.- The grand jury investigation into charges of sexual abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia over the last few decades concluded that there were no instances where archdiocesan officials transferred a known abuser to another parish. The 500-page document on the investigation was released this week and reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Philadelphia District Attorney Lynn Abraham launched the investigation in early 2002. The investigation ended with only one arrest.
But not everyone believed the investigation was legitimate. Catholic League president William Donohue said yesterday that Abraham “managed to abuse her office in two ways” by launching “a witch-hunt against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia” and by “ripp[ing] off the taxpayers in Philadelphia by having them pay for her wild-goose chase.”
No criminal charges were recommended by Abraham’s office. “That’s because the statute of limitations has run out on any alleged cases of abuse, something Abraham knew from the very beginning,” Donohue claims.
Donohue says the charge that Abraham launched a witch-hunt is not hard to sustain. “She had absolutely no evidence in 2002 that the molestation rate for priests in Philadelphia was any higher than the rate found among ministers, rabbis, public school teachers, camp counselors, et al,” Donohue stated. “But she went after priests alone, and gave everyone else a free pass.
“The Catholic Church has justifiably been given a black eye for the way some bishops and priests have behaved, but nothing justifies the wholesale abuse of a D.A.’s office to waste the taxpayers’ dollars in a losing effort to target suspected priests who cannot be prosecuted, many of whom are dead.”