Many Catholic diocese appear to be bankrupt. The large number of claims, by persons who were minors then, and carnally abused by the clergy within the Catholic Church, has caused various diocese to file under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
In February 2004, a report commissioned by the Church said more than 4,000 Roman Catholic priests in the US had faced carnal abuse allegations in the last 50 years.(bbc.co.uk)
On July 6, 2004, the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, became the first Catholic diocese in the history of the United States to seek the protection of the bankruptcy court.
The Archdiocese of Portland has already settled claims by some 130 people who say they were abused by priests, paying out more than $53m.
Despite the claims made against the church, chiefly by persons who boys at the time. The church has allowed person who have accepted the homosexual lifestyle to act as its clergy, therefore offering a slap in the face of these boys, now men.
Addressing the clerical abuse scandal from the heart of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI begged forgiveness from victims and promised at a Mass to "do everything possible" to protect children.
His comments came during a Mass celebrated by 15,000 priests at St. Peter's Square marking the Vatican's Year of the Priest - a year marred by revelations of hundreds of new cases of clerical abuse in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, as well as cover-ups by bishops and evidence of long-standing Vatican inaction.
"And so it happened that in this very year of joy for the sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light - particularly the abuse of little ones," he said.
"We, too, insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again," he said.
Benedict's own legacy has been tarnished by the scandal. As archbishop of Munich in the 1980s, he approved therapy for a suspected paedophile who was allowed to resume pastoral duties while being treated. The priest, the Reverend Peter Hullermann, later was handed a suspended sentence for molesting a boy.
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