Penn State Scandal Prompts New Reporting Bills


Click here to read: “Penn State scandal will prompt bills on reporting child sex abuse, lawmakers say,” by David O’Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 14, 2011

Excerpt: “The sad thing is, Paterno didn’t violate the law” by failing to notify authorities, said Rep. Kevin Boyle (D., Phila). He just kicked it upstairs, which was legal,” Boyle said. “I’m hopeful this situation will get the legislature to act on some bills we should have acted on a long time ago.”

Everyone please call AND email Rep. Ron Marsico’s office TODAY! Send a one sentence email saying you support 832 and 878. Call the office and state your support for 832 and 878. Tell them the eyes of the nation are on PA and these bills must be put on the agenda for hearings. We ALL must work for the protection of children. As adults it’s our responsibility. – Kathy Kane

Hon. Ron Marisco, Republican Chair, 717-783-2014, rmarsico@pahousegop.com

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53 Responses to “Penn State Scandal Prompts New Reporting Bills”

  1. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply November 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Excerpt from Rep. Marsico’s response to constituent’s request of support to HB 832 and 878:

    “During my time in the legislature and particularly as a member and now chair of the judiciary committee, I have consistently sponsored and supported legislation that enhances public safety and supports victims and will always continue to do so. I hope I have adequately articulated why I cannot support these particular bills and that you will understand that my inability to do in no way suggests a lack of support for these or other victims of child sexual abuse.”

    REP. RON MARSICO OPPOSES HB 832 AND 878 and still has not indicated, despite his opposition, when or if, he will schedule hearings for these important bills sponsored by Reps. McGeehan and Bishop of Philadelphia.

    Mr. Marsico, you describe your “inability” to support these bills; what you mean is that you have made a conscious, deliberate, thoughtful and individual decision as an elected official to oppose these legislative initiatives. You were clearly “able” and decided not to support them.

    • Michael, please note the related excellent article, that also covers the important efforts by C4C advocates at the PA capital’s recent press conference on proposesd legislation, accessible by clicking on at:

      http://www.snapwisconsin.com/blog/2011/11/16/will-there-be-justice-for-sexual-abuse-survivors-in-pennsylvania/

      • Jerry, read the article you referenced for Michael, relative to the recent Harrisburg press conference.

        I was struck by the defense of SOL ‘window opening’ for folks that Sandusky had allegedly molested 30 or more years ago who would NOT be able to file civil suits under present PA law, a huge argument for HB 878 and HB 832!

        Sad, that it takes a Penn State disaster to get everyone’s attention!

        The notion that the bishops are qualified to work with the larger culture on abuse matters is frankly scary.

        These are the guys who have been lobbying for years throughout the US, AGAINST statute of limitations ‘windows’ and have been working diligently through their State Conference offices to eviscerate mandated clergy abuse reporting requirements, wherever they could, one state where they were particularly effective, I believe, now requires NOONE to be a mandated abuse reporter, it’s all optional…see Marci for details.

        These are the guys whose Diocesan Review Bds are a scandal happening ( See Grand Jury 2011 report at top of page for Philadelphia AD ‘Review Bds,’ which when evaluating certain priests found the claims ‘unsubstantiated’…..the Grand Jury was so concerned about these same guys after the GR investigation, that they wanted these priests kept away from kids.)

        And it goes on and on.

        It’s no accident that both Voice of the Faithful AND the Philadelphia GR are BOTH recommending very independent AD Review Bds, opening up SOLs and many other methods of preventing the ‘fox from guarding the henhouse’.

      • Jerry, just a continuation of the above discussion, relative to the bishops lobbying efforts through their State Conferences to sabotage Mandated Clergy Molestation Reporting requirements of child abuse.

        I found Marci’s article, relative to the state that now has ‘optional’ child abuse reporting requirements for EVERYONE…it is Maryland…and Marci’s article in Nov 9, 2010, Voice of the Desert, titled The Roman Catholic Bishops Shell Game with Child Sex Abuse ia as follows:

