The Church Sex Abuse Scandals Around the World

On the eve of a possible papal apology for decades of sexual abuse by priests, TIME looks back at the evolving response around the world.

Ireland 1936-2009
Government reports in the deeply Catholic nation last year revealed decades of abuse and cover-up, implicating thousands of church officials, educators and policemen

OUTCOME: The Pope wrote a letter of remorse that was read to the Irish faithful on March 19, 2010


Mexico 1940s-2005
Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, a group favored by John Paul II, raped young boys and women alike

OUTCOME: Benedict removed Maciel in 2005. He died in 2008




Wisconsin 1950-1998
Father Lawrence Murphy, who worked at a religious school for the deaf until 1974, is believed to have molested 200 boys

OUTCOME: Despite pleas to Cardinal Ratzinger, the Vatican did not defrock Murphy, who died in 1998. He was given a priest's burial




Boston 1962-2002
The Archdiocese of Boston, headed by Cardinal Bernard Law, reached an $85 million settlement with more than 500 plaintiffs, including Bernie McDaid, above, in a massive abuse cover-up lawsuit. The Cardinal eventually stepped down

OUTCOME: Law was appointed the archpriest of the prestigious Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome


Germany 1970s-2010
Ratzinger's archdiocese allowed pedophile Peter Hullermann to minister in 1980; he was convicted of further abuse in 1986 but not suspended till 2010

OUTCOME: The Pope has not addressed the case




Belgium 1970s-2010
Roger Vangheluwe molested a boy before and after being named bishop of Brugge in 1984

OUTCOME: The Pope accepted his resignation in April.






Austria 1975-1995
Ratzinger forced the 1995 removal of Hans Hermann Groër, Archbishop of Vienna, over abuse allegations including a 1975 molestation of a schoolboy

OUTCOME: A fact-finding commission backed by Ratzinger was blocked. Groër died in monastic exile in 2003



Minnesota 2004-2006
Indian-born Joseph Jeyapaul was charged in 2006 by U.S. authorities with molesting a 14-year-old girl in his parish

OUTCOME: The priest had returned to India in 2005. The Vatican asked the local bishop to have him face the charges. Jeyapaul denies them but will not fight extradition



Brazil 2007-2010
After a two-year investigation, Marcin Michael Strachanowski, a Polish priest, was arrested in May for chaining an altar boy in an "erotic dungeon" in Rio de Janeiro

OUTCOME: Lawyers have asked for his release pending trial. The church has suspended him

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