2011 Grand Jury Recommendations

2011 Grand Jury Report Recommendations to the Archdiocese (pulled directly from Report)

Obviously, nothing will really change in the church until there is a will to change. In the meantime, there are steps to be taken, both inside and outside the Archdiocese, that may be of some help in preventing new victims and assisting old ones.

First, experience now demonstrates that programs for aiding victims of clergy sex abuse cannot be operated by the church itself. Victims should be assisted by the state Victim Compensation Board, or by a completely independent non-profit organization that is not subject to Archdiocesan control. In either case the church must provide the necessary funding. The church, through its lawyers, is of course entitled to defend itself against civil or criminal claims; but it can no longer try to play both sides of the fence with its victims.

Second, as the previous grand jury requested seven years ago, the Legislature should pass a “civil window” statute that will allow for lawsuits on otherwise time-barred claims. That is the only way the public will be able to learn of and protect itself from abusive priests that the church’s review board refuses to reveal.

Third, there is another way in which the Legislature may have power to influence the actions of the church. Although parochial schools do not operate at public expense, they do receive various targeted funds for ancillary items. The Legislature should consider reduced funding to schools, public or private, that fail to create a safe environment for their children.

Fourth, we urge victims of clergy sexual abuse to come forward to the District Attorney’s Office. You are not required to go to the Archdiocese first; nor are you precluded from going there if you first report your abuse to law enforcement officials. There is no other class of crimes where we expect victims to rely on their assailants for a resolution. That was the attitude in the past in relation to domestic abuse, but the criminal justice system has worked to change that mindset. The same should be true in relation to clergy abuse. We think the wall of silence may be cracking.

A final word. In light of the Archdiocese’s reaction to the last grand jury report, we expect that some may accuse us of anti-Catholic bias for speaking of these painful matters. We are not church-haters. Many of us are church-goers. We did not come looking for “scandal,” but we cannot close our eyes to the powerful evidence we heard. We call the church to task, to fix what needs fixing.”

11 thoughts on “2011 Grand Jury Recommendations

  1. What specific actions can people take who live outside of the Philadelphia AD and outside of PA that will strengthen and support your efforts?

  2. I am a victim of sexual abuse. I now attend independent traditional Latin Mass chapel. It is the best thing I ever did. We always pray that Rome and its sinful dioceses will convert bac k to true Catholicism. It is sad that while pedophile priests were allowed to remain as priests, good and holy traditional priests were excommunicated. Finally, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication in 2009 for Pope Pius X Society and other small independent chapels.

    1. Write legislators in all states and federal government
      Support legislation in all states by writing, emailing, calling
      Join orgs that fight child abuse and help victims, there are many
      Reach out to survivors everywhere you find them
      This is a start, and if anyone tells you it is about money for the survivors, read them this. This man got money but no justice.

      No justice for victims, no peace for anyone.


      1. I would like to add that I do not advocate violence; it is not the answer. I question if this man would have done what he did if he had justice and help so that he could heal.


  3. There is a group in Portland Oregon, the Epik Project, http://www.epikproject.org/, they contend men are responsible for the human trafficking problem (portland is the #1 city for it) and men need to fix it. They are doing something. It doesn’t mean it is their exclusive responsibility. Likewise, the Catholic church is responsible for the abuse of children by priests and it’s coverup and silence and they are accountable for fixing it. It doesn’t mean it is their exclusive responsibility.

  4. Just a thought…but wondering if there is a general letter that can be posted that people can easily copy and paste to send out in a email to their state reps. Might help people take action quicker if they are having trouble putting their thoughts into a concise statement of their own.

  5. I would appreciate very much if someone from this site would contact me. I was victimized by Father John Paul in 1972-73 during my freshman year in college. These events altered the course of my life in a very negative way. In my sixties, I am, once again, trying to understand the horror. Thank you.

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