Support for priest growing stronger

Support for priest growing stronger

There are 83 comments on the Home News Tribune story from Jul 24, 2007, titled Support for priest growing stronger. In it, Home News Tribune reports that:

Iam responding to a July 13 letter 'Priest's accusers robbed of justice' regarding Monsignor Michael Cashman.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Home News Tribune.

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West New York, NJ

#1 Aug 12, 2007
There was an exhaustive investigation conducted by the church. The victim's accusations were NOT just accepted at face value. Cashman has not been "robbed of justice", the victims have been "robbed" of their innocence. I suggest that you avoid getting all of your info from Cashman and his lawyers. You are being lead down a deceptive path.

Parsippany, NJ

#2 Sep 5, 2008
I have known Monsignor Michael Cashman since I was 14 years old. There is NO WAY this holy man did anything to these alleged victims. We spent summers with Fr. Mike when he was the babysitter for up to 15 children. If he had a predilection as a child molester, he would have taken advantage of one of us years ago. Lord knows he had the opportunity.

The alleged victims in this case saw an opportunity to make some money at the expense of others.

They sold their souls to the devil, and one day will have to answer for it.

But I will defend Fr. Mike to my dying day. I do not get my info from "Cashman and his lawyers" (I have never even MET his lawyer). I know this man for most of my life, and I KNOW that there he is a man of faith. The only deception in this case is that of the alleged victims.

Lansdale, PA

#3 Sep 11, 2008
Father Mike presided over my wedding. I will also go to my grave knowing that this good man was brought down by an evil woman. The sad thing is that this family was actually a family which he helped both spiritually and financially. I was informed by a source close to the matter that this chain smoking white trash women actually fabricated this tale and supposedly even her children backed away from the allegations in the end. However it was to late. The damage was done and the church that Father Mike gave his life to settled without really ever taking his sacrifices and supporters into account

New York, NY

#4 Sep 12, 2008
I know first hand that it happened. He sexually abused those minors and has lied about it for years. I know this seems hard to believe...but it is the truth.

You need to consider how difficult this is for the family in question. This had nothing whatsoever to do with money and the children have never changed their story. It is a story they have been telling for over 25 years. There is ample proof of this.

You simply don't have all of the facts.

You have no idea how hurtful your negative comments are to a family that has suffered at the hands of a man they trusted.
Witness MD

Willingboro, NJ

#5 Sep 14, 2008
It's unfortunate that people have been fed false information. These victims have not backed away, but rather, painfully wait until the case concludes in truth.

The victims are real, their abuse is real and they continue to be re victimized during this process.

Who would put themselves through all of this pain for money? These victims are college-educated with professional jobs.

Let's get real.

Philadelphia, PA

#6 Dec 12, 2008
Father Mike Baptized me and has been in my life up until my family and I changed churches when I was 14. This is a GOOD holy man, who I spent MUCH time with, and he never so much as laid a HAND on me or any of the other children that loved him oh so much. We brought his family over from Ireland and in turn we went and stayed with his family in both Ireland and England one summer. The people who made these accusations have since taken then back stating that they were not true, and the diocese STILL will not admit their wrong doing. I have known of alcoholic priests who have been simply relocated instead of the Church admitting that there was a problem and dealing with it correctly. The Roman Catholic Church has let me down as a whole, and I, with every bone in my body, KNOW Fr. Mike is innocent.

Iselin, NJ

#7 Jan 14, 2009
Witness wrote:
I know first hand that it happened. He sexually abused those minors and has lied about it for years. I know this seems hard to believe...but it is the truth.
You need to consider how difficult this is for the family in question. This had nothing whatsoever to do with money and the children have never changed their story. It is a story they have been telling for over 25 years. There is ample proof of this.
You simply don't have all of the facts.
You have no idea how hurtful your negative comments are to a family that has suffered at the hands of a man they trusted.
You say you have all the facts Please share them.

Iselin, NJ

#8 Jan 14, 2009
You state you have "all the facts" Please share.

New York, NY

#9 Jan 28, 2009
Fact #1: The victims have not "taken back" their accusations. They are still very much engaged in seeking justice. So someone is feeding you a lie. I wonder who?

Fact #2: There is ample evidence that the victims reported these crimes at least 20 years ago to several therapists. The records are clear. Their story has never wavered over the years. In fact, one of the victims completely cutoff all contact with him years ago due to this. He will tell you that this is for OTHER reasons. He's lying.

Fact#3: There are incriminating letters to the victims written by Cashman which make it very clear that he was having an inappropriate relationship with them.

Fact #4: What made the situation complicated for the victims was that Cashman had an emotional and sexual relationship with their mother.

Fact#4: He admitted the charges to the victims on more than one occasion.

Fact#5: It is very difficult for victims of sexual abuse to prove their accusations because it often happens behind closed doors.

Fact #6 The victims and Cashman all appeared before a response team made up of psychologists, retired judges, priest etc. They unanimously found the accusations credible.

