Because of a legal loophole in disability law, a Catholic priest is now going to be collecting a check for pedophilia. The Rev. Gil Gustafson, 62 is a convicted sex offender in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minn. For the past 20 years, the Catholic Church has kept his healthcare, pay and living expenses intact even though he molested children in his church.
Gustafson led a great life and opened a consulting firm centered on leadership. The diocese allegedly sent clients his way to bolster his business. In 2006 he was declared disabled due to his pedophilia and was allowed to collect disability checks as well as consulting fees from his business. The families of his victims are outraged at this situation. In one instance the father of a boy who Gustafson molested for almost 6 years stated, “Since when is a crime a disability?”
The archdiocese issued a statement that said it is “required by church law and Christian compassion to care for priests removed from ministry. Gustafson is permanently and totally disabled and is therefore entitled to benefits through the pension plan for priests.’’
Catholic priests who have molested children have been widely covered in the mainstream media, but what is overlooked is the amount of money spent on defense of these cases. In Gustafson’s former archdiocese the church has spent nearly $6.2 million over 10 years. These costs were for legal fees and payouts to the victim and families of priests like Gustafson. There are more priests like him who have been protected by the Catholic Church and are being paid disability.