Estimating the actual number of accused clergy in Argentina
How many Argentine clergy would be accused of child sexual abuse if the truth was fully disclosed?
Today in Argentina, only around 100 clergy have been publicly accused, according to new research published last week by BishopAccountability.org, the leading organization tracking the Catholic abuse crisis worldwide.
However, BishopAccountability.org and Ending Clergy Abuse estimate that the actual number of abusive clergy in Argentina since 1950 is 1,302, and the likely number of victims in Argentina since 1950, based on the offense rate of typical adult sex abusers, is over 15,000.
We arrive at this estimate by extrapolating from data that has been disclosed by the church in Australia, Germany, Ireland and the United States.
How we arrived at our estimate
The denominator: To set up a basis of uniform basis of comparison between Argentina and these four other countries, we used each country’s total number of currently active male clergy (priests and brothers), as tabulated by the authoritative data website catholic-hierarchy.org:
The numerator: We then drew from tallies of accused clergy since roughly 1950 that have been recently released by Catholic church authorities, as shown below.
1,169 priests and brothers were accused of child sexual abuse from 1950 to 2010, according to data submitted by church authorities to the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse.
Source: June 2017: Analysis of Claims of Child Sexual Abuse Made with Respect to Catholic Church Institutions in Australia [page 15, paragraph 58]
1,670 male clerics accused of child sexual abuse, 1946 to 2014, according to the German bishops’ conference
Source: Research project on sexual abuse in the sphere of the Catholic Church – Presentation of MHG Study
More than 1,300 clergy have been reported to Irish dioceses and religious orders since 1975, according to self-reporting by Irish bishops and religious superiors.
See also this useful tabulation of the allegations by Irish survivor and data analyst Mark Vincent Healy:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops self-reports 6,846 accused clergy from 1950 to June 30, 2017.
Using these totals to extrapolate total numbers of accused clergy in Argentina since 1950
— If Argentina has the same proportion of accused clergy since 1950 as Australia has, 2,012 Argentine clergy would be accused.
— If Argentina has the same proportion of accused clergy as Germany, 623 Argentine clergy would be accused.
— If Argentina has the same proportion of accused clergy as Ireland, 1,644 Argentine clergy would be accused.
–If Argentina as the same proportion of accused clergy as the United States, 929 Argentine clergy would be accused.
We averaged these four estimates to arrive at 1,302 estimated accused clergy in Argentina.
Estimating number of victims
As reported by Religion News Service, the average number of victims per child molester is twelve, according to Dr. Anna Salter, a pre-eminent scholar on child sexual abuse. Multiplying 1,302 by 12 yields 15,624. See: