September 27, 2005—Dante reserved the lowest circle of hell—the
circle of treachery—for those who violated trust. He placed quite
a few priests, church leaders, and popes there. They’ll be getting lots
of company . .
The larger than usual headline
of the Philadelphia Inquirer lastThursday read, “An ‘Immoral’
Cover-up.” A grand jury indicted the Philadelphia archdiocese
in a 418-page report
detailing rampant pedophilia and sexual abuse as well as decades of
well planned, sinister cover-up orchestrated by two Philadelphia cardinals,
(the late) John Krol and (recently retired) Anthony Bevilacqua. Krol was and
Bevilacqua is an outspoken critic of homosexuality and civil rights for gay
and lesbian Americans.
Here are just a few of the documented examples of what predator priests
did under the protection of Krol and Bevilacqua:
An 11-year-old girl was repeatedly raped by a priest who took her
for an abortion when she became pregnant.
A fifth grader was molested by a priest inside a confessional.
A teenage girl was groped by a priest while she lay immobilized
in traction in a hospital room.
A priest offered money to boys in exchange for sadomasochistic acts
of bondage and wrote a letter asking a boy to make him his “slave.”
The priest remains in ministry.
A sadistic priest enjoyed having children play the roles of Jesus
and other biblical characters in parish Passion plays. He made them disrobe
and whip each other until they had cuts, bruises and welts.
A priest falsely told a 12-year-old boy his mother knew of the assaults
and consented to the rape of her son.
The grand jury found that many victims were abused for years and that
many priests abused multiple victims, sometimes preying on members of the same
family. Father Albert T. Kostelnick had 18 victims. Father James J.
Brzyski, whose conduct the report described as a “criminal rampage,”
abused 17 victims, many of them from a single parish. Father Nicholas V. Cudemo
abused 16 victims and was allowed to stay in his pastoral role for decades after
the first abuse report in 1966.
And how did the archdiocese respond to the grand jury’s painstakingly
documented report? In a truly disgusting display of perverted self-interest
and bunker mentality, they claimed to be victims.
Even more disgusting is that no criminal charges can be filed against the priests
or against “Prince of the Church” Bevilacqua, despite the evidence
presented in the grand jury’s report:
After reviewing thousands of documents from Archdiocese files and hearing
. . . from over a hundred witnesses, we, the Grand Jurors, were taken aback
by the extent of sexual exploitation within the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
. . .
For any who might want to believe that the abuse problem in the Philadelphia
area was limited in scope, this Report will disabuse them of that impression.
The Jurors heard from some victims who were sexually abused once or twice,
and from many more who were abused week after week for years. . . . Indeed,
the evidence arising from the Philadelphia Archdiocese reveals criminality
against minors on a widespread scale—sparing no geographic sector, no
income level, no ethnic group. We heard testimony about priests molesting
and raping children in rectory bedrooms, in church sacristies, in parked cars,
in swimming pools, at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, at the priests’
vacation houses in the Poconos and the Jersey shore, in the children’s
schools and even in their own homes. . . .
Cardinal Bevilacqua, Cardinal Krol and their top aides all abdicated their
duty to protect children. They concealed priests’ sexual abuses instead
of exposing them. . . .
There is no doubt that the cardinals and their top aides knew that Philadelphia
priests were abusing children. There is no doubt that these officials engaged
in a continuous, concerted campaign of cover-up over the priests’ sexual
offenses. . . .
Sexually abusive priests were either left quietly in place or ‘recycled’
to unsuspecting new parishes—vastly expanding the number of children
who were abused. . . .
Documents clearly established that Cardinal Bevilacqua knew that the priests
had admitted abusing minors. They also established that he alone was responsible
for subsequently placing or leaving the priests in parishes where they would
present a severe danger to children. . . .
Cardinal Bevilacqua had a strict policy, according to his aides, that forbid
informing parishioners . . . The Cardinal, in fact, encouraged that parishioners
be misinformed. . . .
Cardinal Bevilacqua was trained as an attorney . . . The Grand Jurors find
that in his handling of priests’ sexual abuse, Cardinal Bevilacqua was
motivated by an intent to keep the record clear of evidence that would implicate
him or the Archdiocese. To this end, he continued many of the practices of
his predecessor, Cardinal Krol, aimed at avoiding scandal, while also introducing
policies that reflected a growing awareness that dioceses and bishops might
be held legally responsible for their negligent and knowing actions that abetted
known predators. . . .
To protect themselves from negative publicity or expensive lawsuits—while
keeping abusive priests active—the cardinals and their aides hid the
priests’ crimes from parishioners, police and the general public.
Archdiocese officials at the highest levels received reports of abuse .
