In reviewing the status of nearly 2,000 Roman Catholic clergy members and church employees credibly accused of sex abuse, The Associated Press found that the vast majority were living unsupervised by the church or law enforcement authorities — and that many had put themselves in positions where they were near at-risk or young people.
Among the AP’s findings:
— 65 former clergy members were charged with crimes committed after their church service, with half of those crimes involving sexual assault, child pornography or failing to register as a sex offender.
— 76 have current, active licenses to work in schools or medical facilities or to serve as counselors or social workers. More than 190 had licenses in at least one of those fields at some point in their careers — 91 held education licenses, 52 held counseling certification, 31 had social worker licenses and 28 had medical licenses of some type. A handful had more than one kind of license.
— More than 160 continued to work or volunteer in churches, including more than 30 who moved overseas and worked as priests without restrictions. In the U.S., accused priests have been found saying Mass, officiating weddings, playing music, working in church administrative roles and acting as eucharistic ministers.
— Although over 310 had been criminally charged from their actions during their time as priests, only 85 are on sex offender registries
— More than a quarter currently live within 2,000 feet of a school, playground or child care facility
— Roughly 110 were confirmed or believed to have moved overseas after allegations arose in the U.S.