The problem of child sexual abuse in organizations that give open access to children like the Boy Scouts, Little League and churches is a major concern for parents.
And while most of the other organizations lack the resources to cover up the crimes, the international nature and power of the Catholic Church has allowed abuse and abusers to be hidden for many years.
A recent investigation by the Associated Press (AP) reported:
"nearly 1,700 priests and other clergy members that the Roman Catholic Church considers credibly accused of child sexual abuse are living under the radar with little to no oversight from religious authorities or law enforcement."
AP said the group of "priests, deacons, monks and lay people" now:
- teach middle-school math
- counsel survivors of sexual assault
- work as nurses
- volunteer at nonprofits aimed at helping at-risk kids
- live next to playgrounds and day care centers
- foster and care for children
65 were with various crimes committed after leaving the church and most were convicted. 46 of the 65 were charged and convicted of crimes of a sexual nature.
While the vast majority of U.S. dioceses released their records, the over 5,100 names released do not include the records of 20 dioceses that say they plan to release the names from their diocese nor 10 dioceses that have made no announcements yet. Two dioceses released partial information.
The credible accusations reported include inappropriate comments and unsolicited hugging up to and including sexual contact and assault. Because of the broad scope of the accusations, encompassing non-criminal acts as well as criminal acts, tracking which individuals are a clear and present danger becomes muddied.
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