“Deliver Us from Evil” is an Academy Award-nominated documentary about clergy sexual abuse of children focuses on one particular case in California. Some facts I learned:
- Over 100,000 victims of clergy sexual abuse have come forward in the United States (alone).
- Experts say more than 80% of sexual abuse victims never report their abuse.
- Most countries are just beginning to report clergy abuse.
- On July 16, 2007, Cardinal Roger Mahony (Archbishop of Los Angeles) and the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles apologized for abuses by priests after 508 victims reached to a record-breaking settlement worth $660m. Since 2002 nearly 1,000 people filed sexual abuse claims in California. Earlier a $157m settlement was paid by the diocese of Boston.
- Since 1950, sexual abuse has cost the US Catholic Church over one billion dollars in legal settlements and expenses (not including the LA settlement).
- Pope Benedict XVI was accused of conspiracy to cover up sexual abuse in the United States. At the Vatican’s request, President Bush granted the pope immunity from prosecution. (Explains why the Catholic Church strongly supported Bush in 2004).
- The John Jay Report (2004) commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was based on surveys completed by the Catholic dioceses in the United States. The Report found accusations against 4,392 priests in the USA, about 4% of all priests who served between 1950 and 2002. The study also revealed that 10,667 people reported that they had been abused by priests as children during that period.
- A.W. Richard Sipe, a psychotherapist, former priest and author of ‘Sex, Priests and Power’ estimates that about 6% of priests have had sexual relations with children. He calls the John Jay study’s finding that fewer than 11,000 children have been abused “not possible. That’s low-balling.”
Considering that only 20% of the victims report their abuse, we come up with the staggering figure of approximately half a Million Americans or almost one in a hundred Catholics having been sexually abused by Priests. Amazingly tragic, but makes you think again!
Read more here.
More about the movie.