        Each state’s Catholic Conference is the lobbying arm for the bishops of that state. The MCC argued that the new reporting requirement regarding sex offenders would affect educators and human service workers, and, therefore, priests and other clergy would be implicated. Thus, when clergy were acting as teachers or social service providers, the MCC wanted a religious exemption.
        Here is how the Conference explained it to Senator Delores G. Kelley in its letter of February 2, 2009: the law should not impinge on the sacred obligation of priests, clergymen, and ministers of an established religion to maintain strict confidentiality regarding all communications made under narrow circumstances such as the Catholic Church’s sacrament of confession, when bound to do so by canon law or church doctrine.
        This is in fact not a benign request, because until that moment, when clergy acted as teachers or as social service providers, they were treated as mandatory reporters without any exceptions. In other words, to this point, a clergy teacher or clergy social service provider had been under the same obligation to report abuse as all other teachers and social service providers.
        The MCC wanted to introduce a loophole to permit its priests acting as teachers and social service providers to avoid reporting in the context of children endangered by known sex offenders. The request for exemption, therefore, was nonsensical, because the confessional is not a part of a teacher’s or a social service provider’s job. But it does make sense once one learns that religious groups, including the Roman Catholic Church, routinely argue that a communication from a congregant is “confessional” and, therefore, confidential even when it happens outside the confessional box. The obvious intent was to create an argument to avoid reporting by later arguing that a communication was enough like a confession that it could be kept secret.
        For those who are unaware of the actual play of the Catholic bishops on these issues, public education is needed. Despite their empty rhetoric of “zero tolerance,” the Vatican and bishops have worked extremely hard to keep as many secrets as possible, as evidenced by the 1962 document from the Vatican, Crimens Sollicitationes, which threatened excommunication for any one in the Church who told outsiders about a priest having sex with a child, another man, or an animal.
        Their demands did not fall on deaf ears. The resulting bill watered down the reporting requirement for all professionals, not just clergy. Instead of making such a report mandatory, it made it discretionary. Now, in Maryland, a professional “may” report to DSS that a child is at risk through proximity to a sex offender. So much for protecting the children.

      • Thanks, Joan. As usual, you are way ahead of me. I completely agree with your observations.

        To put it simply, the bishops and their lawyer lobbyists can and will use whatever “angle” will enable them to avoid child protection legislative proposals in every jurisdiction. The “confession” ruse was endorsed by pope JP II and also used in Ireland.

        Notwithstanding Penn State’s horrible scandals finally getting millions of Americans’ attention on how pedophiles cast their evil spells to destroy children, the US bishops still don’t seem to get it. It will likely take locking a bunch of them up before they get the message. This will happen, I am convinced.

        .But as horrible as Penn State was, it has outraged a nation and we must seize the opportunity to press in this election year both our state and Federal politicians.

        You may find of interest my new NCR comment under the comment heading, “Bad Bishops/Good Kids, accessible by clicking on at:

        http://ncronline.org/blogs/small-c-catholic/sexual-misconduct-church-wont-disappear

  2. “I hope I have adequately articulated why I cannot support these particular bills…”

    Um, no you haven’t.

    And if you are acting as an individual instead of a representative of the people in your state, then you are absolutely the wrong person for the job. Voters are watching.

  3. I know I am going to get the same email response as everyone else here got but this is what I sent:

    Dear Representative Marsico,

    In light of the finding of the grand jury report involving child sexual abuse at Penn State University, as well as the two grand jury reports(2005 and 2011) issued by the Philadelphia DA’s office involving the same issue within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I urge you to place house bills 832 and 878 on the agenda for hearings. The entire nation has been focused on Penn State University this past week and consequently, on our own state legislature, and its response to the issue of child sexual abuse. As Governor Corbett himself said publicly this weekend, there will no doubt be other victims of Jerry Sandusky to come forward. If it turns out there are earlier victims who cannot receive a hearing in court due to the current statute of limitations, light will finally be shed on what the state legislature has failed to do by refusing to to even hold hearings for house bills 832 and 878. The time to act is now. Just as the victims described in the grand jury report deserve justice, so too do the numerous victims, now adults, who were too traumatized and/or fearful of retaliation by their abusers to come forward within the limited timespan of the current statute. This scandal at Penn State has not just left a stain on the university but it has left a stain on the entire state. The children of Pennsylvania deserve better. Again, I urge you to place house bills 832 and 878 on the agenda for hearings immediately.

  4. Thank you Theresa. These Bills are receiving national attention and we are headed to another press confernce in Harrisburg tomorrow. We will be joined by both Democrat and Republican State Reps who support these Bills. People cannot give up hope ,email and call – do it everyday. The time is now,the spotlight is on Pa.,the Bills are generating much needed support. Make your calls and send your emails today. If you have already participated ,thank you and please do it again.

