While monitoring the reports about the dramatic Harrisburg, PA, press conference today releasing some of the content of the Grand Jury Report on the Diocese of Harrisburg, I was on the alert for the name "Msgr. Thomas Benestad", and sure enough, his name was on the list of names of priests from the Diocese of Allentown. Among veteran Pizzagate VOATers, his name is of particular significance:
MSGR. THOMAS BENESTAD
Msgr. Benestad is of special interest to the Voat Pizzagate community because an SRA survivor posted a horrific account of unspeakable abuse she suffered as a young girl, and she claimed Msgr. Benestad was the main perpetrator in those incidents:
My main perpetrator, Msgr. Thomas J Benestad worked for Cardinal Krol and JP II for the Papal Foundation http://articles.mcall.com/1988-05-06/news/2631739_1_pastoral-care-cardinal-john-krol-papal-foundation This was Krol's funeral mass, it was televised and the good Msgr helped to cover the body, like family members do. I wish that video was still online... https://www.google.com/search?q=Cardinal+Krol&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjI6LCRmKnZAhXjYt8KHfCGBZYQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=6
A Feb. 6, 1992 article confirms that he was named Director of the prestigious Papal Foundation:
The Rev. Thomas J. Benestad, director of the Papal Foundation, Philadelphia, was recently named an honorary prelate of his holiness with the title of monsignor. A charter member of the Diocesan Finance Committee, Benestad was released by Bishop Thomas J. Welsh and appointed to the Papal Foundation by Cardinal John Krol in 1988. The foundation was established to raise funds to defray the costs of operating the central pastoral offices of the Holy See. He is a former pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Bethlehem, and St. Bernard, Easton.
THE PAPAL FOUNDATION
The Papal Foundation hit the news about 6 months ago when Lifesite News obtained leaked internal docs which revealed that Pope Francis personally requested a $25 million grant to the corruption-ridden Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata hospital in Rome which is on the verge of bankruptcy.
LifeSiteNews has obtained internal documents of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, a charity with a stellar history of assisting the world’s poor, showing that last summer the Pope personally requested, and obtained in part, a $25 million grant to a corruption-plagued, Church-owned dermatological hospital in Rome accused of money laundering. Records from the financial police indicate the hospital has liabilities over one billion USD – an amount larger than the national debt of some 20 nations.
The Papal Foundation's HQ are in Philadelphia, and the Board is composed of a number of high-ranking US cardinals, whose names have since become notorious.Cardinal McCarrick recently resigned, the first American cardinal to lose his title and red hat, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl was implicated in today's explosive report. (McCarrick is no longer on the Board.)
Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Chairman Archbishop of Washington, DC Daniel Cardinal DiNardo Archbishop of Galveston-Houston Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York Roger Cardinal Mahony Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles Adam Cardinal Maida Archbishop Emeritus of Detroit Theodore Cardinal McCarrick Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, DC Seán Patrick Cardinal O'Malley Archbishop of Boston Justin Cardinal Rigali Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia
The do-gooder foundation provides grants for seemingly benevolent purposes: rebuilding convents, rectories and seminaries. From the Life Site News article:
The wealthy American Catholic families funded the building of churches, monasteries, schools and seminaries in impoverished nations. AIDS hospices, facilities for care of youth with physical and mental disabilities, and the like have also benefited from their generosity.
A CLOSER LOOK AT MSGR BENESTAD
:Msgr. Benestad, the first Director of The Papal Foundation (and the priest whom @StcharlesSeminary has identified as a perpetrator of SRA abuse) comes from a banking family. His father, Torleaf Benestad, was a banker. More information on him here.
Benestad also had connections with Bob Hope and apparently with many other wealthy Americans, including Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza and on the list of donors. Monaghan runs a charitable organization called Legatus, which has received grants from the Papal Foundation.
Benestad devised a clever scheme of perks for donors, including arranging personal visits with the pope and quickly filled the Foundation's coffers:
And those who give $1 million or more to the Papal Foundation Inc. get not only a medallion, a gold pin and a certificate, but also a ceremony in Rome recognizing their contribution and a visit with Pope John Paul II in his private library. Arthur Birtcher, owner of an Orange County, Calif., real-estate firm, promised $15 million to the foundation, and has met the pope twice. The foundation "appeals to those high-net-worth Catholics who want to reach out and meet the Holy Father," he says.
The Papal Foundation's endowment has grown to $47 million, from nothing in 1988; its administrator, Msgr. Thomas J. Benestad, says it gets new donations of between $3 million and $4 million each year.
(For example, see this star-struck high-roller couple who were among the lucky people to meet Pope Francis, attended by the fulsome Cardinal Donald Wuerl.)
In an archived Voat article about the Papal Foundation, @darkknight111 has provided a number of very useful and informative articles, among them this explosive expose of many of the notable cardinals who sit on the Papal Foundation's Board, by Marialena Montesino de Stuart.
Regarding the hospital in Rome that Pope Francis forced the Papal Foundation to subsidize, preliminary findings seem to reveal that this institution is devoted to cancer research, including stem cell therapy.
National Catholic Reporter writer Michael Sean Winters wrote snarky article defending loan given to Rome hospital. Says Sr. Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, inspected hospital and gave it a thumbs up and that Sr. Carol gave members of Papal Foundaiton Board "a thick binder" detailing her findings.
US News mentions the thick binder given to the Papal Foundation Board but said it was not useful at all:
According to the audit committee summary, the first few million dollars of the loan were handed over without any supporting documentation from the hospital. When members requested further information, no balance sheet was provided, just a thick binder of mostly Italian documents about medical procedures and resumes.
Seems clear that much more attention should be focused on the Papal Foundation and its activities, now that two high-ranking Cardinals on its Board and its former Director, Msgr. Thomas Benestad, have been implicated in the ever-growing pedophile crisis.
More information becoming available about the charges against Msgr. Benestad. At today's press conference, Pennsylvania AG Shapiro described in graphic detail the allegations against Benestad:
And in graphic detail, Shapiro summarized an allegation against Monsignor Thomas Benestad, former pastor of Notre Dame of Bethlehem and St. Francis of Assisi in Allentown, who is accused of sexually abusing a boy for two years beginning when the child was 9 and taking catechism classes at St. Bernard's. A nun brought the boy to Benestad because he had worn shorts to class, which was against the rules. Benestad, the report says, told the boy to get on his knees and pray. The priest then forced . .
You can read the rest here.