'Prayer and penance:' More than 78 predator priests in Pa. still paid by Catholic church

By Candy Woodall

Decades after their crimes were reported and largely ignored, more than 78 priests accused of child sex abuse are still collecting paychecks and pensions from Pennsylvania dioceses.

Each of those priests has been removed from ministry by Pennsylvania bishops, but the pope himself needs to sign off on all clerics being removed from the priesthood and the payroll.

That process is formally known as laicization, and it can take years or decades, if it happens at all. 

The Vatican received 3,400 credible reports of priest abuse from 2004 to 2014, according to church statistics. About 850 priests were defrocked in that period of time for raping or molesting children. The rest were told to repent and ask forgiveness. 

Some diocese officials say the Vatican isn't motivated to remove the abusers from the priesthood if they are old or infirm. In other cases, the bishops decide themselves to keep them from being defrocked and allow abusive priests to receive church-funded retirements. 

Their final assignment is a life of prayer and penance, a program that cares for priests who raped children and allows them to die with a noble title – a reverend, a father, a retired pri...

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  • Richard Kensinger, MSW
    commented 2018-12-09 08:44:32 -0600
    Bishop Mark Bartchack, Altoona-Johnstown Diocese,(PA) is being "transparent in the Dec. 10, 2018 edition of the Catholic Register. He acknowledges the severe impact on the entire faith community and his resolve to protect youth more vigorously now and into the future.
    He indicates that since July 1, 1999 to Dec. 1 2018, the established victim compensation fund has spent $21, 491,052. Two of the more infamous cases are mentioned: Francis Luddy and Steven Baker, which is not legally settled yet.

    In all 46 of the perpetrators of the 50 mention in the State Attorney General report are clergy. Only one was incarcerated; and two killed themselves to avoid prosecution. In the CR he mentions several times that “a few” committed such crimes?? The vast majority of these crimes were covered-up massively. In my view this is not full transparency!

    AJD is now selling off various assets to pay out many more anticipated crimes.

    I continue to follow these developments, and to report them here.
    Rich, MSW
  • Richard Kensinger, MSW
    commented 2018-12-05 16:52:16 -0600
    I reside in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, PA, and i have divorced the Church over this persisting sexual abuse of youth, and the continuing cover-up. This Diocese is now under federal investigation; which I fully support. The Church continues to deflect its responsibility for the multitudes of these crimes.
    Rich, MSW

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