Monday, February 10, 2014

Msgr. Lynn's Lawyers Say Philly D.A. Is "Hysterical"

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn say the Philadelphia district attorney is resorting to "hysterics" and "histrionics" in his legal appeal to send their client back to jail.

District Attorney Seth Williams has asked the state Supreme Court to overturn a unanimous Dec. 26th opinion from a panel of three Superior Court judges that reversed Msgr. Lynn's prior conviction on one count of endangering the welfare of a child. 

In its appeal to the state Supreme Court, the district attorney said the reversal by the Superior Court panel sent a "dismal message" to the survivors of sex abuse. Also, because of the Superior Court's overly broad language and "misapplication of law," the district attorney warned that the state may not be able to protect future victims of child abuse.

Lynn's lawyers saw it differently.

"The Commonwealth willfully the distorts the Superior Court's decision, which "simply concluded" that the state's original child endangerment law did not apply to Lynn, as he was "neither a parent, guardian, nor other person supervising the welfare of a child," Thomas A. Bergstrom and Allison Khaskelis argue in their 27-page response to the D.A.'s petition filed today.

"In the absence of law and fact to support its position, the Commonwealth hopes to trick this Court into hearing its appeal on the basis of hysterics," Bergstrom and Khaskelis argue to the state Supreme Court. Lynn's lawyers also accuse the district attorney of employing "histrionics" and making "an irrational appeal to emotion."

Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's former secretary for clergy, was convicted June 22, 2012 by a jury of one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He was the first Catholic administrator in the country to be sent to jail for failing to control an abusive priest under his watch. Lynn had served 18 months of a 3 to 6 year sentence when he was set free on $250,000 bail after the Superior Court reversed his conviction. The archdiocese put up a $25,000 bail deposit, much to the chagrin of the D.A.

Lynn is currently under house arrest at St. William's parish in Northeast Philadelphia. He must wear an electronic monitoring bracket on his ankle at all times. He is restricted to staying on two floors of the parish rectory. He needs his parole officer's permission to leave the rectory and visit his doctors or lawyers.

The district attorney, in appealing to the state Supreme Court, wants Lynn to be sent back to jail to serve out the remainder of his sentence.

THE FACTS OF THE CASE

In their response to the D.A.s appeal to the state Supreme Court, Lynn's lawyers delve into the factual history of the case. It began in 1992 when a 29-year old man wrote the secretary for clergy to say he had been molested as a teenager back in the late 1970s by Father Edward V. Avery.

Avery was a "close personal friend" of the victim and his family for many years, Lynn's lawyer say. "It was a relationship that began when Avery was a priest in the parish" where the victim's family belonged.

When the victim was 15, after a night in a bar, he was groped by the priest while the two shared a bed. At the time, the teenager was "Avery's only known victim," Lynn's lawyers wrote.

When Lynn confronted Avery about the accusation, he denied it. Lynn, however, recommended to Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua that Avery undergo an assessment as well as inpatient treatment at St. John Vianney, the archdiocese's psychiatric hospital. Avery was hospitalized for more than eight months. He was diagnosed as an alcoholic, but according to his doctors, did not have any sexual disorder. Upon treatment of eight months of inpatient treatment, the doctors pronounced Avery "fit to return to ministry."

Avery's therapists did recommend that he return to a ministry with "no direct contact with children." Bevilacqua assigned Avery as chaplain to Nazareth Hospital, with a residency at St. Jerome's parish in Northeast Philadelphia. One of the reasons the cardinal chose St. Jerome's was because it had "a large rectory where several other priests could observe Avery," Lynn's lawyers wrote.

Lynn put together an "aftercare integration team" that included Father Graham, pastor of St. Jerome's.  Lynn told Father Graham "the details of Avery's past and the nature of Avery's treatment, asking Father Graham to be vigilant of Avery," Lynn's lawyers wrote.

From the time Avery was discharged in 1993 until 1998, Avery was receiving outpatient treatment at St. John Vianney. Avery's therapists regularly wrote to Lynn, saying that Avery was "progressing well in therapy." Avery attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for two years. He also received a Ph.D. in divinity, which his therapists saw as a positive sign that he was channeling his energies away from children.

Avery moonlighted as a disc jockey. That's what preceded the 1970s incident where he molested the 15-year-old. The teenager had assisted Avery in his disc jockey duties at Smokey Joe's, a bar on the University of Pennsylvania campus. The night the 15-year-old was molested, he had been drinking lots of free beer.

In their response to the district attorney, Lynn's lawyers note that "The Commonwealth's Petition places a great deal of emphasis on the fact that Avery continued to act as a disc jockey following his discharge from St. John Vianney and during his chaplaincy at Nazareth Hospital. Yet the [D.A.'s] petition fails to mention that the record demonstrated that Avery was a disc jockey at weddings and hospital events and did not use children to assist him."

Lynn's lawyers also note that the district attorney's "petition neglects to mention that Avery's therapists were aware of his disc jockeying activities and worked on this in therapy. Significantly, the record is clear that Avery did not abuse [Billy Doe] while disc jockeying or through any activity that remotely involves disc jockeying."

Under Bevilacqua, the archdiocese policy was that only priests diagnosed with pedophilia and ephebophilia were permanently removed from ministry. [Pedophilia is defined as a person who has a sustained sexual orientation toward children aged 13 or younger; ephebophilia targets an older group, generally aged 15 to 19]. Then came the Boston sex abuse scandal, and some new ground rules for abusive priests.

Avery was removed from ministry as a result of "a new more rigorous archdiocesan policy" in Philadelphia, Lynn's lawyers wrote. Msgr. Lynn had "no indication whatsoever that Avery had contact with children in his ministerial duties," Lynn's lawyers maintain. Father Graham had complained that Avery was "unwilling  to help out at the parish and had fewer duties than other priests living at St. Jerome's rectory," Lynn's lawyers wrote. Avery largely confined himself to his chaplain duties.

In 2002, after the archdiocese adopted a "zero-tolerance" policy with regards to sex abuse, Lynn asked Avery to undergo a second psychological assessment. This time, Avery's therapists noted a "history of alcohol abuse," but said the priest "did not present as an individual with a sexual disorder." Father Graham told therapists that he "had never observed Avery around young people."

A STORY OF RANDOM ABUSE

Avery was removed from ministry in 2003 and busted down to lay person because of his molestation of the 15-year-old during the late 1970s. In 2009, a victim a grand jury labeled "Billy Doe" came forward to charge that Avery had sexually abused him during the 1998-99 school year, when he was a 10-year-old altar boy.

Unlike the previous victim, Billy Doe "recounted a story of random abuse, by a priest whom neither he nor his parents had a relationship," Lynn's lawyers wrote. "In sum, [Lynn] did not suspect, and had many valid reasons not to suspect, that Avery was anything but rehabilitated. He certainly never foresaw that the tragic events leadeng up to [Billy Doe's] abuse would take place."

In the criminal case, Billy Doe's credibility was not contested, as Lynn's lawyers chose not to cross-examine the alleged victim. But Lynn's lawyers bring up an interesting point, a story of random abuse, by a priest whom neither he nor his parents had a relationship."

In Billy Doe's case, there was none of the usual "grooming" that accompanies a predator plying a future victim with gifts and attention, etc. In Avery's prior molestation case, the priest had been a close friend of the victim and his family for many years before the boy wound up in the priest's bed. The victim, a soft-spoken 49-year-old doctor, testified on April 25, 2012 in the Lynn case. He told the jury he had known Avery since he was a sixth grader. "I felt betrayed," the victim said of the abuse. which happened at age 15. "I got a lot of affirmation from him," the victim said of Father Avery.

In the Billy Doe story, three random predators who don't have a relationship with the victim or his parents strike without warning. In Billy Doe's story, two predator priests confide in each other about the crimes they are committing with Billy, and pass the victim between them.

These allegations, if true, would be something new under the sun in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Thanks to the 2005 grand jury investigation, the archdiocese's secret archive files were pried loose by multiple subpoenas from the office of then District Attorney Lynne Abraham. The secret archive files were 45,000 pages of records cataloguing 40 years of sex abuse in the archdiocese, specifically the sins of 169 predator priests, as well as the suffering of hundreds of innocent child victims. The secret archive files were the centerpiece of the Lynn criminal case, with past sex abuse cases in the archdiocese taking up by a defense count 26 of 32 trial days. On the witness stand for many of those days, the district attorney's detectives read the secret archive files into the court record.

Billy Doe isn't mentioned in the secret archive files, as he came forward in 2009 to make his allegations. But not once in the secret archive files was there a single instance of a predator priest passing on a helpless child victim to another predator priest.

Regarding the district attorney's appeal to the state Supreme Court, the court will decide to either take the criminal case for review, or pass on it. While Billy Doe's credibility isn't an issue in the criminal case, it's expected to be the central issue in the civil case of Billy Doe v. the Archdiocese of Philadelphia et al., scheduled for trial on June 2, in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.

