The Roman Catholic Church of Pennsylvania apologized after an official report detailed the abuses committed by priests against children.
The report of thousands of pages was published after two years of investigation.
The Attorney General said more than 1,000 children, including boys, girls and teenagers, were assaulted and raped by pedophile priests over a 70-year period.
“All [these cases] were dismissed by church leaders who preferred to protect the aggressors and their institution first and foremost,” the report said.
Several dioceses say that steps have been taken to prevent such acts from happening again.
According to the report, more than a hundred priests are involved in these pedophilic acts.
However, the majority of cases are statute-barred and as a result, under Pennsylvania law, the perpetrators can not be sued.
But officials have warned that there may be more indictments during the investigation.
Pennsylvania is home to more than 3 million Catholics.
US media reports that Pennsylvania has had the largest number of grand jury investigations into child sexual abuse in the church in the country.
The report comes as allegations of sexual abuse of children resurface within the Catholic Church.
Last month, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington and a senior Catholic leader, resigned amid accusations of sexual abuse against children and adults.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis apologized to the Chilean victims for “serious mistakes” he had made in dealing with a case of alleged mistreatment.