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Crime in Church: More than 300 priests in Pennsylvania Catholic Church accused of child sex abuse

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 15 August 2018, 15:59 IST

In a major event, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released a jury report on Tuesday stating a series of crime happened in the Catholic Church.

The report revealed more than 300 priests were accused of child sex abuse and coverup effort by church leaders over 70 years.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference that more than 1,000 child victims were identified in the report, however, the grand jury confirms there are more.

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The investigation is the most comprehensive till date on Catholic Church sex abuse in the United States.

The 18-month probe, led by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, on six of the state's eight dioceses - Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Greensburg - and follows other stated grand jury reports that revealed abuse and coverups in two other dioceses.

Shapiro said that the report details a "systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican."

The nearly 1,400-page report's introduction makes clear that few criminal cases may result from the massive investigation.

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"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 says.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades. Monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals have mostly been protected; many, including some named in this report, have been promoted."

There were times that the mentioned sexual abuses in the report were difficult to read.

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As the grand jurors note, priests and other Catholic leaders victimized boys and girls, teens and pre-pubescent children.

Some victims were plied with alcohol and groped or molested, the report says. Others were orally, vaginally or anally raped, according to the grand jurors.

A child told in an interview that he was raped by a priest at his Catholic school in Berks County, Pa. The same priest, he said, sexually abused one of his childhood friends, who killed himself in 2009.

There were many victims who came forward and testified against this crime. 

The article was first published in The Washington Post by Michelle Boorstein.

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First published: 15 August 2018, 15:59 IST