February 19, 2005

Diocese paid $1.7m to settle new abuse claims

Nashua Telegraph

By ALBERT McKEON, Telegraph Staff

Published: Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester fielded 10 new claims of clergy sexual abuse last year, and paid $1.7 million in settlement fees.

The tally is part of an internal audit conducted on the nationís 195 Catholic dioceses. Released Friday, the audit reported that the Catholic Church in this country has paid $840 million to victims since 1950.

Diocesan leaders said they received 1,092 new abuse claims last year. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said these figures did not mean that abuse still ran rampant in the church, and that most of the alleged incidents occurred decades ago.

The Manchester diocese reported that eight of the new claims it handled in 2004 stemmed from abuse that began between the years 1970-79, while the other two charges resulted from abuse that had started in 1954 or earlier.

Diane Murphy Quinlan, who oversees ministerial conduct for the Manchester diocese, said diocesan leaders are pleased the USCCB found the church in New Hampshire compliant for a second time. The USCCB made the same finding in its first audit last year.

Posted by kshaw at February 19, 2005 06:02 AM