Pennsylvania report: Vatican expresses 'shame and sorrow'

Pennsylvania report: Vatican expresses 'shame and sorrow'

AT LEAST 301 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused children while serving in active ministry, a new report from a grand jury alleges. It also emphasized the importance of adhering to civil law, including abuse reporting requirements.

"By finding nearly no cases after 2002, the Grand Jury's conclusions are consistent with previous studies showing that Catholic Church reforms in the United States drastically reduced the incidence of clergy child abuse", Burke said.

"The coverup by the church officials was very purposeful and very careful", Shapiro says.

In 2017, the Pennsylvania House of Representative did pass a bill that would give child sex abuse victims until the age of 50 to report a crime.

"The Holy See treats with great seriousness the work of the Investigating Grand Jury of Pennsylvania and the lengthy Interim Report it has produced", Burke said.

"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 grand jury report stated.

The document states that young boys and girls, as well as teenagers, were abused by clergy.

"And yet whatever words we may use to describe the anguish of reading about these heinous acts, they can never capture the reality of suffering endured by victims of sexual abuse, suffering compounded by the woeful responses of bishops who failed to protect the people they were ordained to serve", Cupich wrote in the four-page letter. "And there may be more indictments in the future; investigation continues".

He stressed that many priests remain true to their vocation.

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The pattern of cover-ups "was pretty much the same", the report says.

The CBCP official, however, admitted that the problem of sexual misconduct in the church is a "universal problem". It was none of those things.

"This is a systemic problem within the Catholic Church", he said on "The Daily Briefing".

The Vatican said the abuse that took place in six dioceses of Pennsylvania signified a "betrayal of trust" that "robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith".

In the midst of all this, the Catholic League issued a statement from Donohue, who made the counterargument that the media was trying to sensationalize a false crisis based on an inconclusive report.

Pennsylvania's two other dioceses, Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, have been the subjects of earlier grand jury reports, which found similarly damaging information about clergy and bishops in those dioceses.

Since the abuse crisis became public in the 2000s, the U.S. church has spent more than $3bn in settlements, according to Bishop Accountability.

His statement came hours after US bishops called for a Vatican-led probe backed by lay investigators into allegations of sexual abuse by former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned last month.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The pope hugs ex-Archbishop Theodore McCarrick during a visit to Washington DC in 2015 What are the bishops requesting?

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