Authorities in Pennsylvania have released a redacted version of a grand jury report accusing over 300 ‘predator priests’ of sex abuse and the Roman Catholic Church of covering it up for decades.
The 900-plus-page report was made public on Tuesday by Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose predecessor empaneled the grand jury in 2016 to look into allegations of child molestation and other sexual abuse.
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.
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.
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