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Monsignor Harry J. Byrne, JCD * * * Comment/contact:larchstar@aol.com

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Location: 3103 Arlington Avenue,, Bronx, NY 10463, United States

January 31, 2009

SPEAK UP! AND PERISH!

In my last blog post, I tried to make the point that as Catholics we accept the voice of the Pope on the narrow range of basic matters of faith and morals, but feel free to comment, or even to disagree, on his selected priorities and on polices and practices that he has established on his own human terms. At issue was his canceling of the excommunication of four schismatic bishops, who had rejected the ecclesiology of Vatican Council II, with one of them espousing anti-Semitic views. I was unhappy that Benedict XVI had received back the four dissidents without their rejecting anti-Semitism and and agreeing to accept the documents of Vatican II. The response to my blog was, for the most part, favorable. A few respondents, however, were dismayed at my criticism of Benedict. After all, he is now our Pope! We must go along with the current pope in all matters!

Is that really true? In that blog, I pointed out that John XXIII had assembled bishops from around the world in Vatican Council II, which, in its document "Nostra Aetate", was a landmark in forging congenial relations with the Jewish community. John had endeared himself personally to the Jews by many of his actions. He had greeted a Jewish group, saying, "I am Joseph, your brother." As a papal nuncio prior to becoming pope, he had authorized the issuing of Catholic baptismal certificates to help Jews escape the Nazi death traps.


John Paul II had established good relations with the Jewish community from his days in Poland and on through his papacy. Among other things, he had established diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Israel; had visited Israel and prayed at the Western Wall. He was not the collegially minded John XXIII, but was noted for dominating the many Synods of Bishops, to the diminution of the influence of the gathered bishops. He has also been perceived as unhappy with some of the Vatican II reforms. He has, to some degree, diminished the role of the laity in the liturgy. He has weakened the collegial influence of the national conferences of bishops, requiring unanimous consent by the bishops to its policy conclusions. Without unanimity, the matter goes to him!


My blog post pointed out the different policy position of these three popes on relations with the Jews and on their different attitudes toward collegial policy-making. I suggested that the faithful were quite free to choose which of the popes they preferred in light of their relationship towards the Jewish community and on their attitude towards the reforms of Vatican II, especially regarding collegiality.


Yesterday in his N Y Times column, Peter Steinfels, took my thought a big step forward. He reported the anger of much of the Jewish world at Benedict's recent reception of four dissident bishops, one of whom has public espoused anti-Semitic views. He reported the concern of many of the faithful that the four dissidents, each of whom had separated from the Church by rejecting Vatican II, had been un-excommunicated without making any change in their dissenting views. Steinfels suggests that this dissident, ultra-conservative group has received a welcome that has not been and will not be extended to the non-schismatic faithful, who espouse liberation theology or the ordination of women. The columnist goes on to say that "the further problem, for the Catholics, no less than for the Jews, is puzzlement about the pope and his leadership".

Steinfels goes further. He wonders why not one of our 433 bishops have voiced some misgivings about Benedict's action. Bishop Wilton Gregory, a USCCB official, has merely said that Catholics were "embarrassed" by this episode. But Steinfels continues, "No bishop, it appears has added a public word of doubt about the wisdom of Pope Benedict's action or wondered out loud how it came about".

Sic dixit Steinfels! He gives facts and his opinion. But the larger question lies ahead:"Why?" Is a bishop like a corporate officer or a branch manager, who can say nothing critical about the boss? Where is the much touted, but ignored, collegiality? We know that bishops are regularly promoted to bigger dioceses and power positions, if - an important "if" - the boss likes them. Crude? Yes. But that's the answer to why bishops don't speak up. It's in the structure and in the atmosphere. What to do about it? Comments welcome!

4 Comments:

Anonymous Michael Webb said...

Dear Father
I attend the Mass of Paul VI, in English at my local parish. I live in Sydney, Australia.
I support the removal of the excommunications. This is because I feel that this now places the onus upon the SSPX bishops to be obedient to the Pope and to be in communion with the other bishops in a very real practical day to day sense and not in theory or academically alleging to be.
Whislt there are some conspiracy theorists and Holocaust minimalists amongst the SSPX, I think for the most part that most of them are not.
The Church is a big place and in line with divine charity that is not aligned with political 'left' or 'right' we all need to welcome them into fuller communion.
Whilst I do not go along with the self justicatory hostility of the SSPX they do in fact make many valid points about the troubles brought by bishops, priests and religious who still haven't worled out that Vatican II needs to be interpreted ONLY in the light of Catholic Tradition whcih includes all the preceding Church Councils.

February 2, 2009 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Briney said...

This is another great post. If only the church had more 80+ year old priests; they seem to understand the nature of the church. John O'Malley's "What Happened at Vatican II" is shaping up as a great read.

February 4, 2009 at 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE DISHONORING OF MY REGIMENT!
My formerly honored regiment of Catholic priests has been disgraced by an infiltration of pedophiles into its ranks. I and my colleagues bear that dark shadow to this day. It’s cause: the failure of many bishops to obey Canon 1395. Yes, it’s that simple! The canon orders punishment for a priest, who sexually abuses a minor. Punishment, not therapy! Muchless secret reassignment with damage to more children! Furthermore, no bishop has been punished by his superiors,as required by Canon 1389, for failure to enforce Canon 1395. Regardless of good intentions, bishops and their superiors are responsible for the effects of what they do or fail to do under their job descriptions. A tiny minority of priests abused children; an estimated two thirds of the nation’s bishops secretly reassigned abusers.

Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor, John Paul II have, on their visits here,
apologized for this shameful abuse. But neither has shown that he understands the problem. If a problem is not understood, it cannot be solved. Both popes see the problem residing in individual priests. No finger is pointed at a bishop. Benedict in Australia recently declared, “I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops in combatting this evil”. Sorry! Benedict has it backwards. He should ask the bishops to listen to and work with the laity. They understand the source of the problem; our bishops, for the most part, do not! In his trip to the US, Benedict on April 15, 2008 apologized for the pain caused by the sexual abuse phenomenon. He declared that it had “been badly handled”. Use of the passive voice enabled him to avoid saying by whom it had been badly handled.

John Paul II also seems to have had it backwards. On April 23, 2002, addressing the US cardinals, who had been summoned to Rome, he spoke of “how the Church will help society to understand and deal with the crisis”. Its arrogance, unintended as it may be, betrays the depth of his misunderstanding: it was society through its media, district attorneys, and trial lawyers that had forced the Church to face its own problem! Later he would reward Cardinal Bernard Law, driven from Boston by his priests and people as poster-boy for those bishops reassigning abusers, to a prestigious church in Rome, with a six-figure salary, and seats on nine governing commissions!

John Paul spoke of “the great harm done by some priests…”. Regarding their superiors, he said, “…many are offended at the way in which the Church’s leaders ARE PERCEIVED to have acted…”. In the Pope’s mind, in the clericalism cast of mind, he and bishops are immunized from direct criticism. John Paul then proceeded to call for “a purification of the entire Catholic community”. Pardon me, please! Do not dare to try to deflect blame on the Catholic community. It belongs on the few miscreant priests and the many miscreant bishops. It is these latter who have been judged responsible, not just by the press, but by our civil courts and judicial system to the tune of $2 billion, not the bishops’ own money, but the contributions of the faithful!

The clerical mentality - trying constantly to project an ideal, even if false, image of Church - is the underlying cause of thousands of young people damaged, $2 billion shot, three dioceses bankrupted, and now, in the latest phase, innocent priests becoming victims of allegations of incidents two or three decades past, inadequately investigated by their bishops.

The US Bishops’ Dallas Charter has been a great success in its programs to protect children by vetting personnel and developing educational and awareness programs. As to its provisions to remove allegedly abusive priests, it has been severely criticized by the bishops’ own National Review Board, Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ and eminent canonists for its lack of proportionality - a pat on the bottom treated equally as serial rape, the “one strike, you’re out” rule, and the abandonment of any statute of limitations. The bishop is constituted arresting officer, prosecutor, judge, and appellant bench - an unworkable combination of conflicting roles. Many instances of innocent priests being removed from ministry are now surfacing. Appeals to the US Conference of Bishops have been made, without success, to revisit and amend the Charter’s flawed, purportedly judicial structure. Do the bishops fear that the Church would appear to victims’ groups and the public as backing off its initial determination to reform? If so, here again, clericalism’s cast of mind puts a desirable Church image ahead of the reality of truth and justice.

The Church will begin to solve its problems and resolve its tensions, when, and only when, clericalism and its adherents reverse priorities and place truth and justice ahead of institutional image.

* * *

Here is Monsignor Harry’s blogger profile from his website.

Msgr. Harry J. Byrne
Industry: Religion
Occupation: Retired Clergyman
Location: 5655 Arlington Avenue, : Bronx, NY 10471 : United States
About Me
Public school education developed interests in writing and public discussion. High school at Iona Prep with the Christian Brothers disclosed the broad horizons of Christian philosophy, art, and history. Seminary studies prepared for ministry. Graduate studies in Canon Law prepared for work in church governance. Involvement in community and governmental bodies over the years showed the need for and the value of wide citizen participation in community and governmental affairs. Pastoral ministry disclosed the importance of lay participation in Church life and governance. The mindset of clericalism can be opened by conversation of bishops with today’s educated and articulate laity. Respectful dialogue brings helpful sharing of insights on both sides and encourages the deepening of knowledge and the strengthening of relationships. It is the hope of this site to carry on something of this conversation. CONTACT e-mail: larchstar@aol.com

Interests
Human rights vis a vis church governance and civil governance; First Amendment concerns; Church reform efforts.



This entry was posted on Friday, August 1, 2008 at 3:00 am and is filed under Must Read, Abuse and Cover Up, Reform, Restructuring, Friends and Partners, Church Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



40 Responses to “MUST READ: THE DISHONORING OF MY REGIMENT!”
Deanna Leonti Says:

August 1, 2008 at 6:20 am
I wouldn’t T-R-U-S-T this one…he wants you to go to his web-site.
I am sure that he could have posted this here on this web-site or SNAP web-site himself.
what does he mean by this; “The mindset of clericalism can be opened by conversation of bishops with today’s educated and articulate laity”.

