More Than 300 'predator Priests' Molested At Least 1,000 Children, Pennsylvania Grand Jury Finds

Discussion in 'News - Breaking News & Political Forum' started by CurlyNiquee, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. CurlyNiquee

    CurlyNiquee Well-Known Member

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    (TRIGGER WARNING)

    More Than 300 'Predator Priests' Molested at Least 1,000 Children, Pennsylvania Grand Jury Finds
    The landmark report says children were molested in six dioceses

    Time Magazine Article
    MARC LEVY AND MARK SCOLFORO / AP.
    August 15th, 2018



    (HARRISBURG, Pa.) — A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while he was visiting her in the hospital after she’d had her tonsils removed. Another priest forced a 9-year-old boy into having oral sex, then rinsed out the boy’s mouth with holy water. One boy was forced to say confession to the priest who sexually abused him.

    Those children are among the victims of roughly 300 Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania who molested more than 1,000 children — and possibly many more — since the 1940s, according to a sweeping state grand jury report released Tuesday that accused senior church officials, including a man who is now the archbishop of Washington, D.C., of systematically covering up complaints.

    The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward, the grand jury said.

    While the grand jury said dioceses have established internal processes and seem to refer complaints to law enforcement more promptly, it suggested that important changes are lacking.

    “Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability,” the grand jury wrote in the roughly 900-page report. “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.”

    Top church officials have mostly been protected and many, including some named in the report, have been promoted, the grand jury said, concluding that “it is too early to close the book on the Catholic Church sex scandal.”

    In nearly every case, prosecutors found that the statute of limitations has run out, meaning that criminal charges cannot be filed. More than 100 of the priests are dead. Many others are retired or have been dismissed from the priesthood or put on leave. Authorities charged just two, including a priest who has since pleaded guilty.

    Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the investigation is ongoing.

    The investigation of six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses— Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton — is the most extensive investigation of Catholic clergy abuse by any state, according to victim advocates. The dioceses represent about 1.7 million Catholics.

    Until now, there have been just nine investigations by a prosecutor or grand jury of a Catholic diocese or archdiocese in the United States, according to the Massachusetts-based research and advocacy organization, BishopAccountability.org.

    The Philadelphia archdiocese and the Johnstown-Altoona diocese were not included in the investigation because they have been the subject of three previous scathing grand jury investigations.

    The grand jury heard from dozens of witnesses and reviewed more than a half-million pages of internal diocesan documents, including reports by bishops to Vatican officials disclosing the details of abusive priests that they had not made public or reported to law enforcement.

    The grand jury concluded that a succession of Catholic bishops and other diocesan leaders tried to shield the church from bad publicity and financial liability. They failed to report accused clergy to police, used confidentiality agreements to silence victims and sent abusive priests to so-called “treatment facilities,” which “laundered” the priests and “permitted hundreds of known offenders to return to ministry,” the report said.

    The conspiracy of silence extended beyond church grounds: police or prosecutors sometimes did not investigate allegations out of deference to church officials or brushed off complaints as outside the statute of limitations, the grand jury said.

    Diocese leaders responded Tuesday by expressing sorrow for the victims, stressing how they’ve changed and unveiling, for the first time, a list of priests accused of some sort of sexual misconduct.

    James VanSickle of Pittsburgh, who testified he was sexually attacked in 1981 by a priest in the Erie Diocese, called the report’s release “a major victory to get our voice out there, to get our stories told.”

    The report is still the subject of an ongoing legal battle, with redactions shielding the identities of some current and former clergy named in the report while the state Supreme Court weighs their arguments that its wrongful accusations against them violates their constitutional rights. It also is expected to spark another fight by victim advocates to win changes in state law that lawmakers have resisted.

    Its findings echoed many earlier church investigations around the country, describing widespread sexual abuse and church officials’ concealment of it. U.S. bishops have acknowledged that more than 17,000 people nationwide have reported being molested by priests and others in the church.

    The report comes at a time of fresh scandal at the highest levels of the U.S. Catholic Church. Pope Francis last month stripped 88-year-old Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of his title amid allegations that McCarrick had for years sexually abused boys and committed sexual misconduct with adult seminarians.

    One senior American church official named in the grand jury report is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who leads the Washington archdiocese, for allegedly helping to protect abusive priests when he was Pittsburgh’s bishop. Wuerl, who was bishop of the Pittsburgh diocese from 1988 to 2006, disputed the allegations.

    Terry McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org said the report did a good job of highlighting the two crimes of church sex abuse scandals: the abuse of a child and the cover up by church officials that allows the abuse to continue.

    “One thing this is going to do is put pressure on prosecutors elsewhere to take a look at what’s going on in their neck of the woods,” McKiernan said.
     
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  2. Oceanfox

    Oceanfox Well-Known Member

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    Utterly disgusting and shameful. They have to be down there burning in hell surely.

    Reminds me a lot of that series The Keepers.
     
