Catholic abuse survivors face long road, tough memories and constitutional challenges as they prepare to sue the Baltimore Archdiocese

Abuse survivor Tanya Allen, civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, abuse survivor Marc Floto and attorney Adam Slater walk down the steps of the Baltimore Basilica on May 9.

By Scott Maucione

It’s still about four months before victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the Baltimore Catholic Archdiocese will be able file civil suits against the church. However, the wheels are already in motion for what could be a monumental payout to survivors. Meanwhile, the Archdiocese is likely to drag out the suits by challenging the constitutionality of the cases and possibly bringing them to trial.

A recent Maryland Attorney General’s Office report implicated 156 priests and church employees in abusing at least 600 children over the last 80 years, but experts in the field and legal analysts think it could actually be thousands of people who suffered at the hands of the Archdiocese.

“The Archdiocese of Baltimore, is the first archdiocese in the new world,” said Suzanne Sangree, senior counsel with Grant and Eisenhofer, a firm representing victims in Maryland. “It certainly was the first cathedral here. And it’s got enormous resources.”

The suits stem from a law passed in Maryland earlier this year that abolishes the statute of limitations on sex crimes for civil cases. However, the law doesn’t go into effect until Oct. 1.

The change in law has caught the eye of high-profile lawyers like Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer who led George Floyd’s legal team and is now representing some survivors.

Payouts can be massive. Since 1994, 20 archdioceses and dioceses in the United States have come to settlements with victims totaling $1.2 billion.

The largest of those settlements were in places like Los Angeles, where more than 550 people were awarded $660 million, and in Boston, where another approximately 550 people settled for $85 million.

The process, however, can be grueling and painful for victims.

Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles County), spent years sponsoring the bill to remove the statute of limitations.

He said the Baltimore Archdiocese fought him at every turn; it was only this year that the law finally passed.

“The Catholic Church repeatedly talked about how they were trying to work with people, but then they would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get lobbying firms and to try to intimidate me,” Wilson said. “They had people reach out to me and other members. They threatened to take away any and all assistance that the Catholic church provides to Baltimore City. They did any and everything they could do to stop this bill from passing. And yet, at the same time, telling their own members they care about these victims. They don’t.”

The Baltimore Archdiocese refused an interview request and would not provide a statement for this story. However, since the 1980s the Archdiocese has paid $13 million to 301 victims.

Now, victims and their lawyers are expecting a constitutional challenge to the law from the Church this fall.

The Church will likely use the statute of repose to sow doubt on the statute of limitations law.

Sangree says the legal tactic is used in construction work, and bars someone from suing a contractor for injuries from a building after a certain amount of time.

Wilson said that the ability for the Archdiocese to use the statute of repose was written into his bill in the last second without any discussion.

“Nobody knew that was in there,” he said. “I do not believe that that would be the right thing for the courts to interpret our intent differently than what we laid out in the four debates and arguments.”

If the law holds up after the constitutional challenge, Sangree and others say the Church will likely use its resources to bring cases to trial and drag out proceedings in order to pay less or intimidate victims who don’t feel comfortable testifying.

Elizabeth Letourneau, the director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at Johns Hopkins University, said trails can bring up traumatic memories for those who are still processing their abuse.

Kit Bateman is one of those survivors who is still coming to terms with what happened to him. A priest locked him in a confessional room and tried to rape him when he was 14.

“They took my innocence, they took my soul, they took my ability to celebrate the life of Jesus every day like I liked to do, for 50 years it was gone,” Bateman said. He went from someone who was in the choir and served as an altar boy to shunning organized religion.

It was only recently that he publicly acknowledged his abuse and decided to sue the Church.

Bateman said he decided to bring suit when he saw the Archdiocese trying to defeat the law abolishing age limits on civil suits for sex crimes.

“When I saw that, I thought, ‘Wow, what about my soul that you all took from me when I was 14?’” he said. “That moment is when I realized Archbishop William Lori did not understand — for a man of God — does not understand repentance.”

People who are sexually abused as children have a thumb on the scale against them, Letourneau said.

“We know that child sexual abuse increases the risk for serious health problems, including mental health problems like post-traumatic stress disorder child sexual abuse takes a real financial toll on survivors, who over the course of their lives will earn nearly $300,000 less than people who did not experience child sexual abuse,” she said.

