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Baltimore Archdiocese Investigating Sex Abuse Claim At Local Church

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The Baltimore Archdiocese is investigating an allegation of sex abuse at a local church. It comes after a controversial report on the root cause of the abuse crisis in the church is released and sparks outrage.

Mary Bubala has more.

The Baltimore Archdiocese says the alleged abuse happened in the late 1960s and early 1970s while Father John Lippold was an associate pastor at Saints Philip & James Catholic Church in Charles Village.

In a statement to WJZ, the Archdiocese says "the individual alleges she was abused on a number of occasions over a two-year period beginning in the late 1960s when she was a parishioner."

The allegation comes one day after a study blames the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church on the sexual revolution of the '60s and '70s.

The report – commissioned by the Catholic Church— says the sex abuse crisis was not caused by homosexuality, celibacy or all-male priesthood. Instead researchers said the abuse happened largely because priests weren't ready to handle the social and sexual changes that happened in the 1960s.

"The increase frequency of abuse in the '60s and '70s is consistent with increased deviance in society during that time," said Karen Terry, Clergy Sex Abuse Report investigator.

The report claims abuse allegations drop off in the 1980s and 1990s. But those upset by the study say it can take decades for victims to come forward.

"They're still coming out now, and we're getting people now from the '80s," said Frank Drible, of SNAP Maryland.

And, as the Baltimore Archdiocese acknowledges, reports of abuse are still coming in from the '60s and '70s. The Archdiocese just revoked Father Lippold's faculties to function as a priest, pending their investigation of what exactly happened at Saints Philip and James so long ago.

Lippold denies the allegations.  They were first reported to the Archdiocese in October of last year.

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