Catholic fund begins offering cash to settle N.J. priest abuse claims

Star Ledger

July 25, 2019

By Kelly Heyboer

A new compensation fund backed by New Jersey’s five Catholic dioceses is paying its first financial settlements to people who say they were sexually abused by priests and other clergy members.

The fund — called the New Jersey Independent Victim Compensation Program — was unveiled earlier this year by the state’s Catholic dioceses as a way for victims to settle their cases with the church privately, without going to court.

The fund began accepting its first round of applicants June 15 and has already considered several cases and made settlement offers, said Camille Biros, co-administrator of the program.

“The program is up and running and going well with 44 claims received as of today,” Biros said Tuesday. “Three claim determinations have been made and three settlement offers have been sent to claimants.”

The cash settlements will be paid by the Archdiocese of Newark and the state’s other dioceses — Camden, Paterson, Metuchen and Trenton.

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