing’ and do not robustly and forcefully make public statements as to the real reason they have not gone further with the matter. (Plus, of course, f) to do so could instantly be characterized by the Abuseniks as outrageous ‘insensitivity’ or ‘enabling’ of the (now-presumed) ‘perps’ or as ‘chilling’ to any ‘victims’ who have not yet ‘come forward’ with an allegation. Legislators can be enlisted to provide ‘support’ by weakening the judicial and legal principles and practices that have been obstructing the Abuseniks in the first place.

    Meanwhile the Church, if it tries to defend itself or simply point to the fact that the public-agency investigations have not led to prosecutions can also be quickly characterized as ‘proving its guilt’ simply by trying to defend itself. (Because ‘everybody knows’ now that the Church and the priests are guilty in the first place – neat.)

    And thus so many cases of this kind that do reach the courts always seem to be ‘unusual’ and you rarely see a simple and clear legal court process in these cases.

    The Philadelphia trials are excellent examples of exceptions that prove the rule here: despite the fact that it was clear that the Charges were shaky or worse, a DA decides (for whatever reasons) to bring the case (having already whomped up a highly questionable Grand Jury Report or two to help lubricate the path toward prosecutions). All sorts of problematic practices are engaged-in so that the case can be brought. And we wind up with, say, the recent Billy Doe trial in which (Philly being Philly) even the jury is somehow entangled in the swamp of legal skullduggery that has now profoundly vitiated the case and the trial process. (And we still haven’t seen the end of these two trials, since Appeals are in the works.)

  22. Delphin says:

    One way to fight the evil that attacks our Church and our Clergy is to support them both when they need it most. I made my contribution with special mention of the TMR article that brought attention to the relentless persecution of Archbishop Myers -

  23. Publion says:

    Adding to my immediately previous comment: the public – under the illusion that in the 'law office history' that is presented as if it were the true and actual history of the matter – now concludes that with all that evidence it has seen in the media reports, then if there has been no major police or prosecutory action then there must be a cover-up.

    Which, of course, falls right in with the torties' plan in the first place. And so they and their media allies can quickly move the public beyond any questioning of the orignal 'history' and get on with the even more inflammatory second phase, that of 'cover-up'.

    And The Ball Rolls Even Faster. Wheeeeeeee.

  24. Julie says:

    Publion, You are very right about the need to contribute as a way to address these types of attacks. I have been moved to donate more to the collection plate at church after seeing some of the nasty anti-Catholic comments on here. Because you see how real the hatred and desire to destroy the church is and how we need to support the church that Jesus  founded.

  25. dennis ecker says:


    Do you live in Philly ?

    $320 million in debt. Chaput has made the move now to put up for sale ALL catholic nursing homes.

    My crystal ball shows you digging even deeper into those pockets.

    I am sure josie bailey will confirm the statement Chaput made that the money problems the AOP is dealing with has nothing to do with any sexual abuse awards but the past leadership of your church.

    Hmmm, who is truly anti-catholic ?

  26. Delphin says:

    Cha-Ching…..just made another contribution- this time to the AOP, thanks for the heads up, gang!

    I'd rather give my money to the Catholic Church and Her charities than anybody else, especially our confiscatory government.

  27. Publion says:

    I recall that we have already dealt with the Chaput/AOP financial statements, in response to a collection of Ecker assertions made at the end of June (see link at end of this comment). At that time it was pointed out that Chaput issued both an annual fiscal statement and a statement that this year’s release would reflect some of the poor fiscal management of prior AOP Ordinaries and then his remarks outlined some of the steps he was taking to clear up the financial situation, including selling old and unused properties. My primary comments in this regard were time-stamped June 29th at around 7:30PM and July 1st around 4:30PM, attached to the TMR article linked-to below.

    I do not recall any substantive response by Ecker to comments made at that time. He was insisting that Chaput “continues to lie” by saying that the state of the AOP finances was not the result of the Catholic Abuse Matter. Ecker offered nothing that would substantiate his accusation. Of course, by explaining the AOP finances as he did, Archbishop Chaput was for all practical purposes depriving the Abuseniks – under, we must recall, Ecker’s self-conceived influential leadership – of the apparently consoling belief that they have managed to fiscally undo the AOP. So there’s no surprise here.

