Victims still seeking justice from diocese

March marks the anniversary of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s report detailing 50 years of sexual abuse of children by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

In well-orchestrated PR events, bishops and popes apologize.

Behind the scenes, Bishop Mark Bartchak and the Pa. Conference of Catholic bishops join forces with insurance companies to stop legislation to abolish statute of limitations on sexual abuse crimes. Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput has attacked politicians in church to shame them from passing these laws.

The system that spawned hundreds of monsters of ministry has not changed.

They do nothing to help the survivors whose lives have been ruined by sexual abuse from priests.

Not a single bishop has been explicitly held accountable and stripped of his title. Church officials implicated in allegations of abuse and cover-ups have been promoted to top positions.

This behavior, well-documented for the last 50 years, reveals an ingrained pattern of institutional complicity.

Consider the diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

This abuse has been fueled by the silence and donations of a hundred thousand Roman Catholics and “innocent priests.”

Justice has been denied to survivors by Bishops James Hogan, Joseph Adamec and Bartchak. They enabled the abuse and cover-ups and moved priests until the statute of limitations expired.

As reported by local newspapers, they used their influence to corrupt the police, courts and the system of justice.

They should be stripped of their titles and criminally prosecuted.

The statute of limitations on these crimes should be abolished to restore the justice denied. The survivors and their families do not want lip service and empty promises.

We want justice.

John Nesbella

Nanty Glo