Letourneau said settlements can often help pay for therapy, make up for gaps in finances or add a sense of closure to the events that took place years ago.

Complete Article HERE!

The Disturbing Truth

— Illinois Bishops Still Hiding Child-Molesting Clergy

Bishop Thomas Paprocki

By David Clohessy

Though I’m no longer a believer, in the wake of yet another jaw-dropping Catholic scandal, two Bible passages have coursed through my mind recently.

The first verse is John 8:32: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Illinois’ six bishops are no doubt familiar with it. Like many profound bits of wisdom, it’s short and sweet, with absolutely no qualifiers, exceptions or excuses.

Why then do these well-educated prelates apparently think the actual wording is “Some of the truth shall set you free, but you get to determine how much and when and how to reveal it?”

That’s the only rational conclusion that explains why, after decades of horrific, widespread, well-documented child sex crimes and cover-ups, these bishops still refuse to come clean about child-molesting clergy.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul impressively documented this continuing duplicitousness in his 696-page, just-released report on Catholic child sex crimes and cover-ups across the state.

When this investigation was first launched five years ago, only two Illinois bishops posted a list of “substantiated Catholic cleric child sex abusers” on their websites. Within months, at the prodding of AG staffers, the state’s other four bishops did likewise, per the report. (Our group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, relentlessly prodded prelates to do this for over 20 years.)

At the probe’s outset, the church hierarchy provided on its websites the names of 103 priests who’ve been determined, by church institutions, to be “credibly accused” abusers.

During the investigation, after continued prodding from Raoul’s staff, the dioceses added 231 names to that list.

But that still didn’t capture all of the credibly accused priests. The report added yet another 160 clerics who worked in Illinois and have been substantiated as child sex abusers by Catholic sources but have not been disclosed as such by the Illinois dioceses. Now, 451 proven, admitted and/or credibly accused priests have been publicly identified (the total has been adjusted because some priests abused in multiple dioceses).

The second Bible verse that I can’t shake is this one, Luke 8:17: “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”

Again, this one isn’t unknown to the Catholic hierarchy. (Non-Christians may prefer a more recent source for the same sentiment: Dr. Martin Luther King’s “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”)

Haven’t bishops — in Illinois and across the U.S. — learned that despite the best efforts of their high-priced lawyers and public relations professionals, victims are becoming increasingly empowered, civil attorneys are becoming more aggressive and creative, law enforcement is becoming more determined, and those who commit and conceal assaults on children are becoming “outed” more and more?

Why are predators’ names important?

First, kids’ safety. Many of the predators are deceased. But at least dozens, and perhaps hundreds, of proven, admitted and credibly accused child-molesting clerics — some with deeply rooted and extraordinarily powerful compulsion to assault youngsters — now live or work around largely unsuspecting families, friends, co-workers and even relatives. Though many are elderly, it’s dangerous to assume that serial offenders have somehow been magically and permanently cured of these nearly uncontrollable urges. Releasing their names — and ideally, their photos, work histories and last known whereabouts — will enable parents, police, prosecutors and the public to safeguard the vulnerable from them.

Second, survivors’ healing. Any therapist will tell you that many survivors feel vindication and validation (and sleep better at night) when they see that their abuser has been publicly exposed and is thus less apt to be able to molest again.

Third, the disclosure of these names is the clearest way to tell whether bishops have “reformed.”

More than 20 years ago, every U.S. bishop formally pledged to be “transparent” about clergy sexual abuse. That transparency is most important when it comes to the predators themselves. (Parents can best protect their kids if they know who and where the child molesters are. That’s why virtually every state has a sex offender registry.)

So if even now these men are parsing words, splitting hairs, making excuses so they can justify disclosing fewer names of credibly accused child molesters, then it’s very likely they’re violating other promises they’ve made about better screening, more psychological testing, paying for victims’ counseling, and truly cooperating with law enforcement.

Raoul’s report discloses the identities of 149 clerics who were or are in Illinois, have been deemed “credibly accused” of abuse by their bishop or other church supervisors, yet are listed on no Illinois Catholic website as “credibly accused.”

