Pennsylvania, USA priests marked children they abused with crucifixes


This 15 August 2018 video says about itself:

Catholic Church covered up sexual abuse of children by Pennsylvania priests | DW English

A grand jury in the US state of Pennsylvania has published its report on the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests. According to the report, the Catholic Church systematically covered up the rape and molestation of over 1,000 children over seventy years.

For more on this topic, go here: “US grand jury: Predator priests in Pennsylvania had church protection“.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Pennsylvania priests recognized abused children by their cross-chain necklaces

Yesterday it became known that in the United States state of Pennsylvania, at least a thousand children were abused by hundreds of priests. This happened for decades, because the [Roman Catholic] church covered up sophisticatedly. Priests were protected by the top levels in the Catholic church.

This is evidenced by research into criminal behavior in Pennsylvania state. The report of the investigation committee contains terrible examples of structural abuse. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and rhe men of God who were responsible not only did nothing: they hid it all. For decades”, it says.

Victims were often pressured to not go to the [police] authorities. This way, the bishops put the interests of the church over the interests of the children.

If a priest in one place was talked about too much, then he was transferred to a new region. At the old parish the truth about his departure was not told. “Tell parishioners that he is on sick leave” or has “fatigue complaints”. “Or say nothing at all”, bishops said to each other in correspondence. In the new parishes, the reason for the transfers were also not given, so that the priests could carry on.

Posing naked as Christ

The 1400 page study describes some instances in detail. A 7-year-old boy was abused by a priest who then told him to confess his sins.

Another priest abused five sisters of one family. Yet another one admitted that he had molested at least twelve boys. However, he was later thanked by the bishop, his boss, for all that he had done “for God’s people.”

In another place a young boy was forced to pose naked like Christ on the cross while priests photographed him with a Polaroid camera. Priests gave the boy and others gold chains with crosses. Because of that, other priests also knew that the child could be abused.

The report examined half a million pages of internal documents and the secret archive of the church. It was about six dioceses, which account for about half of the more than 3 million Catholics in Pennsylvania.

According to the investigation report, there are many more victims than the one thousand that have become known today. But they probably did not dare to go to committee, or have died already.

“There are countless examples of priests who do this and then move from parish to parish“, says correspondent Arjen van der Horst in the NOS Radio 1 Journal. “Some even received promotion. Never did the church leadership go to the justice department with this kind of cases.”

From the correspondence between bishops, who have now been published with the investigation, it appears that the church trivialized what happened. For example, rape was not called rape, but ‘inappropriate contact’ or ‘horseplay’. “This way, the priests could go on undisturbedly. For seventy years, everything was swept under the rug“, says Van der Horst.

Almost every case is under the statute of limitations

The report says that the revelation of the news will not lead to many prosecutions. “As a result of the cover-ups, almost every abuse we found is under the statute of limitations”, it says. It calls for the current “weak laws” to be amended so that this will no longer happen.

The Vatican has not responded to this news yet. “But the pope is now under much pressure“, says Van der Horst. “After his appointment, he promised to carry out major changes, but that’s hardly happening.”

By Mark Scolforo and Marc Levy, Associated Press, 14 August 2018:

The grand jury accused Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who leads the Washington archdiocese, of helping to protect abusive priests when he was Pittsburgh’s bishop. …

The abuse ranged from groping and masturbation to anal, oral and vaginal rape. One boy was forced to say confession to the priest who sexually abused him. A 9-year-old boy was forced to perform oral sex and then had his mouth washed out with holy water. Another boy was made to pose naked as if being crucified and then was photographed by a group of priests who Shapiro said produced and shared child pornography on church grounds.

The grand jury concluded that a succession of Catholic bishops and other diocesan leaders tried to shield the church from bad publicity and financial liability. They failed to report accused clergy to police and sent abusive priests to so-called “treatment facilities”, which “laundered” the priests and “permitted hundreds of known offenders to return to ministry“, the report said. …

The conspiracy of silence extended beyond church grounds. The grand jury said it found cases in which police or prosecutors learned of clergy sex abuse allegations but did not investigate out of deference to church officials.

A [Pennsylvanian] priest raped a seven-year-old girl while visiting her in the hospital after she had her tonsils removed. … A boy who was repeatedly raped between the ages of 13 and 15 suffered severe spinal injuries, became addicted to painkillers, and died of an overdose. When Father Ernest Paone was caught molesting boys in 1962 in Pittsburgh, the local district attorney halted the investigation “in order to prevent unfavorable publicity” for the diocese, because he wanted Church support for his political campaigns. Paone remained a priest until 2003, when he retired with a pension: here.

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