  5. Representative Marsico if you truly want “to protect PA children” and not just SAY you care about the issue, you will schedule HB 878 and 832 for hearings, in the Judiciary Committee. These bills have been languishing in your committee, since March.

    PA citizens have a right to have these bills work their way through the legislative process. You are WRONG to block these bills, just as it is wrong to prevent victims of incest, sodomy and rape from coming forth, naming their predators and seeking justice.  Over 300 unknown predators were identified in CA when the statute of limitations window was opened. Many many children in CA were thus protected when these ‘unknown predators’ were identified

    • Joan

      Do you know where there is support out there for the “300 unknown presators that were identified in CA”. Before using that information I would just like to have some backup for it Thanks

      • Jim, I am including a portion of Marci Hamiltons article that Kathy gave you the link, below.

        Marci clerked for Sandra Day OConnor and is nationally known for her expertise in these matters. Since 2001, I have been reading her FindLaw articles.

        Here is the CA ‘window’ discussion:

        The Facts Learned from the California Experiment

        There is no question that the California legislation was passed in part as a response to the public revelations about the cover-up of child sex abuse by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, stemming from the investigative reporting in the Boston Globe. But the legislators did not pass the window legislation to apply solely to the Church. The legislators took what they had learned from the problems with the hierarchy of the Church – the fact of pervasive and hidden child sex abuse – and then passed legislation to benefit all victims of child sex abuse. Thus, the legislation was not at all anti-Catholic, but rather anti-child abuse. Courts reached this obvious conclusion repeatedly, with Melanie H v. Sisters of the Precious Blood being the leading decision.

        In California, over 1,000 survivors came forward (about 850 from the Catholic Church). No one knew, though, what the benefits or costs of the window would be. It was a large experiment. Now that the claims have been litigated or settled, however, there are important facts that we have learned for the first time, or that reinforced facts unearthed by previous studies:

        First, window legislation is not just good for victims. It is good for everyone. Windows divulge the perpetrators’ and their enabling institutions’ ugly secrets. In California, the names of over 300 perpetrators who had never before been named publicly were released. And the bishops’ role in placing children’s needs below public appearances was also elaborated. Making that information public is a benefit to every parent and child.

        Second, many survivors need decades to come forward. The fact that over 1,000 survivors (from a variety of groups) took advantage of the window confirms what social science studies have shown repeatedly: It is a psychological fact that child sex abuse victims are disabled from revealing the abuse at the time they suffer it and for many years thereafter. However, if given an opportunity to come forward years later, they do want to – and are finally able to – do so.

        Third, until the window was in place, society had been making public policy based on too little information. The window revealed that the laws we have focused upon, like sex offender registries and pedophile-free zones, have assumed we know who the predators are. One of the greatest shocks in the last ten years is to learn that we only know about 10% of the perpetrators because of a broken legal system that shuts victims out of court before they get there. (Victims usually cannot name their perpetrators without the legal system, because perpetrators can and will sue the victim for defamation. If nothing else, child predators are adept at lying and dissembling.)

    • I find Rep Marisco’s staff comment of Nov 15 quoted in Politics PA totally non compelling.

      It is:
      Chairman Ron Marsico’s Chief of Staff Autumn Southard says that while Marsico has made public a letter making it clear that he does not support HB 832 and 878, “he hasn’t been blocking the bills.”

      Southard said his stance on the bills “doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t run them out of the committee,” but said the sheer volume of bills in the Judiciary Committee have made it difficult to bring every one to a vote.

      “We have over 300 bills in the committee right now. We have only gotten out 60 of those bills [this session] because there’s just a massive amount,” she said.

      Perhaps someone could share with me what OTHER bills in the Judiciary Committee, besides HB 878 and 832, have had a number of Harrisburg Rally’s, Inquirer editorials, innumerable e mails, and phone calls, and are very highly relevant to the Penn State scandal.

      These bills are particularly relevant to the Penn State scandal as any Sandusky victims who were abused more than 20 years ago would be HELPED by these bills.

      ‘NOT BLOCKED IN THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ‘ Come on.

  6. Don’t be discouraged. I have been working on these Bills for the past several months and am optimistic as ever. When we had our press conference a few weeks ago we were like “the little engine that could” Tomorrow’s press conference is going to be like a metroliner roaring into the staion. National media,Republican and Democrat State Reps joining together -it doesn’t get better than this!

