Category Archives: Father John (Jack) Connor

Trick or Treat Bishop David Zubik


Trick or Treat Bishop David Zubik

Mike Ference

Mike Ference

I sent this press release out in 2013 around Halloween. It’s time to repost. I met a woman who was friends with the victim who I have described in the press release. I’m hoping to interview her soon. She talked to the victim the night that Father John Wellinger drugged him. That’s right a witness is stepping forward to tell us what the victim went through the night that Father John Wellinger drugged him.

It’s a shame that Donald Wuerl, David Zubik and all the other Roman Coward clerics who covered up crimes in the Pittsburgh Diocese don’t simply come forward and tell the truth and really help survivors heal.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Ference
412-233-5491
mike@ferencemarketing.com

Bishop David Zubik

Bishop David Zubik

Pittsburgh, PA – October 29, 2013 — If ever there was cleric gone wild who should be dredged up on devil’s night, Father John Wellinger is that evil spirit. As an advocate for clergy sex abuse victims for almost a quarter of a century I’m convinced that the Pittsburgh Diocese concealed Wellinger’s criminal activities with the help of law enforcement authorities, the university and medical community, elected officials at all levels of government, legal community and of course plenty of hierarchy from the Roman Catholic Church.

How could this to happen? We now know that protecting predator priests, clerics and the institutional church trumps God’s most precious commodity – innocent children. It’s the standard method of operation in every diocese and in every country.

On Thursday, October 31, 2013, in downtown Pittsburgh on the Boulevard of the Allies in front of the Pittsburgh Diocesan headquarters I’ll pass out literature outlining who knew what, where, when and why about the devastation caused by one predator priest Father John Wellinger and how everything was covered up.

Here are some of the details.

Sometime in 1987, possibly March, while Anthony Bevilacqua was serving as bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese; Wellinger allegedly drugged and possibly raped and sodomized a University of Pittsburgh student. The alleged crime took place in the student’s apartment that was shared with his brother, also enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh. According to the victim, who I interviewed, he was knocked out for hours. Awakening, he intuitively called 911. Sadly, that’s when his real nightmare began.

Running down the stairs and into the street to meet the Pittsburgh paramedics, the teenager would be whisked away to Presbyterian Hospital emergency room (now University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). According to the victim, he was admitted, but never examined by a doctor. Keep in mind this young man was given a drug that knocked him out, administered by a lay person with very bad intentions. Wellinger also provided alcohol, yet no doctor wanted to be bothered by this case.

Why?

Could it be that the call to 911, answered by Pittsburgh paramedics, was the first step in alerting Pittsburgh Diocesan officials that one of their own had harmed another, again? Would diocesan officials then alert hospital officials to avoid contact with the patient?

Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Or, is it more reasonable to assume that medical personnel, sworn to care for and help others in need, would just say no to a young man drugged and possibly raped and sodomized by a Catholic priest? I don’t think so. An emergency room doctor, spending so much money on medical school and with so much to lose, would never make that call.

Was this normal protocol during the Bevilacqua years as bishop when priest after priest was charged with molesting minors? Bevilacqua even welcomed known predator priests into the Pittsburgh Diocese, Father John P. Connor being one of them. It’s called passing the trash from one diocese to the next. This year I spoke to a victim of Connor from the north hills section of Pittsburgh. How many other victims of Connor, just like Wellinger, are still suffering.

We now know how badly the Bevilacqua regime treated children in the Philadelphia Archdiocese since two separate and distinguished district attorneys from Philadelphia had the courage to protect children over dysfunctional, super sex freaks. Is it more reasonable to think Bevilacqua would protect sexual perverts only on the eastern side of Pennsylvania or that his criminal behavior would be congruent and consistent across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?

Sadly, Allegheny County district attorneys have done more to protect video poker parlors than children abused by grown men in priestly garb. If I’m wrong, please let the current or a past district attorney of Allegheny County or, any elected official for that matter, stand and sing your praise.

