Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grand Jury In Philadelphia Issues Scathing Indictment of Archdiocese -Priest Arrested For Negligence (Updated)

Whispers via twitter just broke this Grand Jury report. A Priest Rocco said has been arrested for negligence in his supervision of Priests that abuse minors. This arrest is new legal ground to say the least. There is a living Cardinal that the Grand Jury pretty much goes to the water's edge and almost declares guilty but because of health it is not clear any actions will go against him.

On a side note others were arrested.

I have skimmed the Grand Jury report and it is not a pretty picture. Can't spin and it and it should not be.

That being said I do find it curious areas the Grand Jury went and that will have to be a subject of debate.

There are a series of "recommendations" including lifting of the Statute of Limitations. It is not clear that if the Grand Jury thinks that should be against JUST the Church or if this means ALL cases including the public school system and other assorted public bodies that have custody and guard over Children.

Again it is a Grand Jury Report only and I think the issues are a tad more complex as to some things they tackle. For instance issues of mandatory reporting are there. Further the Grand Jury is silent it appears that if ANY allegation in the past to be made public should include Catholic Lay folks that worked for the Church. (Update See Below Update II)

One thing that strikes me is the Grand Jury use of "credible" as to accusation. I think we really need to make some attempt to get a idea of what we mean by credible. "Credible" as my understanding of the word is simply matching time and place. Thus it could have happened.

The Grand Jury seems to recognized that there is a problem with the standard of review though it gives really no suggestions beyond ok perhaps guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is too much.

The Archdiocese of course has a right to defend itself and I suspect certain members of the review panel will do so will quick.

Again I just skimmed the report. Very tragic to read it and I will have to read it again later to get a firmer grip on it.

There is a lot here inluding should handle conflicts of interests. I have to read that part again to give thoughts.

As always Pray for the Victims.

I think one thing the Grand Jury Report touched on that is good is the NEED FOR VICTIMS TO HAVE AN CANON LAWYER provided by the Church herself. I think that is needed. But the problem is of course Canon lawyers are not exactly in abundance.

Update II-
As I mentioned I just skimmed the 128 page report. The Grand Jury actually asked for the indictment of a LAY TEACHER!!! that abused. It also documented how he wandered around the system. With this fact I have to think the Grand Jury has indications that standards need to apply to lay people. So I take it for granded their reporting requirements and other matters they recommend would apply to lay people


nannon31 said...

The grand jury also says the diocesan process dismissed allegations against one priest even though there were two witnesses....which by the way God required in the Pentateuch but apparently that is not enough for the diocese.
What was big to the jury was the fact that diocesan assistants to victims were telling the victims their revelations would be confidential and then they were handing over such details to diocesan lawyers which made the grand jury advise that the diocese not provide the victim assistants but rather use state licensed victim assistants because they are sworn to confidentiality and are covered by PA's confidentiality laws which diocesan assistants are not.
In the case of the 10 year old boy, allegedly two priests and the lay teacher in one parish made each other aware that the 10 year old was victim ready once the one priest had oral sex contact with the boy.

Anonymous said...

Where is this all at right now, months later? And why does Pennsylvania care more about Catholics upholding the law than Baptists? Check out and help me understand why prosecuting Catholic priests for failure to report and passing around the molesters is more important than prosecuting Baptist ministers who have done the same exact things.

Tamara L. Rice said...
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