Catholic church bishops throughout the United States have managed to avoid accountability in the swath of clergy sexual abuse cases that appeared in the Pennsylvania grand jury report and beyond. A 2002 report in Boston, Massachusetts revealed the many instances of child sexual abuse committed by clergy members, so in Dallas, Texas that same year a large gathering of US bishops met and promised to crack down on and eliminate clergy sex abuse. Despite the institution of new standards that removed predatory priests from the church, bishops excluded themselves from the child-protection standards set, proclaiming that only the pope can reprimand them, and that shaming would keep them from committing any unlawful acts. Unfortunately, several bishops were either accused of abuse themselves or enabling abuse within their dioceses. Even if parish priests were held accountable for child sex abuse crimes, the bishops may have escaped criticism and penalties. Six out of eight Catholic church bishops who created the child-protection standards in Dallas 16 years ago received criticism over their handling of child sex abuse cases.
Although the 2002 report in Boston unveiled many instances of child sexual abuse by clergy members, it does not account for the overwhelming amount of abuse cases throughout Catholic church communities in the US. It is positively criminal that even though various bishops met to officially eradicate clergy abuse from the church nearly 20 years ago that they essentially excused themselves from culpability. Perpetrators of child sexual abuse must be held accountable for their actions including men and women of the cloth.
Clergy sex abuse survivors deserve to receive justice after unspeakable acts left them unable to overcome the abuse they suffered. Our Pennsylvania clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar fully support the removal of the statute of limitations and will provide compassionate legal counsel to survivors. Please call 215-557-0099 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.