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New York Catholic Archdiocese Pays $40 Million to Sexual Abuse Victims

New York Catholic Archdiocese Pays $40 Million to Sexual Abuse Victims

Cardinal Timothy Dolan (C) attends a consistory led by Pope Francis at the Vatican, Rome, Italy, February 12, 2015. Pope Francis, starting two days of closed-door meetings with the world's Roman Catholic cardinals, on Thursday called for greater efficiency and transparency in the Church's troubled central administration, the Curia. | (Photo: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York announced that it paid out approximately $40 million to victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

In an update released last Thursday, the archdiocese noted that its Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program resolved the claims of 189 victims, totaling $40,050.000.

"There are additional claims which were made prior to the November 1 application deadline that are still being processed by the program administrators," noted the archdiocese.

"The report also provides a summary of the Church's efforts to combat the scourge of sexual abuse of minors, which have resulted in the Church being a leader in the prevention of abuse, and in the care for victim–survivors."

The archdiocese also labeled its program a "success," adding that "the Church is now a model in how to respond to this horror."

"Many of the victim-survivors have expressed their gratitude that the Church extended an invitation, listened, and responded with compassion and understanding," continued the archdiocese.

"All left knowing that the Archdiocese of New York was willing to make a genuine act of reparation for the harm that was done to them."

In an accompanying report on the program, the archdiocese explained that the funds for this compensation are coming through a long-term loan and will not use funds donated to other church entities, such as parishes or schools.

"Throughout the process, victim-survivors made clear they are not just interested in money, but instead are seeking some tangible sign of the Church's desire for healing and reconciliation," noted the report's introduction.

"The archdiocese prays that this outreach helps bring peace and consolation to victim-survivors who have experienced the horror of abuse, and is grateful that many report such healing."

In October 2016, New York Archdiocese head Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced the creation of a program meant to financially compensate victims of sex abuse by priests, modeled off of earlier programs in other dioceses.

"Cardinal Dolan explained that the Diocese of Albany had initiated a voluntary compensation program a decade ago, and that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee also had done so when he served as archbishop there before his appointment as Archbishop of New York in 2009," reported Catholic News Service last year.

"The program will be administered by [Kenneth] Feinberg, who is well known for his work as special master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and numerous other high-profile compensation funds."

According to the archdiocese's report, while enrollment for the program has concluded, there are still some claims remaining that are expected to be fully processed within the next few months.

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