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PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Catholic Churches throughout the Delaware Valley addressed the grand jury report during Sunday Mass. The report detailed child sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses and religious leaders’ efforts to cover it up.
“We’re not denying the reality of what happened as far as the scandals but they’re not equal to what we believe,” said Rev. Dennis Gill, a pastor at the Cathedral Basilica Of Saints Peter And Paul.
Rev. Hill shared the message to parishioners following Tuesday’s report that detailed the actions of 301 alleged predator priests who all reportedly molested over 1,000 children throughout the state.
The report is the result of an exhaustive effort on behalf of the state to reveal what was happening.
“We can face the scandals with honesty and truth and make the changes we need to make personally and institutionally,” Rev. Gill added.
Parishioners left admitting church leaders and members alike have work to do to prevent sexual abuse.
“I think it’s important that they addressed it. It’s important and clearly it was horrible what happened, evil what happened,” said Mark Chiacchiere, a parishioner.
“The only acceptable responses are grief and support for the victims, and comprehensive efforts to ensure that such things never recur,” Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote in weekly column Saturday regarding the report.
Meantime, Father also said anyone who suffered any abuse under any circumstances should know there is good in the world.