Results of the national study will be released later this month, but some bishops decided to release the results for their own dioceses ahead of time, said Barbara King, a spokeswoman for the Savannah diocese.
"Some bishops have wanted to be very upfront with their people," King
Some of the allegations in the Savannah diocese
did not surface until recent years, after news of sexual abuse in the Catholic church rose to national attention, according to the audit.
Of the six clergymen accused of molesting children, three have since died, two were removed from the priesthood and one is in prison, the report said.King said the one in prison is Wayland Brown, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison last year in Maryland for sexually abusing two brothers while a student at a Washington seminary in the early 1970s.
declined to say whether police were involved in that investigation.
Most of the allegations were concentrated between 1961 and 1979, when 10 children reportedly were molested by four priests.The most recent incident was 25 years ago.The Diocese of Savannah
has paid almost $50,000 toward medical expenses, psychological counseling and other compensation to the victims in the past 52 years, the report showed, adding that $30,000 of that was covered by insurance.
It is hoped that by compiling numbers on sex abuse, the church will be able to see the scope of the problem and then be better able to address it, King
said parishioners seemed to appreciate getting the information from the diocese first.
"Response has been positive in that we've been so proactive," she