Vatican Breaks Silence On Pennsylvania Grand Jury Abuse Report

Victims of clergy sexual abuse or their family members react as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg Pa. Tuesday Aug. 14 2018

Bishops will also update their "Statement of Episcopal Commitment", a 2002 promise made by bishops to follow a procedure for reporting claims of abuse, Cupich said.

There are four recommendations in the report that the grand jury investigating child sex abuse crimes in the Catholic Church thinks needs to be law.

In the wake of the scathing Pennsylvania report detailing widespread sexual abuse by priests, the Vatican said on Thursday that Pope Francis was on the victims' side. Moreover, the statement declared, "the Holy See condemns unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors".

The Pope is facing more and more pressure to address the rise of sexual abuse reports in Latin America and Australia as well, especially in recent weeks.

Some victims were plied with alcohol and groped or molested while others were raped.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, several of them detailed heart-wrenching accounts of alleged sexual abuse against 301 priests across six of the state's eight dioceses.

Any in-depth investigation of the McCarrick case is likely to shed light on the timetable for when senior Catholic officials in the USA and at the Vatican know about the multiple allegations against McCarrick.

The Pope is yet to comment on the the almost 900-page report.

The dioceses of Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown have been the subject of previous grand jury investigations that also found abuse.

But after he received a report from his most senior abuse investigator, Francis apologized to the victims and said, "I confess this caused me pain and shame".

But Burke also noted that most of the abuse accusations detailed in the grand jury's report occurred before 2002, when the US Catholic bishops adopted new policies created to inform law enforcement of accusations and quickly remove accused clergy from office.

In one diocese in Pittsburgh, a group of at least four priests allegedly "groomed and abused" young boys using "whips, violence and sadism".

"The Diocese of Erie will not shroud abusers in secrecy-no matter who they are or how long ago the abuse occurred", Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico said.

While Burke called for "accountability", there is little agreement among Catholic leaders about what that might mean. McCarrick recently resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

"The time of telling these victims to keep their truth to themselves has ended", Shapiro said. Its' release had people asking why NY isn't opening up a similar investigation.

"During my tenure, we acted... very appropriately with many times removal from ministry, totally and completely", he said. He said of the church, "Above all else, they protected their institution above all costs". "We must resolve to be clear-eyed about what we have done, what we have failed to do, and what remains to be done".

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