August 29, 2011

The Dublin Archdiocese is on the brink of financial collapse because of payouts to victims of clergy sexual abuse, says an internal report.

The report — prepared by the diocesan Council of Priests — said "reserves the diocese had built up over decades have been spent on seeking to compensate, somewhat, victims of child sexual abuse by priests."

So far, 172 civil actions from people alleging abuse have been taken against 44 priests of the archdiocese; 117 have been concluded and 55 are ongoing.

The costs, so far, to the archdiocese for settlement of claims is now roughly $20 million.

"This means the diocese will have to go into debt for a considerable period and will not have resources for other projects unless we fundraise for them specifically," the document added. "This is entirely appropriate."