February 18, 2005

US Catholic church hit by sex abuse


By Deborah Zabarenko

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Roman Catholic Church received 1,092 new claims of priest sexual abuse last year and paid more than $157 million (83 million pounds) to deal with them, according to an audit of the paedophile scandal that has been released.

"The crisis of sexual abuse of minors within the Catholic Church is not over," Kathleen McChesney, head of the U.S. church's Office of Child and Youth Protection, told reporters on Friday.

"What is over is the denial that this problem exists, and what is over is the reluctance of the church to deal openly with the public about the nature and extent of the problem."

This audit, the second report on the church response to the paedophile scandal that erupted in 2002, was made public four days after one of the most notorious paedophile offenders, defrocked priest Paul Shanley, was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison for raping a boy in the 1980s.

The audit tallied the number of new complaints, the amount spent on them and the percentage of American dioceses that are complying with 2002 charter aimed at ending priest sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2005 06:51 PM