“When a “man” becomes pope;
- He finds in theory he has full power over the Roman Catholic Church and every decree requires his approval. He can obey or ignore precedent. He can set aside tradition, write or rewrtie constitutions, proclaim dogmas on “his” own and change matters, the pope is supposed to seek counsel and advice from the College of Cardinals, he is empowered to “make up his own mind” and take action. On matters of high policy, he may do as John XXIII did when, without calling in the curia cardinals for their views, he decided to go ahead with the Ecumenical Council.
-He finds he can be judged by no man. He is tantamount to a soverign who cannot be brought to court.
I do not know if this is true or not, however this was found in “The Incredible Book of Vatican Facts & Papal Curiosities” by -Nino Lo Bello-?

The church leaders have lots more information about our abuse than we do.

deanna

Thomas Michael Barnes Says:

August 1, 2008 at 11:07 am
I am sorry for the Monsignor’s pt of view but it is wrong. I am retired from government work and I worked with statistics all the time. Roughly 8% of Catholic priests in the USA in the last 50 years abused children or were credibly accused of abuse, not the 1%-4% that the church claims, depending on the venue. The church quite frankly is screwing around with the numbers. 8% is a huge number of priests to be diddling with kids. That is 8 priests out of 100. That is enough priests to destroy thousands of lives per 100 priests. In short, the churches’ numbers cannot be believed. So far, no outside agency that was not paid by the church has been allowed to look at the records. Until an objective audit is done, we will never know the true number of pedophiles. THe Monsignor, if he can be believed, has no idea of the full extent of the problem.

Paul Kendrick Says:

August 1, 2008 at 12:37 pm
It is interesting to note that Rev. Byrne takes absolutely no responsibility for his part in the cover up and transfer of priests who sexually abused children.
It is documented that Byrne and his brother priests did and said nothing when they knew or suspected that another priest was abusing kids. They looked the other way, thus enabling the abuse of innocent children. Byrne and his brother priests are also complicit in the abuse of children.
Finally, Byrne speaks of “false allegations,” yet, he does not support his claim with evidence.

kay ebeling Says:

August 1, 2008 at 12:47 pm
Always deflecting the blame. Always pointing the finger at someone else.

Aline Frybarger Says:

August 1, 2008 at 2:57 pm
The Dishonering of My Regiment!
This is a blockbuster statement because a Catholic priest is addressing the hidden tragedy about priests sexually abusing kids. So we fall all over this acknowledgement and the priest who wrote it. Msgr. Byrne does not know the half of it, nor does the laity because the bishops have carefully and purposely hid everything they could. Why? Because what Msgr. Bryne knows is small compared to what really happened. Msgr. Bryne, why do you think the bishops have fought so vigorously against giving information and setting up an audit on a national level where bishops volunteer the information????? It’s because They have much to hide. They are acting like they are hiding something. My story flies in the face of your article. I’m female. I was abused by more than one priest. I have spoken to survivors of priests here in the Lansing, Michigan Diocese and learned more names of priests who abused decades ago. These are NOT FALSE allegations. Also, half of the survivors of sexual abuse by priests as children who I have spoken to are females. The source of the problem starts at the top and the bishops carry out what the top dictates. Msgr. I appreciate your article, but you need to educate yourself about sexual abuse so that you truly know what you are talking about. Your comment on false allegations is sickening. My abuse at the hands of priests started in 1952 and ended in 1964. I have no idea of how the diocese investigated my telling of what happened. I received a horrible silence from the diocese. So my experience is ‘decades’ old and THEREFORE false. Priests and laity have failed miserably by looking the other way. This kind of abuse does not happen in a vacuum. Priests and Laity knew and CHOSE to look the other way. Most priests and laity are still choosing to look the other way. We need priests and laity to make a warm and sincere outreach to survivors at the grass roots level. The bishops need to devise a template of outreach to use in every diocese in the U.S. to seek and find survivors and face us survivors and do what it takes to help them. A SINCERE AND LOVING EFFORT IS, NEEDED NOT JUST TALK. Pope Benedict said to reach out and help the survivors. I asked the Msgr. in my diocese (Msgr. Murphy) if there was going to be an outreach to follow up Pope Benedicts visit. Msgr. Murphy recited that there were retreats for survivors with follow ups, the bishop spoke with survivors, and I could have gone to the special millenium “coming home” events in the year 2000 and could have been reconciled then. His hubris and ignorance were too big for me to repy.

lionel Says:

August 1, 2008 at 3:03 pm
The answer to Deanna Leonti’s question below.
“We” ,the laity, were not educated , dumb, and too stupid in the past to speak to the bishops for them to understand what we would have tried to convey concerning the life long destruction of people of many ages by catholic priests. That would leave me out of any conversation with bishops today, because I’m just as unnedoukatted, dummm, and stoopaid,as in the passsst.
The silence of the confessional works great for pedophile and ephebophile priests, doesn’t it Msgr ?

what does he mean by this ?; “The mindset of clericalism can be opened by conversation of bishops with today’s educated and articulate laity”.

lionel Says:

August 1, 2008 at 3:37 pm
Reading material for Msgr Bryne.
http://www.bishop-accountability.org/abusetrcker/

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/

Mike Drabik, Says:

August 1, 2008 at 3:42 pm
Monsignor Bryner:

After reading the responses of all the above (and especially Aline) I would say you might do better to re-write your article and entitle it “I and My Brothers Dishonored Our Own Regiment”. NO priest is guiltless in this matter if he remained silent - and silent is what 99% is what you and brothers have been. You’ll have the ear of survivors and their advocates after they see you suffering the aftermath from being a prophet - which will mean being threatened by your own bishop with being booted out of the brotherhood (or worse - out the Church) for having ‘dared’ to hold your bishop accountable.

Deanna Leonti Says:

August 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm
This answer is to lionel,
It was the educated priest & other religous orders who abused the uneducated, so why don’t the religous go and
communicate and articulate with the ages of the children of whom they abused? beter yet, go and leave their order and live the life of one of the abused, or one that they have abused.

deanna

Deanna Leonti Says:

August 1, 2008 at 5:04 pm
it is very sad indeed because these religous (priests & nuns )firmly believe that they suffer for the world and yet undermine the one’s who had and are suffering for them (nuns & priests) due to their physical, sexual and emotional abuses.
again perplexed…..

deanna

Jay Nelson Says:

August 1, 2008 at 5:34 pm
This pope and the last did understand the problem: they just didn’t care. Both of them have only been concerned about the scandal caused by lawsuits and exposure, not about the damage to victims and the laity. In 2001, then-Cardinal Ratzinger with John Paul’s approval issued “Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela” which re-established the pre-Vatican II cover-up even more strongly than ever before.

Because of that, the monsignor’s citation of Canon Law is irrelevant. The bishops have no say in the matter. As before, all roads lead to Rome.

Dom Tomasso Says:

August 1, 2008 at 5:38 pm
The dishonoring of my regiment has a hollow sound, by Monsignor Harry J Bryne JCD. I may be wrong, but,
what has he written or said about our sad, pittyful leadership before his retirement status. How many of his dishonored regiment has spoken up while all this has been going on. You’d think all this has happened in just the past twenty years. Wrong. It’s been going on for centuries but the list of reports from any clergy regarding abusive priests and enabiling bishops would be very hard to locate. Give me a break, please. In the last five years, I have not heard one of my parish clergy even comment on the abuse crises. Are they just stupid, or think we are stupid. Or is their vow of obedience and fear of what the biship might do to them more important than what God expects from them??????

Deanna Leonti Says:

August 1, 2008 at 6:16 pm
You know it does have a hollow sound. When scripture says lay your life down for a friend, just who’s life are they laying down for? the ones in their brotherhood? or the victims?

perplexed again?….

deanna

Paul Kendrick Says:

August 1, 2008 at 6:18 pm
I discovered the following comment by Hugh O’Regan, a senior official of Voice of the Faithful, on Harry Byrne’s blog.

O’Regan states, “Innocent priests are not protected and a simple accusation often is enough to ruin the accused forever. ” Like Byrne, O’Regan offers no documented evidence to support his claim.

When an allegation of clergy sexual abuse is received by church officials In my diocese (Maine) the diocesan investigator (a former deputy chief of police) initiates a preliminary investigation. The results of this investigation are then brought before a ten member review board (comprised of community members and a priest, not all are Catholic). After reviewing the evidence, the review board advises the bishop as to whether or not the alleged clergy abuser should be temporarily removed from public ministry pending further investigation. Advocates for those who are abused are as dedicated to preserving the integrity of this process as are ordained clergy.

Byrne and O’Regan might consider educating themselves further by studying “THE MYTH OF FALSE CLAIMS AND ACCUSATIONS OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE,” by Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C. (March 2007 - Revised July 2008).

Here are two excerpts:

“Patrick Schiltz, dean of the University of St. Thomas law school in Minnesota, said that over more than a decade he had defended Catholic dioceses against sexual-abuse lawsuits in more than 500 cases, and that he had concluded that ‘fewer than 10′ of those cases were based on false accusations. (New York Times, August 31, 2002).”

“No Catholic diocese nor any other source asserting that there have been significant numbers of false claims has provided any documentary evidence of the numbers. In the past several years a small number of accused priests have been exonerated by church-run investigations but there are not accurate statistics on such cases.”

“Some have claimed that the legislative ‘window’ which was opened in California resulted in a flood of false claims. In fact there were about 1200 new civil suits in California alleging sexual abuse as a result of the window. Of that number about 800-850 were claims against a Roman Catholic archdiocese, diocese of Religious Order. The attorneys who represented the claimants reported that there were only 3 claims that were false. These were instances when the person alleging abuse was actually making a false report.”

