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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

More than 300 Catholic priests abused thousands of victims for 70 years in Pennsylvania — with protection from Church leadership, according to a grand jury report out today.

The bottom line: A key institution in American life actively shielded monsters in its own ranks from justice and even worked to outlast statute of limitation laws, showing more concern for rapists and abusers than their victims.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all," the report says.

"In [one] case, a priest raped a girl, got her pregnant, and arranged an abortion. The bishop expressed his feelings in a letter":

  • "This is a very difficult time in your life, and I realize how upset you are. I too share your grief."
  • "But the letter was not for the girl. It was addressed to the rapist."

Why it matters, in the grand jury's own words:

  • "We are sick over all the crimes that will go unpunished and uncompensated. This report is our only recourse."
  • "We are going to name their names, and describe what they did — both the sex offenders and those who concealed them."
  • "We are going to shine a light on their conduct, because it is what the victims deserve."
  • "And we are going to make our recommendations for how the laws should change so that maybe no one will have to conduct another inquiry like this one."
  • "We think it's reasonable to expect one of the world's great religions, dedicated to the spiritual well-being of over a billion people, to find ways to organize itself so that the shepherds stop preying upon the flock."

The big picture: There's more to come, the N.Y. Times reports.

  • "Catholics are calling for independent investigations into why Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, was advanced up the hierarchy despite warnings to his superiors in Rome and fellow bishops that he had molested seminarians and young priests."

Go deeper: The worst revelations in the grand jury report

Go deeper

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Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

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Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

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Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

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Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.