WPMT FOX43 | News in Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Lebanon News, Weather, Sports

Latest in Grand Jury investigation into Catholic Diocese raises questions

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa– After a 22 month Grand Jury look into sexual misconduct allegations from 6 different Catholic Dioceses in Penns...

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa-- After a 22 month Grand Jury look into sexual misconduct allegations from 6 different Catholic Dioceses in Pennsylvania, including one in Harrisburg, many people in the area are questioning if the Harrisburg Diocese will do the same as a grand jury investigation by the State Attorney General's Office nears completion.

“The worst cases of victims that I heard their stories of sexual abuse have come out of the Harrisburg Diocese," said Mark Rozzi (D) 126th district. “The Bishop has ultimate authority whether he wants to release that list or not," Rozzi added.

Representative Mark Rozzi wants justice to be served and for a list to released showing all names of alleged abusers.

“If the church wants to take responsibility, then they need to support the legislation that will allow victims to go to court to sue them for what they did to those victims," added Rozzi.

Kristen Hauser with 'Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape' says the release of the list could be a sense of closure and validation.

“Many many victims, when you are victimized in particular by a person in the position of power, when you try to disclose to other people, they often don’t believe you, so having that verifications that, yes, it really did happen, and that authorities believe you, which can mean an awful lot," said Hauser.

FOX43 reached out to the Pennsylvania Attorney Generals Office requesting when the findings of the Grand Jury should be released and they responded with the following statement — in part quote: 

“Protecting the secrecy of Statewide Investigating Grand Juries is paramount. Only those individuals directly involved with the Grand Jury are aware of its inner workings, and any speculation on current or former investigations from people outside of that small population should be dismissed.” - Carolyn Simpson, Spokesperson, Office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro

Last month, the Buffalo Diocese in New York released a list of 42 names.

On Friday, the Erie Diocese in Pennsylvania followed suit.

“This is an opportunity for many victims and survivors to realize that we have published this. It’s a way that hopefully not only will it protect children, but can bring about healing," said Bishop Lawrence Persico, Erie Diocese.

As for the remaining Dioceses, Rozzi says that list is going to come out one way or another.

“The truth is the truth, and we all have to be responsible for our behavior," said Persico.

“It’s going to be very explosive and every diocese needs to be held accountable and that is the bottom line," added Rozzi.