Posts Tagged The Morning Call

Grand jury investigating sex abuse in Allentown / The Morning Call

The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office is looking into allegations of abuse by priests in the Allentown Diocese as part of a bigger statewide investigation, a lawmaker who was called to testify told The Morning Call on Thursday  (Sept. 15).

“The Harrisburg Diocese also is under investigation.

‘I can acknowledge that the Diocese of Harrisburg has received a subpoena from the state grand jury,’ spokesman Joe Aponick said Thursday.

“State prosecutors have been taking testimony in Pittsburgh for months in a wide-ranging investigation that started with a scathing March report detailing allegations of abuse by about 50 priests and other religious leaders in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese and a cover-up by church officials. It’s not clear how many of the state’s eight dioceses are being investigated.”

By Steve Esack, Peter Hall and Matt Assad, The Morning Call — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Sex-abuse bill lobbying in Catholic Churches is over the top / The Morning Call

‘We were dismayed to find this letter inserted in our church bulletin this past Sunday,’ wrote a local Catholic who contacted me last week about a letter from Allentown Diocese Bishop John Barres.

“Barres’ letter outlined the diocese’s child sex-abuse prevention efforts — and then lobbied against state legislation that would change the statutes of limitations for such cases, asking parishioners to contact their legislators about its ‘detrimental effects.’

“This appeal to a captive audience fits right in with the church’s furious lobbying effort, largely focused on blocking bills that would open a two-year window for civil suits by victims who are blocked by the state’s restrictive statutes. Such a window has been recommended by the Pennsylvania grand juries that exposed decades of rampant child sex abuse and official cover-ups within the church.

“I wrote recently that the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, which has played a big part in keeping statute-of-limitations legislation bottled up for years in legislative committees, spent $3.5 million on lobbying in Harrisburg between 2010 and 2015, according to Department of State records.”

By Bill White, The Morning Call — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.

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