Report finds fewer sexual abuse allegations, but financial toll on Church lingers

Washington, D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) — Law enforcement found only seven credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors against Catholic clergy in the U.S. in 2010 and 2011, though more abuse victims from past decades have come forward, according to the latest report on child protection in the Catholic Church.

In response to the findings, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged continued attention to abuse prevention.

“While the report supports the conclusion of both studies done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice – that the majority of allegations are way in the past – the Church must continue to be vigilant,” he said in the report’s preface.

“The Church must do all she can never to let abuse happen again. And we must all continue to work with full resolve toward the healing and reconciliation of the victims/survivors.”

The 2011 report on the implementation of the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was authored for the National Review Board and for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops by the bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection.

It found 21 allegations against Catholic clergy concerning abuse of a child under 18 in 2010 or 2011. Seven allegations were considered credible, three were determined to be false, while five were determined to be “boundary violations.” Three allegations are still under investigation, while the credibility of three other allegations could not be determined.

There are more than 38,000 diocesan and religious Catholic priests and over 15,000 deacons in the reporting dioceses and eparchies.

The report adds that 683 new abuse allegations come from adults who say they were abused by diocesan or religious clergy when they were minors. About 68 percent of new allegations concerned incidents from 1960 to 1984, with the most allegations concerning the years 1975 to 1979.

About 64 percent of the 406 diocesan priests and deacons identified as alleged offenders in 2011 had already been the subjects of prior allegations. Seventy-five percent of the alleged abusers are deceased, removed from ministry, laicized or missing.

The report’s examination of diocesan clergy abuse victims found that 82 percent were male. About half of the alleged abuse began when the victim was aged 10 to 14. Among religious institutions, 94 percent of the victims were male.

Several suggestions for improvement came from Al J. Notzon III, chairman of the National Review Board overseeing the audit. In a March letter to Cardinal Dolan, he emphasized the importance of participation in safe environment training and of “good recordkeeping regarding background checks.”

Over 1.8 million volunteers in Catholic parishes and schools have undergone child protection training, as have 249,000 other church employees. Over 4.8 million Catholic children have undergone abuse protection training.

The report noted that abuse has severe spiritual and emotional costs for its victims and that the financial costs for the Catholic Church have been severe.

The dioceses and eparchies that responded to the survey and reported abuse allegation-related costs paid over $107.8 million in 2011. Total costs to dioceses and religious orders combined decreased from $150 in 2010 million to $144 million in 2011.

These figures include legal settlements, therapy for victims, support for offenders and attorneys’ fees. Since 2004, the reporting dioceses and eparchies have paid $2.1 billion in abuse-related costs.

The dioceses of Baker, Oregon and Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as six Eastern Catholic eparchies, have refused to participate in the audits and were found not to be in compliance with the bishops’ charter.



Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:58 AM By Vicious Ski Ven
Look how much money homosexual Priests have cost the Church.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 4:47 AM By Catherine
It must be a sign of the times. Isn’t it interesting that those who truly want to remove the filth within the Church are often called non compliant.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:20 AM By JLS
The Church should sue society for having failed to correct its evil ways, and recoup the money.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 7:44 AM By Cody in Tucson
The John Jay Report data on the clergy/bishop sexual abuse scandal showed that 85% of the abuse was against adolescent boys perpetrated by male members of the clergy, in other words homosexual contact. Does the $2.1 BILLION figure also include the $1.8 MILLION that the bishops spent having John Jay sanitize/whitewash their own data to conclude that the 85% was not really HOMOSEXUAL contact?

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:17 AM By Kevin
I’m ashamed for the Church, for it’s administrators, staff, and for the People of God. The mission of the Church has been compromised. The scandal gives new meaning to the words “moral bankruptcy”

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:20 AM By Maryanne Leonard
So many homosexuals have proven that they are enemies of the Church while at the same time thousands of gays have found sanctuary in the Church, both as members of the clergy and as lay members of the Church. Those members come in all sizes and shapes: some are truly faithful and seek release from their psychological affliction with same sex attraction, and others are overt or covert terrorists with nothing but hatred for the Church because of her position against sexually active homosexual relationships. It appears to be inconsistent with the philosophy of the Catholic Church to disallow even the underground terrorist types to attend our Churches. The conundrum is that we don’t always know who the homosexuals are, and when we do, we don’t know whom to trust as being who they say they are, and who are actively planning evil activities to harm us openly and directly or perhaps surreptitiously. This challenge has a parallel in the many examples of the United States fighting terrorists of the Muslim faith on their own turf. Intelligence of both the cerebral and collected sort serves the day well. Our Church is like the United States also in that we are being attacked from the outside and are engaged in a war which we have been slow to recognize as requiring a response from us. We have turned the other cheek again and again. When will we employ intelligence of all varieties to defend ourselves against these most unwarranted attacks against ourselves as individuals and as members of the Roman Catholic Church, whose teachings are based entirely on our holy faith?

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:54 AM By Don Guillermo
Let the Church be held accountable, but let the public schools be held equally accountable for the sexual abuse of children. In 2010 and 2011, how many credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors against public school teachers were found by law enforcement? Rather more than seven, I should think.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:14 PM By Max
This HORROR will never really begin to heal until the Church publicly acknowledges that homosexual priests are a grave problem. The Church has already flinched on this matter.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:28 PM By Harvey
This sorry permanent scar and state of affairs in the Church would not have happened if it had not been for a lack of or complete void of sanctifying grace in these culpable pedophile priests and bishops souls. Only God knows the magnitude of their sins to the loss of faith and trust in christians hearts. He will punish them accordingly as they are so detrimental to the Catholic faithful and other denominations too. This state of affairs has only tarnished the Church, exposed it for what has been going on in the closet these last nearly 50 years, uprooted millions of the faithful to lose their Catholic faith and break-away, and provided ammunition to those adversaries that ridicule the Church. Let us pray the rosary at least weekly that God will deliver sanctifying grace to our clergy and that from it they will follow the Will of God, never be led astray by the devil, especially falling into pedophilia, homosexuality, or in covering up these Church-shattering scandals.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 3:38 PM By robert 
and the silence is deafening regarding the 400 a year of public school employees actually charged with abuse in the u.s.a.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 3:56 PM By Maryanne Leonard
Well said, Harvey. Let us pray, indeed.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 8:43 PM By Cody in Tucson
This $2.1 BILLION+ spent on resolving the clergy abuse scandal was OUR money, donated to the Church. So when will Bishop X, Fr Y or Deacon Z be showing up at my doorstep to repay my contributions, I could use a new paint job on my house. Kenneth needs someone to cut his grass. JLS has some trees that need trimming. Juergensen needs a new sprinkler system installed. Maryanne needs new roof shingles. Anne has that cracked front sidewalk. Catherine needs new bushes planted. k, what do you need? Am I missing any other requests and needs????