Defying predictions, Roman Catholics in the United States increased their donations to the church last year during the height of the scandal over sexual abuse of minors by priests, according to data c

Defying predictions, Roman Catholics in the United States increased their donations to the church last year during the height of the scandal over sexual abuse of minors by priests, according to data collected by researchers at Georgetown University. The reported rise in Catholic giving is doubly remarkable because it took place during an economic downturn in which contributions to the nation’s 400 largest charities fell for the first time in more than a decade. Behind the overall increase, however, is a telling difference in the two main categories of donations to the church.