The sexual abuse of minors is not just immoral and a grave sin, it is a criminal offense.
In the wake of the August 14 release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury’s report on the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 child victims by over 300 predator priests, and the coverup of those crimes by bishops, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl (who was Bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006) — which is a conspiracy — some U.S. dioceses have either made public or announced they will make public the names of pedophile priests.
But not the Diocese of Fresno in California where the bishop dithers.
As reported by the Fresno Bee, October 17, 2018, Bishop Armando X. Ochoa is “working” with a review board to “determine” what information the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno “may” release about area priests accused of sexual misconduct, including “the possibility” of publicly identifying those priests by name.
Bishop Ochoa can dither all he wants, but soon it’ll no longer be his option.
On Oct. 18, the U.S. Department of Justice served subpoenas for “documentation and files” to 6 of Pennsylvania’s 8 dioceses in a state-wide move by federal authorities to investigate sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.
A senior Church official told CNA the investigation concerns the federal crimes of transporting minors across state lines to abuse them, and the production or distribution of illegal (child) pornography, including electronically.
There are speculations that a federal investigation might focus on charges related to institutional cover-ups or conspiracy, perhaps seeking to build a case under the federal RICO laws meant for dealing with organized crime.
The news of a federal investigation in Pennsylvania raises the possibility that similar probes could also be launched in other states. In the meanwhile, state-led investigations into clerical sexual abuse are currently underway in several states including Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Missouri, and New York. (Catholic News Agency)
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