7 Shocking Takeaways from the PA Catholic Church Grand Jury Document

 

Today was a day that will forever change the face of the Catholic Church in America. The New York Times reported today:

Bishops and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covered up child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests over a period of 70 years, persuading victims not to report the abuse and law enforcement not to investigate it, according to a searing report issued by a grand jury on Tuesday.

The report, which covered six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses and found more than 1,000 identifiable victims, is the broadest examination yet by a government agency in the United States of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The report said there are likely thousands more victims whose records were lost or who were too afraid to come forward.

I’ve read a great deal of the report, and have pulled a few interesting parts out of the 1,300+ page document. What is shocking about this report isn’t just the scope, it’s the fact that all of this remained hidden after the Church was broken almost beyond repair by the early 2000 sex abuse crisis originating out of Boston after the Boston Globe broke the story open. This report is only about part of one American state, Pennsylvania. How many more tales of abuse are out there? How much innocence and faith has been stolen, and can the Church ever recover?

It’s clear that the scale of the abuse is massive, and it will take massive steps to correct.

On Facebook a priest named Seamus Griesbach from Portland wrote what he wants to see from the Church in response,

I don’t want to read one more statement from a bishop saying that he is “deeply saddened” by the latest reports of clergy sexual abuse and cover up. Really? Who is advising them on this wording? It is only making matters worse.

They need to make a complete and utter break from this despicable and horrendous behavior. How about a statement like:

“The sexual abuse of a child is an abomination. It is a complete betrayal of everything that Jesus is and everything that he taught. It is an act that even the most immoral of people recognize as detestable and depraved. The fact that Catholic bishops and staff were too cowardly or institutionally entrenched to eliminate this kind of behavior and abuse at the first inkling is a grave and reprehensible moral failure for which there must be real consequences. We will root out this detestable rot that has struck at the heart of our family of faith. We pledge to not rest until we have brought to light every misdeed and coverup. We call on the Holy Father to demand the resignation of any bishop in our midst who tolerated or overlooked immorality within his presbyterate or sought to cover it up. We pledge to react resolutely and transparently to any accusation of immoral activity that comes to our attention today or in the future. Finally, as an outward sign of our repentance, bishops will wear only purple vestments and remove their pectoral crosses for the coming year as a sign of our misery and shame over this grotesque and diabolical scandal that has so deeply injured and betrayed the faith of those entrusted to our care. We ask that all men and women of good will join us in this time of prayer and penance, asking God to have mercy on his sinful Catholic Church and to grant her shepherds the grace of true conversion and renewal in holiness of life.”

Here are seven key takeaways from the massive document, and this is only scratching the surface. The commentary in bold is mine, the text below is quoted directly from the document.

    1. Those involved believe in nothing. Not celibacy, not the sanctity of life. Nothing. 

      In another case, a priest raped a girl, got her pregnant, and arranged an abortion. The bishop expressed his feelings in a letter:”This is a very difficult time in your life, and I realize how upset you are. I too share your grief.”But the letter was not for the girl.

      It was addressed to the rapist.

    2. This scandal is big. Bigger than the last and any before it. 

      This final section of the report is possibly the most important. It contains profiles of more
      than 300 clergy members, from all six dioceses we investigated. By comparison, estimates of the
      number of abusive priests identified since 2002 in the Boston, Massachusetts archdiocese range
      from about 150 to 250.

    3. The stories are heinous. 

      Even out of these hundreds of odious stories, some stood out. There was the priest, for example, who raped a seven -year -old girl – while he was visiting her in the hospital after she’d had her tonsils out. Or the priest who made a nine -year -old give him oral sex, then rinsed out the boy’s mouth with holy water to purify him. Or the boy who drank some juice at his priest’s house, and woke up the next morning bleeding from his rectum, unable to remember anything from the night before. Or the priest, a registered psychologist, who “treated” a young parishioner with depression by attempting to hypnotize her and directing her to take off her clothes, piece by piece.

    4. And even when offenders left the Church, children still weren’t safe. And the Church didn’t care
      .
      Yet another priest finally decided to quit after years of child abuse complaints, but asked for, and received, a letter of reference for his next job – at Walt Disney World.
    5. This is far from a complete accounting of the abuse, sadly.

