Philly Predator Priest Works for Tsa at Airport; SNAP Responds

By Barbara Dorris
May 25, 2012

We are disturbed that Thomas Harkins, an ousted pedophile priest, works at Philadelphia International, and are extremely confused as to how he was able to get this position. Do TSA agents not have to go through a background check? If so, does child molestation not cause concern? To know of Harkinís criminal past and then to place him in a position of authority is unconscionable.

The TSA claims that Harkins deals with baggage, not people. Yet Harkins could still use his position to get closer to passengers and kids, whether by detaining the owners of luggage or by switching shifts with other TSA agents in the airport. The fact is that there are many ways in which Harkins could get around his job title and use his position of authority to molest even more children.

Situation like these are indicative of what happens when Catholic officials refuse to monitor child molesting clerics: they move elsewhere or get jobs elsewhere, usually interacting with the public where they can begin to meet and befriend single moms and vulnerable kids. (We think it's much more prudent for Catholic officials to house pedophile priests in remote, secure, independent treatment centers. Also, when priests leave for 'civilian jobs,' we think it's best if they work in factories or other places with little or no contact with the public.)

Harkins should be removed immediately or at least put in a position where he has no contact with the public and no chance to use his authority to abuse more kids. We also want the TSA to account for their screening process and explain how they let a credibly accused child predator have a position like this.








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