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A report released Friday by a national group of Catholic Bishops shows about 4% of the country's bishops have been accused of sexual assaults in the past 50 years. Now the clergy is coming under fire for not doing more to prevent the abuse.
According to the report, nearly 11,000 minors claim they've been abused by church clergy. Those charges were leveled against nearly 5,000 priests.
In southern Colorado, three Colorado Springs clergy have been accused of sexual misconduct, dating back to the 1980's. In Pueblo,
a total of 16 claims of abuse have been made against 12 clergy members.
Bishop Michael Sheridan is head of the Catholic Diocesse in Colorado Springs. He says he's "terribly sad" about the accusations contained in the report. But, he also says he's hopeful about the future of the Catholic Church.
With the release of the two reports, church leaders across the nation took it as another opportunity to apologize. One parishoner, Paul Devlin, says, " there are not enough apologies that we can give on behalf of the church on behalf of all bishops and priests that have offended."
Another parishoner worries about the negative effects the scandal is having on the Catholic Church as a whole, "I think for sure there are people that might have left the church because of all the stuff coming to light."
Now, clergy across the nation hope to change the culture that allowed the abuse.
The Pueblo Catholic Diocese refused to comment on the reports.