Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a report last week (opens new window), detailing credible accusations of child abuse against over 300 priests in the state, with over 1,000 victims. Shapiro doesn't think they found all instances of abuse.
Pennsylvania has a population of 12.81 million, and the US about 325 million, so Pennsylvania has about a thirtieth of the total population of the US. It's scary to think that there are likely thousands of Catholic priests in other states who have been abusing children. Missouri and Illinois are apparently lining up to run similar investigations, so we will quite possibly hear more revelations and sad stories in a couple of years.
One of the major problems is that the church tends to cover up abuse, rather than reporting it.
One defence I read regularly is that the church has abuse statistics that are comparable to other similar professions that are male dominated with a well defined power structure. Of course, outside of the church no other organisation claims to have God on their side, and to have the moral high ground. If these priests are communing with God, and guided by His hand, how come God is not willing or able to stop them abusing children.