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I have to admit that sometimes I get really angry over some of the comments that are sent in that, on the surface, seem to want to offer me encouragement but, in fact, are supportive of either the man who raped and beat me or others like him. They are most likely sent by well-meaning people who are not willing to admit that their church is guilty of harboring predator priests as well as other criminal activity. Or they are unwilling to allow that their precious “Father Bob” or “Father Gibson” was a predator who indulged his perverse fetish of raping prepubescent boys as his way to get off. (Excuse me for being blunt.) (Robert Gibson’s assignments as a priest in the Diocese of Scranton are listed here.)
A case in point, I received an email from a reader in response to a reply I left to a comment on a recent post. The original comment was from a friend who was angry that the man who had officiated at her wedding and baptised her children was also the man who sexual preyed on her junior high school classmates (yes, that is an intentional plural). The conflict was weighing on her.
I was also conflicted for years because the same man who had raped and beat me numerous times was responsible for getting my father into an alcohol rehab program during my freshman year of college. The man was a bit of a hero in my family for a long time. I heard about it for years and I seethed at the accolades being offered for him. He used this magnanimous act of pastoral kindness to keep me quiet, keep me in place, keep me from telling my great terrible secret. It was quite a shock to my parents when I finally told them some of the things that happened all those years ago. Acts of sexual predation that the Diocese of Scranton deemed credible based on other reports on the same “priest”. Acts that I know were committed on more children than the Diocese of Scranton cares to admit.
The email I received was a little over the top. I read it once and it bothered me so I walked away from the computer. When I read it later I was upset. The next day I was just angry. I wrote several responses, deleting one after another until I was able to find a way to temper my anger. I am not sure that I was completely successful.
The sender of the email stated that she had gone to Missouri to see Father Gibson. In her words (Sic):
He was a vegetable of a man in bed. He is completely unable to speak or respond. I knew it was him because they told me that was the man in the bed; but I didn’t recognize him. He is an emaciated shell of a person. He is enduring an empty, lonely, desolation of a life.He cannot speak or comprehend. He is Completely cut off from human interaction. It is an empty room with nothing but a bed.
Where the wheels came off for me in this email were statements like (sic):
But I knew Robert Gibson. I believe he would choose to suffer like this. I believe he was so ashamed. I believe he was pained at what he did to you.
When he dies. ….. And my sense it will be soon… Robert Gibson will make it a priority to help you heal. He was a monster to you. He knew that, but he was not able to control his urges. They call it pedophilia.
Did you ever have urges that you could not control?
Michael… I hope and pray (and I do still pray) that you are somehow able to find peace. If there is a God, then I know that Robert Gibson deserves to suffer for what he did to you. I knew him. He had goodness along side the horror that he showed you.
You will be free soon. Your pain is something I cannot grasp. But you will wake up one day and realize you can breathe. That means Robert Gibson has died and begged our Lord to protect you and comfort you. I hope then you will be free.
Let me answer each of these examples in turn. I don’t believe he would choose to suffer. He enjoyed what he did, he liked the power, he liked being dominant and he got off on it. It sexually excited him. Did he have regrets or did he lament his actions? We have no way to know. His only regret was probably that he got caught. But even then there was no consequence of note. The Diocese was more about preventing scandal and keeping the parishioners in the pew for the Sunday morning magic show and tithing. They moved him to Dittmer, one step ahead of the authorities that should have prosecuted him.
He is going to make me a priority after he dies? Interesting concept! If you buy into the “heaven hypothesis” (thanks Maria, I really like that expression) you would think that this man would not get past St Peter. He would probably be on the express train to hell, along with Bishop Timlin and his band of cronies who put themselves above the welfare of children in the Diocese of Scranton.
My favorite… “Did you ever had urges you could not control?”. If you are insinuating that I have had urges to molest, rape or harm in any way, a child, the answer is “NO”! I get this more often than not from the church apologists/zealots, in fact it is one of the church defenses against survivors/victims of sexual predators wearing Roman Collars. They want us to be identified as predators. They want us to be seen as subhuman and threatening. Do not, even for a moment, put me in the same category as Robert Gibson, rapist of children.
