Archbishop Chaput is reorganizing the archdiocesan legal team.
Read about it here: “Phila. Archdiocese Shakes Up Legal Team in Sex Abuse Scandal” by Gina Passarella and Hank Grezlak, The [Philadelphia] Legal Intelligencer, November 07, 2011
Archbishop Chaput is reorganizing the archdiocesan legal team.
Read about it here: “Phila. Archdiocese Shakes Up Legal Team in Sex Abuse Scandal” by Gina Passarella and Hank Grezlak, The [Philadelphia] Legal Intelligencer, November 07, 2011
71 thoughts on “Did Jesus Need a Legal Dream Team?”
There are two things that could have been regarding children being harmed within the Church. Pick up the phone and call the police -it’s free.
When you do make mistakes, refer the to Gospel readings which will show how people are to be treated,compassion for the suffering and justice for the oppressed,also completely free.
Based on my 30+ years as a large law firm lawyer, Chaput is taking a very unusual, risky and expensive step here by changing legal horses in the middle of the race. Of couse, we have seen him make similar arrogant and foolish mistakes before, as when he held his disasterous “secret” cheerleading bash for Lynn, et al.
For Chaput to do this now, raises serious questions of what was his problem with his former child abuse lawyers. High fees, poor results, or something more untoward? Like his “secret” shindig for the suspected priest abusers and enablers, the truth will likely come out soon.
In simple fairness to Philly Catholics who are footing the bills through their contributions and to the reputations of his former lawyers, he should authorize the AD’s former long time lawyers to discuss fully, candidly and publicly the real reasons for the change.
In any event, it appears to be a good day for the Philly prosecutors and plaintiffs lawyers (and C4C readers and Philly victims and kids). If Chaput dismisses the AD’s long time lawyers from major areas of responsibility, things are likely going poorly for the AD’s defensive efforts.
Did Jesus need a legal dream team? Answer no. Why not ? Because Jesus not only taught love your neighbor as yourself ……..he lived it. Has the arch. of Philly loved their neighbor as themself…….answer no………that’s why they need a legal dream team……..it would have been alot cheaper if they followed Jesus advice.
Could someone sort this out for me, I am frankly confused by the numbers of diocesan attorneys and their roles?
You have three priests and a teacher who the Grand Jury report in the RESOURCE section at the top of the page, nauseatingly describes as raping some 10 year old children, in some kind of a ring.They have been charged with rape, and are out on bail right now.
I assume the DAs office will prosecute and I guess some of those attorneys mentioned in the legal Intelligencer will attempt to defend these priests? Are these four separate criminal trials?
Then you have Msgr Lynn, diocesan administrator, again fully described in the 2011 Grand Jury report in the RESOURCE link at the top of the page who behaved in an appalling fashion, passing on predator priests, treating victims terribly, so I guess we are talking about a fifth, separate criminal trial, and some more of those attorneys?Msgr Lynn has been criminally charged with conspiracy and child endangerment.
Then, there seem to have been a number of civil suits filed recently…I’ve lost track of how many, I think they are abuse victims …so I guess some more of those diocesan attorneys will be used?
Then you have grand Jury questions about Bevilaqua, they felt he should be indicted, but there were aging concerns, again that data can be found at the top of this page. Will either of the Cardinals be charged? They would clearly need diocesan attorneys!
Then there is a whole mess of attorneys brought in from Denver to prevent the Statute of Limitations bills that would give molestation victims throughout the state, who have been raped, molested or incested by sports heroes, parents, priests and others, a chance to come forth and these victims might very well name more unknown predators, thus saving future children from abuse. I am a bit unclear as to why you need attorneys to fight statute of limitations legislation, but Chaput used these guys in Denver and killed that SOL bill.
I personally think its a crime to fight the opening up of the statute of limitations.
And the Grand Jury report identified a whole gaggle of other priests with multiple accusations….are these guys going to be prosecuted?
I guess its no wonder that there are SO MANY attorneys to be hired by the Archbishop!
Joan, be sure to communicate your feeling to Archbishop Chaput.
I would like to know if the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will get any figures as to what this has been costing and what this latest shake-up news will add to that – think HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS per month.
