Editorial Board Calls For Legal Reform


Click here to read and comment on: “Child abuse victims need reform now,” by Patriot-News Editorial Board, Pennlive.com, June 26, 2012

Excerpt: “Equally as important is granting additional time for victims to come forward. At the moment, victims must bring criminal cases by age 50 and civil cases by age 30.

What the state should do is offer a one- or two-year window for victims, regardless of age, to bring civil suits.

Delaware, Hawaii and California have offered these windows, and they have not led to bankrupting religious or educational institutions. Lawmakers need to look beyond the Catholic Church lobby’s assertion that this is about rehashing “stale claims.” It’s about giving a voice to victims, and it’s the least we can do for them.

The guilty verdicts Friday in Pennsylvania’s two landmark cases, Sandusky and Lynn, are the talk of the nation.

Many states are looking to see what the commonwealth will do. It’s a hollow response when lawmakers say they await another report from another task force on child abuse, especially when that report won’t arrive until the end of their 2012 legislative session.”

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62 Responses to “Editorial Board Calls For Legal Reform”

  1. At last, the momentum is definitely on the side of justice for victims of child sexual abuse. Please contact Rep. Turzai, Chair of the House Rules Committee today, tell him about this editorial in the Harrisburg Patriot News, and urge him to bring HB 832, 878 and 2488 to a committee vote this week. Now is the time for action. His email address is mturzai@pahousegop.com

  2. Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply June 27, 2012 at 6:03 am

    The utterly reprehensible thing about the momentum that is building on the side of justice for victims in PA and around the nation is that Catholic bishops are its political enemies.

    “Such behavior can only signal an insidious moral and ethical bankruptcy that should be repugnant to all” (Sr. Maureen).

    Dolan, Chaput, and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have masterminded the obstruction of justice for victims of child sexual abuse while at the same time conspired and colluded to cover up thousands of incidences of child sexual abuse within their ranks.

    You have to wonder how they can sleep at night.

  3. Thanks, Irene. I copied and pasted the article and e-mailed it to Mr. Turzai. Hope it helps.

  4. As I understand it the Governor’s Task Force is not charged with reviewing and making recommendations on Mandated Reporters – how those laws should read, who should be included and what penalities should should result for non-compliance – not the criminal and civil SOL on actual childhood sexual abuse.

    • Very sorry: My post should read –

      As I understand it the Governor’s Task Force IS CHARGED WITH reviewing and making recommendations on Mandated Reporters – how those laws should read, who should be included and what penalities should result for non-compliance – NOT the laws as such on childhood sexual abuse.

      • forget the task force!!! EVERYONE focus ONLY on Rep Turzai until Friday June 29- ask him to call up bills 878, 832 and 2488! Copy the article the Patriot news posted yesterday- we could not ask for better media coverage AND OPINIONS by entire editorial boards. We are blessed. We are fighting the good fight- keep pressure on!!!

  5. I work on the staff of a Catholic school , and yesterday 3 of us were talking about Msg. Lynn. I was the only one that didn’t feel Lynn was a scapegoat. The former nun said she would have done the same thing as Lynn. My response….you would have committed a sin
    and a crime everytime someone was transferred. She said yes, “I was that afraid of Mother Superior.”

    The other person replied, “Well, if a several people are together when crime is committed, but only one of the people actually committed the crime, they are all charged. Now there are two of us who doesn’t think he is a scapegoat.

    Remember, Pontius Pilate is spending an eternity in hell because he didn’t do the right thing!

    • C.M. Whelan,thanks for sharing,,interesting perspective. I think it is part of the Catholic culture to fear the higher ups..there was a few times this past year that I said to me husband ( a convert) “I think I am going to get in trouble”. His response “what are they possibly going to do to you?” It is very healthy to get a perspective from someone who is not a cradle Catholic. What would that Mother Superior have done to the nun? yelled at her, transferred her? kicked her out? In the “real world” those type of consequences happen to people everyday for standing up for things far more trivial than the protection of children. I think it was very honest of this former nun to share her thoughts,honest but scary.

    • Sent the email, Maureen!

