Pennsylvania Priest Scandal and Pope’s Response

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Samantha Valdez , Reporter

A Grand Jury Report released on Tuesday August 14th, claimed that more than 300 priests in the state of Pennsylvania sexually abused more than 1,000 teens and children. Many records have been lost, and some people are afraid of speaking up, so this leads officials to believe the number of victims is actually a couple thousand. Most of the file reports prove that the majority of victims were males.  This report investigation took over two years, and twenty-three grand juries took part listening to many witness accounts then officially filing a report. The report incriminated six out of the eight dioceses in Pennsylvania. Allegedly the file report was around 130,000 pages long and most of it was witness testimonies.

Victims were teenagers and even children. Manipulation took great part into the Priest being able to use victims as they pleased, often alcohol and pornography was used as the strongest form of manipulation. This caused great fear to the victims and allowed priests to rape them in “various forms and fashions.” Several stories told by victims were,” A priest who raped a young girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils out; a victim tied up and whipped with leather straps by a priest; and another priest who was allowed to stay in ministry after impregnating a young girl and arranging for her to have an abortion.”

It was discovered that the church had been protecting these abusers for over 70 years, they used their forms of manipulation to keep victims quiet, and even worse they persuaded law enforcement not to investigate.

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“Church leaders in every state preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above everything else, they say because the cover-up was most important of all…. These petitioners and for time, some of the dioceses sought to prevent the entire report from ever seeing the light of day. ” ~ Josh Shapiro (Current Attorney General of Pennsylvania).

The Vatican also spoke out to the public almost immediately after the report became public and said the actions were “criminal and morally reprehensible”, at some point they also said, “The Church must learn hard lessons from its past, and there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur.”

“Many people say that these apologies from the Vatican to local church officials are simply not enough, they want a full emission from the catholic church of what they believe has been decades of covering up these kinds of atrocious acts.” 

The pubic is now on board with the idea that the Pope should resign, considering that the Pope took his time to speak out about what had occurred, it has led many to believe he knew.

The Pope spoke out and stated that it was shameful. He stated that the Catholic church failed to do enough and act quick enough to acknowledge the pain and suffering it had caused decades ago on so many young people.

“Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up, and perpetuated.” ~Potion of letter regarding the Pope’s response.