Cardinals attend the religious mass 'Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice' at Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, Vatican City, 12 March 2013. The Catholic Church's 115 cardinal electors are taking part in a mass in St. Peter's Basilica on 12 March ahead of entering the conclave for a papal election that observers say has no clear favourite. The Pro Eligendo Romano Pontefice ('For the Election of the Roman Pontiff') mass is presided by Angelo Sodano, the elderly dean of the College of Cardinals, and is also open to non-voting cardinals - those aged more than 80. The next pope will take over a Church beset by infighting, scandal and dwindling support, particularly in the West.
PHOTO: MICHAEL KAPPELER /DPA/Landov
Cardinals attend the religious mass 'Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice' at Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, Vatican City, 12 March 2013. The Catholic Church's 115 cardinal electors are taking part in a mass in St. Peter's Basilica on 12 March ahead of entering the conclave for a papal election that observers say has no clear favourite. The Pro Eligendo Romano Pontefice ('For the Election of the Roman Pontiff') mass is presided by Angelo Sodano, the elderly dean of the College of Cardinals, and is also open to non-voting cardinals - those aged more than 80. The next pope will take over a Church beset by infighting, scandal and dwindling support, particularly in the West.
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(CNN) —  

The Vatican was warned.

In July, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro wrote a personal letter to Pope Francis, warning him that “a comprehensive investigation” by his office had found “widespread sexual abuse of children and a systemic coverup by leaders of the Catholic Church.”

Shapiro says he never received a response.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court set a deadline. The grand jury report had to be released by Tuesday at 2 p.m.

The six Pennsylvania dioceses named in the scathing grand jury report even received advanced copies of the 800-page document in May, according to Crux News.

Before the report was published on Tuesday, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, one of the Pope’s top allies and the former bishop of Pittsburgh, had a detailed website prepared to defend himself against charges that he shielded abusive priests. (The website was removed on Thursday after an outcry from Catholics.)

All of this means that idea that the Vatican was caught flat-footed by the explosive report or needs more time to process it is increasingly difficult to understand. So is the Pope’s silence on the matter.

Are accusations that 1,000 children were abused at the hands of Catholic clergy not enough to warrant a comment from their Holy Father?

Apparently not.

“We have no comment at this time,” Paloma Ovejero, deputy director of the Vatican’s press office, said on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Vatican again declined to comment.

Meanwhile, in the United States and elsewhere, pressure continues to mount on Pope Francis to address a rapidly escalating crisis that has spread across several continents, from Australia to Latin America.

In the United States, both liberal and conservative Catholics displayed a rare unity in pressing the Pope to respond to the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

02:28 - Source: CNN
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