Catholic Church sexual abuse cases
The Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of allegations, investigations, trials, and convictions of child sexual abuse crimes committed by Catholic priests, nuns, and members of Roman Catholic orders against boys and girls, some as young as 3 years old, with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14. The accusations began to receive wide publicity in the late 1980s; many span several decades, and were brought forward years after the abuse occurred. Cases have also been brought against members of the Catholic hierarchy who did not report sex abuse allegations to the legal authorities, moving sexually abusive priests to other parishes where abuse sometimes continued.The cases received significant media and public attention throughout the world, especially in Canada, Ireland, and the United States. Members of the Church's hierarchy have argued that media coverage was excessive and disproportionate. A critical investigation by The Boston Globe in 2002 led to widespread media coverage in the United States. By 2010, much of the reporting focused on abuse in Europe. From 2001 to 2010 the Holy See, the central governing body of the Catholic Church, considered sex abuse allegations concerning about 3,000 priests dating back up to fifty years. Cases worldwide reflect patterns of long-term abuse, and the covering up of reports. Diocesan officials and academics knowledgeable about the Roman Catholic Church say that sexual abuse by clergy is generally not discussed, and thus is difficult to measure. In the Philippines, where as of 2002 at least 85% of the population is Catholic, revelations of child sexual abuse by priests followed the United States' reporting in 2002.Studies have found that priests in the Catholic Church may not be any more likely than other men to commit abuse, and that the prevalence of abuse by priests had fallen sharply in the last twenty to thirty years. After the implementation of self-imposed transparency in abuse matters by Pope Benedict XVI, accusations of a sexual nature against Roman Catholic priests in the US numbered eight in 2010.