“He had goodness along side of the horror that he showed you.” Really! At what point did the “goodness” manifest itself? Or perhaps he did “good” things to keep up the facade of being a caring priest in order to separate his next victim from the herd. Tell me, how do you reconcile the fact that he had all this evil along side of the goodness he showed you?
The idea of Robert Gibson ascending to the right hand of the “father” upon his death is absurd. If there is a “god”, I would suspect that miscreants like Gibson are not destined for any reward in the after life.
I am sure when he does die, he will be buried with the full vestments of the church that turned its back on his victims. I am sure he will have a funeral befitting a man of “god”. I am sure he will be heralded for his goodness and sent to his “maker” for his eternal reward. That will be the final act in the church’s deceit. I doubt his victims will be invited to send him off with the “honors” he truly deserves. I am sure that Diocese will wait for a while to tell his victims that he has died so that there will be not interference with his priestly funeral.
His death will not set me free. I am already free, I have the truth. I have spoken that truth and others have also stood up to say that they were also targeted by Gibson. Some have done so publicly, others have done so privately. As soon as our great terrible secrets were shared, we were all free. He has no power over me. His death will not result in my rebirth. To give his life, his basic ability to pump blood and draw breath, power over his many victims is ludicrous. He is just a pathetic life form.
For those concerned about a possible road trip to Dittmer to see Gibson for myself, I did make the run down I-64 from my home in Virginia to Louisville, Kentucky. While the overhead signs encouraged me on to St. Louis, I did not venture past my Kentucky destination. Gibson is not worth the gas. To all my friends who wrote to me out of concern of what a trip to Missouri would do to me, fear not. I would not do anything stupid. I would not lower myself to commit an act of violence like Gibson did repeatedly to me and to many others. If I was going to burn gas to make a scene, it would be to go to Scranton and engage the leaders of the cult in the Chancellery on Wyoming Avenue.
Remember, my dear readers, if you are currently tithing or contributing to the Catholic Church, you are perpetuating the hierarchy that has put children and vulnerable adults in danger. You have been supporting a corrupt organization that has moved far away from the “faith” it purports to espouse. Your tacit support makes you complicit in their actions.
Four. That is the number of victims of Father Robert Gibson to which the Diocese of Scranton has stipulated. Four.
I don’t get it. I cannot believe that the Diocese of Scranton continues to stubbornly stick to that number. I have corresponded with survivors, family members of survivors, classmates of survivors, as well as friends. I have spoken to officials at Notre Dame High School. The number grows a little higher every time I get an indication that someone is looking for Gibson on Google. Sometimes an email arrives a few days later, sometimes a comment appears. The number I have is Fourteen. Of course, I have names to go with the digits. That is still a very low number. Given the number of parishes, schools and camps he had access to and the number of years in his predatory prime, this man probably had victims that numbered in the hundreds. He probably tried to groom or isolate more than that. This man was prolific in his criminal sexual behavior against minors. Against children!
Four? I think not! And the Diocese of Scranton knows it. Someone in the diocese has access to his “secret” files. Someone can go in and get a feel for how many complaints were submitted. I bet the vast, overwhelming majority of those were covered up. Someone knows about the settlements and the confidentiality agreements that had everything to do with protecting the Bishop and the Diocese and nothing to do with protecting children, searching for victims and getting Gibson out of ministry and into the hands of the criminal justice system. I know of one, the survivor told me himself.
Someone in the Diocese of Scranton has the names of other victims. The Victim’s Assistance Coordinator gave me a name of another victim along with his contact information. (Not the one I alluded to in the previous paragraph.)
I have responded to emails, phone calls and blog comments from classmates of mine, from classmates of my siblings, from siblings of other potential survivors and from parents of Gibson’s other targets.
The magic number is not FOUR. The Bishop of Scranton needs to come clean, now. Not only on Robert Gibson, but on at least TWENTY-FIVE identified Catholic Priests and lay officials of the diocese that have credible allegations of criminal sexual assault on boys, girls and vulnerable adults. Former Bishops have covered up and moved these monsters around the diocese allowing them access to fresh pools of potential victims. The Bishops, only concerned with keeping allegations quiet and victims isolated, showed a reckless disregard for the safety and wellbeing of children in the diocese by moving Gibson and other monsters just like him from parish to parish. And when the heat was too much, they moved Gibson to Missouri. They put him in a Catholic “safe house”. He is still there in Missouri, outside of the jurisdiction that could have tried him for the rapes and sexual assaults he committed over his career.