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua

According to the victim, Wellinger trailed him to the emergency room, the victim alerted the attending nurse on duty that he, Wellinger was the priest who drugged him. Still nothing was done. Security was not alerted, police were not called. The teenager would simply leave with his parents for a long ride home.

My interview with the victim was not the first time I was made aware of this event. As early as January of 1990, former Clairton Public Safety Director William Scully, a seasoned law enforcement officer, would sit down with my wife and me, in our own living room and tell us firsthand his knowledge of this alleged crime. Scully even provided me with details, notes and instructions to contact the victim’s parents to get all the facts.

There’s much more to this story, sadly, the victim’s mother was also traumatized by Wellinger. Just one more reason the crime and the priest were able to blackmail all parties concerned, so charges would never be made and Wellinger would never be held accountable.

Looks like this Trick or Treat season, Bishop David Zubik has two choices; fess up or continue to flip the bird to victims of ruthless, sexual predators.

 

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Support the victims not the victimizers


Frank LaFerriere: Support the victims not the victimizers

Published Date Thursday, April 24,2014
From the Link: http://www.berlindailysun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49465:frank-laferriere-support-the-victims-not-the-victimizers&catid=73:letter&Itemid=428

To the editor:

If you were to find out that the leadership of a group or organization you belonged to had appeared before commissions and grand juries and openly admitted to covering up the abuses of children, from rape to severe beatings, to even the death of a child, and that this involved tens of thousands of members own children, and that the cover ups are wide spread throughout the organization or group, you would think that the membership of the group would rise up in arms and make sure that the leadership is arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows. That they would stand up and defend and protect their children over the leadership of their group or organization. Yet there is one such organization…though there are others….that its leadership is totally immune from liability for crimes such as these by it’s membership. This organization is known as the Roman Catholic Church.

While they have come far with this problem of child abuse, the Vatican announced that for 2011-2012 almost 400 priests had to be let go because of credible accusations of child abuse, including rape, there is still much to be done. While it is commendable that they caught and fired these priests, what about those whom participated in the cover ups of these crimes? Why are they not called to account for their crimes of the members own children? Why are the leadership of the church put above the law and those whom they have harmed? Why are they defended and even praised or made a saint?

There have been at least a half a dozen commission reports, like the Ryan Report, that detail the systematic sexual, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse of children and teens, children of the Roman Catholic Church; and the cover ups of these abuses by the leaders and even their highest leaders, ones whom are supposed to be the Vicars of Jesus while on this earth and in their position. Yet even to this day, not one credibly accused leader has ever been arrested or prosecuted for their crimes save one, Bishop Robert Finn and that case is being retried. Matter of fact, one of these, John Paul II was given sainthood. There is overwhelming evidence he participated in the cover up of and through acts of omission, turned a blind eye to, the pederast Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ. Yet he is given sainthood? This is an insult to all those whom are survivors of these evil crimes against us.

There are some incredible priests and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. I have met some of them. From Fr Tom Doyle, ret., whom has fought tirelessly for the victims of priest abuse, at the cost of his being a priest, to even our own local priest Fr Kyle Stanton whom has helped me immensely, to groups like Catholic Whistleblowers, and others, they have sort of restored my faith that this problem of priests and nuns abusing children and teens will stop. Yet to truly set things right the following must be done.

1. All credibly accused leaders, from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, to Cardinals like Timothy Dolan, Donald Wuerl, Roger Mahony, Bernard Law, George Pell, and many others, against whom there is overwhelming evidence, through commission reports, grand jury testimonies and the churches own documents, must be fired. They must be arrested and prosecuted. We do this to other criminals, we demand this of any rapist or those whom cover up the rapes and abuses of children. They may be leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, but these men are criminals and deserve to be arrested and prosecuted and the victims deserve their day in court and justice for the crimes committed against them because of these leaders actions.

