February 19, 2005

In 2004, 1,000 Alleged Abuse by Priests

Washington Post

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 19, 2005; Page A02

More than 1,000 people reported to civil or church authorities in 2004 that they had been sexually abused as children by Roman Catholic priests, the second-largest number of allegations for any year on record, the U.S. bishops' conference said yesterday.

During 2004, the church spent $157 million on legal settlements and other costs related to sex abuse. It received allegations against 756 priests and deacons, half of whom had previously been named in similar accusations. It temporarily removed more than 300 clergy members and permanently defrocked 148, church officials said.

The new statistics, which appeared in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' second annual report on the sexual abuse crisis in the church, showed the heavy toll that the four-year-old crisis continues to take on the church's finances, its clergy and the trust of its laity.

The figures released yesterday bring the total number of alleged victims since 1950 to 11,750, the number of accused priests to 5,148, and the church's expenses to more than $840 million. Three dioceses have declared bankruptcy.

Posted by kshaw at February 19, 2005 06:44 AM