Greensburg Priest Charged with Sexual Abuse is 54th Cleric since 2018 Grand Jury Report to be Outed as a Perpetrator
A Catholic priest from the Diocese of Greensburg was arrested and charged for sexually assaulting an altar boy in 2004, making him the 54th priest since the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report to be outed as an abuser. These revelations would never have happened if it were not for the work done by A.G. Josh Shapiro. We call on attorneys general in every other state to follow in his footsteps and make tangible progress towards keeping children and vulnerable adults safer.
Fr. Andrew Kawecki is accused of abusing an 11-year-old altar boy at St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Fairchance, Pennsylvania. Despite consistent rhetoric from Catholic officials that the sexual abuse scandal is a thing of the past, it is clear that the claim is not true. In Pennsylvania, there has been an 18% increase in the number of “outed” perpetrators since the grand jury report was released.
It is possible that without the work done by A.G. Shapiro, this brave victim would not have been inspired to come forward and Fr. Kawecki could still have access to children. The tip about Fr. Kawecki came in via the confidential hotline set up by the attorney general’s office. We believe that A.G. Shapiro’s work has helped create a climate in Pennsylvania where survivors feel empowered to come forward, and that work has paid dividends by getting even more dangerous perpetrators off the streets, helping to protect today’s children from sexual abuse.
Every attorney general in every single state should be empaneling grand juries, using search warrants and subpoena power to access secret documents, and compelling testimony under oath, helping survivors in their own state come forward to law enforcement. When elected officials use their power on behalf of the powerless it makes everyone in the community safer. It is time for this to happen nationwide.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)