All told, the scandal's price tag for settlements and other costs has risen to
more than $2.7 billion, according to estimates. The numbers of cases were
expected to decline, but the financial impact remains severe, said Charles Zech,
a Villanova University economics professor. "The U.S. Catholic Church cannot
afford that right now, not the way the economy has been going, the hit taken on
diocesan investments, and to some extent parishioner contributions," Zech said.
"The church ... can't afford to be going on like this very much longer."
The number of offenders dropped 32 percent, to 286. Most are dead, no longer in
the priesthood, removed from ministry or missing, the report said.
The report said that about one-eighth of the allegations made in 2009 were
unsubstantiated or determined to be false by the end of the year.
The picture of the scandal in religious orders, however, is incomplete because
just 159 of 219 men's religious communities took part in the survey.
Almost 6 million children, or 96 percent of children in Catholic schools or
religious education programs, received "safe environment" training. The training
is required under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,
reforms adopted by bishops in 2002 at the height of the scandal.
Two dioceses — the dioceses of Baker, Ore., and Fresno, Calif. — were
not compliant by year's end with the provision requiring the training and
documentation of it, the report said.
RUN, LITTLE TIMMY, RUN!