Clergy Abuse Claims bankrupt Catholic Dioceses

Clergy abuse claims bankrupt Catholic dioceses in many cases.  In just the last 14 years, claims from more than 4,000 victims of abuse by clergy — or priest abuse — have driven 19 different Catholic dioceses or religious orders into bankruptcy.  The watchdog group BishopAccountability.org  put the bankruptcy list together in May of this year.

Related: Abuse by Clergy Lawsuit

Here is a list of 19 bankrupted Catholic dioceses or religious orders, the dates they filed for bankruptcy protection, the settlement amount they agreed to pay, the number of alleged abuse survivors.

  1. Archdiocese of Portland Oregon:  filed 7/6/04 — $75 million settlement.  At the time the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy, some 170 people had filed abuse suits.
  2. Diocese of Tucson, Arizona:  9/20/04 — $22.2 million.  At least 26 victims
  3. Diocese of Spokane, Washington:  12/6/04 — $48 million.  ~ 175 victims
  4. Diocese of Davenport, Iowa:  10/10/06 — $37 million.  156 victims
  5. Diocese of San Diego, California:  2/27/07 — $198 million. 144 victims
  6. Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska:  3/1/08 — $9.8 million.  ~ 300 victims
  7. Oregon Province of the Jesuits:  2/17/09 — $166 million.  Nearly 500 victims
  8. Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware: 10/18/09 — $77 million.  142 victims
  9. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 1/4/11 — $21 million.  ~330 victims Congregation of the Christian Brothers:  4/28/11 — $16.5 million.  400+ victims
  10. Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico: 11/12/13 — $22 million.  ~ 57 victims
  11. Diocese of Stockton, California: 1/15/14 — $15 million.
  12. Diocese of Helena, Montana: 1/31/14 — $20 million. 362 victims
  13. Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minn.: 1/16/15 — $210 million.  ~400 victims
  14. Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota: 12/7/15 — Ongoing
  15. Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota:  3/3/17 — Ongoing
  16. Diocese of Great Falls-Billings Montana: 3/31/17 — $20 million.  86 victims (pending judicial approval)
  17. Crosier Fathers and Brothers Minnesota & Arizona: 6/1/17 — $25 million.  400+
  18. Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota:  intention announced 2/28/18 — Ongoing

More Catholic Dioceses’ and Religious Orders’ Settlements  

Catholic dioceses and religious orders have paid out nearly $3 billion in out-of-court settlements since the mid 1980s, according to BishopAccountability.org.  Here is a list of the major awards and settlements since 2000, the place, the amount paid out, the number of alleged victims.

2000-03-15:  Santa Rosa, California — $1.6 million – 4 victims

2000-12-04:  Los Angeles, California: $5.2 million — 1

2001-03-08:  Bridgeport, Connecticut — $15 million — 26

2001-12:  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — $5 million — 1

2002-01-30:  Tucson, Arizona — $14 million — 11

2002-04-01:  Orange and LA, California — $1.2million — 1

2002-06:  Los Angeles, California — $1.5 million — 1

2002-06-14:  Omaha, Nebraska —  $800.000 — 1

2002-08-23:  Orange, California — $400.000 — 1

2002-09-04:  Los Gatos, California — Jesuits — $7.5 million — 2

2002-09-09:  Providence, Rhode Island — $13.5 million — 36

2002-09-18:  Boston, Massachusetts — $10 million — 86

2002-10-10:  Manchester, New Hampshire — $950.000 — 16

2002-11-26:  Manchester, New Hampshire — $5.1 million — 62

2003-01-09:  Boston, Massachusetts (Jesuits) — $5.8 million — 15

2003-01-29:  Metuchen, New Jersey — $800,000 — 10

2003-03-13:  Camden, New Jersey — $880,000– 23

2003-05-08:  Manchester, New Hampshire — $815.000 — 4

2003-05-22: Manchester, New Hampshire — $6.5 million — 61

2003-05-22: Manchester, New Hampshire — $2.1 million — 33

2003-06-10:  Louisville, Kentucky — $25.7 million — 243

2003-06-30: San Bernardino, California — $4.2 million — 2

2003-07-01:  Chicago, Illinois — $1.9 million — 1

2003-07-10:  Chicago, Illinois — $4 million — 4

2003-08-14 — Tucson, Arizona — $1.8 million — 5

2003-09-09 — Boston, Massachusetts — $84.2 million — 552

2003-09-11 — Seattle, Washington — $7.9 million — 15

2003-10-02 — Chicago, Illinois — $8 million — 15

2003-10-11 — Covington, Kentucky — $5.2 million — 27

2003-10-16 — Bridgeport, Connecticut — $21million — 40

2003-11-24 — Oakland, California — $1 million — 1

2003-12-04 — Covington, Kentucky — $1million — 5

2004 — Bridgeport, Connecticut — $40,000 — 2

2004-01-23 — Oakland, California — $3 million — 1

2004-01-28 — Covington, Kentucky — $2 million — 7

2004-04-15 — St. Petersburg, Florida — $1.1 million — 12

2004-04-21 — St. Louis, Missouri — $1.7 million — 1

2004-05-27 — Altoona-Johnstown, Pennsylvania — $3.7 million — 21

2004-07-03 — Toledo, Ohio — $500,000 — 2

2004-08-17 — Springfield, Massachusetts — $7.8 million — 46

2004-08-20 — Toledo, Ohio — $1.2 million — 23

2004-08-26 — St. Louis, Missouri  — $2 million — 18

2004-09-22 — Miami, Florida — $3.4 million — 23

2004-10-08 — Newark, New Jersey — $1 million — 10

2004-10-28 — Davenport, Iowa — $9 million — 37

2004-12-02 — Orange, California — $100 million — 91

2004-12-17 — Seattle, Washington — $1.8 million — 12

2004-12-23 — Oakland, California — $6.3 million — 3

2005-02-15 — Paterson, New Jersey — $5 million — 27

2005-03-08 — Cincinnati, Ohio — $3.2 million — 120

2005-03-24 — Oakland, California — $437,000 — 1

2005-03-31 — Fort Worth, Texas — $1.4 million — 1

2005-04-07 — Fairbanks, Alaska-Jesuits — $1 million — 1

2005-04-09 — Fort Worth, Texas — $2.7 million — 1

2005-04-15 — Oakland, California — $1.9 million — 2

2005-04-20 — San Francisco, California — $5.8 million — 4

2005-04-22 — Santa Rosa, California — $3.3 million — 1

2005-05 — Orlando & St. Augustine, Florida — $1.5 million — 3

2005-05-09 — Davenport, Iowa — $1.9 million — 1

2005-05-19 — Stockton, California — $3 million — 1

2005-06-10 — San Francisco, California — $21.2 million — 15

2005-06-10 — Seattle, Washington — $1.7 million — 4

2005-06-29 — Sacramento, California — $35million — 33

2005-06-30 — Boston, Massachusetts — $33.1 million — 257

2005-07-01 — Santa Rosa, California — $7.3million — 8

2005-07-08 — San Francisco, California — $16.0 million — 12

2005-08-05 — Oakland, California — $56 million — 56

2005-08-27 — Seattle, Washington – Benedictines — $2.6 million — 7

2005-09-02 — San Francisco, California — $4 million — 4

2005-10-11 — San Francisco, California — $2.6million — 2

2005-11-01 — Hartford, Connecticut — $22million — 43

2006-01-09 — Covington, Kentucky — $2.5 million — 19

2006-01-09 — Covington, Kentucky — $79 million — 243

2006-02-21 — Dubuque, Iowa — $5 million — 20

2006-03-13 — Los Angeles, California – Franciscans — $28 million — 25

2006-03-16 — Jackson, Mississippi — $5.1 million — 19

2006-04-01 — Seattle, Washington — $1 million — 2

2006-06-30 — Boston, Massachusetts — $6.3 million — 86

2006-08-04 — Anchorage, Alaska and Boston, Massachusetts — $1.4 million — 5

2006-09-01 — Milwaukee, Wisconsin — $16.7 million — 10

2006-10-27 — Los Angeles, California – Carmelites — $10 million — 7

2006-11-30 — Norwich, Connecticut — $1.1 million — 1

2006-12-01 — Los Angeles, California — $60 million — 45

2006-12-16 — Washington, D.C. — $1.3 million — 16

2007-01-05 — Denver, Colorado — $1.5 million — 15

2007-03-27 — Dubuque, Iowa — $2.6 million — 9

2007-03-29 — Fairbanks, Alaska and Oregon Province of Jesuits — $1.9 million — 4

2007-05-10 — Rockford, Illinois — $2.2 million — 2

2007-05-16 — Portland, Oregon — $1.3 million — 2

2007-05-18 — Rockville Centre, New York — $11.4 million — 2

2007-05-29 — Chicago, Illinois — $6.6 million — 15

2007-06-30 — Boston, Massachusetts — $2.1 million — 34

2007-07-14 — Los Angeles, California — $660 million — 508

2007-07-30 — Charleston, South Carolina — $10.3 million — 80

2007-08-30 — Charleston, South Carolina — $1.375 million — 11

2007-09-07 — San Bernardino, California — $15.1 million — 11

2007-09-13 — Santa Rosa, California — $5 million — 10

2007-10-05 — Orange, California — $6.6 million — 4

2007-10-19 — St. Louis, Missouri – Marianists — $160,000 — 1

2007-11-16 — Fairbanks, Alaska – Jesuits — $50 million — 110

2008-01-04 — Spokane, Washington – Jesuits — $4.8 million — 16

2008-01-18 — Wilmington, Delaware — $450,000 — 1

2008-04-10 — Dubuque, Iowa — $4.7 million — 18

2008-05-13 — Burlington, Vermont — $784,000 — 1

2008-05-14 — Los Angeles, California – Salesians — $19.5 million — 17

2008-06-30 — Boston, Massachusetts — $5.4 million — 55

2008-07-01 — Denver, Colorado — $5.5 million — 18

2008-08-12 — Chicago, Illinois — $12.6 million — 16

2008-08-19 — Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri — $10 million — 47

2008-08-27 — Belleville, Illinois — $5 million — 1

2008-08-29 — Providence, Rhode Island — $1.3 million — 4

2008-09-11 — Chicago, Illinois — $2.5 million — 1

2008-09-18 — Chicago, Illinois — $1.7 million — 1

2008-10-30 — Pueblo, Colorado – Marianists — $4.2 million — 23

2008-11 — Seattle, Washington – Christian Bros — $7.2 million — 11

2008-12-03 — Springfield, Massachusetts — $4.5 million — 59

2008-12-17 — Burlington, Vermont — $784,000 — 1

2009-01-29 — Seattle, Wash. – Christian Brothers — $7 million – 13

2009-02-28 — Memphis, Tennessee — $2 million — 1

2009-04-08 — Wilmington, Delaware — $1.5 million — 1

2009-06-03 — Monterey, California — $1.2 million — 1

2009-06-30 — Boston, Massachusetts — $3.6 million — 27

2009-07-21 — Chicago, Illinois — $3.9 million — 6

2009-10-09 — Burlington, Vermont — $784,000 — 1

2009-10-22 — Belleville, Illinois — $1.2 million — 1

2009-10-28 — Savannah, Georgia — $4.2 million — 1

2009-11-05 — Portland, Maine — $200,000 — 1

2010-05-03 — Indianapolis, Indiana — $199,000 — 1

2010-05-13 — Burlington, Vermont — $17.6 million — 26

2010-06-10 — Charlotte, North Carolina and Capuchins — $1.2 million — 1

2010-08-11 — Lansing, Michigan — $250,000 — 1

The sheer number of these heinous abuse cases staggers the mind.  If the Catholic church expects to remain a viable institution in the world, it would seem that those in charge of running the church have no choice but to clean house entirely.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that church leaders need to perform the kind of soul-searching which they endlessly encourage in their parishioners.  The sheer number of abuses can represent nothing more than a systemic problem at the very heart of the Catholic church itself, as well as systemic problems at some of the religious orders which also clearly suffer from something rotten inside their very foundations.

We can pray for those leaders to do better.  But we must also hold them accountable by the law for their moral and professional failures to protect the young from unspeakable abuse at the hands of trusted elders.  

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