Philadelphia Grand Jury Report-It’s Different This Time

The first Philadelphia Grand Jury Report issued in 2005 concerning the sexual abuse of minors in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia ended with bitter recriminations and laments about the injustice done to children. The 2011 Grand Jury Report was quite different. It had some real teeth that took a huge bite out of the arrogant hind quarters of the Archdiocese. Four priests were indicted upon the recommendations of the Grand Jury. Three of them abused minors. The fourth, Monsignor William Lynn, was in charge of sexual abuse cases in the Archdiocese for nearly two decades. Lynn was indicted on two counts of child endangerment. The Lynn indictment is unprecedented in that no “managerial” level church official has ever been held criminally accountable for child abuse. Surely, such criminal charges have been threatened, one need only remember Cardinal Law of Boston, Bishop McCormack of Manchester, and Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles. Yet, these top church officials knew that civil authorities would never go through with these threats. In their mind, the Church was too big, they were too big to be challenged by mere civil authorities. If you think this is hyperbole, google Cardinal Law’s reaction to the Boston Globe’s investigation into his fiefdom in Boston. You’ll find a story about Cardinal Law calling down heaven’s justice on any Globe reporter who dared to investigate him or the Church.
Finally, the walls have come tumbling down in Philadelphia. Perhaps, it’s fitting such an event took place in the City of Brotherly Love, where our nation’s Constitution was given birth. This may signal another revolution in which our children are protected from predators and safe to grow up and lead healthy and productive lives.