Just as a recap from a post I did in October 2008, Robert Gibson’s history of assignments:
1959-65 Scranton, PA St. Paul, 1510 Penn Ave. Priests: John J. Vaughan(Vicar Forane, Dean), Joseph F. Ryan, Joseph R. Doggett(’59), Francis A. Conlan(’60-62), Robert J. Gibson
School: 7 Sisters of the I.H.M. 1 lay teacher 484 pupils High school: 10 Sisters of the I.H.M. 280 pupils
Mission: St. Clare’s School: Sisters of the I.H.M. 7 Lay teacher 1 2215 Washington Ave. 401 pupils.
1966-67 directory not available (
1968-1970 Stroudsburg, PA St. Matthew’s, 200 Brodhead Ave. Priests: Thomas J. Cawley,Robert J. Gibson, John J. Bendik
St Matthews School: 7 Sisters I.H.M. 2 lay teachers 311 pupils Missions: St. Luke’s, Stroudsburg; St. John’s, Bushkill; St. Mark’s, Delaware Water Gap
1971-1974 Stroudsburg, PA St. Luke’s, 906 Main St. Priests: Francis G. Barrett, Robert J. Gibson In residence: John J. Bendik Mission: St. Mark’s, Delaware Water Gap.
St Matthews School, East Stroudsburg, Notre Dame Junior/Senior High School.
1975-82 Brodheadsville, PA Our Lady Queen of Peace Church Priest: Robert J. Gibson
Mission: Jonas, Holy Family.
School: Still associated with St. Matthew’s and Notre Dame
1983 Conyngham, PA St. John Bosco Priest: Robert J. Gibson
1984-95 Canadensis, PA St. Bernadette Church Priest: Robert J. Gibson
Mission: Promised Land, Our Lady of Fatima
1996 -1997 Kingston, PA St. Ignatius, 339 N. Maple Ave. Priests: F. Allan Conlan, Glenn E. McGreary, Joseph B. Wilson In res., Robert J. Gibson Chapel—St. Ann’s
1998-2008 Unassigned or leave of absence. In the case of Fr. Gibson, he was sequestered in the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Missouri and now is reported to be in a hospital in the Ditmer area. The report is from the Diocese. I do not put much stock in the word of the Diocesan spokespeople, they seem to be accomplished liars.
The latest contact was from a family member of a probable victim of Gibson. He came after me on the timeline. I can’t help but feel a little responsible. I didn’t stop him. I didn’t kill him when I had the opportunity. I didn’t turn him in, he had me completely terrorized. I know intellectually that it was not my fault. But the voice in my head hasn’t processed that yet.
Postscript: My middle son is one of the most brilliant minds I have ever known (from his mom’s end of the gene pool). He was counting on his hands as my oldest son’s “love interest” was quizing him on the classic movies he should be familiar with as a modern, well healed male in the 21st century. He was counting off the movies he had seen from her extensive list in binary (his world seems to spin on a slightly different axis, and that makes him a force of nature).
When he got to 4 I started laughing. If you are as smart as he, you know what finger “4″ is on when counting in Binary. That knowledge in hand, so to speak, I would like to offer something to the Diocese of Sranton. I got your “four” right here.
I am providing a link to the article ” Why Did the Bishop of Scranton, PA Resign?”
The article appears on the Nation Catholic Reporter on 14 September 2009. This article lays out a cogent explanation of why Bishop Martino was allowed to retire/forced out of the curia in Scranton.
While I have my own reasons for being happy to see him go, I think that a thorough cleaning of the staff of the Chancery needs to be completed. The next bishop should address problems head on, including the problem of pedophile priests, past and present who continue to enjoy the protection and financial support of this diocese at the expense of the parishioners.
You have to appreciate the facial reactions in the above photo of Scranton Auxiliary Bishop John M. Dougherty (whose resignation was also announced) and Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali. They don’t look like they are buying Bishop Martino’s comments either.
