Yet Another Philly STUNNER: Alternate Juror In Priest Abuse Trial Comes Forward, Claims Guilty Verdicts Were ‘A Tragic Miscarriage of Justice’

Ralph Cipriano

Dogged journalism in search of the truth: Philadelphia's Ralph Cipriano

In yet another shocking development in the Philadelphia clergy abuse trials, journalist Ralph Cipriano is now exclusively reporting that an alternate juror in the recent trial of Fr. Charles Engelhardt and former teacher Bernard Shero thinks that the guilty verdicts in January against the pair were "insane," "incredible," and "a tragic miscarriage of justice."

This latest revelation adds even more evidence to the case that Engelhardt and Shero were wrongly convicted for crimes they did not commit.

Despite the fact that the accuser repeatedly told radically wild and inconsistent versions of the abuse he suffered – inconsistent to the point that even members of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office questioned whether they should even try the case – an apparent runaway jury actually believed accuser Daniel P. Gallagher and convicted Engelhardt and Shero. Gallagher, an admitted drug addict with an extensive arrest record, told incredible stories claiming that during the 1998-1999 school year, when he was a 10-year-old altar boy in Philadelphia, he was viciously raped and abused – sometimes for hours on end – by three separate men (Engelhardt, Shero, and former priest Edward Avery), all of whom barely even knew each other.

A juror is stunned

According to Cipriano, the female alternate juror, who had listened to all of the evidence, was completely flabbergasted by the fact that Engelhardt and Shero were actually convicted. Cipriano quotes the woman:

  • "I couldn't believe it. I thought for sure they were going to vote not guilty because there was absolutely no proof that these men had done that";
  • "I was completely shocked by it … I think it was a tragic miscarriage of justice";
  • "The prosecution was riddled full of reasonable doubt";
  • "What I couldn't get over was there was no consistencies about the story … Nothing was consistent. Not what happened, not where it happened";
  • "[The whole prosecution case] seemed like it was propped up on unbelievable facts."

Danny Gallagher

Accuser Danny Gallagher
[Grab from video at]

Notably, the alternate juror is an elementary school teacher, which means by law she is a mandated reporter of abuse and has been trained in the detection of abuse. And to this woman, Gallagher's wild tales made no sense at all.

"I have kids lying to me every day," she told Cipriano. "I felt like I was watching somebody trying to get out of trouble."

For example, Gallagher claimed that he was raped twice in a church, including a sacristy, which according to trial testimony obtained by Cipriano, "was a place traversed by priests, altar boys, sextons, nuns, the church pastor and parishioners, all passing through on their way to the church, the sanctuary, a storage room, and the only bathroom in the place."

"To believe that no one would be around for that period of time," the woman has told Cipriano. "That to me was outrageous, that no one would notice, no one would hear anything."

A stinging rebuke of the D.A's Office

Mark Cipolletti

Philly Assistant D.A. Mark Cipolletti:
"loathed" for his indignity

The juror also had some harsh words for the lead prosecutor in the case, Philly Assistant D.A. Mark Cipolletti, a man whom, according to Cipriano, she came to "loathe."

As a teacher herself, the juror did not like the way Cipolletti attacked Gallagher's former grade-school teachers on the stand.

"I felt it was a vicious prosecution to start with," the woman said. "The prosecution was nasty to everybody who stepped up there.

"Cipolletti was a bully. This guy's a jerk. He's so snotty he couldn't talk to anybody. I hope that I'm never up against D.A. Cipolletti because he's a snotty jerk.

"It was insane to watch people treated that way," she added. "It was crazy to watch this play out."

Cipriano: A tenacious journalist continues to stride forward

Ralph Cipriano exemplifies a brand of journalism that is very rarely seen anymore. Cipriano has done simply amazing work on this case, doggedly pursuing the facts of this matter not because its message is popular but because justice demands it. Cipriano has written very critically of Church officials in Philadelphia in the past, so he cannot be dismissed as some apologist for Catholics.

Cipriano writes that not only was the alternate juror shocked by the verdict but so were all of the weathered and often cynical reporters who attended the trial:

"[The verdicts] not only shocked this alternate, but also just about every reporter who covered the case, as well as the former sex abuse victims and the many lawyers who visited the courtroom during the trial.

"Whether you chose to believe Billy Doe or not, the verdict made no sense, because it was not supported by the evidence presented at trial.

"The district attorney was surprised by the verdict; the lead prosecutor expected to lose."

Cipriano ends his post with a hope that other jurors come forward to tell their versions of events. He writes: "In this Lenten season, if any more jurors care to unburden themselves, Ralph Cipriano can be reached at Anonymity is available; a sympathetic ear guaranteed."

Catholic priests: Guilty until proven innocent

Meanwhile, as for the juror herself, she acknowledges something which many of us who cover the issue have already known for quite a while: Because of the media's exaggerated and lurid coverage of the issue over the last two decades, all Catholic priests are now deemed guilty of abuse charges even if evidence may prove otherwise.

Cipriano writes:

"What was the juror's takeaway from her first brush with the criminal justice system?

"'Innocent until proven guilty,' she said. But, 'that's not the case if you're a Catholic priest.'

