US: Catholic Church exposes more child sex abuse

            By Umar Farooq</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. Catholic Church is plunging deeper into crisis as more evidence is uncovered of sex abuse involving clergy and minors.</p>  <p>The latest evidence of its magnitude was revealed Thursday in an exclusive report by the Associated Press, which said nearly 50 dioceses and religious orders have publicly disclosed the names of more than 1,000 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children since a Pennsylvania grand jury report was released last August and 55 more plan to do the same in the coming months.</p>  <p>The largest list of names came from the Jesuits West Province, a religious order that encompasses nine Western states, which identified 111 priests, the AP report said.</p>  <p>The New Orleans Archdiocese and the Diocese of Syracuse, New York named 61 and 57 respectively. Meanwhile, a diocese in Montana disclosed 47 names and the Los Angeles Archdiocese reported more than 50 from the past decade.</p>  <p>AP said they &quot;also found that nearly 20 local, state or federal investigations, either criminal or civil, have been launched since the release of the grand jury findings&quot;.</p>  <p> But the report, citing experts, said many of the lists are incomplete.</p>  <p>Terence McKiernan, co-director of, an online platform that has tracked abuse for more than a decade, told AP that many dioceses have left off the names of known abusers his group has published in its online database.</p>  <p>The Pennsylvania grand jury investigation revealed that at least 1,000 children had been abused by the Catholic Church.</p>  <p>It said more than 300 &quot;predator priests&quot; throughout the state of Pennsylvania had been protected by the Catholic Church after sexually abusing children.</p>  <p>The report was released following an 18-month investigation into the abuse which scoured six church dioceses and found more than 1,000 child victims, both boys and girls. It said it believes the numbers are much higher due to records being lost.</p>  <p>The investigation found that priests had not only been sexually abusing children but the Catholic Church had covered up incidents to protect priests and the image of the Church.</p>  <p>&quot;The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid 'scandal',&quot; the report said.</p>  <p>The Church was not the only entity involved in keeping the incidents hidden. The report found that police learned about some cases of sexual abuse and declined to pursue them.</p>  <p>Most of the cases were from before the year 2000 and beyond the statute of limitations, but the report said two priests were charged.</p>  <p>The report detailed the accounts of dozens of individuals who had been abused and assaulted by priests and were told to not say anything about it.</p>  <p>&quot;We should emphasize that, while the list of priests is long, we don't think we got them all,&quot; the report said.