Will other states follow Pennsylvania on church abuse?

Church report: 1,000 child victims in Pennsylvania

DEPRAVITY of 300 priests who DEFILED and sexually abused 1,000 children told to Grand Jury

Garabedian, who said he is representing six Pennsylvania church abuse victims, added the "church is going to fight as hard as it can" not to pay any damages.

Nick Ingala, a spokesman for Voice of the Faithful, a group formed to promote parishioners' voices after the abuse scandal surfaced, said it was heartening that bishops wanted to set up an independent review process but he expressed skepticism that it would be successful.

"The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible".

"We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this".

In recent years, the USA bishops have adopted widespread reforms, including mandatory criminal background checks for priests and lay employees, a requirement that abuse allegations be reported to law enforcement, the suspension of priests while they are being investigated, and permanent removal from ministry when accusations are substantiated.

The Vatican noted the majority of abuses graphically detailed in the report occurred "before the early 2000s", predating a series of reforms enacted throughout the church after reporting from The Boston Globe revealed decades of abuse allegations by priests and systematic cover-ups by high-ranking clergy.

But in dozens of other dioceses, there has been no reckoning, leading victims to wonder if the church will ever truly take responsibility or be held accountable.

In the wake of the scathing Pennsylvania report detailing widespread sexual abuse by priests, the Vatican said on Thursday that Pope Francis was on the victims' side.

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Resignations by cardinals are extremely rare, and McCarrick's was the first time a prelate lost his cardinal's rank in a sexual abuse scandal.

A top clergyman faulted in a Pennsylvania grand jury report over his handling of sexually abusive priests is asking parishioners not to lose confidence in the church.

The abuse is thought to have continued over a 70-year period and was unearthed following a comprehensive two-year investigation.

"Wuerl, one of the highest-profile cardinals in the United States, released a statement Tuesday that said he had 'acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse'".

A trove of documents containing allegations and admissions of sexual abuse were kept locked up in what the church calls its "secret archives", with the only key in the bishop's hands.

Wuerl has said he has no plans to resign.

The report says Wuerl, as Pittsburgh's bishop, approved transfers for priests who sexually abused children instead of removing and concealed information when priests were reported to law enforcement. Most of the moves unconscionably came after the Sarnia police informed the diocese in 1962 that three girls accused Sylvestre of sexual abuse.

"Predators in every diocese weaponized the Catholic faith and used it as a tool of their abuse", Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Tuesday.

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