PENNSYLVANIA: Grand Jury Finds Dioceses Committed Systemic Coverups For 300+ Pedophile Priests [VIDEO]

The Allentown Morning Call reports:

A scathing grand jury report released Tuesday reveals sexual abuse by hundreds of priests that went unchecked for decades in dioceses across Pennsylvania, including Allentown. Instead of reporting pedophiles, dioceses routinely shuffled them from parish to parish, enabling them to prey upon new victims, the document shows.

The statewide grand jury spent two years on what may be the most exhaustive investigation of the church taken on by a state. It covered allegations in the Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton dioceses, which collectively minister to more than 1.7 million Catholics.

The grand jury report was due to be released by the end of June, but the state Supreme Court stalled its release when more than a dozen of those named in the report filed objections, claiming the allegations would damage their reputations while denying them their constitutional right to due process.

USA Today reports:

The Pennsylvania report accused church leaders in the state of discouraging victims from reporting the crimes, which span more than 60 years. “Several diocesan administrators, including the bishops, often dissuaded victims from reporting abuse to police, pressured law enforcement to terminate or avoid an investigation or conducted their own deficient, biased investigation without reporting crimes against children to the proper authorities,” the report says.

Some of the accused have died, and statute of limitations laws prevent many others from facing criminal charges. One priest named in the report pleaded guilty last month to charges that he sexually abused a 10-year-old boy more than 20 years ago. Another has been charged with felony child sex crimes.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

The nearly 900-page document – the product of what may be the most comprehensive examination to date of clergy sex abuse across a single state – accused church officials in six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses of routinely prioritizing their institution over the welfare of children.

More than 300 accused priests were singled out – though some names remained redacted amid an ongoing court fight over the accuracy of the report’s findings and the damage it could cause to the reputations of some identified within it. Dozens of church superiors were also named as complicit, including some who have risen to prominent national postings.

“All victims were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all,” the report says. “Priests were raping little boys and girls and the men of God who were responsible not only did nothing: They hid it all.”