Another Reckoning Make Public a Grand Jury Report on Abuse by Priests

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), May 16, 2018 | Go to article overview

Another Reckoning Make Public a Grand Jury Report on Abuse by Priests


Two years ago, the state attorney general's office handed out a remarkably detailed grand jury report on the history of sexual abuse by priests in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. The report identified perpetrators, traced the infection of pedophilia from one parish to the next over the course of a half century, outlined the diocese's efforts to keep the misconduct under wraps, and showed how local authorities at times all but looked the other way.

Kathleen Kane, who was attorney general at the time, described the report as a"reckoning" for the diocese even though the alleged crimes were too old to prosecute.

The question now is, will other dioceses across the state have their own reckonings? They should.

As the Post-Gazette's Peter Smith reported Sunday, another grand jury has spent about two years probing abuse in Pittsburgh and five other Pennsylvania dioceses, and its investigation appears to be complete. The current attorney general, Josh Shapiro, has brought charges against two priests- one each in Erie and Greensburg- because of the grand jury's work. It's unclear whether charges against other priests are forthcoming or whether a supervising judge will, as in the case of the Altoona-Johnstown investigation, authorize the release of a detailed report on the grand jury's findings.

Doing so would show victims that an independent party, one above local loyalties, vigorously investigated their claims. It would subject perpetrators to the light of day, even if they have died or it is impossible for other reasons to bring charges against them. …

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