DIOCESE OF TOLEDO OH
According to diocesan records, the total number of clerics (bishops,
priests and deacons) serving in the Diocese of Toledo from 1950 through
today is 1,753.
DIOCESE OF TOLEDO REPORTS ON ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS BY CLERGY IN THE DIOCESE SINCE 1950
“To Protect and To Heal” Illustrates Diocese’s Commitment
to Protect Against Sexual Abuse of Minors
DIOCESE OF TOLEDO
FOR RELEASE 2/13/04 AT 2:00 PM CONTACT: Sally Oberski, 419-244-6711
February 13, 2004 – Toledo, Ohio-Bishop Leonard Blair, installed as Toledo’s seventh bishop less than three months ago, released information today on allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the Diocese of Toledo from 1950 through today. Under the diocesan initiative To Protect and To Heal, the bishop outlined the steps that the diocese has taken to create a “safe environment” as stipulated by the Charter for the Protection of Children & Young People and Essential Norms as adopted by the nation’s bishops in 2002.
On February 27, aggregate statistics for the 195 U.S. dioceses will be released as part of a study by New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002. The John Jay report will include the total number of sexual abuse allegations made against clergy, the number of victims claiming sexual abuse by clergy, and the total costs for the U.S. Catholic Church during the period 1950-2002. The Diocese of Toledo chose to release local statistics through February 13, 2004.
According to diocesan records, 36 clerics (bishops, priests and deacons) representing 2% of the 1753 clerics serving in the Diocese of Toledo since1950 have had allegations of child sexual abuse made against them.
Of the 36 clerics, 28 were diocesan priests; seven were religious order (non-diocesan) priests, and one was a permanent deacon. Of the 36 accused clerics, nine are deceased, one is under investigation, 23 priests and one deacon are barred from any ministry; and 2 priests were exonerated of the accusation.
The diocese reported that a total of 69 individuals made allegations against the 36 clerics, and a total of 19 lawsuits have been filed against the diocese alleging sexual abuse by clergy. During the course of the past 54 years, the diocese reports that $1,107,182 has been spent as a result of allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The disbursement of this money was $232,917 in pastoral care and counseling, $180,750 in settlements and $693,515 in legal fees. All expenses incurred as a result of sexual abuse of minors have been paid from the diocese’s insurance funds.
None of the money used for this purpose was from collections, appeals or fundraising campaigns, including the dioceses’ recent capital campaign and annual campaigns.
According to Bishop Blair, “It is important to understand that the figures released today, as well as the number of the allegations released in the John Jay report represent all allegations made, whether they be determined credible or non-credible.”
Reading from a letter that he wrote to the clergy, religious orders and laity of diocese, Bishop Blair acknowledged ”…the enormous personal suffering, anger and hurt inflicted on the victims of sexual abuse by clerical perpetrators, and in many cases by the failure of church authorities in our country to respond in a manner commensurate with this grave sin and crime.” Again citing his letter offering an apology and expression of deep regret to the victims and their families, the Bishop pledged to “further the goals that we Bishops set for ourselves…namely to promote healing and reconciliation, to guarantee an effective response to all allegations, to ensure accountability and to protect the faithful in the future.”
More detailed information from To Protect and To Heal, including the bishop’s letter, a list of frequently asked questions about clergy sexual abuse and a summary of the statistics regarding cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors can be found in the February 13th issue of the Catholic Chronicle, and also on the diocese’s website www.toledodiocese.org. The diocese also supplied bulletin inserts to parishes that will be distributed February 21-22.
The Diocese of Toledo, established April 15, 1910 encompasses 8222 square
miles in a mixture of urban and rural areas that spans 19 counties across
Northwest Ohio, serving 314,000 Catholics. The diocese includes Allen,
Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa,
Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood
and Wyandot counties.
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