Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Philadelphia Archdiocese Ignored Warnings About Pedophiles

Just as the sex abuse scandal in Ireland seemed to be a constant font of evidence of the moral bankruptcy of the Church hierarchy and the callous indifference the "princes of the Church" displayed toward the safety of and well being of children and youths, so to is the ongoing criminal trial in Philadelphia against Monsignor Lynn and priests accused of sexual abuse.  It is painfully obvious that the only thing that mattered to these clerics was to  protect (i) the image of the Church and (ii) the predator priests.  The children and youth?  They were not even on the radar screen. A story on KFVS-TV yesterday revealed evidence of confessed predators being returned to parishes and gang rape attempts in seminaries.  Here are highlights:

A Catholic priest admitting a sexual relationship with a teen said he had been the victim of an attempted gang rape by fellow seminarians, according to testimony in a clergy-abuse trial.

Testimony on Monday also mentioned Pope Benedict XVI, who weighed in on the priest's 2005 censure when he was a Vatican official known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Documents show the priest had admitted to the Philadelphia archdiocese in 1992 that he had sex with the high school student for several years. An archdiocesan treatment center concluded the priest was not a pedophile, but was affected by his "traumatic sexual development." He remained in ministry for another decade.

 The priest told a therapist he had been tied down by several seminarians who tried to rape him and that a friend came to his rescue. But the same friend later twice abused him, the priest told the therapist, according to documents read in court.

The priest discussed Monday stayed in active ministry until the national priest-abuse scandal broke in 2002. His ministry was supposed to be strictly supervised so he was not alone around adolescent boys, but he lived alone in a parish rectory in Lower Merion one year, and had little if any supervision after leaving the hospital in 1993, prosecutors allege. He remains a priest today, but lives a private life of "prayer and penance."

On cross-examination, defense lawyer Jeffrey Lindy noted that Lynn got the priest to admit to the sexual relationship with the teen the same day the complaint came in to Lynn in 1992, and soon had him being evaluated. However, a detective on the stand noted that police, had they gotten such an admission, would have pursued criminal charges.   Neither the priest's admission - nor the scores of other abuse complaints brought to the archdiocese from 1948 through the 2005 grand jury report - were ever referred to police or prosecutors.

Today's Philadelphia Inquirer has additional tawdry details.  Here are highlights:

An Archdiocese of Philadelphia priest active in schools and scouting was allowed to work in suburban parishes for five years after doctors diagnosed him as a pedophile, called him “a very sick man,” and told church officials he was a “powder keg” waiting to explode.

The priest, the Rev. Peter F. Dunne, paid off one accuser himself and repeatedly resisted or ignored recommendations for therapy, according to internal church records shown Tuesday to a Common Pleas Court jury. 

When the pastor overseeing Dunne at a Bucks County parish in 1990 petitioned archdiocesan officials in a “very urgent plea” to get the priest some help, they responded by transferring Dunne to a parish 25 miles away in Montgomery County, the records show. 

Prosecutors say the files on Dunne and other priests suggest Lynn and other church leaders had long recognized the signs and depth of clergy sex abuse but chose not to act.

“Dr. Tyrrell stated quite bluntly that we are sitting on a powder keg,” an assistant archdiocesan chancellor, the Rev. John Graf, wrote in a February 1989 memo.  Tyrell warned that Dunne had an overnight camping trip with boys and other behavior typical of pedophile “grooming.” He advised church officials to remove Dunne from active ministry and bar his contact with children. Dunne remained in his post and abandoned treatment.

Remind me again - why does ANYONE continue to listen to a single thing that the Catholic bishops and hierarchy have to say given the depths of the depravity that they knowingly countenanced and tried to cover up?   These foul men are nothing less than criminal conspirators who belong behind bars.

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