Magazine article Church & State

Pa. Report Exposes Government Complicity in Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal

Magazine article Church & State

Pa. Report Exposes Government Complicity in Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal

Article excerpt

A report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania detailing more than 1,000 cases of the sexual abuse of children by more than 300 priests in the Roman Catholic Church also implicated some government officials for failing to protect youngsters.

While the report is highly critical of church officials for covering up the abuse, it also points out that in some cases government officials were at fault as well. The report points to a few cases in which law enforcement officials knew what was going on but failed to act.

In a case from Beaver County, officials with the district attorney's office declined to press charges against a priest "in order to prevent unfavorable publicity" for the church. In Carbon County, a priest was found in possession of child pornography, yet local officials did nothing, and church officials sent him away for "treatment."

In Lawrence County, a credible report of child molestation was turned over to the police but never followed up on "out of respect for the priest." In Pittsburgh, a county attorney actually joined forces with a church attorney to browbeat a mother who wanted to report instances of abuse against her two sons.

Perhaps most shockingly, the report details one incident from an unnamed county during which the district attorney's office, after receiving a report of sexual offenses by a priest against a child, wrote a fawning letter to the bishop saying the office would be "most happy to co-operate with Your Excellency in reaching a resolution to this matter" and offering additional forms of help. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.