There is still work to be done to help the victims of clerical abuse find healing a US report has found.
The 14th annual report on diocesan compliance with the US Catholic Church’s “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” shows that Church leaders have taken steps to help many find solace and justice.
The charter was established this month 15 years ago to address allegations of sexual abuse against minors by Catholic clergy.
Introductory remarks in the 2017 report urge Church leaders not to assume that “sexual abuse of minors by the clergy is a thing of the past and a distant memory,” wrote Francesco Cesareo, who is part of the board that oversees the audits.
The newly released report – based on audits conducted between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016 – shows that 1,232 survivors of child sexual abuse by clergy came forward with 1,318 clerical abuse allegations in 132 Catholic dioceses and eparchies.
The allegations represent reports of abuse that occurred from the 1940s to the present.
There is an overall increase of 730 allegations compared to last year’s report. The majority of new cases come from six dioceses in Minnesota, because the state in 2013 opened its civil statute of limitations for such claims until May 2016, giving victims aged over 24 a three-year window to sue for past abuse.
These six dioceses reported 351 more allegations than they did in the 2015 audit year.