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Report torches Philly Archdiocese for abuse cover up

“The evidence is clear. This reaches the top — the very top of our archdiocese. Regrettably, the perpetrators of these crimes and the people that protected them will never face the penalties they deserve.”

— Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham

More sickness in the Catholic church, this time in the City of Brotherly Love, where heinous abuse was covered up yet again. I’m sure Ratzi, with his newfound sense of morality, will get right down to the bottom of this — after he’s through with homo purges at the semenaries. (NYT):

Leaders of the Philadelphia Archdiocese including two cardinals concealed sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests for four decades, a grand jury has found, but no criminal charges can be brought against the church or its clergy because of the limits of state law.

Depraved criminals Krol and Bevilacqua.

The grand jury, convened more than three years ago, issued a scathing report Wednesday that documents assaults by more than 60 priests. It also alleges a cover up by the late Cardinal John Krol, archbishop of Philadelphia from 1961-88, and his successor Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who retired in 2003.

“To protect themselves from negative publicity or expensive lawsuits — while keeping abusive priests active — the cardinals and their aides hid the priests’ crimes from parishioners, police and the general public,” the report said.

The grand jury explored the possibility of charges against the archdiocese, but said the organization can’t be prosecuted because it is an unincorporated association rather than a corporation.

Archdiocese leaders have endangered and harmed children in parishes and schools by keeping known abusers in ministry and transferring discovered abusers to assignments where parents and potential victims are unaware of the priests’ sexual” behavior, the report said.

The report names 63 priests “whose abusive behavior was well-documented in archdiocese files and by witnesses who testified” before the grand jury.

Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham convened the grand jury investigation in April 2002 amid the nationwide scandal following the disclosure of widespread abuse in the Boston Archdiocese. In the Philadelphia area, church officials have said that 44 priests had been “credibly” accused of sexual assaults since the 1950s but only one priest in the archdiocese has been indicted.

Thanks to House Blender and Julien’s List contributor Holly for the pointer.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding