Catholic church sex abuse timeline


Here are some major scandals and revelations involving the Catholic Church and allegations of abuse.

Dec 19, 2017: Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Boston archbishop who resigned in disgrace during the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal, has died, the Vatican confirmed. He was 86. (Franco Origlia)

June 2017: Cardinal George Pell, one of the most senior members of the Catholic Church, was charged with multiple historical sexual assault offenses in his home country of Australia, police said. Pell serves as a top adviser to Pope Francis and is the Vatican's top financial adviser. (Franco Origlia)

2014: Jozef Wesolowski, a former Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic was found guilty of sexual abuse of minors by a Vatican tribunal and defrocked. He was accused of sexual abuse of minors and possession of child pornography during his time as papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic.

Netherlands, 2011: Thousands of children suffered from sexual abuse in the Dutch Roman Catholic Church over more than six decades, and about 800 "possible perpetrators" were identified, according to an independent Commission of Inquiry, issued in 2011. (Backus, Nicholas)

2011: Allegations of sexual abuse spread across a half dozen countries -- including Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Brazil, home of the world's largest Catholic population. Revelations about church abuse included the Munich, Germany, archdiocese where Pope Benedict XVI once served as archbishop. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

2009: A bombshell report commissioned by the Irish government concluded that the Archdiocese of Dublin and other Catholic Church authorities in Ireland covered up clerical child abuse. The Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation's 720-page report said that it has "no doubt that clerical child sexual abuse was covered up" from January 1975 to May 2004, the time covered by the report.

USA, 2004: Children accused more than 4,000 priests of sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002, according to a report compiled by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. (Tim Boyle)

USA, 2002: Former priest John Geoghan became a central figure in the clergy sexual abuse crisis in Boston, along with Cardinal Bernard Law who admitted receiving a letter in 1984 outlining allegations of child molestation against Geoghan. Law assigned Geoghan to another parish despite the allegations. Pictured is Law testifying in court. From 1962 to 1995, Geoghan sexually abused approximately 130 people, mostly grammar school boys, according to victims. (Pool)