    If you enter something like ‘sale of Catholic nursing homes in Philadelphia’ into your search engine, you will discover that the announcement to sell the nursing homes was made yesterday, due to a 39.2 million dollar deficit in operating funds. The nursing homes were running an annual deficit. The overall accumulated debt of the AOP – probably ascribable to the decades of less-than-competent financial management that Chaput is now trying to address – is 350 million dollars or thereabouts. The AOP is also one of the largest faith-based care-providers in the country, a ministry hearking back to the era when there were few nursing homes available and the Church took on many tasks ancillary to its spiritual mission in order to provide for its largely immigrant flock in a country which at that time offered few advanced social services. It appears that Chaput is trying to move the AOP out of that century-or-more old health-ministry model, which is a move probably long overdue and one which can only meet with approval from the AOP business advisors.

    I am myself curious about this sale since the only potential buyers would presumably be for-profit organizations that will not want to accept the AOP’s stipulation that the homes still be run according to AOP guidelines about taking in those who cannot pay. I don’t see how this sale-offer can reasonably be expected to attract any of the usual potential buyers among for-profit nursing-home corporations.

    The cemeteries – all belonging to the AOP and not to individual parishes – will simply have their management tasks outsourced.

    I would say that Ecker here is once again – and characteristically – grasping at any straws that will bolster the illusion that the Catholic Abuse payouts (the genuineness of the claims remaining almost completely un-established) have inflicted lethal damage on the AOP finances; such an assertion thus Keeping The Ball Rolling and also – I have the strong impression – continuing to feed Ecker’s own needs.

    I cannot see the sense of his concluding comment as to “who is truly anti-catholic?”.

  28. Julie says:

    Dennis, I don't live in Philly.

  29. Delphin says:

    There's very little of anything decent (God help the few) residing in Philly, anymore, that hellhole has been successfully conquered by Satanic forces. The AOP certainly has it's work cut out for it.

    Too bad the Church doesn't have an Obama-Bernanke bailout philosophy for their deficit spending. Nursing homes (and pretty much any social services) run by the state quickly turn into houses of horror for the client-patient. Talk about victims; those poor souls are the true victims-

  30. dennis ecker says:

    Do your homework Publion.

    Maybe you should check with one of your own and discuss with him who put the AOP into the situation they are now.

    I believe he can tell you the how money was spent prior to chaput arrival, I even think this man lost his job over reporting that information.

    I'm sure Ralph Cipriano will answer your e-mails.

    Those who are still digging deep must answer the question would you purchase a failing stock ?

  31. Publion says:

    I am informed to do my homework by somebody who has rarely if ever provided relevant and material supportive information in support of any number of wide and sweeping  assertions.

    I don’t have anyone “of my own” who can tell me “how the money was spent prior to chaput arrival” – although I don’t see the relevance of the point in the first place. Although it must be presumed here that Ecker has the definite information – why else would he be so sure that some “homework” would reveal the information that would support his assertions?

    But we notice that – presuming he actually does have information that would support his assertions – he a) didn’t put it up to begin with to support his original assertions nor b) he didn’t put it up in his second comment of 6:11PM on the 25th, and instead simply sought to infer that “homework” would (presumably) discover the proof that – if he is telling the truth – is already in his possession.

    The alternative here being that he has no information, cannot be sure that there is such information, but is going here for the gambit of insinuating that such information exists and that he has it already.  This is not the mentality of somebody trying to bring solid information to the table, in support of rational claims.

    So we are left – as usual – with nothing. Except (rather sly) efforts to induce others to believe that there is information that Ecker has and nobody else has but that proves everything he has asserted.

    I have never been in email contact with Ralph Cipriano or anyone else. I go with the material presented here.

    So I will say that Ecker has given us nothing here that supports the claim that the AOP or the Church is a “failing stock”. But if there is any entity in which I most certainly would not invest as a reliable and competent “stock”, it would be a certain Wig-manufacturer.

