Dec 26, 2019

Pennsylvania dioceses have paid $84 million to 564 abuse victims

Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

The Catholic Church's Pennsylvania dioceses have paid almost $84 million to 564 sexual abuse victims, according to an AP review.

The backdrop: In 2018, a 1,400-page report by the Pennsylvania attorney general detailed the egregious abuse of children by the state's Catholic clergy, as well as the strategies by which the Church was able to cover up the shocking allegations for years.

The big picture: The total payout is likely to grow significantly in 2020 as administrators work through numerous claims that have yet to be handled, with the money flowing from independently administered victims compensation funds set up in seven of the state's eight dioceses.

  • Two administrators who oversee the distribution of money in five compensation funds have gone through 500 of 1,500 claims filed.
  • Of those 500 claims, 391 victims have taken settlements, while 41 have been rejected for insufficient evidence.

Go deeper: Grand jury’s horrifying Catholic coverup report

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AP: Communities of color vulnerable to abuse from the Catholic Church

A cardinal at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, in 2018. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Out of 178 dioceses contacted by the AP, only a handful knew the race or ethnicities of accusers of sexual abuse inflicted by clergy with the Catholic Church.

Why it matters: A leading scholar on clergy sexual abuse says communities of color "are less likely to know where to get help, less likely to have money for a lawyer to purse that help and they are more vulnerable to counterattacks" when coming forward against predators.

Go deeperArrowJan 4, 2020

AP: Over 900 clergy accused of child sexual abuse absent from dioceses' lists

Pope Francis holds a 'Protection of Minors in the Church' meeting in February 2019 in Vatican City. Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Over 900 clergy accused of sexually abusing children are not included in dioceses' public lists of those credibly accused, AP reports.

The big picture: Sexual abuse and misconduct within the Catholic Church is a global problem that has persisted for decades. Pope Francis recently unveiled rules to make the Church accountable for reporting allegations of abuse.

Go deeperArrowDec 28, 2019

Methodist church proposes plan to split over LGBTQ inclusion

Karen Oliveto, the Methodist church's first openly lesbian bishop, speaks at Iliff School of Theology in April 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

United Methodist Church leaders announced plans on Friday for a historic split of its 13 million-plus denomination over allowing same-sex marriage within the church and LGBTQ clergy members.

What's next: The church is expected to vote on the measure to implement the division of America's second-largest Protestant domination at the general conference in Minneapolis this May.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020