US church abuse cases rise 16%

Saturday 14 March 2009 22.31
Clergy - Rise in abuse claims
Clergy - Rise in abuse claims

A new report has said the number of new claims of sexual abuse made against US Catholic priests rose by 16% last year.

The report was commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The study covered almost 200 dioceses and religious orders across the US, and showed that 803 new allegations of abuse were lodged last year, compared with 692 in 2007.

The report also says that the Catholic Church in the US paid $436m for abuse cases last year.

Most of the money was used to compensate victims.