Cases of sexual abuse (particularly of children) and subsequent cover-ups committed during the 20th and 21st centuries by Catholic priests, nuns, and members of Roman Catholic orders have led to numerous allegations, investigations, trials and convictions. The abused include boys and girls, some as young as 3 years old, with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14.
The accusations began to receive wide publicity in the late 1980s. Many of these involve cases in which a figure was accused of abuse for decades; such allegations were frequently made by adults or older youths years after the abuse occurred. Cases have also been brought against members of the Catholic hierarchy who covered up sex abuse allegations onset on seminary formations, and through moving allegedly abusive priests to other parishes, where abuse sometimes continued.