National--New studies show Catholic abuse crisis costs $4 billion
For immediate release: Monday, November 2
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790, email@example.com
New studies show Catholic abuse crisis costs $4 billion
Two solid pieces of new research show that the cost of the Catholic church abuse and cover up crisis is at least $4 billion, much higher than bishops have previously disclosed. We’re not surprised. If powerful men will hide clergy sex crimes and cover ups, they’ll surely hide the costs of that wrongdoing too.
We urge Catholics and former Catholics who have stopped donating to church officials give instead to organizations that expose child sex crimes, not institutions that enable child sex crimes.
And we urge everyone to remember who is responsible for this horrific pain and high cost: selfish bishops who fixate on advancing their clerical careers rather than protecting their vulnerable flocks.
A few years ago, Catholic researchers admitted that some 100,000 boys and girls in the US have been sexually assaulted by priests. We believe that’s a low estimate. Still, that’s the figure we beg citizens and Catholics to remember: the number of lives that have been devastated is more important than the number of dollars that have been paid out.
In the National Catholic Reporter, Diane and Jack Ruhl report that
--So far this year, US Catholic officials have made at least seven confidential settlements with victims.
--“There are no uniform reporting standards for public disclosure of financial records for U.S. Catholic dioceses. (Of) the 197 dioceses. . .NCR could find only 60 that had made some kind of public financial report available for 2014.”
Also in the NCR, economist Ricardo Perez-Truglia says that “Some priests are responsible for a very, very large cut" in charitable giving. That’s misleading. The blame lies just as squarely on the predators’ church supervisors and colleagues who often actively conceal or passively ignore the crimes.
Some will say that Catholic officials must “rebuild trust” with lay people. We disagree. Horrific abuse and deliberate cover ups of clergy sex crimes are still happening. So the church hierarchy – and the rest of us – must focus first on exposing child sex crimes and deterring cover ups. When that’s happened – and we’re a long ways off still – then and only then can “restoring trust” among adults begin to matter.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (email@example.com, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More