'Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet;
Week In The News: Trump Administration And 'Crazytown,' Kavanaugh, Tech On Capitol Hill48:16
September 07, 2018
President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh departs during a break in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, for the third day of his confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
"The document is reproduced in Woodward's book and is an example of how top White House aides would steal and hide documents from Trump that they believed to be a danger to national security. In this case, former White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn swiped the draft letter off the Oval Office desk to prevent Trump from signing it, terminating a critical trade agreement with South Korea.
"Woodward reports Cohn was 'appalled' that Trump might sign the letter."
NPR: "Democrats, Republicans Dispute Status Of Released Documents" — "Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., released some of the confidential documents Thursday morning. Sens. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., also released 'confidential' documents, drawing a stern rebuke from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who called them "irresponsible and outrageous."
"'This is no different from the senator deciding to release classified information,' Cornyn said Thursday morning. 'No senator deserves to sit on this committee, or serve in the Senate, in my view, if they decide to be a law unto themselves and willingly flout the rules of the Senate and the determination of confidentiality and classification.'"
FiveThirtyEight: "Kavanaugh Was Quietly Conservative On Day 2 Of His Hearing" — "The fog of Trump has hung heavy in the air during Kavanaugh’s hearing. From his opening answer on today, Kavanaugh sought to strategically forestall the left’s criticism of his nomination: that his expansive view of executive power, developed during the George W. Bush administration, could eventually serve to protect Donald Trump, expose the special counsel, and indeed that perhaps he was nominated for that very reason.
"To parry this suggestion, Kavanaugh repeatedly cited United States v. Nixon, which found that the president’s executive privilege is not immune from judicial review, as one of the most important moments in American judicial history. 'Why was it such a great moment?' Kavanaugh asked himself. 'The court stood up for judicial independence in a moment of national crisis.' He also cited the importance of Federalist Papers No. 69, by Alexander Hamilton, which distinguishes the president from a king and outlines the process of impeachment, and Kavanaugh’s own ruling in favor of Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s driver, against the will of the Bush administration. "
"Virtually treason," President Trump telling Fox News after a senior administration official goes rogue in the New York Times. The legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward’s latest — a damning account of a White House in crisis. Strife breaking out at confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Another progressive prevailing in the Democratic primary. States demanding answers from the Catholic church. Nike taking a knee. All on our weekly news roundup
This hour, On Point: Buckle up. It’s getting bumpy. All over again
— David Folkenflik
This program aired on September 7, 2018.
TOO LITTLE TOO LATE OR JUSTICE DELAYED
Although the scandal about the Catholic Church's pedophile priesthood has only reached full-fledged media reports because of the State of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) Grand Jury decision 2018, the judicial reports of these events began in 2005. I had even written about it after reading Kick in 2007 on now defunct opensalon.com. To get the full affect and effect of the life-long suffering that the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia caused to the victimized children involved, you must read the entire Russ Kick edited chapter: The Philadelphia Grand Jury Report on Abusive Priests And The Cardinals Who Enabled Them. If you have a strong stomach, listen to the CD version of the abuse. Then you can connect evil of the power of church and state in its viciousness to Umberto Echo’s Name of the Rose.
Russ Kick, editor of Everything You Know About God Is Wrong (2007), writes in “Philadelphia Grand Jury Report On Abusive Priests And The Cardinals Who Enabled Them” notes that in September 2005, a Philadelphia grand jury concluded the longest probe of sexually abusive priests ever undertaken by a grand jury or district attorney. During the course of three years, the jurors documented abuse by over sixty priests, involving hundreds of minors, with continuous cover-ups by the Philly Archdiocese. The resulting 423-page report, with another 309 pages of appendices, is an amazing document both for the way it refuses to shy away from detailed descriptions of the priests' crimes and for the barely contained anger and disgust that its authors obviously felt after years of examining secret documents and interviewing victims, perpetrators, and others.
When reading the excerpts, keep in mind that it was written, not by people who view organized religion with suspicion, but by a group of ordinary citizens, including some Catholics, plucked from the jury pool—the very salt o the earth.
This report contains the finding of the Grand Jury: how dozens of priests sexually abused hundreds of children; how Philadelphia Archdiocese officials—including Cardinal Bevilacqua and Cardinal Krol—excused and enabled the abuse; and how the law must be changed so that it doesn't happen again. Some may be tempted to describe these events as tragic. Tragedies such as tidal waves, however, are outside human control. What we found were not acts of God, but of men who acted in his name and defiled it.
