Bishop survey

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 [Editor's note: also see 'Two-thirds of Bishops let accused priests work'. Also, note at end of survey excerpts (following) scroll down to see study comments.]

Excerpts: John Jay survey commissioned by U.S. Congress of Bishops for U.S. Diocesan bishops

7. If yes, the type of abuse indicated in the record or known to the diocese is best described as (check all that apply)


Physical abuse


Emotional Abuse


Sexual Abuse


Verbal Abuse


Physical & Sexual Abuse




Other (specify): ________

9. Are there indications in the record that the cleric had problems with alcohol or substance abuse?


Yes, Alcohol


Yes, Drugs


Yes, Alcohol & Drugs


No (If no, skip to question 13)

26. How many allegations of abuse of minors does the cleric have in each of the following age ranges and genders at your diocese? (give your best approximation of the age range based on information in the file)

# of victims under 8 years of age ________   # male _______ # female ________
# of victims 8 - 10 years of age ________     # male _______ # female ________
# of victims 11-14 years of age ________     # male _______ # female ________
# of victims 15 - 17 years of age ________   # male _______ # female ________

16. Where did the victim first meet the cleric?






Boys club/youth recreation


Sunday school teacher


Teacher in preschool, kindergarten, or elementary school (up to grade 6)


At an altar service


Teacher in middle school (grades 7-8)


In the rectory


Teacher in high school (grades 9-12)


Work in a hospital




Seminary faculty


Home of victim


In jail/prison/youth offender residence


At a vocational inquiry


Home of cleric


At a social function w/ victim's family


Seminary administrator


Other (specify)________________


While assigned to the victim's parish (e.g., as an extern priest)

17. What was the cleric's primary duty when he met the victim? (check all that apply)




Associate pastor


Resident priest


Seminary faculty


Boys club/youth recreation


Catechism teacher


Teacher in preschool, kindergarten, or elementary school (up to grade 6)




Teacher in middle school (grades 7-8)




Teacher in high school (grades 9-12)


Worked in a hospital


Seminary administrator


Saying Mass


Guidance counselor


Bishop, Vicar, Chancellor, Cardinal


Other (specify)________________



18. Did the cleric socialize with the family of the alleged victim(s)?






Information not in the file

19. If yes, in what way? (check all that apply)


In the church


In church day activities (e.g., picnics)


Spent time with the family in his residence


He spent time with the family in their residence




Other (specify):____________

20. Type of behavior alleged by this victim (check all that apply):


Verbal (sexual talk)


Photos taken of victim while victim was disrobed


Victim disrobed


Masturbation in front of victim


Cleric disrobed


Mutual masturbation


Sexual touching over clothes of victim


Manual (finger) penetration (of vagina or anus)


Sexual touching over clothes of the cleric


Penetration with foreign object (e.g., sexual aid)


Sexual touching under clothes of victim (no penetration)


 Oral/genital contact where offender performed fellatio/cunnilingus


Sexual touching under clothes of cleric (no penetration)


Oral/genital contact where victim performed fellatio/cunnilingus


Victim shown pornographic videos


Penile penetration (of anus or vagina)


Victim shown pornographic magazines/photos


Other _________________________

21. Was the victim threatened by the cleric in any way?






Information not in the file

22. If yes, what type of threat?


Physical threat, with weapon


Physical threat, no weapon


Verbal threat (of harm to the victim)


Verbal threat (that harm will come to the cleric)


Threatened family of victim


Spiritual manipulation


Threatened public exposure of victim's behavior to family or others


Other (specify):__________________

23. Where was the abuse reported to have occurred? (check all that apply)


In the church


In the parish residence


In the home of the victim


Cleric's office


In school


In the hospital


In a hotel room


In a car


Retreat house


Vacation house


Other (specify):__________________


24. When did the abuse reportedly occur?


During a retreat


During a social event


During a church service


During reconciliation


During travel


During a sporting event (e.g., swimming)


During counseling session


During other type of travel


Other (specify):_________________


25. Did the victim receive any gifts from the cleric?






Information not in the file

26. If yes, what type of gift(s)? __________________________________________

27. Were there any other enticements given to this victim?






Information not in the file

28. If yes, what were the enticements? (check all that apply)


Given money


Allowed to do special church activities (e.g., solo in the choir)


