PA--Philly Catholic officials still want secrecy in child sex case

For immediate release: Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016

Statement by Karen Polesir of Ambler, SNAP Philly director (267-992-9463[email protected])

Philly Catholic officials have just lost their bid to keep secret facts about a clergy sex abuse and cover up case. Shame on them for trying to hide the truth and violate, again, their often-repeated but often-broken pledges to be “open” about pedophile priests.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark I. Bernstein has denied Archbishop Charles Chaput's motion for confidentiality in a case called McIlmail v. Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We are grateful for Bernstein’s wise ruling and the McIlmail family’s courage. And we’re dismayed, though not surprised, by Chaput’s continuing hypocrisy. In public, he professes “transparency.” In court, however, he pushes “secrecy.”

“According to court documents, Sean McIlmail was allegedly sexually assaulted by Fr. Robert Brennan while he was a priest at the Resurrection of Our Lord in Northeast Philadelphia. . .between 1998 and 2001 when McIlmail was between the ages of 12 and 14,” according to the Legal Intelligencer.

We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Brennan or cover ups by Chaput will find the strength to call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected][email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747[email protected])


Archdiocese's Confidentiality Request in Sex Abuse Case Denied

Max Mitchell, The Legal Intelligencer, January 19, 2016   

A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge has denied the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's attempts to impose a confidentiality order on an ongoing civil suit involving alleged sex abuse.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark I. Bernstein denied the church's motion for confidentiality and phased discovery last week, holding instead that the parties can only redact Social Security numbers, dollar amounts of any financial information, and the names of alleged victims of child sexual abuse. The order was made in the case McIlmail v. Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

"We are pleased that the court has rejected the argument, and now we would hope that the archdiocese, instead of throwing up further roadblocks, will now provide discovery, which is needed," said Thomas R. Kline of Kline & Specter, who represents the plaintiff in the case. "It is disappointing to the McIlmail family that the archdiocese would not follow the lead of Pope Francis when he said that 'the crimes and sins of the sex abuse of minors may no longer be kept secret.'"

Conrad O'Brien attorney Nicholas M. Centrella, who represents the archdiocese, did . . . 

Read full article here

Showing 4 comments

  • bill mack - priest sex survivor
    commented 2016-01-19 16:06:45 -0600
    I tweeted it and 👍 Liked it in FB. Bill McAlary
  • Gail Howard
    commented 2016-01-19 15:46:56 -0600
    Posted on Facebook:

    The new pope said not to hide these things anymore…

    A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge has denied the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s attempts to impose a confidentiality order on an ongoing civil suit involving alleged sex abuse.

    Read more:
  • Mike Skiendzielewski
    commented 2016-01-16 20:15:33 -0600
    No surprise here…….Chaput and his true colors are shining through. Transparency, openness and accountability……never under the reign of King Chaput.
    I wish we could take a helicopter loaded with the redacted documents and drop them all over the city so that all Philadelphians would be able to see and understand how the RCC chooses the protection of their leaders over the protection of their schoolchildren.

    Michael Skiendzielewski
    Philadelphia Police Dept
  • @ tweeted this page. 2016-01-16 11:38:04 -0600

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