A scathing report in Pennsylvania has unveiled a massive sex abuse scandal covered up by the Catholic Church that included more than 1,000 children as victims, but one campus minister at a Catholic institution reportedly believes it is “much ado about very little.”
On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released a report detailing a two-year grand jury investigation that revealed what the state Attorney General Josh Shapiro called “the largest, most comprehensive report into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church ever produced in the United States.” The report found decades of sexual abuse by priests that was actively concealed by church leadership, with priests often being moved to different parishes rather than face prosecution for their crimes.
As NBC News columnist Anthea Butler noted, the report is an indictment not only of the more than 300 priests who carried out the abuse, but also the Catholic Church that covered it up.
“It is time to face the horrible truth: The Catholic church is a pedophile ring,” Butler wrote.
“According to the grand jury report of six dioceses in Pennsylvania, over a period of 70 years, 300 priests abused over 1,000 children in Pennsylvania and Church officials repeatedly covered it up. The release of the report is a searing indictment of the filth that has existed in the Catholic church.”
The grand jury report itself was just as stinging, CNN noted. The final report noted that the true number of children who fell victim to predator priests will never be known due to the church’s efforts to cover up the allegations and keep priests from facing justice.
“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,” the report noted. “For decades. Monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals have mostly been protected; many, including some named in this report, have been promoted.”
Despite the widespread condemnation of the church’s actions, there are apparently still defenders. Conservative journalist Rod Dreher noted that a Catholic college has called the report “much ado about very little” and predicted that the controversy over the report will soon blow over.
But many have predicted that the latest sex abuse scandal to rock the Catholic Church isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. The Economist predicted that the Catholic Church would not escape this scandal, which will likely have long-lasting damage on an institution that has already eroded trust after covering up previous instances of sex abuse by priests.