  32. KenW says:

    Dear Dennis, 

    Monies paid in lawsuits is not a measure of guilt. If they were, then Shawn Davies needs to be released from prison right now, because his victims got NOTHING. 

    The only thing that monies paid out in lawsuits measures is how far any given diocese (or their insurance company) is willing to go to avoid a trial. If it does go to trial, the only thing that it measures is how successful the plaintiffs were in preying on the emotions of the jurors and the press. 

  33. Delphin says:

    There is something very wrong in the heart and soul (sick, body and mind) of those that would celebrate the closing of facilities that care for the sick, elderly and otherwise disadvantaged. I don't care how much you hate the Church, to actually derive pleasure (and try to take credit for) from the possible loss of such services, regardless of the cause, tells us all we need to know about their diseased psyches.

    Their humanity has been replaced by their hatred.

  34. Julie says:

    Dennis, I gave a large donation to the collection plate this weekend with a little prayer for you. I know you don't believe in it, but it doesn't hurt to have someone praying for you who does believe in it. :) God bless.

  35. dennis ecker says:


    Reread what I wrote. Contrary to what you say that I said in your following comment" that Ecker here is once again – and characteristically – grasping at any straws that will bolster the illusion that the Catholic Abuse payouts (the genuineness of the claims remaining almost completely un-established) have inflicted lethal damage on the AOP finances;

    I'm happy that chaput made the statement that the abuse cases have nothing to do with the financial troubles of the church. ONE LESS PERSON he CAN BLAME for his troubles.

    The church is doing just fine on their own by taking that rope and putting it around their neck.

    If you can't see that then I don't know what to tell you.

    The more and more I think about Jim closing his keyboard to this site, the more I think he may have done the right move.

    I can only describe you people with one word. PATHETIC

  36. Delphin says:

    I think we owe thanks to Robertson and Ecker, for opening our sometimes too charitable eyes to the relentless evil that assails our Church and clergy. As a result of experience gained from/on TMR, I have increased my monetary contributions to those dioceses under assault by the left (including their media sycophants) and towards defense funds for victimized priests (ex.Opus Bono Sacerdotii, National Center for Reason and Justice, etc.).

    I was reconverted back to my faith, in part, thanks to David Silverman, the dishonest and vicious president of American Atheists and his never-ending media campaign against the Church (which got my attention quicker than any proselytizing-evangelizing ever could!), and only the Catholic Church. Similar to Moran of the Star Ledger soon-to-be-defunct rag, he likes to respond with nastygrams to any contact that isn't totally in sync with the leftist ideology.

    I thank God for bringing me back home, regardless of the tactics He needed to use to get my attention.

    In a small way, we can also thank the leftist antiCatholics at TMR for removing the last of the scales from our eyes as pertains to the enemies of our Church and the depths to which they are willing to decend to attack our Church.

    I can't think of any better way to spend my 'vast earthly fortune' than to support my Church with my whole heart, soul and all my available earthly 'riches'-

  37. Publion says:

    I have re-read what commenter Ecker wrote and I am – as I mentioned – familiar with what he has written on prior occasions. I stand by what I wrote.

    Ecker now declares himself “happy” that the abuse cases aren’t involved because that’s “one less person he can blame for his troubles”. I have omitted the exaggerated formatting and as a result the non-sensical aspects of this comment stand out more clearly: who is the “one less person”?

    As I said a couple of months ago and also on this thread: if Ecker is trying to spin Abp. Chaput’s initiatives to put the AOP onto a sounder business and organizational fiscal footing as somehow “taking that rope and putting it around their neck” then a) he is indeed grasping at straws in order to keep his own delusions going and b) he is quite correct in saying that he “doesn’t know” anything worthwhile to tell us.

    And I can see very clearly what he is trying to do – but he, even if he has been using his self-proclaimed excellent assessment skills in the bathroom mirror, does not seem to have seen anything worth his attention there. Which is what it is.

    And once again, if one has nothing of real value to say, shout it with exaggerated formatting.

    His reflection on “Jim closing his keyboard to this site” seems to be moving in a constructive direction though.