Fact#7 There was another, totally unrelated victim who brought accusations against Cashman at the time...but I'm sure you haven't heard about that either.

There are many facts that are true and many falsehoods that Casman is feeding to his supporters. I know it is hard to believe..but he did it.
Witness MD

Sicklerville, NJ

#10 Jan 30, 2009
Response to "Appauled"

First, I would like to say that all of the points from "Witness" are true and supported.

I would hope that the Roman Catholic Church would let you down if they DID NOT investigate this case. What's more important, protecting the abuser or the victims? The sad part is, that Cashman knows the truth but is in such denial that he now believes what he tells people. I believe this is his only way to survive.

If the explanation from "Witness" is not enough, then I pray that your family is one day able to see that Cashman is a human being, not the "Chosen One". Take him off a pedestal for a brief moment and give yourself permission to see him as a human being. I wish he was able to do the same. I pray that Cashman can get back to the truth and ask God for forgiveness. His inability to step down has made this process excruciatingly painful for the victims.

I will always believe in the power of God, truth and forgiveness. For such a "holy man" he doesn't seem to have too much faith himself.



#11 Mar 13, 2009
I have known Micheal Cashman my entire life, Ill love and trust him til the day I die. I am not a relegious person so faith doesn't even come into it for me.
You say they'v be telling the story for over 20yrs.... why then did one of the accusers travel with Fathert Mike to Ireland to meet his family, accept their hospitaliy, food and beds, he was an adult at the time and had a choice.
Having a sexual relationship with their mother???? Iv never heard something so ludicrous.
I would love to know exactly where you have recieved your "facts"???
You also seem to have left out the fact that the state have aqquited him. Where as the church just paid off the accusers and then decided to investigate. There have been so many actual cases in recent years its just easier for them to add another name to their list.
The American Judicial System knows its all a pack of lies, I just wish the church had the same intelligence and weren't scared of admitting they are wrong.

Micheal Cashman doesn't feed anyone anything. His many supporters have come to their own conclusions because they know the truth. Mike has not backed down because he has done nothing wrong, he is not the "Chosen One" he is a human being who made the mistake of befriending the wrong, money grabing, attention starved, back stabbing dishonest people.

The whole thing makes me sick!!
Follow the money trail

Spotswood, NJ

#12 Mar 14, 2009
Let us follow a bit of logic in this case. The bishop was presented with several cases of abuse by priests very early in his tenure. In a stroke of absurdity, he decided to bundle them all together and settle out of court, without investigating the cases first. Some cases were absolutely valid, but how do we know for certain?

So, when the criminal investgation begins, no evidence is found, and is dismissed. The church has now paid out several hundred thousand dollars to many alleged victims. But what if some of those victims were not accurately telling the truth? If the church investigations came up with nothing, then any parishioner might have the right to request their parish's share of the unjust payment back. What would the bishop have to say then? "Sorry, flock, I just gave a liar $XXX of your money, and shamed someone whom the church deemed worthy of the title Monsignor."

the church had to find fault with someone for this case - either the Most Reverend Bishop, or the current outcast Fr. Mike, or risk having to go through the entire scandal more openly with watchful eyes this time.

This is not something that "technicalities" exist to muddle the facts. This is about people's lives. Both for the alleged victims and for Fr. Mike.

God will judge us all, let's just make sure we can sleep at night with our own consciences.
Witness MD

Willingboro, NJ

#13 Mar 15, 2009
To Dublin Ireland Friend: My prayers are with you. You have no idea what you're talking about. It's pretty scary that you continue to defend a sexual predator. I hope you don't have children of your own because you may not have the clarity to protect them. If you truly research sexual abuse of minors and all of the psychological effects, the actions of the victims would make much more sense to you. When a victim is in a sick environment your entire life and never protected, it sometimes takes a long time until a victim realizes what is sick, abusive and wrong. He took what he could from this entire family. Used them to satisfy his own desires and manipulated the mother so she would stay quiet. Cashman did admit these crimes to the victims and asked for their forgiveness "behind closed doors". It was after that "Ireland trip" the adult victim broke all ties with him - over 20 years ago.
Get your facts straight

North Bergen, NJ

#14 Mar 15, 2009
The criminal charges could not be brought because they fell outside of the statute of limitations. There was no evidence found of abuse WITHIN the statute of limitations. This means crimes that took place after 1996. So he was not CLEARED of these crimes. They were not legally able to investigate them. Also, if you do some research on child abuse, it is not unusual for victims, particularly when the perpetrator is close to the family, to remain loyal to the perpetrator for years after the crime. In fact most cases are not reported for MANY years. Please educate yourself.

Finally, if this was about "money grabbing"...why have the victims continued to fight for justice for years AFTER they received the settlement?

The money was ONLY awarded after an exhuastive investigation. Where do you get YOUR facts from?
Truth Will Prevail

Detroit, MI

#15 Mar 15, 2009
#1 Were all of you there when Father Mike asked forgiveness, when he admitted that the charges were true, or when he committed these acts of abuse?

