Victims of clergy sexual abuse and their family members react as Shapiro speaks during a news conference in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
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Over the past four months, Roman Catholic dioceses across the U.S. have released the names of more than 1,000 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children in an unprecedented public reckoning spurred at least in part by a shocking grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania, an Associated Press review has found. Nearly 50 dioceses and religious orders have publicly identified child-molesting priests in the wake of the Pennsylvania report issued in mid-August, and 55 more have announced plans to do the same over the next few months, the AP found. The review also found that nearly 20 local, state or federal investigations, either criminal or civil, have been launched since the release of the grand jury findings. The Pennsylvania investigation, led by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, identified nearly 300 "predator priests" dating back seven decades and accused church leaders of covering up for the abuses, in some cases by returning priests to duty after short stays in treatment centers or reassigning them.In the 16 years between the Boston scandal and the Pennsylvania investigation, only about 30 dioceses around the country had released lists of priests they deemed credibly accused of abuse.Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of the Little Rock Diocese in Arkansas disclosed the names of 12 priests in September and announced the hiring of a consultant to review diocesan files.
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