The New York Archdiocese's New Approach to Abuse Claims in the Catholic Church
By Danny Lewis
December 14, 2017
Earlier this year, the New York Archdiocese announced it was starting an independent program to compensate survivors of sexual abuse by clergy. Since then, the archdiocese has handed out just over $40 million to 189 people through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. It's the first time the church has addressed these claims in this manner, and it's inspired similar efforts in local dioceses in Brooklyn and Long Island.
However, the effort is raising questions about why the church is going this route. According to Peter Feuerherd of the National Catholic Reporter, the program could be a response to ongoing efforts in New York to expand the statute of limitations for claims of child sexual abuse.
"If you want to look at this in the most positive way, they are opening up a venue for people to get justice who wouldn't be covered because of the statute of limitations," Feuerherd tells WNYC's Richard Hake. "If you want to use it on a very cynical level, they are simply trying to get ahead of the possibility of the state enacting a different statute of limitations."