Parishioners support historic settlement in Covington

.- Parishioners in the Diocese of Convington are supportive of the $120-million fund that diocesan officials have offered to set aside to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse. The Associated Press interviewed a number of parishioners at St. Anthony Parish festival in nearby Taylor Mill. While some of them voiced their concerns about the financial strain this would put on the diocese, others said the settlement was fair and that the scandal hasn’t negatively impacted their faith.

Yesterday, the diocese announced the $120-million settlement offer — the largest settlement offer to date in the U.S. It must still be approved by a court judge. The settlement would resolve a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 100 alleged victims, who accuse the diocese of a cover-up. However, the fund would encompass all known and unknown cases within a 50-year window. Lawyers have said it may take months before all claims surface.

“After personally meeting with more than 70 victims, I am painfully aware that no amount of money can compensate for the harm these victims suffered as innocent children,” said Bishop Foys in a statement yesterday. “Nevertheless, I pray that this settlement will bring some measure of peace and healing to victims and their loved ones.”

He offered his apology to abuse victims and said the diocese is doing all that is “humanly possible” to assure that such behavior never happens again.

“I am thankful that a settlement could be worked out which provides for compensation and professional counseling for victims but which also preserves intact the parishes and the essential ministry and administrative functions of the diocese."

The $120 million will come from a combination real estate and savings, and insurance. The diocese said the Catholic Center/Marydale — which includes the diocesan offices, the diocesan retreat center and Cristo Rey Parish church — has been tagged as real estate that will contribute to the settlement fund. The diocese is moving its offices to a nearby medical office building.

However, Bishop Foys hopes to develop a plan to redeem a portion of the Catholic Center/Marydale property, principally the former seminary building and the priests' cemetery.

To read the terms of the settlement go to:
http://www.covingtondiocese.org/index.cfm/NewsItem?sharedarticle=1&id=145177&From=News

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