Time for the Feds?

News: Commentary
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  April 1, 2019   

Steve Bannon: Federal investigation is inevitable

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President Donald Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is saying a federal investigation into clerical sex abuse is inevitable.

Bannon told Crux on Tuesday that such an investigation would be devastating for Church assets.

"It's so obvious that this thing is going to end in tears," he said. "They're going to start treating the Church like the mob … the RICO statutes are set up so they can grab assets immediately, start to monetize those assets and give them to whoever. The victims and these lawyers are just going to plow on top of this."

Bannon was referring to the 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a federal law that empowers the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate coordinated efforts of crime syndicates in perpetrating organized crime.

The organization targeted would be the U.S. bishops as a whole in conjunction with the Vatican which directs them. Crimes that would be investigated involve perpetrating clerical sex abuse by shuffling predator priests into other dioceses and covering up for clerical sex abuse. Other crimes would involve various money schemes involving such individuals.

As devastating as such proceedings would be for Church assets, many Catholics see it as the only way that the Catholic Church will be cleansed of the homosexual network that Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò likened to an octopus that he said was "strangling the entire Church."

Church Militant recently concluded a poll asking viewers the following question: "Given the continuing revelations of cover-up by the U.S. bishops of sexual predation, do you support the federal government launching a RICO investigation?"

Out of nearly 4,500 responders, more than 92 percent said they do support a federal investigation.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro revealed in December that 45 states are pursuing a state-wide investigation into clerical sex abuse. He asserted that his experience has shown that the bishops are not able to police themselves. Church Militant reported in September that the DOJ had also contacted Shapiro concerning a possible federal investigation.

Watch the panel discuss the need for the Department of Justice to launch a RICO investigation in The Download—Time for the Feds?

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