Philadelphia Archdiocese to pay $126 to sex abuse victims in order to prevent civil suits
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program which was set up in 2018 to pay settlements of 615 sex absue claims said it expects to pay $126 million to sexual-abuse victims under the reparations program. This averages to be about $211,000 per claim which is the average of what other dioceses have been paying under such programs.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese still has @20 million in reserves to pay for the sex abuse claims and plans to raise money through property sales and loans. The $126 million estimate was made by the diocese as part of an audited financial statement for the end of June 2019.
“I deeply regret the pain and suffering of survivors and any decisions that failed to protect them,” Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez wrote to parishioners in a letter Tuesday. “The pain and damage are profound.”
Sex abuse Victims advocates have openly criticized the compensation funds suggesting it is a play to undermine legislative efforts to give victims a chance to take their claims to court. IF survivors accepted the payouts from the from the compensation fund, they give up their right to sue if lawmakers ever lift the civil statute of limitations for old claims. For those claims, victims who were abused before their 18th birthday have until they turn 30 to sue. Child Vicitms Act is a law that extendsthe window of tiem for older victims to sue regalrdless of how long it has been since thabuse occured. Under the Child victims act that was enacted in 2019 victims have until age 55 to sue for abuse that happens after the new law took effect this year.
The Diocese of Harrisburg in February joined the other 20 U.S. dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy protection because of priest sex-abuse claims. The most recent was the Archdiocese of New Orleans, which filed last week.