"The woman who is not a Catholic said there has been so much publicity over the sex scandals in the Catholic church that 'priests are assumed to be guilty immediately'."

Engelhardt and Shero are scheduled to be sentenced in only a few weeks, April 18.

It will take something truly remarkable to prevent them from going to jail for crimes they did not commit.


  1. Ben says:

    Thank you for exposing this outrage. 

    We need more folks and more bloggers to get involved in this case to see that justice is done and these men are freed.

    They were only convicted for who they were and not what they had ever done.



  2. Mark says:

    Correct, Ben.  And, agreed – we should all be posting not just on the excellent TMR and bigtrial sites, but linking to them on other sites to make people aware of why and how this miscarriage of justice happened, and why it needs to be overturned. As mentioned, sentencing is due 18 April, and we should be ready to blitz websites and blogs with posts at that time. We all owe a big thank you to Ralph and Dave for the great work they are doing. The tide is definitely turning, my friends, but let us not ease up for one minute. 

  3. jim robertson says:

    What utter nonsense: there's a "coven" of Catholic haters that ganged their way onto a jury in Philedelphia just to get Catholic priests.

    Does sanity ever rear it's lovely head here?

    • Billy says:

      guilty until proven innocent is what happened here. Have you read the facts of this case from the beginning? Review the video after the verdict and look at the surprise look and reaction from the DA and ADA. That should be all you need to see that a great injustice was done to innocent men.

    • Billy says:

      Were you in the courtroom during any part of the trial? Have you read any of the facts of the case or do you just believe what the accuser says? The da was even surprised by the verdict. Take a look at the video and you'll see the stunned look on his face. The smile knowing that his career will progress to the governor's office while two innocent men sit in jail all on the lies of a criminal and drug addict

  4. Joe Burch says:

    Dave – once again, excellent, timely and very cogent work.

    When the verdict is announced, the Philadelphia Inquirer will undoubtedly cover it, and there will be a window of opportunity to post comments after the article(s). 

    On January 31st, there were several interesting posts, one of which was from an alternate juror – JillJay – who was flabbergasted that what he viewed as a clear reasonable doubt case somehow morphed into a conviction.  All the comments on this article were removed for some reason shortly afterwards.

    Good Luck!

  5. jim robertson says:

    P.S. Look at that posed picture of Ralph Cipriano. Really just look at it. I am amazed that  they, the P.R, rep, didn't pose him in a Mike Wallace style trench coat: ala the "hardbitten journalist". That might have been too "telling" it might give the game away. But they sure came close. There's Ralph out in the cold with his collar turned up; his back up against what appears to be a stone wall, fighting for truth, I'm guessing, against all opponents. Including a jury and their verdict in Philadelphia.

    Ah, the subtlety of Billy Donahue and friends!

    This is truly one of the most entertaining spectacles I've ever seen. But then the corporate Catholic Church always knew how to put on a show. Even a very "humble" one. Juxtapose "humility" to outrageous wealth and you hold peoples interest. Bravo!

  6. jim robertson says:

    Posed doesn't necessarily mean still.

    • jim robertson says:

      But o.k. Ralph's sincere.

    • Seth says:

      Jim if someone accuses a priest of something from 40 years ago does that mean that he is guilty? 


      Or do you believe in the Constitution?

  7. jim robertson says:

    Guilty is a jury word,

    Did he commit a crime? Well that's why the truth is in the details, presented obviously at first by someone who accuses someone of a crime. In these cases a crime from their childhood sometimes many years ago sometimes not.  That accusation has to be believed by professional truth seekers from both sides once an accusation's made.

    But just because an accusation's made doesn't mean the Church and it's insurors roll over and play dead for some crowd of lying sociopaths. It doesn't work that way no matter what Bill Donahue says or Cardinal Dolan.

    It's funny the same guys who lied to you believers about their being any victims at all, are the very ones you believe when they say that there are lying claimants attacking the Church.

    You keep enabling those same liars everytime you accuse a victim or victims of falsifying their abuse.

    If you feel the system is being "played' Why does your corporate church settle time after time especially with their resources to fight. Do you really think the jury pool has been so "tainted" that American jurors can't be fair, that you can't get a fair trial?

    That's not it at all. the corporate church and it's insurors know full well the truth of our claims.

    And push come to shove they settle.

    But the real issue here are the harmed victims. The people SNAP and the corporate church don't want you to see. The truths they don't want you to know.

  8. jim robertson says:

    After posting here for months. I stumbled across a speech by the English actor and intellectual Stephen Fry. It sums up much of my feelings. I share it with you asking only that you keep an open mind and heart and I ask you if you see Jesus at all in Mr. Fry's position?

    Thanks for your time.

  9. Publion says:

    I will restate my basic position.


    First, it is precisely the gambit that has enabled the Abuse Matter to achieve the ‘size’ and ‘legs’ that it has achieved, that we be quickly moved past a key deliberation point.


    And that point is: it cannot be presumed that an accuser presents ‘truth’ in any sense knowable to a being who does not have access to divine omniscience.  This is precisely why we have trials in the Western system of justice: to determine – as best human beings can determine by rational and careful analysis-of and deliberation-upon the evidence presented – if such-and-such a set of claims, either those put forward by the accuser or by the accused, are sufficiently credible to receive the public endorsement (through jury declaration) of the sovereign authority (represented by a court) and consequently the deployment of the sovereign coercive authority (if a Guilty finding is made).


