2/17/09

Making a federal case of it


Image: New York Times

A federal grand jury investigation makes for a new chapter in the story of the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. There is a cry from many that holding accountable those who allowed known predators to have access to children is a task yet to be completed. The case is not yet closed.

From the National Catholic Reporter:
A recently impaneled federal grand jury is investigating how the Los Angeles archdiocese managed accusations that dozens of priests molested hundreds of teenagers and younger children over many years. The federal investigation, first reported by The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times Jan. 29, threatens to ignite a new phase in the clergy sex-abuse scandal less than two years after the archdiocese agreed to pay $660 million to more than 500 victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Whether the efforts of U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, will write any new chapters of the story is at this point anyone’s guess. O’Brien’s spokesperson, Thom Mrozek, declined to acknowledge that such an investigation is even underway.

But Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony confirmed the probe in a Jan. 29 radio interview. Mahony said the archdiocese received a grand jury subpoena that called for the church to provide information on 22 priests accused of abusing minors. Of the 22, said Mahony, two are dead and the rest no longer serve as priests. In the radio interview, Mahony said he did not know if he is a target of the investigation. No high-ranking U.S. prelate has ever been criminally charged as a result of their management of sex-abuse cases. Dioceses, religious orders and their insurers have spent billions of dollars over the past decade to settle thousands of sex-abuse claims against clergy.

(read the complete report)

-ConcordPastor

1 comment:

Michael said...

If the bishops can't hold themselves accountable, (i.e. Cardinal Law's flight to the Vatican to avoid indictment)maybe federal investigators can hold them accountable. We can only hope and pray.