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New report details sex abuse cases in Catholic church in Maryland that affected 600 victims

The report says that ‘more than 150 Catholic priests and others associated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore’ had sexually abused more than 600 children, according to The Associated Press

SHARE New report details sex abuse cases in Catholic church in Maryland that affected 600 victims
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Anthony Brown, Democratic nominee for Maryland attorney general, speaks at Bowie State University in Bowie, Md., Nov. 7, 2022. On Wednesday, April 5, 2023, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office publicly released a redacted version of an investigative report detailing sex abuse allegations against more than 150 Catholic priests and examining the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s response.

Julio Cortez, Associated Press

A “long-awaited state report” released Wednesday by the state of Maryland reveals that certain Catholic priests and others affiliated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore had sexually abused more than 600 children over 80 years, according to The Associated Press.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore “is the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in the country,” The Associated Press reported.

What did the report about Maryland Catholic church sex abuse cases say?

According to the report, some children were being abused by more than one abuser, and “one deacon admitted to molesting over 100 children,” per the AP.

The report detailed sex abuse that took place starting in the mid-1940s all the way to 2002, The Washington Post reported.

“Today in Maryland certainly is a day of reckoning and accountability,” Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown told reporters, per the Post.

The attorney general’s office has been investigating for four years, resulting in the 463-page report that includes documentation about “pervasive and persistent abuse” perpetrated “by clergy members and others in the archdiocese, as well as dismissals and cover-ups by the church hierarchy,” according to The New York Times.

How did the Catholic church respond?

In response to the report, Archbishop William E. Lori, a prominent leader in the Baltimore Catholic community, wrote in a statement, “I see the pain and destruction that was perpetrated by representatives of the church and perpetuated by the failures that allowed this evil to fester, and I am deeply sorry.”

He also wrote in the statement that the information in the report was “a heartbreaking and new reminder of a tragic and shameful time.”

Why was the sex abuse report revealed now?

According to Brown, a majority of the abusers are dead, but he met with survivors before releasing the report, and he still thinks making the information public is important.

“While it may be too late for the survivors to see criminal justice served, we hope that exposing the Archdiocese’s transgressions to the fullest extent possible will bring some measure of accountability and perhaps encourage others to come forward,” Brown said, per CNN.