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At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Card. Stritch) stood over me and said, "Stop babbling about what Father Horne did to you." It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Now, I babble. - ke
**********The City of Angels is Everywhere*********
in 2009 our ongoing coverage of the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church will be at City fAngels5. in 2010 at CityofAngels8

Sunday, May 25, 2008

By refusing to hear Child Sex Abuse Act and almost passing puppy protection act, PA legistors reveal priorities gone to the dogs

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By Mike Ference
(Reporting from PA for City of Angels Network)
State Rep. Lisa Bennington, D-Allegheny County, held a press conference May 12 in Harrisburg, PA, to discuss House Bill 1137, legislation known as the Child Victim’s Act of Pennsylvania, which addresses the statute of limitations and identification of sex abusers.

If the bill passes, it would raise the age at which an accuser could file a civil suit from 30 to 50, bringing the civil statute of limitations in line with the criminal statute. The bill would also suspend the civil statute of limitations for two years in child sex abuse cases, so that people over the age limit or whose SOL has expired could file a suit. The bill allows actions against child sex abusers and their enablers in both public and private institutions. (Rep. Bennington is shown in photo above.)

A 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report uncovered 63 priests in the Philadelphia archdiocese who had abused hundreds of children over several decades. In some cases, archdiocese leaders intentionally concealed the abuse to protect the church.

Bennington stresses her bill does not target the Catholic Church. Rather, “it pertains to all religious institutions, public schools, youth groups and any organization where child sex abuse has occurred. This bill would give all Pennsylvania victims their fundamental right to hold those accountable that afflicted or allowed the abuse to occur.”

Sounds reasonable and seems like a good thing. Similar legislation has passed in California and Delaware in recent years. In California, about 1,000 victims came forward and 300 predators were identified. Yet, there’s one PA lawmaker who strongly opposes the legislation and doesn’t even intend to give the bill a hearing.

State Rep. Thomas R.Caltagirone D., (Berks County), the House Judiciary Committee chairman, says the proposed bill is driven by victims’ desire to win large legal payouts. Caltagirone goes on to say the bill is all about money, not about justice. (Photo of Caltagirone at right lifted freely from Philadelphia Inquirer website, so sue me --ke)

Ironically, Caltagirone was quick to vote with fellow legislators for a 50 percent increase in their pensions in 2001 and the infamous middle of the night pay raise in 2005. The state rep along with other lawmakers chose to take the self-induced pay grab immediately in unvouchered expenses. Many PA residents felt this made the elected officials look like money-hungry crooks, as it was eventually declared unconstitutional.

As expected, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference deplores the bill, choosing to continue to protect perverted priests, rather than seek justice. Likewise, the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania is also against the bill.

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While Caltagirone has officially declared HB1137 dead, his puppy-protection bill seems to be racing for the finish line.
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Could the PA state Rep. Caltagirone be more concerned about protecting puppies than innocent children abused as sex toys by grown men and women? His recently unveiled, HB 2532 which would forbid dog owners from performing surgery on their pups went before the Judiciary Committee on May 14 and could be voted on as early as June 10.

As someone who has been investigating clergy abuse in Pennsylvania for almost 20 years, this writer can’t help but think that something is amiss.

On the eastern side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office issued a scathing report on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia recently, for the high level of sexual abuse among Catholic priests and the cover ups and the reassigning of credibly accused Catholic priests by Cardinals Bevilacqua and Krol and their aides. It should be noted that Bevilacqua first served as Bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese before his transfer to Philadelphia. Insiders claim Bevilacqua left his successor, Donald Wuerl, quite a mess.

For example, while Bevilacqua was still assigned to the Pittsburgh Diocese he agreed to place Fr. John P. Connor, an admitted child molester first within the Pittsburgh Diocese and later, after Bevilacqua took over in Philadelphia Fr. Connor was assigned there.

According to testimony in the Philadelphia Grand Jury the arrangement was based on a “tradition of bishops helping bishops.” Sadly, Fr. Connor went on to abuse others and Bevilacqua was found to be a liar according to the grand jury report.

One has to wonder why the Pittsburgh Diocese voluntarily settled with 32 alleged survivors of clergy abuse. $1.25 million for crimes the Pittsburgh Diocese will never have to admit ever occurred. The settlement would not tarnish the stellar reputation of Archbishop Donald Wuerl who never had to pay a dime to any clergy abuse victims during his tenure as bishop in the Pittsburgh Diocese.

Oddly enough, an underling – so to speak – Auxiliary Bishop Bradley reconciled the situation, only weeks before Bishop David Zubik was to be installed as the new leader of the diocese. So it seems everything fell into place.

So 32 survivors received a few bucks and the diocese is off the hook for any future civil or maybe even criminal suits based on the settlement. Wuerl continues to do in Washington D.C. whatever it is that Archbishops do and Zubik was allowed to get a fresh start in the Pittsburgh Diocese without the interference of those civil suits that were resting in limbo for several years.

The settling of the civil suits certainly allowed for an impressive and dignified installation of Bishop Zubik, no hecklers or demonstrators from any groups with compassion for children sexually abused by Catholic priests.

And, although I have no proof, nor any way to calculate, I would be willing to bet the farm that more money was spent on Zubik’s festivities than was awarded to 32 survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests from the Pittsburgh Diocese. No big deal, the worst is over.

Unless of course, somewhere down the road – maybe a year, a few months, a couple of weeks, or perhaps in the next few days – information turns up that the cases of sexual abuse actually occurred and that cover ups were the norm in the Pittsburgh Diocese just like cover ups and shifting priests from parish to parish was the norm in the archdiocese of Philadelphia.


Anyone with a little common sense would be concerned that a man of the cloth might be tempted to hide crimes of clergy sexual abuse of young children only on the eastern side of the commonwealth of PA and not the western side as well.

That’s a lot of ifs ands or buts – only time will tell if Pennsylvania is indeed a pro-pedophile state. For now it’s three cheers for Rep Bennington and HB 1137 as for Rep. Caltagirone – one politician who obviously cares more about dogs than children – maybe it’s time for the law maker to rollover and play dead.

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Mike Ference is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker and investigative reporter who has been probing clergy abuse in Pennsylvania for almost 20 years.

Mike Ference may be reached at 412-233-5491 or email him at Ference@icubed.com.


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(City of Angels Lady, AKA Kay, will return next week.)

7 comments:

$$$NAPista!!! said...

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the LAITY KEEP DONATING!!!!

Take that, Holy Gas Bag/NoHo/etc.

THE LAITY KEEP DONATING!!!!!!!!

$$$$NAPista!!!

Inventor of the Internet said...

You trained to do a blog decades before anyone had heard of the Internet. Wow, are you friends with Al Gore?

Impressive. Laughable, but impressively so.

city of angels lady said...

I left comments open for a minute and the idiot came back, the one with reading comprehension problems and no sense of humor or irony. The idiot.
Just register and you can post. If you can't register you can't post.

bodkind said...

It is a disgrace that State Rep. Caltagirone has officially declared HB1137 dead... the protections of puppies over the protections of precious children and families. This is a disgraceful public act of an elected public official.

God bless you Kay--our City of Angels messenger Mike Ference in PA... You are a gift to children and families in the United States. We need your public outcry and updates. Stay safe always. This letter was sent email this morning, 5/25/08. However, now that the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Judiciary Committee has declared the Child Victim’s Act of Pennsylvania dead, it is time for citizens of Pennsylvania to ask for State Rep. Thomas R.Caltagirone's resignation.

***********
May 25, 2008 (Email)
Hon. Thomas R. Caltagirone

Re: Freedoms of Speech, Press, Opinion and the U.S. Judiciary

Dear Honorable Caltagirone:

In response to your letter published on May 22, 2008 (Philadelphia Inquirer), stating your opinion about compensation for victims of childhood sexual abuse being all about money, an elected public official and the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, you have the duty to remove yourself from public office and especially the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee.

As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, you are well aware that the U.S. judicary and the court systems are the foundations and the reasons why we live in the greatest country in the world. The judiciary administers the law relating to civil and criminal justice to the people. Your public statements defaming efforts to seek justice in a court of law by victims of heinous sex crimes renders you unqualified to represent the people of Pennsylvania, fairly and equally.

In sum, freedom of religion is not and never will be a free pass to sexually abuse children, conceal sex crimes from law enforcement and strategize long enough for the statutes of limitations to expire--all in the name of religion and God. Please issue an immediate public apology to the victims of sex crimes that you have seriously traumatized. Without justice there will never be peace. Without peace, faith and our country's laws are empty.

Debby Bodkin, Founder
www.catholics4justice.
bodkind@hotmail.com
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

cc:
Editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer (Inquirer.letters@phillynew.com)
Members of the Judiciary Committee (Email)
Hon. Daylin Leach
Hon. Kathy Manderino
Hon. John E. Pallone
Hon. Don Walko
Hon. Ron Marsico
Hon. Tom C. Creighton
Hon. Will Gabig
Hon. Glen R. Grell

hrh said...

KE: When you're attacked by paid shills for the Bish Club, you know you're doing something right!

BTW, wealthy LA Catholics are no longer donating to Master Pedophile Pimp Mahoney. Why do you think he's reduced to squeezing the parishes? His chickens are finally coming home to roost.

hrh said...

Congratulations on your new commenting policy. Love it!

OTOH, how will you know when you're pissing off the Bish Club?! (OK, that was rhetorical. EVERYTHING you write pisses them off!) Keep up the great work!

Too many exclamation points. Gotta tone down the rhetoric. But I'm thrilled. So sue me.

roger said...

Man, it has gone to the dogs. Children treated like sex toys. Its so inhuman and the people responsible for our safety are doing nothing.

CALL: Target Crimes, LA DA's Office, to report sex crimes in the Catholic Church: Phone: (213) 974-5985

City of Angels Lady