Predictably, SNAP was unhappy with the bishop’s statement, but I think he was forthright about publicly acknowledging the cost of the sex abuse lawsuits.
Here is a bit more information, from a different source:
Through 2012, the Catholic Church in the U.S. has paid out an estimated $2.2 billion to cover settlements, therapy for victims, support for offenders, attorney fees and other costs, according to a report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In the Stockton diocesan bankruptcy, the parties will likely agree on a figure that the diocese would pay, in addition to potentially pulling in funds from insurers. However, the diocese says it holds “relatively little property and assets.” Other holdings, including schools, parishes and several parcels of land, are incorporated separately.*
That second paragraph is important because Stockton and surrounding area was hard hit by the collapse of the housing bubble and by the economic recession. Property values in the area remain are below what they once were. The city of Stockton itself, with its tax base devastated, declared bankruptcy. It is the most biggest city in the US to do so.
So the second paragraph supports the bishop’s claim that the enormous costs of the sex abuse crisis is responsible for the diocesan bankruptcy.
There’s a lot of financial trouble going on in that area of the country…would it be possible for this to merge with the Sacramento or San Fran diocese? (Whichever is closer, I don’t know)
I think, too, the SFGate reported “SNAP’s” position as fairly as possible, at the end of the article, and following the Bishop’s very balanced statement:
[quote=Bishop Stephen E. Blaire]“We are in this situation because of those priests in our diocese who perpetrated grave, evil acts of child sexual abuse,” Blaire noted in a statement. “We can never forget that these evil acts, not the victims of the abuse, are responsible for the financial difficulties we now face.”
It’s all good. Getting hit in the pocketbook is what typically is needed to make any big bureaucracy change. McDonalds airheadedly served scalding hot coffee overfilled to the brim for years and years until they got hit with a lawsuit. Bishops swept child abuse cases under the rug for years. Now they are realizing they better not do that anymore. One would expect the Church to be more caring about the children, but unfortunately any big bureaucracy tends to inculcate in its members an attitude of doing what seems best for themselves.
The Dioceses of Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose all border the Diocese of Stockton. It used to be part of the Diocese of Sacramento. I don’t know if incorporating it into other dioceses makes sense at this point.
Sadly, that seems to be the case.
The good Bishop played this perfectly. (It’s my diocese). The leech lawyers get very little. These lawyers are not nice people.
They were using repressed memory therapy, for crying out loud. What a scam.
I wonder. The Stockton diocese is (was?) the smallest diocese in the country.
I would like to add that some of these “cases” go back over 25 years. I am sure bad stuff happened. I am also sure that a lot of it is hooey.
One factor has to do with the California statute of limitations. In 2002, S.B. 1779 revived for one year (2003) the opportunity to file claims of sexual abuse that had lapsed because of the standard statute of limitations. More than 1,000 claims were filed against the Catholic Church alone, some involving alleged abuse as far back as the 1930s. By 2007, the Catholic Church in California had paid out more than $1.2 billion to settle the claims filed during this one-year revival period, with other non-government entities paying many other claims.
It’s a good thing Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed S.B. 131, a measure that would have re-established a two-class system of sex-abuse lawsuits. The measure would have exempted public schools from liability for historic sexual-abuse cases involving their employees, while leaving Catholic schools open to new charges.