It is infuriating that Erin Cusack, in spite of the compelling evidence, attempts to malign the Philadelphia grand jury’s diligent work [“Biased media surveillance of sex abuse distorts views,” Oct. 4]. It produced a report that clearly documents horrific sexual assaults on children by Catholic priests and describes in detail how the Philadelphia Archdiocese knew for decades about the abuse but covered it up.
Instead of criticizing the grand jury and blaming the media for finally reporting crimes committed by pedophile priests, Cusack should look to the Catholic Church for ruthlessly concealing, denying and enabling the rape of children, and not just in Philadelphia, but tens of thousands nationwide.
If Cusack has any reservations or needs further proof of these atrocities, I strongly suggest she read independent, exhaustive investigative reports conducted by other states attorneys general, especially those of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The focus was not just on Catholic priests but all denomination clergy. However, what emerged from the reports maintains “the mistreatment of children [by Catholic clergy] was so massive and so prolonged that it borders on the unbelievable” and that “nowhere has the abuse of minors been so protected or systematically covered up as in the nation’s largest top-down-run Catholic religious organization.”
If Cusack is correct about one thing, it is that child rapists do indeed gravitate toward positions that disguise their behavior and that gives them easy access to children. Pedophile priests and their protectors had the perfect cover! By endearing themselves to unsuspecting families, Catholic priests gained access to children entrusted to them. The priests violated that trust by committing the vilest crime that can befall families – the sexual abuse of their children.
Finally, claiming “the grand jury report fails to address Archdiocesan initiatives” is absent of insight. The fact is the Archdiocese was not acting altruistically, but was focused to relent finally to minimum reforms due to public outrage and courageous victims’ demand to adopt child protection policies and procedures.