Diocese should still face many questions

There has been discussion about recent Pennsylvania Attorney General Grand Jury Report detailing sexual clergy abuse within six dioceses.

This follows a similar report in Altoona-Johnstown Diocese released in 2016.

Some people want to know more, but lack the knowledge of sources.

Read the Pennsylvania Attorney General Report for Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown at www.bishop-accountability.org.

Then read the transcript of the Jerry Sandusky trial. A portion can be accessed at http://co.centre.pa.us/centreco /media/upload/sandusky.

Compare the accusations.

Realize the victims of Sandusky had an opportunity to face their abuser in court. The victims of abuse by Catholic priests almost never had that opportunity.

Consequently, they never received justice.

In some cases, the accused clergy member is removed from active ministry. A 1990s civil lawsuit was brought against former priest Francis Luddy, resulting in $1.2 million verdict. No criminal prosecution ever took place.

Luddy, as of March 2016, was living in New Mexico as a free man.

In most cases, the individual continues to receive his salary and benefits, per the Rights of Accused Priests at www.americamagazine.org.

Ask the diocese of Altoona-Johnstown (927 S. Logan Blvd., Hollidaysburg, 814-695-5579) how those salaries and benefits continue to be paid.

Ask what the diocese has paid in legal fees, (since the Francis Luddy trial).

Ask how much has been paid in compensation to victims.

Finally, ask where that money comes from and where these expenses appear on the Diocesan annual reports.

Based on the answers you receive, and with prayer, decide on your course of action.

John and Janice Sherer

State College

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