Think of it this way: The truth not only sets us free, it safeguards kids and also helps victims. Many current and former rank-and-file Catholics would submit that it also begins to restore some confidence in the higher echelons of the institution.

I mentioned I no longer have a faith life. “Have you lost your faith?” I’m sometimes asked. “No, it was stolen from me,” I reply, “by the predator priest who assaulted me and his corrupt supervisors who betrayed me.”

There are thousands like me across this country, enduring far worse than a lack of spirituality. Many are unemployed, underemployed, unemployable, agoraphobic, depressed, isolated, addicted, ashamed suicidal and suffering what the Tribune rightly calls the “unspeakable pain” that results from devastating attacks by once trusted priests during childhood and almost equally heinous betrayals by once revered bishops during adulthood.

We deserve better. And our kids deserve a safer and healthier childhood.

Neither they nor us are getting that from Catholic bishops who largely, like their predecessors and their predecessors, remain far too heavily fixated on protecting their careers, comfort and reputations rather than protecting their flocks.

Complete Article HERE!

What the Latest Investigations Into Catholic Church Sex Abuse Mean

— About 20 state attorneys general have mounted investigations that have cataloged decades of abuse but yielded few criminal prosecutions.

The numbers of accused priests and incidents of abuse in the Catholic church peaked between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s, according to a 2011 study.

By Ruth Graham

The nearly 900-page report landed like a grenade when Josh Shapiro, then the attorney general of Pennsylvania, delivered it on a stage in Harrisburg, Pa., five years ago. It detailed widespread sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church throughout Pennsylvania, and a “sophisticated” cover-up by senior church officials. Victims of abuse and their families, sometimes visibly weeping, joined Mr. Shapiro on the stage.

More than 300 priests were found to have abused children, at least 1,000 of them, over the course of seven decades. The report reverberated at the highest levels of the church, with the Vatican expressing “shame and sorrow” over the findings. And it reached the pews, too: A Gallup poll the next year found that more than one-third of Catholics in the United States were considering leaving the faith because of “recent news about sexual abuse of young people by priests.”

In the years since the Pennsylvania report was published, it has inspired some 20 other investigations into the Catholic Church by state attorneys general.

Now the results of those investigations are rolling out, refocusing attention on the sprawling abuse scandal, and in some cases providing fresh details. The attorney general of Illinois, Kwame Raoul, released a report in May that found more than 450 credibly accused child sex abusers in the Catholic Church in Illinois since 1950. Almost 2,000 children under 18 were victims.

These reports have not led to many criminal prosecutions: many of the accused have died, or statutes of limitations have expired. But victims of clerical sexual abuse and their advocates say the reports have had a lasting impact in other ways. In some states, the reports have helped persuade legislators to extend time limits for victims to sue alleged abusers. And many victims say that such public and official acknowledgment of what happened is a welcome step.

“People talk about this being about sex, or a more academic analysis describes it as being about power,” said Terence McKiernan, the president of, an advocacy group. “But it’s also about information.”

Investigations have been concluded in seven states so far, and others are continuing, according to CHILD USAdvocacy, a group that supports stronger child abuse legislation.

The status of some of the investigations is unclear, frustrating activist groups. For example, the attorney general’s office in California invited victims to come forward with their stories in 2018, and later issued subpoenas to several Catholic dioceses. The office has not issued a public update on the investigation in years, and did not respond to a request for comment.

The sheer numbers in the state reports published so far are staggering: 163 perpetrators in Missouri, 97 in Florida, 188 in Kansas. There have been long lists of credibly accused priests and others in Catholic ministry, thousands of pages of victims’ narratives, and front-page headlines about the findings. Attorneys general have been photographed with towering stacks of documents, hoisting doorstop publications that are the product of years of research and interviews.

The number of accused priests and incidents of abuse peaked between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s, and have declined significantly since then, according to a 2011 study commissioned by Catholic bishops and conducted by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York.

