Catholic Church sexual abuse cases: The Diocese of Dallas agrees to pay $23.4 million to nine former altar boys who claimed they were sexually abused by Rudolph Kos, a former priest.
There have been many cases of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, nuns and other members of religious life. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the cases have involved many allegations, investigations, trials, convictions, acknowledgement and apologies by Church authorities, and revelations about decades of instances of abuse and attempts by Church officials to cover them up. The abused include mostly boys but also girls, some as young as three years old, with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14. Criminal cases for the most part do not cover sexual harassment of adults. The accusations of abuse and cover-ups began to receive public attention during the late 1980s. Many of these cases allege decades of abuse, frequently made by adults or older youths years after the abuse occurred. Cases have also been brought against members of the Catholic hierarchy who covered up sex abuse allegations and moved abusive priests to other parishes, where abuse continued.By the 1990s, the cases began to receive significant media and public attention in countries including in Canada, United States, Chile, Australia and Ireland, and much of Europe. In 2002, an investigation by The Boston Globe led to widespread media coverage of the issue in the United States. Widespread abuse has been exposed in Europe, Australia, Chile, and the United States, reflecting worldwide patterns of long-term abuse as well as the Church hierarchy's pattern of regularly covering up reports of abuse.From 2001 to 2010, the Holy See examined sex abuse cases involving about 3,000 priests, some of which dated back fifty years. Diocesan officials and academics knowledgeable about the Roman Catholic Church say that sexual abuse by clergy is generally not discussed, and thus is difficult to measure. Members of the Church's hierarchy have argued that media coverage was excessive and disproportionate, and that such abuse also takes place in other religions and institutions, a stance that dismayed critics who saw it as a device to avoid resolving the abuse problem within the Church.In a 2001 apology, John Paul II called sexual abuse within the Church "a profound contradiction of the teaching and witness of Jesus Christ". Benedict XVI apologised, met with victims, and spoke of his "shame" at the evil of abuse, calling for perpetrators to be brought to justice, and denouncing mishandling by church authorities. In 2018, referring to a particular case in Chile, Pope Francis accused victims of fabricating allegations, but by April, was apologizing for his "tragic error" and by August, was expressing "shame and sorrow" for the tragic history. He convened a four-day summit meeting with the participation of the presidents of all the episcopal conferences of the world, which was held in Vatican City from 21 to 24 February 2019, to discuss preventing sexual abuse by Catholic Church clergy. In December 2019, Pope Francis made sweeping changes that allow for greater transparency. In June 2021, a team of U.N. special rapporteurs for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have criticized the Vatican, referring to persistent allegations that the Catholic Church had obstructed and failed to cooperate with domestic judicial proceedings in order to prevent accountability for abusers and compensation for victims.
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Events on 1998
UnabomberA federal judge in Sacramento, California, gives "Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepts a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.
Houston AstrosKerry Wood strikes out 20 Houston Astros to tie the major league record held by Roger Clemens. He threw a one-hitter and did not walk a batter in his fifth career start.
Ellis IslandThe Supreme Court of the United States rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.
Oklahoma City bombingTerry Nichols is sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
General MotorsA strike begins at the General Motors parts factory in Flint, Michigan, that quickly spreads to five other assembly plants. The strike lasts seven weeks.