Monsignor M. Francis Mannion, in his May 6 letter, “Put the number of accused priests in historical context,” said the sexual abuses of the 120 priests named by the Archdiocese of New York go back to 1900, and that the number of priests working in the archdiocese since then is estimated at more than 6,000.
This is misleading. Few abuses were reported as having occurred before 1950. The vast majority of cases were from the 1950s to the early 1990s, according to a chart published by the archdiocese.
This does not mean there were only few abuses before 1950. It means earlier offenses were not disclosed because victims did not come forward and because the church’s international cover-up did not start coming undone until the late 1980s.
Examination of the data on the archdiocese’s web site might help put the crimes in historical context.
Robert Kuesterman, West Valley City