January 05, 2005

Biggest clergy abuse settlement announced

USA Today

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in California has announced details of the largest single settlement in the church's child sexual-abuse scandal.

The diocese said Monday that it had agreed to a $100 million civil settlement with 90 victims of abuse. The largest previous settlement, $85 million, was made in Boston in 2003. The latest settlement pushes the total cost of abuse, including care and counseling for victims and priests, to nearly $900 million nationwide.

But victims, who battled the Southern California diocese for two years, say their victory won't be complete until they see the church's files on alleged abusers, which will be made public as part of the settlement. They could document what church officials knew of abuse complaints and what they did — or failed to do — to protect children.

"This is what we really want — to open up the truth of what happened and be believed," said Barbara Blaine, founder of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by kshaw at January 5, 2005 06:52 AM