The Catholic church in the United States has paid out more than $3.8 billion in lawsuits and settlements to more than 8,600 survivors of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of church clerics since the 1980s, according to BishopAccountability — a nonprofit that tracks abuse within the Catholic church.
Spokesman Terry McKiernan told CNN the number of associated clergy is difficult to calculate because some settlement announcements omit the number of predator priests.
The monies have not gone solely to survivors, McKiernan said. Attorneys get a cut, too. And not all the money comes out of the coffers of the Catholic Church, because the church maintains insurance policies that cover a portion of the settlement payments.
Of the payouts BishopAccountability has recorded, the largest came in 2007 in relation to “221 priests, lay teachers and other church employees who were accused of victimizing 508 people”, and totaled $660 million
According to the data BishopAccountability has compiled, payouts and claims have been issued across the nation, including in Kentucky, Oregon, Delaware, Alaska, Washington, Iowa, Massachusetts, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Vermont, Connecticut, Arizona, Rhode Island, New Jersey, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, New York, Florida and Illinois.