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Clergy sex abuse claims down in 2006

  Legal Business  -   POSTED: 2007/04/12 07:01

Claims of clergy sex abuse levied against the US Roman Catholic Church decreased for the second year in a row and recent cases involving claimants under age 18 have dropped significantly, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. The survey, compiled by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, cites figures from nearly all 195 dioceses in the US and reports that claims dropped from 1,092 in 2004 to 783 in 2005 to 714 in 2006, only 17 of which were from people under 18. Money spent by the dioceses and religious orders on support, settlements and litigation fees also dropped from $467 million to $399 million last year.

The report measures the US dioceses' compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, drafted in 2002 in response to widespread reports of sexual abuse committed by clergymen. The report, however, has been criticized since an accompanying independent audit included only 11 full, on-site visits to US dioceses and no reviews of personnel files


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