During the years when the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was in Chapter 11 Reorganization Bankruptcy (the diocese never went bankrupt bankrupt BTW), Bishop Fran Malooly admitted publicly that it was costing the diocese in excess of $ 800,000.00 dollars per month. Philly’s problems with criminal cases now will surely top that, possibly by half again, for a monthly figure.
Some members of the Philadelphia Catholic Community may want to direct some pointed questions about that to the archbishop.
Or maybe stand outside your church next Sunday morning with some handouts questioning financial expenditures along with taking the archbishop to task for not mounting postcard campaigns SUPPORTING STATUTE OF LIMITATION REFORM. Have handouts, don’t go along and it’s always good to have at least one man in the group. Alert the media and don’t hesitate to call the police. Bullying, harassment and intimidation is against the law. So is assault without the battery.
Sister, thanks for your input! Do you have any e mail addresses for the AD. For some of us it may not be possible to be on a street corner, but it would be a pleasure to communicate with the AD on these matters!
The Archdioceses has hired Welsh & Recker, a premier botique law firm described thusly on their home page:
The hallmark of our practice is our reputation for successful defense at trial. We have the skills, resources and depth to translate even the most complicated issues of business, science and other fields into compelling arguments that successfully persuade juries and judges. Though our goal is to avoid trial, often the best means of accomplishing a non-trial resolution is a demonstrated willingness and ability to go to trial.
Rarely does a client face a single investigation or prosecution; most criminal investigations and prosecutions involve parallel civil cases, government civil enforcement and licensure or debarment proceedings. Sensitivity to competing concerns raised by such parallel proceedings is critical in a business setting and can only be achieved through the kind of experience Welsh & Recker has developed.
Our respected reputation in court serves our clients equally well when the goal is succeeding before trial. We understand that the best outcomes avoid the expense, public attention and collateral consequences entailed by a trial. The combination of strengths resulting from our respected reputation and years of specialized experience gives our clients every advantage.
These are the guys who will “Quarterback” the civil and criminal suits that the Archdiocese has to deal with, see previous comment.
Pricey, I would guess. How sad is it that the Church needs such high powered criminal defense to defend it’s priests charged with rape and it’s Msgr charged with Conspiracy and Child Endangerment?
So as I read it the firm of Welsh & Recker is to turn the truth into a pleasing untruth to convince juries, or is this another way of chaupt and the archdiocese of Phila keeping the lock on the door of horrible sins they committed ?
Addresses, phone numbers etc., can be found at the AOP website –
Jerry, where are you when we need you? Please help clarify my non lawlerly questions! Thanks, Joan
Oops..meant to ask Jerrys advice here..my confusion over all those recently hired attorneys and their tasks?
OK, Joan, but I am generally avoiding responding to most questions to avoid dominating and shouting. I am also working on NCR and dotCommonweal.
You need criminal lawyers to defend each actual and potential criminal defendant. The AD is reviewing via Gina Smith (Ballard Spahr) the 20+ suspected priests that Rigali suspended in Feb. Some of them might need their own lawyers.
The existing bishops need to be careful, so they may want their own criminal lawyers.
Usually each actual and potential criminal defendant gets his own criminal lawyer, so that the defendant can speak openly without
worrying that the lawyer may be conflicted by getting confidential info from more than one client.
Then there are the lawyers the AD needs to defend civil lawsuits filed by victims. Finally, the AD uses many lawyers for routine commercial matters, e.g., real estate transactions.
Bottom line–mucho lawyers and mucho bucks.
Jerry found your comments on both Commonweal, and NCR, today and liked them, but coming back to Philadelphia..and my non lawyerly background…am I right in assuming that there are going to be a huge number of trials?
Four AD priests and that teacher criminally, charged…..those three priests and a teacher charged with rape and Msgr Lynn charged with both child endangerment and conspiracy?
Then, and this is where I lose it…I hadn’t even factored in those 20 suspended priests that you mention, or for that matter those bishops…I think there are 5?
I was just fussing around with those other 6 or 8 additional priests mentioned in the 2011 Grand Jury report….and those civil suits that I remember hearing about?
And that still doesn’t address the issue of those cardinals!
