Seven states launch investigations in wake of Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse report

Sep 11, 2018

By Jack Jenkins

Last month, after Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro unveiled a bombshell 1,300-page grand jury report detailing the alleged sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in his state by hundreds of Catholic priests, American Catholics called for more investigations into church documents. Some even demanded the federal government step in.

Now law enforcement officials in at least seven states — New York, New Jersey, Nebraska, New Mexico, Florida, Missouri and Illinois — appear to be launching their own inquiries or reviews of Catholic dioceses, often focusing on what Shapiro called secret church files thought to contain decades of allegations of child sex abuse by priests.

On Thursday (Sept. 6), The Associated Press reported that New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has subpoenaed all eight Roman Catholic dioceses in the state to investigate the church’s handling of sex abuse allegations. New York Archdiocese spokesperson Joseph Zwilling later confirmed to Religion News Service that that diocese has received the subpoena and is “ready and eager to work together with (the attorney general) in the investigation.”

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6 comments on “Seven states launch investigations in wake of Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse report

  • Religion News Service article:
    . . . American Catholics called for more investigations into church documents. Some even demanded the federal government step in.

    It looks as though the laypeople have lost confidence in their bishops and priests. From a historical viewpoint, that is rather interesting.

  • @OP – Now law enforcement officials in at least seven states —
    New York, New Jersey, Nebraska, New Mexico, Florida, Missouri and Illinois —
    appear to be launching their own inquiries or reviews of Catholic dioceses,
    often focusing on what Shapiro called secret church files thought to contain decades of allegations of child sex abuse by priests.

    Meanwhile – further afield:-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45500072

    More than 3,600 children in Germany were assaulted by Roman Catholic priests between 1946 and 2014, a leaked report has revealed.

    According to the report, some 1,670 clergymen in Germany committed some form of sex attack on 3,677 minors, German outlet Spiegel Online reported.

    According to the new study, only 38% of the alleged perpetrators were prosecuted with most facing only minor disciplinary procedures, German media said. About one in six cases involved rape.

    Most of the victims were boys, and more than half were aged 13 or younger.

    Predatory clerics were often moved to new communities, where no warning was issued about their actions.

  • It also seems the betrayal of trust placed in religious leaders, extends across various religions and geographical areas!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45521075

    The Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has met four victims of alleged sexual abuse in the Netherlands.

    The group had requested the meeting to discuss abuse reportedly carried out by former or current Buddhist teachers in several countries.

    “We found refuge in Buddhism with an open mind and heart, until we were violated in its name,” they wrote.

    The three women and one man who attended the 20-minute meeting on Friday presented written testimonies from 12 alleged victims.

    One of those present, Oane Bijlsma, told Efe news agency that it was “a very complicated meeting”.

    She said that at the beginning the Dalai Lama “didn’t want to hear” about their cases, but added that after 10 minutes of conversation he became “more receptive”.

    “By the end he was closer, he stopped trying to convince us that it wasn’t his fault and started to listen to what we were saying,” Ms Bijlsma said.

  • Meanwhile, I see the classic “No True Scotsman” attempt to dissociate the RCC from Mafia associations and criminal activity!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45532906

    Pope Francis to Sicily’s mafia: You cannot believe in God and be Mafiosi

    Pope Francis has urged mafia members to stop blaspheming against God and to embrace love and service.

    He was paying homage to Father Giuseppe Puglisi who was shot dead by the mafia in Sicily 25 years ago.

    The Pope warned the “brothers and sisters” that they could not “believe in God and be Mafiosi” – a reference to the fact that many mafia members are regular worshippers.

    . . . . and donors to RCC funds!

    The Pope said Sicily needed “men and women of love, not men and women ‘of honour'”, referring to the code mobsters use to define themselves.

    “A person who is a Mafioso does not live as a Christian because with his life he blasphemes against the name of God,” Pope Francis said, before pleading:
    “Change, brothers and sisters! Stop thinking about yourselves and your money… Convert yourselves to the real God.”

    .. . and deal with a real honest bank! NOT “God’s Vatican bank”!
    Strange – how the Vatican bank scandal showed it laundering Mafia money!

    Father Puglisi was shot dead on the doorstep of his home on his birthday, 15 September, in 1993.

    Puglisi was declared a “martyr” who was “killed by hatred of the faith” by Pope Francis’ predecessor Benedict XVI in 2012. He was beatified five years ago.

    Ah! Some local priest was shot by the Mafia 25 years ago – allegely because of his “faith” rather than because he was a nuisance to drug dealers,, and glorified by the Vatican, so that shows the church is really, really, really, “good” and against criminality – despite all those abusive priests being discovered all around the world and the Vatican Bank scandal!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23289297

    During the 1980s, the archbishop got involved in some shady dealings, first with a Mafia-linked Sicilian banker called Michele Sindona, and then with an Italian financier called Roberto Calvi, president of the Banco Ambrosiano, which eventually collapsed with huge debts involving losses of at least $250m (£165m) to the IOR, one of the Banco’s shareholders.

    Mr Calvi eventually ended up dead, hanging from a rope under Blackfriars Bridge in London, victim of a faked suicide.
    The archbishop was wanted for questioning by Italian prosecutors, not in connection with what turned out to be a Mafia murder, but over the Vatican Bank’s losses incurred through the setting up of phony offshore shell companies in the Bahamas.

    But the burly archbishop successfully claimed diplomatic immunity, taking refuge inside the Vatican at one point.

    Now, another series of IOR bombshells have burst.

    Paolo Cipriani, director of the bank, and his deputy Marco Tullio have resigned after the arrest by Italian tax police of a Vatican monsignore who used to work as a senior account manager in the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), which manages Vatican real estate holdings.
    The monsignore, Nunzio Scarano, is being questioned in jail over allegations of money laundering, corruption and fraud.

    Holy Saints and Holy Smoke! The faithful need more martyrs to disract them!

  • The problem of “so called celibate priests”, is manifesting itself world-wide!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-45600402

    A bishop has been arrested in the southern Indian state of Kerala over allegations that he raped a nun 13 times times between 2014 and 2016.

    The 44-year-old woman registered a police complaint in June, alleging that the Catholic Church had taken no action despite repeated appeals.

    It led to unprecedented protests by nuns who came out in support of her.

    The bishop, 54-year-old Franco Mulakkal, was arrested on Friday after being questioned by police for three days, a senior police official speaking on condition of anonymity told BBC Hindi’s Imran Qureshi.

    The Vatican temporarily relieved him of his duties on Thursday.

    Mr Mulakkal is the bishop of a diocese in Jalandhar in the northern state of Punjab. And the nun who has accused him belongs to the Missionaries of Jesus, a congregation in Kerala that is part of the Jalandhar diocese.

    She alleged that the assaults happened when he visited the convent where she lived in the city of Kottayam, in Kerala.

    She has not spoken to the media but she petitioned the Vatican and wrote an open letter to the Pope’s representative in the Indian capital of Delhi earlier this month. She claimed that this was the fourth letter she had addressed to the Vatican.

  • Garrick #1
    Sep 13, 2018 at 8:56 am

    It looks as though the laypeople have lost confidence in their bishops and priests.
    From a historical viewpoint, that is rather interesting.

    The RCC will not worry too much about this!
    People have short memories , and the RCC has a long record of “re-writing history”, followed by widely preaching the new versions to uncritical followers!

    It is one of the mechanisms by which fiendish abusive torturers (Mother Teresa ) and delusional obsessives, become “saints” in Catholic mythology!

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