In the civil case, Billy Doe and his parents are seeking money from the archdiocese to compensate for Billy's alleged suffering.

Billy Doe's lawyers sought to prevent their client from being deposed, or having to testify in the civil case by seeking summary judgment, based on the criminal convictions of Lynn, Father Charles Engelhardt, and former Catholic school teacher Bernard Shero, as well as the guilty plea entered by Avery.

The archdiocese's lawyers, however, said the archdiocese was not on trial during the criminal cases.

"The Archdiocese was not a party ... to the criminal proceedings, did not have a full and fair [or any] opportunity to litigate, and is not bound by the results or verdicts in any of the proceedings," wrote Nicholas M. Centrella on behalf of the archdiocese on June 27, 2013. Billy Doe's "efforts to bind the Archdiocese with there results or verdicts in the criminal proceedings violate the rights of the Archdiocese to due process under and a trial by jury, as well as First Amendment rights."

On July 12, 2013, Judge Sandra Mazer Moss entered an order that denied "in all respects" the motion for summary judgment.

A COMPLETE FABRICATION

In the appeal to the state Supreme Court, the district attorney claimed that Msgr. Lynn "was a high-ranking Archdiocesan official specifically responsible for protecting children from pedophile priests. Instead, he relocated them, as part of a general scheme of concealment, in a manner that put additional children at risk of being sexually molested."

The D.A. argued that "the Superior Court errs in holding that a church official who systematically reassigned pedophile priests in a manner that risked further sexual abuse of children did not endanger the welfare of children."

In their response, Lynn's lawyers cry foul.

"This is a distortion of the holding at best and at worst, a complete fabrication that insults the intelligence and integrity of the Superior Court," Lynn's lawyers argue.

The original 1972 state law that Lynn was convicted under says, "A parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he knowingly endangers the welfare of a child by violating a duty of care, protection or support."

The Superior Court opinion reversing Lynn's conviction held that the original child endangerment law "did not apply to him [Lynn] as he was neither a parent, guardian, nor other person supervising the welfare of  a child," Lynn's lawyers wrote. In addition, the Superior Court held that the district attorney did not meet its burden in proving that Lynn was an accomplice in Avery's crime of endangering the welfare of child [EWOC].

"Contrary to what the Comomnwealth would lead this Court to believe, [Lynn] was never charged with or convicted of reassigning pedophile priests," Lynn's lawyers wrote. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child.

Avery was never diagnosed as a peodplhie and was not reassigned "as part of a general scheme of concealment," Lynn's lawyers argue. The jury acquitted Lynn of one count of conspiracy to commit EWOC, and the trial judge, M. Teresa Sarmina, dismissed another count of conspiracy to commit EWOC as unproven.

Lynn's lawyers took a dim view of the D.A.'s argument that the Superior Court opinion reversing Lynn's conviction will prevent the state from protecting future victims of abuse. The section of the legal argument dealing with the issue is titled: "The Commonwealth's hysterical account of the perils introduced by the Superior Court's opinion is baseless."

The text of the argument reads: "The Commonwealth's accounts of the perils of the precedent set by the Superior Court's decision is baseless and illogical," Lynn's lawyers write. "There is no need for this Court to consider this position. In the aftermath of the 2007 amendment to the EWOC statute, which includes a new category of potential defendants, there will be few, if any prosecutions like this case, based on the old version of the statute. The Court's precious resources would be wasted on considering a case with no prospective value."

The state amended the EWOC law in 2007 to include supervisors such as Lynn.

"It is, frankly, astonishing, that the Commonwealth showed a modicum of restraint and did not take the small step to accuse a panel of thoughtful and distinguished jurists of facilitating EWOC themselves," Lynn's lawyers wrote.

The district attorney's warning that the amended statute "will not protect children has absolutely no grounding in the words of the Superior Court opinion or the language of the new statute," Lynn's lawyers wrote. "It is nothing but an irrational appeal to emotion that should be ignored."


41 comments:

  1. Why is avery's accuser still being referred to as Billy Doe? His real name is Daniel Gallagher. Danny is a dug addict who had four cases dropped against him, one for possessing 56 bags of heroin, by the DA for his cooperation in the two trials.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second that but in the mind of the DA, he is a child in Catholic School and his identity needs to be protected.

      This case will collapse like a deck of cards once the Supreme Court takes a look and throws it in the shredder. So majny trees were killed by the DA in presenting such a case for trial and then appeal.

