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There does not appear to be a single primary cause of the abuse patterns within the Catholic clergy; however, the John Jay report suggests that many of the abusing priests were inclined to abuse victims because they themselves have experienced childhood sexual abuse first hand.
A further analysis by the John Jay College found that, among clerics with a single accusation of abuse, the victims were more evenly divided between male and female and were more likely to be older.
Allegations in the United States also encouraged victims in other nations to come forward, rapidly creating a global crisis for the Church.
Historically, the Church has typically addressed sexual abuse as an internal matter.Many of the accused priests were forced to resign or were laicized.In addition, several bishops who had participated in the cover-up were also forced to resign or retire.In July 2007 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles reached a 0 million agreement with more than 500 alleged victims, in December 2006, the archdiocese had a settlement of 45 lawsuits for million.Allegations of sexual abuse by priests were widespread, occurring in cities across the country, including Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon, Eureka, California, as well as in dioceses across Europe.