PHILADELPHIA D.A. EXPLOITS CHURCH

Catalyst November Issue 2005

On September 21, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham released a grand jury report on cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Here is what we told the media:

“The incredible amount of time and money that Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham has wasted in her fanatical crusade against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is just cause for her being thrown out of office. After all is said and done, she has come up empty: not a single priest will be prosecuted for any alleged crime. And she knew this from the get-go: the report says that ‘much of the abuse goes back several decades’ and that ‘many of the victims were unnamed, unavailable or unable to come forward.’

“In other words, Abraham wants us to believe that many years ago (decades ago?) there were priests who molested kids she can’t identify. Other alleged victims moved away and can’t be found (perhaps they’re hiding from her). Still others are apparently too old to meet with her.

“At bottom, Abraham is a phony. From the beginning, she had absolutely no evidence that would lead her to conduct a massive taxpayer-funded investigation of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia while not similarly investigating ministers, rabbis, public school teachers, abortion counselors, et al. But all of them got a pass nonetheless. Worse, Abraham has the gall to say she wants to tighten the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law yet never states that abortion counselors should be added to the ‘Mandated Reporters’ list. And that’s because her friends at Planned Parenthood would then have to report cases of statutory rape.

“Some will say she is heroic simply because she successfully named some priests who apparently were molesters. But it is not an act of heroism to select one institution out of many for an investigation that was destined to fail. It’s an act of exploitation.”

Bill Donohue’s letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer on this issue was printed on September 30. It appears below.

It is amazing that The Inquirer’s Editorial Board is so fixated on priestly sexual abuse that it never once questioned why the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was singled out by Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham for a grand jury investigation when it was known in advance that it would lead to no prosecutions and there was absolutely no empirical evidence suggesting that priests have a monopoly on this problem.


If the real issue is protecting children (and not in getting priests), why hasn’t 
The Inquireror Abraham ever shown the slightest interest in investigating public school employees, abortion counselors (who regularly learn of statutory rape cases), rabbis, ministers et al.? Instead of addressing this issue, the Sept. 27 editorial “Sad limits (or lack thereof) of statues” asks why the law allows sexual abusers who allegedly committed their crimes long ago to go free but finds it OK to go after those who haven’t paid parking tickets dating back years.


That’s your idea of a level playing field?


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Written by Bill