PA--Victims blast “reckless secrecy” of Harrisburg bishop
For immediate release: Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016
Harrisburg Bishop Ronald Gainer and his staff are putting kids in harm’s way by continuing to hide the names and whereabouts of predator priests. Shame on them.
After decades of pledges by Catholic officials to be “open” about clergy sex abuse and cover up cases, they still being secretive. As a result, who knows how many unsuspecting families live near or individuals work with predator priests?
About 30 US dioceses post names of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests on their websites. Gainer, however, refuses to take this simple, inexpensive, practical step to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth. Shame on his employees who are complicit in this reckless secrecy: Joseph Aponick, Msgr. William King and other current and former church staff.
We urge Harrisburg Catholics to donate elsewhere until their church officials stop hiding child molesting clerics.
(Gainer’s track record on abuse has long been troubling: http://www.snapnetwork.org/ky_bishop_promoted_to_pa_post)
Finally, shame on Mark Totaro of Catholic Charities for the Harrisburg area. He claims the church is now the safest place for children. That’s of course absurd. The underlying factors that caused more than 100,000 US kids to be sexually assaulted by more than 6,300 priests remain intact – the rigid, all-male, allegedly celibate and obsessively secretive hierarchy which lacks any system of “checks and balances” and in which monarchs (a.k.a. bishops) are virtually never held responsible for their wrongdoing, no matter how severe or hurtful or repeated it may be.
It’s irresponsible to make such outlandish, self-serving claims that lead to dangerous complacency, and Totaro knows it.
No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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)
15 priests accused of abuse had ties to Harrisburg diocese
FOR THE FIRST TIME, DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT 15 PRIESTS WITH TIES TO THE HARRISBURG DIOCESE WHO HAVE BEEN ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY ABUSING CHILDREN.
Brandie Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Diocese of Harrisburg has acknowledged by name 15 priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children and who at one time worked in the diocese -- including one who served in Dallastown in 1989-90.
The Rev. Raymond Prybis was accused of abuse during his time at a Boston-area parish before he was transferred to York County, according to a personnel file released by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in January 2015. The Harrisburg diocese said he did not have a credible allegation of abuse while at St. Joseph's in Dallastown.
A list of 15 priests, compiled by the York Daily Record, was provided to the diocese on June 14. On July 21, after multiple requests by the Daily Record, the diocese responded . . .
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.
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