Finally, it has always seemed to me the words we use reveal much about the way we really think about an issue. Therefore, it is interesting for me to note that neither Byrne nor O’Regan took even one moment to recognize and share their thoughts about what it must be like for a child sex abuse victim to put aside their own desire for privacy when they report their abuse to help protect other children. Neither Byrne nor O’Regan seem to wonder what it must be like for a victim/survivor to relive the trauma, anguish, pain and suffering of their child sex abuse in such a public way. Yet, there are not adequate words to describe the courage and fortitude it takes for an abuse survivor to reveal their private guilt, shame and remorse to an often disbelieving and unsympathetic community.
______________________________

Hugh O’Regan said… http://harryjbyrne.blogspot.com/

Harry, I am a Regional Representative (California) for Voice of the Faithful, a victim and priests support group working for structural reforms within the Church. Your article points out that while the Dallas Accords was an important step forward its implementation was not perfect. Innocent priests are not protected and a simple accusation often is enough to ruin the accused forever. The issue of addressing the bishops and (now) two popes as a big part of the problem is not politically acceptable in certain sections of the Church. The real scandal was the movement and the secrecy which so many bishops were caught up in.

Your article mentions a lack of proportionality as well as a criticism of the “One Strike You’re Out” rule. Such criticism is also not politically correct but this time it is survivor support groups like my own VOTF which might object. The question which all Catholics need to grapple with is how do we change the culture of the Church in order to protect minors while protecting the rights of those innocent priests who are accused and yes, disgraced. Whom do we protect? Which is more important?

When it comes down to it, I believe that the Catholic people and most priests would say that we have an obligation to protect both but if it comes down to making a choice, the people and the priests will opt for protecting the victim. We as a Church should not have to make that choice, our task is not protect both. In order to do that I believe that we need to look at the root causes of the abuse. We need to look at the clerical culture, our sexual culture and yes take a fresh look at the strengths and weaknesses of continuing to demand celibacy for the diocesan clergy.

Hugh O’Regan

Margaret Kostouros Says:

August 1, 2008 at 6:20 pm
At least Monsignor Bryne should be given some credit for even addressing the problems openly on his blog. Maybe it isn’t enough but at least it is a start. I don’t know of any bishop except Bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Sydney, Australia who wrote a book called ”Confronting Power and Sex in the CatholicChurch” and who gave lectures in the U.S. giving some ray of light to procedures in the future.

Another problem I think within the church is so many of the lay people who don’t want to face reality and refuse to even discuss sexual abuse, but also abuse of power. I have had this experience. The laity could do something by with holding contributions. We(the laity) build and maintain the churches but haven’t any say in financial accountability. The so-called Finance Committees are a farce.

John Wirtz Says:

August 1, 2008 at 6:42 pm
Dom and Dianna (above), I think, tell it correctly. We Catholics have been brainwashed for hundreds of years - all to the benefit of those in power at whatever level. What change have you noticed in the ranks of the hierarchy since the pope made his remarks here and Australia? None. That’s because of pope’s remarks were nothing more than a public relation jest. Not one bishop has made a jesture toward helping victims/families. Why? Because all that any of then are interested in is promoting their own prestige and power. It’s gotten worse over the centuries to the point of infallibility. We are members of an organization that can do no wrong; Father can do no wrong. Big holy father is infallible. The whole organization is rotten corrupt. If the bishops were elected would you vote for any of these guys? Are you happy with your parish priest who steals,, lies, keeps silent over abuses in his organization? Are you proud to be of the Catholic sect? Then CHANGE IT. At least protect children in the future: get statute of limitations eliminated in your state.

Barbara Says:

August 1, 2008 at 7:32 pm
So here is a priest, retired, not tossed out who is saying the things we have been saying about bishops and popes and there is not one supportive comment to be seen. So we now we have a very good view of why a priest should not speak out and why most are just keeping their mouths shut because you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. It’s very sad!

Barbara

Greg Bullough Says:

August 1, 2008 at 8:36 pm
The Rt. Rev. Mr. Byrne does have one interesting point, and that is that the processes set
out to deal with abusive priests have shown the same sort of clericalism and concern for
form over substance as did the bishops responses before the Dallas Charter.

The same pendulum, swung the other way. Dioceses have instituted ‘review boards’
of sympathetic hand-picked Catholics who operate in secret and behind closed doors
on these cases where a public trial is denied 90% of the time due to expired statutes of
limitations. The justice is lousy all around.

On the other hand, it seems to me that Byrne has made some key mistakes:

1) He has ignored that the Church systematically denied any sort of institutional or
legal justice to victims who came forward at the time. He also ignores the tactics
that perpetrators used to keep children (who were deliberately kept ignorant of
the fact that even ‘Father’ wasn’t to touch them ‘down there’ since such education
was a ‘no-no.’)
2) His characterization of ‘tiny minority’ suggests he’s either in denial or ignorant. My
experience as a lay-person who was close to the Church was that it though it was
a not a majority of priests or religious that I’ve known who abused children or
vulnerable adults, it was not a ‘tiny minority’ by any stretch of the imagination. I
haven’t taken careful inventory, but it must be over 10 percent. Now either I’m just
real unlucky, or Byrne is very lucky. And no, most of the abusers I knew never would
have been counted in the John Jay study.
3) Experience shows that if you want to use the term ‘tiny minority’ use it about the
number of accused priests who turn out not to be guilty. Like big airplane crashes,
these get a lot of publicity because it’s so rare.

I do agree with the earlier poster that finding a wholly blameless priest (even though
some have reformed and learned) is a task worthy of Diogenes. Too many looked the
other way, chose career over the safety of people, or simply refused to believe what
was plainly before them.

To extend the ‘regimental’ metaphor, Byrne’s regiment is now being subjected to a sort
of ‘regimental punishment.’

He can point to his Bishops’ clericalism, but I find myself asking him, “what of your own?”

For his clinging to his “tiny minority” theory and his glossing over of the profession’s joint
culpability (let’s not forget that the bishops, their chancellors, vicars general, etc. are
all ‘brother priests’) strikes me as just a bit self-serving.

Augusta Wynn Says:

August 1, 2008 at 9:13 pm
If Cardinal Law had opened his drawer, pulled out a gun and shot any one of the plethora of pedophiles who stood in front of him, everyone would have been shocked and then forgiven him. We would have understood his rage at such heinous crimes against children and figured he just couldn’t take it anymore. Jesus himself couldn’t stand anyone who abused a child, as we remember from Scripture. Instead, Cardinal Law made them pastors, youth ministers, spiritual directors, boy scout troop leaders and after all that got a promotion to Rome. Just like Cardinal Levada. This is the leadership of the organization to which Monsignor Byrne belongs and has given his life to.

Was Monsignor Byrne speaking out about all the pedophile priests before 2002? Was he organizing priests all over the Country to finally start telling the truth about the dirty secrets of the clerical troops? Yes, the bishops have disgraced us all, and not just his “regiment” of clergy. But so have the silent majority of priests. If the clergy with all their sacraments and “holy mysteries” could not muster the courage to stand up to child molesters and their enablers, what good are they?

AW

Fr. R. D. Inman Says:

August 1, 2008 at 9:39 pm
These are very powerful statements and my experience is that most are disgusted with the cover-up and consider it more damaging than the pedophiles who were identified and left to continue their predations. My own feeling is that it is a gross injustice that not one bishop who faciiitated or orchestrated a cover up was ever brought to account. Only those who were caught were asked to resign, i.e. caught abusing a minor. No one can really be proud of this organization.

Dom Tomasso Says:

August 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm
Lets put to rest this convenient statement, that only a tiny minority of priests were involved in abusive crimes. It’s like when the U.S and Russia competed in a race and the U.S. came in !st and the Russians came in 2nd. The Russian papers reported the result of that race as, Russia came in second and the US came in next to last. It’s all on how you want people to look at something. Yes, only a minority of
priests committed abusive crimes BUT, lets look at it this way. If one out of a hundred priests was an abusive priests, thats like 1%. BUT, if that one percent abused 2 or 3 or 4 or 10 or 20 children each, that one percent takes on a different meaning. We are talking about 4 or 5 thousand known abusive
priests and about 19 bishops. Plus two thirds of the U.S. bishops being involved in the movement of abusive priests to new assignments. There are more than one percent of the priest in U.S. that have
been involved in these crimes. We may never know how many, thanks to you know who. Do yourself
a favor, Check out ( Bishops Accountability.org) then under, LAST UPDATED jULY 30, 2008, CLICK ON,
Data about the Crisis, ,”The Human Toll.” Let me hear a AMEN.

Wendyn Anson Says:

August 1, 2008 at 11:44 pm
True, we don’t know how much that “tiny minority” is, exactlty, because the Chruch has kept the numbers undercover. But I tend to agree with the few who have commented that the priest, in speaking out, is “damned if he does and damed if he doesn’t”! I know exactly what he means when he asks for more discussion with an educated and informed laity, because our home was one of those where it wasn’t unusual to find a priest at the dinner table, and a lot of discussion on various issues, (not all of them Church-related!) No, we were never abused, but treated with kindness, courtesy and respect through the years, except by one priest who lived in a rectory next door to us one place we lived. (I didn’t realize he was an alcoholic until I was much older and far better educated, and no, he never laid a hand on us—he was just “strange”, compared to the other priests in the rectory, who were polite and friendly to us. (By the way knowing what I know now, I am sure sexual abuse has nothing to do with a lack of “politeness and friendliness” to either parents and children, since that is how children and families are taught to be trusting…) But is “political correctness” SO RAMPANT that EVERY LITTLE WORD must be “perfect” in this excellent statement in order to please SNAP advocates? (I have always considered myself a SNAP advocate until now, but you drive people away with this “in-group” mentality—don’t you want support?)