  6. ALSO OF IMPORTANCE! Figure out who your state rep is if you are in PA and if they are REPUBLICAN call them and ask them to personally talk to their majority leader Rep. Turzai also chair of rules committee and ask your rep to show support for the bills to Turzai. YOu can search for your state rep on line by googling terms like HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PA-

    • Kathy, my compliments to Tammy and I sincerely hope MORE ADS are planned…Joan

      • I ALSO sent yourPhiladelphia Weekly piece in its entirety (copy and paste whoe article) to Rep Turzai….suggest others might want to do so as well….the idea of ‘ads’ tends to galvanize legislators….

    • Rep. Bishop is my hero. Sometime I would like to sitdown and talk to this courageous woman and thank her for what she is doing.

  7. You can file this little item under irony, folly, outrage, disgust or just plain crazy. I think it provides a “dose of reality” when we wonder exactly where our Catholic leadership is headed.

    WAYNE, PA, June 22, 2012 – Catholic Leadership Institute is pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of the Award for Outstanding Catholic Leadership. The annual event, scheduled for Friday, November 9, 2012, will highlight the outstanding Catholic leadership of four individuals:

    William Donohue – President & CEO, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

    Catholic Leadership Institute developed the Awards for Outstanding Catholic Leadership in 2000 to recognize people in the Catholic Church whose exemplary leadership in the family, workplace, community and Church has been inspired by their Catholic faith. “Catholic Leadership Institute is blessed to honor these outstanding Catholic leaders and Christian witnesses for their commitment to living and sharing the Gospel with passion through their most unique and important ministries,” said Timothy C. Flanagan, Founder and Chair of Catholic Leadership Institute.

    • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply June 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      I’m all for bestowing honors upon people like Bill Donohue. I’m all for the “religious freedom” efforts, nun bashing, obstruction of justice regarding victims’ legislation, and so on. With the dawning of each new day, the hierarchy piles upon itself some new agenda that defies logic, defies the tenets of our faith, and defies the reality of the human condition. The moral and leadership failure is utterly egregious, forcing one to consider whether the bishops unconsciously harbor a common Church death-wish, bringing it to fruition via injurious agendas. While it’s not pretty to watch, it’s worth enduring because, with each passing day, it illuminates the degree of dysfunction and corruption among the bishops, it reinforces the need for real reform, and it defines what it should look like.

      • Agreed, hadit. Bill Donahue is the perfect Catholic:

        – calling child rape victims “crybabys”
        – intentionally distorting the truth for the church, and passing it through his minions
        – defending those that protect pedophiles, and making it a project in the case of proven pedophile protector Bishop Finn of Kansas City
        – aggressively blaming the 16 year old victim of assault by a Catholic priest in New York, and getting Cardinal Dolan to post it on his blog
        – aggressively fighting the victims of Catholic priest child rape, and getting Cardinal Dolan to post it on his blog

        Of course, the perfect Catholic does the opposite of what Jesus Would Do, and gets people to follow him and echo his words, which Donahue does incredibly well.

        The beauty of this is that it will be recorded in history, and new generations will have tangible evidence that this is not a church of God.

    • I’m filing it under “Nauseating”

      …So offensive that this catholic organization considers Bill Donahue’s shtick, for which he is paid to defend child abusers, to be a “ministry”… “a unique and important ministry, committed to living and sharing the Gospel”…..

    • They sure are great at patting each other on the back, aren’t they? How about recognizing the people in the parishes doing all the work?

  8. What I would like to see is an article on here and everywhere really, calling out the daily news for running the front page headline of “Catholic Church not guilty”. I can tell you for me, those weasles at the daily news ruined the victory. I nearly fainted when I saw that staring at me while in line at wawa. I know the editor is hooked in to the parish Lynn was in and I would like to see him fired for allowing such a headline to grace his cover. I can not stress enough how sickening this was to see!!! I can not believe they can get away with that. I can not be the only one completely floored and horrified by this.

    • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply June 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Dave,

      Take exactly what you wrote in your C4C post and mail it to the opinion section of the Daily News. DO something about being horrified!

