Lawyers for past and present clergy…attack grand jury report…:
Lawyers for current and former clergy in six Pennsylvania Roman
Catholic dioceses named in a pending grand jury report on child abuse
have ripped the massive document as full of “gross mischaracterizations
In their filings, the lawyers
revealed new details of the extensive probe, including the disclosure
that the report names at least 90 abusive clergy who officials suggest
belonged to the Pittsburgh Diocese alone.
more than the number named in the sweeping 2005 grand jury report on
abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, an inquiry considered to be among
the most thoroughly researched clergy-abuse reports nationwide.
more than a dozen separate legal attacks, the lawyers question even the
legal basis for the two-year grand jury investigation, which produced a
report nearly 900 pages long chronicling abuses and cover-ups in six of
Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses, including Pittsburgh and Scranton.
The lawyers…say the law establishing
statewide grand juries limits them to going after mobsters and corrupt
politicians, not clergy or church officials who harm children.
State prosecutors under
Attorney General Josh Shapiro were “not permitted to use grand juries
as freewheeling instruments of reform. This is what legislatures are
for,” the attorneys assert.
lawyer, Efrem Grail, wrote that prosecutors “cannot use the grand jury
process in a manner not authorized by statute, for publicity, or as a
focus for elected officials’ pet” projects (!).
Joe Grace, spokesperson for Shapiro (the
attorney general), fired back later Friday. “There isn’t a morsel of truth to their allegation,” he said in a statement. “Their desperate claim speaks volumes.”
grand jury report, on ice pending the result of the state Supreme Court
appeals, explores abuse going back decades in the Allentown,
Harrisburg, Erie, and Greensburg Dioceses, as well as Pittsburgh and
Scranton. In 2016, the Attorney General’s Office released a report on
the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. Two
tough reports on the Philadelphia Archdiocese came before that. Thus,
the release of the new document would mean every diocese in Pennsylvania
had been scrutinized.”
“"There isn’t a morsel of truth to their allegation,“ Grace said in a
statement, the Inquirer reported. "Their desperate claim speaks
volumes."Speaking earlier this month, Shapiro stood by the report as
"accurate,” and called the legal filings “nothing more than a desperate
attempt to stop the public from learning the truth about their abhorrent
“The current delay in the release of the long-awaited report has engendered outcry from victims many of whom charge that powerful forces, including the church, are trying to block the release of the report…” https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/07/priests_church_officials_named.html