Erie’s Persico backs compensation fund for victims


August 30, 2018

By Ed Palattella

Bishop joins top Pa. state senator in supporting a fund rather than a two-year window that would allow victims to sue in court no matter how old the abuse.

Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico on Thursday endorsed the proposal of Pennsylvania’s top state senator that Catholic dioceses statewide set up compensation funds for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Persico’s statement, like the proposal of state Senate Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, falls short of backing a key recommendation of the statewide grand jury that released its report on the abuse on Aug. 14 — that the GOP-controlled General Assembly approve a two-year window that would allow victims to sue no matter what the statute of limitations or how long ago the abuse occurred.

Persico “is prepared to establish and fund an appropriate program that provides necessary relief to victims,” the Catholic Diocese of Erie said in a statement.

“In my statement to victims on Aug. 14, I committed myself and this diocese to assist in healing for victims and for the wider community,” Persico said in the statement.

“It is time to take action. We must do what is within our power to provide justice to victims. Therefore, I have directed our lawyers to collaborate with the Pennsylvania Legislature to develop an acceptable and appropriate program to make restitution to victims.

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