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U.S. priests accused in 700 sex cases in 2011: report

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About 700 people launched new claims of sexual abuse against Catholic clergy in the United States last year, including 21 who are still minors, according to a new report released by US bishops.

Many of the clergy members accused have since died, or been relieved of their church duties. More than 280 of them had been accused in the past, it said.

Of the 21 accusations made by minors, seven were considered credible by the police and three were determined to be false, the report said. Three other cases were still under investigation.

The Church spent $144 million dealing with the scandal in the United States in 2011 — including attorneys’ fees, settlements, and support for offenders — a decrease from $150 million in 2010.

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