May. 24, 2022

HARRISBURG – Reps. Jim Gregory (R-Blair) and Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), who have long championed the rights of sexual abuse survivors, today called on the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General to empanel a grand jury to investigate instances of abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention of churches.

“The news reported just this week is of such a disturbing nature and reminiscent of the Grand Jury reports ordered by your office in 2016 and 2018 on the Catholic Dioceses. … This report helped victims move forward by exposing their predators and shedding light on those who committed the heinous crimes against them as children,” the representatives wrote in their letter.

Gregory and Rozzi partnered on The Hidden Predator Act to give victims of abuse expanded options in criminal and civil court.

On Sunday, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee issued a report following an investigation by independent firm Guidepost Solutions. It says church leaders sought to silence survivors of clergy sex abuse.

“All perpetrators need to be held accountable regardless of their title or prominence in society. Pennsylvanians cannot turn a blind eye to systemic abuse and continue to protect those in positions of power,” Rozzi said.

“As a survivor myself, I was saddened to again hear of an institution looking out for its own interests instead of the people it harmed,” Gregory said. “I urge the attorney general to expediently seat a grand jury to shine light on these heinous acts.”

Representative Jim Gregory
80th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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