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President Condemns Pennsylvania “Predator Priests”

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President Condemns Pennsylvania “Predator Priests”

University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane addressed the question of

University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane addressed the question of "Who is the Fordham community?" in an email on Oct. 15.

University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane addressed the question of "Who is the Fordham community?" in an email on Oct. 15.

University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane addressed the question of "Who is the Fordham community?" in an email on Oct. 15.

By RUBY GARA, News Editor

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University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., addressed the Fordham community on Aug 16 with a statement on Pennsylvania’s attorney general’s report. He stated that “as a Jesuit, Catholic university, Fordham unequivocally condemns the actions of the clergy and others who perpetrated and enabled the victimization of so many innocent children.”

A grand jury report released by the State Supreme Court on Aug. 14 revealed that over 70 years, an estimate of 300 priests abused at least 1,000 children in the state of Pennsylvania. In one of the nation’s largest investigations, running for 18 months, the members of the grand jury found evidence of abuse dating back to 1947.

They reported on child sexual abuse in six out of eight dioceses- Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton- and labelled the accused members of the clergy as “predator priests.”

McShane served as the President of the University of Scranton from 1998- 2003.

As written in the report, the number of victims is most likely higher than reported due to the lost records and those who are too afraid to come forward to report the abuses they have endured. Additionally, most of the records are too outdated in order for the priests to be rightfully prosecuted as the statute of limitations has run out.

McShane also addressed the “searing” crimes covered-up by the Church and its senior officials. He wrote that it was “equally painful” to see “the apparent lengths to which abusers were shielded from scrutiny of— and consequences for— their actions. Such actions are a disgrace for anyone: for members of the clergy devoted to the most vulnerable among us it is not merely shameful, but deeply sinful.”

According to the report, most of the victims who were subject to sexual assault were young boys, although some of the recorded cases involved girls and teenagers as well. “The pain and suffering visited upon innocent children can never be redeemed. Whatever paths their lives have taken, they will always bear the scars of their abuse.”

“In using their spiritual authority to justify the abuse, these priests have despoiled the Gospel and diminished their victims’ capacity for love, trust and faith,” wrote McShane.

McShane said that, as the upcoming fall semester approaches, the university “ will explore how the University can rebuild trust that has been strained or broken by the horrific actions beyond our campus but within the Catholic community.”

“I hope you will join our community as we pray for the victims’ healing and recovery,” McShane concluded.

About the Writer
RUBY GARA, News Editor

Ruby Gara, Fordham College at Lincoln Center '21, is a Journalism major and became a staff writer for The Observer during her freshman year. She then became...

1 Comment

One Response to “President Condemns Pennsylvania “Predator Priests””

  1. Victor melendez on November 24th, 2018 3:55 pm

    As to coming forward as a victim of clergy abuse,it would help if they would be told that there were other victims of the accused. and they were not his only victim.this may be also why so many victims do not come forward with what they experienced “literally”by the hands of a sick predator priest.especially those that, thier situation occured decades ago.i understand that thier credibility has to be established as to their allegation,its the feeling as if coming forward was not the right thing to do thats dificult enough telling what you’ve experinced as a kid over and over which has to be done in order for basically the victims credibility to to be established,is dificult for the victims and im sure for the investigator also.the agency that does the investigation serves the institution that the priest was or is affilliated to.if the abuse occured decades ago good chance the accused may have passed for the one i know about i would say at the time the incidents occured he might have been in his 40s or so.thats was in the late 60s which puts hil to be in his 80s or so when he passed away in the late 90s.going back to credibility being established if other victims came forward i would think that there would be ways that the abuser would use that would be helpful and an important part of establishing the victims credibility.i can understand why victims are not told about other victims that came forward.alot of victims that come forward have suffered from addiction in the past or may be getting help for mental health which may be a big part of the credibilty process.i would encourage other victims to come forward.and if you decide to come forward be sure to have a healthy support network that can help you when the uncomfortability of coming forward gets a little rough at times,because it to just come forward and tell your experince the way it happened nothing more or nothing less.and what ever you consider to be your higher power go to it because you are going to need it.

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President Condemns Pennsylvania “Predator Priests”