      Delete
  2. I'm not defending molestation in any way, but if they had to amend the law in 2006 to include supervisors hiw them could the state convict him under the old law. Makes no sense in the DA appealing to the supreme court.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can you put a link where we can read the 29 page brief?

    Lynn's attorneys have made their case crystal clear for his acquittal and freedom from house arrest and having to serve the balance of his sentence. What the DA has said in his brief is akin to someone defending the shoehorning of a Ford part inside the Chevrolet to no avail. To keep it simple, one cannot use a law revised in 2007 to prosecute that did not apply to the case as Lynn had left his position in 2004!

    Even worse was Judge Sarmina denying defense motions to bar the introducing of cases taken from the secret files that predate the time Lynn served on the job. This is akin to piling on in an effort to ensure a conviction happens.

    The DA did a grave disservice to the practice of law. A law student would not think of doing what the DA did.

    It is time for the Supreme Court to pull the plug on a pathetic case that insults completely the intelligence of reasonable people.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What has happened to that smile we are use to seeing on Lynn's face ? The only person I see smiling now is Bergstrom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The real question here is why is the D.A.'s Office continuing this Quixotic quest? The Grand Jury empaneled under Lynn Abraham concluded that the original EWOC statute was weak and therefore D.A. Abraham put considerable effort into having the law amended. Why D.A. Williams decided to open this can of worms and attempt a conviction under the old law (the only one relevant to the matter) defies logic. Further, to argue that the Superior Court's ruling jeopardizes the amended statute is at minimum disingenuous.

      Delete
  5. Since we are interpreting a person's smile as an indication of a person's credability, one glance at Danny Gallagher's picture above speaks volumes about the actual credability of that drug dealing, thieving,compulsive lying criminal doper whose bizarre false accusations of those assaults put innocent men behind bars. I hope those defense attornies in the upcoming civil trial tear him apart, kudos to the judge with common sense that was sorely lacking with both Sarmina and Ceisler who swiftly turned aside Danny's attorney's attempt last year to seek summary judgement so that he wouldn't have to testify.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Billy Doe will be torn apart in a civil trial as he tries to palm of fabrications off contradicted explanations that will show who he is. For the archdiocese to settle would be the ultimate insult to all fair minded Catholics as it would imply the.guilt of Lynn instead of the unfair handling of the trial by Judge Sarmina.

      Delete
    2. James, I agree wholeheartedly. And by enjoining at least 2 or 3 of Lynn's superiors in this civil case who since have been promoted to Bishop after the initial suit was filed, who will most likely be represented by their own attorney's at this trial, it will place Danny Gallagher directly in the line of fire of several attorney's....

      The law was compromised at the trial of Monsignor Lynn which certainly contributed to his wrongful conviction. May the truth about these false accusations of assault be revealed in June.

      Delete
  6. Perhaps the Archdiocese will retain Mike Wallace and his 'finely tuned bullshit detector' to rigorously and systematically cross examine Billy Doe (and Billy's lawyer brother) to ring the curtain down on this (expensive and very painful) farce.

    Enough is enough!

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  8. More confusing reporting Ralph. You say "Pedophilia is defined as a person who has a sustained sexual orientation toward children aged 13 or younger; ephebophilia targets an older group, generally aged 15 to 19" So what about the 14 year olds? Is it open season for the priests on them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a moronic question. You're obviously one of the haters. What a shameful and blatantly obvious manifestation of your own bigotry.

      Delete
  9. "For the archdiocese to settle would be the ultimate insult to all fair minded Catholics as it would imply the.guilt"

    I hope with any settlement not only in the Lynn case, but settlements of the past, present and future the above words from James scream from the mountain tops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have it from a reliable source that the A/D is not going to settle. Our 'friend' Billy Doe will have to prepare himself for a long stint in the witness hot seat. Perhaps he rehearsing his testimony as we speak (write).

      Delete
    2. i don't remember, i don't remember, i don't remember......

      Delete
  10. "I forget"
    "I was scared"
    "I was retarded"
    "I was high on heroin"
    "I went to the nurse a lot"
    "I thought I was going to get into trouble"
    "I was high on numerous drugs and semi-comatose"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      I believe this is what you said:


      joe1944January 17, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      cherryhillsks1,

      In my opinion, it doesn't add up.

      We have a 24 year old man who claims that the sequential abuse he suffered at the hands of 3 'perps' - all from his same school / church - precipitated his drug abuse which - in turn - caused him to either misreport or exaggerate his statements to the DA. This looks like a self fulfilling, self serving prophecy to me.

