Hundreds of Pennsylvania 'Predator Priests' Named

Arturo Kim
August 15, 2018

The "Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania released a report regarding sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests in Pennsylvania", the website says.

You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. Many others are retired or have been dismissed from the priesthood or put on leave.

Victims were often traumatized for life, driven to drugs, alcohol and suicide, the grand jury said.

In some cases, priests who admitted to sexually abusing children were thanked by the bishop of their diocese. Shapiro said the investigation is ongoing.

"It was none of those things".

The report is the latest inquiry into allegations of sex abuse by Catholic clergy worldwide.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Pittsburgh's bishop for 18 years until 2006, now serves as the archbishop of Washington.

Standing alongside survivors of abuse, Shapiro said the grand jury uncovered credible evidence against 301 priests.

"I recognize that my brother bishops and priests will only be able to restore the trust and credibility of our Church by truly being the men we say we are", Burns wrote.

"Due to the churches' manipulation of our weak laws in Pennsylvania, too many predators are out of reach", Shapiro said.

The abuse ranged from groping and masturbation to anal, oral and vaginal rape. "But we hope there will also be self-reflection within the church, and a deep commitment to creating a safer environment for its children".

In order to prevent the Catholic Church from suffering bad publicity or financial liability, the panel claimed that a series of bishops and other diocesan leaders attempted to hide the alleged abuse.

The report released on Tuesday also addressed the fact that numerous priests accused of abuse are simply moved to other parishes.

Mr Shapiro called on Church bishops in Pennsylvania to accept the recommendations. The pictures were added to a collection of child pornography and shared on church grounds.

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That is probably not surprising, as Luzerne remains the most populous of the diocese's 11 counties, many of which are rural, rugged and sparsely populated.

The Pittsburgh diocese said a few priests are still in ministry because the diocese determined allegations against them were unsubstantiated. He sent a letter to Washington priests defending his efforts on behalf of victims and claiming a "zero tolerance policy" for clergy abuse, the Associated Press reported.

Some current and former clergy named in the report went to court to prevent its release, arguing it violated their constitutional rights.

But Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ruled that the public had a right to see it, though it allowed the identities of priests and others who objected to the findings to remain sealed, pending a September hearing on the case.

The church in Chile has most recently been rocked by accusations of a wide-scale cover-up of child abuse during the 1980s and 1990s.

Church officials "routinely and purposefully described the abuse as horseplay and wrestling" and simply "inappropriate conduct", Shapiro said.

"Imagine if they did what was done in Pennsylvania, but nationwide", he said, but noted that the problem needs to be solved by the Vatican.

Some bishops from the six dioceses named responded nearly immediately after the release. But there is no full accounting of abuse in the Catholic Church in the United States.

The discrepancy between the two was a result of additional individuals, including non-clergy, investigated by the diocese separate from the grand jury process. And even as they have been trying to craft a response to Archbishop McCarrick that addresses demands from the faithful for greater episcopal accountability, the bishops have been forced to respond to the grand jury.

"We think it's reasonable to expect one of the world's great religions, dedicated to the spiritual well-being of over a billion people, to find ways to organize itself so that the shepherds stop preying upon the flock", the grand jury said. "Prayers aren't bringing us justice".

The grand jury said the dioceses" main focus "was not to help children, but to avoid "scandal, ' " a word that was used repeatedly in documents grand jurors reviewed.

The investigation has helped renew a crisis that many in the church thought and hoped had ended almost 20 years ago after a church scandal erupted in Boston.

"This report represents a very dark period for the Catholic Church when members of the clergy sexually abused children, including here in Hawaii".

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