Blatant Injustice in Philadelphia: Trial Judge Declares Abuse in Catholic Church ‘Widespread,’ Said Bevilacqua Was ‘Competent’ For Questioning
Have justice and fair treatment gone out the window in the upcoming Catholic clergy abuse trials in Philadelphia? It sure looks like it.
1. In a truly astonishing betrayal of impartiality and discernment, Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina sat in an open courtroom yesterday (1/31/12) and declared in front of Catholic priests and their defenders:
“Anybody that doesn’t think there is widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is living on another planet.”
Wow. This is from the woman who is supposed to assure that a fair trial is conducted. One cannot help but conclude that a fair trial is nearly impossible with such a prejudiced and ill-informed judge on the bench.
Sarmina’s comment is not only incredibly biased, but demonstrably false. In all of 2010, there were eight credible accusations against Catholic clergy for contemporaneous abuse of a minor. In 2009, the number was six. (See the 2010 CARA Report. Pardon the self-promotion, but I have operated a web site and authored two books explicitly to try to dispel myths such as those aired by Sarmina.)
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