February 18, 2005

Bishops: New Sex Abuse Claims Top 1,000

Dateline Alabama

AP Religion Writer

February 18, 2005

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops said Friday that over the last year they received 1,092 new allegations of sexual abuse against at least 756 Catholic priests and deacons.

Half of the accused priests over the past year had been previously accused of abuse, said Kathleen McChesney, executive director of the bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection.

Most of the alleged incidents occurred decades ago: 72 percent of the priests were either dead, defrocked or removed from public ministry before the newest allegations were received, McChesney said.

The information came as the bishops released a new national audit of U.S. dioceses to determine how well they've complied with the child protection policy American prelates instituted more than three years ago at the height of the clergy molestation crisis. Teams of auditors, comprised mainly of former FBI agents, compiled data in visits to dioceses across the country.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2005 11:49 AM