Media study calculates more than 1,300 priests were accused of sexual abuse since 1950

.- Just two weeks before the release of an unprecedented national report on clergy sexual abuse in the U.S. Church, the Associated Press said its review of diocesan reports indicates that 1,341 priests have been accused of abusing minors in the last five decades.

The AP report includes figures made public by 80 of the 195 U.S. dioceses. Statistics have not yet been released by some archdioceses that have faced hundreds of allegations, such as Boston and Los Angeles. There is some inconsistency among dioceses as well, as some included claims against deacons, religious brothers and sisters.

U.S. dioceses made public their local figures in anticipation of the nationwide survey of clergy sexual abuse, which will be released Feb. 27. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice conducted the survey upon the request of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The bishops also formed the lay National Review Board to oversee the study. The board is expected to release the results of its own investigation into how the crisis occurred.

"Bishops chose to get the hard data ... to make sure the steps they've taken are adequate to addressing the problem," Msgr. Francis Maniscalco, a spokesman for the USCCB, told the AP.

"This is an unprecedented study of a single profession,” the monsignor was quoted as saying. “It takes the risk of concentrating even further attention on the Catholic priesthood a problem that is a human problem, that is engaged in by members of a family in regard to other members of their family."

USCCB officials say it is difficult to have a comparative assessment of the data, since no other organization or church has ever conducted such an extensive study. The Catholic League addressed this issue by documenting the prevalence of abuse in families and other professions in a report called “Sexual Abuse in social context: Catholic clergy and other professionals”.

Church officials said it was difficult to determine how many priests were guilty of abuse since many cases were not reviewed by police and most of the claims involve alleged misconduct that occurred decades ago, reported the AP.

About 179 of the accused priests have died and many personnel and financial records are missing, said diocesan officials. As well, about 60 priests were exonerated of false claims, reported the AP.

The AP says its review indicates that the incidence of abuse is much greater than previously thought. A January 2003 review by The New York Times calculated 1,205 claims of abuse since 1950. Survivors First, compiling its own list from media reports and lawsuits, calculated 1,800 cases of abuse.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: