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Audit: Archdiocese spent nearly $9 million on costs related to clergy misconduct

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For the first time ever, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a detailed financial audit report.

The Star Tribune says the archdiocese spent $8.8 million over the last decade on costs related to clergy misconduct, with the majority of that money – $6.2 million – being spent on cases involving misconduct with minors.

According to the 30-page audit, clergy misconduct expenses included counseling and therapy for victims, legal fees and legal settlements.

The finance report does not include settlements and other payments made by the archdiocese's insurance company.

Approximately $1.5 million went to living expenses for priests who had been credibly accused of child sexual misconduct and were no longer in the ministry, according to the Star Tribune.

The audit report concludes by saying the financial condition of the archdiocese is solid even with a $3.8 million deficit. The Associated Press says the deficit is due to the archdiocese setting aside reserves to cover potential liability from impending lawsuits.

Minnesota Public Radio says the report comes after the archdiocese was accused of "secretly" paying millions in legal expenses and financially supporting priests accused of abuse.

An MPR investigation last month that analyzed thousands of private internal archdiocese documents claimed the church used "stealth accounts" to cover costs related to numerous infractions by priests.

In a statement issued Thursday, the archdiocese claims the accounts "are not secret and have been included in the consolidated income statements of the archdiocese publicly reported on an annual basis."

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