January 04, 2005

Alleged victims of Orange County clergy abuse sob as settlement unsealed

State Hornet

Gillian Flaccus
Associated Press

January 04, 2005

LOS ANGELES - Details of a record $100 million settlement between alleged victims of priest sexual abuse and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange were unsealed, with church leaders saying it would make the diocese a "holier, humbler and healthier church."

Alleged victims sobbed and hugged Monday as they spoke publicly about the deal that was nearly two years in the making. Some thanked Bishop Tod D. Brown, who as head of the diocese negotiated what has become the largest clergy abuse settlement in history.

"Let this be what everyone remembers from today: that nothing is more important than the protection of our children and our youth," Brown said as he sat alongside plaintiffs and their attorneys. "I seek their forgiveness, I hope for reconciliation and I know that they have now begun their healing process."

The settlement was reached Dec. 2, but was under a court seal for a month as the parties signed off on it. It surpasses the $85 million the Archdiocese of Boston agreed to pay 552 plaintiffs in 2002.

Posted by kshaw at January 4, 2005 08:21 AM