Abusive Priests

The National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel formed by the U.S. Conferenceof Catholic Bishops, last week announced its review of the causes of the priest abuse crisis. It also issued a long-awaited study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Among the major findings: 10,667 individuals made allegations of child sexual abuse by priests, 81 percent of victims were male and, of all priests against whom allegations were made, only 2 percent received prison sentences. Although the National Review Board rebuked U.S. bishops for failing to stop abuse–describing their lack of action as “leadership failures” which are “shameful to the church”–victims’ advocates are outraged that no steps are being taken to remove culpable bishops. “It is intolerable that we learn today that thousands of minors have been abused, thousands of priests accused and yet only one person, Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, has been forced to resign his hierarchical position over this scandal,” said Steve…

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