Recent Cases Show Some Dioceses Still Failing to Report Abuse

Associated Press, carried in San Luis Obispo Tribune [United States]
November 20, 2006

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the bishops in 2002 directs clergy to comply with civil laws on reporting abuse.

No church official has been criminally prosecuted for failing to properly report child sexual abuse. And recent incidents show some dioceses are maintaining the status quo rather than bringing accused priests to justice.

Last year, the Archdiocese of Chicago hired independent investigators to learn why it failed to follow its own child protection plan and allowed the Rev. Daniel McCormack to stay in the ministry for several months after he was accused of abuse. The March audit found a widespread breakdown in communication that put young people at risk.

And in Arizona, a priest indicted in 2003 on 13 counts of child molestation while working in a Phoenix parish escaped prosecution by seeking shelter in the Rome headquarters of his religious order, the Salvatorians. An Italian court last month ordered that he be extradited, but he fled days after the ruling.

More than 12,000 U.S. Catholic priests have been accused of abuse since 1950, according to reports commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Nationally, the clergy sex abuse scandal has cost American dioceses at least $1.5 billion since 1950.


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