OWENSBORO, Ky. — A Catholic bishop in Kentucky says his diocese has received 66 sexual abuse allegations against 27 priests since 1937, the year the diocese was founded.

Bishop William Medley of the Diocese of Owensboro told news outlets in a statement Monday that the diocese has compiled statistics regarding sexual abuse claims against priests and individuals who identified themselves as child sexual abuse victims.

The statement says 62 people made the allegations and 11 of the 27 priests accused were dead at the time of the claim. It says 366 priests have served in the diocese in some capacity.

Since 2002, the diocese has spent more than $1 million on background checks and abuse prevention training.

Medley says the numbers were provided to encourage other victims to come forward and begin healing.