  38. Publion says:

    I’d like to add a bit, showing how certain bits of what might be called ‘postmodern philosophy’ have helped feed the Catholic Abuse Matter and Victimist methodology generally. I could recommend Simon Blackburn’s article entitled “Truth’s Caper” in The New Republic, issue of August 13, 2008, pp.40ff.

    He discusses the now-deceased ‘popular’ philosopher Richard Rorty, who carried on a long-running battle against “metaphysical prigs” who refused to put words like truth, reason and knowledge in quotation-marks.

    It was a hallmark of the postmodern era (roughly the 1960s to 9/11 in 2001; which Blackburn in 2008 already claims is “now widely held to belong to yesterday” among professional philosophers – although I would say that its consequences and effects are still very much with us) that truth was considered to have no reality of its own, independent of what persons who observed this or that phenomenon held that truth about the phenomenon to be. Reflecting the theories of quantum-physics from the 1920s, the idea was that a quantum to be observed actually had no definite reality or form until it was actually observed – and thus that the very act of observing participated in giving the quantum its actual form and its ‘reality’ and thus its ‘truth’. The experiment that has gone down in the scientific books as “Schrodinger’s Cat” is of core relevance here.

    Rorty – impatient with “metaphysics”, as he called it – called for completely ignoring questions pertaining to objective truth, and thus of seeking it or of worrying about ‘evidence’ of it  (You might already sense here that this philosophical approach of Rorty’s was going to raise serious problems for legal procedure and jurisprudence – very very relevant to the Catholic Abuse Matter and the Stampede.)

    Instead, Rorty said that the key determinant of ‘truth’ was to be “solidarity”: i.e. if enough people agreed on something, then what they agreed-on was ‘truth’ and that’s all there was to it.

    In this, Rorty was building on the hallmark “pragmatism” of William James in the first decade of the 20th century: if something “works”, said James, then it’s “true” for all practical purposes – which to James were the only purposes that mattered. As some readers might quickly realize, James was trying to somehow reconcile ‘philosophy’ and ‘truth’ with the burgeoning success of material (and materialistic) science, which was driving industry and invention at breakneck speed in that era.

    As you might imagine, the Church was always dubious about this aspect of ‘Modernism’, especially in its brash American variant: this Modernist approach threatened to provide a conceptual template and recipe for collapsing the Multiplanar vision of human existence into the material Monoplane, thereby flattening (you might even say compressing or crushing) human existence into a single dimension.

    Rorty’s solution – “solidarity” – basically ignored those probable consequences and insisted upon replacing any ‘truth’ inherent in a phenomenon or any truth (let’s not even get into Truth) independent of whatever this or that ‘observer’ or group of ‘observers’ with what was really simply a group agreement about whatever ‘truth’ they saw in the phenomenon. Thus there was no ‘truth’ independent of the observations (or feelings) of the observers.

    In a fine little example of how the consequences of all this have played out in American and Western culture lately, we have seen here comments referring to “my” truth as opposed to ‘the’ truth – specifically in regard to abuse claims and allegations.

    I don’t suggest here that all allegants are versed in the philosophical stylings of James or Rorty. But it can easily and reasonably be imagined how torties – educated to some extent in philosophy but even more directly  in the applications of James and Rorty to law-school curricula and legal theory – could use Rorty to provide ‘benefit of philosophy’ to any potential allegant: what we are looking for here is ‘your’ truth, dear victim, and there is no ‘the truth’ that is relevant here; share with us (in a formal allegation sworn-to as part of this lawsuit’s Complaint)’your truth’ and then let a jury (itself acting as a group of ‘observers’) see if it agrees with ‘your truth’ or not.

    Thus too, we see in certain commenters here a primary focus on somehow trying to manipulate-into-existence a mere “solidarity” in how the Church and ‘abuse’ is viewed: if we all just agree to agree on the Abusenik ‘truth’, then everything in the Stampede will make sense and will be ‘true’.

