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Pennsylvania Priests Abused 1,000 Children and Covered Up the Abuse

HeadlineAug 15, 2018
H1 pennsylvania catholic church sexual abuse

In Pennsylvania, a grand jury report released Tuesday has revealed how more than 300 Catholic priests sexually abused 1,000 children and possibly thousands more over seven decades and that the church leadership covered up the abuse. The report details how priests raped young girls and boys, including one priest who raped a young girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils out. Another priest impregnated a young girl and then arranged for her to have an abortion. The report also chronicles how the church used an array of tactics to conceal the abuse, including lying to the community about why a priest was removed from the parish, transferring pedophile priests rather than firing them, and locking abuse complaints away in a “secret archive.” One priest who had been repeatedly accused of child abuse asked for—and received—a letter of recommendation to work at Disneyland. This is Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro: “The term 'secret archives' is not my term. It is how the church officials themselves refer to the troves of documents sitting in filing cabinets, just feet from the bishops’ desks. In each diocese, the bishops had the key to the secret archives, which contained both allegations and admissions of the abuse and the cover-up.”

The Vatican declined to comment Tuesday.

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