clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Vox Sentences: 1,000 victims, 300 priests, and 70 years of covering it up

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

A new report accuses 300 priests of decades-long abuse in the Pennsylvania Catholic Church; an Italian bridge falls down, killing dozens.

A “systematic cover-up” in the Pennsylvania Catholic Church

Claudio Reyes/AFP/Getty Images
  • More than 300 priests from Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic Church have been accused of sexual abuse over a 70-year period, according to a new report from a grand jury. The report also identified more than 1,000 victims (and implied there are many more) who were silenced in a cover-up scheme by various Pennsylvania bishops and church leaders. [AP / Mark Scolforo]
  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released the report, which discussed hundreds of church leaders who “largely escaped public accountability” and the Vatican officials who wanted to “avoid scandal,” on Tuesday following an 18-month-long investigation into eight Catholic dioceses. [BBC]
  • The overarching theme of the report was the “systematic coverup by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican,” as evidenced by the church’s own records, according to Pennsylvania state Attorney General Josh Shapiro. [WPXI]
  • The president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the chair of the bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People said the Catholic Church is “shamed by and sorry for the sins and omissions” by its bishops and priests. [CNN / Daniel Burke and Susannah Cullinane]
  • The grand jury report is a result of the most extensive American investigation into abuse in the Catholic Church to date. [Washington Post / Michelle Boorstein]
  • Sex abuse survivors have called on the government to look into the US Catholic Church’s history of abuse on a national level. But no federal investigation has been launched. [NYT / Laurie Goodstein]
  • The discovery follows a particularly rough year for the Vatican: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick — DC’s former archbishop — resigned following accusations of sex abuse, dozens of Chilean church leaders resigned after an abuse cover-up went public, and an Australian archbishop was convicted of child sex abuse. [Vox / Emily Stewart]

A deadly bridge collapse in Italy amid a realization that the country’s infrastructure is crumbling

  • A bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy, killed at least 22 people on Tuesday. Firefighters continued into the night searching through rubble for survivors. [CNN / Meg Wagner and Luke McGee]
  • The Morandi Bridge collapsed amid torrential downpour, sending 35 cars and three trucks plunging nearly 300 feet below. The bridge was allegedly struck by lightning. [USA Today / Jane Onyanga-Omara]
  • It’s unclear what caused the bridge to collapse, but it was under construction at the time of the disaster. [ABC / Mark Osborne, Bill Hutchinson, and Clark Bentson]
  • Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that the “immense tragedy” is “inconceivable in a modern system like ours.” [AP / Colleen Barry and Danica Kirka]
  • But Deputy Transport Minister Edoardo Rixi noted the city’s fault in the disaster. Rixi said that residents “can’t live with infrastructure built in the 1950s and 1960s.” [Reuters / Stefano Rellandini]


  • Four women got stranded on a giant unicorn float in the middle of a Minnesotan lake. Luckily, police happened upon the scene by chance and rescued them. [Time / Alix Langone]
  • The accused Golden State Killer, a former cop who evaded authorities for more than 40 years, was formally charged with first-degree murder on Monday. [Buzzfeed / Claudia Koerner]
  • Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon was forced to drink a Twinkie-horseradish combo while playing a drinking game with Ryan Reynolds. He immediately threw up ... on international TV. [EW / Derek Lawrence]
  • Scientists and researchers have begun an emergency campaign to save Florida’s largest coral colonies. [LA Times / Larry Barszewski]


“With my new, almost-black hair, I felt more like myself immediately. … The role of the thin, blonde, genteel Southern lady who graduates from college, marries well, and dresses her hopefully light-haired daughters in Lilly Pulitzer wasn’t what I wanted on any level.” [Amanda Mull on thwarting beauty standards in the American South / NYLON]

Watch this: Why is California always on fire?

Humans are making the problem worse. Can we get out of nature’s way, for our own good? [YouTube / AJ Chavar]

Read more

Live results for Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Vermont primary elections

Did Omarosa’s secret recordings break the law? I asked a legal expert.

Why the off-Broadway musical Be More Chill is a viral teen sensation

Donald Trump and the disturbing power of dehumanizing language

A Baltimore police officer brutally beat a black man. It’s creating new problems for the department.