Frankly it’s mind boggling. But I do thank you for responding …you bring that tough lawyerly input, which is oh so useful!..joan
Joan, I think the PhillyDA is aiming to try all together in one trial , but Lynn is trying to sever and be tried alone. Given the various connections and patterns, it is more economical for the court to have a single trial. If it appears this will unfairly deny Lynn due process, the judge could order him tried separately. It is too early for the judge to decide this. Generally, from the DA’s perspective it is better to try them together because the repetition of the multiple defendant’s actions just reinforces each allegation, etc.
This morning I sent Archbishop Chaput the comments posted above, and some covering comments listed here:
Archbishop Chaput, I posted the following statement on C4C website yesterday.
I had read the 2011 Grand Jury Report several times and was appalled by the report and confused as to the actual number of priests charged with rape, or other forms of molestation, the number of trials that were actually going to occur, the number of abusive priests that the Grand Jury had detailed. And, of course, there is the matter of Msgr Lynn, charged with felonies of Conspiracy and Child Endangerment. The Grand Jury report spends a whole chapter on the Lynn situation, detailing the passing on of known predator priests, for years. And there is the matter of those recently filed civil suits.
The Grand Jury 2011 report identified 39 accused priests in active ministry at the time of the Grand Jury investigations. And the Grand Jury when checking files of some of these guys, determined that the accusations were serious, while your Review Board said the charges were ‘unsubstantiated’…
An independent civil entity, the Grand Jury, strikes me as far more reliable judge of the matter than a clergy appointed Review Board…which has the element of the ‘fox guarding the henhouse’ and does not seem able to substantiate abuse, when it is there!
The Grand Jury made a number of recommendations, as I am sure you know, but the one that particularly interests me deals with the statute of limitations. In California over 300 unknown predators were revealed when that ‘window’ opened. Children that might have been further molested by those 300 abusers were protected.
When the Church grievously injures innocent children, sodomizes and rapes them, I think there is a primary responsibility, and debt, BEFORE any other Church activity to ‘make whole’ the victims. Opening up that SOL is the right and moral thing to do.
The Archbishops e mail address which I stumbled on is:
It seems like reality and persistence has finally paid off.
WILLIAM SASSO, et. al………………..today’s word is “COMEUPPANCE.’
Would the Denver attorneys living ,traveling expenses be over and above their hourly fees?
Typically, yes. Maybe they are camping out at the seminary to save money. I doubt it.
Did Jesus need a legal dream team…when he taught love your neighbor?
I won’t comment on that, because the victims and their families have had this slung at them: “Would Jesus sue His church…when He taught forgiveness?”
I think by the time you get to attorneys to protect assets over ministering to victims and protecting children, they have long since missed the Jesus boat.
Are the accused going to need a good legal team? Sure. Financially speaking, they know what’s at stake if they lose…so they have to sink the money into the best legal defense now. I don’t begrudge them that. Truth always comes out. ALWAYS.
I agree with you on all accounts. SW I have to say in the Gospel when the tax collector stole money he had to pay back 3xs what he took. When the thief was dying on the cross next to Jesus Jesus forgave him but did not perform a miracle and take the theif off the cross. There are many instances that Jesus forgave but people still had to make amends………….I am amazed through the Bible Jesus is forgiving but Just. Even in the end of the Bible there are instances discples are struck dead for not doing the right thiing.I was surprised by the sense of Justice in the New Testament.
More money to be spent on legal fees. Just one more great reason why not one penny goes into that basket. If any of you are still putting your hard earned funds into the basket, please stop and send it straight to the charities of your choice. There is little doubt that your money is not being well spent, is there?
Jackie, I have a friend who keeps a set of little notes in her purse and puts one in each Sundays collection.
They read, ” As a matter of personal conscience I cannot donate to a Church that molests children and passes on predator priests. My Sunday donation is being made to: (name of program that helps abused children).
That’s great, Joan!
How about sending what is no longer going in the church basket to Catholics4Change??? C’mon! Let’s provide it with the resources it needs to realize its goals and objectives!
Whatever works for you, do it!
Good idea. I understand that Susan or Kathy also work with a great organization that if you donate to it will have a big impact on helping to defeat the bills. I don’t want to speak for them so you might want to contact them directly.
I meant help the bills be passed but defeat them from being block……I must be tired up all night last night . Sorry.
