Dec 5, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The nation's largest settlement for victims of sexual abuse by clergy was agreed upon Dec. 2. The settlement, which involved the Diocese of Orange and 87 victims, was welcomed by the bishop, parishioners and the victims.
"I am at peace with the settlement," Bishop Tod D. Brown of Orange reportedly said after Sunday mass at Holy Family Cathedral. "The victims will be fairly compensated and, at the same time, our diocese will be able to continue our mission of service."
The bishop said he was moved by those victims who embraced him after the settlement was announced and accepted his personal apology for the misconduct of priests and lay people. Some victims said they want to return to the Church, he said.
"We welcome all those who wish to return, welcome them back warmly into our community," he said, according to a report by the Associated Press. "Let us pray for that important goal of forgiveness and reconciliation with these victims who through no fault of their own became tragic figures in the history of our church."