Guess Who Is Going To Jail? – OpEd


Kathleen Kane is finally going to jail today. The former Pennsylvania Attorney General was convicted more than two years ago on nine counts. She not only perjured herself, she was found guilty of obstruction of justice and abuse of office.

Why does this matter to the Catholic League? Because she was the one who singled out the Catholic Church—allowing every other religious and secular organization to get off scot free—for a grand jury investigation of the dioceses, all because of one teacher at a Catholic high school in Altoona-Johnstown who molested a minor in the 1990s.

How did Kane find out about the guilty party, Brother Stephen Baker? It was Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Bartchak who went public by notifying the authorities immediately upon learning about Baker’s conduct. Instead of congratulating Bartchak for outing one of his own, Kane took the opportunity to scour the state looking for other cases of abuse involving Catholic personnel.

Catholics, I have said repeatedly, are being played. They, and the public more generally, are being set up to believe that somehow the Catholic Church owns this problem. It is because of people like Kane, and her successor, Josh Shapiro, that so many have come to believe the worst about the Catholic Church.

Do Catholics get it? Had Bishop Bartchak acted the way virtually every other religious and secular leader has handled cases of sexual misconduct, namely internally, Kane would never have known about Baker. Which means there would have been no grand jury investigation. That probe never allowed the accused, most of whom were either dead or no longer in ministry, to defend themselves.

As it turns out, Kane abused her office in more ways than one. At least now she can think about what she has done while sitting in jail. Sweet justice.

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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