POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Jeremy Roebuck’s report of the disgusting behavior of the Philadelphia Catholic hierarchy in covering up sexual abuse and thus enabling it to continue with new victims shows clearly that only criminal charges and incarceration of bishops, cardinals and Pope Ratzinger himself will resolve this problem and restore the moral authority of the Church

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 22, 2011

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 Jeremy Roebuck writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer (4/22/11) …

  • A former Catholic regional vicar, who helped transfer a priest with a long history of sexual-abuse claims into a South Philadelphia parish, now says he did so unwittingly, and blames church officials for withholding information.

Msgr. John T. Conway said officials failed to share

their knowledge of at least a dozen abuse complaints

against the now-defrocked David C. Sicoli

at the time of the 1999 transfer.

  • As a result, Sicoli was placed alone in a parish with an active youth ministry and school.
  • In a letter sent to Cardinal Justin Rigali this month, Conway said thinking back on the situation makes him “angry as hell.” He is now pastor at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church in North Wales, Montgomery County.
  • “I did not contribute in any way to the shameful and sinful cover-up of child sexual abuse by priests,” the April 4 letter reads. “We regional vicars . . . were kept in the dark about such crimes.”
  • The letter – circulated widely this week among Conway’s parishioners – is a rare instance of rank-and-file clergy openly criticizing archdiocesan officials for their handling of the sex-abuse scandal. A copy was forwarded to The Inquirer.
  • The dispute it outlines centers on Conway’s role in overseeing South Philadelphia parishes in the late 1990s. His duties included serving on a priest personnel board that made decisions on the transfer of clergy into his region.
  • By the time Sicoli’s case came before Conway in 1999, the priest’s archdiocesan file already detailed “a long history of abusive and manipulative relationships with adolescents, as well as numerous reports from other priests about those relationships,” according to a 2005 report by a Philadelphia grand jury investigating church sex abuse.
  • But even as Conway and others were considering where to place Sicoli in 1999, his file contained allegations dating back as far as 1977 that he kept boys with him in the rectory overnight and formed inappropriate attachments with many young parishioners, the 2005 grand jury report said.

According to the grand jury, Msgr. William J. Lynn

– then Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua’s secretary for the clergy –

advised Bevilacqua that he and Conway believed Sicoli

would be “better off in a one-man parish,”

leaving him without supervision from others.

  • They eventually agreed to place him at South Philadelphia’s Holy Spirit Parish.
  • But in his letter to Rigali this month, Conway said that he, at least, had been kept in the dark about allegations against Sicoli while making the decision. The 2005 report mentions Conway’s involvement at least six times in its 418 pages of findings.

“I feel that I was duped,” he wrote.

read the entire article at … http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/120437314.html

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2 Responses to “* Jeremy Roebuck’s report of the disgusting behavior of the Philadelphia Catholic hierarchy in covering up sexual abuse and thus enabling it to continue with new victims shows clearly that only criminal charges and incarceration of bishops, cardinals and Pope Ratzinger himself will resolve this problem and restore the moral authority of the Church”

  1. vicente said

    Hi Jeremy, my name is Vicente Belloc.I am a victime of the corruption going on, with the judge Rudy Delgado.A old friend of your articles in the Monitor dated June 07 2007. I was reading materials against that man and your article came up.My question is ,would you be interested to get good materials for a corruption case against him and his 93 criminal court’s conduct????.Or may be you are not in the area anymore but know somebody who will be very insterested ??? mmy email is 1e3qw@dr.com. Looking for to read your reply thank you Jeremy.See you Vicente

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