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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Maryland investigation finds 158 pedophiles in Catholic church, 600 victims

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An investigation by the attorney general of the US state of Maryland has identified 158 Roman Catholic priests in the Diocese of Baltimore who are accused of sexually and physically abusing more than 600 victims over the past 80 years, according to a document filed yesterday in court, the Associated Press reported.

Attorney General Brian Frosh announced that prosecutors had prepared a 463-page report based on the investigation that began in 2019. He filed a motion in Baltimore County District Court to release the contents of the report. It is not clear when the court will make a decision. The request to release the report states that “for decades, survivors have reported sexual abuse by Catholic priests, and for decades the church covered up the abuse instead of holding abusers accountable and protecting its congregation.

The Diocese of Baltimore was no exception. The report, titled “Clergy Abuse in Maryland,” identified 115 priests who had been prosecuted for sexual abuse and/or had been publicly named by the diocese as “credibly accused” of sexual abuse. The report also included the names of 43 other priests accused of sexual abuse but not publicly identified by the archdiocese.

Prosecutor Frosh’s motion filed says the report summarizes the sexual and physical abuse committed by 158 priests and how the archdiocese responded. David Lorenz, leader of the Maryland Priest Abuse Survivors Network, said the news of the report and the number of victims was truly horrifying.

Once again, some people within the church “lied about the number of abusive priests, Lorenz” said in a statement. Many parishes were like dumping grounds for predators, some harboring up to a dozen of them. Clearly, no one was safe. Unfortunately, this is no different than any diocesan or secular report in the country. Both boys and girls were raped, according to the prosecutor’s motion, and the victims ranged in age from preschool to teenagers. It is stated that in one of the dioceses there were 11 abusive priests over a period of 40 years. In addition, sexual abuse was so widespread that victims sometimes complained about it to priests who were also perpetrators. Maybe the fact that some areas of the Catholic Church seem to have been infiltrated by psychologists and psychiatrists could lead to a response as to why this continues to happen. Let’s hope works from Pope Francis puts end to all this.

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