Tag Archives: Peter Isley

Many, Many More Images

by Kristine Ward, September 26, 2015

Today, NSAC feels the need to present more images in a welcoming place that we hope will console the survivors and their families and combat the onslaught of images streaming across television screens of Pope Francis.

becky_ilianiWe place the images of Judy Jones, Steve Spaner, John Pilmaier, Peter Isley, Joelle Casteix, Sister Maureen Turlish, Becky Ianni, David Lorenz all of whom have taken to the streets in strong and determined witness of the truth. To speak for survivors. To banish the sought after “it’s history” approach of the hierarchy and its pontiff.

There are more images today because we believe there is more need for comfort for the survivors, particularly in  light of Pope Francis’ second expansive praising of priests and religious sisters who the Pope said, “have suffered greatly” during the sexual abuse scandal.

Pope Francis said this during the Vespers’ service Friday evening in New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.john pielmaier

Here are his words taken from the full text of his homily:

This evening, my brothers and sisters, I have come to join you in prayer that our vocations will continue to build up the great edifice of God’s Kingdom in this country. I know that, as a presbyterate in the midst of God’s people, you suffered greatly in the not distant past by having to bear the shame of some of your brothers who harmed and scandalized the Church in the most vulnerable of her members…

In the words of the Book of Revelation, I know well that you “have come forth from the great tribulation” (Rev 7:14). I accompany you at this time of pain and difficulty, and I thank God for your faithful service to his people.Peter Isley

Holy Father, no one commits suicide because of embarrassment.

Raped and sodomized men and women who were victimized by priests and religious men and women have committed suicide when the burdens of their molestation which far exceeded embarrassment have overtaken them.

Where are the priests who heard and saw the victimized children in rectories, beach houses, schools, on trips?  Where were they to save these children? Their lips have remained sealed. Where is the Book of Revelation’s burning coals for these lips?Sister Maureen NSAC - Copy (2)

Survivors cannot shed the agony of abuse that they wear like skin each day while a Roman collar or a habit can be laid aside like the pieces of clothing they are.

No one promised priests, religious sisters and religious brothers a rose garden. Pope Francis shouldn’t either.

Pope Francis also singled out the nuns of the United States for high praise:

In a special way I would like to express my esteem and gratitude to the religious women of the United States. What would the Church be without you? Women of strength, fighters, with that spirit of courage which puts you in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel. To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say “thank you”, a big thank you… and to tell you that I love you very much.Joelle Casteix

The religious sisters were investigated by the Vatican and they with strong supporters among the laity pushed back and were vindicated.

Where are these “fighters” in the battle against rape and sodomy of children by those in authority in the Roman Catholic Church and the bishops, cardinals, chancellery staff and Vatican staff who protect the abusers?

Yes. here and there they are religious sisters who have stood up for the survivors, Sister Maureen Turlish in Philadelphia a prime one, but their numbers are miniscule stacked against the numbers of religious sisters who got their backs up against the Vatican when their properties and their motives were questioned and threatened by the Vatican investigation.

Where are these women whom the Pope loves since they won against the Vatican?david_lorenz

Where is their influence with this new highly heralded Pope to seek justice for the survivors and protect children?

Make no mistake, members of the religious orders of sisters, “the good nuns” abused children, too. When religious congregations were confronted by survivors, the congregations lawyered up just like the bishops did.

The “distant past” isn’t so distant.

It is as close as 9/17/15 when USA Today published an article on Global Post’s expose of US and European priests who are abusers hiding out in the Pope’s home continent. Here is the link to the story: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/09/17/us-priests-sex-abuse-relocate-south-america/32551455/

It is as close as the conviction on 9/22/15 of a priest in Somerset County, Pennsylvania Tuesday for as the news story reports “having sex with three boys at a Honduran orphanage that he supported through his nonprofit foundation, transferring money outside the United States to fund his illicit activities and having pornographic photos of children.”Judy Jones

The story goes on to say that these activities went on for a decade. The bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johsntown said this about the convicted priest,” I preliminarily removed Father Maurizio from his duties in September 2014. As Bishop, I will continue to work to ensure that the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown takes the action necessary to protect children from harm in the Church.”  ‘’

And this is called “courage” by the boss?

The news story can be accessed here:
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/9136740-74/maurizio-passarello-federal#ixzz3mn0rZDbR

Pope Francis heads into Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, today for the Meeting of Families.

In a place where independence was proclaimed and freedom rang out, we are grateful for those who speak this week on the streets of the cities where the Pope is a guest waging witness against the tyranny of the warping of the truth.

_ Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivors Advocates Coalition (NSAC) KristineWard@hotmail.com 937-272-0308

Improved Protection

EDITORIAL

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s letter to the Vatican asking permission to transfer $57 million from the cemetery fund to a trust fund as the archdiocese moved toward filing for bankruptcy included the then Archbishop Dolan persuasive phrase for his request, “By transferring these assets to the Trust, I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability.” Within a month the Vatican agreed.