But the biggest crime of all is this: it worked. The abuser priests, by choosing children as targets and trafficking on their trust, were able to prevent or delay reports of their sexual assaults, to the point where applicable statutes of limitations expired. And Archdiocese officials, by burying those reports they did receive and covering up the conduct, similarly managed to outlast any statutes of limitation. As a result, these priests and officials will necessarily escape criminal prosecution. We surely would have charged them if we could have done so.
But the consequences are even worse than the avoidance of criminal penalties sexually abusive priests were either left quietly in place or “recycled” to unsuspecting new parishes—vastly expanding the number of children who were abused. It didn't have to be this way. Prompt action and a climate of compassion for the child victims could have significantly limited the damage done. But the significantly limited the damage done. But the Archdiocese chose a different path. Those choices went all the way up to the top—to Cardinal Bevilacqua and Cardinal Krol personally.
SECTION II—OVERVIEW OF THE SEXUAL ABUSE BY ARCHDIOCESE PRIESTS
63 different priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia abused hundreds of child victims. These are the kinds of things that Archdiocese priests did to children:
--A girl 11 years old, was raped by her priest and became pregnant. The Father took her in for an abortion.
--A 5th-grader was molested by her priest inside the confessional booth.
--A teenage girl was groped by her priest while she lay immobilized in traction in a hospital bed. The priest stopped only when the girl was able to ring for a nurse.
--A boy was repeatedly molested in his own school auditorium, where his priest/teacher bent the boy over and rubbed his genitals against the boy until the priest ejaculated.
--A priest, no longer satisfied with mere pederasty regularly began forcing sex on two boys at once in his bed.
--A boy woke up intoxicated in a priest's bed to find the Father sucking on his penis while three other priests watched and masturbated themselves.
--A priest offered money to boys in exchange for sadomasochism—directing them to place him in bondage to “break” him, to make him their “slave,” and to defecate so that he could lick excrement from them.
--A 12-year-old, who was raped and sodomized by his priest, tried to commit suicide, and remains institutionalized in a mental hospital as an adult.
--A priest told a 12-year-old boy that his mother knew of and had agreed to the priest's repeated rape of her son.
--A boy who told his father about the abuse his younger brother was suffering was beaten to the point of unconsciousness. “Priests don't do that,” said the father as he punished his son for what he thought was a vicious lie against the clergy.
SECTION III—OVERVIEW OF THE COVER-UP BY ARCHDIOCESE OFFICIALS
Here are some incidents that exemplify the manner in which the Archdiocese responded to the sexual abuse of its most vulnerable parishioners:
--The Archdiocese official in charge of abuse investigations described one abusive priest as “one of the sickest people I ever knew.” Yet Cardinal Bevilacqua allowed him to continue in ministry, with full access to children—until the priest scandal broke in 2002.
--One abusive priest was transferred so many times that, according to the Archdiocese's own records, they were running out of places to send him where he would not already be known.
--On at least one occasion Cardinal Bevilacqua agreed to harbor a known abuser from another diocese giving him a cover story and a neighborhood parish here because the priest's arrest for child abuse had aroused too much controversy there. Officials referred to this sort of practice as “bishops helping bishops.”
--A nun who complained about a priest who was still ministering to children—even after he was convicted of receiving child pornography—was fired from her position as director of religious education.
--A seminarian studying for the priesthood who revealed that he himself had been abused as an altar boy was accused of homosexuality—and was dismissed from the diocese. He was able to become a priest only by relocating to area.
--When the Archdiocese did purport to seek psychological evaluation of a priest, the primary tool for diagnosis was “self-reporting”--in other words, whether the abuser was willing to admit that he was a pedophile. Absent such a “diagnosis,” the Archdiocese declined to treat any priest as a pedophile, no matter how compelling the evidence.
--Even when admitted, the abuse was excused: an Archdiocese official comforted one sexually abusive priest by suggesting that the priest had been “seduced” by his 11-year-old victim.
--An Archdiocese official explained that the church could not discipline one especially egregious abuser because, as the official put it, he was not a “pure pedophile”--that is, he not only abused little boys; he also slept with women.
--When one priest showed signs of seeking penance from his victims, the church-run “treatment” facility urged Archdiocese officials to move him to another assignment away from the victims—in other words, transfer him before he apologizes again.
Such cynicism toward priest sexual abuse may not have started in Philadelphia; indeed media reports have revealed strikingly similar tactics throughout the country. Bishops in other dioceses throughout the country also shuttled abusive priests from parish to parish, until there was no place left to go, ignored repeated reports of abuse, absent a direct confession or “diagnosis” of pedophilia, and looked to legalisms, at the expense of decency. But these parallels, for from excusing Philadelphia Church officials, serve only to underscore that their actions were no accident. They knew what they were doing.