    Thus too, efforts to try to discover ‘evidence’ and to rationally examine, assess, and deliberate-upon ‘stories’ (which are merely vessels designed to convey this or that allegant’s ‘truth’) are obstructions to this entire “solidarity” dynamic of Rorty’s. (At the end of this comment I include a link to one of many articles that respond to Rorty’s theory of “solidarity”; there is also a Wiki entry that gives a general – but not definitive – overview.)

  39. Publion says:

    I’d also recommend a newly-published book by Brian P. Levack entitled The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West.

    The book is a fascinating, multi-aspected look at the two distinct but related phenomena of demonic-possession/exorcism and witchcraft in Christianity, from the earliest times until the present, with especial emphasis on the differences and similarities between Catholic and Protestant approaches in the Reformation and post-Reformation centuries.

    (The Vatican had a devil of a time – if I may – trying to introduce and maintain some level of skepticism about claims of demonic-possession and witchcraft, specifically introducing numerous editions of the Roman Ritual (Rituale Romanum) precisely in order to impose (or at least inject) some order and competence into what had become almost a popular carnival of anxiety about demons and witches. But it was a) the popular desire for exorcism, b) the tendency of local lower-level clergy to try to meet that demand, and c) the profusion of non-clerical ‘professional’ exorcists that combined to keep popular concern for demonic-possession at a high-pitch.)

    Protestants believed in demonic-possession as well, but (until the development of ‘evangelical’ and later ‘fundamentalist’ ministries) also considered Catholic ritual to be nothing more than ‘magic’ and denied that any human-being (i.e. the priest or exorcist) could command either the Devil or the Power of God. Nor even that any human-being – ordained or lay – could be somehow delegated by God to serve as a conduit of His power in this world. (Yet, I note, that curiously, it was Protestantism that became so powerfully anxious about the work and evil wrought by witches; and – lacking any religious code of law such as the Catholic canon-law, or any religious courts such as the Inquisition – required witchcraft to be criminalized in the civil law and brought before civil courts (although in England there was some attempt to restrict these cases to the Court of Star Chamber in order to keep things from getting out of hand – as they so often did in this type of case).

    But what I want to point out here is Levack’s discussion (pp.153-6 in his book, and other places in the text) of how persons claiming to be demonically-possessed conformed to a ‘script’ that had come to be popularly accepted as clear evidence of such possession. Where did those claiming to be demonically-possessed get their knowledge of this “performance script”? From a) sermons preached by well-meaning clerics (Catholic and Protestant) which inadvertently provided specific necessary boxes (of pains, of behaviors, of visions, and so forth) that had to be checked-off in one’s story; from b) popular rumor and imagination working off the prospect of what a demonic-possession would ‘look like’; from c) the very possession ‘manuals’ themselves which enterprising ‘professional’ and/or itinerant for-profit ‘exorcists’ read to village crowds; from d) the highly-publicized public exorcisms specifically held (sometimes, it has been historically established, with ‘coaching’) to garner wide attention; from e) ‘exorcism narratives’ written by exorcists about their experiences expelling this and that demon in this and that case; and – most interesting, I think – from f) so-called “possession narratives”, where those who claimed to be possessed related their experiences in great detail.

    Thus there were numerous conduits by which public concern-about and interest-in demonic-possession could be stoked, even as public ‘knowledge’ about the characteristics of demonic-possession was continually constructed by detailed and lurid ‘narratives’ and stories, not only from individual sufferers but from the so-called ‘professionals’ who stood to make a nice living off the whole thing.

    Looking at the Catholic Abuse Matter, it is – I would say – not hard to see where some of the elements we have discussed here (one thinks of the Anderson Axis of tort-attorneys and media outlets, and the various websites and groups that collect such stories and details) function in precisely the same ways today as we see in the demonic-possession manias of centuries ago.


  40. Mark says:

    Read with contentment the update to the article. Shaming the delinquent media and "victims groups" is the way to go. Just as the mainstream media were shamed into covering the Gosnell case (and look at the fall-out from that!).

    Great posts from Publion, as always. I learn a lot from your commentary.

    Delphin, couldn't agree more – and I've also increased my contributions to our wonderful Church, both directly and to organisations like those you mention.

    Keep up the good work, folks!


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