February 02, 2006

Spokane Diocese offers $45.7 million to settle sex-abuse claims

New Mexican

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS | Associated Press
February 2, 2006

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Victims of sexual abuse by priests say the key portion of the settlement offered by the Catholic Diocese of Spokane is not the money, but changes intended to prevent molestations from occurring again.

A settlement offer of $45.7 million to 75 victims was announced Wednesday. The deal, if approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court and victims, would also require Spokane Bishop William Skylstad to make greater efforts to prevent abuse.

Skylstad is head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Spokane case was being closely watched by other dioceses facing lawsuits over sex abuse.

"The deepest feeling I have is a sense of accomplishment that our children and grandchildren are safer and much more protected," said Mike Shea, an abuse victim and member of the committee that negotiated the deal.

Posted by kshaw at February 2, 2006 06:42 AM