It is time to open the records and come clean on the damage that was done to children and vulnerable adults at the hands of sexual predator priests and the cover up that followed. That cover up continues to this day.
The parishioners of the Diocese of Scranton need to ask from where all the money to protect pedophiles is being drawn. Ask what programs are suffering to keep the great, terrible secret from seeing the light of day.
News Flash…. The Sex Abuse Scandal is not over!
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Coverage of the resignation of the Bishop of Scranton from PAHOMEPAGE.com and the news team at WBRE, Channel 28.
The reason cited for the resignation of the bishop was his health. I am sure that there is much more to the story. As I have stated in the past, and have provided proof from the Diocese of Scranton’s own paperwork, “health issues” are a convenient excuse for removal of priests from their positions. It seems that it can apply to the bishop as well. It is tough to listen to him say how well he feels and then a few minutes later lament that health is the reason for his stepping down. As with anything from this diocese, there are many mixed messages and many unanswered questions.
Like many others, I await for the real story of this resignation to come out.
Video of this morning’s press conference announcing the acceptance of Bishop Martino’s resignation by the Pope is available from the TimesLeader Website.
Comments by Cardinal Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and outgoing Bishop of Scranton, Joseph Martino can be heard along with a brief question and answer period.
I will post my comments later. Some of us still have jobs.
On the Diocese of Scranton website is an announcement regarding a press conference next week, presumably to announce the resignation of Bishop Martino.
The Announcement reads:
Diocese of Scranton To Make Announcement
The Diocese of Scranton will conduct a news conference this Monday, Aug. 31, at 10 a.m. The news conference is not open to the public, and the location cannot be disclosed.
The news conference will be broadcast live on Catholic Television: CTV. Afterward, a video of the news conference can be viewed on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseofscranton.org
There will be no comment from the Diocese prior to the news conference.
The comment boards on the Scranton Times-Tribune website are chock full of posts, mostly in favor of the Patriarch of the Electric City’s impending departure. There are still apologists and staunch supporters of the bishop that are placing blame on “liberals” for Martino’s resignation. Funny, looking back over his tenure one can find all kinds of evidence that he was the architect of his own demise.
One of the biggest discussion points in the comment threads I have read today imply that he is leaving for health reasons. Flags should be going up on this idea. When a priest in this diocese disappears for “health” reasons, there is usually something a lot more sinister at work. Father Robert Gibson, the man who raped me when I was 13, was removed for “health” reasons. I am sure that if you go down the list of the notorious priests of the Diocese of Scranton, at least the list that is public knowledge, you will find all kinds of retirements and early departures for “health” reasons.
The Diocese is keeping the location of the news conference a secret and will not allow the public to attend. Why be open and forthright when you can be secretive and closed off? Abuse has always flourished in an environment of secrecy. Abuse has always thrived in the Diocese of Scranton.
I have some questions for the Chancellor of the Diocese. Really, you think waiting until Monday to explain what is going on is a good idea? You don’t think that others will get control of this story? In an information vacuum, other ideas will take hold and will be hard to displace because you have waited so long to tell people. Are you afraid that an angry mob of torch bearing peasants will march on the cathedral? Or is it a simple case of not yet knowing which lie to tell that may seem to placate the masses?
Perhaps the Bully of Wyoming Avenue is busy preparing his farewell encyclical. My advise to the bishop is this, don’t go away mad, just go away!
Bishop Dougherty, Mr. Earley and Mr. Genello should tender their resignations right along with the boss. Bishop Timlin should also borrow a pick-up truck, load up the La-Z-Boy and move on out to the country. Now is the time to clean house in Scranton!
Bishop Martino, this is your long distance dedication:
A report published on the Scranton Times-Tribune website and discussed on the National Catholic Reporter today has Bishop Joseph Martino, the patriarch of the Diocese of Scranton, moving out of the bishop’s residence near St Peter’s Cathedral in downtown Scranton. He is alleged to be taking up residence the Fatima Renewal Center near Dalton, Pennsylvania. Just when I get accustomed to calling him the Bully of Wyoming Avenue, he changes his address!
It strikes me that Bishop Martino has alienated so many groups (teachers, parishioners of parishes he has closed, democrats, victims of his pedophile priests, parade organizers, etc…) that there may be no one left in the Electric City who can tolerate his presence.
