Why would the NFL's New Orleans Saints strike a behind-the-scenes alliance with the Catholic Church on an issue as emotionally fraught as clergy sex abuse?

It’s a question even die-hard fans are asking in a Catholic city where football is a religion of its own. And the answer appears to lie in the bond that billionaire owner Tom Benson and his now-widow Gayle built for years with area church leaders.

An Associated Press review found the Benson's have given at least $62 million to the New Orleans Archdiocese and other Catholic causes over the past dozen years.

(Story written by By JIM MUSTIAN, REESE DUNKLIN and BRETT MARTEL/AP)