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Sex abuse scandals are draining Catholic Church finances

The Archdiocese of Chicago has incurred significant debts, due largely to the many sexual abuse claims filed against it. In an article published on February 11, 2019, the Chicago Sun Times says that in recent years, the archdiocese has borrowed more than $200 million to cover its obligations.

To lessen this debt load, the Church intends to sell the parking lot located directly across the street from Holy Name Cathedral for a reported $100 million. A developer intends to erect two high-rise residential buildings on this prime piece of real estate. In addition, the Church is considering the sale of the "Cardinal's Mansion" on Chicago's Gold Coast.

Will sexual abuse claimants get compensation?

In the wake of the clergy abuse scandals that have rocked the Church, some dioceses in other parts of the nation have gone so far as to declare bankruptcy. Critics say that one purpose of these moves is to scare off potential litigants from filing lawsuits. The Archdiocese of Chicago, however, is not among them. It has paid off the sexual abuse claims filed against it, running up debts the pay for them. The Chicago Archdiocese has a long-established practice against using money from church offerings to pay for sex abuse claims. Instead, it has sold off vacant land and former churches and schools that are no longer needed. The Archdiocese has a stated commitment to meet "all required obligations". These include sex abuse claims and pensions for retired priests.

People who have suffered sexual abuse by clergy should speak with an attorney concerning their legal right to compensation.

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