News Story of the Day
By Angela Couloumbis & Liz Navratil, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 2018
HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to indefinitely block the release of a grand jury report detailing decades of clergy sex abuse in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.
In a two-paragraph order made public Wednesday, the state’s highest court said it granted requests from unnamed individuals or institutions to prevent the public release of the much-anticipated report.
“The Honorable Norman A. Krumenacker, III, and the Office of the Attorney General are enjoined from releasing Report No. 1 of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury pending further order of this Court,” it read, citing the Cambria County judge who has overseen the panel’s work.
Cardinal McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington, accused of sexual abuse and removed from ministry
By Julie Zauzmer, Michelle Boorstein, Dana Hedgpeth, June 20, 2018, Washington Post
The former archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, has been removed from ministry due to allegations that he sexually abused a teenager almost 50 years ago while he was a priest in New York.
McCarrick, 87, was a well-known church leader in global affairs. He said in a statement on Wednesday that he learned months ago about the allegation of sexual abuse, and he has “absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse.” While he maintains his innocence, he wrote, “In obedience I accept the decision of The Holy See, that I no longer exercise any public ministry.”
By Katie Gibas, June 18, Spectrum News Buffalo
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Judith Burns-Quinn has been working with victims of priest sex abuse in Western New York for 22 years.
"It's easily Boston West," she said.
Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney for victims of the Boston Diocese, backed up that statement.
"Given the amount of secrecy within the Diocese of Buffalo and the amount of names of pedophile priests being released, I think is fairly accurate. The amount of abuse has been devastating,” he said.
BY JON O'CONNELL, The Times Tribune, June 18, 2018
Bishop Joseph C. Bambera apologized Sunday to victims ahead of a grand jury report expected to detail child sexual abuse by Catholic priests and attempts to conceal it.
In a written message published in church bulletins, the bishop offered his “deepest apologies to the victims of such abuse, to their families, to the faithful of our Church and to everyone impacted by the behaviors described in this report.”
Diocesan officials provided the insert to all of its parishes to keep members informed of the impending release, spokesman Dan Gallagher said in an email.
UNE 14, 2018
The Lafayette Diocese priest accused of sexually abusing a teenager turned himself in Wednesday to the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, 10 days after the diocese publicly disclosed the allegation.
Michael Guidry, 75, confessed to assaulting the victim, who was 16 at the time, after serving the boy alcohol, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The abuse occurred at Guidry’s home in Morrow, authorities said.
By Rock Ronald Rozario and Stephan Uttom, Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 15, 2018, UCA News
Despite the Vatican judging allegations against William Christensen to be credible in 2010, he is still working with children
An American priest who was dismissed from the clergy by the Vatican after being accused of sexually abusing as many as 30 teenagers in Bangladesh is still in the country.
William Andrew Christensen, a priest in the Society of Mary, or Marianists, was removed from the priesthood in October 2010 after the Vatican judged allegations against him to be credible.
Meaghan M. McDermott, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, June 14, 2018
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian announced on June 6 that 15 men and two women have alleged they were sexually abused as children by eight priests assigned to parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester between 1950 and 1978.
Three of the accused priests have been publically identified in the past: Eugene Emo, David P. Simon and Francis H. Vogt. Emo and Simon were removed from their ministry and Vogt has since died.
By Ivey DeJesus, June 14, 2018, PennLive
A little over 15 years ago, right after The Boston Globe published a bombshell investigation exposing decades of widespread sexual abuse of children at the hands of hundreds of priests in the Archdiocese of Boston, Lynne Abraham hit upon the notion that if it was happening there it was surely happening in her hometown.
Then Philadelphia's district attorney, Abraham launched what would become a legal benchmark in state history: She organized an investigation into child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It would be the longest-running investigation into clergy sex abuse and put Pennsylvania on the map of jurisdictions that most aggressively have gone after child sex predators.
BY JACK EBLE, JUNE 12, 2018, FOX43 News
HARRISBURG, P.A. --- Survivors of childhood sexual abuse and advocated rallied Tuesday, pushing for reforms of the commonwealth statute of limitation rules.
Currently in Pennsylvania, someone who was sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday has until they're 30-years old to file a civil suit.
The age limit for a person to bring forward a criminal case is 50-years old.
House Bill 612 proposes to eliminate the criminal statute of limitations while providing a two-year window of opportunity for anyone seeking a civil lawsuit after exceeding the age limit, with the burden of proof going on the accuser.
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.