But your individual health depends on a variety of factors, including the quality of healthcare in your community, as well as the lifestyle choices you make each day.
The report noted that "It is impossible to determine from our surveys what percent of all actual cases of abuse that occurred between 19 have been reported to the Church and are therefore in our dataset." The Augustin Cardinal Bea, S. specializes in abuse counseling and is considered an expert on clerical abuse; he states "approximately 4% of priests during the past half century (and mostly in the 1960s and 1970s) have had a sexual experience with a minor." Allegations of and convictions for sexual abuse by clergy have occurred in many countries.
There are no accurate figures available on the number of sexual abuse cases in different regions.
It noted "endemic" sexual abuse in Catholic boys' institutions, saying that church leaders were aware of abuses and that government inspectors failed to "stop beatings, rapes and humiliation." In January 2013, an Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was called to investigate institutional sexual abuse of minors related, but not exclusive, to matters concerning clergy of the Catholic Church.
Of the Catholic sexual abuse cases in Latin America, the most widely known is the sexual scandal of Father Marcial Maciel, the leader of the Legion of Christ, a Roman Catholic congregation made up of priests and seminarians studying for the priesthood.
While sexual use of children by adults has occurred throughout history, only in recent times has it been examined as the object of significant public attention.
The first work dedicated to child sexual abuse was published in France in 1857: Medical-Legal Studies of Sexual Assault (Etude Médico-Légale sur les Attentats aux Mœurs), by Auguste Ambroise Tardieu, a noted French pathologist and pioneer of forensic medicine. Gerald Fitzgerald founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete, a religious order that treats Roman Catholic priests who struggle with personal difficulties such as substance abuse and sexual misconduct.
This may be due in part to the more hierarchical structure of the Church in Third World countries, the "psychological health" of clergy in those regions, and because Third World media, legal systems and public culture are not as apt to thoroughly discuss sexual abuse.
Traditionally, the Roman Catholic Church has held tight control over many aspects of church life around the globe, including "the words used in prayer", but it left sex abuse cases to be handled locally.
Members of the Church's hierarchy have argued that media coverage was excessive and disproportionate, and they have also argued that such abuse also takes place in other religions and institutions.