Thursday, April 28, 2011

Abuse claims against priests rise in 2010

The U.S. Roman Catholic Church and its insurers paid $124 million last year to settle allegations of child sexual abuse, up from $104 million a year earlier, a church-commissioned audit showed on Monday.

There were 428 new allegations of sexual abuse against a minor filed in 2010, seven of which related to child abuse that was said to occur during the year, the U.S. Conference of Bishops said, citing the audit.

The number of claims was 7 percent higher than those lodged in 2009, but half the 2004 peak when 889 people reported abuse deemed by the auditors as credible, the report found.

Of the 345 clergy accused in 2010 of abuse, two-thirds had either already been removed from the ministry or had died, according to the report, based on a survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

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