Washington D.C., Feb 10, 2004 / 22:00 pm
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.