A Grand Jury in Pennsylvania has revealed that 300 Roman Catholic priests have abused more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses over the past seven decades.

The New York Times reported the following excerpts from the Grand Jury report: “Priests were raping little boys and girls and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing, they hid it all.”

“Children were raped in places of worship, in schools and in diocesan-owned vehicles... a priest raped a girl, got her pregnant and arranged an abortion.”

In the Pittsburgh diocese, predatory priests shared information regarding victims and exchanged victims among them. “This group of priests used whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims.”

The Grand Jury reported that some priests gave gold cross necklaces to their favourite boys. These crosses “were a signal to other predators that the children had been desensitised to sexual abuse and were optimal targets for further victimisation”.

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