The new report from the USCCB shows a dismal state of affairs, as reported by the Boston Globe
The Catholic church paid $153 million in the United States last year to settle lawsuits, and fielded hundreds of new accusations, as fallout continued from the clergy sex abuse scandal exposed in the early 2000s, a new report from church leaders says.
The annual report from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which covers July 2014 to June 2015, said 384 victims came forward with allegations the church deemed credible.
The figure, while somewhat higher than the 330 allegations deemed credible in the prior year, generally fit into a trend in which the number of such allegations has declined in recent years.
“One instance of abuse is one too many,” Deacon Bernie Nojadera, executive director of the conference’s Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, wrote in the report.
“May our Lord continue to heal all who have been victimized by this crime and may our efforts toward healing, reconciliation, and peace be blessed,” he added.
Between 1950 and June 2015, more than 17,600 people made clergy abuse allegations that US Catholic officials have deemed credible.
Activists have questioned if the church’s count of clergy sex abuse victims is lower than the actual total.
David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was sharply critical of the bishops’ annual reports, calling them “flawed” and “deceptive.”
“Bishops’ policies, procedures, protocols, and panels sound good. But they are meaningless because there’s no independent monitoring or enforcement,” Clohessy wrote in an e-mail. “It’s as if bishops design the game, hire the umpires, and declare themselves winners.”