March 31, 2006

Clergy abuse: more claims, costs rising

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Seattle Times

By Rachell Zoll
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON New figures released Thursday by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops show the toll of the clergy sex-abuse crisis: 783 new credible claims last year, most of which date back decades, and costs of nearly $467 million.

While researchers who analyzed 50 years of data on molestation claims concluded the number of new cases is declining, the church is still paying a heavy price for predatory clergy.

The abuse problem was already known to have cost dioceses more than $1 billion since 1950, including some expenses paid last year. Still, Teresa Kettelkamp, director of the bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection, said the total abuse-related expenses shelled out in 2005 were likely the largest for a single year.

The total number of accusations against Catholic clergy stands at more than 12,000 since 1950.

Posted by kshaw at March 31, 2006 07:23 AM