      "I forget"
      "I was scared"
      "I was retarded"
      "I was high on heroin"
      "I went to the nurse a lot"
      "I thought I was going to get into trouble"
      "I was high on numerous drugs and semi-comatose"

      Where were his parents when all of this was going on?
      Did not his father - a Philly cop - recognize the signs of drug dependency and try to help?

      In their zeal for a conviction, did the Phila DA's office give Billy a polygraph exam to assess the varacity of his testimony as they did to Father Avery who reportedly passed.

      Are we to believe the 'then' Billy or the 'now' Billy?

      I'm beginning to think that anyone who believes this story IS from another planet

      I think we know who this Anonymous is.

      Delete
    2. and we all know what value and credibility you bring to this site

      Delete
  11. Gee, ain't it great to be a Catholic? When you grow up, you'll get to learn all the fine distinctions between pedophilia and ephebophilia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah the hater has returned once more offering nothing positive or honest to this discussion. SNAP types like her are never interested in the truth but reduce the Catholic Church to crude caricatures to serve their own agendas. I grew up and have spent my entire life in the Philadelphia area. As a 50 year old man I never realized how deeply the animosity toward the Catholic Church ran in this area until I started to read all the irrational comments from those who, like Sarah, show their prejudice time and time again all under the guise of concern for the welfare of youth.

      Delete
    2. Assorted quotes from Sarah Kleman:

      “He could not continue his empty world apology tour. This Pope was living a total lie.” (NCR)

      “They need to get the resigned Pope off to South America” (NCR)

      “..both of those Popes will have to look over their shoulders whenever they leave the confines of the 1.9 sq. mi. Vatican because people will be looking to arrest them.” (NCR)

      Of course, Benedict did more than any other leading figure to tackle the problem of clerical abuse in his own institution (albeit the incidence in the Church was far lower than other "churches" and organizations). He pinpointed the real cause: active homosexuals who had infiltrated the Church. And he called the abuse "filth."
      Yet SNAPpy Sarah can't see past her own anti-Catholic bigotry; and, as the quotes illustrate, she, like her fellow SNAP bigots, could not care less about protecting children.

      Delete
  12. Is it simply because Sarah cannot add anything positive or honest to this discussion a reason to call her a hater, or is it the fact the Catholic Church gives her no reason to say anything positive or honest ? I vote the later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another SNAP cult member

      Delete
    2. I'm the 50 year old who commented above. The fact that anonymous at 5 p.m. can not see all the good which the Catholic Church has done throughout her 2000 year history does qualify him or her as a SNAP cult member and a hater as well.

      Delete
  13. Memories from the far corners of your mind. The memories of the way you were.

    Scattered pictures of all those smiles of innocent children your church has left behind, and now how time has re-written every line.

    If you had the chance to do it over again could you would you ?

    What is so painful to remember, Your church simply chosen to forget.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Lord! It's Dennis the Crooner!!

      Delete
    2. Your comments are so irrelevant and annoyng. That is what's painful!!!

      Delete
  14. A whole new side to Mr. Ecker. Dennis, can you give us some Sinatra?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hopefully sooner than later, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will issue its declaration, declining to hear the case. Everybody can see that shoehorning Ford parts in a Chevrolet will not fit in any shape or form and be quite obvious to all. Not our DA who has chosen to prosecute Lynn under the 2007 rewritten EWOC law which does not apply to him as he was covered under the 1972 EWOC law and wa not a parent, guardian of a child.

    It is scary that the DA would prosecute the head of an institution for the child abuse by a teacher that he or she was not aware of until it happened and he was informed of such and notified the authorities. Because if it ever happened, no responsible person would think of running to be chosen as the head of a school lest he or she risk the family being plunged into bankruptcy due to huge legal fees spent in defending themselves.

    Our DA made a poor choice of laws chosen in the prosecution of Lynn. It does not fit rational thought much like the above mention of shoehorning Ford parts in a Chevrolet. Now he is desperately huffing and puffing in an effort to get the Supremes to grant him a hearing where he runs the risk of humiliating himself in front of the Supremes.

    Woukld a law student do what the DA did?

    Case closed forever!

    ReplyDelete
  16. How come it does not surprise me after the actions taken today by Chaput turning two more priests from Father into Mr. the comment section is very quiet from the peanut gallery.

