Pennsylvania AG claims evidence shows Vatican knew about sex abuse by priests and tried to cover it up

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Did the Pope know about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and help keep it covered up?

Well, regardless of what the Holy Father knew or didn't know, the Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says evidence suggests Vatican church leaders definitely knew about and tried to cover up the cases of as many as 300 predator priests in the Keystone State.

The Vatican has said reforms have halted abuse, and the church condemns "unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors."

Now, some are calling for Pope Francis to step down amid accusations by a church whistle blower, a former Vatican diplomat, that the Pontiff not only knew about so many abuse cases but did nothing about them!

Pope Francis has asked journalists to draw their own conclusions, adding "I will not say a single word about this."

"The Pope knows we have a bigger agenda," Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich said. "We have to speak about the environment, about the poor. We have to reach out to people who are marginalized in society. We cannot be distracted at this moment."

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations ran out on many allegations, but some 41 states have taken action to no longer have a statute of limitations on this kind of abuse.

Now the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is finally coming to the conclusion they may need to drop that statute as well.

There may be child endangerment charges that can be brought against church officials as well, since secrets were being kept and an alleged cover up was being carried out.

But in so many cases, with the damage already done, it may be a little too late.