    In the revolutionary system of justice – exemplified so well in Dzerzhinsky’s dictum that the Cheka does not investigate but rather it strikes the enemies of the revolution, and Lenin’s instruction that ‘our revolutionary courts must shoot!’ – the purpose of the trial is not to determine the truth of an accusation, because in the revolutionary theory of justice, the defendant is already guilty simply by virtue of the fact he has been accused. So thus the purpose of the trial in the revolutionary scheme is simply to formalize the deployment of the sovereign coercive authority of the regime against the accused.


    As you can see: in the revolutionary system the guilt of the accused (and consequently the truthfulness and accuracy of the accuser) are presumed before the trial even begins; in the Western system the accused is presumed innocent (and the burden of providing rational and credible evidentiary proof is on the accuser).  That is a difference of 180 degrees.  In other words, the two systems are exactly opposite. And incompatible.


    It was the dark genius of the creators of the sue-the-bishops strategy that lawsuits of such magnitude and scope (the largest with over 500 plaintiffs at once) that no corporate entity would consider it worthwhile to defend against each claim (consider also the possibility that some Plaintiffs may have made multiple allegations, each instance needing to be defended-against).


    And that rather than suing individual priests (who, as named Party-Defendant, would have a say in whether to defend or not), this strategy chose to sue the Dioceses and the Insurers (thus depriving any accused priests of a voice in whether to defend against the allegations or not).  As is well known, the primary objective of a tort-attorney is not to go to trial, but rather to induce a settlement in favor of his/her Plaintiff-client(s).


    It is a further bit of the Game that – having benefitted from this remarkably shrewd and effective bit of legal strategizing – various interests can now claim that the Church and/or its accused clergy must clearly have been guilty or else they would have defended themselves (against these impossibly complex lawsuits). In fact, to listen to them, you would get the idea that the accused or the Church had the option of defending against each and every single allegation or Plaintiff’s claims, and deliberately chose not to do so – presumably because the accused priest or the Church knew that the allegations were true and that there was sufficient credible evidence to be presented if a trial in open court took place.


    But I believe it becomes clear that in the vast majority of these lawsuits such was not the case at all.


    Indeed, as I have said before in comments on this site, the whole Abuse Matter became a self-licking ice cream cone in the classic sense: allegations were gratuitously presumed to be true, and then were widely publicized by media reporting that presumed them to be true, thus creating a substantial public groundswell of ‘conventional wisdom’ to the effect that ‘everybody knows’ Catholic priests and the Catholic Church are the source of vast amounts of Abuse and that, consequently, the public (from whose ranks all jurors are ultimately chosen) would be (legally) ‘tainted’ before ever coming into a jury pool.


    And all of this before – as we are seeing the possibilities now arising in the analysis of the second Philadelphia case – you start factoring in enterprising and less-than-conscientious DA’s and assorted other local connections among various influential interests (in Philadelphia, a rather strong possibility of a DA-police union connection). And of Grand Jury Reports – as has been seen on the second Philadelphia trial site – where the Jurors were ‘informed’ merely by a prosecution had a disturbingly wide latitude to present material not necessarily accurate. (Which ‘Reports’, widely publicized by the prosecution in the Philadelphia case, then helped fuel the ‘conventional wisdom’ among the public, thus reinforcing and further ‘enabling’ what I call the Stampede.)


    Additionally, a further classic element of the derangement and degradation of any Western justice system is also strongly in evidence in the Abuse Matter: that if anybody tries to examine the allegations of accusers with any degree of detached and rational inquiry, then those persons are simply “enabling” more instances of the claimed Abuse. This is – again – a clear instance of the revolutionary strategy: if you are accused of counterrevolutionary activity and you try to defend yourself then you are doubly guilty of counterrevolutionary activity and condemn yourself beyond any doubt simply by attempting to defend yourself; and if you try to analyze any allegation of counterrevolutionary activity made against somebody else, then you prove yourself to be guilty of counterrevolutionary activity yourself. Or – as we saw in the Salem Witch Trials: if you try to defend an accused witch then you are probably a witch yourself.


    Few people – as accused, as ‘jurors’, as judges, as citizens – managed to escape this shrewdly-constructed box in the Salem Witch Trials or in any of the revolutionary-type justice systems we saw in the past century … in Russia, in Germany, in Mao’s China, to name only the largest.


    It may seem counterintuitive to some that such dynamics could take root here in this country; but I think we have seen enough instances in this country recently where dynamics we never thought would or could  be embraced by any version of ‘America’ we ever could have imagined have become policy and law.


    It may seem uncongenial to some that all of these dynamics are revealed to be active in what they would prefer to cast in far more simple and limited terms. But there’s more to it and this reality cannot be avoided.


    Without getting into specifics I leave it for the reader to consider: how many of the 10 thousand or so allegations formally submitted, tallied up in the John Jay Reports, have actually been subjected to any amount of credible and detailed public analysis?


