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Four Corners: Dark Secret: Exposing The Cover Up Of American Church Child Abuse
Dark Secret: Exposing The Cover Up Of American Church Child Abuse
ABC  |  July 17, 2017
Classification: Not ClassifiedClassification: Not Classified
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In the American city of Philadelphia, in the early 2000s, a team of skilled and dedicated lawyers embarked on an investigation led by a formidable district attorney. What they uncovered was the hidden story of one of the worst criminal cover-ups in America's history.

The investigation began with a simple question: Why, in 50 years, had only one Catholic priest been officially investigated for child abuse? In a city with a strong Catholic presence, this seemed remarkable, at a time when revelations of clergy abuse were making headlines across America. Shocking cases in another US city, Boston, prompted DA Lynne Abraham to ask whether the same thing could have occurred in her town.

What they uncovered - a hidden history of abuse and deception - shook the investigators and their community to the core. Equally shocking were the lengths the Catholic Church hierarchy went to, to keep their secrets hidden. Their major breakthrough came when they found one senior church elder who was prepared to break the informal code of silence, and tell the truth.

For the first time, in this program by filmmaker Annie MacGregor, the then district attorney and her team of prosecutors, investigators and expert advisors, come together to give a step by step account of how they took on the powerful Catholic church establishment in Philadelphia to expose its dark secrets. The fallout from this landmark inquiry continues, with one leading Church official still before the courts in the US.

In the American city of Philadelphia, in the early 2000s, a team of skilled and dedicated lawyers embarked on an investigation led by a formidable district attorney. What they uncovered was the hidden story of one of the worst criminal cover-ups in America's history.

The investigation began with a simple question: Why, in 50 years, had only one Catholic priest been officially investigated for child abuse? In a city with a strong Catholic presence, this seemed remarkable, at a time when revelations of clergy abuse were making headlines across America. Shocking cases in another US city, Boston, prompted DA Lynne Abraham to ask whether the same thing could have occurred in her town.

What they uncovered - a hidden history of abuse and deception - shook the investigators and their community to the core. Equally shocking were the lengths the Catholic Church hierarchy went to, to keep their secrets hidden. Their major breakthrough came when they found one senior church elder who was prepared to break the informal code of silence, and tell the truth.

For the first time, in this program by filmmaker Annie MacGregor, the then district attorney and her team of prosecutors, investigators and expert advisors, come together to give a step by step account of how they took on the powerful Catholic church establishment in Philadelphia to expose its dark secrets. The fallout from this landmark inquiry continues, with one leading Church official still before the courts in the US.

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