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Catholic Sex Abuse

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The Catholic Clergy Sex Scandal:

They were a series of cases that shook the faith of many.

The Catholic sex abuse cases that came to light after the turn of the millennium were not just in the United States, but were reported worldwide. They included accusations of child sex abuse crimes committed by Catholic priests, nuns and various Church orders.

Many of the incidents lasted for several decades and were brought out into the open years after they happened.

The church hierarchy was also cited in a series of cases for not reporting the incidents to legal authorities. Oftentimes, offending clergy members were transferred to other parishes, where the cycle of abuse would start all over again.

This has led to several fraud cases, where the Church is accused of deliberately misleading victims instead of moving the accused priests from their positions.

Disgraced Ex-Boston Archbishop Bernard Cardinal Law left his post and was put in charge of a basilica in Rome.

Archbishop Bernard Cardinal Law

Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles was accused of failing to act when presented with pedophile priests.

Cardinal Roger Mahoney

The accusations centered on Father Michael Baker, who's now serving a 10-year sentence for sexually abusing three boys.

Father Michael Baker

Many of the cases were never prosecuted because the statute of limitations on the evidence had expired.

In the Australian state of Victoria, it's estimated that between six hundred and ten thousand children were sexually abused since the 1930's.

It's also estimated that at least four percent – four out of every 100 – Roman Catholic priests serving in the U.S in the first half of the 20th Century abused minors.

In early July, 2014, Pope Francis celebrated a mass and met with six abuse survivors. He promised to hold bishops accountable for the protection of minors. He also begged forgiveness from the victims of clergy sex abuse.

However, in his homily, the Pope didn't detail whether the accountability would include firing bishops and other church officials who systemically shuffled pedophile priests from parish to parish to avoid bringing shame to the Church.

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