HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Many groups and organizations are reacting to the recent Grand Jury Report on abuse in the Catholic Church. One state organization is working with some of the dioceses in our state to try to make sure these incidents don’t happen again. Eyewitness News Harrisburg Reporter Matt Heckel reports.
“It’s horrific in my mind.”
Angela Liddle is President and CEO of the “Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance.” She was horrified by some of the stories shared in the recently released grand jury report.
“I’ve done this for thirty years. You think you’ve seen it all and you’ve heard it all, but it’s the sheer magnitude of this report. The scope of the abuse.”
Many of the Dioceses in the report work with the P-F-S-A including Scranton and Pittsburgh.
: “In the Pittsburgh Diocese, they use PFSA exclusively for training their mandated reporters on how to recognize and report child abuse.”
A mandated reporter is anyone who works closely with children including members of the clergy. The P-F-S-A has a state contract with the department of human services to train those reporters.
“What our definition of child abuse is. What the forms of abuse are. And how you must, according to the law, make a report.” Said Liddle
The importance of reporting those crimes is stressed by Liddle after the grand jury found decades of covering up abuse by the church.
“It happened because the church acted and behaved as if it was above the law.”
And while many Dioceses in PA are turning to the outside for help… Liddle says others are still hesitant.
“Change is hard. But, I think with the magnitude of what we’ve seen and heard this week, the public should absolutely be demanding change.”
The PFSA has also helped the Dioceses in Pittsburgh and Altoona-Johnstown review their internal policies on handling these types of situations.