Beth and hadit -,You must be mind readers. We are going to post info shortly for people who wish to donate for the efforts of protecting children and justice for victims. Not directly to C4C but to a very reputable child abuse organization that is leading the charge here in Philadelphia for the necessary legislative reform. Look for that post shortly,Thanks,Kathy
If you look at the Justice4pakids website Susan tells you what you can do and where to donate to help stop child sexaul abuse .
State police Commissioner Frank Noonan said that although Paterno may have met his legal requirement to report suspected abuse by Sandusky, “somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child.”
He added: “I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you’re a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us.”
This is from an article regarding Penn State’s Joe Paterno, etc. THE KEY WORDS HERE ARE MORAL RESPONSIBILITY OF A HUMAN BEING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And here we are right back where we started 8 months ago after the shock of the last Archdiocese Grand Jury report. Couldn’t we have expected our priests, bishops and cardinals to be the most morally responsible people….the ones who would be the example to the football coaches? Wow, big mistake expecting that, huh? If it weren’t so tragic, it would be laughable.
What does the diocesan budget show is the total legal bill paid so far? What is projected?
What is the amount of each of the last 5 years?
What is the increase?
As they said during the Watergate Scandal…FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!!
I to am saddened by Archbishop Chaput’s comments about the statutes of limitation regarding the sexual abuse of children. No Bishop. Parishioners are most concern about your behavior in failing to protect our children. If only you were a parent then you may understand Jesus’s message to do harm to children.
There is a really good article on SNAP website today about the Penn State Scandal…………….the most poignant question is “what about the boy?” is he fighting an addiction? has he gotten help?………is he even alive? It is so sad to think no one helped this boy about 10 yrs old during or after the abuse. That is what it is all about the children whether catholic or non-catholic……….. Bishop Chaput has lost his focus on Christ and thus his way………how can he not see the face of Christ in the abuse victims? Give Lynn a fair trial but stop throwing away the parishners money by paying for all these lawyers and lobbyists and help the victims instead.
How much is this going to cost us? The archdiocese needs to be transparent on all their costs and legal fees. Phila. Catholics have a right to know how every penny they donate is spent, or else we just won’t give any more money.
The bishop is bringing in his army from two thousand miles away and is preparing for the attack. The Denver law firm Chaput is using must be thrilled. After all, one of their attorney’s Charles Goldberg was awarded the Benemerenti Medal from Pope Benedict, and Charles Chaput presented it to him. Now Bishop Chaput has been rewarded with his new Philly post to do the same in PA and defeat those “nasty” bills that will eliminate the statute of limitations. In the end though, the bills will pass, victims will receive justice, and children will be protected. We have a voice, and we will prevail with the help of God.
That Denver law firm, Rothberger, Johnson & Lyons are extremely conservative and not only are their guys on the ground in Philadelphia, but they have been shopping around for local talent. (See article at top of page)
AB Chaput is ‘lawyering up’ big time to defeat the statute of limitations bills HB 878, and 832 which are hung up in Marsico’s Judiciary Committee!
That Denver law firm was very effective in defeating the statute of limitations bills in Colorado…they and Chaput after much other stuff provided the parishioners 25,000 protest postcards to be sent to their legislators. They were successful, Colorado’s SOL was defeated.
Archbishop Chaput is the most politically active bishop in the country.
He wants Catholics in Philadelphia to be politically active, relative to his agenda! I have every confidence that he will enlist folks in the pew to protect the good works of the Church and pit them against the statutes of limitations which he will characterize as ‘bad’ and unreasonable or unfair law. He may well give parishioners postcards!
It is no accident that the Vatican sent him to Philadelpia…to an archdiocese with the most egregious molestation problems, in the nation!
What I think abuse victims, their advocates and folks in the pew need to address is the fact that the Church in Philadelphia has grievously harmed many innocent children. You owe them your first allegiance. In medieval times these issues were fought out with duels, and all sorts of physical combat.
In the twenty first century, with the rule of law, justice is accorded in the courts.
BEFORE, any other Church programs are funded, there is a moral imperative to settle the claims of raped, sodomized and abused children. That’s why the statute of limitations extensions need to be opened up and extended. Yes, it will cost the Church some money, and no, the church will not fold, it will survive and be far more careful about protecting innocent children!