. . They chose not to conduct any meaningful investigation . . . They left
dangerous priests in place or transferred them to different parishes as a
means of concealment . . . They never alerted parents of the dangers poses
by these offenders . . . They intimidated and retaliated against victims and
witnesses . . . They manipulated "treatment" efforts in order to
create a false impression of action . . . They did many of these things in
a conscious effort to simply to avoid civil liability.
Moreover, while treating abusers gently, with good wishes and promotions
(Bevilacqua included one molester, the Rev. Albert Kostelnick [who had the greatest
number of victims], at a 1997 luncheon honoring priests, and promoted him, even
though the church had received a constant stream of abuse allegations against
him, including an eyewitness account from a fellow priest) the grand jury found
that the cardinal had lashed out at those within the diocese who tried to raise
an alarm. After a seminarian came forward to report an abuser priest,
“Cardinal Bevilacqua ordered an investigation—of the seminarian.”
Bevilacqua refused to allow the seminarian to complete his studies and forced
him to seek ordination outside the diocese.
And what did Bevilacqua have to say when he testified before the grand jury?
As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, “in his testimony before the Grand
Jury, Cardinal Bevilacqua was still attempting to evade responsibility for placing
known sexual offenders in parishes where they had easy access to hundreds of
children . . . He often suggested he might not have known all the facts and
that he delegated the handling of these matters to his Secretary of Clergy.
He repeatedly claimed to have no memory of incidents and priests we will never
Despite overwhelming evidence against priests, cardinals and numerous members
of the church hierarchy, the statute of limitations has run out. So the Catholic
Church has once again gotten away with crimes
against humanity while the depravity and cover-up continue at the highest
Pope Benedict XVI’s widely publicized—and strategically timed—plan
to purge seminaries of gays is a transparent attempt to shift blame
from the corrupt, immoral Church to “homosexuals.” The facts about
pedophilia and homosexuality in no way support the pope’s initiative.
The clinical separation of homosexuality and child molesting was acknowledged
by the appearance of the words “pedophilia” and “pedophile.”
From the Oxford English Dictionary:
Pædophilia. An abnormal, esp. sexual, love of young children.
1906 H. ELLIS Stud. Psychol. Sex V. i. 11 Paidophilia or the love
of children . . . may be included under this head [sc. abnormality]. 1926
Med. Jrnl. & Rec. CXXIV. 161/1 One must keep clearly in mind
in dealing with pedophilia the distinction between that mediating homosexuality,
and the much more pure perversion which is our subject. . . . Hence pædophiliac,
-philic adjs., pertaining to or characterized by pædophilia; also as
n., a pædophilic person.
1927 Psychoanal. Review XIV. 191 It is only in rare cases that
one encounters an individual who has pedophilic predilections and at the same
time is suffering from venereal disease. Ibid., Krafft-Ebing . . . in his
attempt at psychological explanation falls back on ‘a morbid disposition
only’ on the part of the pedophalic [sic] as the motivating factor.
1960 Spectator 8 July 69 The . . . survey . . . shows the paedophiliac
to be a type altogether distinct from the adult-seeking homosexual. . . .
1976 Publishers Weekly 26 Apr. 52/1 He contacted
fellow pedophiliacs and through them was able to sample many kinds of young
Kathryn Conroy is assistant dean of Columbia University’s School of
Social Work. She recently pointed
out in The New York Times, “What is forgotten in all of the hysteria
about priest sexual abuse is that pedophilia is about a sexual attraction to
children (most often, regardless of their sex) and about access.” Dr.
Conroy also made the most pertinent point in relation to the pope’s ruse:
Reliable studies show that pedophiles (those adults who sexually abuse children)
are overwhelmingly heterosexual. In fact, homosexuals are statistically underrepresented
as those who sexually abuse children. . . .
Further, women have far lower rates of sexually abusing children than men
do. So if the church were really serious about protecting children from sexual
abuse by priests, gays would not be excluded from the priesthood and ordination
would be extended to women.
Aside from ordering an “Apostolic Visitation,” the revered Pope
John Paul II did virtually nothing about the church’s sex scandal or its
predator priests. Given the nature of the Vatican and the plethora of mass-media
reports, John Paul II had to know about the massive immoral cover-up carried
out by his underlings. Joseph Ratzinger was an ideological clone of John Paul
and one of the most politically conservative cardinals. His nickname was “God’s
Rottweiler” and “the Enforcer.” He’s now Pope
Benedict XVI. Like Cardinal Bevilacqua and his predecessor Cardinal Krol,
Benedict XVI isn’t interested in protecting children from predator priests
or acknowledging the corruption rampant in the church’s hierarchy. The
Vatican is interested solely in protecting itself, its power, and its political
campaign against gay and lesbian people.