#2 Would you step down if you were innocent?

#3 How many Tribunals did it take to investigate these charges? Are they held to the same standards of proof as our judicial system? Any lie detectors taken?

#4 What do the other members of the accusers' family have to say?

#5 Why were all of the abuse cases bundled together? Was there an EXHAUSTIVE investigation of EVERY allegation?

#6 What is your definition of sexual abuse?(See recent findings, paying close attention to exactly what he has been found guilty of.)

#7 You ask why the victims continue to fight for justice and I ask why Father Mike will spend every day of his life working to clear his name. I too, would not stop fighting until my name was cleared. That is faith.

I believe in God, truth, forgiveness, and the fact that ALL of us will be judged someday- including the Bishop. By the way, Witness MD, would you also pray for me?

Readington, NJ

#16 Mar 16, 2009
As a victim of sexual abuse, I can tell you that I would never have gone a trip with my abuser. Why are we not talking about the mental state of the accuser? People have known for years that she was not completely rational. She cooked up this scheme to benefit her family and I understand that her family has turned against her. Fa. Mike is a holy, caring man who reached out to this family when they were in need. Now they have repaid him by dragging his name through the mud. I respect and believe in Fa. Mike and will continue to pray that justice will prevail. The Catholic Church has once again proven that they are out of step with the truth that Jesus taught. Jesus said let the person who is guiltless of sin throw the first stone. Well on Sunday the bishop put Fa. Mike in the circle of public abuse by writing that appauling letter to the parishoners.
Shame on him.

Willingboro, NJ

#17 Mar 16, 2009
The case in the bishop's letter refers to the counts of sexual abuse of the two minors Cashman abused, not the mother. It was the two victims who brought this out in 2002. Cashman used this family when they were at their most vunerable state. He abused these children during and after their father's death. If you knew the facts, you would know that this decision came out of an exhaustive canonical process. The bishop had nothing to do with the definitive sentence. Did you not read the letter? Do you not know that the victims went before a review board consisting of 12 individuals ranging from judges, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, nuns, priests and other lay people? Do you not know that the specific details of this case, including transcripts, testimonials, letters, witnesses and interviews over the past 7 years? Why in God's name would these adult children of sexual abuse put themselves throught this agony just to drag him through the mud? It's about truth and protecting innocent children. You obviously are brainwashed into thinking this "holy man" is exempt of any sin. It is clear that whatever you hear will not matter. You are one of his "followers".

New York, NY

#18 Mar 16, 2009
The mother didn't make the accusations. The children did. They, and their entire family have stood together on this during the whole process.

The "appalling" letter from the Bishop simply stated the facts from the outcome of the canonical trial.

If you were sexually abused, than you understand the hurt and shame connected with it. I want you to imagine for a moment how you would feel if he did this to you and people were writing all of these hurtful things.

It was very difficult for these victims to come forward and to keep telling the truth in the face of so many challenges, including the church's ineptitude. It took all of their strength and courage. An investigation found Cashman guilty. It is time to accept the truth and prevent future generations of children from the same fate.
Follow the money trail

Spotswood, NJ

#19 Mar 16, 2009
If these allegations are true, then why did Fr. Mike introduce the victims to other families he became friendly with? Why did the (then) children never say anything to those who also became their friends? Why did at least 3 families (including the "victims") get to know each other, and nothing was said amongst each other? Why was everything fine and dandy until the priest scandals started popping up and money was being handed out?

and yes, all this was told to the tribunal.

Willingboro, NJ

#20 Mar 16, 2009
Nothing was ever "fine and dandy". There was nothing healthy about his relationship with the victims' family. Even the "help" he gave them over the years was to keep them quiet. The fact that all of those families became friends because of him added to the victims' confusion and reinforced that the abuse must have been OK if everyone around loved and idolized him. There was NO protection since it was normalized and miscontrued as "love". The only way this family would be able to remove Cashman was to get a lawyer. It was NOT their intention to get money AT ALL. Once again, please, please, please do some research on sexual abuse and you will see that the actions of the victims are quite common. These victims have not benefited by this financial settlement other than helping to cover the cost towards continued treatment of the victims' emotional and psychological effects of this abuse. If it was just for the money (which it's clearly not), then why do the victims continue to fight to change the sick and toxic system which has kept priests, like Cashman, in the priesthood for years? These victims are intelligent, articulate and well educated individuals who are morally and ethically sound. Trust me, NO ONE in their right mind would EVER put themselves through this agony for the money. The victims have continued to fight for the past 5 years, well after the settlement, and will continue to fight to the end until real change occurs in the church's handling of sexual abuse. Your questions are understandable (especially if your family has been friends with him your whole life) and I also understand how difficult it is to comprehend. Imagine how painful and agonizing it has been for the victims to make sense of all of this? Their childhood and innocense was taken from them by a man they loved and trusted.

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