Current estimates of Roman Catholic priests in the U.S.= 49,000 to 50,000
Estimates of pedophile priests = 3,000 (6.1%) to 8,000 (16.3%)
188 Dioceses in the U.S. Divide 3,000 by 188 = 16 perpetrators per diocese
Divide 8,000 by 188 = 42 perpetrators per diocese
Current experts claim a pedophile could abuse 200-265 children in a lifetime.
200 x 16 perps/diocese = 3,200 victims/diocese
200 x 42 perps/diocese = 8,400 victims/diocese
3,200 victims/diocese x 188 dioceses = 601,600 victims
8,400 victims/diocese x 188 dioceses = 1,579,200 victims in U.S.
Average American family consists of 4-6 people
(3,200 victims/diocese) 601,600 victims x 4 family members = 2,406,400 indirect victims
60l,000 victims x 6 family members = 3,609,600 indirect victims
(8,400 victims/diocese) 1,579,200 x 4 family members =
6,316,800 indirect victims
1,579,200 x 6 family members = 9,475,200 indirect victims
These numbers are a reflection of immediate family only and do not reflect the indirect victims within the parishes that are affected.
188 Bishops are responsible for the pain of at least 601,600 direct victims and as many as 9,475,200 indirect victims ó a total of as many as
10,076,800 people. Clearly, something is wrong.
Using the lower numbers the number of direct victims and survivors alone could populate a city larger than Boston. Using the higher numbers, it would
be the fourth largest city in the U.S.ó one between the size of Houston and Chicago.
Note: These figures were compiled by the late Linkup president from many sources, and unfortunately, he did not cite all of them. The number of
dioceses and priests in the country are widely known. The percentage that are pedophile priests remains controversial; AW Richard Sipe, one of the
leading experts, estimates around 6%.
Four in 10 US Catholic nuns report having experienced sexual abuse, (a rate equivalent to that reported by American women in general), a study by
Catholic researchers supported by major religious orders, has found. The study found that sisters have known sexual abuse less in childhood,
dispelling what the authors call an "anti-Catholic" canard that girls fled to convents to escape sexual advances. During religious life, close to
30% of the nation's 85,000 nuns experienced "sexual trauma," ranging from rape to exploitation to harassment. A total of 40% reported a least one
experience of that kind. NCR, 1/15/99
See The Nuns' Stories for more information.
The Wisconsin Psychological Association's survey found offenders distributed among the following professions: Psychiatrists 34%, Psychologists 19%,
Social Workers 13%, Clergy 11%, Physicians 6%, Marriage Counselors 4%, and Others 14%.
The Center for Domestic Violence found that 12.6% of clergy said they had sex with church members. 47% of clergy women were harassed by clergy
The Presbyterian Church stated that 10-23% of clergy have "inappropriate sexual behavior or contact" with clergy and employees.
The United Methodist research (1990) showed 38.6% of Ministers had sexual contact with church members and that 77% of church workers experienced some
type of sexual harassment.
The United Church of Christ found that 48% of the women in the work place have been sexually harassed by male clergy. The Southern Baptists claim
14.1% of their clergy have sexually abused members.
In the Roman Catholic Church there are over 800 priests that have been removed from ministry as a result of allegations against them. We also know of
1,400 insurance claims on the books and that the Church has paid out over $1 billion in liability with an estimated $500 million pending. One noted
expert claims that there are over 5,000 priests with some type of allegation against them. If this is true, then there are at least 1,000,000 direct
victims of clergy sexual abuse and between 4-6 million indirect victims in the U.S.
Our institutional churches, who have proclaimed themselves to be the moral backbone of society, have failed all of us. We need to continue to bring
them to moral and civil accountability. I think we might want to pray for them as well.
About Nuns being abused