Austrian church abuse panel records 837 complaints

Vienna, Austria - A panel set up by Austria's Roman Catholic Church to help people abused by clergy or church officials says it has recorded complaints from 837 alleged victims over the past year.

The panel, headed by former governor Waltraud Klasnic, says 627 men and 210 women issued complaints, and 253 cases have been dealt with. It added Wednesday that it did not have jurisdiction over an additional 72 complaints it had received.

The panel of laypeople close to the church was set up last year in the wake of a series of revelations detailing alleged sexual and physical abuse of minors and young adults by Roman Catholic Church employees in Europe and elsewhere.