A stunning report on abuse violations within the Roman Catholic Church has revealed hundreds of priests from across Pennsylvania have molested more than 1,000 children.
Fox News reports the story of 47-year-old Robert Mizic who said his life was taken away when he served in a suburban Philadelphia Catholic church as an altar boy 35 years ago. There, Mizic said he was abused by his parish priest.
Mizic’s account is one of the seemingly countless others in a scandal affecting the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 15, 2018
Per Fox News:
Hundreds of priests were said to have molested more than 1,000 children — and possibly many more — since the 1940s, and senior church officials, including a man who is now the archbishop of Washington, D.C., allegedly covered up the abuse, according to a grand jury report released Tuesday.
The “real number” of abused children might be in the thousands since some secret church records were lost, and victims were afraid to come forward, the grand jury said.
“We are sick over all the crimes that will go unpunished and uncompensated,” the grand jury said.
The grand jury accused Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who leads the Washington archdiocese, of helping to protect abusive priests when he was Pittsburgh’s bishop. Wuerl responded in part: “I sincerely hope that a just assessment of my actions, past and present, and my continuing commitment to the protection of children will dispel any notions otherwise made by this report.”
Extra salt to the moral wound: Fox News reports the statue of limitations had run out in most of the cases so the priests and clergymen involved can no longer be charged.
“More than 100 of the priests are dead, and many others are retired or have been dismissed from the priesthood or put on leave,” Fox News reports.
“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,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, per the report.
The report indicated many members of the Catholic church turned a blind eye to the abuses which spanned decades and which included more than 300 clergymen. Check it out:
Shapiro said the investigation confirmed a “systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.” The report itself provided scant detail about the Vatican’s role beyond describing a series of confidential reports that bishops made to the Vatican about abusive priests.
The alleged conspiracy of silence extended beyond church grounds. The grand jury said it found cases in which police or prosecutors learned of clergy sex abuse allegations but did not investigate out of deference to church officials.
Mizic added, “That’s the true travesty to know that they knew, and they knew and moved these priests to endanger other children is deplorable.”
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 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.
“This is the murder of a soul,” said James Faluszczak, a former priest who claims to have been abused when he was a child. “There is no statute of limitations on the crime of murder.”