  3. Ivonnovi

    Ivonnovi Well-Known Member

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    ...SMDH at all the Adults involved.

    I am almost 54 years old. When I was 13/14 I did a report on Child Abuse and discovered this behavior and the cover-ups! I'll let y'all do the math on how long ago that was; it was definitely before the innanets and Social Media made info available at with the click of a mouse.

    SMDH, and I still pray for those preyed upon and hope they find both their voice and Peace.
     
  4. meka72

    meka72 Well-Known Member

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    One of the survivors did an interview with CNN this morning. He was in his 40s/50s. You could hear the anguish in his voice.

    Some of the allegations were sadistic in addition to being violative.

    He made a great point that I’d never heard before. The Vatican is run like a business. When priests steal from the church, the Vatican prosecutes then to the fullest extent of the law. When priests violate children, the Vatican reassigned the priests, giving them a new group of children to violate.
     
  5. nysister

    nysister Well-Known Member

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    Goodness that was so evil and vile I wish I hadn't read those opening paragraphs. Those poor kids.
     
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  6. MeMyselfnMzT

    MeMyselfnMzT Well-Known Member

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    This makes me ache from my soul. The Catholic Church is a wicked institution for operating this way. And the people who continue to patronize them, giving money to pay off children who have been violated, are just as guilty.
     
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  7. Mooney72

    Mooney72 Well-Known Member

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    I immediately thought of The Keepers as well. The allegations of grooming, abuse and ''pimping out'' the girls to other men doesn't sound so far-fetched after reading it was done to altar boys in PA. Sick, evil cabal and a death cult. ETA, I attended a Catholic (Ursuline) girls' school.
     
  8. Kimbosheart

    Kimbosheart Well-Known Member

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    ETA: I read the article. This is so shameful and it indeed does reach the Vatican. There is no excuse.

    I am a proud catholic but this will always be a stain on the institution until real reforms, criminal prosecutions and other steps are implemented. I hate to hear any of the bishops condemn this behavior after this report was released only because I know that if it were truly condemned these pedophiles would’ve been turned over to the authorities. The church has got to stop protecting criminals.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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  9. meka72

    meka72 Well-Known Member

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    @Kimbosheart, unfortunately I think large institutions of any type become focused on protecting the institution and less on doing what’s right.
     
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  10. Guapa1

    Guapa1 Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't get past the first sentence. May they all rot in the deepest, hottest pits of hell.
     
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  11. intellectualuva

    intellectualuva Well-Known Member

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    Awful. Those poor children. I wonder if they can sue.
     
  12. theRaven

    theRaven Well-Known Member

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    I was just listening to an interview on Democracy Now with the two men who were sexually abused. I'm glad they came forward and told their story, but I'm angered at how these priests were moved around instead of sent to court then prison.

    The first man interviewed stated a priest cannot steal money from the Catholic Church and not become charged, BUT a priest can steal a child's innocence and remain protected.
     
  13. dyh080

    dyh080 Well-Known Member

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    Yet , instead of hearing about this in the churches, priests strongly advocate for illegal immigration every week and some take of collections for it.
     
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  14. GreenEyedJen

    GreenEyedJen Well-Known Member

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    This has hit me so hard. I’m from PA, and it wasn’t easy growing up as a Black kid where I’m from. A lot of people tried everything in their power to keep me from excelling. For example, my guidance counselor office didn’t send my transcripts to the schools I applied to. They also tried to remove me from AP classes because another girl complained about me. Like, what?!

    Because of the way I was treated, my family decided to send my brother to a well known Catholic high school in the area. We lived in a white, majority Catholic area and on the advice of his best friends parents, tried the school. They treated him like gold. I met the administrators during his graduation and almost cried; the treatment was night and day. I was so, so happy he was allowed to flourish. He went from thinking he couldn’t do basic math to becoming a chemical engineer, working around the world. We all agree that a major reason for him realizing his potential is that school and the people running it.

    Truly, the few white people in my life that have been the best to me and my family were Catholic and from PA. Now, I just can’t stop wondering if any of the people we love knew about this? Heard about a priest they knew but choose to ignore rumors? Like, this is tough. I can’t reconcile any of it.
     
  15. frizzy

    frizzy Well-Known Member

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    I can't comprehend the sheer numbers of pedos concentrated in this one institution. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
     
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  16. Kimbosheart

    Kimbosheart Well-Known Member

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    I definitely think the culture of some diocese like the ones in PA and the opportunity for missionary trips to remote destinations attracts pedos. That’s why the church needs major reforms in this area. These scumbags talk and breed their victims who in turn go into the same vocation to further victimize future generations. The problem isn’t Catholicism, the problem is Catholicism’s long standing habit of brushing this under the rug and shuffling offenders rather than reporting and prosecuting. This light is devastating to good Catholics across the world but I’m so here for it if it removes the trash priests who commit the crimes and the trash priests who cover it up and don’t protect their flocks.
     