That’s what I am afraid of. But it will not stop us from moving forward.
The Denver Law firm very effectively defeated the SOLs in Colorado, and I expect them to do the same in Philadelphia, but as the house bills are CURRENTLY held up in the Judiciary Committee, one concludes that the imported attorneys are presently involved in the the range of defensive legal activities that the AD is facing
(Nov. 7, Philadelphia Legal Intelligencer) “One source close to the case said Chaput, formerly the Denver archbishop, has also brought in some of his legal team from Denver that helped him defeat proposed legislation in Colorado in 2005 that would have expanded the statute of limitations for sex abuse. The attorneys are staying in Philadelphia for what could be months, the source said. Before the RFP had gone out, the attorneys had been interviewing lawyers at large Philadelphia firms to bring onto the legal team, the source said.”
Joan, I am much more optimistic then others here about the new legislation moving forward. If not very soon, then still soon.
It is new ball game after the Penn State bombshell. PA government officials sat on Sandusky’s crimes for over a dozen years; most likely to protect PA’s “state treasure” , Joe Paterno. Joe is now a liability for politicians and they are rushing to distance themselves from him.
The new PA Attorney General is a woman, a mother and a former Federal prosecutor.
The Penn State story is only in the first quarter; more cover-up disclosures will follow. All of this will put increasing pressure on PA legislators.
Glaring typo…meant to say relative yo Denver law firm ” I expect them to TRY to do the same”
Jerry, today’s NYTimes did a huge amount of reporting on Penn
State, and in a shortened version identified the present 8 victims stories, from THAT Grand Jury report.
I don’t believe I have ever seen this done before, in the national media. And I am glad they did it, tragic as the stories are, because the stories make it virtually impossible to deny the ugliness of sodomy, rape etc.
But, I am wondering relative to impending litigation, whether it helpful or hurtful to the plaintiffs to have their stories out in the public arena?
I wondered all day today about the victims’ stories being public. There is a part of me that thinks the public needs to hear it, so they don’t just gloss over the antiseptic version of “child sexual abuse.” But, I can’t help thinking this also violates the victims too. What does it do for future victims who don’t come forward because they don’t want the whole world knowing their business?
Are we exploiting victims to make a point? I just don’t know.
SW I don’t know either, that’s why I was asking Jerry for some advice.
But there is one thing I do know. For years I have very actively supported SNAP because I was so personally disgusted with the abuse situation in the Church, and it makes my blood boil that bishops and others have passed on known predators. Talk about a crime against humanity. And SNAP has been phenomenal.
But it was not until I found C4C that I got really personally in touch with survivors and their stories. And I know that’s so important. I have nothing but a huge amount of respect for these folks, and a vastly better idea about what they have gone through.
And that’s why the NYTimes very short versions of the Penn State victim’s stories seemed to be a good idea. So that folks could get at least some idea of what the phrase “child sex abuse” REALLY is. And how ugly it is! And how important it is to change laws and protect kids.
But you raise a very serious question about exploiting victims?
Maybe it’s a question best answered by those who have been abused?
I think I used the wrong word…I didn’t mean exploit…I don’t really have the word to characterize what it would be to a victim to have their story read (and judged) by so many.
I guess I just read the stories of all the details of who knew what and when, the details of the grand jury report (which is saddening and sickening) and think, “What are these victims going through right now as all of this is unraveling in a very public way?” My heart goes out to them. I just want them to know there are so many people who care about THEM, who respect THEM for the courage it took to come forward. No more shame…it’s been placed back where it came from…and it was never theirs to carry in the first place.
Yes with prayer all things are possible.
Beth, let Chaput send his postcards if he wants to. With Susan’s and Kathy’s leadership, the C4C bloggers have already moved mountains in just a few months. Keep at it. The public outcry at the Penn State mess, as horrific as it has been for some children, will only reinforce C4C’s efforts. You must just keep plugging however and where ever you can. I honestly never thought I would see a credible criminal complaint being filed against the pope by a top notch human rights group with the International Criminal Court. It happened. There are many other Catholics advocating like you. It all adds up.
CNN Cooper is covering Penn State I believe just saw commerical for 10pm. While tragic it highlights this is a child protection issue not just a church issue. Thanks for the words of encouragement Jerry.
