Pa. court orders 11 names permanently redacted from grand jury report
FREE Catholic Classes
Citing due process, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday wrote that the names of 11 former and current priests in a grand jury report on allegations of clerical sexual abuse of minors are to remain permanently redacted.
Harrisburg, Pa., (CNA/EWTN News) - The 11 names will be kept redacted as â€˝the only viable due process remedy ... to protect their constitutional rights to reputation," Justice Debra Todd wrote in the court's Dec. 3 majority opinion.
More than 300 priests were named in the report.
â€˝We acknowledge that this outcome may be unsatisfying to the public and to the victims of the abuse detailed in the report. While we understand and empathize with these perspectives, constitutional rights are of the highest order, and even alleged sexual abusers, or those abetting them, are guaranteed by our Commonwealth's Constitution the right of due process."
Article 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution enshrines a person's right to possess and protect their good reputation, placing it on the same footing as life and liberty.
Six of court's justices were joined in the majority opinion, while Chief Justice Thomas Saylor filed a dissenting opinion.
Several individuals named in the report, including some priests, have objected to being included in the document. They argued that the grand jury report links their names to terrible crimes or cover-up efforts, but that they had not been afforded the chance to respond to allegations made against them, or given the benefit of due process of law.
A redacted version of the report was released Aug. 14. It detailed sexual abuse allegations in six of Pennsylvania's eight Latin-rite dioceses, following an 18-month investigation into thousands of alleged instances of abuse spanning several decades.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro responded to the Supreme Court's decision saying it â€˝allows predator priests to remain in the shadows and permits the Church to continue concealing their identities," and that â€˝the public will not relent in its demand that anyone involved in this widespread abuse and cover up be named."
The grand jury report was adopted and issued by the grand jury, but its text was drafted by Shapiro's office.
In his dissent, Saylor argued that the petitioners' due process concerns could be remedied by having a judge conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether disputed matters in the report were supported by the evidence.
This suggestion was rejected by the majority of the court because they held it is not authorized by the statute governing Pennsylvania's grand juries, and because the supervising judge would be evaluating diverging types of evidence.
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry. That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.
Seven decades after its proclamation, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is still being hailed as â½a great triumph achieved at ... continue reading
Lawmakers in the Ohio Senate have delayed a key vote on a bill to bar abortions after an unborn baby's heartbeat is detectable. Given Gov. ... continue reading
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced Thursday that it has updated its list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. Los ... continue reading
Our image of John is often as the austere ascetic, the odd fellow who lived in the desert eating a strange diet and thundering to Israel ... continue reading
Researchers from Brazil announced Tuesday that a baby had been born to a mother who had received a transplanted uterus from a ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Catholic elected as leader of Germany's largest party
- Pope Saint Damasus I: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 11, 2018
- Site of Baptism of the Lord nears reopening as landmines cleared
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, December 10th, 2018 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Thursday, December 13th, 2018 HD Video
- Indian bishop resigns amid complaints of misuse of funds, attempted ...
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 11, 2018
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, December 10th, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, December 7th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education