New Priest Abuse Allegations on the Rise

In stark contrast to what the United States bishops have been saying in their public relations’ campaign, new, credible allegations of priest sexual abuse are on the rise. This news comes surprisingly from the bishop’s own report concerning the audit for which they hired the Gavin Group. Unfortunately, as long as the bishops continue to try to spin the story rather than fix the problem, priest sex abuse will remain a scourge on the church and society. The church’s self-audit is filled with self-congratulatory language that ignores or glosses over the issue of how the church is really doing to help victims of priest abuse as well as prevent abuse in the future. For instance, priests accused of sexual abuse don’t have to report or submit themselves to monitoring, several lay review boards didn’t even meet in 2007, the auditors who wrote the report didn’t have access to personnel files, and 56 US religious orders refused to participate in the report and are not in compliance with the Dallas Charter. David Clohessy, SNAP’ Executive Director stated that, “It’s tempting but irresponsible to assume progress has been made at this very premature stage. There always has been and always will be a lag time in reporting abuse.” The dioceses in the US still refuse to make their finances as well as their history of handling abusers transparent. They continue to refuse to make public the files containing information about the priests who’ve abused. Reform is still a buzzword but not a practice.