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Last week, the grand jury reported that more than 1,000 children have been sexually assaulted by “predator priests” in Pennsylvania for decades. More than 300 priest have been accused of child abuse with the Roman Catholic Church leaders being accused of covering up the crimes and obstructing justice to avoid a scandal. The report came after a 2-year investigation.
According to NBC News, complaints were kept in the churches secret archive, while church officials worked to hide them. Officials failed to discipline priests or report the incidents to law enforcement.
“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,” the report said. “We believe that the real number — of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid ever to come forward — is in the thousands,” the grand jury said.
Today, Pope Francis released a letter addressed to the “People of God” begging for forgiveness, saying that Catholic leaders were to blame for the sexual abuse scandal.
“With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives,” Francis wrote. “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them,” he added.
Written by Clarke Jones