The Grand Jury described the Catholic Church’s method of dealing with complaints of abuse as “a playbook for concealing the truth,” after FBI agents found a specific protocol in diocese files.
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Grand Jury Report Details Widespread Abuse, Cover-up by Catholic Diocese
The report, which focused on 6 of Pennsylvania’s 8 Catholic dioceses and identified over 1,000 victims, said there are likely thousands more victims either whose records were lost or were too afraid to come forward. The massive document represents the most comprehensive examination of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church ever conducted by the U.S. Government.
“We believe that the real number of children whose records were lost or who were afraid ever to come forward is in the thousands,” the report said. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades. Monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals have mostly been protected; many, including some named in this report, have been promoted.”
New Claims of Abuse Latest Blow to Vatican
The scandal has dogged the Catholic Church ever since 2002, when allegations of repeated sexual abuse by a Boston Priest blew the cover off the long-running secret. But even after paying billions of dollars in settlements and implementing new programs designed to prevent and catch acts of abuse against children, the church has been unable to shake the scandal, which may now be reaching its boiling point.
Archbishop Resigns Amid Scandal
The Pennsylvania report follows the resignation of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington who is accused of sexually abusing children, young priests and seminarians, according to The New York Times.
Report Details Sex Abuse by 300 Priests in Pennsylvania Catholic Church: CNN Video
Allegations of Clergy Abuse Date Back 70 Years: Report
For the massive report, the grand jury investigated claims of clergy abuse dating all the way back to 1947, according to CNN. The report focused on 6 of Pennsylvania’s major diocese: Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton. Pennsylvania’s 2 other dioceses, Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, have been the subjects of prior grand jury investigations and reports, which arrived at similar conclusions to those reached in Tuesday’s report.
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