Boston Archdiocese Identifies More Priests as Alleged Pedophiles; Archdiocese Influence in Legislation Wanes
During an ongoing review of church personnel records, the Boston Archdiocese identified at least 60 priests who have allegedly molested and abused children over the span of forty years. The names of these priests have been turned over to civil authorities and 38 names have been forwarded to a total of six district attorney offices. The Archdiocese had previously settled sex abuse cases for many of the priests identified. According to the Boston Globe, the Archdiocese has settled child molestation claims for at least 70 priests in the last decade.
The spotlight has been on the Boston Archdiocese since the prosecution of defrocked priest John Geoghan, convicted last month of indecent assault on a minor and facing two other charges of child rape and molestation. Geoghan’s trial resulted in increased publicity for numerous other reports of pedophilia among Boston-area priests. Cardinal Bernard Law then admitted that the Archdiocese was aware of allegations made since the 1970s against Geoghan, and now other priests, of child abuse and pedophilia and knowingly did not remove the priests from their posts or notify civil authorities. Law has since apologized for “mistakes in judgment.” Catholic parishioners are calling for his resignation.
Massachusetts legislators are now considering laws that would require clergy to report allegations of abuse to civil authorities. The Boston Archdiocese moral authority has been severely compromised since the allegations. Some political pundits suggest that this scandal coupled with the preoccupation of the Archdiocese may have played a role in the passage of another piece of legislation in the Massachusetts House. At the end of last month, Massachusetts passed a bill that would require insurance plans that already cover prescription drugs to cover prescription contraception. The House also rejected an amendment 106 to 49 that would have allowed religiously affiliated organizations to forego the requirement based on moral objections.
Media Resources: Boston Globe, 2/8/02; Associated Press, 2/8/02; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 1/31/02; Feminist Daily News Wire
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .