Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Comment Re: Archbishop Chaput on his Efforts to Suppress Child Abuse Reform in Harrisburg (Comment in NCR)

It becomes more difficult with each passing day
here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to remain civil and respectful
in one’s comments regarding the local RCC leadership, their statements,
conduct and decision-making, past and present, relative to the abuse,
destruction and devastation visited on child and young adult clergy
abuse victims. Deliberate and deceitful obfuscation and
hypocrisy……..Chaput asks “what more do they want us to do?”
He’s a learned, mature and educated man and he most assuredly “knows”
what must be done to protect our children now and in the future. He
also “knows” what must be done in Harrisburg to give past victims a
voice, legal access and redress (ALL CHILD VICTIMS here in the
Commonwealth of PA, regardless of the venue of the alleged
abuse…..public or private, religious or secular, in the home or in the
community). It doesn’t work, it doesn’t sell, and it is unconvincing when a
man such as Charles Chaput feigns ignorance on what steps needed to be
taken to address the protection of ALL of our children.
He has NO RIGHT to stand in the way of the protection of other
children in the Commonwealth of PA even if he wishes to defend his
institution, leadership and its finances from legitimate legal action
from victims and families that have suffered so terribly. Get out of
Harrisburg, get out of Marsico’s office and LET THE PEOPLE have an
opportunity to hear what the legislative proposals are about and what
they can do for our children. How dare you, your leadership or anyone
else, elected in Harrisburg or elsewhere, subvert and/or hijack our
system of representative democracy.
The last several clergy abuse matters under YOUR watch, Archbishop
Chaput, are clearly demonstrative of your style of leadership relative
to the dangers to children in archdiocesan facilities throughout the
region. Very little information re the allegations, risks in place in
parishes for extended periods before notification of parents and
families, and little if any information (facts, details, outcomes)
regarding the disposition of the cases. What more can be done? Such a
statement cannot be from ignorance, that we know. I believe it is from
arrogance and a smugness that says “how dare the parishioners here in
Philadelphia question my conduct, decision-making and actions in these
It is always appropriate to end a presentation on a positive note and
theme. I want to “thank you” Archbishop Chaput for allowing many, many
people in the region and beyond, both Catholic and non-Catholic, to
come to know and love the special, unique, faithful, prayerful and
compassionate nature of two very remarkable catholic women in this area.
You know who they are; if not, then it is your loss that you do not
know the depth, sincerity and beauty of their commitment to the Catholic
faith. Yes, Archbishop, I am referring to Margie Winters and Andrea
Vettori. I have read several of the statements and letters offered in
the media by these two genuine Catholic women since the Waldron Mercy*
issue in the summertime. I just can’t remember reading any finer
expressions of one’s Catholic faith, commitment, sensitivity, caring and
compassion for those in our community, especially the children. Ms.
Vettori’s letter to Pope Francis should be read by every parishioner in
the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, exemplifying how her faith and love of
Our Lord literally fills her life and the work she does.
Archbishop Chaput, unless you have not noticed yet, you are no longer
in Denver. Citizens in the Delaware Valley, Catholic and non-Catholic,
will never rest until all of our children are protected in the best way
possible from the risks and dangers of sexual predation as well as the
highest level of legal access and redress for those who should be
victimized by such evil and criminal acts. Quite simply, either join us
in these efforts or please, or just get out of the way and stop using
PARISHIONERS’ contributions and donations to fight against the
protection of ALL the children of the Commonwealth of PA.
Michael Skiendzielewski
Captain (retired)
Philadelphia Police Dept.

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