So far, however, Becerra’s office has stayed mum on one of California’s biggest criminal outrages: sex abuse in the Catholic Church.
News Story of the Day
By Jason Horowitz, Sept. 12, 2018, NY Times
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has summoned bishops from around the world to Rome for an unprecedented meeting focused on protecting minors, the Vatican announced on Wednesday, as the pontiff wrestles with a global clerical sexual abuse crisis and explosive accusations of a cover-up that have shaken his papacy and the entire Roman Catholic Church.
The pope called the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences to gather from Feb. 21 to 24, according to the Vatican, which added that he had “amply reflected” on the issue with his top council of cardinal advisers during three days of meetings that ended on Wednesday. It would be the first global gathering of church leaders to discuss the crisis.
Pennsylvania grand jury finds some police and district attorneys helped Catholic church cover up priest abuse
By Tim Darragh, The Morning Call, September 1, 2018
As he began a blistering presentation of a grand jury report into decades of child sex abuse by priests in Pennsylvania earlier this month, Attorney General Josh Shapiro singled out two groups — the Catholic Church hierarchy and law enforcement — for sometimes working in tandem to keep the accusations from the public.
“The abuse scarred every diocese,” he said. “The cover-up was sophisticated. The church protected the institution at all costs.”
In addition to New York and New Jersey, state inquiries are under way or are in the works in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and New Mexico.
By Alex Johnson, September 6, 2018, NBC News
New York and New Jersey on Thursday raised to seven the number of states whose attorneys general have said they are reviewing Roman Catholic dioceses for cases of sexual misconduct by clergy — and several other states could join that growing list.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Thursday that since the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report last month — which accused more than 300 priests of having abused more than 1,000 children over 70 years — "more than a dozen attorneys general and a senior official at the Department of Justice have reached out to me."
Jackie Roberts, Aug 30, 2018, Your Eire
Bishop Lawrence Persico is calling to create a fund to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse... but not everyone is on board.
Survivors are responding to the bishop's announcement, saying their fight is not about money; it's about exposing the truth and protecting kids.
In the wake of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, Bishop Lawrence Persico announced an initiative to compensate victims monetarily. The bishop is working alongside Senator Joe Scarnati. A letter from the Diocese of Erie says Persico and Scarnati understand that no dollar amount can make amends for what occurred.
The statement reads, in part, "they believe that the many victims who were unable to seek justice because of Pennsylvania's statute of limitations deserve this alternative response".
But, victims of priest sexual abuse say that's not enough. Jim VanSickle says he was abused by a priest. "The people that I'm speaking to do not talk about money in this case. We want justice. We want to be able to civilly see our predator in court."
As a mother raising her children in the Catholic Church, reading the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing the rampant sexual assault of hundreds of children by Catholic priests nauseates and infuriates me, again.
The initial responses from the Catholic bishops in Illinois apologizing to victims and their families for these hidden, horrid crimes were well meaning. The bishops also explained the improvements the Church adopted since at least 2002 that are intended to prevent and better respond to similar crimes in the future. Some bishops also pointed out that the terrible crimes detailed in the Pennsylvania report are old. This stings. And it ignores a painful reality.
In many cases, the perpetrator priest is dead, but the impacts of violative sex crimes live on in hundreds of thousands of people across the country who had their childhoods stolen and their lives destroyed by the Catholic Church. Their wounds are still raw, and most will never heal. Their pain is compounded when the Church claims it has reformed yet has never revealed its hidden archive of records documenting years of priest abuse. The Church needs to acknowledge and publicly account for every allegation and every crime by opening their secret files to independent review. None of the bishops has offered to do that.
The Catholic Church may have cleaned up, but it has never come clean.
WASHINGTON (CNN)As the embattled Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, addressed the Catholic Church's clergy sexual abuse scandal on Sunday, one Catholic yelled "Shame on you!" while another turned her back on Wuerl in protest.
By Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, August 21, 2018
A defensive mindset known as “protect the house” often seems to take hold when an institution feels threatened.
Last week’s release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report helps show that no institution went to greater lengths to protect the house than the Roman Catholic Church in that state.
(CNN)Survivors of clergy sex abuse stood in front of the Vatican embassy in Washington on Thursday and urged two higher powers -- the Pope and the US Department of Justice -- to take concrete steps to prevent more abuses and hold abusers accountable.
Prosecutors in Illinois, Florida, Missouri and New York are considering or pursuing investigations into Catholic dioceses.
The moves come on the heels of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that described more than 300 "predator priests" and more than 1,000 victims in six Roman Catholic dioceses in the state.
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.