Washington D.C., May 31, 2019 / 07:30 am
The U.S. bishops’ conference has released its annual report on the protection of children. The report records an increase in the number of new allegations of clerical sexual abuse being brought forward following the launch of independent compensation programs in some states.
The annual report on Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was released May 31 by the USCCB’s Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection.
Writing in his preface to the report, USCCB president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said he offered his “sincere gratitude” for the courage of victims of abuse.
“Because of their bravery in coming forward, victim and survivor assistance and child protection are now core elements of the Church.”
The report covers a year-long period ending June 30, 2018 and is the sixteenth report since the implementation of the Dallas Charter and USCCB Essential Norms in 2002.
According to the report, in new complaints lodged during the report’s annual window, 92% of offenders identified were already either dead, laicized, removed from ministry, or missing. The majority of allegations concerned the period between 1960-1990, with a concentration in the 1970s.
In total, 1,385 adults reported 1,455 new allegations between July 31, 2017 and June 30, 2018. The numbers represent a marked rise over the previous reporting period.
The report attributed the escalation to the state-wide adoption of Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Programs by the dioceses of New York. The vast majority of all new cases reported concerned historical instances of abuse.