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  17. frizzy

    frizzy Well-Known Member

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    So you're saying that pedos join the diocese because it's permissible and at the same time diocese is full of pedos. So what part would you say Catholicism plays in this?

    @Kimbosheart
     
  18. Kimbosheart

    Kimbosheart Well-Known Member

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    Please reread. I clearly stated what fault lay with the Catholic Church as a whole.

    Unless you’re unfamiliar with the concept that the term Catholicism refers to the religion and the governing institution of that religion.
     
  19. HappilyLiberal

    HappilyLiberal Well-Known Member

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    We had a gay priest here who died of AIDS (although, I knew him personally, and I think he was just involved with gay men--I don't believe he was a pedo). Everyone said he was molested by a priest as a child and then joined them! This happens a whole lot more than people think. They tried to say George Stallings molested an altar boy and church was about to boot him so that's why he started the Imani Temple. I don't believe it for three reasons (1) the Catholic Church doesn't kick out pedophile priests, (2) he has only had one accuser (usually these priests have a history of multiple boys at different parishes), and (3) the Church put this out after he started the Imani Temple so they don't have clean hands here either. I find it suspicious that the only priest the Catholic church outed without being required to was the black priest who started his own Catholic church.
     
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  20. dyh080

    dyh080 Well-Known Member

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    I remember George Stallings. I almost became a nun because I was inspired by him.
     
  21. frizzy

    frizzy Well-Known Member

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    I never want to be disrespectful to someone's religion and their beliefs, but they act like pedophilia is part of the doctrine. Otherwise, how can sooo many participate or look the other way? Wouldn't that be an outright sin happening in the house of the Lord?
     
  22. Theresamonet

    Theresamonet Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly what it looks like. It’s about more than them just not reporting the crimes to protect the church’s image. Those who think that’s all to it are in denial. This behavior is being encouraged, taught and passed down as a tradition.
     
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  23. Farida

    Farida Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in all-Catholic institutions, including an Opus Dei school. We had very strict rules about people being alone in the company of priests, because it was an all-girls school. Interesting, that in Africa sex scandals are more about raping girls than boys....

    I saw a documentary that may explain why this flourishes in the Catholic church. For a long time, when marriage was expected by everyone, families and churches pressured gay men, pedophiles and other people with "unacceptable" sexual preferences to become priests. To become priests so they did not have to answer questions about why they were not married. Of course that didn't treat the core of the issue. Hence, the gay guys started gay orgies and the pedophiles and rapists used their positions to have access to victims. Other churches do not require celibacy, so the families did not direct the people to join those clergies.

    Catholicism also strongly believes once someone is a priest they can never stop being a priest. At the most you can stop "practicing" as a priest. But it is considered a calling and induction by God, which cannot be undone. They should have stripped these priests of their duties. Instead, they seemed to act that this "calling" required them to continue services.

    I think this is also widespread in Catholicism because of how HUGE the church is. It is the single largest worldwide Christian organizations. You can find a Catholic church ANYWHERE. I am sure other churches have abuse scandals, but most other 'organized' Christian churches have different structures. The Catholic church is like a corporation and the rules are to be followed worldwide. Other churches are harder to control because each church is mostly self-governing.

    I also believe a lot of this rests on John Paul and other high-ranking individuals for covering it up.

    Catholic doctrine does not condone this behavior in any way, shape or form.
     
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  24. Shula

    Shula Well-Known Member

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    But the Bible does not require celibacy either, some of the apostles were married; I know Peter was. Also, it' been a while since I've read it but I believe I read something that said a lot of priests and some bishops had wives as late as the 10th century. I think I read that this practice partly came about so that the church could prevent the loss of power and income that occurred when married priests willed their property and income to their children. Catholic doctrine may not condone it but the bible explicitly condemns this behavior. No disrespect intended.
     
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  25. Reinventing21

    Reinventing21 Spreading my wings

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    Specifically condemns willing property or do you mean celibacy for priests?
     
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  26. Shula

    Shula Well-Known Member

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    In terms of condemnation, I was referring to the actual sex acts themselves. In regards to the priesthood, there is no scriptural precedence that requires priests to be celibate.
     
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  27. free2bme

    free2bme Well-Known Member

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    Everyone is acting brand new about these Catholic sex abuse scandals. This has been going on for centuries and all over the globe.

    Every cardinal, archbishop and bishop at one point was a lay priest. They are handling sex abuse the way they were trained to and the way their predecessors were trained to. The priests who weren't molesting kids were never trained to see their coworkers behavior as criminal.

    The cover up of sexual deviancy is part of the church's corporate culture. The only thing that has change is that the public has wizened up and is pushing back. The public no longer puts religious institutions in absolute reverence and is holding them accountable.

    I'm convinced that is why Pope Benedict broke out. His own brother was suspected of being a prolific abuser in Germany. Could he argue that he didn't know?
     

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