    • It’s so encouraging to know representatives from both parties are working together on this. Good luck tomorrow Kathy! I will be keeping all of you in my prayers.

  7. S. Reid Warren, III Reply November 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Ron Marisco does not seem to be persuaded by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He is not persuaded by letters and telephone calls and e-mails. Apparently he is not persuaded by his conscience – if he has one. He is using the same kind of obfuscation in his responses to letters and e-mails that The Church uses, PSU faculty used, and bosses in corporations use when sex abuse allegations are made. Perhaps the public testimony, the reporting of it in the media, and the convincing from other legislators will finally shame him into ending the stonewalling. The news media also needs to get editorials written and spoken. This is about the children.

    Reid

  8. Bishop: Penn State scandal reopens church wounds

    “Reopen the wounds”?? When did they ever close??

    Just what Penn state needs is Dolan helping them set policy as the Dallas charter worked so well that the bishops voted in the spring to only tweak it!!!!

    By RACHEL ZOLL — AP Religion Writer

    Posted: 1:48pm on Nov 14, 2011; Modified: 1:54pm on Nov 14, 2011

    2011-11-14T18:54:10Z
    By RACHEL ZOLL

    BALTIMORE — The president of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference says church leaders are praying for abuse victims and the Penn State community amid allegations that a former football coach sexually abused children.

    Archbishop Timothy Dolan says the crisis reopens a wound in the church. He says bishops are once again hanging their heads in shame and contrition.

    Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with sexually assaulting young boys, and school administrators are accused of not doing enough to stop him. Sandusky has pleaded not guilty. Catholic dioceses have received thousands of abuse claims against clergy in recent years.

    Dolan says he’d welcome working with Penn State on a national abuse-prevention campaign.

    Dolan made the comments at a news conference Monday at a national bishops’ meeting in Baltimore.

    Read more: http://www.centredaily.com/2011/11/14/2986360/bishop-penn-state-scandal-reopens.html#ixzz1di3LBonN

    • Tell me Penn State is smarter than that. Working WITH the rcc…there’s no such thing. And what do they want to learn? How to re-abuse the victims?

      Penn State will need to distance themselves as far away from the rcc as possible if they have any plan of being an institution of integrity.

      Jim…if this topic wasn’t so tragic, I would have laughed all the way through what was written.

      The thing that pops into my head when I think about Dolan’s actions… the article written about narcissism and grandiosity.

      • SW, the bishops are runnning scared after Penn State. Please note my comment today and related cross links under the heading, “Roman Cliques’ Fears?”, accessible by clicking on at:

        http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/dolans-first-presidential-address

      • survivor’s wife,

        Excellent post. You hit the nail on the head.

        In a perfect world, one might see the institution of the Catholic Church acting as a moral anchor to a secular institution like Penn State.

        In the real world, the tables are turned. A cruel joke…

        Little wonder why Catholic disillusionment is turning to despair.

        Dolan, grab a beer and keep your show in-house. Trust me, every man in the house will applaud you.

    • I am seriously considering joining Pius X til the Roman Catholic Church cleans up its act. That or an underground church at peoples homes.I just need for someone to tell me where I can find an underground church. I am researching it now.

      • St. Judes in Eddystone Pa is Puis X I am going to check it out. The pope just got rid of the excommunication with those attending Puis X churches is what I understand. I already know someone that goes there. One of there 4 bishops that started the Puis X churches was discplined and his role diminished because of remarks he made by the other 3 bishops. Should be interesting love the church.Just like the governor said I have lost confidence in the leadership of the catholic church. They don’t practice what they preach.

      • I should clarify the governor did not say he lost confidence in the catholic church but the leadership at penn state. I feel the same way about the church leadership is what I mean.

      • Beth,

        If you are considering a church ministered by priests from the Society of St. Pius X, please research it thoroughly… Google: Society of St. Pius X. Read page after page the sites.

        I have studied the Society since its inception in 1970. There are a number of very serious “red flag” issues associated with the Society.

        I suggest you start your own Catholic community, in your home. Contact http://www.rentapriest.com for a Catholic, married priest (take a deep breath) , located in your community or near by, to minister to your group.

        “Where two or more gather, I am there.”

