OF CORPUS CHRISTI TX
Accused Priests: 7
Alleged Victims: 13
See Cathy Lynn Grossman, Survey: More Clergy Abuse Cases Than Previously Thought (2/10/04) with AP table of data for 74 dioceses.
See the Dallas Morning News database entry on Bishop Edmond Carmody. The June 2002 database examined the records of bishops and identified those who had allowed accused priests to continue working or had otherwise protected priests accused of sexual abuse. The database is relevant to the bishops' "Nature and Scope" study because the bishops who prepared the surveys for the study are in many cases responsible for the "scope" of the problem.
Local diocese paid $1.3M
Catholic bishops report on sexual abuse cases
From staff and wire reports
Two other Texas dioceses also reported paying out large amounts including Houston at $3.6 million and Dallas at $47.7 million.
Bishop Edmond Carmody said late Tuesday that the $1.3 million paid out by the Diocese of Corpus Christi went to several different cases in the early 1990s.
"Overall we did not have any big hits. The amount was minuscule compared to what other dioceses had to pay," said Carmody, adding that even one case can dramatically impact the amount of money dioceses have to pay.
Carmody said the large amount of money that the Diocese of Dallas had to pay was because of one case.
The figures the AP compiled are part of a first-of-its-kind national survey the bishops commissioned from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. By opening themselves up to greater scrutiny, the bishops hope to restore trust in their leadership following waves of scandal over abusive priests. The report is due out Feb. 27.
The national survey won't break down statistics by individual diocese, but bishops are free to release local figures, and many said they are doing so to fulfill their pledge of transparency in the wake of the crisis that erupted two years ago.
The AP found 80 of 195 dioceses have released their reports so far. At least 60 additional dioceses plan to release their local figures by the end of the month. Others haven't set a date and a few did not participate in the study.
Diocese of Corpus Christi spokesman Marty Wind said the Corpus Christi Diocese reported 13 known victims to researchers for the John Jay report. Also reported were seven accusations against diocesan priests, including five that took place more than 20 years ago. Wind couldn't say how many cases received a portion of the $1.3 million.
The AP contacted dioceses across the country and found that 1,341 clergy members have been accused of molesting minors, with more than half the dioceses yet to report.
'Problem is much worse'
"What it's really doing is showing us in black and white that the problem is much worse than any of us thought," said Sue Archibald, president of The Linkup, a Kentucky-based victim advocacy group.
Statistics have yet to be released by some archdioceses that have faced hundreds of allegations, including Boston and Los Angeles.
A January 2003 review by The New York Times counted 1,205 accused priests nationwide over five decades. Survivors First, an advocacy group compiling its own list from media reports and lawsuits, has counted 1,800.
But Paul Baier of Survivors First said he compared the numbers his organization collected with reports from 41 dioceses and found the dioceses' local statistics were double what he had counted.
"If those trends continue across 195 dioceses, we can see the number that's self-reported by the bishops being twice as high as the names in our public database," Baier said.
Many cases are old
Determining how many priests actually were guilty of abuse is difficult, since many cases were not reviewed by law enforcement and most of the claims involve alleged misconduct that occurred decades ago.
Church officials said they struggled to find missing personnel and financial records, and evaluate accusations against priests who have long since died.
The National Review Board, a lay watchdog panel that the bishops formed, has overseen the study and plans to release the results of its own investigation into how the crisis occurred.
"This is an unprecedented study of a single profession," said Monsignor Francis Maniscalco, a spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"It takes the risk of concentrating even further attention on the Catholic priesthood a problem that is a human problem, that is engaged in by members of a family in regard to other members of their family."
David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the national figures are of secondary concern.
He said it was more important to focus on whether bishops were now fully committed to protecting children.
"It's never been about how many priests, how many victims, how much money," he said. "It's always been about how bishops respond."
The Associated Press and Caller-Times reporter Venessa Santos-Garza contributed to this report. Contact Santos-Garza at 886-3752 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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