For most of the 20th century, the Catholic Church in the U.S. minimized the damage wrought by pedophile priests by covering up the abuse.
Cover-ups worked when victims and their families could be intimidated or shamed into silence. But in the 1980s and ’90s, victims started filing civil lawsuits against the dioceses where the alleged incidents took place. Church leaders across the country kept these suits quiet by settling out of court and demanding nondisclosure agreements in return. Church leaders paid out about $750 million from the early ’80s through 2002, according to BishopAccountability.org, a nonprofit that tracks clergy sex abuse.
Now, Dioceses of the Catholic Church are aggressively moving and reclassifying holdings to shrink the value of their bankruptcy estates.
Read Josh Saul’s full story in Bloomberg Businessweek here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-01-08/the-catholic-church-s-strategy-to-limit-payouts-to-abuse-victims
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