Statement on the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

The sexual abuse of any human being—and particularly the sexual abuse of children—is a terrible sin and a crime.  It should not happen anywhere, and it most particularly should not happen in the Catholic Church.  The fact that it did—and on such a significant scale—is disgraceful and the Bishop is committed to removing any remaining abusers and keeping out future ones.

Although it does not excuse the crimes, sins and failures of the past, since 2002, the dioceses of Pennsylvania and elsewhere have put into place programs to prevent the abuse of children and make sure that cases of abuse are properly reported.  Bishop Barres became bishop of Allentown in July 2009. 

In 2002, years before Bishop Barres became bishop, Allentown opened up its files on abusers to the local district attorneys and subsequently all reports of abuse were forwarded to law enforcement. The documents given to the Pennsylvania attorney general in 2016 thus had largely been reviewed by local prosecutors over a decade previously.  During Bishop Barres time in Allentown, abusers were removed from office and all reports of abuse were sent on to the appropriate prosecutors.

The 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report contains certain statements concerning how Bishop Barres and the Diocese handled the case of a priest removed from ministry named Michael Lawrence.  The Report is materially incorrect on these points, and a summary discussing the errors follows at the end of this statement.

          Bishop Barres has spent many years talking to and counselling the survivors of abuse (including the survivors of abuse elsewhere in society who should not be forgotten) and is aware of how devastating it can be to survivors and their families.  The independent reconciliation and compensation program of the Diocese of Rockville Centre (modelled after Cardinal Dolan’s example in the Archdiocese of New York) is designed to help survivors of abuse in their recovery processes.

Errors in the Report Regarding Michael Lawrence.

          At pages 60-61 of the Report certain statements are made concerning how Bishop Barres handled the case of Michael Lawrence.  Unfortunately there are errors in that recitation—which can be seen when the attached letter from Bishop Barres to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (“CDF”) is read.

1.      Bishop Barres and the Diocese of Allentown informed the Holy See of all relevant facts about Lawrence

The Report says that it appears that Bishop Barres never told the CDF about Lawrence’s first accuser.   It misreads the very letter it cites.

Lawrence was removed from ministry long before Bishop Barres arrived in Allentown, and had been sent to live in a secure and carefully monitored rural facility for sex offenders.  The Diocese of Allentown sought to have Lawrence removed from the clerical state by the Holy See, and sent a report on his conduct to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the “CDF”), which is the appropriate congregation in Rome.  That report was supplemented by additional material when a second victim also reported abuse.

The letter cited in the Report is reproduced on pages 63-64 of the Report.  As can be seen can see, the very first paragraph of the letter makes clear that there had been prior allegations that had previously been discussed.  It refers to “the more recent allegations made against” Lawrence (hence necessarily implying that there were prior allegations).  The second paragraph then refers to the “additional accusations which were made against him and communicated to the [CDF] on 22 September 2011,” and then refers to a 2008 psychological report on Lawrence and explicitly notes that the psychological report was made “three years before the new allegation was reported.”

In other words, the letter is just one part of the of correspondence between the Diocese of Allentown and the CDF; the entire situation was set forth in the earlier correspondence, and this final letter both refers to the prior correspondence and shows that Rome had been told about both victims.

2.     Lawrence was removed from ministry.  He ultimately was not removed from the clerical state to ensure he would stay in a secured facility far from children.

Some have read the Report to suggest that Lawrence remained in ministry.  That is incorrect.  He had been removed from ministry long before Bishop Barres came to Allentown and was kept in a secure facility for sex abusers.  Initially Bishop Barres asked the Holy See to remove Lawrence from the “clerical state.” (What is sometimes called being “defrocked”).  However, as the letter itself notes, Bishop Barres and the Diocese decided to withdraw that application because they were concerned that if Lawrence was removed from the clerical state he would decide to leave the secure facility and rejoin society.  As the letter shows, Bishop Barres concluded that it was better for Lawrence to continue in this “supervised’ way of life” at the secure facility rather than to have him re-enter society. Lawrence died a few months later.

Bishop Barres stands by this decision.  Although he did not know Lawrence personally, his advisors who knew Lawrence unanimously thought Lawrence might present a danger to children if he was not kept at the secure facility and all therefore concluded that keeping him at the secure facility was the highest priority.

