“The cover-up made it impossible to achieve justice for the victims,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told journalists at a press conference, as he laid out a pattern of consistent, decades-long cover-up across six dioceses.
According to the grand jury, the files the church kept locked up contained a pattern of strategies that were a “playbook” for concealing the truth. Some of the tactics for church record keeping included euphemisms, like saying “inappropriate contact” or “boundary issues” instead of “rape.”
Even if a priest was abusing children, he was allowed to keep his housing and living expenses. Above all, the church was told not to call the police and instead handle claims like a personnel matter.
Pope Francis is visiting Ireland this week, where the topic of sexual abuse in the church has dominated the headlines. The Church in Ireland continues to suffer the fallout of its own abuse scandal, which came to light nearly a decade ago.