What I took away from the Monsignor’s statement was that the BISHOPS were at fault, for covering up and passing around the defective and sick pedophiles in their midst, believeing that therapy could “cure” them, LONG AFTER it was known that this could never happen, and he bravely called Pope John Paul II and even Benedict XVI to account or their half measures! Have I missed something here???? Please let me know WHY you are so negative about what you have read—Is it that one phrase. “tiny minority”? All the studies I have read say it is proportional in all religions, in the teaching professions, in the helping professions, etc.
Pedophiles and ephophiles are drawn to “positions of trust” where they will be around vulnerable children and adolescents. They need to be carefully sceened and stopped. Apparently the Church has been, and still is, remiss in that. The above article (one of the few I have seen which has pointed this out) mentions that this is not a recent phenomenon. It has been going on for centuries. How does this interfere with the concerns of ALL of us that this evil need to be prevented? Please educate me…

Wendyn Anson Says:

August 2, 2008 at 12:34 am
P.S. I apologize and for not one minute am I disagreeing with personal experiences like the ones related by Aline F., which I do not want to minimize in any way. Aline, I know from my own personal experience that what you have to say is absolutely true. As an adult female, I learned that the attitude of Catholic clergy toward unmarried or divorced women (true in my case, maybe not in yours) could be shockingly callous and unpastoral–of course, that does not apply to everyone, but enough to give me yet “another reason” for leaving the Church. Straw piled upon straw—why stay where one is clearly told, year after year, that one is not wanted?

“Abuse” comes in many forms.

Gloria Sullivan Says:

August 2, 2008 at 3:27 am
Monsignor Harry Byrne is the biggest BS’er I’ve seen in a long time. Almost as good as the Popes and their hierachial goons. This gobbledegook is an insult to any intelligent person who has already left this pathetic,
supposed intelligencia crap, from the RCC. Oh those poor souls in the pews, still buying this and lapping up the drool from filthy hands, mouths and any other orifice you might think of. Get out of this church that has been given up to the evil one. If you don’t you will be judged harshly, as an assessory to “all the crimes” committed by “all the evil doers”, including agreeing with lying priests. Shake the dust & all the rest of the filth from your whole body, mind and spirit and LEAVE!! I dare all of you! See what happens..it is so beautiful with out the garbage smell filtering through your nostrils.
Oh Sweet peace of God with the smell of Roses from Our Saviour’s Garden. The Kingdom of God is WITHIN.
.

Edward Hartmann Says:

August 2, 2008 at 12:52 pm
I am in agreement with John Wirtz and his observations. My question to all who commented above is “So what”? I ask this question to find out what everyone will do in their own lives to face the dreadful leadership that we have in the church today. Is everyone still throwing money into the basket each Sunday? Here in Rockville Centre, the bishop gets 8% of every Sunday collection as well as the collections on Christmas and Easter. Ask him if he pays a just wage to his teachers or Directors of Religious Education. HE is sitting on a quarter of a BILLION dollars. By virtue of our baptism we have the ability to gather in our home churches and celebrate the Eucharist. In these home churches we will find community. If you have found a way to be church other than the present parish setup and you are being fed there, then God is there. You are right in your belief that nothing will change. For me the choices are clear: no more money and finding community in my Small Church Community. My wish for the hierarchy is that they all head for Rome where lack of integrity is considered a virtue.

Dom Tomasso Says:

August 2, 2008 at 3:54 pm
In a way, it is sad Barbara. At least, we know the Monsignor was telling the truth because he no longer
had to be afraid of any punitive action from his bishop. But Barbara, how many stories have you read about an employee that revealed improprieties associated with their place of employment, so as to protect the public and as a result suffered the consequences even loosing their jobs. What would you think of that person if, he he made that information known years later, after he retired and was receiving a pension along with all the other entitled perks?

vinnie Says:

August 4, 2008 at 12:23 am
Wait long enough and the same old tune is replayed. This is just as applicable now as it was the last time priests were spouted the same nonsense

Self Pity Stinks
By Vinnie Nauheimer Copyright, 2003 All rights reserved

It was not long after Dallas
Bishops were called Callous
By priests who talked the talk
But never walked the walk.

We must ask, “Where were they?”
Before the scandal saw the light of day?
How is it they’ve found their tongues;
Scream at the top of their lungs?

“Don’t ask and I won’t tell
Let another child suffer in hell,”
You priests this was your choice
Turning your heads, you gave no voice!

Now the piper has come to be paid
And all of you hunker down afraid.
Don’t like your newfound fear?
Victims live with it year after year.

Now you’re shouting about your rights
Instead of children and horrid nights.
Having trouble finding your error?
Ask the victims who live in terror.

Afraid we might discover your past?
Ask a victim how long it will last.
Afraid to wear your collars outside;
What did you let your brothers hide?

But no, of such things you can’t speak
Because if you do, havoc you’ll reek.
Now we get to the core of the matter
It’s your own self-image you’ll shatter!

Wasn’t it easier to turn your head
Than look at a child filled with dread?
You were doomed to this trajectory.
Condemned by silence in the rectory.

To err is human to forgive is divine
To stand up for right requires a spine.
Take the Man who hangs on the cross
Get some gumption look to your Boss.

Voice from the Desert » Blog Archive » Must Read: The Pope Really DOES Understand the Sexual Abuse Problem Says:

August 4, 2008 at 7:59 pm
[…] In a recent widely viewed entry on this blog, retired 87-year-old Msgr. Harry Byrne from the Bronx, … […]

James Duane Says:

August 8, 2008 at 4:07 am
All pseudo-intellectual, legalistic posturing and male bovine feces!
The root lies in one overlooked quote! ” Whatsoever you do unto the least of these, you do also unto me!”
In my opinion, (and I was there), in the year of 1950 or so brother Ralph, of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart
at Catholic Boys Home in Mobile Alabama, took aside from his nap, an eight year old Jesus and proceeded over the next year or year and a half, to destroy his self…image….worth… confidence… pride and his common sense of sexuality! He was aided in this destruction by one, Brother Louis Joseph, of the same order and institution in the same diocese and city under the auspices of Thomas J Toolen, Bishop, Mobile diocese. The process continued until these animals finally discerned that their young charge was tied, by blood to a rising star on the diocesesan horizon who was to become Bishop in this and other dioceses in the South eastern United States! Did they do this because they had taken vows of celibacy? If you answer Yes, You know less about pedophilia than any bishop or Pope in History I been carrying this crap around for almost sixty years and the hardestr part to carry is all of the rhetoric and the lack of caring of any sort, at any level in the glorious Church of Rome! Laity included!!
The above quote would, in what’s left of my mind, suggest the we, each of us, are responsible for the protection of children from pedophiles, I challenge all of the intellect available, both civil and canon to provide documentation of license to the Holy See or any diocese or religeous Order to collect and warehouse
Children to be preyed upon by monstrous ( look it up in webster,on the same page with monsignor) individuals! Does the RCC owe this young/now old Jesus something? Yes! In the least some form of human assistance (he doesn’t need your absolution, you gave that to the predators!)to turn the barrel away
from his temple and find some peace!

Dick Regan Says:

August 11, 2008 at 1:43 am
If Harry Bryne really wants to help all those falsely accussed priests I’ll be at the Sept. 7th. vigil at St. Agnes cathedral with the following sign. Come Harry and join me.

JUSTICE FOR ALL PRIESTS
REMOVE STATUE OF LIMITATIONS
SO PRIESTS CAN DEFEND THEMSELVES.
YOUR BISHOPS ARE NOT GOING TO
HELP YOU!

James Duane Says:

August 11, 2008 at 6:56 am
For Dick Regan!
It is so typical of this whole situation that the cries of FOUL! from the accused, are heard so clearly over the
anguished cries of pain filled damaged children! What the hell is wrong with you people? answer…… you are catholic! You are not the solution to the problem! You are the enabler of the problem!
JUSTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!
REMOVE THE PRIESTS! SO THE CHILDREN DON’T HAVE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES Put that on your sign!

Paul Livingston Says:

August 13, 2008 at 7:19 am
I visited a San Diego victim in the hospital today after he tried to take his own life. It shows that the money they give can’t fix the damage that abuse causes. The RCC needs to start dealing with the issue head on.

Voice from the Desert » Blog Archive » Dave McGuire on The Dishonoring of My Regiment Says:

August 17, 2008 at 6:06 pm
[…] The following powerful piece is by Dave McGuire in response to Msgr. Harry Byrne’s The Dishonoring of My Regiment!. […]

Voice from the Desert » Blog Archive » Tom Doyle on The Dishonoring of My Regiment Says:

August 17, 2008 at 6:18 pm
[…] The following essay is by Tom Doyle in response to Msgr. Harry Byrne’s The Dishonoring of My Regiment! […]

Judet Says:

August 18, 2008 at 6:01 am
I think that some of these hostile responses are baffling and even sinister. Why shoot down someone who is on the side of the victims? Mgr Byrne’s condemnation of the abusers and the colluding hierarchy was something I cheered as I read it.

I sometimes think that these people who claim to speak for victims of clerical abuse and who then behave in this bizarre and irrational way maybe have a darker agenda, all too familiar in the world of politics, which is to immunise the unbiased reader against sympathy for victims. Such arguments don’t come from the side of the victims, they are usually well-crafted confusion originating in spin, whose aim is to split the activists and preserve the status quo.
Congratulations Mgr Byrne: however late you have come to speak out, at least you’re doing the right thing now.

Voice from the Desert » Blog Archive » Tom Myles on The Dishonoring of My Regiment Says:

August 18, 2008 at 1:18 pm
[…] following response Msgr. Harry Byrne’s The Dishonoring of My Regiment! is by Tom Myles of Sayville, New […]

Arthur T. Dallas Says:

August 19, 2008 at 2:41 am
Catholic prelates, indeed! We ask for leaders, yet we get are mice! Can’t they at least muster the courage of rabbits?

James Duane Says:

August 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm
Child molestation and abuse are criminally prosecutable under statutes in every state of the union. As are aiding and abetting the perpetration of those crimes! Without a doubt those crimes have been commited and the aid and abettment, admitted to, by the highest of the high in the church hierarchy! Where does the “Law” stand on the issue? With their hands in their pockets. Does the church command some sort of immunity from civil and criminal law? The separation of church and state is a core of American jurisprudence, so in this mind, that is held so tenatively to sanity, It would seem that the “law” is afraid of the church, but not God. To follow a very frayed thread, the “Law” becomes culpable in the perpetration of the aiding and abetting.
Children, hunan beings, have been damaged, purposefully and with malice aforethought by, a few bad people in the church? “No!” Then following the thread, by the “The Church, clergy and laity.” (Ever consider the there exists a hierarchy of the LAITY in your parrish?)
The civil legal system in this country found a new pocket and began to try to extricate the contents thereof.
Relief of suffering? Mitigation of damages? Rectification of wrongdoing? Not consistant with the black side of the ledger!
Pain filled, damaged children lead painfilled damaged lives, and so their families! They become pain filled and damaged adults!
Does the clergy care? NO! Does the laity care? Not that I can see! The hierarchy of the laity seems as equally
intent on saving face as the clergy! Does the “Law” care? Only in the cases that potentially show on the black side of the ledger! (”slam dunks” as they say)
Does

the ledger!

James Duane Says:

August 24, 2008 at 5:55 pm
Continuing.
Does God care? No evidence so far!
In consideration of the thoughts and intellect shared heretofore, none of this offers hope to struggling victims but only serves to exacerbate the hopelessness and the powerlessness of ” Nobody cares You Twit!”

James Duane Says:

August 24, 2008 at 6:36 pm
Sometimes when I’m alone and quiet, And just being me.
I’m taken where I shouldn’t go, And shown things I shouldn’t see!
I’m shown a heart that’s ripped to shreads, and a soul that’s rent and torn!
A being once bright and beautiful, A now gross and misshapened form.

I struggle not to see these things, I try to hide my face.
I try to turn and run away, But I’m held fast in my place!
And when I feel I’m almost free! That’s when I feel the voice!
I’m gonna cut the blood outa you!…. Filthy, nasty boy!
And now I know I must be free, At whatever cost!
I turn to run on the shell covered road!… And then I know, I’m lost!

I turn to see the voice I’ve felt, standing down the road,
And standing, either side of “the voice”, is a man in a long black robe!
“They will not have me NOW!”, I vow,…. as I run the other way.
So tired I cry, but still I run! It’s usless now to pray!
I begin to feel “safe” at this distance,…from “the voice” and the men in black!
But I’ll not rest and I’ll not sleep! “Cause I know theyre comming back!

So when it’s done, I ponder it all, I’d like ro recognize the face,
Of this fallen angel, this blackened soul, Who takes me to this place!
I worry it over and under, In and out ’til I finally see.
That this fallen angel, this blackened soul, Bears a striking resemblence
To………ME!

February 19, 2009 at 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dishonoring of Responsibility,
by Byrne

* * *

THE DISHONORING OF MY REGIMENT!
My formerly honored regiment of Catholic priests has been disgraced by an infiltration of pedophiles into its ranks. I and my colleagues bear that dark shadow to this day. It’s cause: the failure of many bishops to obey Canon 1395. Yes, it’s that simple! The canon orders punishment for a priest, who sexually abuses a minor. Punishment, not therapy! Muchless secret reassignment with damage to more children! Furthermore, no bishop has been punished by his superiors,as required by Canon 1389, for failure to enforce Canon 1395. Regardless of good intentions, bishops and their superiors are responsible for the effects of what they do or fail to do under their job descriptions. A tiny minority of priests abused children; an estimated two thirds of the nation’s bishops secretly reassigned abusers.

Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor, John Paul II have, on their visits here,
apologized for this shameful abuse. But neither has shown that he understands the problem. If a problem is not understood, it cannot be solved. Both popes see the problem residing in individual priests. No finger is pointed at a bishop. Benedict in Australia recently declared, “I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops in combatting this evil”. Sorry! Benedict has it backwards. He should ask the bishops to listen to and work with the laity. They understand the source of the problem; our bishops, for the most part, do not! In his trip to the US, Benedict on April 15, 2008 apologized for the pain caused by the sexual abuse phenomenon. He declared that it had “been badly handled”. Use of the passive voice enabled him to avoid saying by whom it had been badly handled.

John Paul II also seems to have had it backwards. On April 23, 2002, addressing the US cardinals, who had been summoned to Rome, he spoke of “how the Church will help society to understand and deal with the crisis”. Its arrogance, unintended as it may be, betrays the depth of his misunderstanding: it was society through its media, district attorneys, and trial lawyers that had forced the Church to face its own problem! Later he would reward Cardinal Bernard Law, driven from Boston by his priests and people as poster-boy for those bishops reassigning abusers, to a prestigious church in Rome, with a six-figure salary, and seats on nine governing commissions!

John Paul spoke of “the great harm done by some priests…”. Regarding their superiors, he said, “…many are offended at the way in which the Church’s leaders ARE PERCEIVED to have acted…”. In the Pope’s mind, in the clericalism cast of mind, he and bishops are immunized from direct criticism. John Paul then proceeded to call for “a purification of the entire Catholic community”. Pardon me, please! Do not dare to try to deflect blame on the Catholic community. It belongs on the few miscreant priests and the many miscreant bishops. It is these latter who have been judged responsible, not just by the press, but by our civil courts and judicial system to the tune of $2 billion, not the bishops’ own money, but the contributions of the faithful!

The clerical mentality - trying constantly to project an ideal, even if false, image of Church - is the underlying cause of thousands of young people damaged, $2 billion shot, three dioceses bankrupted, and now, in the latest phase, innocent priests becoming victims of allegations of incidents two or three decades past, inadequately investigated by their bishops.

The US Bishops’ Dallas Charter has been a great success in its programs to protect children by vetting personnel and developing educational and awareness programs. As to its provisions to remove allegedly abusive priests, it has been severely criticized by the bishops’ own National Review Board, Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ and eminent canonists for its lack of proportionality - a pat on the bottom treated equally as serial rape, the “one strike, you’re out” rule, and the abandonment of any statute of limitations. The bishop is constituted arresting officer, prosecutor, judge, and appellant bench - an unworkable combination of conflicting roles. Many instances of innocent priests being removed from ministry are now surfacing. Appeals to the US Conference of Bishops have been made, without success, to revisit and amend the Charter’s flawed, purportedly judicial structure. Do the bishops fear that the Church would appear to victims’ groups and the public as backing off its initial determination to reform? If so, here again, clericalism’s cast of mind puts a desirable Church image ahead of the reality of truth and justice.

The Church will begin to solve its problems and resolve its tensions, when, and only when, clericalism and its adherents reverse priorities and place truth and justice ahead of institutional image.

* * *

Here is Monsignor Harry’s blogger profile from his website.

Msgr. Harry J. Byrne
Industry: Religion
Occupation: Retired Clergyman
Location: 5655 Arlington Avenue, : Bronx, NY 10471 : United States
About Me
Public school education developed interests in writing and public discussion. High school at Iona Prep with the Christian Brothers disclosed the broad horizons of Christian philosophy, art, and history. Seminary studies prepared for ministry. Graduate studies in Canon Law prepared for work in church governance. Involvement in community and governmental bodies over the years showed the need for and the value of wide citizen participation in community and governmental affairs. Pastoral ministry disclosed the importance of lay participation in Church life and governance. The mindset of clericalism can be opened by conversation of bishops with today’s educated and articulate laity. Respectful dialogue brings helpful sharing of insights on both sides and encourages the deepening of knowledge and the strengthening of relationships. It is the hope of this site to carry on something of this conversation. CONTACT e-mail: larchstar@aol.com

Interests
Human rights vis a vis church governance and civil governance; First Amendment concerns; Church reform efforts.



This entry was posted on Friday, August 1, 2008 at 3:00 am and is filed under Must Read, Abuse and Cover Up, Reform, Restructuring, Friends and Partners, Church Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



40 Responses to “MUST READ: THE DISHONORING OF MY REGIMENT!”
Deanna Leonti Says:

August 1, 2008 at 6:20 am
I wouldn’t T-R-U-S-T this one…he wants you to go to his web-site.
I am sure that he could have posted this here on this web-site or SNAP web-site himself.
what does he mean by this; “The mindset of clericalism can be opened by conversation of bishops with today’s educated and articulate laity”.

“When a “man” becomes pope;
- He finds in theory he has full power over the Roman Catholic Church and every decree requires his approval. He can obey or ignore precedent. He can set aside tradition, write or rewrtie constitutions, proclaim dogmas on “his” own and change matters, the pope is supposed to seek counsel and advice from the College of Cardinals, he is empowered to “make up his own mind” and take action. On matters of high policy, he may do as John XXIII did when, without calling in the curia cardinals for their views, he decided to go ahead with the Ecumenical Council.
-He finds he can be judged by no man. He is tantamount to a soverign who cannot be brought to court.
I do not know if this is true or not, however this was found in “The Incredible Book of Vatican Facts & Papal Curiosities” by -Nino Lo Bello-?

The church leaders have lots more information about our abuse than we do.

deanna

Thomas Michael Barnes Says:

August 1, 2008 at 11:07 am
I am sorry for the Monsignor’s pt of view but it is wrong. I am retired from government work and I worked with statistics all the time. Roughly 8% of Catholic priests in the USA in the last 50 years abused children or were credibly accused of abuse, not the 1%-4% that the church claims, depending on the venue. The church quite frankly is screwing around with the numbers. 8% is a huge number of priests to be diddling with kids. That is 8 priests out of 100. That is enough priests to destroy thousands of lives per 100 priests. In short, the churches’ numbers cannot be believed. So far, no outside agency that was not paid by the church has been allowed to look at the records. Until an objective audit is done, we will never know the true number of pedophiles. THe Monsignor, if he can be believed, has no idea of the full extent of the problem.

Paul Kendrick Says:

August 1, 2008 at 12:37 pm
It is interesting to note that Rev. Byrne takes absolutely no responsibility for his part in the cover up and transfer of priests who sexually abused children.
It is documented that Byrne and his brother priests did and said nothing when they knew or suspected that another priest was abusing kids. They looked the other way, thus enabling the abuse of innocent children. Byrne and his brother priests are also complicit in the abuse of children.
Finally, Byrne speaks of “false allegations,” yet, he does not support his claim with evidence.

kay ebeling Says:

August 1, 2008 at 12:47 pm
Always deflecting the blame. Always pointing the finger at someone else.