The reason for the move is yet to be explained. His mouthpiece, Bill Genello has not put the spin out on this one yet. In the absence of an explanation, no matter how contrived by the diocesan spin machine, the mind is left to come up with any number of reasons for the change of residence. I found it entertaining that the Bishop had some guy in a pick-up truck swing by for a desk, an easy chair and some other items to take up to Dalton. I makes him look just like a regular guy calling a buddy for a hand moving his stuff.
The question that remains is why is the shepherd abandoning his flock for the suburbs? Is this the result of a vote of “No Confidence” from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church? Rumors of a need for a change are mentioned in the National Catholic Reporter article. Have they had enough of the bishop’s antics? Is there some medical reason for his departure? While I am no fan of this Bishop, I do hope, sincerely, that this move is not the result of a serious medical condition.
Or is it something more sinister. When Father Gibson, my perp, was pulled from his last parish he was sent to a “renewal center”. You know the kind of place that caters to priests that have committed some crime or have become addicted to alcohol, drugs, alter boys, etc… Since he is not being moved out of state, like they have done with other priests with the intention of keeping them one step ahead of the sheriff, I am assuming it is to recalibrate him.
I have to admit, I would love for this to be the result of a U.S. Attorney probe into the Diocese’s activities to commit fraud, hide felons, and endanger children. But it could just as easily be that the Direct TV reception is better in Dalton and that the reception for the Phillies games is all the more clearer outside of the city.
I hope he enjoys the quiet and solitude. Perhaps he will come to reflect on the damage he has done not only to his flock but to those who were cast out of the flock by other shepherds in his organization. Maybe he will have a chance to hear the voice of some higher power telling him to do the right and moral thing. That voice seems to have been unable to sway him within the city limits of Scranton. If you get the notion, your excellency, how about coming clean on all your pedophile priests? Why not go on the road to all the parishes and schools that have had a predator priest and look for other victims? Why not expend diocesan resources on helping people instead of shielding pedophiles and paying public relation firms and lawyers to intimidate and isolate victims? Why not try to come across as more of a human and less of a bully.
It is all too much to ask for. Maybe we will eventually find out why he is distancing himself from the people he is supposed to serve. But for now, I think his new neighbors should be vigilant. There is a reason he has moved and given this diocese’s track record, I am confident something wicked this way comes.
Enjoy the tune by Billy Joel, your excellency!
P.S. Can anyone tell me what became of Father Dave Bechtel? He was the priest who would spend his days writing comments and countering other comments on the Scranton Times-Tribune Website. He is a young priest who seems to have been overly protective of the Bishop when negative comments appeared in response to the paper’s articles on the diocese or on the Bishop in particular. Father Bechtel has seemingly gone dark. Perhaps he was told to stop “defending” the Bishop? Perhaps he knows something that we don’t. Come on Father Dave, tell us what is happening, I’ll put up your comments for the world to read.
During January and February 2009, we exchanged letters on the topic of Father Robert J. Gibson who, as you are well aware, sexually abused and raped me as a 13 year old child in the rectory of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania , while on vacation at Walt Disney World and on a trip to New York City. All of these events took place in 1974 when I was an eighth grader or rising freshman at Notre Dame Junior/Senior High School in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. As of this writing I am still not satisfied with the action taken by you or your representatives on this matter.
From my vantage point, I see the Diocese of Scranton as a significant player in the policy of excusing and enabling the sex crimes committed by pedophile priests in your curia. I believe that your administration and the administrations of Bishop Timlin and the previous bishops of Scranton buried reports, prevented and delayed reports to civil authorities in order to outlast the statute of limitations. I believe that the bishops acted in a blatantly criminal and arrogant manner to obstruct justice. I have no doubt that victims came to the Diocese and sought help, justice and guidance. I am sure that many feel, as I do, that they were betrayed and violated all over again.
You and your predecessors had ample opportunities to act swiftly to protect children and vulnerable adults and to limit the number of victims of priests who were acting outside of the law and the church. The bishops of Scranton, the chancery, the priests who have known about the actions of their brother priests and did nothing but look the other way all failed the victims, the parishioners of the Diocese and their God.
