Could redacted version of a grand jury report bring down the Catholic church?
Authorities in Pennsylvania have released an explosive redacted version of a grand jury report which accuses over 300 pedophile priests of sex abuse and the Vatican ‘covering for them’ for decades.
According to 900-plus-page report, which was made public on Tuesday by Attorney General Josh Shapiro, reveals allegations of child molestation and other sexual abuse and how the Vatican actively covered it up.
“The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid scandal,” says the report.
“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.”
According to RT: The jury looked into the claims in eight dioceses in Pennsylvania, covering more than half of the state’s 3.2 million Catholics: Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Greensburg.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the diocese of Altoona-Johnstown were subjects of an earlier report.
“Several diocesan administrators, including the bishops, often dissuaded victims from reporting abuse to police, pressured law enforcement to terminate or avoid an investigation or conducted their own deficient, biased investigation without reporting crimes against children to the proper authorities,” says the report.
Some of those named have died, and the statute of limitations prevents the state from pressing criminal charges against many others.
AG Josh Shapiro has now taken the stage to talk about the “systematic coverup” of child sex abuse by the Catholic Church in PA and the Vatican pic.twitter.com/PQu3HmKd8x
— Beccah Hendrickson (@BeccahHWGAL) August 14, 2018
.@PAAttorneyGen spoke of clergy’s fight against the report’s release, calling it an attempt to “cover up the cover up”
— Jan Murphy (@JanMurphy) August 14, 2018
Ahead of the report’s release, the former bishop of Pittsburgh who now leads the Washington archdiocese told CBS that the church was trying to rid itself of abusive priests and that the report would vindicate the reforms he advocated in 2002 to that effect.
“We’re very, very sorry this happened. And that’s why we’ve taken the steps to see that it doesn’t go on,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl said on Tuesday. He could not confirm that no abuse was happening in the church today, however.
“I’m not sure that there’s any way you can guarantee that there won’t ever be a failure in the life of any priest going into the future,” Wuerl said. “You can’t do more than give your very best to try to eradicate a problem.”
After Wuerl became the archbishop of Washington in 2007, his diocese agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle with 35 survivors of abuse.