Report Released on Boston Priest Sex Scandal
The Massachusetts Attorney General's report on the extensive 16-month investigation of the embattled Archdiocese of Boston was released to the public yesterday. This follows the announcement earlier this week from the MA Attorney General's office that criminal charges would not be filed against Cardinal Bernard Law and other church officials for their failure to protect children from sexually abusive priests. The 76-page document, compiled from reviewing over 30,000 pages of church papers and 100 hours of grand jury testimony, counted 237 priests accused of sexual abuse, likely more than one thousand victims and stated, "There is overwhelming evidence that for many years Cardinal Law and his senior managers had direct, actual knowledge that substantial numbers of children in the archdiocese had been sexually abused by substantial numbers of priests." Attorney General Thomas Reilly, calling the scandal a "massive, inexcusable failure of leadership" at the news conference yesterday expressed disappointment that criminal charges would not be filed. The archdiocese hierarchy "knew they were under no obligation to report... These were deliberate choices," New York Times reported.
The investigation did not find evidence of recent or current sexual abuse; however the report cautioned, "Given the magnitude of mistreatment and the fact that the Archdiocese's response over the past eighteen months remains inadequate, it is far too soon to conclude that the abuse has, in fact, stopped or could not reoccur in the future," according to the Washington Post.
Bishop Sean Patrick O'Malley will replace interim leader of the Boston Archdiocese Bishop Richard Lennon on July 30.
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Media Resources: NY Times 7/24/03; Washington Post 7/23/03; Feminist Daily News Wire