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Sunday Poll: How Will Missouri’s Clergy Sex Abuse Investigation Compare To Pennsylvania’s?

August 26, 2018 Featured, Religion, Sunday Poll No Comments
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Recent news in Pennsylvania making national headlines is getting attention here in Missouri:

Pennsylvania officials last week released the results of a two-year grand jury probe that found evidence that at least 1,000 people, mostly children, had been sexually abused by some 300 clergymen in the state during the past 70 years. The most-wide ranging report on clergy sex abuse in the United States said the numbers of actual victims and abusers could be much higher.

Similar reports have emerged in Europe, Australia and Chile, prompting lawsuits and investigations, sending dioceses into bankruptcy and undercutting the moral authority of the leadership of the Catholic Church, which has some 1.2 billion members around the world. (Reuters)

In response, Missouri’s Attorney General opened an investigation here.

Jefferson City, Mo.  – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley today announced that his office has launched an independent review of the Archdiocese of St. Louis regarding allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members. This comes after the Archdiocese agreed to voluntarily cooperate with the Attorney General’s Office. 

“Victims of sexual abuse of any kind deserve to have their voices heard and Missourians deserve to know if this misconduct has occurred in their communities,” Hawley said. “By inviting this independent review, the Archdiocese is demonstrating a willingness to be transparent and expose any potential wrongdoing.”

In Missouri, jurisdiction for crimes of this nature lies with the elected local prosecutor. However, because the Archdiocese has agreed to voluntarily cooperate, the Attorney General’s Office will be able to conduct an independent review for the purpose of public transparency and accountability. (Missouri Attorney General)

St. Louis isn’t statewide, as news reports indicate the investigation will be. It does appear other diocese in the state will cooperate.

The following is something I wasn’t aware of before Friday.

From 1973 to 1983, the leader of the Springfield diocese was Cardinal Bernard Law, who is remembered for his time as archbishop of Boston, where he and other officials shuffled priests from church to church even as reports of clergy sex abuse mounted. (USA Today)

For more on Boston, see the 2015 film Spotlight.

Today’s poll is about what Missouri’s investigation will find compared to Pennsylvania. That state has twice the population, so the totals should be higher. So the question is based on per capita. Note: If you think the findings will be less per capita, then you’re in the agree camp. If you think the results will be higher, per capita, then you’re in the disagree camp.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

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