"All of the victims were brushed aside in every part of the state by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all. 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 pattern was abuse, deny and cover up. The effect not only victimized children it served a legal purpose that church officials manipulated for their advantage. The longer they covered it up the less chance law enforcement could prosecute these predators because the statute of limitations would run."
A Pennsylvania grand jury says its investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims.
The grand jury report released Tuesday says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. The grand jury says it believes the "real number" of abused children might be "in the thousands" since some records were lost and victims were afraid to come forward.
The report says more than 300 clergy committed the abuse over a period of decades.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.
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