United States: The cost of compensation for victims of sexual abuse

January 01, 1970
 
The victims of pedophile priests signed a compensation agreement in October 2003. The majority of the plaintiffs have accepted an amicable agreement which involves a total sum of $90 million. Thus the worst scandal in the history of the Church in the U.S.A., is resolved financially.

According to an article which appeared in the Boston Globe, with the sale of the buildings which belong to the Church not being immediately feasible, and with the impossibility of finding the necessary loan of $90 million, the archdiocese has decided to accept that the Cathedral and St. John’s seminary be mortgaged with the banks, in order to cover the costs due.

In order to meet these requirements, the archbishop’s residence will also be sold, as will other buildings. One third of the total loan has been guaranteed by an individual whose identity has not been revealed.

In Miami, Florida, the archbishop and the insurance companies have paid around $9 million to the victims of sexual abuse committed on minors, by members of his clergy.

In a document, the archbishop of Miami, Mgr. Favalora has revealed that since the foundation of the archdiocese, in 1958, 38 priests have been accused of sexual abuse on minors. This figure represents less than 1% of the 4,302 priests who have worked in Florida during the past 45 years. The 110 parishes in the archdiocese have not been solicited to compensate their victims, as the money has come from insurance and other sources.

"The sins of a few and the failure of others to act promptly, have seriously jeopardized the confidence which must exist, between the bishops and the priests, the bishops and the laity, between the priests and their parishioners," wrote Mgr. Favalora.

The archbishopric of Miami is one of the American dioceses which will, this month, publish the facts concerning the sexual abuses committed by members of the clergy. This information will be transmitted to the John Jay School of Criminal Justice, with the aim of being used to draft a report, requested by the Conference of Catholic bishops of the United States. This national report, which is due to be published next February, will mention the number of denunciations of abuse since the 1950s, as well as the costs generated by the compensation of the victims, remuneration of lawyers, and the therapies offered to victims.