Over 300 Pennsylvania “Predator Priests” Accused of Decades of Child Abuse

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“This is a tragedy. We must not tolerate the abuse of minors. We must defend minors. And we must severely punish the abusers.” – Pope Francis, Weekly Address, May 1, 2016

FoxNews.com reports that

Several hundred Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania were accused of sexually abusing more than a thousand children, a grand jury report on Tuesday said, in an alleged “cover-up” described as “sophisticated” by the state’s attorney general.

Over the course of a two-year investigation, launched by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office, a grand jury heard several witness statements and pored over documents from six dioceses in the state.

Those dioceses included Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton. Upwards of 300 “predator priests” stand accused of the decades-long abuse, the report said.

“The cover-up was sophisticated. And all the while, shockingly, church leadership kept records of the abuse and the cover-up,” Shapiro said at a news conference. “These documents, from the dioceses’ own ‘Secret Archives,’ formed the backbone of this investigation.”

It’s possible that the “real number” of abused children could be “in the thousands” due to missing records or other victims who feared speaking about the allegations, according to the grand jury’s report.

In order to prevent the Catholic Church from suffering bad publicity or financial liability, the panel claimed that a series of bishops and other diocesan leaders attempted to hide the alleged abuse.

The report faulted Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh who currently leads the Washington archdiocese, for what it said was his part in the concealment of clergy sexual abuse. Wuerl defended himself, releasing a statement Tuesday that said he had “acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse.”

On September 27, 2015, in the aftermath of a sexual abuse scandal with America’s Catholic Church, Pope Francis was wrapping up a trip to the United States in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

According to The New York Times,

On the last day of his journey, Francis stepped to a lectern here before hundreds of seminarians and bishops from around the world and tried to salve the open wound. He said he had met in private with a group of victims and pledged that “all responsible will be held accountable.”

“God weeps” at the sexual abuse of children, he said in a translation from Spanish of his remarks added to the start of a scripted address in the chapel at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary here on Sunday. “I commit to the careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected.”

…In his first remarks on the issue to an American church that has indeed suffered from the revelations of abuse, the pope chose to comfort and praise his fellow clerics, and said nothing at all about the victims.

Instead, he told bishops and priests that he felt their pain and suffering. And he praised the bishops — some engaged in continuing legal battles with abuse victims — for their “courage” and their “generous commitment to bring healing to the victims.”

I wonder what the Pontiff’s response to “The Philadelphia Story” will be?

Some sort of official missive sent out from the Vatican, probably, with another promise that “all responsible will be held accountable”.

I suppose at this point that is all they can do, as the sexual abuse has being going on in the Dioceses named for several decades.

Now, the majority of the members of the clergy in the Catholic Church are wonderful Servants of God, I am sure.

However, just like mold on a loaf of bread causes the whole loaf to be thrown away, these all-to-often revelations of Catholic Priests using their authoritarian powers to perpetrate sexual abuse on the most innocent among us continue to tarnish the denomination.

The secular influence of the situational ethics and relative morality of modern culture has already shrank the numbers of the Catholic Church in America and several Protestant Denominations, as well.

It is time for the Catholic Church’s Leadership to take a stand against the clear and present evil within its ranks and tend to their flock.

They can start by putting back on the “Full Armor of God”, instead of relying on the failed philosophy of man.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

 

 

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