The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has just released a grand jury report, which disclosed more than a thousand children were molested by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses.
The report investigates clergy sexual abuse since 1947 in six dioceses: Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton.
The investigation found that more than 1,000 children were abused by members of six Pennsylvania dioceses for the last 70 years.
“We believe that the exact number of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid to come forward – is in the thousands. Priests were raping little boys and girls. The men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing. They just hid the facts. For decades, monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals have mostly been protected.” said the grand jury report.
Philadelphia and Altoona Johnstown, Pennsylvania’s two other dioceses, have found that similarly damaging information about clergy and bishops in those dioceses.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, formerly of the Pittsburgh diocese, currently one of the highest-profile cardinals in the United States, said that he had “acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse”.