CARA study indicates decline in abuse reports. Is the worst behind us?


The data regarding accusations in the Catholic Church specifically appear to be much more event-driven than age-driven. Rather than victims reaching a certain age and coming forward, it has more often been the case that abuse being in the news has led victims to come forward in large numbers.

Since 2004, new allegations have averaged 618 per year (438 in 2017). Regardless of when reports are made, the accusations often fit the existing pattern described above for when the abuse occurred. Four allegations of abuse occurring in 2017 were made in 2017.


If action is taken and the screening of seminarians has improved then I’d hope that the actual abuse would have started to decline. But I think some of the fallout of what already happened could get worse, though – especially if other states have their own grand jury investigations and release reports. So in that sense, I don’t expect the worst is behind us.


In terms of new reports going forward, the worst is definitely behind us because these guys are likely to be either screened out of the priesthood, or caught faster after they have only abused 1 or 2 victims rather than 10 or 20.

However, if other states want to launch these investigations into past abuse, we could end up with another headline trumpeting “300 abusive priests” from the decades prior to 2000 (and 200 of the accused priests are already dead).


I think there is no reason for complacency.

I heard about the article in First Things magazine about putting an end to clericalism in the Church, which Francis has called for a couple times, even recently.

The FT article supposedly (as told to Al Kresta on EWTN radio) calls for an end to purple and red flowing vestments for bishops and cardinals, and an end to “your excellency” and “your eminence” which the article attributes to influences that go back to the end of the Roman empire.

They all need to dress in simple black and at most they need to be addressed as “father.” Even now the Pope is addressed as Holy Father. (forget the “your holiness” part).

In my diocese, there have been a lot of parishes closed and combined. There are empty rectories all over the place, yet the bishop maintains a $300,000 (which is rather high end for this diocese) house. I’m not contributing a dime to the annual bishop’s drive until that extravagance is eliminated.

That residence was acquired by the diocese for the previous bishop. But, even the idea of the bishop living off of church property is repugnant to me. There whereabouts of the bishop’s residence was a long-held secret. It is located in the center of a maze of streets. But it was not so remote as to escape being raided by the local state police for evidence in a case of priestly sexual abuse.

The presence of a large number of homosexual priests and bishops in the Church is a problem that has to be addressed. WHATEVER THE IMPACT these men should leave the priesthood and perhaps be given 2 or 3 years of severance pay with health care, until they find some other line of work. This so-called “rot” in the Church has to be dealt with.

The Church should not be forced to wait this out, with calls for THE LAITY to become active in evangelization, when the leaders of the US Church have ignored that calling for decades since the Second Vatican Council. These priests KNOW they are endangering the reputation of the Church and they have no right to continue doing so.


to continue: All current priests should be given psychological screening tests (like air traffic controllers and nuclear plant workers, and others) to identify individuals who should be removed from the priesthood. Current seminarians are being screened this way and the priests and bishops should be screened as well.

Such screening should be conducted by an independent agency for priest and bishops every five years, and combined with any observational information about them, to come to a conclusion about these problems.

The Church is being investigated by the federal government and could possibly lose its tax exempt status. If that happens, a lot of church property will have to be sold off. THE WORST IS BY NO MEANS BEHIND US. THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF THE BEGINNING.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit