January 04, 2005

Orange County clergy settlement finalized, unsealed

San Francisco Chronicle

GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

(01-04) 00:53 PST LOS ANGELES (AP) --

People who said they were abused by Catholic priests over a period of 60 years fell into the arms of their attorneys and sobbed as details of a record $100 million settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange were unsealed.

Others tearfully hugged and thanked Bishop Tod D. Brown, who as head of the diocese negotiated the largest clergy abuse settlement in history.

"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," said Mark Curran, one of those whose lawsuits against the diocese led to the settlement.

"Today, we can stand and we can say, I forgive you. And of course I do, of course we forgive you," Curran said Monday.

The settlement was reached Dec. 2 after nearly two years of negotiations, but was under a court seal for a month as the parties signed off on it. It marks the single largest clergy abuse settlement to date, surpassing the $85 million the Archdiocese of Boston agreed to pay 552 plaintiffs in 2002.

Posted by kshaw at January 4, 2005 03:47 AM