By Bill Donohue
This article was originally published by CNSNews.com August 16, 2016.
Finally, there is some justice in Pennsylvania. Its Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been found guilty on nine counts, including two felony perjury charges; she was also convicted of criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The six men and six women on the jury convicted her of leaking grand jury information, and then lying about it.
Amazingly, even after she was convicted, she remained the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, even though she was stripped of her law license. But today she stepped down, knowing she was toast.
Kane sought to destroy her opposition, and succeeded in ruining the lives of state officials; she even cost two State Supreme Court justices their jobs. Why should this matter to those outside Pennsylvania? Because Kane is a vindictive, radical feminist out to prove that she can “take down the boys.” And as I pointed out a few months ago, she also waged war against the Catholic Church.
Kane made a name for herself by promising voters that she would get to the bottom of the Penn State University scandal. She said she would review the investigation into Jerry Sandusky, the assistant coach who worked under Joe Paterno; he was convicted of sexual abuse.
So what did Kane find? No evidence of political interference, but some salacious emails by state officials; she leaked them to the press. When lawmakers pushed back, she played the woman’s card, claiming victim status against the “male-dominated political establishment.”
After flexing her feminist muscles against Penn State, Kane looked to score against the male clergy in the Catholic Church.
When the Cambria County District Attorney’s office asked Kane to launch a grand jury investigation into alleged sexual abuse that took place at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, she dutifully complied.
The state grand jury report, released on February 29, found widespread abuse by priests and others who worked for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The alleged abuse extended back to the 1940s.
When new reports surfaced, we did our own probing at the Catholic League. We found many unanswered questions. For one, why was the Catholic Church singled out by Kane for a grand jury investigation about alleged offenses that took place during and after World War II?
On March 10, I raised this question. “Anyone who knows anything about the subject of the sexual abuse of minors knows that there is not a single demographic group, or institution, that has not had a lousy record of dealing with this problem. Swimming coaches, camp counselors, Boy Scouts, psychologists, public school teachers, rabbis, ministers, Hollywood producers—all have a sordid past. So why is it that only the Catholic Church is fingered?”
What was also striking was the presence of Mitchell Garabedian, a Massachusetts lawyer. Why was this out-of-state attorney, who has a long record of suing the Catholic Church—and who has a tarnished ethical record—pursuing this case?
Kane, her allies in the state legislature, and activists with a vendetta against the Catholic Church, also proved how phony they were by not campaigning for bills that would revise the statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases involving minors that occur in the public sector.
The bills under consideration in Pennsylvania this year only targeted private [read: Catholic] schools. If a kid was raped by a public school teacher as recently as 91 days ago, and now wants to bring charges, he is out of luck: he has 90 days to file suit, otherwise it is too late. But when it comes to Catholic schools, the proposed legislation offered no clock—there was no time limit—thus allowing for lawsuits to be filed for alleged offenses dating back decades.
This is the kind of “justice” that Kane pursued. She had no interest in protecting all children—just Catholic school victims. Yet Pennsylvania ranks at the top as one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to child sexual abuse in the public schools. It should be noted that this problem hardly exists in Catholic quarters anymore.
Between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, .01 percent of the Catholic clergy had a credible accusation made against them regarding these offenses. There is no organization in the nation that has a better record on this score today than the Church, but don’t look for the media to report it. It is too busy waving the flag for “brave” feminists like Kane.
If this isn’t outrageous enough, consider that if a priest has a credible accusation made against him for groping, he must step down immediately while a probe is conducted. Yet here we have the spectacle of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania being convicted of felonies, and still remaining on the job. She has no law license, and the judge in yesterday’s trial ordered her to surrender her passport, but she is still in charge of law enforcement.
Following her conviction, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf asked Kane to step down. If she had any integrity, she would have done so immediately, without prodding. Good riddance.
Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.