This cannot be just a Pennsylvania problem

The most recent scandal involving sex abuse in the Catholic church has received widespread attention because of the numbers of children and priests involved and the scale of the cover up. The courts released a grand jury report that was devastating.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has released a grand jury report detailing sex abuse in the Catholic Church, naming over 300 accused clergymen.

The landmark grand jury investigation found more than 1,000 children had been abused by members of six dioceses in the state for the last 70 years.

Officials say the probe found systematic cover-ups by the church.

The report is the latest inquiry into allegations of sex abuse by Catholic clergy worldwide.

After an 18-month investigation, “over one thousand child victims were identifiable, from the church’s own records,” the grand jury states in the report released on Tuesday.

“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 document states that young boys and girls, as well as teenagers, were abused by clergy.

“All of them were brushed aside by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all,” the report reads.

Due to alleged cover-up efforts by the church’s senior officials, most of the cases are too old for prosecution, the grand jury noted.

But officials warned there may be more indictments as the investigation continues.

While the report names hundreds of priests, some names remain redacted due to claims that naming them violates their constitutional rights.

The sheer scale of the abuse means that this cannot be dismissed as being the actions of a few ‘bad apples’. This issue is systemic. When the numbers are this large, it means that this cannot be peculiar to Pennsylvania but must be endemic, at least across the US, in the structure of the church. So the issue now is what about the other states? Doesn’t this call for a nationwide investigation?

The grand jury report says that Ohio has some connection, which should come as no surprise.

Among the hundreds of allegations that the grand jury uncovered were claims by two separate victims that priests took them to Cleveland. One priest gave a boy so much alcohol here that he blacked out, and the other said the priest touched his leg in the two-hour car ride from Pittsburgh, according to the report.

A third allegation included a phone call made from Cleveland. And a former Catholic school teacher in Erie moved to Cleveland after she was convicted of sexually abusing a student.

The report also mentioned Ohio several times.

I doubt that the only problem is that some Pennsylvania priests came to Ohio. This is too big. I am pretty sure that similar investigations in every state would turn up similar findings.


  1. Holms says

    It’s global. This cycle of abuse, cover-up, and priest laundering/recirculation has been discovered internationally. The organisation is thoroughly corrupt, sparing paedophiles from justice in order to preserve its sanctimonious moral authority.

  2. says

    It would be nice to have a judgement by a court of law whether upper management of the RCC has been systematically protecting serial rapists of children and nuns from criminal prosecution, at least for decades. Then dioceses should be regarded as and legally treated as criminal enterprises.

  3. lanir says

    They’re still not throwing all the info out there themselves and asking for forgiveness. You know what that means, right? We still haven’t seen everything yet. They’d still rather go on record pushing for laws silencing victims than go on record with what they know they’ve done. For that to make sense there must be an awful lot of abuse we still don’t know about.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    Doesn’t this call for a nationwide investigation?

    That depends on whether it would divert all the resources of the FBI from what a certain someone calls “the rigged witch hunt”.

    If a few agents remained on that foreign-interference-in-elections case, that someone and the aforementioned hierarchy might join in harmony to decry the hunt for rigged witches.

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