Philadelphia archdiocese has authorized $8.4 million to abuse victims
FREE Catholic Classes
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has so far authorized more than $8.4 million in compensation to survivors of child sexual abuse by members of the clergy, according to an interim report released on Feb. 15.
Philadelphia, Pa., (CNA) - The report analyzed the first three months of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP), which was formally launched in mid-November 2018. All who were abused as minors by members of the clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are eligible to apply for compensation, even if the statute of limitations has expired.
All 348 people who had previously reported abuse to the archdiocese were mailed information on the program and filing a complaint.
In addition, 120 people who had not previously reported a claim have registered for the program on the IRRP website, and of these, 72 were deemed eligible to file a claim, and 39 were ruled ineligible. Nine of these claims are still pending approval.
Only those who were abused as a minor by a member of the clergy within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are eligible for compensation. All rejected claims from the IRRP website were denied because the alleged abuse was not by a member of the clergy from the archdiocese, or the alleged abuse was committed by a layperson or non-Catholic employee of a church.
Per the report, the IRRP website has led to an "unearthing of new allegations" and so far has resulted in one priest in active ministry being placed on leave after an allegation of abusing a minor in the 1970s. This priest had not previously been accused of misconduct, and the complaint is being investigated by law enforcement.
Since November, there have been 86 claims filed for compensation. All but 16 were from previously-known claimants. There have been 36 claims that have been given determination letters, and of these, 16 offers of compensation have been accepted by the abuse survivor. Twenty claims have been authorized to be paid, but the offers have not yet been accepted by the claimant and are still under consideration.
Out of the $8.4 million authorized as compensation payments, a total of $4.5 million has been paid to compensate survivors of abuse. There is no cap on the amount an abuse survivor can be compensated, nor is there a limit on how much the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will pay all survivors.
The claimant is not under any obligation to accept the compensation offered by the IRRP, but none of the settlement offers so far have been rejected. One person agreed to drop his pending litigation against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia after being offered a settlement through the IRRP.
Counseling is also offered to all who request it as part of their claim with the IRRP. Since the program began in November, 25 claimants have requested counseling services.
The archdiocese does not control the IRRP, which is being administered by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, the same people who are administering a similar program for survivors of child sexual abuse by members of the clergy in New Jersey.
The IRRP is being overseen by Former Sen. George J. Mitchell and Hon. Lawrence F. Stengel and Hon. Kelley B. Hodge. Lynn Shiner is working as victim support facilitator.
The next report will be released in May, six months into the program. Claimants have until September 30, 2019 to file for compensation.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2019
Young People and the Example of Mary. That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.
As devastating flood waters continue to rise in parts of the Midwest, Catholics are working to raise funds for both short-term aid and ... continue reading
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld tax-free housing allowances for clergy, a decision welcomed by pastors, religious ... continue reading
The Maryland House of Delegates has approved a bill to entirely remove the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits related to child ... continue reading
The attorney general of West Virginia has filed a lawsuit charging that the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and its former bishop knowingly ... continue reading
The writers and co-directors of the upcoming film "Unplanned" have spoken of how they prepared for a "spiritual battle" to make the ... continue reading