2. Abide by the Pledge to Protect, Promise to Heal charter all of the diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States signed. All attacks against the victims must stop. We are not responsible for our rapes, we did not enjoy being raped. We are not homosexuals because we were raped by a male priest. We are not liars, gold diggers who are out looking for a payday from the Roman Catholic Church.

We are your sons, we are your daughters, who want justice, whom want those who perpetrated these crimes against us punished, whom went through one of the most horrifying and terrifying experiences a human being can go through. We trusted these priests and nuns and they destroyed that trust with their evil crimes against us. We were raped, we were beaten, we had our souls, our hearts stolen from us, we had our bodies destroyed and abused. We did not deserve this, we were not willing participants and we refuse to remain silent while those whom are responsible for these crimes against us go free while we still remain trapped inside the prisons they created for us.

3. No matter what….put your children before your leaders. Protect and stand up and defend your children….not the leaders whom committed these evils against us. Your children should come first. Stand up for the victims of these crimes, whom are your own children. You may know one. Again, we are your sons, your daughters, your nieces and nephews, your God children, whom you vowed and promised to protect and defend.

I started going back to church. I even started photographing St Annes, an incredibly beautiful place of worship. I had no choice though, I had to stop because I felt like such a hypocrite. Far too many of us whom were victims still see those responsible for these evils against us in their positions as if nothing in the world is wrong. We victims are still being attacked, by people like Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League. We are still being attacked by parishioners whom have called me a liar to my face and how dare I spread lies and rumors and false accusations and gossip against the leaders. Well, sadly, I am not spreading lies, rumors and false accusations, these statements I have made can all be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law if it were allowed.

Yet while these leaders whom perpetrated these crimes against us are still in power, I cannot in good conscious go into the church. I cannot be part of a church where the leadership covered up the crimes of child abuse, child rape and put the church before the children and are still in power, for that makes me a hypocrite in my eyes.

I would love to go on a regular basis to St Anne, to be among the other worshipers, some of whom I made acquaintance and even friends with, especially Fr Kyle, but I cannot, for while the wolves are still in control….someone must stand outside the door for the defense and protection of the children and the victims.

Sin is one thing…sin can be forgiven when there is true repentance from the sin. There has been no true repentance among the leadership whom covered up these crimes. There have been staged acts of contrition, but no true repentance. For if they are to truly repent they must also submit to prosecution for the crimes they committed. They must not hide behind their robes of religion. If they seek to make laws for man like they do, they also must submit to the laws of man and be arrested and prosecuted for their crimes. No one, not even religious leaders, should be allowed to get away with crimes against children. They should not be above the law!

When it comes time to the crimes of the rapes and abuses of children and teens and the cover up of these crimes by the leadership…only justice in a court of law, where the victims may have their day in court to see those responsible for the crimes against them be tried and if found guilty sentenced to prison…that is true justice. The Roman Catholic Church promised this to victims and to prosecuting attorneys…but have failed to deliver on this promise. Instead they still fight the victims and hide behind the statue of limitations to deny justice to the victims. Ask yourself is this true justice? If you were raped would you say this is true justice?

In closing whom do you think Jesus Christ will stand up for in the end?

Those whom perpetrated these crimes against children and teens…or the children and teen victims?

Here is a clue: “For it would be better for you to tie a huge boulder around your neck and throw yourself into the deepest of lakes than to harm a single hair on the head of a child.”

Well the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church did a lot more than harm a hair on the head of a child. Whom are you going to stand besides? The ones Jesus Christ would stand up for? Or the ones He would toss into the pit of hell for their evils against children?

