A nearly 900-page report investigating abuse in six dioceses over a period of 70 years documents more than 300 abusive priests and over 1,000 victims.
“We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this,” begins the nearly 900-page report released Tuesday by a grand jury that spent two years investigating reports of sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church over a period of 70 years.
The report, which says there were more than 1,000 identifiable victims, is the broadest examination yet by a government agency in the United States of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The following are excerpts of some of its more horrific findings.
[Read about the grand jury’s investigation that identified more than 1,000 victims and 300 priests and the Catholic Church’s ‘ playbook for concealing the truth.’]
The grand jury members documented a wide variety of abuses by priests and others within the church, as well as creative ways of covering up or denying accusations.
The grand jury used stark language to hold leaders of the church accountable for enabling and protecting the abusers.
One of the cases the grand jury reports on in great detail involves the Rev. Edward R. Graff, who served as a priest for 45 years, including 35 in the diocese of Allentown. During his years in ministry, Father Graff raped scores of children, the grand jury report says.
The church documents numerous reports of Father Graff’s abuse over the years, the grand jury report says, and yet when they came to light publicly, the church downplayed and denied its knowledge.
The grand jury reported that it had uncovered a ring of predatory priests in the Pittsburgh diocese who “shared intelligence or information regarding victims,” created pornography using the victims, and exchanged victims among themselves. “This group of priests used whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims,” the report states.