NY: A USA report revealing that 300 priests sexually abused at least 1,000 children, facilitated by a Catholic Church cover-up, has increased calls to tighten laws and hold bishops accountable.
"The acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and in many cases, also their faith".
He said the executive committee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) had outlined three goals to prevent further abuse, and punish "predators in the Church and anyone who would hide them".
Earlier, the Investigating Grand Jury of Pennsylvania released a report which is said to be the "largest, most comprehensive report into child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church ever produced in the United States".
"Regarding the report made public in Pennsylvania this week, there are two words that can express the feelings faced with these disgusting crimes: shame and sorrow", Vatican spokesman Greg Burke wrote.
Paul Dorsch was sexually abused by a priest at Quigley Catholic School near Pittsburgh starting at the age of 13.
In a statement, it said the Church wanted to listen to the victims to "root out this tragic horror". In most countries, including Canada, abuse has been uncovered through court proceedings, public inquiries or media investigations.
"I certainly think there will be new efforts in various states including Pennsylvania to enact changes to the statutes of limitations", says Michael Moreland, professor of law and religion at Villanova University, a Catholic university in Pennsylvania.
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Pope Francis has compared sex abuse by priests to participating in a "Satanic Mass", but he has also been accused of being too soft on paedophiles, extending to them a general policy of mercy he is promoting in the church.
"Two weeks ago, I shared with you my sadness, anger, and shame over the recent revelations concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick", the cardinal said.
"The abuses contained in the Pennsylvania grand jury report are, as you know, appallingly familiar", he wrote.
The release of the Pennsylvania report this week worsened the crisis for the church, with dozens of examples of shocking abuse committed against children by priests.
This week, a grand jury reported its belief that thousands of boys and girls in Pennsylvania had been raped and sexually abused by more than 300 Catholic priests.
With a credible allegation that Archbishop McCarrick abused a minor almost 47 years ago and accusations of his sexual misconduct with seminarians, many have been asking how the prelate could have risen up the ranks of the church as an auxiliary bishop, bishop, archbishop and finally cardinal.
Bill Donohue's American Catholic advocacy group, the Catholic League, is coming under a lot of fire today for insisting that the widespread sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church is a "total myth".
It's far from the first report to expose the systemic abuse and cover-up of child sexual abuse in the church.