The Vatican is blasted for ‘disturbing’ silence over explosive grand jury report detailing how the Catholic church covered up sexual abuse of 301 ‘predator’ priests who assaulted at least 1,000 children in Pennsylvania

Thursday, August 16, 2018
By Paul Martin

Vatican’s press office said it had no comment on the shocking findings in the U.S.
Critics said the Pope’s silence on the report was ‘disappointing’ and ‘disturbing’
Grand jury report found priests used Catholic rituals to commit horrifying abuse

16 August 2018

The Vatican has come under fire for its failure to respond to a shocking grand jury report which alleged decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania.

The Holy See’s press office declined to comment on the report but critics said the Pope’s office should respond to the claims against some 301 clergymen over a period of more than 70 years.

One Catholic writer said Pope Francis’s response to the claims had been ‘disappointing’ while an academic called the Vatican’s silence ‘disturbing’, CNN reported.

At least 1,000 children were molested and assaulted by ‘predator priests’ who used Catholic rituals and symbols of the faith to commit their horrifying abuse, the grand jury found.

Pennsylvania theology academic Massimo Faggioli said: ‘The silence from the Vatican is disturbing.

‘I don’t think the Pope necessarily has to say something today. He needs time to understand the situation… but someone from the Vatican should say something.’

Catholic magazine editor Matthew Schmitz said on Twitter: ‘Francis has at times been unfairly attacked for his handling of sex abuse but his record is still disappointing.

‘He needs to act now by authorizing a full investigation of the American hierarchy.’

A papal legate should conduct formal interviews and make recommendations to the Pope about ‘appropriate penalties’, he said.

Priests across Pennsylvania used religious rituals and the threat of eternity in hell to groom, molest and rape children, a grand jury found, in what the state’s top prosecutor Josh Shapiro called the ‘weaponization of faith.’

In a letter to the Pope, Shapiro said the report had found a ‘systemic cover-up’ of the sexual abuse by leaders of the Catholic church.

He called on the Pope to urge church leaders to ‘abandon their destructive efforts to silence the survivors’ and ‘follow the path of truth’.

One priest tied up a victim with rope in the confessional in a ‘praying position,’ the grand jury wrote. When the victim refused to perform sex, the angered priest used a 7-inch crucifix to sexually assault him, the report said.

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