Perhaps your time in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia tempered your attitude towards victims. All of Pennsylvania’s Catholic Diocese share a common legacy of secrecy and deceit. I see your administration as a continuation of an arrogant, self serving attitude by those who feel entitled by their position to act any way they see appropriate in order to secure the secular trappings that accompany high office in the Roman Catholic Church. At some point it stops being about God, doesn’t it?
Based on our correspondence, your writings, public statements and my observations of your actions in your Diocese through media outlets that cover you, I am convinced that you selectively choose those moral issues that you so vehemently champion. Your zealous defense of conservative Catholic positions seems out of step with your Diocese’s deafening silence when it comes to the issue of the priest sex scandal. It must be very easy for you to compartmentalize your positions. It must be simple to attack people and issues that are external to the walls of the Chancery on Wyoming Avenue. It is alright to use the tactics of a bully on the likes of Senator Casey, Vice President Biden, and James Calderone or to threaten to close the doors of the Cathedral on St. Patrick’s Day if the parade isn’t your liking. You must enjoy the thought of calling the administrators and faculties of the Catholic Colleges and Universities to task on health and diversity issues or to storm into a church forum and attempt to dictate the votes of the parishioners in accordance with your views. Why, then, do you remain silent in your pastoral letters, actions and statements about the epidemic of sexual crime/abuse within your own diocese? Why have you taken no action against those that have committed these heinous crimes? Why have you taken no action against those in your diocese who turned the other way or actively sought to cover up or delay reporting the sex crimes committed against children, adolescents and vulnerable adults in your diocese?
On a very personal level, I have not been satisfied with the treatment I have received while dealing with your Chancery. Your responses to my letters and the responses from your representatives indicate that your diocese remains unwilling to take the serious actions required to safeguard the children of your diocese from predators wearing roman collars.
You have failed to adequately answer my questions on actions taken against Father Gibson to include canonical proceedings to defrock him. Were he to die today, I have no doubt that the Catholic Church would give him a funeral where his great works as a priest would be celebrated. I am sure the names of his victims will never be mentioned. For the record, I have more names than the four unnamed victims stipulated to by you through your representatives. I am sure that he will be carried to his grave in a manner befitting an exalted and faithful servant of God. That will be a lie perpetuated by you! I doubt we, his victims, will be notified of his death or invited to the celebration of his priestly life. That would not be in keeping with your Diocese’s business model. I would show up, to pay my last respects.
Why has the Diocese of Scranton failed to notify the parishes and schools to which Father Gibson has been assigned of his admitted actions? There are more of his victims out there who may have run across Gibson at any one of his assignments including St Paul’s Parish in Scranton, St. Clare’s School, St Matthews in East Stroudsburg, St. Matthews School in East Stroudsburg (now known as Notre Dame Elementary School), Notre Dame High School in East Stroudsburg, St. Marks in Delaware Water Gap, St. Luke’s in Stroudsburg, Our Lady Queen of Pease in Brodheadsville, Holy Family in Jonas, St. John Bosco in Conyngham (my, that was a short 6 month assignment), St Bernadette’s Church in Canadensis, Monsignor McGugh Elementary School and St. Ignatius in Kingston. You just don’t want to be bothered by all the mess that would accompany those victims coming forward. I’m sure your staff found his love of alcohol an excellent cover story for his removal from at least one of these assignments. You would rather they remain silent and isolated. You care nothing of the damage done to their lives, families and their faith. Multiply that damage by the number of other victims of the other priests that your Diocese has protected over the years and you will begin to see the magnitude of the problem.
What steps have been taken to determine if others knew of Father Gibson’s crimes but turned their backs or enabled him to continuing abusing? I cannot believe priests in residence at rectories where Father Gibson lived did not find his obsessions with boys as odd. One other victim told me that a priest, still in service to the diocese today, walked in on them while Father Gibson was molesting the boy and simply left the room. A nun walked in on a heated, very physical argument in the school chapel between myself and Father Gibson. No action was ever taken. It is easy to turn away. All evil needs to thrive is for good people to do nothing.