Allowed to stay up late


Given alcohol or drugs


Allowed to drive a car


Taken to sporting matches or other recreational activities


Access to pornography, videos


Allowed to stay overnight with the cleric


Other (specify) ___________


Sports-related enticement (e.g., put in starting position of a team)

29. Who did the victim live with when allegedly abused (check all that apply)


Mother only


Father only


Both parents






Other guardian




Boarding school


Foster parents




With the cleric


Other (specify)____________


In the rectory or church-related residence


27. What did the diocese do in response to the allegation(s) of sexual abuse against this cleric? (check all that apply)


Cleric reprimanded, returned him to duties


Cleric referred for spiritual retreat


Cleric referred for evaluation


Cleric referred for treatment


Cleric given administrative leave


Cleric given medical leave


Cleric resigned or retired


Cleric sought laicization


Cleric reinstated


Cleric removed from clerical state


Cleric suspended from ministry


Other (specify)________________


No action taken

28. If the cleric was reinstated, was it:


Within the diocese, same parish


Within the diocese, different parish


Different diocese


Restricted ministry

29. What year(s) did the diocese take action against the cleric?

Year__________       Action___________________
Year__________       Action___________________
Year__________       Action___________________

(NOTE: According to Tom Doyle, there is no successful treatment for those who sexually abuse children.)

30. If the cleric participated in any type of treatment to address the sexual abuse allegations, what kind of treatment was it? (check all that apply) If no treatment, skip to question 35.


Specialized sex offender treatment program specifically for clergy


Specialized sex offender treatment program for all sex offenders, not just for clergy


General treatment program not specifically for sex offenders


One-on-one counseling w/ psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health expert




Relapse prevention treatment program


Evaluation by mental health professional or expert, but no indication of treatment


Spiritual counseling or direction provided by the church

31. If the cleric participated in treatment, at which facility?


Behavioral Medicine Institute of Atlanta, GA


Servants of the Paraclete, Jemez Springs, NM


Issac Ray Center, Chicago, Il


Servants of the Paraclete, Albuquerque Villa, NM


Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD


St. Louis Consultation Service, St. Louis, MO


Progressive Clinical Services, Cincinnati, OH


Institute of Living, Hartford, CT


St. Luke Institute, Suitland, MD


Menninger Clinic, Topeka, KS


Servants of the Paraclete, St. Louis, MO


 New Life Center, Middleburg, VA


Shalom Center, Inc., Splendora, TX


Villa St. John Vianney, Downingtown, PA


Southdown, Aurora, Ontario, CN


Other (specify)_________________

32. How many times did the cleric participate in a sex offender treatment program? ________

33. Did the cleric complete a treatment program?






No information in file

4. Who initially made the allegation?


The victim


The victim's parent(s) or guardian(s)


A teacher


A police officer


A cleric


A lay person in the Church


Other (specify)____________________


A doctor



Victim's attorney

35. What action was taken regarding the cleric?


No action taken


Transferred cleric to another parish w/in the diocese


Cleric suspended w/ treatment ordered


Transferred the cleric to another diocese


Cleric resigned or retired


Cleric was reinstated


Cleric received treatment but continued in ministry


Dismissed from clerical state



Other (specify)__________________

36. Was the victim or their family ever contacted regarding the results of the investigation?






Information not in the file

37. Did the victim report the incident to the police or district attorney?






Information not in the file

38. Was there a police investigation?






Information not in the file

39. Was the cleric charged with a criminal offense? (If no, skip to Question 45)






Information not in the file

40. If yes, what charge was brought?________________________________________

41. Did the charges result in a conviction?






Information not in the file

42. If yes, for what offense? _____________________________________

43. If there was a conviction, what was the sentence? (check all that apply)










House arrest


Electronic monitoring


Community service


Other (specify) _____________

44. If there was a conviction, what was the length of the sentence imposed? __________________

45. Was there any civil action taken against the cleric or the diocese for damages?






Information not in the file

46. Was there any other form of legal action taken with respect to this cleric and this victim?


Yes (specify) ________




Information not in the file


Excerpts from the study.

Church records indicate that 4,392 priests were accused of engaging in sexual abuse of a minor between 1950 and 2002.11 This number represents four percent of the 109,694 priests in active ministry during that time. There were approximately 10,667 reported minor victims of clergy sexual abuse during this period, and the Church expended more than half a billion dollars in dealing with the problem.

