New Jersey dioceses have set up their own victims' compensation fund as an alternative to civil lawsuits. According to Brannigan, the fund has "significantly lower level of proof and corroboration than required in a court of law." It promises "an attractive alternative to litigation" and "speedy and transparent process."
After agreeing on and receiving a settlement, abuse survivors will not be able to pursue additional legal action against the diocese. All settlements will be funded by the dioceses themselves.
On Feb. 13, all the Catholic dioceses of New Jersey released lists of clergy who had been "credibly" accused of sexual abuse of minors dating back to 1940.
On the list is disgraced former cardinal Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who headed New Jersey's Diocese of Metuchen from 1981 until 1986 and the Archdiocese of Newark from 1986 until 2000. He retired as Archbishop of Washington.
A total of 188 clerics, including deacons, were listed. The Archdiocese of Newark list had the most names, with 63, and the Diocese of Metuchen had the fewest with 11.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark said in a statement that the release of the list of names of credibly accused clergy was part of "an effort to do what is right and just."
"It is our sincerest hope that this disclosure will help bring healing to those whose lives have been so deeply violated," said Tobin. "We also pray that this can serve as an initial step in our efforts to help restore trust in the leadership of the Catholic Church."
Archbishop McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals in July 2018 after being credibly accused of abusing two minor boys. He faces numerous charges of sexual abuse against minors and adults over a period of decades.
A verdict following McCarrick's canonical process for his abuse of minors is expected at any time. Many expect the punishment to remove him from the clerical state.