Oldest Roman Catholic Church in U.S. Accused of Covering up Over 600 Child Sex Abuse Reports: Officials

More than six hundred children suffered sexual abuse by at least 150 Baltimore-area clergy members and other Archdiocese personnel, according to a Maryland Attorney General’s report published in the middle of Holy Week, detailing over 80 years of covering up the scandals.

The Maryland Office of the Attorney General launched a Grand Jury investigation into the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2018, listing a total of 156 clergy members, deacons, seminaries, teachers, and other employees of the Archdiocese as abusers in “hundreds of thousands” of documents dating back to the 1940s — although officials said the number of victims is likely far higher than outlined in the nearly 500-page report.

Such documents reveal with “disturbing clarity” that the Archdiocese, the first diocese established in the United States, allegedly protected accused clergy members from scandal and negative publicity rather than vulnerable children in their communities. In some cases, church leaders would allegedly offer those accused a chance to retire with financial support.

“Time and again, members of the Church’s hierarchy resolutely refused to acknowledge allegations of child sexual abuse for as long as possible,” the report reads. “When denial became impossible, Church leadership would remove abusers from the parish or school, sometimes with promises that they would have no further contact with children.”

Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown, who took office in January, said during a press conference Wednesday the investigation shows the “incontrovertible history uncovered by this investigation is one of pervasive, pernicious and persistent abuse by priests and other archdiocese personnel,” adding most of the alleged abusers listed in the report would not face prosecution as they have passed away. (Read more from “Oldest Roman Catholic Church in U.S. Accused of Covering up Over 600 Child Sex Abuse Reports: Officials” HERE)

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