      • Thanks Hadit catholic. I know. Read a few things here and there about I think it was Bishop Williamson and denying the holcaust etc. I know a few priests that do mass in homes just not in this area but I can see if they know people in this area. Read that confession and matrimony not valid in Puis X church according too RCC so maybe I will just go to mass there. Thanks for the info. I will be researching.

    • From “Bishop: Penn State Scandal Reopens Church Wounds”…

      “Archbishop Timothy Dolan says the crisis reopens a wound in the church. He says bishops are once again hanging their heads in shame and contrition… Dolan says he’d welcome working with Penn State on a national abuse-prevention campaign.”

      From “A Priest’s View of Penn State”…

      “There were, he explained, two main characteristics of the sexual abuser: narcissism and grandiosity….

      “When the narcissist… experiences another person’s recoil or discomfort, he will not take that step back. He will not consider the other’s feelings. He may not even notice those feelings. Why? Because, as the saying goes, “it’s all about him.

      “The grandiose person is often the “Pied Piper”… often a larger-than-life character… because of his exalted status adults may feel more comfortable leaving their children in his care.”

      When I first read Fr. Martin’s article, it struck me that the characteristics of narcissism and gradiosity could apply to the Church’s response to the whole sexual abuse scandal. Reading AB Dolan’s remarks seems to support this idea. The John Jay report found that the abuser believes he is the wronged party… much like the Catholic hierarchy believes it is being wrongly maligned.

  9. I can’t make it tomorrow have small children but I will be there in spirit and I will be your prayer warrior here at home. Peace to everyone going tomorrow and God Bless your work.

  10. This is the press release issued by the Archdiocese after the 2005 Grand Jury report in reference to potential change in the statutes of limitation http://archphila.org/press%20releases/pr001003.htm

    • I have one question is the church here to save souls or make money? If it is here to save souls then it must go through a period of suffering to do so.

      • Beth, please think about this. The Church isn’t clerics or buildings or rules or rituals. It is the People of God; people like you following Jesus’ example and loving and helping each other. It is C4C bloggers helping and sharing. It is you loving and doing for your kids. It is your kids learning how to love from you.

        Of course, look for a local group that you are comfortable with. The Catholic Church has lost its way and people like you and others here prove there is still hope it will find it again.

        Please try to enjoy the journey, as discouraging as it sometimes can be. Suffer perhaps; but enjoy also. The Church is all around you.

  11. Thanks Jerry I know what you say is true ……..came to the same conclusion after talking to someone from Puis X………I guess I am speaking my mind out loud……… I just felt like I needed a break to air my brain. Tired of dealing with criminals and cowards………….I need to see a few Saints………..when I remember to pray Jesus gives me the same answer………….pretty much if the laity does not stay and fight for the real church who will…………….As for suffering I mean the church might suffer finicially for a while and criminally but if it saves souls it is worth it. It needs desperately to be cleaned out.

  12. Victims4Justice.org Reply November 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    In an interview with Bob Costas, Jerry Sandusky was asked “Are you sexually attracted to young boys?” Sandusky had to pause and think about the question, then repeat the question twice, as if he understood it correctly, and then very creepily answered, “No. I’m not ‘sexually’ attracted to them.” I wonder. If someone were to ask me the same question, my response would be “F#ck no! Are you out of your mind? What the hell kind of question is that to ask?!” I wouldn’t have to think about it.

    Furthermore, Sandusky admitted to doing things that I think any rational person would consider inappropriate anyway. What grown man showers with little boys? Sandusky admits to touching their legs and that maybe even his genitals rubbed up against these little boys. Yet he claims he is not a pedophile and he did nothing wrong?! Are you serious, dude?

    Just like that scumbag Irish priest Oliver O’Grady, who abused an estimated 1,000 children while in the Los Angeles Diocese in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and also spent seven years in prison for being convicted of raping children (including babies) and was deported back to Ireland in 1997. In the documentary “Deliver Us from Evil,” O’Grady admits so many disturbing details about his propensities toward children and what methods he used to gain access to them and how he groomed and eventually abused them. Just watching the documentary and seeing O’Grady walking the streets of Ireland as children pass by, he stops in his tracks, takes a look, and gives the creepiest facial expressions I have seen… well the creepiest I have seen since I was a child and being abused by such men.

    How could any adult witness a child being raped and leave the room to call their daddy? If it were me, currently I’d be explaining to a judge why I’d like to plead temporary insanity, because I lost control and even though I understood what I was doing, I had a legal and moral obligation to protect that child! Do you think I would get unsecured bail? No ankle bracelet?

