Pennsylvania: Priests should have abused more than a thousand children

More than 300 priests are said to have groped and raped children in Pennsylvania from a study report. The church has hushed up the cases.

Pennsylvania: Priests should have abused more than a thousand children

In US state of Pennsylvania, more than 300 Catholic priests have been abusing more than 1,000 children over past few decades. This is conclusion of a jury, so-called grand jury, in an investigation report. The number of cases is probably even higher: many files have been lost and some victims would not have wanted to testify, jury said. Therefore, re are probably even several thousand victims. The jury speaks of an unprecedented level of abuse.

The investigation report is based on dozens of testimonies and half a million pages of internal church documents. Almost all of listed cases are now barred, report states. Two priests, however, had abused children within last ten years. According to investigation, most of victims were young, many of whom had not yet reached puberty. The perpetrators would have used alcohol and pornography. Children were groped or raped. The church in Pennsylvania has mostly covered perpetrators for years, it says in report. That is also why many offences could no longer be prosecuted.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro stated that senior church officials in Pennsylvania and Vatican had systematically hushed up abuse. The deeds span a period of 70 years and six of eight dioceses in state of Pennsylvania. Shapiro's investigations are among most extensive on child abuse by priests in United States.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, long-time Bishop of Pittsburgh, explained before publication of report that he is counting on being criticized. Wuerl currently leads archdiocese in Washington. He assured him that he had been employed as Bishop of Pittsburgh for protection of children in his 18 years. His predecessor, Theodore McCarrick, is accused of abusing young and adult seminarians. Wuerl explained last month that re are no complaints about McCarrick in files of archdiocese.

Updated Date: 15 August 2018, 12:00

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