    JustOne, Josie, and all the anonymous I can understand how it must be a full-time job defending your church. (keyword YOUR)

    I should be happy though because I or anyone else who may have read your comments would be reading the same excuses we read before.

    Can maybe just maybe the silence be because you are all taking that needed second look at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia ?

    Memories..........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come on Dennis, even you can't be that dense. Both priests were charged with an offense dating back 40 years. In this climate no priest stands a chance as even the bishops are very quick to throw under the bus ANY priest who is accused no matter how long ago the alleged incident occurred. I had Fr. Collins as a professor for several courses at Holy Family a few years back. He was brilliant, articulate and well respected by his students and peers. He served at the college for well over 30 years. I for one don't think he is guilty and have heard that he denied the charge.

      Delete
    2. This must be excuses part 1

      Abuse happened 40 yrs. ago (So What ?)

      Fr. Collins was a nice guy, could have never done such a thing (don't judge a book by its cover)

      Delete
    3. My point is: why now? 40 years later? It does matter. Such people should have come forward after all the revelations 12 years ago. They
      have no credibility at this point especially when a lone accusation
      against Fr. Collins from 40 years ago is countered by his sterling reputation as a college professor for almost 40 years.

      Delete
    4. Fact is once again it does not matter. Chaput actions alone by tossing them out shows it does not matter. I would bet it also does not matter to the victim how many years have past.

      Maybe instead of making your comment you should have asked Chaput for his actions. You know, directly hearing it from the horse's mouth.

      Delete
  17. Father Andrew McCormick's trial is this week. They'll be picking a jury starting Monday. I will be there to cover the case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we will come to see that Fr. McCormick's lone accuser has many of the same traits as "Billy Doe" of the Englehardt/Sherro show trial.

      Delete
  18. What we have seen in the Archdiocese is the creation of a star chamber to dispense justice on accused priests. A former ADA is heading this and the work the unit does is creating reason for Chaput to summarily dismiss priests by simply ignoring glaring defects in victim testimony of alleged abuses. A example of this is the recent dismissal of two priests Sunday based on alleged abuse of teenagers 40 years ago. There is no way for those priests to defend themselves no matter what they may say in strongly denying such conduct as the outcome is preordained to happen.

    One priest is 75 and the other 67, both at the end of their careers. For them to retain attorneys to take the case to civil court where the victims can be deposed prior to a civil trial would be a very expensive legal fight unless they received help from friends and supporters. Even if they win in civil court, Chaput will still ban them from the ministry.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Risk to victims in this type of Star Chamber inquisition is that the accused priests could run to civil court remedies which would enable defense attorneys for the priests to ask the victims be deposed. Is that what the Archdiocese wants to see happen by way of seeing them being tried twice by way of vigorous deposition in civil court after they gave gut wrenching testimony at the Star Chamber?

    Employer can fire employee at any time for just cause. Even for something that happened decades past. Best way to handle this is to simply reassign priests to jobs that involve no contact with people and leave them there until retirement. That way, no media announcement has to be made announcing their fate.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Defense attorney for Andrew McCormick slams the Archdiocese.


    Before Judge Bright imposed the gag order on Monday, defense attorney William J. Brennan Jr. complained about the archdiocese's weekend announcement of the suspensions of two more priests - the Rev. James J. Collins and the Rev. John P. Paul - for substantiated claims of sexually abusing minors more than 40 years ago.

    "I don't know how they came up with something so ponderous, and to pick the day before jury selection to make this announcement," Brennan told Bright.

    Read more at philly.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Chaput has no strategy. He laid off 60 Archdiocese workers June 2012, closed the Archdiocese newspaper which is akin to cutting off your nose. Sold Archdiocese beach residence to private family and the Cardinal's residence to St Joseph University and wants to find buyer for St Charles Borromeo Seminary.

    Now the only thing he does is kick out priests without much of a due process inherent.

    Why not set up fund raising strategy to raise money to buttress Archdiocese funds and keep schools solvent? Rehire many of the 60 laid off workers and reinstate the Archdiocese newspaper, even put it online to reduce costs. Bounce back from the horrendous effects of the Lynn trial. If have doubts on a priest's fitness to serve, put him in an office position with zero contact with parishiioners or children until it is time for him to retire - no drama queen announcement of priests being banished which will only serve to bring more scorn upon the Archdiocese than praise.

    Interesting thing to see that Pope Francis did nokt name Chaput as a Cardinal. Sounds like that will be done sometime much later once he gets transferred to another parish to clean its problems.

    ReplyDelete

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