The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
For more information: David Clohessy 566 9790, Barbara Dorris 503 0003
Costs of On-Going Church Child Sex Abuse & Cover up Crisis Are Revealed
On Friday, The St Louis Archdiocese Releases Figures in Its Annual Report
For 3rd Year Out of Last 4, More Money Goes to Church Lawyers Than To Victims
Figures just released by the St. Louis Catholic archdiocese show that the church here spent $352,000 last year on payments to victims of predator priests, but more than twice that amount on its own lawyers.
This is the third time in the last four years that the archdiocese gave more money to its lawyers than to abuse victims.
The figures cover the last fiscal year and were provided in the latest issue of the archdiocesan weekly newspaper, The St. Louis Review.
The spending was criticized by leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
“It’s sad that in 3 of the last 4 years, church officials have spent more on fighting victims than helping victims, more on defense lawyers than on victims themselves," said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP's outreach director.
“The church’s top priority should be protecting the vulnerable and healing the wounded,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s national director. “The numbers show, sadly, that the archdiocese is primarily committed to protecting its image and assets instead.”
Over the last decade, the report shows that the archdiocese has spent more than $11 million on “clergy misconduct.”
“If you factor in public relations expenses and other factors, we suspect the real figure is much higher,” Clohessy said.
For four years in a row, no expenditures are listed for “clergy counseling.”
“If that indicates that none of the dozens of suspended pedophile priests are getting treatment, that’s very troubling,” said Dorris. “There’s little evidence that child molesters can be ‘cured,’ but that doesn’t mean the archdiocese should ignore them.”
Many also have other addictions or mental health issues that, if addressed, may reduce the chances they’ll abuse again, Dorris said.
The Review says the report is posted on line at http://www.archstl.org/
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests