Analysis: The Church Sex Abuse Scandal

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Criminal charges and suspended priests have affected all areas of the Philadelphia Archdiocese. And a debate continues over the way things are going.

There are many aspects of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse story ongoing criminal investigations, suspensions and a continuing look at the problem by the archdiocese review board. Anne Shenberger has been a member for years.

“One of the things that we were concerned about was that it seemed that the perception on the part of the public was that the review board had actually reviewed the cases of these 37 priests and allowed them to remain in active ministry when in fact of those 21 that were suspended we had only reviewed the cases of seven of them.”
The indictments and suspensions have also brought a wave of lawsuits filed by alleged victims. Phil Gaughn, a married father, says it all began for him back in 1994.

“He was a long time family friend so he was held in the highest regard and has been for almost 40 years prior. So it was difficult to tell anybody or speak to anybody about it because of that and because of how I was feeling at the time.”

Listen to extended interview:

Reported By Special Contributor Larry Kane, KYW Newsradio.

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    All Assembly And Senate Members:
    Trenton, New Jersey

    Senate Bill# S2405

    Assembly Bill# A3622

    The horrendous crime of Sexual Assault to a minor, is extremely real in our state of New Jersey. Over the last several years many advocates and supporters have come forward to address the injustice and constitutionality about laws that crime victims have had to unfairly face in New Jersey.

    The criminal law statute for sexual assault was changed in 1995. There is no criminal statute now and rightfully so, in New Jersey, for a victim from sexual assault, to file a criminal claim.

    However, just a few legislative sessions ago, Our New Jersey Government did away with another barrier sex crime victims have had in filing and prosecuting criminals that rape children. This was the amendment to a charity shield, called charitable immunity law, in New Jersey.

    This charity law was a bar for many claimants. However, a civil law statute expired for filing civil complaints, while waiting for that charity immunity law to be amended, like it was. With much angst to the fact that there has been no remedy in the ability to prosecute and punish certain known offenders within the Camden Diocese,

    I am a child sex crime victim that still has no legal representation in New Jersey, due to this statute in civil law under review. Attorneys wont file criminal complaints for me, because a civil complaints bar is still pending this legislation..

    To mention that the sex offenders that are not registered with the state, are also not removed from positions that endanger children. Also, there currently is still the inability to punish, rehabilitate or incarcerate these criminals, that statistically re-offend across the boarder. In addition, there is no legal authority to govern and/or enforce any civility over these criminals and institutions that have protected them.

    Please Help.

    These reported upon known offenders will be prosecuted and punished when the bars that have protected them, removed.

    While New Jersey has always been on the forefront for Child protection and advocacy, Our great state’s laws are missing a large target of criminals, that we as a governing body have the ability to resolve and amend these discrepancies, with this legislation.

    This is all so in the effort that our justice system and the agents available within it, are able to perform the civil service that sex crime victims should other wise expect from them and be entitled too.

    Thank you for voting this bill to the Budget and Appropriations Committee, a vote 9-0. If you have not voted for this bill yet or signed on to Co-Spenser, please join in. And when the bill comes to the Assembly and the Senate again, for the final vote, I hope you will have extended this invitation to colleges for voting in favor of this urgent and needed amendment to New Jersey Sex Crime Laws.

    Thank you,

  • Patrick O

    Parents – keep your kids away from priests.

    For the real truth about how dangerous the Catholic church is for children, and how they STILL don’t implement practices to make it safe, read the grand jury report at

    It is horrifying.

    Unless you’re Catholic, or used to be Catholic. Then you are either proud to be an ex-Catholic church goer, or you just don’t think that child rape and lying about it are a big deal.

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