Archive for August 6th, 2018

Report: Church leaders pressured victims, cops over abuse / Associated Press

According to the document (court filing), the grand jury concluded that victims were “brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all.” (Associated Press)

 A grand jury investigating clergy sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses found that church leaders were more interested in preventing scandal than protecting children, in some cases discouraging victims from going to police or pressuring law enforcement officials to end or avoid investigations, according to a court filing.

“The grand jury’s full, nearly 900-page, report is expected to be released in the next two weeks.

“But a court filing made public Friday (Aug. 3), resolving one of many legal disputes over the report, included excerpts from the grand jury’s findings on the role of church leaders in the clergy abuse scandal.

“According to the document, the grand jury concluded that victims were ‘brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all.’

“‘The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid ‘scandal,’ the grand jury report says.”

By Mark Scolforo, Associated Press — Read more …

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Cardinal Wuerl proposes national panel to investigate allegations against bishops / National Catholic Reporter

“We’re at a moment where the shock, because it involves a bishop, impels us now to do at the level of the episcopate what we did so successfully at the level of the priesthood,” the cardinal said in the interview. (National Catholic Reporter)

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl has proposed that the national conference of U.S. Catholic bishops create a new high-level panel to receive and evaluate any allegations or rumors of sexual misconduct by one of its member bishops.

“In an NCR interview focused on how the American church should address the wider systemic questions raised by the revelations of sexual abuse by his predecessor, now former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Wuerl also suggested that the Vatican could designate one of its offices to act on the proposed panel’s findings.

“Although Wuerl said he had not personally been aware of rumors about McCarrick’s alleged abuse of young men during the former cardinal’s time as a priest and bishop, he acknowledged that others have now brought forward earlier existence of such rumors.

“‘If there were [rumors], and if people heard them, there needs to be some mechanism by which there can be at least an evaluation and review of them,’ said Wuerl, speaking in a phone conversation.

“‘I think it’s very important that we … as bishops enter into that world and say, ‘If there is an accumulation of rumors, ought not something be said?” the cardinal continued.”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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