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The Scandal Of Sexual Abuse In The Catholic Church Of Pennsylvania

On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro was tasked with leading a press conference to read parts of a report put together by the Pennsylvania grand jury. The 1400 page report was the end result of an 18 month investigation into the sexual abuse of children, teenagers, and legal adults in a selection of Diocese of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. Two million documents were reviewed for the report which exposed that at the minimum, 300 Catholic priests sexually abused children over the span of at least 70 years. Among the documents were “secret archives” which revealed that a large number of church leaders and officials within the Catholic Church were aware of the ongoing abuse of minors as well as adults. Not only were they aware, they worked actively for decades to cover up the scandal so as to exploit Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations and avoid civil or criminal investigations. The implications and effect of this monumental report are earth-shattering as 1,000 children were identified. For the potentially thousands of others, the public revelation can be an introduction or reintroduction to trauma.

Though the report outlined some of the victims’ experiences in disturbing detail, we at The Guest House feel it is best to refrain from outlining potentially triggering information. Many of these stories are available online across many mainstream publications. If you feel inclined to read these stories, it is best to communicate with your therapist or your trauma recovery team if you have one. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, these stories can be extremely upsetting. We are including a guide to self-care at the end of this article.

One victim described the traumatizing acts as “murder on the soul”. After a two day period of silence, the Vatican finally spoke out on the matter. The Vatican spokesman Greg Burke had just two words to express the feelings of the Vatican: “Shame and sorrow”. “The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible,” Burke’s statement reads. “Those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.” Rather than excuse or brush over the scandalizing subject, the representative addressed it head on. “The Church must learn hard lessons from its past, and there should be accountability for both users and those who permitted abuse to occur.”

You can walk through your trauma. The Guest House Ocala offers residential treatment programming for trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Call us today for information on our customized programs and availability: 1-855-483-7800