Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses say they are willing to set up a victims’ compensation fund as they face the prospect that state lawmakers will give victims of decades-old child sexual abuse another chance to sue the church.
It took 50 years, until the release of a landmark investigative report, for sisters Mary Robb Jackson and Cynthia Carr Gardner to realize that the parish priest in the Pittsburgh-area suburb where they lived as children had molested both of them, a couple of years apart.
A Roman Catholic high school will shed the name of Washington’s archbishop, who was cited in a sweeping grand jury report as having allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children to be reassigned or reinstated while he was Pittsburgh’s bishop.
State attorneys general are largely silent about any plans to conduct an investigation like Pennsylvania’s that uncovered widespread child sexual abuse in six Roman Catholic dioceses.
Reeling from a landmark grand jury report on child sexual abuse, the leadership of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic Church is under pressure to support a change in state law to give those victims — now adults — a temporary opportunity to file lawsuits on decades-old abuse claims.
Witnesses who testified about child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church are eagerly anticipating the release of a report from the Pennsylvania attorney general’s two-year grand jury investigation.