Law officers, clergy forged ties stymieing prosecutions
by Caitlin McCabe and Maria Panaritis, March 6, 2016, Philly.com
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - In January, a deputy attorney general and two agents walked into a judge's chambers here with questions. They wanted to discuss a meeting decades earlier that had ended with a "monster" priest being allowed to go free.
Back in 1985, Cambria County Judge Patrick T. Kiniry had been a local prosecutor, and met with Bishop James Hogan to discuss a priest suspected of sexually abusing children. As leader of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, the bishop had outsize influence in the area. Kiniry, a former altar boy, had been excited to meet him.
Hogan didn't dispute the claims about the Rev. Francis McCaa that day.
But nothing happened.
McCaa, suspected of abusing at least 15 boys, some as young as 8, lived another two decades without ever being charged.
"You have to understand: This is an extremely Catholic county," Kiniry allegedly explained this year when Deputy Attorney General Daniel J. Dye and two agents came to talk to him about the case.
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.