We must raise $2,653 by March 31st to pay critical bills. Essential to continue our mission. Donate now!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Abuse scandal’s total cost: $2.62 billion since 2004

Catholic World News - May 10, 2013

The clerical abuse scandal cost American dioceses $112,966,427 in 2012, according to a report released on May 9 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Only 56% of those funds were allotted to settlements ($50.4 million) and therapy for abuse victims ($7.2 million). The remaining funds were spent on attorneys’ fees ($35.3 million), support for offenders ($11.8 million), and other costs ($2.6 million), according to the 2012 “Report on the Implementation of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People.”

The clerical abuse scandal cost religious institutes an additional $20,139,384 in 2012. These expenses brought the total cost of the clerical abuse scandal to American dioceses and religious institutes between 2004 and 2012 to $2,621,516,566: $2,242,949,048 for dioceses and eparchies, and $378,567,518 for religious institutes.

During the 2012 audit period, 34 minors alleged they were abused by a priest or deacon. The report found that six allegations “were considered credible by law enforcement,” while 12 “were determined to be unfounded or unable to be proven.” One was determined to be a “boundary violation,” and 15 were still under investigation.

During the 2012 audit period, 887 adults also alleged that they had been abused by a priest or deacon in the past. “Allegations were made against 805 priests and 11 deacons,” the report stated. “242 are deceased and 287 had been named in previous audits, 64 had already been laicized, 172 have been removed from ministry this year, and 132 allegations were unfounded or unable to be proven.”

84% of those of alleged abuse were male. 66% of allegations “occurred or began between 1960 and 1984.”

Among the other findings of the report:

The authors of the report criticized the Diocese of Lincoln and five Eastern Catholic eparchies for not taking part in an audit that measures compliance with the USCCB’s 2002 Dallas charter. The eparchies are the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle of San Diego, the Eparchy of Newton for Melkites, the Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in New York for Armenian Catholics, the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford, and the Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark for Syriacs.

StoneBridge Business Partners, which conducted the audit, noted that “the most common scope limitation encountered in the Charter audit process was the unwillingness of most dioceses and eparchies to allow us to conduct parish audits during their onsite audits. Although an understanding of Charter implementation may be gained through interview of personnel and review of documentation at the diocesan/eparchial level, greater proof of compliance—or lack thereof—can be found at the parishes and schools.”

“Without the opportunity to observe compliance activities at parishes and schools, the auditors must rely solely on the information provided by the diocese or eparchy, instead of observing the program firsthand,” the auditor added.

The auditing firm also stated that

another limitation is frequent turnover in diocesan/eparchial personnel. When a key player in a Charter implementation program steps down, or his or her position is otherwise vacated, most dioceses and eparchies attempt to fill the position, at least temporarily, with existing personnel. During this time, important compliance components may be overlooked or neglected. Records are often lost, and successors to the position are often placed in key roles without formal orientation.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our March expenses ($2,653 to go):
$35,000.00 $32,346.87
8% 92%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - May. 13, 2013 1:52 AM ET USA


  • Posted by: Baseballbuddy - May. 10, 2013 9:31 PM ET USA

    Is there a chart showing where the various dioceses were affected?

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Surrogate parenthood = exploitation of desperate women 0 hours ago
Scientific Evidence for the Creator 21 hours ago
A request for help from our unregistered followers March 25
Catholic movie watching is more important than watching Catholic movies March 25
Cardinal Kasper: Will flattery get him somewhere? March 25

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope announces Jubilee: a Year of Mercy CWN - March 13