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Laying blame for sex abuse

BOSTON (ICN): Following the child sex abuse cover-up allegations last year which led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law as Archbishop of Boston, an official investigation concluded on July 23 that the Church had ignored ‘hundreds’ of complaints over the past 60 years.

The grand jury inquiry, led by Massachusetts Attorney-General Tom Reilly, found the archdiocese’s own records reveal that they received complaints from 789 alleged victims, involving more than 250 clergy and other workers.

But he said, the number of victims, spanning a period from 1940 to today, probably exceeded 1000.

Introducing the 91-page report, he said: “What we have documented in the course of this investigation borders on the unbelievable. The duration of it, six decades of the sexual abuse of children by members of the Catholic clergy. The magnitude of it is simply staggering.”

The Attorney-General said that Cardinal Bernard Law bore ultimate responsibility for what he calls the “tragic treatment of children”.

But, he added the cardinal did not bear sole responsibility, saying: “With rare exception, none of his senior managers advised him to take any of the steps that might have ended the systemic abuse of children”.

“The Catholic faith and the Catholic religion values and teaches to protect the most vulnerable, particularly our children,” he said. “This is a massive, inexcusable failure of leadership in the Archdiocese of Boston.”

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