percent of priests were accused?
1. The John Jay percentage
The John Jay report calculated accused priest percentages of 4.0 and 4.3, using two different totals of active priests.
a. Using totals of active priests 1950-2002 provided by dioceses
and religious communities:
b. Using number of active priests 1960-2002 provided by CARA:
[Source, JJ report, Executive Summary, “Overview of Prevalence and Reporting,” paragraphs 1-5]
2. Updated John Jay percentage
Updated total of accused priests 1950-2007 (excluding 2003): 5,375
(Note: We use the larger of the two denominators used by John Jay. Some might argue that the denominator should increase by the total priests newly ordained in 2004-2009. But we can reasonably infer that nearly all of the accused priests newly identified in 2004-2009 were in the priesthood as of 2002. Therefore, it’s more accurate to use the original JJ denominator.)
3. Richard Sipe’s estimates
Richard Sipe states: "In my opinion the real number of Catholic priests who have sexually abused a minor at least once during the past 50 years will prove to be 9 percent when all studies are completed." See Public Disclosure, Cause No. 141-198356-03, In the District Court of Tarrant County, Texas (heading "As a direct result," bullets 2 and 3).
Sipe has also posited 6% and cites many other estimates in this 2005 report in the matter of Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston v. Lumbermen's Mutual Casualty Company, Civil Action No. 04-1046 (paragraphs 44-56).
In dioceses compelled to release internal abuse files to law enforcement or the public, the percentages of accused priests are markedly higher.
a. Diocese of Providence RI: More than 10%
Based on an accused priest total provided by the diocese in a 2006 court document, we can infer that more than 10% of Providence priests have been named in allegations of child sexual abuse
Total accused priests, 1971-2006: 125
Total active diocesan and religious order priests 1950-2002: More
b. Archdiocese of Philadelphia: 7.7%
Total accused priests, 1967-2005: 169
Percent accused (without adjusting for non-parallel time periods, which would increase the percentage): 7.7%
c. Diocese of Manchester NH: 8.9%
Total accused diocesan priests: 74
Active diocesan priests, 1943-2002: 831
Percent accused priests: 8.9%
d. Diocese of Covington KY: 9.6%
Total accused priests: 35
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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