“It should be noted that the vast majority of these reports were historical in nature.”
More than 4,200 allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and others were reported during the year ending June 30, 2020, a slight decline from the previous auditing period, according to a report on diocesan and eparchial compliance wit the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”
Released late Nov. 9, the 18th annual report from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection stated that 3,924 child sexual abuse survivors filed 4,228 allegations.
In the 2019 report, covering the 2018-2019 audit period, 4,220 adults filed 4,434 allegations.
The charter was adopted in 2002 by the U.S. bishops following widespread reports of clergy abuse and has been revised several times since to adapt to changing situations surrounding the question of clergy sexual abuse of minors.
Conducted by StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester, New York, the new report covers the year from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.
While the number of allegations remained high during the audit period, the report said only 22 allegations involve current cases of abuse.
The report said the number of allegations remained high in part because of changes in statutes of limitations on reporting abuse in several states. “It should be noted that the vast majority of these reports were historical in nature,” the report said.
The report attributed about 66% of allegations to lawsuits, compensation programs established by dioceses and other entities and bankruptcies. In addition, 1% of allegations emerged after a review of clergy personnel files, according to the report.
Of the 22 allegations for the current year, six were found to be substantiated. The report said they originated from five dioceses.
Of the remaining reported allegations, seven continued to be investigated, two were unsubstantiated, three were determined to be “unable to be proven,” and four were classified as “other.”