March 31, 2006

Abuse cost churches nearly $467m in '05

Boston Globe

By Susan Milligan, Globe Staff | March 31, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The church sexual abuse crisis cost Catholic dioceses and religious institutes nearly $467 million last year in settlements to victims, legal expenses, therapy, and training, a staggering amount in the aftermath of the abuse scandal that surfaced in 2002, according to an independent audit released yesterday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The data, collected by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, also showed that 783 new and credible allegations of sexual abuse by clergy were reported last year, down from 1,092 allegations reported in 2004 and bringing the total number of accusations to more than 12,000 nationwide since 1950.

While the number of allegations is decreasing, the financial cost to the church increased over the last year due to some large settlements paid in 2005, said Teresa M. Kettelkamp, director of the USCCB's Office of Child and Youth Protection. The church paid more than $399 million last year in settlements alone, and spent $67 million more on therapy for victims, legal fees, and counseling for offenders, according to the data.

Posted by kshaw at March 31, 2006 08:01 AM