Aline Frybarger Says:

August 1, 2008 at 2:57 pm
The Dishonering of My Regiment!
This is a blockbuster statement because a Catholic priest is addressing the hidden tragedy about priests sexually abusing kids. So we fall all over this acknowledgement and the priest who wrote it. Msgr. Byrne does not know the half of it, nor does the laity because the bishops have carefully and purposely hid everything they could. Why? Because what Msgr. Bryne knows is small compared to what really happened. Msgr. Bryne, why do you think the bishops have fought so vigorously against giving information and setting up an audit on a national level where bishops volunteer the information????? It’s because They have much to hide. They are acting like they are hiding something. My story flies in the face of your article. I’m female. I was abused by more than one priest. I have spoken to survivors of priests here in the Lansing, Michigan Diocese and learned more names of priests who abused decades ago. These are NOT FALSE allegations. Also, half of the survivors of sexual abuse by priests as children who I have spoken to are females. The source of the problem starts at the top and the bishops carry out what the top dictates. Msgr. I appreciate your article, but you need to educate yourself about sexual abuse so that you truly know what you are talking about. Your comment on false allegations is sickening. My abuse at the hands of priests started in 1952 and ended in 1964. I have no idea of how the diocese investigated my telling of what happened. I received a horrible silence from the diocese. So my experience is ‘decades’ old and THEREFORE false. Priests and laity have failed miserably by looking the other way. This kind of abuse does not happen in a vacuum. Priests and Laity knew and CHOSE to look the other way. Most priests and laity are still choosing to look the other way. We need priests and laity to make a warm and sincere outreach to survivors at the grass roots level. The bishops need to devise a template of outreach to use in every diocese in the U.S. to seek and find survivors and face us survivors and do what it takes to help them. A SINCERE AND LOVING EFFORT IS, NEEDED NOT JUST TALK. Pope Benedict said to reach out and help the survivors. I asked the Msgr. in my diocese (Msgr. Murphy) if there was going to be an outreach to follow up Pope Benedicts visit. Msgr. Murphy recited that there were retreats for survivors with follow ups, the bishop spoke with survivors, and I could have gone to the special millenium “coming home” events in the year 2000 and could have been reconciled then. His hubris and ignorance were too big for me to repy.

lionel Says:

August 1, 2008 at 3:03 pm
The answer to Deanna Leonti’s question below.
“We” ,the laity, were not educated , dumb, and too stupid in the past to speak to the bishops for them to understand what we would have tried to convey concerning the life long destruction of people of many ages by catholic priests. That would leave me out of any conversation with bishops today, because I’m just as unnedoukatted, dummm, and stoopaid,as in the passsst.
The silence of the confessional works great for pedophile and ephebophile priests, doesn’t it Msgr ?

what does he mean by this ?; “The mindset of clericalism can be opened by conversation of bishops with today’s educated and articulate laity”.

lionel Says:

August 1, 2008 at 3:37 pm
Reading material for Msgr Bryne.
http://www.bishop-accountability.org/abusetrcker/

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/

Mike Drabik, Says:

August 1, 2008 at 3:42 pm
Monsignor Bryner:

After reading the responses of all the above (and especially Aline) I would say you might do better to re-write your article and entitle it “I and My Brothers Dishonored Our Own Regiment”. NO priest is guiltless in this matter if he remained silent - and silent is what 99% is what you and brothers have been. You’ll have the ear of survivors and their advocates after they see you suffering the aftermath from being a prophet - which will mean being threatened by your own bishop with being booted out of the brotherhood (or worse - out the Church) for having ‘dared’ to hold your bishop accountable.

Deanna Leonti Says:

August 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm
This answer is to lionel,
It was the educated priest & other religous orders who abused the uneducated, so why don’t the religous go and
communicate and articulate with the ages of the children of whom they abused? beter yet, go and leave their order and live the life of one of the abused, or one that they have abused.

deanna

Deanna Leonti Says:

August 1, 2008 at 5:04 pm
it is very sad indeed because these religous (priests & nuns )firmly believe that they suffer for the world and yet undermine the one’s who had and are suffering for them (nuns & priests) due to their physical, sexual and emotional abuses.
again perplexed…..

deanna

Jay Nelson Says:

August 1, 2008 at 5:34 pm
This pope and the last did understand the problem: they just didn’t care. Both of them have only been concerned about the scandal caused by lawsuits and exposure, not about the damage to victims and the laity. In 2001, then-Cardinal Ratzinger with John Paul’s approval issued “Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela” which re-established the pre-Vatican II cover-up even more strongly than ever before.

Because of that, the monsignor’s citation of Canon Law is irrelevant. The bishops have no say in the matter. As before, all roads lead to Rome.

Dom Tomasso Says:

August 1, 2008 at 5:38 pm
The dishonoring of my regiment has a hollow sound, by Monsignor Harry J Bryne JCD. I may be wrong, but,
what has he written or said about our sad, pittyful leadership before his retirement status. How many of his dishonored regiment has spoken up while all this has been going on. You’d think all this has happened in just the past twenty years. Wrong. It’s been going on for centuries but the list of reports from any clergy regarding abusive priests and enabiling bishops would be very hard to locate. Give me a break, please. In the last five years, I have not heard one of my parish clergy even comment on the abuse crises. Are they just stupid, or think we are stupid. Or is their vow of obedience and fear of what the biship might do to them more important than what God expects from them??????

Deanna Leonti Says:

August 1, 2008 at 6:16 pm
You know it does have a hollow sound. When scripture says lay your life down for a friend, just who’s life are they laying down for? the ones in their brotherhood? or the victims?

perplexed again?….

deanna

Paul Kendrick Says:

August 1, 2008 at 6:18 pm
I discovered the following comment by Hugh O’Regan, a senior official of Voice of the Faithful, on Harry Byrne’s blog.

O’Regan states, “Innocent priests are not protected and a simple accusation often is enough to ruin the accused forever. ” Like Byrne, O’Regan offers no documented evidence to support his claim.

When an allegation of clergy sexual abuse is received by church officials In my diocese (Maine) the diocesan investigator (a former deputy chief of police) initiates a preliminary investigation. The results of this investigation are then brought before a ten member review board (comprised of community members and a priest, not all are Catholic). After reviewing the evidence, the review board advises the bishop as to whether or not the alleged clergy abuser should be temporarily removed from public ministry pending further investigation. Advocates for those who are abused are as dedicated to preserving the integrity of this process as are ordained clergy.

Byrne and O’Regan might consider educating themselves further by studying “THE MYTH OF FALSE CLAIMS AND ACCUSATIONS OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE,” by Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C. (March 2007 - Revised July 2008).

Here are two excerpts:

“Patrick Schiltz, dean of the University of St. Thomas law school in Minnesota, said that over more than a decade he had defended Catholic dioceses against sexual-abuse lawsuits in more than 500 cases, and that he had concluded that ‘fewer than 10′ of those cases were based on false accusations. (New York Times, August 31, 2002).”

“No Catholic diocese nor any other source asserting that there have been significant numbers of false claims has provided any documentary evidence of the numbers. In the past several years a small number of accused priests have been exonerated by church-run investigations but there are not accurate statistics on such cases.”

“Some have claimed that the legislative ‘window’ which was opened in California resulted in a flood of false claims. In fact there were about 1200 new civil suits in California alleging sexual abuse as a result of the window. Of that number about 800-850 were claims against a Roman Catholic archdiocese, diocese of Religious Order. The attorneys who represented the claimants reported that there were only 3 claims that were false. These were instances when the person alleging abuse was actually making a false report.”

Finally, it has always seemed to me the words we use reveal much about the way we really think about an issue. Therefore, it is interesting for me to note that neither Byrne nor O’Regan took even one moment to recognize and share their thoughts about what it must be like for a child sex abuse victim to put aside their own desire for privacy when they report their abuse to help protect other children. Neither Byrne nor O’Regan seem to wonder what it must be like for a victim/survivor to relive the trauma, anguish, pain and suffering of their child sex abuse in such a public way. Yet, there are not adequate words to describe the courage and fortitude it takes for an abuse survivor to reveal their private guilt, shame and remorse to an often disbelieving and unsympathetic community.
______________________________

Hugh O’Regan said… http://harryjbyrne.blogspot.com/

Harry, I am a Regional Representative (California) for Voice of the Faithful, a victim and priests support group working for structural reforms within the Church. Your article points out that while the Dallas Accords was an important step forward its implementation was not perfect. Innocent priests are not protected and a simple accusation often is enough to ruin the accused forever. The issue of addressing the bishops and (now) two popes as a big part of the problem is not politically acceptable in certain sections of the Church. The real scandal was the movement and the secrecy which so many bishops were caught up in.

Your article mentions a lack of proportionality as well as a criticism of the “One Strike You’re Out” rule. Such criticism is also not politically correct but this time it is survivor support groups like my own VOTF which might object. The question which all Catholics need to grapple with is how do we change the culture of the Church in order to protect minors while protecting the rights of those innocent priests who are accused and yes, disgraced. Whom do we protect? Which is more important?

When it comes down to it, I believe that the Catholic people and most priests would say that we have an obligation to protect both but if it comes down to making a choice, the people and the priests will opt for protecting the victim. We as a Church should not have to make that choice, our task is not protect both. In order to do that I believe that we need to look at the root causes of the abuse. We need to look at the clerical culture, our sexual culture and yes take a fresh look at the strengths and weaknesses of continuing to demand celibacy for the diocesan clergy.

Hugh O’Regan

Margaret Kostouros Says:

August 1, 2008 at 6:20 pm
At least Monsignor Bryne should be given some credit for even addressing the problems openly on his blog. Maybe it isn’t enough but at least it is a start. I don’t know of any bishop except Bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Sydney, Australia who wrote a book called ”Confronting Power and Sex in the CatholicChurch” and who gave lectures in the U.S. giving some ray of light to procedures in the future.

Another problem I think within the church is so many of the lay people who don’t want to face reality and refuse to even discuss sexual abuse, but also abuse of power. I have had this experience. The laity could do something by with holding contributions. We(the laity) build and maintain the churches but haven’t any say in financial accountability. The so-called Finance Committees are a farce.

