Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Archdiocese pays £30m to priests' 'sex victims'

Telegraph, London
Archdiocese pays £30m to priests' 'sex victims'
By Catherine Elsworth in New York
Last Updated: 1:47am GMT 02/12/2006

America's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese is to pay out £30 million to settle 45 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests, it announced yesterday.

The settlement follows at least a year of negotiations between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and its alleged victims, who represent only one tenth of those who have initiated legal procedures.

The archdiocese still faces more than 500 lawsuits brought by people who claim that they were abused by about 200 priests from as far back as the 1930s.

"I pray that the settlement of the initial group of cases will help the victims involved to move forward," Cardinal Roger Mahony said. The archdiocese said its financial stability would not be compromised because it had made budgetary adjustments.

It is the largest such settlement in California since 2004, when the Diocese of Orange agreed to pay £50 million to settle 90 abuse claims. The payout is also one of the largest in America since the clergy abuse crisis erupted in Boston in 2002 with revelations that an abusing priest was moved among parishes without alerting parents or police

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