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More than 300 Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses are accused of either sexually abusing children or helping others cover up abuse.

A grand jury report released on Tuesday claims that internal documents from six Catholic dioceses reveal that 300 "predator priests" have been accused of either sexually abusing over 1,000 child victims.

Extracts from the report include:

"We believe that the real number of children whose records were lost or who were afraid ever to come forward is in the thousands."

"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. For decades. Monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals have mostly been protected; many, including some named in this report, have been promoted."

"There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale."

"For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away. Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere."

"...almost every instance of abuse we found is too old to be prosecuted."

"We learned of these abusers directly from their dioceses – which we hope is a sign that the church is finally changing its ways."

"And there may be more indictments in the future; investigation continues."

Some victims were plied with alcohol and groped or molested, the report says. Others were orally, vaginally or anally raped, according to the grand jurors.

The Vatican declined to comment on the grand jury report.

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