The Bishops and Auxiliary Bishops, the Chancellors and the Episcopal Vicars who have held office in the Diocese of Scranton knew of the actions of this priest and far too many others. You are all complicit in the crimes that have been committed by your lack of action. Is not a sin of omission still a sin? Is there not one person of moral character among you that is willing to stand up and say this was a terrible wrong?
You have extended an invitation for me to meet with you. At this time I must politely decline that invitation. Traveling to Scranton to meet with you would be a complete waste of my time. I do not need to be the next target of your bullying. My greatest fear, however, is that you would enjoy the salacious details of the rapes, molestation, and abuse I suffered at Father Gibson’s hands.
I do hope that someday we will have the opportunity to meet. I would love to know what kind of man would protect monsters like Father Gibson. In the meantime, when you are saying mass in a chapel, your Cathedral, or any of the churches that Father Gibson defiled through his deviant, immoral and criminal activities, I want you to think about the children you have failed, the families that have been wrecked and the souls destroyed because men like you did nothing. At the moment of consecration, I want that flash of consciousness of the suffering of the victims of your priests to come over you. Then perhaps, you will understand.
My wife told me, when I first shared my secret with her, that I would be angry when I found out who knew that Gibson was a pedophile and who was protecting him. She was right. I am angry at the entire apparatus that has protected him and the other perp priests in the Scranton Diocese. Some emails and blog posts that I have read in the last few days have brought it all into some clarity.
Let’s take a look at the litany of the protectors of the child rapists.
- Bishop Timlin actively protected several priests. He seems to have deftly moved perps from parish to parish or from parish to treatment center all on the down low.
- Bishop Martino inherited the mess from his predecessors. However, he cast his lot when he continued to keep the secrets of the rapist priests. He is also, by many accounts, a bit of a bully. This makes him difficult to communicate with and he prefers sending other people to do what the boss should do. He sent his auxiliary Bishop to impose his will on St Patrick’s Day organizers in the Electric City. He has his Chancellor and his Victim’s Advocate speak in his stead to victims. That seems to smack of cowardice. It may be my 23+ years in the Navy speaking, but the axiom fits here - “When in command, command”. Translation – When you are in charge, be in charge and take responsibility. Man up!
- Bishop DiLorenzo, currently the Bishop of Richmond, Virginia. He served as an auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Scranton. Nice to know that the Bishop of the Diocese in which I currently live may have had a hand in protecting my rapist and has ties to the Electric City Catholic Pedophile Conspiracy. I bet he knows where some of the priests are hidden!
- Bishop Dougherty, the current auxiliary Bishop and former Chancellor of the Diocese of Scranton. As chancellor and now as auxiliary bishop he would be in the know on the extent of the misconduct and felonious activities of diocesan pedophiles. I wonder if auxiliary bishops are like vice presidents. It is a great title, but they don’t seem to have much to do except for the boss’s dirty work and hope that a better gig comes along.
- James Earley, Chancellor of the Diocese of Scranton. His signature is on most of the correspondence from the Diocese to victims. He is the one who writes the letters to civil authorities (if prodded enough or when the diocese is cornered). This man knows the names of the priests who are committing crimes. I wonder how much they pay him to keep silent.
- Father Richard Locke, Episcopal Vicar. He is the one that tracks all the personnel issues involving clergy. I bet his file cabinet is chock full of felonious activity.
- Monsignor John Bendik. I have to ask, Monsignor what did you think Gibson was doing in the St. Luke’s rectory with all those boys in the 1970′s? You may have walked in on inappropriate behavior, you must have seen something? And yet you kept your silence. Your name also appears in court cases for other priests accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. So close to the flame so many times! I wonder if your reward for silence is your current position as Monsignor?
- The Legal Staff- I am not sure who the attorneys for the Diocese are. It is probably best that I don’t name the firm here. They are the pit bulls employed by Bishop Martino to insure that the victims remain in their place. These are the people who cover the tracks of the guilty and those that protect them. You guys should be really proud.
- The Comptroller of the Diocese. Follow the money! They were able to get Al Capone because, when it came down to it, the bookkeeper gave him up. Where does all the money go? How much is paid to keep perp priests out of sight and away from the glaring light of truth? How much is spent on lawyers who are there to revisit the pain on victims? How much is spent on the meager payments to victims in those rare instances where a token settlement is paid to the victim? Where do they hide the money in the diocesan accounts? Where are the settlements recorded in the books? How much do you pay for insurance in case another priest turns out to be a serial child rapist? I bet those premiums are unpleasant!