      We should emphasize that, while the list of priests is long, we don’t think we got them all.
      We feel certain that many victims never came forward, and that the dioceses did not create written
      records every single time they heard something about abuse. We also couldn’t fully account for
      out-of-state travel. Many priests who served in Pennsylvania also spent some of their careers in
      other parts of the country. If they abused children elsewhere, reports might have made their way
      back to diocesan files here. But we suspect that a lot did not.
    6. Despite turning over all of its records, reports the Church received are still missing. What else is the Church hiding, just in this small area of the country? 

      On September 1, 2016, the Grand Jury issued a subpoena to the Diocese for any and all records related to clergy or church officials against whom complaints of child sexual abuse had been made. Records received by the Office of Attorney General from the Diocese numbered into the thousands. The testimony of the victims was cross-referenced with the records of the Diocese. Internal Diocesan records do not contain any information from Julianne’ s reports to Weasel or Murphy. [Note: Julianne was a victim who came forward to the grand jury separately.] However, it is evident that, once Julianne made contact with the Diocese in 2002, the Diocese and its attorney, Thomas Traud, attempted to undermine and discredit Julianne and her family.

    7. It wasn’t just faith destroyed. Lives were as well. 

      During our deliberations, one of the victims who had appeared before us tried to kill herself. From her hospital bed, she asked for one thing: that we finish our work and tell the world what really happened. We feel a debt to this woman, and to the many other victims who so exposed themselves by giving us their stories. We hope this report will make good on what we owe.

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  1. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Liking this post is a misnomer of the highest degree. I hate this post, but thank you for sharing it. 

     

    • #1
  2. Ambrianne Member
    Ambrianne
    @Ambrianne

    I feel like we’re living in an alternative timeline. Donald Trump is President of the United States? All the bishops knew who all the child molesters were and did nothing? Quick, back through the nebula or wormhole or whatever Star Trekky thing it is!!!

    • #2
  3. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Unfortunately we live in a sick society. A report commissioned by the George Bush administration on No Child Left Behind indicated that sexual abuse was 100 times greater in the public school system than in the Catholic Church. An estimated 422,000 students in the public school system in California would be sexually abused by the time they graduated from high school. Chicago is in the middle of public school sexual abuse scandal that involves one reported case a week. That doesn’t count what isn’t reported.

    In a country that has aborted 58+ million children since Roe v. Wade why would anyone assume the survivors would fare any better.

    • #3
  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    The Catholic Church as an institution protects itself.  There are drawbacks to being the only, over 2000-year-old continuously existing institution in the world. Its Prime Directive is now to continue its own survival, including all the wealth and power it has, above all else.  Jesus Christ would be ashamed of what His Church has become.

    • #4
  5. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    The Catholic Church as an institution protects itself. There are drawbacks to being the only, over 2000-year-old continuously existing institution in the world. Its Prime Directive is now to continue its own survival, including all the wealth and power it has, above all else. Jesus Christ would be ashamed of what His Church has become.

    It cuts across every religious and secular institution in this society. Sex sells in America. It is no longer the abuse that matters, it is who the abuser is that matters.

    • #5
  6. Marythefifth Inactive
    Marythefifth
    @Marythefifth

    Horrible, monstrous, hugely destructive. But it seems like kind of a high number. Do we know how many priests have admitted to the crimes? I haven’t forgotten the frenzy of a couple of decades ago when it was a risk to be a teacher of young children as it appeared social workers went hunting for abusers sweeping up guilty and innocent alike and leading their 5-year old witnesses. Remember about the same time some middle-aged movie and TV stars newly discovered that they had been abused as children? Pennsylvania RC stats for 2017 have about 1900 clergy that would be attached to a parish, meaning they’d have proximity and authority status. I know the abuse was over many decades and clergy numbers are probably way down, but the 300+ number makes me tilt my head and go squinty-eyed.

    • #6
  7. Marythefifth Inactive
    Marythefifth
    @Marythefifth

    P.S. I wish there was an emoji for the face I’m making. Don’t forget what the Left says about rape stats on university campuses. I don’t know, maybe I should expect the number of abusers to be higher considering the effort made by the bishops to make the problem disappear.

