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Grand jury report lists more than 300 ‘predator priests’ in Pennsylvania


Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who was bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years, defended his role in the sexual abuse scandal. Associated Press/Photo by Susan Walsh (file)

Grand jury report lists more than 300 ‘predator priests’ in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released Tuesday a grand jury report on sexual abuse that allegedly occurred in six of the state’s eight dioceses over seven decades, noting there were more than 300 “predator priests” and more than 1,000 child victims, while accusing the Roman Catholic Church of covering up known abuse and abusers. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro led the 18-month investigation that led to the release of the report, which follows earlier reports on the state’s other two dioceses. The court ruled last month that the report could be released but with some details and the names of the priests redacted in what victim advocates call the largest and most exhaustive review of abuse in the church by any state. The grand jury said the “real number” of sexually abused children might be “in the thousands” since some records were lost and many victims were reluctant to come forward.

Prior to the report’s release, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., and the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh, said he expected criticism for his role in the scandal but defended himself in a letter to priests in the Washington Archdiocese, saying he acted diligently to protect children after learning of abuse when he served in Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006, imposing a “zero tolerance” policy for priests who committed abuse.


Mickey McLean

Mickey is executive editor of WORLD Digital, oversees audience engagement, and is a member of WORLD’s Editorial Council. He resides in Opelika, Ala.

@MickeyMcLean


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