Hundreds of children were molested, raped, and subjected to psychological trauma by at least 50 priests and others associated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown across half a century, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday.
A Pennsylvania state report by the 37th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury denounced coverups orchestrated by two bishops and church-controlled law enforcement officials, going so far as to analogize the conspiracy to “soul murder.”
On the heels of the film “Spotlight” winning “Best Picture” for its depiction of the Boston Globe’s investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, alluding to the horrendous acts of abuse committed by priests, called it a ”day of reckoning.”
None of the over 50 accused clergymen will face charges, according to the report, because of the statute of limitations for such accusations. As a result, the state grand jury report recommended that the statute of limitations on such crimes be extended.
Diocese Bishops James Hogan, who served from 1966 to 1986 and died in 2005, and Joseph Adamec, who served from 1987 to 2011 and is now retired, “took actions that further endangered children as they placed their desire to avoid public scandal over the wellbeing of innocent children,” the report said. “Priests were returned to ministry with full knowledge they were child predators.”