Unsealed abuse case shows court's role in scandal
Editorial, The Tribune-Democrat, December 18, 2016
The attorney general’s investigation of child sexual abuse across the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese unveils two terrible truths.
Priests and others within the church had been assaulting countless children for decades.
And church leaders and law enforcement professionals were not prosecuting the offenders, instead choosing to seal up cases and move priests from parish to parish, allowing for more children to become victims.
The Tribune-Democrat has vowed to help break down both cultures, and last Sunday – with help from both the Cambria courts and the diocese – we took a big step forward with a report on how the case of Monsignor Francis McCaa was mishandled by those trusted with protecting our communities and pursuing justice.
Thirty years ago – on Dec. 11, 1986 – the McCaa abuse case was sealed in Cambria County court by now-retired Judge Gerard Long.
Long attended Holy Name, the church McCaa served, and later decided not to . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.