ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A local clergy abuse support group has some questions about new financial figures from the St. Louis Archdiocese.
The Archdiocese recently released its clergy misconduct costs from the fiscal year 2013, totaling $943,000. That’s compared to $342,000 in fiscal 2012.
“It’s hard to reconcile the fact that Archbishop [Robert] Carlson claims that he and his staff are doing better on abuse although abuse costs continue to rise,” says David Clohessy with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
About 60 percent of the $943,000 went to abuse victims and the rest was spent on defense attorneys.
Frank Chauvin, Chief Financial Officer of the St. Louis Archdiocese, says the latest numbers aren’t just for abuse cases which happened in the past 12 months.
“Some of these settlements that were made, some of these legal fees that are incurred, retain to claims that could go back a number of years,” he said.
Chauvin says many of the legal costs are being picked up by insurance and none of the payments came from the annual fundraising effort of the archdiocese.
“The insurance companies, in general, they stopped paying payments to victims a long time ago. The only thing we’re able to recover now are legal fees,” he added.
St. Louis Archdiocese figures show that over the past decade, the church has spent more than $10 million on clergy misconduct.