There is a recent case in Pennsylvania where a Catholic clergy is accused of sexual abuse. This has led to prosecution from three individuals seeking justice for the affected victims. The lawsuit was filed at the court of Common Pleas for Allegheny County, with the hope of getting justice and also protecting the children who are currently attending Catholic schools. The plaintiffs hope that the jury will compel the Catholic diocese to release the names of those who committed these heinous acts.
The lead plaintiff Ryan O’Connor, who was sexually abused at a young age, has two children enrolled in a Catholic school. According to him, the healing process of sexual abuse survivors is excruciating especially if done by religious leaders. At a point, one may be forced to choose between their recovery and religion. O’Connor says that the main aim of filing the lawsuit is to ensure that the children currently attending Catholic schools don’t have to face similar ordeals as their parents did.
The plaintiff claims that until the church agrees to reveal the names of these sexual predators, their children are still not safe. It will continue being treated as a Church cover-up until it owns up to its mistakes and allows the offenders to face the law. Each diocese is to release the names of all their suspected sexual predators and satisfactorily convince the court that they have done so.
Six Catholic dioceses are targeted in this lawsuit which includes Allentown, Greensburg, Pittsburg, Scranton, Erie, and Harrisburg. According to the grand jury in charge of the investigation, the church has continually protected the priest who faces accusations of sexual abuse of children. These dioceses are accused of failing to report priests who molest children, only 10 out of the 301 accused priest are currently listed in Pennsylvania’s Megan Law Database. Notably, the Pennsylvania mandatory reporting law requires every clergy who is aware of child abuse to report to a law enforcement agency.
According to Hancock, it is shameful that the church has lost its values and common sense no longer prevails. Worse still, it is disgraceful to learn that the respected Catholic Church can go to the extent of controlling the information that reaches the public. People deserve to know what happens to their children and the church should not withhold such information.