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Boston Archdiocese reveals abuse findings

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Boston (Massachusetts)
Roman Catholic Church
Sex Crimes

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- The Boston Archdiocese said Thursday that 162 of its priests have been accused of molesting 815 minors since 1950.

Sexual abuse allegations against just seven of those priests accounted for "slightly more than half" of the alleged victims, it said.

"The numbers are truly horrific," said Archbishop Sean P. O'Mally in a written statement, "but they are also telling both in terms of the extent of the problem and the time frame in which the magnitude of the problem became known."

Boston has become the dramatic epicenter of the priestly sex abuse scandal that emerged across the United States.

The priests in Thursday's report "represents approximately 7 percent" of those who served from 1950 to 2003, according to a study. There were 2,324 ordained priests in the archdiocese during that period.

Most of the alleged abuse took place from 1965 to 1982, and from 1983 on there was "substantial decline." Of the 162 accused priests, 58 are now dead.

More than one-third of the 162 -- 59 -- were ordained in the 1960s.

The information comes from a survey conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. It was undertaken by the National Review Board established by the U.S. bishops.

The report also addressed allegations during the same time period against deacons, religious order priests and "non-incardinated" priests, those who had not been ordained.

"Three men who served as deacons, 10 non-incardinated priests and 44 religious order priests were alleged to have sexually abused a minor," the report said.

The report said 150 people alleged some form of abuse of a minor against these three categories.

Two national studies on the scandal are scheduled to be released Friday. One study will list statistics on perpetrators and victims, and another study deals with the causes and context of the scandal.

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