Bishops in the United States adopted new protocols in the early 2000s to crack down on abuse, including a range of “zero tolerance” policies. Historically, the church withheld information about priests who were sexually abusive, often moving them from parish to parish without informing people in the pews. The reports have pushed many dioceses to publish or update their own lists of credibly accused clergy members.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, has disputed some aspects of the Illinois attorney general’s report, and questioned the way some of the data was presented. Even so, the archdiocese cooperated with the investigation, and Cardinal Cupich issued a statement apologizing “to all who have been harmed by the failure to prevent and properly respond to child sexual abuse by clerics.”

A woman in a white shirt wipes tears from her eyes, while another woman sits next to her clasping her hand.
Victims of clerical sexual abuse and their relatives became emotional as Josh Shapiro, then the attorney general of Pennsylvania, spoke at a news conference in 2018 about a report on decades of abuse in the state’s Catholic dioceses.

“The A.G. reports are a measure of accountability, even though they don’t have a ton of teeth,” said Kathryn Robb, the executive director of CHILD USAdvocacy, who helped write the new Maryland law. “They educate the public, and they educate lawmakers to understand: they have this ‘holy crap’ moment.”

Survivor groups have urged the Department of Justice to mount a federal investigation of the church. Other groups have tried to sue the church under federal and state racketeering laws, but those suits have fizzled because of high legal hurdles, including the need to prove “injury to business or property,” according to Stephen Rubino, a lawyer who tried the civil racketeering approach in a suit against the Archdiocese of Camden in the early 1990s. (That case was settled; Mr. Rubino later attempted another racketeering suit that was dismissed.) Many dioceses, facing waves of new civil suits, have filed for bankruptcy.

For Mr. Shapiro, who is now the governor of Pennsylvania, the report became a signature achievement of his tenure as attorney general. On the campaign trail, he said, people frequently pulled him aside to thank him for the report, sometimes identifying themselves as victims of specific priests who were named in it.

“From a Pennsylvania perspective, the most significant thing is the way we gave a sense of justice to the victims here,” Mr. Shapiro said in an interview on Wednesday.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul of Illinois, in a dark suit and blue tie. stands at a lectern with the American flag and three women behind him.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul of Illinois spoke in May about his office’s investigation into sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy members in the state.

Mike McDonnell, 54, says he was abused by two priests in the Philadelphia area starting when he was 11. He told no one at the time what had happened to him. He began drinking as a preteen, and later became addicted to drugs. His story was mentioned in a 2005 report by a grand jury on sexual abuse in the archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Mr. McDonnell said he probably would never have confronted the reality of the abuse, had he not seen the men who abused him named in the 2005 report. “Knowing myself, I would have continued to anesthetize myself and find other compartments in my soul to bury it,” he said.

At first, he said, he found it destabilizing to see his experience reflected in the report. He learned that he was not alone, and that leaders in the archdiocese of Philadelphia knew for years about the behavior of the two priests who abused him.

One of them, Francis Trauger, was convicted in 2020 of molesting two altar boys and was sentenced to 18 months to 36 months in prison. Mr. McDonnell, who now works for an advocacy group for victims of clerical sexual abuse, was in the courtroom for the sentencing.

“Seeing that in print and in the public record is really monumental for those who have not had a voice,” Mr. McDonnell said. “That validation is really a kick-start to one’s healing journey.”

Complete Article HERE!

Survivors group points to cracks in visa system for foreign priests after 8-year-old First Nations girl abused

— Canada has no standard requirement for background checks for people coming to Canada doing religious work

Arul Savari, a Roman Catholic priest, is charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, sexual exploitation of a young person, luring a child and forcible confinement.

By Rachel Bergen

There are too few checks and balances for international members of the clergy who come to work in Canada, according to a group that advocates for survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of religious leaders.

A Roman Catholic priest has been accused of sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl in a remote Manitoba First Nation, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says it’s too easy for a foreign priest to be seconded into a Canadian congregation by using religious visas, with little, if any, scrutiny of their backgrounds.

“There has to be a higher screening and a higher supervision rate when it comes to just allowing someone to come in and drop their bags into a parish community,” said Mike McDonnell, a spokesperson for the network in an interview from his home near Philadelphia on Friday.

Arul Savari, 48, who is originally from India, is facing a myriad of charges involving the alleged assault of the girl in Little Grand Rapids First Nation, and Manitoba RCMP say they’ve identified other potential victims.