    The time has come for ordinary citizens to decide, “You’re either for the animals who rape children, or you’re against them.” There’s no gray area here. If you argue about the negative press against the Catholic Church, you solidify yourself as “for the abusers.” If you look the other way while a 10 year-old boy is being raped, you become “part of the abuse.” If you support known child abusers, I consider you a “child abuser, yourself.” Looking the other way contributes to the abuse just as much as the act of abusing.

  13. Victims4Justice.org Reply November 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    It is difficult to explain the outrage and the anger that I have after such a terrible week of terrible news. All this fighting I have been doing, trying to change the laws in the hopes that children will not suffer the same sort of fate that was my childhood, over 900 letters written to Tri-State area lawmakers, the US Attorney General, Governors, the US Supreme Court, and even to the President of The United States has being proven to be pointless. I’ve protested so many churches, schools, Catholic and State owned entities. I have literally begged our elected leaders to do more and protect children. I wanted the laws to change not because children were still being abused, but more importantly so we could protect children before they become abused.

    The priest who abused me groomed me by rubbing his hand on my knees and thighs. So that information in the Grand Jury Report employed by Sandusky and how he used the same tactics to groom his victims has been especially difficult for me. Out of all the gross details in that report, oddly enough it was the least sexual act he may have done to those boys that affects me the most.

    I think about all those people who knew about Sandusky and swept it under the rug, just as much as the Church knew about my abuser 25 years before I ever came in contact with the man. I think about those who suspected Sandusky and my abusers were “a little off” but left it at that and decided not to pursue it. Or, the mother who reported to police that Sandusky showered with her son and even admitted to it, only for an investigation to be dropped, not unlike the enormous complaints from parents and victims to the Catholic Church that were unanswered and ignored.

    I think about going legal and public with my story in 2009, that in the same state, not too far from where I reported my own abusers, a little boy was being raped in a shower by a grown man. I thought that by coming forward I was making the world a safer place, and all along a monster was out there doing the same thing that was done to me to more children. Didn’t he see my story that was in every newspaper from here to the moon? Wasn’t he at least a little concerned that at some point we victims start fighting back? No, because they are so arrogant and smug. They think that since they were able to fool us victims and our parents, then it will be no problem fooling the legal system. Hey, he already fooled the arraignment judge. Who knows, maybe he’s on to something? Who would ever take our word over a well respected priest or a coach for one of the most well known and respected football teams in the land?

    I used to wonder if anyone would believe me too. Then when I spoke up about the abuse, I realized I was not alone and people would believe me, because unfortunately this has happened all too often anyway. The shame my abusers laid upon me, much the way I’m certain Sandusky allowed his victims to carry the guilt, hardly exists anymore. That shame kept me quiet from telling the truth and distanced myself from trusting people throughout my life, but that shame has also set me free. I did everything right as a little boy. I was a good kid and I obeyed adults. Those priests whose care I was entrusted to are the ones who didn’t do the right thing. They are to blame for abusing me, and I should feel no guilt or remorse for “allowing” them to abuse me. They were adults and they had choices. I was just a kid!

    My Dad used to always say that “your first instinct is usually the right one.” The initial instinct of Penn State University students was to riot in the streets of Happy Valley. It wasn’t just a small number as PSU would like you to believe, but rather an estimated 5,000 lunatics who destroyed parked cars and turned over a news van. It was 5,000 uncaring morons who lit trash cans on fire, tore down traffic light poles, and threw beer bottles at storefronts. Those students may have been the minority, but they still account for over 10% of the student body at Penn State. Their initial reaction will serve as my lasting impression of Penn State University and how it was more important to support a terminated football coach who was aware of his assistant coach raping children and turned a blind eye, than to the victims of such terrible tragedy. Penn State may very well be a good school of high academic standards, but what I witnessed was a school of uncaring and arrogant knuckleheads.

    This is a new day and a new week in Happy Valley and maybe everyone can just move on? I hope not. If I can’t move on, why should you?

  14. Ahem.

    Bishop Finn avoids indictment by entering diversion program

    http://www.kansascity.com/2011/11/15/3267619/bishop-finn-avoids-indictment.html

    • I don’t know how the laity will respond…I can tell you as a wife of a survivor, I am angry and saddened that this is the “deal” between a PROSECUTOR (the state) and the catholic church. What the hell kind of agreement is this?

