Pennsylvania AG: Senate Judiciary Committee should investigate clergy abuse

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro lobbied Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), projected by many to be the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to investigate abuse by members of the Catholic Church. 

“I hope Chairman @LindseyGrahamSC focuses @senjudiciary on clergy abuse. It is a national issue and deserves attention. I’ll assist in any way the Chairman deems appropriate,” he tweeted Saturday.

{mosads}“The abuse we unearthed in PA was not confined to our state borders.”

Shapiro spearheaded an investigation into abuse at Catholic diocese in the Keystone State. A grand jury released a report in August found more than 1,000 instances of sexual abuse allegedly committed by hundreds of Catholic priests in the state.

The grand jury identified over 300 members of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania who allegedly committed acts of sexual abuse that were covered up by church officials. The church also persuaded local law enforcement agencies to drop several investigations. 

“Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability. Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades,” the report said.

“We should emphasize that, while the list of priests is long, we don’t think we got them all. 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,” it added

The Justice Department followed up and opened an inquiry of its own, serving subpoenas to diocese across Pennsylvania after the grand jury report. 

A California diocese in October also released a list of 34 priests who have been “credibly accused” of child sex abuse incidents dating back to the 1960s.

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