OVERVIEW OF THE SEXUAL ABUSE BY ARCHDIOCESE PRIESTS
There are many more Philadelphia-area priests who have molested and sodomized parishioners' children than are named here:
--Father James Brzyski. It was Fr. Brzyski who told his victims that their parents knew and approved of his sexual abuse of their sons. The 6'5”, 220-pound priest told this to a devout 12-year-old boy. “Sean,” (names changed in report) whom he began anally raping in 1984.
--Father Nicholas Cudemo. A top aid to Cardinal Bevilacqua described Father Nicholas Cudemo to the Grand Jury as “one of sickest people I ever knew.” The priest raped an 11-year-old girl. He molested a 5th grader in the confessional. He maintained sexually abusive relationships simultaneously with several girls from the Catholic school where he was a teacher. His own family accused him of molesting his younger cousins.
--Father Gerard Chambers. Father Gerard Chambers was accused of molesting numerous altar boys, and of anally and orally raping at least one, during 40 years as a priest in the Archdiocese. Beginning in 1994, for of his victims came forward to the Archdiocese to talk about their abuse.
--Father Stanley Gana. Father Stanley Gana also sexually abused countless boys in a succession of parishes. One victim, “John,” who testified before the Grand Jury, had gone to Fr. Gana n 1977 because the then 14-year-old had been sexually abused by a family friend. Father Gana used his position as a counselor and the ruse of therapy to persuade the boy to have physical contact with him. This “Therapy” slowly progressed to full-fledged sexual abuse, involving genital touching, masturbation, and oral and anal sodomy. It continued for more than five years.
--Father Albert Kostelnick. The Secret Archives file (where the Archdiocese, in accordance with Canon law, recorded complaints of sexual abuse by priests) for Father Kostelnick contained numerous reports that he sexually fondled young girls. The report incidents spanned 32 years, beginning in 1968, when he fondled the genitals and breasts of three sisters, ages 6 to 13 years old, as he showed slides to their parents in the family's darkened living room. The three sisters also reported, in 2002, that Fr. Kostelnick had fondled their other sister as she lay in traction in a hospital following an automobile accident in 1971. They said the injured girl had to ring for the nurse to stop her molestation.
--Father Raymond Leneweaver. At Saint Monica parish in South Philadelphia, Fr Leneweaver named a group of altar boys whom he abused the “Philadelphia Rovers” and had T-shirts made up for them. He took the 11-and-12-year-olds on outings and, when he was alone with them, he molested them. He anally raped at least one boy. He repeatedly pulled another out of class at the parish grade school, took him to the school auditorium, and forced the boy to bend over a table, and rubbing against him until the priest ejaculated. Each time the priest's crimes were reported to the Archdiocese, he admitted his offenses. By 1975, he had confessed to homosexual activity with at least seen named children with whom he was “seriously involved.” He told Archdiocese officials of others he was involved with “in and incidental fashion.”
--Father Nilo Martins Father Martins was a Brazilian pediatrician and religious-order priest who came to the Archdiocese in 1978. In May 1984, he was assigned as an assistant pastor at Incarnation of Our Lord in North Philadelphia. On a Saturday afternoon in early February 1985, he invited a 12-year-old altar boy, “Daniel,” up to his rectory bedroom to watch television, ordered the boy to undress, and anally raped him.
Daniel, now a police officer testified that as he cried out in pain, the priest kept insisting: Tell me that you like it.” Daniel told the Grand Jury that he saw blood and was terrified. When the priest was done, he gave Daniel a puzzle as a present and told the boy to get dressed and leave.
--Father David Sicoli. Father Sicoli paid for tuition, computers, and trips to Africa and Disney world for parish boys he took a particular liking to. He invited several to live in his rectories with him, and he gave them high-paying jobs and leadership positions in the Church's youth group, the CYO. Some of them in interviews insisted that nothing sexual took place with the priest. But others, now grown, told the grand Jury that Fr. Sicoli sexually abused them and treated them as if they were his girlfriends. From the start of his priesthood, and containing through 2001, priests who lived with Fr. Sicoli warned the Archdiocese about his unhealthy relationships with boys.
OVERVIEW OF THE COVER-UP BY ARCHDIOCESE OFFICIALS
--Archdiocese Leaders were aware that Priests were sexually abusing hundreds of children, and that their continued ministry presented great danger.
--Archdiocese leaders conducted non-investigations designed to avoid establishing priests' guilt.
--Cardinals transferred known abusers to other parishes where their reputations were not known and parents could not, therefore, protect their children.
--The decision whether to transfer a known abuser was determined by the threat of scandal or lawsuit, not by the priest's guilt or the danger he posed.
--Parishioners were not told, or were misled about, the reason for abuser's transfer.
--Sexual Offenders were transferred to distant parishes where their reputations would not be known.