The eight-year-old girl was alone with the priest after he asked her to help him clean the church when he allegedly touched her inappropriately, RCMP said earlier this week.

A simple building with a white cross and bell erected in front. Snow is on the ground.
Savari was a priest at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Little Grand Rapids. This photo was posted to his Facebook page in December 2018. Advocates for people abused by priests want to see greater oversight and screening of foreign-educated members of the clergy who come to Canada.

Savari has been living in Winnipeg for six years and served in Little Grand Rapids for the same amount of time. He serves the Catholic Church under the Archbishop of St. Boniface.

Savari was also the priest at nearby Pauingassi First Nation.

As far as RCMP are aware, the priest only served in those two First Nations while in Canada.

After his arrest, the Archdiocese of St. Boniface said Savari was suspended from all ministerial duties and “forbidden to have anything to do with former parishioners and children.”

Alistair Clarke, an immigration lawyer in Winnipeg says that from an immigration perspective, it’s not a standard requirement for people who enter the country as religious workers exempt from work permits to provide a background check or child abuse registry.

He said the federal government would rely on the employer or the religious institution to do that check.

A border patrol officer would have the authority to check on the person’s background if there are concerns about their criminal background, Clarke said.

It’s not clear how Savari entered Canada, or if he had an exemption for a work permit because he is a religious worker.

In 2017, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted a policy to verify identity, screen for criminal background and child abuse history, and encouraged other dioceses to adopt it. At that time, many dioceses had a similar policy in place.

The Archdiocese of St. Boniface has a policy in place that asks all church employees and volunteers over 18 to submit to a criminal record check and a child abuse registry check.

Little Grand Rapids Chief Oliver Owen met with Archbishop Albert Legatt on Friday afternoon and said the archbishop had checked with Savari’s previous employer before he was brought to Canada, but didn’t check with police there.

CBC News has asked a number of questions of the Archdiocese on Thursday and Friday and didn’t receive a response as of Friday evening.

McDonnell says fewer people are becoming ordained in the Catholic Church, so it must seek workers in other countries to fill roles in Canada.

The says it doesn’t track how many priests are from outside the country.

Abuse in church ‘a thing of the present’: SNAP

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, an organization with more than 25,000 members and support groups in over 60 cities worldwide, monitors arrests of religious figures for allegations of abuse with the help of its partners.

McDonnell says some may think that abuse carried out by Catholic leaders was a historical issue, but for the last two years, at least two people in positions of authority have been arrested for abuse per month globally, according to the network’s own numbers.

“It just goes to show that despite what church officials say, that this is a thing of the past, it is far from the thing of the past. It’s very much a thing of the present,” he said.

A woman with short red hair is pictured in an orange shirt that has an illustration of four women on it. Behind her are a number of tents and people.
Sue Caribou is pictured in a 2021 file photo. The residential school survivor wants to see all parties be more intentional about screening priests that go to work in First Nations.

Sue Caribou, a survivor of the Catholic church-run Guy Hill Residential School near The Pas, Man., says she was disturbed by the news of the assault.

“It’s still happening. When is it ever going to stop,” she said in an interview on Thursday.

Although not a victim of sexual abuse herself, Caribou says she witnessed the luring and abuse of other children at Guy Hill when she was forced to attend, and grew up learning about roadblocks to telling the truth.

“People won’t believe you and you’ll be judged in the community and there’s a lot of obstacles to come forward,” she said.

Caribou believes there needs to be more rigorous screening of religious leaders going into communities, including by the First Nations leadership.

A yellowish and green church building is pictured on a snowy day.
St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Little Grand Rapids is pictured in a December 2018 Facebook photo.

“We don’t know who this person is. We don’t know anything about the person that’s coming into the community to preach,” she said.

McDonnell echoes that call and says the federal government has a responsibility to protect Canadians by ensuring cracks in the system are closed by requiring a background check.

“We feel that it has to fall on the shoulders of the government to be able to protect its people and certainly the most vulnerable of our society. These measures need to be put in place so that we are not talking about this again in 10 years.”

A map showing the location of the city of Winnipeg in the south, and Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi First Nations northeast of Winnipeg.
Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi First Nations are remote communities in eastern Manitoba. RCMP said Arul Savari served in his role as priest in both communities.

