Church Employee Reports Directly to Child Abuse Hotline

This is how child abuse reporting should work.

“Fed indict Pa. priest on child porn charges,” by Joe Mandak, the Associated Press, Jan. 4, 2012

“PITTSBURGH – A Pittsburgh-area Catholic priest has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges he possessed thousands of images of child pornography on his computer, discs, books and photo albums seized by county detectives last month….” Read more here.

18 thoughts on “Church Employee Reports Directly to Child Abuse Hotline

  1. Its good when anyone with child porn is reported. On another note read the letter from blue ribbon committee for parents told you how to get hold of the report on fri. which I appreciate but letter was rather cold. I will check that new site you started for any news and comments.

    1. “He was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison and two years probation but will receive a two-for-one credit for time served. Lahey pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography for the purposes of importation to Canada” (CBC News.)

      Finally we got one, but how does his sentence compare with that of the average Joe who committed the same offense?

      1. Kay, Last year I read about a case of a priest having possession of child porn. When the Church released a statement alerting people to the charges against the priest,they also stated that no children were harmed in this case. Are you kidding??? What about the children pictured in the child porn the priest had in his possession!!

        1. My point EXACTLY. It’s the children who are the victims. Everytime some idiot says to me “but if they were only looking, what difference does it make…” At first I said “Please think about where those pictures were made and the photographer, does that tell you anything?” It’s like pulling teeth and I have difficuty beieving people can be that uninformed (mild understatement.) Here in the metro KC area, we have the porno-priest situation going on and a bishop who made a deal with a prosecuting attorney (they are going to meet monthly to make sure the bishop is doing the right thing.) Blows my mind. Now Leahey gets away with time served (Canada) and another priest in PA is caught with porn and a bishop in California admits to having two children. WHO are the victims? The children.

      2. What we seem to have is some degree of Church ‘accountability’ via media exposure.

        This the tenth anniversary of the Boston Globe’s revelations, without which Tom Doyle suggested that child sexual abuse might still be relatively unknown, nationally, and going strong.

        Abuse Tracker about a month ago covered the German Church’s ownership of a major printing company (and revenue source to the Church) whose chief product was salacious books and porn, (apparently folks had been complaining for years about it to Rome, but it was not until it hit the international press that the Vatican shut it down). And there are many other miserable examples on Abuse Tracker!

        Kay4Justic, and Kathy cite more of the same (including the subject of this blog).

        But what really strikes me is how dependent we are on the media. Perhaps, a useful thought on the tenth anniversary of the Boston Globes major work.

        AND the efforts of Kathy and Susan.

      3. Joan,

        Interesting thought.

        While we may be greatly dependent on the media for information, it has had the effect of cultivating independent and critically thinking Catholics. Media has acted as a nail in the coffin of “pray, pay and obey.”

      4. Had it, I think from a management perspective, the Church is totally unmanageable. There are approximately 408,000 priests, close to 5000 bishops, 2167 dioceses, 630 archdioceses, and somewhere around 50 or 60 folks in the ‘Holy Office’. And the ‘abuse’ issues, to say nothing of many other issues are ON the ‘radar screen.’

        Then you have world media, the Internet, a 24/7 news cycle. Personally, I think the whole situation is very close, if not there, to a ‘tipping point.’

        My prayerful thought is that the Holy Spirit will manage this mess.

      5. Joan,
        You stated “the church is totally unmanageable’. I am starting to agree with you on that. I recently emailed Archbishop Chaput and although he he emailed me back which I do appreciate he said hundreds of people want to meet with him and also he gets hundreds of emails a day so he could not meet with me nor could not spend anytime further answering my emails. You can read into that whatever you want but he seems overwhelmed among other things. My parish priests are always willing to meet with me and very kind and open in my discussions with them. They have trouble being in a million places at once also but they make time to meet with me. I don’t know what the solution is maybe more laity involvement ,transparency and openess from management so we know what is going on so we can help fix the system especially finicial stuff and policies etc.

      6. Joan,
        I am not naive in thinking this will happen but I don’t see any other solution as vocations and religious are on the decline. Unless the vocations and religious miraculously start increasing but again I don’t see this unless serious changes are made in the culture of the institutional church.

      7. Beth, I think you have it right on every point…I am glad your local clergy are helpful and available.

        I don’t think you are going to see a surge in vocations unless or until Church behavior shifts sharply.

        At 73, I lived through (and very much loved) Vatican 2.

        It was an exciting and inspiring time….and it just wasn’t catholics that were impacted. I tell the story of being in the hospital after the birth of our second child, and the gal in the next bed (not a catholic) is telling ME, how much she likes Pope John 23, and how wonderful it is that the Church is moving in this new direction.

        It was a time of inclusiveness, ecumenism, and a zest for things of the spirit. People were excited and very involved in everything from groups that read the Council documents together, to prayer groups, to taking theology courses, to working with other faiths on poverty projects….you name it, we did it!

        Doesn’t sound like now, does it?

        When I say I think the Church is operationally unmanageable, its not just those numbers, I cited, but it’s the style. Pope John 23 scared the curia, big time, and they had fought him tooth and nail on many of the more important parts of the Council positions.

        THeir subsequent agenda was to clamp down hard, reform the reform, narrow the essential issues, emphasize ideological purity, and punish any bishop who had the temerity to suggest, even a change in the celibacy rules.

        I don’t think these guys trust the Holy Spirit (which Pope John 23 did), but rather are like an oppressive parent, running scared.
        And we all know how THOSE kids turn out.

        One of things that I liked best about Vatican 2 was it actually respected the laity. Our present Pope, then a liberal Council expert wrote well about individuals primacy of personal conscience…

        Boy, were the times different, AND better. I think the Church desperately needs to trust the Holy Spirit, and clean up it’s act in any number of other ways, too!!!!

  2. drwho.just a quick glance through the comment section on this article and there are a few references to something about the sentencing being part of a larger change within the criminal code of that area.

  3. This may be why the feds had to take over the Sorenson child porn case in the Pittsburgh Diocese. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. sits on the board of the USBishop’s Conference that oversees cases of clergy abuse. Obviously, some one besides me thinks this is a conflict of interest. Secondly, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Zappala sits on the clergy abuse review board in the Pittsburgh Diocese, obviously, yet, another conflict of interest. To learn more about the Zappala Crime Family and their partnership with organized crime google yardbird Zappala.

    I tried to contact the Pittsburgh branch of the FBI to share information based on my 23 years of investigating corruption and cover ups by PA government and the catholic church. So far they haven’t returned my call. Funny, the feds are investigating a priest in Pittsburgh Diocese while a Vatican Cardinal and canon lawyer is currently investigating Cardinal Donald Wuerl. This is just one of the reasons I wanted to speak to the FBI agents.

    It is now safe for victims of clergy sex abuse from the Pittsburgh Diocese to come forward. This even includes former seminarians from St. Paul’s Monastary in Crafton, PA whi may have been a victim of Donald Wuerl, Bishop Zubik, Bishop Burns etc.

    1. Wow Charles,
      Read article……..yes everyone has “moved on “and left the church. Look at the Philly Schools………Churches are next……….many people are not hanging around because they know it does not practice what it teaches………..we need Saints now……………

    2. Charles, when I clicked on the link I honestly thought it was some kind of parody website like The Onion or something like that. I had to google the Catholic League three times to actually believe this was posted on their site -I kept thinking it was some kind of sick joke (not by you) It is depraved,malicous and certainly not Christ like and no Bishop or Cardinal will call them on the carpet for it.I am familiar with their track record and comments about the abuse crisis but this takes it to a whole new level…just sick.

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