Estimating the number of priests and deacons active in the same period at 110,000, the report concluded that approximately 4% have faced these allegations.The report noted that "It is impossible to determine from our surveys what percent of all actual cases of abuse that occurred between 19 have been reported to the Church and are therefore in our dataset." The Augustin Cardinal Bea, S. specializes in abuse counseling and is considered an expert on clerical abuse; he states "approximately 4% of priests during the past half century (and mostly in the 1960s and 1970s) have had a sexual experience with a minor." Allegations of and convictions for sexual abuse by clergy have occurred in many countries.Find black women, white women, latina females, and asian women in Wexford PA. Cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, nuns and members of religious orders, and subsequent cover-ups, in the 20th and 21st centuries have led to numerous allegations, investigations, trials and convictions.In a statement to the Associated Press, the Vatican described this as a "ludicrous publicity stunt and a misuse of international judicial processes." Lawyers and law professors emphasized that the case is likely to fall outside the court's jurisdiction.The American Psychiatric Association states that "children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults," and condemns any such action by an adult as "a criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior." Child sex abuse has gained public attention in the past few decades and has become one of the most high-profile crimes.
For this reason there is insufficient data to be able to accurately ascertain current rates of child sex abuse, or to claim that abuse in the Catholic Church has fallen in recent decades.
By the 1990s, the cases began to receive significant media and public attention in some countries, especially in Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United States and were widespread by the 2000s.
Members of the Church's hierarchy have argued that media coverage was excessive and disproportionate, and they have also argued that such abuse also takes place in other religions and institutions.
Of the Catholic sexual abuse cases in Latin America, the most widely known is the sexual scandal of Father Marcial Maciel, the leader of the Legion of Christ, a Roman Catholic congregation made up of priests and seminarians studying for the priesthood.
This may be due in part to the more hierarchical structure of the Church in Third World countries, the "psychological health" of clergy in those regions, and because Third World media, legal systems and public culture are not as apt to thoroughly discuss sexual abuse.