Frank LaFerriere, Berlin

Father John P. Connor


Father John P. Connor

From the link: http://www.bishopaccountability.org/reports/2005_09_21_Philly_GrandJury/Philly_05_08_Connor.pdf

Father John P. Connor
Father John P. Connor, an admitted child molester in his home diocese of Camden, New Jersey, served from 1988 until 1993 as assistant pastor of Saint Matthew parish in
Conshohocken.
He did so thanks to an understanding described by Cardinal Bevilacqua’s assistant from his tenure in Pittsburgh as a “tradition of bishops helping bishops.” That “tradition” led Cardinal Bevilacqua to help his friend, Bishop George H. Guilfoyle of Camden, by assigning Fr. Connor to a diocese where parishioners did not know that the priest had molested a 14-year-old student.
Bishops Guilfoyle and Bevilacqua agreed to place Fr. Connor first in the diocese of Pittsburgh and later, after Bevilacqua’s transfer, in Philadelphia, each time with access to a fresh group of children unprotected by informed parents.
When Archbishop Bevilacqua assigned Fr. Connor to duties at Saint Matthew Church, it was with the directive to “educate youth.”
Cardinal Bevilacqua tried to justify his actions to the Grand Jury by claiming that he first learned that Fr. Connor’s 1984 arrest was for sexual abuse of a minor by reading about it in a newspaper in April 2002. The Grand Jury finds that this testimony was untruthful.
In 1985, before he accepted the priest into the Diocese of Pittsburgh, then-Bishop Bevilacqua handwrote on a memo that Fr. Connor could present a “serious risk” if assigned there.
In 1993, when Fr. Connor’s New Jersey victim threatened to sue the Camden diocese and expose Fr. Connor’s abuse, Cardinal Bevilacqua was fully aware of the potential scandal and acted quickly to have Fr. Connor transferred out of the Philadelphia Archdiocese and back to Camden.
Cardinal Bevilacqua’s decision to place this dangerous New Jersey priest in a Philadelphia-area parish, coupled with his refusal to inform its pastor or parishioners of the priest’s predilections, certainly put the children at Saint Matthew at “serious risk.”
Indeed, a year after Fr. Connor returned to Camden, a priest and a teacher from Saint Matthew warned Secretary for Clergy William J. Lynn that Fr. Connor was continuing a “relationship” he had developed with an 8th-grade boy at the Conshohocken parish.
Monsignor Lynn acted promptly – notifying the Chancellor in Camden and the Archdiocese’s attorney, John O’Dea. He did not notify the boy’s mother who, in 1994, had no way of knowing the priest she trusted with her son was an admitted child molester.
Father Connor is arrested in 1984 in New Jersey for molesting a minor.
Ordained in 1962, Fr. John Connor was a 52-year-old theology teacher and golf coach at Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in Pennsauken, New Jersey, when he was arrested for molesting a 14-year-old student in October 1984. According to an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fr. Connor befriended the victim, “Michael,” when he was a freshman honors student at Bishop Eustace. The priest invited the boy to Cape May for a weekend to play golf and help repair the roof on Fr. Connor’s trailer. The boy’s mother agreed, she said, because “he was a priest.”
The priest and student played a round of golf and then went to Fr. Connor’s trailer. There, the priest served beer to the 14-year-old and announced he was about to have a “religious experience.” Michael described the experience to prosecutors as mutual masturbation.
When the priest attempted another sleepover the next weekend, Michael’s mother alerted police. With Michael’s assistance, they caught the priest in a sting operation and recorded an incriminating phone call with the boy. Father Connor was arrested in the principal’s office at Bishop Eustace.
The priest did not, however, go to jail or even trial. Lawyers for the Diocese of Camden negotiated a pretrial intervention with the Cape May Prosecutors’ Office. The terms of the deal Connor cut were that he would admit molesting the boy in exchange for having the record of his arrest erased if he were not rearrested within one year.
Michael’s mother later complained to a newspaper reporter that, while Fr. Connor’s life and career went on as if nothing happened, her son was so humiliated that he fled school, changed his name, and moved far away. In the April 21, 2002, Philadelphia Inquirer article, she referred to the year of his abuse as “the year my son died.”
Cardinal Bevilacqua, then Bishop of Pittsburgh, agrees to accept Father Connor into the Pittsburgh Diocese to accommodate Bishop Guilfoyle of Camden, New Jersey.
After his arrest, Fr. Connor spent much of the following year in treatment at the church-affiliated Southdown Institute outside of Toronto. As the priest’s release neared, Fr. Connor’s bishop in Camden, Bishop Guilfoyle, wrote to Bevilacqua, who was then Bishop of Pittsburgh. In a confidential letter of September 5, 1985, Bishop Guilfoyle asked Bishop Bevilacqua whether he would consider accepting into the Pittsburgh Diocese a priest who had been arrested and was coming out of Southdown Institute, a facility that treated sexual offenders. He stated in the letter that he would call Bishop Bevilacqua with details. Bishop Guilfoyle explained to Bishop Bevilacqua later that he could not keep Fr. Connor in Camden because of scandal.
