Southern Missouri diocese spent $700K settling abuse claims

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has spent more than $700,000 settling claims of clergy sexual abuse over the last 30 years.

The Southeast Missourian reports that Bishop Edward Rice disclosed in a letter Tuesday that the southern Missouri diocese has spent more than $517,000 paying alleged victims and nearly $190,000 on legal fees since 1986.

Rice wrote that $70,000 went toward victims’ counseling, medications and “future funeral expenses.”

The southern Missouri diocese launched an inquiry into possible abuse cases in August following the release of a scathing report in Pennsylvania that cited widespread child abuse by priests.

The diocese has also listed on its website the names of 16 priests deemed to have credible accusations of child abuse.

Rice says the diocese’s efforts to address sexual abuse are ongoing.

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