Yes, I know I’m late on this, but the US bishops’ auditors released their report last Friday. As I said before, I’m tired of hearing about audits and reports and policies and procedures, because I’d rather hear about holiness and repentance and conversion and any sign that the people who made the Scandal what it is�i.e. the bishops who were in charge more than 3 years ago�are changing themselves, rather than fiddling with the system.
In any case, I notived that everyone at the USCCB was very careful to say that they know the Scandal is not over. To wit, Kathleen McChesney: “The crisis of sexual abuse of minors within the Catholic Church is not over. What is over is the denial that this problem exists.” That is in contrast to former USCCB head, the current ordinary of Atlanta, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who said at last year’s press conference releasing the audit that the Scandal is “history.” He was publicly excoriated for that and rightly so. (We put it right on the cover of Catholic World Report.)
What did the new report tell us? Nothing all that new. We were told that 1,092 claims were filed against clergy last year and $20 million was spent on child protection programs. Twenty million. Don’t you feel safer for the children? Yeah, I don’t either.
We also were told that $850 million has been paid out so far in the diddlers’ bill for legal settlements since 1950. And we’re not even done yet. After they’re through with Cardinal Mahony out in LA, I expect we’re going to see that number soar. Double, perhaps? In 2004 alone, $137 million was paid out in settlements nationally.