Over 1,000 children were suspected to be the victims of the biggest scandal connected to the Catholic Church. Reportedly more than 300 priests are supposed to be held responsible for the abuses.
A recent grand jury report revealed that internal documents from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania stated that more than 300 “predator priests” were accused of molesting and sexually abusing more than 1,000 children.
The grand jury report stated, "We believe that the real number of children whose records were lost or who were afraid ever to come forward is in the thousands.”
Priests have been revealed to taking advantage of little boys and girls for decades. To make matters worse, the Catholic Church hit it all, and most of the abusers have been promoted.
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The extensive report had been investigating clergy sexual abuse cases from 1947 in six dioceses – Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Scranton.
According to the grand jurors, most of the abuse cases discovered were “too old to be prosecuted.”
During a news conference revealing the report’s release, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said it is the "largest, most comprehensive report into child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church ever produced in the United States."
MOLESTATIONS AND SEXUAL ABUSES
It was revealed that priests and other Catholic leaders took advantage of boys and girls, from little children up to teenagers.
All cases were hidden throughout the years by church leaders who wanted to protect the abusers and especially the institution.
In one case, a priest from the Greensburg diocese had a 17-year-old girl pregnant. The priest allegedly forged a pastor’s signature on a marriage certificate and months later; he divorced the girl.
The grand jury revealed that the priest was permitted to stay in the ministry as long as he found a “benevolent bishop.”
In the Allentown diocese, one priest confessed that he sexually molested a boy and asked for help. Although, he was able to stay in the ministry for a few more years before he admitted his crime.
Another priest in Scranton served in prison after admitting to having abused children. Later on, it was discovered that he had been HIV-positive for many years.
47-year-old Robert Mizic expressed his sorrow over what he went through in the past. He said his life was taken away from him after he was abused by a parish priest 35 years ago when he was an altar boy.
A former priest, James Faluszczak, cried on the day of the news conference. He said he was molested by a priest when he was a teenager.
Another victim, an unnamed 83-year-old man, explained that because of the abuse he went through, he struggled in showing any affection to his wife and children.
For the victims, they explained that this was "not a vendetta against the church," but they clarified that their abusers have "to be accountable in the church for what they did."
Amid all the controversy, the Vatican has remained silent and declined to make any comments regarding the grand jury report.
In early August, at least 70 names of the alleged “predator priests” were released, as requested by the bishop of Harrisburg.