Time for a federal commission on sex abuse of children | Opinion

Arthur McCaffrey, For the Inquirer, September 18, 2018

Earlier this month, the New York attorney general initiated a criminal inquiry into clergy abuse of children in all the Catholic dioceses in New York state. This came fast on the heels of Pennsylvania's statewide grand jury investigation of Catholic clergy abuse, which was reported out by Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Aug. 14, exposing at least 1,000 cases of child abuse over a 70-year period.

New Jersey, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Missouri have similar criminal investigations underway. This follows previous inquiries in other states.

If you want to go back to ground zero, in Boston in 2002, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly may have issued the very first statewide report on July 23, 2003, when his 16-month investigation revealed that probably more than 1,000 children had been sexually abused  by priests and other church workers in the Archdiocese of Boston since 1940 — which averaged out to about 16 children per year up to 2003. By that time, Archbishop Cardinal Bernard Law, who presided over decades-long cover-ups of abuse,  had fled to Rome, leaving before  . . .

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