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Local Catholic church leaders respond to Pennsylvania abuse allegations

Local Catholic church leaders respond to Pennsylvania abuse allegations
Local Catholic church leaders respond to Pennsylvania abuse allegations
Posted at 5:10 PM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 17:10:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A shocking report details decades of abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania and a cover-up by the church.

The report documents hundreds of cases of abuse pulled from the confidential files of each diocese.

It finds more than 1,000 children were sexually abused by clergy and Catholic Church leaders protected and covered-up for more than 300 "predator priests."

Local Catholic leaders talked about the abuse allegations Wednesday.

Father John Cayer of Co-Cathedral of Saint Thomas More in Tallahassee says his first reaction was sadness, and then anger.

He's disappointed that so many high-ranking clergy members victimized the people who trusted them most.

"One good deed by any clergy member is good for all clergy. One bad deed from one clergy member is bad for all clergy," said Father Cayer. "All the cards have to be placed on the table and there has to be an examination of everyone who is in a position of leadership and we hope that there are things put in place to prevent this."

Father Cayer says change needs to come from the top, to create a safe environment for all who attend and interact with the Catholic Church.