    • #7
  8. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    <Listicle> <adjective> <hot-take> is a style of headline I’d like Ricochet to avoid, if possible. And my objections to gratuitous links to/quotes from the NYT is well known.

    On the substance – I have no words.

    • #8
  9. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    When I was a little girl, our new suburban parish temporarily had the rectory a short bike ride away from my house, and my brothers and sisters and I used to bike over to visit the priests there. The housekeeper would ask us to wait outside, and the young priest (there were two) would come and give us root beer and cookies. It was always lovely and pleasant.

    The poor little boy in that horrible story.

    The heart breaks. The depth of the evil and the uselessness of the “shepherds.” Millstones are too good for them. 

    • #9
  10. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    A truly despicable revelation. 

    ““The sexual abuse of a child is an abomination. It is a complete betrayal of everything that Jesus is and everything that he taught. It is an act that even the most immoral of people recognize as detestable and depraved. The fact that Catholic bishops and staff were too cowardly or institutionally entrenched to eliminate this kind of behavior and abuse at the first inkling is a grave and reprehensible moral failure for which there must be real consequences. “

    Can’t be said any better.

    Unfortunately what has been called the “lavender mafia” within the church continue to obfuscate and obstruct the rooting out of those  abominable priests.  Your local priest needs to be confronted as to how the Church can continue to try to faithfully proclaim the good news of Christ while  still allowing and covering up such unspeakable crimes. 

    That said, I cannot help but see a similar parallel vein of obstruction and criminality in the work of Sessions, Wray, Rosenstein, Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Strzok,  and Mueller in the coverup of the crimes of the FBI, DOJ, NSA and CIA. 

    We live in troubling times.

    • #10
  11. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    genferei (View Comment):

    <Listicle> <adjective> <hot-take> is a style of headline I’d like Ricochet to avoid, if possible. And my objections to gratuitous links to/quotes from the NYT is well known.

    On the substance – I have no words.

    OK, the NYT is scum. However, the publication of the report is itself newsworthy since the Slimes is still widely used as a primary source for other putative news gathering organizations’ work.

    Marythefifth (View Comment):
    I know the abuse was over many decades and clergy numbers are probably way down, but the 300+ number makes me tilt my head and go squinty-eyed.

    @bethanymandel provided a link to the grand jury report. It was redacted for release to protect victims. Notable details from the beginning of it:

    • The report does not include Philadephia or the Altoona-Johnstown dioceses which were the subject of a prior grand jury report.

    • The grand jury found “credible allegations against over three hundred predator priests” and despite the incompleteness of the Church’s records, “over one thousand child victims were identifiable.”

    The average number of victims of non-incestuous pedophiles attracted to boys is reportedly >100 (though the methodology that arrived at this often cited figure has been challenged) so this number is likely too low.

    The grand jury noted:

    The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid “scandal.” That is not our word, but theirs; it appears over and over again in the documents we recovered. Abuse complaints were kept locked up in a “secret archive.” That is not our word, but theirs; the church’s Code of Canon Law specifically requires the diocese to maintain such an archive. Only the bishop can have the key.

    I realize that “scandal” has a particular meaning to the Church, and that “secret archive” is not a sure sign of criminal behavior. Nonetheless, the grand jury called in the FBI’s profilers who identified a consistent pattern of behavior by the Church, which included (my paraphrase)

    Use euphemisms rather than objective descriptions of the crimes

    Have parties with conflicts of interest conduct sham investigations

    Put the evaluation of suspected culprits in the hands of Church experts; rely on whether the suspect priest identified himself as a “pedophile” or not and ignore actual reports of sexual conduct with children

    Don’t isolate identified child rapists, but instead not only house and support them, but do so in living situations that might be used to facilitate further rapes

    If the public finds out, pass the trash

    Don’t call the cops

    And keep on doing these things in the face of prior scandals and coverups.

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Sad

    • #12
  13. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    First, it’s not “shocking”, it’s been well known even before the early 1990s, when it suddenly became viewed as a criminal enterprise.

