The annual audit on diocesan compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People showed a decline in the number of abuse allegations, victims and offenders in 2012. The “2012 Survey of Allegations and Costs” report, conducted by the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), found the fewest allegations and victims reported since 2004, when the data collection for the annual reports began.
In his preface to the report, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed his appreciation for all those who have been trained to provide a safe environment for children. He then wrote:
“At the same time we also renew our steadfast resolution never to lessen our common commitment to protect children and young people entrusted to our pastoral care. We seek with equal determination to promote healing and reconciliation for those harmed in the past, and to assure that our audits continue to be credible and maintain accountability in our shared promise to protect and our pledge to heal.”
In total, there were 390 new credible allegations made against 313 diocesan priests or deacons in 2012, mainly concerning decades-old claims from the seventies or eighties. Most of the accused have died or have been removed from ministry.