March 20, 2005

Church, hemorrhaging cash, can't afford this type of healing

Mercury News

By Thomas G. Plante

In recent weeks, the clergy sexual-abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church again has made national headlines. This time it focused on the newly released second annual report by U.S. bishops stating that 1,092 new accusations of sexual abuse by priests have surfaced during the past year, with 22 new accusations made by children during 2004.

The report further stated that the church has now spent more than $800 million on lawsuits and settlements, with costs of about $140 million in 2004 alone.

Going bankrupt

Just a few weeks earlier, the Diocese of Orange County settled a lawsuit for $100 million, and recent news has reported that the dioceses of Tucson, Spokane, Wash., and Portland, Ore., have all filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with more to come. Perhaps the next big news story will involve the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, with a lawsuit including more than 500 victims. Based on the recent settlements figures, one wonders whether the Los Angeles lawsuit settlement might exceed a half-billion dollars.

Posted by kshaw at March 20, 2005 05:36 AM