Maryland Finds ‘no Parish Was Safe’ for Abuse Victims

Maryland Finds ‘no Parish Was Safe’ for Abuse Victims: The office of the state attorney general investigated allegations of sexual and physical abuse that date back more than eight decades in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Victims of Abuse in Maryland Found That “No Parish Was Safe.”

The Maryland attorney general has identified more than 600 juvenile victims of clerical sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore over 80 years.

The lawsuit, which describes the attorney general’s conclusions, asks a judge to release the complete 456-page study on clerical sex abuse in Maryland.

The latest study marks a symbolic milestone in the long-running international abuse crisis that has rattled the Catholic faith and led to changes and billions in settlements. The Baltimore study is one of the first major investigations on sexual abuse in the Church since a 2018 report on six Pennsylvania dioceses stunned Catholics nationwide. In 2019, Colorado investigators reported church abuse.

More than 20 state attorney general investigations are ongoing. Baltimore’s first Catholic diocese is managed by William E. Lori, who was chosen vice president of the USCCB last week. The scope of the abuse is comparable to those revealed in Boston, Los Angeles, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. According to Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, “no church was safe” Both boys and girls from preschool through “young adulthood” (age 18) were mistreated.

The petition states the Archdiocese failed to disclose “sexual assault and physical torture” and failed to remove suspected priests from active ministry or restrict their contact with youngsters. Some schools and congregations had multiple abusive priests. The suit says that victims occasionally reported a sexual assault to offender clergymen. Over 40 years, one congregation had 11 perpetrators.

The most recent piece: 

Maryland Finds 'no Parish Was Safe' for Abuse Victims
Mr. Frosh said reading the report made him sick. “We may be gazing at the iceberg’s tip, but it’s huge.” Archbishop Lori wrote to the church faithful Thursday, “We feel profound humiliation, great regret, and genuine sympathy, especially to those who suffered from the conduct of Church officials entrusted with their spiritual and physical well-being.” Since 2012, Lori has become archbishop.

The study names 115 priests who have been convicted or publicly named for sex abuse. 43 are unknown. Thirty newly recognized priests have died, leaving 13 living. Mr. Frosh said many of the abuse cases were misdemeanors when they were committed, so the statute of limitations had lapsed. Most of the report’s assertions are from the 1970s and 1980s, with some earlier and later.

The Maryland report is the result of Mr. Frosh’s 2019 criminal inquiry. A grand jury subpoenaed the Archdiocese for any records related to clergy sexual abuse claims and the Archdiocese’s response. The report requires a judge’s approval since it contains grand jury material, which is secret. The Archdiocese will not resist the motion to share the findings, a spokeswoman said.

The Maryland probe follows a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that spanned from 2016 to 2018 and documented extensive abuse. Over 300 priests were accused of sexual abuse in this study.

David Lorenz, head of SNAP’s Maryland chapter, called the report “as huge as Pennsylvania.” The report covers only one of Maryland’s three dioceses. Mr. Lorenz replied, “This may be the church’s judgment.” Since Thursday, he’s gotten two calls from assault victims who hadn’t previously spoken up.

The sexual abuse issue has plagued the Catholic Church since 2002 when The Boston Globe revealed systematic cover-ups.

The problem has led to legal reforms, including expanding or suspending numerous state statutes of limitations for abuse claims. Few criminal prosecutions have emerged. In many cases exposed this century, the criminals are dead or the statute of limitations has elapsed.

The most recent piece: 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top