Just watched Cooper on CNN a guest on the show made the connection of chain of command the Pres. of Penn State should have reported crime just as Cardinal Law should have called police and that Law should have been prosceuted for not doing so. They did not mention Philly though.
Beth, I don’t mean to discourage you or anyone else with a description of AB Chaput in Denver. But it is useful to understand the opposition!
I am very optimistic that C4C AND the Holy Spirit will prevail, relative to those House Bills.
I agree with Jerry that we need to keep plugging, I know you will, and I plan to, too!
SW and Joan, it should morally be up to each victim’s individual decision as to whether to release their individual identity, They have been hurt enough by involuntary abuse. Their stories can still be told effectively without disclosing clues as to their actual identities.
Of course, self interested media organizations will often disclose their names wrongfully. If victims knowingly decide to disclose their identities or to speak on the record, fine. For some, this may help a bit with the healing process.
Generally, the fuller the public dislosure the better. Future jurors read papers. It is necessary to negate the well funded propaganda campaign of Chaput and his confreres.
What is it going to cost us? In terms of money or credibility, in terms of trust and accountability, well the answer to the question is, tremendous sums of all of the above have been lost because of the continued failure of the Church’s leaders to act morally. How profoundly discouraging for the average Catholic in the pew to discover a Church unable to follow and live its own message……in many ways they feel violated as well.
What’s with all the sympathy for an eighty five year old coach and an eighty five year old cardinal both of whom couldn’t bring themselves to do the right thing. Go off to some dark place please… and i say this as an eighty year old.
Interestingly,fr/ed, former PA Gov. Ed Reindell on MSNBC just (11/11) tried to talk up his pal, JoePa, and got hammered by an articulate abuse survivor of Boy Scout abuse. The survivor, in effect, said “FUGETABOUTIT ! JoePa’s failure to report his ass’t coach in 2002 led to other boys being abused, all to protect JoePa’s and his ass’t coach’s profitable reputation”. Ed was at a loss of words.
Since Ed was Gov when much of the PSt cover up and investigation happened and may end up as at least a witness in future investigations, it was surprising he was addressing the scandal publicly without disclosing these connections.
Moreover, his law firm partner, Gina Smith, is heavily involved in representing Chaput. All very puzzling to me.
I can only hope that this mess at Penn State will open the eyes of the rest of the pew sitters in the catholic churches to the horrors that have occurred. When there is all this uproar at what evil ONE man has wrought, just multiply that by the thousands of priests around the world who are guilty of the same things against thousands of victims worldwide. And if the president of Penn State and the other higher ups who have already stepped down from their positions of power are made to pay for their parts in the cover ups, then catholics in this country should realize that the bishops and cardinals are in the very same positions and should also be relieved of their positions of power because of THEIR cover ups.
Yes it will be a good comparison of how things should be dealt with if they handle it the right way and step down and are held responsible.
Watch how quickly Penn State takes out the trash. Their reaction will make the Church’s defensiveness look even more pathetic.
“Mark Silk is professor of religion in public life at Trinity College (Hartford, CT), and a leading expert on how religion is covered in the media.”
See his reaction to the situation, and Mike Ference’s comment at:
You are exactly right. The two Penn State officials have already stepped down,Paterno announced his retirement and the PSU President’s days are numbered. They operate in the ‘real world’ where people are held accountable and leave in disgrace for their actions.
If they act quickly like they seem to be it will further put the catholic church to shame. even the governor has made a strong statement on how he feels it should be handled quickly.
The Archbishop is just shoring up his crumbling wall.
“We are now witnessing what happens when you are in the business of myth-making, and when you think you have built the walls high enough.”
That quote is not about the church abuse scandal, but the scandal the Penn State: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/colleges/penn_state/20111109_Rich_Hofmann__No_one_made_the_right_call_at_Penn_State.html?c=r#ixzz1dDNo9o4S
Timeline of the Penn State debacle events and personalities will be all too familiar to you. Just substitute the words, Graduate Assistant for Priest, Janitor for Housekeeper or Church Secretary, Coach for Bishop, Athletic Director for Archbishop or Cardinal, University President for Pope:
Marci Hamilton on the PA law: “Pennsylvania legislators currently have a pending bill that would fix this problem, by opening a window — a set time period for victims to initiate legal proceedings against their perpetrators. Passing this legislation would perform an essential public service in that the names and crucial information about abusers would be exposed. Since most abusers do not “age out” of abusing children, even naming a 67-year-old like Sandusky can prevent child abuse into the future. California and Delaware have embraced such reform, and others, including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin, are considering the same. In California, the public learned the identities of 300 child predators.