According to documents from the Pittsburgh Diocese, Bishop Bevilacqua consulted with his personnel aide, Fr. Nicholas Dattilo, and showed him Bishop Guilfoyle’s letter. Father Dattilo raised several appropriate concerns about bringing Fr. Connor to Pittsburgh. In a memo dated September 11, 1985, Fr. Dattilo told Bishop Bevilacqua that they needed more information about the nature of Fr. Connor’s “problem.” Assuming there must be “scandal to necessitate an assignment outside the diocese,” Fr. Dattilo wanted to know, “what happened?” He noted that “if the problem is homosexuality or pedophilia we could be accepting a difficulty with which we have no post-therapeutic experience.” He concluded: “If, after you have talked to Bishop Guilfoyle you believe there is no serious risk in accepting Fr. Connor, we will do everythi ng we can to keep the tradition of bishops helping bishops intact.” (Appendix D-16)
After speaking to Bishop Guilfoyle, Bishop Bevilacqua wrote on Fr. Dattilo’s memo: “I cannot guarantee that there is no serious risk.” Despite this acknowledgement, and after receiving reports from Southdown that spoke of Fr. Connor’s “sexual preference for late adolescent males,” Bishop Bevilacqua agreed to give Fr. Connor an assignment in Pittsburgh.
The file contains no further detail about the basis for his decision, and Cardinal Bevilacqua could provide none when the Grand Jury questioned him about the matter. Rather, the Cardinal tried to place blame on Fr. Dattilo (who died recently, after becoming Bishop of Harrisburg): “It’s the responsibility of the Clergy office to follow up any kind of concerns.” Memos from Pittsburgh’s files, however, suggest that Fr. Connor was hired at Bishop Bevilacqua’s insistence. Father Dattilo said in his memo of September 11, 1985, to Bishop Bevilacqua: “If, after you have talked with Bishop Guilfoyle you believe there is no serious risk….” Father Dattilo’s “recommendation” to accept Fr. Connor, written one day after his bishop responded, “I cannot guarantee there is no serious risk,” was less than enthusiastic. Father Dattilo listed, prominently, among the reasons for the recommendation, “what [he] perceive[d] as [Bishop Bevilacqua’s] inclination to assist Bishop Guilfoyle and Fr. Connor.”
Cardinal Bevilacqua also refused to admit in his Grand Jury testimony that he was aware of the nature of Fr. Connor’s crime at the time he hired him. But the Southdown Institute report, which Bishop Bevilacqua received, specifically warned against giving the priest responsibility for adolescents. Father Dattilo’s September 18, 1985, “recommendation” cited the “serious consequences of a recurrence” given “the nature of the incident for which he was apprehended.” Bishop Bevilacqua initialed this memo, adding a note that: “He must al so be told that his pastor/supervisor will be informed confidentially of his situation.” There is, therefore, excellent reason to believe that Cardinal Bevilacqua did know the nature of Fr. Connor’s crime when he agreed to accept him.
Father Connor stays in Pittsburgh only so long as Bishop Bevilacqua is there; Archbishop Bevilacqua then finds a parish for him in Conshohocken.
Father Connor began work in Pittsburgh in October 1985 after his release from Southdown. He remained there three years, first in a hospital chaplaincy, then in a parish. From the start he was anxious to return to Camden, but, as reflected in a May 12, 1986, memo from one of Bishop Guilfoyle’s aides, Msgr. Buchler, to his bishop, Bishop Guilfoyle repeatedly put him off.
Efforts to find other dioceses willing to take Fr. Connor were unproductive. As noted in the same memo: “Ordinaries of dioceses are beginning to become somewhat ‘gun shy’ about accepting priests from other dioceses. The potential for legal ramifications are becoming more and more prohibitive.” September 1986 memos from Bishop Guilfoyle’s aides, Frs. Frey and Bottino, to their bishop recorded that some dioceses, such as Baltimore, were so wary of taking on Fr. Connor that they said they would require the extraordinary protection of an “indemnity agreement” whereby the Camden diocese would agree to “exonerat[e] them from any incident and damages caused by any acts of Pedophilia on the part of Father Connor . . ..” After Bishop Bevilacqua left Pittsburgh, Fr. Dattilo revoked Fr. Connor’s assignment. A 1988 letter from Fr. Connor to Bishop Guilfoyle recorded that Fr. Dattilo cited “legal complications” and suggested Fr. Connor apply to Philadelphia since Archbishop Bevilacqua had been willing to accept the priest before.
TO FINISH READING THE REPORT PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://www.bishopaccountability.org/reports/2005_09_21_Philly_GrandJury/Philly_05_08_Connor.pdf

