Catholic church in Pennsylvania spent decades covering up for hundreds of pedophile priests, panel finds; several named had New York ties

Hundreds of pedophile priests – including some with New York ties – abused and terrorized Pennsylvania children for decades, while complicit Catholic Church officials covered up their offenses or turned a blind eye, according to a damning new grand jury report released Tuesday.

Over the course of 70 years, the trusted, ordained men of God, more than 300 in all, raped and abused more than 1,000 boys and girls with impunity while serving an institution that routinely shuffled them from parish to parish, giving them license and enabling them to prey upon new victims.

The disturbing details were unearthed in a statewide grand jury report that was two years in the making, an ugly inventory described by officials as the biggest and most exhaustive ever undertaken by a U.S. state.

“The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid scandal,” the report says. “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.”

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