An investigation has uncovered allegations of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of hundreds of Roman Catholic Priests in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
More than 150 Roman Catholic priests have been accused of abusing more than 600 victims over the past 80 years, ABC News reported.
Maryland’s Attorney General Brian Frosh has identified 115 of those priests who were prosecuted for sex abuse or had been identified publicly by the archdiocese as having been “credibly accused” of abuse. While another 43 had been accused of sexual abuse but their identity was not released by the archdiocese.
A 2019 investigation surrounding the priests’ abuse resulted in a 463-page report that has yet to be released to the public. Frosh is working on getting that information and has filed a motion in Baltimore Circuit Court for its release, which is said to include information obtained by grand jury subpoenas.
In his motion, he wrote, “publicly airing the transgressions of the Church is critical to holding people and institutions accountable and improving the way sexual abuse allegations are handled going forward.”
The investigation reviewed 80 years of documents and created phone and email systems for potential informants or victims to useto share information. A successful system that garnered more than 300 people who contacted the attorney general’s office.
“For decades, survivors reported sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests and for decades the Church covered up the abuse rather than holding the abusers accountable and protecting its congregations,” the court filing stated. “The Archdiocese of Baltimore was no exception.”
The attorney general accused the archdiocese of failing to report allegations of sexual abuse or adequately investigate the allegations. Apparently, the archdiocese also failed to remove abusers from the ministry and didn’t restrict those accused access to children or young adults.
“While the Archdiocese reported a large number of allegations to police, especially in later years, for decades it worked to ensure that the perpetrators would not face justice,” the court filing read.
The court filing pointed out that although the investigation led to 600-plus victims, there may be “hundreds more” because it’s typical for sexual assault to go unreported.
Victims were identified as boys and girls, who were between preschool age and young adulthood.
Also problematic, was the claim that the Archdiocese appointed an abusive priest at a Catholic high school and then failed to report sexual abuse that followed his appointment. The archdiocese allegedly knew of the sexual abuse allegations against the priest for over 30 years before informing authorities.
Archbishop William Lori of the Archdiocese of Baltimore has since apologized to the victims in a letter he sent out Thursday, in part saying, “to the victim-survivors who were harmed by a minister of the Church and who were harmed by those who failed to protect them, who failed to respond to them with care and compassion and who failed to hold abusers accountable for their sinful and criminal behavior.”