HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Latest in a grand jury report on abusive priests in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses (all times are local):
A top minister failed in the Pennsylvania grand jury report on his handling of the sexual abuse priests asking parishioners not to lose confidence in the church.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, one of the highest-profile Roman Catholic cardinals in the United States, spoke Wednesday during Mass in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D. C. on the religious feast of the Assumption of Mary.
He said Catholics need to help the victims, and he asked for Maria’s intervention for those whose confidence is shaken because of the “terrible plague” of abuse.
The report says Wuerl, as Pittsburgh’s bishop, approved transfers for priests who sexually abused children in place of the remove hidden information when the priests were reported to law enforcement.
Wuerl made no mention of the allegations, but has previously said that he acted diligently to protect children.
A priest raped a 7-year-old girl while he was visiting her in the hospital after she had her tonsils removed. Another priest forced a 9-year-old boy into having oral sex, then rinsed out of the mouth of the boy with the holy water.
A beautiful state of the grand jury report released Tuesday says that children are among the victims of about 300 Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania who abused more than 1,000 children, and possibly many more, since the 1940’s.
The report accuses senior church officials, including a man who is now the archbishop of Washington, D. C., of the systematic hedging of the treatment of complaints.
The grand jury notes that the dioceses have the existing internal processes and seem to refer complaints to law enforcement more quickly, but says individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability.