California bishops announce compensation program for abuse victims
FREE Catholic Classes
Bishops in California announced May 14 a new program to compensate victims of clerical sexual abuse, through which any person sexually abused as a minor by a diocesan priest can apply for compensation'" no matter when the abuse occurred.
Los Angeles, Calif., (CNA) - "We have been providing pastoral care and financial support for victim-survivors here in the Archdiocese for many years. We will continue to do so," Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles said in a letter accompanying the announcement.
"But we also understand that some victim-survivors are reluctant to come to the Church for assistance. Our hope with this new program is to give these people a chance to seek redress and healing through an independent program."
The new program applies to six of California's 13 Catholic dioceses'" Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange, and Fresno. These six dioceses represent 80% of California's Catholics, the announcement asserts.
The protocol for the program is still in draft form, so victims are not yet able to file claims, but a website dedicated to the program will be launched soon, spokesperson Amy Weiss told CNA.
Survivors can elect to enter this program as an alternative to pursuing their claims against the Church in court, the announcement notes. Victims will have to submit a claim form along with any supporting evidence.
Victims need not have a lawyer and there is no fee to participate; settlements for fully completed claims are to be paid within 90 days.
"Those harmed many years ago and barred from filing lawsuits because of civil statutes of limitations will be eligible to make claims under this new program," the announcement says.
"Also, because this program has no proof-of-citizenship requirement, undocumented immigrants who may have been abused are also eligible to make claims."
The program applies only to diocesan priests. Claims against members of religious orders active in California, or against deacons or laypeople, are not eligible. Victims who have previously entered into a settlement agreement resolving the claim of sexual abuse against a diocesan priest are also not eligible.
The bishops began been working with mediators Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros in November 2018 to develop the program. Feinberg and Biros will have full control over the amount of compensation each victim gets and the diocese will not be able to appeal their decision.
Feinberg is an attorney and mediator who led the Sept. 11 victims' fund and was involved in overseeing a compensation program in the wake of the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting in 2012. He and Biros recently led the creation of abuse victims compensation programs in New Jersey, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. They also administer the Archdiocese of New York's Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, which began in Oct. 2016.
Former California governor Gray Davis, and Maria Contreras-Sweet, former administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, are among the members of the independent oversight board overseeing the fund.
California's diocese have paid out nearly $1.5 billion in settlements to survivors of sexual abuse in the past two decades alone, the announcement says. Safeguards diocese have implemented to protect children have included training on abuse prevention and reporting, and stricter background checks and reporting requirements.
"As a result, new cases of sexual misconduct by priests involving minors are rare today in the Catholic Church in California. Nonetheless, the Bishops undertake this program in their continued efforts to provide avenues for victim-survivors of abuse to receive assistance to continue their healing," the announcement concludes.
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.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) is urging his fellow governors to "be bold" on the issue of life. Frankfort, Ky., (CNA) - The first-term ... continue reading
An Ohio bill seeking to limit insurance coverage of non-lifesaving abortions erroneously states that a procedure exists in which a doctor ... continue reading
Earlier this week, the state of Alabama passed legislation to make abortion a felony. The measure is the nation's strongest prohibition on ... continue reading
The Missouri Senate has passed a bill that would ban most abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. Legislators responsible for the bill ... continue reading
Fertility rates in the United States have fallen to an all-time low, according to provisional figures released by the Centers for Disease ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Pope Francis tells medical professionals to defend life
- St. Bernardine of Siena: Saint of the Day for Monday, May 20, 2019
- Daily Readings for Monday, May 20, 2019
- Pro-life activists call for acquittal of doctor who refused to ...
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 HD Video
- 'Stand firm for life against the evil opposing it' Kentucky governor ...
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Monday, May 20th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, May 17th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, May 19th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, May 16th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.