US Catholic bishops: clergy sex abuse claims tripled in 2019

USCCB Abuse Claims 2019

Title: US Catholic bishops: clergy sex abuse claims tripled in 2019

Author: David Crary  AP National Writer

Publisher: ABC News AP

Date: 25JUN2020

NEW YORK — U.S. Roman Catholic bishops said Thursday that the church tallied 4,434 sex abuse allegations against clergy in the 2018-19 audit year, triple the number seen the previous year, with much of the increase stemming from a wave of lawsuits and claims by survivors of decades-old molestation.

In the latest annual report on clerical sex abuse, dioceses and other Catholic entities reported paying out $281.6 million during the year for costs related to allegations, including payments for cases reported in previous years.

Only 37 of the new allegations were made by people who were minors in the audit year ending June 30, 2019. Of those, eight allegations were substantiated, while most of the others were either still under investigation or had been deemed unsubstantiated.

There has been a huge overall surge in allegations over the past three years as dioceses faced unprecedented pressure to address the decades-old problem of clergy sex abuse. There were 693 allegations tallied in the 2017 report, and 1,451 in the 2018 report.

The cases cited in the new report involved 2,982 priests and other church personnel. Of the allegations, 1,034 were substantiated; many other remained under investigation or were unable to be proven, it said.

Many dioceses across the U.S. became targets of state investigations after a Pennsylvania grand jury report in August 2018 detailed hundreds of cases of alleged abuse. In February 2019, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was expelled from the priesthood for sexually abusing minors and seminarians, and investigators have been seeking to determine if some Catholic VIPs covered up his transgressions.

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