PA--Victims applaud federal probe of Catholic officials
By David Clohessy
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
April 01, 2016
We’re grateful that a US attorney in Pennsylvania is talking about using RICO laws against Catholic officials.
This law, known as RICO, the Racketeering Influence and Corruption Organization Act, usually applies to criminal organizations. But we believe it can and should be used against bishops and other church staff who repeatedly endanger kids, deceive parishioners, move predators, hide evidence and refuse to call law enforcement about known and suspected clergy child sex crimes and cover ups.
We agree with U.S. Attorney David Hickton who said that people have “a hollow sense that there is justice that has not been dispensed” in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. That “sense” is based on reality. Despite more than 6,400 accused child molesting US Catholic clerics, only two US Catholic officials have been convicted for concealing their crimes.
We urge others in law enforcement to consider RICO and other charges – endangering kids, obstructing justice, destroying evidence, intimidating victims, threatening whistleblowers and failure to report abuse – against current and former Catholic officials who put their comfort and careers ahead of the safety of innocent kids and vulnerable adults.
And we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Altoona– to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.