BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  World
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
A global scandal
Pope John Paul II
The Pope has denounced the "sins of our brothers"
Although the sexual abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church in the US has received the most media attention, similar cases have occurred in other countries.

Most of the cases centre on Europe and Latin America, where the Church remains a pillar of the established order in many societies.

The countries involved include:

  • Australia: Australia's most senior churchman, Sydney Archbishop George Pell, was forced to admit offering thousands of dollars to the family of alleged child victims of sexual abuse by priests.

    From our archive:
      Bishop admits abuse money offer

    The Church has publicly apologised to British and Maltese child migrants who suffered physical and sexual abuse in religious institutions between the 1930s and 1960s.

    From our archive:
      Australian church apologises to child migrants

  • Austria: The Church has admitted that accusations of paedophilia levelled against its former head, Archbishop of Vienna Hans Hermann Groer, are substantially true.

    From our archive:
      Austrian bishops label cardinal a paedophile

  • France: In 2001, a court gave a three-month suspended sentence to Bishop Pierre Pican, who was accused of covering up for a paedophile priest.

    From our archive:
      Bishop convicted in paedophile case

  • Ireland: Bishops have backed a wide-ranging investigation into child abuse over the past 60 years after more than 20 priests, brothers and nuns were convicted of molesting children. The Bishop of Ferns resigned following heavy criticism of his handling of sex abuse allegations.

    From our archive:
      Irish cardinal 'regrets' abuse

  • Poland: The hint of scandal has even reached the Pope's native land, where a Roman Catholic archbishop has been accused of sexually abusing seminarians and priests. He denies the allegations.

    From our archive:
      Polish archbishop 'molested students'

  • South Africa: The head of the Church has admitted that about a dozen priests have been accused of sexually abusing children, but that the cases happened "many years ago".

    From our archive:
      South Africa's Catholics admit sex abuse

  • UK: The Church in England and Wales has set up an independent committee to advise it on how to stop sexual abuse after a number of cases involving paedophile priests. The Archbishop of Wales resigned after criticism of his handling of paedophile cases.

    From our archive:
      Catholics tackle paedophile priests

  • Brazil: Church officials in the world's largest Roman Catholic country have admitted that paedophilia is a problem. "The problem of sexual appetite is one that afflicts every human being," said Bishop Angelico Sandalo Bernardino.

  • Mexico: The Church has been accused of covering up cases of sex abuse and even paying money to silence the victims. One cardinal was lambasted by the country's press after suggesting that the church should not wash its "dirty laundry" in public.

See also:

21 Mar 02 | Europe
Pope denounces 'evil' sex priests
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more World stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more World stories