The Penn State scandal has really upset me. Actually, it’s upset me far more than I would like to admit.
I’ll begin with what upset me the most—besides the obvious horrific and stomach-turning sex abuse and cover-up, and the fact that the man who admitted to abusing me and another girl still has his job at Adrian College (Please note that the following are MY views, and not the views of SNAP or any of the other wonderful organizations of which I am a part):
- In response to Penn State’s inaction and possible cover-up of the Sandusky matter, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D- Scranton) and Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) called for hearings in the Senate and the House regarding sex abuse and cover-up at the university. Other politicians may have also asked for hearings on both Penn State and the Citadel, but I stopped keeping track.
Why does this upset me?
- Grand juries in Philadelphia have issued TWO reports (three, if you include one that was not completed). These reports found DOZENS of men who had abused kids and numerous men who covered up for them. The first report in 2005 outlined the horrific histories of predator priests in Philadelphia, but the grand jury could not bring criminal charges, due to elapsed statutes of limitations. The 2011 report resulted in criminal indictments against three priests and a teacher for abuse and an indictment against a high-ranking official for child endangerment. The report also found 37 men in ministry who had allegations of abuse.
Hundreds of children were possibly abused across the state, yet not one politician called for congressional hearings. Are the church’s victims less important than Penn State’s?
What about the victims in:
- Orange County (where documents outlining two decades of abuse and cover-up by high-ranking church officials were made public),
- Los Angeles (where Cardinal Mahony’s culpability in abuse cases should go to trial),
- the Pacific Northwest (where dozens of Native American reservations and Alaska Native villages were intentional dumping grounds for child-molesting clerics),
- South Dakota (where hundreds of Native American children were ripped from their homes and sent to “orphanages” where they were abused, and recently church attorneys got a law passed denying these victims rights to expose their abuse), and
- Delaware (where the Child Victims’ Act outed dozens of perpetrators, some of whom were still working in schools)?
Where are the politicians? Why aren’t they calling for congressional hearings? I think that child sex abuse is a tad more important than steroid usage in professional baseball, and those hearings were endless.
President Obama even weighed in on the Penn State scandal. He told ESPN that our “first priority is protecting our kids.” If that is the case, then why didn’t he say anything when he met with the Pope? Or Cardinal Francis George? Why hasn’t he met with victims? He met with flood victims, water boarding victims, and survivors of a hotel bombing in India. Yet, not once has a president or any other national politician publicly asked for a meeting with survivors of the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal.
I wonder why Missouri congressional leaders aren’t calling for a hearing about the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. If an organization in my district—an organization that cares for thousands of children and takes taxpayer dollars to fund services—was indicted for covering up child pornography and abuse just a few years after paying a huge financial settlement to victims and making a public promise to protect kids, I would be calling for national scrutiny. In fact, diocese lawyers are contending that child pornography may be covered under First Amendment protections. Yeah, really.
For years, I have been hearing complaints from Catholic apologists who claim that the sex abuse scandal in the church is an over-blown creation of the media. I contend that it is the exact opposite: it is a catastrophe that is eating our children and destroying communities. Yet on the national stage, our politicians are simply too scared to do the right thing, confront the men in pointy hats, and protect the children in their districts. And I am really angry about it.
Despite my anger and frustration, I do hope that there are congressional hearings about abuse and cover-up at Penn State and the Citadel. Those children deserve justice. They endured horrible pain, but because of their courage, they are heroes and have become voices for the silent. Perhaps they are paving the way for the clergy sex abuse victims. For that, I am grateful.
7 thoughts on “Where are the congressional hearings about the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?”
Ive been doing battle with my town’s Board of Selectmen lately and The Lions Club International too. I’m learning the up-close details of how power protects its own and how institutions circle the wagons to fend-off any truth meeting daylight. To be frank, I’m absolutely flipping-out with regard to institutional and official cover-up. And now, Syracuse. But I’mnot surprised by Syracuse, because I was a student there for my Master’s Degree. I saw their well designed clean-up machine go into action time after time after time. Those bastards can cover-up ANYTHING. its easy when you own the press and the police dept. Here’s an article on my home-town battle:
I met with my U.S. Rep yesterday. Here’s what I’ve been pitching regarding official and institutions that are complicit in abuse.
Dear Congressman Guinta,
As a constituent, I find it fully and urgently necessary to request that Congress initiate an investigation into Child Sex Abuse (CSA) within our nation’s non-profit institutions.
Any organization can certainly be rife with abuse of various types. Unfortunately, children are all too often the target and victim. We see this throughout human history and in present-day news, (Penn State, Syracuse University…Churches).
Congress engaged an entertainment provider years ago to investigate illegal and unethical use of steroids in Major-League Baseball. Such an effort is admirable, but it likely affects no lives on a life-and-death platform like CSA.
Furthermore, many institutions that are rife with CSA enjoy tax-exempt status within our nation. This ought to put them in special focus and in a category of open-door examination. They ought not be allowed to abuse children, cover-up the crimes and still enjoy tax favored status. Their tax status gives Congress the inherent right and unique leverage to demand transparency and seek effective reporting procedure as drafted by the DOJ.
Congressman Guinta, as a nation, it’s time to examine CSA, its enablers, its perpetrators and resulting punishments. This is a task too great for anything but U.S. Congress to address.
November 29, 2011
ditto.. where are the politicians? kissing the popes ass kissing the bishops.. hiring priests for state jobs..
having photo ops with priests to get re elected…. pretending to care about child sexual abuse while undermining and sabatoging the very legislation they present…
Way to go Joelle…………. RIGHT ON..!!
Sadly, the cover-ups will continue in PA. Until the corruption is exposed, nothing will change. Government officials have been compromised, once you engage in sex with a minor, male or female, there is no turning back. The alleged crimes of Sandusky could have been and should have been exposed years ago. He’s part of a child sex/drug ring. The money he made with goverment grants and donations to his Second Mile nonprofit pales in comparison to the money made with his child sex ring.
What is going on is best described as live theatre. It’s merely a performance by Governor Corbett, PennState administrators, etc. Anytime this country wants to put an end to children being harmed, it can be done. Our goverment knows it would be the biggest waste of time and effort to launch a national program to effectively protect children.
I am so sorry for what predators have done to you who are victims, creating a darkness and self-disgust in your perception of yourselves. You must know that you are good and can achieve the hope that is planned for you. Listen to a Higher Power and ask for courage and strength to get through each day. You are not alone, and your fellow victims will get inspiration from your winning spirit.
Prayers for you.
The actions of these institiutions, particularly the RC Church, redefine the meaning of outrage every single day. It would be easy to become numb. Thank you for having the guts and the strength to keep up the fight.
(As an artist I have created many pieces about abuse in the Church, some of which can be seen on my website.)