Louisiana’s bishops have said they are considering making their lists of credibly accused priests public, but haven’t agreed on how or when.
What they haven’t mentioned publicly is the cold financial calculus that inevitably weighs on the minds of church leaders when making decisions about transparency in the face of scandal, our media partners at The Advocate report.
For dioceses already struggling financially because of a decline in the number of practicing Catholics, the latest wave of sex-abuse claims has left bishops with a profound dilemma: how to accede to victims’ demands for a full accounting of pedophile clergy, when doing so may mean millions of dollars in new claims and could lead to insolvency, the newspaper reports.
“There’s no question that financial considerations play a big role in holding back the names,” said Jack Ruhl, a professor of accountancy at Western Michigan University, who has spent decades studying the finances of U.S. Catholic dioceses, including the Archdiocese of New Orleans, told The Advocate.
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