    Further, in such trials as have been conducted, how many allegations have been demonstrated to be clearly and convincingly believable? And as we are seeing even now on the Philadelphia trial site – where the actual transcripts of the trial and the documentation compiled during the various phases of the investigation are being looked at carefully – the examination of such allegations and claims as we have yield nothing that inspires confidence in the sweeping assertions of ‘conventional wisdom’ that the vast majority of allegations in the Abuse Matter are accurate.


    If any wish to insist that it is not a matter of legality but of truth, then these matters should not be before courts, whose task – in the Western system of justice – is precisely limited to reaching conclusions based on critically and rationally examined evidence.


     If any wish to claim that the public has a right to ‘know’, then I would also insist that the public has a right to examine what it is being told, rather than being spoon-fed and force-fed stories which must be believed on pain of being considered an Abuse-enabler or an Abuser oneself.


    By saying all of the above, I am not claiming to know how many allegations are true or not. But what I am saying is that a) we have no way of determining which ones are true or not; b) we are constantly being distracted-from or prevented-from looking as carefully as is required by reason and truth and justice; and c) that precisely because of (a) and (b) there is absolutely no way of justifying rationally the conventional-wisdom that the Church and its clergy are the source of vast amount of Abuse. One may – if one wishes – embrace such conventional-wisdom as a matter of presumption or belief, but that is a very long way from establishing the credibility of that ‘conventional wisdom’.


    Ultimately, in this Abuse Matter, we are confronting not a matter of evidence but rather a matter of presumption and belief. And the latter cannot claim undisputed primacy over the former while simultaneously claiming the authority and credibility of the former.


    I apologize to careful readers who have seen all this from me before. But claims to the contrary continue to pop up, repetitively, and from time to time it seems necessary to restate my position.

  10. jim robertson says:

    So If  we arn't lying and we aren't. Why the big defense? What if your big defense is defending nothing under attack but hiding a definite offense, a planed attack against again the most vulnerable of all the parties involved here, the abused victims. That's what's happening here really.. A veiled attack led by anonymous posters against really harmed people. We victims aren't anonymous here we have nothing to hide. If you , our opposition are hiding and you're just upright citizens telling the truth why not put your reputaions, your good names on the line for your beliefs.

  11. Publion says:

    My “big defense” is, first of all, not a defense at all but rather an analysis of the Abuse Matter as – quite possibly – an example of a Stampede phenomenon. Like the Iraqi WMD phenomenon (which actually followed the Abuse phenomenon and may have actually been ‘enabled’ by it), I am saying that we are at this point looking at a phenomenon that apparently has no demonstrable or evidence-based core of reality to it. And – to repeat myself – in just about every instance where we have been able to examine assertions, documentary evidence and testimony, and various investigation reports (as in Philadelphia) we find very little to dissuade-from, and certainly nothing to decisively dispose-of, the possibility (probability?) that this whole Thing has no core reality that can be demonstrated by rational evidence.


    We have initial assertions and claims, which then became the basis for a voluntarily-embraced presumption that ‘everybody knows’ that all the Abuse is/was there, and then more instances of Abuse were claimed, and then reported as presumptively true, but when we try finally to examine the originating basis of the whole Thing, we find ourselves right back at the unsupported assertions and claims.


    Second, there is absolutely no evidentiary basis to justify the claim that allegants and claimants are accurate. Nor – as I have said before – is it credible that even so-called and self-proclaimed spokespersons and spokesgroups for allegants have themselves conducted any such investigation among themselves, such that we can credit any claims to ‘just trust us – it’s all true’. Once again, we find ourselves right back at square one with unsupported assertions.


    It was precisely right here that an insistence should have been made decades ago to examine allegations, rather than turn the Church into a piñata for any enterprising stick-wielder. But – again as I have said – the bundled-lawsuit strategy initiated in 2002 quickly made that possibility functionally impossible in the legal system, by bringing so many assertions and claims together all at once, and naming the Dioceses and Insurers as the Parties-Defendant.


    The Church hierarchy decades ago was not well-equipped to handle this phenomenon. There may well have been some actual instances of Abuse even in the more serious ranges of that definition; the national approach to ‘sex abuse’ back in the decades when most of the allegations were claimed to have taken place was different from what it had become in the 1980s and 1990s – and yet it was clear even before the Church became a target that the general tendency was to apply the standards of later decades to earlier decades.


    Further, the examples of the entire larger nation-wide ‘sex abuse’ and ‘sex offense’ phenomenon gave clear indication that public outrage at the possibility of such offenses – which began with the Satanic day-care ritual-abuse day-care cases of the early 1980s – was actively and profoundly deranging the justice system’s handling of any such accusations (and just about all the Satanic day-care trial cases would be reversed or otherwise nullified upon further appeal and review).


    The clear and vivid and disturbing examples of a deranged justice-system in these trials and in subsequent ‘sex offense’ trials or the publicity surrounding the charges would have powerfully discouraged even the more resolute Bishops (and their Insurers) from bringing cases to public examination and trial.


