Today, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest in America, announced it will pay $660 million USD — $1.3 million USD per child abuse claim — to settle lawsuits filed by 508 victims.
For four years the lawsuit has dragged along the court system and, interesting enough, just two days before Cardinal Rogery Mahony — seen below — would have been required to testify under oath in court trial, the settlement was announced.
The Catholic Church in America has now paid out over $2 billion USD to victims of child abuse at the hands of its priests.
Cardinal Mahony said that $250 million of the settlement
would be paid by the archdiocese, $227 million by insurers and $60
million by religious orders whose priests and brothers perpetrated some
of the abuse. He said the remainder, $123 million, would come from
“other sources,” including religious orders “not yet participating” in
In previous settlements, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles had already
promised $114 million, bringing its total to about $774 million in
settlements. Cardinal Mahony said that to pay for the settlements, the
archdiocese would sell some properties, liquidate some investments and
borrow money. He said he would not need to end any core functions or to
sell any parish properties or schools.
What caused this incredible rift between the sacred oaths priests are
required to take and the children they were required to teach and
shelter and not harm?
The settlement is the largest ever
by a Roman Catholic diocese since the clergy sexual abuse scandal
erupted in Boston in 2002. The largest payout so far has been by the
Diocese of Orange, Calif., in 2004, for $100 million.
Facing a flood of abuse claims, five dioceses – Tucson, Ariz.; Spokane,
Wash.; Portland, Ore.; Davenport, Iowa, and San Diego – sought
he Los Angeles archdiocese, its insurers and various Roman Catholic
orders have paid more than $114 million to settle 86 claims so far. The
largest of those came in December, when the archdiocese reached a $60
million settlement with 45 people whose claims dated from before the
mid-1950s and after 1987 – periods when it had little or no sexual
Several religious orders in California have also reached
multimillion-dollar settlements in recent months, including the
Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Jesuits.
However, more than 500 other lawsuits against the archdiocese had
remained unresolved despite years of legal wrangling. Most of the
outstanding lawsuits were generated by a 2002 state law that revoked
for one year the statute of limitations for reporting sexual abuse.
Should the vow of celibacy be recanted in the Catholic Church?
Does repressed sexual expression find other, more evil ways, of seeping
out of the body to maim and mark innocent children who are taught to
admire religious authority and not question to motives of God in man?
How can we prevent this sort of child molestation in the Catholic
No one can claim a sexual relationship with a child is appropriate
under any condition, yet the reality of the priest molestations prove
the opposite condition and the shattering of our most sacred covenant.