March 01, 2005

The Worcester Diocese has paid two times more in legal fees in the past three years than compensation to the victims.

Worcester Voice

In a review of the payments accounted for by the Worcester diocese since the onset of the recent crisis in the catholic church one can determine that the legal expenses has risen over three hundred percent.

In a January 10, 2003 interview with the Boston Globe then Worcester Bishop Daniel Reilly stated that since 1950, when the diocese was established, it has paid $764,833 to settle lawsuits involving sexual abuse of minors, and its insurance companies have paid $1,384,000. Additionally, Reilly said "We did not pay out any money for any settlement. We did pay legal counsel fees of $21,312 to respond to the suits filed against the diocese and the bishop. We also spent $28,150 to provide treatment services to those alleging abuse and to establish our Office for Healing and Prevention."

Bishop Reilly on February 16, 2004 released his report on clergy abuse with the dioceses. According to the diocese report, $2,280,833 has been paid in compensation to victims in settlements of abuses between 1950 and 2003. Of that, $1,469,000 came from insurance and $811,833 was paid directly by the diocese.

Doing the math this would have resulted in an additional $47,000 dollars paid out by the dioceses of Worcester as compensation for victims of clergy sexual abuse within approximately a 13 months time span. During fiscal year 2003 which runs for September 1, 2002 till August 31, 2003 legal services were listed as $118,422. For fiscal year 2004 legal services increased to $131,875. Prior to September 1, 2002 legal fees were $21,000 in fiscal year 2002 according to Bishop Reilly. The total amount of legal service in the past three years to the Worcester dioceses is $271,297 dollars.

Posted by kshaw at March 1, 2005 11:29 AM