In November 2008, the United States Court of Appeals in Cincinnati denied the Vatican's claim of sovereign immunity and allowed the case to proceed.
The Vatican initially stated that it did not plan to appeal the ruling.
The Church was widely criticized when it was discovered that some bishops knew about the crimes committed, but reassigned the accused instead of seeking to have them permanently removed from the priesthood.
Some bishops have been heavily criticized for moving offending priests from parish to parish, where they still had personal contact with children, rather than seeking to have them permanently removed from the priesthood.
In 2008, the Church asserted that the scandal was a very serious problem, but at the same time, estimated that it was "probably caused by 'no more than 1 per cent' (or about 5,000) of the around 410,000 Roman Catholic priests worldwide.
Over many decades, priests and lay members of religious orders in the Roman Catholic Church had sexually abused children on such a large scale, that the accusations reached into the thousands.Some bishops and psychiatrists have asserted that the prevailing psychology of the times suggested that people could be cured of such behavior through counseling.The priests were allowed to resume their previous duties with children only when the bishop was advised by the treating psychologists or psychiatrists that it was safe for them to resume their duties.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 and Portland, Eureka, California as well as in dioceses across Europe.