In a ruling made today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will keep the names of eleven predator priests secret in order to protect their reputations.
The priests were identified in the grand jury report that was released in August, that identified over 1000 child victims of sexual assault at the hands of Catholic priests.
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The ruling read: “In our prior opinion authored by Chief Justice Saylor, we stressed that an individual’s right to his or her personal reputation was regarded by the framers of our organic charter as a fundamental individual human right — one of the ‘inherent rights of mankind.'”
Yes, due process is important. But people being held accountable for their actions – especially actions as horrific as the sexual abuse of a child – is also very important as well.
As VICE news pointed out:
The majority of the disclosed crimes took place years ago and were covered up, making it difficult to hold the perpetrators accountable since victims of child sex abuse in Pennsylvania only have until their 50th birthday to file criminal charges and until their 30th birthday to file civil lawsuits.
After the grand jury report was filed a few months ago, Pennsylvania lawmakers proposed a bill to extend the statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases to allow victims more time to sue or bring criminal charges. It passed the House in late September and is awaiting a vote from a state Senate committee.
I am completely in favor of this bill and see absolutely no downside to it. These predators deserve to be held accountable for their horrific actions, even if it happened decades ago.
“As a consequence of the cover-up, almost every instance of abuse we found is too old to be prosecuted,” the original report reads. “But that is not to say there are no more predators.” The grand jury found two recent reports of child sex abuse in two different dioceses within the last decade.
As more and more states step up and hold the Catholic Church accountable for their hypocrisy, expect to see a lot more stories about things like this.
Cover: Victims of clergy sexual abuse and their family members react as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)