Boston will always be Ground Zero for the Catholic Church’s sex-abuse scandal.
But LA is now close behind.
As you’ve probably heard, the nation’s largest archdiocese has agreed to a record $660 million settlement that closes all 508 cases that were open the archdiocese. LA also paid $60 million in December to settle 45 cases.
The overall cost to Catholic dioceses in the U.S. has now passed $2 billion, the AP reported.
Five dioceses filed for bankruptcy: Spokane, Wash.; Davenport, Iowa; San Diego; Tucson, Ariz.; and Portland, Ore.
But what about New York?
Every now and then, when there is major news related to the scandal or a settlement, people ask me: What about New York?
The fact is Ã¢â‚¬â€ and I don’t know how many New Yorkers know this, even though it has been reported by myself and others Ã¢â‚¬â€ the Archdiocese of New York has faced FAR fewer sex-abuse cases during the last half-century than other large and even medium-size dioceses.
When all dioceses came clean in 2004, as part of a unprecedented “national study,”:http://www.usccb.org/ocyp/ the numbers in NY looked like this: 45 diocesan priests had been found to have committed at least one act of abuse against a minor between 1950 and 2002.
These priests had been accused by 136 individuals (some of whom had been victims more than once).
Over a half-century, the archdiocese and its insurance companies paid out $12.7 million on settlements, counseling and legal fees.
By any measure, these numbers were small for one of the five largest archdioceses in the country. Which is not to say, of course, that even five cases would have been acceptable. I don’t want to sound like what took place was not a big deal. I know of victims who were not treated well by the archdiocese — who were given a quick payoff and told to keep quiet.
But, considering the numbers that came out of Boston, LA and many other dioceses, the only conclusion to reach is that NY did something right or got lucky Ã¢â‚¬â€ or both.
It’s important to note, as well, that one defrocked NY priest, Edward Pipala, molested dozens of boys between the late 1960s and early 1990s. So he accounted for a pretty large percentage of all sex-abuse cases in NY.
Take away Pipala and things in NY Ã¢â‚¬â€ comparatively speaking Ã¢â‚¬â€ have been very, very quiet.