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Prosecutor: Priests 'weaponized' the faith to abuse kids

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, at podium, speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 1...
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A P...
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.  A ...
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.  A ...
Victims of clergy sexual abuse, or their family members react as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pen...
Robert Mizic, 47, watches a press conference on the grand jury report investigating sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania at his hom...
Victims of clergy sexual abuse and their family members react as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pen...

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, at podium, speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 1...

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A P...

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A ...

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A ...

Victims of clergy sexual abuse, or their family members react as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pen...

Robert Mizic, 47, watches a press conference on the grand jury report investigating sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania at his hom...

Victims of clergy sexual abuse and their family members react as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pen...

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church in Pennsylvania accuses priests of using religious rituals, symbols of faith and the threat of eternity in hell to sexually attack children over the years.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro calls it the "weaponization of faith."

The grand jury report, released Tuesday, provides numerous examples.

It says several priests made a boy strip and pose as Jesus on the cross, and one used a crucifix to sexually attack a boy.

Threats of eternal damnation also were not uncommon as pedophile priests victimized young boys.

Church leaders say most of the offenses occurred well in the past and note that major reforms were adopted in the early 2000s to safeguard children.


Updated : 2021-06-25 00:27 GMT+08:00