A long-awaited grand jury report released Tuesday showed that top Roman Catholic leaders in Pennsylvania covered up decades of child sex abuse involving 300 priests and more than 1,000 victims.
The grand jury said the state's bishops had misused their power and enabled the victimization of children by transferring abusive priests and failing to notify police of their crimes.
Reaction on social media to the report was swift.
Sacha Pfeiffer, one of the Boston Globe reporters who exposed the cover-up of clergy sex abuse there in 2002 — a project that won the Pulitzer Prize and was featured in the movie Spotlight — tweeted Tuesday, "It was never just Boston. It was always everywhere."
Faith leaders across the nation expressed anguish.
An Indiana priest said he was heartbroken for the Pennsylvania victims.
" I, as a priest, could not be more sorry for what has happened to you," the Rev. John Hollowell, a priest in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, wrote on Twitter.
A Maryland pastor said abusive clergy hurt the work of good pastors.
"Not only are abusive clergy hurting people I love, they're also making my work, which I also love, harder," wrote Lura Groen, a Lutheran pastor in Baltimore.
A Texas bishop, Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, said "the faith of many has been shaken."
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said it was "profoundly saddened" by the harm that resulted from the abuse.
"We are grateful for the courage of the people who aided the investigation by sharing their personal stories of abuse," said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the conference, and Bishop Timothy L. Doherty, chairman of the conference's Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, in a joint statement. "As a body of bishops, we are shamed by and sorry for the sins and omissions by Catholic priests and Catholic bishops."
Others questioned their faith or expressed fear about who can be trusted in church settings.
In Baltimore, the archdiocese said a new Catholic school was dropping the name of a late cardinal accused of failing to act on reports of abusive priests in Pennsylvania. The school, which is expected to open in 2020, will no longer be named after Cardinal William H. Keeler, the former archbishop of Baltimore, who is accused in the report of covering up sexual abuse allegations in Harrisburg and letting an accused priest minister in Baltimore.