Bishops created a committee to hide archives from discovery
As the last prosecution witness in the Philadelphia priest sex-abuse trial took the stand last week, the jury was told about an Archdiocese of Philadelphia document turned over to prosecutors.
That document suggested the late Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua and other Pennsylvania bishops formed an ad hoc committee to "better protect ... from civil law discovery" secret-archive files of priests with a history of problems, including of allegations of sexually abusing minors.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia kept sensitive personnel files in "secret archives," trial witnesses have said on several occasions.
The document that jurors were shown Wednesday was the only mention of that committee, and the rest of the day's testimony focused on defendant Monsignor William J. Lynn's compilation of a list of 35 priests who had reporte...
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.