Former Pennsylvania Attorney General, Who Singled Out Catholic Church, Goes to Jail

Kathleen Kane, predecessor of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and architect of the policy singling out Catholic institutions for sex-abuse claims while ignoring similar abuse in other institutions (e.g., public schools) has, today, reported to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville, Pa., to begin serving a 10- to 23-month perjury sentence.

See the news as reported by CBS Philly and the Stamford Advocate.

Whatever one thinks of the work of Bill Donohue and his Catholic League — I myself hold that his overall narrative on the present crisis, including his defense of Cardinal Wuerl, has enormous holes in it — his comments on today’s jailing of Josh Shapiro’s predecessor are worth reading. Assuming he has the facts of the case right, the Pennsylvania AG’s office appears to have been acting in bad faith in regard to the Catholic Church for a long time.

None of this alters the fact that egregious, scandalous, and mortally sinful wrongs have been committed by churchmen.

Prescinding from the injustice of it all, there is something positive to be said about these unbelieving and/or liberal Catholic civil authorities (Kane is a professed Catholic who is pro-abortion) holding the Catholic Church to a higher standard than other institutions. If hypocrisy is “the compliment vice pays to virtue,” then the Kathleen Kanes, the Josh Shapiros, and the Lynne Abrahams of the world are making a hypocritical profession of faith that “judgment should begin at the house of God” (I Pet. 4:17).

Here is Bill Donohue’s statement:

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.

For earlier thoughts of mine on the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, see Josh Shapiro’s Grand Kangaroo Court Has Not Served Justice in Pennsylvania. See also my comments here on Facebook concerning the incongruity of faithful Catholics calling upon the secular civil authorities to clean up the Church.