Pennsylvania Diocese Says Abuse Scandal Has Cost Them $21M Since 1999

A grand jury report alleged that the diocese protected multiple leaders suspected of harassment or abuse.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has offered details on the cost of the clergy abuse scandal.

The latest edition of the diocese's official publication says the scandal has cost it $21.5 million since 1999.

Of that amount, the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports, $15.7 million has gone to settlement payouts and awards, $4.3 million to legal fees, and half a million to survivor counseling.

A letter from Bishop Mark Bartchak says 290 people have received settlements or counseling from the diocese.

A state attorney general's grand jury report has alleged the diocese protected at least 50 religious leaders suspected of abuse.

The Tribune-Democrat reports that the diocese also has paid more than $900,000 to clergy for compensation that has included salaries to members who were removed from ministry while under investigation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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