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Sex abuse cost US Catholic Church nearly $3 billion: Report

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Aprl 4, 2014

Sexual abuse and misconduct have cost the US Catholic Church almost $3 billion over a nearly 10 year period, according to a report released by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

From 2004 to 2013, the Catholic Church spent $2,744,876,843 related to abuse allegations, which includes settlements, therapy for victims, support for offenders, attorneys' fees, and other costs.

The report, titled “Report on the Implementation of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People,” said in 2013 alone sexual misconduct by clergy cost the American dioceses $108,954,109.

The Church also spent an additional $41,721,675 on child protection initiatives in 2013, according to a review by Catholic Online.

The report said "370 new credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor" were lodged by 365 people in 2013. Some of them reported abuse that had occurred from the 1920s to the present day.

"These allegations were made by 365 individuals against 290 priests or deacons," noted the report. Just over half of the reported cases "had already been identified in prior allegations," while 73 percent of the allegations were made against priests who "are deceased, already removed from ministry, already laicized or missing."


The Roman Catholic Church has been hit by numerous scandals in the US and Europe in the past few years, involving allegations of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests to protect pedophiles and its own reputation.

More than 4,000 US priests have faced sexual abuse allegations since the 1950s, in cases involving more than 10,000 children. All the other allegations were made by adults who said they were abused as minors.

Some theologians have argued that the church's policy on celibacy fosters sexual dysfunction and abusive behavior among priests.