    But – as we have seen so often in recent Western history – the effort to ‘appease’ through settlements of some sort simply fed the dynamic and stoked it to attempt even larger and more widespread claims and assertions. And then – in 2002 – the bundled-lawsuit phase erected the entire evolving dynamic into a Plan and a strategy which proved hugely successful in acquiring large cash payouts to claimants without much danger of sustained and close analysis and review (and almost no danger whatsoever of an exposed false claim resulting in prosecution for bringing it in the first place). And the prospect of a big payday fed even more (mostly conveniently long-ago) allegations and claims, the whole Thing being usefully lubricated and amplified by credulous media treatment that – but of course – treated the unproven claims as valid and went on from there.


    Now we are seeing some serious and sustained efforts to examine claims and assertions that have been formally made. This has to continue and requires support.


    Until we have actually made the determinations as to which claims are genuine and which are otherwise, we cannot actually accede to otherwise valid observations about the fate of genuine victims. Because at this point we really have absolutely no firm knowledge of how many genuine victims there are or have been.


    Rather, we simply have the unexamined assertions and claims, buttressed by a further set of undemonstrated assertions and claims that almost all of the unexamined assertions and claims are true.


    And the effort continues to distract us by such red-herrings as the (grossly irrelevant) claim that the ideas put forward by commenters who don’t use their real names are somehow per se disqualified and needn’t be taken seriously (for all anybody knows, I am Greek and my first name actually is Publion). We apparently know the names of some commenters. I put it to the readership to consider for themselves: does the apparent use of one’s own name do anything at all to make the assertions of such self-named commenters any more reliable or valid? An examination of this site and the BigTrial site provides some vivid examples for consideration.


    If there are “really harmed” people – and I cannot imagine that there are none – we still cannot permit this WMD-like Stampede to continue on its own terms. It didn’t work in the invasion of Iraq and – indeed – lubricated a shocking set of consequences in foreign affairs and in this country’s national condition. And I am saying here that this Stampede will lead to the same general result if it not stopped.


    But the Church has emerged stronger and the better for this experience, as evidenced by the notable fall-off in allegations generally.


    So I am saying: there are most probably some genuine victims of Catholic clerical Abuse, especially from decades ago. But it is utterly insupportable to presume that all the claims and assertions that have been made qualify in that category. And every chance we have had to publicly conduct sustained examination leads away from an easy and blanket presumption of credibility for the 10 thousand or so formally-lodged allegations (let alone for any hypothesized ten-times-more universe of ‘genuine’ victims).


    Lastly, I think we need to bear in mind a dynamic that has become pretty much standard operating procedure in American public affairs nowadays: in order to get political support for your agenda, you absolutely must have ‘numbers’; if your agenda deals with only a small subgroup, then you won’t be able to pry open any leverage for that agenda politically and in public-opinion.


    It is for this reason, I think, that even when we acknowledge – as I do and have – that there are some genuine victims, that acknowledgement is not enough for assorted types. Because some is not-enough. In order to Keep The Ball Rolling, you have to have lots and lots, preferably also lots and lots that are either still-increasing or (through the magic of statistic surmise) still out there or – best of all – both.


    The numbers must be kept ‘up’ to Keep The Ball Rolling. And I can see no demonstrable and rational evidence that such numbers are actually there – or, not to put too fine a point on it, ever were.

  12. jim robertson says:

    There is no rolling ball. There is no fraud here save the P.R. and "survivors" groups created and controlled by the corporate Church.

    If there were there would be more newer claims. Claims within statutes of limitation, bigger compensation rather than older ones with little if any payout. Compare the average payout in Ireland, about $80,000, Where( in your terms) there were twice deep pockets because the Irish government was also sue-able., as compared to Los Angeles where the average was over a million dollars a case with only the corporate Church and it's insurors paying the settlements.

    If all these fake organizations like SNAP or VOTF or NSAC really worked and cared for victims a suit/settlement world map showing statistics by country and states would show you how few victims have had any compensation what so ever.

    But that kind of important information is never shown because it would blow your illusion of massive settlements and compensation out of the water.

    The only "rolling balls" here are the lies spun by the corporate Church's paid for P.R. advocates.

    Again nice first name P but whole names show character. Reputation and a woman/man's word is only as good as their name. What do you risk hiding? Nothing.

    So put up or shut up. Let's have some old fashioned responsability taken here. Come out of the closet.  Tell us who and what you really are……please.

  13. Publion says:

    We see the stupefying claim that the survivors groups are “created and controlled by the corporate Church”. And not a shred of demonstrable evidence or even of a rational theory as to how the dynamics of such an assertion might actually work. The Church has engineered a decades-long campaign against herself and at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars … and that is a successful program … how? (This question need not be considered rhetorical; a rational explanatory hypothesis in response would be very welcome.)


    Then the incomprehensible claim that if there were (a Rolling Ball, I presume is the term left out here) then “there would be more newer claims”. But I have been saying all along here that the claims have fallen off and thus the crisis of trying to Keep The Ball Rolling. Is this some effort to somehow spin the fall-off in claims as evidence or proof that there is no Ball that Needs To Be Kept Rolling?


    The fall-off in claims is not due to the awareness that the Stampede-environment that was so hospitable is now fading? The fall-off in claims is not due to the increasing possibility that claims will not simply be hospitably embraced but rather will actually (and finally) be examined? That there is perhaps even a possibility that a false claim, if exposed, will be prosecuted? The fall-off in “current” claims (I take that as meaning not ‘historical’ claims but rather allegations of very recent abuse) is not due to the efficacy of reforms implemented in the past decade?


