The Christian Science Monitor

Stark revelations: For Catholics, an excruciating new test of faith

“We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this.”

It was an extraordinary opening for a grand jury report. The investigative commission in Pennsylvania, setting aside in many ways the sober-minded law enforcement tone of “just-the-facts,” could only express its own horror and sense of urgency at the catalog of abuses they presented, and the relentless and widespread culture of casual cover-ups within one of the globe’s most powerful religions.

“We know some of you have heard some of it before,” continued the nearly 900-page report. “There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale. For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away. Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere.”

Indeed, it’s been a story in the public eye

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