3.      Bishop Barres is in the process of requesting the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office correct its report on these subjects.

www.DRVC.org 

Bishop Barres Visit 5June2018

Bishop John Barres celebrated Mass with us for St. Boniface’s Feastday, June 5, 2018.

Fr. Mike Torpey 50th Anniversary and Memories

Fr. Mike Torpey, our Pastor from 1989 to 2007 celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his ordination with us on June 3, 2018.

Parish Council Notes

Parish Council Meeting Minutes

January 30, 2018 at the Rectory

In attendance: Fr. Kevin, Fr. Perera, John Daley, Bill Schiller, Scott Whitting, Ben Szemerenyi, Debbie Mink, Joe Giordano, Gina Pisciotta, Belinda Basaca Zeitlin.

Opening Prayer

Discussion of concerns brought up: in light of the flu epidemic whether we will hold hands during the Our Father, shake hands at sign of peace, continue offering the Precious Blood, have coffee and cake after mass during Lent; Emergency Preparedness and Precautions.

After consultation with both the Staff and Pastoral Council, decision was made to keep the current practices in place. We will not discontinue any of the aforementioned suggestions, but rather leave it up to the individuals who may choose NOT to drink from the chalice and who may choose to abstain from the Sunday morning coffee/cake.  The amount of precious blood however, will be decreased as there seems to be some left over at every mass and many ministers do not want to consume the remaining precious blood in the chalice.

Deacon Frank McGuinness of the Office of Risk management of the Diocese contacted Fr. Kevin and stated that parishes should have some plan of action emergency preparedness, whether it is an individual suffers a medical emergency such as a heart attack, a terrorism type event, other emergencies.  Members of the Pastoral Council will look into/research training for these emergency events.

Parish “Thank You” Party – March 18, 4pm-8pm, at Knights of Columbus.

Discussion of Lenten Parish Mission, March 19-21, which this year will be led by a layperson, Jim Ryan.

Former Pastor, Fr. Mike Torpey’s 50th anniversary as a priest, Sunday June 3rd at noon.  He will be saying 12 noon mass at St. Boniface to celebrate this occasion!

Deacon Tom St. Boniface Lecture in the church possibly for June 10th in honor of Feast Day of St. Boniface, will also have light refreshments, raffle, suggested donation $10 will include raffle ticket. To be hosted by the Madonna Mother Support Circle. Belinda will verify date with Deacon Tom.

Marriage tips video pro bono video to be done with married parishioners giving tips for a lasting marriage, to be unveiled at the lecture in June. These can be used for Pre–Cana and Madonna Mother Support Circle ministries.

Parish Yard Sale: September 29

Handel’s Messiah: December 2

Christmas Around the World: December 8

Welcome Committee: Each new parishioner family receives a folder with all the ministries, Faith Direct, etc. after they register in the parish.

Helping Hands Contact List discussion: benefits vs. liabilities; will look into legalities

Miscellaneous news: Back field legal issues: we needed to have a fence built in, so we got one and the field is now all fenced in. Also, cars are not to block the garage behind rectory because priests need the way clear for emergencies.

Open floor for questions from the Council:

Pastoral council virtual; suggestion box; ¨stbonpc¨ email – Belinda to speak with Robert Lynch to set up, Belinda will also distribute all the pastoral council email addresses to its members.

Next Pastoral Council will be scheduled for some time in June – exact date TBA and emailed to all members in lieu of postal mailing.

Closing Prayer

eGiving through Faith Direct

St. Boniface Martyr introduces “Faith Direct”.

Through Faith Direct you can make all of your contributions to St. Boniface Martyr via automatic payment from your checking account or credit card – just as you may do now with your mortgage, household bills, and other monthly payments. This is a great way to simplify your giving – and it’s the most cost-effective, environmentally-friendly way for our parish to receive your gifts.

Sign up Today!

Frequently Asked Questions about Faith Direct

Give to St. Boniface:

Instructional Video:

 

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is February 14th.

Masses: 8 am, 12:15 pm, 4 pm;

Word Service:  7:30 pm. 

Ashes distributed after the Homily

at Masses and Word Service.

Lent Regulations: Fast & Abstinence

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence. Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. The norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding from age 14 onwards.  —usccb.org

 

Health and Wellness at St. Boniface

Would you like to:

  • Save time and money
  • Make your home safer
  • Become healthier AND
  • Help support our Parish at the same time?

