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and again in 2002 following a series of publications by the Boston Globe.As it became clear that there was truth to many of the allegations and that there was a pattern of cover-ups in a number of large dioceses across the United States, the issue became a nationwide scandal, creating a crisis for the Catholic Church in the United States.Catholic sex abuse cases in the United States are a series of lawsuits, criminal prosecutions, and scandals over sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.The issue of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests was first publicized in 1985 when a Louisiana priest pled guilty to 11 counts of molestation of boys.In addition, several bishops who had participated in the cover-up were also forced to resign or retire.The revelations nationwide led to a "zero tolerance" policy by the National Council of Catholic Bishops.The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) commissioned the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to conduct a comprehensive study based on surveys completed by the Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States.The product of the study, titled the John Jay Report indicated that some 11,000 allegations had been made against 4,392 priests in the USA.
A May 26 motion to dismiss the suit, citing the First Amendment, says the case should be thrown out because it would "invite court intrusion into the internal affairs of the Roman Catholic Church." However, legal experts said such a challenge would be difficult to win, partly because previous challenges have failed and because the U. has maintained diplomatic relations with the Vatican since 1984. Embassy to the Holy See said they were familiar with the case but had no other immediate comment. Along with the pope, the lawsuit names as defendants Patino-Arango, the Diocese of Galveston-Houston, Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza and the Rev.In 2008, the Church asserted that the scandal was a very serious problem, but at the same time, estimated that it was "probably caused by 'no more than 1 per cent' (or about 5,000) of the around 410,000 Roman Catholic priests worldwide.The overwhelming majority (approximately 80%) of reported cases of sexual abuse of minors occurred in the United States.A major aggravating factor was the actions of Catholic bishops to keep these crimes secret and to reassign the accused to other parishes in positions where they had continued unsupervised contact with youth.Many of the accused priests were forced to resign or were laicized.This number constituted approximately 4% of the priests who had served during the period covered by the survey (1950–2002).Historically, the Church has typically addressed sexual abuse as an internal matter.The pope's lawyer, Jeffrey Lena, said Tuesday it was "appropriate" the Justice Department had determined the pope was "the sitting head of state of the Holy See." In a telephone interview, Lena said the motion would now be considered by the Texas court, "which should be bound by the executive's determination" and rule accordingly. This case got further than most because Ratzinger was actually served with the documents.Shea said Tuesday he would challenge the constitutionality of the U. diplomatic recognition of the Holy See on the grounds that it goes against the First Amendment's "establishment clause" that bars any laws respecting the establishment of religion.The Church was widely criticized when it was discovered that some bishops knew about the crimes committed, but reassigned the accused instead of seeking to have them permanently removed from the priesthood.Some bishops have been heavily criticized for moving offending priests from parish to parish, where they still had personal contact with children, rather than seeking to have them permanently removed from the priesthood.