Loading
California diocese announces $100M settlement with abuse victims

.- The Diocese of Orange announced the largest settlement in history with victims of clergy sexual abuse Jan. 3. Bishop Tod D. Brown negotiated the $100-million settlement, which was finalized Dec. 2 but placed under a court seal for one month. The settlement resolved 90 lawsuits that included allegations against 31 priests, 10 lay personnel, one religious brother and two nuns. The earliest allegation dated to 1936; the latest was 1996.

The settlement, which was in negotiations for two years, surpassed the $85-million settlement the Archdiocese of Boston agreed to pay 552 plaintiffs in 2002.

It also allows for the release of confidential documents from diocesan personnel files after a judge's review. The first records could be released within two months.

"Let this be what everyone remembers from today: that nothing is more important than the protection of our children and our youth," said Bishop Brown at the announcement of the settlement. "I seek their forgiveness, I hope for reconciliation and I know that they have now begun their healing process."

Mark Curran, one of the plaintiffs, said that he forgives the church. "Today, I sit with you next to my brother in Christ, who has practiced his faith – not just with the money, but I see the compassion of Christ in this man," he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

“We have kept our commitment to the victims of these crimes by compensating them, with the help of our insurers, at a level that is, in our view, significant, generous and compassionate,” said the bishop in a written statement. “For us as a church, it is also very, very costly. But such a settlement will allow us, chastened, to move forward with all the good works we do.”

The settlement stipulates that the diocese will pay half of the settlement; its eight insurance companies will pay the other half.

The bishop said the diocese was motivated to come to a settlement to protect the diocese from bankruptcy and spare Catholics and those who care for the Church “the sordid details of these crimes,” which would have been publicized in the media had the cases gone to trial.

“We are ashamed that the crime of sexual abuse took place in our church and are determined that it will not happen again,” he said. Efforts will continue to make church environments safer and “to educate everyone about the horror of childhood sexual abuse in our society,” he added.

Bishop Brown held a prayer service that evening at Holy Family Cathedral. He offered prayers in thanksgiving for the settlement, for reconciliation, healing and restoration of trust.

The implications of this settlement for the other 800 clergy abuse lawsuits pending in dioceses across the state are unclear. Plaintiffs are now urging other bishops to follow the example of the Orange diocese.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, under the leadership of Roger Cardinal Mahony, faces more than 500 lawsuits. The archdiocese is currently in settlement negotiations. Trial dates for some of these cases are expected to be set at a hearing on Friday.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Jul
28

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Gospel
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »

Saint
Date
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Homily
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: