National Public Radio/Heard on Morning Edition
December 26, 2018
By Virginia Alvino Young
2018 has been an explosive year for the Catholic Church, with renewed revelations of clergy sexual abuse and cover up from one coast to the other. Dioceses across the country continue to deal with the fallout of a stunning grand jury report that detailed decades of abuse in Pennsylvania. For some parishioners and reform advocates, the church as a whole isn’t taking the crisis seriously enough.
At her brick home in a suburb outside of Pittsburgh, Stephanie Pennock spends weekdays entertaining her youngest son Bennott while her older two boys are at school.
Growing up in Erie, Pa., Pennock attended Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, and mass every week. “There was a series of priests that we went through very quickly,” she said. “There were rumors about what actually happened. Nothing ever much came to light about that.”
In August, the grand jury report was released, detailing decades worth of widespread childhood sexual abuse and cover ups in dioceses across Pennsylvania. When Pennock read through it, she saw some familiar names. One of her childhood pastors and a deacon who taught at her school both faced accusations of sexual misconduct.
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