Top Pennsylvania Catholic leader vows to ensure abuses 'never recur'

Top Pennsylvania Catholic leader vows to ensure abuses 'never recur'

But it said the church must still "learn hard lessons from its past", adding: "There should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur".

A statement late last night said that Pope Francis understands how "these crimes can shake the faith and spirit of believers".

On Wednesday, still not addressing the report of the investigation, the pope prayed for victims of a bridge collapse in Italy.

The report detailed contents of internal documents from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania showing that more than 300 "predator priests" have been accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 child victims.

This week's report from the Attorney General alleged Bishop James Timlin covered up allegations of abuse against priests and authorized payments to victims.

This story will be updated.

"They´re silent and that´s despicable", said Pennsylvania state Representative Mark Rozzi, who has publicly shared his account of being raped by a priest at 13.

"The Holy See condemns unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors", Burke stated. "Those who have suffered are his priority, and the Church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent", Burke said.

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He will face further pressure on a papal visit to Ireland next weekend, when survivors of sexual abuse will demand he take institutional responsibility for the church's failures.

The Vatican has expressed "shame and sorrow" over the grand jury report into widespread sex abuse in Pennsylvania. That's ultimately how Pennsylvania's grand jury investigation began.

The Vatican had been silent for two days before issuing their official statement through Burke.

"Victims should know that the Pope is on their side", said the statement issued nearly two days after the report.

This comes after USA prosecutors found that more than 1,000 children had been molested by clergy in Pennsylvania.

In 2016, a state grand jury reported that two former bishops in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese had helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by more than 50 clergy members over a 40-year period.

Burke's statement did not mention another sex scandal rocking the Catholic Church in the United States: the accusations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a well-connected church leader who led the Archdiocese of Washington from 2001-2006. The most famous and wide-reaching report in recent history came from the Boston Globe's Spotlight team, which in 2002 unveiled the systemic child abuse and coverups within the Archdiocese of Boston.

"There are Catholics who study the church and study the sexuality of the priesthood who have been saying this for 20 and 30 years", Laurie Goodstein, a religion correspondent for The New York Times, said on The Daily podcast.

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