Unlike other Christian churches and opposing religions, the Roman Catholic Church has been the subject of media scrutiny and criticism with regards to the issue of child abuse and molestation carried out by priests and other clergy members. This fact however does not conclude that there hasn’t been a single case of child abuse in other churches. There may be an equal number of abuses in other churches but it is only in the Catholic denomination that the issue has become a very controversial and prevalent one. Here are some of the facts:
1. The issue began to grab the attention of the media and many Americans in 2002, when the archbishop of the state of Boston was accused of covering up a lot of priests with pedophilia issues.
2. The landmark controversy in Boston led to further accusations of child abuse and molestation by Catholic priests all over the United States and as a result, hundreds of victims have been forced to engage in financial settlements with the churches involved.
3. Financial and monetary settlements carried out by the church in order to compensate victims and avoid legal and criminal proceedings have reached up to millions of dollars, for the sake of concealing the crimes and eventually saving the face and integrity of the church in general.
4. As 2004 study revealed that between the year 1950 and early 2000, almost 11,000 minors have been sexually abused or molested by priests in different parts of the country.
5. The trend of abuse towards children by priests is not limited to the United States. In fact, many countries in Europe have had their equal share of the controversy particularly in Ireland, Germany, Austria, Poland, and France.
6. Aside from Europe, other countries that have significant numbers of church abuse are Mexico, Australia, Canada, and Senegal.