Unfortunately, the chair of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Ron Marsico, is holding the bill hostage, refusing to even hold hearings. The most active, well-financed lobbyist against this bill — as it is in each state in which window legislation has been introduced — is the Catholic Conference, so one may assume that Marsico, a Catholic, is kowtowing to the conference to assist it in keeping its secrets and perpetuating the cover up. That is just as despicable as the Penn State officials’ failures.
This is in reply to Kathy’s post: ” We are going to post info shortly for people who wish to donate for the efforts of protecting children and justice for victims. Not directly to C4C but to a very reputable child abuse organization that is leading the charge here in Philadelphia for the necessary legislative reform. Look for that post shortly,Thanks,Kathy”
Each year for this holidays I try to select charities that I think are a worthy cause, this year it will be a donation to the organizations that will help protect our children and support our victims. As soon as Kathy or Susan post an address, I will send my gift and I will try to encourage some friends to do the same.
Thanks and we are writing a post with info and contact,addresses etc…It will be up soon. The past few days have been crazy with striking while the iron is hot, now that the nation’s eyes are on Pa.
Kathy and drwho13, that’s right. Look how swiftly Penn State is acting. If the Catholic Church wants to continue to use the argument that they should be treated just like any other group, then they better get ready for battle. Also, when are they going to act like other groups and “clean up?” Unfortunately, in their case, it will be when they are forced to do so. How dishonorable they show themselves to be and what a lack of integrity, morality and decency they are showing.
Just an FYI that Radio Times on NPR will be doing a one-hour segment on the Penn State and Philly sex abuse scandals tomorrow at 10am.
You think Seth Williams, DA, is on your side?
The grand jury report is no longer online at http://www.philadelphiadistrictattorney.com/images/Grand_Jury_Report.pdf and the click thru from http://www.phila.gov/districtattorney/grandJury_clergyAbuse2.html doesn’t work anymore.
Probably just a mistake.
Probably not hidden just because the Pennsylvania State University scandal would bring attention to it.
Probably an oversight when just ONE accusation is the #1 news story, and TWENTY ONE would be a month worth of stories.
Vote Seth Williams.
I used the link in this site and you can still get there from here. I did not try the other way.
Why is even the federal government getting into the act with an investigation of their own into the Penn State scandal? Where are they as far as investigating the catholic church? Why are they NOT doing the same thing there? Why are the thousands of victims of priest abuse not as important as those abused by a football coach?
I heard that on the news also, but I really think it had something to do about a federal law, and some agency that didn’t even sound like anything to do with abuse or children. Jerry can probably give us the scoop on this.
Has to do with private and public institutions. That is why they are introducing child sex abuse laws to deal with both. Also Penn State is a State run institution. Private and public have different laws etc.
The U.S. Department of Education has started an investigation into Penn State over the school’s compliance with crime disclosure policies.
The investigation will be carried out by the Office of Federal Student Aid to determine if the school followed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and the Campus Crime Statistics Act.
The act is named after Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered by another student in 1986.
Penn State could face substantial fines and the possible loss of federal funding based on the outcome of the investigation.
Colleges and universities are required to disclose the number of reported criminal offenses each year on campus under the Campus Crime Statistics Act. Institutions also must issue timely warnings if a reported crime is a threat to the greater campus community.
U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan had called on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to initiate such an investigation on Tuesday.
“Adults have a responsibility to act and report when they see children who are abused or threatened,” said Meehan. “In the case of college authorities, it’s not just a moral obligation, it’s the law. I appreciate Secretary Duncan responding swiftly to the need for a Clery Act investigation. Had authorities at Penn State reported the allegations to law enforcement and properly disclosed these allegations under the law, perhaps children could have been protected from abuse.”
Waaah! Waaah! The Kansas City Star won’t publish the Catholic League’s “ad” defending Mr Finn.