In 2018, the public finally saw a Pennsylvania grand jury’s report into the Catholic Church’s abuses in six dioceses across the state. We learned that more than 300 priests were accused of abusing more than 1,000 children. The stories were absolutely horrific.
Many of those priests were dead. Of those who were alive, some couldn’t be prosecuted due to long-expired statutes of limitations. Even when the window hadn’t closed, airtight cases could only be brought against a couple of priests, who were subsequently convicted of crimes and are currently in jail.
But that grand jury report still had important repercussions. It exposed the fact that the Catholic Church and its leaders knew about those cases and covered them up in “secret archives.” It inspired over a dozen other attorneys general to launch their own investigations into the Catholic Church.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Josh Shapiro, who pursued that case regardless of the consequences. Shapiro even said a year after the report was released that 1,862 new victims had come forward with their own allegations of sexual abuse.
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