"So it goes beyond just the priests and their superiors," Courey, 31, told NPR. "It leads me to question entire Catholic communities. Who knew what? And not only why didn't they expose them, but, how long have people been turning the other way?"
Courey attended part of Mass with her two-year-old daughter after the report was released but they didn't stay.
"I think a part of me was thinking I'm going to go to Mass and I'm going to get an okay to leave and not come back," she said. "And of course that's not going to happen. Part of me just wanted someone to say 'we really messed up, it's all on us, and you guys use your own moral discretion to decide what's best because we have no moral authority'."
According to NPR, she said the priest acknowledged the report and "offered little more than prayers." She stood up with her daughter and left after the homily.
"And I'm thinking 'is this our last Mass?' And it's hard. I can't fathom when she's eight years old saying 'no we don't go to church, sorry you can't receive Communion, even though your mom and dad did, your grandparents did, you don't get to do that'."
The Leers told NPR that they will miss the sacraments, community dinners, and the music ministry. They said they want to see Church leaders push for more investigations into sex abuse in dioceses around the country.
"They don't need to be worried about our spirituality right now," said Andy, 32. "They need to be worried about dealing with the corruption, and dealing with the priests that are out there that need to answer for what they've done, and the people that have potentially covered up and withheld information."
Andy, 32, was a teenager when decades-old claims against his priest, Father Joseph Pease, surfaced. He thought the "bad apple" had been removed. He later watched the movie "Spotlight," about sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston, but he said the issue "doesn't really hit until it's in your backyard."
The Leers said they don't know what it will take for them to go back to church.
Father Vaskov cited his experiences with churchgoers who went to Mass in the wake of the latest news. He thought there was an upturn in attendance for the Aug. 15 feast of the Assumption, a holy day of obligation which came a day after the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report.
He also reflected on what churchgoers told him, such as one woman at Mass last Sunday.
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"She said that while it was difficult for her to go, she knew that she couldn't be anywhere else because it is only in the Eucharist that we can be renewed," the priest said. "Another conversation with a recent convert to the Catholic faith revealed the depth of his love for Christ and His Church and his desire to stay close to the sacraments when he felt his frustration was getting the better of him."
Fr. Vaskov said that in response to the abuse scandals, many parishes had organized holy hours, days of Eucharistic adoration, discussion groups, and listening sessions. He said he has had "beautiful moments" praying with people for "strength in their lives and in the lives of those who have been harmed by abuse."
"I have also had some very fruitful conversations with parishioners, friends and strangers over the past weeks because they were willing to open up about their concerns," the priest said. "That doesn't mean that every issue is resolved or every suffering is healed, but it is the beginning of an important discussion that needs to happen."
Participation in Mass on Sundays is "at the heart of the Church's life", the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, and "participation … in the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church."
By attending Sunday Mass the faithful together "testify to God's holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit," according to the Catechism.
Participation in the sacrifice of the Mass is the means by which "we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life" and render worship to God.