Reports of sexual abuse allegations by Catholic clergy against minors totaled 3,103 from 2020 to 2021 according to independent auditing agency StoneBridge Business Partners.
It’s a significant decline – 1,149 less – compared to the previous 2019 to 2020 audit period.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said “this decrease is due in large part to the resolution of allegations received as a result of lawsuits, compensation programs, and bankruptcies.”
Of the allegations received, 2,284 (74%) were first brought to the attention of the diocese or eparchy by an attorney. 30 were made by “current minors” and 6 of those were substantiated.
“Nine are still under investigation, nine were unsubstantiated, five were unable to be proven, and one was referred to the provincial of a religious order.”
The audit also details the measures the Church in the US has taken to protect the safety of minors.
“In 2021, the church conducted 1,964,656 background checks on clergy, employees, and volunteers. In 2021, over 2 million adults and over 2.4 million children and youth were trained in how to identify the warning signs of abuse and how to report those signs.”
The audit is the 19th of its kind since 2002 when the USCCB adopted the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” The charter adopted a zero-tolerance policy for substantiated abuse allegations with permanent removal from ministry.
The results of the audit are publicly available here.
Learn how to report sexual abuse of a minor by clergy here.