--The Archdiocese harbored abusers transferred from other dioceses.
--Archdiocese leaders made concerted efforts to prevent reports of priest abuse to law enforcement.
--Church leaders carefully avoided actions that would incriminate themselves or the priests.
--Archdiocese officials tried to keep their files devoid of incriminating evidence.
--Church leaders manipulated abusive priests' psychological evaluations to keep them in ministry. Officials used therapy and evaluation to give false reassurances.
--Cardinal Bevilacqua instituted a test that falsely purported to exclude pedophiles.
--The Cardinal attempted to evade personal liability for retaining abusers by claiming to rely on therapists' recommendations.
--Church leaders invented “Limited Ministry,” which they documented in Archdiocese files but did not enforce.
--Archdiocese officials used investigation and intimidation to fend off lawsuits and silence victims and witnesses.
--The Cardinals shielded themselves from direct contact with victims.
--Even in 2002, Cardinal Bevilacqua continued to mislead the public and give false assurances.
--Before the Grand Jury, Cardinal Bevilacqua continued to mislead about his knowledge of and participation in the cover-up.
--The Archdiocese strategies for handling abuse cases multiplied the number of victims and increased the harm done to them.
--Dioceses throughout the United States employed the same strategies to conceal their priests' crimes and keep abusers in ministry.
THE ARCHDIOCESE STRATEGIES FOR HANDLING ABUSE CASES MULTIPLIED THE NUMBER OF VICTIMS AND INCREASED THE HARM DONE TO THEM
Bevilacqua, ex-head of Philly archdiocese, dies ahead of sex trial
Newly installed Archbishop of Philadelphia Justin Rigali (L) is greeted by Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia, during the installation ceremony October 7, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Credit:William Thomas Cain
The retired Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, has died ahead of a church sex abuse trial.
The church said that Bevilacqua, 88, died in his sleep Tuesday night in his apartment at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
He had been battling dementia and an undisclosed form of cancer.
Bevilacqua's 15 years "as shepherd of the 1.5 million-member Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia was marked by both celebration and crisis," the Inquirer wrote.
According to the Associated Press, Bevilacqua — a civil and canon lawyer — was criticized by two grand juries on the handling of sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic church, but never charged. One spent 40 months investigating clergy sex abuse in the archdiocese.
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office issued a report in September 2005 identifying Bevilacqua and another cardinal, John Krol, for systematically allowing hundreds of abuser priests to go unpunished and ignoring the victims.
"Sexually abusive priests were left quietly in place or 'recycled' to unsuspecting new parishes — vastly expanding the number of children who were abused," the 418-page report concluded, according to the Philly Inquirer.
Reports cited a lack of direct evidence against Bevilacqua, and Bevilacqua — who according the Inquirer wrote "was known for his personal touch with the faithful" — never responded publicly to the charges.
MSNBC reported that Bevilacqua died days before lawyers were set to do battle over his competency as a witness in the trial of a longtime aide, charged with endangering children through priest transfers.
According to the network, the second grand jury report "led to the charges against Monsignor William Lynn, three priests and a Catholic school teacher. Lynn is charged with endangering children by keeping dangerous priests on the job. His lawyers have argued that he took orders from Bevilacqua."
Defense lawyers had been arguing that Bevilacqua "no longer recognized Lynn" or "much of relevance to the case." More than one judge had judge had ruled, however, that he was competent to speak.
In concealing the crimes of sexually abusive priests while keeping them in ministry, the Cardinal and his aides did not merely fail to protect children from terrible danger. They greatly increased the danger and the harm to Archdiocese children. When Cardinals Krol and Bevilacqua promoted and celebrated known abusers—rapists and molesters of children—and left them in positions as pastors, parish priests, and teachers, they in effect vouched for their holiness and trustworthiness and encouraged presents to entrust their children to them.
When Church leaders hid allegations against priest child molesters and deliberately placed them in parishes where unsuspecting families were kept in the dark, they minimized parents' ability to protect their children. When they transferred the priests to new parishes to avoid scandal, they greatly increased the numbers of potential victims.
When they withheld from parents knowledge of their child's abuse, they sentenced that child to years of lonely suffering. By not reporting the crimes to law enforcement, they frustrated safeguards designed to protect children in society at large.
What makes these actions all the worse, the Grand Jurors believe, is that the abuses that Cardinal Bevilacqua and his aides allowed children to suffer—the molestation, the rapes, the lifelong shame and despair—did not result from failure or lapses, except of the moral variety. They were made possible by purposeful decisions, carefully implemented policies and calculated indifference.
Dioceses throughout the United States employed the same strategies to conceal their priests' crimes and keep abusers in ministry.