- Accounts Payable Supervisor. Who writes the checks or pays cash to the counseling centers that provide therapy to the protected priests? How much is being paid out for counseling expenses for victims? The person making these payments must know why they are made. Perhaps some trusted lieutenant to the Bishop is personally overseeing those payments. Your payments are not that far from the payment made to Judas. Think about it!
- The Diocesan Review Board: Sister Celilia Meighan, RSM; Monsignor Peter Madus,V.F.; Mr. Donald Nicastro; Mr. Joseph Knecht; Carl Frank, Esq. I hope you all realize that your job is to protect children and those who are preyed upon by priests and other diocesan employees who commit crimes. If you see your job as protecting the Bishop of Scranton, I would say you are doing a great disservice to your faith, the parishioners and the truth. I recommend that, if you have a spine, you resign in protest.
- Teachers and Administrators at the schools where these men preyed on victims. I cannot believe that no one noticed anything. Hell, I had a nun walk in on a very ugly incident and she turned and walked away! In my case I have little doubt that someone at Notre Dame knew Gibson was a pedophile. Why was nothing done? The current principal was my 9th grade English teacher, he has been at that school for many years. I wonder how much he knows? I wonder how many more victims he can name? I am not accusing him of complicity. I do respect the man, I hope that anything he knows is after the fact. I could not stand another disappointment.
- The Parishioners in the Diocese. When are you people going to get it? They are spending your money, the money you tithe, to protect pedophiles. Is that what you want? If it is, just keep stroking your checks. You are complicit by not demanding that the Bishop be accountable.
- The District Attorneys for the counties in the Diocese. When are you people going to act? Why do you give the Diocese a free pass and allow them to quietly take care of their own? If this was any other company, someone would be in handcuffs. The Diocese does not seem to be that far away from being an organized crime enterprise. Law enforcement should be doing investigations and the justice system should be the final arbiter of the truth. Stop allowing the Diocese to police itself.
The Diocese of Scranton is a safe haven for pedophiles as long as the people listed above continue to support the priests. It is time for a change in the way business is done in Scranton!
Abuse thrives in an environment of secrecy! These people are enablers of abuse as long as they keep the Bishops’ secrets.
I follow what is happening in Scranton through the Scranton Times – Tribune Website, and yes, I specifically mine the site for any nuggets of information that pertain to the Diocese and sexual abuse cases. Sometimes the site yields other gems on the goings on in the Electric City. For instance, on February 19th, the headline read “Hot Topic: Bishop Warns Irish Planners in Scranton”. It seems the Bishop is determined to “prevent scandal”, at a St Patrick’s Parade. Good luck with that! Today’s headline “…Parade will comply with bishop’s abortion-rites ban” shows that the Diocese still has a grip on the important things in life.
According to the article, the diocese issued a letter warning Irish American groups that the bishop may close St. Peters Cathedral during St Patrick’s Day celebration if pro choice honorees are selected to march or speak in the parade. The letter was signed by the Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, the Most Reverend John M. Dougherty. Dougherty, now that is a fine Irish Irish name. Nice touch, don’t you think?
The Diocese of Scranton is willing to shut down churches, deny daily mass and bully Irish American groups, even those that are not Catholic organizations, to “prevent scandal”. This is the same organization that supports hiding pedophile priests. I think that they might have their “prevent scandal” priorities a wee bit out of whack.
I think it would be a fine idea to gather victims of sex crimes committed by Catholic Priests in the Diocese of Scranton and invite us to march in the Parade. I can claim Irish heritage,I could easily be sporting the green for the day. Do you think that the bishop, through his auxiliary bishop (the one with the Irish surname), would close the cathedral to “prevent scandal” if we all showed up to support our Irish Heritage and draw attention to the issue of Priest Sexual abuse in the Diocese of Scranton?
The Parade is going to be held on Saturday March 14, 2009. For information on the Parade please see the Scranton St. Patrick’s Day Parade website
Maybe there will be some surprises this year! Erin Go Bragh!