“The truth needs to be told and the sooner the better.”
Those sentiments were uttered recently by U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA 11th District), and they are clearly endorsed by legions of individuals and families clamoring for greater transparency in the child sexual abuse scandal roiling the Catholic Church.
What DeSaulnier and a rapidly growing band of like-thinkers are demanding is this: a full-scale investigatory probe by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra into priest abuse of children
One news account stresses that Becerra generally plays things close to the vest and thus might already have commenced an investigation. Even if that is the case, though, a number of victims’ advocates say that a formal government effort should be supplemented by a separate grand jury initiative.
DeSaulnier and others say that a ramped-up spotlight backed by a subpoena-led process would be anything but a witch hunt and not remotely unfair to the church. Rather, it should spell a welcome opportunity for innocent priests to remove themselves from an otherwise generalized taint.
Other states are reportedly moving forward with their own probes. Notably, recent Pennsylvania grand jury findings citing 1,000-plus abuse victims from various dioceses rocked church authorities at the highest level. We referenced that report in our August 20 blog post.
One Bay Area advocate rejects the notion that an internal church investigation will suffice to uncover truth and foster accountability. Church officials “are conflicted,” he says, and incapable of making “a true, unbiased deep dive” into relevant evidence.
We will keep readers timely apprised of any material information that surfaces concerning a state probe into criminal misconduct.