The cases of sexual abuse by clergy of the Catholic Church refers to a number of convictions, lawsuits and investigations into cases and crimes of child sexual abuse committed by priests and members of the Catholic clergy against minors , ranging from 3 years, and involve, in most cases, children between 11 and 14 years of age.
Child Sex Abuse in Churches
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CNN Report on Widespread Abuse in Catholic Church
At the end of the 1990s, denunciations against Catholic priests and religious began to come to light, mainly in the United States and Australia, accused of sexual abuse of minors, committed during the second half of the last century. More than a hundred members of the Australian Catholic Church have been convicted of sexually abusing a thousand victims, according to the Broken Rites organization.
Most of the cases were presented in priestly seminars, schools, and orphanages where children and adolescents were under the care of the clergy. The publication of numerous scandals created a strong criticism towards the hierarchy of the Church, especially the attitude that some bishops and religious superiors assumed in the face of the evidence of the fact, limited to private attention calls and the transfer of the offender to other places. While there was a systematic indifference towards the victims, which led to the conclusion that the superiors of the offenders were covering up the crime.