      Last Sunday, my local newspaper editorialized on how the Sandusky verdict will forever change how the nation perceives the issue of child sexual abuse. I was horrified that the piece altogether failed to mention how the verdict from the priest sex abuse trial conjointly impacts the issue. I was incensed! I immediately sent an email to the managing editor of the newspaper. He sent my email to the publisher and editorial manager. This is a newspaper with a long history of protecting local, Catholic clerics, and I said that in my email. What they do about my complaint, or what they don’t do about it, is of no concern to me whatsoever. What matters is that I registered my complaint.

    • Was that the Delaware County Daily Times? Which newspaper had that headline?…I read everything online these days..

      • Philadelphia Daily news, Sandusky was the front page but sharing the page with him was Catholic Church Not Guilty: Flowers. It was a reference to the article inside by that woman Flowers. The headline read poorly and made me terribly upset!! This is what they chose to go with!! I dont care what flowers opinion is, they should have been more responsible with such a line. Although as I said, I now the editor is hooked in to the parish lynn is from.

    • I agree with Kate FitzGerald (hadit)…. Dave, put your words in a letter to the editor and send it… to not only that newspaper but to “others”… the others might just post it..

  9. Any of you folks living in the Delaware Valley know anything about Msgr George Majoros? He will be my pastor in a couple of weeks.

    All I can glean from the internet is that he is presently a pastor in Secane and was formerly the Vicar for Delaware County. He is also on Mary Achilles committee for healing (or whatever it’s officially called).

    • Fr. George is a great guy. I have known him for about 30 yrs. He started out at Our Lady of Calvary…and at that time he was very supportive of the laity and the parish school.

  10. Sorry for my spelling and probably grammer. Now should be know. My typing is always bad when furious.

  11. Dave – I feel the same as you do about the Daily News. A subsequent story notes the editor’s connection to the church. The paper did not have a reporter in the courtroom on a daily basis, but ran front page with the announcement of the popes visit. Maybe with the catholic standard paper going out, the DN will fill in.

    • I’m having the thought:
      When the unjust wicked seem to prosper, when they glory in their unrighteousness— believers shudder at the knowledge of how the unbelievers will suffer eternally, without end in the lake of fire. It then forces believers to want to see the wicked saved and forgiven! Hell is real folks!

  12. I am from the secane parish, and our School, Our Lady of Fatima, just closed………… I don’t have to say anymore.
    I believe the victims and pray for them always. Peace

  13. Susan and Kathy, you are doing an excellent job with this blog!

    Minor suggestion–What about a Posting once per week called–“Stories of the Week”? Readers would post their favorite stories of the week. It would be fun, and would give readers a chance to vent off topic from the directed posts.

    My “Story of the Week” this week is “The Kissing Exorcist”, blowing the Holy Spirit into the women he exorcised with every passionate kiss. You can’t make this stuff up. http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/06/26/47809.htm

    I am sorry for the priest, actually, as I think he was misled as a young man as to the serious consequences he would face of living a life alone without a companion. Why won’t Benedict allow priests the option to marry? The Holy Spirit is calling. Is anyone listening?

    • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply June 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      My, my, it’s a small and creepy world. Bishop Paul Laverde of the Diocese of Arlington, who condoned the exorcist’s passionate methods and is being sued by the once “demonic infested” woman, is the former bishop of my diocese, the Diocese of Ogdensburg, NY.

      WANTED: Single, blonde, devilish woman in northern NY wants Catholic priest to perform exorcism. “Severe” case. Will only respond to full, passionate kisses, the kind that feel like the Holy Spirit is being “blown into her.” No experience necessary. Will train. Only liberal, smart, in-shape priests need apply. Superior scotch and Cuban cigars provided. 999-9999

      • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply June 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

        New “vanity” phone number! 666-6666

      • Kate, I am on my way, as soon as I rent a miter! lol

      • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply June 28, 2012 at 3:14 am

        WANTED UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming response of 393 of the 400 Philadelphia AD priests, preference will be given to those owning shore homes in order to meet the “shoobie fantasy” of said demon infested woman. Should none of the responding priests own shore homes, preference will be given to priests who own farms, mountain homes, property in the Caribbean, or motorcycles. Finally, any priest who is willing to be de-programmed and re-programmed by said possessed woman, call this special number: 555-5555. In effect, it will override all preferences, end said search, and gently bring you from the dark into the light.

