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Grand jury slams Philadelphia archdiocese for clergy abuse, but lays no charges

[JURIST] A grand jury in Philadelphia on Wednesday issued a 418-page report severely criticizing the Archdiocese of Philadelphia [diocesan website] for alleged cover-ups of widespread clergy abuses [JURIST news archive] in the Archdiocese over the course of decades, but handed down no charges due to statute of limitations applying in most cases. The grand jury, convened in 2003, concluded that at least 63 priests, and possibly others, sexually abused hundreds of minors over the course of several decades. Jurors also found that abuse was known about and covered up by two previous archbishops, Cardinal John Krol [Wikipedia profile] and Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua [Wikipedia profile], who transferred priests among parishes and ignored complaints to preserve the reputation and financial interests of the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese issued an equally stinging 70-page response [text] to the grand jury's findings, calling them "vile, mean-spirited diatribe." The response condemned abuses by priests, but it discounted allegations against Krol and Bevilacqua as unfounded. The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has the complete grand jury report. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more [registration required].

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