Clergy sex abuse hotline in Pennsylvania 'lit up'

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Others wanted to see similar grand jury investigations taken up by other US states.

"The abuses contained in the Pennsylvania grand jury report are, as you know, appallingly familiar", he wrote. "There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church".

He stressed that many priests remain true to their vocation.

But with most of the culpable priests dead and the vast majority of crimes too old to prosecute, the grand jury recommended changes in the law to make it impossible for such widespread abuse to happen again.

The Pennsylvania grand jury said that in nearly every case there, the statute of limitations for bringing criminal charges has run out.

Lennon is referring to Attorney General Josh Shapiro (pictured above), a Democrat and former state lawmaker who was elected to that office in 2016.

The grand jury's probe took in six of Pennsylvania's eight diocese - Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton, which are home to 1.6million Catholics. According to BishopAccountability.org, which keeps track of sexual abuse cases, there have been just nine investigations by prosecutors or grand juries of American Catholic dioceses or archdioceses.

It detailed both the scale of abuse and the extraordinary lengths the church went to hide and protect the perpetrators. "It was done in a way to ensure that predator priests were out of reach of the law".

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"I'm assuming some new piece of legislation will be introduced in Pennsylvania that embodies language that will eliminate criminal and civil statute of limitations", he said, lamenting the church will push back.

The report has also reignited longstanding calls from abuse survivors for a federal investigation by the Justice Department.

This summer Chile has been investigating 158 members of the country´s Catholic Church for perpetrating or concealing the sexual abuse of 266 victims, including 178 children and adolescents.

Leaders from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a joint statement on the highly anticipated 884-page report.

With a credible allegation that Archbishop McCarrick abused a minor almost 47 years ago and accusations of his sexual misconduct with seminarians, many have been asking how the prelate could have risen up the ranks of the church as an auxiliary bishop, bishop, archbishop and finally cardinal. On Tuesday, a Pennsylvania grand jury accused Cardinal Wuerl of helping to protect abusive priests when he was Pittsburgh's bishop.

Three years before transferring, Bishop Walter Sullivan of the Richmond diocese recommended that Bostwick get psychological counseling, The Advocate reported, but the reason for the recommendation was unknown.

"There are two words that can express the feelings faced with these disgusting crimes: shame and sorrow".

He also said that right now, it is clear that "one root cause" of this catastrophe "is the failure of episcopal leadership".

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