Saturday, July 28, 2012


   Following Msgr. Lynn's sentencing for endangering children, Archbishop Chaput authorized the following statement:

From the challenges the Church has faced both nationally over the past decade, we understand the full gravity of sexual abuse.  This year and even this week, Pennsylvania has been the epicenter of this issue, and we know there is legitimate anger in the broad community toward any incident or enabling of sexual abuse.  The trial of the past several months has been especially difficult for victims and we profoundly regret their pain.

The public humiliation of the church has emphasized the vital lesson that we must be constantly vigilant in our charge to protect children in our parishes and schools.  Since the events some ten years ago that were at the center of this trial, the Archdiocese has changed.  We have taken dramatic steps to ensure that all young people in our care are safe, and these efforts will continue even more forcefully now and in the years ahead.

We remain committed to protecting children and caring for victims.  Fair-minded people will question the severity of the heavy, three to six year sentence imposed on Msgr. Lynn.  We hope that when this punishment is objectively reviewed, it will be adjusted.

We pray for Msgr. Lynn and his family at this difficult time.

Donna Farrell
Director of Communication


   Clearly, the statement was written by PR people and not by the shepherd of a deeply wounded flock--a shepherd who happens to be a Franciscan! What a terrible time to be a "no-show."    

   At least, the PR people apologized to the victims and asked for prayers for Lynn and his family, which is right and good.  But how could they have forgotten to include a request for prayers for Lynn's victims?  They, and all the victims in Philadelphia and elsewhere, are going through a life-time of "difficult times," and Chaput has coldly decided to wound and anger them even more. (To get some idea of the anguish this non-statement has caused, see the Philadelphia-based blog, www.catholics4change.)

   The "shot" that the PR people took at the judge for her three-to-six year sentence, smacks of politics. Something appears to be afoot here and we'll have to wait and see what develops.

   All Catholics will agree that Archbishop Chaput is the canonical, i.e., the legal leader of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  But very many faithful Catholics are realizing that he is not their spiritual leader.  An increasing number are searching elsewhere for spiritual leadership.  Many are feeling lost.  Some are walking away.  Ordinarily, church leaders blame society for such a situation.  Not this time.  This calamity is self-inflicted and the fault is clearly in the leaders themselves.            


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