A new grand jury report says that internal documents from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania show that more than 300 "predator priests" have been credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 child victims.

"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 grand jury report says.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades. Monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals have mostly been protected; many, including some named in this report, have been promoted. Until that changes, we think it is too early to close the book on the Catholic Church sex scandal."

The lengthy report, released Tuesday afternoon, investigates clergy sexual abuse in six dioceses dating back to 1947. Pennsylvania's two other dioceses, Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, were the subjects of earlier grand jury reports, which found similarly damaging information about clergy and bishops in those dioceses.

"There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale," the grand jurors wrote in Tuesday's report.

Read the rest here.


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First Boston, now the state of Pennsylvania. A report I heard on CBS News had the number of accused priests in the Pittsburgh diocese alone at ONE HUNDRED, even more than the 87 accused in Boston, as reported by the Boston Globe in 2002.

I have to ask: if this is STILL happening in these two major American cities, why should we assume that it isn't happening anywhere else? Indeed, at the end of the movie, Spotlight, there was a list of cities in the US and worldwide where allegations of priest child sexual abuse have been made. A further question must be asked: Why Are We Tolerating This Behavior?!?  Why isn't the Catholic Church itself under increased and intense scrutiny in the wake of the multiple reports from the Boston Globe and now regarding the Keystone State?  As with many other such incidences, most of the offenses are past the statute of limitations, though Pennsylvania is considering a one-year suspension of that statute to empower further investigation and prosecution.  In addition there are two priests who are under indictment and who will hopefully experience the full force of the state judicial system.

I still want to know: when will enough be enough?  When will people see through the hallucination of holiness and the pretense of piety and shed the foolishness of belief without substance?  Or, put more bluntly, How Many More Kids Have To Be RAPED???

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I read that story... unfortunately, it's likely that appeals courts and judicial discipline boards there are also heavily stacked with Mormons.

Yes, that's the trouble, they all hold themselves above the law.

 Vatican's Response to 1,000 Children Abused by Priests? "No Comment."

Daily Beast

  • But the pope didn’t mention the latest horrific news revealed about his church: that a Pennsylvania grand jury had just handed down a damning 1,356-page account of rampant abuse that involved 1,000 kids, 300 priests, and 70 years of silence. “We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this,” the report began. But there was no sign Wednesday that Pope Francis was listening. He offered no prayer for the victims of his own churchmen who have been suffocated under a veil of complicity and shame for decades.

And this from a whingy missive put out by Catholic Vote. Lovely how they double down on their doctrine and place the blame on those who depart from it [emphasis added]:

  • Certainly a primary culprit has been the widespread dissent from Church teaching on human sexuality, beginning with Humanae Vitae 50 years ago -- and the failure of Church leaders to defend these truths. And the extent of the rampant homosexual subculture among the clergy that has not been identified, rooted out, and destroyed. And the yearning for relevance and approval from the world, lest we be accused of being too “rigid” or judgmental.
  • We can no longer pretend that those willfully ignoring Church teaching on human sexuality, together with a cowardice and worldliness that masquerades as "pastoral outreach," has not contributed deeply to this crisis.

Seems to me a more impartial observer might conclude that much of the problem instead stems directly from that very Church teaching. Forced celibacy? Non-procreational sex is evil? Contraception is evil? Hopefully the scale of this one will at least cause a bit more discomfort for these assholes than has previously been the case.

Maybe someone should figure out that there’s a pandemic of priests abusing children for the same reason houses of ill repute proliferated in prim and proper Victorian England. As Blake fetchingly noted in a poem that anticipated depth psychology by nearly a century,

Prisons are built with stones of law,

Brothels with bricks of religion.

Did you ever have a glimmer of this when you were still in it, Bertold?

No, but my career as a Catholic was short lived. By sixth grade I was feeling like the whole thing was bullshit. In eighth grade I got kicked out of altar boys because my grade in conduct was too low. My granny was the stereotypical fanatic who didn't eat meat on Wednesdays either for extra brownie points, but my parents never took it very seriously. Also, one set of grandparents were Methodist rather than Catholic, and they were nicer, so I had a pretty painless exfiltration.

Glad to hear that!

Of all things, I think something that sprung me at an early age was a Phil Harris song. My aunt had a record player for the old 48s with quite a collection of mid-50s stuff. The song was called There's a Lot More Layin' Down. Unfortunately I can't find it anywhere on the internet, but it's indelibly etched into what passes for my brain. The lyrics go

Well there's a lot more layin' down

Than there is up walkin' around

There's a lot more folks asleep, 

Than there is out upon the street

For ever day you live and breathe

You'll spend a hundred years six feet deep

As a kid I totally took this to heart and decided I better enjoy the walkin' around time, and oh, by the way, fuck this only the "next life" is important shit.

I remember Phil Harris.

One little boy named George was even made to act out the Crucifixion in the nude while priests took Polaroid pictures they later passed around in the era before digital photographs and online pedo-pornography.
-- from the Daily Beast article

This has gone beyond the pale.  Apparently the Holy See thinks they're in it but not of it or otherwise not culpable.  We need to demonstrate to them in no uncertain terms that THEY ARE NOT.  Thus far I haven't heard back about my proposal, but I mean to stick with it.

It just gets sicker all the time!

"I still want to know: when will enough be enough?  When will people see through the hallucination of holiness and the pretense of piety and shed the foolishness of belief without substance?  Or, put more bluntly, How Many More Kids Have To Be RAPED???"

Thanks, Loren, for sharing this information with us. I wonder what a formal investigation for crimes of sexual abuse in other religious groups besides Roman Catholic would find? 

I am sharing your Discussion with my Facebook family and friends.

And the ever-compelling Bill Donohue is on the case--

Catholic League “Debunks” Pennsylvania Molestation Scandal: It’s Not Rape When The Child Isn’t Penetrated

  • Catholic League president Bill Donohue today posted a lengthy “debunking” of media reports about the still-unfolding and massive molestation scandal wracking the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.
  • Donohue’s missive includes his usual charges of anti-Catholic bigotry and personal attacks on “salacious” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Ain't that just charming?

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