Eighty-one percent of the victims were male. Although more than three-quarters of the victims were of an age such that the conduct does not meet the clinical definition of pedophilia, there were substantial numbers of very young children who were victimized by priests during this time period. In addition, although many of the reported acts of sexual abuse involved fondling or unspecified abuse, there was also a very large number of allegations of more grave abuse, including acts of oral sex and intercourse.

The number of priests who engaged in sexual abuse of minors and the number of victims of that abuse changed dramatically during this time period. Although there were reported acts of sexual abuse of minors in every year, the incidence of reported abuse increased by several orders of magnitude in the 1960s and 1970s. After peaking in the 1970s, the number of incidents decreased through the 1980s and 1990s even more sharply than the incidence rate had increased in the 1960s and 1970s.

The incidence of sexual molestation of a minor under eleven years of age did not vary as greatly throughout the period as did the incidence of molestation of older children. In addition, the incidence of abuse of females did not change as dramatically as did the incidence of abuse of males. There was, however, a more than six-fold increase in the number of reported acts of abuse of males aged eleven to seventeen between the 1950s and the 1970s.

Finally, the data indicate that the problem of sexual abuse of minors by priests affected all areas of the country, and not simply certain dioceses that have received sustained public scrutiny, but there was significant variation from diocese to diocese. Some dioceses, even certain large dioceses, had very few or no reported acts of sexual abuse whereas many other dioceses had twenty-five or more priests with accusations of sexual abuse of minors, and one diocese reported that 165 priests in the diocese had been accused of sexual abuse of minors.

2. Data Relating to Accused Priests.

According to the survey data, four percent of priests who were in ministry between 1950 and 2002 have been accused of an act of sexual abuse of minors. The prevalence was highest among diocesan priests. There were 75,694 priests in diocesan ministry between 1950 and 2002. Of those priests, allegations of sexual abuse of minors had been made against 3,265, or 4.3%. By contrast, allegations of sexual abuse of minors had been made with regard to approximately 2.7% of the approximately 34,000 religious order priests in ministry during the time period. The remaining approximately 200 priests alleged to have sexually abused a minor during this period were "extern" priests; that is, priests resident in a diocese different from the diocese in which they had been incardinated.12

Fifty-six percent of the accused priests had one reported allegation levied against them. Twenty-seven percent of the priests had two or three allegations levied against them. Nearly fourteen percent had four to nine allegations levied against them. Three percent had ten or more allegations levied against them; these 149 priests with ten or more reported allegations were responsible for almost 3,000 victims, or twenty-seven percent of the allegations.

3. Data Relating to Victims

Diocesan and order records identify 10,667 reports of minor victims of sexual abuse by priests. More than ten percent of these allegations were characterized as not substantiated. In addition, for approximately twenty percent of the allegations, the priest was deceased or inactive at the time of the receipt of the allegation and typically no investigation was conducted in these circumstances.13

Eighty-one percent of the reported victims were male, and nineteen percent were female. The proportion of male and female victims changed over time. In the 1950s, approximately sixty-four percent of the victims were male. That percentage increased in the 1960s to approximately seventy-six percent and increased again in the 1970s to approximately eighty-six percent and remained at or near that percentage through the 1980s.

Approximately seventy-eight percent of the reported sexual abuse victims were between the ages of eleven to seventeen when the abuse began. Sixteen percent were between the ages of eight to ten, and slightly less than six percent were younger than eight years old. Thus, although more than three-quarters of the victims were between eleven and seventeen when the abuse began, a significant number of pre-pubescent children were victimized.14 The number of reported victims under the age of eleven has fallen each decade since the 1960s, but the fact remains that almost two thousand young children were victimized by "pedophile priests," a number that is very troubling.

... ... 5. Special Issues Relating to Spiritual Life. ~ While there are many ways to view the current crisis, as a crisis of priestly identity or a crisis of episcopal leadership, the Board believes that the over-riding paradigm that characterizes the crisis is one of sinfulness. The actions of priests who sexually abused minors were grievously sinful. The inaction of those bishops who failed to protect their people from predators was also grievously sinful. Somehow, the "smoke of Satan" was allowed to enter the Church, and as a result the Church itself has been deeply wounded. Its ability to speak clearly and credibly on moral issues has been seriously impaired.