PA Supreme Court publishes bombshell report on clergy abuse, 300 priests named over 30 years
This past Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court published the most thorough investigation into Catholic clergy abuse the nation has seen. The 1,400 legal report names about 300 priests as child sexual abusers with more than 1,000 victims over a period of 30 years
As previously reported by the Black Youth Project, key priests and leaders throughout church dioceses in Pennsylvania have been trying to prevent the release of the investigative report. The report is the result of a 2-year investigation, headed by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, which exposed decades of clergy sexual abuse. Shapiro described the legal wrangling as “systematic coverup by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.”
“Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability,” the report states. “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.”
However bad you thought the corruption among Catholic clergy and bishops was, the reality is much worse. pic.twitter.com/AN8gPLwAwo
— Michael Brendan Dougherty (@michaelbd) August 14, 2018
James Faluszczak, 48, a former priest, was one of the witnesses to testify about being sexually abused by his childhood pastor, Monsignor Daniel J. Martin. Faluszczak said that Martin knew he was struggling at home and took advantage of him.
“I knew him from the time that I was 5 years old, and he spent all of those intervening years grooming me for the moment when he knew that I would be the most vulnerable,” Faluszczak said.
Faluszczak reported the sexual abuse to the then bishop of the Erie Diocese, “He certainly treated me as if it was nothing. He didn’t take it seriously. When I told him that Father Martin molested me 15 times, he couldn’t even bring himself to say that he was sorry that that happened to me.”
While the report investigates only the church dicoses in Pennsylvania, it indicates a larger coverup of sexual abuse and misuse of power within the Catholic church throughout the entire nation. The report’s release came after the resignation of the archbishop of Washington D.C., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, following many accusations of sexual abuse. Since his crimes are not within the legal statue of limitation, McCarrick is awaiting trial at the Vatican. The Pope has condemned the abuse.
The investigative report documents how many clergy leaders would convince children that the sexual abuse was “holy” and they were fulfilling duties to God.
Many survivors hope that the reports opens new investigations in church leadership throughout the country.