'These crimes shake the spirit of believers,' Pope Francis admits

New report details horrific abuse by priests

'These crimes shake the spirit of believers,' Pope Francis admits

Former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is facing calls for an investigation by the Vatican into sexual abuse allegations.

The report found more than 1,000 identifiable victims and is the broadest examination yet by a government agency in the United State of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

The Vatican expressed "shame and sorrow" on Thursday over revelations that Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused about 1,000 people over seven decades, vowing to hold abusers and those who protected them accountable.

"The Holy See treats with great seriousness the work of the Investigating Grand Jury of Pennsylvania and the lengthy Interim Report it has produced", Burke said.

"The Holy See condemns unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors".

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Rezendes, a member of the Boston Globe's Spotlight team that exposed the church's sexual abuse cover-up in the city, said that Tuesday's announcement was almost identical to the one he investigated.

In a statement issued Thursday-two days after the grand jury delivered its report-Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke described the abuses as "criminal and morally reprehensible". But there is a possibility clergy involved could face criminal charges if they failed to report certain abuse allegations.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls and the men of God who were responsible not only did nothing: They hid it all", the report states.

Some victims were plied with alcohol and groped or molested, the report says.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishop is now calling for an urgent investigation led by the Vatican.

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In more than 900 pages, the grand jury wrote about its findings all over Pennsylvania spanning more than 70 years. The real number of abused children, the grand jury added, might be in the thousands.

"Several diocesan administrators, including the bishops, often dissuaded victims from reporting abuse to police, pressured law enforcement to terminate or avoid an investigation or conducted their own deficient, biased investigation without reporting crimes against children to the proper authorities", the report says.

"The time of telling these victims to keep their truth to themselves has ended", Shapiro said. In June, he was removed from public ministry after church officials determined allegations that he sexually abused a teenager decades ago were "credible". Its' release had people asking why NY isn't opening up a similar investigation.

"When you have the priest touching you every day, you know, that's a hard memory to have", Dougherty said.

Pope Francis immediately accepted his resignation and ordered him to pray as he awaits a church trial to consider further punishment. "We must resolve to be clear-eyed about what we have done, what we have failed to do, and what remains to be done".

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