      Did the mafia get to do a “diversion program” too?

      Someone explain the other side to this? The pluses and minuses of something like this. IF there is good to come from this, I can accept that…but to not have Finn charged criminally just like anyone else is upsetting.

      • SW, it stinks. As is clear up to the present in both the Philly and Penn State cases, state officials are too prone to protect the powerful locals. It is why I tend to rant about keeping the pressure on Seth Williams and the Philly judge.

        Some good news, US Sen. Casey (D-PA) just called for US Senate hearings on comprehensive and nationwide Federal protection of American children from sexual abuse.

        For more, please see my comment, “Penn State Anyone?”, accessible by clicking on at:

        http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/avoid-indictment-bishop-agrees-county-oversight

      • Prosecutor Daniel White. There’s a name we need to make synonymous with corrupt. Who cuts a deal like that unless he’s getting paid off or his pockets lined by the rcc in some way.

        What are his pressure points? When is he up for re-election?

        Jerry, I liked your comments.

        I also thought it was interesting…isn’t the rcc always crowing about governmental control? Why would they EVER allow a governmental body to call the shots? Always whatever is best for them at any given moment. Each time you even get close, they move the cheese.

        Jerry, here’s my concern about the Senate hearings and Federal protection of children…the rcc controls so much! When the time comes for the Federal piece to get pushed through…there will be a deal cut, a law not passed, a loophole somewhere, somehow…these men skate every time!

        THIS is taxpayer and parishioner money used for what?

        Ugh.

        I feel so hopeless when fighting for children against this institution. I won’t stop fighting. I won’t stop demanding. I won’t stop supporting avenues that hold perps and their enablers accountable. Is there any other organization more elusive than the rcc?

    • Finn was diverted in Clay County, but there is still the Jackson County misdemeanor charge,….I think!

  15. You just can’t make this stuff up…

    Roman Catholic church’s paedophile investigator jailed for possessing thousands of child porn images

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2054674/Roman-Catholic-churchs-paedophile-investigator-jailed-possessing-thousnds-child-porn-images.html

    • Charles, there were two Grand Juries dealing with Finn. one in Jackson Co that indicted and charged him and a second Grand Jury in Clay Co, that apparently has put him in a diversion program where the Clay County folks have Finn report monthly for the next 5 years relative to abuse situations.

    • Yeah I read about that alittle while ago.

  16. No Joan. This deal takes care of both. Sad.

    • Charles, how does a diversion agreement in Clay County, dealing only with Clay County abrogate a Grand Jury in Jackson County who both indicted and charged Finn with a crime?

  17. Sorry, Joan, I was wrong. The NYT confirms that the Jackson County matter is still outstanding – and that a deal is in the works.

  18. Jerry or Drwho13 what is the cannon law Gumbleton violated? I just read about it . I know it’s name but what is it’s defintion? Who created all the cannon laws and what does it take to change them?

  19. Beth, by testifying in favor of liberalizing the Ohio abuse victims SOL and related child protection laws, Gumbleton, an abuse victim himself, was violating his purported duty to stand with his brother bishops who opposed the changes in Ohio law to save the Church money, etc.

    Canon laws are internal church rules, built up over 1,000 years, mainly to protect the Vatican’s control. As a practical matter, the pope can change or disregard the rules whenever he wants to.

    For more information on this, please note my NCR comments under the comment headings, “Why Do Other Bishops Shun Gumbleton” and “WOW, a Christian Bishop!” , accessible by clicking on at:

    http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/retired-bishop-asked-leave-detroit-parish-testimony?page=1

    You have to scroll down to the second page of NCR comments to find my second comment, which is the main comment.

    • Ok.Thanks. I googled it too. Basically it seems unless they have the same opinion they are to remain silent. I also was wondering if being involved with politics affects their tax status which was part of my understanding.

  20. Please take a minute to answer this poll on philly.com. Not the best poll questions because you have to make a choice between improving the reporting laws and the statute of limitation window legislation -both these things will help keep kids in Pa. safer. The mandatory reporting revisions will proabaly move swiftly through the Pa. House and Senate due to the Penn State crisis. I voted for the third choice concerning the window legislation because this too will keep children safer by identifying through civil lawsuit,previously unidentified, non prosecuted child predators due to past restrictive statutes. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq_ed_board/Poll-There-oughta-be-a-law.html

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