By the end of 2002, the Archdiocese of Boston faced some 500 claims by alleged victims of clergy abuse. Experts estimated civil lawsuits could cost the church more than $100 million. The church has already paid out about $40 million to victims, including a $10 million settlement struck with 86 victims of former priest John Geoghan.
The sizable settlements, combined with steeply declining donations, have left the archdiocese teetering on the brink of financial collapse, with officials acknowledging the church is now borrowing to meet its day-to-day operating costs. In December, the church's finance council authorized Cardinal Law to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection if necessary.
In an effort to control costs, the archdiocese has slashed social service programs, mortgaged its Brighton headquarters, and is planning to sell some of its extensive real estate holdings.
See the story list to the left for the latest coverage of the scandal's financial cost.
TV news trucks outside the archdiocesan headquarters in Brighton in April. The church has mortgaged the property. (Globe Staff Photo / George Rizer)
Bishop Richard Lennon has identified church real estate that will be sold off. (Globe Staff Photo / David L. Ryan)