Catholic Church

August 27, 2018

“Shame & Sorrow”

Fresh off a visit to Ireland, the Pope faces new allegations he knew about the latest clergy abuse scandal for years while offering no concrete measures to end or punish it.

Total payouts for U.S. victims are just a fraction of money collected at Sunday Mass each year.

18,565 U.S. Victims

A Number You’ve Probably Heard: $3B

Often quoted the Catholic Church has paid out $3B to U.S. victims.

BUT that data hasn’t been updated since 2011 & doesn’t include smaller settlements since 2002.

Bishop Accountability, which compiles the data, says $3B is an “underestimate.”

"I really worry about a loss to credibility, a loss of trust. There’s no use denying it. We can’t sugarcoat it, this is disastrous."

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, after a Pennsylvania grand jury report last week showed the church covered up the abuse of 1K+ minors by 300 priests over 70 years.

Where the Collection Goes

  • Approx. 17M Catholic U.S. households donate an average of $10 each week = $8.8B each year.
  • Donations are typically used to fund church operations or social services.
  • In some cases, donations have been used in connection with settlements paid to victims.
"For the billions it has cost the Catholic Church, it does not compare to the cost of (traumatic) lives that many have suffered over the years,"

Johnny Vega, who was raped by a priest & deacon at his New Jersey church where he served as an altar boy. He received part of a $5M settlement in 2005 with 2 dozen other victims.

Bigger Picture

  • Percentage of Catholics worldwideA is steady at 18%.
  • Number of U.S. Catholics declined from 2015 (81M) to 2017 (74M), but had been steadily increasing since 1970.
  • According to a 2010 Pew survey: About 27% of those who had left the church blamed the clergy sexual abuse scandals.

Missouri’s AG Josh Hawley, a Republican running for Senate, has launched an investigation into Catholic Church sexual abuse making it the 1st state to publicly do so. Archdiocese of St. Louis promises “unfettered access.”

by Jenna Lee,