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By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 30, 2009

 In Los Angeles the US attorney, frustrated that Cardinal Mahony has escaped legal punishment for his role in the sex-abuse scandal, is using a novel legal theory as the basis for his grand-jury investigation. That novel theory might not work in the courtroom; even if he proceeds with an indictment, the federal prosecutor may be thwarted again. One advocate for abuse victims expresses his sympathy in a comment to the New York Times:

“Even if they hand up indictments and they lose, no victim would fault a prosecutor for going after a bishop and losing because frankly that’s what we’ve been doing for decades,” said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “The real pain for victims is seeing people with subpoena power and a bully pulpit not even try.”

Exactly. And that pain is not restricted to the direct victims of clerical predators. The "other" victims-- the faithful in Los Angeles who are now paying off a $600-million settlement, those whose parish churches have been closed, the honest priests whose reputations have been smeared, the bishops who did the right thing before the headlines forced their hands-- are still wondering why most of the prelates who presided over this unmitigated disaster are still in office. 

Oh, and by the way, prosecutors may be the only ones with subpoena power, but they aren't the only ones with access to bully pulpits. 

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