PA--Philly Catholic officials still want secrecy in child sex case
For immediate release: Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016
Philly Catholic officials have just lost their bid to keep secret facts about a clergy sex abuse and cover up case. Shame on them for trying to hide the truth and violate, again, their often-repeated but often-broken pledges to be “open” about pedophile priests.
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark I. Bernstein has denied Archbishop Charles Chaput's motion for confidentiality in a case called McIlmail v. Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We are grateful for Bernstein’s wise ruling and the McIlmail family’s courage. And we’re dismayed, though not surprised, by Chaput’s continuing hypocrisy. In public, he professes “transparency.” In court, however, he pushes “secrecy.”
“According to court documents, Sean McIlmail was allegedly sexually assaulted by Fr. Robert Brennan while he was a priest at the Resurrection of Our Lord in Northeast Philadelphia. . .between 1998 and 2001 when McIlmail was between the ages of 12 and 14,” according to the Legal Intelligencer.
We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Brennan or cover ups by Chaput will find the strength to call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Archdiocese's Confidentiality Request in Sex Abuse Case Denied
Max Mitchell, The Legal Intelligencer, January 19, 2016
A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge has denied the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's attempts to impose a confidentiality order on an ongoing civil suit involving alleged sex abuse.
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark I. Bernstein denied the church's motion for confidentiality and phased discovery last week, holding instead that the parties can only redact Social Security numbers, dollar amounts of any financial information, and the names of alleged victims of child sexual abuse. The order was made in the case McIlmail v. Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
"We are pleased that the court has rejected the argument, and now we would hope that the archdiocese, instead of throwing up further roadblocks, will now provide discovery, which is needed," said Thomas R. Kline of Kline & Specter, who represents the plaintiff in the case. "It is disappointing to the McIlmail family that the archdiocese would not follow the lead of Pope Francis when he said that 'the crimes and sins of the sex abuse of minors may no longer be kept secret.'"
Conrad O'Brien attorney Nicholas M. Centrella, who represents the archdiocese, did . . .
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.