News Story of the Day
STOCKTON - There's a wave of support for former Catholic priest Michael Kelly even after a civil jury found him liable for sexually molesting an altar boy more than 20 years ago.
With the jury seated and one less defendant, the first case against a church official accused of covering up child sex abuse has moved into the courtroom, as a national audience turns its attention to the scandal in the Philadelphia archdiocese.
Father Tony Flannery, a Catholic priest who has been outspoken in his criticism of the abuse crisis in Ireland, has found himself under investigation by the Vatican for his liberal views.
Philadelphia (CNN) -- Opening arguments started Monday in the first case in which a Roman Catholic archdiocese official is accused of covering up evidence of suspected sexual abuse of children.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In a sudden turn of events, one of the defendants in the Philadelphia priest sex abuse scandal has decided to plead guilty.
Ten years after Catholic bishops swore to clean up their act after decades of sexual abuse by priests and cover-ups by their leaders, the Catholic Church is proving that old habits die hard.
Religious institutions have constitutional protections, but they are not above the law. Unfortunately, that has not stopped the Roman Catholic Church and other religious groups from arguing that the First Amendment shields them from civil lawsuits for negligent supervision and retention of employees who sexually abuse children.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, has played a critical role in making public the horrific crimes of pedophile priests and holding the Roman Catholic Church accountable for the crimes. Now the church is using a tactic that could cripple SNAP by embroiling it in costly litigation in which it is not a party.
Turning the tables on an advocacy group that has long supported victims of pedophile priests, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Churchand priests accused of sexual abuse in two Missouri cases have gone to court to compel the group to disclose more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.
Since 1985, at least 32 Roman Catholic priests have left the United States for foreign countries while facing criminal charges or a police investigation over allegations that they sexually assaulted or abused minors, according to federal warrants, news reports and law enforcement sources.
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.