July 09, 2005

Chairman of Catholic Lay Reform Group Says Sex Abuse Scandal Will Cost U.S. Dioceses Up to $3B

The Conservative Voice

Saturday, July 09, 2005 07:49:21 PM

The chairman of the Catholic lay reform group Voice of the Faithful predicted Saturday that the clergy sexual abuse scandal will eventually cost U.S. dioceses $2 billion to $3 billion.

Speaking at the first national meeting of the group in three years, David Castaldi urged leaders of local affiliates to press their bishops for better financial reporting as individual dioceses post large payouts to abuse victims, lawyers and others.

The Associated Press reported last month that the costs to the church so far totaled slightly more than $1 billion for abuse cases that date back decades. The projection by Castaldi indicates that direct costs could rise twice as high.

Boston, where the scandal first erupted more than three years ago before spreading nationwide, reached an $85 million settlement with 552 people in 2003. The Diocese of Orange, Calif., settled 90 abuse claims for $100 million last December, followed by last month's settlement of $120 million by the Diocese of Covington, Ky.

"That record will not last," said Castaldi, who is also a former chancellor and chief financial officer for the Boston Archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at July 9, 2005 10:57 PM