    And of what relevance to that is the discourse on comparative sizes of possible-payouts, in relation to prior eras here or in relation to other countries?  And in what universe of human psychology is the prospect of a million-dollar payout on the basis of unexamined claims not going to prove tempting to various types?


    And also: it seems very possible that other countries have not been subjected to a Stampede because their own governments and media have not chosen to help get one going. As opposed to developments here in this country.


    I don’t know if the Irish government was/is liable for lawsuits, given whatever sovereign-immunity laws are in place there (since JR has made the assertion, perhaps he could save us all the trouble and give us a verifiable précis of the applicable Irish statutes and law). But surely no tort-attorney is going to take on a government without some serious reservations, especially in a country not as easily litigious as the US. (Especially after the exposure of the Magdalene Laundries fraud.) As I have often said here, part of what has fueled the American Stampede is that the government itself has – for whatever purposes of its own – made the suing of the Church much easier for so long. (Although – who can be surprised? – not the suing of public or governmental entities for the very same types of claims.)


    If JR is so sure that our minds would be blown by a map showing statistics by country, then why not put up a little list for us (with references so we can check the numbers, of course)? It apparently is so easily clear to him that I expect this should take little time and effort at all. In fact, how could he not already have the stats and info ready to hand, since he has here already just made the assertion that – if it’s true – would have to be based on such numbers already being compiled.


    And yet again an unsupported assertion that the Church is running a PR campaign that is squelching these figures and maps, just like it’s controlling the stories and also even the filing of fresh claims. Speaking for myself, I certainly wouldn’t want my online “reputation” associated with such assertions, especially when they are un-grounded and unsupported.


    And lastly, the claim that somehow “reputation” is very important in commenting. Does the screen-name ‘Publion’ not enjoy such a reputation based on the ideas put forward and analyzed and discussed on this site? What sort of reputation does JR imagine his own moniker to enjoy, based on what we have seen (expletives mercifully deleted) in his material on this site and other sites such as the Philly trial site?


    All of which is then undermined by JR himself since I am not giving my “word” on anything in my comments; rather I am specifically ensuring that readers do not have to rely merely on unsubstantiated and un-reasoned assertions (no matter how much I might insist that they simply take my “word” for it), but rather on clear ideas carefully discussed and expressed. What I think we need in commentary on all of the Abuse Matter is precisely not un-grounded assertions but rather serious thinking and deliberation upon relevant ideas and demonstrable facts.


    So readers need not trust my “word”; they can simply read my words and decide for themselves.

  14. jim robertson says:

    LOL! You are just so funny. Speculation passing as fact. Check the beam in your own eye. before the mot in mine. I feel as if I have to explain Jesus to you but I won't. You just don't or won't get it.

    Have you worked with SNAP or VOTF? ans. no.

    I have worked with them. and tell you for a fact that they don't work with victims. Victims work for them period.

    But you want me to be a researcher for the people here as if I'm not already personifying victims experiences on every level including with SNAP. Why? cuz I'm the only victim posting here with the intelligence and political experience with  the activist credentials  to say SNAP and  the groups I've seen so far as reping victims are all shit. Why? because nothing's being done by those groups FOR victims.

    You want to believe your corporate Church would never dream of trying such a stunt as SNAP well in your Father's house there are many mansions; and one of those "mansions" is producing SNAP. My experiences are facts juxtaposed to your suppositions.

    [Comment edited by moderator]

    Victims( surprise surprise) should be organizing for our selves but SNAP's doing it and again (surprise surprise) no compensation.

    Controlling all political activity of your opposition is certainly worth, to the Church Corporate, all it's spent on SNAP.

    You Juxtapose little to no compensation to market valued L.A.'s compensation. That's what's really going on these are facts. You just sing your sad tune about fake victims when on the whole your Corporate Church has compensated  victims only pennies on the dollar.

    That's the real scoop not Cipriano's jacked up "in justice" in Philly. [Comment edited by moderator]

  15. Publion says:

    I expect of any commenter – to enjoy any reputation of credibility with me – to do not my own homework and research, but his/her own.


    I expect of any commenter – to enjoy any reputation of credibility with me – to provide examples (in this case, of my “speculation passing as fact”).


    I expect any commenter – to enjoy any reputation of credibility with me – to do more than simply repeat words like “facts” and “truth” while offering nothing but assertions that we are supposed to take like spoon-fed or force-fed hatchlings in a laboratory cage.


    I note that it is not me who has done the type of math that apparently can arrive at the assertion that Church compensations amount to nothing but “pennies on the dollar” … how would one even arrive at that concept, let alone credit its calculations?


    But most importantly, are we to believe now that there are all manner of victims (genuine or otherwise) ‘out there’, and that they cannot or have not “organized” because SNAP already beat them to it? If they were to exist, why not set up – in the course of the past several decades – alternative organization(s) to the putatively Church-run SNAP? Why has nobody “organized” them? Once again, as so often, we are presented with the assertion of invisible masses for the existence of which no evidence is presented.


