Grand Jury Articles

Grand Jury related Articles

Monsignor Gentili frequently suggests interesting articles from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archbishop Chaput, Pope Frances and more. To be an informed Catholic it’s important to be aware of the key Catholic issues that are happening in our community and world.

Our parish community feels it's important to maintain on our website, relevant articles related to the release of the 40th Statewide Grand Jury Report of six dioceses within the State of Pennsylvania for your reference.

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You may be interested to know some facts.

Periodically, I have shared information with you about items affecting the life of our local Church. These past months have been trying ones with respect to the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report and its aftermath. While that investigative matter did not involve our Archdiocese in any way, the findings it shared were difficult and painful for everyone to bear—most especially for survivors of abuse and their loved ones.

Today, there are two important updates on separate issues. The first involves recent legislative outcomes at the state level and the second pertains to a matter initiated by the United States Department of Justice.

Recent Legislative Outcomes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

A number of recommendations were part of the state grand jury report released in August. Among them were reforms to criminal statutes and civil statutes in our state law aimed at punishing abusers and supporting abuse victims. Those matters have gained broad attention in the press over the past several weeks.

It’s important to note, that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia continues to support reforms that will punish perpetrators and aid survivors by eliminating the criminal statute of limitations and lengthening the civil statute of limitations to allow individuals to file civil suits up until the age of 50—an action that would add 20 years to the current statute. We also support the proposal to strengthen mandatory reporter requirements. These reforms, recommended by the recent Pennsylvania grand jury, have garnered broad consensus and agreement. They are concrete steps that will protect children and hold perpetrators accountable.

The state legislature worked assiduously to tackle issues related to child protection and abuse survivor assistance while in session during the week of October 15th. Unfortunately, earnest efforts to find common ground and a path forward to support all those who have suffered were met with resistance.

Despite the outcome of the recent debate, we remain steadfast in fulfilling our responsibility to individuals who have been harmed—no matter when that harm occurred. The Archdiocese continues to recognize its responsibility to provide an opportunity for sexual abuse survivors whose cases are time-barred from pursuing civil claims to share their experiences, identify their abusers, and receive compensation to assist their healing and recovery.

Archbishop Chaput recently voiced his intention to create or participate in an independent, voluntary program that will include a panel of qualified experts to review individual cases and determine financial assistance for those who have been abused. To that end, we will honor our commitment to victims and we intend to play an active, positive role in efforts aimed at providing true healing and hope through programs already in place as well as new programs that will be administered independently of the Church.

 

Sincerely Yours In Our Lord,

 

Rev. Monsignor Joseph P. Gentili

- Pastor

Subpoena Issued by Federal Grand Jury

Beginning on Thursday, October 18th, news outlets reported that a federal grand jury had issued subpoenas to Catholic dioceses throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The media has also broadly reported that this investigative process will look at matters relative to sexual abuse of minors.

As communicated to the media through an official statement on October 18th, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia did receive a federally issued subpoena, which requires the production of certain documents and it will cooperate with the United States Department of Justice in this matter. As this is an active federal investigation, we are not able to comment further at this time.

This most recent development is disconcerting after all that we have witnessed over a period of many years. However, it is important to remember that over the past 15 years, the Archdiocese has put into practice a wide range of reforms to protect young people and provide assistance to survivors of abuse. 

For further information regarding those comprehensive efforts, please click the link below.

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Archbishop Chaput supports survivors

Archbishop Chaput joined all of the Catholic bishops of PA to Pledge Support for Sex Abuse Survivors’ Compensation Program. 

Archbishop Chaput joined all of the Catholic bishops of Pennsylvania in issuing a joint statement pledging their support for an independent sex abuse survivors’ compensation program. In solidarity, they envision a program that is administered by experts who will operate independently from the Church. It will seek to provide financial assistance for survivors regardless of when they suffered abuse.

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A Statement from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia


This is the homily that was given at all Masses as a response to the grand jury report. Please read and share this important message of light, love and faith.


 

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Archbishop Chaput Announces:
Independent Reconciliation & Reparations Program
for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

November 8, 2018…

This morning, Archbishop Chaput made a major announcement about the fulfillment of that pledge. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will participate in an Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP) that will provide financial support for those sexually abused as minors by Archdiocesan clergy, especially those whose claims are time-barred from civil litigation. The program will operate free from the influence or supervision of Archdiocesan staff and leadership.  See column from the Archbishop as well as a news release with additional information. 

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viewPOINT 

August 15, 2018

In light of the recent announcement concerning the release of the 40th Statewide Grand Jury Report of six dioceses within the State of Pennsylvania, you are directed to see the insert in this weekend’s bulletin from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is not part of this report.  Nevertheless, the Archdiocese and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish are dedicated to making the safety of our children a priority, with constant training, vigilance and prevention. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please refer to the two attached statements below from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, or to the Archdiocesan website.  

Please join me in praying for the victims of abuse and all who have been affected by it.

 

Sincerely Yours In Our Lord,

 

Rev. Monsignor Joseph P. Gentili
 - Pastor

A Statement from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Here is a statement regarding the release of the report of the 40th Statewide Grand Jury.

Archdiocesan Office for Child and Youth Protection issues joint statement with PA Office of Victim Advocate and Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape regarding statewide Grand Jury Report.

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USCCB STATEMENT

Responding to Moral Failures of Judgement on the Part of Church Leaders
 
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement noting the steps the U.S. Bishops Conference will take in addressing the failures of the Church in protecting the people of God.

                         “The accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick reveal a grievous moral failure within the Church. They cause bishops anger, sadness, and shame; I know they do in me. They compel bishops to ask, as I do, what more could have been done to protect the People of God.  Both the abuses themselves, and the fact that they have remained undisclosed for decades, have caused great harm to people’s lives and represent grave moral failures of judgement on the part of Church leaders."

 

Click "Read More" for Cardinal DiNardo's full statement. 

 Independent Analysis
of the Recent Pennsylvania State Grand Jury Report 

As a matter of information: 

 

I share an independent analysis of the recent Pennsylvania State Grand Jury Report. This piece was authored by Peter Steinfels and published online by Commonweal on Wednesday, January 9th.

Mr. Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal and religion writer for The New York Times as well as a University Professor Emeritus at Fordham University. 

 

Please click the link below to read his thoughts.

Sincerely Yours In Our Lord,

Rev. Monsignor Joseph P. Gentili
 - Pastor

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