This is pretty horrible, so be prepared.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The long-awaited state grand jury report into sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Pittsburgh and Greensburg, has finally been released.
The 884-page document, two years in the making, shines a light into the dark corners of these dioceses going back seven decades, exposing the predators and the efforts of their bishops to protect them.
“Today, the most comprehensive report on child sexual abuse within the church ever produced in our country was released,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “Pennsylvanians can finally learn the extent of sexual abuse in these dioceses. For the first time, we can all begin to understand the systematic cover up by church leaders that followed. The abuse scarred every diocese. The cover up was sophisticated. The church protected the institution at all costs.”
Several clergy abuse victims who had testified before the grand jury attended Shapiro’s news conference. At least one of them could be seen breaking down in tears.
The report begins with the following statement:
“We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this. We know some of you have head some of it before. There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale. For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away. Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere.”
The report cites 301 priests, clergy and lay teachers with credible allegations against them. There are 99 in the Diocese of Pittsburgh alone.
Of those 99, a group of four groomed and violently sexually assaulted young boys, said Shapiro.
“One boy was forced to stand on a bed in a rectory, strip naked and pose as Christ on the cross for the priests. They took photos of their victim, adding them to a collection of child pornography which they produced and shared on church grounds,” Shapiro said.