Skip to content

Pa. court orders 11 names permanently redacted from grand jury report

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
12/4/2018 (10 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

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.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
12/4/2018 (10 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Pa. court orders, 11 names, grand jury report


Harrisburg, Pa., (CNA/EWTN News) - The 11 names will be kept redacted as ‽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.

‽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 ‽allows predator priests to remain in the shadows and permits the Church to continue concealing their identities," and that ‽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.
 


Comments


More U.S.

Why Christians Can Celebrate Halloween - and Evangelize the Culture Watch

Image of My grandson Noah dressed up as the Incredible Hulk

The Church has often taken secular holidays and, in a sense, baptized them, as a means of infusing the values of the Gospel into the ... continue reading


Texas Knights of Columbus work with Mexican Knights to aid migrants Watch

Image of Members of the Knights of Columbus help to deliver supplies to the Casa de Migrantes in Ciudad Juarez Mexico

Following an August announcement from the Knights of Columbus that the group would commit at least $250,000 to aid migrants at the ... continue reading



Praying for souls, and runs: The parish serving Washington's baseball fans Watch

Image of

In a rapidly-gentrifying Washington, D.C., neighborhood, a historic parish is putting the New Evangelization into practice by reaching out ... continue reading


Holy See to UN: More must be done to end violence against women Watch

Image of Sad woman

Violence against women remains a global concern for the Vatican, an official told members of the United Nations this week, stressing that ... continue reading


Erie district attorney investigating seminarian's sexual harassment claims Watch

Image of St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo

The district attorney in Erie County has begun a criminal investigation into claims of sexual harassment raised by a former seminarian ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.