March 09, 2005

Catholic group asks about source of money for abuse settlements

San Francisco Chronicle

Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Leaders of a Catholic watchdog group asked church leaders in Northern California on Tuesday to tell the faithful exactly what funds will be used to pay for anticipated, multimillion-dollar settlements or court judgments in the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

The call came as two days of court-ordered settlement talks in the East Bay ended with no apparent agreement over who will pay for the alleged coverup of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Northern California.

Meanwhile, court proceedings were expected to continue today in San Francisco and Hayward in the first two trials sparked by a wave of lawsuits filed under a 2002 state law that temporarily lifted the statute of limitations on damage claims against organizations that gave known child molesters access to more victims.

At the Alameda County Superior Court building in Hayward, leaders of Voice of the Faithful, an organization of Catholic laity, waited in the hallway as lawyers for victims, the church and insurance companies negotiated behind closed doors.

"It's like a game of poker, but they are playing with our money," said Ed Gleason, the group's director for Northern California.

Posted by kshaw at March 9, 2005 03:20 PM