• News
  • People

Clergy abuse victims advocate: Pennsylvania findings 'not the first or the last'

Clergy abuse victims advocate: Pennsylvania findings 'not the first or the last'

Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused thousands of children over a 70-year period and silenced victims through "the weaponisation of faith" and a systematic cover-up campaign by their bishops, the state attorney general said on Tuesday. Even so, the headline numbers speak for themselves.

Ahead of looming revelations about the long and awful history of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church - this time in Pennsylvania - Dallas Bishop Edward Burns began drafting a statement to express his pain.

After an 18-month investigation, "over one thousand child victims were identifiable, from the church's own records", the grand jury states in the report released on Tuesday.

"Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability", the grand jury wrote in the roughly 900-page report. He recognized some of the names of the clergymen identified by a grand jury as "predator priests".

"Priests were raping little boys and girls", Shapiro said.

One priest sexually abused five sisters from the same family.

Due to alleged cover-up efforts by the church's senior officials, most of the cases are too old for prosecution, the grand jury noted.

In almost every case, prosecutors found that the statute of limitations has run out, meaning that criminal charges can not be filed.

The investigation of six of Pennsylvania's eight dioceses- Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton - is the most extensive investigation of Catholic clergy abuse by any state, according to victim advocates.

In Tehran meeting, Iranian President warns N. Korean FM about "unreliable" US
Many hope and believe that Iran's leaders will "drink the poison cup" and negotiate with the U.S. eventually. President Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in May, calling it "disaster".

The grand jury heard from dozens of witnesses and reviewed more than a half-million pages of internal diocesan documents, including reports by bishops to Vatican officials disclosing the details of abusive priests that they had not made public or reported to law enforcement.

Many victims claimed they were drugged or otherwise manipulated.

While the report names hundreds of priests, some names remain redacted due to claims that naming them violates their constitutional rights.

"As a humble shepherd of the Catholic Church in Utah, together with my brother bishops in the United States, I express my personal shame, distress and anger concerning the sexual abuse committed by some of our priests, bishops and church leaders against our children, young people and adults whom we are supposed to serve and to protect", Bishop Solis said.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh who now leads the Washington archdiocese, said ahead of the report's release that he expected to be criticized in it.

Starting in 2002, at least seven men came forward with allegations that Pucci had touched them inappropriately or sexually abused them when they were children, mostly in the 1980s.

Shaun Dougherty, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a priest in Pennsylvania, doesn't have anything he'd like to say to Pope Francis.

"One thing this is going to do is put pressure on prosecutors elsewhere to take a look at what's going on in their neck of the woods", McKiernan said.

Leave Your Comment

Leave Your Comment

Latest News

Breaking News


The internet hilariously reacts to Trump's Space Force launch

The report to be released today represents a critical step toward establishing the Space Force, he said. More recently, Mattis expressed support for establishing a new combatant command for space .

Samsung Galaxy Note officially presented

The camera will also alert you to any imperfections in your shot, like if it's too blurry or if someone blinked at the wrong time. Purists can turn the feature off to get images that reflect what the eye sees - an option unavailable with Pixel.

White House adviser Bolton urges North Korea to act on denuclearization

An article Thursday in the Rodong Sinmun said a formal peace treaty ending the Korean War must take place before denuclearization. It has urged Washington to take reciprocal steps including officially declaring an end to the war and dropping sanctions.

Carolina Panthers: 3 Big takeaways from Preseason Week 1

Kelvin Benjamin and Cam Newton met up publicly and talked ahead of the Bills and Panthers preseason game Thursday. Newton finished 6-of-9 for 84 yards while Benjamin hauled in four catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.

SpaceX booster flies again with Indonesia satellite

Interested in SpaceX? Add SpaceX as an interest to stay up to date on the latest SpaceX news, video, and analysis from ABC News. An artist's impression of the Merah Putih communications satellite in orbit with its solar arrays and antennas deployed.

Ex-Manafort aide Gates testifies on Cyprus accounts, shell companies

The jury heard how Mr Manafort made tens of millions of dollars for political work with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. Manafort's defense is seeking to pin the blame on Gates himself, who has acknowledged embezzling from Manafort's firm.

Coleman trade a 'low-risk' move — Bills GM

The Buffalo Bills acquired receiver Corey Coleman from the Cleveland Browns for an undisclosed draft pick on Sunday. Coleman tallied just 56 receptions for 718 yards and five touchdowns in 19 games over two seasons with the Browns.

Doubts raised over ‘exploding drone attack on Maduro’

The government has also pointed the finger at the opposition, prompting fears of a new crackdown. Colombia lashed out at the Venezuelan Prime Minister, saying his accusation was "baseless".

Nabil Fekir twist as Liverpool target could join Blues revolution

Klavan, should not be too serious, but if Tuesday is too early I don't know yet. It is not about judging our situation and thinking 'wow, really good'.

NASA to announce which astronauts will fly on first commercial spaceships

The first Boeing Starliner mission to the ISS will be crewed by John Cassada , a NASA astronaut, physicist and Navy test pilot. The demonstration flights by Boeing and SpaceX will spend a short period in orbit before coming straight back to Earth.