Father Robert L. Brennan, a Philadelphia priest who was arraigned on charges of rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse and aggravated sexual assault has just had his bail reduced. Is the court making it easier for him to get out of jail so he can hurt more children?
This Philly priest was arraigned last month for sexually assaulting an altar boy over a 3-year period. This comes on the heels of previous accusations of sexually abusing more than a dozen other boys. Brennan was arrested in Perryville, MD on September 25 and was returned to Philadelphia the next day after waiving extradition.
Initially, a judge set his bail at 10 percent of $1million and ordered him against having any contact with his accuser. On Tuesday, his bail was reduced to 10 percent of $50,000 as if the judicial system wants him out sooner than later.
Spokeswoman for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Barbara Dorris, says they are worried and disappointed by the reduction. She said kids are safer when predators like Father Brennan are jailed. Their concern is he may flee overseas because he knows that he will face a long sentence if he’s convicted.
This man caused damage to many kids under the guise of the church and needs to be held accountable. Whenever his actions came into question the Archdiocese would simply move him to another parish.
The Archdiocese has a history of transferring pedophile priests from parish to parish instead of reporting their crimes or eliminating them from their position within the church. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said Brennan was one of the priests who, for years, was protected rather than punished.
When consequences are interrupted, causing the person committing the act to avoid payment for his choices, change rarely takes place. Choices always involve consequences; whether good or bad. We are creatures of free will and can make our own choices but should always anticipate consequences. We may avoid the consequences for awhile but not forever.
It seems that the Archdiocese has overlooked an immutable Biblical principle (Galatians 6:7) that reads “whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” To believe that this only takes place in eternity is to deceive ourselves; the harvest begins before we die.
There shouldn’t be any question that the consequences of our actions begin to come down on us well before “Judgment Day.” The Apostle Paul spoke in Romans 1:27 of those who, while still living, were “receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
In other words, we can run, but we can’t hide. The law of cause and effect is no respecter of persons, and it eventually catches up with every last one of us.
Williams said this is another example of how the Monsignor William Lynn covered and protected predator priests from exposure and prosecution. As a result, countless Philadelphia children were victimized.
This same priest’s church responsibilities were severely restricted after a 2005 grand jury report on sexual abuse in the Philadelphia church found that Brennan had inappropriately touched over 20 boys from the parishes and schools where he was employed.
This explosive grand jury report on priest abuse allocates a large section to the acts of Father Brennan. The report states that the archdiocese constantly moved Brennan from parish to parish repeatedly; without exposing the true cause.
Until now, he has escaped any type of legal prosecution because of William Lynn and others in the archdiocese covered him for decades. Now the judicial system wants to reduce his bail and allow him a better chance of being released.
These kids were abused in the sacristy of the church; in Father Brennan’s bedroom, in the rectory, in a storage area on parish property and even in a movie theater. It should outrage the Philly community as well as the rest of the world that this man would have the opportunity to hurt other children.
Many have complimented Archbishop Charles Chaput and the church for the way they handled these new allegations. When they heard of them they immediately contacted the district attorney’s office.
The Philadelphia Archdiocese has a deeply-rooted and long-standing culture of secrecy where consequences have consistently been interrupted. While this new level of accountability may be commendable, the Archdiocese deserves no real credit for finally reporting this priest to law enforcement. We can only hope this one incident will prove to be a serious change within the diocese.
As it stands now Father Robert L. Brennan, accused of charges rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse and aggravated sexual assault has just had his bail reduced. That’s insane.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)