March 31, 2006

Bishops Report Decline in Abuse Accusations

The New York Times

Published: March 31, 2006
WASHINGTON, March 30 A total of 783 new accusations of priests' sexual abuse were received by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops last year, with about 13 percent of the cases dating from 1990 or later, the bishops reported Thursday.

In issuing its third annual audit intended to assess efforts to prevent such abuse, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops emphasized that accusations had declined from the 1,092 reported in 2004.

The bishops also said that as a result of a provision they adopted in 2002 under a toughened policy, 94.5 percent of children in Catholic schools and Sunday school classes had been educated on keeping themselves safe from abuse, an increase from 51 percent the year before.

The survey said 87 percent of the new accusations involved abuse that occurred before 1990, some of it as early as 1950. Only nine accusations concerned abuse last year.

Posted by kshaw at March 31, 2006 07:32 AM