Damn, that is a lot of money to spend on coverups. 

Courtesy of CNN:

Since the 1980s, the Catholic Church in the United States and its insurance companies have paid out more than $3.8 billion in lawsuits and claims involving allegations of clerical sexual abuse, according to a monitoring group.

BishopAccountability, a non-profit that tracks allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, says the payouts involved cases filed by more than 8,600 survivors who were allegedly sexually abused by an undisclosed number of clergy since the 1950s.

Spokesman Terry McKiernan told CNN the number of associated clergy is difficult to calculate because some settlement announcements omit the number of predator priests.

The monies have not gone solely to survivors, McKiernan said. Attorneys get a cut, too. And not all the money comes out of the coffers of the Catholic Church, because the church maintains insurance policies that cover a portion of the settlement payments.

The largest payout the group is aware of totaled $660 million and was issued in Los Angeles in 2007.

I saw a cable news show fairly recently in which a member of the panel said that the easy fix to all of this was to allow priests to marry. 

That is completely inaccurate. 

It is a lie to suggest that people become pedophiles because they have no other sexual release. 

What actually happens is that pedophiles are drawn to jobs where they are in a position of trust and have easy access to children. 

That is why you will find some of them coaching, working with the Boy Scouts, and even teaching in our public schools.

And just like in the Catholic priesthood the vast majority of the people in those occupations are dedicated professionals who would rather cut off their own arm rather than cause harm to a child, but there is always that slim minority who take those jobs for the very worst reasons. 

The real problem with the Catholic Church is not that these abuses happened in the first place, but that they responded by paying people off and covering the whole thing up for decades. 

This meant that not only were these predators allowed to continue hurting children, but it also sent a message to other pedophiles that the church would cover for their crimes.