As late into the crisis as 2007 when the letter was written Dolan assumed the letter would never be read beyond the chancery building and the stone castle walls of the Vatican.

Seems dead men can indeed tell tales when there is persistent, courageous and dedicated work by sexual abuse victims to get to the truth. SNAP leaders in Milwaukee, Peter Isley and John Pilmaier who have worked diligently on this issue cannot be over commended for their dedication, persistence and courage.

The truth is in the documents.

Catholics should be howling like stuck pigs to have all, all, all documents regarding the crisis in every diocese and in the Vatican released forthwith.

That would be immediately.

That would provide a foundation for the resurrection of moral credibility for the Church.

That would honor survivors.

That would match up the lip service to reality.

That would shock the people in the pews as current Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki forewarned the Catholics in his pews this weekend before the document release.

But  honestly wouldn’t the shock, the truth, and the path to a real new beginning and the protection of children and care for survivors be the right approach and the highest good rather than the drip, drip, drip of payments to attorneys to attempt to shield the documents from release, the public relations people hired to cast the survivors as never satisfied money grubbing dogs with bones and grudges, and the false face approach that cardinals, archbishops and bishops and chancery staffs continue to don to trumpet that the crisis is history a product of long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

We bet you can remember 2007 and what your attitude and approach and highest values were and even what you did to advance your career path. Cardinal Dolan can too.

Improved protection. That’s got some ring to it.

— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) KristineWard@hotmail.com

Short Takes: Australia, Milwaukee, Pope Francis, Dreamworks

EDITORIAL

 Short Takes: Australia, Milwaukee, Pope Francis, Dreamworks

Australia

 Down under, the hunt for truth is on.

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) salutes the courage of the survivors in Australia who would not rest until a vehicle was created for the truth. 

That vehicle, the Australian parliament’s inquiry, backed by Prime Minister Julie Gillard and known as Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has begun its work. More than 5,000 victims are expected to testify and the commission says the number could go higher. 

5,000 – that’s a number that should be left to sink in upon the Church, the religious communities and the state institutions in which victims became victims. 

Free basic legal advice will be available to victims, the commission has announced.

As the commission began hearings  the Roman Catholic Church in Australia named members of the Truth Justice and Healing Council, the tool the Church will use to manage its response to the findings of the commission.

 Fine words, Truth, Justice and Healing.  

 And this time, as it was in the United States, and is in each country where the survivors have found the courage to come forward, the question hangs in the air:  why didn’t these words mean what they truly mean when the survivors and their families came to them in the first place?

 Milwaukee

 NSAC salutes the hard work of  SNAP leaders Peter Isley and John Pilmaier in Milwaukee in the wake of news that it has produced a trove of 3,000 pages of documents regarding sexual abuse.

 The documents are expected to include depositions taken from former Archbishop Rembert Weakland and now Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as well as Auxiliary Bishop Skliba.

 The Archdiocese has long fought the release of the documents but Cardinal Dolan, who was deposed shortly before going to Rome for the conclave, says he’s pleased the documents will be released.

Come July 1, the date the documents are set for release, we will see whether the rest of the Church will be pleased with Cardinal Dolan. 

 Pope Francis

 Pope Francis continues to be a hit with the choices he makes, the places he goes, and the things he says.  

 On Easter Sunday he included a reference to human trafficking in his Urbi et Orbi address from the balcony where he and the world make their acquaintance on March 13.

 We’re opposed to human trafficking but what bothers us about the pope’s comment is the worry that putting human trafficking front and center has had a tendency to be a shield for putting dealing with sexual abuse deeper in the closet  — sort of a shell change that it is hoped no one notices.

Indeed, this has been the case for religious orders of women who have been visible at high profile events, such as the Super Bowl, working for the elimination of human trafficking while continuing to refuse to meet with survivors who show up outside at their annual leadership conferences.

 The pope’s sister, who was interviewed by National Catholic Reporter this week, believes that Pope Francis will address the sexual abuse crisis. 

 Here’s the exchange:  

 John Allen, NCR: You mention the abuse cases. How do you think your brother will respond to them?

Maria Elena Bergoglio: I have no idea what he’ll actually do, but I know that he’ll do what needs to be done.

 She is down to earth, wise, open, and articulate throughout the rest of the interview. On this subject, we certainly hope she’s right.

 Dreamworks

 Dreamworks  Studio acquiring the rights to the Boston Globe Spotlight Team’s Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of the Archdiocese of Boston’s cover-up of sexual abuse has to be a nightmare for Cardinal Bernard Law.   

 Now that’s something he has in common with survivors.

 — Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) KristineWard@hotmail.com