    • Fr. Euteneur was the President of Human Life International and he resigned this position as a result of the exorcism incident. The post below comes from an article which concerns the investigation of the incident and the organization’s response thereto:

      HLI received certain assurances that Rev. Euteneuer was no longer engaged in public ministry and therefore, until this time, in our efforts to observe Catholic teaching, we have avoided comment (beyond our original statement). This decision was based on all the teachings of the Church but in particular the Catechism’s instructions as follows:

      “Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2489. Emphasis in the original.)

      Boy, does that secrecy approach sure sound familiar? I think they use it down there at 222 N. 17th St.! “GOOD AND SAFETY OF OTHERS”……how come that never, ever included the children and victims of clergy sexual abuse?

      • Michael, thank you for highlighting this teaching from the Catechism, “The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2489. Emphasis in the original.)”

        The duty is to avoid the underlying cause of the scandal, not to cover it up. The Gospel teaches not to cause scandal; the scandal is the doing of the crime. The Church has turned that teaching on its head, and suggests that the scandal is caused by those who uncover it. The teaching is a clever twisting of the Gospel message. That is what led to Rev. Lynne’s felony conviction.

        Rev. Lynne should consider turning State’s witness for a reduced sentence.

  14. Under-cover cops could infiltrate the clerical culture as they do for drugs, prostitution etc. In addition, more criminal and civil law-suits would keep the sexual-abuse issue current and attract media attention till the needed bills are passed… and till a window is opened for victims, regardless of age, to bring civil suits. Are there any government-sponsored non-for-profit organizations who could represent victims of sexual abuse on a sliding-scale fee, so as not to turn anyone down. Never before has there been such a need for legal representaion as now. Just a thought.

    • Fascinating idea about under cover work! This should absolutely be done – perhaps by a federal agency. I would gladly see my taxes spent in that manner!

  15. Undercover investigation…great idea……surely would turn up alot and most certainly catch and stop some pedophiles.

  16. They should be so fearful of being detected they might even try to be good! HA HA! Great idea! Get ‘er dun!

  17. Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply June 29, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Chaput is STILL silent one week after the verdict! How Philly AD Catholics and priests can accept that I have no idea.

    • Silence remains the key tactic/strategy of Roman Catholics when any evidence appears casting doubt upon the false claims of RCism.

  18. Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply June 29, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Should Lynn be defrocked?

    According to an NCR article, SNAP has urged Chaput to defrock Lynn. “That message should be a ‘no brainer’– if you protect predators and hurt kids by hiding known and suspected crimes, you will be out of a job (SNAP).”

    These are the “problems” the Vatican has with defrocking Lynn:

    (1) Defrocking “undoes a priests very identity.” (2) If Lynn gets defrocked, then bishops who are perpetrators or enablers could get defrocked. (3) If Finn is convicted it would present the complicated question of whether to let him stay as head of his diocese, “but the Vatican certainly would not defrock him.” (4) When Lynn is finished serving his time in prison, he could be given “meaningful work” in another context. (5) The hierarchy likes to be merciful and forgiving with errant clerics.

    Is this for real?

  19. Father Gerald Robinson was convicted in Toledo, Ohio in 2006 of the Satanic Ritual murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl. He is still a Priest of Rome. Why doesn’t the bishop defrock him? Is this for real?

  20. 110 Main Capitol
    PO Box 202028
    Harrisburg, PA 17120-2028
    Telephone: (717) 772-9943
    Fax: (717) 772-2470

  21. Thanks Jerry for your latest insight and analysis.

    I very much appreciate the work.

  22. Why no follow-ups on Bill Conlin, Mr. Daily News Man? Where is Bill Conlin?

  23. Good Point Rich.

  24. Theresa M. Coleman Reply July 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Rich, just FYI > Bill Conlin is, as he reads this HANGING HIS HEAD in shame.

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