Aug 14, 2018

Axios PM

1 big thing: 300+ priests and 1,000+ victims

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

Bonus: Pic du jour

Screengrab: CNN

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters this afternoon that she "can't guarantee" President Trump has never used the N-word, but that she's never heard him say it. Go deeper.

2. What you missed
  1. Billions of dollars from teachers' pensions have been invested into private prisons that have detained captured undocumented immigrants near the southern border, according to a new reportGraphic.
  2. Trump’s tweet referring to Omarosa Manigault Newman as “that dog” has prompted Twitter outrage and debate from prominent figures on both the right and left. What they’re saying.
  3. Nebraska became the first state to use fentanyl as part of a lethal injection cocktail, executing a 60-year-old inmate who was convicted for double homicide in 1979. Details.
  4. The founders, current executives and early employees of dating app Tinder filed a lawsuit against the app's owner, IAC, and its subsidiary Match Group, for "manipulating financial information.” Go deeper.
  5. Paul Manafort’s defense attorneys rested their case in his fraud trial today, without calling any witnesses. The big picture.
  6. At least 22 people are dead after a highway bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy. The collapse caused cars to fall on railroad tracks 150 feet below. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

"From Billions on Showtime to HBO’s Silicon Valley and FX’s Trust, stories of rich people getting richer have become a popular part of modern American television," Bloomberg's Vildana Hajric reports.

  • The latest example is HBO's Succession, focused on the fictional Roy family that features references to the Murdoch family (Fox) and Redstone family (Viacom, CBS).
  • "The series provides a unique view into a world rarely understood, let alone intelligently explained, by television viewers outside the confines of Wall Street."

Go deeper