Both the Vatican ambassador to Canada and the Archdiocese of St. Boniface should also be held responsible for Savari, McDonnell said.

Additional abuse cases recently surfaced in Canada

Last week, it came to light that one of the most notorious child abusers in Newfoundland and Labrador history has popped up in another investigation into allegations of Catholic child abuse in the United States.

Ronald Lasik, a member of the Christian Brothers of Ireland until his death in 2020, is one of 451 men “credibly accused” of abusing children in Illinois while holding a position of authority affiliated with the church, according to an investigation by that state’s attorney general.

Lasik is well-known for his time at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s during the 1950s, where he is convicted of abusing six children. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 1999.

A black and white photo of a young white man with brown hair wearing a dark coloured smock.

Ronald Justin Lasik was a teacher with the Christian Brothers, stationed at Mount Cashel Orphanage in the 1950s. He would later be sentenced to 11 years in prison for abusing the kids under his care. A recent investigation has linked him to other allegations of abuse in Illinois and Australia. (St. Bonaventure College Yearbook)

He’s also accused of abusing other children in Illinois and Australia after he left Canada.

“Where there is money, there’s often cover ups of crimes involving children and vulnerable adults,” McDonnell said.

“I absolutely truly believe that this is one of the darkest periods in the Church’s existence and most likely the most challenging since the Protestant Reformation.”

Complete Article HERE!

Spanish Catholic bishops find evidence of 728 sexual abusers, 927 victims since 1945

Toledo Cathedral in Toledo, Spain.

By CiarÁn Giles

Spain’s Catholic bishops’ conference says it has found evidence of 728 sexual abusers within the church since 1945, through the testimony of 927 victims, in its first public report on the issue.

The church said 83% of the victims and 99% of the abusers were male and that more than 60% of the offenders were dead.

In a report presented Thursday, more than 50% of offenders were said to be priests. The rest were other church officials.

The church said that most cases occurred in the last century, 75% of them before 1990.

The conference said the collection of testimonies was continuing and the figure would be updated periodically. The data was collected in some 200 offices for the protection of minors, set up by the church around Spain in 2019.

Leading daily El País, which has been reporting constantly on cases in Spain and abroad, said Friday the real figures of abuses within the church were likely to be much higher, as the church report only referred to cases recorded since 2019 and did not include the number of cases the church was aware of before that date.

A Madrid-based law firm that is conducting a parallel inquiry ordered for the Spanish Episcopal Conference has told the media that the number of victims is likely to be in the thousands. The firm has yet to produce its results.

Up until very recently, the Spanish church has been reluctant to carry out investigations or release information on sexual abuse cases. Spain’s state prosecutor earlier this year complained that the bishops were withholding information. The bishops denied this.

“Members of this our church have hurt other members of the church or society,” said César García Magán, the Spanish Episcopal Conference secretary general, said at the presentation. ”And for this reason, we feel pain and shame.”

But he said that this would be meaningless if it did not lead to changes in the ways children were protected and offenders sidelined. He said the church was also committed to sharing its findings and must use the lessons learnt to ensure “sexual abuses do not occur again in the heart of the church.”

The bishops´ report said the abuses occurred mostly in schools, seminaries, and parish buildings.

Spain’s parliament voted in 2022 to open the first official investigation led by the country’s ombudsman into the extent of sexual abuse committed by priests and church officials after El País published allegations of abuse involving more than 1,200 victims.

Earlier this year, the ombudsman said his independent commission had collected testimonies from 445 victims, but the probe was continuing.

Only a handful of countries have had government-initiated or parliamentary inquiries into abuse like Spain’s.

The most extensive took place in Australia. In 2017, it found that 7% of Catholic priests were accused of abusing minors between 1980 and 2010. Judge-led investigations in Ireland from 2005 impacted the Catholic Church’s once-dominant influence in society and politics.

And in France, an independent inquiry estimated in 2021 that some 330,000 children were victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy or other Catholic-affiliated lay employees from 1950-2020.

In neighboring Portugal, an expert panel said this year that more than 4,800 individuals may have been victims of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Complete Article HERE!