February 22, 2005

More than 600 Catholic Clerics Accused of Sex Abuse of Minors, Incidents Date Back Decades

Insurance Journal

February 21, 2005

More than 600 U.S. Catholic diocesan priests and deacons were accused in 2004 of sexual abuse of minors, with the majority of allegations of abuse occurring between 1970 and 1974. Half of these clergy had been subject of accusations previously. Most of the alleged offenders (71 percent) were deceased, already removed from ministry, or had been previously returned to the lay state (laicized) when the 2004 allegations were made.

Approximately $19,785,325 was spent for child protection efforts, such as training programs and background checks. Costs expended in 2004 for settlements, therapy for victims and offenders and attorney fees was estimated at $139,582,157. This total includes sums expended for allegations reported in previous years.

The figures are based on a survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), which was commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The Georgetown-based CARA collected the data in December 2004 and January 2005. The survey report included responses from 181, or 93 percent, of the 195 dioceses and eparchies (dioceses of the Eastern Catholic Churches) in the United States. The data is part of the 2004 Annual Report of the Office of Child and Youth Protection (OCYP), made public Feb.18 at a press conference in Washington.

The U.S. bishops voted in November 2004 to establish a data collection procedure whereby dioceses and eparchies would report annually information regarding allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons and costs associated with the abuse.

Posted by kshaw at February 22, 2005 06:56 AM