What to Know
- A newly-released report into six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses states that thousands of young victims were abused over many decades.
- A grand jury worked on the investigation against the "predator priests" for two years.
- The Archdiocese of Boston, who faced its own share of alleged sex abuse cover-ups, refused to comment on the report.
Shocking reports coming out of Pennsylvania detailing decades of sexual abuse by hundreds of Roman Catholic Church priests have hit close to home.
The Archdiocese of Boston, who faced its own share of sexual abuse cover-ups, refused to comment on the scathing grand jury report that was released Tuesday. The disturbing report, which details allegations against roughly 300 priests, comes after two years of investigation by the jury.
"Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg," attorney Mitchell Garabedian said, "There are many, many more victims out there."
Garabedian is representing abuse victims in Boston. The story is all too familiar in the city, where a 2002 report from the Boston Globe revealed the Catholic Church protected former priest John J. Geoghan after he allegedly sexually abused children for three decades.
The Pennsylvania grand jury emphasized the Globe’s investigation and stated the importance of it could not be overstated. The Boston and Pennsylvania cases could reveal connections, according to Garabedian.
"It’s the same blueprint," he said. "Sexual abuse, cover-up, play upon a spiritual guilt."
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Mike Rezendes of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team, which uncovered the 2002 Boston cover-ups, said on the 'Today' show that he believes sexual abuse survivors think Pope Franics is not doing enough.
"This issue has the potential to mar Francis’ legacy forever," he said. "He has not come to grips with this issue. Sixteen years after the Boston Globe Spotlight Team report, the Vatican has done very, very little. A blue ribbon commission has been appointed, there have been promises to hold bishops accountable but really, in a very subsistent way, nothing has been done."
"I think the time is long past as far as the survivors are concerned for the Vatican to take some action."
More than two dozen current clergy members in Pennsylvania called the report "inaccurate" and are taking steps to keep names included in the report hidden.
"With each of those names, it’s important to say comes a story, comes a list of people who were abused as children, comes communities disrupted," said Terry Mckiernan, of bishopaccountability.org.
The Archdiocese of Boston referred NBC10 Boston back to the Pennsylvania archdiocese in lieu of a statement.
You can read the report here (warning: explicit and disturbing content).