Due to the sex abuse allegations that arose from the grand jury report that was released in August, legal fees for Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania have risen. Two dioceses, notably Greensburg and Erie, Pennsylvania, report legal fees totaling around five million dollars and expect them to increase. Each diocese insists that legal fees will come from their own assets and not parish funds. The Greensburg diocese, which claims about 138,000 congregants, reports a quadruple increase from the years 2013 and 2015 to 2016 through 2018 that came from the church’s self-insurance fund. The Erie diocese, which claims 220,000 congregants, states that their expenses were over two million dollars. The Pittsburgh diocese, which claims about 630,000 congregants reports that their legal expenses totaled almost $450,000. Allegedly, the costs initially rose once subpoenas were issued to the Catholic dioceses.
The legal expenses dioceses will pay toward the sex abuse allegations directed at priests listed in the grand jury report seem alarming, but do not compare to the scars incurred by the survivors. Survivors of clergy abuse may experience trauma throughout their lifetimes, which may result in suicidal tendencies or substance abuse. If the statute of limitations, which prevents older survivors from filing lawsuits against their perpetrators, is not removed, they may never be given the justice they deserve.
If you experienced clergy abuse as a child, contact our Pennsylvania clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar at 215-557-0099 or contact us online. Our law firm is committed to helping victims and survivors of clergy abuse regain their voices. We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.