Newark, N.J., Dec 15, 2018 / 17:42 pm
In the wake of sex abuse allegations against a former cardinal, the Catholic bishops of New Jersey have announced the creation of a fund to compensate victims of clergy sex abuse, while details of similar funds in Pennsylvania are also being finalized.
The New Jersey program aims to compensate "eligible victims of child sexual abuse including those whose financial claims are legally barred by New Jersey's statute of limitations," the New Jersey Catholic Conference said in a Dec. 14 statement. "This program follows the many initiatives adopted by the Catholic dioceses in New Jersey since 2002 to implement safeguards and procedures to provide safe environments for children and to provide assistance to victims."
Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille Biros will design, implement and administer the statewide compensation program. Feinberg is an attorney and mediator who headed the September 11 victims' compensation fund.
He and Biros have adminsitered sex abuse victims compensation programs for many diocese in New York and Pennsylvania. New Jersey's bishops described them as "respected internationally."
The program will accept submissions of individual claims of sexual abuse of a minor, evaluate the claims, and settle them. It will be independent of any participating diocese. Program administrators will have "complete autonomy" to determine if a claim is eligible and what amount to compensate a victim.