Colorado's attorney general has released an independent report which has found that 43 Catholic priests sexually abused at least 166 children over 70 years.
Attorney General Phil Weiser announced the more than 250-page report during a news conference on Wednesday. Speaking about the report, he told reporters, "The most painful part for me is that we have had stories told of victims coming forward, and they weren’t supported. We can’t make up for that. What we can do is build a culture that going forward, when people come forward and tell their stories, they are supported."
Officials in Colorado began the investigation after they noticed that one of the priests named in Pennsylvania's grand jury report last year had transferred to Colorado.
The three dioceses in Colorado, according to the report, failed to act after they learned that some of their priests were abusing children. 97 of the victims were abused after the dioceses had been notified.
Several states have launched probes into the Catholic Church since Pennsylvania's grand jury report was released. Worldwide, pressure continues to mount as the Catholic Church's past in protecting priests who abuse children has been revealed.
As for Colorado, Weiser told reporters that a reparations program would be set up and funded by the dioceses to compensate victims.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is a group that advocates for abuse victims. They released a statement in response to the report where they said they, "hope that this report will now compel legislators in Colorado to take steps to institute legislative reform that can help prevent future cases of abuse and support survivors, such as reforming the statute of limitations laws that often bar survivors from bringing claims forward and exposing abusers and their enablers."
As these investigations continue, we will keep learning more and more about the horrific things that priests have been doing to children and how the church protected the priests. Victims were either ignored, or threatened. The church's crimes need to be brought to light. This story is far from over.