Catholic Archdiocese of New York Pays $40m to Sexual Abuse Victims
By Marivic Cabural Summers
December 8, 2017
The Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in New York paid $40.05 million to sexual abuse victims.
According to the archdiocese,189 sexual abuse victims received payments through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP). The administrators of IRCP are still processing compensation for additional victims.
Last year, the New York archdiocese launched the IRCP, an outreach program to reach out to the victims of its clergy. More than 200 individual participated and submitted their claims through program, which ended on November 1.
Around 40 priests committed sexual abuse
In 2016, the New York Times reported that around 40 priests were accused of sexual abuse. The archdiocese did not and will not release the names of the priests.
During the launching of the IRCP, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York expressed hope to bring a measure of peace and healing” to the victims.
Atty. Ken Feinberg, a well-known mediator and his associate Camilline Biros served as administrators of the IRCP. They had full independence in evaluating the claims of the victims and determining the amount of compensation for them.
In a statement, Joseph Zwilling and Mercedes Lopez Blanco, the media liaison of the archdiocese said the program was successful.
In addition, Zwiling and Blanco noted that most of the victims expressed gratitude that the Church responded with compassion and understanding.
They said, “All left knowing that the Archdiocese of New York was willing to make a genuine act of reparation.”
Archdiocese’s reconciliation program is a “shrewd strategy”
On the other hand, the rights advocates of some victims criticized the Church for establishing the reconciliation program. They claimed that the archdiocese created the program to prevent litigation.
According to Anne Barret Doyle, the co-director of BishopAccountability.org said the reconciliation program is a “shrewd strategy.”