    And while the specific phrasing is not something I would use, I think – and have said it before on this site – that JR does indeed “personify victims” – or a certain subset of that category, at least – and rather profoundly. And in ways that apparently not many would care to have before the public eye.


    But – lastly – it seems to me that we can see here yet another reason why the Stampede discouraged many from taking more direct public action in defense of the Church long ago. Because once the media – for their own commercial purposes of creating ‘balance’ and ‘both-sides’ – embraced with public amplification the type of attitudes and mentality that we have seen so vividly and unmistakably presented here, then of what use would rational discourse and argument avail?


    What we are seeing here is precisely a vital derangement in national discourse that is not ‘fresh’ any longer, but rather is a revenant of a strategy that served a useful purpose to Get The Ball Rolling back in the day: prevent any rational and evidence-based deliberation of the monstrous story-line and narrative-framing constructed for the Abuse Matter by giving public amplification to the type of high-school cafeteria mentality and material not only stunningly self-satisfied in its impervious disregard for reason and analysis but also cutely (if shallowly) sassy enough to provide a distracting bit of verbal spectacle to provide a form of entertainment that was supposed to substitute for the missing rationality and truth.


    As this Abuse Matter – finally – now passes beyond its apogee, and in its receding there is once again room for deliberation and analysis, the type of mentality and material we see here will serve even more vividly to demonstrate to everyone who cares to see just what sort of fuel this Stampede has always required in order to sustain itself.


    And in its receding, this tide will leave stranded for all to see the type of sub-surface mentalities upon which, when and while they were convenient to its purposes, it nourished for its own purposes.


    The sub-surface life that for a while thought that it was controlling a tide in which it was merely swimming – carried along by currents it could not even conceive, let alone control – will continue to flop and shimmer in the mudflats now. For as long as some moisture can still fuel the illusion that it is swimming like in the old days.


    My recommendation is that as the tide of irrationality recedes, we as citizens and – where applicable – as Catholics rededicate ourselves to restoring the quality and integrity of public discourse as well as continuing the ever-freshening re-forming of the Church and her ministry.


    Because there are even larger Tides in human affairs, and it is on these that the human voyage must continue.

  16. jim robertson says:

    No one has organized victims other than SNAP because no one knows how to reach victims. Unless they contact you. How are activists supposed to know who victims are or where they are? I've told you this a million times.
    SNAP has been pushed for 23 years as a "survivors organization" An organization that does not organize. Victims call SNAP and that ends it.

    Like movies you say aren't there when they are.

    JustLike victims ,97% real victims who out number 3% fakes. Victims who are misrepresented by SNAP if you could even use the word: representative re; victims around SNAP.

    [Comment edited by moderator]

  17. Mark says:

    Nice metaphor, Publion. Old Jimmy and his doppelganger Dennis the Menace over on Ralph's blog are indeed starting to look like fish out of water if I may pursue the metaphor a little further. The Truth Abuse Scandal is in its last throes. As I survey those mudflats you poignantly describe I can just about see a mountain in the background. Or is it a molehill?

    • jim robertson says:

      Tide? Tide?  if victims organizations that arn't and never were victims' organizations disappear that's a natural phenomena to you?

      There's absolutely nothing natural about those "groups".

      You may have less new victims, hopefully. But the already harmed are still there. So if you see a tide going out it may be a precursor to a sunami coming in. Many records are yet to be opened.

    • jim robertson says:

      Mr. Wilson is Mrs. Wilson home?

      Margaret and Joey and me have been hurt by a grown up.

      I'm writin u this note cuz we're scared and don't know where to go or what to do.

      Can u help?

      ur best friend Dennis.

  18. Publion says:

    If “no one knows how to reach victims” then how does anybody “know” they are there in the first place?


    And are we to believe that after 30 years of the Abuse Matter, and the last 11 in the midst of the enticing stimulations of the sue-the-Bishops/Insurers Phase, yet genuine victims are hesitant even to call a victim group or organization? Once again, it seems to me that there is a more reasonable alternative explanation:  1) there aren’t many genuine ones ‘out there’ and 2) the otherwise-classifiables either a) realize that the Game is over now or b) can’t find still-eager tort-attorneys because those very astute professionals realize that the Game is past its sell-by date. And, of course, the possibility of countersuit or prosecution is now a much more real possibility than it has ever been before.


    And I would require some sort of relevant evidentiary link for the ungrounded assertion that only 3 percent of the claims are false.


    My thanks to Mark for his comment. As I have recommended before to all of the readership, please feel free to use my ideas – attribution not necessary – wherever you think they might do some good.


    And – as always – thanks to DP for the TMR site and, though it’s not his site, thanks to Ralph Cipriano for his work on the second Philly trial analysis.

  19. jim robertson says:

    Ah if they only were ideas.

    Victims do call these fake groups. SNAP in particular and are given the come and do for us rap. That's how you think a movement is built by telling equal individuals what to do? First?

    Never asking the victims, that show up, what we want done.

    Now why would any victim want to be around that??????

    We are hounded to give SNAP money but never our vote.

    Earth to Captain Crunch stop imaging a reality that doesn't exist i.e. your take on the "scandal".

