Seen on the web: Cocktail napkin math on the estimated cost of the abuse scandal.

Cocktail napkin math follows. Your results may vary.

Largest US diocese (LA)

$660 million paid to settle 100s of cases.

227 million paid by insurance.

60 million from religious orders by agreement.

123 million expected from litigation against religious orders not part of the deal.

The diocese was left to pay $250 million out of its own coffers. That covers cases going back many years.

4.7 million Catholics in L.A.
31% average weekly attendance.

c 1.5 million Saturday/Sunday attendees per week.

Avg donation $5 per week.
Average haul overall $7.5 million/weekly
$390 million per year.

64% of the total collection plate haul for one year would cover 40-50 years of abuse settlements.

But the church has bank accounts, investments and significant real estate holdings that they have been liquidating. The church and parishes also pick up a lot of money from non-collection plate donations: wills and bequests, a variety of fund raising operations, large direct donations and even private grants. So the amount coming out the collection plate would be far less than 64%, even if one year of collections was used to pay the entire settlement spanning decades.

They’re in a cash crunch, but they don’t need to confiscate the collections. Most of the money from the collection basket still goes to parish operating costs.