The US Catholic Church spent more than $300 million on abuse-related costs in 12 months
By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor
(CNN)Between June 2017 and June 2018 the Catholic Church in the United States spent a whopping $301.6 million on costs related to clergy sexual abuse, including nearly $200 million in legal settlements, according to a report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The new report also revealed that, during the same 12-month period, the church fielded 1,051 new “credible allegations” of sexual abuse of a minor by priests and other clergy.
The number of allegations and the costs related to abuse were significantly higher than reported in previous years, which the report attributes to a victim-compensation program adopted in New York state last year. That program fielded 785 new allegations of abuse against Catholic clergy, many from past decades.
What’s remarkable is that these numbers may rise against next year.
The information in the new report, released last Friday, predates the escalation of the church’s sexual abuse scandal last summer. That’s when abuse allegations surfaced against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick and a damning report by a Pennsylvania grand jury accused some 301 “predator priests” of abusing more than 1,000 victims.
Most of those accusations dated from before 2002, when the bishops instituted new sex-abuse polices.
But those policies do not apply to bishops, a loophole the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have pledged to fix next week at their annual meeting in Baltimore.
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