Opinion: Reckoning looms in Erie Catholic Diocese

Erie Times News [goerie.com]

March 25, 2018

By Pat Howard

It’s a rare movie about journalism that doesn’t make me roll my eyes and/or shout at the television.

But “Spotlight,” the Best Picture-winning account of the Boston Globe’s heroic reporting on the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal in that city, gets it mostly right. For me it also carries a personal resonance. …


On Tuesday, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo released the names of 42 priests, 24 of whom are dead, who had been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors. On Wednesday, the Erie diocese issued a statement saying that Persico, who became bishop in 2012, would do the same here in the coming weeks.

That plan extends Persico’s policy of proactively releasing information in current cases. And it promises the fullest accounting yet of the criminals who hid behind the collar in the 13-county Erie diocese.

I don’t know why Persico has decided to name the priests and chose this timing. So far he isn’t saying.

It might have something to do with the statewide investigative grand jury that’s been digging into the diocese’s darkest secrets since 2016. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office sometime this year is expected to release the grand jury’s report, and it, too, is expected to name names. …

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