Black Victims Who Accused Catholic Priests Of Sexual Abuse Were Paid Lower Settlements By Church Than Whites In U.S.

Written by Ann Brown

Black victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy were paid significantly smaller settlements than white victims by the Diocese across the United States.

In one case, two Black male victims from Mississippi were offered $15,000 to keep quiet about the alleged abuse by a Franciscan friar. They were also required to sign NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements), meaning they could not disclose the details of the abuse or the settlement. Meanwhile, in other cases, white accusers were paid upwards of $250,000, $500,000, and in one instance about $1.3 million, found the Associated Press.

“They felt they could treat us that way because we’re poor and we’re Black,” said one of the victims, Joshua K. Love, who was initially offered only $10,000 before settling his abuse claim for $15,000.

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In other parts of the country, where abuse victims were mainly white, the settlements were higher.

“In 2018, the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese agreed to pay an average of nearly $500,000 each to clergy abuse survivor,” BET reported.

While three percent of American Catholics are Black “but the percentage in Mississippi is higher, in part because of missionary work by the Franciscans. The church lists 26 parishes in the Jackson Diocese, out of 101, where Blacks have a significant presence,” the Daily Mail reported. And, the settlements in Mississippi were lower than in other places in the country.

On average, the Catholic Church paid Black abuse victims a whopping $235,000 less than white victims, Raw Story reported.

The Catholic Church has been promising to stop covering up clergy abuse.

“In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops pledged to respond to abuse allegations in an ‘open and transparent’ manner. Earlier this year, a mandatory church law was issued by Pope Francis requiring all Catholic officials to report sexual abuse, and abuse cover-ups, to their superiors,” BET reported.