All of the questions I raised depended to some degree on empirical propositions. Now a report has been released that may shed light on many of those questions of fact: John Jay College Research Team, The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010: A Report Presented to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (First Printing, May, 2011).
Although impressive steps were taken to preserve the independence of the John Jay investigators (Karen J. Terry, Principal Investigator; Margaret Leland Smith, Data Analyst; Katarina Schuth, O.S.F., Consultant; James R. Kelly, Consultant; Brenda Vollman, Research Associate; and Christina Massey, Research Associate), the report will almost certainly not satisfy many constituencies, including groups that have a stake in advancing legal claims against Catholic organizations in America. Nonetheless, I do hope -- perhaps in vain -- that the report will lead to more balanced reporting in the mass media and that some attacks -- for example, on the celibacy rule -- will now be seen for what they probably are, attacks based on little more than prejudice and anti-Catholic animus.
The dynamic evidence page
It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.