Pope Francis breaks silence on Pennsylvania Catholic abuse scandal
© Getty Images

A spokesperson for Pope Francis on Thursday broke the Vatican’s silence on a grand jury report outlining sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests in Pennsylvania, calling the details in the report “criminal and morally reprehensible."

“The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible,” the spokesperson said, according to media reports. “Those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.”

More from The Vatican: “The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible. Those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.... there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted
abuse to occur”

— Nikki Battiste (@NikkiBattiste) August 16, 2018

The statement comes two days after the publication of a report identifying more than 300 priests in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania who are alleged to have committed sexual abuse that was then allegedly covered up by the church.

The report, compiled by a grand jury that met for two years, detailed more than 1,000 instances of sexual abuse committed by the priests.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Vatican had previously not commented on the report.

The report noted that members of the grand jury didn’t think they had identified every priest who may have committed sexual abuse.

“We feel certain that many victims never came forward, and that the dioceses did not create written records every single time they heard something about abuse," the report states.

The publication of the report followed the resignation of Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who's been accused of sexually abusing multiple men.

U.S. Catholic bishops on Thursday called for an investigation into the allegations against McCarrick.