A priest who worked at Columbus’s Pontifical College Josephinum for more than 20 years was accused Tuesday of sexually abusing a child in Pennsylvania.
He added, “This Diocese will continue to report to law enforcement, in writing, all allegations it receives of any type of sexual misconduct involving a minor by any clergy or religious (living or deceased), regardless of when the conduct occurred, whether or not the victim is now a minor and whether or not the victim or another person already has made the report“. The same can be said for dioceses all around the country and indeed throughout the rest of the Catholic world where archives and reports are still awaiting court orders before they will be reviewed and released.
That report, which won a Pulitzer Prize and was the subject of last year’s Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight“, set off a global wave of investigations that found similar patterns at dioceses around the world.
The report said the grand jury reviewed more than 200 exhibits and heard testimony from an unspecified number of witnesses.
“These predators desecrated a sacred trust and preyed upon their victims in the very places where they should have felt most safe”, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who was instrumental in the investigation, said in a statement. According to Kane, some statutes of limitations have expired, numerous suspects are dead and the victims do not want to testify.
In addition to the “Secret Archive”, Special Agents also searched the administrative office of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, where they found an unmarked door.
Monsignor Philip Saylor, who was a key aide to Bishop Hogan, reportedly told the grand jury that the church held a strong sway over even police and civil authorities in eight counties. Through a lawyer, Bishop Adamec, now retired, has rebutted the conclusions of the grand jury, asserting it did not obtain complete and “exculpatory information”. Adamec’s attorney says the accusations against the bishop are unfounded.
In a statement, Bartchak said: “I deeply regret any harm that has come to children”.
Many in the Catholic community seek absolution for a church and a religion by arguing that the conviction of specific abusers settles the issue of culpability: The abuser is exclusively responsible.
The clergy sex abuse crisis erupted in 2002, when The Boston Globe reported that the Boston Archdiocese had transferred child-molesting priests from parish to parish to protect them.
NY gives victims of child sex abuse five years to file civil suit. He recently suspended a handful of priests named as abusers in the report.
The grand jury in its report suggested several recommendations in protecting any future victims.
The investigation uncovered how two bishops since the 1960s had taken steps to prevent scandal from overtaking the diocese by moving priests to new assignments after allegations were made against them and how diocesan officials used their influence with law enforcement and elected officials to prevent criminal charges from being filed against clergy, according to the report.
He said that although he could not speak to the specifics in Altoona-Johnstown “and would defer to the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference as to any statewide impact, like everyone, I read the news with great pain”.
“This is not an indictment of the Catholic religion or the Catholic Church”, declares the introduction, noting that many grand jury members and investigators from the attorney general’s office are devout Catholics. “The victims of child sexual abuse never escape their victimization; it is inequitable and unjust to allow their victimizers to escape accountability”.
The grand jury said its investigation covered the years from the 1950s to present.
“In Johnstown, I would basically pick the mayor; I would pick the chief of police”, Msgr.