“Archdiocese Considering Big Changes to Victims’ Assistance Program,” by John T. Gillespie, special to The Catholic Standard and Times, May 18, 2011.
The key word here is “considering.” Why not a commitment? The Archdiocese should fulfill ALL the recommendations of the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report. One recommendation was the removal of the victims’ assistance program from the supervision of the Archdiocese and its legal team.
3 thoughts on “Archiodese Considering Changing Victims’ Assistance Program”
“Victim assistance is about empowering the victims,” Achilles said. “If they don’t want to talk to us but only want us to pay for their counseling, that’s fine. The important thing is they drive the bus.”
Let’s get one thing straight here. In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, only a fool would believe that a victim will ever, ever be “driving the bus.”
We all know who is “driving the bus” within the leadership and management at the archdiocese. The bus driver has been, is now currently and will be for the foreseeable future the Chairman of the law firm of Stradley and Ronon.
His name is William Sasso and he has garnered one public award and honor after another ever since the release of the First Grand Jury Report in September 2005. You might recall that he described that report as “anti-Catholic”. Really haven’t heard his response (on behalf of the archdiocese, which institution pays him substantial legal fees) to the 2nd Grand Jury Report released earlier this year.
Speaking of “bus drivers”, one of my favorite public transportation operators in TV history is Ralph Kramden. “The Honeymooners” was wonderful family comedy; on the other hand, the archdiocese “bus” story is one of deceit, treachery and the betrayal of our children.
The diocese should also be considering plans to create an independent entity to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by Church personnel.
The organization would be funded by the Archdiocese but run separately so that alleged perpetrators would not have to deal directly with the institution.
What training is there in the seminary for “Investigation of Sexual Abuse Allegations”? Seriously… what is the knowledge base and background for those bishops who have just been told by the Vatican that the discernment of truth of an abuse allegation ultimately lies with them? If someone is in charge of discerning the truth in a matter like this, I certainly want them to be trained and have experience in the field.
We have to separate the Church from this “investigating” process… allegations must be reported immediately to the proper authorities. In the event that this is not possible (due to SOL or the because of a “boundary issue”), there should be a separate and independent entity to investigate allegations. It must be neutral and outside of the authority of the Bishop.
Is the Philadelphia Archdiocese “considering” similar to that of the Vatican’s “suggesting”?
Such carefully constructed sentences do little to provide assurance of real change.