February 19, 2005

More than 1,000 claims of abuse in '04, bishops say

Star Tribune

Paul Sand, Star Tribune Washington Bureau Correspondent
February 19, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- At least 1,092 new allegations of sexual abuse were made against Catholic priests and deacons in 2004, although most allegations were for incidents that were decades old, according to a report released Friday.

The report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops states that most of the incidents occurred between 1965 and 1974, and that 72 percent of the 756 offenders are either dead, have left the ministry or have been removed. "We know this crisis is not over," said Kathleen McChesney, executive director of the organization's Office of Child and Youth Protection. "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."

More than 96 percent of Roman Catholic dioceses -- including all five in Minnesota -- are compliant with recently established policies to stop sexual abuse by priests and church staff, according to the report.

"We were most pleased to find that we were in compliance with the charter issued by the bishops in June 2002," said William Fallon, chancellor of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Posted by kshaw at February 19, 2005 01:03 PM