WATCH: Shattered Faith: Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal's Impact on Victims, the Church
Erie News Now has been following the clergy sex abuse scandal in Pennsylvania for about a year now. Our coverage was just not the high-profile grand jury investigation of Erie and other catholic dioceses but also the impact on victims and the church.
Erie News Now Senior Reporter Paul Wagner has led our coverage. In part one of his special report, "Shattered Faith," he takes an in-depth look at the scandal that has attracted global attention.
James Faluzczak is a former priest in the Erie Catholic Diocese and a survivor of clergy sex abuse. He says he was abused as a teenager, and the pain remains decades later.
"This has devastated my faith," said Faluzczak. "For someone to refer to the abuse of a child by a priest as 'soul murder' is entirely accurate."
Jim VanSickle is another survivor of clergy sex abuse. He never went public with his story until last spring. That is when the priest he said abused him as a teenager, David Poulson, was charged with molesting two boys.
"It made it almost too real," said VanSickle. "You sort of relive it again and again. You start thinking and then it like reliving the trauma all over again."
State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who headed the grand jury investigation, praised all the victims for their courage.
He said, "It was their bravery, their willingness to testify before a grand jury that enabled this case to move forward."
The second part of "Shattered Faith" airs Wednesday on Erie News Now at 6 p.m. and will focus on the future of the investigation and statute of limitation reforms in the state.