- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 15, 2018


“We are sick over all the crimes that will go unpunished and uncompensated,” the Pennsylvania grand jurors wrote. “This report is our only recourse.”

Thank heaven it’s not the only recourse for the Roman Catholic Church and the untold number of victims who were raped, assaulted, harassed and impregnated by priests.

The various statutes of limitations mean the overwhelming majority of the 1,000-plus crimes the grand jurors reviewed can’t be prosecuted in Pennsylvania courts.

However, you should know this: Although churches and priests in the six dioceses in Pennsylvania are no longer cloaked by the church, Baltimore is in need of a thorough reckoning, too.

The violence was characterized this way: “The group of priests used whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims.”

The violence may have included the murder of a nun, Sister Cathy Cesnik, a Pittsburgh native. A school teacher at the Baltimore’s Seton Keough High School, Sister Cathy disappeared Nov. 7, 1969. Her car was found illegally parked near her complex the next day. Her half-dressed body was discovered nearly two months later. She had been choked, and her body was bruised with blunt force trauma — and a fatal whack to her head.

No one has been charged with her murder. But get this: Girls who had been sexually assaulted by Baltimore priests say they suspected Sister Cathy was murdered because girls at Keough High told her they had been abused and sometimes parceled out to paying sex customers.

In short, the priests — now long dead — are believed to have permanently shut up Sister Cathy to cover up their own sins and crimes.

Netflix aired a docu-series on Sister Cathy’s case, “The Keepers,” in the spring of 2017, and several women who were abused by Baltimore priests make the rounds to speak about against child-sex abuse.

The caretakers of the Catholic church in Pittsburgh knew what was going on, and indeed were complicit in the cover-ups the media have been reporting in recent years in Boston, Baltimore and elsewhere.

And while much of the coverage projected images of homosexuality within the clergy, the grand jury report draws an altogether different scene: Church leaders foisted child predators on different parishes and communities, harassed and threatened families to cover up pedophilia and pregnancies, and sent some offenders to the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, which administered therapy and psychiatric treatment.

The grand jury report is stomach-turning, difficult to read and certainly hard to even attempt to digest.

So, to ensure you fully grasp the gravity of the Catholic church situation, I depart with these two facts.

Two priests in the Pittsburgh diocese were so vile, the report said, “The group of priests used whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims.”

And here’s what the Vatican had to say Wednesday: “No comment.”

Speaks volumes, eh?

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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