March 30, 2006

Catholic Church Gets 783 New Abuse Claims

Yahoo! News

By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

WASHINGTON - The nation's Roman Catholic leaders received 783 new claims of sex abuse by clergy in 2005, with most of the allegations involving cases that are decades old.

The new claims, reported Thursday, bring the total number of accusations against Catholic clergy to more than 12,000 since 1950.

The latest figures were released as part of the third audit the bishops have conducted to restore trust in their leadership after abuse allegations soared in 2002. Church leaders, however, drew criticism for changing how this latest review was conducted.

In the first two annual audits, all 195 dioceses received an onsite visit. During the most recent review, 104 dioceses were allowed to fill out a questionnaire instead while auditors visited the others.

All three audits were conducted by the Gavin Group, a private firm that employed teams comprised mainly of former FBI agents.

Posted by kshaw at March 30, 2006 12:08 PM