Thousands of claims for damages following sexual-abuse cases, which typically cost the church over $1m per victim, according to lawyers involved, have led to a liquidity crisis. This seems to have encouraged a pre-existing trend towards replacing dollars from the faithful with publicly raised debt as a way of financing church business. The church is also increasingly keen to defend its access to public health-care subsidies while claiming a right not to provide certain medical services to which it objects, such as contraception. This increased reliance on taxpayers has not been matched by increased openness and accountability. The church, like other religious groups in America, is not subject to the same disclosure requirements as other non-profits or private entities.
The Economist has a very good look at the financial mismanagement that has occurred behind the scenes of the Catholic Church in America, and well, it’s not pretty. You can argue that the church has done a lot of good for the poor and needy in communities, but they’ve done not-so-good things as well, and mismanaging money is just one of them.