    Second, it won’t “forever change the face of he Catholic Church in America”. Why would it?  It isn’t anything new. 

    • #13
  14. Burr Inactive
    Burr
    @BrandonNance

    How can a person continue to support a corrupt Church?  Priests seem to be self destructing the very idea of devotion to anything Holy.  The pope is too busy fighting for the cause of global warming and virtue signaling to take action.  The larger the institution the less it is capable of changing.  This is exactly why we need a more active and speedy death penalty.  Any mercy given this bunch evil people just allows this to continue.

    • #14
  15. Shawn Buell (Majestyk) Contributor
    Shawn Buell (Majestyk)
    @Majestyk

    Let some of these guys meet the crows in a gibbet.

    • #15
  16. tommybdeepv Inactive
    tommybdeepv
    @tommybdeepv

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Unfortunately we live in a sick society.

    Sure, and the Catholic Church as an institution should be first on the front lines in this battle and it is not. I’m tired of seeing defenses along the lines of “what about the public schools!”

     

    • #16
  17. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    This is Rotherham bad.

    • #17
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    They get no benefit of the doubt. They had one scandal and the opportunity to clean it up. They did not. From what I Can see, the Church in America has fallen. There needs to be a purge of leadership, but there will not be. 

    I have been lectured on Ricochet that because of the Reformation, my sacraments don’t count. At least my denomination is not not win the second set of unleashed horror. Heck, the Boy Scouts have a program of Child Protection to stop this sort of thing. So does my Church. It is called “two deep leadership”.  It protects us as much as the children. Here we have priests protecting priests. Again. 

    They had a chance to clean things up and they failed. I think proceedings against anyone who knew and helped cover up are in order, and I think the Catholic Church itself should have as much money extracted from it to fun programs for abused kids as can be done. People should be jailed for the rest of their lives. The Catholic Church should suffer for this. Members should stop tithing. The clergy should be wearing sackcloth. I am not kidding. I want to see them, in public, weeping. They should be humiliated in public. How on Earth did they let this cover up go on and on?

    This is like Penn State. 

    The older I get, the less I believe that anyone can be trusted to be good.

    • #18
  19. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    These priest, like so many in society, are violating God’s laws.  It doesn’t take long for a society to decay from within when it does.  The Bible has 5000  years of human history.  History repeats.

    • #19
  20. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Rod Dreher is working his way through the 900 page report and posting as he goes.

    I would suggest that anyone intending to post any defense of the Church read what Dreher has to say before doing so. The rot goes very, very deep. I know of one priest who left the Church over this issue. He posted this today:

    We owe a debt of gratitude to the reporters, legal professionals, and others who’ve refused to let things lie, and have continued to investigate this crisis and bring it to the attention of the public.  I believe they are doing God’s work, where the bishops have failed to do so.

    Nevertheless, I remain sickened, saddened and in mourning for what the bishops have done to what was once the institution to which I swore obedience, and expected to serve for the rest of my life.  I no longer know what to expect when my own time comes to encounter God’s judgment.  Heaven knows, I’m at least as much of a sinner as anyone else.  Will I find understanding and mercy at the end?  Or have I forfeited them by “looking back” after my ordination?  I don’t know, in human terms.  All I can say is, if I had to make the same choice again, I’d probably do today what I did at the time.  In conscience, I could do no less.  May God forgive me if I’m wrong.

     

     

    • #20
  21. Nerina Bellinger Inactive
    Nerina Bellinger
    @NerinaBellinger

    @bryangstephens, I need to point out that the Catholic Church does have a program in place which is very similar to the one used by the BSA ( I know because I’ve had to go through both of them as a merit badge counselor and as a religious ed teacher in my local parish).  I would also like to point out that the incidents highlighted in the Pennsylvania report are primarily from before 2002 when the sex abuse scandal first came to light.  Of course, the age of the offenses does not matter – especially to the victims and their families – I’m just noting it to say that much ground has been made in securing the safety of children in churches.  That said, the anger evident in Bryan’s comment pales in comparison to the emotions felt by Catholics who have formed our lives around the Church and Her teachings and have raised children within Her confines.  If you think you’re disgusted, imagine the anger and betrayal felt by the Faithful.  We have been duped and lied to for years, trusting in a previous investigation which was said to have fully dissected the problem.  We now know how inadequate the John Jay study was.  Finally, I kindly ask that those from outside of the Catholic Church commenting on this matter, remember that some of us are in deep spiritual pain and to bear in mind that all the questions, all the judgments, all the condemnations offered have crossed our lips too.  Today is a Holy Day of Obligation in the church and I’m just trying to convince myself to go to Mass.

