Over six hundred children sexually abused by at least 150 priests and other Archdiocese personnel ina Baltimore Catholic church, a Maryland Attorney General’s report revealed.
The report details over 80 years of the church covering up the scandals.
In 2018, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General launched a Grand Jury investigation into the Archdiocese of Baltimore, listing an explosive list of 156 clergy members, teachers, and deacons as child sexual abusers in “hundreds of thousands” of documents dating back as far as 1940.
Child sex abuse was so bad in the church officials say the number of victims is likely far higher than the almost 500-page report.
According to a report from The Daily Mail:
The investigative report found that the abuse ‘varied widely’ and the child sexual abuse by the clergy, seminarians, deacons, and employees of the Archdiocese spanned over decades.
And it revealed the abuse continued even ‘after victims came forward’ as ‘Leaders of the Archdiocese repeatedly dismissed reports’ and exhibited ‘little to no concern’ for the victims.
Following a four-year-long investigation, a 463-page report was published this week that named several priests and described what they are alleged to have done.
“Time and again, members of the Church’s hierarchy resolutely refused to acknowledge allegations of child sexual abuse for as long as possible,” the report reads.
“When denial became impossible, Church leadership would remove abusers from the parish or school, sometimes with promises that they would have no further contact with children.”
Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown said the investigation shows the “incontrovertible history uncovered by this investigation is one of pervasive, pernicious and persistent abuse by priests and other archdiocese personnel.”
“It’s also a history of repeated cover-up of that abuse by the Catholic Church hierarchy,” Brown said.
As The Daily Wire reported:
The document primarily focuses on alleged sex abuse within the Boston diocese’s systematic cover-up before 2002, following The Boston Globe exposing large numbers of reports across the country of individual abusive priests who got away with molesting children, bringing national attention to the scale and pervasiveness of the crisis.
The revelations encouraged hundreds of victims to come forward with allegations of abuse, resulting in nearly 250 criminal cases and numerous lawsuits.
Victims of the alleged abusers told The Associated Press the report was a “long-overdue public reckoning with shameful accusations the church has been facing for decades.”
Victim Jean Hargadon Wehner said she was abused by Father Joseph Maskell in Baltimore during her teenage years in the early 1990s.
Wehner said she reported the repeated sexual abuse to church officials at the time.
“I expected them to do the right thing in 1992,” she told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “I’m still angry.”
Maskell abused at least 39 victims and evaded criminal charges before his death in 2001.
Another abuse victim, Kurt Rupprecht, told reporters he and others were present to “speak the truth and never stop.”
“We deal with this every day,” Rupprecht said. “It is our life sentence.”
On Wednesday, Maryland lawmakers passed a bill ending a statute of limitations on abuse-related civil lawsuits.
The church had paid over $13.2 million for care and compensation for 301 abuse victims since the 1980s, according to Baltimore archdiocese officials.
Baltimore Archbishop William Lori apologized to victims, saying the report “details a reprehensible time in the history of this Archdiocese, a time that will not be covered up, ignored or forgotten.”
“It is difficult for most to imagine that such evil acts could have actually occurred,” Lori said. “For victim-survivors everywhere, they know the hard truth: These evil acts did occur.”
In a 2018 investigation, Pennsylvania’s then-Attorney General Josh Shapiro revealed over 300 Catholic priests raped over 1,000 children.
The report comes just under two months following a report from an independent panel studying child abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in Portugal, which found pedophile priests abused more than 4,800 children over the past 70 years.