John Wirtz Says:

August 1, 2008 at 6:42 pm
Dom and Dianna (above), I think, tell it correctly. We Catholics have been brainwashed for hundreds of years - all to the benefit of those in power at whatever level. What change have you noticed in the ranks of the hierarchy since the pope made his remarks here and Australia? None. That’s because of pope’s remarks were nothing more than a public relation jest. Not one bishop has made a jesture toward helping victims/families. Why? Because all that any of then are interested in is promoting their own prestige and power. It’s gotten worse over the centuries to the point of infallibility. We are members of an organization that can do no wrong; Father can do no wrong. Big holy father is infallible. The whole organization is rotten corrupt. If the bishops were elected would you vote for any of these guys? Are you happy with your parish priest who steals,, lies, keeps silent over abuses in his organization? Are you proud to be of the Catholic sect? Then CHANGE IT. At least protect children in the future: get statute of limitations eliminated in your state.

Barbara Says:

August 1, 2008 at 7:32 pm
So here is a priest, retired, not tossed out who is saying the things we have been saying about bishops and popes and there is not one supportive comment to be seen. So we now we have a very good view of why a priest should not speak out and why most are just keeping their mouths shut because you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. It’s very sad!

Barbara

Greg Bullough Says:

August 1, 2008 at 8:36 pm
The Rt. Rev. Mr. Byrne does have one interesting point, and that is that the processes set
out to deal with abusive priests have shown the same sort of clericalism and concern for
form over substance as did the bishops responses before the Dallas Charter.

The same pendulum, swung the other way. Dioceses have instituted ‘review boards’
of sympathetic hand-picked Catholics who operate in secret and behind closed doors
on these cases where a public trial is denied 90% of the time due to expired statutes of
limitations. The justice is lousy all around.

On the other hand, it seems to me that Byrne has made some key mistakes:

1) He has ignored that the Church systematically denied any sort of institutional or
legal justice to victims who came forward at the time. He also ignores the tactics
that perpetrators used to keep children (who were deliberately kept ignorant of
the fact that even ‘Father’ wasn’t to touch them ‘down there’ since such education
was a ‘no-no.’)
2) His characterization of ‘tiny minority’ suggests he’s either in denial or ignorant. My
experience as a lay-person who was close to the Church was that it though it was
a not a majority of priests or religious that I’ve known who abused children or
vulnerable adults, it was not a ‘tiny minority’ by any stretch of the imagination. I
haven’t taken careful inventory, but it must be over 10 percent. Now either I’m just
real unlucky, or Byrne is very lucky. And no, most of the abusers I knew never would
have been counted in the John Jay study.
3) Experience shows that if you want to use the term ‘tiny minority’ use it about the
number of accused priests who turn out not to be guilty. Like big airplane crashes,
these get a lot of publicity because it’s so rare.

I do agree with the earlier poster that finding a wholly blameless priest (even though
some have reformed and learned) is a task worthy of Diogenes. Too many looked the
other way, chose career over the safety of people, or simply refused to believe what
was plainly before them.

To extend the ‘regimental’ metaphor, Byrne’s regiment is now being subjected to a sort
of ‘regimental punishment.’

He can point to his Bishops’ clericalism, but I find myself asking him, “what of your own?”

For his clinging to his “tiny minority” theory and his glossing over of the profession’s joint
culpability (let’s not forget that the bishops, their chancellors, vicars general, etc. are
all ‘brother priests’) strikes me as just a bit self-serving.

Augusta Wynn Says:

August 1, 2008 at 9:13 pm
If Cardinal Law had opened his drawer, pulled out a gun and shot any one of the plethora of pedophiles who stood in front of him, everyone would have been shocked and then forgiven him. We would have understood his rage at such heinous crimes against children and figured he just couldn’t take it anymore. Jesus himself couldn’t stand anyone who abused a child, as we remember from Scripture. Instead, Cardinal Law made them pastors, youth ministers, spiritual directors, boy scout troop leaders and after all that got a promotion to Rome. Just like Cardinal Levada. This is the leadership of the organization to which Monsignor Byrne belongs and has given his life to.

Was Monsignor Byrne speaking out about all the pedophile priests before 2002? Was he organizing priests all over the Country to finally start telling the truth about the dirty secrets of the clerical troops? Yes, the bishops have disgraced us all, and not just his “regiment” of clergy. But so have the silent majority of priests. If the clergy with all their sacraments and “holy mysteries” could not muster the courage to stand up to child molesters and their enablers, what good are they?

AW

Fr. R. D. Inman Says:

August 1, 2008 at 9:39 pm
These are very powerful statements and my experience is that most are disgusted with the cover-up and consider it more damaging than the pedophiles who were identified and left to continue their predations. My own feeling is that it is a gross injustice that not one bishop who faciiitated or orchestrated a cover up was ever brought to account. Only those who were caught were asked to resign, i.e. caught abusing a minor. No one can really be proud of this organization.

Dom Tomasso Says:

August 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm
Lets put to rest this convenient statement, that only a tiny minority of priests were involved in abusive crimes. It’s like when the U.S and Russia competed in a race and the U.S. came in !st and the Russians came in 2nd. The Russian papers reported the result of that race as, Russia came in second and the US came in next to last. It’s all on how you want people to look at something. Yes, only a minority of
priests committed abusive crimes BUT, lets look at it this way. If one out of a hundred priests was an abusive priests, thats like 1%. BUT, if that one percent abused 2 or 3 or 4 or 10 or 20 children each, that one percent takes on a different meaning. We are talking about 4 or 5 thousand known abusive
priests and about 19 bishops. Plus two thirds of the U.S. bishops being involved in the movement of abusive priests to new assignments. There are more than one percent of the priest in U.S. that have
been involved in these crimes. We may never know how many, thanks to you know who. Do yourself
a favor, Check out ( Bishops Accountability.org) then under, LAST UPDATED jULY 30, 2008, CLICK ON,
Data about the Crisis, ,”The Human Toll.” Let me hear a AMEN.

Wendyn Anson Says:

August 1, 2008 at 11:44 pm
True, we don’t know how much that “tiny minority” is, exactlty, because the Chruch has kept the numbers undercover. But I tend to agree with the few who have commented that the priest, in speaking out, is “damned if he does and damed if he doesn’t”! I know exactly what he means when he asks for more discussion with an educated and informed laity, because our home was one of those where it wasn’t unusual to find a priest at the dinner table, and a lot of discussion on various issues, (not all of them Church-related!) No, we were never abused, but treated with kindness, courtesy and respect through the years, except by one priest who lived in a rectory next door to us one place we lived. (I didn’t realize he was an alcoholic until I was much older and far better educated, and no, he never laid a hand on us—he was just “strange”, compared to the other priests in the rectory, who were polite and friendly to us. (By the way knowing what I know now, I am sure sexual abuse has nothing to do with a lack of “politeness and friendliness” to either parents and children, since that is how children and families are taught to be trusting…) But is “political correctness” SO RAMPANT that EVERY LITTLE WORD must be “perfect” in this excellent statement in order to please SNAP advocates? (I have always considered myself a SNAP advocate until now, but you drive people away with this “in-group” mentality—don’t you want support?)

What I took away from the Monsignor’s statement was that the BISHOPS were at fault, for covering up and passing around the defective and sick pedophiles in their midst, believeing that therapy could “cure” them, LONG AFTER it was known that this could never happen, and he bravely called Pope John Paul II and even Benedict XVI to account or their half measures! Have I missed something here???? Please let me know WHY you are so negative about what you have read—Is it that one phrase. “tiny minority”? All the studies I have read say it is proportional in all religions, in the teaching professions, in the helping professions, etc.
Pedophiles and ephophiles are drawn to “positions of trust” where they will be around vulnerable children and adolescents. They need to be carefully sceened and stopped. Apparently the Church has been, and still is, remiss in that. The above article (one of the few I have seen which has pointed this out) mentions that this is not a recent phenomenon. It has been going on for centuries. How does this interfere with the concerns of ALL of us that this evil need to be prevented? Please educate me…

Wendyn Anson Says:

August 2, 2008 at 12:34 am
P.S. I apologize and for not one minute am I disagreeing with personal experiences like the ones related by Aline F., which I do not want to minimize in any way. Aline, I know from my own personal experience that what you have to say is absolutely true. As an adult female, I learned that the attitude of Catholic clergy toward unmarried or divorced women (true in my case, maybe not in yours) could be shockingly callous and unpastoral–of course, that does not apply to everyone, but enough to give me yet “another reason” for leaving the Church. Straw piled upon straw—why stay where one is clearly told, year after year, that one is not wanted?

“Abuse” comes in many forms.

Gloria Sullivan Says:

August 2, 2008 at 3:27 am
Monsignor Harry Byrne is the biggest BS’er I’ve seen in a long time. Almost as good as the Popes and their hierachial goons. This gobbledegook is an insult to any intelligent person who has already left this pathetic,
supposed intelligencia crap, from the RCC. Oh those poor souls in the pews, still buying this and lapping up the drool from filthy hands, mouths and any other orifice you might think of. Get out of this church that has been given up to the evil one. If you don’t you will be judged harshly, as an assessory to “all the crimes” committed by “all the evil doers”, including agreeing with lying priests. Shake the dust & all the rest of the filth from your whole body, mind and spirit and LEAVE!! I dare all of you! See what happens..it is so beautiful with out the garbage smell filtering through your nostrils.
Oh Sweet peace of God with the smell of Roses from Our Saviour’s Garden. The Kingdom of God is WITHIN.
.

Edward Hartmann Says:

August 2, 2008 at 12:52 pm
I am in agreement with John Wirtz and his observations. My question to all who commented above is “So what”? I ask this question to find out what everyone will do in their own lives to face the dreadful leadership that we have in the church today. Is everyone still throwing money into the basket each Sunday? Here in Rockville Centre, the bishop gets 8% of every Sunday collection as well as the collections on Christmas and Easter. Ask him if he pays a just wage to his teachers or Directors of Religious Education. HE is sitting on a quarter of a BILLION dollars. By virtue of our baptism we have the ability to gather in our home churches and celebrate the Eucharist. In these home churches we will find community. If you have found a way to be church other than the present parish setup and you are being fed there, then God is there. You are right in your belief that nothing will change. For me the choices are clear: no more money and finding community in my Small Church Community. My wish for the hierarchy is that they all head for Rome where lack of integrity is considered a virtue.

