National News

Abuses in Pennsylvania Report Are ‘Criminal and Morally Reprehensible,’ Vatican Says

Posted August 16, 2018 5:37 p.m. EDT

The Vatican responded on Thursday to the horrors of a Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sex abuse, calling for accountability for both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur.

“The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible,” the Vatican statement said. “Victims should know that the Pope is on their side. Those who have suffered are his priority, and the Church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent.”

As part of what appeared to be a coordinated response intended to stem the spiraling crisis, the head of the American bishops also released a statement Thursday, saying the bishops were calling for a Vatican-led investigation into the abuses of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, who resigned last month after sex abuse allegations, and new avenues of accountability for bishops.