Vatican Breaks Its Silence On ‘Horrible Crimes’ In Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

The Vatican has issued a response Thursday to the “horrible crimes” detailed in a Pennsylvania grand jury report released Tuesday revealing decades of sexual abuse by 300 “predator priests” in six dioceses.

“Regarding the report made public in Pennsylvania this week, there are two words that can express the feelings faced with these horrible crimes: shame and sorrow,” Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke said according to CNN.

“Victims should know that the Pope is on their side,” Burke added. “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.”

U.S. Catholic bishops created policies to remove abusive clergy and involve law enforcement in 2002, and Burke pointed out that a large portion of the accusations in the grand jury report happened prior to the policies.”

“By finding almost no cases after 2002, the Grand Jury’s conclusions are consistent with previous studies showing that Catholic Church reforms in the United States drastically reduced the incidence of clergy child abuse,” Burke said according to CNN.

Compiling the grand jury report was a two-year process. The report found that Catholic clergy covered up the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children over 70 years. (RELATED: Grand Jury Report Details Decades Of Child Abuse By Hundreds Of Accused ‘Predator Priests’)

“The Holy See treats with great seriousness the work of the Investigating Grand Jury of Pennsylvania and the lengthy Interim Report it has produced,” Burke said according to CNN. “The Holy See condemns unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors.”

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