Dom Tomasso Says:

August 2, 2008 at 3:54 pm
In a way, it is sad Barbara. At least, we know the Monsignor was telling the truth because he no longer
had to be afraid of any punitive action from his bishop. But Barbara, how many stories have you read about an employee that revealed improprieties associated with their place of employment, so as to protect the public and as a result suffered the consequences even loosing their jobs. What would you think of that person if, he he made that information known years later, after he retired and was receiving a pension along with all the other entitled perks?

vinnie Says:

August 4, 2008 at 12:23 am
Wait long enough and the same old tune is replayed. This is just as applicable now as it was the last time priests were spouted the same nonsense

Self Pity Stinks
By Vinnie Nauheimer Copyright, 2003 All rights reserved

It was not long after Dallas
Bishops were called Callous
By priests who talked the talk
But never walked the walk.

We must ask, “Where were they?”
Before the scandal saw the light of day?
How is it they’ve found their tongues;
Scream at the top of their lungs?

“Don’t ask and I won’t tell
Let another child suffer in hell,”
You priests this was your choice
Turning your heads, you gave no voice!

Now the piper has come to be paid
And all of you hunker down afraid.
Don’t like your newfound fear?
Victims live with it year after year.

Now you’re shouting about your rights
Instead of children and horrid nights.
Having trouble finding your error?
Ask the victims who live in terror.

Afraid we might discover your past?
Ask a victim how long it will last.
Afraid to wear your collars outside;
What did you let your brothers hide?

But no, of such things you can’t speak
Because if you do, havoc you’ll reek.
Now we get to the core of the matter
It’s your own self-image you’ll shatter!

Wasn’t it easier to turn your head
Than look at a child filled with dread?
You were doomed to this trajectory.
Condemned by silence in the rectory.

To err is human to forgive is divine
To stand up for right requires a spine.
Take the Man who hangs on the cross
Get some gumption look to your Boss.

Voice from the Desert » Blog Archive » Must Read: The Pope Really DOES Understand the Sexual Abuse Problem Says:

August 4, 2008 at 7:59 pm
[…] In a recent widely viewed entry on this blog, retired 87-year-old Msgr. Harry Byrne from the Bronx, … […]

James Duane Says:

August 8, 2008 at 4:07 am
All pseudo-intellectual, legalistic posturing and male bovine feces!
The root lies in one overlooked quote! ” Whatsoever you do unto the least of these, you do also unto me!”
In my opinion, (and I was there), in the year of 1950 or so brother Ralph, of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart
at Catholic Boys Home in Mobile Alabama, took aside from his nap, an eight year old Jesus and proceeded over the next year or year and a half, to destroy his self…image….worth… confidence… pride and his common sense of sexuality! He was aided in this destruction by one, Brother Louis Joseph, of the same order and institution in the same diocese and city under the auspices of Thomas J Toolen, Bishop, Mobile diocese. The process continued until these animals finally discerned that their young charge was tied, by blood to a rising star on the diocesesan horizon who was to become Bishop in this and other dioceses in the South eastern United States! Did they do this because they had taken vows of celibacy? If you answer Yes, You know less about pedophilia than any bishop or Pope in History I been carrying this crap around for almost sixty years and the hardestr part to carry is all of the rhetoric and the lack of caring of any sort, at any level in the glorious Church of Rome! Laity included!!
The above quote would, in what’s left of my mind, suggest the we, each of us, are responsible for the protection of children from pedophiles, I challenge all of the intellect available, both civil and canon to provide documentation of license to the Holy See or any diocese or religeous Order to collect and warehouse
Children to be preyed upon by monstrous ( look it up in webster,on the same page with monsignor) individuals! Does the RCC owe this young/now old Jesus something? Yes! In the least some form of human assistance (he doesn’t need your absolution, you gave that to the predators!)to turn the barrel away
from his temple and find some peace!

Dick Regan Says:

August 11, 2008 at 1:43 am
If Harry Bryne really wants to help all those falsely accussed priests I’ll be at the Sept. 7th. vigil at St. Agnes cathedral with the following sign. Come Harry and join me.

JUSTICE FOR ALL PRIESTS
REMOVE STATUE OF LIMITATIONS
SO PRIESTS CAN DEFEND THEMSELVES.
YOUR BISHOPS ARE NOT GOING TO
HELP YOU!

James Duane Says:

August 11, 2008 at 6:56 am
For Dick Regan!
It is so typical of this whole situation that the cries of FOUL! from the accused, are heard so clearly over the
anguished cries of pain filled damaged children! What the hell is wrong with you people? answer…… you are catholic! You are not the solution to the problem! You are the enabler of the problem!
JUSTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!
REMOVE THE PRIESTS! SO THE CHILDREN DON’T HAVE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES Put that on your sign!

Paul Livingston Says:

August 13, 2008 at 7:19 am
I visited a San Diego victim in the hospital today after he tried to take his own life. It shows that the money they give can’t fix the damage that abuse causes. The RCC needs to start dealing with the issue head on.

Voice from the Desert » Blog Archive » Dave McGuire on The Dishonoring of My Regiment Says:

August 17, 2008 at 6:06 pm
[…] The following powerful piece is by Dave McGuire in response to Msgr. Harry Byrne’s The Dishonoring of My Regiment!. […]

Voice from the Desert » Blog Archive » Tom Doyle on The Dishonoring of My Regiment Says:

August 17, 2008 at 6:18 pm
[…] The following essay is by Tom Doyle in response to Msgr. Harry Byrne’s The Dishonoring of My Regiment! […]

Judet Says:

August 18, 2008 at 6:01 am
I think that some of these hostile responses are baffling and even sinister. Why shoot down someone who is on the side of the victims? Mgr Byrne’s condemnation of the abusers and the colluding hierarchy was something I cheered as I read it.

I sometimes think that these people who claim to speak for victims of clerical abuse and who then behave in this bizarre and irrational way maybe have a darker agenda, all too familiar in the world of politics, which is to immunise the unbiased reader against sympathy for victims. Such arguments don’t come from the side of the victims, they are usually well-crafted confusion originating in spin, whose aim is to split the activists and preserve the status quo.
Congratulations Mgr Byrne: however late you have come to speak out, at least you’re doing the right thing now.

Voice from the Desert » Blog Archive » Tom Myles on The Dishonoring of My Regiment Says:

August 18, 2008 at 1:18 pm
[…] following response Msgr. Harry Byrne’s The Dishonoring of My Regiment! is by Tom Myles of Sayville, New […]

Arthur T. Dallas Says:

August 19, 2008 at 2:41 am
Catholic prelates, indeed! We ask for leaders, yet we get are mice! Can’t they at least muster the courage of rabbits?

James Duane Says:

August 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm
Child molestation and abuse are criminally prosecutable under statutes in every state of the union. As are aiding and abetting the perpetration of those crimes! Without a doubt those crimes have been commited and the aid and abettment, admitted to, by the highest of the high in the church hierarchy! Where does the “Law” stand on the issue? With their hands in their pockets. Does the church command some sort of immunity from civil and criminal law? The separation of church and state is a core of American jurisprudence, so in this mind, that is held so tenatively to sanity, It would seem that the “law” is afraid of the church, but not God. To follow a very frayed thread, the “Law” becomes culpable in the perpetration of the aiding and abetting.
Children, hunan beings, have been damaged, purposefully and with malice aforethought by, a few bad people in the church? “No!” Then following the thread, by the “The Church, clergy and laity.” (Ever consider the there exists a hierarchy of the LAITY in your parrish?)
The civil legal system in this country found a new pocket and began to try to extricate the contents thereof.
Relief of suffering? Mitigation of damages? Rectification of wrongdoing? Not consistant with the black side of the ledger!
Pain filled, damaged children lead painfilled damaged lives, and so their families! They become pain filled and damaged adults!
Does the clergy care? NO! Does the laity care? Not that I can see! The hierarchy of the laity seems as equally
intent on saving face as the clergy! Does the “Law” care? Only in the cases that potentially show on the black side of the ledger! (”slam dunks” as they say)
Does

the ledger!

James Duane Says:

August 24, 2008 at 5:55 pm
Continuing.
Does God care? No evidence so far!
In consideration of the thoughts and intellect shared heretofore, none of this offers hope to struggling victims but only serves to exacerbate the hopelessness and the powerlessness of ” Nobody cares You Twit!”

James Duane Says:

August 24, 2008 at 6:36 pm
Sometimes when I’m alone and quiet, And just being me.
I’m taken where I shouldn’t go, And shown things I shouldn’t see!
I’m shown a heart that’s ripped to shreads, and a soul that’s rent and torn!
A being once bright and beautiful, A now gross and misshapened form.

I struggle not to see these things, I try to hide my face.
I try to turn and run away, But I’m held fast in my place!
And when I feel I’m almost free! That’s when I feel the voice!
I’m gonna cut the blood outa you!…. Filthy, nasty boy!
And now I know I must be free, At whatever cost!
I turn to run on the shell covered road!… And then I know, I’m lost!

I turn to see the voice I’ve felt, standing down the road,
And standing, either side of “the voice”, is a man in a long black robe!
“They will not have me NOW!”, I vow,…. as I run the other way.
So tired I cry, but still I run! It’s usless now to pray!
I begin to feel “safe” at this distance,…from “the voice” and the men in black!
But I’ll not rest and I’ll not sleep! “Cause I know theyre comming back!

So when it’s done, I ponder it all, I’d like ro recognize the face,
Of this fallen angel, this blackened soul, Who takes me to this place!
I worry it over and under, In and out ’til I finally see.
That this fallen angel, this blackened soul, Bears a striking resemblence
To………ME!

February 19, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

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