Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report: Over 300 Priests Sexually Abused Children Over Decades

A pious rat's nest, in just one state, in just one country:
More than 300 Catholic priests across Pennsylvania sexually abused children over seven decades, protected by a hierarchy of church leaders who covered it up, according to a sweeping grand jury report released Tuesday. 
The investigation, one of the broadest inquiries into church sex abuse in U.S. history, identified 1,000 children who were victims, but reported that there probably are thousands more. 
“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. For decades,” the grand jury wrote in its report. 
The 18-month investigation covered six of the state’s dioceses — Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton — and follows other state grand jury reports that revealed abuse and coverups in two other dioceses. The grand jury reviewed more than 2 million documents, including from the “secret archives” — what church leaders referred to the reports of abuse they hid from public for decades, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference Tuesday.
If something of this duration and magnitude of perversity was uncovered in any other organization, it would be shut down and jails would be filling up.

A long aside: We would note that the archbishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years during this time period was Donald Wuerl, who succeeded the recently "retired" Cardinal Theodore McCarrick as archbishop of the Washington, DC, diocese.  McCarrick, you may know, had to "retire" after it came out that he sexually abused minors and adult seminarians over decades.  The grand jury report "depicts Wuerl’s actions in Pittsburgh as mixed, at times stopping abusive priests from continuing in their ministries in the diocese and at other times guiding them right back into parishes."

Wuerl also serves on occasion as an enthusiastic prop for his moral beacon, Donald "Rump" Trump, as in this 2017 signing ceremony for a "religious freedom" executive order. What "religious freedom" are we talking about?
The executive order instructs government agencies to consider issuing new regulations to address conscience-based objections to federal HHS mandate, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans that fund contraception, sterilizations and some drugs that can cause early abortions.   
It also calls for a loosening of IRS enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits religious ministers from making endorsements of political candidates from the pulpit to retain the tax-exempt status of churches.
Here's the happy, holy group with Wuerl beaming at Rump (and "prosperity gospel" grifter Paula White on the right):

These are rotted out people, in rotted out institutions, in a rotted out belief system. Period.

BONUSCharles Pierce --
There is no longer any doubt that the institutional Roman Catholic Church in the United States existed in part—and likely still exists—as a vast conspiracy to obstruct justice in the crime of sexual assault by members of its clergy. If you ever wondered why the Church fought so hard to keep the civil criminal justice system at bay in regards to the criminals and deviants in its ranks, the report of the grand jury in Pennsylvania ought to clear that up for you.
It cleared it up for us all right.


Infidel753 said...

300 just in Pennsylvania. I can't say I'm surprised. There has been scandal after scandal in country after country. Several years ago the Dallas Morning News published a huge report on every single Catholic bishop and archbishop in the US, and concluded that about two-thirds of them were involved in cover-ups and shielding of child molesters. In Ireland, one of the most solidly Catholic countries on Earth for fifteen centuries, the child-abuse scandals have so shattered the Church's authority that the people legalized gay marriage and abortion in referendums by huge margins. Not all priests are molesters, maybe not even most, but as an institution the Church has systematically shielded molesting priests all over the world for decades -- there's anecdotal evidence suggesting this has been going on for centuries. It wouldn't surprise me if it's been like this since clergy celibacy was imposed in the 11th century. The Church was all-powerful back then.

These are rotted out people, in rotted out institutions, in a rotted out belief system. Period.

In a sane world, the Catholic Church would be declared a criminal organization globally, its leaders from the Pope on down arrested and put on trial for their roles in the abuse cover-ups, and its assets, including the Vatican itself, seized and sold to pay compensation to victims, so that as an institution it would completely cease to exist. Unfortunately, the world we live in is not yet that sane.

maxk1947 said...

So Q-anon almost gets it right - the massive global child abuse ring exists, but it's led by the Vatican, not Hillary! Maybe they're not such paranoid RWNJ's after all? (I'd like this to be snark, but somehow I can't laugh)

W. Hackwhacker said...

Infidel - you're right: it's the institutional church acting as a shield, and therefore an enabler, of those who are responsible for these evils. A long overdue, bare minimum start would be for the church to order its archives opened and to allow investigators in every diocese to look for unreported crimes. Going forward, every church official must be under edict to report misconduct, assaults, etc, to the civil authorities immediately.

maxk1947 - good analogy!