Human Lives Human Rights: Shocking numbers released in a report by the state of Maryland attorney general’s office Wednesday alleged that 156 Catholic clergy members abused at least 600 children for more than 60 years.
“Today certainly in Maryland is a day of reckoning and a day of accounting,” Attorney General Anthony Brown said during a news conference where he said he met survivors earlier in the day.
“What was consistent throughout the stories was the absolute authority and power these abusive priests and the church leadership held over survivors, their families and their communities,” said Brown.
The list of abusers includes clergy members, seminarians, deacons, teachers and other employees of the Archdiocese.
“From the 1940s through 2002, over a hundred priests and other Archdiocese personnel engaged in horrific and repeated abuse of the most vulnerable children in their communities while Archdiocese leadership looked the other way,” according to the report. “Time and again, members of the Church’s hierarchy resolutely refused to acknowledge allegations of child sexual abuse for as long as possible.”
The investigation into the Baltimore Archdiocese began in 2018 with the attorney general’s office receiving “hundreds of thousands of documents” over the past five years including personnel records, transfer documents and treatment reports.
Brown said most of the abusers listed in the report are dead and no longer subject to prosecution. He also indicated that “the number is likely far higher” than the 600 children included in the report.
“While it may be too late for the survivors to see criminal justice served, we hope that exposing the Archdiocese’s transgressions to the fullest extent possible will bring some measure of accountability and perhaps encourage others to come forward,” added Brown.
He also indicated that the report does not constitute a criminal indictment.