Petition Seeks To Remove Cardinal Wuerl’s Name From North Catholic H.S.

Victims of clergy sexual abuse or their family members react as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg Pa. Tuesday Aug. 14 2018

The Vatican responded on Thursday to the report that hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused more than 1,000 children over decades, saying it felt "shame and sorrow" over these findings.

"There are two words that can express the feelings faced with these frightful crimes: shame and sorrow", Burke said.

Also of note: "It's possible that the "real number" of abused children could be "in the thousands" due to missing records or other victims who feared speaking about the allegations, according to the grand jury's report", as Fox News noted about this very, very troubling case.

"The overarching goal in all of this is stronger protections against predators in the Church and anyone who would hide them, protections that will hold bishops to the highest standards of transparency and accountability", Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement.

"Victims should know that the Pope is on their side", the Vatican said in the statement.

Chuch administrators were accused of routinely covering up the claims of abuse by dissuading victims from reporting abuse, pressuring law enforcement to terminate investigations, or conducting their own biased investigations.

Now there are also demands in the United States that the current Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, step down.

Praising both the news media for bringing the sexual abuse scandal to light, and the survivors for coming forward despite their pain and suffering, the cardinal urged anyone who might have been sexually abused by a member of the clergy in the Chicago area to come forward.

The grand jury's probe took in six of Pennsylvania's eight diocese - Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton, which are home to 1.6million Catholics.

"Child rape is rape, whether it occurred in the 1980s, '90s, or 2018", said Shapiro.

Writing in their report, the grand jury said: 'Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability.

In 2017, the Pennsylvania House of Representative did pass a bill that would give child sex abuse victims until the age of 50 to report a crime.

Special agents from the F.B.I.'s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime reviewed the collected evidence and identified a series of practices that were used regularly to cover up reports of abuse: "Avoid scandal".

"For many of us, those earlier stories (of priest sex abuse) happened someplace else, someplace away".

Around 100 of the accused priests had died while only two had been convicted of child sex abuse, the grand jury said.

But after he received a report from his most senior abuse investigator, Francis apologized to the victims and said, "I confess this caused me pain and shame". "When we do not adequately address an issue as serious as sexual abuse, it undermines the credibility of church leaders".

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