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Child Protection Audits Find Nearly All Dioceses Compliant

April 16, 2012 Comments off
Source:  U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
The 2011 Annual Report on the implementation of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People reports that nearly all dioceses in the country are totally compliant with the 17-point Charter.
It also notes that, as in previous years, the Diocese of Baker, Oregon, and Lincoln, Nebraska, and six eparchies (Eastern rite dioceses) refused to participate in the audits and therefore are found non-compliant.
The report notes that most allegations reported today are of incidents from previous decades. For example, 68 percent of allegations made in 2011, were of incidents from 1960-1984, and the most common time period for allegations was 1975-1979. It also found most of the accused have died or been removed from ministry and many had been accused previously.
Three percent (or 21) of the allegations noted in the 2011 report came from current minors.
“Of the 21 allegations made by minors, seven were considered credible by law enforcement; three were determined to be false, five were determined to be boundary violations, and three are still under investigation,” the report said. The credibility of three allegations could not be determined.
In the same period, “683 adults who were victims/survivors of abuse in the past came forward to report on allegations for the first time.”

Full Report (PDF)

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Documents in the News: John Jay College Reports No Single Cause, Predictor of Clergy Abuse

May 18, 2011 Comments off

John Jay College Reports No Single Cause, Predictor of Clergy Abuse
Source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

A landmark study by researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, which examined the causes and context of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the U.S. Catholic Church, concluded that there was no single cause or predictor of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. The report added that that situational factors and opportunity to abuse played a significant role in the onset and continuation of abusive acts.

“The bulk of cases occurred decades ago,” said Karen Terry, PhD., John Jay’s principal investigator for the report. “The increased frequency of abuse in the 1960s and 1970s was consistent with the patterns of increased deviance of society during that time.” She also stated that “social influences intersected with vulnerabilities of individual priests whose preparation for a life of celibacy was inadequate at that time.” Terry also said that neither celibacy nor homosexuality were causes of the abuse, and that priest candidates who would later abuse could not be distinguished by psychological test data, developmental and sexual history data, intelligence data, or experience in priesthood. The development of human formation components of seminary preparation for priesthood is associated with the continued low levels of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the United States, she said.

The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010 report by a John Jay College research team was made public May 18 in Washington. Terry presented the report to Diane Knight, CMSW, Chair of the National Review Board, a group of lay Catholics who oversaw the project and to Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, who chairs the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People.

The study also found that the initial, mid-1980s response of bishops to allegations of abuse was to concentrate on getting help for the priest-abusers. Despite the development by the mid-1990s of a comprehensive plan for response to victims and the harms of sexual abuse, diocesan implementation was not consistent or thorough at that time. Yet, the decrease in incidence of sexual abuse cases by clergy was more rapid than the overall societal patterns.

Knight, a social worker from Milwaukee, lauded the work of John Jay. “Through its extensive processes of data collection and statistical analyses,” she said, “the researchers found that the crisis of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests is an historical problem.”

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