Father Kevin and St. Boniface Parish are pleased to welcome Judith Grant, nurse practitioner and health advocate who will present information about a way to accomplish all this…and create a perpetual fund-raiser for our parish.

Please join us for a powerful and informative presentation on a new way to shop and save money while supporting St. Boniface.

Tuesday, 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm or 7:30 pm in the Church.

 

Sharing the Harvest

You are cordially invited to a FUNdraiser to support our St. Boniface Martyr Parish Outreach Center  & St. Vincent de Paul Parish Conference.

This FUNdraiser is an opportunity to see old friends and make new friends all while sharing your bounty and raising money for the needs in our community!

The evening will consist of a buffet dinner catered by Brookville Delicatessen & Caterers, dessert, wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee and tea.

Prize Baskets and a 50/50 Raffle

Mark your calendar for:

Sunday, October 15, 2017 from 4pm to 8pm

Knights of Columbus Hall, 83 Sea Cliff Avenue, Glen Cove

Ticket Prices:    $30.00 Seniors    $40.00 Adults

**Anyone who brings a NEW unwrapped game, toy, Lego set

or sports ball will receive 7 free basket chances.

(**limit one offer per person)

Please purchase your tickets in advance.

Tickets will be sold after Mass starting in mid September or may be purchased at the Parish Office.

If you have any questions, would like to help with the event, or would like to donate a basket, please contact

Jovanna Lemonda at Jovanna.Lemonda@gmail.com or Pat Fox at pattomfox@gmail.com or 676-1443.

Altar Servers

Boys and Girls in 4th to 12th Grades may become  Altar Servers and assist the priest during liturgical celebrations.  For information, please contact Fr. Kevin.  

(see altar server photo archives)

To the Moon and Back

Fr. Kevin Dillon

Fr. Kevin Dillon is the Pastor of St. Boniface Martyr Parish, Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY.

Like many other grandparents, my mother gives her grandchildren a kiss and a big hug when greeting them or saying goodbye to them and then adds the phrase, “I love you to the moon and back!”  I must admit I thought she was the only grandparent who used this saying, but now realize this statement is employed by countless other grandmas and grandpas.  Recently, I observed it on a plaque in the den of a family who are parishioners here at St. Boniface and mentioned to them that my mother says the same thing to her grandchildren.

To the moon and back is not exactly eternity, but wow, what a distance it is!  At the conclusion of Saint Matthew’s Gospel Jesus says, “Go Teach All People My Gospel.”   Notice his choice of words, “ALL” which in essence means everyone.  Jesus did not want to keep His message confined to just Jerusalem and the land of his birth, death and resurrection; rather he wanted it revealed to the furthest and remotest corners of the earth, and for over 2000 years that is exactly what happened, thanks to the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and their successors.

A little more than a month ago, Pope Francis created five new Cardinals, or Princes of the Church.  Heeding the mandate of Jesus, he continues a pattern of finding Cardinals at the peripheries of the world and from dioceses which have not traditionally had a Cardinal.  With this new group of men, Francis has confirmed his preferences for dioceses that are not traditional Sees for a “red hat”.  This group of men will be elevated to Cardinals this Wednesday, June 28 in Rome by Pope Francis.

A good example of the Pope breaking from tradition is where these men currently serve, Laos, Mali, Sweden and San Salvador.   Each of these respective Sees will receive a “red hat”.  Francis also breaks from tradition in that only two of the men are currently Archbishops.  Two others are simply Bishops, and one is the long standing Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of San Salvador, El Salvador; his name is Jose Aregorio Rosa-Chavez and is known to have closely worked with slain Archbishop Oscar Romero.

While we may not be called to go to the moon and back, or to evangelize the furthest corners of the globe, we are called to be witnesses to Christ in our local communities, in the work place, school and our families.  Perhaps our Holy Father is reminding us we are all called to be missionaries and be the presence of Christ to all we meet.  Who knows?  Actually on a very local level here in Rockville Centre our Bishop, John Barres is also calling us to Dramatic Missionary Growth! This phrase has become one of the mantras of his Episcopacy since arriving on Long Island earlier this year.  Our actions here locally may have profound effects and influences in our local area and just maybe to the ends of the world!

—Fr. Kevin


Fr. Kevin Dillon’s letter appears here and in our Parish Bulletin

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