    • #21
  22. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    There are no words reading this post that can describe the evil that has and is taking place. My eyes well up with tears and shock.  The devil himself is at the doorstep folks, and the Catholic Church is one big prize.  The abuse of women and children have increased across the world in all walks of life – the New Mexico story – recent groups of children being found held captive, unfed and treated like animals – this is diabolic. Every Christian should be sending letters to the Pope regardless of denomination.  Pray for this fallen world and the protection of the innocent.

    • #22
  23. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Nerina Bellinger (View Comment):

    I need to point out that the Catholic Church does have a program in place which is very similar to the one used by the BSA ( I know because I’ve had to go through both of them as a merit badge counselor and as a religious ed teacher in my local parish). I would also like to point out that the incidents highlighted in the Pennsylvania report are primarily from before 2002 when the sex abuse scandal first came to light. Of course, the age of the offenses does not matter – especially to the victims and their families – I’m just noting it to say that much ground has been made in securing the safety of children in churches. That said, the anger evident in Bryan’s comment pales in comparison to the emotions felt by Catholics who have formed our lives around the Church and Her teachings and have raised children within Her confines. If you think you’re disgusted, imagine the anger and betrayal felt by the Faithful. We have been duped and lied to for years, trusting in a previous investigation which was said to have fully dissected the problem. We now know how inadequate the John Jay study was. Finally, I kindly ask that those from outside of the Catholic Church commenting on this matter, remember that some of us are in deep spiritual pain and to bear in mind that all the questions, all the judgments, all the condemnations offered have crossed our lips too. Today is a Holy Day of Obligation in the church and I’m just trying to convince myself to go to Mass.

    Fair enough. 

    I will also say, this affirms my belief in the Reformation. The Catholic Church has spent the last 1000 years seeking secular power. Perhaps, finally, it will stop doing so. 

     

    • #23
  24. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Nerina Bellinger (View Comment):
    ’m just trying to convince myself to go to Mass.

    Please go. 

    Now is not the time to give up.

    • #24
  25. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Nerina Bellinger (View Comment):

    @bryangstephens, I need to point out that the Catholic Church does have a program in place which is very similar to the one used by the BSA ( I know because I’ve had to go through both of them as a merit badge counselor and as a religious ed teacher in my local parish). I would also like to point out that the incidents highlighted in the Pennsylvania report are primarily from before 2002 when the sex abuse scandal first came to light. Of course, the age of the offenses does not matter – especially to the victims and their families – I’m just noting it to say that much ground has been made in securing the safety of children in churches. That said, the anger evident in Bryan’s comment pales in comparison to the emotions felt by Catholics who have formed our lives around the Church and Her teachings and have raised children within Her confines. If you think you’re disgusted, imagine the anger and betrayal felt by the Faithful. We have been duped and lied to for years, trusting in a previous investigation which was said to have fully dissected the problem. We now know how inadequate the John Jay study was. Finally, I kindly ask that those from outside of the Catholic Church commenting on this matter, remember that some of us are in deep spiritual pain and to bear in mind that all the questions, all the judgments, all the condemnations offered have crossed our lips too. Today is a Holy Day of Obligation in the church and I’m just trying to convince myself to go to Mass.

    Go to Mass – the devil wants you to stay away from the Cross.

