This has been all over the media recently. The more you look into the scandal, the worse and more widespread you realize that it is.
In the last couple of years it has become clear that Roman Catholic priests have abused children in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom ... and that is not even the complete list. And those are only countries in Europe! Then add North America, South America and Oceania and you see how widespread the child abuse within the Catholic Church has been. (Source
In Boston the local sexual abuse scandal was unravelled by the Boston Globe, whose reporters and the newspaper were awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for its public service by exposing the abuse scandal. One way to quantitatively try to grasp this local abuse case is by putting figures on it - the Boston Archdiocese paid a settlement to 552 alleged victims of abuse. 552 victims!! (Source
In the end of March this year, the New York Times obtained documents kept secret by the Roman Catholic Church that show that the church miserably failed to act when they had identified a priest who had molested as many as 200 deaf boys. The documents from within the church shows (according to the NYT) that the Catholic church did discuss the matter of whether or not to dismiss the priest, but as their top priority was to protect the church from a scandal and not to protect the children from abuse, the identified child molester was instead of being diciplined moved to to another parish where he continued to work as a priest, working with children for the next 20 years. (Source
Newsweek's Katie Paul has written an excellent commentary
of the scandal, the recent media attention and the Vatican's response.
Pope Benedict XVI commented on the child sexual abuse scandal. He refers to it as 'petty gossip'. Petty gossip!? Britney Spears relationships are petty gossip! So is talk about who is dating who at school! Systematic sexual abuse of children is definately not!!! The Guardian
has more details.