Pa. Grand Jurors: Make Full Clergy Sex Abuse Report Public
By Angela Couloumbis and Liz Navratil
August 30, 2018
Harrisburg - In the intense, lengthy and high-profile legal battle over the blistering report on Catholic clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, one group's voice was largely unheard: the grand jurors who signed off on it.
But in an unusual court filing — first sealed and since made public by the state's highest court — grand jury members who spent two years investigating decades of abuse by priests in six dioceses unanimously declared that their full and unredacted report should be released.
On Aug. 6, as a state Supreme Court fight over the report was raging, the panel filed its own brief. Using strong language, it lodged their objections to any attempts to "censor, alter, redact or amend" the document.
They said they examined an "overwhelming amount of evidence" of abuse, including internal church documents that had been kept secret. They wrote that they solicited and received written or in-person testimony from bishops from all of the six dioceses. And, they said, they heard from victims -- most of whom testified they had notified their pastors, bishops or dioceses about the abuse.