The Vatican, Diocese of Gaylord Saddened By Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report of Rampant Abuse

A Pennsylvania grand jury report named 300 priests, claiming they abused more than 1,000 victims over the course of decades.

It was released Tuesday but the Vatican just issued a statement Thursday.

It calls for abusers and those who help hide their acts be held accountable.

But it’s almost impossible to prosecute any of the crimes because of the statute of limitations, now Pennsylvania lawmakers are working to change that.

With the diocese of Gaylord covering 21 counties in Michigan we wanted to know their feelings on the report.

“After some of those events, I just go home and weep, because it’s not who I am, it’s not the priesthood that I know and it’s not the priesthood that I love,” Most Rev. Steven Raica, said.

Diocese of Gaylord Bishop Steven Raica says he’s been in a state of shock and dismay since the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

“For me, it was really quite gut wrenching to see that. It just brings back a lot of memories of the victims, of the survivors that I have met with over the course of my years and how moved I am by the courage that they have and how inadequate sometimes the apologies seem to be,” Raica, explained.

We asked Bishop Raica, what’s being done in churches across Northern Michigan to make sure children are safe?

In the Diocese of Gaylord’s 21 counties, the bishop says priests undergo extensive background checks, safe environment training and are audited annually.

Bishop Raica acknowledges that these efforts won’t prevent all abuse and it’s why we must remain vigilant.

“This bump in the road as sad, tragic and gut-wrenching as it is, is a wake-up call for all of us,” Raica, added.

We asked the Bishop what would you say to church members or people that work within the church, if they notice something suspicious?

“If they notice something, say something! Please say something, it’s for the good of all,” Raica, said.

For the Bishop’s full statement click here.