July 01, 2005

US scandal that almost destroyed a diocese


By Harry Mount in New York
(Filed: 01/07/2005)

The paedophile scandal in Boston three years ago nearly bankrupted the Catholic archdiocese.

Boston's archbishop, Cardinal Law, was forced to resign, and, in the largest ever settlement by an American diocese to resolve sexual abuse claims, great tracts of Church land were sold off, the archbishop's Italianate palazzo was put on the market and dozens of parishes were forced to close.

The Church was ordered to pay 67 million in compensation after it emerged in January 2002 that 815 children had been abused by priests over 50 years.

There were 550 lawsuits by abuse victims and each received between 44,000 and 166,000 in a settlement brokered by the new Archbishop, Sean O'Malley.

The archdiocese had to sell 15 Church properties and much of its headquarters, including the archbishop's residence and 56 adjoining acres, for 55 million.

Posted by kshaw at July 1, 2005 07:39 AM