As Pennsylvania Confronts Clergy Sex Abuse, Victims and Lawmakers Act

As Pennsylvania Confronts Clergy Sex Abuse, Victims and Lawmakers Act

"Ms. Powers was among more than 250 abuse survivors and tipsters who called a hotline set up by the Pennsylvania attorney general, Kathleen G. Kane. Twenty agents were needed to answer the phones, and a voice mailbox was set up to handle the overflow."

"Victims are coming forward for the first time to family and friends, and alumni of parochial schools are pulling out their yearbooks, marveling at how smiling faces hid such pain.

...

"Multiplying the outrage, the grand jury report supplied evidence that the police, district attorneys and judges in the Altoona and Johnstown area colluded with bishops in the cover-up, quashing the pleas of parents who tried to blow the whistle on priests who sexually abused children. Some of those officials are named in the report, and some still hold public office."

...

" State Representative Mike Vereb, a Republican and a former police officer from the Philadelphia area, wrote a letter recently to the United States attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania calling for an investigation under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act, known as RICO.

“'This failure was colossal. It was nothing less than organized crime,' Mr. Vereb said in an interview in his office, where he keeps his old nightstick on his desk. 'There was no chance, if you were a victim, that you were going to get justice.'"

...

"The legislator leading the charge to extend the statute of limitations is State Representative Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County. Still boyish at 44, he is haunted by memories of being raped by a priest in middle school — a priest he later learned went on to sexually abuse some of his friends. He said he decided to run for office in 2013 after the second of those friends committed suicide. On Good Friday a year ago, a third friend also took his own life."

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We've had enough outrage and wringing of hands.  What we need now are the following:

  • Grand juries convened on specific charges against priests and church hierarchy
  • Charges returned from such grand juries and filed.
  • Trials
  • Convictions
  • Incarceration of the involved offending parties.

More than anything else, we need a public demonstration that those of the cloth are not above the law and that their transgressions do not deserve to be swept under some rug or otherwise dismissed as somehow permissible because the perpetrator is supposedly "holy."

The average person has put priests up on the pedestal they enjoy.  The average person will have to take them back down.

As  PA resident, I'm with you on that6, Loren!

It should also go without saying that we need to simultaneously enforce the law and not go beyond the law. While probably most of these accusations are true, or mostly true, anything this large can attract people seeing a chance for a fat lawsuit. Think of the 'recovered memory' insanity of the 90s.

Jay, any police investigation regarding the issue of sexual abuse should be conducted exactly the same as any other such investigation: utterly by the book.  The problem has repeatedly come when the discovery is made that there are PRIESTS involved in the wrongdoing, whereupon it seems as though every effort is made to sweep the whole thing under the rug.  I am sick unto death of this ridiculous behavior, worse because it is predominantly OUR KIDS who are being hurt by it.

It's as I said above: convene grand juries, if charges are recommended, prosecute them, and if a guilty verdict is the result, throw the guilty party in the slam.  If it were any other party, that's what would happen.

I absolutely agree. Every charge made requires a thorough investigation using the best inquiry methods known. If law enforcement, laws, judges, and juries excuse sexual abuse by priests, those factions become part of the abuse. 

If fake charges occur, the accuser has to be held accountable. 

These are not easy criteria to sort out, but necessary in a civilized society. 

And just HOW LONG have we here on Atheist Nexus been saying the EXACT, SAME THING???  Could it be someone finally woke up?!?

This part was something of a shock to me: "...the grand jury report supplied evidence that the police, district attorneys and judges in the Altoona and Johnstown area colluded with bishops in the cover-up, quashing the pleas of parents who tried to blow the whistle on priests who sexually abused children. Some of those officials are named in the report, and some still hold public office." [emphasis mine]

such abuse of office is criminal and should be prosecuted. Any still in office should be suspended during the investigation.

I think it's called collusion and accomplices after the fact, Ruth ... and that should be prosecuted as surely as the primary perpetrators should be.

This crap has got to STOP.

I've just read ten very informative emails about child sexual abuse.

They are the result of a Massachusetts study.

 

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