Rev. Charles Newman, sentenced for theft, robbed everyone

Rev. Charles Newman, sentenced for theft, robbed everyone

June 1, 2009 11:52 PM MST

The former president of Archbishop Ryan High School, Rev. Charles Newman, was sentenced on Friday, May 22 to 3-6 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of theft and two counts of theft by unlawful disposition.

Originally indicted by a grand jury in December of 2007 with six counts of felony theft and one count of felony forgery, Newman is believed to have stolen $331,000 from the school and $550,000 from his religious order, the Franciscan Friars.

The money, which Newman claimed to have “given away”, is believed to have been used to pay off former students he had sexually abused.

One former student, Arthur Baselice, received $54,000 to purchase illegal drugs, alcohol, and as payment for his silence.  Believed to have been introduced to illegal drugs by Newman, Mr. Baselice died at the age of 28 of a drug overdose.

In spite of the evidence of sexual misconduct and abuse, charges could not be filed against Newman because the statute of limitations had expired in the case of Mr. Baselice, and other known victims have not yet come forward.

At his sentencing, Michael J. McArdle, the current president of Archbishop Ryan High School, read a Victim Impact Statement denouncing Fr. Newman’s actions and expressing the depth of the harm caused by his crimes.  “The damage is deep,” McArdle said, “Archbishop Ryan has worked hard to rebuild trust in the wake of this tragedy.”

This may be the understatement of the year although there may not be words in the English language that could adequately convey the full magnitude of the harm that was caused by the actions of one individual.

The loss of the life of Arthur Baselice – father to a baby boy, mate to a grieving widow, child of loving parents, is already a monumental tragedy that will have a lifetime of repercussions on his family and friends.  Added to it is the betrayal of students, parents, faculty, colleagues, and religious brothers who placed their trust in a man whose appetite for destruction consumed everything and everyone in its path.

As a former student of Archbishop Ryan and as someone who knew Charles Newman before he entered the Franciscan order, I’d like to be able to say the warning signs were always there.  I’d like to be able to say that Newman’s defective and warped character was as plain as day and that those who had authority over him should have known and prevented all of this from happening.

Unfortunately, like the other men whose names appear on the DA’s list of abusive priests, there was no indication.  There’s no special mark, no common peculiarity, no defining characteristic that makes the abuser stand out from anyone else.  Their apparent normalcy is their costume, and it’s what they rely upon for protection.  I cannot claim to be able to see through the disguise.

However, as an observant Catholic, I can claim it to be my responsibility to continue to demand transparency from Church leaders, and pray that those who have been victimized by Newman or any other person find the courage to shine an unwavering light on their abusers so they can no longer hide in anonymity.


About victimsofrapebythercc

The Catechism offers a clear moral teaching: "Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them." (no. 2356) Note that rape is "an intrinsically evil act," meaning that it is evil at its very root, nothing justifies it, and it is objectively a mortal sin. An evil act was done against me, a crime, by a priest at St Thomas More Parish in Durham, NH. An evil and a crime I will no longer keep silent about. Those who perpetrate crimes against children, especially those of the Roman Catholic Church, should all be punished for their crimes against children. Anything less would be criminal.

Posted on December 12, 2014, in Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Father Charles Newman, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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