News Story of the Day
Pa. Supreme Court explains why it blocked release of clergy sex-abuse report, citing challenges from 'many' people
By by Angela Couloumbis & Liz Navratil, June 25, 2018, The Philadelphia Inquirer
HARRISBURG — After being criticized for halting the release of a long-awaited grand jury report into clergy sex abuse, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday offered the first explanation of its decision, saying it needs to resolve legal challenges by “many individuals” named in the report who fear their reputations will be harmed.
In a five-page unsigned opinion, the justices offered no clues as to the identity of the petitioners, or the specifics about the circumstances of their objections. Instead, they explained that concerns had been raised about the secretive nature of the grand jury process and the ability of some people to address or respond to the allegations contained in the more than 800-page document, which details decades of abuse in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.
By VICTORIA ALBERT, June 24, 2018, The Daily Beast
A court just muzzled the ‘damaging’ findings on decades of Catholic clerical abuse. But it’s not over. ‘We are coming for them,’ says a state rep who was raped by a priest at 13.
Mark Rozzi thought he was days away from justice, or at least the beginning of it.
It started when he was 13, and a priest at his school in Hyde Park, Pennsylvania, started grooming him. For months, the Rev. Edward Graff talked with Rozzi about sex, gave him alcohol, and showed him pornography. Then, one fateful day, he raped him in a rectory shower.
Rozzi didn’t report his abuse for 26 years. But he later learned that during that period, Graff was transferred multiple times between parishes, and allegedly abused children in Texas, too. In 2002, Graff was arrested on child-abuse charges after facing dozens of accusations, The Washington Post reports. He later died in jail.
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.
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.