As Catholic Church struggle to redeem its battered image necessitated by sex abuses of children by its Clergy, report has emerged that the church has spent more than $3 billion to settle cases.
According to National Public Radio (NPR), Clergy sex abuse of children has rocked the foundation of the Catholic Church in terms of trust and reputation.
The multibillion-dollar expense has gone to settlements in response to lawsuits filed by people abused by clergy, reports NPR.
Nearly 20 Catholic dioceses and religious orders have filed for bankruptcy because of the scandals.
An attorney whose firm represented abuse victims said that the money the church has paid because of the crisis is part of justice for those who suffered, though it hardly compensates for all the damage done.
“I don’t like the word healing,” said attorney James Stang to NPR, “because it’s too much of an individual process; but at the end of the day, that accountability is demonstrated by the payment of money.”
The lawsuits have been filed primarily against dioceses and religious orders, which have the kind of auspices over priests that a single parish does not.
The Catholic Church assets involved in settlements include cash, stocks, and land.
Johnny Vega, who was raped by a priest as well as a deacon of the New Jersey church where he was an altar boy, was one of more than two dozen victims who were part of a $5 million settlement in 2005 with the Paterson Diocese.
Vega and the other plaintiffs alleged in the lawsuit that the Diocese of Paterson and then-Bishop Frank J. Rodimer could have prevented the abuse.
“For the billions it has cost the Catholic Church, it does not compare to the cost of (traumatic) lives that many have suffered over the years,” Vega told Fox News.
For years, Vega struggled in silence through the abuse and the toll it took on him.
The priest and deacon were almost sacred figures to his parents, as well as others in the congregation, Vega said, and the thought of revealing the horrors they had inflicted on him was intimidating to a young boy.
He embarked on a chaotic path that included trying to end his life and hanging out with the wrong crowd before he began a journey toward healing that included starting a support group for other Latinos abused by priests.
“I was lucky enough to have had the support system needed to keep me strong and fight for changes.”
The Paterson Diocese also provided four years of psychological counseling, but did not publicly admit guilt or issue an apology.
On Tuesday, a grand jury in Pennsylvania released a report that said that hundreds of Catholic priests in Pennsylvania molested more than 1,000 children, and possibly many more, since the 1940s, and senior church officials, including a man who is now the archbishop of Washington, D.C., systematically covered up the abuse.
Read more: Fox News