February 18, 2005

Clergy sex abuse crisis 'is not over,' child protection director says

Catholic News Service

By Jerry Filteau
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- "The crisis of sexual abuse of minors within the Catholic Church is not over," Kathleen McChesney, executive director of the U.S. bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection, told reporters Feb. 18.

McChesney spoke at a press conference at theAbuse Tracker Press Club in Washington, convened to release the findings of the second national audit of dioceses, assessing their compliance in 2004 with the bishops' "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People." Her office is responsible for coordinating the audits each year and compiling them into a public national report.

The audit report itself contained firm warnings against complacency, saying there is need for "continued external oversight and evaluation" of dioceses.

An accompanying statistical study reported that during the past year there were 1,092 new allegations of past abuse by 1,083 victims involving 756 accused priests or deacons and that dioceses and religious orders spent nearly $158 million on abuse-related matters -- settlements with victims, therapy, legal fees and other costs such as child protection programs and background checks on church personnel and volunteers.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2005 06:03 PM