Sunday, April 21, 2019

A look at the Number of PA Abuser Priests Identified by the Grand Jury

Diocese
# of Abuser Clergy
Catholic population
Per capita Abusers
Grand Jury Year
Allentown
37
    258,997
14.29
2018
Erie
41
    221,508
18.51
2018
Harrisburg
45
    230,000
19.57
2018
Pittsburgh
99
    632,138
15.66
2018
Scranton
59
    348,600
16.92
2018
Greensburg
20
    137,641
14.53
2018
Philadelphia
63
  1,188,225
5.30
2003
Altoona-Johnstown
50
       98,284
50.87
2016
Statewide
414
  3,115,393
13.29

Last summer Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the results of the grand jury investigation into sexual abuse by priests and other clergy in the Catholic Church in six of the eight dioceses in Pennsylvania.  The other two, Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown were investigated by grand juries in 2003 and 2016 respectively.  The number of abuser clergy along with the catholic population and population adjusted numbers in abusers per 100,000 population in each diocese are summarized in the above table.  
Profile of victims in the six county 2018 grand jury report

Adjusting the number of abusive clergy for the population that they serve allows for comparing one diocese to another and one investigation to another.  Of the six counties in the 2018 investigation, Harrisburg and Erie had the most abusers identified.  Greensburg and Allentown had the fewest.  The report provided the size of the population each of the six dioceses they served except the Harrisburg Diocese.  I found the 230,000 number on the Harrisburg Diocese website.  


Philadelphia had the smallest number in the state at 5.3 per 100,000 in the 2003 investigationAltoona-Johnstown had by far the highest number in the state at 50.87/100,000 and easily the smallest Catholic population at 98,284 in 2016.  This low population number for this diocese is surprising since it covers eight counties

The Philadelphia investigation was conducted by the Philadelphia County DA Lynne Abraham which may not have had the same resources as the state AG.  The Altoona-Johnstown was focused solely on that Diocese with the smallest population in the state and was conducted by the state AG, possibly as a trial run.  



My classmate from St. Clements School, Shaun Dougherty has been crusading for victims of Catholic Clergy abuse.  Below is a video of him and a friend confronting the priest that abused him a few months ago.  Buona Pasqua a' tutti.

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