Audit Shows Church's Continued Commitment to Fight Sex Abuse

Bishops’ Leader Says Church Can Help Model Ways of ‘Addressing and Bringing to Light the Darkness and Evil of Abuse’

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The Catholic Church in the United States spent a total of $150,747,387 in costs related to child protection efforts and to allegations of clergy sexual abuse of minors in dioceses and religious orders between July 2013 and June 2014, according to an annual survey conducted by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) included in the annual audit report on the response of the Catholic Church in the United States to clergy sexual abuse.

The Church spent a total of $31,667,740 on safe environment training programs, background checks, and other protective efforts, and $119,029,647 on settlements paid to victims, therapy for victims, attorneys’ fees and other costs related to allegations.

Over 80% of credible allegations of abuse reported between July 2013 and June 2014 date back over 25 years, with the majority occurring from the 1960s-80s. According to responses gathered by CARA from all but one of the 195 dioceses and eparchies in the United States, two of the 294 credible allegations of clergy sexual abuse of minors made during this time occurred in 2014. The remaining credible allegations date back as early as the 1920s. According to the audit, all new cases were reported to civil authorities.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the report clearly shows the need to remain vigilant in the protection of children.

“Though our promise to protect and heal made in 2002 remains strong, we must not become complacent with what has been accomplished. It is my hope and prayer that as we continue to fulfill our promise, the Church will help model ways of addressing and bringing to light the darkness and evil of abuse wherever it exists,” said Archbishop Kurtz.

The full audit report is available online:

The full audit showed that all participating dioceses and eparchies were in compliance with the requirement of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002, to provide safe environment training to children, priests, deacons, candidates for ordination, educators, employees and volunteers. A total of 4,484,609 children (92 percent) were trained in 2014, along with 99 percent of priests (35,319), deacons (16,089) and educators (160,757) and 98 percent of volunteers (1,931,187) and candidate for ordination (6,503) and 97 percent (250,087) of other employees.

Background checks were performed on 99 percent of priests (33,308), deacons (16,006), candidates for ordination (6,568) and educators (160,273), along with 98 percent of volunteers (1,931,612) and 97 percent (256,668) of other employees.

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