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My cousin and the Pennsylvania pedophile priests

Family photo from Easter Sunday in the early 1960s. Back row, from left: My uncle, Dennis Daly; Terry Smith’s father, Tom Smith; my father, Allan Andersen; my uncle, Bob Meandro; my uncle, Joseph Fitzgerald. Front row, from left: My cousin, Jeff Smith; my bother, Doug Andersen; my cousin with guitar, Terry Smith; my cousin, Kevin Smith.

Hundreds of Roman Catholic priests sexually abused thousands of children over multiple decades, according to a grand jury report released by Pennsylvania Attorney General Office on August 14.

One of those children may have been my cousin, Terry Smith.

Terry lived with his family in Millville, New Jersey, which is less than an hour from Philadelphia. He was a few years older than me. I remember that he was a born entertainer; he always wanted to joke around, play music and sing. I guess that’s why the priests liked him.

I don’t know much about what Terry endured, but I did hear that he went to the Jersey shore with priests, and that he was “passed around.” Perhaps he was abused by some of the Pennsylvania priests while they were on vacation.

The scathing, 900-page grand jury report documents sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses. More than 300 priests were identified, although many of those still alive have filed lawsuits to keep their names from being revealed.

The report also exposes the systematic and intimidating methods bishops and other church officials used to hide the abuse. They shuffled problem priests around without alerting parishes about their behavior, essentially providing the predators with new prey at each new church. The officials actually maintained secret archives of the abuse complaints, which the investigators obtained.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has extensive coverage of the scandal. If you want to know more, start here:

Pa. Catholic Church sex abuse report names hundreds of priests, accuses leaders of cover-up: ‘They hid it all.’ on Philly.com.

Today the Press of Atlantic City published an article about a child-molesting priest who once served in my family’s parish, St. Francis of Assisi in Vineland New Jersey, which is next to Millville. It provides a chilling description of how priests were moved around.

Ex-Vineland priest in Pa. abuse report, on PressofAtlanticCity.com.

As for my cousin Terry, I believe that being sexually abused by priests ruined his life.

He eventually came forward, although his mother, a good Irish Catholic, refused to believe what had happened to him for a long time. As adults, Terry and two of his friends were among the first to receive settlements from the church. The cash came with gag orders that they were not allowed to talk about their experiences.

Terry spent most of his money buying drinks for his friends at the bar.

Terry never had a career, and rarely had a steady job. He married a wonderful woman from a good family and had two children, but his marriage fell apart. He had no place to live, and eventually had to move back in with his elderly father, Tom.

Terry became addicted to heroin, and as addicts do, became deceitful and manipulative. At one point assaulted his father, who filed a restraining order against him. After Tom died, Terry continued to live in the house, along with a bunch of transients, until something went wrong and the house burned to the ground. By this time he had also burned his bridges with his family, and no one wanted anything to do with him.

Terry died in February. His life was a mess, but at least he had friends — about 200 people showed up for his wake at a local Millville bar. They celebrated what was good about Terry. No one discussed his pain.

 

Posted in: Donna Andersen

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8 Comments on "My cousin and the Pennsylvania pedophile priests"

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Donna, what a heart wrenching story that you have shared. My condolences to you & your family.

Several years ago, Oprah had a two part show on men who were molested at young ages. It’s very sad, but powerful two part series. These brave men share their stories, their feelings etc during this show. It’s honestly heart wrenching. I believe the statistics for child sexual abuse is 1 in 3 girls & 1 in 6 boys. Which is so sad that this day and age that these horrible events can not be stopped, like what happened in Penn this week. I also believe several of the victims who were on Oprah’s show talked about drug & alcohol addiction issues because of their abuse.

As far as, the Catholic church goes, there is something more going on with these priest destroying good kindhearted children & their families. This kind of abuse has been happening in the Catholic Church for 100’s of years. Many years ago, when it made headline news that Priest sexual abuse happened yet again, the Catholic Church was sued & almost went out of business so to speak, because the law suits were greater then most of their assets. They had to sell of properties etc to pay their plaintiff settlements. Not sure if your cousins law suit was during this time or not. Also during this time I remember our town newspaper reporting that back in the 1940’s over 10,000 children were sexually abused by Priest in Ohio alone. YES!! 10,000 children were abused by Catholic Priest. SO sick & twisted their mindset are. That was just one state! Imagine how many poor children are abused in all of the states & around the world by these evil priest.

So to me, it’s not all about sociopath or psychopaths doing these horrible inflictions against children within the Catholic. There must be more to it…like CULT brain washing & Mind control of the Priest??. I was raised Catholic, thank goodness I only went to church once in a while with my family. But during those times as a youth, I thought the whole church stand up, sit down, kneel, scents, wine & bread etc was weird and made zero sense…now I see it’s all cult ritual. And part of the cult like ritual is to make catholics feel guilty for not looking after others, submissive, especially submissive if you went to Catholic schools where nuns were physically abusive towards their students. So these Priest have easy prey with vulnerable children & their parents.

So sad.

Google: “Oprah 200 men molested” to watch her two part series.

Once again, thank you Donna for sharing your story & again condolences to you & your family. RIP for your Cousin.

So what’s new about the Catholic Church? Why do you think we had a Reformation in the first place? Hint: it’s spelled “corruption”! Among countless other sins such as “simony” and whatnot, way back around 1490 an anonymous critic famously wrote about the Friars in the fens around East Anglia, words he didn’t dare say openly so he put them in code, like whispering in our ear:

non svnt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk

That may have been a “mortal sin” that left these offending clerics short of Heaven, but at least those they were swiving (to use 15th century language) were female, adults, and presumably consenting adults at that–adulteresses though they may have been. (Though I have to wonder about gullible people who are “taken in” by the lie that “I am God’s messenger on Earth, and God decrees that you should do my will.”) Yeah, right! And nothing has improved. Today we have to write (if I may be permitted to borrow that 15th century alphabet):

non svnt in coeli, quia gxddbov cpzt pg qfootzmxbokb

That’s downright degenerate. Even if they never used that word in the 15th century, I don’t know any other word for it. It’s so much more predatory and so much worse in every way when the victims are children.

I have a lot of thoughts prompted by this, but that’s the first off the top of my head. And Donna, I’m so sorry about your cousin Terry.

This is very sad but I have known some very nice catholic priests and nuns and there are crimes committed in other religions which are worse IMO.

Am so sorry to hear of your cousin’s tragic life. Most alcoholics and addicts have had early childhood trauma.

Interestingly, I notice many funerals of alcoholics and addicts as often overflowing. Think mourners grieve the loss of their POTENTIAL!

Well, now the Pope himself is in hot water! Not for having personally abused anyone, but for playing a part in the coverup of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who did.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò claims that Pope Benedict XVI had privately disciplined McCarrick for his abuses, but when Francis became Pope he did his best to “rehabilitate” McCarrick in the public eye although Viganò had personally warned Francis of McCarrick’s history as far back as 2013. He called on Francis to resign. Here’s one account of this controversy:

The Catholic abuse scandal now leads all the way to the Vatican

From BuzzFeedNews Monday:

We Saw Nuns Kill Children

Then there’s this from last Thursday:

Nuns charged in Smyllum Park child abuse investigation

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