Harrisburg Report: Child sexual abuse: It’s time for state legislators to open the window

Montgormery Media

By Thomas P. Murt
State Representative

Grand jury investigations into the recent child sex abuse scandals, which have rocked Penn State and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, have placed the issue of child sex abuse onto the front burner here in Pennsylvania — where it belongs.

I serve on the state’s Child and Youth Committee and have listened to and read many hours of excruciatingly painful testimony from victims and their families describing the most heinous sexual abuse imaginable. The institutional cover-ups and subsequent ill-treatment of victims have made these terrible situations even worse. It’s a sad day, indeed, when concern for institutional risk management trumps uncovering the truth.

I recently listened to testimony concerning two perpetrators who were Franciscan Friars and who taught at Archbishop Ryan High School when I was on the faculty there. As a life-long Catholic, a former parochial school teacher and a religious education instructor, I am filled with anguish over these incidents.

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