Pennsylvania priest also abused in Leuven

One of the priests named in an investigation into child abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in the American state of Pennsylvania spent time as a student at Leuven University in Flemish Brabant. According to a number of documents relating to the criminal investigation that is being carried out by the American Judicial Authorities he also stands accused of having abused a minor while he was in Leuven.  

Earlier this week the Judicial Authorities in the United States presented the results of an investigation that showed that over the past 70 years 300 priests in Pennsylvania abused around 1,000 children. The American Judicial Authorities accuse the Catholic Church hierarchy of having covered up the abuse.

The investigation was carried out over the past two years by a Grand Jury. A Grand Jury is a legal body empowered to conduct official proceeding, investigate potential criminal conduct and determine whether criminal charges should be brought.

Documents pertaining to the case state that one of the Priests said to have abused studied at Leuven University in the 1990’s where he gained his doctorate.    

After returning home to the United States, the clergyman visited Leuven several times. The alleged abuse in Leuven is said to have taken place during these visits.  

Meanwhile, the Pope has described the large-scale abuse of children by clergymen as criminal and abhorrent. The Pontiff adds that the Church should learn from the past and abusers and those that covered up abuse should have to face up to what they have done.