    [Comment edited by moderator]

  20. Sean homsher says:

    Cry me a river. This sounds like someone has been rewarded in some way to slam the results of the jury.  The mob does this too. They have their friendly people write a story to help color the case after its over. These Pervs for convicted and hopefully get sent to face real justice in a prison . This educator should realize that child victims of abuse often lead tortured loves whith criminal backgrounds and that are not usually honor students and high axhievers after being abused . Shame on her attacking the victim. She sounds utterly [edited] clueless, because it's pretty obvious the other jurors didn't have a problem issuing convictions.  If she thinks the priests didn't receive adequate defense, I'm calling [edited] on that too. Leave you children or grandchildren with hear monsters of you choose, but save the propaganda, it's disingenuous & insulting. 

  21. Dennis ecker says:

    Since this article has been printed of the views by an alternate juror and I would like to stress alternate juror, Ralph Cipriano has posted an interview by an actual juror whose vote counted to either a guilty or innocent verdict in the Engelhardt and Shero trial. Mr, Cipriano has stated although he believes the woman to be sincere for the reasons why she voted guilty he allows the comments of one sided individuals to belittle this woman. I also believe that interview will not be an article that is placed on this site because her reasoning for her guilty verdict is not in agreement with The Media Report.

    Now I will inform you that I use to be a individual who posted on Ralph's blog until he had my IP address blocked for reasons only he could answer, but I believe it to be I was one who does not agree with the thinking of Ralph Cipriano and the majority of his readers and being a abuse survivor since my views on the subject are different than his readers or readers of sites like this he has committed nothing less than the act of discrimination.


    • Yelper says:


      I was on big trial the other day. I think the fact that you posted some fictional account of being interviewed going to disney world a record 21 times in one day with the sole purpose of gaining attention may be the reason you were banished. Freedom of speech is one thing, crazy is another. The only one to blame for your current situation is yourself.

  22. jim robertson says:

    Unh! Unh! Dennis you were disappeared an old facist tradition.Your lucky they don't throw you out of a helicopter like they did in Argentina in the '70s or Viet Nam.

  23. Dennis Ecker says:

    Hello Mr. Robertson, your comments also have been deleted at the hands of Cipriano's censorship so you do know what i am talking about. But it is interesting to see that since me being wacked from Cipriano"s  blog site his comment section has literally stopped, and the only TWO comments (at the time of this comment) that have been posted mention me.   An attempt to provoke a keyboard war. I am sorry that his readers miss me so much.

    Now, enough said about Cipriano's blog site, because in the end this case comes down to four individuals, Engelhardt, Shero, Billy and the justice system. A system that is not perfect, but it is a system we have in place in this country. A system that has found Engelhardt and Shero guilty of crimes against a child. Now you may not agree with the verdict or have doubts about how that verdict was obtained, this is the same system that will allow these two individuals the right to an appeal.

  24. Billy says:

    Dennis – giving out introductions and back with Jim again. I am a reader if Ralph's blog and I would have to say the reason the comments stopped was the childish game you decided to play by posting the same comment over 100x. Can say that alone stopped me from checking out Ralph's blog the last couple of days. It's good to see you and Jim found each other too. Your viewpoint and comments while civil now will start to change to personal once someone attacks or disagrees with your point of view. Just a warning to everyone out there.

    • jim robertson says:

      You know nothing about me, so don't pretend you do.

      What Dennis does is on Dennis.

      What I do is on me.

      We are not joined at the hip.

      We are both victims. That's our only connection. We've never met.

      When we are lied about we each respond in our own ways. There 's no lock step between us.

      When I'm right I'm right. When he's right, he's right.

      And the opposite is also true.

      So warn people about yourself.

      That you will hide behind your lack of true identity and post as much nonsense as you can in order to make Philly appear to be the center of "antiCatholic hate".

      "Hate" that raped children are held responsable for. While the abusers, the enablers reign supreme.

  25. Dennis Ecker says:

    To all:

    I will admit that I allowed myself to fall into the trap of some very childish individuals on the other blog, and I too caught the same childish bug and I pass on a apology to victims and their families and to those who know me.I am sorry. Now, if what I did at the other blog got one individual to stop reading that blog for only a couple of days or cease to write comments, I would say my goal worked.

    In addition, I would like those who feel that when two survivors talk among themselves it does not mean we are out to bring down every clergy member. But, we are no different than your local policeman or firefighter. We are a group of men and women who belong to a special brotherhood and sisterhood because we all have one thing in common, and sometimes we do talk about things other then being abused.

    I do not wish to continue on or beat a dead horse regarding the other blog or the author of the other blog because this is the eve of a very important day, and this is TheMediaReport comment section  and it goes by no other name that I know of.

    Engelhardt, Shero, the judge, and a courtroom should be priority.

  26. Dennis Ecker says:

    It is funny to see and also sad to see that on that other blog site I seem to continue to be the center of attention. I have seem to have diverted the peoples attention away from their convicted child abuser friends. So I ask other readers here how important is Engelhardt and Shero to their supporters ? When little old me can be more important then what the subject is about.

    Have a good day

    • josie says:

      News flash, are not that important. Sorry.

      Check out "Big Trial"..and have a good day.