How extensive is the problem of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests? Cases have been coming from around the world. Some have said that the percentage of abusive priests is no worse than the percentage of men who abuse children in the general public. But is that true?
Some years ago, the John Jay College Criminal Justice program carried out an extensive study of accusations dating from between 1950 and 2002. It found that 4.2% of priests had been accused of child sexual abuse. (See this post by Jonathan M. S. Pearce for statistics and studies about this issue, including links to the sources. )