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That description echoes that of similar grand jury probes into the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 20 that found cardinals and other clerics shifted numerous known abusers from one unsuspecting parish to another.Attorney General Kathleen Kane called it a “day of reckoning” for abusers and their enablers but lamented that no one could be criminally charged.Hundreds of children were molested, raped and destined to lasting psychological trauma by clerics whose abuses were covered up by their bishops, other superiors and even compliant law-enforcement officials in Blair and Cambria counties, the report said.The conspiracy amounted to “soul murder,” the report said, with abuse happening everywhere from camps and homes to the historic cathedral itself.“Pray for the victims,” said Father Kurdziel in a somber noontime Mass, held less than two hours after the release of a state grand jury report finding that hundreds of children were abused by at least 50 priests and others associated with the church in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown across nearly half a century. Ask for God’s help, even on this very ugly day.” And with that, the congregation of several dozen bowed in extended silent prayer before resuming the Mass liturgy.“Pray for your bishop,” added Father Kurdziel, associate pastor of the cathedral. Across town at the Blair County Convention Center, authorities were releasing a catalog of horrors in a 147-page report by the 37th Statewide Investigating Grand jury, which spent nearly two years delving into the case.
As wolves disguised as the shepherds themselves — these men stole the innocence of children by sexually preying upon the most innocent and vulnerable ....“Priests were returned to ministry with full knowledge they were child predators.” EDITOR’S NOTE: The following grand jury report contains graphic language. Bishop Adamec refused to testify to the grand jury, invoking his constitutional right not to testify against himself in a criminal matter, but his lawyer issued a 10-page statement defending his actions and saying the grand jury report omitted key evidence.That was because the abuse happened too long ago to be prosecuted under the statute of limitations in effect at that time, or because the perpetrators had died or the victims were too traumatized to testify. Kane said the investigation is ongoing and that anyone with information should call 1-888-538-8541.“These findings are both staggering and sobering,” said the grand jury report.
ALTOONA — After the tolling of the noon hour Tuesday at the magnificent domed Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, whose towering perch above this historic railroad town reflects the Catholic Church’s long powerful presence in central Pennsylvania, the Rev.
Dennis Kurdziel left little doubt for whom the bell tolled.