District Attorney Lynne Abraham announced today that she will convene a grand jury to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by priests in Philadelphia.  She said the grand jury will investigate “all allegations involving priests whether they are dead, dismissed or retired.”  The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, though surprised by her decision, said it will cooperate with the investigation.

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

“This is the clearest example of a witch hunt against Catholic priests we’ve seen thus far.  D.A. Abraham has no real interest in safeguarding the welfare of children.  If she did, she not only would empanel a grand jury to investigate sexual abuse by priests, she would go after rabbis who molest children, and ministers who molest children, and imams who molest children, as well as every person of the cloth in the hundreds of other religions that exist in the Philadelphia area.

“Indeed, if Abraham were sincere, she would go after all sexual abusers throughout society: she would go after teachers, social workers and therapists and every other profession where adults mix with kids.  And don’t forget about lifeguards.  In fact, if she had pure motives, she would begin by inquiring whether there is anyone in her own office who is currently a molester.  Then she should extend her office inquiry to staff members who are ‘dead, dismissed or retired.’

“This is exactly the kind of anti-Catholic bigotry that the Catholic League has feared all along.  Abraham is a fraud: she wants to stick it to the Catholic Church because she senses that society has given her a green light.  Instead, she just gave herself a big, black eye.  She is an utter disgrace to her profession.”

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