News Story of the Day
What is happening in the Catholic Church in West Virginia is truly remarkable, notable and important to watch. Occurring in the immediate wake of the Cardinal Theodore McCarrick scandal and the release of the damning PA grand jury report, the resignation and subsequent investigation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield for alleged sexual harassment of adults are of national significance. His past history in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. connect him directly to wider circles of influence at play in the U.S. church at this time. Additionally, the present investigation of Bransfield takes place just six years after he was alleged to have abused minors decades ago in his home diocese of Philadelphia, allegations that Bransfield and other officials of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston have consistently denied.
By Charlie Specht, October 28, 2018, WBKW Buffalo
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Without Siobhan O’Connor, the Diocese of Buffalo may have pulled off one of the greatest cover-ups in the history of the Catholic Church.
“I am a very ordinary person and I found myself in rather extraordinary circumstances and the way I look at it is, I was the right person in the right place at the right time, and God gave me the strength to do the right thing,” she said.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - The confidential whistleblower in the Buffalo Catholic Diocese sex abuse scandal will be featured this Sunday on the national news magazine "60 Minutes".
Siobhan O'Connor, the former secretary to embattled Bishop Richard J. Malone, will speak publicly for the first time Sunday about why she worked with the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team to expose the mishandling of sexual abuse claims against multiple priests by Malone.
Guest editorial by David Clohessy
Backers of the much-debated civil window for abuse and cover up lawsuits just won't compromise. So says Pennsylvania state Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati. But, Scarnati, R-Jefferson, couldn't be more wrong.
Interview with Becky Ianni: Fox 5 News on the Hill: Archdiocese of Washington names clergymen credibly accused of sex abuse
October 21, 2018, Fox 5
As the Archdiocese of Washington has voluntarily released the names of 31 clergy members who they say have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors from 1948 onward -- but a survivor of sexual abuse, Becky Ianni, says she believe there is is.
Criminal Charges for the Church? Why a Federal Prosecutor Thinks Cover-up of Abuse Is Worth Investigating Now
Two years ago, a federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh considered filing a racketeering lawsuit against a Roman Catholic diocese over its handling of child sex-abuse complaints, but left office before he could make the bold move.
However, a colleague in Philadelphia is now taking aim at the church this month, sending grand jury subpoenas to dioceses throughout Pennsylvania as he tries to build a federal criminal case centered on child exploitation.
U.S. Attorney William McSwain of Philadelphia has a head start on the work, given the sweeping state grand jury report released this summer, which found that 301 priests molested more than 1,000 children over seven decades. McSwain, a Harvard Law School graduate and former Marine sniper platoon commander, was appointed by President Trump and took office just four months ago.
By Maryclaire Dale and Eric Tucker, Associated Press, October 18, 2018
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Federal prosecutors have opened an investigation of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania, using subpoenas to demand secret files and testimony from high-ranking leaders in what victims’ advocates say is the first such probe ever launched by the U.S. Justice Department.
By Janice Park, October 16, 2018, WUSA9
WASHINGTON -- The Archdiocese of Washington released a list Monday of 31 priests. It names priests involved in cases with credible accusations of abuse.
By Andrea Swalec, October 15, 2018, NBC Washington
The Archdiocese of Washington has released the names of 28 former members of clergy who they say were "credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors" dating back as far as 1948.
Pennsylvania Republican Leadership Spits in the Eyes of Child Sex Abuse Victims with Faux Justice in New Proposal
By MARCI A. HAMILTON, October 13, 2018
The 2018 Pennsylvania Attorney General’s grand jury report on the six Pennsylvania dioceses not yet investigated for clergy sex abuse looked like it could move mountains at first. The account of over 300 priests and over 1000 victims certainly has garnered worldwide attention and empathy for the victims and their families. Republican leadership, however, with few days left in the legislative calendar has proved incapable of such empathy.
Instead, Senators Scarnati and Corman have produced a cynical “tribunal” that gives bishops and insurance companies what they love most: immunity from discovery. This is faux justice is an insult to every survivor in the state. It is also every child-molesting cleric’s best friend as it keeps their wrongdoing secret and every enabling institution’s best friend as it keeps their wrongdoing secret.
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.