The sickening, disturbing and shocking report released yesterday by the Commonwealth’s Attorney General contains details of systemic protection of the deviant perpetrators and failure to protect the very young victims.
The report shows that police departments were complicit when they “covered up or failed to pursue” cases when child abusers were transferred to to other locations within the diocese. Others – elected public servants and officials in parochial schools – failed the children by failing to report or respond.
The report is acknowledged at the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese Website, – with a “media advisory” claiming “the Diocese cooperated fully with authorities throughout the investigation, and will continue to do so as part of our commitment to the safety ofall children.”
This is not a recent happenstance; The Tribune-Democrat, the daily newspaper in Johnstown, wrote of sexual transgressions in 2002 and before that.
One man stepped up to tell the horrible story, explained why he did what he did. George Foster said, “… the laity is me, (we) are the church militants. That’s who we are. We have the responsibility to take those matters into our hands that deal with us.”
“… but I’m saying, they don’t know what it’s like to raise children. When you’re a parent, you know what’s right and wrong. We bring that to the Church. There is not a lay parent that I talked to that had a question of what you do with a child molester. No one, no one sat there and said, ‘oh, I’d just be real confused on how to handle this. Every parent knew the answer, and that’s the gift we bring. But we’re the Church militants. We’re supposed to help get things done.” – George Foster, from the Grand Jury Report.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg Website states: “The sexual abuse of minors is an appalling sin and a crime. That is why the Diocese of Harrisburg has made strong and aggressive steps to combat it. The Diocese of Harrisburg maintains a zero tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse. Any priest or deacon, employee or volunteer, who has committed even a single act of sexual abuse of a minor, whenever it occurred, is permanently removed from ministry.”
WARNING: The report contains graphic, and shocking content.
“Thousands of children have been abused in Pennsylvania cities, throughout the United States and in other countries over many decades, and the church continues to grapple with the consequences. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops estimates that American dioceses have paid nearly $4 billion since 1950 to settle claims with victims.” – TribLive.com
Pennlive.com contains a comprehensive listing of articles related to this report, click here:Priest-Sex-Abuse Report.
We wonder why Pennsylvania’s laws concerning child sexual predators provides one punishment for public school teachers, football coaches, scout troop leaders and others who are in prison and/or listed on Megan’s List and another for priests.