PRESS RELEASE Bevilacqua strikes from the grave


PRESS RELEASE Bevilacqua strikes from the grave
Mike Ference

Mike Ference

 

I sent this out on April 14, 2013. Bishop Zubik still gets a free pass from DA Stevie Blunder Zappala. The Pittsburgh Diocese simply does not have to account for their crimes. Please consider passing this forward.

PRESS RELEASE

Bevilacqua strikes from the grave

Pittsburgh , PA — April 14, 2013 — Since the start of the year, hardly a week goes by where Father Ron Lenguin doesn’t have to explain the sexual shenanigans of another Catholic priest or cleric from the Pittsburgh Diocese. Here it is, early April and the accusations are coming almost every other day.

The newest allegation for Lenguin to address dates back to the time of Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua’s tenure as leader of the Pittsburgh Diocese. For now, the survivor chooses to remain anonymous.

Here’s what we know. John Doe met with a detective from the Northern Regional Police Department in Allegheny County (724-625-3157) on March 21, 2013 at 11:00 am. John Doe made a statement which should have been turned over to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, Jr. for further review and possible investigation.

The alleged abuse occurred approximately from early 1986 to mid 1987. Father John (Jack) Connor was named in the complaint. St. Alphonsus in Wexford , PA is the parish where Father Connor was serving at the time of the alleged assault.

Father Connor, an admitted child molester served in the Pittsburgh Diocese from 1985 to 1987. Originally from the diocese of Camden , NJ , Connor came to Pittsburgh with the blessing of Bevilacqua. It was to help his close friend, Bishop George H. Guilfoyle of Camden . Keeping Connor in New Jersey could lead to more scandals and a probable law suit by one of Connor’s victims.

It’s called a “tradition of bishops helping bishops.” Some call it “passing the trash.”

During his term in the Pittsburgh Diocese, Connor was assigned as a hospital chaplain, possibly Sewickley Hospital , St. Alphonsus Parish in Wexford and St. James Parish also in Sewickley.

For more information on Father John Connor visit Bishop-Accountability:http://www.bishopaccountability.org/reports/2005_09_21_Philly_GrandJury/Philly_05_08_Connor.pdf