The reality of child molestation by the Roman Catholic Church has surfaced time and time again, and yet, somehow, it continues to happen. If you watched the movie Spotlight, perhaps you have an idea of just how things are going down. But let’s break it down to date.
While you can’t put a price on the innocence of a child, you can put a price on just how much the Roman Catholic Church has paid out in lawsuits over the never-ending epidemic of child molestation wreaking havoc in its ranks.
According to Jack and Diane Ruhl of the National Catholic Reporter, who decided to research this particular topic, since 1950, the Vatican has spent a disgusting $3,994,797,060.10. That’s nearly $4 billion to keep things hush hush. That number may even be a bit conservative, as we cannot know for sure the agreed upon “under the table” amount.
The figure is based on a three-month investigation of data, which includes a review of over 7,800 articles from LexisNexis Academic and NCR databases and information from BishopAccountability.org. Reports from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops were also used.
If the amount of money dished out was divided evenly amongst the U.S.’s 197 dioceses, each one would get almost $20 million. An incredible amount of cash from hard working people who support the good faith and intentions of the Church — people who are parents to little boys being sexually abused — is being used to cover up unfathomable crimes executed by priests.
When Pope Francis addressed hundreds of bishops on the issue, he said:
I realize how much the pain of recent years has weighed upon you, and I have supported your generous commitment to bring healing to victims — in the knowledge that in healing we too are healed — and to work to ensure that such crimes will never be repeated.
His words of “generous commitment” only further show just how tightly knit the Church truly is — worried more about reputation than morality.
“The people he was talking to are the people who moved the pedophiles around to prey on kids,” said John Salveson, a 59-year-old Philadelphia businessman who was abused as a child by a priest. “If you gave me 100 years to pick a word to describe the U.S. bishops’ reaction to this crisis, ‘generous’ would never make the list.”