Apr 6, 2023
Bombshell Report Details Child Abuse in Baltimore Archdiocese Transcript
The Maryland attorney general’s report documents more than 600 cases of abuse over 60 years in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Read the transcript here.
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It is a damning report that details the sexual abuse of more than 600 children in Baltimore. The report calls out more than 150 priests and others, all accused of sexually abusing children at the Baltimore Archdiocese. Now, that newly released report coming from Maryland’s Attorney General and a details a pattern of abuse that lasted more than 60 years. Mallory Sofastaii with Scripps News Baltimore has more on the scandal that brought the diocese.
Mallory Sofastaii (00:26):
So this report details pervasive and persistent abuse at the hands of Baltimore priests and other Archdiocese of Baltimore personnel and the history of repeated coverups by the Catholic Church. It also names 146 priests and other individuals accused of sexually and physically abusing more than 600 people in the last 80 years. This report dates back to 2018 when the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, launched a grand jury investigation looking into criminal allegations of child sexual abuse by members of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. They reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents and spoke to hundreds of survivors and witnesses, and they identified themes and behaviors where abusers used their power to take advantage of victims, saying it was God’s will. Some victims and their families were threatened that they’d go to hell if they told anyone. And abusers were accused of attempting to normalize sexual behavior as roughhousing.
Last November, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General filed a motion to unseal this report. A judge ordered that it would need to be redacted, so those who are still living have an opportunity to respond in court before their names are released. And that redacted version was released today. Survivors of the sexual abuse saying This has been a long time coming, and they’re feeling vindicated.
Speaker 3 (01:43):
I feel relief. Yes, I’m glad it’s out. But I want to try to get more with the names released too.
Speaker 4 (01:50):
This has been a lifelong effort and so I can remain sane I try to take one step at a time, and today is a good day.
Mallory Sofastaii (02:03):
Baltimore Archbishop, William Lori, issued a lengthy response to the report, first apologizing to the survivors, their families, and parishioners, then detailing actions to help with the healing process and to prevent this from happening again.
The Baltimore City Circuit Court judge ordered the release of this report on February 24th. The Office of the Attorney General then had to do all of the redactions for this 400 plus page report, then submitted back to the court for approval. So the timing is a bit coincidental, but the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, they’ve been pushing for the release of this report before the Maryland General Assembly convenes next week. The group supports the Child Victim’s Act of 2023, which would eliminate the statute of limitations that has prevented survivors from bringing civil actions against abusers and recovering damages for the harms they’ve suffered. So that bill was approved by the House of Delegates and is making its way through the Senate before heading to the Governor’s desk.
Speaker 1 (02:55):
That’s Mallory Sofastaii from Scripps News Baltimore. Mallory, thank you very much.