    • #25
  26. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Nerina Bellinger (View Comment):

     I need to point out that the Catholic Church does have a program in place which is very similar to the one used by the BSA ( I know because I’ve had to go through both of them as a merit badge counselor and as a religious ed teacher in my local parish). I would also like to point out that the incidents highlighted in the Pennsylvania report are primarily from before 2002 when the sex abuse scandal first came to light. Of course, the age of the offenses does not matter – especially to the victims and their families – I’m just noting it to say that much ground has been made in securing the safety of children in churches. That said, the anger evident in Bryan’s comment pales in comparison to the emotions felt by Catholics who have formed our lives around the Church and Her teachings and have raised children within Her confines. If you think you’re disgusted, imagine the anger and betrayal felt by the Faithful. We have been duped and lied to for years, trusting in a previous investigation which was said to have fully dissected the problem. We now know how inadequate the John Jay study was. Finally, I kindly ask that those from outside of the Catholic Church commenting on this matter, remember that some of us are in deep spiritual pain and to bear in mind that all the questions, all the judgments, all the condemnations offered have crossed our lips too. Today is a Holy Day of Obligation in the church and I’m just trying to convince myself to go to Mass.

    Go to Mass – the devil wants you to stay away from the Cross.

    Or join the Reformation. Seek Christ as he calls you. It does not have to be mediated by a human organization. 

    • #26
  27. Nerina Bellinger Inactive
    Nerina Bellinger
    @NerinaBellinger

    MT and FSC – I will go.  Thank you.  Bryan, I will add that I support your suggestions – sack clothes and ashes to start with.  I think the American Bishops should declare a year of penance and offer public acts of repentance and reparation.  I wish just one Bishop when asked about the ongoing Scandal would abandon the ever so carefully crafted statements and speak from his heart.  I want to see a literal rending of garments to match the rending of countless hearts.  They should be lying on their faces in front of their respective cathedrals begging for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

    • #27
  28. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Nerina Bellinger (View Comment):

    MT and FSC – I will go. Thank you. Bryan, I will add that I support your suggestions – sack clothes and ashes to start with. I think the American Bishops should declare a year of penance and offer public acts of repentance and reparation. I wish just one Bishop when asked about the ongoing Scandal would abandon the ever so carefully crafted statements and speak from his heart. I want to see a literal rending of garments to match the rending of countless hearts. They should be lying on their faces in front of their respective cathedrals begging for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

    But they won’t. That’s the problem.

    My archdiocese is beginning an ambitious multi-year fundraising campaign. If they have any humility and shame they’ll cancel it. But they won’t. My own parish is beginning a campaign soon to increase weekly donations. I asked the guy in charge if at any point he was going to address the elephant in the room. All I got was a look of confusion.

    PS I’m not going to mass today. But I will say a rosary.

    • #28
  29. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Nerina Bellinger (View Comment):
    Finally, I kindly ask that those from outside of the Catholic Church commenting on this matter, remember that some of us are in deep spiritual pain and to bear in mind that all the questions, all the judgments, all the condemnations offered have crossed our lips too.

    I am not Catholic but have long been fascinated by the Church as an institution. What is being seen here is an institution protecting itself at the expense of its mission. This seems to be a universal human tendency; the larger the institution the more difficult it is to guard against it. It corrupts good institutions and makes bad ones worse. When a corrupted institution reaches deep into people’s lives, there will be horrifying casualties… as we are seeing again in this report.

    My religion has its own child sex abuse scandals. The coverups and corrupt behavior are all too familiar, as are the difficult questions of what particular institution can be salvaged and reformed, and what must be razed to its foundations. It is not easy to watch your, or your coreligionists’ “religious leaders” behave as if there were no Judgement and no Judge.

    • #29
  30. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    The 8th Shocking Takeaway that probably doesn’t appear in the report: the Catholic Church has a homosexual problem. It’s estimated that somewhere between 80-95% of abuse arises from male priests preying on young boys. This a link that describes the problem from the last go-round.

    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/priestly-sex-abuse-would-not-have-happened-without-homosexuals

    This article appears on a site that I don’t like; time precludes me from finding a better source but they are out there if you look.  I don’t agree with some of the author’s conclusions or with some of the overheated anti-gay rhetoric but the basic bones of the story are correct. If the Church doesn’t come to terms with the problem, we’ll be having this conversation again in 10 more years.

    And, not just because my best friend’s brother was a victim along with many boys in my class (that particular priest is behind bars), or because I have a dear friend that was kicked out of a seminary in PA for blowing the whistle, that’s heart-rending.

    • #30
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