The Harrisburg Diocese and Allentown Diocese are under investigation related to allegations of child sexual abuse. They join the growing list of Diocese and Archdiocese in Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, which are alleged to have harbored pedophile priests and clergymen.

It is likely that a Grand Jury will convene for several months before making a determination if criminal charges will be brought. Potential defendants include not only clergymen who abused children, but also those who covered up or enabled the abuse. While there have been numerous successful prosecutions against priests who have abused children, the results against those who have enabled the abuse, but not directly perpetrated it, have been mixed. The best example of this is Monsignor William Lynn of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who was convicted, but more recently was granted a new trial. Fortunately the District Attorney in Philadelphia has vowed to press forward with a retrial.

It is vitally important that those who enable child sexual abuse be held fully accountable. Pedophilia is a sickness that will always plague humanity. Since we can’t deliver a vaccination to eradicate it, we must put an end to it as soon as it is detected. When people allow pedophiles to operate in the shadows they are subjecting our children to incredible peril.

We have been in communications with several victims who were abused in Allentown and Harrisburg. We are not commenting publically on the specific facts regarding their abuse.

Andreozzi and Associates, P.C., has provided legal counsel to victims of clergy abuse throughout Pennsylvania. Generally, it is recommended that survivors fully cooperate with the investigating authorities. It is also recommend that survivors surround themselves with appropriate professionals, including a mental health care provider who can deliver psychological support during this potentially difficult process. Legal counsel who has experience representing victims of sexual abuse might also be of assistance.